December 13, 1996
Yesterday's double funeral of Ita and Ephraim Tzur at Beit El was as heart wrenching as can be imagined. It is almost impossible to express in words the emotions felt here when hearing such horrible news. All I know is that the identical sensation experienced too many times in the past, a sensation that I try not to recall under any circumstances, exploded inside me on Wednesday night, in full force. And it tends to linger on for quite a long time. At the cemetery, Ita and Ephraim Tzur were buried next to Ohad Bachrach, murdered last year in Wadi Kelt, together with Uri Shachor. Beit El too, as in Hebron, has had to allocate a row of graves to murdered Jews. Waiting by the graves, I stood several meters from Minister of Defense Yitzhak Mordechai, Foreign Minister David Levi, and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. The expressions on their faces, especially those of Levi and Netanyahu, reflected excruciating pain and anger. Yoel Tzur, husband and father of the victims, is a personal friend and acquaintance of the two ministers. It must be said that the arrival of the three most important figures in the Israeli government, along with Ariel Sharon, Zevulun Hammer, and others, represents a major shift in policy, as was displayed, or perhaps, better termed, not displayed, by the previous administration. Official government representation at funerals of terrorist victims was delegated to mayors, or minor officials. Families of terror victims were totally ignored by the Rabin-Peres administrations. Participation of so many of the most important people running the county is more than symbolic: It is a clear statement by the Netanyahu government, expressing the words that Netanyahu uttered during his eulogy: You (the residents of Yesha) are as much a part of us, as are all the people in Israel. During the previous administration we were isolated and related to as the lowest level of being; we were enemies of the State. Netanyahu's government has clearly returned us to the fold - we are no longer considered outcasts. However, during the eulogies, two clearly contradictory statements were spoken. The first declared that the government must react to this display of terrorism with a 'Zionist solution.' Behind this phrase are suggestions of expanding present Jewish communities in Yesha, as well as founding and development of new communities. The other remark, also emphasized by almost all the speakers went as follows: 'We will demand that the palestinian authority fulfil its commitment toward protecting the security of Israelis, as undertaken by the Oslo Accords." If my understanding of Zionism is accurate, this last statement is the exact antithesis of Zionism. True Zionism was practised by the pioneers who moved to Eretz Yisrael primarily at the end of the 1800's and throughout this century . They realized that living in Israel demanded security - and this security had to be self-sustained. (The error made by the Jewish Community of Hebron in 1929 was that they so trusted their Arab neighbors, that they refused to accept weapons to protect themselves, after notification that the Grand Mufti in Jerusalem, Amin el-Hussaini, [uncle of Faisel el-Hussaini] was inciting and riots were sure to break out throughout Israel.) The most anti-Zionist answer possible to any terrorist action is to rely on our arch-enemies to provide security for Israel. Anyone with eyes in his head can see, and knows, as clear as day, that the Arabs know that they have one, and only one responsibility. That is, of course, to annihilate the Jews living Israel and transform the State of Israel to the State of Palestine. Why do we have to be so blind and so stupid as to really expect that Arafat will actively participate in protecting a People who he hates, and who, by their very presence, contradict his existence. Arafat has yet to condemn the terrorist attack that left Ita and Ephraim Tzur dead. Kol Yisrael today reported that Israeli security and intelligence forces warned 'palestinian sources' that a terrorist attack by the Chazit HaAmamit was impending. Yet, no preemptive action was taken by the palestinians. No one belonging to the Chazit HaAmamit was arrested. This is a true palestinian concern for Israeli security. Israel, and Israel alone can be responsible for Israeli security. Any other solution is madness which negates Zionism, the return of Am Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael. I hope and pray that the Prime Minister and his cabinet will reach this conclusion before any more tragedy strikes.