Monday, October 14, 2002

Declaring war on Eretz Yisrael

Declaring war on Eretz Yisrael
Oct. 14, 2002


Tonight we are going to play the game: “Who said it?”
Who said, “Run, grab hills?”

Let me give you a hint. The statement wasn’t made yesterday. It was made in a speech almost exactly four years ago, on November 16, 1998.  In an article appearing in the Jerusalem Post, correspondent Margot Dudkevitch wrote, “In a speech, ‘he’ said settlers should "run, grab hills" to establish facts on the ground before a pullback takes place.”

So, who is the ‘he’ in this quote?

Don’t know? OK, anyway, time’s up. The famous speechmaker as none other than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister – do you remember who that was – Ariel Sharon.

Our present Prime Minister was offering free advice to good, lawful, Israeli citizens: Make sure Eretz Yisrael stays in Israeli hands. Don’t let the Arabs get their hands on it. It belongs to us, it doesn’t belong to them. “Run, grab hills!”

The next day, Dudkevitch reported, “It took less than 24 hours for settlers to implement Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon's recommendations they establish facts on the ground and take over hilltops. By noon yesterday several mobile homes had been set up on a hilltop near Nahal Te'enim, west of Kedumim.”

So it was then. Where does Arik stand today?

Lately Sharon has been keeping his mouth shut concerning hilltop settlements. But it seems that he’s been allowing another mouth to talk for him, namely, his Defense Minister, Binyamin ben Eliezer. Fuad, as he is known, has made it quite clear that all of the twenty-four hilltop settlements will be forcibly removed in the near future. The Prime Minister’s silence is a sign of passive agreement. If Sharon didn’t agree, he would surely prevent this planned disgrace.

Two of the oldest of the twenty four communities have special significance. Both are over a year old, and they were settled in memory of people murdered during the Oslo War. On January 29, 2001, fifty-five year old father of four and grandfather of four, Arye Hershowitz was shot and killed not far from his Ofra home, just north of Jerusalem. Just over three months later, on May 1, 2001, his thirty year old son, Assaf, father of two, was shot and killed at virtually the same location where his father was gunned down. Just over a year ago friends of Arye and and Assaf Hershkowitz founded Givat Assaf, or the Assaf Hill, at the site of the two murders. This settlement, or “ma’achaz,” as they are known in Hebrew, is on Fuad’s chopping block.

The other ma’achaz slated for demolition is call “Havat Gilad” or the Gilad Farm, in the Shomron. Only twenty eight days following the killing of Assaf Hershkowitz, forty one year old Gilad Zar, father of eight, was gunned down by terrorists in the Shomron. Gilad’s family, including his widow and his parents, founded “Havat Gilad,” in memory of Gilad Zar. A few days ago the Defense Minister held a meeting of senior, ranking IDF officers in the Shomron, close to the Itamar community home of the Zar family. Gilad’s widow, Hagar, made a special request to meet with ben Eliezer, to speak to him about “Havat Gilad.” Fuad ignored her request. “Havat Gilad” is also scheduled for obliteration.

There was a time in Israel’s short history when the name of the game was Zionism. Israeli leaders really believed in settling the Land of Israel, believed in populating the Land, believed in participating in helping the Land flourish. When Arabs killed Jews, the “Zionist response” was to initiate a new community. After all, the goal of Arab attacks was to drive us out of our land – the proper response was to do exactly the opposite, to bring in more people, to encourage more people to settle the land, to build Eretz Yisrael.

Today, in the minds of many, Zionism has died. Settleing Eretz Yisrael is no longer a goal. To the contrary. At the present the left is running a race to determine who can destroy Eretz Yisrael the fastest. Two of the candidates to replace Binyamin ben Eliezer as leader of the Labor party and to run for Prime Minister in next year’s election, Haifa Mayor Amnon Mitzne and MK Haim Ramon are definitely ahead in that contest. They are both closer to the Meretz camp, led by opposition leader Yossi Sarid, who has spouted hatred for communities in Yesha for decades. Fuad ben Eliezer cannot afford to let the pack speed too far ahead of him, so he is taking advantage of his position to play politics with Eretz Yisrael, threatening to eradicate these small communities, which represent the true Zionist response to Arafat-ordered bloodshed. And Ariel Sharon, the same Ariel Sharon who exclaimed, “run, grab hills” has lost his tongue.

Why? Merely because he prefers ben Eliezer to Mitzne and Ramon, and he knows that in order to ensure Fuad’s victory over his rivals, he must prove that he too knows how to be a leftist. So Sharon is allowing Fuad to wreck Israeli communities in Eretz Yisrael, in return for a political triumph.

In joining forces to allow destruction of the ‘ma’achzim’, Fuad and Sharon  are abandoning their homeland. And what is worse, they are actually cooperating with Arafat. After all, the goal of the Oslo War is to drive us out of Eretz Yisrael. That is exactly what Sharon and ben Eliezer are doing, by destroying these new, small settlements, in the midst of a war. Our own leaders are aiding and abetting the enemy. The are effectively declaring war on Eretz Yisrael.

Ariel Sharon: Don’t allow your Defense Minister to wreak havoc with Eretz Yisrael.  Allow your fellow countrymen to practice what you preached, to fight a Zionist war, to let us, as you yourself said, “Run, Grab hills.”

With blessings from Hebron,
This is David Wilder

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