Monday, July 4, 2005

Entebbe forgotten

Entebbe forgotten
by David Wilder
The Jewish Community of Hebron
July 4, 2005


Last week Mort Klein did it again. The President of the Zionist Organization of America released a nationwide US poll concerning the Gush Katif abandonment plan and other topics related to the Israel-Arab conflict. The results are amazing.

Some of the poll's findings:
Sixty-three percent of the population opposes Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from a section of Gaza and Northern Samaria” and “forcing 10,000 Israeli Jews from their homes and businesses.” Only sixteen percent were in favor.
Eighty percent oppose a continuation of three hundred and fifty million dollars of US aid to the 'palestinians.' Fifty eight and fifty three percent respectively believe that a 'palestinian state's' goal is to destroy Israel, and that it would be a 'terrorist state, not a democracy.
Sixty three percent, as opposed to five percent, believe that Jerusalem should remain under Israeli sovereignty, and not 'palestinian' sovereignty.

However, in my opinion, the most important statistic deals with the question of acquiescence. Fifty percent against twenty eight percent believe that 'the Gaza plan sends a message that Arab terrorism is being rewarded.'  []

These numbers speak for themselves. But it is imperative to understand what they say.
I quote from the beginning and conclusion of Mort Klein's statement concerning the poll results:
“This national poll exposes the myth that Americans support the Gaza/Northern Samaria Withdrawal/Expulsion Plan.  Americans realize that it’s a bad deal for Israel to make these major concessions without getting anything in return.  They also understand that this rewards the Hamas and Fatah suicide bombing terrorists whose counterparts are killing Americans every day in Iraq.  This Plan harms the US war against radical Islamic terrorism by sending a message that terrorism pays and pays well…The responses make it crystal clear that Americans are fervent supporters of the people of Israel, understand the terrorist nature of Abbas’ Palestinian Arab regime…" 

If I were your run-of-the-mill American, Jewish or not, living in New York or L.A., I think I'd be having a fit, reading press reports of the upcoming Israeli expulsion plan. Perhaps not so much because I would care about people losing their homes, that might not be my business. But knowing that the only so-called democracy in the Middle East is acquiescing to Islamic Arab terror; and knowing simple arithmetic, two plus two equals four, realizing that terror is not an Israeli problem, rather it's an international problem, a problem which struck at the very heart of the United States on 9/11; and knowing that the terrorists haven't changed their plans, and might very well attack again, especially in light of Israeli's surrender to terrorist demands; I think I would do everything in my power to convince the American government to prevent the capitulation, or, at the very least, not to support and encourage it. Not because of Israeli interests, rather because of American and international interests. It's simple reasoning and logic: Lighting can, and does, strike twice.

Mort Klein and the ZOA are to be highly commended. It's only a pity that other major American Jewish organizations do not jump off the Bush-Sharon bandwagon, open their eyes to reality, and join the forces of sanity.
Exactly twenty nine years ago today I was on a plane, heading to Israel. At twenty two, I had just graduated from university, and wanted, more than anything else, to come back to Israel, where I'd spent my junior year of college. That day, July 4, 1976, was the 200th birthday of the United States, and expecting a lot of traffic into NYC, I parted from my family the night before and slept over at an airport hotel, next to JFK. Being very excited about coming back to Israel I had trouble sleeping, and at about two in the morning turned on the radio next to my bed.  What I heard was unbelievable. A 'news flash' broadcast that Israeli commandos had just rescued hostages from the hijacked Air France flight in Uganda.  I couldn't believe my ears.

Flying into Israel the next day was like arriving in Wonderland. Their was a magnetic atmosphere that permeated every walk of life. Israelis walked around as if in a dream. The Israeli Defense Forces had managed, somehow, miraculously, to fly a Hercules jet to Africa, land, rescue the hostages and kill the hijackers, and get back to Israel in one piece. Only one commando was killed – Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu. There are almost no words to describe the euphoria that saturated Israeli society. Perhaps it was somewhat similar to the emotions following the Six-Day war victory in 1967.
What was the reaction to Entebbe? "Israel was seen by world opinion as having triumphed over international terrorism. The morale of the Israeli people was lifted. The Israeli army regained its reputation earned in the stunning victories of the Six Day War and its self-confidence was restored.  The PLO and other terrorist groups would start a long decline in the aftermath of Entebbe…" (LESSONS TO LEARN FROM ENTEBBE by Arno Weinstein [])
Israel proved again, to itself, and to the world, we will not give in to terrorism, at any cost!
Much has been written about the Entebbe operation. What seems very clear is that the person behind the entire episode was then Defense Minister Shimon Peres, who initiated, put together and then convinced Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to accept implementation of the rescue mission. How times have changed. We can only ask ourselves, what would happen during an Entebbe, version 2005? Not with Yitzhak and Shimon, but with a slightly different cast of characters – Arik and Shimon. What would Israel agree to concede, in return for the lives of one hundred and five hostages? Undoubtedly, the current 'leadership' would prefer a 'negotiated solution' with the welcomed intervention of our good friends, Abus Mazen and Ala. Why risk the 'peace process' for a hundred people. After all, what would the rest of the world say?

Israel has a case of massive amnesia. We don't remember our national pride, we don't remember our national essence, we don't remember our responsibility, to ourselves, to our heritage, to our land, to the rest of the world. It's preferable to throw in the towel rather than fight for what is right.

We are living in the age of Entebbe, forgotten. I wonder what it will take to eventually wake us up?

With blessings from Hebron.

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