Monday, November 8, 2004

Brain-dead or Alive?

November 8, 2004

No. This article is not about him. I don't want to even mention his name. Maybe I'll explain why a little later. No, this article isn't about Arabs. It's about Jews.
Last week Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA [] posted a very interesting feature, which I had missed. I guess I wasn't the only one, because had others paid some attention, the item surely would have been headline news, and not just for one day. The feature by Hannah Kim was printed in HaAretz on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and was titled, "AG Mazuz's new dilemma- to indict or not to indict." [] I quote:
"Israel Police are convinced they have enough evidence in the straw companies
case to indict not only MK Omri Sharon and attorney Dov Weisglass but Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon, too
The report on the investigation of MK Omri Sharon was met with relative
silence, perhaps because it took place two days before the Knesset voted on
the disengagement plan. It isn't every day that a member of Knesset is
interrogated by the police - and an MK who is the son of the prime
minister - for 13 hours straight, after already having been interrogated
several times by the National Fraud Squad, on three separate cases - the
Greek island, Cyril Kern and the straw companies affairs.
On the other hand, it isn't every day that the Knesset approves a plan for
withdrawal from some of the territories. These two matters - execution of
the disengagement plan and the attorney general's imminent decision on the
straw companies case - trouble the prime minister. The prospect of an
indictment against his son, who also happens to be his operations officer in
the Knesset and in the Likud Central Committee, must be painful.
A draft indictment against Sharon, Sr. in the Greek island case was, the
reader will recall, thrown out by the attorney general; investigation of the
Cyril Kern affair continues apace; and now comes the turn of the oldest case
of the three - the straw companies. The Israel Police are convinced that
they have enough evidence in the file for an indictment, not only against MK
Omri Sharon and attorney Dov Weisglass but also against Sharon, Sr. The
anticipated charge is a violation of the Parties Law (1992). But how will
Mazuz rule on the case?"
Hannah Kim then continues to outline the case against the two Sharons and Weisglass.
Do you remember the newspaper headlines following revelations that Bibi Netanyahu and his wife Sarah had allegedly 'stolen'
Israeli State property, i.e., gifts received when he was Prime Minister? For days on end we were bombarded with the fact that police had recommended that the Netanyahus be tried for 'illegal activities.' In fact, the media had him tried, convicted and already sitting behind bars. This, in an effort to prevent any kind of Bibi comeback. "Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein said that "difficulties with the evidence" made it unlikely that a conviction could be obtained against the couple. Police suspected they had conspired with a government contractor in a kickback scheme, illegally keeping gifts, and obstructing justice. "I have decided to close the file against Mr. Netanyahu concerning the suspicions attributed to him because of evidence insufficient for a criminal trial," said Rubinstein. []

But today the situation is different. Today we are not talking about a Bibi against Barak election, as was the case then. Today we are talking about Ariel Sharon vs. the Israeli right. Pro Eretz Yisrael against anti-Eretz Yisrael. And of course we know which side the media is on. So why should they play up a possible indictment against the story's protagonist, the true hero? Such headlines could throw a wrench into the fairytale, and ruin the wondrous conclusion.
And what about Mazuz? He is clearly in a bind. In short, according to, "from 1991 until 1995 Mazuz coordinated the legal aspects of Israel's negotiations with Jordan and the Palestinians." So what would you expect from him? He has to decide: justice or chopping up Eretz Yisrael. Take a guess as to what his decision will be. You needn't even guess. The chances are pretty good that you'll never hear about this possible indictment against Sharon again. It will simply be forgotten, fade away, as if the facts never existed.
The past week the phrase 'brain-dead' has hit Israeli headlines. Of course, they are referring to 'him,' a long-dead AIDS-ridden pedophile rotting in a Parisian hospital. I mentioned earlier, I really don't want to talk about him. He doesn't deserve it. We don't deserve it. The words, expressions, the entire atmosphere pervading him, are nauseating. Such respect, such honor, such admiration: for some reason Israelis have such short memories – they forget how many children, how many women, how many men he ordered murdered. They forget that he transformed terror into a noble business, to be accepted as a legitimate means to reach a goal, which in his case, was the destruction of the State of Israel. He is the founding father of Hamas, Hizbullah, the Islamic Jihad, and many other terror organizations throughout the world.
Israeli media audacity knows no limits. Broadcasters are criticizing none other than the grieving widow, Suha. Why? Because she, quite naturally, wants to inherit her husband's money. What widow wouldn't desire her late husband's savings? It makes no matter that he stole and collected almost a billion dollars, hidden in secret accounts in banks around the world. But why should this bother Israeli media journalists? In actuality, what disturbs them is that she is involved in a power struggle, between the 'good guys' who want 'peace' – the Abus – Alah and Mazen – and the 'bad guys,' led by Faruk Kadumi , who was 'anti-Oslo.' No doubt, she is as despicable as him, but why should Israeli media interfere, and refer to her so negatively?
Understand, brain-dead does not refer to 'him.' It refers to us. Only brain-dead people could show such sorrow over the demise of a bloodthirsty fiend. Only a brain-dead media could laughingly and jokingly interview a corrupt terrorist like Jibril Rajoub on State radio, as happened this morning on Kol Yisrael. Only brain-dead people could attempt to chop up their land and abandon it to their enemies.
But, in all honesty, not everyone is brain-dead. In fact, I think there are multitudes of Israelis who are not only not brain-dead; rather they are alive and kicking, as hale and hearty as could be. This past Shabbat we witnessed an example of such lucidity.
Somewhere between twenty to thirty thousand Jews poured into Hebron for the traditional Chaye Sarah Shabbat, when we read in the weekly Torah portion how Abraham purchased Ma'arat HaMachpela, the caves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, here in Hebron, almost four thousand years ago.
I cannot even begin to describe this past Shabbat in Hebron. On Friday night, for about two hours, there was an unending stream of people flowing into the courtyard in front of Ma'arat HaMachpela. The building itself was packed; I couldn't get inside. The courtyard was wall-to-wall people, all praying, all singing, all dancing, partaking in the beautiful Shabbat services, thanking G-d for the privilege to be Jews in Israel, in Hebron.

People from all over the world came to Israel just for this Shabbat. Well over 100 Jews flew in especially from New York, as part of a special Hebron Fund – sponsored weekend. The Zionist Organization of America – the ZOA, and the Americans for a Safe Israel, AFSI, spent the day with us. I had the honor to tour with them Saturday afternoon. No matter that trying to walk the streets was like attempting to move around in a toy store full of kids – the city was full. Saturday morning prayers, - well, there simply aren't any words. The largest room in the Ma'ara – Ohel Yitzhak – the Isaac Hall, open to us only 11 days a year, was one huge wave of worshipers – men and women, swaying through the traditional Sabbath prayers. The climax came when the Torah was taken from the Holy Ark and opened. The words, chanted year after year, for thousands of years, 'and Sarah lived for one hundred years, and for twenty years and for seven years.' Abraham's negotiations with Efron the Hittite – handing over 400 silver shekels, purchasing the field of Machpela and the caves therein. What can I say? Hearing these words at this site, words written over three millennium ago, alive today, here in Hebron, in the presence of tens of thousands of people, who belong to the same family, all with the same father and mother. Can you imagine that someone might remember you, in, let's say, 250 years – five hundred years, a thousand years, three thousand years, four thousand years?
That's the way it is with Abraham and Sarah – in reality, they are still alive, they are still with us, they are still an integral part of our essence, of our existence. This week's Shabbat is hard proof of that.
So, we look at two different kinds of people – some who are, in my book, brain-dead. And then there are others, who are brain-thriving, who don't breath death – rather they breath life. Two populations – they may look identical. But there is a big big difference between them. The brain-dead, who have no past, today have no lives, and they certainly have no future. The others, who are brain-thriving, are fully alive – experiencing the past, living the present and preparing the future. I have no doubt whatsoever, that the tens of thousands who spent Shabbat in Hebron, and the hundreds of thousands of others who were with us in spirit, if not in body, they are future of our people, they are the future of our culture, they are the future of our land. They will continue to live and thrive, despite the obstacles and hardships. They are brain-alive. This, and only this, is Am Yisrael Chai!
With blessings from Hebron.

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