Friday, December 27, 1996

The Masquerade is Over

The Masquerade is Over
December 27, 1996

This  morning  on  the  Kol Yisrael radio  news,  Defense
Minister  Yitzhak  Mordechai, speaking about  the  Hebron
accords,  emphasized that he has ordered his subordinates
to  insure that the Jewish residents of Hebron  will  not
feel   any   lessening   of  their   security   following
`redeployment.'  A few weeks ago Mordechai took a walking
tour   from   Beit   Hadassah  to   the   Avraham   Avinu
neighborhood.   As  he inspected the market,  due  to  be
reopened with implementation of the agreement,   I  shook
his  hand, welcomed him to Hebron and pointed out to  him
that  the market, located on Jewish property, was  stolen
from  us  following the expulsion of the Jewish community
in  1929.  His response: "And how much land did  we  take
from  them?"  Shocked at this answer, especially  because
in  Hebron  we  didn't take any land from  the  Arabs,  I
responded,  "but  they murdered us  and  then  stole  our
land."  Mordechai retorted, "you're looking at this  from
an  historical  perspective; where does  that  historical
perspective  begin?"  This is the Israeli Likud  Minister
of Defense, who we put into office.
      Last  week, on Friday, the Bibi bombshell exploded.
But  unfortunately, too many of us are  so  shell-shocked
that  even  when  a  bomb explodes in your  face,  you're
liable to miss it.  Netanyahu's right-hand man, David Bar-
Ilan, former editor of the Jerusalem Post and one of  the
most right-wing, if not the most right-wing member of the
Prime Minister's team, in an interview with the Jerusalem
Post,  revealed that Netanyahu has rejected the  idea  of
`Eretz Yisrael HaShlema' the idea of a `complete Israel',
that  the  Land will have to be shared and that  he  will
accept  a  `limited palestinian state.'   Of  course  the
words `limited state' contradict themselves.  There is no
such  animal.  A state is, by definition, sovereign.   If
it  is  not sovereign, it is not a state.  And if  it  is
sovereign, it is not limited.  And even if Arafat  should
agree  to  accept `limited sovereignty - we all know  how
much  Arafat feels obligated by signed agreements.   When
this  was pointed out to Bar Ilan, he confirmed that  the
administration is aware of this, but even so....  He even
went   so   far   as  to  agree  with  the  interviewer's
observation  that with the advent of Oslo,  and  Israel's
acceptance  of  its  obligations, there  is  very  little
difference today between the Likud and Labor.
      Bar-Ilan  wasn't  speaking  for  himself.   He  was
speaking  for  Benyamin Netanyahu.  Our  Prime  Minister.
Who we elected.
      What is one of the major predicaments of the Hebron
accords?   It  is very simple, but unfortunately  remains
totally  unnoticed.  When the Rabin-Peres  administration
signed the agreement, they did so with the full intention
of  removing  all  Jewish presence from  Hebron.   Rabin,
speaking  before groups from the US, said time  and  time
again  that  he  had no intention of leaving  the  Jewish
Community  in  Hebron.  He promised  not  to  remove  any
`settlements'  during the interim stage of  the  accords,
but  planned, as part of final status agreement, to expel
Hebron's  Jews from the City of the Patriarchs.   Knowing
this, both he and Peres had no compunctions about signing
an  agreement  which, for all intensive purposes,  sealed
the  fate of the community.  They knew that the terms and
conditions   of   the  accords  created  an   intolerable
unlivable  situation.   But  that  didn't  bother   them,
because that is what they wanted.  That is, as disgusting
as  it  is,  comprehensible.  That they were  willing  to
forsake  Jewish lives, to sacrifice Jewish  blood,  as  a
means  to  a goal, is not.  But the terms of the  accords
were  at  one  with  the expected future  -  a  Judenrein
      BUT,  Netanyahu, by all accounts, is interested  in
maintaining  a Jewish presence in Hebron.   He  does  not
want  to abandon Ma'arat HaMachpela to Arafat.  He  truly
desires  a strong Jewish community in the city.   On  the
face  of it, he does not wish to be responsible for  more
`sacrifices  for  peace.'  But what is he  doing?  He  is
planning  on  implementing  an agreement,  geared  around
expulsion  of  the Jewish community, while  promising  to
leave the Jews in Hebron, with `the same security that we
presently  have,' in spite of the allowance of what  will
eventually   be,  thousands  of  armed  Arab   terrorists
patrolling in and around the city.  In other words, he is
contradicting  himself.   He is  trying  to  implement  a
suicide  pact  and  remain alive, even after  firing  the
bullet into his brain.  And it just doesn't work.  If you
shoot yourself in the head, you die, like it or not.
      This morning Yitzhak Mordechai was quoted as saying
that he too is unhappy with the Hebron agreement, that it
is not good for us, but, what can you do?  A `legitimate'
Israeli  government  signed an  official  agreement  that
binds not only that government, but the country.  We have
no choice, in his opinion, but to honor the accords.
      Personally,  I  have  a lot of  trouble  with  this
philosophy.  True, when an agreement is broken  one  must
be  think  out the possible consequences and be ready  to
pay  the price.  But everyone with eyes in his head  sees
what  Arafat  is doing.  Using the salami method,  he  is
taking  a  slice  at a time.  And he  is  doing  it  very
successfully.   We all know what his goal  is.   No,  not
only Jerusalem. Jerusalem is, as is Hebron, a  means  to  
an end. He is interested in Haifa and Acco and Yaffo, and
Nazareth and, well, all of Eretz Yisrael.  He desires  to
be King of Palestine stretching from the Mediterranean to
the  Jordan,  and perhaps over to the east  side  of  the
Jordan too.  His goal is not a Judenrein Hebron - it is a
Judenrein Israel.  And we are playing straight  into  his
hands.  We are killing ourselves for him - saving him the
work.  He is dictating the conditions of our obligations,
the conditions of our suicide, while sitting on the 
sidelines  and  watching  us   destroy ourselves.
      Arafat  took  off  his mask a long  time  ago.   He
doesn't  fulfill  his obligations and he  makes  it  very
clear that he has no intention to - as per extradition of
murderers to Israel.  The problem isn't Arafat  -  it  is
Netanyahu  and  his  administration.   I'm  not  sure  if
Netanyahu is wearing  a mask that has blinded him, or  if
he  is  hallucinating,  thinking that the Arafat he  sees
isn't the real Arafat - that Arafat is still wearing  his
mask.   But  the whole story is very reminiscent  of  the
Emperor's New Clothes.
      I  will not say that Netanyahu has betrayed us.  He
is  not  a  traitor.   He  did create  Oslo  and  is  not
responsible  for its existence.  But, he is  implementing
it,  against all expectations, against all his  promises,
against  his own personal political philosophies, against
all logic or reason.  So, inasmuch as I will say that  we
are  very disappointed in him, as are so many others,   I
won't  say that he is a traitor, or that he has  betrayed
us,  that  he has betrayed Am Yisrael, Eretz  Yisrael  or
Torat Yisrael.
     But I don't know what history will say.

Friday, December 13, 1996


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 
 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.  

Wednesday, December 11, 1996

The Eighth Candle
December 11, 1996
Hanukka, 5757

To The Honorable Prime Minister
Mr. Benyamin Netanyahu
Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
 Tonight I was driving home with my parents and  my sisters, to 
light Hanukka candles. Candle-lighting in Beit El is a very special experience.  
Tonight, the seventh night of Hanukka, we were looking forward to the special 
event. Hanukka is such a special holiday, a celebration of light, of hope, of 
purity, of heroism - a true holiday of the People of Israel.
 However, suddenly the lights of my family were extinguished. All at once, my world 
was dark.  But only for a little while.  Soon I found myself together with my 
mother, in a world of light, a world of good.
 But Mr. Prime Minister, from where we are, my mother and I, we could see back 
into your world.  We saw so many people standing around our car, full of 
bullet holes.  I saw people that I knew cradling me in their arms and crying. I 
saw soldiers, and doctors, and I could even see my father and sisters, in the 
hospital.  They all looked so scared and so sad.  And I felt so bad for them. 
 But you know, from where I am now, I can see so much, and it is all so clear. 
I see what looks like a huge cloud hanging over the world.  It is black, 
oblique, frightening.  But all the way below the cloud I can see a spark of 
light - it is a small light, but it is so bright - it is so visible through the 
cloud - it is so brilliant that it illuminates everything.  But it is so small - 
only a spark. 
 And when I looked very closely, I could see that that spark is Israel - it is 
us - Am Yisrael.  Such a small spark, giving off such a great 
light.  And when I looked even more closely, I could see that the spark 
emanates from Eretz Yisrael and, yes, I could even see the different places in 
Eretz Yisrael.  And they were all aglow. You know, I thought how strange it 
was, the spark seemed to be one, yet it also, at the same time, seemed to be 
divided into seven parts.  Maybe because tonight is the seventh night of 
Hanukka? But, when I looked even closer, I could see that where I lived, in 
Beit El, the spark seemed to be ebbing - just a little - it wasn't quite as 
strong a light as in the other places - like a little bit was missing from it. 
 Mr. Prime Minister, looking at you from where I am, - yes, I can see you - but 
not just your body - I can see into your soul - and it is so big - I can see 
your potential- I can see what you want and what you think.  And it is all so 
good, so positive, so impressive.  But I also see a shadow, fighting you, 
fighting your soul, trying to pull at it, trying to replace it.  Yes, the 
shadow wants to replace the light of your soul.
 Mr. Prime Minister, you must not let this happen - you have no idea what can be 
- or what will be - but, but, I can't talk about that - they won't let me, it 
is forbidden - but, listen to me please,
 Am Yisrael is so full of light, so full of energy, so full of goodness - you 
must not let the shadow be victorious - and believe me, you have the power to 
stop it - you must be yourself and do as you know you should - and I can see 
that you know what you must do.  Do it!
 Mr. Prime Minister, in this world there is no sadness, no sorrow, no tears. 
It is a world only of light - of good, of happiness.  But I can see, in your 
world, there is so much sadness, so much despair, so much turmoil.  You can do 
something about it, if you want.  You can make it better, if you want. 
 I don't want anyone to be sad because of me, or because of my mother. We did 
what we had to do.  But now it is your turn - you must do what you have to do. 
 Mr. Prime Minister, if you want to, you, leading Israel, can change that spark 
into a flame and really illuminate the entire world.  You can disperse the cloud.
 Please, Mr. Prime Minister - don't try to comfort my father or my family with 
words - for words won't help them.  But if you comfort them with deeds, I know, 
because I can see it from here, I know, that that really will comfort them, and 
with them, all the others who tonight are so sad. 
 Mr. Prime Minister, I didn't light Hanukka candles tonight.  I am asking you 
to do it for me - tomorrow you must light the eighth candle for me and for my mother, 
and for all the people of Israel - the candle of the miracle - the light which 
must never be extinguished - the light of Israel - the light of our G-d.

Mr. Prime Minister, Happy Hanukka.

Sincerely yours,

Epraim Tzu
Age 12
Formerly of Beit El, Israel

Friday, November 15, 1996

Hebron and Jerusalem - Dream of Hope or Terror?

Hebron and Jerusalem - Dream of Hope or Terror?

November 15, 1996

 This morning, in honor of 'palestinian independence day' the palestinian 
national council released a statement declaring that 'the flag' will soon wave 
in Hebron and Jerusalem, capital of the palestinian state.
Yassir Arafat has a dream.  The fulfilment of the dream began when an Israeli 
government recognized his legitimacy. In order to begin reaching this goal he 
used all means at his disposal.  The most effective tool was, (and still is,) 
terrorism.  He killed and maimed Israelis and Jews throughout the world.  Of 
course, the primary target was in Israel.  Over the years hundreds of men, 
women and children were slaughtered at Arafat's command.  Over the years Israel 
refused to deal with the terrorist. Perhaps the greatest example of refusal to 
compromise with terrorism was Entebbe.  

When Israel recognized Arafat, Israel recognized the legitimacy of terror and 
denounced the ideal of Entebbe.

Less than two months ago, Arafat, being 'frustrated,' once again reverted to 
the methods he knows best. He gave the order to start shooting, at our 
soldiers, with the weapons we agreed that they have.  His troops attacked Kever 
Yosef in Shechem, hoping to capture the site, and force Israel to withdraw. 
They also attacked Kfar Darom in Gazza. Only a miracle prevented civilian 
injuries there.

Arafat says explicitly that his goal is a Jew-free palestine.  He still spouts 
Jihad.  And the next step, after Hebron, on the way to achieving his goal, is 
Jerusalem, Palestine. 

What will Bibi do when Arafat gives the orders again, when he is told, "no, 
you can't have Jerusalem."?  What will he do when PLO soldiers open up on 
Israelis in Hebron, in Kiryat Arba, and in other areas throughout Yesha? What 
will he do when, in response to Israeli intransigence, a few Katushas fall on 
Kfar Saba, Petach Tikva, or even Tel Aviv?  World opinion will undoubtedly 
justify Arafat - after all, Israel isn't compromising.  And terror has been 
recognized as legitimate.  

Yassir Arafat has a dream.  He is in the process of fulfilling his dream.  
Prime Minister Netanyahu, will you be the man who is remembered throughout 
generations of Jewish history, who helped, assisted, supported, Yassir Arafat's 

Prime Minister Netanyahu - you know what Arafat wants.  He says so, loud and 
clear.  He knows how to achieve his goal - if you allow him to.  If you give 
Arafat Hebron, you are giving him Jerusalem - you are giving him a palestinian 
state.  It will be almost impossible to stop - to turn the clock back.  And if 
that is what you think you'll be able to do, have you any idea how many 
casualties it will involve?  

Prime Minister Netanyahu - burst the bubble now - 
Do not give Arafat a prize for terror - 
do not give him Hebron - 
do not give him Jerusalem - 
do not give him a palestinian state - 
do not give him the Land of Israel.

Whose dream will be fulfilled - that of hope and Zion or that of terror?

             Mr Prime Minister - STOP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

Wednesday, November 13, 1996

The Day After

The Day After
November 13, 1996

The  Israeli army has, by all accounts, almost completely
concluded  its abandonment of the City of the Patriarchs.
The  IDF has removed almost 100% of its outposts  in  and
around  the  city,  in  the areas to  be  transferred  to
Arafat.  Legally, Israel still has access to  the  entire
city,  but  patrols in nearly all the neighborhoods  have
been halted.
       The  major  difference  between  today  and  post-
abandonment  is  the  entrance of  the  armed,  uniformed
terrorists  into Hebron.  Presently, Hebron's  Arabs  are
still  wearing  civilian clothing and their  weapons  are
still  in the closets.  Following official `redeployment'
that changes.  As will Israeli access to about 90% of the
      Barring a miracle - and miracles do happen, we know
them  very  well - but barring a miracle,  Arafat's  flag
will  actually fly over the Hebron military  compound  in
the very near future.  His soldiers will be patrolling in
the  hills above the Jewish Community of Hebron, possibly
by next Sunday morning.
       According  to  the  most  recent  news   accounts,
Netanyahu, who was supposed to leave tonight for the west
coast  of  the United States, canceled his  trip.   Early
this  morning palestinian negotiators met with  President
Ezer  Weitzman,  and  as a result of  this  meeting,  met
tonight between seven and eight, with Netanyahu.   It  is
possible  that  tonight, or early tomorrow  an  agreement
will be initialed by both sides.  The agreement will have
to  be  ratified  by  the  Israeli  Cabinet  and  may  be
implemented on Saturday night.
       Israeli  officers  hosted  palestinian  `officers'
including Jabril Rajub in the city, and discussed  Hebron
      Earlier tonight all roads leading into Hebron  were
closed off.  Not even Hebron residents were allowed  into
the  city.   The  reason  for the confusion:  A  enormous
military  exercise,  practicing  measures  to  be   taken
following  a  massive  terrorist attack  outside  Ma'arat
Peace has arrived.

     Earlier this afternoon a reporter sat questioning me
in  my office .  "So," he asked, "what will you do?   Are
you going to try and stop it?"  My response: "What can we
do?   Everything we could possibly do we have done.  Tens
and  hundreds of thousands of Jews have come into  Hebron
to  show support.  Meetings, rallies, both in Israel  and
in  the  US,  a  legitimate attempt to  influence  public
opinion, and to sway the politicians. We brought about  a
political   revolution  -  leading   to   a   change   in
governments.  Whatever there was to do, we did it."
      "Now,  we  cannot force the Israeli army to  patrol
where  they  don't want to patrol.  We have no intentions
of  forming  our  own militias - that is  not  our  task.
Fifty  four adult males will not be able to prevent armed
Arabs,   called  police,  dressed  like  soldiers,   from
entering  the  vacuum created by the abandonment  of  the
city  by the IDF.  There really isn't too much else  left
for us to do.  Barring a miracle."
      So then the reported continued.  "What will you  do
the morning after, the morning after redeployment?"
     "I suppose we will get up in the morning, the way we
get  up  every  morning," I answered.   "We  will  go  to
morning  prayers, eat breakfast, - the kids  will  go  to
school and we will go to work."
      "That's  it!?"  he queried, "life as  normal?"  His
voice sounded incredulous.
      "Yeah, I suppose so." What else is there to do?  We
aren't  planning  on  leaving, if  that's  what  you  are
alluding to."
     "But life as normal?"  He couldn't believe it.
      "Look," I answered, "our goal was, and still is, to
live   as   normally  as  possible,  within   the   given
circumstances.   True, things will  change  -  they  will
change drastically.  Unbelievable amounts of soldiers and
police will wonder the streets and rooftops in the  areas
still controlled by Israel.  We don't really want to live
feeling like we are embedded inside a military camp - but
we don't have too much choice."
      "Our  security, in spite of the military  presence,
will  have  been compromised.  No amount of soldiers  can
prevent  sniper fire from the hills surrounding  us.   We
know that, and will have to find a way to live with it."
      "O.K.," he said.  But what's next?  You've spent so
much  time  just fighting for survival.   That  was  your
goal,  almost since the previous government  was  elected
and  the Oslo accords were signed.  What do you do now  -
where do you go from here?"
      I  sat and thought for a moment and then responded.
"We  are  going to try to do whatever we can  to  proceed
forward  -  to build wherever we can and to  struggle  to
build where we will be told that we cannot.  We are going
to  bring as many more people into Hebron as we can, both
to  visit, and as permanent residents.  We are  going  to
keep  living  in Hebron, and we will develop  and  expand
however we can."
      It  won't be exactly as we wanted it - but  we  can
only do what is in our hands, within our limits.  We try,
but  that is all we can be held responsible for - trying.
What  we can do, we will do.  What we can't do, we  won't

Hebron  existed before Oslo, Rabin, Peres  and  Netanyahu
and will continue to exist after  them.    Three thousand
seven  hundred  years of history, of heritage, of Judaism
cannot be eradicated by anyone or anything.  There may be
those who believe, for one reason or other, that they are
above history.  But history will prove them wrong.   Just
as  the  Jewish  people are eternal, so  are  our  roots.
Nothing can severe those roots, because they are so deep,
that  they touch the very essence of existence.  That  is
the  status of Hebron.  There may be setbacks, there  may
be  failures  - but these are temporary.  We were  exiled
from  Hebron from 1929 to 1967 against our wills, but  we
returned home - the same as we returned to Eretz  Yisrael
after  a  2,000 year exile.  We may again find  ourselves
facing  a  situation whereby most of Hebron is Judenrein.
However,  we  will  be  back.  Hebron-Past,  Present  and
Forever  is  not only a slogan - it is an  expression  of
truth  -  of  essence.  And just as it was,  and  is,  it
always will be.

Tuesday, November 12, 1996

Blood Libel

Blood Libel
November 12, 1996

The  last  few  days have brought forth very  interesting
news articles concerning Hebron.
     1. There was a television report disclosing plans by
two  Jewish  women  in Hebron to immolate  themselves  to
prevent the Israeli army from abandoning Hebron.
      2.  It  was also revealed that a Hebron `extremist'
might  attempt  to  assassinate either  PM  Netanyahu  or
Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai.
      3.  Hebron's Jewish residents, it was reported, are
hoarding illegal weapons and ammunition.
      4.  In  addition, a list of some  thirty  names  of
Hebron-Kiryat  Arba  `fanatics' was discovered  by  press
sources.   These people are to be placed under  immediate
administrative    detention   preceding   `redeployment'.
(Hebron's  Noam  Federman was already  arrested  for  two
months by administrative order.)
       5.  And  finally,  anonymous  sources  within  the
military divulged that quiet will never come to Hebron as
long  as  there  are  Jews in the city,  leading  to  the
conclusion that the Jews should be evicted.

      1.   Yesterday,  police commissioner  Asaf  Hefetz,
reacting  to  the  press accounts concerning  immolation,
publicly announced that this report was a figment of  the
imagination of a particular police officer.  In  reality,
there was never any truth to the report.
     2,3, and 4.  Hebron police are not bashful.  If they
know, or even suspect illegal activities, they know  what
to  do.   In most democratic countries, when a person  is
suspected of illegal activities, he is arrested, indicted
and tried for his crimes.  If there really is stockpiling
of illegal weapons, or if there are plans to kill anyone,
not  only political leaders, why are the perpetrators not
arrested  and officially charged with breaking  the  law?
Why aren't the illegal weapons confiscated?
      Who are some of the BIG 30?  Anat Cohen, mother  of
eight and pregnant, together with her husband Ronen, Orit
Struk,  mother of eight, Rav Moshe Bleicher, Dean of  the
Shavei  Hebron Yeshiva, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz,  Executive
Director of the Association for the Renewal of the Jewish
Community  of  Hebron, Rabbi Moshe  Levinger,  Father  of
Hebron's  Jewish community and Noam Arnon, Spokesman  for
the Jewish Community of Hebron.
      These  are some of the dangerous fanatic extremists
who  must  be  incarcerated using military administrative
orders  to ensure successful implementation of  the  Oslo
abandonment accords in Hebron.
      5.  The "peace accords" were drawn up and are being
implemented in order to usher in a new era of peace.  Why
then, can't Jews and Arabs live together in Hebron?   The
answer is, of course, because the Arabs aren't interested
in peace.  They are interested in `piece' - taking Israel
apart,   piece  by  piece.   That  includes,   initially,
eradication  of  the Jewish Community of Hebron  and  any
Jewish  presence in Hebron.  In future Arafat  plans,  it
includes  annihilation of the State of Israel.  Why  must
Hebron's  Jews pay the price of a cowardly accord,  which
is  already a failure?  Rather than introducing peace and
coexistence, it is paving the road to extermination.

     However the real issue that must be faced is WHAT IS
GOING  ON?   Who  is  behind this concerted,  intentional
campaign   to  continue  on  the  path  of  the  previous
administration  to delegitimize Hebron  Jewish  Community
and  its residents.  Who are the `anonymous' high-ranking
officers  who have decided, and taken it upon  themselves
to  notify the press, that the Jewish Community of Hebron
must  be  uprooted.  Does the military  create  political
policy,  or does it follow orders given by the  political
establishment,  led  by the Prime  Minister  and  Defense
      There  is  a group of people with the military,  as
well   as  in  positions  of  authority  throughout   the
government,  who may be classified as "The  Oslo  Group."
These  are  people  who assisted in initiating  Oslo  and
furthering it over the past few years.  They are still in
positions   which   allow  them  to  circumvent   present
administration policy, and at the very least, continue to
throw mud at the Jewish Community of Hebron.  The Israeli
media  is an instrumental tool in this blood libel, which
is  attempting to paint a picture of fanatic crazies  who
will do absolutely anything - the ends justify the means.
      This  is,  of course, total nonsense.   The  events
undertaken by Hebron's Jewish Community prove the  point.
We  have  undertaken numerous legal activities,  both  in
Israel and throughout the world, to influence public  and
political  opinion.  This is a legitimate  right  in  any
democratic country.      It should be noted that we  have
been  successful in our efforts.  The New York Solidarity
Concert  was  attended  by 1,500 people.   Last  Shabbat,
10,000  people  from all over Israel came  to  Hebron  to
celebrate Abraham's purchase of Ma'arat HaMachpela  3,700
years   ago,  as  read  in  the  weekly  Torah   portion.
Yesterday  about 2,500 Jews came into Hebron for  special
prayers  and to show solidarity with the Jewish Community
of Hebron.
      Unfortunately,  there  are  those  who  attempt  to
undermine  this right and obligation, by using any  means
at  their  disposal.   The result is the  smear  campaign
presently being waged against us, with the cooperation of
the press and tools such as administrative detention.


Yesterday  I  participated in  a  meeting  that  included
Hebron  and Yesha leaders with Likud MKs and the Minister
of  Defense.  The details of the meeting were released by
Arutz 7 news.  However, one point must be stressed.
      There are Likud MKs who, in spite of their lack  of
public   expression,  are  very  torn  by  the  continued
implementation  of  Oslo, especially  concerning  Hebron.
They  know  and  admit the tremendous error  being  made,
deeply  regret  it.   This  may  be  illustrated  by  the
following answer by MK Michael Eitan, the Likud Coalition
Leader in the Knesset to Dr. Aaron Lerner's question:

IMRA:  It sounds like you are talking to a cancer patient
who is terminally ill.

Eitan:   That  is a good example.  A doctor  can  have  a
cancer patient and he cuts an arm and a leg and he  tells
the  patient  that that will heal him yet he  knows  that
cutting  the  arms and leg won't suffice.  There  is  not
today  a  serious person who can say "gentlemen there  is
today  a position to stop the process at such and such  a
stage"  - even Jerusalem.  There are no red lines.  And I
am well aware of
what people in the government are saying and doing.
(The     entire     interview    is    available     from

He,   with  others,  understands  the  problem,  but   is
seemingly unaware of the solution.  However, Eitan  later
speaks of the lack of leadership within the right.   That
leadership vacuum doesn't necessarily have to exist.  He,
along  with the others who, by definition, are  `crying',
must not only speak up - they must scream out for all  to
hear.  They must speak the truth, as they see and feel it
-  that is their responsibility and obligation as elected
leaders.  They must proceed without any consideration  of
their personal political future because at the moment the
destiny and fate of all our futures- the future of the
State of Israel and the Jewish People  is at stake.

Wednesday, October 30, 1996

Impending Disaster?

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
Impending Disaster?
October 30, 1996

Yesterday, tens of thousands of Israelis poured into
a storm-struck Jerusalem to protest the planned
abandonment of Hebron. In New York, a group of concerned
Jews chanted in front of the Israeli consulate, "Don't
abandon Hebron." This morning a personal representative
of President Clinton visited Hebron to learn, first-hand,
about Hebron.
And the negotiations continue.

Two major issues must be confronted. The Jewish
Community of Hebron has learned that all Jewish property,
including the buildings presently lived in by Jewish
residents, and all the property owned by Jews prior to
the 1929 massacre, is to be transferred to total
palestinian control. All Jewish property in Hebron was
held by a Jordanian `guardian' following the forced
removal of the surviving Jews in 1929. In 1967, with the
return of Israel to Hebron, an Israeli `guardian' had
official authority over all Jewish land and houses. This
authority is now to be transferred to a palestinian
Should this actually happen, all construction,
anywhere in Hebron, on Jewish property, will be dependent
on permission from the palestinian `guardian.' HE WILL

The second issue to be addressed concerns
administrative detention and curfews. According to media
accounts in all Israeli newspapers today, the "Shabak" -
otherwise known as Israeli intelligence, is demanding
that dozens of `right-wing extremists,' especially from
Hebron and the Hebron area, be placed under immediate
administrative detention. There are also rumors that a
curfew will be placed upon Jews in Hebron-Kiryat Arba
before commencement of abandonment. There are reports
that `redeployment' will be implemented by the end of
next week, should the agreement be signed.

The time has come for the Netanyahu government to
reveal, to one and all, its true self. We have assumed,
based on previous statements, declarations, and actions,
that Bibi Netanyahu's heart is actually in the `right
place,' in spite his continued implementation of the Oslo
curse. Netanyahu is, at least in theory, not Shimon
Peres. There really is no need to enumerate why we
worked so hard to put him in office. The reasons are
known to all.
However, it is possible that we were mistaken, and
should that be the case, our error is very grave, indeed.
The above-described intentions to transfer all Jewish
property to Arafat is more drastic than the original
`Peres-Arafat' agreement. How does a government, elected
on a platform guaranteeing continued Jewish development
in Hebron, literally strangle the existing Jewish
community!? How can a Prime Minister who has written
books on combating terrorism, reward Arafat with more
than even Peres was willing to do? How can an Israeli
administration create a situation making Hebron, de jure,
Judenrein? Jews have no property rights, no land rights,
in Hebron, the cradle of Jewish civilization? If we
have no land rights in Hebron, if we can't walk freely
and live normally in the city of Abraham, what
justification do we have in Tel-Aviv or Haifa. If Hebron
is defined as `conquered territory,' what is the status
of Jerusalem. Ma'arat HaMachpela is 3,700 years old.
The Kotel is 2,000 years old.

Administrative detention is a means to incarcerate
suspected terrorists. It is a procedure utilized to
combat terrorist attacks and, used properly, is a very
effective tool. However, the previous administration
began using it to smother political activists whose ideas
and philosophies differed from their own. In a
democratic state, a person suspected of committing a
crime is indicted and tried in a court of law. If found
guilty, he is punished. If acquitted, he is released.
There is no justification to restrict movement of any
citizen in a free, democratic state, and all the more so,
a person may not be imprisoned without just cause and due
process of law.
The previous administration used administrative
detention and house arrest to stifle political
expression. Baruch Marzel, prevented from leaving his
home for over two and a half years, has now been
presented with an additional renewed administrative house
arrest order. As reported above, tens of Jews may soon
be arrested by order of the Netanyahu government, in
complete contradiction to due process of law.
Should the Netanyahu government actually execute
these orders, and, at the same time, while abandoning
Hebron, transfer all property rights to Arafat, Israel
will truly be facing catastrophe, no less than that
threatened by the preceding Peres administration. This
impending disaster is not so much going to be caused by
our enemies. Rather our own government, a
`nationalistic' regime, may bring upon its own people
devastation beyond belief.

The only consolation I have to offer is that if we,
the Jewish Community of Hebron have anything to say or do
about it, it will not happen.

Friday, October 25, 1996

Sitting Ducks

Sitting Ducks
October 25, 1996

     A couple of days ago an Arab, identified as a
"palestinian from Hebron" was interviewed on Kol Yisrael
radio.  He told Yoni ben Menachem that Hebron's Arabs are
hoarding weapons and are `preparing a surprise' for
Hebron's Jewish population.   The interview was
publicized in the Israeli press, including an article in
the Jerusalem Post.   Reaction to this explicit threat to
kill Jews in Hebron was negligible.
     I wonder what would happen if a Jew, identified as
an `extremist from Hebron,' interviewed on Israeli radio,
announced intentions to `surprise Hebron Arabs,' using
illegal weapons, cached for just this  purpose.  The
truth is I know exactly what would happen. As does
everyone else.  A massive witch hunt, led by the Israeli
left, with assistance from softhearts stationed somewhere
near the political center, would demand immediate
confiscation of all weapons held by all Jews in Hebron,
Kiryat Arba, and elsewhere throughout Yesha.  The Israeli
media would spend days on all the radio and TV talkshows
analyzing the renewal of violence as a tool by `Israeli
right-wing fanatics' to further their `cause,' against
the will of a majority of the Israeli public.
     However, when an Arab says the same thing, everyone
sits back and shuts up.
     Kiryat Arba Mayor Tzvi Katzover expressed the
thoughts and feelings of many of us when he declared that
we will not sit back and allow ourselves to be sitting
ducks, waiting to be picked off by the same snipers, and
others like them, who shot and killed Israel soldiers a
few weeks ago.  Is that an implied threat?  No - it is
not a threat - it is a promise.  We will not initiate
armed violence against Hebron's Arab population, or any
other population, for that matter.  But WE WILL NOT BE
SITTING DUCKS.  We will not relive the 1929 bloodbath
that left 67 Jews dead in Hebron, with the rest of the
community forcibly exiled from the City of the
Patriarchs.  If we are endangered, if we are attacked, we
expect the Israel Defense Forces to act as they act
anywhere and everywhere else in Israel.  If anyone, Arab
or otherwise, thinks that we will cluster together and
allow ourselves to br slaughtered, they are wrong.  If we
are attacked, we will not stand idly by.  The Jews in
1929 had little choice - they had no defense.  As a
matter of fact, they refused to heed warnings from
Jerusalem and rejected offers of taking arms to protect
themselves.  They believed that Hebron's Arabs were truly
their friends, good next-door neighbors.  They erred, and
the mistake was deadly.  We will not make that mistake
     It should also be clear that, as far as we are
concerned, there are no borders in Hebron.  Regardless of
any proposed division of territory between Arabs and Jews
in Hebron, should a terrorist propose to escape the long
reach of Israeli justice by taking refuge in an
`autonomous region' he will not escape unpunished.

I am presently located in New York, working on Hebron
awareness, as well as the Hebron Solidarity Concert to be
held next Sunday, November 3, at Town Hall in NYC.  The
Hebron Community sent me to the US as an official
representative of the community at this crucial time.  In
spite of the need to continue working around the clock in
Hebron, a decision was reached to present the truth here
in the US - a truth which is usually ignored or perverted
by international media.  I've spoken at a number of
forums and speaking engagements, and usually the reaction
is mixed.  Some people, when they hear and understand
what is really happening in Hebron are shocked.  Others,
having had some previous idea of the situation, ask
immediately what they can do to help.  And very honestly,
I have been, together with Judy Tisser Grossman, Director
of Public Relations for the Jewish Community of Hebron,
extremely disappointed by New York-New Jersey `real'
reaction to the current state of affairs in Hebron.
     We have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the
abandonment of Hebron is to be reality in a very short
period of time.  All municipal authority is to be
controlled by Yassir Arafat.  Armed Arabs are to be
stationed in the hills overlooking the Jewish Community
of Hebron.  The future of Ma'arat HaMachpela is to be
negotiated three months after implementation of the
withdrawal-surrender of Israel to Arafat's whims.
     How do we expect people to react?  We have made
several requests.  People can fax PM Netanyahu, reminding
him of his past promises concerning Hebron, and
beseeching him to stand strong against demands made by
terrorists who continue to kill Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
Bibi Netanyahu's heart is in the right place.  We just
have to make sure he doesn't cave in to external
     The other request we have had, is that people show
active support for continued presence in Hebron by
attending and assisting our Solidarity concert.  The idea
of a concert is to allow people to help Hebron
financially, but at the same time, giving them something
special in return.  Our goal was to return to Hebron with
enough money to allow us to begin construction of the new
apartment building, Beit Nahum b'Yehuda, in the Avraham
Avinu neighborhood.  Unfortunately, response has been
ghastly. Some `friends' of Hebron have spread rumors that
the concert was sold out.  This is not true.  Others said
that it was canceled.  This is also a lie.  But, people
are telling us that the tickets are `too expensive.'  It
seems that the real point of helping Hebron today, when
that help is so desperately needed, has been lost.  The
apathy and uncaring is unbelievable.  I receive many
`congratulations' after speaking, but very little more
than that.  Judy and I are facing a situation where we
may have to go back to Hebron and inform our friends that
in New York, we couldn't find 1,500 people to fill up an
auditorium to support Hebron.  I will feel quite ashamed
should I have to actually do this.
     Anyone who wants to help Hebron, for real, can do so
by calling 718-575-0056. Order tickets to the Hebron
concert.  If you don't want the tickets, we will see to
it that someone else receives them. If no one answers the
phone, leave a message and we will get back to you.  Now
is the time to help Hebron.

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Will the Real Bibi Please STAND UP

Will the Real Bibi Please STAND UP
October 16 1996

Jews have, relentlessly, bent over backwards, and
sometimes even stood on their heads, to appease world
opinion. Even the iron-willed David Ben Gurion saluted to
Eisenhower's orders following the Sinai War in 1957.
However, over the years, the demands have increased, the
pressure has multiplied, and Israel has, unfortunately,
complied.  Perhaps the greatest error the State of Israel
ever made was when Menachem Begin initiated the Oslo
Accords - yes, you read right - when Menachem Begin
initiated the Peres-Arafat Agreement in 1979, at Camp
David.  The Camp David accords set a major precedent by
abandoning and uprooting Jewish communities, and, worst
of all, allowed for the commencement of  `autonomy talks'
concerning the `West Bank.'  Geula Cohen, former MK of
the Techiya and Likud parties and long-time right-wing
activist, cried the day Camp David was passed in the
Knesset, wailing, "This is the beginning of the end of
Judea and Samaria."

     Yitzhak Shamir, a man of platinum nerves, was forced
into attending the Madrid Conference by Bush-Baker.
Rabin-Peres didn't have to be pressured - they initiated
the Arafat talks themselves.  But today, we are facing a
new situation.  Israel has relinquished huge amounts of
territory and has received in return, bullets.  When Bibi
Netanyahu spoke of reciprocity before the US Congress,
the expectation was that all Israeli concessions would
end until Arafat began living up to his side of the
agreement.  He was supposed to stop terrorism, change the
palestinian covenant, extradite murderers, remove illegal
arms from Arab terrorists, etc. etc. Instead, he did nothing.  No,
excuse me, that's not correct - he gave orders to his
crack sniper squad formerly of  Force 17, to start
shooting Israeli soldiers in Gaza, Ramallah, and
Shechem.  There were two `official' excuses: the
Jerusalem tunnel episode, and frustration over lack of
`progress' concerning abandonment of Hebron.  Extremely
suitable, understandable reasonable reasons  to kill
Israeli soldiers.

     I had no doubt whatsoever, that following this
pogrom Hebron had ceased to be a topic for negotiation.
Can any leader, in his right mind, continue to transfer
ANY land to a self-proclaimed enemy, who continues to
spout violence as a solution to `frustration?!'
However, it seems that Bibi is bending.

     The following is a quote from Thursday, September 7,
1995:  Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu led a delegation
of 14 Likud MKs to Hebron yesterday to show solidarity
with the Jewish settlement there, and said that he and
his colleagues will come to Hebron if a decision to
uproot the settlement is taken.  "The Jewish settlement
will remain in Hebron permanently," Netanyahu said.  "If
someone tries to take it away, my friends and  I will be
here, and they will have to take us away as well".

Netanyahu said he thinks "it will be a fatal mistake to
bring hundreds of armed Palestinian policemen here, and
there will be  a small area where the Jews can pass and
where the police and IDF can operate.  If there will be a
conflict, the IDF will not be  able to function and will
quickly collide with the Palestinian forces.  This is a
prescription for tragedy". Netanyahu said he is worried
about a time when there will be an attack in one of the
alleys, and the attackers will run to  the area under
Palestinian control.  Netanyahu said it is impossible to
divide responsibility for security in Hebron: 'There is
one body responsible, and that has to be the IDF".

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was elected to be
Prime Minister of the State of Israel.       

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was supported by hundreds of
thousands of Jews around the world.

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who said on Monday,
May 13, 1996  "redeployment should be put off until the
final settlement. Hebron is a very complicated problem.
It is the oldest Jewish settlement in the world, and the
Jewish community there is in  great danger.  We all
remember what happened in 1929.  It is preferable that
such a complex matter be carefully considered at the
final status talks."

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was supposed to
transpose the Rabin-Peres decisions.

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was going to keep

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was going to sit
down with the leaders of the Hebron Jewish Community,

Prime Minister Netanyahu has, through today, totally
ignored the Jewish Community of Hebron.  It is almost as
though we don't exist.

     An Israel Line report quoted HA'ARETZ as saying
"that there are indications that an understanding exists
on the Hebron redeployment between Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli residents of Kiryat Arba and Hebron.

     Of course there is an understanding between the
Jewish Community of Hebron and Bibi Netanyahu.  That
understanding  can even be described as total agreement.

We agree one hundred percent with all of those
statements, and more, just like them, quoted above.

However, there is no understanding, or agreement with the
seemingly impending deals in the offing.  The question
is: Who is the real Bibi Netanyahu?  Is he the man who
stood tall, and proudly, at the first Hebron concert,
with Avraham Fried at Binyanei HaUma in Jerusalem
assembly on behalf of the Jewish  community in Hebron on
December 8, 1994 and proclaimed..."We are in Hebron by
right, but also by the force of possession and
inheritance.  We will not forfeit our rights, nor the
force to defend our rights."

     Or, is the real Bibi Netanyahu the person who called
mass murdered Arafat a `friend and partner,' after the
terrorist gave orders to kill Israeli soldiers, attack
civilian communities and set fire to Kever Yosef in
Shechem and Kever Rachel in Beit Lechem.

The Israeli public and Jews around the world have a right
to know who is going to be leading them for the next four
years.  Is he a true Israeli leader or is he a carbon
copy of our immediate past prime ministers.  Will history
remember him as a courageous Jew, or  declare him a poor
imitation of Shimon Peres?

Will the real Benyamin Netanyahu stop bending over, stop
trying to please world opinion  and


Friday, September 27, 1996


September 27, 1996

David  Makovsky's  headline article in today's  Jerusalem
DEFUSE  TENSION.  The first paragraph states:  "Secretary
of  State  Warren Christopher has asked   Prime  Minister
Binyamin  Netanyahu to take "concrete steps,"  after  the
premier  meets  meeting  with Palestinian  leader  Yassir
Arafat,  that  would end  the fighting AND  LEAD  TO  THE
diplomatic sources said."

      Bill Clinton's Secretary of State is looking for  a
GESTURE  from  Israel.  In other words, he  is  demanding
that  we capitulate - cave in to palestinian bullets,  in
order  to  allow us to continue down suicide  lane.   The
American  position follows a certain logic - acquiescence
easily  results in further debacle.  This is,  it  seems,
America's goal.  And the theater of the absurd plays on.

      Our  dead  are  not yet buried, the  wounded  still
hospitalized - the country is in shock.  Even the Israeli
left,  best  represented by the news media,  keep  asking
their interviewees, over and over again, `how do we  deal
USING  AGAINST  OUR  OWN SOLDIERS?!'.   This  morning  11
funerals  are being conducted - 11 young men whose  names
have been repeated on the news since yesterday night, who
died, not because of a 15 meter tunnel in Jerusalem,  but
because  Arafat's terrorist soldiers are still  convinced
that  using  violence is the best way  to  achieve  their
aims:  a  Judenrein Gaza, Shechem and Beit Lechem.   They
fighting  in  Gaza  by Kfar Dram and Netzarim  was  based
around a desire to see these two communities uprooted and
annihilated.  As it was in Shechem.  And in Shechem  they
almost succeeded.  Today's newspaper accounts report that
a  final  decision  was made by DEFENSE MINISTER  YITZHAK
ABANDON  THE  SITE  TO  ARAFAT.  Why  didn't  it  happen?
According  to  these  reports, Central  Region  Commander
General  Uzi  Dayan  superseded these  orders  and  later
convinced  the cabinet, meeting in special session  after
Bibi's return from Europe, not to abandon the site.   His
reasoning:   if  we  abandon  Kever  Yosef   because   of
palestinian warfare, this will be used as a precedent  to
force us out of other areas.

      And  he  is right - one hundred percent.  And  that
decision,  not  to abandon Joseph's Tomb, may  have  been
instrumental in other decisions, and in the tone used  to
convey  the  decisions.  According to a radio  report  at
11:45 this morning on Kol Yisrael, correspondent Yoni ben
Menachem  revealed that the Arabs have been  warned  that
Israel  regards recapture of parts of Shechem, especially
the  areas  near  Kever Yosef, as  a  viable  option,  to
protect  our interests in the city. The Arabs begged  for
another  chance  to  prove  that  they  can  control  the
situation,  and have subsequently placed the  city  under

      Back  to  Warren's plea for gestures.  Is this  man
sane? Does he really believe that, following such a  show
of  warfare against Israel, anyone would consider turning
Hebron  over to Arafat?  The thoughts of what might  have
transpired had the `redeployment' in Hebron already  been
concluded, is intolerable.  Had the hills surrounding the
Jewish    Community    been   occupied    by    terrorist
sharpshooters,  the results could very easily  have  been
catastrophic.   I  think  it is clear  to  everyone  that
Hebron is no longer a subject under discussion.

     The Israeli government, sitting in its capacity as a
`security  cabinet'  has placed all  the  blame  for  the
events of the past two days squarely on the shoulders  of
Yassir  Arafat personally and the palestinian  authority.

Thank  G-d, they are starting to see the light,  starting
to  understand  that  the  peace  process  is  a  `piece'
process, starting to understand that we are dealing,  not
with partners, but with the equivalent of wild animals.
It is only a matter of time until the "Oslo Accords" explode,
finally, and conclusively.

      In  the  meantime, in Hebron, we are preparing  for
this week's holiday festivities, celebrating the festival
of  Succot.   On  Sunday and Monday  the  entire  Ma'arat
HaMachpela  will  be  open to Jewish visitors,  including
`Ohel  Yitzhak.'   On Monday afternoon a special  program
will take place in the Ma'ara courtyard, starting at 3:00
PM.   Next  Saturday night, following the  conclusion  of
Simchat Torah, Hebron will host `hakafot shniot' - a huge
dancing  festivity,  at the Avraham  Avinu  neighborhood.
This  event  will  be attended by Jews  from  around  the
country, and will top off the week-long events.

      Just  as  Hebron  will remain under  total  Israeli
control,  so  will  Jerusalem,  all  of  Jerusalem.   The
decision  to leave the Jerusalem tunnel open is the  only
gesture  that  Israel  can  possibly  make,  except  for,
perhaps,  one,  which is, to the best of my recollection,
too vulgar to express in words.

Sunday, September 22, 1996

Heshbon Nefesh

 Heshbon Nefesh
                              Erev Yom Kippur 5757
                              September 22, 1996

Heshbon Nefesh, in Hebrew, means, a personal reflection,
an accounting - a kind of `soul-searching.'  In theory, a
person should do a `heshbon nefesh' daily, but more than
ever before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

     A heshbon nefesh, however, is not only a personal
affair.  It must also be a national undertaking.  The
past year has been traumatic - climaxing the ordeals of
the last four years.  The murder of Yitzhak Rabin
depicted perhaps, in the most cruel of ways, the division
between two segments of the country.  True, Yigal Amir
represented only himself - he pulled the trigger, and
that may never be condoned, but he was proven to be sane
in a court of law.  One has to reach deep down inside to
probe, what could possibly bring a sane, intelligent Jew
to perpetrate such an act.  That is a question that our
national conscience must ask, must scrutinize, in order
to see to it that such a deed never again stains Israel.

     Today memorial services are being held around the
country, mourning the dead, killed 23 years ago with the
outbreak of a surprise-attack war by Syria and Egypt on
Yom Kippur.  With the present tension on the northern
border, the analogy is too strong to be ignored.  In one
sense, we were caught with our pants down - but in
reality, the Golda Meir government knew that war was
going to break out hours before the first attack.  They
had enough time to begin mobilizing the troops - they
could also have called for a preemptive strike.  Such
action would have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of
lives.  Yet, they did nothing, and the results were
nearly catastrophic.  Only the ferocity and determination
of our soldiers, including Raphael Eitan and Avigdor
Kahalani in the north, and Arik Sharon in the south,
along with a tremendous dose of G-d given miracle,
prevented, what Moshe Dayan called, the fall of the Third
Temple.  The situation during the first few days of the
war was very very serious.

     Yet, the writing was on the wall - and nobody paid
attention.  Were they all really that blind? I don't know
that anyone has the answer, but my question is, how can
we use the lessons that we learned then, today.  This
morning, on the 7:00 news, there were two stories, one
following the other.  The first spoke of plans by Hamas
and the Islamic Jihad to renew suicide terrorist attacks
within Israel.  According to the report, these groups
have reached a decision to once again wreak havoc inside
waiting until after redeployment so as not to jeopardize
Israeli abandonment of the city.  Of course, it goes
without saying, that the terrorist attacks will be much
easier to plan and carry out after Israel abandons 90% of
the city to Arafat.

     The second report dealt with Egyptian president
Husni Mubarach's declaration that "if Israel insists on
continuing a policy of resettlement in Judea and Samaria,
the intifada will be renewed.  And this time, IT WILL NOT

     One of the most traveled routes in Hebron over the
past few weeks is that to Abu-Snenah.  Abu-Snenah is the
name of a hill overlooking downtown Hebron.  From this
hilltop the entrance to Ma'arat is clearly visible, as is
the Avraham Avinu neighborhood and the road linking
Kiryat Arba to Hebron.   From the hills opposite Abu-
Snenah, called in Arabic Harat el-Sheich, or in Hebrew,
Givat Mamre , Beit Hadassah, Beit Shneerson, Beit Hason
and Beit Kastel are within touching distance.   These two
hills, along with  a main road running above the Jewish
cemetery, only meters from Tel Rumedia, are due to be
abandoned to Arafat in the near future, if the present
government should implement the Peres-Arafat Accords.
This land will be off-limits to the Israel Defense
Forces.  In addition, all civilian authority, including
building permits, property transfer licenses, water
supply and electricity  WITHIN THE JEWISH NEIGHBORHOODS,
will be in the hands of Hebron's Arab mayor Mustepha
Natche and the Hebron municipality.


     A few weeks ago I published a short account of a
conversation that I had with Abed, an Arab in Hebron.  On
Friday the following account was printed in the Israeli

intellectuals in Hebron joined in signing a declaration
organized by one of the large clans in Hebron which was
presented to the Israeli Military Government, opposing
the  withdrawal of IDF forces from their neighborhood as
part of the redeployment in Hebron. ("Yediot Ahronot" 20
September, 1996- reprinted from IMRA).





Sunday, September 8, 1996

Hebron Tomorrow: After the Flood

Hebron Tomorrow: After the Flood
Erev Rosh HaShana 5757
September 8, 1996

Mission  Impossible made possible -   against  all  odds,
reason and seeming logic - the impossible became reality.
The  "Mahapach" - the toppling of a government  espousing
abandonment, seeking a "piece plan," the Mahapach  became
reality  with  the  rise of  Benyamin  Netanyahu  to  the
office  of Prime Minister and the Israeli `nationalistic'
parties as a majority in the Knesset.

     The  Mahapach of 1996 was a true G-d-given  miracle.
And  a  major element of this miracle was, and still  is,
Hebron.   According to Oslo B - the Peres-Arafat Accords,
90% of Hebron was to be abandoned to Arafat and the Hamas
terrorists  on March 29.  All the other major  cities  in
Yesha  - Shechem, Tulkarem, Jenin, Ramallah, and finally,
Beit  Lechem, were evacuated `on time' - Israel left  and
Arafat  reigned, just as signed.  The only city left  was
Hebron,  and the clock was running down.  But, wonder  of
wonders, miracle of miracles, it stopped.  The price paid
was unbelievably high - bloodshed in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv,
and Ashkelon - but Peres had no choice but to face up  to
the  inevitable - Hebron cannot be abandoned.  And so  it
was.   Election Day - May 29th - the 11th of  Iyar,  will
remain  an  indelible mark in our memories  -  a  holiday

      Where  do  we  stand today?  It is clear  that  the
honeymoon  is over and the time has come to get  down  to
the  nitty-gritty.  For a couple of months Netanyahu  was
able  to  buy time easily.  He said much and did  little.
But   that  time  has  passed.   International  pressure,
spearheaded by the United States, and supplemented by the
Israeli left led to the deplorable meeting with terrorist
Arafat.  Egypt and Syria threatening from one side,  with
Clinton  on the other side.  And all eyes are on  Hebron.
What should Bibi do?

      There  have  been many different philosophies  -  a
variety  of game plans.  Bibi himself, speaking before  a
joint session of Congress declared that the principal  of
reciprocity  is  nothing less than sacrosanct.  In  other
words,  he  said, if Arafat wants something from  us,  he
must  also  supply  the goods.  If he  isn't  capable  of
keeping his side of the agreement, why should we continue
to keep our side of the agreement?

      Politically,  this  seems to  be  a  safe  position
because it is doubtful whether Arafat desires to,  or  is
capable  of  fulfilling his obligations.   However,  this
cannot   be  guaranteed.   As  untenable  as  it   sounds
politically,  Bibi  must continue  to  espouse  the  same
themes  repeated so frequently, while he  was  opposition
leader:  Hebron, the first capital of Israel  during  the
early  reign  of  King David, is an eternal   element  of

"We   dwell  in Hebron not out of benevolence  but  as  a
right. Hebron  belongs to the Jewish people eternally  as
a  result  of  our right and as a result of our strength,
our  strength of faith, our strength to stand up for what
is  legitimately ours...We  must  protect the  foundation
of  Eternal  Israel. Hebron is ours, Jerusalem  is  ours,
the entire Eretz Yisrael is ours."  Benyamin Netanyahu  -
Jerusalem, December 7, 1994.

      This  is  a  language universally  understood,  and
inevitably,  universally accepted.  When  you  speak  the
truth,   not  only your truth, but a Divine  truth,  your
message is eventually acknowledged.  Our lives in  Hebron
are focused around the most elementary truth in existence
-  our right to live in our eternal homeland.

       Netanyahu  must  drop  Hebron  from  the   present
negotiating agenda.  Just as Jerusalem is `not for sale,'
so  is  should be with Hebron. The City of the Patriarchs
is  no  less  important than Jerusalem.  Both  are  `off-
limits.'  The `final status' of both must be assured.

      Prime  Minister Benyamin Netanyahu  must  begin  to
replace   words   with  actions.   In   Megilat   Esther,
Mordechai sends a message to Esther after having  learned
of  the decree calling for the annihilation of all  Jews.
He  tells  her,  "IF  YOU REMAIN  SILENT  AT  THIS  TIME,

      Prime  Minister Netanyahu - this IS  why  you  were
crowned - this is why we elected you to the Premiership -
now  is  the  time  TO  DO - as you have  previously,  so
eloquently,  enunciated. The Jewish Community  of  Hebron
plans on doubling its present fifty two families over the
next  twelve  months.  Construction  at  Yeshivat  Shavei
Hebron continues.  When completed, there will be room for
500  yeshiva students.  Presently there are two  hundred.
And  this  is  only  the beginning.  Jewish  Hebron  will
undoubtedly flourish.  Tourists continue to pour into the
city,  visiting  the holy sites and Jewish neighborhoods,
and  praying at Ma'arat HaMachpela.  Requests to live  in
Hebron  arrive by mail and telephone.  In spite  of  what
others might intend, the future of Hebron, Jewish Hebron,
the City of the Patriarchs, is assured.

     Mr. Netanyahu, we are waiting for your long-promised
assistance.  But you should know, that with or without it
-  we  are in a new era, after the flood. And as we  were
promised,  there will never again be another flood.  With
or without you,  Hebron will remain Jewish forever.
Happy New Year.

Friday, August 30, 1996

My friend Moshe and Abed from Hebron

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
My friend Moshe and Abed from Hebron
August 30, 1996

On Wednesday evening I was, with hundreds of others, celebrating the marriage
of Yaffa Bleicher, daughter of Yeshivat Shavei Hebron's Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Moshe Bleicher. The chuppa took place in front of Ma'arat HaMachpela. The courtyard
was filled with, in my estimation, well over one thousand people. The Chatan,
Yonatan, and the Kallah, Yaffa, seem to be an ideal young couple, and they
looked beautiful, as the wedding blessings were recited in the field of
Machpela, in Hebron.

Later, following the ceremony, we all walked to the Yeshiva. Yeshivat Shavei
Hebron is located in Beit Romano, a building over a hundred years old.
The structure, in the past, housed the "Sde Hemed" a renowned Talmudic scholar,
and early this century was home to Yeshivat Torat Emet of Habad. In 1917 the
British claimed the building and used it as a police station. Those murdered
and injured in the 1929 massacre were taken here on that fateful Saturday. The
present Yeshiva has been located in the building since the early 1980's.

While sitting at the festive outdoors meal, a nearby friend passed on the
information: "A 160 bus, from Jerusalem to Kiryat Arba - Hebron was just shot
at. One person was injured." It took a while to receive confirmation and
clarification. On the new Bethlehem bypass road, supposedly 'secure',
terrorists opened up with automatic weapons and hit the bus. It isn't clear
exactly how many bullets hit the bus - between 15 to 30. Fortunately, we now
travel in buses that have been mostly bulletproofed. This is the reason no
one was seriously injured. I say 'mostly' because there are several parts of
the bus which are not bullet proof. I won't elaborate for obvious reasons,
except to say that at least one bullet passed though a 'non-bullet proofed'
window, and miraculously, didn't hit anyone. The bus was full and there were
people standing. According to people on the bus, if it had not been bullet
proofed, much blood would have been spilled.

One of the people on the bus was a good friend of mine, Moshe Shachar. Moshe,
his wife Efrat, and their children have lived in Kiryat Arba for a number of
years. Moshe, aged 54, a math whiz and a computer genious, used to work for
Bezek and is presently employed by E.C.I., a private electronics firm in Petach
Tikvah. He travels back and forth from Petach Tikva several times a week. I
visited with Moshe a little while ago. The following is what he related to me:
" I attended an all-day meeting - nine hours. So when I was on the bus I
didn't have energy to do anything. I was dozing and leaning against the
window. Suddenly I heard automatic gunfire. It lasted for, maybe, three
seconds. In the middle of it I realized it was gunfire and not rocks. I was
leaning against the window. Exactly were my arm was, a bullet hit. (Showing
me the picture in the newspaper), Here is where one bullet hit. If the windows
weren't bulletproofed I would have been hit. And here above that bullet, is
where another one hit the glass. (That bullet hole was opposite his head.) I
was wounded in my leg. A bullet hit the side of the bus and must have
exploded. Either fragments of the bullet or pieces of the bus hit my leg. I
wasn't badly hurt. They took me to the hospital from Gush Etzion, washed the
leg and gave me antibiotics. The pieces of metal will remain in my leg. I
have to take it easy for a couple of weeks, but all-in-all, I'm O.K. (I
remarked that now, every time he enters Ma'arat HaMachpela, the metal-detector
will be activated. We laugh together.) What now? Very simple. As soon as the
doctor says it's ok, I'll continue going to work, the same way I always have.
What should we do now? Build a new settlement where the attack took place. We
have to strengthen our hold on Eretz Yisrael. The terrorists cannot be allowed
to control our lives."
That is my friend Moshe.

Earlier that day, I spent an hour with a photographer in Hebron. While we were
wondering around, an Arab named Abed stopped me on the street, across from Beit Romano. He
told me, in Hebrew, the following. (I translated to English for the
'I prefer the Israeli army in Hebron to Arafat. Arafat's people arrest Arabs,
jail them, torture them, and then kill them. The Israeli soldiers arrest
Arabs and question them, but don't torture or kill them. We've seen this in
other cities where Arafat rules. Do a lot of Hebron Arabs think this? Yes. And
you should know, I agree that Jews should live in Hebron. My grandmother used
to tell me stories that Jews lived on this land, five hundred - seven hundred
years ago. This is Jewish land. The Arabs stole it from them after the
Quote- Unquote - Abed from Hebron

Friday, August 9, 1996

Some Good News - But Where Is It Leading

Some Good News - But Where Is It Leading
August 9, 1996
This morning I received some very good news.  My friend David Shirel, long-time
resident of Tel Rumedia, who has been confined to his neighborhood for the last
9 months by an administrative order, will be free as of midnight tonight.  His
present administrative order expires today and yesterday he was informed that it
will not be extended, at least not for the time being.  Tomorrow David will be
able to legally pray in a minion at Ma'arat HaMachpela for the first time in
NINE MONTHS.  He will be able to leave his home at Tel Rumeida without fear of
being arrested and imprisoned for disobeying a military administrative house
arrest order.  
     This really is good news.  But the good news is only partial.  Yesterday,
     when David
Shirel was notified of his impending freedom by people whose identity I am not
at liberty to reveal, it was extremely apparent that they had no evidence of any
wrongdoing on his part.  In other words, he was held under house arrest for
three-quarters of a year without being charged of any crime, without being
indicted, tried or convicted - and without the `authorities' having any reason
for this incarceration.  In spite of this, he was held, and yesterday `warned'
not to participate in any illegal activities, `or else....'.
     David's neighbor, Baruch Marzel, is still restricted to Tel Rumeida by a
     similar order.  He
won't be free tomorrow.  His present administrative order will not expire for
another two months. His appeal to a military court against the order was
rejected. He appealed to General Uzi Dayan for a permit to leave Tel Rumeida for
a few hours in order to be interviewed for a position allowing him to work from
his home.  The request was denied. Last week his son asked why they never went
to pray in Ma'arat HaMachpela.  Baruch requested permission to pray, at least on
Shabbat, in the Ma'ara.  The request was denied. 
     So, what's with Bibi Netanyahu?  After all, most of these orders go through
intelligence services, which are directly responsible to the Prime Minister
himself.  Here is my analysis of the situation: Either Bibi is unaware of what
is going on (which in unlikely), or the intelligence officers are lying to him
(which is much more likely.)  Being that he doesn't have time to check out
everything he is told, he is relying on the information presented to him.
     Doesn't he realize that Israeli intelligence is a branch of the `far-left?'
      That too is a good
question that is very difficult to answer.  On the one hand, he has to give some
backing to the existing parties.  But, and this is a VERY BIG BUT, he also has
to understand that he was elected in order to weed these people out, and change
the system.  These people are poisoning Israel, contaminating democracy, and
destroying any remaining faith in the term justice.  Bibi's allegiance is not to
the head of the Israeli intelligence services, or the Chief of Staff, or the
Attorney General. His allegiance has to be to the people of Israel, who look to
him to initiate the changes necessary to rebuild Israel, and to stop the
Bolshevik processes instituted by the previous government.  That is why we
elected him.  And Bibi must know that if he doesn't do what he was elected to
do, we will not refrain from pressuring him and demonstrating against him the
same way that we did against Rabin and Peres.  That is not what we want to do,
but if there is no choice, we will not hold back.
     David Shirel was approached by some friends who wanted to hold a big
tomorrow morning in celebration of his release.  He refused.  He told them, when
everyone is freed, Baruch Marzel and all the others, then we will all celebrate
together.  Until then, we have to continue to work."  Let's hope that Bibi
understands what he has to do and that he does it, without fear and without
hesitation, very very soon.