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.