Saturday, December 9, 2000

Goodbye to Mother

Goodbye to Mother
December 9, 2000

It goes without saying that during a time of crisis, such as we are facing now, the events take their toll on everyone:  men, women and children. The stress affects everyone differently.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the children are holding up better than might be expected. Knowing that your house is being shot at with the intent to kill you, your family or friends is far from comforting. Some children have trouble concentrating, some don’t eat with the same appetite they previously had, some don’t want to play outside by themselves, and some have trouble falling asleep at night. The latter problem plagues my nine and a half year old girl, Ruttie.  She is old enough to understand what is going on, and young enough to let her thoughts wonder, and is, as are others her age, afraid.

Yesterday morning, Ruttie was a little late getting out of the house. I drove her to school at about 8:30, just a few minutes after hearing that a terrorist shooting attack occurred just south of Kiryat Arba. All we knew was that some people had been hurt.

A few minutes after Ruttie sat down at her desk in her classroom, a substitute teacher came in and started talking to the fourth grade girls. She told them that a little while ago Arab terrorists had shot at a car, and that the girl’s teacher had been seriously injured.  A few minutes later the school principal joined the girls and told them that their teacher, Mrs. Rina Didovsky, would not be returning to their classroom because she had died of her wounds. The girls began crying and wailing. For good reason.

Rina Didovsky taught in the Kiryat Arba school for almost 2 decades. The 39-year-old mother of six dedicated her life to her young students, usually in third and fourth grade. In many Israeli schools, teachers spend two years with their classes and the children and their teacher get to know each other very well. This was Rina’s second year with this class. The girls loved their teacher.

I asked Ruttie to tell me about her teacher. She told me that Rina never yelled at the children, was always very understanding, and always smiled. If they hadn’t finished their homework she would give them a chance to complete it. If a girl had a headache in class, Rina would immediately fix her a cup of tea. And Ruttie added, “She always did things that were fun.”

Yossi Dayan, past principal of the school where Rina Didovsky taught, told me that Rina was a wonderful teacher, the kind of teacher every principal and every child dreams of. She had endless patience and dedication above and beyond the requirements of her job. She saw teaching, not as an ordinary career, but as an ideal.  Rina worked as a classroom teacher for years, enlightening the lives of hundreds and thousands of children.

But the schoolroom was not Rina’s only role in life. She was a model mother and wife. Together with her husband Haim, they raised a family of six children. The oldest girl, Reut, 19 years old, is presently in the midst of a year of volunteer work following graduation from high school. The youngest child, Tzion, is one year old. Tzion was named for Rina’s father who passed away just before Rina gave birth. Rina’s parents both survived the Holocaust.

Yesterday hundreds of friends and family gathered next to the Beit Haggai  community synagogue, where the funeral began. Speaking in a breaking voice Reut eulogized her beloved mother, saying, “you always thought of everything, from a warm sweater to a sandwich for our ten o’clock break.”

"Last night I talked to you about future plans, but now, everything has changed - everything, except for a few things that you have left us for eternity, that we will always carry with us - the values on which you raised us: Education, which you were on your way to do this morning; the obligation of Jews to live in Eretz Yisrael, everywhere, and here you were killed; your whole life went according to your ideals - and also your death... You also instilled in us Torah, fear of G-d, good deeds...  It will be very difficult for us without you, yet still and all - we will continue along the way you charted for us...  Now that you are up there with the Holy One Blessed be He, we ask for a lot of strength here below, for Abba [Dad], Yisrael, Aviad, Shlomit, Naamah, Tzion, and myself, and to look after all of Israel, who all want nothing more than to come home safely to their families"

Rina’s husband Haim directs a news agency called HaKol MeHaShetach, which broadcasts news events to journalists throughout Israel. When Haim receives information about a breaking story he notifies correspondents via personal pagers or ‘beepers’ as they are known in Israel. Yesterday morning at 8:20, Haim, unsuspectingly sent out a message saying, “In the area of Bani Naim, near Kiryat Arba, shooting at an Israeli car. Probably 2 people injured, being treated  near Kiryat Arba. The condition of one probably medium to critical.”  

A few hours later, Haim led his family from their Beit Haggai home to the funeral procession for his murdered wife, weeping, telling his six children, “Come, say shalom to Emma - Come, say goodbye to mother.”

Friday, December 1, 2000


Dec. 1, 2000

Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of being interviewed by a joker from a major US television network. The previous day an English-speaking Hebron resident called me, saying that the journalist had requested an interview concerning the subject of the “Arab curfew in Hebron.” She called me and requested that I do the interview, as she preferred not to have to speak about ‘why the Arabs are under curfew.’

Having been prepared in advance I was ready for the joker’s question, and immediately responded that the issue is not the Arab curfew, rather it is the fact that we are being shot at every day and every night for the past two months. He asked me another question or two about the shooting and then returned to the curfew, which was obviously the focus of his interview. My responses again centered around the fact that we are being attacked with the intent to kill us and drive us out of Hebron. There is no reason why Hebron’s Arabs should be allowed to live normally during the day and then try to murder us at night. They must realize that there is a price to the continued attempts to kill us. A curfew does not jeopardize anyone’s life. Bullets do.
This week began the Moslem month of Ramaddan, the month during which the Koran was 'revealed' to Muhammad. Religious Moslems supposedly fast every day for a month, from sunrise to sunset. From sunset to sunrise everything forbidden during the day is permissible.  During past Ramaaddans we were assaulted with firecrackers and the noise brought on by shooting at the clouds, an integral element of all Arab banquet celebrations. This Ramaddan not too much has changed, except that rather than aim at the clouds, our neighbors are bouncing their bullets off our windows.

On Sunday a few of us took a trip down south  to Gazza.  In the afternoon we visited one of the most isolated communities in Israel, called Morag.  Morag, founded as an agricultural community, is situated between two cities, one called Rafiach and the other called ChanUnis.  A few years ago these two cities decided to connect up and started building a road that was to cut Morag in half, dividing their agricultural hothouses from the residential neighborhood. The only part of the road uncompleted was the section which would have chopped the community into two halves, in the middle. And of course, the road would have been under the control of the Palestinian authority.
Completion of the road was supposed to have been part of another  "agreement" between Arafat and Israel.  Fortunately, that part of the "agreement" was never finalized, and the two halves of the road remain unjoined. 

Access to Morag is only with an armed IDF escort, both to and from the community. During the day residents and visitors may wait up to 15 minutes for an army escort. At night that time can be doubled or tripled. Some of the families live in newly built homes. Others live in the same kind of caravan-mobile homes found at the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. We visited with two families who showed us around and welcomed us into their homes. Their frustration is no less than ours. Perhaps even greater.  Their community is very isolated and their main source of employment, agricultural hothouses, has been virtually brought to a halt. There isn’t any outside labor, whether Arab or Thai, or Israeli. Israeli truck drivers are afraid of Arab sniping and refuse to collect produce for distribution in Israel or for international export. Yet, despite the hardships, the families are staying, making the best of a difficult situation.

The next morning I heard on the radio that a land mine blew up on the road we drove on just outside of Morag, several hours after our visit. No one was hurt.

Earlier in the day we visited Kfar Darom, north of Morag. A Kfar Darom bus transporting men, women and children to Neve Dekalim, a few minutes away, was blown up by Arab terrorists a week earlier, leaving two dead and many wounded. Among those injured were three children from one family. One of the children lost both legs, another lost one leg and the oldest daughter, now almost 13, lost a foot. We paid a condolence call at the home of Avigial Biton, whose husband Gabbi was one of the two people killed.

Their living room was filled with visitors like ourselves, who had come to offer sympathy and comfort. The oldest of six children is an eleven and a half year old little boy, who sat on the floor together with his mother, brothers, sisters, and grandparents, mourning his father. Among the children was an infant, only a few months old.

However, we did not find a house full of despair.  Gabbi’s parents spoke of the necessity of the Israeli government to hit back hard at the Arab terrorists perpetrating such attacks. Gabbi’s wife, Avigial conversed with visitors at length. In spite of her terrible loss, she radiated hope, understanding that if she and her neighbors were not living today in Kfar Darom, that land would now belong to Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. She realizes the difficult task ahead of her, but refuses to bow to the desires of the terrorists who killed her husband. She will not give up.

I have a number of friends at Kfar Darom, and visited with some of them following our visit to the Biton family. I cannot pretend to say that life is easy for them. Unfortunately Gabbi Biton and Miri Amitai were not the first Kfar Darom residents to be killed by Arab terror. But what has remained consistent over the years is the strength, faith and determination of these embattled people. Despite the heavy losses, this community is already preparing land adjacent to the existing neighborhoods for new homes and new families. They have been approached by others, who, seeing their courage, are requesting to join them. Preparing for the future, they are in the midst of building a new synagogue, the spiritual center of the community.

The people living in Kfar Darom are undoubtedly THE symbol of valor in Israel today.

Monday, November 13, 2000


November 13, 2000

LIE NUMBER ONE ACCORDING TO PEACE NOW (Appearing as an advertisement in today's Israeli press -  Ha'aretz J.Post):


To Prime Minister Barak:
Today, more than ever, it is clear that the settlements and by-pass roads are the main obstacles to the achievement of an agreement with the Palestinians and security for Israelis. Construction in the settlements and the paving of by-pass roads are unilateral Israeli actions, perpetrated through force, and arousing a violent response. Today, it is also clear that the existence of the settlements endangers the soldiers protecting them.



You have acknowledged the need for contiguity for any Palestinian state established alongside Israel. Therefore, you surely understand that the settlements have neither right nor chance of survival, except within the framework of territorial exchange. YOU MUST ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT AN AGREEMENT IS POSSIBLE ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE 1967 BORDER, FROM WHICH MUTUALLY AGREED UPON MINOR ADJUSTMENTS AND SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE NEGOTIATED.


Peace Now will continue to provide the public with information about the millions of Shekels still pouring into the settlements, the continued confiscation of land and the ongoing construction of more and more houses in the settlements. We will continue our struggle against a settlement policy that sacrifices lives for the sake of a messianic dream that has long since passes into oblivion.

For details: 03-5663291, 02-5660648 email:


To President Clinton,
Today, more than ever, it is clear the State of Israel, and the pro-Israel policy are the main obstacles to the achievement of peace in the Middle East and security for Palestinians. Development in Israel and other unilateral Israeli actions, perpetrated by its very existence, arouse a violent response. Today, it is clear that the very presence of Israel endangers the lives of our people and peace in the Middle East.


You have acknowledged the need for contiguity for all Arab states alongside Israel. Therefore you surely understand that the State of Israel has neither the right nor chance of survival, except within the framework of major territorial concessions. You must also understand that an agreement is possible only on the basis of the 1947 United Nations resolution 181, from which mutually agreed minor adjustments and security arrangements can be determined.


The Palestinian Authority will continue to provide the world with information about the billions of dollars still pouring into the State of Israel, the continued confiscation of land and the ongoing construction of more and more houses in the country. We will continue our struggle against an international policy that sacrifices lives for the sake of a nationalistic dream that has long since passed into oblivion.



To the People of Israel:

Today, more than ever, it is clear that the settlements and their residents are the main obstacle to the achievement of a Palestinian State whose goal is the overtaking of the entire State of Israel. Construction in the settlements and building of new communities are rightful Israeli actions preventing Arab attempts to conquer the State of Israel. Today it is clear that the existence of the settlements forms a protective ring around many major population centers in the State of Israel.






We all acknowledge the necessity for contiguity for Israeli communities within Judea, Samaria and Gazza, as a part of sovereign Israel. Therefore, we must all understand that the settlements are an integral element of our State, offering Israel survival against Arab-Palestinian aggression. This negates all possibility of territorial exchange. We must understand that true peace can be achieved only by a strong Israel, the legitimate borders of which are based upon the victorious results of the 1967 and 1973 wars. These borders will not be negotiated

Friday, November 3, 2000

The Dark Before the Light

The Dark Before the Light
Nov. 3, 2000

Frequently I'm asked, "it looks to be so dangerous in Hebron - why don't you move somewhere else?"

A few days ago I answered that we had considered just that, perhaps moving to Gilo in Jerusalem. The journalist looked at me, and hearing my tone of voice said, "OK, I understand."

There are those who perhaps don't yet understand.

Yesterday is a classic example. Twenty-eight year old Ayelet HaShachar Levy, mother of a 3-year old, was moving from a small (150 families) Binyamin community, northeast of Jerusalem, between Jerusalem and Beit-El. Her destination: downtown Jerusalem. Shacher, as she was known, was getting out of her car to show the moving men where to take her furniture when the car bomb exploded. She was killed instantly.

Shachar's father, Rabbi Yitzhak Levy, chairman of the National Religious Party and former minister of Education, Transportation, and Building, was touring in Gush Katif at the time of the explosion.  Upon hearing reports of the terror attack he became immediately concerned. The attack occurred on the exact road where his daughter was supposed to be moving to, that very day. When he learned that a big truck had been blocking the way of the car-bomb, his fears heightened. On his way back to Jerusalem the Jerusalem District Police Commander called Rabbi Levy on his cell phone, requesting an urgent meeting with him. Rabbi Levy's response: "You don't have to tell me why. I already know."

And then there is the Or family. The Ors live in another Jerusalem neighborhood, called Gilo, on the southern border of the city. Gilo has been under terrorist gunfire attack for the last month. The Ors decided to get away from the action for a little while and made their way to the center of the city to have lunch with the grandparents, who live in the Machane Yehuda part of the city.  Five of the family were injured when the car blew up.

So the next time a journalist asks why we don't move, I'll have a couple of more examples  - trying to express a very simple point: There is no where to run to. Wherever we go, we are marked. It makes no difference if its Hebron, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa or anywhere else. Arafat's henchmen don't care where it is; what's important is - who it is - Jews, living in Eretz Yisrael, in the State of Israel.  Running away just convinces them that they are on the right track - "a little more blood, a little more killing, and for sure, they will abandon the Land of Israel for somewhere else, leaving Palestine to us."

The problem we are facing today is very simple: A war is being fought against us, but we are not treating it like a war. When you are attacked, you must fight back, not run away. Israel's leaders are doing just that, the equivalent of  fleeing. Rather that deal with those attacking us as an enemy, we are dealing with them as "partners" for peace. Clearly, if you don't treat your enemy as an enemy, you cannot defeat him. Clearly, when war is declared against you and, when you are attacked, day after day, night after night, you must act accordingly. That means, not only reacting, but also initiating.

Not only aren't Israel's 'leaders' initiating, they are barely reacting. When three soldiers were killed, two during a fierce battle outside Jerusalem and another by sniper gunfire, Israel's reaction was to send Shimon Peres to beg Arafat for a few days of quiet. According to rumors running around, Peres requested a cease-fire until Sunday, thereby allowing the Saturday night Rabin memorial in Tel-Aviv to take place.  Israel radio reported this morning that Peres literally pleaded with Arafat for 'a week of quiet.'

Is this how you fight a war?

Israeli military commanders are forced to meet with their "parallels" from the other side, to try and reach agreements on 'how to restore the peace.' These Arab terrorist commanders, known a 'policemen,' are the same people initiating and participating in attacks against Jews, both civilians and soldiers. Yet, our officers are forced to sit with them, shake their hands, and act as though nothing happened.

Is this the way to fight a war?

In Hebron, following five weeks of nightly shooting, all is heading back to normal. The curfew is lifted, the shuk is opened, and so what if there is a gunshot here and there - it takes time for Arafat's orders to be implemented, it takes time to calm everyone down.

Is this the way to fight a war?

There is a story told in Jewish sources about two Rabbis walking in a valley when they viewed "Ayelet HaShacher," rays of light breaking through the darkness, moments before dawn. One Rabbi said to the other, "this is the way of Israel's redemption. In the beginning, slowly, slowly. As it proceeds, it gets lighter and lighter." For what reason? "When I sit in the dark, G-d lights  my way."

It may have been decreed that before the light, we must first experience darkness. At present we are still somewhere in between dark and light. They reverberate, back and forth. The light radiated by Rabbi Yitzhak Levy's daughter, Ayelet HaShacher, was extinguished by a terrorist bomb, yet a small ray of light, her three year old daughter, still shines on, albeit much weakened.  The light is starting to break through, but we are still sitting in the dark. Let us hope that soon we will all wake ourselves up, and let the light break through in all its glory. 

Monday, October 23, 2000


July 23, 2000

Am Yisrael is presently marking what is called "the three weeks," an annual period of mourning for the destruction of the first and second Temples, the "Beit HaMikdash." The mourning reaches a climax on the day known as "Tisha b'Av," the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, the day on which both Temples were destroyed, thousands of years ago. Fasting and refraining from any worldly pleasures for 24 hours, from sunset to sunset, commemorate this day. 

Our sages teach us many reasons for the destruction of the most sacred of all sites - located in the "Old City" of Jerusalem, commonly known as "Temple Mount" or, in Hebrew, Har HaBait. These include blind hatred of our brethren, bloodshed, adultery, and idol worship. However, the primary cause of the devastation begins in the days of Moses in the desert, following the exodus from Egypt. Moses sent 12 men to spy in the land of Israel and report back to him. These men were the 'cream-of-the-crop,' the presidents of the twelve tribes, the chosen leadership of the Israelite people. When they returned after 40 days in Eretz Yisrael, this was their report:

'We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great; …'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.' And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature… and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night… said, 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would we had died in this wilderness! And they said one to another: 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.'

Two of the twelve spies had a different reaction - Caleb and Joshua:
And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: 'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…''The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. If the L-RD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it unto us--a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not against the L-RD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defence is removed from over them, and the L-RD is with us; fear them not.'

That night of weeping became a day of weeping over the generations, for that day was the 9th of Av, the very day, centuries later, when the Temple would twice be destroyed and the Jewish people sent into exile.

The events taking place at Camp David give us an opportunity to reverse the sin of the spies, an error that has plagued Am Yisrael through this very day. Their transgression was a rejection of Eretz Yisrael, the land given to us by G-d.  The time has come for the Jewish people to prove that we do want Eretz Yisrael, more than anything else.

The scenario is as follows: Barak, Clinton and Arafat sign an agreement, giving the terrorists control over East Jerusalem, Temple Mount, and about 95% of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. The PLO flag will fly over the Holy-of-Holies on Temple Mount. Gazza's Jewish community is to be evicted as are Jews in Hebron and other settlements. Other communities will be abandoned, their Jewish residents left under Arafat's sovereignty. Barak will announce either general elections or a national referendum, as previously promised.

What can we do? What can YOU do?

All Jews throughout the world, from the United States, Europe, South America, Australia - Jews everywhere, who care about Eretz Yisrael, who reject abandonment of Jerusalem to the terrorists, who refuse to accept the above agreements as an inevitable given, must immediately come to Israel and declare Israeli citizenship. This does not mean that all Jews must presently decide to come live in Israel (even thought that would be nice), rather, for the time being, it is enough to declare citizenship. Offices of the Ministry of the Interior must be packed, day in and day out, with Jews filling out the necessary forms in order to be recognized as legal citizens of the State of Israel, who will have the legal right to vote in all Israeli elections, including the upcoming referendum which will  reject or accept the Barak-Clinton-Arafat-Camp David II Accords.

At a minimum, hundreds of thousands of Jews will declare citizenship. After a few months, (it will take at least three months to organize elections or a referendum) all these Jews will come back to Israel and vote, OVERWHELMINGLY REJECTING THE TREATY WITH ARAFAT.

This is exactly the opposite of what the spies did in the desert when they rejected Eretz Yisrael. Am Yisrael, Jews from Israel and around the world, will declare their allegiance to the Land of Israel by rebuffing the accords intended to abandon the heart of Israel to our arch-enemy, who desires our total annihilation. Only yesterday the spokesperson for Hamas in Gazza, Abdul Rahman Rantisi said, "We must dismantle all the settlements, but first we must dismantle the settlement called Tel Aviv." Rantisi speaks not only for Hamas, but for hundreds of thousands of Arabs living in Gazza, Judea, Samaria AND IN ISRAEL PROPER.

My friends, there is a solution, there really is - but it is dependant not only on the Jews living in Israel, but on Jews all around the world. Eretz Yisrael belongs to all of us, and it is our responsibility and obligation to save Eretz Yisrael for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But not only for them. We must save Eretz Yisrael to sanctify G-d's Name. For what will people say when they see the miracles that have been performed over the years? Who could have imagined that four years after the ovens of Aushwitz Jews would be living in their own State, fighting and defeating Arab armies bent on our destruction? Who could envision the miracles of 1967 or 1973? What will people say when, looking back at history, say, "What happened to those Jews - is this the way they said thank you to G-d - by abandoning the GOOD LAND that He gave them, by repeating the sin of the spies in the desert, thousands of years ago? Why didn't they learn from their errors?"

Friends, how will you be able to look yourselves in the mirror, knowing that you did NOTHING to save Jerusalem - NOTHING to save Hebron - NOTHING to save ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND JEWS ABOUT TO BE ABANDONED BY THE BARAK GOVERNMENT?


My friends, there is a solution, but it includes you too. Do not let us down - do not let yourselves down, do not disappoint the aspirations of the Jewish people over all the generations - those Jews who were burned at the stake because they dared to say, "Next Year in Jerusalem."

Friends, which group do you belong to - the 10 spies who said:
'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we… let us return into Egypt.'

Or the two spies who said:
'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land.'

Now it the time to make your choice. Tomorrow will be too late.
See the web site for details on how to declare Israeli citizenship.

Friday, October 20, 2000

Professor Leech

Professor Leech
October 20, 2000

What is a leech? A leech is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a bloodsucker. A worm. A leech is a type of parasite, sucking the blood of another being, living off of his blood, sucking his life, without giving anything in return.

For example, the Prime Minister of Israel. Ehud Barak prides himself on being a soldier. He served for decades and concluded his career as Commander of the IDF. Barak seems to have forgotten that he removed his uniform and is now a civilian. According to all reports, he runs the Prime Minister's office as if it were a military division. He has surrounded himself with former warriors, whose chief, if not only trait, is loyalty to the boss.

As a soldier, Barak is (was) (perhaps) familiar one of the tenets of the Israeli army, that being "moreshet krav," an expression meaning "battle ethics."  One of the elements of 'moreshet krav' is behavior when a fellow combatant has been wounded on the battlefield. Many soldiers and officers have been wounded and killed while attempting to save an injured fellow soldier, or recover the body of a comrade killed in action.  This is a vital aspect of a soldier's education: he knows that should he be lying on the battlefield, he will not be abandoned, whether he is still alive, or whether he has given his life for his country. He knows that all will be done to insure his medical recovery or, G-d forbid, he will be brought to 'kever Yisrael' and will be properly interred. He knows that he will not be left as fodder for the enemy.

Having come up through the ranks, Barak should be familiar with 'moreshet krav' - with these battle ethics.

That is why it is so difficult to understand why Barak left an Israeli soldier to bleed to death at Kever Yosef, at Joseph's Tomb. That is why it so so difficult to understand why Barak did not respond when three soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah. That is why it is so difficult to understand why Barak allowed Rabbi Binyamin Herling to bleed to death after having been shot by Arab terrorists from the Askar village, outside Shechem.

One of those injured yesterday is a 19-year old named Shmuel. Shmuel was hit in the chest when the shooting began. He was left bleeding, with a hole in his chest, for over five hours. Only after nightfall was he removed. He is still alive today only due to a Divine miracle. The bullet that hit Shmuel went through him, from front to back. It didn't hit his heart, his lungs, or any other vital organs.  And Shmuel didn't bleed to death, in spite of his being abandoned behind a boulder for hours. A genuine miracle. Today Shmuel is recovering in Tel HaShomer hospital, and will hopefully be released early next week. Shmuel is one of the lucky ones.

Another miracle is a 27-year old man named Barak. Barak was hit in the thigh, and too, bled for hours before being evacuated. He, together with Shmuel, had to crawl up the Aival hillside under the cover of darkness, with bullets still whizzing by them.  These two men were in a group further down the hill, where the rocks were larger, and where they had a better chance to take cover.

Rabbi Binyamin Herling, the 64-year old father of eight from Kedumim wasn't so lucky. He was in a group of people further up the hill. He didn't have anywhere to hide. Rather than try to save him, the IDF let him bleed to death.

Of course, Barak isn't the only one responsible. There are others, including the present Chief of Staff, General Shaul Mufaz and the commander of the central region, General Yitzik Eitan. These two men have direct responsibility for the catastrophic death of Rabbi Herling. These are the officers who could have, and who should have given the orders to bomb the source of terrorist gunfire. The shooting would have stopped immediately and Rabbi Herling would still be alive. But they didn't give those orders. They preferred to have mercy on the Arab terrorists and those giving them cover, rather than have mercy on the Israeli civilians who had come under attack. The political repercussions simply weren't worth Rabbi Herling's life.

So much for 'moreshet krav' - so much for those antiquated battle ethics.

These two generals have to go - no soldier will ever be able to look to them, viewing them as an example of what they should be. A soldier who abandons his comrade on the battlefield will never be an officer. An officer who abandons a soldier on the battlefield must be court-martialed. When the very heads of the IDF abandon anyone - be they soldiers or civilians, the time has come for them to take off their uniforms in disgrace. They have no right to continue serving their country, because they are doing their country and their people a disservice.

However, the brunt of the responsibility lies at the top, with the Defense Minister, with the Prime Minister. Barak thinks so much of himself that he holds both these offices, not willing to trust anyone else's judgment. Ehud Barak is, quite clearly, a parasitic leech. Ehud Barak is living off the blood of an Israeli soldier abandoned in Joseph Tomb, left to bleed to death. Barak is living off the blood of Rabbi Binyamin Herling, abandoned on the battlefield to bleed to death. Barak is living off the blood of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

Because he is sitting on top, where 'the buck stops,' Barak should be THE EXAMPLE -THE TEACHER - THE PROFESSOR: to his citizens, to his government, to his officers, to his soldiers.  And so he is. Ehud Barak, the parasite, Ehud Barak, the bloodsucker, Ehud Barak, Professor Leech. A year and a half of Professor Leech sucking and abandoning our blood is enough. With the next elections, with G-d's help very soon, the Israeli people will wrench the leech off our sore-ridden body, cast it aside, and choose anew.

Thursday, October 5, 2000

Moving Targets

Moving Targets
October 5, 2000

At nine o'clock last night several of us met to practice safety procedures for use in times of emergency. We set up a makeshift medical center for emergency treatment. It took about an hour and when finished, we began to clean up and return all the supplies to their storage closets. Then, at exactly 10:00 all hell broke loose. Bursts of automatic gunfire sounded like it was coming from all directions.

After initially taking cover, we all took up positions. I ran upstairs to our Beit Hadassah apartment, and found my wife and children sitting on the floor, as far away from all windows as possible. After a while, when things quieted down, they ran downstairs to my oldest daughter's basement apartment, out of range of all shooting. Other families situated themselves in rooms with no windows facing south, the direction of the Harat al-Shech hills, overlooking the entire Beit Hadassah neighborhood. These hills were 'transferred' to Arafat and the Palestinian Authority following implementation of the 'Hebron Accords,' three and a half years ago. Before the deal was signed we warned of the impending dangers, but were ignored. Then Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, upon hearing of our concerns during a meeting with him, promised, "If they shoot at you from those hills, we'll send in tanks."

So much for Bibi's tanks.

The Beit Hadassah neighborhood was not the only target. The Avraham Avinu neighborhood, a favorite of terrorist snipers, was again hit. Only one night before, the children's kindergarten located in the neighborhood, was shot at and hit, as was a car and several apartments. Last night, at exactly 10:00, shots again rang out, aimed at the neighborhood. The source of the shooting was the Abu-Sneneh hills, towering above the Jewish apartments. These hills too were given to Arafat on a silver platter three and a half years ago. They now house terrorist bases, off-limits to Israeli forces, and ignored, if not spurred on, by Jibril Rajoub, the terrorist thug in charge of Arafat's security in Hebron. Again, several apartments were hit by enemy gunfire, with bullets penetrating several apartments. Kiryat Arba, five minutes outside of the center of Hebron was also shot at by the terrorists.

Fortunately, Israel's security forces were not caught standing idly by. They were prepared for the onslaught. As soon as the Arab gunfire began, they returned fire.  For five hours, until 3:00 am, shots rang back and forth between the Arab-controlled hills and the Jewish neighborhoods. It was nothing less than total war. The intensity of the shooting was deafening. Israeli snipers, stationed at strategic points throughout the area, did not hesitate to do what had to be done. They shot back without restraint.

Male residents of the Jewish neighborhoods, in coordination with the Israeli Defense Forces, took up positions, taking care to guard against any possible infiltration by terrorists. Others assured that families were safe and that no one was hurt. Still others attended to the fighting forces, serving coffee and refreshments during breaks in the shooting.

Expectations for a real, long-term, 'cease-fire' are not high. Already this morning, following Arafat's initial agreement to 'stop the violence' rock-throwing and tire burning has commenced in Hebron. Warnings of additional shooting have been issued to the Jewish residents. If the shooting starts again tonight, nobody will be surprised.

A reporter asked me earlier this morning if Arik Sharon is responsible for this wave of violence, both in Hebron and throughout Judea, Samaria and Gazza. My answer left no room for doubt: "The responsibility for this war lies with those who prepared, and then signed the Oslo Accords six years ago. Those still active in Israeli politics include Yossi Beilin, presently Minister of Justice, and Shimon Peres, also a minister in Barak's government. When Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, this war became inevitable. Together with others in Yesha we warned of the consequences of Oslo. Those warnings fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. Even now, at the peak of fighting, when shots are being fired into Gilo in south Jerusalem, and in Nazereth, and in Acre, and during riots by 'Israeli Arabs' in Jaffa, Israeli ministers insist on reciting the holy mantra: We must continue the peace talks in order to achieve a better future for our children.""

The absurdity has reached inhuman levels. A few days ago Minister Ephraim Sneh was caught in a shooting attack at the Binyamin community Psagot, where people have spent days in bomb shelters due to the shootings. When the attack began Sneh said, "Nu, they're shooting. So what?!"  He also stated, "Just as I disagree with your outlook on settling (Eretz Yisrael), I disagree with your outlook on security." So says a senior minister in an Israeli government.

The attacks on Israelis, both in Hebron and throughout Israel are only part of the problem. Over the last week, much of the country has been paralyzed due to closing of major roads. In many cases the Israeli army, rather than try to insure security on the roads, simply closes them. One of the most  ludicrous instances concerns the trans-Judea highway, leading from Hebron to Ashkelon via Kiryat Gat. This road also provides easy access to Beit Shemesh, bypassing Jerusalem. A few miles out of Hebron is  the Halhul bridge which crosses over the road from above. This bridge is considered to be "area A" which is under total Arafat control. The road is "area C" under Israeli control.

For the past week Arabs have been using the bridge to bombard any moving vehicle with Israeli license plates traveling under it. Rather than send in Israeli troops to take over the bridge, or rather than use one Lowe missle to take the bridge down, Israel has closed the road. This, because the road is in "Arafat territory" and Israeli prefers not to 'react too harshly' to the continued attacks.

What are we doing about the problems at hand? Hebron's leadership is demanding that the IDF be instructed to take any and all actions to protect Jews in Hebron, including excursions into the H1 Arafat controlled territory and the recapturing of the hills overlooking the Jewish neighborhoods of Hebron. Without retaking these hills there is no way to fully guarantee cessation of shooting at the Jewish neighborhoods.

We are also demanding that actions be incorporated to allow reopening of all roads to safe Jewish travel.  If Arabs continue to cause closing of key roads, Israel must employ sanctions which will bring our enemy to its knees. For example, Arab traffic throughout Yesha must be limited, if not totally halted. Also, the entrances from Gazza into Israel proper must be closed, including the "secure passage road."  Arab trucks carrying agricultural produce into Israeli must be prevented from leaving Gazza. These restrictions, together with other security measures that need not be detailed, will create a situation whereby the Arabs realize that they must pay a steep price for their terrorist actions.

The warfare of the past week has put us in the center of the crosshairs of Arab Kalashnikovs and M-16s. This situation cannot, and will not continue. With G-d's help, our primary source of security is the Israeli Defense Forces. They are doing all in their power to offer us safety. Still, their hands are tied, and they face restrictions not allowing them to actualize all measures at their disposal to protect us.  We prefer not to feel forced into implementing measures outside the borders of IDF action.  However, we do not intend to remain moving targets for terrorist sharpshooters crouched in the overlooking Abu-Sneneh and Harat al-Shech hills.

Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light
October 3, 2000

Purim, March, 1997 - three and a half years ago, just 2 months after implementation of the abysmal Hebron accords, then Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "opened" the tunnel in Jerusalem.  So began the first open warfare between Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel.

Arafat's henchmen, dressed up as soldiers, and recognized by the world as "policemen" attacked Israelis throughout Judea, Samaria and Gazza. Needless to say, they did not neglect Hebron. Hebron's Jewish community came under attack, day after day, for an entire month. Rocks and firebombs flew by the dozens, hour after hour, day after day. The Beit Hadassah was literally under attack. For an entire month.

And then, suddenly, the fighting stopped.

For a month. And then it began again. For another month. This time Israeli security forces pushed the attackers back, not allowing them to get close to Beit Hadassah. But the booms of the rubber bullets and the stun grenades did not abate for a month. This time the violence also ended suddenly, after an Israeli soldier was hit by a Molotov cocktail and went up in flames. Israel sent an urgent message to Arafat: If you don't stop the fighting immediately, we are sending the troops in. And the fighting stopped, as if it had never started.

It was later learned that the much of the daily aggression was the work of 'mercenaries.' Arafat paid Arab youth the equivilant of fifty shekels a day to do his dirty work. And they did, for a month.

It was clear then, as it is today, that Arafat was responsible for the attacks. When he gave the OK the rocks and firebombs started flying. When he said stop, it stopped.  An example of red light - green light.
Stop - start; stop - start.

Of course, such is the warfare of the past few days. Much has been written about the reasons for the outbreak of hostilities, but one thing is clear: Arafat has been looking, for a long time, for a good excuse to flash the green light. Israeli intelligence, as has been reported in the press for a few months, warned that Arafat would not sign an agreement until conclusion of an additional round of fighting. Arik Sharon's visit to Temple Mount was just the excuse he was looking for: Green light. Had it not been Sharon there would have been another excuse. It was inevitable.

The inevitability does not stop with a couple of days of fighting. The next round is also unavoidable.  It is just a question of time.  However, now, those who didn't know before, are beginning to realize exactly who we are up against. Israel's Arab population has started to show its true face. They not as loyal and docile as perhaps previously thought.

It is imperative that Arafat's game of red light - green light not remain a one-way street. Others can play the same game too.

This is not to suggest that Israeli citizens take up arms. To the contrary. We must ensure that the IDF receives full cooperation, thereby allowing them to do anything and everything necessary to put down the Arab insurgency and protect Israeli civilians.  But there are measures which can be executed. For example: today's edition of The New York Times includes a front page article by correspondent Deborah Sontag headlined "Suddenly at Arms Again." This is the third paragraph:
"There are bound to be bitter debates about what motivated Ariel Sharon, the opposition leader and veteran hawk, to enter the Islamic holy compound Haram al Sharif under a huge guard last Thursday, given the near-certainty that the Palestinians would see it as a provocation, just as there will be endless debates on whether the Palestinian reaction was spontaneous or orchestrated."

How can the New York Times have the audacity to write about 'the Islamic holy compound Haram al Sharif' without even mentioning (even in parenthesis) that this is also called 'Temple Mount' and according to Jewish tradition, this is the holiest site in the world? 

Again, in the twelth paragraph, "Some senior Israeli officials quietly acknowledge that Mr. Sharon's trip to Haram al Sharif, accompanied by television cameras and hundreds of police officers, set things off."

Then, finally in the next paragraph, "What was Mr. Sharon's motive? Mr. Sharon maintained that it was just an ordinary visit by an Israeli to what Jews call Temple Mount, above the remains of the First and Second Temples — among the holiest sites of Islam, the holiest of Judaism."

Finally, there is some recognition of Jewish

Friday, July 28, 2000

The Deep Dark Secret of Camp David

The Deep Dark Secret of Camp David
July 28, 2000

Upon his return from the US, PM Barak emphasized: "We were not prepared to relinquish three things: the security of Israel, those things that are holy to Israel, and the unity of the our People".

Who does he think he's fooling?

I don't know how Barak defines unity. Does he really believe that the entire country stands behind him?
Does he believe that the Israeli people accept relinquishment of the Jordan Valley, of 90% of Judea and Samaria, of all of the Gazza Jewish Communities?
Does he believe that the Israeli people are ready to swallow Arafat sovereignty in East Jerusalem, including neighborhoods in the "Old City?"
Does he believe that the Israeli people are willing to abandon the Mount of Olives, including the ancient cemetery, containing the graves of such righteous people as the prophet Zacharia, the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh, Rav Kook, and so many other holy people? (Following the 1948 War of Independence, this cemetery was conquered and controlled by Jordan. The graves were desecrated and the gravestones used to pave roads and construct buildings.)
Does Barak really believe that the Israeli people will accept abandonment of Ma'arat HaMachpela? (This holy site was off-limits to Jews and Christians for 700 years, and today, Muslim religious and political leaders state categorically that should this site again come under their control, 'only Muslims will be allowed to pray there'.)
Does Barak really expect the Israeli people to accept Arafat's terrorist flag flying over Temple Mount, the holiest site in the world to the Jewish people?

Perhaps Barak will succeed in unifying the Israeli people - against the horrendous concessions he is yielding to Arafat.

As far as security is concerned: One need go only as far as today's headlines of the Israel Ma'ariv newspaper: "Getting ready for War" and "The Consensus - There will be terror and probably military confrontation."

According to a poll by Smith Research and Consulting and published by the Jerusalem Post, 41% of those polled want new elections. Fifty three percent agree that Barak offered Arafat too much.

But perhaps the most telling statistic is the answer to the question, "Do the Palestinians truly want peace." Sixty percent replied "no."

What really happened at Camp David?

Barak and Arafat REACHED AN AGREEMENT. Israel will abandon about 90% of Yesha, clear out all the communities in Gazza, relinquish the Jordan Valley, and allow sovereignty or 'shared sovereignty' in East Jerusalem and the Old City. By allowing the creation of a 'Palestinian State' Israel will 'receive' peace, and 'an end to the conflict' while expelling or abandoning some 50,000 'settlers' living in Judea, Samaria and Gazza.

However, Barak, Arafat and Clinton were all too aware that 'back home' - both Israelis and Arabs would vociferously protest the agreement: Israelis, because it is 'too much' (as the polls show) and the Arabs because it is 'not enough.' So, they decided to declare the summit a failure, go back home, and convince everyone of the great gains they had accomplished, thereby allowing everyone to 'get used to the facts' slowly. Barak's brainwashing campaign is underway - attempting to confuse the issues by stressing the 'great accomplishments of the summit.'

"We were not prepared to relinquish three things: the security of Israel, those things that are holy to Israel, and the unity of the our People".
Again and again, again and again, again and again - classic brainwashing.

The three have until September 13, the 'DAY' on which Arafat intends to unilaterally declare a 'palestinian state,' to win everyone over.  They will announce the mutual acceptance of the 'compromise agreement' a few days before this crucial date, and 'everyone will go home a winner.'

This assessment is backed up by two news features appearing in today's Israeli press -  According to an article in today's Haaretz newspaper by Akiva Eldar:
"U.S. President Bill Clinton will appear on Israeli television to express his support for the positions put forward by Prime Minister Ehud Barak and to promise that the United States will move its embassy to West Jerusalem after Israel signs an agreement with the Palestinians.

Barak telephoned the White House and requested the president's assistance in dealing with the difficult political problems he now faces back at home. Clinton will thus tomorrow give a television interview (most probably with Channel One) in which he will state his country's commitment to Israel's security and welfare. Clinton is also expected to promise that the United States will lay the corner stone of its new embassy in West Jerusalem as soon as Israel signs a peace agreement with the Palestinians."

More brainwashing, mixed with a little bribery and American interference in internal Israeli affairs.

Also, Israel radio reported that Clinton has declared that a 'unilateral declaration of palestinian statehood would be very damaging to US-PA relations.'

This spells out a 'no choice' alternative, to both Barak and Arafat, offering them an 'out' - an excuse to their 'peoples' saying, 'we had no choice' …..

But, it's not going to work. Next week Foreign Minister David Levy is resigning from the government. This is too much, even for him.  I cannot say we have always agreed with David Levy, but he is the only minister in the Barak government who warned against 'extreme decisions' and refused to participate in the summit, even though he was invited.

This knockout blow will leave Barak with almost no option but to call a general election. He may very well lose a no-confidence vote in the Knesset next week, thereby forcing new elections. His crumbling government cannot and will not hold up much longer. When the elections are called, we will have to do everything possible to ensure that Barak and his deep dark Camp David secret are soundly defeated at the polls.