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