The Freeman Center and all its members wish Israel a hearty Mazal Tov on the 50th anniversary of its independence. Unfortunately, our joy is diminished by our knowledge that the foolish pursuit of the Oslo Accords will ultimately cause Israel to disappear from the face of the earth. I have said it many times before, yet I must repeat the following statement on this special Yom Hatzmaut
We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution, expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls.
It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly cautious not to fall for a psuedo-peace that is really the wolf of war wrapped in sheep's clothing. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. Why do some Jews believe that Peres and Rabin really negotiated PEACE with Arafat, one of today's Hitlers?
Israelis my age have fought in four wars and I understand their desire to be free of constant conflict. Unfortunately there is no magic cure. I wish I could write more optimistic words. Beyond the neighboring states that Israel is negotiating with now lies another ring of unmitigated hostility led by Islamic fundamentalists like those in Iran.
As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.
In blood and fire was Israel born and on a hot anvil was she forged. The brave young soldiers of Israel must take a quick glance back to the crematoria of Auschwitz and then go forth to face the enemy knowing that there is still no alternative (ein breira).
Many Israelis, including both right and left, are under the illusion that they can leave Lebanon and be protected by Syria, Lebanon, the UN or the tooth fairy. Some believe the threat of massive Israeli retaliation will prevent violence on the northern border. No foreign group will ever protect Israel and no promises to Israel will ever be kept. Israel's ability to massively retaliate will be inhibited in the future, exactly as it is now.
On the other hand, it is not a hopeless situation where young Israeli soldiers go to become human targets of the Hizballah. We suggest the following: (1) Announce a massive retaliation policy against Syrian bases in Lebanon and Lebanese infrastructure including Beirut in the event of Hizballah attacks on IDF or SLA soldiers. (2) Then follow through without discussion with foreigners.
After 50 years of independence it is past time for Israeli leaders to stop seeking advice or approval from the Americans. America is a wonderful country, but its foreign policy goals are not identical to Israel's. In fact during the last 50 years American diplomacy as tended to prevent the achievement of major Israeli goals. Israel's wars with the Arabs were never alloyed to become total victories. The Arabs were always resuscitated and allowed to re-group and re-arm for the next battle. Israel has been severely damaged by the major American effort at Camp David and Oslo. As for Europeans, they should be advised to discuss peace with Jews of Auschwitz.
I am sick of Israeli leaders discussing what Arafat "has to do" before Oslo can proceed. Wake up, four years has passed and Arafat will not become a boy scout. Trust me. "A leopard does not change its spots. And you can say a berachaha (Hebrew blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand --before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime." [Freeman Center press release, September 3, 1993] To all concerned with Israel's future: Terminate Oslo now!
This has been a bad week for morality and integrity. We feel compelled by our sense of truth and justice to issue the following three condemnations:
1. We condemn British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook who came to Israel this week with a pro-Arab agenda. Cook intended to tour Har Homa with Feisal Husseini to dramatically push his belief that Jerusalem is "occupied Arab territory." He was dissuaded from this provocative act, though continued to babble Arab propaganda at every opportunity.
We have a long memory. We remember how the British gave 80% of the land reserved for the Jewish State by the League of Nations Mandate to set up a new Arab State for King Abdullah. We remember how the British slammed the doors of Palestine shut to Jews trying to escape the inferno of the Holocaust. We remember how they armed the Arabs to destroy the Yishuv. We remember how they turned over their fortresses (Taggart) to the Arabs before leaving in 1948. And we remember how they disarmed Jewish defenders of Israel. Yes, a lot of Jewish blood is on the hands of the British Foreign Ministry Officers. We would advise Cook that we want neither his advice nor presence in Eretz Yisrael.
2. We condemn the Vatican's new document on the Holocaust. Israel's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau also rejected the Vatican statement as "too little too late." The Vatican, contrary to its promises to Jewish leaders failed to apologize for the Church's role in making the Holocaust possible.
Again, we have a long memory. The crimes of the Catholic Church read like the definitive portrait of evil. Under Church direction Jews were pillaged, tortured, murdered, deported, forcibly converted, robbed and brutalized in ways so horrible that the mind can not handle the horror. To this day the Vatican holds a vast storehouse of Jewish ceremonial objects and ancient Hebrew texts plundered from Jewish communities all over Europe. During World War II, the Church became money launderer and protector of the Nazis. At the same time they condemned millions of Jews to extermination by not having the moral courage to say that mass murder was wrong. We say to the Vatican: We don't want your self-serving documents. Return our property and then sink to your knees and beg forgiveness from the victims of your evil activities throughout nearly two thousand years.
3. We condemn the Israeli Foreign Ministry for releasing a statement blaming the violence in Hebron on its Jewish community. This slanderous and totally false charge must be repudiated in the strongest terms by the Israeli leadership. After a week of Arab violence and attacks on Jews and Israeli soldiers, we are amazed and disappointed by this uncalled for statement. Shame on you.
4. And the report, LAW ENFORCEMENT IN HEBRON
Discrimination and Perversion of Justice, made me mad as
hell. See the accompanying story LAW
ENFORCEMENT IN HEBRON, Discrimination and Perversion of Justice.
.......Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor