A Voice from Hebron -- January 4, 1999
How does one get used to living with terror and murder? How is
it possible that we Jews, who have been persecuted by nearly every
nation in the world, can agree to accept terror in our own homeland,
especially when it is under our control? These are questions which
most prefer not to even ask, much less consider addressing. Is
there any circumstance imaginable which can justify a powerful
Jewish nation agreeing to accept the fact that it must tell its
citizens to live with terror?
To call our present situation humiliating is an understatement.
It is criminal for any nation to accept terror as something it
must live with.......especially when that nation is well able
to put an end to that terror. After repeated brutal acts of murder
and attempted murder, our government still insists upon respecting
the "rights" of our enemies to live amongst us and to
choose the time and place to attack our civilians. Further, it
has provided those enemies with safety zones, within our own country,
to which they can and do escape capture.
This morning, as I was leaving the Machpelah building after morning
prayers, I heard a loud and long volley of automatic weapons fire.
It was disconcerting, but not really unusual to hear gunfire in
Hebron. Then, as I was beginning to drive home, I saw a white
van pull up to the police station in front of Machpelah and sound
its horn furiously. I got out of my car and walked over, horrified
to see the entire left side of the van riddled with bullet holes.
Most of the occupants were women, including kindergarten teachers,
who were on their way to Hebron from Kiryat Arba.
From the little I could see, despite the incredible amount of
shooting, most people were unharmed. I did not want to interfere
with the security and medical personnel so I left without really
knowing all the details. We learned later that two women were
seriously injured, but, miraculously, all survived the attack.
This is not the first attack upon Jewish civilians in Hebron.
. . but there is no reason why it should not be the last. How
many Jews need to be murdered in cold blood before we get the
message that the Arabs are not prepared to live in peace with
Jews? This is not a matter of semantics. Jews are targets, sitting
ducks for terrorist murderers who have been given weapons and
escape zones by a Jewish government! How it warms my heart to
hear that my defense minister, Yitzchak Mordechai, is calling
upon the PLO to catch the murderers! Did it not occur to this
genius that it was the PLO who sent these murderers? How many
more Jewish lives will he entrust to his friend Arafat before
he comes to the conclusion that only the IDF can and will defend
and protect Jews?
Every day Jews, who travel on our new bypass roads, are attacked
by Arab stone throwers. The idea of spending millions of dollars
on these new roads was to avoid attacks by bypassing Arab villages.
Why did it not occur to the planners of this concept of security
that the Arabs are able to climb on the hills overlooking the
new roads and pelt our cars with rocks? One would expect that
firm measures would be taken to protect our civilians. Instead
we are forced to run the gauntlet every day, and Arab traffic
is being given a "safe passage zone". Why can't Jews
have a safe passage zone?
It is we who are guilty for the terror and bloodshed in our country. Once we rewarded the intifada with recognition of the PLO and the surrender of Jewish land to Arafat, we only whetted the appetites of our murderers to demand more and more. This is not surprising. What is surprising is the fact that our government has continued to give them more and more, thus guaranteeing greater amounts of terror, and, eventually a war which will see our enemies in a far better position to destroy us than they could ever have hoped to have achieved under any other circumstances. By "being strong" and postponing the Wye agreements, Netanyahu challenged our enemies. Having learned from our past behavior, the Arabs have decided to return to the intifada, which worked in the past. The real challenge for our prime minister is to prove to the Arabs that this time it won't work. And the only way to do that is to respond to attacks brutally and conclusively. If not, we are back where we started.
If Netanyahu gave away 80% of Hebron to Arafat, the least he could
do would be to transfer 100% of our Arabs out of our 20% and create
a security zone where it would be possible to prevent any attacks
upon Jews. This is not a matter of diplomacy. It is a matter of
life and death. Thus it should be of the highest priority.
We are on the eve of elections. Where are the voices of our wouldbe
leaders? Is there a contender for leadership who has the courage
to express his interest in protecting the safety of his citizens
other than to repeat the cliche "peace with security".
We have nothing remotely resembling either peace or security.
It is all lies. We like the words, but the music is off key. When
election day comes I will only vote for a candidate who openly
declares how he intends to protect Jews from our enemies. If we
have no candidate who is even thinking of taking back our country
from those who are trying to take it from us then we have nothing
to vote for.