Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio -- May 18, 1999
BEYOND ABU DIS
By Jay Shapiro
KAFKA WOULD BE PROUD
Last week, we witnessed events that can only be described as surrealistic, even Kafka-esque: The Prime Minister of Israel decided to give part of Jerusalem away to terrorists whose aim it is to destroy us. As the Knesset was in the midst of voting, PLO terrorists - using weapons we had ourselves provided - were shooting at IDF forces throughout the country.
CONVERGENCE OF INTERESTS
The people that have made these events possible are the coalition of the post-Zionist Israeli left, ruthless power merchants like Barak, Ministers Ramon and Ben Ami, and Israel's very own anti-Israel, anti-Jewish Arabs. Post-Zionists are those who are no longer interested in Israel as a state of the Jewish people - a state with ties to the Jewish Diaspora and roots in Jewish history. Guiding the legal side of the post-Zionist agenda is Chief Justice Aharon Barak and the Supreme Court, while politicians such as Oslo architect Yossi Beilin steer government policy. Neither the power merchants nor the post-Zionist left believe in the holiness of the Land of Israel, nor in the unique mission of the Jewish people. The post-Zionists actively oppose such ideals, while the power merchants are simply indifferent to them.
There is yet another group not yet mentioned: those who can be corrupted by the above coalition. An analysis of the Abu Dis vote in the Knesset shows us precisely who they are. The vote was 56 in favor and 48 against the giveaway. Conventional wisdom suggests that the eight Shas members who chose not to be present for the vote were told to do so in order to collect a 50-million shekel payment to the party's school system - what I would call "narrow party considerations." Had these 8 Shas members voted against the giveaway of Jerusalem neighborhoods, it would not have passed.
As far as Yisrael B'Aliyah is concerned, if party chief Natan Sharansky had not left the Knesset but had rather stayed to vote against, the number of opponents would have totalled 57. That same evening, Sharansky had the nerve to appear at a demonstration in Jerusalem protesting the giveaway. For reasons known only to himself, Sharansky chose his ministerial seat over the unity of Jerusalem. It is sad to see how, in a few short years, Sharansky has undergone a transition from a person who symbolized the triumph of the human spirit - to a small-time politician. I say this with great sadness. He is a historical figure whose golden halo has become tarnished by politics.
Even the National Religious Party finally reached a red line it could not cross. Rabbi Yitzchak Levy resigned his position because the unity of Jerusalem and the Jewish people are more important than coalition considerations and a seat in the government.
ROUNDING OUT THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE
The last group in this unholy alliance are Israel's Arabs, who express overt support for our enemies. They exercise a significant yet subtle influence on the direction of the country, as well. It is commonly believed that, with the withdrawal from Lebanon, Ehud Barak capitulated to groups like The Four Mothers. His real reason for leaving Lebanon, however, may lie in several items that receive very little coverage in the Israeli media. One example: In central Israel, not far from the airport, are two "mixed" towns of Arabs and Jews: Lod and Ramle. In both places, but especially in Lod, the Arabs have engaged in illegal building on a massive scale. During the most recent elections, this was a major campaign issue; in fact, the local mayor was elected on a platform to halt just such activity. According to the mayor of Lod, more than 1,000 illegal buildings have been erected in the last few years by local Arabs.
The City of Lod successfully obtained court orders for the destruction of most of these buildings. Eight months ago, the mayor took action and tore down one structure. In response, hundreds of Arabs - led by some Arab Knesset members - rioted, stoned cars, destroyed property and began to rebuild the illegal structure. As the city authorities prepared to raze it again, none other than Shimon Peres intervened and asked the mayor to stop. In exchange, Peres promised that he would get the Arabs to stop the building. Nothing was done and the structure was re-built. Since then, municipal authorities have been powerless to impose the law as police refuse to execute the court orders. According to the minutes of a meeting held between the police and the city authorities, the police say that Prime Minister Ehud Barak has instructed them not to act on this matter.
It's my sense that Barak did not decide on a retreat from Lebanon, a move that endangers Israel's northern communities, because of the protests of a few Jewish women's groups. Rather, to hold onto power, he will do all that he feels necessary to placate the Arabs - because he needs their votes. It may be true that the Arabs will never vote for a right-wing candidate - but they may very well vote for other Arab parties or even stay home on election day.
Jabotinsky, the Zionist leader, was surprised time and again by the refusal of people to accept the logic of his conclusions when he exhorted them to leave Europe in the 30's. Max Nordau, the Zionist leader, explained with painful simplicity, "Logic is the wisdom of Greece, which our nation abhors. A Jew does not learn through logical thinking, he learns from tragedy. He will not buy an umbrella just because clouds have appeared on the horizon. He will wait until he is drenched and catches pneumonia."
We cannot afford to wait. The storm has already begun, and everybody must do all that he or she can. Rabbi Tarfon, in Ethics of the Fathers, said: "The day is short, the task is great, the workmen are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is insistent. You are not called upon to complete the work, yet you are not free to evade it." Today, mid-way between the Festival of Freedom and the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, our future is in our hands. Jews and Lovers of Zion around the world - those dedicated to Israel's survival as a Jewish state - must remain strong and undaunted. Despite all the pain caused by the developments of the last few years, we will continue to battle our enemies while simultaneously engaging in the crucial spiritual-cultural battle with our brothers from within. Through our efforts and Divine help, let us pray that we succeed in preserving the State of Israel as a distinctly Jewish country.
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Jay Shapiro heads a consulting firm dealing with United States Government contracting. Host of a popular current events show on Arutz-7 English broadcasts, he has worked extensively to promote aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. Mr. Shapiro is the author of several books of essays about Israel describing trends of Israeli societal alienation from cultural, national, and religious roots that threaten the existence of the state. For information, e-mail <jay@IsraelNationalRadio.com>.