A Voice from Hebron [September 30, 1997]


By Gary M. Cooperberg

Were you to walk down Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem today, or go shopping in the market place at Mahane Yehuda, it is not likely that you would see any indication of the devastation caused by terrorist suicide bombers just weeks ago. Jews have very short memories, and usually it takes no more than two weeks for us to put unpleasantness out of our minds and continue to believe that we can make peace with murderers.

Thus it really doesn't come as much of a surprise to learn that our "strong" leadership is already abandoning the "tough" policy of boycotting talks until the PLO honors its obligations, including: extraditing terrorists to Israel; dismantling the terrorist infrastructure; and changing the PLO covenant. David Levy is already laying the groundwork to renew the moribund Oslo sellout.

On Sunday morning it was announced on Israel radio that the IDF is considering taking new measures to handle the situation in Hebron. It seems that, at long last, our military leaders are beginning to realize what we had been telling them even before the Hebron pullout. The Jewish Community in Hebron is in grave danger. The tiny Jewish community is surrounded by an overwhelming hostile enemy population. The situation now, thanks to the "peace process", is further exacerbated by the introduction of a veritable PLO army which can and will lead and orchestrate very effective murderous attacks against the Jewish population.

Even before the abandonment of Hebron, Rabbi Levinger very clearly explained his assessment that, if things do not drastically change, the PLO will be in a position to wipe out the entire Jewish Community of Hebron, together with its IDF protectors, within two hours. . . and even if they had no guns!

Defense Minister Mordechai sloughed the threat off with his meaningless suggestion that Jews and Arabs must learn to live together. So it comes as an unusual sudden "awakening" to hear the IDF suggest that if things heat up further it will be necessary to remove the women and children from Hebron and leave only armed men of military age to join with the regular army to fight the PLO.

On the one hand it is truly pathetic that it took so long for our army to recognize the reality of the situation. On the other hand it is good that such an awakening took place before tragedy strikes. And, if we had a third hand, we would ask, "Why are we still seeking to continue the charade of Oslo?"

The answer is simple. We don't want war. Nobody really wants war. But war, like breathing, seems to be a fact of life. If you choose not to accept it. . . you perish. Peace is always made by those who choose not to fight any more. Another definition of those who choose not to fight is "loser". Losers, upon being defeated, give up and make peace by accepting the dictates of the winners, those who are stronger. The strange thing with Israel is that, despite the fact we are consistent winners, we insist upon behaving like losers. And, what is worse, while we have always been good winners who had mercy upon our defeated enemies, we know that our enemies would destroy us totally if they could. Honestly we have no choice but to fight. In spite of this we seek to negotiate with our would-be-murderers.

Just stop for a minute and consider the absurdity of the negotiations. The PLO demands that Israel stop building homes and charges this country with provoking war by so doing. Israel demands that the PLO cease murdering Jews, as if that were a parallel demand. Thus, the compromise solution is that Israel stop living and then the PLO will stop murdering us. Again I ask the question, "How can any rational people negotiate the pace of its own self destruction, and treat it as a peace process?"

Netanyahu has done exactly as predicted. He has backed down on his demands and has declared that Arafat has begun to crack down on terror. Since Arafat is such a good boy, it only stands to reason that we resume the negotiations of the terms of Israel's surrender to the PLO. First and foremost we agreed, in principle, to take a "time out" in building in our homeland. Although, admittedly, this has not yet been defined in precise terms, the very fact that Netanyahu agreed to the concept is a tremendous concession to the PLO. It is an admission that Jewish building is an obstacle to "peace". Such an admission is a clear invitation for further pressure against Israel to build and grow in her own homeland.

There is no point in arguing about our rights if we have already, in advance of any future agreements, conceded, in principle, that the PLO has rights in our homeland. Once again our brilliant and eloquent prime minister has put his foot in his mouth. Further, he has gone on record as saying that, since Arafat is really trying to stop terror, even if more bombs go off the talks will continue. Thus even his most basic demand, not to talk peace while acts of terror are being committed, has been withdrawn.

Not only has our prime minister failed to act with Jewish pride and self respect, he has failed to live up to even his own minimum demands of reciprocity! It will never be an Arafat who will stop terror. Only the Jewish army can and will do that. For as long as we insist upon negotiating with those who plot our destruction we invite the terror which continues to plague us. This is clearly fulfillment of Deuteronomy VII vs. 2, and Numbers XXXIII vs 53, 55:

"And when the L-rd thy G-d shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell."

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