Wednesday, October 30, 1996

Impending Disaster?

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
by David Wilder
Impending Disaster?
October 30, 1996

Yesterday, tens of thousands of Israelis poured into
a storm-struck Jerusalem to protest the planned
abandonment of Hebron. In New York, a group of concerned
Jews chanted in front of the Israeli consulate, "Don't
abandon Hebron." This morning a personal representative
of President Clinton visited Hebron to learn, first-hand,
about Hebron.
And the negotiations continue.

Two major issues must be confronted. The Jewish
Community of Hebron has learned that all Jewish property,
including the buildings presently lived in by Jewish
residents, and all the property owned by Jews prior to
the 1929 massacre, is to be transferred to total
palestinian control. All Jewish property in Hebron was
held by a Jordanian `guardian' following the forced
removal of the surviving Jews in 1929. In 1967, with the
return of Israel to Hebron, an Israeli `guardian' had
official authority over all Jewish land and houses. This
authority is now to be transferred to a palestinian
Should this actually happen, all construction,
anywhere in Hebron, on Jewish property, will be dependent
on permission from the palestinian `guardian.' HE WILL

The second issue to be addressed concerns
administrative detention and curfews. According to media
accounts in all Israeli newspapers today, the "Shabak" -
otherwise known as Israeli intelligence, is demanding
that dozens of `right-wing extremists,' especially from
Hebron and the Hebron area, be placed under immediate
administrative detention. There are also rumors that a
curfew will be placed upon Jews in Hebron-Kiryat Arba
before commencement of abandonment. There are reports
that `redeployment' will be implemented by the end of
next week, should the agreement be signed.

The time has come for the Netanyahu government to
reveal, to one and all, its true self. We have assumed,
based on previous statements, declarations, and actions,
that Bibi Netanyahu's heart is actually in the `right
place,' in spite his continued implementation of the Oslo
curse. Netanyahu is, at least in theory, not Shimon
Peres. There really is no need to enumerate why we
worked so hard to put him in office. The reasons are
known to all.
However, it is possible that we were mistaken, and
should that be the case, our error is very grave, indeed.
The above-described intentions to transfer all Jewish
property to Arafat is more drastic than the original
`Peres-Arafat' agreement. How does a government, elected
on a platform guaranteeing continued Jewish development
in Hebron, literally strangle the existing Jewish
community!? How can a Prime Minister who has written
books on combating terrorism, reward Arafat with more
than even Peres was willing to do? How can an Israeli
administration create a situation making Hebron, de jure,
Judenrein? Jews have no property rights, no land rights,
in Hebron, the cradle of Jewish civilization? If we
have no land rights in Hebron, if we can't walk freely
and live normally in the city of Abraham, what
justification do we have in Tel-Aviv or Haifa. If Hebron
is defined as `conquered territory,' what is the status
of Jerusalem. Ma'arat HaMachpela is 3,700 years old.
The Kotel is 2,000 years old.

Administrative detention is a means to incarcerate
suspected terrorists. It is a procedure utilized to
combat terrorist attacks and, used properly, is a very
effective tool. However, the previous administration
began using it to smother political activists whose ideas
and philosophies differed from their own. In a
democratic state, a person suspected of committing a
crime is indicted and tried in a court of law. If found
guilty, he is punished. If acquitted, he is released.
There is no justification to restrict movement of any
citizen in a free, democratic state, and all the more so,
a person may not be imprisoned without just cause and due
process of law.
The previous administration used administrative
detention and house arrest to stifle political
expression. Baruch Marzel, prevented from leaving his
home for over two and a half years, has now been
presented with an additional renewed administrative house
arrest order. As reported above, tens of Jews may soon
be arrested by order of the Netanyahu government, in
complete contradiction to due process of law.
Should the Netanyahu government actually execute
these orders, and, at the same time, while abandoning
Hebron, transfer all property rights to Arafat, Israel
will truly be facing catastrophe, no less than that
threatened by the preceding Peres administration. This
impending disaster is not so much going to be caused by
our enemies. Rather our own government, a
`nationalistic' regime, may bring upon its own people
devastation beyond belief.

The only consolation I have to offer is that if we,
the Jewish Community of Hebron have anything to say or do
about it, it will not happen.

Friday, October 25, 1996

Sitting Ducks

Sitting Ducks
October 25, 1996

     A couple of days ago an Arab, identified as a
"palestinian from Hebron" was interviewed on Kol Yisrael
radio.  He told Yoni ben Menachem that Hebron's Arabs are
hoarding weapons and are `preparing a surprise' for
Hebron's Jewish population.   The interview was
publicized in the Israeli press, including an article in
the Jerusalem Post.   Reaction to this explicit threat to
kill Jews in Hebron was negligible.
     I wonder what would happen if a Jew, identified as
an `extremist from Hebron,' interviewed on Israeli radio,
announced intentions to `surprise Hebron Arabs,' using
illegal weapons, cached for just this  purpose.  The
truth is I know exactly what would happen. As does
everyone else.  A massive witch hunt, led by the Israeli
left, with assistance from softhearts stationed somewhere
near the political center, would demand immediate
confiscation of all weapons held by all Jews in Hebron,
Kiryat Arba, and elsewhere throughout Yesha.  The Israeli
media would spend days on all the radio and TV talkshows
analyzing the renewal of violence as a tool by `Israeli
right-wing fanatics' to further their `cause,' against
the will of a majority of the Israeli public.
     However, when an Arab says the same thing, everyone
sits back and shuts up.
     Kiryat Arba Mayor Tzvi Katzover expressed the
thoughts and feelings of many of us when he declared that
we will not sit back and allow ourselves to be sitting
ducks, waiting to be picked off by the same snipers, and
others like them, who shot and killed Israel soldiers a
few weeks ago.  Is that an implied threat?  No - it is
not a threat - it is a promise.  We will not initiate
armed violence against Hebron's Arab population, or any
other population, for that matter.  But WE WILL NOT BE
SITTING DUCKS.  We will not relive the 1929 bloodbath
that left 67 Jews dead in Hebron, with the rest of the
community forcibly exiled from the City of the
Patriarchs.  If we are endangered, if we are attacked, we
expect the Israel Defense Forces to act as they act
anywhere and everywhere else in Israel.  If anyone, Arab
or otherwise, thinks that we will cluster together and
allow ourselves to br slaughtered, they are wrong.  If we
are attacked, we will not stand idly by.  The Jews in
1929 had little choice - they had no defense.  As a
matter of fact, they refused to heed warnings from
Jerusalem and rejected offers of taking arms to protect
themselves.  They believed that Hebron's Arabs were truly
their friends, good next-door neighbors.  They erred, and
the mistake was deadly.  We will not make that mistake
     It should also be clear that, as far as we are
concerned, there are no borders in Hebron.  Regardless of
any proposed division of territory between Arabs and Jews
in Hebron, should a terrorist propose to escape the long
reach of Israeli justice by taking refuge in an
`autonomous region' he will not escape unpunished.

I am presently located in New York, working on Hebron
awareness, as well as the Hebron Solidarity Concert to be
held next Sunday, November 3, at Town Hall in NYC.  The
Hebron Community sent me to the US as an official
representative of the community at this crucial time.  In
spite of the need to continue working around the clock in
Hebron, a decision was reached to present the truth here
in the US - a truth which is usually ignored or perverted
by international media.  I've spoken at a number of
forums and speaking engagements, and usually the reaction
is mixed.  Some people, when they hear and understand
what is really happening in Hebron are shocked.  Others,
having had some previous idea of the situation, ask
immediately what they can do to help.  And very honestly,
I have been, together with Judy Tisser Grossman, Director
of Public Relations for the Jewish Community of Hebron,
extremely disappointed by New York-New Jersey `real'
reaction to the current state of affairs in Hebron.
     We have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the
abandonment of Hebron is to be reality in a very short
period of time.  All municipal authority is to be
controlled by Yassir Arafat.  Armed Arabs are to be
stationed in the hills overlooking the Jewish Community
of Hebron.  The future of Ma'arat HaMachpela is to be
negotiated three months after implementation of the
withdrawal-surrender of Israel to Arafat's whims.
     How do we expect people to react?  We have made
several requests.  People can fax PM Netanyahu, reminding
him of his past promises concerning Hebron, and
beseeching him to stand strong against demands made by
terrorists who continue to kill Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
Bibi Netanyahu's heart is in the right place.  We just
have to make sure he doesn't cave in to external
     The other request we have had, is that people show
active support for continued presence in Hebron by
attending and assisting our Solidarity concert.  The idea
of a concert is to allow people to help Hebron
financially, but at the same time, giving them something
special in return.  Our goal was to return to Hebron with
enough money to allow us to begin construction of the new
apartment building, Beit Nahum b'Yehuda, in the Avraham
Avinu neighborhood.  Unfortunately, response has been
ghastly. Some `friends' of Hebron have spread rumors that
the concert was sold out.  This is not true.  Others said
that it was canceled.  This is also a lie.  But, people
are telling us that the tickets are `too expensive.'  It
seems that the real point of helping Hebron today, when
that help is so desperately needed, has been lost.  The
apathy and uncaring is unbelievable.  I receive many
`congratulations' after speaking, but very little more
than that.  Judy and I are facing a situation where we
may have to go back to Hebron and inform our friends that
in New York, we couldn't find 1,500 people to fill up an
auditorium to support Hebron.  I will feel quite ashamed
should I have to actually do this.
     Anyone who wants to help Hebron, for real, can do so
by calling 718-575-0056. Order tickets to the Hebron
concert.  If you don't want the tickets, we will see to
it that someone else receives them. If no one answers the
phone, leave a message and we will get back to you.  Now
is the time to help Hebron.

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

Will the Real Bibi Please STAND UP

Will the Real Bibi Please STAND UP
October 16 1996

Jews have, relentlessly, bent over backwards, and
sometimes even stood on their heads, to appease world
opinion. Even the iron-willed David Ben Gurion saluted to
Eisenhower's orders following the Sinai War in 1957.
However, over the years, the demands have increased, the
pressure has multiplied, and Israel has, unfortunately,
complied.  Perhaps the greatest error the State of Israel
ever made was when Menachem Begin initiated the Oslo
Accords - yes, you read right - when Menachem Begin
initiated the Peres-Arafat Agreement in 1979, at Camp
David.  The Camp David accords set a major precedent by
abandoning and uprooting Jewish communities, and, worst
of all, allowed for the commencement of  `autonomy talks'
concerning the `West Bank.'  Geula Cohen, former MK of
the Techiya and Likud parties and long-time right-wing
activist, cried the day Camp David was passed in the
Knesset, wailing, "This is the beginning of the end of
Judea and Samaria."

     Yitzhak Shamir, a man of platinum nerves, was forced
into attending the Madrid Conference by Bush-Baker.
Rabin-Peres didn't have to be pressured - they initiated
the Arafat talks themselves.  But today, we are facing a
new situation.  Israel has relinquished huge amounts of
territory and has received in return, bullets.  When Bibi
Netanyahu spoke of reciprocity before the US Congress,
the expectation was that all Israeli concessions would
end until Arafat began living up to his side of the
agreement.  He was supposed to stop terrorism, change the
palestinian covenant, extradite murderers, remove illegal
arms from Arab terrorists, etc. etc. Instead, he did nothing.  No,
excuse me, that's not correct - he gave orders to his
crack sniper squad formerly of  Force 17, to start
shooting Israeli soldiers in Gaza, Ramallah, and
Shechem.  There were two `official' excuses: the
Jerusalem tunnel episode, and frustration over lack of
`progress' concerning abandonment of Hebron.  Extremely
suitable, understandable reasonable reasons  to kill
Israeli soldiers.

     I had no doubt whatsoever, that following this
pogrom Hebron had ceased to be a topic for negotiation.
Can any leader, in his right mind, continue to transfer
ANY land to a self-proclaimed enemy, who continues to
spout violence as a solution to `frustration?!'
However, it seems that Bibi is bending.

     The following is a quote from Thursday, September 7,
1995:  Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu led a delegation
of 14 Likud MKs to Hebron yesterday to show solidarity
with the Jewish settlement there, and said that he and
his colleagues will come to Hebron if a decision to
uproot the settlement is taken.  "The Jewish settlement
will remain in Hebron permanently," Netanyahu said.  "If
someone tries to take it away, my friends and  I will be
here, and they will have to take us away as well".

Netanyahu said he thinks "it will be a fatal mistake to
bring hundreds of armed Palestinian policemen here, and
there will be  a small area where the Jews can pass and
where the police and IDF can operate.  If there will be a
conflict, the IDF will not be  able to function and will
quickly collide with the Palestinian forces.  This is a
prescription for tragedy". Netanyahu said he is worried
about a time when there will be an attack in one of the
alleys, and the attackers will run to  the area under
Palestinian control.  Netanyahu said it is impossible to
divide responsibility for security in Hebron: 'There is
one body responsible, and that has to be the IDF".

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was elected to be
Prime Minister of the State of Israel.       

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was supported by hundreds of
thousands of Jews around the world.

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who said on Monday,
May 13, 1996  "redeployment should be put off until the
final settlement. Hebron is a very complicated problem.
It is the oldest Jewish settlement in the world, and the
Jewish community there is in  great danger.  We all
remember what happened in 1929.  It is preferable that
such a complex matter be carefully considered at the
final status talks."

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was supposed to
transpose the Rabin-Peres decisions.

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was going to keep

     This is the Benyamin Netanyahu who was going to sit
down with the leaders of the Hebron Jewish Community,

Prime Minister Netanyahu has, through today, totally
ignored the Jewish Community of Hebron.  It is almost as
though we don't exist.

     An Israel Line report quoted HA'ARETZ as saying
"that there are indications that an understanding exists
on the Hebron redeployment between Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli residents of Kiryat Arba and Hebron.

     Of course there is an understanding between the
Jewish Community of Hebron and Bibi Netanyahu.  That
understanding  can even be described as total agreement.

We agree one hundred percent with all of those
statements, and more, just like them, quoted above.

However, there is no understanding, or agreement with the
seemingly impending deals in the offing.  The question
is: Who is the real Bibi Netanyahu?  Is he the man who
stood tall, and proudly, at the first Hebron concert,
with Avraham Fried at Binyanei HaUma in Jerusalem
assembly on behalf of the Jewish  community in Hebron on
December 8, 1994 and proclaimed..."We are in Hebron by
right, but also by the force of possession and
inheritance.  We will not forfeit our rights, nor the
force to defend our rights."

     Or, is the real Bibi Netanyahu the person who called
mass murdered Arafat a `friend and partner,' after the
terrorist gave orders to kill Israeli soldiers, attack
civilian communities and set fire to Kever Yosef in
Shechem and Kever Rachel in Beit Lechem.

The Israeli public and Jews around the world have a right
to know who is going to be leading them for the next four
years.  Is he a true Israeli leader or is he a carbon
copy of our immediate past prime ministers.  Will history
remember him as a courageous Jew, or  declare him a poor
imitation of Shimon Peres?

Will the real Benyamin Netanyahu stop bending over, stop
trying to please world opinion  and