Sunday, October 25, 1998

Rotten Fish

Rotten Fish
October 25, 1998

"If Jews do not have a right to live in Hebron and Beit El, they have no right to live in Haifa or Yaffo, as claimed by the PLO… Relinquishment in Judea and Samaria will only strengthen the Arab claims to the Galil, Negev, and other land in the State of Israel."

"In addition, it is not difficult to anticipate that the palestinian organizations, after receiving all that they demand from Israel, will renew, with greater vigor, terror attacks against Jews, before they declare total war…The significance of ceding land to the PLO is transfer to terrorist forces and Islamic fundamentalists. As a continuation of the implementation of the Oslo Accords, this will cause Israel to be surrounded by a ring of Islamic terror bases which have one goal, and one goal alone: the destruction of the State."

"Today's a day when Israel and our entire region are more secure…We are more secure today because, for the first time since the signing of the Oslo accords, we will see concrete and verifiable commitments carried out…Our Palestinian partners will join us in fighting terrorism. I want to thank Chairman Arafat. Mr. Chairman, your cooperation was invaluable."

So, which is correct?

The first two paragraphs are quoted from the introduction to "A Place Among the Nations" authored by Binyamin Netanyahu in 1995 (freely translated from the Hebrew edition, pages 17-18).

The third paragraph is quoted from Binyamin Netanyahu's speech in the White House, Friday October 23, 1998.

What is the major problem with the agreement signed a few days ago? Of course, the fact that Israel is abandoning almost 15% of Judea and Samaria to the complete control of the terrorists is unforgivable. An additional 12% is being abandoned to partial Arafat control. Tens of thousands of Israelis will find their homes surrounded by armed terrorists, as is the situation today in Hebron. Roads leading to numerous communities will be situated in territory fully belonging to Arafat. Guess who will be patrolling those roads. (Hint: It won't be Israeli soldiers.)

A close examination of the agreement reveals the following:

*Concerning the third abandonment, known as the 3rd further redeployment, of which Arafat is demanding another 40% and Israel has declared a willingness to part with only 1%: there will be a committee to address this question. TheUnited States will be briefed regularly.

*Concerning terror and violence. A work plan developed by the Palestinian side will be shared with the U.S.

*In addition to the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, a U.S.-Palestinian committee will meet biweekly to review the steps being taken to eliminate terrorist cells and the support structure that plans, finances, supplies and abets terror. In these meetings, the Palestinian side will inform the U.S…

* A U.S.-Palestinian committee will meet to review and evaluate information pertinent to the decisions on prosecution, punishment or other legal measures which affect the status of individuals suspected of abetting or perpetrating acts of violence or terror.

*In addition, the Palestinian side will establish and vigorously and continuously implement a systematic program for the collection and appropriate handling of all such illegal items in accordance with the prior agreements. The U.S. has agreed to assist in carrying out this program.

*A U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will be established to assist and enhance cooperation in preventing the smuggling or other unauthorized introduction of weapons or explosive materials into areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.

* A U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will meet on a regular basis to monitor cases of possible incitement to violence or terror, and to make recommendations and reports on how to prevent such incitement. The Israeli-Palestinian and U.S.sides will each appoint a media specialist, a law enforcement representative, an educational specialist and a current or former elected official to the committee.

*In addition to the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, a high-ranking U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli committee will meet as required and not less than biweekly to assess current threats…

*The Palestinian side will provide a list of its policemen to the Israeli side in conformity with the prior agreements.Should the Palestinian side request technical assistance, the U.S. has indicated its willingness to help meet these needs in cooperation with other donors.

*Concerning legal assistance in criminal matters, the requests for arrest and transfer of suspects and defendants: The U.S. has been requested by the sides to report on a regular basis on the steps being taken to respond to the above requests.

What exactly does US involvement entail? Everywhere the above paragraphs say U.S., substitute CIA - the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA has been entrusted with the role of sole arbitrator. Every time Israel has a complaint,Israel must go knocking on Uncle Sam's door. According to one commentator on Kol Yisrael today, Israel will not be able to utilize the right of 'hot pursuit,' that is, pursuing a terrorist into Arafat-land following a terrorist attack, without first receiving permission from the Americans.

The implications of this agreement are far reaching.
1. Israel is not only relinquishing land - rather Israel is relinquishing sovereignty. All disputes between Israel and Arafat are immediately turned over to the CIA.
2. Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to a 'summit clause.' Should their occur major stumbling blocks between Arafat and IsraelClinton can summon a mandatory summit in the US, requiring Netanyahu and Arafat to appear.
3. The United States, in all the years since Oslo was signed, has never indicated that Arafat or the palestinian authority have ever violated the accords.
4. The United States, in a letter signed by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher, in the Hebron Accords, guaranteed Israel the right to determine the size of the 'further redeployments." This, in spite of the fact that the USdemanded Israel's retreat from an additional 13% of Judea and Samaria, a demand which Israel has presently met.

Is this a responsible decision of an independent state? Can Israel legitimately relinquish sovereignty to a foreign spy organization? Why should Israel be required to submit to a foreign country's decisions, concerning its own security?

What can be done?

Last night hundreds of Jews congregated outside Ma'arat HaMachpela in Hebron to beseech the L-rd, "Save us from this wicked decree." Others prayed at the Kotel - the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In the Shomron, Jews gathered at Kever Yosef in Shechem.

Those of you who are citizens of the United States are requested to contact your representatives in Congress and in the Senate and demand that the CIA not be entangled in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The CIA has no place getting involved in internal Israeli politics, or Arafat's escapades. Don't just write to them - Call them. There are elections in two weeks. Now is the time to put on as much pressure as possible. REMOVE THE CIA FROM ISRAEL. (Keep in mind that CIA director George Tenet reportedly torpedoed the deal to release Jonathan Pollard. Clinton had already agreed to free Pollard but Tenet's objections were so strenuous that Clinton reneged.)

This morning a friend told me the following story:
A citizen of the kingdom broke the law and was taken before the King. The King, hearing the crime, offered the offender three choices: Eat a piece of rotten fish, receive 40 lashes, or be exiled. The prisoner thought for a few minutes. "Forty lashes is too much, and to be exiled, that is so harsh. So, I'll eat the rotten fish - no big deal."

He was given a plate of rotten fish and began to eat. After a few bites he was in such agony that he pushed it away and pleaded, "I agree to the 40 lashes." After five lashes he felt that he would die, and cried out, "No more - I will go into exile."

After leaving the kingdom, the he told his story to a wise man in a far off country. The wise man looked at him and said:
"So stupid you are. You ate the rotten fish, you received the lashes and now you are in exile. The king offered you one punishment and you brought upon yourself all three?"

Israel, take note!

Thursday, October 22, 1998


October 22, 1998
As of this writing, the negotiations at Wye are continuing, more or less as expected. This is a classic example of 'give and take.'Israel is giving and Arafat is taking. Netanyahu's capitulation is difficult to fathom. Ariel Sharon's acquiescence is almost beyond belief. With all of the question marks about Sharon, no one expected him to collapse, together with the Prime Minister.

Why is Netanyahu caving in at Wye? What is he going to do when he gets back to Israel? There is formidable opposition to the pending agreement, so much so that the government may very well fall. There are even rumors that upon his return, Netanyahu may hand in his resignation, thereby forcing new elections within sixty days.

A very reliable source disclosed to me that Netanyahu has confided that 'without an agreement, I won't be reelected.' His reasoning is simple Following initial agreement to this 'further redeployment' which is nothing less than abandonment of an additional 27% of Eretz Yisrael, Netanyahu will have an easy time with the Israeli electorate. To those in favor of the accords, of centrist ideology, he will say, "I fulfilled our obligations. Arafat received Hebron, and I successfully concluded the next interim agreement. I was more cautious than Labor ever was, and have maintained full security for the Israeli people. The fact that I cannot yet implement the agreement is not my fault - the agreement must receive both Cabinet and Knesset approval. Your vote for me is a vote for continued negotiations for a true and secure peace."

With the Israeli right, he also won't have a difficult time. The first round of elections will see several candidates for Prime Minister, including at least one representing the Israeli right. However, a Prime Minister cannot be elected without receiving 50% of the vote. A runoff is inevitable. Barring a miracle, the runoff will almost surely include Barak and Netanyahu. Netanyahu will then say to the right-wing electorate. 'You have two possibilities - nu, who are you going to vote for? Barak?'

All of this doesn't even take into account that Labor candidate Ehud Barak is not overly popular with anybody. In the end Netanyahu expects to be reelected with an overwhelming majority.
Why do we continue to firmly oppose this agreement? So many people have asked me why we can't accept this as the least of all evils. The answer is all too simple.

Earlier this week a terrorist by the name of Salem Rajib Sarsur threw some hand grenades into a crowd at the Beer Sheva Central Bus Station. Sixty seven people were wounded. Sarsur was apprehended. During his interrogation several very interesting facts were revealed.

On the night of August 20, Sarsur, armed with several firebombs took a little walk in Hebron, where he lives, looking for an army target. Not succeeding in finding a group of soldiers, he saw Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan in his bedroom in his Tel Rumeida caravan home. Sarsur changed his plans, jumped through the window, killed the Rabbi, threw a firebomb inside the caravan, jumped back out the window, and went home.

According to media reports, which have been confirmed, Israeli intelligence approached Sarsur prior to the murder, asking him to work for the Shabak. Sarsur refused.

On Yom Kippur, this same Sarsur, this time armed with hand grenades, and officially working for Hamas, took a walk from his home into an Arab cemetery, on the border between Arafat's Hebron and Jewish Hebron. He threw the hand grenades at a group of soldiers on Hebron's main street. Fourteen were injured. Soldiers seeing the attacker shot at him but refrained from chasing him after he caught an Arab taxi and escaped. However, Sarsur was identified and his extradition was demanded. Of course, the palestinian authority ignored this extradition demand.

And so it was that Salem Sarsur managed to find himself in Beer Sheva, a few days ago, again with some more hand grenades.

Had Sarsur been looked for and apprehended following the Ra'anan murder, two other terrorist attacks and 75 injuries would have been avoided. Had he been searched out and caught after the Yom Kippur attack, the Beer Sheva attack would not have occurred.

This story does not begin or end with Salem Rajib Sarsur's murderous attacks and capture. He is only an example, an example of things to come, should the Wye-Why Accords be signed, sealed and implemented. But the story will not end at Wye, because Arafat wants, and expects to get, more. The same way that Sarsur continued to attack, as long as no one stood in his way, so it is with Arafat. And not only isn't anyone standing in Arafat's way. He is receiving assistance from not only Clinton and the US, but also from Israel. As long as Israel continues to concede, more and more submissions will be requisitioned, in the name of 'peace.' Until, in the name of peace, we will have to leave. No, not move out of Hebron, rather, evacuate the State of Israel. And don't think that only Hebron residents make such rash assertions. Yesterday, MK Uzi Landau, Likud Chairman of the prestigious Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, speaking on Israel television, spoke about Arab demands that we return to the 1947 UN partition plan borders.

What we are witnessing is a chain of dominos, lined up in a row. The row isn't necessarily straight - there are winding bends along the way. But the result is the same once the first domino falls, the others aren't far behind. Sarsur's terrorist attacks in Hebron and Beer Sheva were falling dominos. Israeli concessions at Wye are also fallen dominos. Continued abandonment of land can have only one result More and more dominos will drop. The problem is that each domino entails human lives and eventually the existence of the State of Israel. We have no choice but to stop the chain reaction, before the last dominos give way.

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

Why Wye - Summit or Abyss

Why Wye - Summit or Abyss 
October 13, 1998

Yesterday afternoon two Jerusalem Braslaver Hassidim were immersing in a stream not far from Hadassah Hospital on the outskirts of Jerusalem. While bathing the two men were shot at by Arab terrorists. Twenty four year old Itamar Doron was killed. His companion, Ilan Mazon was very critically injured, having been hit in the chest and stomach.

Netanyahu's reaction: This again goes to show how crucial it is that Israel demand Arafat's fulfillment of his obligations, as undertaken by the Oslo/Hebron Accords. "We will be willing to go to great lengths if we are convinced that Arafat will fulfill his obligations."

This morning the Prime Minister, together with Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon flew to Amman to brief Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan on the upcoming negotiations at the Wye Plantation - Camp David II. Jordan, having 'successfully' assisted in completing the Hebron Accords, is considered a major element in pushing the 'piece process' forward.

According to the Arutz 7 internet news report, during yesterday's cabinet session Netanyahu reported the following breakdown of land to be abandoned to Arafat, in the event that an agreement should be reached:
"Prime Minister Netanyahu informed the Cabinet that 27.2% of Judea and Samaria will come under Palestinian control in the framework of the planned withdrawal, as follows:
* 1% that will be transferred from Area C (total Israeli control) to Area A (total Palestinian control);
* 9% from Area C to Area B (Palestinian civilian control, Israeli security control);
* 3% from Area C to a special nature reserve status, under Israeli security control and where Palestinian construction will be forbidden;
* 14.2% that will go from Area B to Area A."
"In return, Israel is demanding that the Palestinians carry out their previous Oslo obligations "in stages."
In other words, 15% of Judea and Samaria, presently under total Israeli security, will be transferred to Arafat's security control. This means that 15 Tel-Avivs will be under the authority of armed terrorists. (1% of land is the size of Tel Aviv).

If there is any proof of Arafat's convictions, it is Hebron. The last six weeks have witnessed:
The murder of Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan
A shooting attack in Kiryat Arba
A shooting attack on the road to Tel Rumeida
A hand grenade attack on Israeli soldiers on Yom Kippur
Two shooting attacks on Beit Hadassah
This, in addition to rocks, bottles and firebombs.
The last year and a half can only be defined as a qualified catastrophe.

According to former defense minister Moshe Arens, in an article published in the Jerusalem Post (October 9):
"Almost two years later, even the government that signed the agreement has to admit that it has turned out to be an abject failure.
For the Jewish community of Hebron, there is no security and no peace. There is most certainly no peaceful coexistence for Jews and Arabs in the city of Abraham. There are daily violent incidents that have already taken a deadly toll of Jews and Arabs alike. Rather than a step advancing the peace process, the Hebron Agreement seems to have placed a roadblock in its path. …As for the Jews, the agreement must be seen as almost totally neglecting Jewish interests and sentiment in the city… THE SAD truth is that theHebron Agreement has put the lives of Hebron's Jews in daily jeopardy."

What will happen in Washington? If we remember back almost 20 years, US President Jimmy Carter pushed Camp David down Menachem Begin's throat. Of course, he had help. Anwar Sadat, and more importantly, major advisors Ezer Weitzmann and Moshe Dayan. The latter two were the prime pushers of Camp David, which led not only to the abandonment all of Sinai, but also to agreeing to grant 'autonomy' to the 'palestinians.'

During Camp David II, Netanyahu is surrounding himself with a mixed lot: Yitzhak Mordechai may be equated with his Camp Davidpredecessors Dayan and Weitzmann. Natan Sharanski yesterday suggested that Israel call off or at least postpone the Wye rendezvous. The big question mark is Ariel Sharon, newly appointed foreign minister.

On the one hand he has continuously voiced vehement opposition to abandoning 13% to Arafat. On the other hand, he followed Begin's orders and destroyed Yamit. We can only hope that Arik's natural common sense, and overall commitment to Eretz Yisrael will turn the tide in the right direction.

In truth, we can ask - Why Wye - why go to Wye at all? Why should Bibi go to Wye and help save Bill Clinton? Clinton not only actively campaigned against this administration during the last election, but together with his wife, will serve as Honorary Dinner Chairs at the Shalom Achshav-Peace Now 1998 Shimon Peres Peace Award Dinner to be held on October 22. This affair is directed at raising funds which will be used to work against the Netanyahu government.

The Wye meeting may be a summit, a true high point, if Bibi comes home declaring that Oslo is all over, without shaking Arafat's hand, without signing away anymore of Eretz Yisrael. Should Netanyahu crumble to US pressure it will be a dismal abyss, one of the lowest points in the Jewish People's 4,000 year old history. Let us pray that when Wye is over, we won't again have to ask WHY.

Friday, October 2, 1998

Heads or Tails

Heads or TailsOctober 2, 1998

Yesterday evening four members of Hebron's leadership met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for an hour at his office inJerusalem.
Early in the morning several Hebron leaders met with Central Command General Moshe (Bugi) Ya'alon. Ya'alon, an intelligent man, a former commander of forces in Judea and Samaria, was honest. The meeting with him can be summarized in a few short sentences: The Oslo Accords caused a serious security situation. The IDF is dependant on Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in order to provide full security. We have a real problem, because Arafat is not cooperating.
On this note, Hebron met with Netanyahu. The atmosphere in the room was strained. It could even be described as tense. Sitting with the PM was his chief of staff, former Yesha leader Uri Elitzur. The meeting began: "The Oslo Accords have proven to be a total failure. The entire process has collapsed. You are continuing as if nothing has happened, and are jeopardized our lives, as a result."
Netanyahu was pounced upon. A finger pointed at him he was asked, "Do you know who is responsible for the terrorist attack here in Hebron on Yom Kippur? Where were you on Monday morning?" The PM answered briefly, "In New York."
The questions continued. "What did you do three hours after a woman was shot at and hit in Hebron, by an Arab terrorist? You went to Washington and shook that murderer's hand. With that handshake you broadcast to all of Hebron's terrorists that all is OK, all is continuing as normal, You can do whatever you want to Hebron's Jews, but the 'piece process' will go on."
"And what are you going to do now? Put Beit El, Ofrah and other communities in the same situation Hebron is in today. And when they ask you about security, what will you respond: smirking, you'll retort, "don't worry, we'll provide you will full security - if we have to, we'll bring in tanks?!"
"Where are the tanks, Mr. Prime Minister?"
Netanyahu was clearly uncomfortable, but didn't yet answer.
Rabbi Hillel Horowitz related the personal anxiety his wife has suffered over the past month. He told the PM how his wife heard the horrible screams originating from the Ra'anan home, when Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan was stabbed and killed by a terrorist. The Horowitz's caravan home is right next to the Ra'anan home. Last Monday his wife heard the gunshots fired at the Bar Mitzvah party walking down the road from Tel Rumeida. And then, on Yom Kippur, Naomi Horowitz was only meters from the hand grenade that exploded, blowing up a car on the side of the road. As she described it, "After the explosion I saw a ball of flame and shots rang out all around me. I thought I was in a war zone."
Netanyahu did reply, but it isn't quite clear exactly what he said. He promised building in Hebron and told the leaders that early next week he has called for a special meeting with some of the ministers to try to speed up the process. But what about security?
Netanyahu reiterated that Israel is obligated to continue the Oslo piece process. He again recited the famous 'reciprocity' formula, saying that if Arafat does not promise to fulfill his commitments, he won't get any more land. But he refused to relate to specific security problems in Hebron.
"Mr. Prime Minister - we have been attacked four times in the last five weeks. A murder, a shooting, hand grenades, rocks, - what are you going to do about it?"
Netanyahu talked for fifteen minutes, but didn't answer the question.
"Mr. Prime Minister, all well and good, but you didn't answer the question. What about our security in Hebron? How are you going to protect us?"
Netanyahu talked some more.
"But Mr. Prime Minister, you still didn't answer the question….."
Did the meeting have any real results? Concrete results, no. Netanyahu didn't offer any viable solution to the mess he created when he signed and implemented the Hebron Accords. However, the PM did hear, straight from those whose lives are on the line, day and night, seven days a week, exactly what is going on in Hebron. If he could claim that didn't know before, Netanyahu now knows that he created a hell-zone, in which Israel is dependant on Arafat and his terrorist thugs to protect its own citizens. He also knows what is in store for tens of thousands of Israelis should he continue with the sham called Oslo. He will never be able to say, "I didn't know." He will never be able to hide behind beloved blind ignorance.
Almost two weeks ago we all sat around our dining room tables and welcomed in the New Year. Following Kiddush and washing of our hands, a number of special blessing were recited, sort of as a sign for the New Year. One of those blessings we say is, "May it be Thy will, L-rd our G-d, that we will be like a head, and not like a tail."
Mr. Prime Minister - you cannot tell us any more tales. Everything is up front, all the cards are on the table. It is not just your office that is on the line, and it is not only our lives, the lives of 550 men, women and children, in Hebron, whose lives are on the line. Mr. Prime Minister, we are talking about the State of Israel. The State of Israel is on the line. Our heritage, beginning almost 4,000 years ago here in Hebron, is on the line. Jerusalem, our eternal capital, site of the first and second Temple, site of King David's palace, is on the line. Yes, Mr. Prime Minister, even Tel Aviv is on the line.
Mr. Prime Minister, enough stories, enough tales, - you must now make a choice. Are you, Binyamin Netanyahu, representing all ofIsrael, are you a Rosh Memshala (a head of the government) or a Zanav Memshala (a tail of the government? The choice is yours.