Monday, December 24, 2001

Pere's piece plan

Pere's piece plan
Dec 24, 2001

Yesterday the Yediot Achronot newspaper published its first scoop of the week: Shimon Peres’ new piece plan, in four stages:

One – Within six weeks a full cease-fire, including an end to all fighting and terror, an end to all blockades, a freezing of all Yesha communities, an end to all killing and assassinations, and a unification of all “palestinian security forces”

Two – Within eight weeks Israel will recognize a palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gazza and the Arabs will recognize the State of Israel on the basis of UN resolutions 242 and 338.

Three – Within nine to twelve months, negotiations leading to a permanent settlement, including a schedule for withdrawal of Israeli troops, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, security and water. The process will conclude no later than 18 to 24 months.

Four – An international role concerning the negotiations, a peace-keeping force, economic and financial aid to the palestinians, area economic cooperation, and arbitration of issues still undecided.

That’s Shimon’s plan, worked out with Abu Ala, head of Arafat’s parliament in Gazza. This same Abu Ala said, in the not too distant past, that Israel must also abide by UN resolution 181, the UN 1947 partition plan, which places Beer Sheva inside a palestinian state.

Tonight Ariel Sharon admitted he knew that Peres was meeting and negotiating with Abu Ala, despite yesterday’s declarations that this plan is “dangerous.” Peres said that should Sharon forbid continued negotiations between Israel and the Arabs, Labor would leave the national unity government coalition.

Let’s hope.

Just a few comments about the above-mentioned plan.

First, all killing will stop.  Earlier tonight, an Israeli man from Karnei Shomron was shot and very seriously injured by terrorists not far from the Shavei Shomron community.  That’s a good start for Yassir’s boys.

Second, Israel is recognizing, unqualifiedly, a palestinian state. No strings attached. Arafat is recognizing Israel’s right to exist only according to UN resolutions 242 and 338, which are, of course, blatantly anti-Israel.
Third, Israel is recognizing a palestinian state before the completion of negotiations. What’s the difference? Today, when our enemies attack us, Israel can “return” to area A or area B. When things get really bad, we can, (at least in theory) retake these areas. However, once Israel recognizes this land as belonging to a sovereign state, for example Beit Jala, across from Gilo in Jerusalem, a return to that city will be considered “occupation of a foreign state.” What then will Israel do following attacks on its capital?

Fourth, Israel under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is agreeing to return Jerusalem to the negotiating table.

Fifth, all of the above-listed reasons why this agreement is completely unacceptable miss the main point.

What is the main point?

Writing in today’s Jerusalem Post, Education Minister Limor Livnat speaks of three actions which must be immediately implemented:

1.     A disarming of all Arab terrorist organizations.
2. Repudiation of an artificial distinction between terrorist organization’s political factions and military factions.
3.     Initiation of an Israeli diplomatic-public relations program

She also, importantly, dismisses outright a unilateral separation between Israel and the Arabs, a plan which would lead to abandonment of Yesha to the terrorists.

And finally, Livnat declares her opposition to a palestinian state, saying, “we must stop expressing any agreement for a Palestinian State in wide swaths of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. There must not be a state such as this and therefore, there must not be any talk encouraging it. Local leaders with local autonomy, yes. But a state? No!

I believe that Limor Livnat is saying, in between the lines, the most important point that can be expressed at this point in time, a point which, if not properly understood, will lead to continued disaster.

Most all of Israel’s leadership continues to talk of “stopping the terror.” Yet these leaders, in the same breath, speak of a continued relationship with the palestinian authority. The point that they are ignoring is that terror and the palestinian authority are synonymous. As long as there is a palestinian authority, or, G-d forbid, a palestinian state, there will be terrorism. The only way to stop the terror is by eradicating the entity Israel created called the palestinian authority. This is, what I understand Minister Livnat to be saying when she writes, “We, just as the Americans are doing, must bring down the totalitarian regime and not only the terrorist infrastructure.” In other words, in my words, we must bring down the terrorist regime, which is the framework for the terrorist infrastructure.

Coming from a minister in the Israeli government, this is a most important statement, especially considering that the minister is a member of the Likud, and is a likely candidate for Prime Minister sometime in the future. Livnat is to be commended for her courageous and enlightening position.

Returning to Sharon:
It’s more than difficult to understand how or why Ariel Sharon gave a green light to Shimon Peres to meet with and negotiate with the PA. Sharon promised, “no negotiating under fire,” but seems to have acquiesced to Peres’ pressure. Peres is a known customer, with the results of his meddling leading to and causing the Oslo War and the deaths and injuries of thousands of Israelis. Peres should be held under lock and key, just as spies are held in solitary confinement, so as to prevent further damage. As long as Peres is allowed to freely and officially represent Israel in a position such as Foreign Minister, he will continue to cause irreparable damage to our state and directly or indirectly bring about the death and injury of Israeli citizens.

Sharon now has a chance to make some kind of amends for his months of negligence, by stopping the Peres follies and, rather than waiting for Peres to resign, by throwing him unceremoniously out of his office. Peres deserves no honor or glory, only shame, in return for the disgrace he has brought onto his country and people. The sooner Peres is relieved of his duties and Labor returns to the opposition, the easier it will be to finish with the terrorists, once and for all.

Friday, December 21, 2001

Speech, Speech

Speech, Speech
Dec. 21, 2001


Early this afternoon a journalist from a New York newspaper arrived at my office with what seemed to him to be the million dollar question: “How do you feel after yesterday’s speech?”  He, of course, took for granted that I knew which speech he was talking about – that given by Chief terrorist Arafat, from his hideaway in Ramallah.

My initial response was sort of  “you’ve got to be kidding.”

But in order to provide you with an accurate answer to this question, let me, for a few minutes, analyze exactly what the terrorist had to say:

There are several themes of Arafat’s speech. He talks frequently about the invincibility of the palestinian people and about a state with Jerusalem as its capital.

History too is an important motif speaking of  “our struggle throughout the centuries…toward the choice of peace…”  In other words, Arafat’s fiction begins, not in 1948, and not even at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. Rather, it is a struggle of centuries. He says, “as history is the witness, the best witness of every word I am saying.”

Religious legitimacy is an integral element in Arafat’s demand for independence. Several times during the speech, the terrorist speaks of protecting the “rights and holy shrines, both Muslim and Christian.” In other words, there are only Muslim and Christian shrines throughout “palestine” – there aren’t, G-d forbid, any Jewish shrines that must be guarded.

Arafat, trying to please everyone, determines that “the war is against our people, our hospitals, fields, mosques, churches, farms” etc.  What we would call in Hebrew, Amcha – a war not against political ideology, but against the simple man in the street. In attempting to reconcile seeming differences with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, he promises “democratic elections in every sector of our society,” in other words, opening the door to the most extreme elements of Arab society, inside the framework of the palestinian authority.

Does Arafat show any remorse for the lives that have been lost, be they Arab or Israeli? Of course not. The question, in and of itself, is an absurdity. He praises of the mothers of martyrs – i.e. Jew killers and says, “we are all proud of the sacrifices of our people” and attacks Israel time and time again, speaking of “plotting aggression, a mounting military aggression…attacks against our civilians” while stating that Israel does not want, and will not honor a cease fire.
On the other hand, he demands the “right of return” of all “refugees” and “land for peace.” 

Talking directly to Israelis he adds, “we have tried. We have started a dialogue with you decades ago.” Unfortunately he does not enumerate the conversations, such as conferences at Maalot, Kiryat Shmona, Munich, etc. etc.

However, the heart of Arafat’s speech come at the very end when he concludes, “A victory is coming. Victory is a method of one, our patience.”

Patience. Arafat says to his people, have patience. Earlier on he mentions September 11, briefly remarking “the influence those attacks have onour cause and its rights.”

In other words, we may have to temporarily lessen our terrorist activities, but don’t despair. Just have patience. Arafat’s dreams have not changed. His aspirations lead toward the annihilation of the State of Israel, being replaced by another Arab entity in the Middle East. All he asks is patience.

This has always been the Arab way, their thinking that time is on their side. And unless we wise up, it is.

There is another side of the coin. A Lebanese-American attorney, Sharon Nader Sloan posted an article on the WorldNetDaily in which she says, This idea that the West Bank is occupied Palestinian is the greatest lie ever perpetrated on the whole of humanity.

She asks, “First, if Arab animosity toward Israel is based on their love and support for their Palestinian brothers – and in wanting their Palestinian brothers to have their own state – where was that love and support before the Jewish state existed? Where were they when the kingdom of Jordan ruled Palestine? Why were they not accusing Jordan of occupying Palestinian land? Why did not the Arab world and the United Nations call on Jordan to stop occupying Palestinian land? Second, where were the Palestinians themselves, with all their grievances and claims, when Jordan occupied the whole West Bank,
including Jerusalem?

Did you know that? Did you know that for 19 years, Jordan occupied and ruled the whole West Bank, including Jerusalem? Why didn't they clamor for a Palestinian state then?

All this time, did we hear a word about Palestine being occupied by the
kingdom of Jordan? Did we hear anything about a Palestinian state? Or about Jerusalem being the capital of Palestine?

No, we did not.

Why not?

Because there never existed a Palestinian state.”

Terrorist Arafat called for an end to “all sorts of armed activities.” What has been the Arab response to Arafat’s plea?

Tonight a three year old and his father from Shilo were ambushed and shot near Ofra. Miraculously their injuries were not serious. The bullets scratched their heads and necks.

A little earlier a resident of the Binyamin community Ateret was shot and seriously wounded. He is presently undergoing surgery. Despite Arafat’s promises, last night, and again tonight, mortars fell in Gush Katif. The attacks continue, they have never stopped.

Last night, after the speech, Rice and Powell, as well as Israeli politicians all said the same thing: “We aren’t interested in words, we are interested in deeds.”

So too, are we interested in deeds. But not those referred to by the politicians. We know all about Arafat’s deeds. They will not change. We are interested in the actions of our government, the Israeli government, which is obliged to protect the State and its citizens at all costs. Sharon need not make a speech. He only has to do – to do what he has avoided doing since he was elected Prime Minister. Arafat has to go. The PA has to go. The State of Israel must control all of Eretz Yisrael.


Monday, December 10, 2001


Dec. 10, 2001

Almost a year ago, it was the beginning of April, at 4:30 in the afternoon, I drove into the parking lot outside the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, parked the car and opened the door. As I stepped out of the car a shot rang out. I quickly ducked back into the car. The shot was very loud, and the bullet hadn’t been too far from me.

Only a few meters away were two Israeli soldiers, on duty at the entrance to the neighborhood. Leaving the car I ran over to them and exclaimed, “they’re shooting at us.” They looked calmly back at me and said, “no, it was firecrackers.” Refusing to accept their conclusion I again stated that I had just been shot at. Again, they ignored me.

Ten minutes later, not very far from where I had been standing, ten month old Shalhevet Pass was shot and murdered by the same Arab terrorist sniper who had shot over my head.

You might expect that certain conclusions would be reached. However, that is not the way it is.

Early yesterday afternoon hundreds of people attended the funeral of a young man from Kiryat Arba, tragically killed in an automobile accident late Friday afternoon. As the funeral ended and the mourners were leaving the cemetery, a shot rang out. People turned to soldiers at the site and yelled to them, ‘they’re shooting at us.” The reponse, “no, it’s firecrackers.”  Until Hebron resident Yoni Bleichbard, a security officer for Hebron’s Jewish community approached the soldiers and showed them where the bullet just fired skimmed his cheek, scratching it. Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who had been standing next to his car, called over some others to see the hole in his roof, a hole that hadn’t been there before the shot was fired. The bullet passed through the center of the car. Had anyone been sitting there, the results would have been unthinkable.


The army spokesman, reporting on the attack to the media, claimed that “an army jeep had been fired upon.” Only hours after the shooting did he agree to change the official version, saying, “in Hebron, a civilian was slightly wounded when a bullet scratched his cheek. The shooting was aimed at people leaving a funeral in the area. Officials from the central region staff said that the shooting was a violation of local agreements in the city and that the army was weighing a reaction to it.”

The long-awaited reaction was quick to come. When the Israeli army pulled back off the hills following the Succot shootings and subsequent retaking of those hills, terrorist Jibril Rajoub was quoted as saying, “if there is even one shot fired, I won’t object to an Israeli reentry into the hills. Ariel Sharon promised, “if one shot is fired, we will go back into the hills.”

Since those famous words were spoken the community has been shot at numerous times, yet the pledge is yet to be redeemed.

Yesterday, Sharon had the perfect opportunity. After all, Arafat’s palestinian authority has been defined as a “terrorist-supporting entity.” Suicide bombers are blowing themselves up, killing Jews, all over the country. The government promised harsh measures in reaction to the continued violence. What could be more expressive than a retaking of the hills surrounding Hebron’s Jewish neighborhoods.

That’s what perhaps you and I think. But not our courageous leaders. They had something else in mind.

First, some background.

The second holiest site to the Jewish people, Ma’arat HaMachpela in Hebron, is divided between Jews and Muslims. They control about 80% of the building. Ten days a year, the Jews get the whole building, and it’s closed to the Arabs. Ten days a year they get the whole building and it’s closed to us.

This year, when the scheduled dates for the openings and closings were released, we were astounded to find that this year they received fifteen days to our ten. Why? Because last year there were five times when they could not take advantage of their days because they were under curfew for having shot at us. So this year, the sources that be decided to compensate them by allowing them an extra five days. Of course, the fact that this year, over Succot, when hundreds of Jews were shot at on our special days, was not taken into account. And we discovered that Ma’arat HaMachpela would be closed to us for five days during the eight day Hanuakkah holiday.

Following protests to local security officers, we were promised that Ma’arat HaMachpela would be closed to us only three days during Hanukkah, not five, as previously planned. That was how things stood, until yesterday evening.

As a result of yesterday’s shooting the Arab’s punishment is a rescheduling of the days when Ma’arat HaMachpela is closed to us, and again, during Hanukkah, the building will be closed to us for five days, including days that were not on the original schedule.

What difference does it make which days the building is closed? Well, for instance, a few weeks ago I was approached to give a tour to an international Jewish organization during the Hanukkah holiday. Seeing that Hebron’s main attraction, Ma’arat HaMachpela, would be closed several days during the holiday, we scheduled the trip for tomorrow, when the building was to be open to Jewish visitors. Last night, we were informed that tomorrow the building would be closed to everyone but Muslims.

As a result, the group arriving tomorrow will have to experience what Jews experienced for 700 years, when the Arabs would not allow us into this sacred site.

So it goes. Gunshots are firecrackers. Punitive measures are positive, rewarding the attackers and punishing the victims. It seems that the army and government prefer to try and “buy” quiet, paying off bribes to Rajoub in return for more, worthless promises.

Well over two thousand years ago then too there were Jews, who thought they could purchase peace and tranquility by conforming to the pressures of foreign forces. Those Jews were even a majority. But a small group stood up and refused to acquiesce to the terror of those days. Believing in their heritage, in their past, and concerned about their future, the Maccabees, an infinitesimal dot as compared to the Greeks and their Jewish Hellenist allies, overturned the seemingly inevitable. Learning from their example, we are carrying on in their footsteps. And we too, as did our heroic ancestors, have no doubt that victory is assured.

In parenthesis, tonight’s message has a postscript: About an hour after I finished writing this, Israeli military helicopters attacked the head of the Islamic Jihad in Hebron, killing him and wounding several other terrorists. Thank G-d for small miracles.

With blessings for a very happy Hanukkah, from Hebron,

This is David Wilder

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

After the Inevitable

After the Inevitable
December 5, 2001

Unfortunately, the events of the past few days, as sad as they are, as horrific as they are, do not come as any surprise. In truth, the surprise is that we are not burying 50 people a day, G-d forbid, due to such terror attacks. From the very beginning it was clear that the ceremonies on the White House lawn would lead to one thing, and one thing alone ? war.

It?s not nice to say ?I told you so.? However much politeness may be valued on a personal level, on a public stage, nothing could be worse. It is not saying ?I told you so? haughtily, for personal gain, but rather in order to learn from the mistakes, correct them, and not err again.

Time and time again, in reply to correspondent?s questions, I answered, as did many others in various organizations, ?the Oslo process can and will lead to inevitable war. It is only a question of time.? Why? The answer I gave is identical to that given by Charles Krauthammer in his latest Jerusalem Post column called ?They Just Don?t Get It?. Krauthammer quotes the editor of the Middle East Quarterly, Martin Kramer, speaking less than a month ago about American actions against the Taliban: ?The way to tame the Arab streets is not with appeasement and sweet sensitivity but with raw power and victory, ? and concludes that the question is ?whether America commands respect or contempt.?

So it is with the Arab leadership ? if you show strength, they may not like you, but they will surely respect you. If, on the other hand, you show weakness, their reaction is one of total contempt. This is the reason that Olso inevitably leads to war, because Oslo is the preeminent example of weakness, continued acquiescence and total concession, giving and receiving nothing in return, leading to Arab derision and mockery, as Arafat has made so clear over the past years, months and days.

So today, what is the solution?

First of all Israel?s leadership must recognize the current fighting, not as combat, rather as war. This military conflict is the Oslo War, nothing less. So far, Israeli politicians have refused to define the conflict and this is a major error. The enemy has declared war on us and as long as we ignore their declaration we are continuing on the path of weakness, thereby attracting continued scorn and hatred, leading to further acts of war and killing, as we have witnessed over the past week.

Once the war is recognized and declared, our leadership must act responsibly. That means that the Defense Minister does not publicly confirm that ?we don?t want to kill Arafat and destroy the Palestinian Authority.? Whether or not these are goals of the war is irrelevant. Much of war is psychological ? why not let Arafat and his cronies think that we are after their necks? As long as Israel declares that the Arab leadership is not the target and that the PA is safe from destruction, they will easily absorb whatever Israel does have in mind for them. However, if they have reason to suspect that their own lives are on the line and that the so-called ?Palestinian state? is in jeopardy, it is an entirely different story. So Israel?s Defense Minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, would be much better shutting up, rather than revealing all his cards to the enemy.

What next? In war, as in war. The object must be to totally defeat the enemy ? starting with Arafat, continuing with his thugs, including Rajoub, Dachlan, Abu-this and Abu-that, leading to the downfall of the largest terrorist framework in the world, the Palestinian Authority. Those leaders who are not eliminated must be evicted, as far from here as possible. They must know that should they decide to return, even to Lebanon or Jordan, their lives will be in jeopardy.

The Israeli left, in its obtrusive manner, then asks, ?but what of the Palestinian people, what will happen to them?? The time has come to formally recognize that there is no ?Palestinian people?, they have never existed, they are a figment of our imagination, the fruit of years of Arafat deceit. The so-called ?Palestinians? are Arabs, who have nothing more in common than their language and religion. They have never had a homeland, certainly not one in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel). Search in history books from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, even 70s and find references to the ?Palestinian people?. They will not be found, because they do not exist.

Arabs who are willing to live peacefully with us, in the State of Israel, who recognize Israel as a Jewish state, should be allowed to stay. They are entitled to human rights, just as any other human being. However, they should not be allowed to serve in our Knesset or vote in our elections. This is a prerequisite for their residency here. Israel?s parliament, the Knesset, today has members who literally belong to enemy forces. Israel is probably the only country in the world who allows the enemy to function, with immunity, in its supreme law-making body. This must come to an end.

Any Arab who is incapable of accepting Israeli rule in the Jewish state must be forced to leave. Israel is the only Jewish state on earth, composed of just over 10,000 square miles. All Arab states surrounding Israel, 23 in number, consist of almost 2,300,000 square miles. Israel, smaller than the state of New Jersey, could fit into Lake Ontario. Arabs who do not want to live here have where to go. We don?t. Any Arab who is unwilling to live peacefully with us and who does not leave must know that he will be treated accordingly.

Last, but surely not least ? perhaps most importantly - the people of Israel, the Jewish people, both those living in the State of Israel and around the world, must recognize that the Land of Israel belongs to us, it is our home, it is our legitimate right to be here, in all our land. Not only doesn?t anyone have the right to take it away from us, but neither do we have the right to relinquish it to anyone. Having so declared, we will not need to fight a war, because our enemies, realizing our convictions, realizing our strength, will pick up and leave.

With blessings from Hebron.