(written April 1993)
My name is Tom Miller and I am a reporter for the "Pacific Telegraph". In the past I made several visits to the Jewish township of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank and wrote articles for my newspaper on life in that place. It is now the summer of 1996, two years after the start of the Arab autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza, and I have just returned from a further visit to Kiryat Arba. Here is my report on what I saw there:
I got on the bus and was soon in earnest conversation with my neighbour. “We will be lucky if only a few stones are thrown at us on the journey,” he told me, “Quite often the bus is shot at.” I asked him what happens in such a situation. He replied that there were no longer Jewish soldiers in the area and that the carrying of weapons by the Jewish residents was a crime punishable by death. He continued with a hollow laugh, “You don’t really expect the 20,000 strong “police force” of the P.L.O. to come to our aid!"
As soon as we left the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiot, many of the passengers put on special hats, protected their faces with special thick scarves and some even sat on the floor of the bus which was the "safest" place in the event of an attack. We were very fortunate on this trip - "only" three stones were thrown and "only" two people were cut by flying glass.
After what seemed an eternity we arrived at Kiryat Arba. On my previous visit to this place, I had reported on the fight by the Jewish residents to build houses linking the suburb of Ramat Mamre with the main body of Kiryat Arba. I was therefore very surprised to see that this area was now built up. At least Arab autonomy has contributed something positive to the development of Kiryat Arba. I soon learned however how naive I was. The autonomy authority had converted this area into an Arab neighbourhood in order to break up the continuity of Kiryat Arba!
In the past, I had always alighted from the bus at the Nir Yeshivah. This time I received the shock of my life! The building which was undoubtedly one of the most impressive buildings in Kiryat Arba was now in utter ruins and it immediately reminded me of the "Jordanian treatment" of the Synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem. I asked my neighbour what had happened and he informed me that soon after the start of autonomy, the Yeshivah had been demolished in retaliation for the Jews of Kiryat Arba having used the Cave of Machpelah as a Synagogue during the "period of their occupation". Needless to say once again Jews were completely barred from entry into the Cave of the Patriarchs.
I had always made a point of visiting the big school in Kiryat Arba and chatting to my friend Yossi the headmaster. This time was no exception, but as soon as I entered the building, a sixth sense told me that something was different. I could not find Yossi and there were several Arabs parading in the building.
I entered a classroom and to my amazement saw that the walls were covered with material on "Palestine and History of the Palestinian People" - any reference to Jews being conspicuous by its absence! I asked the teacher, who I could see was a very religious young Jew, what was going on. He ushered me into a corner of the classroom and in a very very hushed voice explained that in addition to having to plaster the walls with this "junk", Jewish schools in the autonomy area had to teach this subject for one hour each day. It was an obvious case of indoctrination of school-children as used to be practiced in communist countries and the material in the lessons was more fable than fact. I also learned that the teaching of Zionism and of the Holocaust was strictly forbidden.
Yossi had tried the old trick of having two timetables, one for the benefit of the autonomy education board, and one for use in practice. He had however been caught and was now rotting away in jail. He will be "fortunate" if he gets away with just having his right hand cut off!
"We also have to close our schools on Friday, in the same way as the Jordanians made the Christian schools in Jerusalem do before the Six Day War", explained the teacher. I answered that I was sure that the pupils love an extra free day each week. "Oh, no!" replied the teacher, "we have to open on Shabbat, and the teachers take a considerable personal risk in trying to limit lessons on Shabbat to oral instruction only. Didn't you see all the Arab 'inspectors' snooping around in the school?"
My next stop was a visit to the Cohen family who had immigrated to Israel from America. As I entered their house, I almost tripped over a bucket of water standing in the corridor. On further observation, I saw that the house was filled with buckets of water. "Haven't you paid your water bill?" I asked jokingly. Mrs. Cohen pointed out that control of the water sources was in the hands of the autonomy authority, and water only came through the taps for no more than two hours each day. She explained that it was no joke to run a house with a lot of young children using buckets of water. I also learned that most of the water within the “green line” comes from sources “over the green line” and the Government of Israel was becoming increasingly worried that they had granted the autonomy authority control over the water.
After leaving the Cohen’s apartment, I went for a walk around Kiryat Arba. When I passed the building which in the past had housed the Kiryat Arba Municipal Council, I saw that the Kiryat Arba flag had been replaced by a P.L.O. flag and that there was a sign which read “Autonomy Council, Government of Palestine.” Even after what I had seen that day in Kiryat Arba, I was flabbergasted. Hadn’t it been a fundamental condition of the granting of autonomy that the Arabs would not declare an independent state? At that moment a Jew, who informed me that he did menial work in this building, came out, and I asked him this same question. “You are right,” he answered me “but who is there here now who is able to stop the P.L.O. operating an independent State?!”
(written August 1992)
[NOTE: When I wrote this article, it was only possible for Arafat to enter Israel via the backdoor, namely by “converting” to Judaism! No-one then, in their wildest nightmares, imagined that just a year later, a Prime Minister of Israel would deign to shake hands with Arafat, a mass murderer of Jews.]
One day in 1994, Yasser Arafat came to the conclusion that it would be advantageous to his cause were he to be elected to the Israeli Knesset. A pre-requisite was Israeli citizenship and some preliminary inquiries indicated that it was extremely difficult for a non-Jew to obtain it. He did however discover a simple remedy - “convert” to Judaism, and that any scrap of paper “attesting” to a conversion was acceptable to the Israeli authorities.
He had no trouble in finding a “rabbi” - one of the type who would officiate at mixed marriages together with a priest, bishop, kadi or whatever cleric one might choose. Just one meeting with this “rabbi”, a large sum of money passed under the table and hey-presto a “document of conversion” was signed, sealed and delivered. Naturally, Yasser did not have to go through all the “incumberances” demanded by Jewish religious law, and even more naturally he didn’t change his lifestyle by one iota!
“Armed” with this piece of paper, Arafat invoked the “Law of Return.” As he explained to his followers the “law of return to Palestine.”
On one bright summer’s day (it just happened to be the 9 day of Ab), he arrived at Ben-Gurion airport as a “new immigrant.” He was accompanied by his wife - it was unnecessary for her to “convert”; Israeli law recognised relatives of the first degree, the second degree (and maybe a few more degrees) as immigrants under the law of return, and so why pay the “rabbi” for an additional conversion certificate.
The arrival of such a famous (or infamous!) immigrant merited the Mapam Minister of Absorption to go personally to the airport to greet the new immigrant Arafat family. They were of course granted the same government and Jewish Agency assistance as given to other immigrants.
The Minister of the Interior, Rabbi A.D. immediately issued Yasser with an Identity Card which stated that he was a member of the Jewish people. When challenged on this point, Rabbi A.D. first claimed the “right to remain silent.” When pressed however, he answered that if you look at the I.D. card with a magnifying glass, you can see that there is a disclaimer regarding the accuracy of religious affiliation.
As the 1996 general elections approached, Arafat established a political party, which he quite openly called the P.L.O. party. Unlike the 1992 election when the various Arab parties could not agree on a joint list, Darawshe, Miari, Ziyad all fought to be given the privilege to be included in a list under the leadership of Arafat.
When the P.L.O list came up for approval before the Central Elections Committee, the Arab parties and Meretz immediately gave it their blessing. The members of Rabin’s Labour party were “conveniently” absent - they didn’t want to offend a potential coalition partner in the next government by voting against it. Naturally the right-wing and religious parties opposed its approval and thus by a majority vote the P.L.O. party was disqualified.
Arafat appealed this decision in the High Court. In their judgment, the President of the court ruled that if the parties of Darawshe, Miari and Ziyad which were in fact P.L.O. lists are allowed to contest the elections, then it would be hypocritical to disqualify Arafat’s list. Another judge said that Arafat was advocating a democratic-secular state, and is not democracy the highest ideal of Israeli society? As regards a secular state, was it not the founder of Modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, who wrote in his book “The Jewish State” that the rabbis “must not interfere with the administration of the state.” Only a religious judge on this bench realised the full implication of Arafat’s party and ruled that it should be rejected. However he was in the minority and the appeal was upheld, thus allowing the P.L.O. party to contest the election.
The Israeli Arabs who up to then were afraid to show where their true sympathies lay, now had the courage to come out from under the table. On polling day, the booths in the Arab localities were filled to bursting point. At closing time there were still about three hundred Arabs in each polling station waiting to vote and it took a further three hours until they had all cast their votes.
As to be expected the P.L.O party had a tremendous success in the elections and, after the Likud and Labour parties, was by far the largest party. Due to the Labour party’s policy in the last government of freezing everything over the “green line,” there was a massive swing from Labour to Likud.
The right-wing parties plus the religious parties had an absolute majority. However the party of Rabbi A.D. for reasons we don’t know - they maintained the “right to remain silent” - went into a coalition with the left and Arafat’s party to give them once again the government.
Arafat demanded to be made Minister of Defence and Rabin who, to form his previous government had come to agreements with the Arab parties, agreed saying “why shouldn’t I accept their demands again.”
Arafat was not Minister of Defence in the government of Israel for long. No - Arafat did not go into early retirement. It was the State of Israel which went into early retirement!
(written September 1987)
Please tick the correct answer:
Who supplies the electricity to the Israeli army camps and military installations in Judea and Samaria, within 20 kilometres of Jerusalem?
(a) The Israel Electricity Corporation
(b) The Israel Defence Forces
(c) A company directed by the P.L.O. (Palestine Liberation Organisation)
The answer is (c) - the P.L.O. !
This fact is unbelievable yet true.
How did such an absurd situation arise and how could it continue for over 20 years?
During the Ottoman rule over Eretz-Israel there was no electricity in the country. However, in 1914, a Greek named Euripedes Mavrommatis was granted a concession to supply electricity within a radius of 20 kilometres from the central dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Because of the First World War, Mavrommatis was unable to operate his concession. In 1917 this area was conquered by the British.
In 1921 the British awarded the supply of electricity to Eretz-Israel to the Russian-Jewish engineer, Pinhas Rutenberg. Just prior to this, Mavrommatis appealed to the Court of the League of Nations who upheld his claim. In the 1950s, this concession was transferred to "Palestinian" ownership.
When after the Six Day War, Israel started establishing Jewish areas in East Jerusalem, this Arab electricity company claimed that their concession entitled them to supply these Jewish neighbourhoods with electricity. As can be imagined, the Israeli Government knuckled under.
The Arab electricity company became a symbol of Arab resistance to the "Israeli occupation" and its board was filled with P.L.O. supporters. They saw they could get away with anything - including frequent power cuts - and demanded that all Jewish settlements, army camps and military installations within 20 kilometres of Jerusalem be connected to their grid. This included the Judea and Samaria Military Headquarters at Bet-El. Israel agreed to all these demands.
It is very fortunate that the Jordanian decision to extend the Arab electricity company's concession to the Hebron area was not formally ratified before the Six Day War. Otherwise the Military Governor of Hebron would also be receiving his electricity by courtesy of the P.L.O.
Electricity today, especially in a military installation, is not a luxury. It is a highly essential commodity in the defence of the country. One does not have to be a military strategist to know what the first thing the Arabs would do in the event they decide on an insurrection.
At the end of this year, the concession originally awarded by the Turks expires. Instead of doing the sane thing of transferring the area to the Israel Electricity Corporation, the Israeli Government is negotiating to extend the Arab concession for a further 10 - 15 years. Jewish settlements, army camps and military installations will be excluded, but even this the Arabs are fighting tooth and nail.
To have permitted the supply of electricity to Military Headquarters and other defence installations to be governed for the past twenty years by bitter enemies of the State surely ranks a mention in Ripley's "Believe It or Not".
(written March 1988)
During the Moslem festival of Nebi Musa in April 1920, the Arabs made a brutal attack on the Jews of Jerusalem, in which seven Jews were killed and two hundred injured. Since the British authorities were unable or unwilling to perform their duty and safeguard the lives of the Jews in the city, the Jews were forced to take action in self-defence. At that time, Jabotinsky was head of the Haganah in Jerusalem. After these Arab riots had subsided, Jabotinsky and twenty of his followers, who had only been acting in self-defence, were arrested by the British and sentenced to terms of imprisonment. A few months later, the High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, granted an amnesty to the imprisoned Jews, as well as to the Arabs who had taken part in these attacks on the Jews.
It is said that history repeats itself. However, today there is one important difference. The then High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, released both the Jews who acted in self-defence and the Arab terrorists from prison. In contrast, the President of the State of Israel, Chaim Herzog, released over 1000 Arab terrorists and murderers but has consistently refused to release the Jewish "underground" whose only aim was to defend Jews in the light of the Government's inability or unwillingness to do so.
Today in Israel, Jews are continually being attacked by Arabs. Grenades, stones and Molotov cocktails are being thrown at Jewish vehicles. It is a situation which the Israeli Prime- minister, Yitzhak Shamir, has described as war, " a war against Israelis, against the existence of the State of Israel". However, all the Israeli Government can do is to put on a pantomime. Whenever anyone in Israel wants to take action to stop this Arab terrorism, the Government says that it is the function of the army to maintain law and order. Anyone on the spot, can immediately see that in practice this is not the case, and this can be illustrated by the following two examples.
One of the grocers in Kiryat Arba was bringing supplies from Jerusalem in his van when he was suddenly stoned on the Jerusalem-Hebron road. He called on some soldiers who were nearby, to assist him. Their sole response was to tell him to get out of the area as quickly as possible!
A letter published in the "Jerusalem Post" of 6 March 1988, told of an incident regarding the army who were escorting a school bus in Samaria. Suddenly, an Arab threw a bottle at them and then made an obscene gesture. The soldiers made no appropriate response and this inaction, in the letter writer's opinion, endangered the lives of all the children on the bus.
It should be stressed here, that one cannot blame the individual soldiers. They are acting under the orders of the Government - if one can seriously use the term "Government"! A cartoon in a recent Israeli newspaper showed soldiers being issued with toy guns. This aptly, but sadly describes the situation. The grotesqueness of the situation is apparent to anyone watching the news on Israeli television each night. Almost every night, pictures are shown of Arabs throwing stones at soldiers. The soldiers stand there like an "Aunt Sally" at a fairground. Any attempt by the soldiers to take appropriate action would land them in prison.
What the U.S. would do in a similar situation was explained in a letter to the "Jerusalem Post" of 29 February 1988. Here, a retired American senior police officer wrote that in a situation far less aggravated than that encountered in Israel at the moment, the instructions given to the police of the U.S. are: shoot to kill.
In Israel, however, attempts by Jewish residents to help patrol the roads to ensure the safety of the residents are immediately condemned by the left.
Recently, following one of the many incidents of Arab stone- throwing at Egged buses on the Jerusalem-Hebron road, one of the passengers alighted and bravely caught the stone-thrower whom he immediately took to the police-station. In another country, the passenger would have received a citation for his bravery. Here, however, it is different - the passenger was charged with kidnapping the Arab stone-thrower!
So remember, should the Arabs throw stones, Molotov cocktails or even a grenade at you, do nothing unless you want to go to jail. You may end up in the cemetery, but don't worry - you will go to Heaven knowing that you have observed the regulations.
(written July 1987)
Two events involving racial discrimination recently occurred in Jerusalem - unnoticed. There was not so much as a murmur from the left. The reason was sadly simple - it was discrimination against Jews
The first event ("Jerusalem Post" July 7 1987) involves monuments. Near to the Western Wall, Rabbi Shlomo Goren built his Idra Yeshiva. On the roof of this Yeshiva, he erected a monument to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. This monument did not find favour in the eyes of the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kollek and a legal suit is currently being brought against Rabbi Goren to make him remove it.
Not far from this monument is another monument. This was erected on the Temple Mount by the Arabs "in memory of Sabra and Shatilla". Needless to say, the Arabs erected this without a permit, and again needless to say, Teddy Kollek is not bringing the matter to Court. He has even said that he does not intend making an issue of the matter.
The second event ("In Jerusalem" July 3 1987) concerns the Jerusalem City Council's decision to grant cheaper library facilities to children in Jerusalem. However, this will not apply to all the children in Jerusalem - only the Arab children. Jewish children will continue to pay the full library fees!
When it was recently suggested that students who had served in the Army should receive a reduction in their University tuition fees in recognition of the years of their life that they had devoted to the security of the nation, there were outcries from the left - "Discrimination against Arabs". Why are these same voices not crying out about the discrimination against Jewish children on the issue of library fees?
(written February 1990)
At the beginning of the 1960s, a film entitled "Sallah Shabbati" was produced in Israel. Sallah Shabbati was an immigrant to Israel in the 1950s, from an unspecified Oriental country. Soon after arrival, Sallah was given work of planting trees for a J.N.F. forest.
On the day he started work, Sallah saw the manager of the forest putting up a sign naming the forest after Mr. Simon Birnbaum, who had donated the money for the trees. A few minutes later, Mr. Birnbaum and his wife arrived to inspect their forest.
Immediately after they had left, the manager renamed the forest after Mrs. Pearl Sonnenshein! Sallah Shabbati who had been watching the sign changing with interest, complained to the manager that it was dishonest to take money from two different people for the same forest. Sallah was in fact so disgusted that he uprooted the trees and said that for the Sonnenshein family one must plant fresh trees. Sallah was immediately fired!
This film was shown on Israeli television on 7 May 1984, and afterwards, the actor Topol who had played Sallah Shabbati was interviewed. He revealed that Golda Meyer was very angry with this scene of the film because it portrayed the J.N.F. as taking money from donors under false pretences.
What Sallah Shabbati discovered in the 1950s, Hadassah Marcus again discovered in the 1980s, but on a much more serious scale. (What a pity Golda is no longer alive to see these latest revelations.) The J.N.F. of America in their literature showed a map of Eretz Israel which included Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with the motto "U.S. JNF projects cover the map of Israel" superimposed on it. This implies that they used the money from donors to plant trees over all of Eretz Israel. Not so, speak the trees!! Hadassah Marcus has uncovered the truth. From the time of the Six Day War, the J.N.F. of America has refused to allocate any money for use over the "green line". How many donors are aware of this fact?
Thank Heavens we have people like Sallah Shabbati and Hadassah Marcus in our midst!
(written May 1987)
Nearly nine years ago, the Camp David "agreement" was signed and this resulted in something unparalleled in the history of Eretz Israel. Jewish settlements were dismantled and destroyed at the orders of a Jewish Government and a portion of Eretz Israel was surrendered to the Arabs.
The events of the last few weeks indicate the possibility of a "Second Camp David" which would be on a much larger scale than the first one. This time Judea and Samaria - the heart of Eretz Israel, and over one hundred settlements are at risk.
Signs of what could happen have already started to occur. Jews were denied access to a Holy Place in Shechem, namely the Tomb of Joseph -- and on Israel Independence Day of all days. [Incidentally, this seems to be in breach of the "Protection of Holy Places Order" proclaimed by the Commander of the (Judea and Samaria) Region on 4 August 1967. The punishment for such a breach is five years' imprisonment.]
Soon after the publication of the Camp David agreement, I wrote an account of what I was experiencing and witnessing. It is worthwhile at this time republishing it as a warning of what could easily happen again -- except that this time it would be much much much worse.
Thoughts of a Kiryat Arba Resident
(written September 1978)
For Jews who genuinely care about Eretz Israel, the days and weeks since the results of the Camp David Summit were announced have been traumatic. For the first time in our history, Jews are agreeing to the dismembering of the Jewish State. Let us first look at the participants at the "Summit".
Carter: the President of a country of immigrants who usurped the land from its indigenous Red Indians and then continually pursued an expansionist policy which included the annexation of a large area of Mexico, acquired as the result of war. (Mr. Carter, how about withdrawing from the territory you have occupied and allowing the Red Indians to have self-determination?) We will sum up Carter as the worm, Jimmy, who used to live on peanuts but today survives by licking boots coated with oil.
Sadat: a Nazi collaborator during World War II, who in the 1950s, when the Nazi atrocities were well known still publicly praised Adolf Hitler in an Egyptian newspaper. After the Yom Kippur war, Sadat said that he was prepared to conclude any kind of peace with Israel in order to get them out of Sinai, but that once they were out he would extricate himself from his commitments in order to carry on the war against Israel. Summed up, Sadat is a very crafty Nazi patiently awaiting his opportunity for genocide.
Begin: a man, who until he became Prime Minister had a wonderful record in his fight for Eretz Israel. Unlike most politicians, he had the reputation for being a man of his word. When he promised the settlers in Northern Sinai, (who have devoted years of their lives to making that part of the desert bloom), that he would never agree to their removal, he was believed. Today we cannot believe anything that Begin says and anything he does will no longer surprise us. A poster in Kiryat Arba sums up the Begin of today as follows: Just as Herzl said, "In Basle I founded the Jewish State", Begin will be able to say, "In Camp David, I founded the Palestinian State."
A few days ago, someone remonstrated with me, "How can you demonstrate against Begin, you voted him into power." I replied that what Begin is doing today is completely contrary to his party platform, and his election promises. He is now stabbing in the back those who voted him into power and for that reason, we have every right to demonstrate against him.
Since this "stab in the back", the residents of Kiryat Arba have been continually organising and arranging demonstrations and protests to show that we will not tolerate any foreign power taking over any part of Eretz Israel. The Government is obviously worried by the strength and justice of our case and in order to quell any opposition to their "peace plan", have ordered the military authorities to take dictatorial steps.
At every demonstration, soldiers forcibly remove television cameras to try and prevent the world seeing the opposition to Begin. What sort of democracy is this? Is this country called Russia? I personally witnessed the barriers placed at the entrance to Gush Etzion to prevent tractors leaving in order to take part in the demonstration outside the Knesset. Only in totalitarian regimes do we find this conduct. In addition, Jews fighting for Eretz Israel are being harassed. I want to say straight away, that we cannot attach blame to the individual soldiers. They are in the unenviable position of having to carry out orders of a higher authority. It is this higher authority who must be called to give account for such actions.
Let me relate what happened to me personally. Near Kiryat Arba, there is a small hill which is part of Kiryat Arba. There is no law preventing Jews from going to that hill. On the first night of Selichot, about 100 residents of Kiryat Arba went up to this hill to have a Melave Malka and recite Selichot. (Some Chassidim who had spent Shabbat in Kiryat Arba also came up.) After the Selichot, soldiers charged in, forcibly removed us and carried us off to an awaiting bus and imprisoned us there. Amongst those imprisoned was my eldest daughter, aged 8, and a 16-year-old boy whose parents were not even informed that he had been imprisoned. The bus then drove off to the police station in Beer Sheba. After waiting for about an hour, the police realised there was nothing they could charge us with and they told us we were free. One would have expected that after this false imprisonment, the least they could have done would be to return us in the bus to Kiryat Arba. This they refused to do and we had to make our way back to Kiryat Arba at our own expense.
"Return Sinai to Egyptian Sovereignty" has today become such a cliche that people do not bother to investigate its accuracy. In fact, it is very questionable whether any part of Sinai has ever been under Egyptian sovereignty. The area of the settlements in Northern Sinai, (i.e. Between El Arish and Rafiah), have never been under Egyptian Sovereignty and was only administered by Egypt after 1906. According to all authorities, this area is just as much a part of Eretz Israel as Judea, Samaria or Tel-Aviv.
We hear slogans "Peace or the Sinai Settlements". If the Arabs can get away with this, they will next demand "Peace or Kiryat Arba" and then "Peace or the Golan Settlements" and then "Peace or Jerusalem". Don't be fooled - the Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia, who regards herself as the guardian of the Moslem Holy Places, have a much greater feeling for Jerusalem than for Sinai. Saudi Arabia will not hesitate to hold a pistol at the United States and say "Oil or Jerusalem", if she thinks she can get away with this sort of blackmail. Jerusalem will then go to the Arabs and they will take away our Western Wall, citing a League of Nations Resolution of nearly 50 years ago to support them.
When Chamberlain returned from Hitler in 1938, carrying a piece of paper signed by Hitler promising that he would be a "good boy", the euphoria of the population was immeasurable. Sadly, hardly anyone weighed up the situation. As a result of the war which followed, 6,000,000 of our brethren are no longer. Let us not have another holocaust, this time in Eretz Israel. Think and act NOW.
(written July 1992)
In 1943, the Revisionists (today we call them the Nationalists), established the “American Resettlement Committee for Uprooted European Jewry.” One of its main objectives was to promote a plan for the transfer of the Arabs of Palestine to Iraq. Amongst its first goals was to recruit former U.S. President Herbert Hoover to be its “Honorary President.” Although Hoover was a strong supporter of transfer, having proposed it (together with Hugh Gibson) in their book “The Problems of Lasting Peace,” he declined the offer. His reason: the depth of “division and conflict” in the Jewish organisational world - the “different organisations seem to be busy trying to destroy each other.” The result was sadly simple - this very praiseworthy group, the “American Resettlement Committee” never got off the ground, solely because of the petty squabbling between various Jewish groups.
In the recent past, we have seen that the leftists have learned from the disastrous results that can come about from in-fighting. Parties as diverse as Mapam, Shinui and Citizens’ Rights Movement came together and formed a joint list for the Knesset. As a result of this “unity,” Israel now has a left-wing government. It can hardly be said that the Israeli electorate opted for a left-wing government, since the total number of votes cast for right-wing/religious parties exceeded those cast for the left-wing parties (and this includes those supporting the “P.L.O. orientated parties”). However when translated into Knesset seats, we obtain the following: Right- wing/religious parties 59 seats, left-wing parties 56 seats, P.L.O. orientated parties” 5 seats.
The Israel Labour Party will do anything to get into power and their spokesmen said several times on television (of course after the elections!) that if necessary they would form a coalition with these Arab parties (i.e. the “P.L.O. orientated parties”). This wasn’t just talk - the Labour Party indeed made agreements with them in exchange for their support. What a turnabout from before the elections when they specifically promised that they would not form a coalition with these parties; but was it not the “left-winger” Lenin who followed the maxim “promises are like pie-crust, lightly made and easily broken.”
How then did it happen that the left with less votes than the right became the government. The standard answer to the weird things that happen in the Jewish State, is that every day in Israel is Purim! This time however there is a rational explanation. It is simply the result of squabbling between the right-wing factions. There is a saying that for every two Jews there are three Shuls, and this illustrates what happened with the right-wing candidates to the Knesset. Why could not Moledet, Tehiya, Modai, Rabbi Levinger and Rabbi Eliezer Mizrahi, who have identical views on the future of Eretz Israel, have submitted a joint list. The reasons are puerile in the extreme. For example, they could not agree on whether to write the word “autonomy” before or after the word “transfer”!! The result was that no fewer than four of the right-wing lists failed to reach the threshold of 1.5 per cent, and so tens upon tens of thousands of right-wing votes went down the drain. At three seats were lost, and it was this difference that gave the left its majority, and hence the reins of government, and G-d forbid the “shaping” of the future of the Jewish State both physically and spiritually. Shulmit Aloni certainly knows whom to thank for her important position in the government - it is possibly one of the first times in her life that she is grateful to these right-wing people!
When in 1937, the British prime minister Stanley Baldwin prevented Edward the Eighth from becoming king of England (ostensibly because he wanted to marry a divorcee, but very likely because of his outspoken socialist views), wags changed the chant “G-d save the King” to “G-d save the King from Baldwin.” Likewise in place of G-d save Eretz Israel” we now need to pray “G-d save Eretz Israel from the leftists.”
(written April 1992)
In 1987, Rafi Medoff published a book entitled "The Deafening Silence". In this book, Medoff carefully documents how American Jewry remained silent during the whole period of the Holocaust. The only demonstration on behalf of European Jewry during the entire period of the Second World War was by 400 Rabbis who marched in front of the White House, two days before Yom Kippur in 1943. As a result of pressure by certain influential Jews, President Roosevelt refused to accept a delegation sent by these Rabbis. Members of the Revisionist movement in America, led by Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook), also attempted to alert the American people as to what was happening to the Jews of Europe, by inserting advertisements in the national papers. Bergson's reward came from Stephen Wise who proudly exhorted: "Bergson is worse than Hitler."
American Jewry did almost nothing to save six million of their brethren who were being systematically gassed by the Nazis.
Today nearly fifty years later, American Jewry (with a few notable exceptions) are repeating history.
Bush and Baker are trying to dictate conditions on Israel which are not only racist ("you can only live in a certain part of Eretz Israel if you are non-Jewish"), but are also contrary to international law (under the League of Nations Mandate and subsequently paragraph 80 of the U.N. charter, Jews can live anywhere in Eretz Israel - the words of a former U.S. Under Secretary of State, who is also a law professor). Even the lowest of the low desist from linking humanitarian aid with the granting of political concessions. Yet despite all this, American Jews don't open their mouths except to eat bagels and lox.
Baker reportedly uses a "four-letter word" and hardly a complimentary one, to describe the Jews of America, and the most that the American Jewish leaders (if you can descibe them as leaders) can say is that we will give him the benefit of the doubt! This description alone from the mouth of Baker, should be more than enough to bring the Jews of America in their numbers marching in the streets carrying the appropriate banners condemning this blatant anti-Semitism, but all they can do is to sit in front of their televisions.
During the gulf war, Israel received a "present" of 39 Scud missiles from Iraq, but in order to help the war effort of the U.S. remained a sitting target. But not unsurprisingly. all this was conveniently forgotten by Bush and Company after the war, and they also conveniently forgot how the "Palestinian Arabs" and Jordan supported the Iraqis. Did American Jewry likewise conveniently forget all this?
The American presidential elections are coming up later this year. Although the Jews of America are only three per cent of the total population, by the American electoral college system, they are strategically placed. The States with the highest number of electoral college members are California and New York, and these also happen to be the states with the largest Jewish population. These Jewish votes can get Bush out the White House. But will American Jewry exhibit another "deafening silence"?
(This article was written immediately after Sadat's visit to Israel in November 1977.)
The euphoria which has been generated by Sadat's visit to Israel has caused many people to believe that the Egyptians now want peace. It is therefore necessary to make a closer study of Sadat's words.
This is not he first time that Sadat has used the formula "peace with Israel". Prior to the Six Day War, the use by the Arabs of such phrases as "driving the Jews into the sea" and "shedding of Jewish blood" was offending the susceptibilities of the world. When Sadat came to power in late 1970, he soon realised that if could evolve a text with the words "peace with Israel", this would be more acceptable to the Western world. From February 1971, he did this and his three part formula then went as follows:
i. he was prepared for peace with Israel.
ii. Israel must withdraw from all occupied territories.
iii. the granting of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.
Leading Arab spokesmen have explained that the granting of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians means the elimination of Israel and replacing it by a State in which Moslems, Christians and Jews would be equal. President Gaddafi of Libya has stated that Sadat told him on October 30th 1973 that he was prepared to conclude any kind of peace with Israel in order to retrieve the Sinai Peninsula. But Sadat added that he would extricate himself from his commitments in order to carry on the war against Israel once the Egyptian army was in a position to win a decisive victory.
We can therefore see that Sadat's formula for "peace" means the destruction of Israel but said in a more acceptable way!
If we now study Sadat's speech to the Knesset we see that he has just churned out the same three-point formula. The only novelty has been that he has said it from the rostum of the Israeli Parliament.
One might argue that Sadat has taken a great political risk by coming to Israel. We must realise, however, that Sadat is an opportunist and an excellent politician who is prepared to take great risks.
When it was fashionable for the Arab world to be proŢNazi, Sadat collaborated with the Nazis in World War II and in 1953 he wrote in the Cairo weekly "Al Musawwar", a "personal letter to Hitler" congratulating him as in reality he (Hitler) was the victor since he had caused dissentions between Churchill and his allies. Sadat continued that Germany would be reborn and Hitler could be proud of having become the immortal leader of Germany.
In 1973 on Yom Kippur, in the hope of destroying Israel, Sadat took a major risk and launched a surprise attack on Israel. At the present time, however, Israel has a greater relative military strength to Egypt as compared with 1973. Furthermore, Egypt is a bad economic situation. Sadat thus realises that he is not able to launch another military attack on Israel for some time, and he has therefore taken another major risk by launching an offensive in the diplomatic war. By this move, Sadat hopes to force Israel into making unilateral concessions.
From a reading of the world's mass media his risk seems to be paying off. Despite the fact that Sadat has used the same disguised expressions in the Knesset as he has used since 1971, which call for the elimination of Israel, the world is calling upon Begin to make concessions! No-one talks about Sadat's making any concessions.
We need to read our modern history - Neville Chamberlain with his piece of paper given by Hitler, the Vietnam peace conference, to quote just a few examples - to realise that the call for peace by Hitler and the North Vietnamese was just a prologue to their acts of aggression to eliminate other countries from the map.
Let us hope that Israel will not fall into the same trap. Any dimunition from Israel's present size would seriously affect her security. It would be followed by the same Arabs who today euphemistically talk about "peace with Israel" doing their best to ensure that there will be no Israel to make peace with.
NOTE: It was learned several years later, that Begin had promised Sadat in advance that should he come to Israel he would receive the entire Sinai peninsula. Thus the diplomatic risk that Sadat took was far far smaller than was thought at the time.
(written July 1987)
A few weeks after the end of the Six Day War of June 1967, Earle C. Wheeler, Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent a secret memorandum to the Secretary of Defense on the subject of Middle East Boundaries. (JCSM 373-67)
This document has recently been declassified and a grand total of 30 numbered copies were released to the public!
In this document, Wheeler, in answer to a request by the Secretary f Defense put forward “the minimum territory, in addition to that held on 4 June 1967, Israel might be justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective defense against possible conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids.” Following a 6 page discussion on this subject, a map of the area was appended.
The areas liberated in the Six Day War are shown partly shaded and partly in white. The shaded areas include, the entire Golan Heights, the entire Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria with the exception of the area approximating to the Jordan Valley.
At first glance, this therefore seems like the Allon Plan - namely Israel retains for defensive purposes the Jordan Valley area and “returns” the remainder to the Arabs.
However, on reading the legend to the map, it becomes apparent that the shaded area is the “minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes.” In other words, the entire Golan Heights, the entire Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (with the exception of the Jordan Valley) are required for Israel’s minimum defensive purposes. This is exactly the opposite of the Allon Plan.
Since the Six Day War, members of the left have consistently refused to set up settlements anywhere in Gaza, Judea or Samaria with the exception of the Jordan Valley. They have claimed that their settlements in the Jordan Valley are needed for defensive purposes.
With the publication of this American document, let these left-wingers now join their brethren in settling areas designated by the American defense establishment as essential for Israel’s continued security.
(written November 1976)
Just pick up a newspaper and you are sure to see comments deriding Gush Emunim - “expansionists”, “trouble makers”, “right-wing fanatics.”
In answer to such comments we say, read your Tenach and study our history. You will then see our true borders; you will learn about the heroic deeds of our early settlers who despite difficulties, persecutions, massacres and expulsions maintained a continual Jewish presence in Eretz Israel. Look at modern Zionist history and the Chalutzic spirit of the pioneers who settled in the suburbs of Arab populated Jaffa and north of the city. This settlement has now developed into today’s Tel-Aviv metropolis. Look at the early efforts of the State of Israel in encouraging Jewish settlement in the Arab populated areas of Beersheba and Nazareth, thus creating today’s large Jewish cities. The same Government today decries the same thing in places such as Kaddum. What is the difference?
“Expansionists” Look at facts and figures and you may get a few surprises. In 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, the World Zionist Organisation suggested borders for a Jewish State which not only included the West Bank but also a good chunk of the East Bank. Emir Feisal, an acknowledged leader of the Arabs, described these borders as “moderate and proper.” Have you ever looked at a map of Mandatory Palestine? You will see that today over three quarters of it is in Arab hands - (Trans)Jordan. Now look at a map of the Arab world - 20 independent countries with all their vast oil resources. Israel is only one small country with negligible oil, but the Arabs are still not satisfied, they also want Israel’s land. Now I ask you, who are the expansionists, Israel or the Arabs?
Do you still wish to give away the West Bank to the Arabs? Who do you think will live there? Peace-loving Arabs or Arafat’s men? You can be sure the latter.
You have obviously forgotten the pre-1967 vulnerable borders of the State of Israel. Remember the narrow coastal strip and the Jerusalem corridor. Surely you do not want a return to them? The Alon plan does not help; in fact it adds yet another vulnerable narrow strip of land in the Jordan Valley. Study the Palestinian National Covenant and you will learn the Arab intentions - the elimination of Israel. Do you want to help them by having vulnerable borders?
“Trouble-Makers” Why make trouble by settling in the West Bank; settle in places such as the Galilee or the Negev. You have already forgotten what happened a few months ago when the Government of Israel announced its plans for Jewish settlement in the Galilee. Massive Arab riots. In truth, the only place the Arabs want Jewish settlement is in the sea and maybe even then they will say that it is a Zionist plot to take over the oceans. There is nothing magical about the 1948/9 borders. It is just where the fighting happened to stop and with a different deployment of military forces, the borders would almost certainly have been different. This same point is made in the various 1949 Armistice agreements.
“Right-wing Fanatics” Gush Emunim is a non-political movement. The principle of settlement in the entire West Bank cuts completely across party lines. At the recent conference held at Ein Vered, more than 1,000 members of Kibbutzim and Moshavim supported West Bank settlement. Are there so many “right-wing fanatics” in the Kibbutz and Moshav movements?! Also a delegation from the Kibbutz movement went to the Israeli Prime Minister and informed him that if he threw out the Kaddum settlers, they themselves would move to Kaddum.
In conclusion, a group such as Gush Emunim should be unnecessary in a Jewish State. This would be the case if the Government of Israel would encourage Jewish settlement throughout Eretz Israel. Instead it persistently drives out Jewish settlers and hence the establishment of Gush Emunim has become a necessity. The famous Israel columnist Ephraim Kishon (who is certainly not a “right-wing fanatic”) has recently written, “The Israel Prize of Love of Israel belongs to Gush Emunim; neither hatred nor sneers can take it away from them.”
James Baker is upset! Every time he comes to Israel he is "greeted by a new settlement."
In that case, please visit Israel every week, Mr. Baker. Fifty new settlements each year will not be bad going!
There is a saying that the Almighty gave us two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we talk. Baker, however seems to have been created differently. He will never miss an opportunity to talk against Jewish settlements, but he will fail to listen to what his former Under-Secretary of State, Professor Eugene Rostow said about them: "Since the Palestine Mandate conferred the right to settle in the West Bank on the Jews, that right has not been extinguished, and under Article 80 of the [U.N.] Charter, cannot be extinguished unilaterally."
Needless to add, this right of settlement applies equally to Russian Olim as to veteran Israelis. Thus anyone trying to stop settlement of the Russian Olim over the "green line" - be it the Government of the U.S.A., Britain, U.S.S.R., Egypt or even Israel - is in breach of the U.N. Charter to which they are signatories.
Another person created in the image of Baker is George Bush (or probably vice versa, since Bush ÉiÉs the President of the U.S.) Some time ago, the President (without doing his homework) decided to ask for a juridicial opinion on Israeli settlements, and then (as he thought) he would have good ammunition against the Zionists! But this was not to be... His advisers on international law told him to keep quiet, since the answer he would almost certainly receive would destroy his pipe-dream.
To keep these legal-advisers' brains active, let them look into the legal status of territories such as California and Texas, which were captured from the Mexicans, annexed and then settled by Americans. The rate of building new settlements in California and Texas puts Israeli builders to shame.
To add variety, Bush and Baker also condemn Israel for expelling Arab murderers and terrorists. (Naturally they conveniently forget how they themselves expelled from their homes over one hundred thousand Americans of Japanese ancestry who were not the remotest security risk to the U.S., their only "crime" being that generations back they came from Japan.) Here, however, Israel is largely to blame. Instead of summarily expelling these terrorists and getting just one five-column headline in the world press, Israel allows them to appeal to the courts, and then to the appeal courts and then the appeal appeal courts and so on... Naturally every appeal, and of course the accompanying photographs, enables Israel to monopolise five-column headlines... and receive condemnations. But we must remember - Israel is a country of law and order!
Do you know what a Government Minister said that one should do if an Arab tries to knife you in the street? Kill him... attack him... Good Heavens no! - you must not take the law into your own hands. What you must do is go to the nearest telephone and summon the police!! (Maybe if you haven't got a telephone token, ask the Arab who is trying to kill you to loan you one.)
The Israeli Government has been ordered to check the efficiency of the gas-masks they issued to the public, and as a country of law and order they will naturally do so. It is certainly within the bounds of possibility that the Israeli High Court, in its great wisdom, will rule that Arabs be given gas-masks of a higher efficiency than those given to Jews, since an Arab standing on his roof-top cheering as Scud missiles fall on Israeli cities is far less protected against a gas attack than a Jew sitting in his sealed room. It is a consolation to know that this would be one Israeli decision which Messrs Bush and Baker would praise. Thank Heavens for small mercies!