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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Gush Katif’

Let the Nation Decide – Before It’s Too Late

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The root of the evil is the across-the-board political consensus to conduct negotiations over our land. When Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett does not oppose the negotiations, why should he complain about the prime minister? After all, Prime Minister Netanyahu is simply fighting an unwinnable war, searching for all sorts of innovative ways to improve his and our situation.

From what I know of Netanyahu, it is clear to me that he is not happy about giving up parts of our land. Just like Menachem Begin, who, at the start of talks with Egypt promised to move to the Sinai, and like Ariel Sharon, who originally said, “The status of Netzarim is the same as the status of Tel Aviv,” Netanyahu also has Zionistic ambitions. Perhaps he even believes that he will be able to realize some of them. But those hopes are not built on the right foundation. That is why they always collapse in the face of reality.

The rightist leaders of the past have always enjoyed the generous support of the national religious parties to advance their plans for retreat. Surely nobody wants to break up the coalition over mere talks. When the talks ripen into action, even if the national religious parties walk out of the government, it is already too late. That is how Sinai and its towns were erased by Begin and the National Religious Party’s Zevulun Hammer. That is how Gush Katif and its towns were destroyed by Sharon and the NRP’s Zevulun Orlev. Our good friends in the Jewish Home Party have their fair share in the tragedy that is taking shape before our eyes – even if, toward the end of the process, they will leave the coalition.

When you vote for the release of terrorists just for the “privilege” of entering negotiations to surrender your homeland, you and your party are part of the problem – certainly not part of the solution. When you run out of the Knesset plenum so that you don’t have to vote in favor of a law to safeguard Jerusalem from negotiations, you and your party are part of the problem – not even near the solution. And when you see how the sovereignty over the Temple Mount is being transferred to Jordan (through the Moslem wakf) and you don’t lift a finger, you are a central part of the problem – not the solution.

The same is true when you support the transfer of the Negev to the Bedouins and when you ignore the destruction wrought by the defense minister on outlying settlements. And to top it off: What is the connection between a Jewish home and the equal status afforded same-sex couples? How is it that when a national religious party boasts 12 Knesset seats and a place of honor in the cabinet, we are witnessing a wave of legislation that, in exchange for fleeting coalition benefits, rips to shreds the time-honored status quo on religious issues?

I have no doubt that if Bennett and his party would have remained outside the government and the ultra-Orthodox would have been in the coalition, the prognosis for the Land of Israel would not have been any worse. But at least we would have been able to preserve some Jewish values.

So now what do we do? After you have already entered negotiations following questionable means, what does Israel get? A U.S. demand for retreat to the 1967 borders and the establishment of the Palestinian capital in Jerusalem. Is there a way out of this mess?

Instead of meaningless advertising campaigns and ridiculous spats with the prime minister, we must make a simple and focused demand: a national referendum on the Kerry framework proposal. If Thomas Friedman, in his New York Times column, is correct in writing that the U.S. document includes a retreat to the 1967 borders with some land swaps and a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, then, as we know from our previous experience, that will also be the final result – until the very last grain of sand. Let us not forget that the U.S. represents the so-called middle ground. On the other side are the Arabs and the Haaretz newspaper demanding much more. Kerry’s framework is most likely the picture of the final- status agreement.

We must not allow the Israelis leading the negotiations to continue to slice up the land like a piece of salami while urging the public to get used to the idea – which is what happened in the past. Bring the entire salami to a national referendum – now – before the slicing begins.

Ask the nation this question: Do you support a retreat to the 1967 borders with some land swaps, along with the establishment of a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem?

If the answer will be positive, Netanyahu will be able to tell Kerry that he has received a mandate from the nation to continue the process according to the secretary of state’s plan. If the answer is negative, we will most likely have elections that will focus on the real issue: not what we oppose, but rather what we support.

For my part, I will provide the Israeli public with the option to vote for the candidate whose vision is in line with the vision of the prophets – instead of the candidate who wages a hopeless war in the face of the vision of Oslo.

Can You Yell ‘God’ in a Crowded Cemetery?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Yitzhak Aharonovich, of Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu party, is Israel’s Minister of Internal Security. His first government role was as Minister of Tourism, which probably qualified him for his latest career move.

I don’t like the fact that Israel has a ministry devoted to internal security. The name brings to mind not images of little children playing care free in the park as it does images of long, gray corridors and interrogation rooms. Until 1995, the office was named Ministry of the Police, which brought to mind traffic tickets and cops fighting over their pensions. I liked it better that way.

Israel already has a Ministry of the Interior, which, by rights, should be taking care of Internal security—it’s in the name, even. Who needs, on top of a ministry taking care of the interior, another ministry taking care of the security of the interior?

Here’s what Minister of Internal Security Aharonovich was busy with this week:

As you may have noticed wherever you looked or listened in Israel these past three days, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on Saturday, after a long sleep. No one took the news lightly. The man had admirers, but, boy, did he have enemies. One of his loudest enemies inside Israel were the students of yeshiva Torat Hachayim, who were among the thousands of Jews Sharon had forcibly deported from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

Some of those students reacted with exuberant glee to the news of Sharon’s passing, and even hung up leaflets literally congratulating him on his demise, complete with a citation from the Shulchan Aruch regarding the proper mourning ceremony for Jewish traitors (the terms mumarim and mosrim are subtler, but in this context, they mean traitors).

Our gemora teaches (Bav BB 16b) that a man is not judged for things he said or did in his time of stress. This is not a criminal rule, but a social one, and it also hints at the way Heaven evaluates our speech and actions at such times.

In my opinion, these yeshiva guys were entitled to their expression of satisfaction at the death of the man who ruined their lives. I wish everyone in Israel shared their freedom of spirit. What’s more normal and mentally healthy than to rejoice at the passing of the wicked man who sent brutal cops to drag you and your parents and your children onto the waiting buses, and abandoned your property so your enemies could come and burn it down.

Secular Israelis have a habit of citing bits of verses which turn out to mean entirely different things than the full verse does. Most memorable is the clipped cite “he who steals from a thief is absolved,” which basically means that if I ran off with your car after it had been stolen by someone else, I get to keep it. That’s a distortion of the actual mishna (Bav BK 62b) which says that while a thief must pay back double what he stole, the one who steals from a thief is absolved from paying double and must only return the stolen item to its owner.

A similarly convenient cite is from Proverbs 24:17: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”

That sounds like a firm warning by Scriptures that when you see your enemy getting what he deserves, you shouldn’t be happy. The only thing missing here is context, which is provided by the next verse, 24:18: “Lest God will see and disapprove of you and turn His wrath away from him (your enemy).”

In other words, this is good advise to anyone taking their relationship with God seriously: God is watching all of us, and if you make a lot of noise, you’re practically begging Him to judge you on your gloating.

Wearing Orange? Don’t Visit Sharon Lying in State

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Guards at the Knesset made sure that no one wearing anything with the color orange in it was allowed onto the Knesset grounds for Sharon’s lying in state.

Orange was the color of the protest against Sharon’s Disengagement plan from Gush Katif.

Guards checked visitors carefully for orange bracelets, shirts, banners, and other orange colored clothing or paraphernalia.

One person, inadvertently wearing an orange shirt unrelated to the Gush Katif protest, was turned away from the Knesset grounds and not allowed to pay his respects to the former Prime Minister.

Weather Forecast: Chance of Rockets Raining on Sharon’s Funeral

Monday, January 13th, 2014

The Israel Air Force (IAF) and General Security Services (Shabak) are on high state of alert ahead of former Prime Minister Sharon’s funeral, according to a report in Maariv.

Ariel Sharon is to be buried Monday in his Negev “Sycamore Ranch” (“Havat Shikmim”), which is within range of Gaza’s rockets.

There is concern within the security forces that the Gazans might decide to shoot rockets at the funeral, and so, have launched “Operation Kalaniot” to try to prevent any rockets from being launched and hitting the ranch during the funeral.

An Iron Dome anti-rocket system will also be deployed to protect the funeral.

In 2007, a rocket from Gaza hit and exploded on the ranch.

After Sharon pulled Israel out of the Gaza Strip, Gaza became a terror base that has put millions of Israelis within rocket range of Gaza’s terrorists, and semi-regularly requires that residents of Israel’s south go into bomb shelters and reinforced sewer pipes so as to not get injured or killed from falling rockets.

Israel’s security has significantly diminished since the 2005 expulsion of Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and Gaza.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make even deeper expulsions and pullouts from additional Israeli territories.

Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Israel in Sharon Message

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s security in his condolence message on the death of Ariel Sharon.

“On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel,” Obama said Saturday morning, within hours of the announcement of the death of Sharon at 85.

“We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples,” the statement said. “We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country.”

Sharon left office in 2006 after a stroke, months after he orchestrated Israel’s forced deportation of its citizens from the Gaza Strip, a policy that led Netanyahu to leave the government at the time.

Sabra, Shatila Response to Sharon’s Passing Not Unlike Gush Katif’s

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Adel Makki handed out sweets on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, when he heard the news of the death of Ariel Sharon. “I was relieved when I found out that Sharon was dead,” Makki, 19, told AFP. “I think the years he spent in a coma were punishment from God for the crimes he committed.”

The Palestinians, and many others, continue to blame Sharon for a massacre of hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, between September 16 and 18 1982, in the Sabra neighborhood and the adjacent Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, even though the slaughter was carried out by a Lebanese Christian militia.

Sharon, who was Israel’s defense minister at the time, was forced to resign after a commission of inquiry found him “indirectly responsible” for the massacres. He was in charge, following the invasion of Lebanon by the IDF, and so the massacre was his responsibility.

There were no subtlties or nuances in ten-year-old Ahmad Khodr al-Gosh’s mind when he told AFP on Saturday: “I took a piece of candy because the assassin is dead. He killed hundreds of women and children. We are now relieved.”

Until the next car blows up down the block, of course.

The Shatila refugee camp came to life when the news broke, AFP reported. People poured out to celebrate the passing of Sharon.

“You want to know how I feel? I want to sing and play music, that is how,” said Umm Ali, a 65-year-old woman clad in black whose brother died in the massacre.

“I would have liked so much to stab him to death. He would have suffered more,” she added.

Shopkeeper Mirvat al-told AFP she was confident that Sharon is going to meet divine justice. “Of course I am happy that he is dead,” she said. “I would have liked to see him go on trial before the entire world for his crimes but there is divine justice and he cannot escape that.”

Then she commented: “The tribunal of God is more severe than any court down here.”

Not exactly, at least not according to Jewish tradition, which believes that the heavenly court takes into accounts all the actions of a person, sins and merits. That’s why on occasion it takes longer for a person to be punished.

Not a single Palestinian interviewed by AFP, nor the Ma’an news agency where I found this account made any mention of the fact that Sabra and Shatila came at the end of a long history of bloody massacres, none of which, at any point, were committed by any Israeli person.

The Sabra and Shatila killers were a gang recruited by Elie Hobeika, then Lebanon’s military intelligence chief, and the order for the massacre was given directly by Hobeika himself.

Hobeika’s family and his fiancée had been murdered by Palestinian militiamen at the Damour massacre of 1976, which came in response to an earlier massacre of Palestinians by the Christian militia.

Hobeika served many years in the Lebanese Parliament and as government minister. No one ever dreamed of accusing him of killing anyone.

But the 1983 Kahan Commission, appointed by Israel to investigate the final massacre in that string, found that Sharon had failed to take steps to stop it, and so he bore personal responsibility “for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge.”

The commissioned demanded his head and got it. Sharon resigned.

It was stunning to discover the similarities between Sharon’s victims on the Jewish side and those considering themselves his victims in Palestinian refugee camps.

MK Orit Strock (Jewish Home) praised God on her Facebook page for the fact that “Sharon was taken from public life before succeeding in wreaking the same disaster on residents of Judea and Samaria as he did on settlers in Gush Katif and the Gaza border communities.”

Ketzaleh: I Hate What Sharon Did but He Saved My Life; I Love Him

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

No two politicians could have more of a love-hate relationship than Ariel Sharon and Yaakov Katz.

Sharon is barely holding on to life, and Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, whose life Sharon saved in war and who worked hand in hand with Sharon to bring Jews to Gaza, Judea and Samaria, recalls how Sharon jilted the nationalist movement, expelled Jews and destroyed their homes and synagogues.

Ketzaleh is a former Knesset Member who stood by his nationalist ideology rather than compromise, no matter the political cost. He founded the Arutz Sheva radio station in 1986 and later its Hebrew language Internet site during the dark days of a single-minded Israel media that ignored terrorist attacks and vilified Jews like him who live in Judea and Samaria.

Katz and Sharon knew each other as IDF officers, but in the Yom Kippur War, they met on the battlefield in the worst possible circumstance, when Katz was left for dead after suffering severe wounds.

Katz had been second in command of an elite 12-officer squad that operated under Sharon’s command and was sent behind enemy lines to locate and destroy Egyptian commandos who were trying to keep Israel from crossing the Suez Canal.

An RPG missile struck Katz, almost cutting his body into two parts.

There were so many casualties that medics decided to let Katz die after concluding it was more urgent to give medical to attention to others than to him, whose wounds were so critical they figured he would not live. A request for a helicopter to evacuate Katz was turned down because they were too close to the fighting with Egyptians.

Sharon overruled the instructions and ordered a helicopter, under Egyptian fire, to evacuate Katz to the hospital.

While he laid in the field, Katz vowed that if would survive, he would dedicate his life to education and to building Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Six months later, Katz walked out of the hospital on crutches and carried out his vow.

In an  interview on Thursday with the nationalist religious Galei Yisrael radio station, Katz recalled his and Sharon’s past that took them sometimes on the same path and eventually on two different streets going in different directions.

Among several comments in the radio interview:

 

Sharon brought us into the heart of Gaza for two years in order to eliminate 1,500 terrorists. He was a man of action; he knew how to read the map….

In violation of orders, Sharon ordered a helicopter that was under Egyptian fire to save me. I owe him my life….

I served as his aide in the settlement program when he was Minister of Agriculture and afterwards as Housing Minster in the Shamir government when then was a huge wave of aliyah from Russia. We split up [our work]: I built with Zambish [Ze’ev Zambish, another pioneer in the settlement movement], and Uri Ariel [now Netanyahu’s Housing Minister] 60,000 residential units in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

Arik built 60,000 units in Be’er Sheva, Afula, on the southern end of the Galilee) and Nazereth Illit, located in the Lower Galilee.

With God’s help, we tripled the number of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights….

Aril was like a father for me. I was closer to him than to anyone else and he was similarly close to me….

He was a man of revolutions, of changes, with the strength of a bulldozer to do the best. His home was my home. My home was his home….

Immediately after I built for him the position of Minister of Infrastructure in the Netanyahu government in 1996, he made a strategic decision to disconnect with us [the settlement movement]. Arik was pulled in by the “clubhouse” to separate himself from settlements in order to sit in the chair as head of the government.

I always told him, “Stay away from … [these] people who will corrupt and ruin you. I did not succeed in keeping him from being drawn to them…

Omri [one of Sharon’s sons] blocked me from reaching him. I also did not try any more, even when I was struggling for Arutz Sheva [which was broadcasting from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea and eventually was shut down by the government]….

After he announced he was going to destroy Gush Katif and [four Jewish communities in] northern Samaria, he once left his office and saw me. He suddenly moved aside, with all of his bodyguards around him, and started to explain to me, “Listen, Katzelah. There are constraints and limitations.”

After listening for a long time, I told him, “Arik, we got over Pharaoh and we will get over you.” He looked at me and laughed….

Arik never explained how he could say “The law for Netzarim [a Jewish community he encouraged in Gush Katif] is the same as the law for Tel Aviv” and then do the damage he did.

During the years that we were together a lot, Arik always asked me, “Katzelah, how is it that you love me so much and don’t believe one word of mine?”

Historians will not forget the last chapter of his life, when he committed crimes against the Jewish People, destroyed their homes, demolished their communities and burned their synagogues. Jews have never done anything like that in our history.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/katzelah-i-hate-what-sharon-did-but-he-saved-my-life-i-love-him/2014/01/03/

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