Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Scapegoating the "settlers"

By Shalom Freedman

Originally published by Israel National News

There were no settlers in Judea and Samaria and Gaza in 1967. There were none in 1956. Those Jews who lived there in 1947 and 1948, and were murdered or driven out by the Arabs, were not called "settlers," but rather Jews of Palestine living in Eretz Yisrael. Yet, even without the settlers, the Arabs tried to destroy the Jewish presence in the Holy Land, managed to kill Jews in whatever cruel ways they could. This was also true in the 1920s and 1930s. It did not take settlers to 'create a quarrel' between the Jews and their Arab neighbors. And it did not take settlers to induce the Arabs to try to make all of Israel/Palestine Judenrein.

The settlers are not now, and have never been the real cause of Arab hostility to Israel, unless, that is, you regard every Jew in the Holy Land as a settler. In that case, it really is the settlers with whom the Arabs are not willing to live in peace, at all.

Despite this, the world media, under Arab propaganda instruction, see the settlers as the main obstacle to peace. And this despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of them live on land that no Arab lived on. In fact, many of those very left-wing Jews who also 'blame the settlers' do live on properties that Arabs once lived on; while the settlers live on state lands, which were never settled before.

Arab hatred of the settlers comes, I suspect, in part because they understand that the settlers share a certain value with them. The settlers value 'the land' and the Arabs value land above all. The settlers are their rivals in a way that Jews content to dwell in high-rises in the cities are not. The Arabs hate the settlers, because they consider them their real rivals in claims of possession of state lands, which no one really owns.

The scapegoating of the settlers is also the means by which the Israeli Left makes the conflict a 'rational' and 'solvable' one. In order to be balanced, in order to give justification to their vision of peace, the Israeli Left must find the Jewish bad guys. The settlers are given this role. The Israeli Left, because of this vision of 'balancing it out,' has made terrible mistakes of judgment, which have caused Israel many lives. The Left does not understand that the heart of the conflict has nothing whatever to do with the settlers, but has everything to do with the right of Jews to have a state of their own in the Holy Land.

The world too, in order to be fair, has to find a Jewish source of evil to balance against Arab evil, such as Palestinian suicide bombers. The settlers play that role. The absurdity of comparing people whose major crime is living in their ancestral homeland with terrorists, who deliberately kill Jews wherever they can, does not seem to deter Middle East pundits. They know if the settlers would only go away, real peace would be established.

The truth is that it is not because there are too many 'settlers,' but because the Jewish people failed to bring another two million people into Judea and Samaria we continue to hear demands to make these parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland free of a Jewish presence. The great shame and error is not that there are too many settlers, but that there are too few Jews in those parts of the land of Israel that are closest to us historically and religiously.

Friday, December 26, 2003

A plan to rid the US of Arab terrorism

My friend Professor Jon Ruthven suggests the US do what it wants Israel to do:

In light of the horrible terrorism that struck the US on 11th Sept, we would like to recommend that the US follow the method of dealing with terrorism that the State Dept. has been recommending to the State of Israel:

1. Give the entire US east of the Mississippi to Osama Bin Ladin.

2. Invite him to negotiate a peace agreement AFTER the transfer of land has been completed. If he shows up for negotiations, the US will give him more land [as a reward].

3. Offer Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iran each a state west of the Mississippi if they offer to join the negotiations.

4. No retaliation against the perpetrators because that will increase [continue] the cycle of violence.

5. Offer Osama bin Ladin extra guns so he can police his new territory and prevent terrorism in it.

6. Call the victims "sacrifices for peace" and don't talk about revenge. Actually, it was the fault of the victims to go to work in the World Trade Center, since they knew for many years it was a prime target of Islamic terrorists. In fact, it was the fault of the US for not evacuating the World Trade Center earlier, and it is the fault of the US government for allowing US citizens to occupy buildings or areas of land that could be targeted by bin Ladin. The US should draw up plans for turning potential targets such as the Sears Tower in Chicago and the White House over to bin Ladin.

7. No closure of US borders or airports because that has a negative and unfair impact on people coming into the US. Rather, let more foreigners, particularly from Moslem countries, enter the US as a confidence-building measure.

8. Condemn the US for oppressing foreign countries at the same time that any denunciations of terrorism are made. After all, both sides are morally equivalent.

9. Allocate US tax dollars for bin Ladin to build up his infrastructure. In addition, take the taxes from money that Moslems earn in the US and deliver that money to bin Ladin.

10. Bring UN observers to the US to monitor excesses of violence on the part of the US government and to allow US citizens to be taken hostage from UN-controlled areas.

After all, fair is fair.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Another Tack: The prostitute's price (JPost)

by Sarah Honig

No need to worry about Ehud Olmert's latest pronouncements. He has evinced such dubious originality in the past, most glaringly when he sabotaged the Likud's 1999 campaign and starred in Ehud Barak's electioneering broadcasts, vouching that Barak won't divide Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter, Barak was about to sign everything away save for the subterranean strata of the Temple Mount.

That's not to say, however, that there's no cause for anxiety - not so much about Olmert, as about his boss, ultra-pragmatist Ariel Sharon. His cronies informally reassure us that our interests are in capable hands, that the wily old man knows best.

That's precisely what should deprive us of sleep at night. Crafty expediency may get us out of assorted jams but land us into life-threatening quicksand.

In this case, the road to disaster is paved with pragmatic considerations.

Pragmatism is akin to focusing on specific potholes in our national path rather than sometimes lifting our eyes from the ground to scan the horizon, survey the sweep of the land and behold the full track ahead. We bog ourselves down with details and neglect the whole. We quibble about issues and forget the basics.

Occasional pragmatism has its uses, but had Zionism's founding fathers been dogged by the demographic demon like Olmert, this state would have never been born. It came to be because of the Herzlian "irrational" resolve that "if you will it, it's no myth." Unlike visionary, against-the-odds Zionists of yesteryear, pragmatists reject dreams, absolutes and truths. Everything is judged by the practical outcome. The quicker and more facile the solution, the better, because impatient pragmatists rarely commit for the long haul.

THUS IF the world, for a host of ulterior motives, contends Israel is the villain and the Arabs its downtrodden victims, we don't quarrel with this basic premise. We throw the howling hostile hounds a few bones to mollify them, ease the pressure, win time.

If the world, for cynical self-serving reasons, equates us with South Africa's old apartheid regime and the Arabs with the oppressed indigenous masses, we don't challenge this odious distortion. We try to improve our image.

If the world decides we're foreign colonists who forcibly usurped the land of peaceful natives, we remove several settler outposts, rather than refute the brazen fabrications and stress our right to our only homeland.

If the world falsely depicts us as the many and the mighty and the Arabs as the few and defenseless, we shy from military solutions to violent conflicts. If the world calls us aggressors, we apologize.

If the world misrepresents this bloody dispute as being about a Palestinian state, we don't protest that it's really about denying the right of a Jewish state to exist. Instead, to please our critics, we concede the Palestinian cause.

By repeatedly conceding the basic assumptions against us, we aggravate our own distress and inevitably succumb to the inimical international axiom that we're in the wrong and that those who would annihilate us are desperate insurgents against injustice. Any means to which they resort are thereby quasi-legitimized and terrorism against Israel not entirely cast out of moral bounds. Our accommodating pragmatism effectively removes Israelis, even Jews, from what the world's anti-terror warriors define as terrorism.

Insidiously, terrorism becomes the indiscriminate targeting of non-Jews.

It's therefore quite counterproductive for us to exclusively harp on the terror theme. We'd do better to go back to basics, proclaim loud and clear that we are here by right; that we were attacked; that the Arabs only conjured Palestinian nationality in order to stake rival claims; that a Palestinian state never existed (i.e. we certainly didn't conquer and subjugate it); that we didn't drive out hapless refugees (who themselves started the war); that they caused their own downfall by plotting genocide and ethnic cleansing against us; that our only sin is surviving. We can remind the world of the Nazi legacy of "Palestinian" hero Haj Amin el-Husseini. We can point to Ahmed Yassin's recent declaration that there's no room in the region for a Jewish state.

Admittedly, we may not convince anyone. The dice are loaded against us. But we've nothing to lose by rediscovering our defiant spirit and lost Zionist ideals. Excessive pragmatism - the sacrifice of national honor for temporary gain - will lose us everything, from our own sense of justice to the souls of our youngsters.

Pragmatism will turn us into the woman once asked by George Bernard Shaw whether she'll go to bed with him for a 1,000 Pounds. When she answered in the affirmative, he offered her a mere 2 Pounds. Outraged, she railed: "What do you take me for? A prostitute?" Shaw replied: "We've already determined that. Now we're haggling over the price."

Sarah Honig is a political analyst and columnist who writes for the Jerusalem Post, where this article appeared on December 12, 2003.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF or The Maccabean Battles - Reloaded

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Dear Friends,

Israel's Prime Minister Sharon, under heavy American pressure, has made the decision to destroy Migron, a community in the Judean Hills just minutes from Jerusalem. Migron is home to 43 young Torah-observant Jewish families with over 60 young children. They are professionals, teachers, students, and soldiers. They work in Migron or in Jerusalem, or in the surrounding communities, such as Michmash. (Michmash was the stronghold of Judah Maccabee, who reestablished Jewish sovereignty in this whole area, during the time of the Chanukah wars.)

It is important to understand that Migron is not some little collection of huts. The community has built a Synagogue. They also have a library, their own health care center, a petting zoo, and a kindergarten.

Why Migron? It seems that U.S. Ambassador, Daniel Kurtzer, has instructed Israel Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz that Migron has to be the first "Jewish settlement" to be evacuated, so as to make possible a contiguous Palestinian State. (More than shameful: Kurtzer, a supposedly Orthodox religious Jew, because of personal ambition, lends himself to try to destroy the Jewish State.)

The truth is that Migron was approved by Sharon and the Defense Ministry. In fact, successive previous Defense Ministers have insisted that Migron is essential strategically and must never be abandoned. Migron was built on Land owned by Jews, and the Migron residents have all the legal papers to prove these facts.

What right does Prime Minister Sharon, or U.S. President George W. Bush, (or the State Department?) or the European Union, have to uproot these Jewish families from their homes? What right does anyone have to give away portions of the Jewish Homeland, the Land given to us eternally and irrevocably by G-d, to a bunch of terrorists, or to anyone else for that matter?

This Friday night we are lighting the first candle of the Chanukah holiday. What exactly are we celebrating?

In children's books the story is very simple:

"Many years ago, a wicked king, named Antiochus, captured the Land of the Jews. He ordered them to give up their religion and to worship his Greek gods. All who refused to obey the king's command, were put to death."

But also for adults -- in the popular perception -- the story is not much more complex:

"Chanukah is the victory of a small band of the courageous Maccabees fighting the mighty Syrian-Greek army of King Antiochus. The miracle of Chanukah is the rededication of the Temple, and the triumph of freedom of religion in the face of oppression."

The TRUE Chanukah story is not so simple. Yes, the Maccabean wars were fought against a foreign occupying force, the Syrian-Greeks. But these wars were also waged against another enemy trying to destroy Israel as a Jewish entity, an enemy WITHIN. The Hellenized Jews at the time of the Hasmonians were a dedicated group of "worldly" Jews drawn to the "beauty" of Greek culture and alienated from their own heritage and from the G-d of Israel. They existed to ingratiate themselves by serving the whim of their foreign patrons and to eliminate the yoke of their own heritage -- the Torah. They longed to be like the other nations of the world, free to indulge in whatever they wished, and to eradicate any vestige of what makes a Jew Jewish in the first place: The G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Land of Israel, and the Holy Torah itself.

The REAL battle of the Maccabees was not only against the Syrian-Greek army of Antiochus. It was also against their fellow Jews, who were willing to sell out their Jewish identity for universality, world citizenship, economic advancement, and of course, acceptance by other nations. They were even willing to give up the Holy Temple, and to allow Jerusalem to become a Greek city, all in order to obtain for themselves "the good life", and to become enlightened "citizens of the world".

Today, our modern assimilationists are very much like the Hellenists of old. We have our own version of disloyal High Priests and our own Hellenizers -- the Sharons, the Olmerts, the Yossi Beilins, the Yossi Sarids, and the Shimon Pereses, and others too numerous to mention.

It is not widely known that Antiochus did not issue anti-religious decrees against any other people than the Jews. He simply conquered many nations POLITICALLY, but did not attack their RELIGION in any way. It was ONLY against the Jews that he instituted anti-religious decrees.

Why just against the Jews? Historians say that Antiochus had no intention of issuing anti-religious decrees against the Jews, but his Jewish friends and collaborators, the Hellenists, advised him to do so. The Hellenists of that time - THEY were the ones who advised Antiochus how to break the Jews.

You want to break the Jewish People? Forbid them to study Torah and forbid them to perform circumcisions, allow their holy places to be desecrated and, above all, forbid them to live on their own Promised Land.

History, in truth, repeats itself! Or in modern terms, we now have "The Maccabean Battles - Reloaded!" The internal Jewish enemies counsel the external enemies, and give them advice on how to break the People of Israel. Hellenist Yossi Beilin is funded by the European Union and goes around the world selling his treasonous Geneva Accords. And Mr. Olmert and Mr. Sharon compete with each other as to who can announce more "painful concessions" to the world on Israel's behalf. THE GREAT TRAGEDY of our present situation is that the war of the Hellenized Jews, who joined the enemy against their Jewish brothers, continues to this very day!

Today, we are faced with the same enemies: world powers that are pushing the tiny Jewish state, pushing hard to divide and give away large portions of the Jewish Homeland, the Land given to us eternally by G-d. The same enemies are still here, including the enemy within.

Like then, the enemy within has the political power in our Land, cow-towing to the world powers that urge the weakening and diminution of our tiny nation. And for what reason? Astonishingly, to appease and reward a vast multitude of Arab terrorists who strive to destroy tiny Israel along with the United States and the rest of Western Civilization. Make no mistake: these are the same Arabs who cheered the destruction and massacre of the Twin Towers, and who today, weep because of the capture of Saddam Hussein, as he hid like a rat in a filthy hole in the ground. Their other role model and hero, Yasser Arafat, also cowers like a rat in his decaying compound in Ramallah, but, alas, he is dangerous. This enemy continues to order and organize the murder of Jews in Israel, inside and out of the absurdity known as the 'green line'. Is he brought to justice for these atrocities, is he stopped, is he captured or killed? No. Instead, he is protected by the United States, and courted by Peres, Beilin, and those of their ilk, the Jewish Hellenists of today.

We cannot afford to loose this fight -- THIS FIGHT IS FOR SURVIVAL.

Yesterday, December 17, our Women in Green went to the Judean Community of Migron, to show our solidarity with the 43 families with their 60 children, who are rebuilding this Biblical city. (Biblical references to Migron: Isaiah 10:28, Samuel I 14:2.) We brought the children toys and candy.

Also yesterday, a large number of Rabbis, under an umbrella called the "Land of Israel Rabbis", went to Migron. Last night they issued the following statement:

"The government is forbidden by a total religious prohibition to evacuate any outpost or settlement and has no right to give away parts of the Land of Israel to strangers, and anything done toward this aim is void. "

The "Land of Israel Rabbis" also stated that thousands of Yeshiva students will come to Migron to try and keep Israel Defense Forces troops from evacuating it.

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, the Chief Rabbi of the Elon Moreh settlement, said that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government was, "disintegrating the Land of Israel. We have never had a worse government than this one. The core of the problem does not lie with the IDF, the Ministry of Defense, or the Interior Ministry. All roads lead to Ariel Sharon. We are telling Ariel Sharon: You have 24 hours (before his speech at the Herzliya Conference tonight) to regain your composure and to examine your position. Otherwise you will lead us to the biggest disgrace in the history of Israel," the Rabbi said.

The Women in Green support these statements in their entirety. Judah Maccabee started the Maccabean battles by his statement: "He who is for G-d, follow me!" Women in Green will join and follow all those who believe in the G-d of Israel, in order to prevent this shameful attempt of the Hellenist Jews to abandon our Homeland.


With Blessings and Love for Israel,

Ruth Matar

P.S. Go to our website to see pictures of the children of Migron

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Nadia Matar: About Pigs and Transfer of Jews

(The following is a translation of Nadia Matar's Hebrew show on Arutz 7 Internet)

We are now in a new period. Until a few days ago, we did not know where the Israeli Government was leading us, and we could still think that Ariel Sharon "is only talking, but doesn't mean it"; now things are crystal-clear: the Sharon Government intends to betray, hand over, uproot, destroy, and transfer.

The Prime Minister's mouthpiece, Minister Ehud Olmert, said this: in his opinion, Israel is incapable of controlling the entire area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and, therefore, we must withdraw. This is Sharon's political plan: to withdraw from most of the regions of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza District, and even from part of Jerusalem. Why? We all know that this will only increase the enemy's appetite. A withdrawal will be interpreted as surrender to terror - and if we withdraw from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, the Katushas will start to fall on Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion, and Haifa. But nothing fazes Sharon and Olmert. According to them, we have to fold.

It is not important now whether Sharon implements this as a unilateral withdrawal, or as a withdrawal that is the result of yet another disastrous agreement with the Arabs. What is important to know is that this time Sharon is serious, and that he wants to be rid of most of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, to uproot settlements, and to transfer Jews. As Sharon already said in the past, only he is capable of doing this.

This is not the place to begin a lengthy analysis of how it happened that people from the national camp suddenly become Yossi Beilin clones. In my opinion, the reality proves that only a believing leader, who believes that God gave us this land, is capable of standing firm in the face of pressures. The moment that you base our being in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza on a security reason, without the Bible, without any Divine promise, you have no "case," and, ultimately, you surrender and cave in.

But, as we noted, now is not the time for analyses of what and why, now is the time to ask: What is to be done? How do we organize in order to thwart Ariel Sharon's malicious plans? First of all, we must state, clearly: 1) What the entire struggle is all about? The struggle is not over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The battle is not to save one settlement or another. The struggle is to save the State of Israel, and for the Jewish people's right to exist in its land. The moment that the government of Israel will agree to uproot settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, it will have swept away from under its very feet our moral right to be in any other place in Eretz Israel. For if we were to retreat from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, what moral right do we have to remain in Sheikh Munes in Tel Aviv? [Sheikh Munes is the neighborhood where Shimon Peres lives, which used to be an Arab village before 1948]. Accordingly, when we will act to prevent the uprooting of a settlement such as Migron, we actually will be struggling to save Tel Aviv, Beersheva, Tiberias, and Jerusalem.

2) This is not an evacuation! We must not use the expressions "evacuation or removal" or "shifting" of settlements. This is the uprooting of settlements and transfer for Jews. Politicians who want to mitigate and downplay the crime that they intend to commit use words that do not shock the public. We have the task of crying out that this is actually the brutal uprooting of settlements and the transfer of Jews. It is extremely racist, anti-Semitic, and would involve a virtual Civil War with Jews fighting Jews.

3) About the eating of pork and the uprooting of settlements Question: if 120 Knesset members and an overwhelming majority in the government were to legislate the obligatory eating of pork, would those who observe kashrut obey this "democratic decision"? Obviously not. They would say that despite the decision having been made by majority vote, this is a patently illegal decision, over which a black flag flies. Such a decision is not to be obeyed. If they insisted and sent companies of policemen and soldiers to feed us the pork, we would forcefully resist and we would proclaim: We shall not let you! Period. In other words: over my dead body. The same holds true for the uprooting of settlements. A majority in the government or in the Knesset does not make the handing over of portions of Eretz Israel legal and moral. We shall not obey if the government or the Knesset were to betray the homeland. Accordingly, the residents in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza must remain in the settlements, and IDF soldiers must refuse to participate in the uprooting of settlements and the transfer of Jews.

According to various reports in the media, the authorities believe that some 85 percent of the residents in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza would consent to leave of their own free will if they were to receive suitable compensation, and that the security forces would be required to deal with "only" about 15 percent of the "problematic" ideological inhabitants. We must show them that the numbers are exactly the opposite, and that an overwhelming majority of the residents will remain where they are and refuse to leave. If this will be the situation, uprooting and transferring would not be possible.

4) On the Judenrat and the serious fear of a provocation by the authorities, Yair Sheleg, a journalist and member of the Israel Democracy Institute, wrote a position paper on The Political and Social Significance of Evacuating Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In this paper he compares the uprooting of the Yamit settlements to what is liable to happen in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and he gives the authorities recommendations how to facilitate the work of uprooting. (Incidentally, it must be understood that Yamit and Judea, Samaria, and Gaza cannot be compared. We were in Yamit only for several years, while a third generation of children is growing up in Judea. Samaria, and Gaza. In Yamit we were only a few thousand, the majority of whom left of their own free will. In Judea, Samaria, and Gaza we are at least a quarter of a million people - not including the massive amount of relatives, friends, and supporters who live in pre-1967 Israel and are willing to come on the day of reckoning.) The bottom line in Sheleg's position paper is that the work of uprooting the settlements will indeed be difficult, but he hopes that the local leadership of the settlers will honor the democratic decision to uproot settlements, aid in calming the waters, help the authorities, and cooperate with them. In more blunt language: Yair Sheleg hopes that the leaders of the settlers (the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, rabbis, educators, and the like) will constitute a sort of "Judenrat" that collaborates with the transfer government. I would like to hope that this would not be the case, and that the leadership in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza will head the total resistance to this crime.

In such an instance, there exists the frightening possibility that the authorities will find another way to expedite the labor of transfer for them. We must already warn against such a possibility, and declare that we are aware of the fact that the authorities may plant several provocateurs within the public in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and that these agents will commit some terrible act (such as shooting at soldiers) to shock the public, to delegitimize us, and to silence our struggle. If this should happen, we will know that these individuals do not belong to our camp, and that they are new "Avishai Raviv"s.

5) What has to be done: It is time to awaken and begin to organize. I believe with total faith that, with God's help, it is within our power to prevent the crime that the government intends to commit. Battalions of lawyers are already working on appeals to the High Court of Justice to prevent the uprooting of outposts and settlements, using legal tools. The national members of Knesset must organize and give Sharon a clear and unequivocal message that if even a single family will be uprooted, his government will fall.

And we must begin to take to the streets in droves, to show the world that the people of Israel firmly opposes defeatist and suicidal political plans. In the emergency meeting of the joint staff of the extraparliamentary organizations, that was attended by the rabbis of "Piku'ah Nefesh," Professors for a Strong Israel, Gamla Shall Not Fall Again, Matot Arim, and the Women in Green, the following decisions were taken:

(a) the uprooting of outpost settlements and settlements that the government is plotting would constitute patently illegal racist transfer and ethnic cleansing, over which a black flag flies. This uprooting itself constitutes civil war. We call upon our soldiers to take advantage of the opportunity given them by the IDF not to participate in such actions.

(b) We stand behind the rabbis of "Piku'ah Nefesh" in their announcement to the public that they regard the "uprooting of Jews from their land" as a betrayal of the Jewish people. We ask the Attorney-General to add us to the list of those to be interrogated.

(c) We call upon all those loyal to Eretz Israel to mobilize on behalf of the settlements. We, for our part, have prepared the means for sending out the alert, transportation, and the method for bringing people.

(d) the upcoming activities are: a demonstration, under the slogan: "Olmert Is Dividing Jerusalem" on Sunday, December 14, at 7 p.m. opposite the Jerusalem Theater, against Minister of Communications Olmert who is to speak there. There will also be a demonstration against the Prime Minister on December 12 in Herzliyah during the time of the speech in which he is to announce his intent to hand over the heart of the land to the enemy. Details will be forthcoming in the coming days.

We conclude with the words of Simon the Hasmonean (I Maccabees 15:33-35): "We have not taken other people's land, nor are we in possession of other people's property, but of the inheritance of our forefathers; it was wrongfully held by our enemies at one time, but we, grasping the opportunity, hold firmly the inheritance of our forefathers."

Nadia Matar, Co-Chairperson of Women in Green

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Naomi Ragen: The Awakening

Naomi Ragen writes:

Now, if only the Palestinians would wake up and throw off the leadership that has stolen their money and sent their children to commit murder/suicide. If only they would march in the thousands against terrorism and for peace and democracy...

Peter Jennings, are you reading this? CNN?

Naomi Ragen

Iraqis for the "Occupation"
By Dr. Walid Phares | December 11, 2003

Yesterday's demonstrations in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities were a benchmark: Iraq's resistance to terrorism has begun. Ironically, the first TV station to report such a revolutionary development was none other than al-Jazeera, the jihad channel across the Arab world. But the exclusive airing of such footages was not so innocent. The Qatar-based media understood much faster than Western networks the real dimensions of these marches. Therefore it decided to report it first, and, through condescending coverage, demean it in the eyes of Iraqi and Arab viewers, a traditional-yet-efficient subversive tactic. But whatever were the desperate attempts to pre-empt the unfolding realities, the latter rolled on.

Almost 20,000 men and women - twice the number reported by al-Jazeera - marched across central Baghdad, while others repeated the move in different cities of Mesopotamia yesterday. The demonstrators, from all walks of life and from all religions and ethnicities of Iraq, shouted one slogan in Arabic: "La' la' lil irhab. Na'am, na'am lil dimucratiya." That is: "No, no to terrorism. Yes, yes to Democracy!"

Taking the streets of the former capital of the Ba'athist prison, Iraqi Shiite, Sunni, Kurds and Christians bonded together against the "enemies of peace." Responding to the call of the newly formed "Popular Committee against Terrorism," tens of thousands of citizens slapped Saddam and his former regime in the face. Speakers at a central square declared clearly:

"We will resist the return of the dictatorship to power. With or without the Americans, we are now a resistance against the Baath and the foreign Terrorists."

The masses, finally taking their courage in their hands, have exposed their deepest feelings. Many intellectuals, writers, women activists, students were seen in the front lines of the demonstration. "We will not allow the remnant of the intelligence service of Saddam destroy this new experiment of democracy and freedom," said one leader live on al-Jazeera television. The scene was more reminiscent of Prague and Budapest than any other recent battlefield.

More significant yet was the open participation of labor unions. Unexpectedly, Iraqi workers were the most excited participants in the march against Wahabi and Baathist Terror. "We need factories, we need peace, no fascists, no fanatics," sang the laborites, as though they were in Manchester or Detroit. But there was even a more significant element in the marches. Cadres from the "Hizb al-Dawa al Islamiya" - a rather conservative Islamic "movement" whose members were walking under the same banners of resistance to terrorism. Why? Well, we need to understand the Shi'a drama. By the day, mass graves are being uncovered with thousands of bodies of men, women and children, all massacred by the Saddam security. How on Earth would the Shiite majority ever accept the return to power of the Sunni-controlled Ba'ath Party?

Let's note two matters about these demonstrations. First, they were almost not reported in much of the Western media. Until late last night in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, news focused on the operations against Coalition forces. But the Iraqi people's genuine calls for democracy were not heard, not seen, and not factored in the game. The BBC and CNN downplayed the events, while al-Jazeera mislead the Arab world about them. The jihad network spent more editorial energy undermining the objectives and the credibility of the event than reporting it.

The anchors, to the disbelief of many viewers in the Arab world, said the marchers were "expressing views against what they call terrorism" (emphasis added). Al-Jazeera evidently reserves to itself the definition of terrorism. Since September 11, the network has systematically added "what they call terrorism" to each sentence reporting terror attacks by al-Qaeda, other jihadist factions and the Saddam. In sum, that is not terrorism, but a Western view of what is legitimate violence. But al-Jazeera's sour surprise with the first steps of popular resistance to jihadism in Baghdad took the network by surprise. As it was airing the segment, its anchors lost linguistic balance and added this time: "The demonstrators are criticizing what they call violence!" Hence, the editors in Qatar were trapped ideologically. They couldn't even accept the idea that Arabs could be marching against violence, so they described tens of massacres and bombings as "alleged violence," (ma yusamma bil unf). The al-Jazeera debacle was probably the most important victory of the demonstration.

But two others ironies were also hanging over Baghdad last night. One was the link between President Bush's drive to push for democracy in Iraq and the region, and the other was the silence of those who were supposed to drive that wagon around the world. Observers drew my attention to the fact that yesterday's march came after another smaller one, which took place the day after the U.S. President visited their city. They also noted that many of the banners were pasted from Bush's speeches to the Arab world last month. I was invited to make a link. Eventually I saw it. The workers, women and students in Iraq didn't mention the name of the Presidential visitor, but they heavily quoted his words. What's the message here? You can read it on the mushrooming underground websites in the region. People want freedom and democracy, even at the hands of aliens (what the Left calls "occupation" and the Iraqis call "liberation").

This leads us to the second irony. While the underdogs are barking freely in the streets of Baghdad, challenging the Ba'athist shadows and the jihadist terrorists, human rights and democracy groups in the West lack the courage to come to the rescue of their fellow progressive forces in the Middle East. As a group of Iraqi students told me, "Isn't it terrible to see that Western elites came here to demonstrate in support of Saddam against the Coalition, and when we took the streets to demonstrate against the Saddam war crimes, they didn't show up?"

Yesterday was a benchmark in Iraq. Maybe a small step in the long journey toward human dignity, but all genuine marches for freedom are of eternal value.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Backspin: Border Fence

The border security fence is comprised of many sections totaling scores of miles. Some sections are concrete, others sheet metal.
The barrier is three layers deep in parts, fifteen feet high and surrounded by razor wire. The area around it is lit by spotlights, monitored by cameras, motion detectors and magnetic sensors, and patrolled by armed guards with attack dogs.

But enough about the USA border with Mexico, let's talk about Israel....

Backspin: Border Fence

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Geneva Sellout

By Charles Krauthammer

On Monday, a peace agreement will be signed by Israelis and Palestinians. This "Geneva accord" has gotten much attention. And the signing itself will be greeted with much hoopla. Journalists are being flown in from around the world by the Swiss government. Jimmy Carter will be heading a list of foreign dignitaries. The U.S. Embassy in Bern will be sending an observer.

This is all rather peculiar: The agreement is being signed not by Israeli and Palestinian officials, but by two people with no power.

On the Palestinian side, the negotiator is former information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, who at least is said to have Yasser Arafat's ear. The Israeli side, however, is led by Yossi Beilin, a man whose political standing in his own country is so low that he failed to make it into Parliament. After helping bring his Labor Party to ruin, Beilin abandoned it for the far-left Meretz Party, which then did so badly in the last election that Beilin is now a private citizen.

There is a reason why he is one of Israel's most reviled and discredited politicians. He was the principal ideologue and architect behind the "peace" foisted on Israel in 1993. Those Oslo agreements have brought a decade of the worst terror in all Israeli history.

Now he is at it again. And Secretary of State Colin Powell has written a letter to Beilin and Rabbo expressing appreciation for their effort, and is now planning to meet with them.

This is scandalous. Israel is a democracy, and this agreement was negotiated in defiance of the democratically (and overwhelmingly) elected government of Israel. If a private U.S. citizen negotiated a treaty on his own, he could go to jail under the Logan Act. If an Israeli does it, he gets a pat on the back from the secretary of state.

Moreover, this "peace" is entirely hallucinatory. It is written as if Oslo never happened. The Palestinian side repeats solemn pledges to recognize Israel, renounce terror, end anti-Israel incitement, etc. -- all promised in Oslo. These promises are today such a dead letter that the Palestinian side is openly bargaining these chits again, as if the Israelis have forgotten that in return for these pledges 10 years ago, Israel recognized the PLO, brought it out of Tunisian exile, established a Palestinian Authority, permitted it an army with 50,000 guns and invited the world to donate billions to this new Authority.

Arafat pocketed every Israeli concession, turned his territory into an armed camp and then launched a vicious terror war that has lasted more than three years and killed more than 1,000 Israelis. It is Lucy and the football all over again, and the same chorus of delusionals who so applauded Oslo -- Jimmy Carter, Sandy Berger, Tom Friedman -- is applauding again. This time, however, the Israeli surrender is so breathtaking it makes Oslo look rational.

A Palestinian state, of course. Evacuating every Jewish settlement in new Palestine, of course. Redividing Jerusalem, of course. But that is not enough. Beilin gives up the ultimate symbol of the Jewish connection and claim to the land, the center of the Jewish state for 1,000 years before the Roman destruction, the subject of Jewish longing in poetry and prayer for the 2,000 years since -- the Temple Mount. And Beilin doesn't just give it up to, say, some neutral international authority. He gives it to sovereign Palestine. Jews will visit at Arab sufferance.

Not satisfied with having given up Israel's soul, Beilin gives up the body too. He not only returns Israel to its 1967 borders, arbitrary and indefensible, but he does so without any serious security safeguards.

Palestine promises to acquire and buy no more weapons than specified in some treaty annex. This is a joke. Oslo had similarly detailed limitations on Palestinian weaponry, and nobody even pretended to enforce them. Last year, a massive illegal boatload came in from Iran on the Karine A. What did the world do about it? Nothing.

Today, however, Israel still has control over Palestine's borders. Under Beilin, this ends. Palestine will be free to acquire as much lethal weaponry as it wants.

And on the critical question that even the most dovish Israelis insist on -- that the Palestinians not have the right to flood Israel with Arab refugees -- the agreement is utterly ambiguous. Third parties (including among others the irredeemably hostile Syria and its puppet Lebanon) are to suggest exactly how many Palestinians are to return to Israel, and the basis for the number Israel will be required to accept will be the mathematical average!

This is not a peace treaty, this is a suicide note -- by a private citizen on behalf of a country that has utterly rejected him politically. That it should get any encouragement from the United States or from its secretary of state is a disgrace.

Charles Krauthammer is an important and well known syndicated columnist for leading newspapers and is widely read

Sunday, November 23, 2003

To Be A Jew In A Hostile World

Nowadays it is fashionable to be anti-Semitic. What used to be whispered, and said in low voices, has now been allowed to be openly and publicly stated. The Arab and Muslim world have had tremendous success with their incessant propaganda in this regard. In view of the tremendous positive contributions Jews and Judaism have made to mankind and to Western Civilization throughout the ages, this is not to be understood. One can only marvel as to why these unwarranted and false accusations have gained prominence and are so widely repeated.

The facts are that this relatively tiny and gifted people have had a tremendous impact on this world of ours. Especially is this true with regard to religion, but in many other fields as well. Mankind is better off today because there are Jews. The spiritual concept of One G-d is Jewish in origin, and of course the Jewish Prophets have had an impact on whatever morality that exists in the world today. The Old Testament Bible is still hallowed as a major source of religious belief. Many people, both Christians and Jews, live by its precepts.

Despite the recent Holocaust that decimated the Jewish People, they have returned to their ancient Homeland, and miraculously rebuilt it. They made the wasteland they came to into a democratic land of milk and honey, excelling in science, technology, and agriculture. They freely gave these contributions to the world. Due to Arab continued hostility, they have had to relearn the art of military warfare, and of necessity, to excel in it.

All out of proportion to their numbers, they have continually won Nobel Prizes in health, science ,technology, and in many other fields of endeavor. The benefits to mankind down through the ages have been quite phenomenal. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism persists and is spreading. Jews and Israel, in recent European polls, are claimed to represent a threat to world peace. In the light of their magnificent contributions to mankind, this type of nonsense makes no sense whatsoever.

To be a Jew in a hostile world is not easy. Yet, any Jew can take enormous pride in the accomplishments of His People to make this a better and safer world. Israel is in the forefront of this endeavor, and should be encouraged and supported by America and many other nations. Unfortunately, in this imperfect world, that is not the case. The absurd Arab funded propaganda directed against the Jews and Israel is being widely believed. That Arab campaign has no foundation in fact or truth and will, if followed, eventually only cause great harm and damage to all of mankind.

Jerusalem, November 22, 2003
Ruth and Nadia Matar
Women in Green

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Life in Israel now

Naomi Ragen writes:


The Washington Post published a piece by Richard Cohen in which the writer speaks to an American oleh who says he left Israel because his business went under, and he's afraid for his family, etc. etc. In short, Israel is losing the war.

Well, that's one point of view. But I live among many, many Israelis with American passports. Not one person I know has picked up and left. Not one.

The Cohen article also veers off long enough to tell us that all of Israel's problems would be solved if they just left "the occupied territories..." Hello? Look at a map. Look at Israel, and then look at who surrounds her. Occupied territories? If we jumped into the sea maybe. Then we'd have a nice, long, quiet rest. Just like they arranged for us in Europe 60 years ago. Then no Americans would be leaving Israel, except, perhaps, in a box.

No thanks. I'll stay here. Along with every, single other American oleh I've met in the last 30 years.

Below is an article from an American-Israeli who says it all.

All the best,


Not the Israel I Know

By Joseph M. Hochstein
Monday, October 20, 2003; Page A23

TEL AVIV -- In his Oct. 7 column Richard Cohen writes about an American who lived in Israel for more than 20 years ["Israel Is Losing," op-ed]. This person has left Israel, probably permanently, Cohen writes, "because he cannot take life there any longer. . . . His business had gone to hell, his life was always in danger and he simply could not take it any longer."

Cohen calls this American "a nonstatistic -- a living victim of terrorism." Cohen adds, "In the perpetual war against Israel, its enemies are winning."

I doubt Cohen's conclusion, but that is not my purpose in writing. Like Cohen's unidentified American, I have lived in Israel for more than 20 years. I arrived from Washington, where I published the Jewish Week newspaper for 18 years.

The Israel in which I live does not match Cohen's description. Cohen says despair is palpable in the Israeli press. But bad news is only part of the story. Recent survey research found more than 80 percent of Israelis happy with their lives, despite all hardships. The economy is in deep trouble, but the country remains a dynamic place culturally, technologically, commercially, even politically. The Hebrew press covers this, too, by the way.

Cohen reports that he rode a bus in Israel and found it "gut-wrenching." He is not the first columnist to confess to uneasiness at visiting Israel. But his is a subjective, outsider's reaction. Ordinary Israelis have to get to work or to school five or six days a week, and the country's buses carry 1 million riders every workday. Tel Aviv's central bus station is said to be the largest in the world.

We in Israel continue going out to cafes, restaurants, theaters, sports events, concerts and public festivals. The motto "life must go on" has achieved the status of an unofficial national slogan, uttered even by a child interviewed on television the other day after a 10-year-old classmate's death in a suicide bombing.

Here is a personal note. To borrow Cohen's words, I am a living victim of terrorism. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad sent me to a hospital -- and nearly killed me -- a few years ago. Other, worse things happened over the years. One of my sons, a paratrooper, was killed in a Hezbollah ambush. Yet, in my view, life in Israel remains desirable.

I live in Tel Aviv, not far from where my mother was born in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. My surviving son and daughter live in walking distance and are pursuing challenging, creative careers that feed their families. I have five grandchildren, aged one year to 12. I spend time with intelligent, stimulating and decent people. Most of us are part of an Israeli majority that, according to the polls, supports efforts to achieve peace but doesn't expect miracles any time soon.

I worry about the family's safety now and also about prospects of my grandchildren's army service in a few years. In weighing the danger, I cannot escape the thought that my immediate family and I, despite whatever hardship we have suffered, are more fortunate than our numerous relatives in France, Russia and Lithuania who were murdered in the Nazi era and who had no army to protect them. I entertain similar thoughts about our extended family in Israel, wondering what their fates might have been had they stayed in Austria, Poland, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

I am hopeful. The clash between Arabs and Jews is often violent, but it is relatively recent in origin. I and other Israeli volunteers work to bridge the political and doctrinal arguments that divide Arabs and Jews, in hope that future generations can coexist without bloodshed.

Cohen says his unidentified American lost hope. Hope is part of the Israeli character. It's the title of the national anthem, "Hatikva," which means "the hope." Without hope, it could be impossible to make it here.

Fear and hope are highly subjective and personal, of course. An objective reality that U.S. journalists generally ignore is that Israel's terrorism death toll -- measured in fatalities per 100,000 residents -- is much lower than the homicide rate in the District of Columbia and dozens of other U.S. cities. But that's another story.

The writer is former editor-publisher of Jewish Week (now known as Washington Jewish Week) and a former managing editor of Congressional Quarterly.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Monday, October 06, 2003

JPost: The Military Solution Works

Evelyn Gordon's article in the Jerusalem Post shows that military responses to terrorism reduce terrorism. I don't find this surprising; do you?

Special Report from Gary Bauer: Carnage Again

To: Friends and Supporters of the Campaign for Working Families

From: Gary L. Bauer, Chairman

Date: Monday, October 6, 2003

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Israeli port city of Haifa on the Jewish Sabbath before Yom Kippur when evil struck again. In a split second, a crazed female jihadist exploded her deadly cargo and 20 people died instantly, while dozens more were gravely wounded. The site of the blast was a popular restaurant, Maxim's, jointly owned by Israeli Arab Christians and Jews. Three generations of one family were destroyed as they sat at their table breaking bread. At least five Israeli children were among the dead.

Later that day, I received a phone call at home from a prominent American- born Israeli, who was beside himself with grief and anger. He was angry at the jihadists who continue to break all the rules of civilization in their obsession to kill Jews. And he was angry at the U.S. government that continues to browbeat Israel into restraining itself. "Israelis love America," he said. "We don't want to irritate or anger the White House. But what are we supposed to do?"

Coincidentally, on Saturday morning the Washington Post featured Colin Powell on the front page making it clear in an interview that the U.S. was looking for ways to punish Israel because plans for the security fence were going forward. This follows our warnings to Israel last week to not touch a hair on the head of chief terrorist Yasser Arafat. This morning several papers are reporting that the President called Prime Minister Sharon to express condolences, but also urged him not to further heighten tensions. I pray those reports are inaccurate. Instead of telling our friend and ally to hold back while fresh graves are being dug for their children, we should be telling them that we now realize the folly of asking them to do what we would never do - bargain with terrorists in the vain hope it will bring peace.

Late last night, the media had managed to track down the family of the homicidal bomber. What that family said should be a slap in the face of reality to every State Department bureaucrat. There was no grief expressed - only joy. "This is a day as happy as her day of marriage would have been," said one man. Get it? Killing Jews was the greatest accomplishment of her life. It was a joyous occasion to be compared to marriage! It was the fulfillment of her jihad Islamic responsibilities.

Does anyone in the U.S. government know whether this incredibly warped evil mindset is embraced by a thousand, ten thousand, or a million Palestinians? Polling shows it is a worldview broadly embraced in the West Bank. So where are "road maps" to peace supposed to end anywhere else but in hell if these are the inhabitants of the Palestinian state that is supposed to live side-by-side in peace with Israel?

Syria ran to the United Nations yesterday to get a resolution to condemn the Israeli response, a 3:00 AM attack on an empty terrorist camp in Syria that resulted in two people being wounded. In a functioning U.N., Syria - with blood dripping from its hands - would have been run out of the chamber by the civilized world. The U.S. threatened to veto any resolution that condemned Israel unless it also condemned homicide bombers. Every member of the Security Council passionately condemned the air strike - the same countries that shrugged 24 hours before when the bodies of broken families were being removed from the restaurant.

There will be no peace for Israel or for America or for any of the civilized world until this jihadism is defeated. It can't be bribed, reasoned with or controlled by diplomatic maneuverings. It must be rooted out and destroyed, just as Nazism was after a long struggle at great cost. Our enemies are betting that neither America nor Israel will have the staying power to do what has to be done. G-d help us if they are right.

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Thursday, October 02, 2003


Thursday, October 2, 2003

Dear Friends,

On September 26, on the eve of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, an Arab terrorist broke into a home in Negohot, A Jewish Community near Hebron, and shot dead baby girl Shaked Avraham in her rocker, and also murdered a 27 year old man, Eyal Yerberbaum. Arab terrorists have been particularly fond of staging infiltration into Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria on Sabbath and Jewish Holidays. Since the beginning of the current conflict three years ago a total of 39 Israelis were killed and over 60 wounded in such attacks. Shaked is at least the seventh baby under one year of age, to be deliberately murdered in the ongoing Oslo war of terrorism against Israel.

On September 9, a 19 year old alleged Hamas member, Ihab Abed Qadaer Abu Salim, exploded himself outside a hitchhiking stop near Tel Aviv, taking eight Israelis with him. Five and a half hours later, his cousin and neighbor, 22 year old Ramez Simi Izzedin Abu Salim, blew himself up in Jerusalem, killing seven.

What do these Arab murderers have in common? ALL THREE OF THEM WERE RELEASED FROM JAIL TWO MONTHS AGO BY THE SHARON GOVERNMENT, AFTER STRONG PRESSURE FROM THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. This was supposed to be a confidence building measure to benefit then Prime Minister Abu Mazen and then Security Affairs Minister Mohammed Dahlan. Did President Bush ever insist on Al Queda terrorists being released as a confidence building measure towards Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein?

The United States has invested more than 100 million this year in the Palestinian security agencies, under the premise that these funds would be allocated to former PA Prime Minister Abu Mazen, and former Security Affairs Minister Mohammed Dahlan, neither of whom are any longer in power. The funds have now been diverted to forces loyal to Yasser Arafat. THAT LEAVES US SECURITY PERSONNEL IN A POSITION OF TRAINING AND ADVISING PLO ARMED FORCES, WHO NOW COORDINATE TERROR ATTACKS THROUGHOUT ISRAEL.

The question is:

WHY does the Bush Administration continue to bestow large financial grants WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT to the Palestinian Authority and Arafat, the career terrorist, who are the prime movers in this Arab terror? (The International Monitory Fund has reported that Arafat has diverted $900 million to his special account.)

WHY does Israel comply with American dictates NOT to remove Arafat, even though the Israeli Cabinet has decided that this must be done?

WHY does Israel comply when President Bush compels it not to include Ariel, a city of 22,000 inhabitants, behind the so-called security fence? Why does Ariel have to have a separate security fence with a large OPENING? So as not to annoy the Arabs? So as to make it easier for terrorists to enter?

Did you know that the United States has built a high fence, 60 miles long, with plans to add another 260 miles, to more effectively seal its border with Mexico? The U.S. thus has a formidable security barrier at the Mexican border, even though there are no Mexican terrorists intent on exploding bombs on buses in America.

WHY does Israel comply with American dictates with regard to Jews living and building in Judea and Samaria, in their own Biblical Homeland? Why does Israel cave in when the U.S. threatens to deduct any settlement spending from the total amount of U.S. loan guarantees?

In this regard, I found a very interesting article written by Israel Harel, the former Chairman of the Council that represents Jews living in Judea and Samaria, entitled "LET JEWS LIVE ON HOMELANDS". Interestingly enough, USA TODAY published this article on September 21. I think we should express our appreciation to the editor of USA TODAY at, for having the moral courage to publish the truth.

By Israel Harel

The term Judenrein means an area cleansed of Jews. In the past, this German concept was applied throughout Europe. Now we hear American and other liberals saying that Jewish communities on the biblical land of Judea and Samaria, the cradle of the Jewish nation, must be emptied of all their inhabitants, so that even in a Jewish homeland there can be Judenrein areas. The expulsion of the Jews from Europe, which reached its height during World War II, was a manifestly barbaric and inhumane act. But there, at least, the Jews were unwelcome guests, having lived in that area for merely a thousand years or so. However, to drive out the Jewish community of Hebron, where the matriarchs and patriarchs of the Jewish people are buried and King David first ruled 3,000 years ago, is unthinkable.

The United States is dotted with towns named for biblical cities in Israel: Hebron, Shilo, Bethlehem. But according to the terminology of many in the U.S. press, the Israeli Shilo, the original one, is a "settlement," and consequently must be cleansed of Jews.

If someone decided to expel Jews from Shiloh, Ohio, or Hebron, Neb., USA TODAY might be among the first to come out against what it would likely term racism. Why then does it support the expulsion of Jews from the original Shilo - the Jewish one? Why are Jews living in their own homeland considered "an obstacle to peace"?

Why is the only place in the world where Jews cannot live - according to liberals - the very place where the Jewish faith was born, where it developed monotheism, where the Judeo-Christian civilization took shape - and where the Jewish people returned after 2,000 years of exile?

It is not the presence of Jews in the settlements that is a provocation to Palestinians; it is the presence of Jews anywhere in Israel on either side of the Green Line, the 1949 armistice line.

So, if you support the expulsion of Jews from Europe, America or anywhere else, you're a racist. But if you advocate the expulsion of Jews from the heart of their homeland, you're a liberal.

Liberals' demand to drive Jews off their own land to create a Judenrein area, in the land of the Jews, of all places, is the height of hypocrisy by those who claim to be fair-minded advocates of justice in the world.

* * *

Indeed, Israel has become a virtual Banana Republic of the United States. I do blame the Bush Administration for its heavy handed interference in Israeli affairs. But I do put even more blame on the Sharon Government. It is the responsibility of any government, above all, to protect the lives of its own citizens and its own national interest. The Sharon Government has failed miserably on both counts.

The key question, unfortunately, that guides the Sharon Government, is not whether the benefit of any particular action -- be it protecting its citizens from terror or holding on to its own Biblical Homeland, Judea and Samaria -- is worth the price of annoying or distancing the United States. In truth, Israel has become America's Banana Republic.

Is this relationship with Israel beneficial for the United States? Absolutely not, neither diplomatically, nor in terms of America's war against terrorism. The United States has declared a global war against terrorism, but like it or not, Israel is on the same globe as America, and thus cannot be made an exception in the fight against terror.

Why are there daily murders of American soldiers in Iraq? Where did all the foreign terrorist fighters against American soldiers in Iraq come from? The United States has admitted that many are Palestinian Arabs, making their way to Iraq through surrounding Arab countries. Where did all these suicide bombers in Iraq come from? They took their lead from Palestinian terrorism - the main source of inspiration for terrorism around the world. The Palestinian Arabs boast already well over 100 suicide attacks - and what did the United States do? It granted them the largest possible prize - a State! Unfortunately, to their own detriment, the Americans are proving that terrorism pays off!

Dear friends: If we close our eyes to this dangerous situation, we share in the guilt of not preventing a future holocaust. Get in touch with your Congressman and your Senators and most importantly, with President Bush, and express your strong feelings against:

* Using American tax payer's money to support Arafat's terrorist organizations, including Fatah, Al Aqsa Martyrs, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

* Interfering in Israeli Government decisions intended to protect its citizens from terror.

* Collaborating in making the Jewish Homeland Judenrein.

For your information I am including President Bush's phone number which is 202-456-1414. His fax number is 202-456-2461. His email address is and his snail mail address is President George W. Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. To get information about how to reach your Senators and Congressman, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Don't delay! The present relationship between the United States and Israel may well turn out to be tragic, not only for Israel, but for the United States as well.

With Blessings and Love for Israel,

Ruth Matar

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

StillThreatening Israel

Gary Bauer: With our Iraq policy under attack and our security at Guantanamo Bay compromised, you would think the State Department would have plenty on its plate dealing with America's enemies. But once again this morning a top State Department official, William Burns, is threatening our friend and ally Israel with financial penalties if it insists on completing a security fence that protects all Israeli communities from terrorist thugs. Burns says the fence is inconsistent with President Bush's vision of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in 2005.

Does the crowd at State still not understand that such a "vision" has become a nightmare? It resulted in more dead Jews and the wasting of millions of U.S. dollars for a Palestinian leader who is no longer in power. A sovereign democracy has a right to defend itself. That is precisely what Israel is doing. I recommend we start getting tough with Saudi Arabia instead of our friends!

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Suite 605
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Fax: 703-671-8899

Monday, September 29, 2003

The late Edward Said - a fake!

Who hadn't heard of the late Professor Edward Said of Columbia University? The great, angry prophet of Palestinian injustice, he railed against the "occupier," mourning his "beautiful" house in Jerusalem from which his family was supposedly thrown out in '48, and his poor father impoverished. All because of the brutal Israeli Jews....

Oh, the terrible injustice! And how all his intellectual and academic friends rallied around him: Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, Alan Cockburn....

Only one problem: Said grew up in Cairo, the son of an American father who owned a very lucrative office supply company. He was driven around with chauffeurs, attended the best private schools. He never even set foot in Jerusalem his entire childhood....

His family did undergo hard times though. When Nasser came to power and nationalized his father's business, the family fled to [his father's native] America.

You'd think Columbia University would have investigated this professor of consummate lies, instead of backing up his "intellectual freedoms," at every turn.

Professor Rene Beres was instrumental in exposing Said.

The complete version of the research on Edward Said (with 141 footnotes, two charts, and a photograph) is available at

See also letters and responses on the article in Commentary (January 2000). Author Justus R. Weiner is an international human rights lawyer and a member of both the Israel and the New York Bar Associations. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and an adjunct lecturer at Hebrew and Tel Aviv Universities.

The author wishes to express his appreciation to Judy Shulewitz and Zev Kanter for their assistance.

Naomi Ragen

Woolsey: We are all Jews

In this JPost piece, former CIA director Woolsey shares a profound truth: The secret of Israel's 'graduation,' thousands of years ago, from a collection of tribes to a nation - the law.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Women in Green: Criminals of Oslo

Women in Green's Nadia Matar:

Yes, Indeed - Peres and His Friends are the Criminals of Oslo

How would the English have reacted, if Chamberlain, in the midst of England’s war with Germany, had held a celebration of his 1938 Munich Accords with Hitler? If Chamberlain then had said that the Munich agreements were not a mistake. If Chamberlain had claimed “Hitler had been democratically elected by his People”. That it was still possible to make “peace” with Hitler. If Chamberlain had claimed that the way to peace was to give Hitler more weapons and ammunition, and more parts of Europe.

These questions are merely hypothetical, since Chamberlain finally realized he had made a mistake in dealing with Hitler. He painstakingly came to the conclusion that Hitler was not someone to make peace with.

Unlike Chamberlain, Shimon Peres remains unrepentant. He is still proud of his illegally conceived Oslo Accords. Peres deems it irrelevant that Oslo went against the will of the majority of the Jewish People. It was Peres who gave them guns under Oslo, and also large parts of Israel’s Biblical Homeland. Moreover, Peres still believes, as he stated in a recent interview with the Hebrew daily Maariv, that Arafat deserved his Noble Peace Prize.

Ten years after Oslo, there have been 1,200 Jews murdered and thousands maimed for life. Jews have similarly been burned by Arab suicide bombers in buses, like they were burned and gassed in the crematoria of Hitler. Arabs kill Jews not because they live in Yesha, but because they are alive.

If Shimon Peres and the other Oslo architects had admitted they were wrong nobody would have called them criminals. Perhaps naive fools but not criminals. But they continue to still want Israel to shake hands and hug Arafat. They still want to give him large parts of the Jewish Homeland. That is why they have crossed the redline and have turned from being naive fools to Oslo criminals. They call upon Israel to negotiate with their evil Arab enemy, Arafat. They want to uproot Jews from their Homeland. They consider the Jews of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to being “an obstacle to peace”.

Peres and his friends would liquidate the Jewish Community of Hebron, where the Matriarchs and Patriarchs of the Jews are buried, and where King David first ruled 3,000 years ago. The attitude of Peres and his friends with regard to Jews living in Judea, Samaria, Hebron and Gaza, is unquestionably racism in its clearest form. Yet Peres and his liberal friends will overlook basic democratic principles for the sake of seeking an illusory “peace”.

The criminal message of Oslo is that the Jewish People have no historical, moral, Biblical, or legal right to exist as a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. Oslo has turned truth and the moral values of Western Civilization upside-down. The vicious Arab aggressor is now being portrayed by Peres and his liberal friends as “the victim”. The Jew who has lived in his Promised Land for over 3,000 years, has been turned into the “occupying aggressor”. George Orwell could not have done a better job than Peres and his friends. All this is a direct result of the Oslo mentality.

If we want Israel to survive as a Jewish State, we must, once and for all, eradicate Oslo. The “Road Map” is merely a disastrous continuation of Oslo and that too must be abandoned by Israel. Whatever good deeds Shimon Peres may have done in the past, they do not atone for his criminal Oslo actions, and his continual disloyalty to Israel, both in the media and to many foreign Governments, both here and abroad.

Therefore, Women in Green will continue to call for the indictments of the Oslo criminals. More than 50 years ago Moshe Sharet, a former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, made this astute prognosis:

“I totally and utterly reject Shimon Peres and consider his rise to prominence, a malignant, immoral disgrace. I will rend my clothes in mourning for the State of Israel, if I see him become a Minister in the Israeli Government.”

Sadly, Shimon Peres indeed has risen to prominence. His recent 80th birthday celebration caused Israel to expend enormous sums of money to provide security for his international guests. This selfish egoistic act is inexcusable, at a time when Israel’s economy is severely strained, forcing its military budget to be significantly reduced.

Unfortunately, the left controlled media did not objectively allow to be reported any negative aspects of Peres. Moreover, the thousands who viewed the participation of Sharon and Katzav in Peres’ birthday celebration, interpreted their action as if they approved of Peres’ continuous disloyalty to Israel.

In accordance with what Sharet said about Peres many years ago, thousands of Jews have already torn their clothes in mourning. Jews should moreover, continue to mourn that Peres is still held in high esteem by some Jews in Israel and America, and by many enemies of Israel. It should be remembered however, that Peres’ views are not held by the great majority of Jews in Israel. The Jewish People everywhere remain loyal to the Land of Israel, and to the Torah of Israel.

Nadia Matar

============================================= Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green) POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

Tuesday, September 23, 2003



Dear Friends,

Naomi Ragen, the well-known author, sent out the following email on September 19, two days before Peres' birthday celebration. She listed her subject as: Let's wish Mr. Peres the birthday he deserves.

"Well, I'm back. The terrible events that took place while I was away touched me
in far off places, because wherever our bodies are, our hearts are always in Jerusalem.

"I understand Shimon Peres is going to have a big, state-sponsored 80th birthday this Sunday, with invited guests including such friends of Israel as Bill Clinton....

"I'd like to wish Mr. Peres a happy birthday, and to thank him for his continuing contributions to the people of Israel:

"Thank you, Mr. Peres, for bringing back Yasir Arafat from Tunis, and for writing your book The New Middle East, to convince the Israeli public to put their lives into Arafat's hands.

"Thank you, Mr. Peres, for again, and again, and again, backing up Yasir Arafat each time a terrorist attack killed our people, helping to convince Israelis, and the world, that Arafat wasn't responsible.

"Thank you, for contributing more than any other person, to the ability of terrorist organizations to evade responsibility, to set up shop in Israel, causing the death of over eight hundred men, women and children, and the injury of thousands more.

"Thank you, Mr. Peres, for paying Roed Larson, over $100,000, a prize from the Peres Center for Peace, for helping you to get a Nobel Prize. Before, during and after getting his prize, Mr. Larsen was notorious for his wonderful contributions to our area, including non-stop incitement against the Israeli people, government and armed forces.

"Thank you, Mr. Peres, for being a true quisling, in a nation that has many; for never visiting a terror victim, for never taking responsibility for Oslo's disasters, for preening and congratulating yourself on your many achievements at the expense of our lives.

"Because of you, thousands in Israel will never reach the age of eighty. Because of you many families will never be able to celebrate a loved one's birthday.

"Those who would like to express their appreciation and good wishes to Mr. Peres, can join the following demonstration opposite his party in Tel Aviv, on Sunday, September 21 organized by Women in Green (who were right all along...)"


We have been criticized by quite a number of people, especially in the leftist media, for holding a protest Rally where Peres' birthday party was held, and thus "raining on his parade". However, we felt that, as Shakespeare had Mark Anthony say in the famous funeral oration in "Julius Caesar":

"The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." Whatever good Shimon Peres has done, pales in comparison with the tragedy he has brought upon the Jewish People.

Over a thousand people took part in a very meaningful Rally outside the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv on Sunday night. Shimon Peres had a dazzling birthday party inside - with all the rich and famous and powerful lauding him for his great "Achievements of Oslo". We, on the other hand, stood outside and mourned the 1,200 murdered and many thousands maimed for life, all because Shimon Peres secretly made agreements with an enemy organization bent on Israel's destruction. There were no cocktails served at our gathering. Nor was there any festive music. Only the Prayer "El Male Rachamim" (G-d full of Mercy) and pre-Rosh HaShana Shofar blowing, which is meant to "wake us from our slumber" and take time to get into the mode of introspection and reviewing our actions of the past year; and to repent both as individuals and as a nation.

We had thirty speakers in all. We deliberately did not invite politicians but only leaders of grass roots groups opposed to giving away the Land. We also asked some family members of terror victims to speak.

There was not a dry eye amongst us, when the father of 16 year old David Boim, who was murdered on his way home from school, said with tears in his eyes: "Parents should never have to bury their own children." The daughter of Rabbi Ra'anan spoke movingly about her father, who was murdered in Hebron by an Arab terrorist, who broke into their home while they were sleeping.

Each speaker, after a very short address, read some of the names of the people murdered. After each name was read, all of us said in unison: "May Hashem avenge his blood".

The demonstration was powerful and moving, but in no way depressing or hopeless, because we knew that we, outside the Mann Auditorium, represented the majority of the Jewish People, those who love their Land, their Heritage, and their People.

Peres, after loosing the 1996 election to Binyamin Netanyahu, answered questions the day after in an interview with Ha'aretz:

Interviewer: What happened in these elections?
Peres: We lost.
Interviewer: Who is we?
Peres: We, that is the Israelis.
Interviewer: And who won?
Peres: All those who do not have an Israeli mentality.
Interviewer: And who are they?
Peres: Call it the Jews.

We are the "Jews" Peres spoke about. We're proud not to have the Peres mentality!

In the name of all those who were killed and maimed, and all those who are alive and well and want to see Israel as a strong Jewish State - we vowed to make sure that the Jews will always have the upper hand and we vowed to save our country from Shimon Peres and the other Oslo criminals. That is why the singing of Hatikva at the end of our demo was loud, clear and strong. Hatikva, Israel's national anthem, means hope!

We know that our message "The Land of Israel, belongs to the People of Israel, based on the Torah of Israel" is the only hope for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state. And we know that in the end, with God's help, this Jewish message is the one that will prevail.

Shana Tova!

With Blessings and Love for Israel,
Ruth and Nadia Matar

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Happy Independence Day!

Speaker of the Knesset at Mt. Herzl
Speech for the Eve of Independence Day 5763/2003

Happy Independence Day, my brothers and sisters of Israel:

Our flag has just been raised to full mast, and once again it is flying proudly over our Holy City, on the mount of memorial and heroism, as though it were natural and self-evident; as though it were always so.

But the "Yizkor" [memorial] prayer, and the sad trumpet fanfare still echoing in our ears, and the distress of Memorial day still in our hearts--these remind us, today, as they do each year, how far all this is from self-evident.

At this time, during this ongoing war against terrorism, we are not, unfortunately, in need of any reminder.

For this year, like last year, we remember well, on each and every day, the terrible price of our freedom.

This freedom, on whose altar were offered up such heroes as the soldier of the 51st Golan Battalion, 1st Class Sergeant Matanya Robinson, of blessed memory, who fell in the battle of Jenin, only a year ago; and Master Sergeant Tiran Arazi, of blessed memory, from the Nachshon Battalion of the Fifth Infantry Brigade, who fell the following day, on Holocaust Day last year, together with twelve other heroes, in that terrible alley of death in the Jenin Refugee Camp.

May God avenge their blood.

Yardena, the twelve-year-old sister of Matanya (who was twenty two when he fell), and Mor, the eleven-year old daughter of Tiran (who was thirty three when he fell), may they live long, good lives, are standing here at my side, as we close the gates of tears and sanctify the festival of our resurrection, the Day of Independence. They are honouring us with their presence and will participate in the ceremony.

In every generation, each person must feel as though he himself came from slavery to redemption, to freedom, to independence.

Each year, as the flag is raised here, I remember several historical flag raisings, that have been branded in our memory, in Israel's collective memory.

I recall the raising of the official flag of the young State of Israel in front of the United Nations building in full view of the whole world, when Israel proudly joined the family of nations; I remember the improvised "Ink Flag", the flag of excited fighters that was flown at Um Rash Rash, now Eilat....

I remember the flag that was flown at the end of the battle, on the top of the Mt. Hermon outpost, by the members of the Golani Brigade, when they conquered "the Eyes of the State," after having lost dozens of their comrades; and I remember the flag flown at the official ceremony, in the center of Cairo, by Israel's first ambassador to Egypt.

But this flying of our flag on high, in the open, in full view, is not so s elf-evident. So much meaning is encompassed in this simple act. There is no symbol more pure to express our resurrection from the ashes, from the piles of ruins, from the blood.

This raising of our flag expresses hope and determination, optimism and power, pride and even a small amount of protest against the whole world: "Look and see: We are here! This is our place, and here we will stay"!

Today too, even as we celebrate fifty-five years of our independence, as a sovereign nation sure of itself, we still feel the need to wave our flag in full view, just to show them all, in a very Israeli way.

Perhaps this is because today, after our great and true dream--of peace, of a little tranquility--has burst over our heads, and has been proved a terrible illusion, after the great sobering up,

It seems that we are all returning to take a stronger grasp on our old and good Eretz Yisrael [Land of Israel], of the songs, the culture, the symbols, and, of course, our blue and white flag.

And it's true, everyone can feel it: We are once again gathering around our group bonfire; we are removing our robe of cynicism; we are returning closer to our Israeliness, in a sort of protest: against the situation, against the terrorism, against the broken dream of peace.

Independence Day, despite the situation, or perhaps just because of it, has become again a day of popular, real, and simple rejoicing, shared by us all; a day when we are not ashamed to express our love--as we once did--for this Land, for our own State.

And despite the situation, and perhaps just because of the situation--just because we once again understand that nothing here is self-evident--we are filled with pride, with joy and with gratitude for what we have achieved here in fifty five years.

True, we had not expected to meet our fifty fifth Independence Day like this, still in the midst of a war against horrific terrorism.

If only I could truly stand here this evening, at the beginning of our Independence Day, and make a promise to all of us that everything will be fine; that the longed-for peace - is just outside our walls; and that tomorrow a new, a promising dawn will break through the skies of this wounded and bleeding land.

Instead we can, all of us, look reality in the eyes, and promise ourselves and our children, that as always, as we have done throughout the past fifty five years, even if sometimes we must grit our teeth, together we shall continue to dream and to try to make it happen; together we shall continue to hope and to build; and together we shall wave the flag.

Happy Independence Day, Israel!

Monday, May 05, 2003

Yom HaZikaron - Remembrance Day

Soldiers and security personnel who have fallen since the War of Independence: 19,914

Total number fallen (including the pre-State period: 21,540
(This number includes disabled IDF veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty).

Number of soldiers killed since Remembrance Day last year 254


The Parade of The Fallen

Hayim Hefer

They come from the mountains,
from the valley, from the desert,
They come - names, faces, eyes -
and they stand for the parade.

They come in a masculine step,
strong and sun-tanned,
They emerge from the shattered planes
and from the burnt tanks;

They rise from behind the rocks, from across
the dunes, from connecting ditches,

Brave as lions, tough as tigers, swift as eagles,

And they pass one by one
beween two rows of angels,
Who feed them candy and place flowers
around their necks;

And I look at them, and all of them are happy.

These are my brothers my friends, these are my brothers.

And they meet one another,
black eyes and blue and brown,

And they remind each other of names,
of weapons, and of places,

And they pour each other cups of coffee and tea
And burst out suddenly together shouting: "Huzza! Hurra!"
And they meet in the large assemblage,
friends and comrades,

And officers slap the privates' shoulders
and the privates shake the officers' hands,

And they burst out in song and clap their hands
And all the dwellers of heaven listen to them
awe struck,

And the get-together lasts day and night,
and night and day,

Because such a bunch has not yet been seen above!

And then suddenly they hear familiar voices crying,
And they look homeward at father and mother,
at their wives, their children and their brothers,
And their faces are silent
and they stand ill at ease

And then someone quickly whispers:
Forgive us, but we had to!
We won the battles and now we are resting.

These are my brothers my friends, these are my brothers.

And so they stand, the light bright on their faces,
And only the Lord Himself passes among them,
With tears in His eyes He kisses their wounds
And He says in a trembling voice
to the white angels:

These are my sons my friends,
these are my sons!

Hebrew lyrics:


Yom Hazikaron, the day of remembrance for those who fell in the struggle for the establishment of the State of Israel and in its defense, is marked during the 24 hours preceding Yom Ha'atsma'ut (Israel's Independence Day). On YomHazikaron the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence.

Yom Hazikaron is a day of collective and personal anguish mingled with awe and honor for the fallen. It is a day on which the living rededicate themselves to the State of Israel, so that they may be worthy of the sacrifice of those who died for its survival.

In Israel, Yom Hazikaron commences countrywide with the sound of sirens proclaiming a two-minute silence during which all activity and traffic cease. Flags are flown at half mast and memorial ceremonies are held all over the country. Ending at sundown, the somber, reflective mood of Yom Hazikaron gives way to the celebration of Yom Ha'atsma'ut, a transition which emphasizes the lasting tie between the sacrifice of the country's fallen and the continued existence of a vibrant and dynamic State of Israel.

Lighting the Remembrance Torch

We light this remembrance torch as a symbol, to honor all the heroes and heroines of our generation; the partisan groups, the ghetto fighters and the underground defenders, the innocent victims of terror attacks, and those who fought in the wars to defend the State of Israel since its establishment.

Every home in Israel traditionaly lights its own 24 hour candle, allowing the flicker to remind us every moment of the sacrifice of the few on behalf of the many.

(Communicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

(Communicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The Paratroopers Cry

Hayim Hefer

This wall has heard many prayers
This wall has seen the fall of many other walls
This wall has felt the touch of mourning women
This wall has felt petitions lodged between its stones.
This wall saw Rabbi Yehuda Halevi trampled before it
This wall has seen Caesars rise and fall

But this wall had never seen paratroopers cry.

This wall saw them tired and wrung out
This wall saw them wounded, mutilated
Running to it with excitement, cries and silence.
And creeping as torn creatures in the alleys of the
Old City
And they are covered with dust and with parched lips
They whisper, "If I forget thee, if I forget thee Jerusalem"
They are swift as eagles and strong as lions
And their tanks - the fiery chariot of Elijah the Prophet
They pass by with noise
They pass by a stream
They remember the 2,000 awful years
In which we had not even a wall to place our tears
before –

And here they stand before it and breathe in dust
Here they look at it with sweet pain
And tears run down and they look at one another perplexed
How does it happen that paratroopers cry?
How does it happen that they touch this wall
with great emotion?
How does it happen that their weeping
changes to song?
Perhaps because these boys of 19,
born at the same time as the state,
carry on their shoulders - 2,000 years.

Hebrew lyrics:



May God remember the valiant men and women who braved mortal danger in the days of struggle prior to the establishment of the State of Israel and the soldiers who fell in the wars of Israel.

May the people of Israel cherish them in their memory; let them mourn the splendor of youth, the altruism of valor, the dedication of will and the dignity of self-sacrifice which came to an end on the battlefield.

May the loyal and courageous heroes of freedom and victory be sealed forever within the hearts of all Israel, in this generation and forevermore.

Hebrew text:


Memorial Service for Members of the Israel Defense Forces

O God, full of mercy, Who dwells on high, grant proper rest in the wings of the Divine Presence – in the lofty level of the holy and the pure ones, who shine like the glow of the firmament – for the souls of the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces who met their deaths in the wars of Israel, in action of defense, retaliation and security, while fulfilling their missions and during their service, and to the souls of all the fighters of the underground organizations and the fighting units in the nation's battles, and all the men and women of the intelligence community and the security and police forces who gave their lives in the sanctification of God's Name and, with the help of the God of the armies of Israel, brought about the rebirth of the nation and the state and the redemption of the Land and the City of God, as well as all those who were murdered, in Israel and abroad, by murderers of the terrorist organizations, by virtue of our prayers for the ascent of their souls.

May the Merciful One therefore shelter them in the shelter of his wings for eternity; and may He bind their souls in the Bond of Life. The Lord is their heritage, Eden their place of rest. May they repose in peace in their resting places, may their merit reflect on all of Israel, and may they meet their destiny in the End of Days.

Now let us all respond: Amen.

Hebrew text:


The Silver Platter

Nathan Altermam

"A State is not handed to a people on a silver platter" -
Chaim Weizmann, first president of Israel

The Earth grows still.
The lurid sky slowly pales
Over smoking borders.
Heartsick, but still living, a people stand by
To greet the uniqueness
of the miracle.

Readied, they wait beneath the moon,
Wrapped in awesome joy, before the light.
-- Then, soon,
A girl and boy step forward,
And slowly walk before the waiting nation;

In work garb and heavy-shod
They climb
In stillness.
Wearing yet the dress of battle, the grime
Of aching day and fire-filled night

Unwashed, weary unto death, not knowing rest,
But wearing youth like dewdrops in their hair.
-- Silently the two approach
And stand.
Are they of the quick or of the dead?

Through wondering tears, the people stare.
"Who are you, the silent two?"
And they reply: "We are the silver platter
Upon which the Jewish State was served to you."

And speaking, fall in shadow at the nation's feet.
Let the rest in Israel's chronicles be told.

Hebrew lyrics:


And my Brother Said Nothing

Amir Gilboa

My brother came back from the field
dressed in gray. And I was afraid that
my dream might prove false, so at once
I began to count his wounds.
And my brother said nothing

Then I rummaged in the pockets of the trench-coat
and found a field-dressing, stained and dry.
And on a frayed postcard, her name -
beneath a picture of poppies.
And my brother said nothing.

Then I undid the pack
and took out his belongings, memory by memory.
Hurrah, my brother, my brother, the hero,
now I've found your decorations!
Hurrah, my brother, my brother, the hero,
I shall proudly hymn your name!
And my brother said nothing.
And my brother said nothing.

And his blood was crying out from the ground.

Hebrew lyrics:


Those who Live by their Virtue Will Say

Uri Zvi Greenberg

They were the chosen... They sang... Now their voices are silent.

The true sons of the race of David that fell with their sword in
their hand.

Simple and lovely like young David of the Shepherd Clan...
And they shall praise Thee, O Lord, from the dust they've returned

The dust Thou created them from is the dust of death...
This kind of dust whereof Thou createth primeval man.

The Temple Mount and the Rock -
From that dust they'll praise Thee...Immortal are they!

There is no truth, there is no glory but them.
And we, in this world, do live by their virtue.

And by their splendor we prosper.
Whoever looks unto their graves will ne'er be enslaved any longer.

Hebrew lyrics:


The Third Mother

Nathan Alterman

Mothers are singing. Mothers are singing.
A fist of thunder bangs down. Strong silence.
Red-bearded lamps are marching
in the empty streets in rows.

Autumn mortally ill, weary,
inconsolable autumn,
rain without beginning or end.
No candle in the window, no light in the world,
three mothers sing.

I hear one of them say:
"He was here but yesterday.
I shall kiss his every fingernail and finger.
I see a tall ship in a calm bay,
and my son from the topmast hanging."

And the second one says:
"My son is tall and quiet.
I am sewing a holiday shirt for my dear.
He's walking in the fields. He will soon be here.
And he holds in his heart a lead bullet."

And the third mother says with her wandering eyes:
"No one was dearer or kinder...
Who shall weep when he comes if I cannot see?
I do not know where he finds him."

And she bathed her eyelashes with weeping.
Perhaps he is only resting. Perhaps
in foreign places he measures
the paths of Your world, O God,
(Like a wandering monk) with kisses.


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Speech at the Yad-Lebanim Gathering on the Eve of Remembrance Day


Dear Families,

Night is falling on the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen Soldiers. The State flag has been lowered, and soon a siren will sound. From thousands of pasts, from all battlefields, it is as though a convoy of shadows is winding its way to Jerusalem. It is a convoy which is over one hundred years old, comprising the protectors of the people who marked the path of revival and victory with blood and glory the convoy of Israels freedom.

On Remembrance Day, as is customary in Israel, memorial candles will be lit in every home, and in every heart the flame of memory for a fallen warrior will be kindled a precious family member or beloved friend who is gone. For there is not one person in Israel who has not lost someone close or familiar over the years, nor is there anyone in Israel who does not remember.

It is you, the families, who will forever preserve their memory. It is the shadow which follows you during the day and the light which illuminates your nights. It is a painting engraved deep within your souls, and fragments of life which will never be forgotten.

I share your pain, because in my heart, I also feel that constant sorrow for the absence of my brothers-in-arms companions with whom I went into battle, and only blind fate decided who would be buried and who would fight the next battle. Most of my life, I shouldered the heavy and unavoidable burden of responsibility as an IDF commander, as a member of the government and as Prime Minister the responsibility of sending young fighters to the front line. Only one who has experienced this can understand and appreciate the awesome burden of this decision, which often involves the inevitable loss of life in war, retaliatory operations and both covert and overt missions which are unavoidable in these times.

Thus, I have made the following commitment and vow: I shall do my utmost to bring about a breakthrough towards peace. There is hope in the air this spring, a hope rooted in constant and persistent combat; the battle of IDF soldiers, Israeli Police and the security services, who include in their ranks many good and courageous people who dedicated their lives to repelling and defeating terror; a hope which has recently been raised by the decisive victory of the Allies in Iraq, and from the inspiration and determination that some of the leaders of the free world, headed by the President of the United States, demonstrated against the evil regimes in our region. If indeed this hope is realized, and conditions evolve depending, first and foremost, on the actions of the new Palestinian Government this opportunity must not be missed. I also take into account the painful sacrifice, which, I admit, will be very difficult for me to make. However, I will not be deterred if I know that this is the time to end war and bloodshed and to bring peace for generations. I have only one condition, firm and unshakable: the security of Israel will in no way, and under no circumstances, be compromised.

Night is falling, and when memories are rising in our hearts we will cherish our fallen. And you, the bereaved families, shall be enveloped with love. My personal wish is expressed in the following lines by the poet from the revival and freedom generation, Nathan Alterman:

I have one wish: that your extinguished hearts
Will be illuminated by only one light tonight.
It is the light of brotherhood and the radiance of angels
Who see us with a thousand eyes.

May the memory of those who fell in battle and while fulfilling
their duties be forever bound to the Jewish People and the State of

(Communicated by the Office of the Prime Minister)


"The Ambassadors of Peace Shall Weep Bitterly..." (Isaiah 33:7)

In memory of those who have fallen while on duty in the Israeli foreign service

Every year, as the State of Israel remembers those who fell in the struggle for its establishment and defense, the Israel Foreign Ministry commemorates the men and women of the Foreign Service, who lost their lives while serving as Israel's representatives to the nations of the world.

Edna Peer
4 May 1970, Asuncion

Efraim Elrom
23 May 1971, Istanbul

Dr. Ami Shehori
19 September 1972, London

Giora Raviv
29 April 1975, Johannesburg

Ety Tal-Orr
19 March 1986, Cairo

Ehud Sadan
7 March 1992, Ankara

David Ben-Rafael
17 March 1992, Buenos Aires

March 2002: 10th Anniversary of the terror attack on the Israeli
embassy in Buenos Aires

Eli Ben-Zeev
17 March 1992, Buenos Aires

Eliora Carmon
17 March 1992, Buenos Aires

Shira Arnon
2 January 1995, Lagos

Aviv Cohen
27 September 1996, Santo Domingo

Sorek Gefen
2 March 1999, Amman

Azi-Elazar Brosh
3 August 2001, Bishkek

Orit Ozerov
March 9, 2002, Jerusalem

David Diego Ladowski
July 31, 2002, Jerusalem

Shlomo Argov
February 23, 2003

(Communicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)