The Masquerade is Over

The Masquerade is Over
December 27, 1996


This morning on the Kol Yisrael radio news, Defense
Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, speaking about the Hebron
accords, emphasized that he has ordered his subordinates
to insure that the Jewish residents of Hebron will not
feel any lessening of their security following
`redeployment.' A few weeks ago Mordechai took a walking
tour from Beit Hadassah to the Avraham Avinu
neighborhood. As he inspected the market, due to be
reopened with implementation of the agreement, I shook
his hand, welcomed him to Hebron and pointed out to him
that the market, located on Jewish property, was stolen
from us following the expulsion of the Jewish community
in 1929. His response: "And how much land did we take
from them?" Shocked at this answer, especially because
in Hebron we didn't take any land from the Arabs, I
responded, "but they murdered us and then stole our
land." Mordechai retorted, "you're looking at this from
an historical perspective; where does that historical
perspective begin?" This is the Israeli Likud Minister
of Defense, who we put into office.
Last week, on Friday, the Bibi bombshell exploded.
But unfortunately, too many of us are so shell-shocked
that even when a bomb explodes in your face, you're
liable to miss it. Netanyahu's right-hand man, David Bar-
Ilan, former editor of the Jerusalem Post and one of the
most right-wing, if not the most right-wing member of the
Prime Minister's team, in an interview with the Jerusalem
Post, revealed that Netanyahu has rejected the idea of
`Eretz Yisrael HaShlema' the idea of a `complete Israel',
that the Land will have to be shared and that he will
accept a `limited palestinian state.' Of course the
words `limited state' contradict themselves. There is no
such animal. A state is, by definition, sovereign. If
it is not sovereign, it is not a state. And if it is
sovereign, it is not limited. And even if Arafat should
agree to accept `limited sovereignty - we all know how
much Arafat feels obligated by signed agreements. When
this was pointed out to Bar Ilan, he confirmed that the
administration is aware of this, but even so.... He even
went so far as to agree with the interviewer's
observation that with the advent of Oslo, and Israel's
acceptance of its obligations, there is very little
difference today between the Likud and Labor.
Bar-Ilan wasn't speaking for himself. He was
speaking for Benyamin Netanyahu. Our Prime Minister.
Who we elected.
What is one of the major predicaments of the Hebron
accords? It is very simple, but unfortunately remains
totally unnoticed. When the Rabin-Peres administration
signed the agreement, they did so with the full intention
of removing all Jewish presence from Hebron. Rabin,
speaking before groups from the US, said time and time
again that he had no intention of leaving the Jewish
Community in Hebron. He promised not to remove any
`settlements' during the interim stage of the accords,
but planned, as part of final status agreement, to expel
Hebron's Jews from the City of the Patriarchs. Knowing
this, both he and Peres had no compunctions about signing
an agreement which, for all intensive purposes, sealed
the fate of the community. They knew that the terms and
conditions of the accords created an intolerable
unlivable situation. But that didn't bother them,
because that is what they wanted. That is, as disgusting
as it is, comprehensible. That they were willing to
forsake Jewish lives, to sacrifice Jewish blood, as a
means to a goal, is not. But the terms of the accords
were at one with the expected future - a Judenrein
Hebron.
BUT, Netanyahu, by all accounts, is interested in
maintaining a Jewish presence in Hebron. He does not
want to abandon Ma'arat HaMachpela to Arafat. He truly
desires a strong Jewish community in the city. On the
face of it, he does not wish to be responsible for more
`sacrifices for peace.' But what is he doing? He is
planning on implementing an agreement, geared around
expulsion of the Jewish community, while promising to
leave the Jews in Hebron, with `the same security that we
presently have,' in spite of the allowance of what will
eventually be, thousands of armed Arab terrorists
patrolling in and around the city. In other words, he is
contradicting himself. He is trying to implement a
suicide pact and remain alive, even after firing the
bullet into his brain. And it just doesn't work. If you
shoot yourself in the head, you die, like it or not.
This morning Yitzhak Mordechai was quoted as saying
that he too is unhappy with the Hebron agreement, that it
is not good for us, but, what can you do? A `legitimate'
Israeli government signed an official agreement that
binds not only that government, but the country. We have
no choice, in his opinion, but to honor the accords.
Personally, I have a lot of trouble with this
philosophy. True, when an agreement is broken one must
be think out the possible consequences and be ready to
pay the price. But everyone with eyes in his head sees
what Arafat is doing. Using the salami method, he is
taking a slice at a time. And he is doing it very
successfully. We all know what his goal is. No, not
only Jerusalem. Jerusalem is, as is Hebron, a means to
an end. He is interested in Haifa and Acco and Yaffo, and
Nazareth and, well, all of Eretz Yisrael. He desires to
be King of Palestine stretching from the Mediterranean to
the Jordan, and perhaps over to the east side of the
Jordan too. His goal is not a Judenrein Hebron - it is a
Judenrein Israel. And we are playing straight into his
hands. We are killing ourselves for him - saving him the
work. He is dictating the conditions of our obligations,
the conditions of our suicide, while sitting on the
sidelines and watching us destroy ourselves.
Arafat took off his mask a long time ago. He
doesn't fulfill his obligations and he makes it very
clear that he has no intention to - as per extradition of
murderers to Israel. The problem isn't Arafat - it is
Netanyahu and his administration. I'm not sure if
Netanyahu is wearing a mask that has blinded him, or if
he is hallucinating, thinking that the Arafat he sees
isn't the real Arafat - that Arafat is still wearing his
mask. But the whole story is very reminiscent of the
Emperor's New Clothes.
I will not say that Netanyahu has betrayed us. He
is not a traitor. He did create Oslo and is not
responsible for its existence. But, he is implementing
it, against all expectations, against all his promises,
against his own personal political philosophies, against
all logic or reason. So, inasmuch as I will say that we
are very disappointed in him, as are so many others, I
won't say that he is a traitor, or that he has betrayed
us, that he has betrayed Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael or
Torat Yisrael.
But I don't know what history will say.


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