Speaking your Piece (or is it Peace)?

Hebron-Past,Present and Forever
Speaking your Piece (or is it Peace)?
Sunday, October 29, 1995

 Last week the President of the State of Israel, Mr.

Ezer Weitzman, made some unkind remarks about the Piece
plan. In particular he said that the “agreement isn’t an
agreement” and that a one-vote majority in the Knesset
does not justify the withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and
Azza. He also attacked the government’s reactions to
“settler” dismay – “They live there and have something to
worry about”.
Following Weizmann’s remarks, MK Dedi Zucker of
Meretz suggested passing a law forbidding the President
to comment on issues being publicly disputed.
Ezer Weizmann isn’t one of my favorite people. But
he has come a long way. It is true, he has done some
pretty good things in the past. Like in June, 1967, when
he was Commander of the Israeli Air Force. At that time,
the Commander in Chief of the Israeli Defense Forces
(Yizhak Rabin) had a nervous breakdown and we were in
need of some leadership. Ezer saved the day by taking
over for Yitzhak.
But the same Ezer, invited along to Camp David with
Menachem Begin, advised the then Prime Minister to accept
the agreement forcing Israel to relinquish all of the
Sinai to Egypt and to grant the “Palestinians” in the
“West Bank” autonomy.
And the same Ezer was kicked out of the Israeli
Cabinet by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir for giving “how
to create my own homeland” lessons to Yassir Arafat.
Well, Arafat did his homework. And so we are where we
are today.
In the not too distant past, the Israeli left has
vehemently decried any suggestion of `transfer’ of Arabs
out of Israel – transfer of any type, even voluntary.
However, they today, are the primary force in favor of
involuntary transfer – of Jews – our of Hebron.
Jews can live anywhere in the world – to even
theoretically consider otherwise would be thought of as
blatantly anti-Semitic – except for Hebron, or perhaps
other areas in Judea, Samaria and Azza. And maybe also
Jerusalem. What would happen, for example, if Jews were
told that they could not live in, say, Hawaii? Can you
imagine the public outburst? Jews and gentiles, blacks,
whites, and Hispanics would march down 5th Ave together,
arm in arm, protesting this unheard of act of racism.
But tell a Jew that he can’t live in Hebron, a 3,700 year-
old Jewish City? So, what of it?
Let’s go back to Mr. President. You must understand
that the office of President in Israel is largely a
figurehead position. The President is elected, not by
the people, but by the Knesset, for a five year term of
office. The job was originally offered to (Ezer’s uncle)
Chaim Weizmann by David Ben Gurion in 1948, in order to
fulfill an obligation without relinquishing any power or
responsibility. (When he died, it was offered to Albert
Einstein.) Until the 1970’s the job was filled primarily
by non-politicians.
Ezer Weizmann, before his election, it was feared,
would represent only part of the country – the part
agreeing with his political philosophies, which are
slightly further left of left. He promised to be the
President of ALL the people, and woe-and-behold – he is
being accused of representing the wrong side, BY HIS OWN
PEOPLE, THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED HIM. And now they really
want to shut him up.
Why? Because he is mouthing what everybody it
thinking. In a poll released on Friday, some 67% of the
Israeli population agree with him. That means, in
short, that the public is against the Rabin-Peres-Arafat
conspiracy to rid the Jewish People of Hebron and
Jerusalem. And with elections in the air, this doesn’t
sit well with the ruling triumvirate. So, what do you
do? You try to pass a law shutting up the negative
voices.
And who is the victim? None other than the
schoolteacher. President Ezer Weizmann. Get this:
Everybody in Israel is covered by freedom of speech
……. except the President. He has to shut up. After
all, he’s the President. Got it? Good.
This is modern Israeli democracy in action.
Welcome, Mr. President, to the club.


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