Gestures

Gestures
September 27, 1996

David Makovsky's headline article in today's Jerusalem
Post is titled: US WANTS ISRAEL TO MAKE A GESTURE TO
DEFUSE TENSION. The first paragraph states: "Secretary
of State Warren Christopher has asked Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu to take "concrete steps," after the
premier meets meeting with Palestinian leader Yassir
Arafat, that would end the fighting AND LEAD TO THE
RENEWAL OF NEGOTIATIONS ON HEBRON AS SOON AS SUNDAY,
diplomatic sources said."

Bill Clinton's Secretary of State is looking for a
GESTURE from Israel. In other words, he is demanding
that we capitulate - cave in to palestinian bullets, in
order to allow us to continue down suicide lane. The
American position follows a certain logic - acquiescence
easily results in further debacle. This is, it seems,
America's goal. And the theater of the absurd plays on.

Our dead are not yet buried, the wounded still
hospitalized - the country is in shock. Even the Israeli
left, best represented by the news media, keep asking
their interviewees, over and over again, `how do we deal
with the fact that WE GAVE THEM THE WEAPONS THAT THEY ARE
USING AGAINST OUR OWN SOLDIERS?!'. This morning 11
funerals are being conducted - 11 young men whose names
have been repeated on the news since yesterday night, who
died, not because of a 15 meter tunnel in Jerusalem, but
because Arafat's terrorist soldiers are still convinced
that using violence is the best way to achieve their
aims: a Judenrein Gaza, Shechem and Beit Lechem. They
fighting in Gaza by Kfar Dram and Netzarim was based
around a desire to see these two communities uprooted and
annihilated. As it was in Shechem. And in Shechem they
almost succeeded. Today's newspaper accounts report that
a final decision was made by DEFENSE MINISTER YITZHAK
MORDECHAI TO EVACUATE OUR SOLDIERS FROM KEVER YOSEF AND
ABANDON THE SITE TO ARAFAT. Why didn't it happen?
According to these reports, Central Region Commander
General Uzi Dayan superseded these orders and later
convinced the cabinet, meeting in special session after
Bibi's return from Europe, not to abandon the site. His
reasoning: if we abandon Kever Yosef because of
palestinian warfare, this will be used as a precedent to
force us out of other areas.

And he is right - one hundred percent. And that
decision, not to abandon Joseph's Tomb, may have been
instrumental in other decisions, and in the tone used to
convey the decisions. According to a radio report at
11:45 this morning on Kol Yisrael, correspondent Yoni ben
Menachem revealed that the Arabs have been warned that
Israel regards recapture of parts of Shechem, especially
the areas near Kever Yosef, as a viable option, to
protect our interests in the city. The Arabs begged for
another chance to prove that they can control the
situation, and have subsequently placed the city under
curfew.

Back to Warren's plea for gestures. Is this man
sane? Does he really believe that, following such a show
of warfare against Israel, anyone would consider turning
Hebron over to Arafat? The thoughts of what might have
transpired had the `redeployment' in Hebron already been
concluded, is intolerable. Had the hills surrounding the
Jewish Community been occupied by terrorist
sharpshooters, the results could very easily have been
catastrophic. I think it is clear to everyone that
Hebron is no longer a subject under discussion.

The Israeli government, sitting in its capacity as a
`security cabinet' has placed all the blame for the
events of the past two days squarely on the shoulders of
Yassir Arafat personally and the palestinian authority.

Thank G-d, they are starting to see the light, starting
to understand that the peace process is a `piece'
process, starting to understand that we are dealing, not
with partners, but with the equivalent of wild animals.
It is only a matter of time until the "Oslo Accords" explode,
finally, and conclusively.

In the meantime, in Hebron, we are preparing for
this week's holiday festivities, celebrating the festival
of Succot. On Sunday and Monday the entire Ma'arat
HaMachpela will be open to Jewish visitors, including
`Ohel Yitzhak.' On Monday afternoon a special program
will take place in the Ma'ara courtyard, starting at 3:00
PM. Next Saturday night, following the conclusion of
Simchat Torah, Hebron will host `hakafot shniot' - a huge
dancing festivity, at the Avraham Avinu neighborhood.
This event will be attended by Jews from around the
country, and will top off the week-long events.

Just as Hebron will remain under total Israeli
control, so will Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem. The
decision to leave the Jerusalem tunnel open is the only
gesture that Israel can possibly make, except for,
perhaps, one, which is, to the best of my recollection,
too vulgar to express in words.

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