The Abu Sneneh Syndrome
By David Wilder
Oct. 16, 2001
Oct. 16, 2001
Almost three weeks ago the Israel Defense Forces reentered two hills surrounding Hebron’s Jewish Community: Abu Sneneh and Harat a’Shech. Almost four years ago those hills, with over 80% of the city, were abandoned to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority.
Before signing of the infamous Hebron Accords, we warned that transfer of the hills would inevitably lead to armed attacks on Hebron’s civilian population. Leading politicians and ranking officers stood atop the hills, gaping at the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, easily within shooting range, presenting an easy target. Beit Hadassah and Tel Rumeida offered terrorists in Harat a’Shech trouble-free prey: line up the sights and pull the trigger. It was only a question of time.
For one year Hebron’s residents were converted into sitting ducks in a pond, which included our homes, cars, and roads. Wherever we went, the bullets followed. Some families transformed their homes into bunkers, filling windows with sandbags. Many of those sandbags are now full of holes, the recipients of terrorist ammunition. Other families rejected sandbags or bullet-proof glass, putting their faith in Divine providence, resulting in miracle after miracle.
Some were not so lucky. The Pass family lost 10 month old Shalhevet to a sniper’s bullet. Zviel and Matanel Meshulam were hit by terrorist gunfire while playing on their porch. Little David Struk caught a bullet fragment in the chest. A woman was shot while praying at Hebron’s ancient Jewish cemetery. Two others were hit outside Ma’arat HaMachpela during Succot. Soldiers were also wounded in the course of gun battles.
The Oslo War began during Ehud Barak’s short tenure in the Prime Minister’s office. We had few illusions that Barak’s policies that would successfully ended the attacks. Barak’s solution focused around a pure conception of “give and take.” We give, and they take. Barak did not negotiate under fire, as is mistakenly thought. Barak did not negotiate, period. Barak conceded. Nonetheless, his yield was not enough to accommodate Arafat, and the war continued.
Ariel Sharon’s election was more than a breath of fresh air. His assumption of power was comparable to a massive blood transfusion. Following Barak’s agreement to forgo Jerusalem, as well as almost 100% of Yesha, Israel was virtually bloodless. Sharon’s enormous victory seemed to be a life-saver.
And what a life saver he turned out to be. Excepting, of course, almost 100 people who have been murdered by Arafat’s terrorist thugs since Sharon took office.
For a year Hebron’s community had only one demand: Take back the hills and stop the shooting. The most basic right of any civilian, in any state in the world, is that of self-preservation, that of safety and defense. There is no necessity to plead for that which should be a given. Any government knows that its first and foremost priority is the safety of its people. An administration incapable of protecting its citizens is never long for this world.
There is an erroneous conception that Ariel Sharon’s premiership is unproductive. Unfortunately, Sharon has been extremely active, but in the wrong direction. The retreat from Hebron’s hills is a prime example. Sharon is working very hard to stripe himself of all responsibility for our lives while shifting that responsibility to Yassir Arafat’s terrorists. The Hebron “deal” relies primarily on the good word of our old friend, Jibril Rajoub, who is now the guarantor of our security. The Abu Sneneh syndrome is nothing more than a recurrence of the Oslo cancer, a seemingly malignant malady afflicting any Israeli elected to the office of Prime Minister.
The must successful cancer cure is also the most radical therapy: cutting out the diseased organ. No doctor would alternatively suggest injection of more cancer into a patient’s body. However, rather than cut out the cancer, Israel’s leaders are practicing the unthinkable – they are feeding the cancer with more cancer, leaving the patient weaker and weaker.
Ariel Sharon’s agreement to trust Rajoub and Arafat is, by far and away, the greatest betrayal of his promise to ensure security to all Israelis. It is a betrayal of his own words, only days ago, declaring that we can rely only on ourselves. The withdrawal from Abu Sneneh is a true and total abandonment, not only of Hebron’s Jewish residents, but of all Israelis in the State of Israel.
David Wilder is a spokesman for The Jewish Community of Hebron.