City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Homeland’

Victims of Peace

In Letters, National on April 18, 1995 at 12:43 pm

Dear Friends, 

The terrible atrocity at the Bet Lid intersection in Netanya has left its stamp upon all of us. Although terrorism has been consistently on the rise since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, Bet Lid is truly a watershed event. The horror and bloodshed was televised around the world on that terrible day. When the Israeli public saw the murder and bloodshed perpetrated by two Arab terrorists from Gaza and the anguish of the families of our young soldiers, they said, “no more.” They realized that the so-called peace process, promoted by the Rabin government as the end of the terror, was actually accomplishing the exact opposite. This is not peace. 

Since the handshake on the White House lawn between the head of a terrorist organization, the PLO, and the Prime Minister of the sovereign State of Israel, more than 100 innocent Israelis have been killed, so called “victims of peace”. 

I never knew that peace could have victims. I always though that peace was supposed to bring security to the citizens of that country, to the children, young soldiers, men and women. After all, the prime directive of every government is to protect its citizens. 

Under International Law, a sovereign state is responsible for terrorists operating out of its territory. The Peace Treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been signed with a sovereign state. King Hussein is a man of honor and principles, the recognized ruler in his own country. Under his control, there will be no terrorist activity, aimed either against Israel or against Israeli tourists in Jordan. The parties to this treaty, Israel and Jordan, are equal partners, both sovereign authorities, able and willing to control all activity emanating from within their borders. 

The agreement between Israel and the PLO is another matter. The signing of the Declaration of Principles,was a terrible mistake. We have learned very quickly that Arafat’s word cannot be trusted and that he represents only a small minority of Fatah members. 

When the massacres in Afula, Hadera, Tel Aviv and Netanya took place, when Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped, Arafat refused to take the blame. The people of Israel, however, know the truth. The terrorists responsible for the Netanya bombing came from Gaza. Under the Gaza Jericho First Agreement, Arafat controls those areas and is obligated to bring a halt to terror. With 15,000 soldier “policemen” available to him, he still does nothing to prevent terrorists from operating against Israel, nor does he punish those terrorists who have found shelter in Gaza. 

And so, today, Israeli mothers are afraid to send their children to school, their young soldier to their army bases. This is surely not what we expected from “peace”. 

The signing of the DOP has not weakened Arafat’s insistence on three main concessions: A Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; Jerusalem as the capital of that state; and the Law of Return, initially bringing an additional 1 million Arabs to Judea and Samaria, and later to the rest of Israel. The Labor Government, according to Prime Minister Rabin, will not allow for the return of Arab refugees nor the establishment of a Palestinian State. Moreover, it is adamant that Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of Israel.

These two contradictory policies have propelled us on a collision course, and the explosion is imminent. The Foreign Ministry would like to bring forward the permanent status negotiations, in an attempt to avoid this explosion. But it is inevitable, for every government concession to terror only brings more “victims of peace”. And this tragic policy only weakens us in the eyes of the Arabs. Today, the people of Israel know that the Oslo Accords are dead, despite the government’s repeated attempts to resuscitate them. In fact, able to compare them with the peace treaty with Jordan, Israeli realize that this misguided agreement never really had a chance.

In the Knesset, I have repeatedly asked: How does this government intend to prevent the creation of the Palestinian State they so clearly oppose. By causing Jews to leave Judea and Samaria and making it judenrein? By creating a vacuum to be filled by Arafat and his PLO terrorists? And when Arafat declares the Palestinian State, will they finally concede that the PLO is not honoring the agreement and do away with the Palestinian Authority? The government has no solution but the answer is clear: The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are not an obstacle to a Palestinian state. 

The current Israeli borders will remain in place only if Jews continue to live throughout Eretz Israel. Living on the strategic highground, the people of Judea and Samaria secure the future of the State of Israel and remain a true obstacle to Palestinian ambitions for statehood. Therefore, if you want to protect Israel, you must strengthen the communities that are ensuring the continued existence of the only Jewish Homeland and building a stronger and more secure Israel. 

Sincerely, 

Ron Nachman

Member of Knesset

Mayor of Ariel

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Labor and Socialism

In Letters, National on September 16, 1992 at 11:24 am

Dear Friends, 

At a time when Communist regimes around the globe are disintegrating, as countries throughout the world reject the leadership of political parties base on Socialism, Israel is being led by a coalition of Labor Socialists and left-wing extremists from Ratz and Mapam. This new socialist Labor government has had its 100 days of grace. From the outset, indeed even during the election campaign, Labor has created very high expectations within the Israeli public. As time passes, however, we can see that these expectations were exaggerated. The truth is that in the “new order” of priorities and changes policies of the government, there are three inherent dangers: 

  1. In recent months, we have seen a sequence of events, unacceptable to both Americans and Israelis. Earlier this year, the US administration adopted a series of policies that were tantamount to intervention in the Israeli elections, in order to bring about the fall of the Likud government. Now we see our Prime Minister taking similar steps, this time in favor of the incumbent President Bush. By doing so, he has not only shown blatant disregard for the opinions of the American Jewish community, but he has set a dangerous precedent, one that is absolutely taboo among allied nations.
  2. We witnessed another grave error when, during his visit to the United States Prime Minister Rabin unreservedly reprimanded AIPAC and the American pro-Israel lobby for their efforts on Capitol Hill. This was an unforgivable insult to the hardworking people who have invested so much time, energy and financial resources for our benefit. Instead of being rewarded for their devotion to Israel, these hard working supporters basically received a slap in the face. At a time when strengthening the times between Israel and Diaspora Jewry is the only effective tool we have to keep American Jewry strong, this showed the kind of blatant lack of understanding that is so characteristic of socialist regimes.
  3. The new government has implied its readiness to concede territory without having received any commitments for a true and comprehensive peace agreement from our Arab neighbors. The adoption of this concessionary attitude must lead to one of two possible outcomes:
  • a. Israel will be forced to return to the pre-67 borders that will clearly result, as Mr. Kissinger so aptly noted, to the beginning of the end for Israel – the destruction of the only Jewish Homeland.
  • b. If the Arab expectations that have resulted from this “dangling of the carrot” are not met, the peace process will break down and we could once again find ourselves in and active and dangerous state of war.

Moreover, it is clear that a government motivated by Socialist beliefs will not make the necessary changes in the Israeli economy to institute a Western free-enterprise system. Prime Minister Rabin is aware of the economic fiasco, including rampant unemployment, that is to come. Herein lies the greatest danger, for he will attempt to compensate through foreign policy, via territorial concessions that will endanger Israel’s very existence. Through these “accomplishments”, he will try to turn the Israeli public’s attention away from his domestic failures. 

I know that the changes in the policies of our government are often difficult for those of you living outside of Israel to understand. Many of our friends and supporters have expressed their concern and asked what they can do to help. 

Let me assure you that while we are not at all pleased by this “new order” of the government, we are not discouraged. As a newly-elected member of Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, I have become the spokesman not only of the people of Ariel but of all the residents of Judea & Samaria. I will be there to safeguard our rights and the future of our children in a strong and secure Eretz Israel. I will ensure that this government remembers its obligations to over 130,000 Jews living in these regions. 

We are a strong community, optimistic as ever. The majority of Israel is behind us and we will continue to grow and develop. The modern-day pioneers of Ariel and 140 other Jewish communities are tightening their belts and preparing to work harder than ever for the sake of the Jewish Homeland. In the Ariel alone, an additional 4 – 5000 people will be joining our community in the next year bringing our population to some 15,000. 

This land is ours. Not just the Israelis that live here today. It is a land held in trust for Jews all over the world. We are one people. Our destiny is irrevocably interwoven. Together, with your help and support, we will continue to build a city and a country where Jews can live freely and prosper, a secure homeland where we can build the foundations of a strong and lasting peace. 

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Member of Knesset

Mayor of Ariel

In the Wake of the Persian Gulf War

In International, Letters, National on April 16, 1991 at 11:18 am

Dear Friends, 

The war is over. The mastery of the Coalition forces has resulted in a permanent ceasefire. We cannot, however, measure the extent of the victory, not as long as Saddam Hussein is still in power. We must keep in mind that this is the Middle East. Many Arabs refuse to accept that Iraq has been defeated because Saddam Hussein still leads his country. Had the Americans marched into Baghdad, pulled the cruel Iraqi dictator from his bunker and arrested him for committing heinous war crimes, there would be no doubts about the American victory or about what actions are acceptable, even in war. 

Iraq waged war against the civilian population of Israel, launching missiles against women and children with no regards to age or infirmity. As each attack rocked the country, Israelis entered their sealed rooms. The isolation was terrifying: waiting in sealed rooms for the missiles to hit, as fears of chemical warfare grew – a clear reminder to Israel that poison gas had been used before in an attempt to eradicate the Jewish people. 

Israel has been commended by the world community for not retaliating against Iraq’s vicious attacks, but it is not just the government who has behaved with admirable restraint. The people of Israel were the true heroes of the war. After the first few Scud attacks, I watched the young men and women of my city return to routine, despite the stress of sleepless nights in sealed rooms. I saw the children of Ariel after a night of screaming sirens and broken dreams, walking resolutely into their schools, gas masks in hand. I watched our teenagers come forward to help, eager to do their part in any way the could. I saw the people of my city open their homes and hearts to relatives from Tel Aviv, many of whom would not even visit Ariel during the three years of Intifada. I have watched and felt a new love for these brave young families and a new pride in being their mayor. 

We have regained the respect and affection of the free world during this war, and we are indeed worthy of this solidarity and support. Still, I have no doubt that when the war ends, President Bush will remind us in no uncertain terms that it was U.S. soldiers and weapons that fought Iraq, Coalition forces funded by Coalition governments the defeated Saddam Hussein, eliminating the Iraqi threat. And then he will present us with the bill – an itemized list of concessions we are expected to make. That is when Israel will begin to truly fight for survival, to stop our friends and allies from gouging pieces of our flesh in the name of peace. I wonder if we will still be everyone’s darling then. 

In the last issue of “Shalom Ariel” I stressed three main points. The first was about territory and its importance in times of war, even in this age of missiles. I said then that a ground war would be the decisive factor in the war. In the end, foot soldiers and tanks overrun a country or serve to defend it. This has indeed been the case, for it was the ground offensive that brought about the Iraqi surrender. For five weeks, Allied bombers pounded Baghdad. The United States, England, Saudi Arabia, France… all the great powers did their utmost, but in the end, territory dictated the outcome of the war. Yet there are those who suggest we give away our “territories”. Are we seriously expected to relinquish our little margin of national security?  

In the six weeks of the war, Israel was attacked by 39 scud missiles. Those that hit their mark left devastation in their wake. But what if Israel had given in to world pressure to cede territory? Can you imagine Iraqi soldiers marching through Jordan to join their Palestinian brothers and move against Israel’s eastern border? Add the dangerous potential of such conventional weapons as artillery and tanks, to the destructive capability of missiles, and it becomes clear that Israel would be facing a dangerous and cruel Arab alliance, bent on eradicating the Jewish Homeland. 

I also emphasized how long it took for American to deploy troops in the desert after the invasion of Kuwait. Moreover, seven months elapsed from the Iraqi invasion to the liberation of Kuwait. What if it had been Israel depending upon the world community in time of war? Here on a strip of land only 50 miles wide, we could not wait all that time. The price would be too steep. We could be risking a second Holocaust – this time in the Jewish Homeland.

My third point was that finally, the world saw the true face of the PLO and the Palestinian Arabs. Until the Gulf War, American policy-makers regarded them as moderates, suggesting they would be amenable partners for peace negotiations. The war exposed the truth – that Arafat, the PLO and all their adherents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza sided fully with Saddam Hussein. They are the real enemies of the United States, the enemies of peace. 

The true character of King Hussein of Jordan was also exposed when he allied himself with Iraq and took a firm stand against the U.S. and the western world. Today, he gives lame excuses and makes frail attempts to explain his difficult position, but the world will not be fooled. We can draw our own conclusions, looking to the future, but keeping the lessons of the past in focus. 

Israel proved once again to be the only true Middle Eastern ally of the United States. As such, it is Israel’s security that must be of first and foremost concern. To this end, Israel will continue to seek bridges to peace – a real peace – with sovereign Arab States. Once we have peace agreements with Arab States, then – and only then – can we begin to concern ourselves with the rights and needs of other people. 

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel