City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Arabs’

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

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A Look at the Media

In Letters, National on August 16, 1989 at 11:04 am

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, the 18th of June, 1989, the murdered body of Frederick Rosenfeld, a resident of Ariel, was found near the neighboring Arab village of Salfit. The tragic event has underlined the importance of bringing to light the truth about the intifada. It is no easy task to combat the distortions presented by the world press, for the media’s coverage of the uprising in Israel has been hostile and biased.

The truth is that this uprising can only be called a “De Luxe Intifada”, because while Palestinian Arabs make daily attempts on the lives of Israelis, we are constantly being called upon to exercise restraint. The Arabs are free to throw stones and incendiary bombs, and to carry out acts of terrorism; the army’s hands are tied by defense policy, and we, the law-abiding citizens of Israel, are not allowed to react.

Let there be no doubt. We are in a state of war, a war unlike any other, in which the Arabs, after their previous failures, are once again attempting to eradicate the State of Israel. Similar uprisings in Jordan and Egypt have been instantly quelled, for the leadership in those countries know no limits. But Israel uses kid gloves because we have always been “a light unto the nations”, and because we are fighting another war as well – a media war.

As Mayor of Ariel, l am responsible first and foremost of the safety of the residents of my city. I chose to enact a security measure to prevent terrorists from having access to our children only to be attacked by the world press. Instigated by a sorry group of left-wing Knesset members who will grab at any stick with which to beat the pioneers of Judea and Samaria, they made despicable, obscene allusions to the yellow star worn by Jews in Nazi Germany, comparing it to our identity tags. Not one of these publicity hounds bothered to check with me as to what regulations had actually been implemented, or why. Not one of them bothered to discover that I was acting upon explicit instructions of the Israeli Defense Forces, who are responsible for the security policies in this land of ours. 

Those who oppose us have chosen a well-known weapon. We have seen it used many times in Soviet Russia and more recently in Beijing. They try to portray us as villains, treacherous and prone to violence. Thus, they can justify to the world the acts of aggression perpetrated against us. Even when we are the victims of deadly terror, we are somehow at fault.

We see this clearly in the fact that the hundreds of journalists of the world press, who could hardly wait to place stigma on the people of Ariel for distributing identity tags to temporary workers, were noticeably less visible when the news of the tragic death broke. Frederick Rosenfeld, an American Zionist who made Aliyah and was brutally murdered because he chose to make this home among the modern-day pioneers of Eretz Israel, is not quite so news-worthy.

These biased journalists should be hanging their heads in shame, together with the left-wing politicians and their supporters, all those who spout such phrases as “land for peace” or “greater Israel”, all those who dared to defile the sacred memory of the six million through their perverted comparisons. Anyone even slightly familiar with the mentality of Middle Eastern Arabs knows that, to them, these are signs of Israel’s weakness. Carelessly bandied about, these words signify encouragement and support for the terrorists acts perpetrated against the Jewish people.

The world has been swayed by media catchwords meant to make Israel the Goliath to the Palestinian–Arab David, and our survival is what hangs in the balance. If the choice must be made between approval and survival, we choose survival. 

We must send out a clear and concise message so that there are no false illusions, no misunderstandings. Then let us say to the world – loudly and clearly – there will be no withdrawal. Jerusalem will not be ceded to the P.L.O. Judea and Samaria will not be compromised. After all, Israel remains strong only as long as our borders are secure, and the future of the Jewish people is dependent upon a strong Israel.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel