Israel: Revolution or Referendum (1990)
Rabbi Meir Kahane
Turned Nightmare (excerpts)
The dream? Say, rather the dream turned nightmare.
Haplessly groping for some way to deal with the Arab uprising in the face of an unwillingness to do what must be done, the army resorts on the one hand to public relations statements concerning how the intifada is dying down, and on the other to giving almost absolute latitude to most of the territories. A de facto Palestine is arising in the villages and small towns that the army has declared to be out of bounds for itself. And with it comes into being a young generation of Arabs who will never again be daunted by the Israelis, while at the same time, those areas become more and more verboten to Jews, more dangerous to Jews, and more and more Judenrein.
The intifada is dying down? Nonsense!
What was last year, news, headlines and intolerable – Jews and Jewish cars being stoned regularly, now becomes the norm and the status quo. It is not that less Jews are being attacked, but rather that the army and the authorities now accept it as a common occurrence. It is not that the Arabs have quieted down, but that most of the areas have been quietly ceded to them. And as Jews are attacked, the Arabs grow bolder and as the Arabs grow bolder more Jews are attacked or simply abandon the area to the Arabs.
And so, on December 17, 1988, open violence against the army erupted in Shchem to a degree not seen since 1967. The army was forced to throw hundreds of soldiers into the city and a mini-war broke out with shooting and firing taking place on a scale not seen since the Six Day War. The Israeli authorities had eaten sour grapes and their army children’s teeth were set on edge. The fear and awe of the army were gone, but their demise was not due to Arab murder, but rather Jewish suicide. The hapless Jewish authorities had destroyed the mystique of the army and the Arabs were quick to react
As part of the confused decision to pull out of most of the areas, (a major reason for the “ebbing of the intifada”), the army in March, 1989, pulled out of an outpost at the refugee camp of Shati, near Gaza. Hundreds of young Arabs poured out of the camp to rip the outpost apart with their bare hands. The building which was six stories high, became a target of Arabs who tore it down, story by story, shouting: “Slaughter the Jews! The army will never come back here again, this is our victory! We have driven out the army! Not a soldier was to be seen.
And on February 1, 1988, the newspaper Ha’Aretz carried an article under the heading “Youth in the Casaba of Shchem, Boast: Jews No Longer Enter Here.”
The reporter, Uri Nir, reported that young Arabs told him: “We have succeeded in frightening the Jews and driving them from here. Here Palestinian independence is being realized.” And in the words of an older Arab: “This is a real war between civilians and youth who are not afraid. This is a second Beirut.”
On April 1987 a firebomb was thrown into a car driven by the Moses family, from Alphei Menashe. The mother, Ofra, pregnant, was burned to death and her five-year-old son; Tal lingered for three months before passing away. (He joined eight-year-old Rami Chaba, from the nearby settlement of Elon Moreh, whose body was found near his home, his face smashed to pieces by a rock.)
On August 6, 1987, a firebomb was thrown into the car of the Regev family, from the same settlement, severely burning the wife and husband. Literally tens of attacks on vehicles driven by residents of Alphei Menashe take place every month, as well as one hundred and more attacks on vehicles of Jews from the other settlements. The army is impotent; it fails to report even half of the attacks (and this is a conservative figure) and gives little or no protection to the Jewish settlers.
Jews are attacked and injured every day.
On September 28, 1988: The Likud, major architect of the nightmare of the intifada in chutzpah that so symbolizes Israeli authorities, announced a tour of the Shchem area. The tour boldly called “Operation Life” and was meant to show how foolish it is to worry about traveling (in the territories). As a caravan passed the Arab village of Beita, stones came crushing against the buses. Shoshana Grady, 75, was injured. She waited several hours before being treated at the hospital, since the Likud organizers forgot to bring first aid equipment.
September 25, 1988: worshippers leave the Hebron synagogue Avraham Avinue, when they are attacked by Arabs. Stones hit 33-year-old Dani Izmi in the head. Hebron Jews are a different breed, so they pick up stones and pelt the Arabs back. The army intervenes.
October 15, 1988: David Hilwai, 56, a water carrier from Afula, is stabbed in the neck and back by Arabs in Jenin. He tells the press (Maariv, October 16): “Tens of Arabs surrounded me and I heard some of them saying : ‘Slaughter him! I said to them in Arabic: ‘Get away from here,’ and ran for about 30 meters. They jumped on me with axes and knives and stabbed me in the back and in the neck. I felt I was immersed in blood.”
Question: The Jew had a revolver. Why did he not use it?
Answer: You know the answer.
One the most common Arab tactics is to block a road with stones, thus forcing the car to stop. At that point, Arabs lying in wait, attack the car with rocks. Such a thing led on March 4, 1989 to the wounding of a little child near the settlement of Eynav.
And there is the stabbing of Gadi Amzaleg, 25, a reserve soldier on duty in Bethlehem. On March 12, 1989, he is on patrol in a Bethlehem square where the soldiers see that the Bethlehem cinema has been decorated with the Palestinian flags. Calling to a youth standing nearby, he tells him to identify himself. The youth walks over, holding a cardboard box and as he nears, takes a kitchen knife out of it and stabs the soldier.
What is most important to note about this incident is the boldness and brazenness of the Arabs. Such an incident simply would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. The Arabs would have been just too frightened. And that is the point. They are no longer frightened. That is why they attack soldiers and army vehicles without fear. That is why on March 21, 1989, an army officer, Ilan Ohana, 22, was wounded in the head by stones thrown at his army vehicle. He was the fifth soldier wounded in the Gaza strip within two days. And that is why three soldiers were seriously wounded by rocks that struck them in the head, on April 6, 1989. and that is why, on August 7, 1989, an officer was burned by a firebomb thrown into his jeep on patrol in Shchem.
From nightmare to Dream to nightmare. But whereas the original nightmare was a thing Jews could do nothing about – it was the exile of the gentiles – this present one, Jews have brought on themselves. By their pathetic, confused, bungling, hapless policy of no policy, the Israeli authorities have brought tragedy on their people. Arabs are simply no longer afraid. It is the Jews who are afraid, and we have come full cycle.
The most fundamental obligation of a government – the source of its legitimacy and right to rule over people – is its responsibility to guarantee the lives and safety of its citizens. If it either cannot or will not fulfill that obligation, it faces the loss of its moral and legal right of authority.
The process by which a magnificent - Divine! - dream of 1900 years is turned, daily, into a growing nightmare, cannot continue. For if we persist in this way, the Jewish State faces horror of horrors-awesome national tragedy. It cannot continue, and it will not, and the only question is will the process of disintegration and collapse be prevented by revolution or by referendum?
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