6.6. Letters from Israel
Reflecting the indomitable Spirit of Israel
A Letter to the World from a newsman in Jerusalem
June 1967 – as relevant as ever
by Eliezer Ben Yisrael
(the pen name for Eliezer Whartman, the Westinghouse Radio correspondent in Israel in 1967 – the first foreign correspondent to report Israel’s capture of the Temple Mount during the 1967 war, when he was stationed on the roof of the Histadrut building on Strauss Street in Jerusalem, peering through his binoculars and reporting the greatest story of his long journalist career. Whartman recently suffered a stroke and now resides in a nursing home a few blocks from where he made that report).
|A SPECIAL EDITORIAL NOTE FROM “BIBLE REVELATIONS”
The millennia old Battle for the ‘soul’ of Jerusalem is now entering its final stages.
We ask readers who are new to the actuality of this approaching crisis, to not draw quick conclusions or be affronted by the message of this letter.
The spirit in which this Message is conveyed, truly and accurately reflects the challenging spiritual conflict between opposing interests and the rivalling claims for or against the Divine Intent and Jurisdiction over this intriguing and contentious City
The spirit of this letter will remind those readers who are acquainted with the developments in Israel over these last 32 years, of that vibrant Israeli (Zionist) spirit of post-1967 years. Israel’s yearning for an end to war and death by the hand of mindless terrorists, has brought about a tragic and disturbing retrogression during the 90’s, of this vibrant spirit, especially amongst the Israeli Left – but also by the pressures of a world that denies Israel and Judaism its Birthright.
But the Decrees of The God of Israel shall not be moved!
(Refer to our Page WAR DECLARED ON GOD )
“I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite – like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people. I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you, or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city; you did not live in it; you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender, and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arms wither.
For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land; return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised”. On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem.
Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) – all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions? We have been to Hell and back – a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job. British officers, Arab gunners, and American made cannons. And then the savage sacking of the Old City the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school; the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps – even latrines. And you never said a word.
You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war – a war they waged, incidentally, against the decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.
Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift “to save the gallant Berliners”. But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem.
And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything?
The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and need for the “Christian” quality of turning the other cheek. The truth is – and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age old prejudices seep out of every word.
If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better re-examine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your savior.
For the first time since the year 70 there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put a torch to the Temple everyone has equal rights. (You prefer to have some more equal than others.) We loathe the sword – but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace – but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to.
We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time- “in Jerusalem!”
A Letter to the World from a woman of Israel
August 2002 – after more than 600 Israelis have been blown apart in more than 70 homicide attacks by Palestinian Arabs
This is from an Israeli woman. Read on and smile!
I am not the least afraid to go any place, by bus or to a mall. I didn’t change or stop doing ANYthing I used to do before this mess began! People tend to forget that twice the casualties from terror get killed on the roads! More people still die from heart attack, cancer, and other things; they just don’t show them on TV. Don’t misunderstand me, there is a war going on, it’s not pleasant, but lets face it. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN BETTER!!!! It’s only TV and media that make people think it’s the end of the world coming.
Only 60 years ago!! They were leading Jews to their death like sheep to the slaughter! No country, no army. 55 years ago!! Seven Arab countries declared war on the small Jewish state, only a few hours old!! We were then 650,000 Jews! Against the rest of the Arab world! No IDF, no mighty air force, just tough people with nowhere to go (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, attacked all at once).
The country the U.N. “gave us” was 65 % desert. The country started from scratch! 35 years ago!! We fought the three strongest armies in the Middle East, and wiped them out in six days. We fought against different coalitions of Arab countries, with modern armies, and masses of Russian soviet weapons, and still won!!!
We have today a country, and an army, and a strong air force, and hi-tech economy, exporting millions, Intel-Microsoft-IBM develop their stuff here, our doctors win world prizes for medical developments, we made the desert flourish, selling oranges and vegetables to the world. Israel has sent its own satellite into space (three satellites all together!!), we sit proudly with the U.S. (250 million people), Russia (200 million people!), China (1.1 billion), the Europeans France-England-Germany (350 million), as the only countries in the world to shoot something into space!!
Israel is today in the world nuclear power family with U.S, Russia, China, India, France, and England. (We don’t admit it, but every one knows…) To think that only 60 years ago, we were led, shameful, with no hope, to our death!! We crawled out of the burning ashes of Europe. We won our wars here with less than nothing in our hands. We built an “empire” out of nothing. Who the hell is Mr. Arafat to make me scared? Terrified? You make me laugh!
Passover was a few months ago; let’s not forget what the story is all about. We overcame Pharoah, we overcame the Greeks, the Romans, the inquisition in Spain, we overcame the pogroms in Russia, we overcame Hitler, the Germans, the Holocaust, we overcame seven other Arab countries at once, we overcame Saddam. Take it easy, folks, we will overcome these ones, too. No matter at what part of human history you try! To think, for us, the Jewish people, our situation has never been better!!! So let’s lift our heads high, and remember: any nation or culture that tried to mess around with us was destroyed to the ground – while we kept going!!! Egypt? Anyone know where their empire disappeared to? The Greeks? Alexander of Macedonia? The Romans? Anyone today speak Latin? The Third Reich? Anyone heard any news about it lately?
And look at us, the nation from the Bible, from slavery in Egypt. We are still here, speaking the same language!! Right here, right now.
The Arabs don’t know it yet, but they will learn there is one God. As long as we keep our identity, we are eternal.
So, sorry for not worrying, bitching, crying, or being scared. Things are going o.k. here in Israel. They surely can go better, but still, don’t fall for the media junk, they won’t tell you that there are festivals going on, people keep on living, going out, seeing friends.
Yes, our morale is low, so what? It’s only because we weep for our dead while they enjoy the blood (and this is the same reason why, we will win, after all).
You can forward this e-mail (if you choose) to the whole of the Jewish community, and the people of the world. They are part of our strength and it might help some of them to keep their head up high.
Tell them there is nothing to worry about. Tell them to think BIG and to see the whole picture.
“See you next year in Jerusalem.” Truth is the best means to counter mis-information.
Have a nice day!
A Gory Report!
What the world feels about Israelites
The callous attitude of the nations towards Jewish Israel is persisting to this hour. What is the official response of the nations towards the horror involved in Palestinian suicide bombings on specially selected Israeli civilian targets?
A glimpse of this horror comes from the report by ‘USA Today’s’ Jack Kelley who was 30 yards away when the Palestinian suicide terrorist detonated a bomb packed with nails at the Jerusalem pizza restaurant in August 2001.
“The blast . . . sent flesh flying onto second-story balconies a block away. Three men were blown 30 feet; their heads, separated from their bodies by the blast, rolled down the glass-strewn street. . . . One woman had at least six nails embedded in her neck. Another had a nail in her left eye. Two men, one with a six-inch piece of glass in his right temple . . . tried to walk away.
. . . A man groaned. . . . His legs were blown off. Blood poured from his torso. . . . A 3-year old girl, her face covered with glass, walked among the bodies calling her mother’s name. . . . The mother . . . was dead. . . . One rabbi found a small hand against a white Subaru parked outside the restaurant.”
As with the June bombing that killed 21 at a Tel Aviv disco, children were not collateral victims — they were the targets. Abdallah al-Shami, a senior official of Islamic Jihad, celebrated “this successful operation” against “pigs and monkeys.” Candy was handed out to children on a Palestinian street while bystanders danced and cheered jubilantly.
In yet another of the constant violations of the Oslo requirement to stop anti-Jewish incitements, this was a recent broadcast from the moral cesspool that is the official television station of Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority: “All weapons must be aimed at the Jews . . . whom the Quran describes as monkeys and pigs. . . . We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors. . . . Blessings to he who shot a bullet into the head of a Jew.”
Official US response was to reprimand both sides to scale down their aggression against each other!
Why do we stay in a Place of Fear?
Home – The Jews of Hebron will not appease terrorism by pulling up their roots.
By David Wilder
From the Los Angeles Times – Friday, July 11, 2003
HEBRON, ISRAEL – People frequently ask why we live in Hebron, a so-called Arab city in the heart of the “West Bank.” Why are 800 Jews – men, women and children – so stubbornly willing to risk their lives to remain in Hebron?
To outsiders, it’s hard to understand why I would choose to bring up my seven children, now ages eight to 23, in a tiny, barricaded community, surrounded by enemies who hate us, under constant threat of bombings and other violence? Why am I living in a place where more than 40 of my Jewish neighbors and friends have been killed or wounded since I moved here in 1981?
The answer is that Hebron is the first Jewish city in the land of Israel, home of our patriarchs and matriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. King David ruled from Hebron for more than seven years before moving the capital to Jerusalem.
Jews have lived in Hebron almost continuously for thousands of years. Our community offices are in a neighborhood founded in 1540 by Jews exiled from Spain in 1492. Jewish presence in Hebron came to an abrupt end only in August 1929, when Arab riots led to the murder of 67 Jews and the wounding of 70. All survivors were exiled from the city by the ruling British.
In other words, when Israel returned to Hebron in 1967, Jews did not occupy a foreign city; rather, they came back home.
Hebron is home to Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs, the second holiest site in Judaism after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The building atop the original caves was constructed by Herod, king of Judea 2,000 years ago, 600 years before the advent of Islam. Despite this, the structure was off-limits to Jews and Christians for 700 years, from 1267 to 1967. The stated reason: The site houses a mosque and only Muslims can worship in a mosque.
The Arab deputy mayor of Hebron, Kamal Dweck, in a 1999 interview stated that if the entire city were returned to Arab rule, this site would again be off-limits to Jews, for the same reason. The Tomb of the Patriarchs would face a fate identical to that of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. It would be Judenrein, or without Jewish presence. Why should a Jew in 2003 be barred from worshiping at one of the holiest places in the world?
Jews in Hebron are willing to risk present dangers because acquiescence is nothing more than a reward for terrorism. Arab terror seeks to expel us from our homes, using murder as a means to an end. However, “our homes” include not only those in Hebron but also in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. New Palestinian textbooks contain maps of “Palestine” that include the entire state of Israel.
Eviction from Hebron, the first Jewish city in Israel, would be tantamount to the removal of Americans from Boston or Philadelphia upon terrorist demands. Except, of course, that American history is less than 250 years old; Jewish history in Hebron is more than 3,700 years old. Hebron, home of Abraham, is not just the place where Judaism got its start. It is the source of monotheism in the world.
Jewish people in Israel and around the world support a strong, vibrant Jewish presence in Hebron. We do not expect an Israeli government to attempt to follow in the footsteps of the British and expel Jews from the city. In any case, we would never abandon our homes.
Besides which, why should the state of Israel be forced to chop off its roots to appease Arab terror? We know the result of eradicating the roots of a tree. God forbid that Israel should suffer such a fate.
David Wilder is a spokesman for Hebron’s Jewish community.
(C) Los Angeles Times