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'S JEWISH CITIZENS vs. ISRAEL 'S LUNATIC LEADERSHIP ISRAEL
By: Helen Freedman
Having just returned from a three week trip to
, I'm sorting out the information and impressions gathered from traveling throughout the country and meeting with many good friends, all dedicated to preserving Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael. Israel
Viewed from the
, one sees the enormity of the problems, mostly caused by the fecklessness and ineptitude of U.S. 's leaders, who seemed determined to lead Israel off the cliff. There's no need to itemize the list of abominations promoted by the government, nor its abandonment of the security and welfare of its Jewish citizens. And the Olmert government seems to be aided in its suicidal efforts by incomprehensible decisions by the Bush administration. Suffice it to say, Israelis are very well aware of the threats to their existence, which come from their enemies in the Muslim Arab world, in the western world, and most tragically, from their Jewish leaders. The question then is, "How do ordinary people survive in such toxic surroundings?" The answer is, "They can't save the forest without first saving the trees." The "trees" all have different names and locations. Israel
I found that the people in Tsfat are still suffering from the after-effects of last summer's
war. The shelters are still not prepared, nor are they adequate for the numbers of people who would need to use them should war break out once again in Lebanon , as was/is predicted for this summer. The government just hasn't come through on its promises to protect the citizens of Tsfat. Lebanon
I found ordinary citizens struggling to keep their businesses going. Government taxes and restrictions cause great hardships for the average shop-keeper. I was commiserating with my restaurant-owner friend, when I realized that hard as her situation was, of course, there were people who had no work at all. Jerusalem
I went to the demonstration tent that had been set up by the unemployed farmers of the former Gush Katif communities. It was located near the Jerusalem Supreme Court. The plan was to keep it there for two weeks, with men and women who had turned the sands of Gush Katif into flourishing farms and hothouses, now demanding that the government fulfill its promises to find a "solution for every person." Residents from the former Gush Katif arrived, along with many supporters and Members of Knesset, who came and went throughout the two weeks. The farmers wore green and white shirts, rather than the familiar orange, because they wished to de-politicize their plight. Their signs asked for people to simply empathize and understand what it was like to be approximately fifty years old, to lose your home and farm and livelihood, and wonder how your life can ever be restored. I met many friends at the tent, and we agreed that not much had changed over the two years since the expulsion. Instead of the refugees being in hotel rooms, they are now in cardboard caravans, still waiting for their permanent homes, schools, synagogues, youth centers, and jobs.
Among the Members of Knesset who spoke at the Wednesday, July 18 demonstration were Arieh Eldad, Effie Eitam, and Uri Ariel. The need to change the compensation laws so that realistic numbers could be offered to the Gush Katif refugees, was one of the ongoing themes. It is unlikely that these problems will ever be properly addressed by the present Olmert/Ramon/Peres government. It was interesting to note that the press was at the demonstration in large numbers as
Katz, and Limor Livnat arrived to listen to the arguments of the farmers. As soon as they left, the press left also. The entire demonstration, with all the speakers strongly supporting the farmers, and with the large crowd that had gathered to lend its support, received little press attention. Bibi Netanyahu, Israel
, I met with Joel Golovensky of the Institute for Zionist Strategies (www.izs.org.il). He presented me with a wonderful booklet his organization had produced: CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. It was written in response to the constitution proposal of the Israel Democracy Institute, which the IZS believes "does not look after the essential interests of the Jewish people and is based on illusions." In addition to working on a constitution, the IZS is trying to halt illegal Arab construction "which continues unabated because the government lacks the Zionist vision and political courage to stop it." They are also attempting to develop a generation of public leaders who will be diametrically opposite from the present leadership, who will put the interests of the Jewish state ahead of their own personal greed and self-interests. Jerusalem
The IZS also prepared a lengthy presentation regarding the instruction of the Supreme Court that JNF/KKL land, purchased by Jews for the express purpose of buying and developing land in
for the benefit of Jews, should now be available to Arabs and all non-Jews. This is an issue being exposed and fought by Arieh King in Israel , and Aaron Klein of World Net Daily and the John Batchelor and Mike Savage talk shows. Based on the research done by Arieh and Aaron, I, along with others, have been demanding answers of the JNF in Jerusalem as to why JNF donors are being deceived. New York
Dr. Daniel Doron, a famous Israeli economist, also met with me to discuss the disgraceful activities of the New Israel Fund. Disguised under seemingly altruistic goals such as Civil and Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, and Religious Pluralism and Tolerance, the New Israel Fund, with millions of dollars received from donors who include the Ford Foundation, has a strong left-wing program designed to undermine the Jewish character of the Jewish State. It is necessary to expose the true pro-Arab nature of their activities so that unwitting donors can direct their philanthropy elsewhere.
I took the 160 Egged bus to
to meet with David Wilder, a well-known spokesman for the community. I saw that the homes in the market place that had been forcibly emptied of Jews by the Israeli police and soldiers, were still primarily unoccupied. I understand that the few families who are living there were told to evacuate or they would have to pay the hefty costs of their forced evacuation. The scenario is definitely one reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984. Hebron
David Wilder took me to Beit HaShalom, the large building that the Jewish community bought for $700,000, and for which they are now fighting in the courts. It is on the path between Kiryat Arba and Hebron. When the building was purchased, it was in terrible disrepair. The Jewish workers put in plumbing, a community kitchen, and partitions so that individual families could have a bit of privacy. One of our good friends, Yifat Akobi, is living there with her husband, Shalom, and their six children, the youngest just a few weeks old. Yifat is always an inspiration, and because she is such a heroic figure, she is constantly being harassed by the Israeli police. She, and probably all of her young children, have police records based on absurd accusations by Arabs. Nevertheless, responding to the court on the various charges against her takes up valuable time and money which the family does not have. Yifat, however, continues to feel that she is blessed in being able to live in the holy city of
David then drove me up to Tel Rumeida, the highest point overlooking
. He showed me a home adjacent to the Jewish homes and caravans on the Tel, which belongs to a Hamas terrorist. Left-wingers from Hebron and around the world have come to the Hamas home to "protect" it from the Jews, preserving it for the Hamas owner. While on the premises, they harass the Jews at every opportunity. A soldier stood near us while we were talking, to protect us from being stoned, or worse. Israel
We drove to Kiryat Arba, where I visited Rav Waldman of the Nir Yeshiva, along with his long-time assistant, Celia Ofer. The Rabbi was very upset over President Bush's speech of July 16. In response to Bush's comments about removing the Jews of Judea and
and promoting "settlement" in the Samaria Galileeand the Negev, Rav Waldman wanted it made clear that no one, not even the President of the U.S., has the right to dictate to Israel, a sovereign country, where it may settle its people. The Rabbi also made it very clear that we don't need terrorists like Mahmoud Abbas to "recognize 's right to exist." He said, "The State of Israel is a divine creation of the G-d of Israel , and only He determines its destiny." Israel
The most optimistic person I met with was Dr.Yitzchak Klein of the
(firstname.lastname@example.org). He believes that most Israelis are tired of the old give-away, appeasement policies and see the need to change the government, the media, and the courts. Dr. Klein, along with Attorney Noga Cooper and Shilat Edri, have produced publications citing the Constraints on Political Expression in Israel, and an Interim Report on Political Interrogation and Non-Induction of Candidates for Military Service into the IDF. Detailed case histories are given wherein the evils of the government are described. In the case of the IDF interrogations, candidates for the IDF, who were labeled as demonstrating against the Gush Katif expulsion, are interrogated and in many cases marked as mentally unsuited for the army. This label of having a "psychiatric disorder" which makes them unfit for military service, brands the young people for life as unfit for other pursuits. The work that the Israel Policy Center does in exposing the anti-Jewish, anti-humanitarian, and anti-democratic actions of the Israeli government against its Jewish citizens is extremely important. They also work with Honenu, an organization that fights for the civil rights of Jews unfairly treated in the Israeli courts. Their website is: www.honenu.org.il. Israel Policy Center
My next destination was Mitzpe Ramon, in the
Negev. The bus to Be'er Sheva from the central bus station took me through Kiryat Gat, an old town with a very new, modern section boasting attractive apartment building complexes. Be'er Sheva itself has grown dramatically, with the very beautiful Jerusalem , and large, modern buildings. Threading my way through all the soldiers who seem to be present in large numbers at every bus station, I got on the bus to Mitzpe Ramon. As soon as we were on the outskirts of Be'ersheva, I saw the Bedouin houses and tents sprawling in the now sandy landscape, featuring an occasional palm tree. As we traveled deeper into the Ben Gurion University Negev, the surroundings became more and more dramatic. The scenery of the desert landscape has a mysterious beauty all its own, and it was spread out before me in all its splendor. My friends greeted me in Mitzpe and took me to their home which boasts Green Build technology. Both Stephanie and Philippe Frydman are consultants in building homes so that they maximize environmentally friendly resources. They also bake wonderful organic sourdough bread and muffins. What a treat! There was a wonderful evening concert at Avdat, a Nabatean and Roman ruin, high on a mountain top. It was a welcome respite from all the political mayhem. Of course, the Negevis not free of problems. The Bedouins are being mobilized by leftist groups such as the New Israel Fund to demand land from the government, and as in all of , Jews are being crowded out of their land. Israel
I returned to
and met Chaim Silberstein of Uvneh Yerushalyim, (Rebuild Jerusalem), for a late afternoon tour of Kever Rachel, the grave of Mother Rachel in Jerusalem . The bus had to pass through the 25ft. high walls which flank the approach to Rachel's tomb. The fortifications necessary around the tomb strongly display the intolerable need to have a strong military presence at Jewish holy sites. Despite this ugliness, Chaim is very excited about his plans for a Bat Mitzvah center at the Kever, as well as a woman's learning center. Evelyn Haies, strongly devoted to Kever Rachel, was with us also, and enthusiastically reinforced Chaim's words. The image of Mother Rachel crying for her children, and HaShem's promise to Rachel that "your children will return to their borders," seemed especially timely as we prepared for Tisha B'Av. Bethlehem
The night before the Ninth of Av, the day associated with the sin of the spies, and the destruction of both
, Women In Green was holding their traditional walk around the Temples walls, led by MK Arieh Eldad. We met the group at Old City Safra Square, for the reading of Eicha. The mood was somber as was befitting on this sad occasion of remembrance. However, one could not help but enjoy meeting so many old friends. It was a pleasure seeing Nadia Matar, Tuvia Singer, Aaron Klein, Shifra Hoffman, Yehudit Tayar, and so many people from the former Gush Katif communities. The black helmeted Yassamnakim, on their black motorcycles, rode alongside the crowd. It was hard to tell whether they were meant to protect or intimidate the thousands of Jewish walkers. The mounted police were in attendance, riding the German horses which had played such a cruel part in the Amona expulsion. We finished our walk at the Kotel. The plaza was packed with people, talking, praying, and crying. It was an incredible sight.
On Tisha B'av, I walked with a friend to the Christian Quarter of the
to visit Matti Dan, head of Ateret Cohanim, and his wife Etti. Matti told us of the great struggle he and his organization are undergoing in their efforts to hold onto homes purchased at great expense in the Silwan area of Old City . Again, the Israeli court system seems bent on making life as difficult as possible for Jews, while being negligently and dangerously lenient with Arabs. Jerusalem
That evening, I made my way back to the protest tent of the former farmers of Gush Katif. When evening services were concluded, the fast was over, and watermelon, cookies, and drinks were brought out and gratefully devoured. Then I joined the travelers to Nitzan, the caravan community near
Ashkelonwhere hundreds of Gush Katif refugees are now living in temporary homes. I was a guest in the home of Keren and Dror Vanunu and their children, just as I had been their guest two years prior in August, 2005, in their beautiful home in Nevei Dekalim. My intention was to participate the next day, July 25, in the special commemorative activities marking two years since the expulsion.
I have written elsewhere in detail about this remarkable day. Suffice it to say, the day was organized by a small group of people volunteering their time, efforts, and creative skills to make it work. We started in Kissufim junction with the dedication of a special Gush Katif Sefer Torah, where people stood silently, weeping, as the speakers talked about remembering and returning. We then drove to Netivot, a very successful city of 30,000 people, for a full day of movies, speakers, and activities. That was followed by a march to the grave of Babba Sallie with the Sefer Torah, amidst much singing and dancing. The day concluded with a joyous celebration in Sderot when the Sefer Torah was brought in by thousands of marchers. The survivors of the destroyed communities of Gush Katif demonstrated their solidarity with the besieged city of
by choosing to house their Sefer Torah in Sderot until the scroll could be brought to its permanent home back in Gush Katif. How "coincidental" that both the former Gush Katif and the present Sderot suffered and are suffering because of the perfidy of Olmert and his government. Sderot
Seeing our good friends, Anita Tucker, Rachel and Moshe Saperstein, Laurence Beziz, Debbie Rosen, Rivka and Michael Goldschmidt, and so many more, awakened many emotions. We had all cried together in disbelief that August, 2005, watching the residents of Gush Katif being forcibly evicted from their homes. Even as it was happening, we couldn't believe that an Israeli government would order such a cruel, meaningless and dangerous destruction of communities. It did happen, however, and today we are concerned that even more expulsions from the Golan,
Judea, and are being planned. Is it possible that a government would proceed on such a self-destructive path, knowing what the outcome must be? Would the Knesset allow it to happen? Would Samaria 's citizens rise up in revolution against such suicidal plans? The "cuckoo's nest" is becoming clearer than ever. Israel
The following morning I walked around Nitzan, viewing the caravan homes in the dry, hot, barren area. Many people still had their containers adjacent to their homes. The containers had to be filled with totally unusable furniture and clothing, having weathered the cold weather and the extreme heat. Only mildew and mold could survive in that setting.
That afternoon, Dror and I drove to Yad Binyamin where the Ganei Tal farmers had a beautiful exhibit of their former lives. It was heartbreaking to view the beautiful gardens and hothouses and homes that had once existed and then were turned to rubble by order of the cruel, lunatic leaders of
My trip ended in Tel Aviv, where the beaches were filled with people enjoying the wonderful waters of the
Mediterranean, along with the hot sunshine and cool cafes.
What an amazing country is this
. It is the most modern, most highly developed, most democratic and opportunity laden country in the entire landof Israel Middle East, and yet, it carries vestiges of the ancient, and recent, painful history of the Jewish people. The hatred that exists within the Israeli society, that causes 's leaders to permit the destruction of its own Jews, is incomprehensible, but real. We therefore have to do everything in our power to prevent the evil forces from being successful. Readers of this report, who wish to be part of the program to prevent Israel 's destruction, are requested to contact Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI – 212-828-2424, www.afsi.org; email@example.com to learn what can be done to help. I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you. Israel
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