Israel: “World Mourns Death Of Rabin” is the headline of The Jewish Press of November 10, 1995. “Our view on The Assassination. We share the shock and anguish of our people over the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Our Torah condemns the wanton taking of life and reverences the sanctity of life.
“Unfortunately, despite the fact that we are still in the throes of our grief over the death of the Prime Minister, accusations have filled the airwaves blaming certain Rightist elements for creating a hateful atmosphere that inspired the obviously deranged young man who took Mr. Rabin’s life. For the sake of the welfare of our people it is important to set the record straight. In truth, this charge is reminiscent of the oxymoron of a boy who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy because he is an orphan.
“Because of the effort to hasten the implementation of the Oslo Accords prior to the next election, and in order to weaken the opposition, Israel was turned into a virtual police state. Peaceful demonstrations were banned, freedom of speech was sharply curtailed, police brutality against men, women and children was rampant and dissidents were targeted for harassment and worse. In the name of Peace, many deaths of Israelis and hundreds of incidents of Arab brutality against the Jews were simply ignored.
“There seemed to be a calculated effort to create a feeling of hatred for the 150,000 settlers in Judea and Shomron, characterizing them as enemies of the true interests of Israel. Concurrently, a process was undertaken to give away our Holy Places such as Kiryat Arba, Kever Rochel (Rachel’s Tomb), Meoras Hamachpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs), the Temple Mount, and nearly half of the land of Israel – all against the advice of the Israel Defense Forces and only the help of the 5 Arab votes in the Knesset. Although Israelis were promised that they would be able to vote on these matters in a referendum, that promise was never kept.
“Jews in America who protested against what was happening were told, in effect, send your money, but keep your opinions to yourselves.
“Perhaps worst of all, a terrorist and murderer of Jews was given virtually every-thing he sought – land, hundreds of millions of dollars, power, etc., although he did not fulfil the promises he made or offer anything real in return. In fact, he continues as the biggest ‘con-artist’ of the century as he openly preaches ‘Jihad.’
“But most of all, the Peace Process violates the commandments of our Holy Torah. G-d promised our ancestors that the entire land of Biblical Israel was to be an inheritance for the Children of Israel in perpetuity. When confronted by the Rabbis of today, the Peace Process proponents answered as did Pharaoh of ancient Egypt: ‘Who is your G-d that I should listen to him!’
“Why was G-d angry with the ‘Meraglim’ (spies)? He said, ‘I performed so many miracles for them in Egypt, at the crossing of the Yam Suf, at Mt. Sinai, and I gave them food from Heaven and water from an arid land in the desert, and the Heavenly clouds protected from the extreme heat and cold of the desert and many more miracles in their daily lives. And yet when they saw ‘giants’ in the land of Canaan they feared these humans more then they feared Me.’
“In our time, too, G-d heard our pleas. After the 1967 war, He instilled fear in all the Arabs who then ran away from Jerusalem. G-d then gave them the entire City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and in effect, so to speak, said: ‘Now plan to build the Holy Temple and I will help you.’
“Instead, Moshe Dayan, the commanding General, refused this offer and invited back all the Arabs, much to our chagrin today. In effect, he, so to speak, banished G-d from Jerusalem.
“One thing is certain. If we follow the principles of the Torah, G-d will surely help us as He did our ancestors.
“Again, we deplore this wanton act of murder, but those who seek to silence opposition by blaming the Peace process opponents serve no useful purpose. In any democratic society, legitimate debate on such fundamental issues should not be stifled. “
(By Rabbi Sholom Klass, The Jewish Press, November 10, 1995, pp. 1 and 3)
“As The World Mourns Yitzhak Rabin: Some years ago Yitzhak Rabin was a columnist for THE JEWISH PRESS. He was an outspoken young man and even though we may not have agreed with everything he wrote, we felt it was our duty to have a variety of opinion in THE JEWISH PRESS.
“Yitzhak Rabin felt the route he was taking with the PLO was proper and he may have been right, but we and others disagreed. We join the millions who are mourning Yitzhak Rabin, a man who felt that his dream for peace was in the best interests of Israel. Despite differing opinions, he forged ahead for what he felt was right. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Rabin and entire family. “
(The Jewish Press, November 10, 1995, p. 2)
ISRAEL: “The Tragic Truth About Yitzhak Rabin: Without condoning the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, critics of his so-called peace policy will now be subjected to further repression, to a more vicious denial of their civil rights. And this will only render the political climate of Israel more precarious, more inflammatory, more susceptible to civil war.
“With profound sorrow for the bereaved, truth and justice and concern for my own loved ones in Israel, compel me even now to clarify the political context of Yitzhak Rabin’s tragic death. Even in this period of grief and mourning, innocent and law-abiding Jews in Israel are in danger of repression by a desperate government, a government that parades in the name of democracy but is democracy’s enemy.
“It is not easy for me to say, but it must be said even now, that Yitzhak Rabin and his cohorts created the emotional and political climate that led to his assassination. Only by facing this tragic fact honestly and courageously and with magnanimity will the people of Israel be able to avoid such tragedies in the future.
“I know of no leader of any nation that publicly denigrated the heritage of his own people. Yet Mr. Rabin called religious critics of his so-called peace policy ‘degenerates.’ He also called soldiers who fought and bled for Israel ‘cry babies’ because they opposed his policy of surrendering Jewish land to Arab despots... He also vilified Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party as ‘allies of Hamas’ – of brutal murderers... Finally, it should not be forgotten that Mr. Rabin released thousands of Arab terrorists and murderers, some of whom subsequently murdered more Jews. In fact, more Jews have been murdered by Arabs since September 13, 1993, when Mr. Rabin first shook the blood-stained hands of Yasir Arafat, than the number of Jews murdered by Arabs during the previous six years of the intifada. Mr. Rabin called these Jews ‘sacrifices for peace.’ Could anything be better calculated to arouse agony and resentment among the Jewish people of Israel, especially among the families and friends of the Jewish victims of Rabin’s policy?
“Let us nonetheless end on a positive note. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin goes beyond personalities, Left and Right, secular and religious. Israel’s political system is basically flawed. Israel lacks a written Constitution. There are no institutional checks and balances... The electronic media are government controlled. There is no outlet for legitimate and effective dissent, and the opposition parties are fragmented and impotent. Israel needs a new system of Government. “
(Excerpts by Prof. Paul Eidelberg, The Jewish Press, November 10, 1995, p. 10)
Israel: “NEW YORK – Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres made an impassioned plea for Jewish unity Sunday at a New York memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by a religious Jew opposed to his peace policies.
“Rabin was the ‘consummate man of Israel,’ Vice President Al Gore told more than 15,000 people who attended the rally at Madison Square Garden. ‘He will always be remembered as a man of grace, courage and quiet dignity ... who always put substance before style, action before acclaim and ideals before ideologue.’ Gore said.
“Rabin’s widow, Leah, spoke of his gift to those he left behind: ‘From his death, he bequested to us peace, he bequested to us solidarity, he bequested to us Jewish unity.’
“Peres meets President Clinton today in Washington to discuss ways to restart negotiations with Syria over the future of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War.
“Although officials closed off 4,000 of the Garden’s 18,000 seats for security reasons, 16 metal detectors proved barely adequate to handle the crowd. Many people stood in the 16-degree cold for up to two hours before they were allowed in.” (Excerpts from The Orlando Sentinel, December 11, 1995)
Israel: “Besides, all Israel’s leaders have to do to my mute protest is: (1) Have the PLO cancel their covenant of death (a promise made at Oslo and not kept). (2) Allow Women in Green and other peaceful Israelis to protest within the law without police interference. (3) Invite some of the many learned and articulate opponents of the peace talks to air their views in the government-controlled electronic media. (4) Spell out these secret agreements being made with Arafat, Assad and others and invite the Israeli public to make up its own mind. (5) Since both Labor and Likud deceived the pioneers in Judea and Samaria in telling them to build their homes in what would be ‘forever a part of Israel,’ stop treating them with mockery and disrespect in calling them ‘crybabies’ and telling them they can ‘spin like propellers.’
“For years, I was rather popular in Israel and American Jewish circles. But I note that each time I merely share my apprehension at the Israeli rush to peace without firm reliance on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, my ‘likeability rating’ dips. Well and good. Not to speak up would have me opt for the praises of men more than the praises of God. This I will not do!
“For when ‘peace’ must be purchased through illegal and brutal force, it will turn out to be as elusive as Jeremiah’s lament: ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.’ (Jer. 6:14) And when covenants of ‘peace’ are cut with a murderer of Jews, who in turn, refuses to cancel his own PLO covenant of war, Israel must yet taste the bitter truth that theirs is ‘a covenant with death’ and that ‘with hell we are in agreement.’ (Isa. 28:15) “ (By Dr. Frank Eiklor, Shalom International, Volume 17, Number 9)
Israel: “Clinton Optimistic On Middle East Peace: Greeting Israel’s new prime minister, Shimon Peres, the president said chances of peace between Israel and Syria have improved.
“WASHINGTON – Little more than a month after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, President Clinton Monday warmly welcomed the new Israeli prime minister, Shimon Peres, and again pledged support for the perilous Middle East peace process.
“‘The United States stands ready to help bring the parties together and to work with them in the negotiations,’ Clinton said during a White House press conference with Peres. ‘Peace is our mission, and the prime minister and I are determined that nothing, nothing will deter us from this task in the weeks and the months ahead.’
“Clinton said he thinks the atmosphere is better for peace between Israel and Syria now than before. The Syrian-Israeli dispute, as well as the one between Israel and Lebanon, are the major remaining obstacles to securing peace in the bloody region.
“‘As sad as it is to say, I think the Syrian leader and the Syrian people now see the exceptional price that former Prime Minster Rabin and Prime Minister Peres have been willing to pay ... for peace,’ Clinton said. ‘I think that is the fundamental new reality here.’
“Clinton also spoke with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad Monday by telephone for 20 minutes and received assurances that he was committed to moving the Syrian-Israeli peace process forward.
“Secretary of State Warren Christopher will travel to the region next week to meet with Assad to try to jump-start peace talks.
“Clinton praised Peres, who was Rabin’s political rival but also his peace partner. ‘Mr. Prime Minister, as Israel continues to take risks for a lasting and comprehensive peace, the United States will stand with you to minimize those risks and to ensure your success,’ Clinton said. ‘And I pledge to you personally, Shimon, that I will be your partner in peace.’
“Clinton and Peres said the next steps in the peace process are proceeding: Palestinian elections will go forward, and control of some 450 villages in the West Bank and all major cities, including Gaza and Jericho, will be turned over to the Palestinians before Christmas. Peres also said he intends to fulfill the promise to release another thousand Palestinian prisoners before the elections.”
(The Orlando Sentinel, December 12, 1995)
Palestinians Celebrate As Israeli Army Withdraws: NABLUS, West Bank – Thousands of Palestinians streamed into the streets Monday night, shooting firecrackers and burning an Israeli flag as Israeli troops ended 28 years of occupation by withdrawing from Nablus a day ahead of schedule. ‘They are gone! They are gone!’ residents chanted outside Israel’s former military headquarters in the West Bank’s largest city. They let out a huge roar of approval and fired gunshots into the air as a flag ripped from the balcony was set aflame. The withdrawal, which had been expected to begin today or early Wednesday, caught the city by surprise. It apparently was moved up to prevent opponents of the peace process, Israeli or Palestinian, from organizing protest. “ (The Orlando Sentinel, December 12, 1995)
“Archaeologists: Burial Cave In Israel Confirms Ancient Clan: Maccabim, Israel – Archaeologists think they have uncovered a 2,000-year-old burial cave of the Maccabees, a clan of Jewish warriors who led a revolt against a Syrian king that is still celebrated today with the feast of Hanukkah.
“The find appears to confirm ancient Jewish accounts of the clan, also known as the Hasmoneans, a spokeswoman for the Antiquities Authority said Thursday. ‘This is the first proof that the Hasmoneans lived and were buried at this site,’ said Efrat Orbach.
“The burial cave, 19 miles north of Jerusalem, was uncovered Monday when a tractor leveled ground for a highway. The cave – made up of three small rooms and a courtyard entrance – held 24 ossuaries, or containers for bones of the dead, archaeologist Yossi Levy said.
“The ossuaries are inscribed in Hebrew with Jewish manes, Orbach said. One ossuary carried an inscription that is missing several letters, but most probably reads ‘Hasmonean,’ she said.
“‘This is the first time the word ‘Hasmonean’ has been found on archaeological evidence,’ said archaeologist Shimon Riklin.
“The house of the Maccabees, known as the Hasmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon, lived in what is now central Israel. They rebelled in the second century BC against the Syrian King Antiochus IV, who had stripped the Temple in Jerusalem and began a religious persecution. Having occupied Jerusalem, they reconsecrated the Temple in 165 BC, a feat celebrated by the Jewish feast of Hanukkah.
“At least one ossuary carries the name Shimon, the head of the Maccabean state, which was said to have lasted about 100 years. Archaeologists do not know whether they had uncovered his remains.
“So far, evidence of their existence is confined to writings in the Talmud, a collection of Jewish legal commentary, and in accounts by the Jewish writer and historian Josephus who lived in the first century. “ (The Orlando Sentinel, November 17, 1995)
Wiesenthal, Speaking For Austria, Urges UN Organize A World Confab Against Hate
“Unbelievable, but true – the world’s most renowned Jewish Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal – who in his life-time had apprehended scores of German-Austrian Nazis – appeared here at the UN General Assembly on November 20 as the official spokesman of the Austrian Government proposing that the World Organization ‘organize a global conference aimed at reducing hate.’
“The occasion of his appearance – an unusual event arousing deep interest – was a special commemorative meeting ‘to mark the UN Year for Tolerance’ – a subject which struck a positive chord with Wiesenthal who, a little more than a decade ago, had confirmed the work of this writer in exposing two Nazis who had found haven in America – the Hungarian, Ference Koreh and the Rumanian, B. Trifa, the latter, long ago, deported and former, after being confronted by your correspondent’s attorney Paul O’Dwyer, was recently finally judged guilty of war crimes by a New Jersey judge.
“And here at the UN we have been confronted with the unusual sensational scene in witnessing this world-admired personality speaking on behalf of a nation, Austria, birthplace of Hitler and haven of Kurt Waldheim and once a full partner with Nazi Germany in perpetrating the worst crimes of the century.
“‘It is a great honor for me to be allowed to speak to this audience at the end of the Year of Tolerance as the Representative of Austria,’ Wiesenthal declared in his opening statement: ‘In four years,’ he added, ‘we will be standing at the end of this century which has been rightly termed a century of crimes.’ Thus there is the need to speak about tolerance and also to act on this principle.’
“And act he did. He made this direct proposal to the UN: ‘Let us try to organize a worldwide conference aimed at reducing hate. Technology without hate can be so very beneficial for mankind, but in conjunction with hatred it leads to disaster. The most important participants in such a conference – which should of course be held under the patronage of the United Nations – would be representatives of the monotheistic and other religions.
“‘Through religious networks, the greater part of mankind could be reached. The representatives of the various religions – in keeping with their moral duties – will work for mutual respect and support among men and against hatred. By spreading positive messages in churches, temples and synagogues, they can reach more people than all political parties put together. If religious representatives can agree to make the gradual elimination of hatred a major common concern, they will also find ways of informing and influencing their believers throughout the world.’
“Speaking of a ‘new Austria,’ Mr. Wiesenthal recommended Vienna as the site for the conference: ‘Being an Austrian, I could imagine that such an international conference take place in our small country located at the center of Europe. In the course of its history, Austria was frequently the scene of hate; today, however, it lives in perfect amity with all of its neighbors, unstrained by any claims on lands outside of its existing borders. Our country is an obvious international meeting place having often been the site of international events in the past. Moreover, all steps to strengthen tolerance and reduce hate would be actively supported by Austria’s government and its population. In this connection, I would like to point out that in the past 50 years the small republic of Austria, in contrast to other, significantly larger countries, has achieved great things where humanitarian aid for refugees – the most unfortunate victims of hate – is concerned.’
“Continuing to hold his UN audience deeply interested in his unique presentation, he began to explain his own personal struggle for justice: ‘As a survivor of the Nazi period – my wife and I lost 89 family members in the Holocaust – I have dedicated my life to the struggle for justice. The title of one of my last books is Justice, Not Vengeance, because my work was never motivated by hate or revenge. I would therefore feel very honored if many people of good will and with the firm intention to conquer the hate in this world were to come to Vienna to take part in a conference having this aim.
“‘In this century I have myself seen Communism become a form of government under Stalin and, thankfully, I have seen its downfall. I have seen the rise of National Socialism under Hitler – and I lived to see its downfall as well. Both of these regimes set measures that cost millions of lives. In the Soviet Union the victims were mainly Soviet citizens; the exact numbers are still unknown, as all figures named so far have been estimates. The Nazi regime was also responsible for the deaths of millions of foreign nations: altogether about 50 million people, including six million Jewish victims, were killed as a result of the war and there were innumerable crimes committed in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. Together, these two dictatorships extinguished about 100 million human lives during this century. Underlying both Stalinism and National Socialism were two fundamentals: hatred and technology.’
“That the goodly, Jewish, Simon Wiesenthal should have come here at this time as representative of Austria to speak against hate and intolerance proves something. It proves that we are indeed in the Messianic Age – the Chevlei d’Meshichah. And we must connect this with the score of other nissim since the nes of the birth of Israel. “ (By David Horowitz, The Jewish Press, December 8, 1995)
“Israel’s Resistance Slams Talks, Golan Deal. JERUSALEM – Israel’s opposition assailed the resumption of peace talks with Syria, vowing Sunday to do all it could to stop Prime Minister Shimon Peres from ceding the Golan Heights.
“U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher flew home from the Middle East on Sunday, having accomplished his mission in two days, half the time he had planned, by reviving negotiations severed six months ago.
“‘We will certainly do all we can to prevent the government from carrying out its intention to hand over the Golan,’ Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the main hard-line Likud opposition party, told Israel Radio.
“Israeli and Syrian negotiators plan to meet for three days December 27 near Washington. A second three-day round is planned in January.
“Israel has yet to say it will meet Damascus’ demand to return all of the heights captured in the 1967 Middle East war, insisting on a promise of normal relations first from Syria.
“Riding a wave of popular support following the assassination last month of his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin, Peres said last week he was willing to pay the full price for full peace.
“Ten months ahead of scheduled elections, Netanyahu trails Peres badly in opinion polls but he has been trying to tap popular opposition to a Golan deal among war-hardened Israelis who view the heights as a strategic necessity and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad as insincere about wanting peace.
“A poll by Israel’s largest newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth last week showed 55 percent opposed to a full withdrawal and 42 percent for it. “ (The Orlando Sentinel, December 18, 1995)
Many thanks and much appreciation for the beautiful Christmas cards received, with special thanks for the love and prayers expressed – which we heartily reciprocate. We wish all our readers a prosperous and Blessed New Year.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The date of our Memorial is March 31, 1996 after six p.m.