Moments of Truth
Life is full of crossroads. Some are very personal,
others of a public nature. Some are relatively
unimportant. Yet others, may have far reaching
implications and consequences. Presently Israel is at a
crossroads that may determine our fate - the fate of
Hebron, of Jerusalem, of the State of Israel, and of the
entire Jewish People. We have arrived at a moment of
Tonight, a couple of hours from now, Netanyahu is
due to again meet Arafat at the Eretz Checkpoint in
Gazza. The topics under discussion and the pending
accords remind me of scenes out of A Tale of Two Cities,
especially the last scene. For those of you who don't
remember, the guillotine blade falls....on the wrong
Tonight not only is Hebron on the chopping block.
Tonight almost all of the land area of Judea, Samaria and
Gazza is up for grabs. In addition to abandoning Hebron,
Netanyahu has agreed to part with close to 70% of Yesha
by September 1, 1998. Netanyahu is not only beheading
The Jewish Community of Hebron. He is castrating the
Land of Israel.
If the accords are signed tonight or early tomorrow
morning they will be brought before the cabinet almost
immediately. On Thursday a special session of Knesset
can be expected, and then, on Friday, the withdrawal, the
abandonment is due to begin.
I am constantly asked if Netanyahu has betrayed us.
The answer is no - he didn't initiate Oslo. But I have
to add: in Judaism there is a term called `apikoris.' An
apikoris is frequently defined as a person who has
rejected Divinity and rebelled against G-d's
commandments. However, this definition is inaccurate. An
`apikoris' is not your everyday man on the street who is
not observant. Most Jews have little knowledge of what
religious Judaism demands of them. A person who is
ignorant is not an `apikoris.' An `apikoris' is a person
who KNOWS, and in spite of his knowledge, in spite of his
education, rejects and rebels.
As far as Rabin and Peres were concerned, Jewish
heritage, Jewish history, Jewish identity, Jewish
religion were synonymous with anachronism - pieces of the
past, with no place in the present and future. Peres
views Sweden and a role-model for a futuristic Israeli
state. So he told the King of Sweden upon reception of
the Nobel Peace Prize. He sees Israel as a state that,
coincidentally, is populated by Jews. But, according to
his philosophy, Israel is not a Jewish State. It needn't
have a particular Jewish identity. Peres is an ignoramus.
However, Netanyahu knows better. He may not be an
observant religious Jew, but he has a much deeper
understanding of Judaism, of Israel, of Hebron and
Jerusalem. Yet he is rejecting - rebelling. Netanyahu
KNOWS better, but is revolting.
According to Jewish sources, a real `apikoris' has
no place in the world-to-come.
So, again, we have reached a moment of truth, a
crossroads of overwhelming significance. This week
ministers were quoted as saying the concept `Eretz
Yisrael HaShlema' - the total complete Land of Israel is
dead. We are told that we must deal with a new reality,
the division of Eretz Yisrael. Very shortly we will be
told that the same is true concerning Jerusalem - the
same is true concerning a palestinian state. Defense
Minister Yitzhak Mordechai was quoted in yesterday's
Jerusalem Post saying that Israel cannot provide total
security for Hebron's Jews. Yet he is supporting
abandonment of the city, and of the Jews therein. Today
it was reported that the army has been stockpiling
emergency medical supplies at each of the neighborhoods
in Hebron, including IVs, resuscitation apparatus, and
battlefield operating-room equipment. The overriding
concern is that a massive Arab attack on the Jewish
neighborhoods could leave an area cut off and isolated
from the other neighborhoods. So, complying with the old
Boy Scout adage, they are fulfilling "Be Prepared."
I would like to reveal to you - devoted reader and
supporter of Hebron - what is really bothering me - what
is, as far as I am concerned, the true moment of truth.
The previous administration's decisions were, as far as
we were concerned, illegitimate. The Knesset majority
rested on Arabs. There was no Jewish majority. However,
that is not so of this administration. This government
was elected with an 11% Jewish majority. There is a
Jewish majority in the Knesset. Do these people really
represent the will of Am Yisrael - do they really
represent the Jewish people in Israel? If they decide to
abandon Hebron, do we have no choice but to accept the
decree - to resign ourselves to an Israel without Judea,
Samaria, Gazza, without Hebron?
The answer I think, is twofold. On the one hand, as
private individuals, or even as a community, we cannot
physically fight such a decision. We will not go to war,
not against the Israeli government or army, and not even
against Arafat's army. We may use all the tools and
methods at our disposal to undo the process, if that is
possible. We will continue to develop and grow, as much
as we can.
But, we will not accept that this is truly `the way
is should be.' That's why I have called this article
`Moments of Truth' and not "A Moment of Truth.' True,
for the foreseeable future we will have to live with a
reality that is harsh, and not to our liking. But this
situation is temporary. Be it temporary for a few weeks,
months, or even years. But Israel will not remain
without Yesha, without Hebron, without Jerusalem forever.
The present moment of truth may determine our short-range
fate - it may determine whether their will be more, or
less, bloodshed. It may determine the degree of
complexity of our lives and the degree of suffering that
we will have to undergo. But it cannot determine truth.
For abandonment of land in Israel is contrary to our
very existence. We came back to Eretz Yisrael to settle
the land, to live on the land - not to divide it and hand
it over to our enemies, to terrorists. The direction of
the present `moment of truth' is clearly negative. But
eventually, this will change and the crossroads we are
turning down now will reach a dead-end, and we won't have
any choice but to turn around, come back, and turn the
other way. Whatever the cost, we must know this, and
live accordingly. The Jewish Community of Hebron has no
intentions of being another Masada. But we know, without
any doubt, without any hesitation, that a Jewish presence
in Hebron is part of the embodiment of truth, it is part
of a metaphysical reality. It has nothing to do with
Rabin, Peres, or Netanyahu. On the day of the elections I
wrote that Hebron existed before any of them, and will
continue to exist after all of them. The Prime Minister
may decide to abandon Hebron, as may his cabinet and the
Knesset. But we will never abandon Hebron - we will
never abandon Eretz Yisrael - we will never abandon G-d.
And we know, He will never abandon us.