Monday, July 17, 2006

Remarks by Rabbi Marvin Hier of Los Angeles:

Let us be very clear, this is not a conflict over borders, not about 1967 or 1948. This is about enemies who have one purpose in mind, a Middle East that is Judenrein, free of Jews.

For years, the critics of Israel opined that when Israel pulls out of Lebanon and Gaza, when it allows the Palestinians to write their history, to define their own destiny, when they are empowered to rebuild their own economy, then they will devote their energies to peace.

Well, Israel pulled out of Lebanon, after guarantees by the international community that the Lebanese government would exercise jurisdiction over its territory and control Hezbollah. But it didn’t and look what happened? An unprovoked terrorist attack and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

In the South, Prime Minister Sharon withdrew from Gaza in a bold attempt to jumpstart the peace process. What was the Palestinian response? They went to the polls and elected Hamas, a terrorist government whose undisputed leader Khaled Meshaal lives in Damascus. Almost immediately, Hamas began firing more then 1,000 rockets at the city of Sderot which is not disputed territory, but an uncontested part of Israel.

Day after day, month after month, the rockets fell, but the world watched and did nothing. Hamas felt emboldened and dug a tunnel into Israel, kidnapping Corporal Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier and holding him hostage, but again, the world took no concrete action.

Hier's point illustrates the Bizarro world in which we live: for years, Israel has been importuned to get out of "occupied territory." Now, to the West, "occupied territory" means the West Bank and Gaza. To the Arabs, "occupied territory means all of Israel. Thus, the Arab call to relinquish "occupied teritory" means, to them, the abandonment of the State of Israel completely.

Many people, including me, were apprehensive at the Sharon government's bold move to unilaterally pull back from Gaza. The naysayers foretold that the Arabs simply would fire rockets, unimpeded, from the Gaza territory into Israel. The Israeli government and people nevertheless took a chance in good faith that the "Palestineans," essentially having been ceded the land they had wanted, would leave Israel alone. Alas, the naysayers were right, the "Palestineans" continue to kill innocent civilians to gain more territory.

This continued use of terror killings over the past year appears to have escaped the notice of the world community. Continued Arab violence, both in Gaza and in northern Israel, undersocres the fact that the Arabs want Israel destroyed. Nothing less. Israel has no choice but to do all in its power to destroy the destroyers before it's too late.

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