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This year in particular, there was significance to the proximity of Holocaust Remembrance Day to the celebrations of Independence Day. The prime minister of Israel -- the Israel that's been likened to the phoenix rising from the ashes of the Holocaust -- met on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day with the leader of the Palestinians whose doctoral thesis asserts the double claim of Holocaust denial and blaming Zionism for the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
And this too: the prime minister of Israel was adopting on the eve of Independence Day the "Saudi Initiative", which is premised on the withdrawal of Israel to the "Auschwitz borders" of the Green Line.
Independence Day was chosen to follow Holocaust Remembrance Day in the same way that the exit from Israel's Holocaust museum of Yad Vashem was designed: a sharp passage from darkness to the spectacular brightness of the hills of Jerusalem. However, shadows of holocaust are now clouding the skies of independence.
How ironic that the more the Holocaust recedes in time from us, the more current and relevant it becomes: the re-flowering of anti-Semitism in the West, the slaughter of suicide bombers, militant Islam preaching the genocide of the Jews and their state, a world atmosphere resembling that of the '30s, Ahmadinejad and his nuclear bomb. It's all contained in the image of the Muslim woman, covered with a black hijab, demonstrating in London holding a large placard with the words "Be Prepared for the REAL Holocaust!"
Thus quietly expired another leftist mantra that arrogantly disparaged anyone daring to adhere to the Zionist view of anti-Semitism as a chronic illness and the world as a dangerous place for Jews. They mockingly called this "anachronistic" worldview "the Auschwitz Syndrome," and in its place built a new world and a new Israeli that overcame his Jewishness and shed his musty patriotism, burdensome territories, and also his security paranoia and excessive military power. The simpletons of the left believed that this unburdening would usher us into "the New Middle East." And this is how we cultivated our own local strain of Holocaust denial. Not denial of what happened in the past, G-d forbid, but denial of what could happen in the here and now. To this end the left rudely silenced any opinion that asserted that the Arab lust for murder might have something to do with anything other than Israeli "occupation," "oppression," "exploitation" or "discrimination."
Yad Vashem was tended for ceremonial and diplomatic purposes only. For internal consumption, enlightened Israel broadcast the message that what happened "then" has no connection whatsoever to the situation of the Jews today. The "lessons of the Holocaust" were turned into empty rhetoric, and whoever tried to learn from the experience of the Holocaust was guilty of "cheapening" it and of the tasteless exploitation of the memory of the victims.
For example, it is forbidden to compare the blindness of the Jews and their leaders to the murderous Nazi threat with the psychological denial of the current Israeli establishment and media of the meaning of the Arab blood cult. And it is even forbidden to ponder the possibility that every "solution" that is presented to us to end the "conflict" is nothing but camouflage for the final solution that the Arabs really desire and are working towards.
Of course it isn't proper to educate towards values such as strength, victory, or 'arise to kill those who wish to kill you,' values that might provide us with minimal margins of security. On the contrary, our homegrown Holocaust deniers demand that we make more and more weakening concessions, materially and spiritually. They demand that we deny the justice of our cause in favor of a guilt complex based on "injustice against the Arabs." They demand restraint in the face of attacks in the North and the South. They demand inaction against Kassam missiles. They demand releasing thousands of murderous terrorists. They demand that we withdraw from our strategic territorial depth.
Above all, woe to anyone who dares warn, like the unheeded Cassandra, daughter of the king of Troy, against allowing the Trojan Horse known as the "Palestinian state" to enter our gates. Woe to anyone who cautions that the day of such a state's establishment, G-d forbid, will begin the countdown to the final solution of the Jewish State of Israel. Woe to anyone who quotes the Palestinians' open declarations that the entire purpose of their future state is to liquidate the "Zionist entity" and to arise in its place. In exactly the same way, people refused to inform themselves or cry out against the murderous intentions spelled out in Hitler's Mein Kampf. We have an independent, free state that is strong and flourishing. We have a strong economy; the lifespan of our citizens is among the highest in the world. We are leaders in every field: science, Torah, medicine, music, agriculture, Ofek satellites, Arrow missiles, and nuclear capability. We celebrate on Independence Day the miracle of our state's revival and its astounding success in standing as a mighty rock in the stormy waters continuously smashing against it.
But also great Troy, wealthy, beautiful, and secure, withstood for ten years the siege of the entire Greek army. The Greeks finally despaired of capturing her by force and plotted against her with cunning. Troy's mighty wall protected her until she herself breached it by opening her gates to receive the 'parting gift' of the withdrawing Greeks -- a huge horse that contained Troy' s destruction.
Olmert and Livni, in thrall to Condoleeza, are presently reviewing, together with the Palestinians, the Saudi-Arab Trojan Horse, called the "horizon" of the Palestinian state.
But how does this horizon really look? We volunteer to outline it for our leaders:
What will remain of Israel after the mass expulsion of 300,000 settlers (500,000 including East Jerusalem) and huge waves of emigration by anyone and everyone who can manage to flee the sinking ship, will be a nation divided and crushed, that will have no alternative but to accept the practical loss of its independence.
Already today, Israel's largest circulation daily, Yediot Achronot, is reporting (4/16/07) on a "steep drop in the quantity of flags ordered for Independence Day. People don't have the desire to hang flags . . . the settlers aren't hanging them this year because they're angry with the symbols of the state." If this is the after-shock of the first expulsion, the small one, how will the horizon look after the great tsunami called "the Arab initiative"?
If this, G-d forbid, is the "horizon" that the horse will usher in, what are our 'walls of Troy' that, as long as they stand, protect the city from falling to the enemy?
As fate would have it, on this Independence Day we also celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the Six Day War, that miracle which planted us anew in the true heart of the Zionist dream: Zion and it hills, from where we overlook and can defend our state of plains and valleys.
Had we not known from personal knowledge that it was the emotional and ideological drive that created hundreds of settlements and planted half a million Jews in Judea, Samaria, and historic Jerusalem, we might have supposed that some strategic genius planned out in advance the cure to the plague of a Palestinian state. For all agree that as long as Jewish settlements exist and spread out over the territory of Judea and Samaria, the monster of an independent Palestine cannot arise. Jews can tolerate a 20 percent Arab population in their midst, but the Arabs can't tolerate even a single Jew -- and the whole world, including the state of the Jews, has adopted their Nazi racism.
Here, then, is our Trojan wall, whose fall, G-d forbid, would seal our doom. As against the "Arab horizon" in the feverish brains of Olmert, Livni, and Peretz, the Jewish nation has built over the past 40 years a large and strong enterprise, spread out over the width and breadth of Judea and Samaria. As long as it exists and endures, it blocks the steamroller of the so-called "Saudi Initiative" from overrunning the Israel that lied between the Green Line and the blue Mediterranean in both the literal and conceptual sense. Israel will have to demolish this wall stone by stone with its own hands if, in its continued madness, it wishes to bring upon itself the fate of Troy.
And thus, the lessons of the Holocaust, Independence Day, and the joy of celebrating 40 years since the liberation of the land of the Bible, are one. The achievements of the settlement enterprise are our guarantor that future generations will be there to remember the Holocaust and celebrate future Independence Days in a free, Jewish state.
Some day we'll recall these tranquil months of headlines devoted to road accidents and minor scandals -- the headlines of a society free from existential cares -- as a fool's paradise whose fools turned a blind eye to the erupting volcano threatening to bury us all. There was another summer like this one preceding Yom Kippur in '73, but this time the surprise attack is being readied from within, and the calamity will be diplomatic.
I'm referring to the ritual sacrifice that the Bush administration is preparing for us this November that goes by the name of a "peace conference." The role of the sacrificial lamb will be filled by Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, hundreds of Jewish communities, and hundreds of thousands of Jews that will become refugees in their own land -- all this on the backdrop of national, societal, and diplomatic collapse.
The kindling and the fire for the sacrifice will be brought by Shimon Peres and his perpetual partner in crime, Terje Larsen. Serving them are Haim Ramon, Ehud Olmert, and Abu Mazen. Spurring them on are two evil and ambitious women who, like the most destructive tornadoes, are called by cute nicknames: Tzippi and Condi. On the tombstone the gravediggers will engrave the words "The Diplomatic Horizon" (for the Palestinians) and/or "Principles for the Final Status Agreement" and/or "Framework Agreement for the Establishment of a Palestinian State." The conference will deal with "core issues", that is to say it will uproot the core and the heart of our hold on our land: Jerusalem, borders, refugees, destruction of the settlements.
Discussions on these matters are being held continually and urgently to the end of bringing the sacrificial lamb to Washington on time, already bound and readied for slaughter. There are those who are working to ensure that the sacrificial feast will be well attended -- from Morocco in the West to the Gulf States in the East. Israel's enemies have waited 40 years for this moment when Israel will be forced to regurgitate all that she swallowed during the Six Day War. Their eyes will finally merit to see the ceremony of subjugation whereby the Jews will return to the Arabs their lost honor and resume their proper places. To our enemies' good fortune, manning the helm of Israel's ship of state is a man supremely appropriate to the task of self-administering this coup de grace to the Jews -- a man dogged by failures and accusations of corruption, whose personal attributes embody all that is weak, rotten, spoilt, and foundering among the Jews in their land at this hour . . .
At this "peace" conference, the enemies of Israel from the East and from the West will dictate the decree that Olmert and his friends are writing now in absolute secret together with the Americans and the Arabs while the Israeli public, including the national camp and the settlers, twiddle their thumbs. It's comforting to tell ourselves soothing tales such as how Olmert is weak and Abu Mazen is even weaker, and that both of them lack the standing and support among their people to undertake such far-reaching diplomatic initiatives. There are no lack of such rationalizing yarns. Whoever calms themselves in this way doesn't understand the nature and quality of the liquidation ceremony that's being prepared for us.
This ceremony doesn't require any strength, in fact it doesn't require anything at all except for a declaratory statement, ink on paper, the most feeble exhalation of breath, an effort that even a dying man could make without difficulty. However, a declaration like this is enough to bring about, in the words of Shimon Peres, "the concluding chapter of the conflict with the Palestinians," and, in actual truth, the concluding chapter of Israel's independence. After this, Israel will be a state in name only. In reality Israel will become a protectorate of the United Nations, whose foreign policy and security are given into the hands of the Quartet, and whose security, that is to say our lives, are entrusted to international forces in the North, center, and South of the country.
At the sacrificial peace conference in Washington, Israel will likely obligate itself to establish a Palestinian state on its ancestral inheritance. The capitol of the new state will be Jerusalem, and not even one Jew will be allowed to live within its boundaries.
It doesn't matter that the conference will not determine on which street in Jerusalem and over which hill or through which valley the border will pass. It is of no significance that the conference won't decide how many Arab "refugees" we'll be forced to swallow. What will be determined, irrevocably and eternally, this coming year or next year at the latest, is Palestinian sovereignty as a diplomatic, international, fact -- with finality. The rest truly isn't important. So too when they signed the Oslo Accords with only the "Declaration of Principles." In its wake, as thunder follows lightning, we were hit by the "interim agreement" with all its details that demanded actualization: areas A, B, and C, the Palestinian "police", inserting a terror state infrastructure from Tunis into our borders, and all the rest of the insane arrangements that buried 1,500 Jews in their land and prepared the state for its final act of self-immolation in the guise of a Palestinian state that will turn life in this land into a living hell -- an irrevocable living hell.
It's not important that the governmental apparatuses of the Palestinian state will be weak or even non-existent. It doesn't matter whether a prime minister or the head of some terrorist faction will rule. It's not important if this state has no economy and will live on the handouts that Israel, the Europeans, and the Americans pay to the gangsters as protection money for a modicum of quiet. The world contains a number of such non-functional states. Somalia, for example, is ruled by gangs of tribal thieves and thugs, but that doesn't in the least detract from Somalian sovereignty and from the land remaining the land of Somalia according to international law.
Herzl had a vision of a Jewish state arising with international legal recognition. Now this vision has been turned on its head, and a foreign entity is achieving international recognition as sovereign over the Land of Israel. And who is promoting this travesty? The Jews themselves.
What is the irredeemable, eternal meaning of Palestinian sovereignty? When Israel liberated Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in the Six Day War, she didn't conquer land that belonged to any sovereign power. Neither Jordan in Judea and Samaria nor Egypt in Gaza had any sovereign rights in those territories. Both had invaded those territories in 1948 in order to frustrate the League of Nations decision of November 29, 1947 recognizing Israel. Egypt never claimed sovereignty over Gaza and established military rule there from the beginning. Jordan, in contravention of international law, attempted to establish sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, but renounced this aspiration on its own initiative in 1988.
Only because of this vacuum in sovereignty was Israel authorized to utilize state lands to settle Jews in Yesha or to settle the lands in any way. Had there been a legal sovereign before Israel's takeover of those territories, the Hague Convention would have forbidden Israel from making fundamental changes to the status quo, including the utilization of state lands. International law views the conquering military administration as custodian over the occupied territories until they are returned to the original sovereign in a future peace agreement. Until then, the conquered lands are held in trust by the occupying power. In the same way, the conqueror is forbidden from excavating antiquities located in occupied territories. They too are held in trust for the conquered power that will eventually regain sovereignty. Therefore, coins from the Great Revolt or the Bar Kochba Revolt, bearing images of the Holy Temple and other Jewish symbols, will belong to the Palestinians the moment they became sovereign over Judea and Samaria; Israel will be obligated to give up all the Jewish antiquities that she's excavated since '67. All this we will bring upon ourselves the moment a Jewish hand signs an agreement granting Palestinian sovereignty over the Land of Israel.
For the Palestinians to win eternal sovereignty over our homeland, it doesn't matter that Abu Mazen today happens to be weak, or if the day after signing an agreement he resumes his alliance with Hamas, or that he resigns, or is assassinated. From the moment that Palestine is declared a state, what is done can never be undone. The Palestinians, of course, will instigate terror and wars. The IDF might conquer Shechem over and over again, but will always be forced to leave and return the land to the Palestinian sovereign. This is because the land has become Palestinian land according to international law from the moment that Palestinian sovereignty is officially recognized. Just so was Berlin conquered and destroyed and divided, but in the end returned to Germany as its capitol. Just so the Nazis came and went, but Germany remained.
I've already described how this scenario is viewed under international law. The giants in the field, professors Stone, Rostow, and Schwabel, have proven how the provisions of the Mandate for Palestine, granted by the League of Nations to Britain over the Land of Israel, are in force in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza until this day. According to the Mandate, the area of the Land of Israel is allocated under international law as the national homeland of the Jewish nation 'in recognition of the historic right of the Jewish people to reestablish their national home in Palestine' (including, of course, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). Why are the provisions of the Mandate in force to this day despite the fact that the League of Nations has passed from the world and been replaced by the United Nations, and despite the fact that England is no longer here? The professors have explained that although a part of the lands of the Mandate have become the internationally recognized State of Israel and although another part of the lands of the Mandate east of the Jordan River have become the internationally recognized State of Jordan, a third part of the Mandate lands, that include Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, were left without a recognized sovereign. As long as international law doesn't officially recognize any other sovereignty, they'll continue to be governed by the provisions of the Mandate, which states, inter alia, that state lands are to be used for intensive Jewish settlement, to encourage aliyah, and names the Jewish Agency as a tool to serve those ends.
When will these Mandate provisions cease to apply? When another sovereign will be declared over Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem. In the first stage, Israel abdicated her right to declare her sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and left those lands undefined and ownerless. Now she is moving to the next stage, the stage of the historic terminus of Jewish rights over the Land of Israel, the stage of voluntary relinquishment of sovereignty and of transferring her rights to an alien power. In all the years of our exile and persecution, there was not found among the Jewish people any authority willing to sever the people from its beloved land. We had to return and persevere here for 120 years, undergoing difficult and bitter trials, in order to establish a state authorized under international law to give the Land of Israel a decree of divorce in the name of the Jewish People, now and forever.
Intensifying the heartbreak is the fact that Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are the only remaining territories on the entire earth (excepting the South Pole) which remain ownerless -- as if an invisible hand guarded the ancient Jewish home for the Jewish people. And now that people's representative is pushing away this hand in an act of historic betrayal that will resound throughout the generations. Now the more we ground and strengthen our claim that we're the real and legal owners of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem, the more we'll ground and strengthen the newly acquired right of the Palestinians to those lands. After all, who is most authorized to gift and grant ownership over land if not the rightful owner? He and only he can legally effectuate the transfer!
When this despicable act will be final, all else will flow from it. Whether the Israeli army drags the Jews out by their hair from their homes on land that has become "Palestine," or whether it will be left to the Palestinian murderers in uniform to do the job by themselves, from the moment land comes under Palestinian sovereignty, that will be the end of all Jewish life there.
One can almost hear the destroyers talking, from Ramon to Livni and from Olmert to Peres: Soon the Palestinians will come and sweep away everything with a giant broom, the legal and established cities together with the "illegal" outposts and hilltops. Nothing will remain of the hated settlement enterprise, and together with its disappearance will come the collapse of those that bore it, the religious and national camps that endanger leftist rule. Our rulers are an elite that sprouted from what used to be called "the rule of the proletariat", in whose name they meant to appropriate the state in perpetuity. While the Socialist rationalizations have passed from the world and the elites represent no one but themselves, the socialist heirs still intend to rule in perpetuity.
I don't bother to ask, "Where is Netanyahu?" or "Where is the Likud and its Knesset members?" at this fateful hour. Neither am I asking where Lieberman is or what Rav Ovadia and his party are doing. I'm asking the settlers whose lands will be the first the Palestinian bulldozer overturns: "Where are you?!" "Going up to Homesh"? The return to Homesh isn't taking place in a void. Homesh is not suspended in thin air. This enterprise only makes sense and has purpose as part of a struggle for our continued existence in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem that is now in immediate danger of destruction.
We need to gather all the Jews -- all those who remain Jews -- while there's still time and embark on a struggle to the bitter end in order to prevent at any price taking the one step from which there's no return, the one additional step that will pull the ground from under us and fling us into the abyss of Palestinian sovereignty.
Remember, we've been warned!
Thanks are due Timna Katz (firstname.lastname@example.org) for translating these
essays from the Hebrew and sending them in. Part one was published
April 13, 2007; part two was submitted September 10, 2007.
Elyakim Haetzni is a lawyer, a devoted activist for Jews settling all of the land of Israel and a former Knesset member. Contact him at email@example.com
Thanks are due Timna Katz (firstname.lastname@example.org) for translating these essays from the Hebrew and sending them in. Part one was published April 13, 2007; part two was submitted September 10, 2007.
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