Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Cheshvan 5761 - November 8, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Facing the Realities

The Arab riots of the past five weeks, on the part of Israeli Arabs as well as the Palestinians, and including consistent attacks on Israelis and their positions with guns, Molotov cocktails and boulders, has been a shock and created new facts on the ground, no less than settlements. When an account is also made of the declarations of war (Jihad) and the constant incitement in the Palestinian media and educational system, and the fact that hundreds of Hamas murdered were released at the height of the violence, it would seem that it is clear that there are new facts that must be faced.

Yet some, including the highest echelons of the ruling cliques, want to continue as if nothing has happened.

In the past, when the head of the Palestinian Authority spoke in Arabic of Jihad (a holy war) the Israeli Left dismissed it as "just talk" meant for internal consumption and not an expression of serious intent. Now that Arafat is carrying out Jihad and says so, this interpretation has been falsified -- yet they persist in their optimistic assessments that the other side "really" wants peace.

Under explicit agreements signed in Oslo and several times thereafter, the Palestinian Authority undertook to educate their people to peace. Instead their media and schools constantly glorify martyrdom and teach that they should be ready for war in order to "liberate" Palestine. For example, a tenth grade textbook teaches "Martyred Jihad fighters are the most honored people after the prophets," and such sentiments are common starting at the youngest ages. Aside from the fact that such teaching violates written commitments, it certainly makes one suspect that peace is not the true goal of a people that brings up its children on such sentiments.

Throughout the territories, various new roads were built to provide supposedly safe routes for travel. The problem is that most of those bypass roads were designed to minimize rock throwing, but little attention was paid to threats from small arms. Now that the main threat has turned out to be shooting from small weapons, they simply propose to build roads to bypass those bypass roads.

Our heart goes out to those who now live in daily danger and we pray for their safety, as we pray for the safety of all acheinu Beis Yisroel in danger, wherever they are. At the same time, it seems that, albeit in a different way, many of those who live in settlements among Arabs are also unwilling to face the situation as it is.

Those who live in the settlements constantly stress that they are living in situations in which they face constant and serious threats, Hashem yeracheim. But if so, one would expect that they respond the way good Jews do when faced with a situation of pikuach nefesh: they act to remove themselves from the threat, and they refrain from acting or traveling in ways that put them into greater danger. Certainly in such a situation they would not insist on behaving as if there is no danger, simply because it is their right to do so. Precious Jewish lives are at stake. Failure to do this shows that, no less than the Left, they do not confront the realities and live accordingly.

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