PLO AND BETHLEHEM
The rumor is circulating that the government is preparing another Oslo-like shock perpetrated in stealth: a give-away to the PLO of Jenin and of Bethlehem! This outrage is to be presented as an accomplished fact, with nobody consulted. The Christian world is not taking this impending catastrophe lying down, since Bethlehem is not only sacred to Jews, but is also the most sacred city in Israel for Christians.
A full-page advertisement appeared this week in the Jerusalem Post strongly protesting against giving Bethlehem to the PLO and pointing to the horrendous record of destruction of churches and murder and rape of Christians in Lebanon by the PLO in the 1980s. Especially in Damour, Lebanon, the atrocities and crimes against Christians by the PLO were beyond human comprehension. The Christians are therefore raising the cry, "May Bethlehem Not Become another Damour."
Jan Willem van der Houven, the internationally known head of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem spoke last Wednesday before the world press of the planned campaign to salvage Bethlehem from "the murderous PLO organization and its Hamas allies," whose slogan has been, "On Saturday we kill the Saturday people, and on Sunday we kill the Sunday people," referring to their aim of killings Jews and Christians alike.
Jews should join Christians in defending Bethlehem against the likely give-away to the PLO. Furthermore, if Bethlehem was to be in PLO hands, G-d forbid, the approach to Efrat would be cut off, leaving the valiant thousands living there isolated and throttled. Every member of Congress should be alerted to this danger. Advertisements should be placed demanding that Bethlehem must remain part of Israel.
Bethlehem holds an added sanctity to us here, Rachel our matriarch was buried after she died on Jacob's return from Haran. Her grave has always been a place for Jewish pilgrimages, and it was Sir Moses Montefiore who in the last century built the domed structure over the holy tomb. Last week I visited the tomb, which was only guarded by two Israeli solders. If Bethlehem is surrendered to the PLO and its terrorist police, Jews will not be able to visit the sacred tomb safely. Such a thought is unbearable t o most Jews, and we must, therefore, protest the government's plans to surrender this ancient Jewish site.
By being in Israel for close to three weeks, I have witnessed and participated in an extraordinary number of dramatic events and developments, which may prove to be history-making for the Jewish State.
In my last column I reported on my attendance at the large rabbinical assembly in Sodom, where Beilin, Chief Rabbi Lau, Bibi Netanyahu and I spoke. I can now reveal the contents of the resolution that was unanimously passed by 300 or so rabbis representing every part of Israel. It was this resolution that was read to Beilin before he tried to speak over the pandemonium that his presence evoked. Following are excerpts from the historic resolution:
This stand, made in the face of Beilin, was a courageous one, as all the rabbis are considered state employees who can suffer retaliation for "politically incorrect" actions. They deserve our encouragement and approval!
Aloni: No Visits to Auschwitz
The drive to purge Jewish feelings from Israelis has led to another outrage. Beilin has come out with a directive forbidding official visits to the most sacred national shrines: Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial; and Massada, site of great Jewish heroism. Visits to these holy sites could arouse strong national Jewish feelings -- and these are not politically correct among the destructive leftist fanatics. Visits to the Golan could convince even the blind that without this natural barrier against Syrian invasions and lookout post against Syrian preparations for war, Israel is denuded and impotent. Beilin's answer: no more such "dangerous" visits!
This dovetails with Shulamit Aloni's freeze on visits by youngsters to Auschwitz. Again, the "danger" is that these youngsters could come home "feeling too Jewish." These measures need no commentary. Their message is unfortunately too clear. These leftist fanatics are hell-bent on destroying the Jewishness of Israel.
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