As this issue of "Shalom Ariel" goes to print, tens of Israeli families are burying their children. These young soldiers were victims of Arab terrorism once again, felled by bullets from guns the former govemment of Israel provided to the Palestinian "police". Ariel Mayor, Ron Nachman joins me in expressing sincere condolences to the bereaved families.
Like most Israelis, I watched the incredible events on television, as this shooting war took place between armed Palestinians and the Israeli army. I watched Israeli television and I watched the foreign broadcast media as well. Accustomed as I am to the foreign media's "Israel-bashing", these reports still shocked me and more, frightened me.
The Israeli government implemented the decision of the former govemment to open a second exit to a pedestrian tunnel to permit tourists who entered one end to come out the other end, instead of having to double back. A convenient excuse for rioting, the Palestinians decided this newly opened gate was a religious affront.
Not only did representatives of a variety of foreign govemments immediately find Israel guilty -- though I am not sure of what -- but jouralists presented such a slanted view that anyone who has not seen the tunnel in question could easily have been swayed. Worst of all, the media justified the Arab actions, in essence justifying terrorism.
The blanket condemnation of Israel and sympathetic support for the Palestinian shooters, regardless of political perspectives, uphold the right of any group with a grievance against any govemment to murder their citizens. Protest is the right of any group of people but to express this dissatisfaction with weapons is what should truly be condemned -- just as the western world condemned the Oklahoma City or World Trade Center bombings.
Moreover, if the American government has the right to exert pressure on Israel to close this gate in its capital city, then it justifies the use of violence by the various fanatic American militias whenever they are displeased with some new law passed in Washington?
Our Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, made an important point when he reminded the world that when peace negotiations deteriorated between Israel and Egypt, the Egytians did not turn their soldiers against Israel. They returned to the negotiating table to try again. Israel has signed what the world calls a peace agreement with the PLO. If Arafat is unhappy with the progress being made, there are numerous paths of recourse. Civilized people do not immediately choose violence.
The media chose to ignore the historical facts for the facts would have invalidated their slanted coverage. The "religious" arguments put forward by our Palestinian partners in peace, as they gunned down Israel's finest young men, were clearly fraudulent. Both the tunnel and exits are more than 250 yards from any mosque. Their geographic origins are not only pre-Islam but pre-Christian. Moreover the tunnel was excavated 18 years ago and last January, Arafat and former Prime Minister Peres agreed to the opening of the new gate.
The truth is this outbreak of murders is politically based. It is a war over Jerusalem. In recent days, Arafat has reiterated time and again that with the help of the 45,000 armed Palestinian soldiers, the Palestinian people would fight the "Judaification" of Jerusalem, Israel's capital city. Only two days before the shootings began, Arafat gave the standard Islamic war cry: "We will fight for Allah's rights. We will kill and be killed".
No, it was not the opening of a gate to expedite tourists going through Jerusalem that led to this bloodletting. It was the Palestinian Authority's belief that killing is an acceptable means to a political end. The media support for the Palestinian action, its support for terror, may have created a precedent for which all of us living in democratic nations will have to pay. And if the Palestinians actually attain any concessions as a result, we will have sent a clear message to terrorists around the world.
|Autumn 1996 Table of Contents|
|Message from the Mayor||A Word from our Chairman|
|Ariel "Adopted" by Bible Believers||Discrimination Continues|
|Faithful Friends||Ariel Ambassadors in America|
|Ariel's 18th Birthday||About Town|
|Ariel Residents Speak Out||Editor's Note|
|Front Cover||Back Cover|