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Part IV – In The Shadow of the Six Day War

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In the year 2000, an organization called Women in Black was featured by the Hebrew (leftist) media. These women were the mothers of soldiers who had died defending the piece of south Lebanon that Israel had held on to when it withdrew from the rest of the country in 1984.

They protested daily that it was a waste of their childrens' lives to have had them stationed in Lebanon, and they demanded that the government withdraw soldiers from there to save lives. At the time, they were the media's darlings. In time, this will change, and they will learn what it is to be shunned in a Jewish society. That time has not arrived yet, though.

In a controversial decision, Ehud Barak decided on a unilateral withdrawal to "recognized international borders" that was to solve the problem of the casualties lost to occupying southern Lebanon up until the Litani River. On the day of the ordered withdrawal, Arab forces attacked and the Israelis ran away.

HizbAllah, an Iranian puppet organization of Shia Arabs formed to "fight the Israeli occupier" moved soldiers all the way to the border while the Israelis fled south. And the pattern that we were to see until the 2006 rocket attacks by HizbAllah began. The UN moved in an ineffectual force of "peacekeepers" who did nothing.

HizbAllah attacked Israel with rockets, claiming that a farm that was Lebanese territory had not been evacuated, and therefore, Lebanon had not yet been freed of the occupier. The UN ruled that the farm belonged to Israel. But this did not matter to HizbAllah. They continued to bombard Israel with rockets while the Iranian government resupplied HizbAllah, trained their soldiers and the United Nations did nothing to stop any of this.

The further consequences of withdrawing from strategic territory were to have a humiliating price in 2006 – the defeat of Israel's army by a terrorist organization. But the immediate consequences came much sooner. The infamous Camp David meetings in July 2000 were supposed to produce a final peace agreement between Arafat, the "Raïs" of the "Palestinian" Authority, and the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. But Arafat turned down the best offer that Barak could make him and walked away. What was
unknown to the public was that the PLO had begun to secretly plan for war in the autumn of 2000 and went to war – using a visit by Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount on Rosh Hashanah as the excuse.

This war started as a series of riots at the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem, with a whole slew of rock throwing incidents. But it was a war. I learned of this from an e-mail which I still have stored in my computer to remind me of what war looks like from the point of view of an e-mail. A woman who lives in Beitar Illit was writing to a list of would-be immigrants, and I saw this e-mail a couple of days after Rosh Hashanah. In it, she described soldiers laying prone outside her home shooting at the Arab village across the hill.

The rock throwing incidents became shooting incidents, with regular shooting at Gilo in south Jerusalem from the Arab village of Beit Jarrah, and regular bombardment of Gush Qatif from the Arab cities in the Gaza Strip. The public waited for Barak, a former chief of staff of the IDF, to order the crushing of this rebellion and the arrest of the Arab terrorist leaders. But Barak did not do this.

In fact, the IDF was held back from doing anything except crowd control while Barak made desperate efforts to negotiate with Arafat to get back the illusory "peace of Oslo". A mob of Arabs took over Joseph's tomb and the IDF evacuated it – doing something they had never done before – at least not in the public eye. They allowed one of their casualties to die in enemy hands, a Druze soldier named Mudhuf Yussuf.

Rabbi Yossi Baumol from Ateret Kohanim wrote of this incident in the essay which is the religious underpinning of this series of articles. He pointed out that in Jewish tradition there is not one messiah but two: the "messiah, son of Joseph" and the "messiah, son of David". Each of these messianic figures has a separate task and the first messianic figure, the messiah, son of Joseph, had to die before the second one could arrive to do his task of spiritual redemption. The "messiah, son of Joseph" had the task of re-populating the Land with Jews, and with seeing to it that there would be sustenance for them and fighting the "wars of the messiah."

Rabbi Baumol argued that the "messiah, son of Joseph" was really the Zionist movement, noting that Yosef and Tzion have the same numerical value in Gematria, the Jewish method of using Hebrew letters to denote numbers. He also pointed out that it was the Zionist movement that had repopulated the land with Jews, developed a self defense force for them and had, as its apotheoses, the founding of the State and the Six Day War. He made the observation that what we were seeing was the gradual destruction of Zionism, as a movement to inspire people to do things, as a force to repopulate the Land and now, as a military force to defend it. Six years on from this analysis, we can see the truth of Rabbi Baumol's words in the events that have transpired since then.

Jew expelling Jew and defeat on the field – final loss of nearly all 1967 gains

Spitting at G-d's gift of easy victory in 1967 has finally lead to a situation where Israeli police expelled Jewish residents of Gush Qatif in 2005, and what was nearly worse, the defeat of the IDF before a force of terrorists in the mountains of Lebanon and the flight of the government from the entire northern portion of the country during a rocket bombardment from south Lebanon – the very area that Ehud Barak thought he was so smart in evacuating in 2000. Both events, taken together, have caused the public to lose all of its confidence in a government of thieves and liars that has led them to defeat. Gone completely is the joie de vivre that I saw in 1973. Gone completely is any sense of optimism or hope. All that we see today is a tired nation waiting for the next blow to fall, for the next shoe to drop and for war to strike again, bringing only death, disaster and funerals.

To be blunt, this is a very depressing topic to write about further. However, the reader can examine the 70 or so articles I have written at Blogcritics Magazine to see how I've attempted to cover the events of the last year and a half.

Now, in June 2007, forty years after the Six Day War – the shining moment of my youth that inspired me to come home – we again face war with Syria, we again face war with Gaza, and in addition to all this, we face the threat of missile bombardment from south Lebanon, as well as Iran, and portions of Samaria. Again, I can look at the tiny Jewish state on the map in the midst of the Arab enemy and tell my wife, "Dear, they have us surrounded," exactly as did my mother to my father when watching the TV on Sunday night, 4 June, 1967.

Our government is so weak as to hardly merit the name, so corrupt you could call it a mafia. Our army is so under-supplied that it can afford only forays and sorties into enemy territory, territory conquered proudly 40 years earlier. When I was a youth, I turned to the IDF for inspiration. Now, I have less hair, and considerably more wisdom. I turn not to an unstable institution that has been eaten into. Its morale is in the toilet.

I turn instead to the G-d of Israel for my security, and I wait for the morning when I will hear the missiles flying overhead,and hear my wife shout "Reuven! War!!"

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About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Funny how this columnist from Newsday seems to reflect my views that we Israelis have to pull the nukes from the cellar and put them on the front porch where everyone can see them aimed at the enemy…

    The more you ask for peace, the more you guarantee war.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    My concern is that this “us” thing is a concoction. You are just people and they are just people. This division is invented and non of you want it to end because its too important to be special. Both groups feed on victimization. You are not forgiving people either of you so you will remain in chaos. There is no real us and them. Its high school bullying and cliquishness overblown to a ridiculously costly extent. You are just people all of you and you’ve somehow managed to involve the rest of the world in your foolishness.

    The racial or religious solidarity that comes during war is extremely irrational. Many of us remember our long diatribes voicing emotional even revolutionary rhetoric, believing it and feeling compelled to hold certain views in order to be part of the group. We felt like we were a part of something big. After one matures you realise just how stupid it all is. We are all just people. None of us have the answers Ruvy. We are all scared and want to be accepted no matter the culture or religion.

    I am tired because its late and am approaching this in the simplest way possible.

    With all due respect, your series reveals the triviality of this matter. It is all so dramatic.

    In the US the issues have had to do with the wealthy using the masses to accomplish their goals for the most part. Whether its slavery or most of the wars, the theme is the same.

    In Israel, it seems to be a matter of people trying to please one another and not wanting to look like sell outs and maintaining the dream of this state. Its all convoluted and it seems as if it will ONLY produce confusion for as long as that model exists.

    We experienced a bit of that after 911. We lost our ability to reason and we saw ourselves as one entity so we marched like sheep ending up supporting this act of evil upon the Iraqis because we were lulled into a self righteousness which precluded us from being wrong. We wanted revenge and needed to be right no matter what. In our panicked state of mind, we were not diverse enough to keep each other in check. We had to prove our patriotism to one another. Our reporters couldn’t even bring themselves to do good investigative reporting. They wanted to go along.

    I suspect that Israel has existed in “posted 911 mode” for decades.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dr. Dreadful writes,

    Stan:

    Just been reading about the NSW storms on the BBC. Bit of a bloody mess, eh? Anyway, check in and let us know you and yours are OK, all right?

    Ditto here, mate. Please check in and let us know that you are surviving the “drizzles” – perhaps e’en enjoying them!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “I suspect that Israel has existed in “post 9/11 mode” for decades.

    Zedd,

    This is the first intelligent comment I’ve seen out of you on this topic. The day that David ben-Gurion (formerly David Green) declared statehood in 1948, was the day that four or five Arab armies attacked this country. In a radio broadcast to America the day after the declaration of the State, he said, “the explosions you hear in the background are the Egyptian Air Force bombing Tel Aviv.” We have been living at war for six decades. Given the size of this nation, the failure to band together would have meant extinction; the Arabs would have happily finished the job that Hitler (and later Stalin) could not accomplish.

    You see, the whites in South Africa, many of whom also felt that they lived under siege, even the meanest of the Boers in the Dutch Reformed Church there, wanted you for slaves. They didn’t want you dead, – they wanted you very much alive to labor under their whips and quirts, and if they could have had this forever, they would have seen to it that they ruled South Africa forever. But they were in too small a minority to enforce this, and de Klerk was smart enough to understand this.

    He took the opportunity to yield power peacefully, because the majority of the non-whites DID NOT WANT WAR, even if they hated the whites who lorded it over them. The vast majority of their own leadership, following the lead of Nelson Mandela, wanted to avoid war, reflecting the sentiments of the non-white population.

    Now let us compare and contrast. There was a demonstration yesterday in Tel Aviv where a number of “peace” protesters violated their own Sabbath to listen to an Arab tell them about the “evils of the occupation.”

    Were there any peace protests yesterday by Arabs? No. They are not seeking peace at all. They seek victory! Many Arabs, common place folk, are sick of the terrorists and of the PA and of the war they push, but for the most part, are afraid to speak up because it might cost them their lives. Nevertheless, there are Arabs who want the Israeli occupation, and not an Arab state!! Find the relevant story on the June 8th entry of the blog-site.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    What does a peace rally mean to a person who is occupied.

    Since you used the word slave I will use this to make the point even more apparent to you. If slaves in the US were given a chance without repercussions, would they have marched in a peace rally? The answer is NO. Peace is unrelated to their plight. They wanted RIGHTS.

    The Jewish camp wants peace Ruvy. The Palestinians want RIGHTS. The same was true in South Africa.

    Also lets not assume that those Jews who attended the rally were religious people. They may not have your religious views Ruvy.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    Thank you for taking the trouble to answer me.

    The people who violated their own Sabbath to demonstrate for “peace” were most assuredly not religious Jews. Their view of religious Jews is “eewww”. Dass okay…

    Point taken on Arabs under Israeli rule demonstrating for rights instead of peace. Of course, you are right. But the vast majority of Arabs living in this country are not under Israeli rule, but under the rule of a chaotic criminal regime, the PA. And they do not demonstrate for peace at all. They do not dare. The thugs from the PLO or Hamas (or some other outfit) might kill them.

    That leads to that second article I cited about Arabs seeking to have Israeli occupation back – or did you miss that?

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    You have to understand that in South Africa, many options were offered to us (Mandela and co) to ease our discomfort. To us they were laughable. When we rejected them, it was said by the SA gov including De Klerk AND the US that we didn’t want to resolve the matter and we were radical, unrealistic and antagonistic.

    You cant pick and choose how free you will allow people to be. Its all or nothing. Within themselves, nothing else can be acceptable, regardless of your own fears or imaginings. Scheming, fighting, meeting and negotiating only puts off the inevitable and truly, EVERYONE knows it. The efforts which delay the inevitable will only cause more deaths and more enmity. It certainly does not invest in the future.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    It appears, Zedd, that when you are awake and coherent, I’m tired and fuzzy and vice versa. And you are owed the answer of a clear headed person. So, I’ll have to return to your comment above in the morning…

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    To understand the PLO you have to understand that they are an unintended governing force. You see Zionists have been planning the return for milennia. A form of Zionism has existed since 3 BC. You know the minds that planned the approach towards the governance of Israel….

    Most nations or governing bodies are manned by people who have studied governance, have a history of government and are simply following a pattern that has been laid for hundreds of years.

    What happens in nation building, especially in a setting where militants are given the task of forming a nation (out of necessity), their defiant manner doesn’t often work. Politicians in democracies are pliable by nature. Their self preservation depends on it but it also benefits society.

    We sit shocked at Bush’s stubbornness. Imagine if he was not raised as he was, not educated as he was, was stranded in a land that he didn’t want, had been in battle since youth, was bitter and was given an extraordinary amount of authority and was surrounded by people like him in every area of government? Even with the best intentions, he would be a lousy choice for a leader.

    In SA what saved us was the fact that our lead revolutionaries had a cooling period, prison (a blessing in disguise) . Others were assigned the task of refining a diplomatic approach. Mbeki the current President was one who was the PR person for the ANC (the struggle). He became the leader of the nation. How often does that happen?

    A fiasco was CREATED from the start in Israel and there doesn’t seem to be a willingness to take FULL responsibility for that error. As you know, whether in marriage or an any relationship with others its important to give understanding, take ownership for mistakes and just let things go. It doesn’t seem as if any of that is going to happen by either side. You are brothers. Toooooo much alike.

  • Zedd

    Sweet dreams Ruvy.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    “To understand the PLO you have to understand that they are an unintended governing force.”

    You appear to be telling me, in not so many words, that the PLO is a bunch of murdering terrorists and I should expect nothing else from them. Tell me something I don’t know. It was a surprise to me that Nelson Mandela turned out to a statesman and not a man with an axe to grind – in de Klerk’s head.

    Arafat had from 1984 to 1993 to change from a terrorist to a statesman – but he remained what he began as – Abu Amar – the man who was to kill the Jews. Remember, he had taken the title of Abu Amar from the title his mentor, Amir Husseini, had given to Hitler.

    No matter how you argue to the contrary, the goal of the Arab leaders here has always been to murder us off. Their propaganda is over 80 years old. The massacre in Hebron occurred in 1929! This is despite the fact that this land was a malaria infested sewer when our people arrived to rebuild it, and the fact that because OUR people rebuilt it, Arabs came from all over the Middle East to seek work. In short, millions of Arabs ate and have eaten at OUR table of prosperity.

    Give the Arabs what they really want, full control and an exodus of Jews, and this country will return to being a malaria-infested swamp like it was 100 years ago.

    When Ma’aleh Levona was settled 25 years ago, the only Arabs living in the immediate vicinity were in the village of Sinjil, the village that Sirhan Sirhan, the killer of Robert Kennedy, came from. Now, there are several villages surrounding ‘Eli, Shiló and Ma’aleh Levona in addition to Sinjil, an ancient Crusader site, St. Gilles. Because we have come, the Arabs prosper. Without us, they’ll have nothing but a slum. Don’t believe me. Look at Gaza.

    In short, the Arabs need us a lot more than we need them.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    Lets all agree that what happened with Mandela and Co. doesn’t happen with human beings that often. You see Mandela was blessed with a very wise friend. One who was a diplomat and had the long view. Mandela was more a hot head and was tampered by the great men around him. We all benefited from that.

    I would not call the PLO a bunch of Terrorists. They are revolutionaries in my eyes who have had some militant leaders. There are some competent leaders who have a difficult time prevailing because in such a movement radicals often frame the parameters of what a person who is committed to the struggle is like. They intimidate the most reasonable among them and prevent them from steerig the direction of the movement in a more moderate and collaborative direction. It happens in every movement. I suspect that is what keeps happening in Israel as well.

    Prior to Mandela and Co coming out of jail, the radical element did have a hold of the liberation struggle. Some radicals had in mind kicking all Whites out of the country and their message was not shunned by some of the public by any means. That is how people are.

    The PLO is just a group of people and they are doing things the way that most people do them. Arafat was a warrior but certainly not a thinker. He was beyond frustrating to listen to. I never heard him answer a question straight forward. He never understood the importance of public opinion. He was always trying to be crafty and it was just silly and harmful to the Palestinian cause. While I understand that a lot of people from your region don’t speak directly (Jews and Arabs), he took it to another level. I believe that they poisoned him because they got tired of him. While is funeral was moving, it was time for him to go.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    Strangely enough, your prosperity is due to Eurocentric racism. European guilt and your close enough Whiteness has been the most important trait that you possess. You are automatically accepted into the “international” stage because of it. Don’t be fooled. You as individuals in Israel don’t work harder than any other people on the planet.

    The Palestinians suffer mainly from not being White believe in or not. Lets pull the vale down and cease with the excessive self congratulation. Don’t make the mistake that most Europeans who have benefited from chance and the good will of the rest of the world and now believe a superiority of some sort. As we know (we who have stomached racists) There is no superiority of any particular group of people. There is individual effort.

  • STM

    Ruvy, I think those prayers being said for us in Israel have done the trick. It’s been carnage, and there are some sad stories, but the upside is that since April, there have been good falls of rain in the bush.

    We are of the view that the drought has very likely broken. I must say it hasn’t been pleasant, in terms of the sheer volume of water unloaded from the sky, but welcome anyway despite the human dramas.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Stan,

    There is a great deal we do not know about weather. The magnetic poles appear to be shifting their positions, and things like this can cause changes of a radical kind in wind and rain patterns. I’m sure some fellow who studies meteorology will come on here and say that this is just so much bunk, but considering how accurate meteorology is a forecasting weather, I’ll stick with my views. We haven’t seen a major shift in the magnetic poles in recorded history that I’m aware of.

    I cite all this just to remind you that the Big Guy Upstairs dictates these things, if not directly, then by the laws of physics He set in place by which the universe operates – the same ones that make the water go the wrong way down the drain out where you live…

    In other words, it may not have just been prayers that have caused the torrents of rain to fall recently.

    Expect more violent weather in the near future. I’ll tell you this. The weather certainly is strange out here, albeit not violent.

    I’ll be gone from the house most of the day, so that is the only comment I’ll be making for a while here.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    When Yediot Ahronbot reports that Gaza Arabs want a return to Israeli rule, that’s news!

    Apparently the civil war in Gaza has bred a desire to see the BLUE and WHITE fluttering again in the sun in Gaza. When Channel 2’s Arabic broadcast asked for callers corm the Strip to call in about the situation there, they were flooded with calls. Let’s read a bit from th article itself:

    Local journalists are reporting that residents are fed up with both Hamas and the PLO. They want a short break from internal wars and Israeli Air Force attacks. In desperation, they turn to the Israeli enemy and seek to stir some compassion. Najwah Sheikh, a resident of the Nusseirat refugee camp, wrote a letter to Haaretz where she addressed, among other things, Air Force bombings: “I cannot live in constant anxiety and wonder when my time will come…I cannot live like this, the anxiety and tension are draining my strength as a mother and a normal person…”

    Sick and tired of leaders

    Turning to an Israeli newspaper, either in writing or verbally, was uncommon until now among Gaza residents and was considered treason. Yet residents no longer care – last Friday, during an Arabic-language show on Israel’s Channel 2, reporter Sliman al-Shafi recounted the suffering of Gaza residents and said that those who wish to provide more details should phone the station.

    Within minutes, the station was flooded by hundreds of calls from the Strip from residents who wanted to share their difficult story. Some explicitly said they wish to revert to direct Israeli control, which in their eyes is much better than their lives in the current hell.

    Al-Shafi said that when Israeli reporters were still allowed to enter the Strip, residents would ask him to be interviewed and insisted on speaking Hebrew, in order to convey a message to Israelis. They did not speak with reporters for Arab or foreign stations, but rather, explicitly asked to make their case to Israeli reporters.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    Most old people in Russia want to go back under communist rule.

    I am certain that the first set of settlers in America complained about being better off in jolly old England….

    What you relish as a sign of your rightness is actually what happens on MOST start up nations. This “country” is going through labor pains. The birth process is always painful. Israel had the entire Western world’s support and so the process was not as chaotic. But most countries go through HELL at their conception.

    Also, part of the problem is that the US pushed for democracy for years in the Palestinian authority, when they exercise their rights to vote, America did not like their choice and issued sanctions. What is that? In essence the US orchestrated the chaos by supporting the demise of this current government, knowing full well that it would cause an upheaval, just so the Palestinian people would view Hamans negatively.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    So when reality is shown you – not from the media that agrees with me, but by the leftist shits in Yediot AHronot, you still cannot abide that it might be true.

    The blunt and unkind fact of the matter is that “Palestine” – robbed, raped and plundered not by the Israelis, but by the PLO, is a failed state – like Zimbabwe is now after years of dictatorial rule by Mugabe.

    That is why Channel 2’s Arabic station was flooded with phone calls from Arabs who are dying to be ruled by the incompetent, unreliable, but reasonably competent Israelis; who won’t rape them, won’t rob them (too much) and who won’t kill them – unless they try to kill Israelis.

    I realize that admitting to that means admitting that the paradigm of two sates for two peoples (now three states for two peoples – how many states do the “poor Palestinians” need anyway?) is a total failure as well as a misperception of reality.

    But since when have finger-wagging foreigners like you allowed themselves to be bothered by reality?

    Shabbat Shalom,
    Reuven

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    I am trying to expand your perspective of reality. You are choosing to look through a very small scope. That is fine, however that doesn’t explain the situation and it certainly doesn’t contribute to fixing the situation.

    If we broaden the lens, we see other causal factors. The main one is the need for the West to control non Westerners. This need has prevailed for quite some time and is not even considered as an evil in our society. This need introduces chaos in societies and mislables groups for it’s own insatiable want to manipulate. Who is bad to the West is he who wants to determine his own destiny, HIS WAY. Those governments who choose that route, are shunned, pressured and collaborated against. They are called bad enough, till everyone thinks they are bad, not having a real reason for why they are worse than any others.

    That is the wider lens. If you choose not to view it and remain in your cocoon of simplicity, good guys vs bad guys, it is your choosing. However, that doesn’t make the bigger picture go away.

  • sr

    Zedd. Pink