Tidbits From Israel
By Ron Jager
Shabbat chol ha’moed in Shaare Tiqva, where I have lived for the past 24 years, began uneventfully. Toward late afternoon on Shabbat, when the ominous gray clouds above began to release winter’s first rainfall, the entrance to our quiet community quickly filled up with IDF military forces, Shin Bet agents, police, and a large contingent of foreign and local press broadcasting directly to satellites above. It would be only later, toward evening, that we would hear along with the rest of the country that, yet again, an off-duty soldier on leave was murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian Arab terrorist. He had intended to use the body of the slain soldier as a bargaining chip to negotiate the release of his convicted terrorist brother serving an extended prison term in an Israeli prison.
The murder of Sergeant Tomer Hazan, Hy’d, at the hands of the Palestinian Arab terrorist, who entered Israel illegally through a hole in the security fence, has once again put a spotlight on the ease in which Palestinian Arabs are able to infiltrate Israel by simply walking through a hole in the fence. Let’s all remember that the security fence that runs the length of Judea and Samaria was erected in response to the failure of the Oslo Accords and the ensuring terror war unleashed by Arafat and continuing till this very day.
Friday, September 20, the day of the murder, was one week after Israel marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords. Undoubtedly, this agreement, one of Israel’s greatest strategic blunders alongside the Disengagement of 2005, has brought upon the good people of Israel only death and mayhem. Even today, the signatories to the Oslo Accords refuse to acknowledge the many holes in the agreement, resuscitating the deceitful peace process on and off over the past 20 years, sailing on their ship of fools towards a two-state solution while ignoring the severe flaws that make the whole rationale behind Oslo inherently false and deceptive. Palestinian Arab terror is a phenomenon that refuses to go away—not only because Israel’s right to exist is simply unacceptable to them, but largely because the Palestinian Arabs are part and parcel of the greater Islamic war against anyone and any country that is not Muslim.
President Obama has claimed that “the core of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is on the way to defeat.” But it is clear to anyone with 20/20 vision that the broader movement of violent Islamism is actually much broader and is far from defeated. Sadly, here in Israel there are many in our political leadership, past and present, who continue to deny the role that Palestinian Arab terror has played over the years as part of the greater Islamic war on the West, on Jews, on Christians, essentially on everyone, even Muslims.
Let’s just consider some of the recent terror events over the past week:
In Nairobi, Kenya 30 Islamic terrorists from the Somali group al-Shabab massacred at least 68 people in an upscale mall while holding others hostage.
In Iraq, one suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in Baghdad, killing at least 16 and wounding more than 30, while another blew up in a residential area of Kirkuk, wounding at least 35 people. These are the latest in a series of terrible attacks in Iraq, which, according to the Associated Press, have seen “more than 4,000 people … killed between April and August.
Another suicide attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, killed at least 78 people, including 34 women and seven children, at a church. This was presumably the handiwork of the Pakistani Taliban.
Lastly, this past week two Israeli soldiers were slain in Judea and Samaria, one by a sniper, the other by a Palestinian Arab as mentioned above.
These terror attacks demonstrate that Islamic groups of which Palestinian Arab terror is an integral part are far from defeated. They still have considerable capacity to wreak death and carnage everywhere, given the weakness of Arab regimes across the Middle East and Africa, including the weakness of the Palestinian Authority who has never really made any serious effort to eradicate terror activities either from within their own security personnel or among the general Palestinian Arab population.
Despite many in Israel’s political leadership who continue to support the Oslo Accords, we in the Israeli Right, including an absolute majority of the residents of Judea and Samaria, have succeeded in transforming the public discourse making the “Oslo disaster.” During the recent elections in Israel a few months ago, not one of Israel’s 35 political parties linked the Oslo Accords to their political platform. The historic importance of the Oslo Accords has nothing to do with the possibility of creating peace between the Arabs and the Jews, but in exposing the true intentions of the Palestinian Arabs as part of the Pan-Arab Islamic push to reject and destroy any person, and any nation that refuses to accept Islamic rule. This is the real significance of Oslo for many of us here in Israel. As the years pass, Oslo will become nothing more than a footnote to remind historians that the Islamic world, despite signing binding agreements, will never accept Israel’s right to exist. Deceiving the “infidels” and furthering the aims of jihad is really what’s it all about, either by the Palestinian Arabs or by al-Qaeda, two sides of the same coin. v
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A Note On Responding
To Trauma In Israel
Terrorism, war, natural disasters, tragedy, and bereavement cause pain and loss that have a profound effect on us all. We have all seen shattered lives, devastated communities, and the unbearable, searing pain of hundreds and thousands of trauma victims crying out for help. In 2001, the UJA-Federation of New York initiated the establishment of the Israel Trauma Coalition, turning distress and despair into hope, and bringing lasting care and healing by building a system of trauma programs and resiliency centers in different locations in Israel. This professional and personal connection between the UJA-Federation of New York is not only a fine example of a strong bi-national alliance, but it has been the impetus for a revolution in the provision of trauma services both nationally and internationally.
On July 18 of this year, I posted an article entitled “The New York Federation Boycotts Judea and Samaria.” It has since come to my attention that the original article was based on incorrect and incomplete information that I received from open sources and from professionals in the field of trauma care. I wish to reaffirm that the Israel Trauma Coalition was established as, and remains, a nonpolitical NGO that has worked with individuals, families, communities, emergency teams, and municipalities throughout Israel including Judea and Samaria providing assistance without reservation or discrimination.
I accept full responsibility for the mistakes and unintentional misrepresentation that arose as a result of my article. I personally regret any damage my article may have caused. On a personal note, I hope that this retraction rectifies the situation, strengthening our collective ability to meet the challenges awaiting the State of Israel. v
Ron Jager is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty in 2005, he has been providing consultancy services to NGOs, implementing psychological trauma treatment programs in Israel. Today, Ron is a strategic advisor to the Office of the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.ronjager.com.