Fighting For Its Life
By Shai Gefen
situation in Yesha is intolerable. Dozens of Jews have been murdered by
terrorist shooting, and hundreds of others have been miraculously saved. The
roads are impossible and impassable, but the army does nothing. * Shai Gefen
gives us a picture of what itís like in Yesha, with protests and
demonstrations by the settlers under the banner: Yisroel Omedet al Nafsha. * An
interview with Chaim Didovsky, founder and director of the Kol Rina Agency,
which was renamed after his wife who was killed on her way to teach in Kiryat
shooting and terrorist activity on the main junctions of Yesha have become daily
fare. Most of it, however, goes unreported until there are people wounded. When
there are people wounded there is a brief mention, and only if, chalila,
there is a tragedy does the media cover it Ė more or less.
of shooting incidents, if not more, are aimed at cars driving along the main
junctions of Yesha. When Rabbi Binyamin Kahane and his wife were killed and
their five children were wounded, their car was riddled with 60 bullets. That
was newsworthy. The dozens of other times this happens when miraculously nobody
is killed, the media is silent.
army prefers not to react. The army spokesman just keeps repeating, "Tzahal
is taking strong action in the area..." Not by far! After the murder of
the Kahane couple, all the army did was destroy the wall behind which the
settlers feel abandoned. "Theyíve abandoned security here," said the
head of the Beit El council, Uri Ariel, to Beis Moshiach.
"The I.D.F.ís hands are tied and they are prevented from carrying out the
important mission of getting the murderers off the roads. We have an absurd
situation here in which the murderers feel free on the roads, while the settlers
barely travel, and if they do, itís with great fear. Terror is widespread. The
roads to Beitar, and even the Jerusalem-Modiim road, have become dangerous. Even
cars traveling on Highway 1, by Shaar Hagai, have stones thrown at them, and the
I.D.F. hides behind its armor and runs like in Lebanon.
Arabs get the message and understand that they have a free hand to attack Jews,
so itís no wonder that hundreds of thousands of Jews live in daily
the murder of Rabbi Kahane and his wife, things have heated up. The settlers
realize that they must do something, and they can no longer rely on the security
last week, there have been daily marches towards Yerushalayim. Every day a
different yishuv organizes a march to Yerushalayim under the banner
"Yisroel Omedet al Nafsha" (Israel is fighting for its life).
This is a response to those who want to get the settlers off the roads.
feeling is that the Israeli idea of security has fallen apart completely, and
that the government leadership has decided, consciously or unconsciously, to
abandon the area to murderers. The leaders of the settlers say that given no
other choice, they will have to defend themselves. "Itís just not
possible for Jewish lives to be abandoned and put in danger," they say.
"Teachers go off to teach and donít return home. Children come back with
amputated feet Ė and the situation isnít getting better."
month ago, Chaim Dubinsky lost his wife, Rina, as she was on her way to teach in
Kiryat Arba. A volley of bullets rained down on the vehicle taking her to
school, and she died on the spot. The murders have continued since then; Rina
was not the last korban.
Dubinsky, what are your thoughts and feelings about the situation?
think the entire country is in a state of abandonment. Wherever you go, people
are afraid and prefer not to leave their houses. The malls are empty. The buses
are half-empty. The whole land is the frontline.
in Yesha there seems to be a repeat of the policy in Lebanon?
situation in Yesha is the worst, but you canít deny whatís happening within
Israeli cities. We saw what happened the other week, and two weeks ago, on
Jabotinsky Street in Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Chadera. Cars explode and dozens of
Jews are wounded. The fact that nobody was killed is miraculous. People have to
understand that the battle is not only against those living in Yesha. We are the
frontline settlers of the country. If we werenít in Yesha, the shooting on the
roads would take place in Petach Tikva and Kfar Saba. The entire inland would be
one big front.
we stop this terrible situation?
all depends on us and the strength we display. If we continue walking backward
by reacting to terror by conceding more land, chalila, the
situation will get worse. We must be stubborn and show our strength. Itís a
difficult battle we find ourselves in now. Itís a fateful time for the Israeli
people and the future of Eretz Yisroel.
are the steps needed to stop the horror?
of all, we need emuna in Hashem and bitachon. We must circulate
freely throughout the country because itís ours, because Hashem gave it to us.
If we give in and donít travel freely, then we lost the battle. Every
concession to terror proves terror is effective, and then our situation becomes
that much more difficult. They have to know that they wonít succeed in getting
us out of here Ė with the emuna and bitachon in Hashem that we
will overcome all obstacles.
had a tragedy in your family a month ago. Since then, other terrible tragedies
have taken place which have destroyed families. How do you handle the situation?
is in the hands of Heaven, except fear of Heaven." I believe with perfect
faith that my wife Rina (may Hashem avenge her blood!) was an atonement for the
Jewish people. My wife was murdered when she was refined and pure and on her way
to teach Torah to children. She died with a misas neshika, and even her
head covering remained on her head.
live in Yishuv Beit Chagai, a yishuv which was established after the
terrible slaughter in Beit Hadassa in Chevron, in which three young boys were
killed: Chanan, Gershon, and Yaakov, the first letters of which spell Chagai. In
the wake of that terrible tragedy, we continued to build Eretz Yisroel and did
not flee. This is how we educate our children to continue in the way of their
mother: to live with strength and faith in Eretz Yisroel.
do you have to say to Barak?
have nothing to say to that man. While I was mourning for my wife, who was
murdered, the prime minister didnít even find the time to call and console me,
even though he served as minister of education and my wife was murdered on her
way to teach.
the prime minister found the time to meet with bereaved Palestinian families,
when those Palestinian families lost their children on their way to murder Jews
but did not succeed in carrying out their plans. The prime minister met with
them, but he couldnít look at us or pick up the phone.
have chosen to demonstrate a different way?
I took my six children, with the youngest being a year and a half, and I stood
with them outside the prime ministerís office. Nobody bothered to come out to
me, except for policemen, who asked me when I would be leaving.
see the incredible thick-headedness, the cynicism of our leaders, and you
tremble about whatís going on here! The Jewish people is abandoned in its
land. People donít return home. The entire country has become one big arena of
terror, and thereís no response, or if there is, itís minimal. This man has
no moral right to be prime minister. A man who meets with the parents of
bereaved Palestinians, yet canít pick up the phone to call a bereaved Jewish
say to Barak, look at how youíve made the security situation deteriorate. What
happened to us as a result of your running amok for the good of the
Palestinians? How much blood and smoke rises up from around the country because
of your concessions at Camp David?
Army Chief of Staff went to your house to inform you that the murderers were
caught. Did you tell him what you felt?
Mufaz came for nichum aveilim and to tell me that they were caught. I
told him, "I beg you to do everything to ensure there will be no more
orphans. But I know that, unfortunately, with this approach, there will be more
orphans." I told him that over a month ago. When I see whatís going on
these days, I knew what would happen.
the hands of the I.D.F. tied?
told Mufaz, "They tell you to fight the terrorists without undermining the
Oslo Accords. Thatís a very narrow framework to work in, and thereís no way
you can win." I gave him a little example from our yishuv. Thereís
a house across the way, from which they shoot towards the yishuv. The
army brought two giant bulldozers to destroy the house, but then an order came
not to destroy it. When the bulldozers turned tail and left, the shooting began
general and the officers with him cried with me. I felt that they experienced
what I felt. They had nothing to say. There was a thunderous silence. I would
say it was a deafening silence.
recent years youíve been running the information agency of the settlers,
HaKol MeiHaShetach. You changed the name to Kol Rina. What was the
reason you established the agency?
goal was to present precise reports. Itís no secret that unsympathetic
journalists distort the reality, and by founding this agency, we do our best to
bring balance, to report the positions of those loyal to Eretz Yisroel and of
the religious population.
some respects weíve had good success; in some respects less. But we have
definitely managed to affect the agenda of the mainstream journalists. My wife
Rina helped me tremendously with this, so I saw it as her last will and
testament to continue with this work and to change the name to Kol Rina.
loyal to Eretz Yisroel must unite and do all they can to stop this bloody
crusade in Eretz Yisroel. The Jewish nation cannot continue to tolerate this
situation. In just the last three months there were hundreds of new orphans! Itís
frightening when an entire leadership stands powerless in the face of terrorist
gangs and continues to make concessions. Where are we? Whatís happening here?
Jew must cry out. We must realize we are all in the same boat, and we must not
allow this situation to continue.