So, What's It Like To Be On Arafat's Hit List
Interviews by Shai Gefen

 Is there no end to the Palestiniansí chutzpa?! Two weeks ago the Palestinians tried giving their Israeli ďpeace partnersĒ a list of ďwanted Jews.Ē Beis Moshiach interviewed some of the people on this list: Noam Livnat of Alon Moreh, Boruch Marzel of Tel Romeida, Chagai Segal of Ofra, Noam Federman of Beit Schneerson in Chevron, Yehuda Etzion of the Chai VíKayam movement, and Knesset member Tzvi Hendel, who has received death threats and has round-the-clock Shin Bet protection. Actually, it looks like all of Ahm Yisroel is on the hit list, ríl. May Hashem protect us.


The Sharon governmentís policy of restraint has not exactly quieted things down in the Middle East, despite Israelís agreement to have American observers in the territories, and despite government rule by Leftist politics, which includes a total freeze on building in Yesha. Palestinian defiance continues to grow.


Their audacity reached its pinnacle when they sought to present the Israeli security forces with a ďwanted listĒ along with a demand that Israel arrest these people. If Israel did not comply, these men would be on their hit list, ríl.


Yehuda Etzion
Director of ďChai VíKayamĒ


Youíre also on the list?


Yes, and I donít have a lot to say about it. I donít see it as a compliment or the opposite. I can only say that when a country turns its enemies into partners despite the latterís daily attempts at murdering Israeli citizens, thereís no reason for the terrorists not to designate some of those citizens as ďwanted.Ē


Furthermore, those that ask for our arrest are themselves wanted for murder and attacks in Eretz Yisroel. I can only praise Israel for not accepting their list, but just sitting with such despicable people in order to work out security arrangements is itself contemptible.


How did you get on the list?


Itís no secret that they read our newspapers. They see and hear about my work on the Temple Mount and they put me on the list. In addition, the fact that I used to be the head of the Jewish underground is reason enough to want my head.


Are you afraid for your life?


I have no intentions of protecting myself. I am not afraid. In Ofra there are two neighbors who were murdered even though they werenít on this list. They want the blood of every Jew. My neighbors recently went to work and were murdered on the way. Even if, chalila, I am attacked, my blood is no redder than that of any other Jew, even if Iím on their list.


You are greatly involved with the Temple Mount. Even under Sharonís government the Temple Mount continues to be desecrated!


The situation is far worse than it was under Barak. The Temple Mount is closed to Jews now, though open to Arabs. The desecration continues and Arabs are destroying every Jewish remnant. Not only does the Sharon government do nothing to prevent this, but they even give their quiet consent.


Is this the Sharon you were hoping for?


Sharon has done some good things in his life, but we all know the other sides to his personality. We all remember that he was the man who destroyed Yamit, so we never saw him as the man who would save us. I suggest Sharon look and see where his predecessor, Barak, is today.


Should the Right throw him out?


I donít give advice to my friends on the Right. Thatís not my job right now. But Iím sure that the way Sharon is acting now he wonít be able to last long even if heís confident that he has a broad-based government and even if heís riding high in the recent polls. Weíve already had prime ministers with polls like these who found themselves on the way out.




Chagai Segal
Editor and news announcer on Arutz 7


You are on the Palestinian hit list...


Iím unimpressed by it. Itís Palestinian chutzpa. Their demand comes from the concessionary attitude the Sharon government has towards the Palestinians, where instead of fighting them they still sit down with them. Although Israel did not accept the list, it certainly shows how far the Arabsí defiance goes towards a government that doesnít fight them and prefers talking to them.


You are one of the senior staffers at Arutz 7, and this isnít the first time that the Palestinians are attacking Arutz 7 for inciting against them.


Iím glad they also understand that Arutz 7 is objective and is the media thatís been exposing the holes in the Oslo Accords from day one, as well as other things about the Oslo Accords. Itís no wonder that they see us as the enemy. Apparently the Arabs are also aware of Arutz 7ís power.


You recently had a broadcast in Arabic. Why?


So that the Arabs hear us, too. I am not directly involved in that program, but we have an Arabic broadcast which generates a lot of Arab responses.


Are you afraid?


Iím not afraid of them or impressed by anything. I sleep just as peacefully at night, but Iím certainly furious about the feeble reaction from the Sharon government. I expected a stronger response from them to a liquidation list against its own citizens, but thatís typical of the Sharon government. It fits with the other steps he has been taking or not taking, including the policy of restraint. I am sure the Palestinian chutzpa will increase because of Sharonís policy of restraint and because he didnít respond strongly to the request for our arrests.


What do you have to say about Sharonís politics?


I interviewed Sharon more than once on Arutz 7. He always expressed his anger against any government that didnít deal properly with terrorism, and he continually attacked the policy of restraint. Only he knew how to get rid of terrorism. But from the moment he became prime minister he has been acting precisely like the other prime ministers. I think Sharon is using Peres as an excuse. Thereís definitely a sense of hopelessness in the face of a government that grovels before its enemies, and conducts a policy of restraint and concessions.


Do you have anything else to add?


Iíd like to thank all those good people who called to express their concern for my welfare, both from Eretz Yisroel and abroad.




Tzvi Hendel
Knesset member


You met with Shin-Bet operatives who warned you of a possible attempt on your life, in light of intelligence information which came their way. You even get constant protection.


I donít want to get into that. We are in Eretz Yisroel and we will continue to live in Eretz Yisroel forever.


Why is your party, Ichud HaLeumi, still in the government?


Despite the policy of restraint, there is still no negotiation under fire even though Peres is trying every trick in the book in order to achieve that. I would definitely agree with Rabinís description of Peres as ďa tireless digger.Ē


At what point must the Right topple Sharon?


I think that the minute Sharon begins negotiations about giving away land, the Right must leave. I can tell you that I am going through an intense personal struggle. They are freezing the territories, and Peres and Beilin run the government. The problem is that our leaving wonít topple Sharon; it will only allow the Merkaz party of Dan Meridor to get in.


Peresí policies are being carried out under Sharonís government. What business do you have being there at all?


First of all, I donít have any position in the Sharon government, so I canít be suspected of jockeying for position. It isnít easy for me to be in Sharonís government now, but the big question is: What will be gained if we leave his government now, when he is clearly not negotiating. I say clearly - the minute Sharon goes to negotiations, we leave.


You left Mafdal because it didnít leave Netanyahuís government after the Chevron agreement, yet now you remain in Sharonís government?


With Netanyahu we had the opportunity to topple him, so leaving Mafdal made sense. If we have the opportunity to topple Sharonís government by leaving it, I wouldnít hesitate for a second. I think Peres wants us to run away rather than him, and I prefer that Peres leave and we stay on to influence Sharon.


In the next few weeks I hope we resolve our future in Sharonís coalition. We are definitely in a difficult situation. I told Sharon not to get excited by the polls, because his greatest support comes from those on the Left and Arabs, due to his policy of restraint. When it comes down to it, though, they wonít stand by him and he will fall. Unfortunately even the mediaís bear hug influences Sharon.




Noam Federman
Resident of Beit Schneerson in Chevron


Your name appears on Arafatís ďwanted list.Ē Are you afraid?


I am not afraid. If they want to, they can try... The last one who tried getting near me was Achmed Tibi and everybody saw what happened to him. We rely on Hashem and are afraid of no one. We will continue moving around freely.


But why, among thousands of people living in Yesha, did they choose Noam Federman?


I am not surprised. Itís nothing new that the Israeli government tries to create parallels between us and murderers. The fact is that Israel has security meetings with terrorists! Itís like the Mediterranean bazaars where if you get something you have to give... This was Netanyahuís policy, too. He said, ďTheyíll give and theyíll get. If they wonít give, they wonít get.Ē I suspect that when Shin Bet agents go to Rafik Tirawi or to Muhammad Dachlan and ask them to arrest a certain terrorist, they say, ďWe want something in exchangeĒ - me or someone else.


Do you feel your blood has now been made cheap?


Itís nothing new. My blood was made cheap years ago. The Shin Bet consistently refuses to allow the army to give me weapons, which is utterly irresponsible. They know I am a target from way back and they donít care.


Are you going to move to the center of the country any time soon?


Chas víshalom. We remain to protect Chevron and to guard Ahm Yisroel at the front. I donít reject the possibility that the worst could happen to me since Arafatís bodyguard and his Tanzim unit are gunning for me, but I put all my trust in Hashem, our Father in Heaven, and I donít intend to hide behind sandbags or armor plate. I prefer being a servant of Hashem and walking about freely, rather than hiding in some hole. We will continue with all our battles. We wonít give up until the last minute.


How do you view the present situation? Sharon has a policy of restraint while Peres runs the show...


Unlike others, I did not vote for Sharon, and certainly not for Barak. I preferred staying home, since I realized that the actions of the one were in the category of niveila, and the other, a treifa. I had no expectations from this man. Unlike others, I am not disappointed. For twenty years this man has tried to be conciliatory and apologize for the butchery of Arabs by Arabs in Sabra and Shatila, and this is the man who destroyed Yamit. I donít believe in him since I believe he is capable of anything. So I say: donít be disappointed. There are no expectations to be had from anyone who does not go in the ways of Torah and emuna. We should get this into our heads.


So whatís the solution? The Intifada rules. What can be done?


Today, when the army does nothing for our security, I would rather they got out of here as they did from Lebanon and left us the tanks - as they did for Hezbollah in Lebanon - and we would take care of the work.


Itís simply absurd. The army is not waging a war, yet the soldiers are protected from head to toe. Private citizens, on the other hand, who ought to be protected, are exposed on the front lines and are the ones being killed day after day. So what do we need the army for? So that they can arrange meetings to get lists of wanted Jews?


The army doesnít protect Jews?


They simply canít. They are demoralized. Tzahal is a fearful army. We have no expectations from the army, and as I said earlier: it would be better for us if they left us the means to fight terrorism. Whatís clear to us is that the state of the army now in Yesha reminds us more and more of the army as it was in Lebanon.


A week before your name was publicized on their wanted list, there were explosions in your car which miraculously didnít harm anyone. Do you think it has to do with the list?


The truth is that at first I thought Arabs had done it to harm me, but after I saw the Shin Betís reaction, I wonder who was behind it. The same day there was a bomb in my wifeís car, I was called down by the Shin Bet who wanted to clarify that it wasnít them who had done it! That was weird, and red lights went off for me regarding who was behind it after all.


Why? Does the Shin Bet want to liquidate you?


I donít think they wanted to bump me off, but maybe they wanted to frighten me or incriminate me. There were incidents like this in the past, like with the Kahalani brothers in Kiryat Arba. The Shin Bet planted weapons in their car in order to incriminate them. I wonít hesitate to go to court with them if they continue these games, but I think even the Shin Bet are afraid that the story doesnít smell quite right.


What should the Right do now?


As it says in Megillas Esther, the Jewish people have to stand and gather together for their very lives. The situation is extremely grave. We are putting our faith in broken vessels, when the Jewish nation elects spineless leaders, leaders who donít believe in our eternal strength and in our future here. The emuna must be upright and true so that when challenged, the emuna proves itself.


Maybe we need to demonstrate to get Sharon to allow the army to win?


I donít believe in the effectiveness of activities like that now, and I donít believe in our present leaders. I think the slogan ďLet the army winĒ is hollow. This is an army behind fortresses, and we saw with the spies Moshe sent what the significance of fortresses is (i.e., it means the city is weak). It certainly doesnít demonstrate excessive strength. The solution must be a radical change to a life based on faith and timeless values.


How is it in Chevron?


It was much quieter this past week. Perhaps it follows the attack on the Arab family. We still donít know who did it, but it has gotten more peaceful.


Whatís it like to live in Beit Schneerson in the home of Rebbetzin Menucha Rochel?


Itís incredible. We are living Jewish history in our own home. We are also in the attic where the Rebbetzin would daven, and it definitely is a moving experience. May she intercede on our behalf and on behalf of the entire Jewish yishuv as she did in her lifetime, when she protected the yishuv.




Boruch Marzel
Resident of Tel Romeida


What does it feel like to be ďwanted?Ē


It feels very Jewish. Actually all Jews are wanted. The Gemara says itís a halacha that Eisav hates Yaakov.


You have the privilege of being first on the list!


(Smiling) I have some friends who are very upset that they are not on the list...


Why did they pick on you? Didnít Rafik Tirawi have anyone else to pick on?


I donít know why he picked me of all people, but I think that Tirawi himself has to be liquidated - the sooner the better - because it says, ďIf someone comes to kill you, get up and kill him.Ē I can tell you that to us, Tirawi is a wanted man.


What do you think of this situation in which the Israelis give their list of wanted men, and the Arabs in turn present their list, as though the two lists are parallel?


Itís bizarre and ridiculous when in the morning they give orders to kill women and children and at noon they come for lunch and talk to their Israeli ďsecurityĒ partners under the direction of the Americans. Does that sound normal to you? It wonít lead to peace.


And all this is happening under Sharonís government.


I admit I worked against Barak, but I did not work on behalf of Sharon. Before the elections I said that the day after Sharon would rise to power, we would have to fight him. Now we see what direction things are going in. Sharon is following Peresí policies almost completely. Itís actually the Sharon we knew from Yamit.


Have you protected yourself since you appeared on the list?


I am waiting for the Arabs to need protective armor. I sit on my porch in Tel Romeida exposed to the Arabs. I am not going to hide behind armor plate. Since the Arabs in Idana were killed last week, itís been quiet. I wonít say I support what they did, but since that attack against the Palestinians in Idana, attacks against us here have gone down 50%.


How do you explain the fact that three Jewish leaders in Chevron are wanted by Arafat?


Itís hard to explain, but apparently even the Arabs sense that Chevron is the standard bearer in the struggle of the Jews for Eretz Yisroel.


Noam Livnat
Resident of Alon Moreh and brother to Education Minister, Limor Livnat


Mr. Livnat also appears on the wanted list presented by Rafik Tirawi, who serves as head of the elite Tanzim unit under Arafat. Livnat, who is a resident of Alon Moreh in the Shomron, isnít impressed by the wanted list that includes his name.


Is there a connection between your name appearing on the list and your being related to the minister of education?


I have no interest in getting into my enemyís mindset, and why they put this one or that one on the list.


The entire Jewish nation is on the list. They didnít mean me personally. They intend to kill us all. They publicized the first fifty people they want to wipe out, chív, but their list is very long and includes millions of Jews.


I can only say that when a country turns its enemies into partners despite the latterís daily attempts at murdering Israeli citizens, thereís no reason for the terrorists not to designate some of those citizens as ďwanted.Ē


 --Yehuda Etzion






Iím certainly furious about the feeble reaction from the Sharon government. I expected a stronger response from them to a liquidation list against its own citizens...


--Chagai Segal




The minute Sharon begins negotiations about giving away land, the Right must leave.


--Tzvi Hendel






The army is not waging a war, yet the soldiers are protected from head to toe. Private citizens, on the other hand, who ought to be protected, are exposed on the front lines and are the ones being killed day after day.


--Noam Federman






Itís bizarre and ridiculous when in the morning they give orders to kill women and children and at noon they come for lunch and talk to their Israeli ďsecurityĒ partners under the direction of the Americans.


--Boruch Marzel 


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