More Relevant than Ever
By Shai Gefen

IN ANOTHER EIGHT WEEKS

"A Palestinian state within eight weeks," was the news that Israeli citizens woke up to Sunday morning the week before last. This exclusive report quoted a document (a copy of which was shown in the papers, too) which was developed by Peres, with Sharonís knowledge, with senior Palestinian terrorists. The reporter went on to reveal his horrifying discoveries: "The document establishes that first a Palestinian state will be founded, to be followed by negotiations with Israel about permanent status."

Last Thursday, Peres told the ministers of his party that he had shown Sharon the plan and Sharon told him, "This is a proposal thatís as close to my views as youíre going to get."

The prime ministerís office was trapped. They quickly announced that this plan is a fantasy and dangerous, and just bringing it up causes great damage to Israel. What did happen? Minister Peres was only permitted to negotiate for a ceasefire. And if you believe that ... Donít you remember that just a few days ago, Sharon reiterated his position that he "is ready for painful concessions?"

WHY DIDNíT THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY?

The wounded of Emanuel are still under sedation in various hospitals. The shock and horror we all felt has quieted down. Sharonís siren song can be heard once again. In the wake of the tragedy, he announced that Arafat is "not relevant." That the Palestinian Authority is considered "an entity that supports terror" was announced already after the massacre of 27 Jews in one day and hundreds wounded. This was the excuse those on the Right used to remain in Sharonís government, but they themselves know that these are merely empty words. Even the Defense Minister laughed about the pronouncement of the Authority being an entity that supports terror.

Today we see that words accomplished nothing. Arafat is still here; there is no plan to liquidate him. On the contrary, he is being made more relevant than ever. The formation of a Palestinian state is closer than ever to being realized. Omri Sharon continues conveying messages to Arafat. Last week, Sharon announced that he is ready for very painful concessions for Israel. We all know what heís referring to: a Palestinian state in most of YeíShíA, but we act as though we donít hear him. All the red lights are on. Even those who convinced themselves that Sharon would eliminate the P.A. realize now that it is stronger than ever. There are no signs of a breakup. Theyíre all going to placate Arafat and the Arab security forces.

The most painful thing of all is the clear knowledge of the price weíll have to pay, chív. Bereavement. Orphans. Maimed. Broken families.

During the war in Lebanon, the Rebbe MH"M said that the president of the United States left Washington in order to allow Israel to finish off the job in Lebanon, but the Israelis didnít do it because they were afraid of what the goyim would say. We have a far better script today: the entire world, including the Europeans, is disgusted with Arafat and have given Israel the green light to do what it has to do. But not only hasnít Israel taken advantage of the momentum, but Arafat has come out stronger and more "relevant" than Sharon and his friends (even more than Benny Alon).

HAR HAíBAYIS IS IN OUR HANDS

The Arabs continue to desecrate the holiest site of the Jewish people, illegally destroying all signs of any past Jewish presence. A group of archaeologists, among them people from the Left who are disturbed by the destruction, established a committee which keeps tabs on whatís going on on the Temple Mt. The prime minister doesnít even agree to meet with them. Sharon, who began his journey to the position of prime minister by entering the Temple Mt. area, continues to allow the destruction of the Mt. and the continued domination of the Palestinians in the area. All his promises fade away in the face of reality.

Sharon once declared that Jerusalem would remain united. After the massacre at Sbarroís, Sharon "captured" Orient House, another sad joke and ridiculous response to the murders perpetrated in the heart of the capitol. As a continuation of his predecessorís awful policies, Sharon continues to pour his wrath on trees and stones. He blew up Arafatís helicopters, empty buildings, the broadcasting station of the Voice of Palestine - the main thing being, not to attack the head of the snake.

If I am not mistaken, Benny Alon was one of those who led the way in the war for the Temple Mt. and Yerushalayim. The question is, where is he today? What is he doing in light of the terrible things taking place on the Temple Mt. under the protection of the Israeli government of which he is a part?

How shameful!

THEY CLAIM THEY REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF SECURITY

After the terrible bloodbath at the gates of Emanuel, the Minister of Finance Avigdor Lieberman declared that the government had only one choice left: to liquidate Arafat. Otherwise, he would leave the government.

Yeah right. Heís not thinking of leaving, and neither are the members of his party. In the meantime it turns out that the "Oslo Underground" - as Zeíevi would call this group - controls the government once again and continues its policies. And Benny Alon would like us to believe that the government is "heading in the right direction."

"He looked into the Torah and created the world." What Benny Alon is doing, was already done and written in the Rebbeís sichos. 27 years ago, the Rebbe spoke sharply about the Mafdal party remaining in their seats despite all the danger. The Rebbe said, "And as far as their claim that they must remain in the government because of the security situation - they have no say when it comes to security. They donít care about it at all. They conceded on weapons so that their ministry would get its budget. When they say they will fight not to give up Yehuda and Shomron, as far as theyíre concerned, thereís full agreement already to give Yehuda and Shomron, and the only thing they care about is remaining in their seats, and nobody speaks up..."

The Rebbe goes on to say: "When they are outside the government, they have the strength to demand something, unlike when they are within the government. They donít lack anything, for all they need is their seat." (Shabbos Reíeih 5735).

History repeats itself, but this time with another party. The principle remains the same.

WHERE ARE YOU - AYEKAH?

The truth is we donít have such complaints against Benny Alon and Avigdor Lieberman. In one of the sichos, the Rebbe MH"M explains that he doesnít have complaints against those who take bribes, because what can you expect from them? ... and not from the chareidi Knesset members who are busy obtaining more money. When youíre busy with money, thereís no time for "little" things like the murder of Jews, ríl... even the Torah says that "bribes blind the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of tzaddikim."

So itís understandable why Alon and Lieberman are not ready to give up their seats. The question is why is it that all those who do not receive bribes are not yelling and screaming? What are we waiting for? A Palestinian state in the heart of Israel? That the mortars and roadside bombs become childís play compared to what will happen, chív? We all know where the terrorists are heading and what they want. Why arenít we screaming?

After my column about the Knesset members who are busy dividing the money, I received a phone call from a loyal reader who asked me: You are attacking the chareidi Knesset members, but what about us in Chabad? We heard what the Rebbe said, and we saw how pained the Rebbe was when he spoke about the danger the Jews in Eretz Yisroel are in. Why are we sitting quietly with barely a protest?

At this point, Iíd like to praise Rabbi Meir Gutnick, who is the only one who sent open letters to the leaders of the Ichud HaLeumi, asking them to leave the government. He expressed the pain of tens of thousands of Chabad chassidim around the world, who supported that very party when it ran in the elections

Every chassid has to make a cheshbon haínefesh: What have I done to stop Sharon and Peresí evil plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state? What else can be done so that the members of the Right donít collaborate in bloodshed? Isnít my silence contributing to the terrible situation?

TWO SIDES AND THE AREA IN BETWEEN

Those on the Right ought to listen to what Knesset member Effi Oshaya, chairman of the Labor party in the Knesset, had to say. He said he doesnít understand Sharonís zigzag approach. Sometimes he carries out what Labor wants, and sometimes what Likud wants. He said that Sharon was elected by a majority in order to carry out a different policy than what the Labor party suggested, and he doesnít understand whatís going on with Sharon.

Itís just us on the Right, who still think that Sharon is on the right path. Sharonís policy of sitting on the fence is far worse than outright Leftist policies, for the reason the Rebbe gives, that when someone sits on the fence you think heís okay, and so itís much harder to talk to him because you donít know where he truly stands.

The Rebbe quoted Eliyahuís question to Bnei Yisroel at Har HaKarmel: "How long are you going to sit on the fence?" He gave them two choices: Hashem or, chív, the Baal. Itís preferable to be on the side of Baal than to sit on the fence! Those who go to the other side at least have a chance of doing tíshuva, but those who sit on the fence have no chance of doing tíshuva.

How relevant this is to our times.

   

Arafat is still here; there is no plan to liquidate him. On the contrary, he is being made more relevant than ever.