Back in the 80's We Really Believed in Peace

I was young then. I had dreams of Peace and co-existence just like everyone else, and I thought most of us were on board.

Dr. Zeev Shemer,

Back in the 80’s Arabs did not have autonomy, weapons, or a so-called police force. Back in the 80’s Arabs would riot, as many do today in Jerusalem and elsewhere, throw rocks, burn tires, and charge against the police and soldiers who timidly tried to calm them down.

Back in the 80’s there was a sincere desire by many to make Peace with Arabs even as they professed their hatred of Israel and their hatred of the Jews. “Give them plumbing and microwave ovens and they will come to love us,” proposed Shimon Peres and the other leftwing pioneers.

Back in the 80’s a lot of good people wanted to believe that Peace could be reached and they were willing to sacrifice parts of Israel for the its sake. Victims of terror were called “sacrifices for Peace” and their leading movement was called “Peace Now”.

We were willing to do whatever it took. We screamed “Du-kium” (co-existence) as loud and often as we could.  We played John Lennon’s “Imagine” every 20 minutes, and even a radio station was called ‘The Voice of Peace’.

Arab and Jew can live together. After all, Sephardic Jews had been living with Arabs for hundreds of years and they never endured the level of pogroms and the Holocaust that their Ashkenazi counterparts did, we were told.  They were living proof that Arabs and Jews can be friends. And we were willing to do whatever it took.  

“Yes,” we answered to our number one diplomat and appeaser, Shimon Peres. “Yes, give them toilets and microwave ovens,” and ever since, Israel has been providing Arab towns and villages with more or less free water and electricity. After all, it was for the sake of Peace.

A strange thing was, that as opposed to our state, they wanted no Jews in theirs. Well, it’s okay; after all, we have our own country now. We ignored their racism.
We suddenly realized that many Arabs wanted more than just co-existence. They wanted a state of their own. And why not? Jews that came from Europe and the Arab world, we created a state, why couldn’t they do the same?  A strange thing was, that as opposed to our state, they wanted no Jews in theirs. Well, it’s okay; after all, we have our own country now. We ignored their racism.  

Thing is, they began chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”  Hold on here. That leaves nothing for a Jewish state. Not even the small “From Hedera to Gedera” of leftwing extremists e.g. Yossi Beilin and Yossi Sarid. Even so, Peres didn’t seem to mind; him and Rabin claimed this was only the extremists who were being unreasonable, and that Arabs in general are good people, they said. They will set the tone for our Peace.

We were getting a bit nervous when every week there was another murder; another Jewish family in mourning. Our soldiers were then forbidden to take rides with civilians and cement blocks began guarding most bus stops across the country. 

I was young then. I had dreams of Peace and co-existence just like everyone else, and I thought most of us were on board. I attended Tel Aviv University where the Arab ‘cause’ was spearheaded in front of any Jewish claim to their ancestral land.  Lies about this fictitious people calling themselves ‘Palestinians’ rather than Arabs living in the area the Romans named Palestine way before there was an Islam began taking form.

Imagine my outrage when we were told a ‘rabbi’ – and how much we disliked rabbis – was coming to our campus to protest against Arab subsidies. The indignation! We decided not to go to class and, instead, go and show this rabbi that we, the Peace-loving Jews are, well, peace-loving.  Policemen came in large number, many on horses. We screamed and spit and chanted for Peace. And that rabbi, even with his bullhorn, could not be heard. We were victorious!

I asked one of my classmates – my Hebrew was not the best – about what he had come to say. “He’s a fascist,” she said. “He came here to speak badly about the Arabs. He came to say that one day they would bomb our buses and restaurants; the hutzpah!”

“Bomb our buses?” I asked.

“Yes,” she explained. “He says they will blow themselves up in bus stops and busy streets, in our malls, and in our markets.”

Well, he was clearly an anti-peace lunatic!  He claimed Arabs were teaching their children from a young age to hate Israel and that killing Jews would bring them closer to paradise. Outrageous! Who teaches their children to hate? And who would blow himself up just to kill a few Jews? And what did this rabbi propose we do instead? My friend explained that he proposed to transfer Arabs that hate Israel to the other side of the border, to the other “Palestine,” the one the British had turned into a Muslim state called Jordan.

Months later, I heard he was banned from the Knesset and members of the Likud were ecstatic! But the newspapers were filled with stories of murderous attacks by Arab marauders. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t as crazy as my classmates claimed. But it didn’t matter, because a couple of years later he was murdered.

After Rabin and his partners Peres and Beilin, who rescued Arafat from Tunisia and oblivion, signed the Oslo Accords, thousands of Jews were subsequently murdered just like that outshouted Rabbi Kahane had predicted. Free water and electricity, weapons for their ‘police force’ were given to them by our leaders, and parts of our precious ancestral land were given away all in the name of that Peace I once worshiped. 

This year I did not attend Yitzhak Rabin’s memorial. This year after thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza and our leaders continued to supply our enemies with water, electricity, and supplies, I realized that the Peace brainwashing I had once been exposed to had destroyed the neurons of many of my fellow countrymen.

This year I invite you to come to Jerusalem this coming Monday or Tuesday. It will be a memorial very different from that in honor of Rabin. In this memorial you will be exposed to a unique group of individuals that for some reason were immune to the brainwashing and the delusions of Peace. A group of people who have a much clearer understanding of what Peace is really all about. People who understand that ‘Ahavat Yisrael’, love of Israel and ‘Yirat Shamayim’, awe of G-d, are the forces that kept our dream of returning to our land alive.

When Jabotisnksy traveled from town to town warning Jews of the incoming tragedies that would befall them, he was met with the same hatred and rejection I once showed this rabbi who now everyone knows, was one hundred percent right.

Those that did not heed Jabotinsky’s warnings literarily went up in smoke. For the sake of my children and grandchildren, for the sake of the Jewish dream of Zion, I will share a few moments with the ‘crazy’ people that happen to be sane.

(Note: the program referred to is for Rabbi Kahana hy"d's yahrzeit and takes place at Yeshivat Haraayon Hayehudi, 11 Shmarya St. Jerusalem. In English on Monday evening November 10 from 6pm and in Hebrew, on Tuesday November 11, with shiurim from 12 noon, aliya lakever at 4pm and an additional program at 6 pm  Heichal David, 14 Ohaliav St., Romema.)