David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 35 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 15 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
A few weeks ago I attended and participated in Tuesday Night Live - hosted by my friends Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel. They filmed four episodes, one of which included, what I considered to be, an amazing interview with former Israeli ambassador to the US, (and presently a candidate for Knesset with Yisrael Beitenu) Danny Ayalon. (Watch show here) . They also screened a wonderful movie dealing with Zionism and Israel today.
The third and fourth shows centered around Hebron. The first segment, screened below, included a movie titled, "Peace Now vs Hebron." It is quite a revealing, and very worthwhile watching. Keep in mind that it was filmed 'live' without any preparation by any of the participants and could be referred to as something of a 'rorschach test,' producing spontaneous, unrehearsed answers to the questions presented to the people being filmed.
The second half of the Hebron show, which will be posted next week, includes an interview with the Pollack family from Beit HaShalom and with yours truly.
I must convey a huge 'yashar koach' and debt of gratitude to Ari, Jeremy, Rachel Gluck, who produces the show, and all the others involved in this wonderful initiative. Brachot from all of us here in Hebron!
While our warriors are on the battlefield fighting, it's difficult to express criticism of any kind. But it is of the utmost importance to know and internalize that the present warfare is not only about rockets pounding our southern cities. Of course, any sovereign nation cannot allow its citizens to be attacked day after day, week after week, year after year, without responding.
However, this is just what consecutive governments did not do, beginning not with the Oslo war, otherwise known as the second intifada. Rather in the late 1980s, during the first intifada, when Israelis were stoned, firebombed and shot at, the government's reactions were lukewarm at best.
With the outbreak of the second intifada on the eve of Rosh Hashana 2000, the government effectively ignored the attacks on its citizens, most particularly those living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In Hebron, Arabs shot at Jews from the surrounding Abu Sneineh and Harat a-Shech Hills for more than two years, with the only response being "virtual."
The IDF was under strict orders not to retake the hills, which would have stopped the shooting.
In Gush Katif, thousands upon thousands of mortars shells were fired into Jewish communities. The response to these attacks was not even lukewarm; it was nil.
So it came as no surprise when the country's leaders didn't blink an eye when Hamas terrorists, utilizing the very land given to them by the State of Israel, began shelling Sderot.
Nor were we shocked when rockets started falling on Ashkelon and Ashdod; such attacks had been predicted prior to the abandonment of Gush Katif.
Those of us who envisioned such shellings were at best ignored or called "black prophets"; at worst we were "enemies of peace."
Today's battles are not only about self-defense. Much more importantly, they are a return to our national pride, knowing that this is our country, this is our land and we must do, and will do, whatever necessary to protect our citizens and preserve our sovereignty.
This, despite the heartache with each and every casualty, knowing that it didn't necessarily have to be this way; we weren't forced to abandon Gush Katif and we didn't have to allow Hamas to rearm itself with missiles which have paralyzed the South.
BUT THIS is, perhaps, only a minuscule amount of the damage that's been done.
A few brief, analytical questions: 1. Why did Hamas agree, in the first place, to a cease-fire more than six months ago? 2. Why did Hamas, only a few weeks ago, refuse to renew the cease-fire? 3. Why did Hamas, knowing that at some point Israel would have no choice but to respond, fire hundreds of rockets? 4. Why has Hamas refused to accept a cease-fire, despite the massive destruction and loss of life in Gaza?
The answer to these questions is, quite possibly, very simple.
Our Arab neighbors are not as stupid as we would like to think they are. What is the real existential threat to the State of Israel today? The Iranian nuclear threat. The Iranians, as well as building nuclear reactors, also know how to read calendars. They know that on January 20, George W. Bush will cease to be president of the United States and will be replaced by Barack Obama. They know that Israel would much prefer to "clean up" the Iranian problem prior to the presidential transition, realizing that Bush would be much more likely to give a green light to offensive action than would the new president Obama. How could they prevent a preemptive attack?
Iran is the number one supplier of money to Hamas. Iranian leaders told Hamas: "You are going to be sacrificed for a higher good - the destruction of the Jewish state." Hamas was ordered to make a cease-fire and then break it to keep Israel occupied with the south, rather than with the north.
Israel would not attempt major armed conflict on two fronts simultaneously. Massive rocket attacks on cities would force Israel's hand, but prevent an attack on Iran. Surely Iran promised Hamas that it would receive full compensation for all damage done.
As for the Arabs killed, necessary sacrifices. Besides which, photographs of dead make for excellent propaganda when broadcast on CNN and the BBC.
In other words, the current war is nothing more than a great Iranian sting operation, preventing Israel from demolishing its nuclear facilities before January 20, at the cost of a few thousand buildings and a few hundred Arab lives in Gaza. This is perhaps, the real cost of the Gush Katif "disengagement."
The writer is spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron.
Tate's talking to us. We just have to listen to what He's saying. Tate's talking to us. We have a doctor who lives here in Hebron. Born in Iran, he's a unique personality. His specialty is respiratory illnesses, lungs, and the like. But despite the fact that his diploma doesn’t' say so, he's also a super psychiatrist.
A little while ago I left 'my hole' where I spend many hours of my day, to take a stroll outside in the cool crisp Hebron air. The good doctor Ya'akov was sitting on a step trying different keys in various locks he had stored in a box. He smiled seeing me, and we talked a little. Mostly him, telling me some stories.
"I was working in Beer Sheva. There were a few rockets that hit. I received a phone call from one of my older patients.
'Doctor, I won't be coming to see you today.' 'Why not, what's the problem?' 'A Kassam him, right next to our building.' Now there's a telephone pole blocking the entrance, with exposed high-tension wires on the ground. We can't get out.' 'Was anyone hurt or killed?' 'No, thank G-d.' 'Mamale you can come to me whenever you want, with an appointment or without. I'll take you whenever you show up.'"
"David," Dr. Ya'akov said to me, "Tate's talking to us."
"Of course," I answered, "wasn't it that way here in Hebron for two and a half years?" The doctor growled, "Shooting from Abu Sneneh and Harat a'Shech, may their names be blotted out."
"Did you know that I made the 'Bentched Gomel' (recited the blessing for thanksgiving, said after being involved in a life-threatening situation)?"
"When, what happened?"
"It was a few months ago. I was working at a clinic in Ashkelon and decided to take a break. I told my secretary that I was going out for lunch. I walked down the street to a different mall and bought myself something to eat in a restaurant there. A while later I got a call from my wife:
'Ya'akov, where are you?' 'What kind of question is that? I'm at work?' She nearly came thru the receiver. 'No, where are you, exactly? Are you in the mall?' 'No,' I replied, 'I’m down the road at the other mall.' 'Your clinic, it went. It's gone.'
I went back, went upstairs, and from my office looked up straight into the sky, thru a huge hole in the roof of the building. I couldn't believe what I saw. And the doctor in the room next to me, he had just gone outside to smoke a cigarette. Don't tell anyone, but a cigarette saved his life.
And then I decided to measure where the rocket had exploded. Quickly I realized that had it hit about seven meters from the actual point of impact the roof would have come down on everyone inside the mall. Hundreds of tons of concrete and metal. At least 300 people would have been killed.
So a few days later I recited the special blessing said when your life has been Divinely saved."
"David," Dr. Ya'akov said to me, "Tate's talking to us, maybe not verbally, but He's talking to us. All the time. Today, a rocket hit an apartment in Ashkelon, with two girls inside. They managed to get into their 'protected room' before it exploded. Otherwise…. David, Tate's talking to us. We just have to listen to what He's saying. Tate's talking to us."
(For those who don't know, 'Tate' in Yiddish means Father and is often used as a synonym for G-d.)
Special guest David Wilder, joined by a family from Beit HaShalom.
Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem returns to the scene once again on December 30th, 2008, 4 Tevet 5769!
TNL is Jerusalem's 1st ever Jewish TV show with a live studio audience broadcast to the world!
Get ready for an incredible new season of exciting guest speakers, new segments, out of this world "Meet the Streets", and guest bands that will keep you rocking in your seats. Hosted by Ari Abramowitz PROJECT A MESSAGE OF JEWISH PRIDE OUT OF ISRAEL!
and Jeremy Gimpel, Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem is broadcast on Time Warner Cable in the USA and Arutz Sheva on the internet.
JOIN US AGAIN THIS SEASON TO PROJECT A MESSAGE OF JEWISH PRIDE OUT OF ISRAEL!
Tuesday Night Live films TWO EPISODES at a time. Here's the lineup for the December 30th show:
EPISODE 1: "All Eyes on Israel" - Special guest Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.A.
For such a tiny country, we sure do seem to dominate world headlines! Why is that? And as long as the spotlight is on us - are we projecting a message of truth, justice, and resolve? Join Ari and Jeremy to project a message of Jewish Pride out of Israel to the world! In this entertaining and captivating episode we will all have an opportunity to set the record straight about the Jewish People and The Land of Israel.
EPISODE 2: "A Tribute to Hebron"- Special guest David Wilder, spokesman for Hebron, joined by a brave family who was evacuated from Beit HaShalom.
It seems like the government is spending more time kicking Jews out of their homes lately than protecting our citizens from the people that actually want to kill us! Ari and Jeremy drop in on a "Peace Now" demonstration in downtown Tel Aviv and reveal what this struggle is really all about. It is time to give the Jews of Hebron a chance to speak out without media distortion and spin. The world needs to know what's really going on!
Special Musical Guest: SINAI TOR
In line with our theme of Hebron, we are honored to feature Sinai Tor, a Holy Jewish Musician whose home right outside Hebron was recently demolished by the Israeli Government. We'll be hearing his story, enjoying his world famous music, and helping him rebuild his home and his life with our support!
SHOW TIME AND LOCATION:
Show Starts: 8:00 PM SHARP Doors Open: 6:45 PM
Hechal Shlomo 58 King George St.
REFRESHMENTS AND VENDORS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHOW