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      Blessings from Hebron
      by David Wilder
      Personal Reflections on Hebron, Eretz Yisrael, Friends, Family and anything else that comes to mind.
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      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.

      Links to sites David recommends:
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      (others to be added)

      Tishrei 8, 5769, 10/7/2008

      Don't again abandon Hebron to Fatah terrorists

      Don't again abandon Hebron to Fatah terrorists

      We were astounded and stunned to learn of plans to transfer security of the city of Hebron to the Fatah and Tanzim terrorists, a.k.a. 'the Palestinian authority.'

      We warn: similar actions in the past always led to terrible bloodshed. These terrorists are notoriously known as criminal and terror gangs, whose nature has already been proven from previous murderous terror activity.

      The infant Shalhavet Pass HY'D, was murdered by a terrorist identified with the Palestinian authority, and was trained by them as a sniper.

      Twelve warriors, among them the Commander of the Hebron Brigade, Col Dror Weinberg, HY"D, fell as a result of transfer of security of Hebron to the PA in 2002. Another eleven Jews were murdered a week later when Bus 20 exploded in Jerusalem as a result of the reckless plan called 'Judea first.' A wave of terror swept through all of Israel, as terrorists from Hebron reached as far away as Haifa, all as a result of removal of IDF troops from Hebron and transfer of security authority to the PA.

      The most recent victims of Arab terror from our vicinity, David Rubin and Achikam Amichai HY"D, were killed less than a year ago by PA policemen.

      Transfer of security responsibility into the hands of Fatah terrorists will endanger the lives of thousands in the Hebron region, of hundreds of thousands who arrive to visit the holy sites in the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and the lives of all the citizens of Israel wherever they are.

      Anyone and everyone who participate in this derelict, irresponsible act will not be able to say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood."

      Rabbi Dov Lior – Chief Rabbi, Kiryat Arba-Hebron
      Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi, Efrat
      Rabbi Gideon Pearl, Chief Rabbi, Alon Shvut
      Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Former MK, Rosh Yeshivat Nir
      Rabbi Yisrael Rozen, Rosh Machon Tzomet
      Rav Re'em HaKohen, Rosh Yeshivat Otniel
      Rabbi Hananel Etrog, M"M Rosh Yeshivat Shavei Hevron
      Rabbi Moshe Hager, Colonel (Res), Rosh Torah Academy, Yatir
      Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf, Rosh Kollel Shalhevet Techiat HaAretz
      Tzvi Katover, Mayor, Kiryat Arba
      Tzviki Bar-Chai, Mayor, Southern Hebron Hills
      Avraham Ben Yosef, Mayor, Hebron
      Attorney Eliyakim HaEtzni, former MK
      Ron Shechner, Colonel (Res)
      Noam Arnon, Baruch Marzel, David Wilder, Boaz HaEtzni
      Nadia Matar, Orit Struk, Yehudit Katzover,
      Ya'akov Sharvit, Malachi Levinger, Meir Lapid

      Elul 26, 5768, 9/26/2008

      New Year's greetings to Rabbi Moshe Levinger

      Many people have inquired about Rabbi Moshe Levinger and requested to convey to him New Year's greetings. Anyone wishing to directly send such wishes can email: ravlevinger@gmail.com and those greetings will be brought directly to him.

      With best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year - Shana Tova!!!!

      Elul 25, 5768, 9/25/2008

      Shabak Shalom

      There are some events that can be overlooked. Others, well, you have to be out of your mind to ignore them. So it is with the attack last night against Professor Zeev Sternhell in Jerusalem.

      Before continuing, 2 points:

      1. (To keep me out of jail) – I do not believe in leaving bombs in the homes of people I disagree with.
      2. Zeev Sternhell, rather than being awarded the Israel Prize, should have been convicted for incitement. In an article in HaAretz on May 11, 2001 wrote, "There is no doubt regarding the legitimacy of the armed resistance in the territories themselves. If the Palestinians had a bit of sense, they would concentrate their struggle against the settlements…


      "Fascism cannot be stopped with rational arguments. This can be stopped only by force, and when there is willingness to risk a civil war. When necessary, we shall have to forcibly deal with the settlers in Ofra or in Elon Moreh. Only a person who is willing to advance against Ofra with tanks will be capable of curbing the fascist drift that threatens to inundate Israeli democracy."
      - Zeev Sternhell, Davar newspaper, April 1988

      This is nothing less than incitement to kill, legitimizing murder of Jews living in Judea, Samaria (and then, Gaza). The place for people who incite murder is behind bars.

      That said, last night's events must be carefully examined. A pipe bomb was left at the entrance to Sternhell's house. When it exploded, he was injured by shrapnel in his legs. Later, a poster was found near his home offering over a million shekels to anyone killing leaders of Shalom Achshav (Peace Now).

      What were the immediate reactions: The police (according to the newspaper/internet headlines) concluded, within a minuscully short time that the 'extreme right' was responsible for the attack, in reaction to Sternhell's left-wing opinions.

      The chain reaction continued, with interviewees and commentators reminiscing about the Rabin assassination and 'right-wing incitement' against the left. Etc. etc. ad nauseam.

      Now, let's stop for a moment. What happened yesterday, or perhaps even the day before, that would make any good right-wing extremist wake up and decide that the time had come to 'take care' of the good professor? Anything?


      So, what happened? Why did a 'right-wing extremist' suddenly take the law into his own hands and attempt to murder an old man?

      I'll tell you what my guess is: It wasn't the extreme right.

      Let's play a guessing game.

      Who might really be the culprit?

      Who would be interested in causing an uproar geared at smearing the right? (Keep in mind that not too long ago the Hebron police chief publicly stated that the extreme left is more dangerous than the extreme right.)

      Why would anyone be interested in smearing the Israeli right?

      When was the last time a major attempt was made to blacken the Israeli right?

      Last first:

      Delegitimizaion of the right in preparation for continued abandonment of Eretz Yisrael and expulsion of Jews from their homes or
      In expectation of Oslo War – Round three – and guess who's to blame?

      The Israeli Government (shades of Avhshai Raviv!!!)

      and to conclude – who might really have done it?

      My friends, this is a classic Shabak (Israeli intelligence) kindergarten exercise: Let's make the other side look bad. Leave a small bomb at his home, causing little damage but making a 'big bang' (remember – Srak srak), and then let the Rottweilers (Israel radio, television, internet, etc) out of their cages

      And then let public opinion gobble up all those nasty right wingers

      And then…. Israel will continue playing 'let's make a deal,' without anyone to disturb the game.

      And now, the punch line:

      Which Israeli 'leader' worked for a couple of years with Israeli intelligence?

      No, not Olmert
      No, not Mufaz,

      Ah, yes, The First Lady - the new Golda, Ms. Tzippy.

      Shabak Shalom!

      Elul 21, 5768, 9/21/2008

      Miracles and more miracles

      A block landed next to her and literally bounced over her, leaving her unharmed.
      OK, with everything that's going on, let's get off the politics for a minute and talk about bigger and better things.

      Around this time of the year, as we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, new year,  many thoughts run through your head.  With so many issues facing us, it's easy to forget about all the good, all the positive, and speaking from Hebron, the wondrous miracles that are so much a part of our everyday lives that we almost take them for granted. 

      It was just this time of the year, eight years ago, when the Oslo War started (called by others, the 2nd Intifada). I cannot begin to count the number of bullet holes in people's homes and cars, that 'missed by an inch.' And those could conceivably be measured. But what about people walking down the street who were fired upon - sometimes they never even know just how close those bullets came to hitting them. 

      As so it's been, over the years. Never a dull moment, but also, never a moment without a miracle.

      So too it was today.

      Here, at Beit Hadassah, where I live, there is a big courtyard outside. Part of the area contains a large playground for the kids. On the other side are a couple of swings and benches. On most nice days, in the afternoon, while the kids are playing on their side, the mothers and babies are on the other side, sitting, chatting and enjoying the afternoon weather. 

      Today was no exception. Lots of women and babies were relaxing downstairs, when suddenly stone blocks started raining down on them. The Beit Hadassah building is connected to the street outside by a large stone bridge which stretches above the courtyard. For some unknown reason, huge stone blocks from the side of the bridge broke off and fell, exactly where all the women and babies were. One woman, miraculously, had just taken here six month old son out of his carriage when, boom, a stone block landed where he had been lying, only seconds before. Another woman's six-month old was lying on the ground. A block landed next to her and literally bounced over her, leaving her unharmed. Talk about miracles. Wow!

      Other stones landed on the path to a family's apartment. Fortunately, no one was walking there at the time. 

      This is one small example of what we have to be thankful for, as we approach the new year. Sometimes you see the miracles and sometimes you don't, but they are always with us, and we have much to be thankful for. 

      Perhaps in Hebron these kinds of miracles are more tangible than elsewhere. I know that there is a G-d in heaven who looks down at us wherever we are, watching over and protecting us. And despite all the problems, we must never forget to show gratitude for all the good He does for us, and to take joy that we have the privilege to be here, doing what we're doing, in the holy city of Hebron.

      Elul 17, 5768, 9/17/2008

      "Abbas wants his troops in Hebron"

      The Israeli internet news site, ynet [http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,
      ]) posted an article

      "Abbas wants his troops in Hebron"

      According to the article's author, Roni Sofer, " Israel is examining the possibility of expanding the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority's security forces to include Hebron, this following a request made by the PA. The move would correspond with a measured decrease in IDF activity there."

      The reasoning behind the request is to 'prevent Hebron from falling into the control of Hamas.'
      Hebron has learned, numerous times, the price of placing the security of Jewish lives in the hands of our enemy.

      The Israeli reaction, as reported by Ynet: "…diplomatic officials have yet to outright reject the proposal, saying parts of it were essentially positive. The sources expressed their support of Fayyad's intention to ratchet up the pressure on Hamas."

      Almost 12 years ago Israel abandoned over 80% of Hebron to the 'palestinian authority." As a result, the Hebron Jewish community  came under enemy gunfire for almost two years. Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan was knifed to death, Shalhevet Pass was shot and killed. Others were wounded. People's homes and automobiles were shot into. All this, while Hebron was under PA control.

      Numerous recent murders, including Achikam Amichai and David Rubin from Kiryat Arba, and Ido Zoldan from the Shomron, were perpetrated by Tanzim terrorists, i.e., Fatah-based terrorists.

      Removal of Israeli security forces from almost all of Hebron endangers not only Hebron residents and visitors. Terrorists from Hebron have perpetrated attacks and killed scores throughout Israel, as a result of removal of Israeli security forces from the city.

      At present, the Israeli political scene is in turmoil. Olmert will soon cease to be Prime Minister. It is unclear whether his immediate successor with be able to form a new coalition or whether within a few months Israelis will again be going to the polls. Clearly, this is not the time to again start experimenting with people's lives.

      Hebron has learned, numerous times, the price of placing the security of Jewish lives in the hands of our enemy. In 1929 we lost sixty seven Jews and the survivors were expelled from the city. Following signing and implementation of the Hebron accords in January, 1997, Hebron came under immediate attack. At that time the primary weapons were rocks and fire bombs. From October 2000 thru Passover 2002, the Hebron became a war zone, with almost nonstop shooting attacks, in and around the city. Only when Israeli forces returned to all of Hebron did the attacks cease.

      It goes without saying that the Hebron community vehemently opposes the proposal outlined in the Ynet report and will take any and all actions necessary to insure that it is not carried out.