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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)

      Nissan 12, 5768, 4/17/2008

      Happy Passover-Pesach in Hebron-'Interesting' Articles

      To include this holy man, Rabbi Dov Lior, in a list which includes Nasrallah, is sacrilege. I can only suggest that perhaps some readers react.
      First, Happy Passover. If you're interested in coming to Hebron this Passover, see: http://tinyurl.com/3sq5jf for details.

      I'd like to draw your attention to several articles that you might find interesting:

      First: today the Washington Post, [http://tinyurl.com/47uect] printed an article by Mahmoud al-Zahar, the so-called foreign minister of Hamas in Gaza. Among other pearls, he writes, "Resistance remains our only option. Sixty-five years ago, the courageous Jews of the Warsaw ghetto rose in defense of their people. We Gazans, living in the world's largest open-air prison, can do no less." (As I'm writing, I'm listening to Shimon Peres speak in the Polish parliament)

      The Post, in an editorial response to this article [http://tinyurl.com/3kqksv] writes, "ON THE OPPOSITE page today we publish an article by the "foreign minister" of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahar, that drips with hatred for Israel, and with praise for former president Jimmy Carter. We believe Mr. Zahar's words are worth publishing because they provide some clarity about the group he helps to lead, a group that Mr. Carter contends is worthy of being included in the Middle East peace process...it is one thing to communicate pragmatically, and quite another to publicly and unconditionally grant recognition and political sanction to a leader or a group that advocates terrorism, mass murder or the extinction of another state. That is what Mr. Carter is doing by lending what is left of his prestige to an avowed terrorist such as Khaled Meshal -- or Mahmoud al-Zahar."

      A few days ago the Jerusalem Post printed an op-ed piece by M.J. Rosenberg [http://tinyurl.com/4h6raw], in which the author writes, among other lovelys, "Then there are places like Hebron in which the army is deployed to defend a tiny population of settler extremists prone to torment local Palestinian kids. Last time I was there I got to see a terrorized population facing incessant abuse from extremists. (One Israeli government official described the Hebron settlers last week as "the worst of the worst.") Not only that, young Israeli soldiers - hating every minute of their service in Hebron - are themselves continually abused by settlers who think the soldiers should be doing their bidding rather than protecting the local population from them."

      Dr. Robert M. Goldberg, in an article called "The Sordid Exercise" in The American Spectator [http://tinyurl.com/4qr4le] responds: "Indeed, Rosenberg has kinder things to say about Hamas, Stephen Walt, and John Mearsheimer than he does about his Jewish brethren. He calls Jewish settlers that have, with support of the government and often at the cost of their lives and the lives of their children, tamed a dangerous border, "the worst of the worst." (He claims young Israeli soldiers hate every minute of their service in Hebron. He should speak to my son who serves in the IDF and has nothing but good things to say about Hebron's residents.)"

      And I've saved the best for last. In a list of "The World's Worst Religious Leaders" in foreignpolicy.com [http://tinyurl.com/3vu6py], the magazine 'honors', in the same breath with Hassan Nasrallah, the righteous, 'gadol hador,' my Rabbi and teacher, Rav Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hebron-Kiryat Arba.

      Rabbi Lior is one of the most highly respected religious leaders in Israel. A brilliant scholar, his halachic rulings (Jewish law rulings), are known internationally. A student of Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, Rabbi Lior has taught Torah to thousands in the Kiryat Arba Nir Yeshiva and around Israel. He has worked for decades for the betterment of the Jewish people and has dedicated his life to Hebron and Jewish resettlement in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

      Rabbi Lior has never said, (as is claimed in the above article) that it is permissable under Jewish law to indiscriminately "kill Arabs" or that the commandant not to murder applies only to Jews. He has ruled that the armed forces, when facing attack by enemies who are taking cover in areas which include civilians, may and should respond appropriately, in a manner which will least endanger Israeli soldiers' lives, even if 'innocent civilians'' lives are endangered.

      It should also be noted that the photograph of Rabbi Lior that appears in the article was taken from the website of one Kawther Salam, an Arab 'journalist' presently living in Vienna. She 'covered' Hebron years ago, during the shooting attacks of the 2nd Intifada (the Oslo War), and has opened an anti-Hebron, anti-Israel website, filled with hate and lies. She identifies Israeli military officers as 'military / IDF terrorists.' It is interesting to note that Foreignpolicy.com utilizes such a website for source material for their articles. (She can be emailed at: kawther_salam@yahoo.com)

      To include this holy Rabbi in a list which includes Nasrallah is sacrilege. I can only suggest that perhaps some readers react. Letters to the editor can be addressed to: fpletters@CarnegieEndowment.org or at: fp@ceip.org - Their phone and fax are: Phone: (202) 939-2230 Fax: (202) 483-4430. The editor-in-Chief is Moisיs Naםm. The Senior editor is Michael C. Boyer and can be reached at (202) 939-2345.

      If I add another blog before Pesach, I'll write this again. If not, Pesach Sameach - Happy Passover to all Arutz 7 readers. If you're interested in coming to Hebron this Passover, see: http://tinyurl.com/3sq5jf for details.