Daily Israel Report

'Leaving Israelis Outside Israel's Borders? It Won't Happen!'

1st-ever intifada victim says Netanyahu’s consent to leave Israelis outside Israel’s borders is “surreal” - but adds there’s no reason for concern.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/26/2011, 9:37 AM / Last Update: 5/26/2011, 9:30 AM

The first victim of modern intifada terrorism, Dov Kalmanovitz, says Netanyahu’s consent to leave Israeli Jews outside Israel’s borders is “surreal,” but there’s no reason for concern.

Speaking with Arutz-7’s Hebrew newsmagazine, Kalmanovitz said, “I cannot begin to understand the Prime Minister’s diplomatic plan, as he expressed it on Tuesday to Congress. To leave Jews outside the borders of Israel? It sounds surreal, and will not happen. It is totally unfeasible and unviable. Who can protect Israelis if not the IDF?”

Kalmanovitz, one of the first pioneer residents in the then-fledgling community of Beit El in the 1980’s, was the victim of a firebomb attack in the southern outskirts of Ramallah in January 1988. He suffered 3rd-degree burns over 75% of his body, after managing to extinguish himself by rolling in a nearby sand pile. “Doctors have a system of rating a burn victim's chances of living,” he later said, “by which a 100 score means certain death; I had a 106.” Yet he miraculously survived, despite grave scars over his face and body, and was able to overcome and resume a full life: He and his wife had more children, he resumed to full-time work as head of an accounting firm, and he founded and headed an organization for terrorism victims.

Kalmanovitz says he appreciates much of what Netanyahu said in his speech, “but I didn’t hear anything about terrorism and a demand to stop it. I also didn’t understand why Hamas is so bad but Fatah is good; after all, Fatah continues to encourage terrorism – and it was PA policemen who murdered Ben Yosef Livnat last month!”

But in the final analysis, Kalmanovitz is not all that concerned: “I was young, and I also aged [– Psalms 37] and I have seen many diplomatic plans rise and fall, starting with Madrid and onwards. Diplomatic schemes are not determined by any given speech. There is no reason to get nervous.”