Standing with our Jewish Sisters in Southern Israel

an Op-Ed from Crown Hts Women for the Safety & Integrity of Israel
by Tamar Adelstein, coordinator

with special thanks to Robin Ticker, Evelyn Haies, Eleora Martin and Anna Adelstein

With one sigh of feeling for another person’s pain,
even the most impenetrable barrier can be broken through.
from the sayings of the Baal Shem Tov 

PART ONE

As we listen to the sounds of sunny accolades reverberating throughout the Middle East and beyond over the new normalization of relations between the State of Israel and the UAE, we find ourselves sighing and then spilling tears of indignation that nary a glance has been cast at the unnatural “normal” clouding the lives of our Jewish sisters in Southern Israel, day in and day out.

Nor, does it seem, much thought has been given to the day after the misnamed Abraham Accords are signed.  Predicated on Israel surrendering more than three quarters of heartland to the establishment of a Palestinian state, the clouds hanging over major Jewish population centers at the foot of Judea and Samaria forecast gloomy dark days ahead.

Unlike Prime Minister Netanyahu who unilaterally and secretly conceded land in return for UAE friendship and then went on to classify the treaty’s terms to such an extent that even his own Cabinet doesn’t know what’s in it and, finally, flew to Washington for the ceremony without power of attorney, UAE Foreign Minister Gargash has nothing to hide saying, “there will now be leverage on Israel that will allow us to help the Palestinians and make it clear to Israel that it needs to compromise and pursue a more sensible policy vis a vis the Palestinians.  The commitment we received from Israel not to annex is very clear to me. The presence of the United States as a mediator ensures that the freeze on annexation is real and long-term.”

Peace for Peace by all means but never Land for Peace because it always puts Jewish lives in jeopardy, G-d Forbid.

Heeding the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s call to protest, protest, protest when Jewish lives are in danger, we organized an event in solidarity two weeks ago for our Jewish sisters who had been living under fire since August 8th when Hamas renewed balloon bombing the area.  They, unfortunately, know all too well what the day after feels like.

They are the ones who experience the eerily calm voice of the Tzeva Adom alerting them to an incoming missile.  They are the ones who must try not to panic and instead focus on the zero to 15 seconds they have to find shelter, depending on their proximity to Gaza, before the enemy’s kites, balloons and bombs burst into deadly flames.

They know all about the miracle of surviving explosions, fires and falling debris and walking away, for the most part, without even a scratch – on the surface, that is. But beneath, in the psyche, most will admit that damage has been done. Whether overt or subtle, trauma under fire, especially repeating trauma with no end in sight, reaps havoc on the hearts and minds of those who live within missile range.  Even worse, though, is the feeling that no one seems to care.

When their homes, buildings and equipment take a direct hit or are ruined from flying shrapnel or their crops are burnt to the ground, the financial loss is enormous.  Seeking material and monetary relief, these beleaguered Jews find themselves victimized all over again when Israeli bureaucracy, perhaps deliberately, makes applying for assistance a long and frustrating undertaking.

Why do Israeli politicians permit and enable the flow of goods and services into Gaza for so-called “humanitarian” reasons when our Jewish sisters and their families are under attack?

Why won’t the State of Israel take real measures to remove Hamas and the Palestinian Authority from power?  Why won’t the Israeli government restore Law and Order in Gaza?

We are still appalled by the comments Brigadier General Nimrod Aloni made at Kibbutz Be’eri following the lop-sided cease-fire agreement that was brokered between Hamas and Israel.  It’s bad enough that the terms reward Hamas who, as usual, instigated the conflict but when the IDF’s top brass admit “the agreement is only meant to last 2 months, more or less” and pathetically hopes that “economic cooperation and Qatari money will postpone the next round of fighting” it’s time to shift the script as we keep saying.

The “Palestinians” are stubborn but not stupid.  It won’t be long before they make their own “concession” and run with the trillions of dollars set to be invested in their State under the Deal of the Century.

As we’ve written before, that 30% slice of Jewish Judea and Samaria will be difficult to protect.  It won’t take long before the Israeli government orders another Expulsion under the guise of saving lives. Then Mark Langfan’s maps will come alive when the rockets start raining down the slopes from all directions on Jews who thought they were living on the right side of  the Green Line, G-d Forbid!

We invited Tzivia Pizem, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Shlucha in S’derot, to speak.  When she got to the part about there being no effective shelter in any of the town’s women’s mikvahs, we were furious!

Pardon our being blunt but must a Jewish woman in the midst of her preparations or in the middle of immersing be left with no choice but to run naked, when the Tzeva Adom sounds, in order to protect herself?!

While the Israeli Government was willing to spend the money on rebuilding area schools to bomb shelter specifications, not so the mikvahs, leaving the costly burden to rebuild them on the backs of local residents to fund.

Wasn’t the State of Israel established after the Holocaust to be a safe haven for the Jewish People?  No Jewish woman should ever feel pressured by fear to give up the mitzvah of Taharas HaMishpacha or be a nervous wreck trying to keep it!

You can learn more about what the day after looks like in S’derot by clicking the links below to hear from Tzivia Pizem, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s shlucha who lives there. Part 1: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhlT4G7ffDN8QHLXi?e=puhwi0

Part 2:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhlvRoTfvMvW4EeUi?e=aoFdch

Part 3:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhlwVuyxqcPlP-jP0?e=uMBUZg

Part 4:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhl1FoDd1pVafsWT3?e=yDneWr

Part 5:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhl6GfBoEwCWQ4Bky?e=Egbo8Y

Part 6:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhl_TIPuygCN_OuT4?e=Rb14rz

 

PART TWO

Anita Tucker, one of Gush Katif’s first pioneers reminisced with us about the wonderful life she and her husband and family merited for over thirty years living in Netzer Hazani, the name of their community in Gaza.  Employing drip irrigation methods to farm their sandy land, the Tuckers saw much success growing delicious fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers.

Anita recalled that before Land for Peace, she and her Arab neighbors got along very well and helped one another.  After the Expulsion most of these same peace-loving Arabs were helpless to prevent the PA and Hamas from confiscating their land.  Later many of them were branded collaborators, tortured and then executed by the architects of Oslo’s “peace” partners.

An upbeat person, Anita has not yet lost hope that one day she will be able to go back home.  In the meantime, though, it bothers her that everywhere else Jewish parents and grandparents can take their children on heritage tours to places like Poland, Russia and even Spain to show them their roots, yet when it comes to Gaza, in the independent State of Israel, that is an impossibility.

You can listen to Anita’s talk on the link below.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqPwmkyBGmmZhlNHnKabNQXRit3-?e=g20HBL

About the Author
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and although I did not have a religious upbringing I always felt a strong connection with Yiddishkeit and Eretz Yisroel. I still get chills recalling the moment the Rabbi announced that Israel had been attacked on Yom Kippur. In the weeks that followed, even though I really didn't understand all the details, I was the one student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who challenged our German-American teacher when he said Israel would be wiped out. Interestingly, the rest of Jewish kids in the class who came from much more Jewishly -oriented homes than I were silent. Years later I met one of them and was astounded to find out how they were all silently cheering me on. On the day the Jews were "disengaged" from Gush Katif, I was stopped in the grocery store (in Buffalo) by a little Jewish lady who whispered to me that she didn't think it was right what Israel was doing. Which just goes to show that there is a vast silent majority of Jews who agree with the Rebbe's approach to peace.
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