From seven to forty nine, the terror remains the samePosted by Eileen Hart on November 28, 2014
I was seven years old when I had my first experience witnessing terror against Israel. In the summer of 1972, the Jewish community of Elkins Park was abound with excitement. Israel was set to make history at the Olympics in Munich, Germany. Record breaking events in wrestling were going to put this young country on the map in the sports world. We were so idealistic, forgetting that the quiet rise of the Palestinian Liberation Organization was plotting the murder of the entire Israeli team. We were ecstatic and starry eyed that Mark Spitz, a world record swimming champion, was there to represent, not only the best and brightest America had, but the Jewish community as well. Jewish athletes from America were not the norm in those days and we were thrilled.
They day of the hostage takeover was and will remain one of the worst days in Jewish history. My parents, aunts, uncles and cousins were glued to the television. We paced from one end of the house to the other. Finally, we were told to play outside while the adults discussed the worst possible outcome so as not to scare us children. My being a child of holocaust survivors, instinct told me the worst was yet to come.
The day wore on like any other summer day. Minutes turned to hours and blackness crept in outside in the eerily quiet Jewish neighborhood I was raised in. Every home waited for good news that, g-d willing, the Mossad had made a secret mission to save those precious men from Arafat’s reign of terror.
The memory of the masked man on the balcony of the Olympic village is forever etched in my mind. The announcement by Jim McKay, coming on to the television in tears to tell the world, “they’re all gone,” gave us the reality that terror against Jews had arrived in Europe again.
That moment, that minute, the spark of Zionism overcame me and I vowed for my parents, for Israel, for my child and my husband that I would fight to the death to defend her by any means possible. My innocence was gone. And, what did the majority of us do? We simply shook our heads with fear and sadness and grieved. The Mossad went into action at the behest of Israel’s then Prime Minister, Golda Meir, and took down every Palestinian terrorist involved in this massacre except for three: Abu Daoud, Machmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Yasser Arafat. Unfortunately, two of these terrorists went on to become political leaders. The world powers that be conveniently ignored this fact and continued to encourage violence by demanding a two state solution. The anger they direct at Israel, unwilling to negotiate, is a cover-up for the fact that they despise the very existence of the Jewish people. Especially in a country of our own in love and peace, knowing how to defend ourselves.
After the bombing, a sense of normalcy attempted a return. Except the PLO started leaving paper bags on the ground in Israel, a ploy meant to blow up Jews that happened upon them. It happened more than once. Unfortunately, the body count was to be higher. On June 27, 1975, Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Greece was hijacked by Arafat’s Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine along with two German nationals from revolutionary cells and re-routed to the pro Palestinian country of Uganda.
The non-Jewish passengers were released, leaving only the Jewish and Israeli captives held in the airport terminal. What were the demands? The release of 40 Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons and 13 others in other parts of the world. Since 1975 the release of Palestinian terrorists in an exchange has never brought peace. In fact, it’s a tactic used time and time again to exact vengeance and the destruction on the Jewish people.
In the cover of darkness on July 3rd and 4th, four Israeli transport planes landed in Entebbe. Twenty nine Israeli commandos unloaded one Mercedes and two Land Rovers with the hope of convincing the terrorists they were Idi Amin and other high ranking officials. They were discovered by Ugandan Sentinals as the Israelis stormed the building, freeing the hostages and killing the terrorists. The commandos destroyed 11 Ungandan MiG17 fighters to prevent retaliation. Israelis flew to Kenya where the freed Jews were transferred to other airplanes. It was Bibi’s brother, Yonatan, who was mortally wounded and died en route to Kenya.
For two days and nights, the Jewish community was on pins and needles and silence swept over our homes. We went to synagogue, we prayed, we huddled, we cried and hugged each other. Faced, again, with the fact that Jews were still hated all over the world. We never saw or thought the growth of Arab terrorism would grow to the cancer it is today. Many Jews in my neighborhood were complacent saying, “it will never come here, it’s too far away.”
This is the Israel I grew up knowing. The Israel that didn’t think twice or negotiate with terrorists or listen to presidents who demanded the release of terrorist prisoners. In those days the president stayed quietly out of Israel’s business. No one demanded the release of these terrorists so that a peace process could proceed. Unfortunately, the Jewish millenials get that with President Obama. There’s your backbone on foreign policy.
In recent weeks, Hamas terrorists, including women, have been caught plotting attacks against Israel. I don’t care if one slips through our fingers. It is unacceptable to me that we cannot pray in our shuls safely in Jerusalem. It is unacceptable that we need security at our synagogues in Israel the exact way shuls in Europe are guarded 24 hours a day. How easy we have forgotten the past of Munich and Entebbe and the demands to release Palestinian terrorists in exchange for a short period of calm. The unfortunate rise of the left in Israel gives rise to “what’s a few dead Jews in the name of the peace process?” My Israeli brothers and sisters on the left; when will enough dead Jews be enough dead Jews?
In the wake of the latest bloodbath in the Har Nof shul, where four Jewish men were butchered, pictures of bloodied siddurim (prayer books), tallit (prayer shawls) will be enshrined on google images forever. Put those pictures next to the pile of prayer shawls piled at Auschwitz upon the Jews arrival to their death by gas chamber. We have offered every inch of nearly 100% of the Palestinian Authority demands. Our offers are met with a clear and resounding no. They will not stop at Israel. The lessons of the past must be included in the coming Jewish State bill that will be passed to reaffirm that Israel remains the eternal homeland of the Jewish people. Minority citizens of Israel will be brought into the fold of this bill, and their status as Israelis will not change.
Bibi is right when he says, “we can’t govern like this.” Something has to give to keep Israelis safer. Loosening up gun laws are not enough. To give a soldier a gun for three years only to have to give it up when military service is complete is nonsense. My proposal is to allow civilian defenders who are discharged from the army the ability to keep their gun on them at all times. It doesn’t hurt Israeli citizens. It strengthens her self defense so we can breathe better while walking down the street, trying to avoid the knives and power drills aimed at the back of our heads when we least expect it.
The second proposal is to deny any and all entry to Palestinian activists from NGO’s such as International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. This is a huge source of the bloodline of incitement that encourages the violent rage against Israel. This doesn’t harm a free Democracy that exists in Israel. Their exclusion will allow the IDF to do their jobs to thwart terror attacks. My suggestion would be to travel to Iran and protest the daily hangings of gays. Perhaps they will get a lesson in what real human rights violations really are.
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