Newsletter : 7fax0613.txt
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>JN June 13, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 106
Arabs Burst Into Morag
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops clashed Thursday at a
settlement in the Gaza Strip where Palestinians have been holding
a protest vigil against what they say is an attempted land grab by
Israeli troops moved in on several-hundred Palestinians at a tent
protest camp Thursday, when they began to tear down a fence
settlers built two-weeks ago.
The soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, wounding two
demonstrators and dispersing the crowd, with some help from the
Palestinian police. One Palestinian man reportedly died of a heart
attack after being overcome by tear gas.
The controversial fence connected the housing compound of the Morag
settlement to a separate area where some of its greenhouses are
Protesters say the settlers were planning to fence-in the entire
area between the two compounds, effectively doubling the size of
the settlement. Settlers say they own the land in question, but
had no such plan and were only trying to stop theft and vandalism
at the greenhouses.
SPECIAL INTERVIEW: Menachem Brod, Chabad Spokesman
ARUTZ-7: One year ago, you announced for the first time that Chabad
had decided to take to the streets and go all-out in favor of the
candidacy of Benjamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister. Are you at
peace with that decision now, one year later?
MENACHEM BROD: Most definitely yes. Everyone can imagine to
himself what would have happened if Shimon Peres would have been
elected, with his positions, and with his staffers -- it is easy to
estimate where we would be now.
A7: Within Chabad, are there those who regret the decision, or who
have claims against those who made the decision?
MB: I wouldn't say that there are feelings of regret, but rather
that there are those who are having a difficult time with two
things: First of all, that there was a price, which we knew in
advance, and secondly, that Netanyahu is not exactly perfect.
These two things together were taken into account by the rabbis who
made this difficult decision. It was difficult because we don't
usually deal with political issues. In this case, though, we saw
that there was a very fateful question of the peace and security of
4 million Jews in Israel, may they multiply, and the Oslo process
was about to -- and still may -- bring a catastrophe upon them.
A7: How are the relations between Chabad and the Prime Minister
MB: They are complex. On the one hand, we have close relations, but
on the other hand, we have criticism... We used to meet with him
fairly frequently, but of late there have been less direct
contacts, particularly after the grave decision to transfer Hebron.
It must be understood that the elections were the beginning of a
process, not the end. There was a train speeding off the cliff,
and we had to do what we could to stop it. We succeeded in slowing
it down, but it is still headed in the same direction, and we have
to work hard to try to turn it in the other direction, in the
direction of building and strengthening the hold of the people of
Israel in the Land of Israel.
A7: Next time, will you also come out in support of the nationalist
MB: We all hope that we will not have to. As I said, this is not
Chabad's line, but to predict in advance exactly what we will do,
I can't say.
A7: It could be that Ehud Barak will ask for your support.
MB: Look, we believe in the soul within every Jew, and Ehud Barak
is a good Jew too. It's not a personal matter of Barak or
Netanyahu, but rather a question of the path. Peres and Netanyahu
represented different paths. If Barak proposes a path [that we can
support] and there are reasons to believe him, then we'll consider
A famous rabbi goes to Heaven to meet his Maker. He sits in the
waiting room hour after hour, waiting for his sins to be weighed
against his good deeds. The line moves very slowly. All of a
sudden, he sees a new fellow come in, go straight to the head of
the line, get weighed and sent straight to Eden.
Now the rabbi, who has been very patient, gets up, dusts himself
off, and goes to complain. "Who was that fellow, that he got such
treatment, while I have been sitting here for hours?"
"Why, he's an Israeli bus driver."
"What?" the rabbi says. "How could it be that a man like that
waltzes right in, immediately gets weighed and sent right through
the Pearly Gates, while I, a famous rabbi, the leader of a large
congregation, am kept waiting for hours in doubt?"
"Well," the angels tell him, "it's really quite simple. When you
get up to make a speech, you cause hundreds of people to fall
asleep. But when an Israeli bus driver sits down to drive his bus,
he causes 40 people to pray.
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