This article was written in 1993, in the immediate aftermath of the Oslo "peace agreement." Then it was Yitzhak Rabin who forfeited the patrimony of the Jews to terrorist thugs, and now it is Ariel Sharon: the shame is the same.

By Herbert Zweibon / Americans For A Safe Israel

In the summer of 1883, in the wake of yet another malaria epidemic, Baron de Rothschild dispatched his agent, one Emile Meyerson, to the struggling Jewish settlement of Yesod Hama’ala, in the Huleh Valley. Meyerson explained to the settlers that while the Baron was deeply committed to the cause of resettling the Holy Land, he now believed the health problems afflicting Yesod Hama’ala were too severe to overcome. The Baron proposed that the settlers leave. “Some of you will be able to settle in other villages in this country,” Meyerson assured them. “As for the rest, those who want compensation will receive it, and those who want to remain in farming will be sent at the expense of the Jewish Colonization Association to Argentina, where they will be given excellent conditions.”

David Ben-Gurion, who related this episode in his memoirs, described the “deathly silence” that filled the room. The faces of the settlers were “as white as ghosts.” Finally a settler named Fischel Salomon stepped forward. “My dear Mr. Meyerson, we came here before the Baron, and did so in response to God’s command,” Salomon declared. “The Baron has given us much assistance, and in so doing fulfilled his sacred duty to his people and his land. If he wants to continue, he should by all means do so. If he doesn’t want to, so be it. But we will not be moved, not by the Jewish Colonization Association nor by the Baron, but only by God Himself who brought us here. No human being will move us from this place.”

The faith and determination of Fischel Salomon, so simple yet so moving, represented the essence of Zionism. The sacred goal of rebuilding the Land of Israel was being implemented in the Huleh Valley, and no earthly force could stop it – not malaria, not poverty, not Arab terrorism. Fortunately for Fischel Salomon and his comrades, the one force that would have done the most effective job of undermining Yesod Hama’ala did not yet exist- that is, an Israeli government led by Yitzhak Rabin.

For the past year, Rabin has quietly but efficiently implemented his policy of “drying up” Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Now, with those communities weakened and desperate, Rabin has administered the next blow- he has given control of the region – Gaza and Jericho today, the rest in nine months - to Yasser Arafat, a man who symbolizes the Arab goal of obliterating Zionism, a man whose hands are drenched with the blood of thousands of innocent Jews.

Israel’s leaders should be calling for Arafat’s trial as a war criminal. Instead, unbelievably, sacrilegiously, they are investing him with legitimate authority over the Land of Israel, forfeiting the age – old right of the Jewish people to the mass murderer of Jews. Elijah thundered to Ahab: “Has thou murdered and also inherited?” What would Elijah say to the present rulers of Israel who hand over the inheritance of the Jewish people to the world’s master of murder?

Only a few have raised their voices against the mindless euphoria, and they have spoken of the strategic mistake Israel is making. But for Jews who care about their people the prime emotion must be shame. September 13, when Israel’s leaders signed an agreement with Arafat, while American Jewish leaders eagerly danced attendance, is a date which will live in infamy. A great people prostrated itself before a bankrupt thug. A people priding itself on its moral sensitivity committed an act of ultimate immorality, deliberately bestowing legitimacy on a mass murderer. As long as the Jewish people live, this shame will adhere to them.

The nineteenth century residents of Yesod Hama’ala refused to budge. Only God Himself could force them out, they vowed. No one forced Yitzhak Rabin out. “Given to strong delusion, wholly believing a lie,” he forfeits the patrimony of the Jewish people for an imaginary peace. Jeremiah said of those who say “Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace/ They shall be put to shame because they have committed abomination.”

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