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July 21, 1989 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



I LIFE IN ISRAEL I

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(313) 855-1010

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Palestinian youth writes graffiti on Old City walls.

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Israeli Soldiers' Job:
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r-

Ta"
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• invitations For All Occasions •

he Moslem under-
ground poster that
our 20-year-old-son
Oren brought back from a
tour of duty in the Gaza Strip
carried a strident, un-
mistakable message to the
residents of the Strip: "God
will help you to destroy the
Israeli oppressor."
"It is our job," Oren explain-
ed to me, "to tear down or-
paint over such posters and
we try our best to do so.
"But we can't really blot out
their message, anymore than
the British could prevent the
Hagana, Etzel and Lehi
undergrounds from bringing
their messages to the Jewish
community of Mandatory
Palestine."
Though that period is long
before his time, Oren has a
strong sense of history, and
not only in regard to posters.
"When we search for hid-
den arms in the Arab citrus
groves of the Gaza Strip, I
can't help but think of similar
searches, in Jewish citrus
groves, 40-odd years ago."
The soldiers find some arms
and many others remain
undetected. But they are
seldom employed by the
Palestinians, presumably
because their present
strategy is serving them so
well.

In any case, such arms will
be required during the civil
war between rival Arab fac-
tions that will almost certain-
ly break out if and when the
Jews withdraw from the Gaza
Strip.
There is yet another
parallel between the British
Army then and the Israeli Ar-
my today, according to our
son. "Just like the Tommies,
we understand that we can't
allow ourselves to run wild."
Since the Palestinians
realize that the Israelis
won't employ the tactics used
by the Chinese in Tiananmen
Square — or, for that matter,
by the Syrians in Horns and
the Iraquis in Kurdistan —
they know they can defy the
Israel Defense Forces, albeit
within limits.

Each time a new unit comes
into a particular area, the
Arabs will test those limits.
But keeping in mind past ex-
perience, they will be more
hesitant about trying the ap-
tience, let us say, of the
Border Police, than of the ar-
tillerymen; less audacious
with fit 20-year-olds than
with overweight reservists
who are pushing 40.
While Israeli soldiers would
much rather face convention-
ally-armed enemies in a com-
bat zone than rock-throwing
teenagers in the alleyways of
a refugee camp, very few of
them will defy a callup notice

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