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November 13, 1992 - Image 114

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-13

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

Inventory Liquidation

Despite the Violence,
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SRAE CORRESPONDEN

t the end of three days

of violent demonstra-
tions that had been
following him around
Jerusalem last week, Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin
made his way past a par-
ticularly agitated crowd
engulfing Jerusalem's
Hilton Hotel, entered a re-
ception for foreign jour-
nalists and — cool as a
cucumber — ordered a scot-
ch.
He then proceeded to ad-
dress the gathered jour-
nalists — often scored for
their less-than-supportive
reporting on Israel — like a
group of old friends. Com-
pared to the reception that
had met him outside, even
the sharp-penned press
seemed cordial.
It had been a long, hard
day for Mr. Rabin filled with
a profusion of violence.
Beginning with a pre-dawn
Katyusha rocket fired over
the Lebanese border that
slammed into Kiryat
Shemona and killed 14-year-
old Vadim Shuchman, it
continued with an ax attack
on Gabriel Fahima in his hot
house on Moshav Netzer
Hazani, in the southern
Gaza Strip, and was followed
by the shooting of Motti
Biton, of the West Bank set-
tlement of Ganim, in a
grocery store in Jenin.
In response to the
Katyusha attack, Israeli
planes, boats, and artillery
had been pounding selected
targets in Lebanon all day.
Tanks had been massed in
the Israeli security zone of
south Lebanon, and the
country was awash with the
rumor that a major ground
operation was near.
Yet Mr. Rabin's message
to the press was not in the
least ,belligerent. On the
contrary, he declared that no
demonstrations, or worse,
would deter Israel from pur-
suing peace. That goal was
not over the horizon. But
within nine months to a
year, he predicted,
"something will happen" in
the peace process and if it
did not, Israel would be
"flexible" so as to make it
happen.
Above all he categorically
rejected the demand, coming
out of the right-wing opposi-
tion, that the peace talks be
suspended until the Arab

violence stopped. That, he
implied, simply didn't make
sense, for it would mean that
the Arab extremists — be
they from the Iranian-
backed Hezbullah or the Pa-
lestinian Rejectionist Front
— would be allowed to call
the shots.
Still, the prime minister's
cold logic had little appeal to
the crowd outside. The coun-
try hadn't seen such fierce
demonstrations in a long
while, and watching them on
TV, many Israelis were
dismayed at the sight of the
near-hysterical protest just
three months into the life of
the new government.
Others — and surely Mr.
Rabin was among them —

Arab and Israeli
extremists have
one thing in
common — they
both want it all.

had a distinct sense of deja
vu. For it had all happened
before, and against a
parallel background. Bet-
ween the autumn of 1974
and the summer of 1975,
Israel was rocked by even
more shocking demonstra-
tions by essentially the same
constituency. The issue then
was an interim agreement
with Egypt and partial
pullback in Sinai. The pro-
testers were members and
followers of the nascent
Gush Emunim, the core of
the movement to settle the
entire West Bank.
"Eighteen years ago this
month," recalled columnist
Gideon Samet in the Hebrew
daily Ha'aretz, "8,000 dem-
onstrators (most of them
young men wearing knitted
yarmulkas, together with
women and children) .. .
broke into the area fronting
the office of then-Prime Min-
ister Yitzhak Rabin. They
then held a turbulent march
to his house, where he was
meeting with Henry Kiss-
inger . . . Fisticuffs, injured
people, shouts of 'Jew boy' at
Kissinger for betraying his
Jewish origins were among
the the pictures that filled
Israel for the next year."
There were 58 demonstra-

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