December 15, 2005

Hillel: Cafe & Sage

This photograph is a particular favourite of mine. Not just because Ari is cute, but also because it was taken at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem's German Colony high street called Emek Refaim. Just over two years ago it was the site of Dr David Appelbaum's last rendezvous with his daughter Naava on the night before her wedding. Both were killed, along with five other innocents, by a 22 year old Palestinian suicide bomber. He had been assisted by four Israeli Arabs who were subsequently found and arrested. Like so many other bombed premises, Cafe Hillel was swiftly rebuilt better and smarter. It stands as an act of defiance against those who wished to undermine our people's will in their own eternal capital city.
As for the bereft families of the victims and the 45 injured - who may never recover from the physical and psychological trauma of that event - they deserve better than a government which rewards terror with territory and opens our border checkpoints to more of the same.
They deserve better than leaders who put their trust in Mahmoud Abbas, an unrepentant Holocaust denier, who is frightened of his own shadow and has declared again and again that he has no intention of disarming terrorists, even within his own Fatah organisation.
And why do our leaders do this? Why do they so inuringly hand over vast swathes of our God-given homeland, when its liberation hill-by-hill can be measured in the blood of our valiant soldiers? The answer is: to please a Quartet of self-interest. Americans who need to appease Arabs to ease their plight in Iraq. Russians who supply Syria and Iran with all the weaponry they need. A corrupt EU whose auditors have refused for 11 successive years to sign off accounts from which hundreds of millions have flowed into Arafat's terror coffers. As for the fourth member, the UN's attitude to the Jewish state needs no introduction.
No! It must be our own self-interest and the security of our state and our people that should be held paramount by our leaders.
No-one said it plainer than the woodcutter who centuries ago used to live not far from Emek Refaim and became the renowned Torah sage whose name this cafe bears.
"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if not now... when?"
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