Cain - The Voice Of Your Brother's Blood Cries Out To Me

As Israel has grown in population, so have grown its problems.  Wars are won against its enemies, but war between its own  people seem to increase. The citizens and government seem to know the answers for everybody but themselves. Ask an Israeli about what has to be done for peace in Bosnia, stability in Mexico, democracy in Quebec, Canada, and he has the answers. But when it comes to  dealing with themselves, they just  can't  begin to place things in their proper places. They can't find the real "Me" of Israel.  Let me explain.

Israel recently suffered one of the greatest setbacks in history, the assassination of the Prime Minister of Israel by an Orthodox Jew, Yigal Amir. Do you think that the Israeli government thought of looking inwards? No! They blamed the religious leadership in Israel and abroad. They engaged in a ruthless witch-hunt to vilify all Orthodox Jews, branding them extremists. No Israeli official will visit a synagogue where the rabbi has spoken against the present policy of the government of Israel. This is under the supposition that all Orthodox rabbis are to blame for the assassination.

What's ironic is that it was an Orthodox leader who started to talk to Arab leaders about peace long before the creation of the Israeli government.

Sadly, it was a secular government party that killed the Orthodox leader and stopped the then long-awaited peace agreement between Jews and Arabs.

All of this happened in 1919 when the Orthodox community in Israel realized that a free-thinking secular Zionist movement would not fully represent the needs of the Orthodox Jews. A group of important rabbis, doctors and lay leadership created a group, the Vaad HaIr, an organization for Orthodox Jews. The leader was Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, a great sage well loved by the Jews in Israel. Drs. Wallach and Auerbach also belonged to this group.

A second group that claimed to represent the people of Israel was the secular Zionist. Their leader was Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who went against everything the Orthodox group wanted. Weizmann asked Jews to stop sending funds to the Yeshivas and Torah schools that disagreed with his polices.

The debate of who should represent the people went on for many years. It seemed that the secular Zionist would win as they had the political savvy and would manipulate the British overseers of Palestine. When all seemed bleak for the Orthodox, a new star arose that changed the entire picture for the future people.

Professor Yaakov Yisrael De Haan was born in 1881 in a small town near Amsterdam. He was a totally assimilated Jew who married a non ewish woman. A lawyer fluent in 15 languages he earned the prestigious rank of docent, a university lecturer of law. Being an active member of Holland"s social democratic party, he became known as a determined fighter for social justice.

Within a few years, he was well+nown by kings and queens. He traveled to Czarist Russia to alleviate the suffering of Jews there. The queen of the Dutch showed great interest in his wisdom and a clear understanding of law and justice. In short, he was the darling of many.

Inexplicably, Professor Yaakov decided to re-evaluate his commitment to Judaism and became an Orthodox Jew.

In 1920 he left Holland in the Queen's special train entourage bound for Israel. There he became an ardent Zionist. It was during his first year in Jerusalem that he met the Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld. At the meeting he accepted the rabbi's interpretation of Judaism. Dr. De Haan, as he was called, became an Orthodox Jew. The Vaad HaIr appointed him as the secretary to the organization. His role was to represent the Orthodox side of the emerging Jewish country of Israel. But leaders of the secular Zionist movement, then called Vaad Leumi, censored the professor who had become an advocate for the Orthodox  community. They had him removed from his lecturing post at the university.

Early Israel had two movements that worked for their people: the Vaad HaIr - the Orthodox leadership with Dr. Yaakov De Haan as the dedicated and talented spokesman and the Vaad Leumi the Secular Zionist Labor Movement, (later called the HaHaganah Movement). Both movements wanted to control the land and people and claimed to be the true representatives of the Jewish people.

Amazingly Dr. De Haan was successful and accomplished miraculous feats. For example, he arranged to meet King Hussein Ibn-Ali, the head of the Hashemite Dynasty, the great-great-grandfather of the present King Hussein of Jordan.

  Dr. De Haan had become a popular figure in the courts of the Arab monarchs. De Haan met with Emir Abdullah in Amman and secured his written approval of Jewish immigration to Palestine. At the end of the meeting Emir Abdullah announced that he had been instructed by his father, the King, to confer the "Oht Halstakal", Arabia's highest honor, on the venerable old Rabbi Chaim Sonnenfeld. Dr. De Haan was bedecked with a gifted Kafiah headdress and Abbayuh (cloak).

In 1995, we are excited about the unprecedented peace agreements. In truth, the Orthodox Jews already had an agreement signed by the ruler of the Heshemite Dynasty in 1925!

The Haganah leadership and Dr. Weizmann were livid. If anybody had the right to meet with Arab leadership it was to be the secular Zionist and not the old-fashioned Orthodox Jews! In 1924 the secular Zionist group realized that Dr. De Haan was simply too powerful and something had to be done. His independent group had connections with Jewry in Europe and America. The Zionist movement in its infancy would not survive solid competition from the Orthodox. Something had to be done. It was decided that Dr. De Haan had to be killed!

The historian of the Haganah, Saul Aviger, confirmed in his book Toldoth HaHaganah that all the accusations that had been made by the Orthodox community four decades earlier were true!

"One of the missions carried out at that time by the Haganah headquarters was the assault on De Haan - Orders were received in Jerusalem from Haganah headquarters to eliminate the traitor."

A half-century after the murder, shocking revelations were made in a radio program called Zarkor (spotlight) broadcast over Israeli radio (in November 1970). The producer of the broadcast, Chaninah Amotz, did a thorough job of investigating, inducing many of the people that he interviewed to talk for the first time. The following is excerpted from that broadcast:

Yehudah Slutzki (editor of Kitsur Toldoth HaHaganah) said, "Until the First World War, the old yishuv was in control. They had comprised the majority of the Jewish population and now felt like prisoners in their own home. The old yishov refused to surrender and submit to secular domination: De Haan used his connections to move the struggle into the realm of international politics. He aspired to establish a  political organization to rival the Zionist movement, which was then still in its infancy and not yet fully established - this was the danger of  De Haan.

The commander of the Haganah received instructions to eliminate the traitor. He relayed the orders to Zechariah Urieli, Haganah commander in Jerusalem, who entrusted his mission to two members who had recently arrived from Russia.

"Naturally, I appeared on the scene immediately. Since I knew in which direction the gunmen had to escape - I directed the police to pursue them (in the opposite direction)."

This was the first major assassination of a religious Jew by the opposing leadership.

The second time was in May 1948. Israel had announced its independence. There were two groups trying to control the rapidly formed country. One was called the Irgun, led by a brave and heroic man, Menachem Begin. He later became Israel's Prime Minister. His ideas and politics are represented by the "Likud" political party. They are the leading opposition to the present peace talks in Israel.

The second group was called the Haganah. It was led by David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann. Their fighting men were called the Palmach. The recently assassinated Prime Minister, Yitzchak Rabin, was an important officer in the Palmach.

The Irgun and Haganah always were at different sides of the pole. However, a special deal was worked out where both groups would work together to free and guard the new state, Israel. During the 1948 combined attack by Arabs, both the Palmach and the Irgun were running out of ammunition and food.

Riding to the rescue out of Marseilles came the Irgun ship Altalena. It carried 5,000 rifles, one million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 grenades, 300 Bren guns, 50 cannons, 4,000 aerial bombs, nine tanks and 50 anti-tank guns and large quantities of medical equipment. Also aboard were 920 trained combat soldiers - all volunteers.

The Weizmann-Ben-Gurion Government had given a precise and specific go-ahead to the Altalena.

Dropping anchor off the shores of Palestine, the arms ship ran smack into Ben-Gurion's betrayal. Instead of being received by winches and cranes and friendly hands to help unload the desperately needed cargo, the Altalena faced an inconceivable reception - arranged by Ben-Gurion. Jewish soldiers on shore opened fire with rifles and cannon on the sitting duck of a rescue ship. One of those involved in the fight was Officer Yitzchak Rabin.

The Altalena was sunk. Twenty of its Hebrew fighters were killed, half of them in the water while trying to swim ashore, some on the shore in cold blood. Benurion sank the cargo that could have brought total victory over the Arabs. He removed a possible political rival, the Irgun. Ben-Gurion made a ringing statement in the newly-established provisional parliament of Israel.

He said to the Jews and to all the world:

"Blessed be the cannon that blew up the ship. It should be enshrined in the Third Temple of the Jews."

Once again, Haganah, the new labor government had assassinated its own.

In 1953 Malchiel Greenwald sued the Labor government of Israel for dishonesty. This caused then Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and Labor leader David Ben Gurion to countersue for libel against the Israeli government.

Greenwald, an Orthodox Jew, accused a high ranking Israeli official from the Labor party of being a double agent - a Nazi collaborator. He claimed that Rudolf Kastner, the spokesman for Trade and Industry Ministry of Israel, an esteemed Israeli government official, was really an alleged agent for plans of compromising the Jews of Hungary. He was accused of selling out the 750,000 Hungarian Jews to the Nazis in favor of saving those he felt important.

The trial had most Israelis glued to the news. Each day terrible incidents surfaced. What was going to happen if the trial continued? There would be a national collapse of the Labor government starting with Prime Minister Moshe Sharett. Many other high-ranking Labor elected officials would be brought to trial. All this would happen because of Dr. Kastner's actions during the war years.

After four years of trials and embarrassment to the Labor government, Dr. Kastner was assassinated by a Jew. It was an ex-Haganah officer who rushed to the crime but, as strange as it sounds, he could not describe the assassin and Kastner died on March 17, 1957. With him dead, the Labor Movement was saved.

The actual confessed killer was Zev Erickstein who had worked as an undercover agent for the state of Israel Intelligence service now called the Shin Bet.

Once again Haganah, the now Labor government, had assassinated its own.

In 1954, the Israeli press carried reports of bombings of United States libraries in Cairo and Alexandria and in Egyptian movie theaters playing American or British pictures. It was reported that Israeli agents had been arrested in connection with the incidents.

Labor leader Prime Minister Sharett was informed that a major on reserve duty in the intelligence corps had ordered the operation in accordance with instructions from Colonel Binyamin Gibli, chief of military intelligence.

The operation had been naively conceived. The bombings had been calculated to get the United States and Great Britain angry at the Egyptians and thus, perhaps, to torpedo negotiations that seemed to be leading to an Egyptian takeover of British military installations in the Suez Canal Zone. The operation was clumsily executed and ended in tragedy. One member of the ring committed suicide in jail, two were later executed, and six went to prison for long terms.

Thus was born an issue that clouded Israeli political life for a decade. It brought down the government, split a party, made bitter enemies out of bosom friends, and tarnished the image of Mr. Ben-Gurion, who at the time had been away from the seat of power.

The Israeli government messed up. For reasons unknown the secular Labor government feels free to spill blood when they deem it necessary!

Now with Prime Minister Rabin dead, blood again has been spilled and the Labor Party may, once again, be to blame.

It's no secret that the General Security Service (GSS), Israel's equivalent of the Secret Servcice, failed to protect Prime Minister Yitzchok Rabin. What is a big secret is that the GSS may have trained the killer and conspirators!

A close friend of assassin Yigal Amir is the head of an extreme movement, the Eyal. He is Avishai Raviv. It has been reported that Raviv has been on the GSS payroll for the past eight years. It seems that the Labor Party wanted to have the Likud Opposition Party look as bad and violent as possible. They may have asked Raviv to make demonstrations as violent as possible. This is in order to anger the central Israeli citizenry against the Likud-Opposition Party.

The plans went like this. If an "Eyal" member would be stopped from an assassination attempt, the country would call the opposite Likud fanatics and the Labor-Rabin government would capture the imagination and votes of the citizens of Israel. This was needed to bolster Rabin's close marginal call in the 61-59 vote prior to the assassination.

Did the GSS know of Amir's assassination attempt but do nothing? Were they waiting to be in the position to stop Amir at the pro-peace rally? This, of course, would have been a feather in the cap of the GSS. It would have helped the Labor Party prove their point: Likud parties are extreme fanatics who will stop at nothing.

Too bad that their mole Avishai Ravin did too good of a job. Ravin may have planned the assassination but his students were a step ahead of him. They carried out the plan that ultimately killed Rabin.

Once again, the Israel government messed up. But this time, instead of shooting themselves in the foot, they shot themselves in the heart.

Israeli government fools us with deflection, putting the blame on extremists even though they may be to blame. They have helped to create the Extremists. They now focus the blame on the yeshivas, the Orthodox rabbis and even the American rabbis.

The Labor government is following a pattern that has not changed for the past 70 years.

Before the state came into existence, murders were committed by Jews against Jews. When the state was announced, murders were committed by Jews against Jews. Since the growth of the State more and more violent crimes are being made by government officials and innocent people are being blamed.

There is a story told of a busy lifeguard on the beach. Every half hour the lifeguard could be seen running from one end of the beach to another busily saving people. Finally a concerned citizen stopped the lifeguard and said, "It would be wiser for you to got to the pier and stop the angry man from throwing innocent people into the ocean."

The angry man may just be the old Labor movement.