Giving in to Settlers
In a recent television appearance, Prime Minister Rabin said that
his gov¬ernment had changed the country's national priorities
and is not investing in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories (OPT). This is a fine dec¬laration, but it has
absolutely no connection with the reality on the ground.
On the very day of his TV appearance, bus fares in the whole
country were raised. However, simultaneously, fares in the buses
serving the set¬tlers in the OPT were actually reduced. The
government decided to give the settlers, and only the settlers,
another generous gift as if they were not receiving sufficient
financial bribing all along the line at the expense of hard-pressed
At about the same time, it was announced that the government, under
pressure by the settler lobby, had agreed to let them set up a
Civil Guard in the territories. This provides a legal cover for
their armed militia. Even Moshe Arens, the then-Likud defense
minister, vigorously opposed giving the settlers such a permit.
Aware of the grave danger involved in such a step, it is surprising
and regrettable that Yitzhak Rabin has given in on this and other
issues, large and small, to the settlers.
In the Summer 1994 issue, Dan Leon quotes Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein
of Alon Shvut as calling Baruch Goldstein a martyr and other
complimen¬tary phrases. It was not Rabbi Lichtenstein, but Dov
Leor of Kiryat Arba who made these comments, in response to a
letter from Rabbi Lichtenstein in which the latter called Goldstein
a mass murderer and condemned the eulogy and comments made at
Goldstein's funeral. Rabbi Lichtenstein sup¬ports the current
peace process and is open to territorial compromise.
Rabbi Michael Balinsky Illinois
Other readers pointed out this error by Dan Leon, and he
apologizes to Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.