Jonathan's Divrei Bracha at the Tu B'Shvat Planting of
"The Jonathan Pollard Freedom Forest"

Justice4JP Release - February 8, 2004

Acheinu HaYikarim, Kol Beit Yisrael, Shalom ooVracha!

I hope and I pray with all of my strength and all of my heart to stand before you in person and speak these words... No matter what the future holds, Esther and I are with you today fully in thought and in spirit.

This official Israeli Government ceremony marking the establishment of  The Jonathan Pollard Freedom Forest, is an extraordinary event, an important moment in Jewish history.

Why is this event so extraordinary? Because it is a great Kiddush HaShem which is taking place during a morally-debased and very turbulent era in our history. It is an oasis of purity and holiness in a wilderness of brazen corruption.

These are unusually troubled times, and Israel is fighting not only for its life but for its very soul.

These are times of extreme poverty. An unacceptably large percentage of Israeli children go to sleep hungry every night. They wake up hungry, they go to school hungry and they go to sleep hungry again. Why? Unemployment is rampant. There are no jobs. Even those who are employed simply aren't making enough money to make ends meet. And why is that?

A gross failure by our leaders to ensure the country's national security, coupled with personal greed and a lust for power have essentially destroyed the Israeli economy and forced upon us a humiliating addiction to American foreign aid. As a condition of American foreign aid, we have repeatedly trashed our own military and civilian industries to buy American goods. Now, an industrious nation that loves to work and to produce, can find no jobs for idle hands, and our children go to sleep hungry.

In accepting American sovereignty over us, we have lost far more than our independence; we have lost our national pride. Without national pride, we lack the will to stand up for our own national interests. We have become cowards, afraid to defend our own interests, and afraid even to defend our own lives.

Fear envelopes our country. Our streets, our shopping malls, pizzerias, synagogues, buses and cafes have become killing fields. Our people ride in bulletproof buses and cars, equipped with protective screens. But the enemy does not cower in bulletproof vehicles. The enemy lives comfortably in our midst. The enemy walks free and mocks us.

Our leaders talk out of both sides of their mouths to reassure us. They tell us that we are "making peace." They ignore every atrocity perpetrated upon our people. Our boys and girls, our mothers and fathers, our children and our lifeblood are sacrificed daily on the altar of "peace."

Our leaders rationalize the destruction of Jewish settlements and synagogues. They are so fearful of "world opinion" that they cannot even contemplate destroying a vicious enemy in our midst, much less destroying those mosques and churches which harbor terrorists and stockpiles of explosives and arms.

Graft and corruption amongst our leaders is so all pervasive that it is now the norm. Our top level politicians routinely, callously deceive the People of Israel. And a weary nation, overcome by incessant tragedy and grief has become indifferent to the corruption and lies of leaders who continually subvert the nation's affairs to their own.

Only days ago, our Prime Minister stood up in Cabinet and declared that freeing 463 murderers and terrorists to secure the release of 1 Israeli and the return of 3 dead bodies was "the moral choice" and "the right and decent thing to do." He justified this chillul HaShem as the "mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim." And no one opposed him.

Not a single Minister had the courage of conviction to stand up and tell the Prime Minister: Stop! This is NOT the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim! This is a chillul HaShem! This is Laag LaRash to Ron Arad, to Zacharia Baumel, to Tzvi Feldman, to Yehuda Katz, and to all of the nation. It is a grave sin against the dead and an act of utter contempt towards the living!

But that is not all. At the funeral ceremony for the 3 dead captives, Shaul Mofaz, the Minister of Defense publicly betrayed all of our soldiers. He reiterated Israel's commitment to bring home all of our MIAs and captives, mentioning them all by name and even including the civilian, Azzam Azzam. Only my name was omitted. The Minister of Defense, the man who is directly responsible for my file as an Israeli captive and for my fate as an Israel agent in peril, did not even mention my name - and not a single word of protest was raised.

By leaving me out, the Minister of Defense of the State of Israel demonstrated his fear of and his subservience to the Americans. He effectively sent a clear message to all of our soldiers: that not all who serve the State are equal; that Israel does not and will not stand behind all of her boys equally, but will pick and chose whom to rescue and whom to abandon according to craven political considerations; not moral or decent ones.. And again, no one protested.

At FCI Butner, in the prison TV room, I watched CNN as terrorist chieftains Sheik Obeid and Mustapha Dirani alighted from the plane which carried them to freedom. They were thronged by crowds rejoicing at their arrival and singing songs of victory. As I watched, I imagined the family of Ron Arad and how they must feel watching this scene. Ron's family KNOWS and we KNOW that Ron is alive and still waiting for us to rescue him. Dirani and Obeid were supposed to be the bargaining chips for Ron's release.... I have no doubt that Ron's captors forced him to watch their release on TV.

As I watched this spectacle, I began to feel deeply ashamed. I felt humiliated. I felt ill. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to scream. But as a prisoner, giving vent to one's emotions is a risky proposition and may have severe consequences. So I just slumped down in my seat, and covered my face with my hands and sat there in utter despair.

A guard in the TV room approached me. He began to mock me. "Hey Pollard!" he said, "Looks like your People made a bad deal!" I removed my hands from my eyes and looked at him. He continued, "Tell me Pollard, if your Government gives a damn about you, why are those guys (Obeid and Dirani) free and you' re still sitting here?" I did not respond. All I was thinking is how much worse Ron Arad was probably experiencing from his captors now. The guard sat down next to me. Trying to draw me into conversation, he said, "Tell me Pollard. Was it worth it? You gave your heart and soul for that country. You 've been in prison for nearly 20 years, and they don't give a damn about you. Was it worth it?" I never answered him. But I will answer you:

My service to Israel was not on behalf of a particular government or party. I did not volunteer my services to advance political ambitions or goals. My only desire, my only aim was to protect and defend and save the People of Israel. Every single person who is here today to plant a tree in the Jonathan Pollard Freedom Forest is the reason I risked my freedom and paid so high a price. And if you want to ask me if it was worth it, without a second's hesitation, my answer is an emphatic: Yes! Yes, you are worth it! Yes! Without question and without a single doubt, you are worth it!

Today's ceremony stands in stark contrast to another Government ceremony held last week which welcomed home the Israeli citizen and the 3 dead soldiers. That ceremony conferred well-deserved honors upon the 3 dead soldiers and their families. Like all of the nation, Esther and I appreciated that. But the immoral route which our leaders took to secure these 3 bodies for Israeli burial has brought our nation to its knees, has destroyed our morale and wounded our soul. Our leaders have added new depth to our level of national humiliation. They have shown us just how low we can sink. How ugly we can be. How we can subvert hallowed concepts like the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim in such a debased and perverted way, that any victory obtained is shallow and leaves a bitter taste in our mouths.

Today's ceremony is the diametric opposite. Today, by showing solidarity with an Israeli agent in peril, you give honor to all who serve the State and you remind them, that just as you do not forget Jonathan Pollard, you will not forget a single soldier in the field. In doing so, you are practicing the true mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim, as it was meant to be. You are demonstrating all of those uniquely Jewish traits that characterize us as a nation: national honor, commitment, loyalty, righteousness, truthfulness, and faithfulness. Today, with purity of heart, you demonstrate the 3 virtues which characterize a Jew: you are a fine model of how the Jewish nation are bayshaneem, rachmaneem and gomlei chasadeem.

Your expressions of kindness, comfort and appreciation to me today are deeply touching. I am grateful for the encouragement you offer. Your participation today, affirming the concept of "Kol Yisrael arevim zeh l'zeh" is a credit to our Nation and brings honor to The G-d of Israel. In short, Esther and I are deeply honored to be a part of such a principled event in honor of the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim, which is a true Kiddush HaShem.

Equally important is the mitzvah of Planting the Land of Israel, which we are fulfilling here today. There can be no more meaningful way to reaffirm our commitment to the Land of Israel than by planting trees. With each tree planted, we are affirming our love of the Land and our eternal attachment to it. With each tree planted, our roots are sunk deeper into the Land. With each tree planted, we are assuring our future in Eretz Yisrael. We plant not for ourselves, but for our children and for all generations to come, with G-d's help.

The trees that we plant today will outlive us and outlast us, just as our love for G-d, Torah and the Land of Israel will outlive and outlast the hatred that our enemies have spewed upon us. Our trees will not be uprooted from the Land, and neither shall we. Our trees will bear fruit and multiply and so will we! With the help of G-d, in spite of our trials and tribulations, just like the trees, we and our children and our children's children shall overcome a difficult environment and all of our hardships and we will thrive! (Amain!)

Esther joins me in expressing our thanks to Minister of Agriculture Israel Katz. It was his hard work and dedication that made this event a reality today. Thanks are also due to MK Gilad Erdan and MK Orit Noked who worked hand in hand with Minister Katz.

To the Ministry of Education which refused to have anything to do with this event or any other Pollard activity past or present, we say no thanks. Your failure to educate students about all of the truly important Jewish values we have spoken of here today demonstrates how much things must change in the field of Israeli education if we want to ensure our survival as a Nation.

May the young faces in the crowd today - and thank G-d there are so many young faces at every Pollard event - be the faces of tomorrow's leaders and heroes in Israel. You are the generation of hope. I look at you and for the first time I can see a future for our People. You are the ones who have the vision and the morality to cleanse our nation of its sins and to restore Israel to its rightful place as a light amongst the nations and as a delight to our Creator. May G-d bless you all! May your wisdom increase and your strength be straight! May you soon lead us to a time where we can be proud Jews in our own Land. May this be the generation to throw off the yoke of gentile oppression and to restore G-d's might and power and glory to the land and the people of Israel! And May G-d bless us all! (Amain! Ken Yihi Ratzon!).

 Reproduced by Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director, Independent Media
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Weak Governments  implement false solutions
to buy time in power
A Maginot Line in the Sky
By Moshe Feiglin

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We are once again seeing an example of the methods used by countries to prop up their crumbling regimes.

To the question: Will the State of Israel continue to exist in another 30 years? most of those asked answered in the negative. This is something unique to Israel. Most Israelis regard their country as a fleeting incident, and the great efforts made to acquire foreign citizenship are evidence of this. Such a popular feeling of emptiness considerably worries the leadership.

Governments aspire to presenting as rosy a picture as possible, since a lack of physical and economic security present a threat to them. When it becomes impossible to prevent the public sensing the approaching disaster, the leadership begins to rerort to magical solutions, such as inventing an enemy that can be easily pursued. It's always a good idea to send the ignorant masses to hunt down witches, Jews, or the extreme Right.

Or, alternatively, you can hide the enemy from the people. You can build a Wall of China, so that the Mongols disappear, or Maginot Line behind which the Germans will simply evaporate, or a Bar-Lev Line, behind which the Egyptians will vanish and every Israeli will feel secure under Golda's apron. And now, of course, we have the separation fence.

Quite a few leaders have promised their nations, when on the brink of disaster, that they possess a secret weapon that will reverse the situation. To admit a mistake, to present the public with the naked truth and to propose a difficult,demanding, path, is something that very few leaders are capable of doing. Such Churchill-like figures are not very thick on the ground here.

Last week we were told of the successful trial of the Arrow missile. The Arrow is the best weapon system of its kind in the world. It incorporates the most advanced technologies of the 21st Century, something that only 3000 Jews working together on a single objective are capable of achieving.

This prestigious system faces the Scud missile, a flying barrel based on the V2 missile, after the German engineers who built it were taken prisoner by the Russians at the end of the Second World War. However, the Arrow has no chance in this struggle. Despite the world fear of the missile threat, no country is purchasing it, not even the Americans who have aided in its development.

The Arrow is the last word from the technological aspect, but ridiculous from the conceptual one.

Aryeh Stav, editor of Nativ, has compared the interception to two gunmen fighting a duel. One of then can fire whenever, in what direction, and as often as he wants. His opponent is only permitted to fire after the first has pulled the trigger, and then only at the bullet leaving the first gunman's barrel, at the final stage of its trajectory.

Amazingly enough the Arrow system succeeds in doing so. Unfortunately, laboratory conditions do not reflect the real-life situation in the future battlefield. According to the data published it is necessary to fire at least two Arrow missiles to guarantee hitting a single Scud missile. This means investing at least five million dollars to down a single Scud (that costs about five percent of this). If you calculate the total number of Egyptian and Syrian missiles currently threatening Israel, and try and deploy against them an effective number of Arrow missiles, you reach a cost exceeding the entire Israeli defense budget. In other words, even if you totally disband the IDF and spend all the money on Arrow missiles, you still can't provide a 100% solution to the greatest threat to the existence of the State of Israel.

Just keep in mind that the Dan Metropolitan Area is a single soft target, whose destruction with non-conventional weapons would bring an end to the Israeli story.

This means that a 50-60% effective solution is worse than none at all, since it creates an illusion of security and diverts resources to an impossible path.

We have addressed the economic aspect only, and not the tactical issues of the deception. A missile carrying a chemical warfare warhead, intercepted by an Arrow missile over Kfar Saba, will cause damage even if it does not complete its planned trajectory and reach Tel Aviv. And what will the Arrow do if it encounters missiles with multiple independently targeted warheads (MIRV)? It is only aquestion of time until these appear, and what will the Arrow do then? Split up to intercept them?

In fact, both the separation fence and the Arrow missile (that is also a kind of separation fence in the sky)
are systems intended to create an illusion of confrontation with reality, that a leadership lacking moral direction cannot understand, and whose challenges it is certainly incapable of confronting.

Our leaders will continue to spend many billions in order to buy time in power, using false solutions. The economic price is the least important part of the issue.

The billions wasted on these white elephants are taken from the mouths of hungry children, but the even more serious result is that Israel has been left exposed to a threat to its very existence, and its citizens have been sold the idea that the State is providing the required security.

A real solution actually exists, but it is associated with a totally different concept.

Zionsake Editor: More about Manhigut Yehudit's solution from their website:
We feel that Israel must strive to achieve noble objectives, instead of merely to achieve "peace", with a consequent inevitable collapse. In the same way as a man cannot exist without meaning for his life, neither can a nation. This is particularly true of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, that is constantly living under a threat to its very existence.

But what are the noble objectives that we must present as a national objective? They may be formulated only from the ancient Jewish consciousness, from the Bible, the morality of the Prophets, Jewish creativity thousands of years old, and the historic experience of our nation. All these may be summed up in a single sentence taken from the Aleynu Le'shabeah prayer: "to perfect the world under the kingdom of the Almighty". The objective of the Jewish people , and of the State of Israel (its official representative in the world), is to uplift the entire world to the level of recognition of the Divine Good, and of execution of the Divine Will. Does this sound frightening? Too religious? Let's examine it for a moment. What is the objective of other cultured peoples?

For instance, the US wishes to perfect the world under the kingdom of Democracy. The USSR wished to perfect the world under the kingdom of Communism. The French wished to perfect the world under the kingdom of the values of the Revolution (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). The Germans (may their name and memory be blotted out!) wished to "perfect" the world under the kingdom of Nazism. Only the Jewish people, the descendants of the Prophets, "the people that brought culture to the world" (Adams - the second President of the US) is forbidden to strive for more than just survival, and may only strive for "peace".

As Jews we have the key to the perfection of the world and its advancement towards a life of creativity and happiness. In order to do so we must develop a just society, a society developing in its own land and forming a shining example for the entire world. A society that is realizing, by its way of life, the morality of the Prophets, and forming a subject for admiration and imitation by the entire world.

From "A Sense of Reality" By Moshe Feiglin  02 March 2004
It seems that reality in Eretz Israel has its own rules: it is directly linked to the wishes of the Creator. Whatever matches His wishes is realistic, even if the entire world is recruited in order to do the opposite. This is of course true at all times, but in our time, in Eretz Israel, the Holy Land, it is felt immediately.

Again and again the apparently "realistic" people are hitting our heads against the wall. They think that their brand of logic matches reality. For them the country is only a piece of real estate (as Rabin said about the Golan Heights), a bargaining counter for negotiations. Those who do not take the Creator's wishes into account, are denying reality, and the price of the denial by our leaders is unbearable.

We know that there is always hope for Israel. We know that our Father in Heaven has not returned us to our country for the third time in order to destroy the renewed Jewish presence in the land of the Patriarchs. The latest version of the Return to Zion is not a macabre joke of the Creator.

So why do we need Manhigut Yehudit? After all, everything will turn out all right anyway...

...Authentic Jewish belief is not divorced from reality. On the contrary, it defines reality and obligates us to act in order to realize it.

Reality is the wishes of the Creator in His world. The reality is that there is G-d, that there is a nation indicating Him by its very existence, and that there is a country chosen by G-d for His nation only, and that only in it and from it the sons of the Creator can carry out their universal mission.

This is the reality, and our task is to expose it and realize it.

There is at the moment only one political body acting in coordination with this reality.

This is Manhigut Yehudit.

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