It is incredible to me that these parties stay in the government. We must topple Olmert and his cronies immediately--before they destroy Israel!
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) In a moving, emotional Knesset speech, Likud MK Ruby Rivlin said the Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu MKs must act now to save Jerusalem - or else our national dreams might be lost.
Rivlin, a seventh-generation Jerusalemite and a strong opponent of the Disengagement, appeared to be close to tears as he called upon his fellow MKs - especially from those of the more nationalist-bent parties in the government coalition, Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) - to save Jerusalem from being divided by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert has reportedly agreed to divide Jerusalem into Israeli and Palestinian entities, with foreign control over the Temple Mount, in the upcoming Middle East summit in the United States.
Speaking on Monday to introduce a no-confidence motion in the government, Rivlin began:
"These are difficult days for Israel. We are all but ignoring events that are liable to influence our national history. Moshe Rabbeinu, in the Song of Haazinu [Deut. 32], which is a song of rebuke to the nation, told the people that they were a 'perverse generation, children with no faith' - people who may well not deserve a free state and must remain in exile, Heaven forbid..."
Rivlin said Prime Minister Olmert may, at best, be falling into the same trap into which his predecessor Ariel Sharon fell:
"I know that sometimes political leaders want to create processes that will leave their imprint, even if they know that they don't want to actually push those processes along before they are ripe. Sometimes they do these processes with a wink. I will tell you that Ariel Sharon summoned me to explain why I need not get all upset about Israel's adoption of the Road Map. He told me that we had to show the world that we were willing to make peace, and that there were four conditions that had to be fulfilled for the Road Map, and that they would never occur, so why should I worry?
"So I said to him, 'That's exactly what I'm worried about, because even if you have good intentions, you are leading us upon a path of inevitable destruction, because it will not be you, Arik Sharon, who will determine if those conditions are fulfilled... but rather the Quartet, the Europeans, and the United Nations... and it might cause a clash of interests between us and the Americans, in which the American president might interpret the situation in accordance with the US interest.' But he said, 'Do not worry and do not fear, it won't happen.' But then the Road Map fell apart, so he decided, incredibly, that he would carry out a unilateral withdrawal [from Gush Katif and northern Shomron] instead. I told him, 'With all due respect, you may think the unilateral withdrawal is instead of the Road Map - but the world will say it's just the first step of the Road Map...'"
Rivlin then called on Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu to save Israel from Olmert's errors:
"My friends and brothers, your election was for this moment; as Mordechai said to Esther, don't assume [that you alone will be saved]. The Prime Minister winks at you and says he is not referring to Jerusalem when he speaks of our need to give up national dreams - even though he is already not denying it. Olmert is the man who [in the 1990's] came up with the campaign that Peres was going to divide Jerusalem, and now he himself is telling you that he's only talking about dividing Jerusalem but that he really doesn't mean it?! The fact is that Condoleeza Rice is arriving here next week and she is setting the terms of the upcoming summit."
MK Rivlin asked the Shas MKs to speak with their spiritual mentor, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef:
"Go tell our teacher and rabbi, who is not only a great Torah giant but also a leader, and tell him [how catastrophic it will be] if the Temple Mount does not remain under Israeli sovereignty. For the Arabs say openly and without hesitation - you can even ask my good friend MK Muhammed Barakeh - that the Temple Mount is theirs and not ours, even though we know that we have returned to our Land to 'sound a great shofar for our freedom.' But tell the honored rabbi and great leader [Rabbi Yosef] that if we give up sovereignty, the Western Wall will become [destroyed and off-limits to Jews] like Joseph's Tomb."
Rivlin said he knows there are many MKs who "were essentially appointed and not elected" - a reference to Sharon's formation of the Kadima Party list before he took ill - and that they fear that they will not be re-elected in the event of new elections:
"Therefore, we can't talk to them [about toppling the government]; we must talk directly to the people... I turn not to the leader of Kadima, who once had a portrait of [Land of Israel loyalist] Ze'ev Jabotinsky on his wall, but to the MKs of Kadima, and I say: Refrain! And the same to those of Labor, who once said that Jerusalem would never be divided! ... And I turn to [Yisrael Beiteinu leader] Cabinet Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a good friend, the former Director-General of the Likud, a resident of Nokdim in Judea! And I say to you, 'Don't you realize that the moment we retreat from one of our fundamental beliefs and dreams, there will no longer be or remain the Zionist entity that we so much wanted to see as the sprouting of our Redemption?'"
"Yes, it's true, there is a dispute between two peoples in this land and in this country, and will probably not be solved for a long time; I hope we will find the solution. But you, members of Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu, please: You must realize that you were elected to protect this dream without which we cannot exist - for it is not a dream, it has come true, and if it becomes once more a dream that we can give up, Heaven forbid, then we will reach a situation in which we will be told to give up all of our dreams, and mainly the dream of [this] beginning of the sprouting of our Redemption."