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Sunday, February 08, 2004

May Hashem send us leaders out of the night

The Power of Graffiti by David Ha'ivri of Kfar Tapuach
I have a friend named Sam. He is older then I, he could be my uncle. I have a lot of respect for Sam; he has love for the Jewish people and has proven that with true "miserut nefesh". Sam was in the Irgun and was shot at by Rabin and Ben Gurion's soldiers on the beach in Tel Aviv.

My friend Sam is a member of the nationalist camp and always has been. He speaks with me often about his concern for what is happening to Israel, and he tries to fix things.

He called me the other day and said that he read in the newspaper that someone wrote on a wall in Jerusalem: "Sharon is a traitor ? Kahane lives". "Something must be done to stop this graffiti against Sharon because it is damaging the national camp", Sam said. Let's be clear, Sam is not a supporter of Sharon (anymore).

This is not the first time that Sam has called me about the writing on the walls. He called me about two months ago. Then too, newspapers around the world ran the story of some graffiti on a wall in Tel Aviv. I know that he doesn't think that I write the graffiti, but he thinks or hopes that I have influence on the people who do.

Who do you think writes graffiti on the walls? I'll tell you who: frustrated people who are not allowed any other means of expressing their views. What do you expect from youth who were beaten and tied up by the soldiers of the IDF, who then proceeded to demolish their shul, in European pogrom fashion? Where were the leaders of the Nationalist Camp while this was going on? Their silence was deafening.

What do you expect from youth who went to the Right-wing demonstration in Tel Aviv last month and were beaten by paid toughs under instructions of their employers (The Yesha Council) who gave them clear orders to beat anyone holding a picture of Rabbi Kahane. (I have a taped testimony of the manager of the "security" company). I can understand letting off some steam by scribbling a slogan on a wall. Under such circumstances, this might even be considered a mild response.

I told Sam the same thing that I told Avi Dichter and his Shabak agents: as long as the Kahane movement is unable to organize officially, there can be no official leadership of the movement. In these circumstances, any 15 year old with a can of spray paint is as much in charge as anyone else. If this situation does not sit well for the national camp or the government, then they are welcome to do what is needed to lift their ban and disgraceful classification of Kach and Kahane Chai as "terrorist organizations". The political gain that they thought to gain by outlawing Kahane has boomeranged on them, because when things get out of hand they have no one to turn to. Well, too bad.

After this conversation with my friend Sam, I had some additional thoughts. First, a 15 year old with a can of spray paint isn't a bad idea. It seems to be a very effective way of getting a message out. Just do the math - $5 for the paint and 5 minutes of fear, and presto -- your opinion is in newspapers around the world.

The second thought was about the sorry state of the Jewish people. If these 15 year olds are the biggest threat and opposition to Sharon, then where are the adults? Who are the leaders of the Nationalist camp that Sam is so worried about? Where are they, and what are they doing to stop the national sell out? Do they exist? For months all we hear is Sharon and Olmart competing with Peres and Belin on who can give away more and put Israel in a weaker position.

All of the "hawks" on the right are explaining why it's better for them to be in the government and not the left. They say the left's national suicide will be much more painful, and so, "its better that we do it". Does anyone stain the national camp's image more than they do? Can anyone damage the national camp more than they do themselves with their national sellout? Where is the opposition of Limore Livnat, Tzachi Hanegbi, Effi Eitam, Avigdor Leberman and Bibi Netanyahu? Have the perks of government portfolios softened their positions?

I salute the unknown soldiers who spray in the night and save some Jewish pride. There is yet hope for the Jewish people. May Hashem send us leaders out of the night.

Such a strange situation. Here in the U.S., people freely compare the president to Hitler, and the KKK is given a permit to march in the streets while in Israel, a bit of graffiti warrants such outrageous reaction. I don't get it. But then there is a lot I don't get. Yet.