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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

An open letter to Arik Sharon.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Let's see what happens to a person's powers of judgment when he or she fails to utilize the age-old wisdom of Torah:

Akiva Eldar writes in today's Haaretz, "On September 1, 1982, Reagan published his Middle East peace plan, which proposed autonomy for the Palestinians in the West Bank, as part of a federation with Jordan. Ariel Sharon was defense minister in Menachem Begin's government, which ripped the Reagan plan to shreds because, among other reasons, of its demand to freeze settlements. Rejection of the plan led, five years later, to a parting gift from the Reagan administration - the first official dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization. From there, it was a short road to the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accord, the Wye agreement and the road map."

So you see, Mr. Prime Minister, you - with your own two hands - fumbled the ball behind the PLO goal line; you put Arafat on the scoreboard!

When I read Eldar's article, my hands went clammy. On the very day when Regan announced his peace plan - Sept. 1, 1982 - a small but very special unit of the IDF identified and surrounded the villa in Beirut where arch-villian Arafat was holed up. Yassir's ugly puss was smack in the middle of their telescopic sites. The mission commander asked for an OK from HQ to pull the trigger. You, then Defense Minister Sharon, denied permission. Why? Only you know the answer, Mr. Prime Minister.

The pattern in Jewish history repeats itself. The minute one is compassionate with the cruel, one ends up being cruel with the compassionate. King Saul lost the kingdom because he took pity on the cruel and wicked king Agag of Amalek, Haman and Hitler's greatgrandfather. Ultimately, King Saul was cruel to the compassionate, by executing the Cohanim (priests) of Nob and by persecuting David.

Mr. Prime Minister, you have spared Arafat's life on more than one occasion; now, you are decreeing that 8,000 of the most beautiful families in Israel lose their homes. Be honest - you have no answers to a myriad of worst-case scenarios the day after an Israeli pullout from Gush Katif. When you're kind to the cruel you end up being cruel to the kind.

Mr. Prime Minister, you let the wolves of the antireligious parties chew away at child support, old age pensions, and Torah education. As a result, the wolves in your own den are waiting to eat you alive. Don't you realize that you've lost control? Some democracy, when you don't listen to your own party referendum and when you fire ministers to approve a decision. Yet, you're slave to a tiny but sinister political mafia the pulls your strings like a puppet on a wire. Admit that you're boxed in.

You can get out of the jam, Mr. Prime Minister. When a person loses all hope, and feels the cold edge of a sharp sword on his or her neck, all they have to do is to belay their foolish pride and cry out G-d's name. It's not too late, even for an old warhorse like you. Ask Hashem for help and guidance, he won't let you down. Call Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef, the Gerrer Rebbe, or Rav Leib Steinman and ask their advice. Better yet, call all three. Only the wisdom of Torah can get our beloved wagon out of the mud.

Most respectfully yours, Lazer Brody