Some people go off the edge in life. They totally lose it and become dangerously unpredictable. It's hard to measure extremists. Was Baruch Glodstein a nihilistic unpeacful Jew? Or should he to be considered a militant hero? Was he right in doing what he did? Was he wrong? Who is worse in your mind, Baruch Glodstein or a member of Hamas? Are they both equally guilty? Do you see a scenario where one is better over the other?
ONE YEAR LATER -
PURIM HEBRON 1994 REMEMBERED
By Dr. Manfred R. lehmann
A year will soon have passed since Purim 1994--and it is likely that the leftist press will use the opportunity to heap again lies, abuse and distortions on the memory of Dr. Baruch Goldslein.
Here are some of the things they will spread throughout the media: Goldstein wonted to derail the peace process...Goldstcin refused to treat Arabs... Goldstein was a poor soldier...his atack was unprovoked ...his victims were peaceful worshippers...no Arab weapon was found in the Machpelah... the Shamgar Report found no evidence of hostility by the Arabs against the Jews... this incident was proof that Jews are terrorists no less tihan the Arabs.. the Hebron incident justifies Arab terrorism... Goldslein is typical for violence by all settlers...
All these statements are false and malicious. Before analyzing them we should perhaps ask ourselves: which are the motives of the leftist fanatics to use Goldstein for their purposes? Here are some of the sinister motivations:
1. Firstly,the Leftists are keen to help their PLO friends to clear out the Land of Israel of Jews, starting with Hebron and "setllements."
Immediately after Purim they raised a clamor for the disarming of all setllers throughout Israel. This would make them exposed to murderous Arab attacks, and would force them to abondon the setllements and surrender them to the Arabs.
2. The leftists have, on ideological/materialistic grounds, determined to destroy the image of any Jewish hero. In this vein they have caried out the "debunking" of our greatest heroes in our history: they claim that the martyrs of Massada did not really commit suicide, they denounce the hero of the Second Revolt, Bar Kochba, as not a great hero at all, they deny that Josef Trumpeldor, the early Zionist martyr, said "It is good to die for our Land" they even claim that Hanna Senesh, the great Holocaust martyr, was really a traitor who denounced her fellow partisans to the Nazis ...Recenlly a TV program was produced in Israel attacking the story of Hanna Senesh's martyrdom - when a storm of protest arose, the author had to admit that his story was pure fiction and that the evidence of Hanna's heroism still stood. But the image of Goldstein as a hero has to be destroyed!
3. The leftists need an excuse for the Arab murderers who have killed scores since last Purim. It is convenient to imply that these murders somehow were provoked by Goldstein instead of by the inherent Islamic hatred for jews, which has been allowed to take violent form since the Oslo "peace"agreement.
MEETING GOLDSTEIN'S PARENTS
On my last stay in Israel, I invited Mr. and Mrs. Israel Goldstein to come from their home in Kiryat Arba to visit me in Jerusalem. It was a very significant and emotionol meeting. On the personal side the deep mourning over their beloved son was of course with them every moment.
They related to me the many details of Baruch's childhood and youth. His life in the USA was so similar to that of thousands of young Orthodox boys and girls, brought up in Day Schools and Yeshivoth. Only Baruch yearned for making aliyah and making a contribution in Israel as a doctor. His family ancestry, through his mother, went back eight ganerotions to the Baal Hatanya founder of the Lubavitch dynasty. Members of his family had been victims of the Arab pogrom of Jews in Hebron in 1929, when some 69 Jews were slaughtered, without the British troops interfering. The memory of this tragedy weighs heavily on all residents of Hebron, it shows that the lribe of Arabs in Hebron, the Hebronite Arabs, more than most other Arab tribes are known for their violence and blood thirst. They are the descendants of the Arabs who on June 17,1839, almost murdered Sir Moses and Lady Judith Montefiore when they visited the Machpelah with the Turkish Governor. His diary reports the near-outbreak of an Arab pogrom of the large old Jewish community in Hebron after that near-fatal visit.
In tear-drenched moments, Goldslein's mother. told me of her son's total commitment after his years as a student ot Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein Medical School to his profession as a doctor. She showed me confirmation of his healing an Arab terrorist.
The details ond facts the Goldsteins documented to me, reflected some of the findings in the 338 page Shamgar Commission Report of which I obtained a copy - but were not widely published under the obvious leftist inspired censorship which had been imposed on many of its findings. Thus on page 77 the Report confirms that Goldstein treated ond healed an Arab terrorist in October 1990. If this had been publicized, the world press, including Time Magazine could not have claimed that Goldstein hated Arabs and refused to treat them.
The central feature in the actual events, clouded in the official versions, came out crystal clear from Ihe documents his parents brought.
WARNINGS OF ARAB POGROM
A. On February 21,1994 The Kiryat Arba Town Council near Hebron had an emergency meeting called at short notice by General Mofaz and Brigadier General Kalifi who warned the residents that the Army had concrete evidence that the Arabs were planning a serious attack, and the Jewish medical officers be ready for emergency aid (this referred to Dr. Goldstein as the head medical officer in Kiryat Arba).
B. At the same time a leading Israel newspaper Yediot Aharonot, published a news report before Purim with a report that Hamas forces in Hebron had for days circulated through their terror group Ez a-Adin Alquasam,the murderers who recently had killed the Lapides and other Hebronite Jews, an alert to all Arabs in Hebron to stock up with food and provisions since a great attack on Jews would take place ond that it could be expected that, afterwards,the Israeli government woule impose a curfew on the Arab populalion. This all-important clue to the impending Arab pogrom is contained in the Shamgar Report (Page 236): "This being a Friday, the end of the Ramadan holy month, warnings of an attack had been given. There were no grounds for expecting a Jewish attack on Arab worshippers - but to the contrary an attack by the Hamas was expected." The background to these warnings is elaborated on, on page 235 of the Report with a description of the violent ond hostile mood of the Arabs and their cries of "Etbach el Yahud".
C. The Report also contains an account (page 139) of the appeal by the Sheikh Tayassar Temimi in the Machpelah to kill Jews, which set the bellicose mood of the Arabs.
D. The Israeli Press (Hatzofeh of February 27th) reported that on the eve of Purim some 2000 Arabs gathered during the time of the reading of the Megillah and shouted the infamous warcry "Etbach el - Yahud" - slaughter the Jews. These blood curdling cries must have shocked and unnerved every Jew and were foreboding for what the Arabs had prepared for the next day. In 1929, too, the pogrom had been preceded by the dreaded warcry. Baruch Goldstein understood full well what was impeding. The Lapids, recent murder victims of the same terror group, had died in his arms.?..
E. At least one witness, Mordechai Sayed, heard from inside the Machpelah that a gun, wrapped in an Arab "kafiye" was found in tha Machpelah, proving that the Arabs-fariom being peacful worshippers, were armed for their planned pogrom. The witness to this discovery offered the Shamgar Ccommission to testify about his discovery, but was informed by Commission by their letter to him of April 12, 1994 that "there is no need for your testimony." This refusal is most curious and indicates a preconceived prejudice to rule out evidence of Arab provocations. (No body search was conducted on Arabs entering the Machpelah.)
F. I was shown various personal eye witness accounts describing the threatening position prior to Purim: Carl Bishop, an American visitor with a group from the States, encountered violence at the Machpelah one week before Purim. Betya Cohen, local resident, testified that she heard in the days before Purim Arab appeals by loadspeaker "screaming in flowery language that the Holy Land must be recovered from the evil people (the Jews)." Mrs. E.S., a local resident, testified about the Arab broadcasts before Purim heralding Arab attacks on Jews. When she reported this to the Israeli Army she was told "we know." Similar Arab broadcasts had been heard some weeks before which were followed by the attacks on the Lapides, resulting in killing of 2 of their members. Yisrael Ben Ahron, an Army reservist in Kiryat Arba, testified that he saw Arabs storing food before Purim, and that although the Army knew this, they did nothing about it. Yitshak Matoof, local resident, testified that "Arab storekeepers told me not to come to the Machpelah on Purim as it will not be good for Jews there." Ilan Tor, local resident, who was used to reciting Tehillim every morning in the Machpelah was terrified Purim morning "by fhe Arabs howling 'Slaughter the Jews' and their threaiening gestures." Mr. Tor was sure that he would be killed by Ihe Arabs. IDF major D.S. testified before the Shamgar Commission that he was afraid to sleep in his usual place on Purim eve "because he knew that something terrible was going to take place and he wanted to be ready."
GOLDSTEIN ON THE EVE Of PURIM
Dr. Goldstein had gone to the Machpelah Purim eve, Thursday evening, to attend the reading of the megillah, but could not pray because of 1he howls of the Arabs "Etbach el Yahud" (Slaughter the Jews). He later told his father that when he turned to an IDF soldier and asked him to stop the Arabs, the officer just shrugged his shoulders and turned away. Goldstein left the Machpelah and atiended the Megillah reading in the Community Center in Kirya Arba. The Shamgar Commission never interviewed Goldstein's parents.
These testimonies give ample proof of the explosive atmosphere which the Arabs had created in the Jewish population. David Bar-lan, the Chief Editor of Jerusalem Post, writes to me in a letter: "The Shamgar Report says 'It should be pointed out that a day before the massacre, a proclamation was distributed in Hebron from a terrorist organization saying that a terrorist action would take place within one or two days." It lakes only common sense to conclude precisely that Goldstein acted to forestall a massacre."
G. lt is cryslal clear that nothing was further from Goldstein's mind than "derailing the peace process." He felt responsible for the entire community which faced a blood bath, for which ample threats and notifications had been given. In his anguish about the impending loss of lives especially in light of the Israeli Army's apathy in similar situations in the past, he must have felt that he had to take the defense of his fellow Jews into his own hands. No doubt a well - established Jewish legal rule was also on his mind "Ha-Ba le-horgecha hashkem le-horgo."-If you are threatened by murder, you can preempt it by killing the murderer in self defense. It is also evident that his act thwarted a blood bath which would have killed and maimed countless Jews - much as in the Arab pogrom in Hebron of 1929. His act was therefore thoroughly provoked - not unprovoked as the leftist propaganda wants us to believe. The Arabs were not peaceful worshippers but hostile fanatics, partly armed, ready to launch their pogrom against Jews.
H.The incident cannot have any bearing on the position of "settlers" anywhere else, nor can it ever be used to justify unprovoked acts of murder and massacres being perpetrated by Arabs in fulfillment of Islamic religious commands. It has not before been pointed out that the Purim pogrom would have fallen on Friday, the holy day of Moslems on which many of the murders of Jews committed since the Oslo "peace" agreement have taken place. Generally unknown, but undoubtedly known to Baruch Goldstein is the fact that the 1929 Hebron Pogrom also broke out on a Friday - August 23! No wonder that a blood bath was also to take place Fraiday Purim 1994. Some of the murderers have openly confessed that by sacrificing Jews to Allah, thay come closer to him. That fact, too, must have weighed on Goldstein's mind - the threat of a pogrom on a Friday was more threatening than on any other day.
I. Goldstein parents handed me proudly some certificates issued by the Israeli Army certifying Baruchws exemplary character and service record: He had just been promoted to the rank of Major. In the lengthy ietter of promotion it says: "All his services have always been performed without monetary awards, worthy of highest praise. If there is an officer in the District of Judea and Samaria worthy of promotion in rank it is wihout doubt Dr. (Captain) Baruch Goldstein."
In another diplomo the Medical Chief of the Army thanks Goldstein for miraculously saving the lives of soldiers who had been wounded by Arab terrorists: "With your dedication you saved the lives of the wounded and you saved an entire world."
Another magnificent diploma thanked Goldstein for his committed medical services beyond the call of duty. After he served in Lebanon, the army issued a certificatc thanking him for his "devoted, efficient, diligent, enterprising, thorough, disciplined and expert exercise of his medical profession."
All these documents should lay to rest the malicious, totally unfounded criticism of this exemplary soldier and doctor
PREEMPTIVE STRIKES IN JEWISH HISTORY
A year after the event, there is every reason to honor Goldstein's memory as a Jewish patriot who, only in the last desperate resort available to him preempted a vast blood both of Jews being prepared for Purim morning 1994. As a self - sacrificing comnassionate doctor his aim was to heal and save lives. He was incapable of an act of murder. Forced by the impending disater and convinced that the Government would not sufficiently protect the Jews against Arab attack, he took their defense into his own hands. We can think of outstanding acts of preemptive strikes in our long history, ranging from Pinheas and Samson in Biblical days, to incidents during the Crusades, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, the uprisings in Nazi death camps, to the preemptive attack, under Rabin, in the 6-Day War. They are all remembered with awe and reverence.
I am grateful to Goldstein's wonderful parents for sharing the evidence with me, and its publication should serve as a well deserved consolation to them in their grief. Those who rushed to judgment last year, should rightfully hang their heads in shame.ADVERTISEMENT
THE JEWISH WEEK, FEBRUARY 24,1995