Monday, March 12, 2012

Credit, where it is due

Credit where it is due

This March marks tens years since one of the most horrid attacks and massacres that occurred during the Intifada or the War of 2000. This "uprising" or more accurately war, as some like to call it has actually yet to end. It is a war of ups and downs. The particular incident I am referring to is the attack at Wadi Haramiya, " the Valley of the Thieves". This particular attack occurred approximately 22 miles north of Jerusalem on road 60, known to us as the Way of the Patriarchs, between the communities of Ofra and Shilo. This attack claimed the lives of ten people, twelve were badly wounded, and many others scared for life.

It has become infamous, and is used today as an example for both the good and bad.

Where as this attack showed how dangerous our roads could be, it also showed how well our forces, both civilian and military could cooperate and work together to not only fight our enemies, but to provide first response, both tactical and medical.

It also showed the value that Jews from around the world play in the safety and protection of our people in Israel.

An example of that would be:

Bullet Proof vans donated by communities in the US, that found themselves in the line of fire, saved lives by providing cover from the deadly accurate fire of a sniper.

Bulletproof vests provided the minimum of protection to many of those who responded.

Medical equipment provided to both medics and ambulances was put quickly to use by medics who did not fear working under fire.

And optics enabled some to respond in a way only a terrorist would understand, ending his spree before he could do more damage.

If I sound too emotional about this incident it is because I was there, I remember the bodies, I remember the blood, I remember the heroes, I was RavShatz Shilo.

Those that are charged with first response throughout Judea and Samaria are called "RavShatz" or Military Security Coordinator. They and there teams work 24/7 keeping their communities safe. Be it the every day traveler, the farmer, the industrialist, the Security teams with the "RavShatz" at their head work hand in hand with the IDF, to provide this basic human right of security and saftey.

This special group is nothing new, they have been doing it for over 30 years. The renewed concept was set up when new Jewish communities started up throughout the Galil and Judea and Samaria.

The only differences between the groups is that the teams in Judea and Samaria were operating in coordination and under orders of the IDF due to the area is under military rule, the Galil being under normal police jurisdiction operates differently. Of course the threat factor is very different today, those in Judea and Samaria main challenge is their fight against terror and murder, whereas their contemporaries and volunteers in the Galil contend with theft and agricultural sabotage.

I admit the topic is personal to me, as I served as the Security Coordinator of the Shilo region between the years 1996- 2006, the high time of the Intifada. Almost everyday from September 2000, I had to deal with various means of terror attacks, eventually slowing down as the years went on.

This lack of notice of difference between the two goes on today, as we watch Jewish organizations throughout the world pay homage to others who have stepped up to do the job that police should have been doing in the Galil and Negev. Indeed, recollections of good old Zionist values are spoken of, as funds are showered, and podiums offered.

Yet this group of heroes who stop terror and put their lives daily on the line continues on in the shadows, barely recognized or appreciated by mainstream Jewish groups.

This piece is not being written out of envy, and by no means is it being written to downplay the value of a group working to strengthen our presence in the Galil in the face of continuing threats and challenges by the Arabs who terrorize and vandalize our farmers in the north. I might add in doing work that the police should be doing.

It is being written so that proper credit is given where it is due, to acknowledge and to educate, and to honor the hundreds who put there lives in front of so many others, most of whom they don't even know.

Ten years ago, we in the security establishment saw how working together as one proved to be a win-win situation. Furthermore we saw when working in tandem with Jewish communities throughout the world, we were able to save more Jewish lives and provide more of a secure atmosphere to those who have continued the Zionist dream that many of us were brought up with.

The world too has benefitted from this combination, this win-win scenario of unity, as new strategies and technologies came about that combat worldwide terror today.

We have not forgotten the "RavShatz" and his security and medical teams of Judea and Samaria, we never have and will continue to strengthen them and their teams and their heroic and superhuman efforts they make for all of us, all of our people.

One Israel Fund is proud to be apart of this, as being the first and foremost organization that these brave souls could always turn to in their, and our times of need.

After 18 years, “Chai” (Life) One Israel Fund remains that same organization, who will stand shoulder to shoulder with all who wish to provide safety and security to our people, who will continue to put their lives in harms way to keep our people strong and in our land, all of our land.

I too am proud to continue to be part of this effort and I remember to give credit where it is due.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Marc Prowisor

Director of Security Projects – One Israel Fund

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dim Wits

I have been observing how many, if not most of articles, speakers and groups both pro and anti Israel have been focusing mainly on the threat of radical Islam, Iran and the bomb, and convincing the "outside" world of Israel's right or lack of right to sit quietly and securely.

All of this focus, energy, and funding and lack of, to convince everybody else of our legitimate right to our historical lands and heritage.

Indeed, it has become the battle of the dayworld opinion, whose land is it? Senators, politicians, journalists, and activists from across the board occupy themselves with this issue, sometimes even religiously.

I even heard mentioned that Israel depends on the outside world to exist. Imagine, that if the White House doesn't care for Israel, we might disappear into the darkness. Forgive me if my naïveté does not allow me to agree.

I think we can safely say that many in the world are united in the effort to change Israel, as we know it, and not necessarily in a good way.

Many in the western world claim they would be satisfied with Israel turning over its heartland to the Arab residents. Indeed a move that would satisfy many of our own Jewish brethren, especially outside of Israel.

Of course the cries in the Arab world, and might I add especially in Arabic, not only call for Judea and Samaria, but cite that this is only stage one. This simply running the course of the Arab Spring, or as reality shows us, the "Brotherhood comes home".

But really, is any of this news? Has anything really happened in Israel lately that's surprising?

In Israel itself, the continued power struggle between Socialist/Labor Zionists and Nationalist Zionists continue, maybe there are more labels, changed names, but it is really the same old story.

On the one side the SLN (social labor Zionists) still dream of a Jewish State sans Judaism, and many are willing to chew off their legs to achieve this dream.

Opposing them, of course are the old Beitar School of Nationalist Jewish Zionists, both observant and not, whose Jewish State is connected to who we are, not just as a people, but as a nation and religion also.

Simply known today in the Israeli political arena as the "Left and Right"

Of course each side has its varied degrees, but that is essentially the basis of the internal conflict in Israel. At this point, it seems that the numbers are veering towards the Nationalist side, and this has the other side running scared. So scared that many have been seeking out their allies among our enemies.

In doing so, and choosing this strategy, these, let's call them Post Zionists for now, for lack of a better description at the moment, have actually not only strengthened and continue to strengthen our enemies, but infect many of our own people with an inability to see through the screen of lies and disinformation being spread about Israel.

This infection has adapted itself like a mutating virus and now disguises itself in many shapes and forms. The camouflage used has many an octopus seething with envy.

Names such as BDS, Jewish Voice for Peace, Young Jewish and Proud and so many others have become carriers of this infection without even realizing itsometimes-innocent victims of self-hatred and loathing. Carrying the banner of Human Rights and Justice, these pawns of hatred trudge on under the laughing eyes of the likes of George Soros, Muslim Brotherhoods, and various members of the Royal Saudi family.

Generals Chomsky and Finklestein will claim later they were only following orders, as their knights Friedman and Cohen (NYT), Remnick (New Yorker), Beinart, Ben Ami (J-Street) and others belonging to the Order of Thom, shirk accuracy, responsibility and a deeper understanding.

The innocent bystanders in these efforts of the dim-witted, (the present day mutations of many Social Labor Zionists) will not only be our Jewish people, but all who hold justice and truth dear.

Purim is upon us, a time we reflect on overcoming our enemies and reversing their despicable plans for our demise. Lets remember that the challenges we faced then still remains, our enemies still gnash their jaws at our doorsteps and are as strong as ever, and they are not only from the outside.

May we turn, with Gds help, all plans against our continued existence in all of our land, into blessings of success and joy!