[(Continued from p.7)]East coordinator, Dennis Ross, as Ross's successor.
Should these and similar appointments
occur, there is very little likelihood that the new
administration will do what is so urgently needed: Take stock and
drop the illusions about Arafat (and, for that matter, most
other Arab authoritarian interlocutors); make appropriate
adjustments in our negotiating goals and practices; and,
above all else, stop pressing forward along a path that is clearly exposing Israel to mortal peril as her enemies prepare for the first regional war since 1973.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. This essay originally appeared in the online edition of American Spectator.
Ehud Barak has again demonstrated how little he values Jewish lives. On Sunday, January 14, Ronni Tsalach, 30 and recently married, was abducted from a greenhouse he was tending near Kfar Yam. Arabs stole his car and drove him into Khan Yunis where they torched the vehicle and murdered him.
During the more than twelve hours between discovery of Tsalach's abduction and his murder, IDF forces in the area asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak (who continued to act as Prime Minister a month after having resigned) for authorization to enter Khan Yunis and retrieve their compatriot. Barak refused and eventually the Arabs murdered Tsalach. In response, Barak announced on January 15 that he was "freezing" for one day his "peace talks" with PLO-Fatah officers directing the Arab assault against Israel. Talks, his spokesman said, would resumed on Tuesday, January 16. As it turned out, even this "symbolic" pause was not observed. Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, who believes Israel will find peace through unilateral surrender, met the evening of the 15th with top Arafat aide Abu Ala.
Thus does rogue politician Barak cheapen Israeli life. Ronni Tsalach was worth one day's suspension of talks on how to slice and dice Israel for the thugs that the Labor Party has armed. Working his crops made Tsalach one of those "aggressive, right-wing extremist militia" upon whom this same Abu Ala declared open season. "Killing them is legitimate," he said (Voice of Palestine news roundup, Dec. 6, 2000). Ben-Ami hastens to confer with him on "peace."
"Every time you hear me declare a cease fire or halt in violence, ignore these declarations," Arafat told Marwan Barghouti, one of the senior organizers of the violence (Israel Radio, Nov. 9, 2000). "We are in a difficult financial situation because of the intifada. Our only hope of getting more money is from the Arab states but they will not give money if there is not blood. Therefore, press, press, press."
Ehud Barak and his sponsors are surrendering the Temple Mount, heart of Judaism and Jewish hope, offering to reduce Israel to indefensible borders, abandoning its citizens to daily attack and its allies, the southern Lebanese Army and friendly Palestinians, to PLO summary trial and execution.
These betrayals of responsibility to their nation and people inspire confusion, contempt, and anger among the Arabs, many of whom would like to be rid of Arafat and live in peace with Israel, as a riveting series of interviews shows. Last month, in the Israeli weekly Makor Rishon, journalist Ilia Bisk wrote up his experiences talking with Arabs in and around Jerusalem. "I don't want Arafat. I don't know anyone who wants him," commented one taxi driver. "He's not even a Palestinian," he added accurately. "No Jerusalemite wants to be under the control of the Palestinian Authority. We're here in Israel. We have work, our children are safe, what more can a person ask? Ask any woman who gets National Insurance [welfare benefits] from Israel. My father, who is 90, tell him to 'go over to the Authority' and immediately he will call for the Angel of Death. If I wasn't afraid to do it, I'd put up a big sign on the taxi: 'I don't want Arafat.'"
Similar remarks have been reported even in the most leftwing segments of the Israeli press, including Ha'aretz. "They [the PLO] should stop showing contempt for our intelligence by saying they are for peace while doing everything they can to destroy it," said the leader of an Arab neighborhood council. A teacher asked, "What's going to happen to me? Today I earn 4500 shekels a month in Israel. Under the Palestinians, it would drop to 1000." A worker in an Arab area health clinic added, "My patients still want me to send them to Hadassah. They have more trust in medical services provided by the Israelis." A father of five said, "The PA are only interested in their own power." (Ha'aretz, Dec. 28, 2000)
These comments are consistent with data
from the Jerusalem Media & Communication Center. Its
recent poll by Arabs of Arab attitudes about the
current uprising found that only 25% trust Arafat. Some of
these undoubtedly feared to say otherwise, given the
abductions and torture that are a feature of Arab life under
the "Authority" set up by Oslo and empowered by
Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin, and Barak. These conditions
were highlighted January 14 by the execution (after a
summary "trial") of two Palestinians who had cooperated
with Israeli intelligence in providing information about
terrorist activities. (Such work is required by Oslo,
supposedly part of Arafat's "security cooperation" with Israel).
Top Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner publicly offered
[(Continued on p.9)]
[(Continued on p.9)]
Outpost - 8 - February 2001