[(Continued from p.8)]to defend the accused and appealed directly to the Is- raeli Supreme Court, GSS, and Barak to intervene to save the lives of its agents. They did nothing. "Where are the international organizations like Amnesty International?" Darshan-Leitner exclaimed, noting that mobs of Fatah activists surrounded the courtroom, chanting, "Death to Bani-Odeh!" Two other Arabs who had cooperated with Israel were murdered that same week near Tulkarm and Jenin.
Similarly, Christian Arabs living in Arafat-ruled areas have testified to the U.S. Congress about the intimidation, imprisonment and torture to which they are subject for their religion. This follows the pattern of murder, rape, and plunder against Christians in Lebanon that the PLO carried out between 1975-82. In addition, the PLO often charges Arabs it dislikes with "conspiring to sell land to Jews," incarcerates and kills them in an extreme form of "red-lining" that seems acceptable to Barak and Clinton. Though this persecution is less flamboyant than PLO assaults on Jewish holy sites and worshippers, it is part of the violent character of groups within the Palestinian Authority.
A construction worker queried by Bisk underscored how misguided it is to negotiate with Arafat or give his cadres any aid or power. "We don't want the Authority. They're corrupt, and our economic situation is worse than before." Another taxi driver was more descriptive. "The Authority acts like the Mafia. They come into our homes, take taxes, if someone has no money, they bring him out to demonstrate. The men of [Marwan] Barghouti have another method. They stand outside the schools and give the children money to go to demonstrations." This latter situation grew so extreme that in December, Arab women from Tulkarm, in northern Samaria, overcame their fear of reprisal and wrote a public letter to Arafat telling him to cease dragooning youths and children to stand between his snipers and Israeli police.
One of the cabbies introduced Bisk to a middle-aged former officer in Fatah who had made a risky and rare withdrawal from its ranks when the hypocrisy of the "struggle for the Palestinian people" grew too much for him. "They sent me to Tunisia, Lebanon, Europe, places I would rather not talk about. The more I saw their corruption, the more I wanted to leave," he said. "If you want peace, it won't come by signing an agreement with that corrupt leadership, and it won't come if you give more land," he added. "Peace will only come if you deal with the education of children. I am a believing Muslim and I know if we educate our children to honor each other, then peace will come."
The former militia member thus touched on the two major failures of the "peace process." Giving land and money to the Palestinians is utterly counter-productive. It leads to chronic violence and danger for everyone, as happened in Lebanon. Moreover, the PLO-PA use of textbooks and media to vilify Israel and Jews is lethal. Fifteen new or updated books introduced into Arab classrooms this September omit Israel from maps while highlighting the phrase "There is no alternative to destroying Israel." Equally ominous, one text declares that perhaps Allah brought the Jews to Palestine so their demise would be here. Nevertheless, throughout the years of Oslo, successive Israeli administrations and "civil rights" groups like the Anti-Defamation League (this past fall, for example) have downplayed or ignored this deadly education in hate.
The former Fatah officer corroborated the many reports of how Arafat trades blood for money, profiteering on violence. "Every martyr brings money, from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, Iraq and other places. Arafat needs funerals. No martyrs, no money. There will be peace only after we change our education methods," he reiterated. "If you think there will be peace because Rabin and Arafat signed a piece of paper, forget it, it won't happen."
Nevertheless, Barak maneuvered toward another such piece of paper to fashion a farewell party hat for his mentor, Clinton. Among the major strategic issues being ignored in this rush was the future of the Kingdom of Jordan, long coveted by Arafat. Israeli surrender of the Jordan Valley, proposed by Clinton and eagerly accepted and pushed by Barak, would probably lead to the overthrow of Jordan and its partition between Arafat and Saddam Hussein.
In this context, it is not surprising that Barak and his dwindling group denied the IDF permission to rescue Ronni Tsalach, or that his government effectively ignores overt Arab racism like the dressing of a donkey in a tallit, its nose painted with a swastika and star of David. He cannot trouble himself with Arab claims that Jews are Nazis (more flammable education) when he's offering Arafat a complete return to the pre-June 1967 borders. Thus he winks at the "unauthorized" visit to the Temple Mount of the Mitchell committee while his ministers (like Matan Vilnai) pretend it is Hamas which is responsible for the murders even as Fatah boasts that "those who carry out the activities are Fatah men." Thus signaled, Yasir will not accept a corridor linking Gaza to the West Bank without legal sovereignty over it (Israel TV, January 14, 2001). Arafat can hold out, knowing Barak will betray and abandon his allies and own people. As the former Fatah man explained. "Everyone who cooperates with you pays with his head. Look what happened to the [south Lebanon] army of General Lahad. If you really want peace, look where the money is going and protect your allies."
It is a simple and urgent message. Israel must distinguish between self and not self, friend and enemy or it will not survive. Its government, army and public need to act on this message. Soon.
Eugene Narrett teaches at Boston University and the Yeshiva Academy (in Worcester, Massachusetts).
February 2001 - 9 - Outpost