[(Continued from p.4)]ister, the Prime Minister spars each week over a different issue with his bureaucratic chief of staff; sometimes one comes up the winner, sometimes the other.
In Israel, there is no genuine contest. Shimon Peres has emerged triumphant. This is the man whose terrible flaws of character were recognized many decades ago by former Labor Prime Minister Moshe Sharett (Diaries, Vol. 5, p. 2301) who wrote: "I totally and absolutely reject Shimon Peres and see in his rise a spreading moral corruption. I will tear my clothes in mourning for the state if he ever assumes a ministerial post in Israel."
Rael Jean Isaac is editor of Outpost.
Throughout history, there have arisen great leaders whose mission it is to coax and lead public opinion into a total 180 degree turnaround. Churchill was one such leader. When he took power, Britain was still in the grasp of the great appeasement consensus, convinced that some sort of reconciliation with Hitler's domination of Europe was inevitable. Thanks to Churchill, the British became convinced that conciliation with Hitler or acquiescence in German hegemony over Europe was unthinkable.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a similar leader. FDR took office when the United States was solidly isolationist. He himself had run on a platform of avoiding involvement in overseas conflict. Roosevelt's mission was to lead gradually and guide public opinion until it made a 180 degree swing-about. He sought to throw U.S. support behind the democratic Allies in stages, ultimately to intervene militarily after public opinion was properly prepared.
Circumstances required Ariel Sharon and his Likud predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu to be precisely the same kind of leaders. Netanyahu's mission was to take the Oslo "process," which was at the time rejected by 60-70% of the Jewish public, and to turn that rejection into an unchallengable national consensus. Instead, Netanyahu decided to out-Peres Shimon Peres. By the end of Netanyahu's reign, it was clear to all that Israel would be unable to resist the creation of a PLO state and a return to the 1949 Green Line borders.
Sharon, unlike Netanyahu, was elected by a huge landslide to end Oslo. But like Netanyahu, he has redefined his mission to become the Unchurchill, or the Unroosevelt. The details of the Sharon capitulation are just beginning to come out; there is still much that is not known, and I suspect much that is being kept back from the Israeli public.
Prior to the capitulation, Israel was in a state of heightened alert and tension that was compared by many to the weeks of waiting just before the Six Day War. Surely the National Unity government and army were mobilizing, preparing for the showdown, setting the stage, unifying ranks, preparing the Americans. Israel's dignity and honor would at long last be redeemed. Indeed, Israeli government spokesmen have confirmed (see Ha'aretz of June 6) that Israel was set to launch a massive punishment raid into PLO territory. Ah, but then a Palestinian suicide bomber from the Jihad/Hamas wing of the PLO decided to murder 20 Jews, mainly Tel Aviv schoolgirls, and maim many others.
And so in response to this massacre of Jewish children, the government of Ariel Sharon reached a momentous strategic decision. It decided to call off the raid and instead to continue the Israeli-declared unilateral ceasefire. Israel agreed to the proposals of the Mitchell Commission, whose central point was to reward Arafat with some sort of strategic prize for nine months of atrocities, lest the Palestinians start having doubts about whether violence always pays. Under terms of the Mitchell Report, Israel agrees to freeze all construction within the "settlements" including Jerusalem (which Israel has now acknowledged to be an illegal settlement), even agree, it seems, to build no new roads in Judea and Samaria. In agreeing to implement the Mitchell Report, Israel, for the 15th time, pays the PLO off with significant concessions to stop violence.
We now know there will be no day of reckoning, no retribution, no restoration of sanity. Merely one more capitulation, one more cowardly set of appeasements.
Sharon's capitulation begins with a refusal to
hold the PLO accountable for its violations of all of the
other previous Oslo "agreements." The most recent
U.S.-brokered "cease fire" does not require as a
prerequisite that the PLO fulfill all the previous obligations it has
never fulfilled. Like Shimon Peres, Sharon now agrees
that Oslo agreements obligate Israel but not the PLO.
Hence, while Israel will give the PLO a list of terrorists to be
arrested, the PLO will be unable to locate them. At most,
it will throw a few people into its revolving-door
"jailhouse" cafes, where no one bothers to check if they are
inside, and where the inmates are more often on the street than
[(Continued on p.6)]
[(Continued on p.6)]
June-July 2001 - 5 - Outpost