[(Continued from p.11)]to 1961, and as secretary of state under President Richard Nixon from 1969 until 1973. Like many past and future secretaries of State, he argued for restraint in the use of American military power, and like most colleagues in government, he nurtured the utopian conviction that all conflicts, including seemingly intractable ones, could and should be resolved by concessions and negotiations.
Mr. Rogers was a decent and honorable man, and, by all accounts, he was totally unbiased in his view of the Israel-Arab conflict. In 1970, in an effort to mediate between Egypt and Israel he formulated a "peace" plan which came to bear his name. In fact, the "Rogers Plan" was the mother of all the quick-fix policies that promulgated the specious notion that only a return of all territories liberated in the war of 1967 would bring Israel peace with Arab neighbors and Arab residents of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Sinai. All subsequent American administrations recycled the plan, adding cosmetic touches seeking to give the notion originality and copyright. The American supporters of Israel generally opposed it and lobbied legislators against it. Their resolve hardened after the sneak attack by Syria and Egypt during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. However, the Rogers Plan continued to be the model for all efforts to resolve the Israel-Arab conflict. Menachem Begin was the first Israeli head of state to actually implement the notion of "land for peace" inherent in all the clones of Mr. Rogers' formulations. The rest is, as they say, history, and "land for peace" became the touchstone policy of America, the western democracies, American peace groupies, the leftist media, and, unfortunately, many Israelis.
William Pierce Rogers has died. May he rest in peace. The Oslo Accords, based on his namesake plan, have been a catastrophe for Israel. May the Rogers plan and all subsequent policies based on those concepts finally also be laid to rest. It's about time.
To us, the best comment on the election of Sharon came in an editorial in one of our favorite Jewish newspapers: "There are two Sharons who could show up after the election. One is the historical Sharon of the 1973 War, crossing into Egypt up to the gates of Cairo; the Sharon leading his troops from the front over the Litani River and into Lebanon in 1982. Or it is the political Sharon of the Knesset at Wye looking for one more accommodation to make for another promise of peace.
"Sharon's first job: to rid Israel of the smell of fear and weakness that constant retreat has given her. Israel's enemies have been encouraged by what they sense from their concessions. He must project the unequivocal message that Israel is willing and able to deter any threats to her survival by inflicting massive pain on an aggressor. Only this Israel, of 1948 to 1993, has a chance of deflecting the conflict that threatens the region today. Sharon is probably the only Israeli capable of credibly taking the deterrent posture necessary to forestall the adventurism of her more hostile neighbors. We hope there is time for him to do it."
Ruth King is a member of the executive committee of Americans For a Safe Israel.
Americans For a Safe Israel
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Outpost - 12 - March 2001