[(Continued from p.3)]to come into being? Will President Bush tell the Arab world the Palestinian Arabs have missed their opportunity?" I wrote that what would happen was all too foreseeable. The President would find "sufficient 'progress' being made to focus on the second half of his speech -- driving Israel back to lines approximating the borders of 1949 and creating a Palestinian state." In the same issue, we published an article by Jacob Miller, "No Way to Security; No Way to Peace" which also pointed out the fallacies in the President's speech. Wrote Miller: "Democratization, though an admirable goal, is impossible to achieve at this time and in this place. Who really believes that a people so full of hate could be capable of democratic nation-building? Socialism's faith in the ability to change human nature lives in this proposal just as it did in the Soviet Union for most of the last century."
And sure enough, although Yasser Arafat was still in charge, terror in full flower, incitement against Israel in the media as virulent as ever, PA corruption endemic, institutions unchanged, the mere appointment of longtime Arafat lieutenant Abu Mazen as a toothless Prime Minister was enough "progress" for our President to sign off on a "provisional" (whatever that means) Palestinian state by the end of this year.
Neither President Bush nor Prime Minister Sharon will -- nor can they -- bring peace. What, between them, they can, and may well achieve, is Israel's destruction.
To make matters worse, much worse, our President is not the only one afflicted with hubris. In his arrogance, Ariel Sharon refused even to submit the Road Map for Knesset approval on the grounds it was not a legally signed document. Legally signed or not, the consequences of the Israeli government's commitment to the Road Map could not be more profound. Retired Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau asserts that Sharon has "bartered away what remains of our country's independence in exchange for nothing at all ... We have returned to the days of the British Mandate, when the High Commissioner in Jerusalem determined policy in the Land of Israel according to instructions received from London."
Sharon's is a double hubris. He promises -- some think he is so out of touch with reality he believes it -- to deliver peace with security (a sober leader would tell the public that while peace was a pipe dream, he would bend every effort to improve security). And he is confident he can maneuver and manipulate his way around the Road Mapsters, publicly accepting the Road Map yet not implementing it. (While few in Israel have bothered to explicate this, the murky Road Map can justifiably be read -- and the Arabs and European "Quartet" members will surely do so -- as incorporating both the principle of Israel returning to the 1949 borders and the "right to return" of refugees.)
With the ink scarcely dry, the Road Map has already gone from folly to farce. The Road Map calls for the Palestinian Authority to dismantle and disarm terror groups. Prime Minister Abu Mazen promptly announced he intended to do no such thing. Instead, he proposes to form a unified national leadership with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror factions and incorporate their members into the police, to be trained by the CIA. As Aaron Lerner of the IMRA news agency points out, "Senior Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Tanzim terrorists aren't going to come in as buck privates -- they will be officers. And the men they bring in, steeped in both ideological fervor and basking in the glory of past battles, will have no trouble turning the PA security service into a wing of Hamas/Tanzim."
In return, the terror groups would merely declare a hudna, or pause, while they trained and regrouped, with murders of Israelis to be limited in location and scope. It is precisely as if Afghanistan's Taliban government, in the wake of 9/11, had offered to include Al Qaeda's leaders in the government and turn over the army to its operatives, while the U.S. trained them to become more efficient fighters. In return, Bin Laden would declare a pause in flying planes into buildings while his forces trained and regrouped.
Neither President Bush nor Prime Minister Sharon will -- nor can they -- bring peace. What, between them, they can, and may well achieve, is Israel's destruction. Bush's tenacity, admirable when the goals are worthy, in this case is apt to prove lethal. As Robert Tracinski of the Ayn Rand Institute has pointed out, "To insist on diplomacy as an unqualified virtue -- regardless of the nature and conduct of one's foe -- does not save lives or resolve conflicts; it merely rewards and emboldens the aggressors."
The parallels between the road map of 2003 and the Munich sell-out sixty five years ago are of course striking -- the diktat to the victim-state, even the fact that, then as now, four political entities signed off on the road map for peace "in our time." So will the consequences be similar, should today's road map be implemented. Just as Chamberlain was self-deluded to place any credit in Hitler's protestations that he had no designs after Czechoslovakia, so is President Bush deluding himself if he thinks that the Moslem world's chief quarrel with the West is over Israel. Far from satisfying the Islamic tiger, the prize of Israel will only whet its appetite. The little Satan gone, conquered by Arab determination and Western folly, can victory over the Great Satan be far behind?
Rael Jean Isaac is editor of Outpost.
Outpost - 4 - July-August 2003