Unfortunately, Israel has not paid due attention to a statement made by Dr. Condoleezza Rice some time ago, according to which the "nation-building" of "Palestine" is part of a pattern. In this context, Dr. Rice noted Bosnia and Afghanistan. Today, she could add Iraq as well.
What Dr. Rice did not mention was another feature common to all nation-building endeavors, namely the application of military force to make such efforts possible: In Bosnia/Kosovo, NATO forces bombed Serbia into submission; in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops beat the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's respective regimes to the ground.
In the Land of Israel, two obstacles block President Bush's Palestinian "vision": Palestinian terror and Jewish settlements. This absurd equation originates in the well-known "Road Map," in which the dismantling of Jewish settlements and of Arab terror groups are both listed as preconditions to establishment of the Palestinian State.
The Jewish settlements (actually towns and villages) have to go to satisfy the Arab sine qua non that the state given to them be totally "cleansed" of Jews -- Judenrein in Nazispeak. (At the same time, 1.2 million Arabs now live as citizens in the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority is demanding admission of millions of former Palestinian refugees to Israel.) On the other hand, the Palestinian terror organizations have to go because the building of another Saddam-like regime in "Palestine" is unthinkable to G.W. Bush.
But what military power could execute both tasks? It is now clear that Abu Mazen's Palestinian shadow government (actually operated by Arafat) is as unwilling to take on the job as it is incapable of carrying it out. Abu Mazen and his "Defense Minister," Mohammed Dahlan, have declared openly that they will not use force against their Hamas "brethren" under any circumstances. The most they are prepared to do is negotiate a hudna, a temporary truce. Hence enforcement was delegated to the Israel Defense Forces. As such, Bush effectively gave Sharon the green light to fight Hamas, so long as he does not risk undermining Abu Mazen's regime by doing so. It is this threat, transmitted by an Egyptian mediator, that led the Hamas leadership to enter hudna negotiations. One day, when Sharon takes Arafat out or sends him out of the country, we may rest assured that it happened at the behest of America. In other words, the Road Map stipulates that Israel's struggle against terror, that so obviously serves its own vital national interests, should at the same time serve another purpose diametrically opposed to these interests, namely the "nation-building" of Palestine, on behalf of the United States.
Moreover, it is none other than the Jewish army, of course, that has been assigned the job of forcibly "cleansing" Judea-Samaria-Gaza of Jews to make room for a Jew-free "Palestine." Judea is to be the only land in the world (save Saudi Arabia, perhaps) that will be out of bounds for Jews by definition. And who is to enforce this anti-Semitic measure? The Jews themselves. As if Serbian troops were sent to beat their fellow Serbs over the head!
The Road Map is already functioning. Jewish IDF soldiers, destroying so-called "outposts," evicting families, wounding and maiming their own kin in the process, are actually on a mission of Palestine "nation-building," although they may not be aware of it.
Nowhere in the world was President Bush able to build a "nation" so cheaply and easily. Israelis who believe that an inevitably irredentist Palestinian state square in the midst of Jewish ancestral territory will inexorably lead to Israel's own demise are reminded bitterly of horrid pictures from other places in another time, when Jews were compelled to operate their own extermination machine. The difference is that the historic tragedy took place on foreign soil, when Jews were utterly powerless, whereas today they are a sovereign people in their own country and in possession of one of the finest armies in the world. Add to this the cruel irony, that Bush's disastrous orders to Israel are now unquestioningly executed by an Israeli Prime Minister who was once Israel's most illustrious general and now heads the Likud, Israel's mainstream right-wing party.
Many Israelis find it difficult to understand what could have caused Sharon to become the tool of a foreign power against his will, against his country's most vital interests.
Many Israelis find it difficult to understand what could have caused Ariel Sharon to become the tool of a foreign power against his will, against what are obviously his country's most vital interests. People also feel humiliated by the style and quality of the relationship between Bush's administration and Sharon, relegating Israel to the status of a vassal state or protectorate, governed by the Road Map Quartet with the United States as conductor.
Israel's media, dominated by our pacifist left, apparently led President Bush to believe that this diminution of territory and stature is supported by a solid majority of Israelis and their leaders. We will soon witness the fundamental error of this impression. The ugly scenes of "cold" internal warfare on the hills of Judea and Samaria will intensify, causing tectonic changes not only in the government coalition but also within the ruling Likud Party, leading to an outright split. Clashes in the settlements may spill over and create unrest -- demonstrations and possibly even riots -- in the big cities as well.
In this very unsettling and critical situation, friends
[(Continued on p.8)]
July-August 2003 - 7 - Outpost