|JUNE 2003 - Issue #157||PUBLISHED BY AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL|
Among the most downright dangerous responses to President Bush's Road Map initiative is the one that goes roughly this way: "Don't worry. It will go nowhere because the Arabs won't change and terrorism won't stop, so we may as well get credit for supporting it." This is the coward's way out -- the desire not to ruffle feathers, not to appear to be against peace.
To begin with, "change" can be defined loosely and the bar can be quite low, as illustrated by the fact that a thug like Abu Mazen can now be celebrated as a transforming development and invited to the White House.
Second, why are Israel's historical, strategic, and legitimate claims being so easily surrendered? How can serious negotiations between parties ever take place when they begin by stripping one nation of its geographic legitimacy, and awarding sovereignty to an enemy whose claims are spurious?
History is destiny in the Middle East and blurring and obfuscating the history of the region -- pretending, for example, that the Arab war against Israel started in 1967 -- dooms the prospect of meaningful accommodation. The fact is that the land earmarked for a Jewish homeland by the Balfour Declaration and turned over to British administration in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine consisted of all of present day Israel and Jordan. In a craven act of appeasement, Great Britain in effect chopped off 77% of Palestine to create an Arab Palestinian territory, to be administered by a Hashemite King with no historical ties to the region. (Legally the British merely suspended the applicability of the Jewish National Home provisions of the Mandate to the area east of the Jordan River; until it became independent in 1946, Transjordan -- now Jordan -- remained part of Mandatory Palestine with currency, passports, foreign relations etc. all subject to the Mandate.)
Counting on continuing terrorist acts against Israel to "save" the country is both foolhardy and immoral. That implies defeatism and acceptance of victimization. It implies that being pitied is better than being feared and respected. Is this to be the Jews' only claim to international empathy? That is contrary to every tenet of Zionism.
It must also be remembered that every concession by Israel is followed by escalating terrorism and demands. After the Jewish National Home provisions of the Mandate were made inapplicable to Transjordan in 1922, harassment only increased, culminating in a massacre in Hebron that forced the Jews in Judea and Samaria to flee the area until they returned to their lost homes in 1967. The surrender of the Sinai was followed by an unprecedented increase in government-controlled anti-Semitism in Egypt. Oslo was followed by the longest and most murderous rampage of terror in Israel's history.
Oslo has also been followed by ever-escalating Arab demands. Now, even Jerusalem and the return of those Arabs who fled in 1949 are on the table. What's next? If the Road Map is implemented -- and by accepting the fatal principle of a Palestinian state Sharon has made it all but certain that eventually it will be -- it won't be long before Tel Aviv and Haifa will be on some future Road Map as "settlements" and "occupied territory." Certainly the Palestinian Arab leadership repeats over and over that this is how they view all of Israel -- as illegitimate Zionist settlement.
To risk Israel's security on a bet that the Arabs cannot moderate their behavior in the short term to obtain what they want in the slightly longer term, and to paper over Jewish rights in order to achieve a comfort level as a supporter of "peace," is counterproductive and yes, just plain dumb.
Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel.
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Road Map: Flawed to the Core ...3 Road Map to Hell ...4 Palestinian Arabs -- a Semantic People ...7 The International Solidarity Movement ...9 Confronting Ari Fleischer ...10
The Road Map: Flawed to the Core ...3
Road Map to Hell ...4
Palestinian Arabs -- a Semantic People ...7
The International Solidarity Movement ...9
Confronting Ari Fleischer ...10
June 2003 - 1 - Outpost