One of the most disturbing consequences of Israel's internal weakening is the growing habit of its leaders to substitute rhetoric for reality. This is a traditional Arab weakness--who can forget the triumphant bulletins that were trumpeted from Arab capitals day after day during the Six Day War while, in fact, Arab forces were experiencing devastating defeat? But now Israel's leaders cry victory while experiencing their own devastating defeats. A recent case in point: when Arafat's forces blockaded Israeli settlements in the Gush Katif, the Israel Defense Forces, instead of clearing the intersections, acceded to the demand that convoys of Arab trucks be allowed to move unchecked over a road that under terms of the Oslo agreement remains under exclusive Israeli control. As Shlomo Kustiner, the head of the blockaded community of Netzarim, pointed out, "The IDF totally caved in." Gush Katif Regional Council head Aharon Tzur was in shock: "I cannot believe the IDF allowed the Palestinian convoy to pass through a road on which they were not allowed to travel."
And how did Israel's leaders describe the outcome? Major General Yom Tov Samiyah announced: "There was no helplessness here. The army could have acted at any second, at any minute, in any way." (If the army should have acted, and failed to act, in practical terms it showed itself helpless to deal with a serious challenge to its authority.) While conceding the PA had engaged in a "planned provocation," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: "We attempt to solve problems like this without violence, and we succeeded this time." Israel, he said, "will respond to Arab violence, and this will lead to a regression of the peace process." (But when the mark of "success" is the absence of violence on Israel's part, and the end result of the incident is that Arab violence has triumphed, Netanyahu's promise that Israel "will respond" in the future is empty.)
Just as Israel used to be scornful of empty Arab boasts while the facts on the ground directly belied them, so can the Arabs today be properly scornful of tough Israeli rhetoric belied by collapse on the field.
There is an unusual mental disorder called
folie a deux in which more than one person shares a
delusional world. Increasingly Netanyahu seems to step
into Shimon Peres' field of dreams. For example, the
Jerusalem Post of July 8 reported that as soon as the
cabinet agreed to the U.S.-dictated 13% withdrawal in Judea
and Samaria, Netanyahu planned a major diplomatic
offensive "to win maximum political credit for Israel within
the international community and prove the existence of
a national commitment to the regional peace process."
This is the kind of never-never land associated with Shimon of Chelm (who has now thrown himself into raising money for Yasser Arafat through something called the Peace Technology Fund). Win maximum political credit for Israel? Who is Netanyahu kidding? Every retreat simply signals pressures for more retreats. It's every bit as sure as death and taxes.
Congratulations to CAMERA for using the occasion of CNN's retraction of a false "news magazine" segment claiming the United States had used Sarin nerve gas against defecting American soldiers in Laos, to underscore the consistent false and distorted coverage of Israel by that same network. CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin noted that the findings by Floyd Abrams, the independent analyst hired by CNN to investigate the segment, mirrored CAMERA's assessment of CNN's media coverage of Israel. Said Levin: "Abrams observed that CNN editors and reporters systematically ignored or minimized all 'information...inconsistent with the [broadcast's] underlying conclusions.' That is precisely the dangerous approach we see with regard to Israel."
CNN's sins in respect to Israel are worse on two significant counts: first, the false and distorted coverage is ongoing, not a matter of a single broadcast, but years of systematic misreporting; and second, CNN is far indeed from apologizing or changing its ways when it comes to Israel.
When the "End of Israel" process reaches its conclusion, odds are Jews will lament that they were misled, could not know what lay ahead, had been told there would be peace. Spare us that groundless excuse. Day by day the hatred, calumny and bloodlust of
(Continued on p.11)
is published by
Americans for A Safe Israel
Herbert Zweibon, Chairman
1623 Third Ave. (at 92nd St..) -Suite 205
New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
web site: /afsi
Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Erich Isaac, Ruth King,
Herbert Zweibon. Outpost is distributed free to
members of Americans For a Safe Israel.
Annual membership: $50.
Outpost - 2 - July-August 1998