The Palestinian Authority has arrested six Arabs. Their crime? They paid a condolence call to the family of terror victim Itamar Doron, who was killed while swimming outside Moshav Orah, south of Jerusalem. The callers were from the nearby Arab village of Walajeh.
What could better sum up the reality of the peace process? From the Arab perspective those of their people who manifest any sign of peaceful intentions are criminals.
On the Israeli side, a lemming entwined with an ostrich deserves to be the national heraldic symbol. A Gallup poll conducted October 23 for the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv shows 81% of the public support continuation of the peace process with the Palestinians.
If the arrest of the six Arabs for paying a condolence call epitomizes the peace process, Shimon Peres's reaction on losing the election to Netanyahu serves equally well to reveal the mentality of Israel's Labor leadership. The following, from a Peres interview, the day following the election, is published in a 1997 book by Daniel Ben Simon entitled A Different Country (in Hebrew).
Remember when Israel was supposed to be the homeland of the Jewish people? Now, for the ineffable Shimon and his ilk, Jews are the antithesis of "real" Israelis.
Interviewer: What happened in these elections?
Peres: We lost.
Interviewer: Who is we?
Peres: We, that is the Israelis.
Interviewer: And who won?
Peres: All those who do not have an Israeli mentality.
Interviewer: And who are they?
Peres: Call it the Jews.
From his deluxe prison at the Wye
Plantation, on October 21, the seventh day of his
incarceration, Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call with
American Jewish leaders. Israel, he said, was determined
to offset the security risks it took with further
withdrawals "though Palestinian obligations in words and
deeds. 'Deeds' means arresting terrorists, collecting
weapons, and extraditing murderers of women and children
who are now walking free....Words means incitement, public
pronouncements by Palestinian leaders, TV children's programs and school textbooks. The capping of this must be the change of the catechism--the Palestinian Charter still on the books calling for Israel's destruction. This is the only way we can risk giving additional territory."
Netanyahu declared: "What's acceptable to me is simply the fulfillment of the contract. But the Palestinians have not fulfilled Oslo I, Oslo II or the Hebron agreement. It's time to have commitments fulfilled. No runaround. I was elected to make a secure peace."
No one--and given the complexion of American Jewish leaders, who can be surprised--seems to have countered with the glaringly obvious question: "But Mr. Prime Minister, if the Palestinians have not fulfilled Oslo I, Oslo II or the Hebron agreement, why do you make yet another agreement? Why did you not say politely, when summoned to Wye, "Hey folks, let the PA fulfill the commitments it has already made, and then give me a call. In the immortal words of James Baker, here's my phone number."
So what is Mr. Netanyahu's idea of "No runaround"? Hold your sides. He told the Jewish leaders commitments were not enough this time: "We want to see an implementation plan." This writer is reminded-- appropriately because of the insanity of the proceedings--of the "solution" devised by government officials to the problem of seriously mentally ill people being dumped by state mental hospitals onto the streets. Concluding this had to stop, they insisted on elaborate written "discharge plans" and "treatment plans" before patients could be dismissed. Unsurprisingly, the patients went to the streets exactly as before and the discharge and treatment plans went to the file drawers. In this case both the PA and the Israeli authorities can put copies of "the implementation plan" in their respective file drawers.
But it gets crazier still. Netanyahu went into Wye
(Continued on p.7)
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Outpost - 2 - November 1998