He who uttered such exciting words, coming straight from the heart, is this the same King that
sent our Prime Minister that insulting letter? And he who one day goes all the way to comfort
bereaved parents - the day after travels to Washington to tear away the capital of the slain girls -
all in this same soft-as-velvet voice?
This is not a contradiction. "Peace" is a bitter medicine for the Arabs, taken only when there is no
other choice. Recognition of the Jews, against which both heart and mind revolt, must pay off -
otherwise "Peace" is perceived as a mistake.
In a well known American film a Jewish shopkeeper employed a black youth, investing in him of
his wisdom, his generosity and good heartedness. But the young man had only one thing in his
head: "Teach me gold". In the end, dissatisfied, he murdered his benefactor. Broadcasters and
commentators wring their hands; we still have not given them the whole quantity of water, in the Arava - Peres's thousand and one nights dream has not yet materialized,
we have not put the Jordanian economy on its feet, and the tens of thousands of Jordanians who
have infiltrated our country and remain here - are not nearly enough, bring in more and more,
because the Arabian peace is never sated.
Still, "gold" is the small change. The main payment is in the coin of sovereignty. Why did Hussein demand permission to land his passenger plane, with Arafat on board, in the Dahanyah airfield of all places, if not to blaze the trail for the PLO towards an international airport not controlled by Israel? And then, Netanyahu refusing, having obligations to his own nation - the King cuts the conversation and puts down the phone.
Our media asks, why didn't Netanyahu inform the King and Arafat about his decision to build on
Har Homa. But had he done so, they would still have attacked him: What did you tell them that
for, to go counter to their advice? To spit in their faces?
One remembers with nostalgia, how we were masters of our destiny before "Peace". Ten times
Har Homa we built, and from Jordan not one insulting letter, there also was no close Jordan-PLO
alliance, King Hussein acting as chief prosecutor. On the contrary: "Peace" extracted both
Hussein and Arafat from their international isolation after having conspired with Saddam Hussein.
It is peace which put them on the high ground, from which they now snipe at us.
Trade with Jordan? We had this before peace. And there were constant meetings with the King,
and working relations between the police and secret services systems. Without peace we saved
the King in "Black September", and he too sent us a forewarning on the eve of that Yom Kippur.
Without peace Jordan prohibited any foreign army from entering her territory. It is peace, which
introduced into Western Eretz Yisrael a terrorist army of 50,000. The problem with the formal,
externalized, peace is, that it generates a commitment to give the Arabs in consideration for their
de jure recognition economic, and especially political - "gold". Not so, with informal de facto
relations. Here, you give and you take and beyond the merchandise and its price you owe
nothing. The Arabs lacking the wish for peace for the sake of peace, a cease-fire is to be
preferred instead of a tense, false and disappointing peace, ultimately to end up in war.
Besides, this Hussein, called (on Israeli radio) "smiling and full of magic", is not one of the "36
Righteous": He destroyed the Jewish quarter in Hebron and erected in its stead a vegetable
market. The Avram Avinu synagogue he turned into a public pissoir. On the Mount of Olives he
used graveyard tombs for army latrines, and shortly before the Six Day War he issued an order to
slaughter in Motza and Sh'alabim all men, women and children. In 1967 he attacked us totally
groundless, and out of megalomania to become King of Hedjaz he joined Saddam Hussein and
then betrayed him.
King Hussein is neither wicked nor benevolent. He goes after his interest without sentiments.
And if today he allows himself to dictate to us - from Har Homa to the dimensions of our retreats,
this shows, how low the respect for our power and stature has fallen.
There is only one way to repair our relations with the Arab world: To climb down from the
"Peace" tree to the solid ground of a "modus vivendi". Having unbridgeable, conflicting, interests
it is better to live without recognition, festivals and signed papers, a modest, de facto life. To
prefer the merchandise without the packing, rather than the packing without the merchandise.
Before Peace we had stones, now we have Kalatchnikovs. We gave away our land and received
threats and insults. We had no "Island of Peace" and no Victims of Peace. We had no royal visits
but we had seven girls.
Elyakim Ha'etzni is an attorney and Jewish activist who lives in Kiryat Arba.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of March 26, 1996