A Voice from Hebron -- March 3, 1998
The one thing which disturbs me most about our national policy, is that we don't seem to really have one. I find it totally outrageous to listen to alleged "right wing" leaders, within and even outside of our government, discuss the best way to deal with Arafat in order to achieve a permanent solution with which we can live. What can we afford to give away? Under what circumstances can we permit a PLO state? What are the minimum sacrifices we can afford to make which will not compromise our security?
All of these questions indicate a national policy of conditional surrender to our enemies. Never, in the history of nations, has there been an example of a sovereign nation initiating an effort, from a position of military superiority, to surrender to a weaker entity which seeks to destroy and replace it. Absurd is just too kind a word to try to describe such a policy. Insane is a bit closer.
Forgive me if I seem repetitive, but it is absolutely imperative to repeat and repeat these things until someone listens. Any normal nation, when confronted by an entity which dares to challenge its sovereignty, will respond swiftly and forcefully to repel that entity. It defies rational explanation why any country would sit down and negotiate its sovereignty with those who seek to seize it from her. Yet this is precisely what our government is doing. Even now, after we have countless examples which conclusively prove that our enemies do not honor agreements, and do, indeed, seek to destroy us, we still continue to negotiate with them!
If this isn't bad enough, in apparent reaction to continued military casualties in the north, our government has announced its desire to withdraw from South Lebanon. Intentional or not, such an announcement, coming right after two of our boys fell in action, gives a clear impression that Hizballah attacks against our boys have succeeded in getting Israel to at least consider retreating from Lebanon. This only encourages our enemies to continue to attack us with greater intensity. I am no general, but one needn't be an expert to see that our leadership is not only failing to honor its obligation to our security, rather it is creating a situation which encourages our enemies to escalate their attacks against us.
The concept of resolving disputes around a conference table is truly a noble one. It would be a wonderful world to live in if we could resolve all of our conflicts in such a mature and honorable manner. Painful as it may be, however, we must open our eyes and realize that this is simply not the world in which we currently live. The negotiations in which we are engaged with the PLO have accomplished nothing other than to build up our enemies. The PLO was an insignificant thorn in our side which was on the verge of falling apart. Rather than let it die a natural death, or even help it along, we revived it and turned it into a respectable and legitimate entity. We gave its claim to sovereignty in Israel credence. We bolstered its failing self confidence and enabled it to establish itself as a viable entity on Jewish soil.
While the Jewish architects of this madness may have felt that the PLO would be grateful to us for helping them, and they were right, their assumption as to how that gratefulness would be expressed fell far short of the mark. Arafat was delighted to shake hands with so many stupid Jewish leaders. He was charmed to be treated as a dignitary in the White House and amazed to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. If he ever harbored any doubts about seeing his dream to destroy Israel fulfilled, he no longer does. He is now convinced, thanks to our help, that he can and will replace the Jewish State with a PLO one.
How long can any Israeli government live in a dream world which sees terrorists as Nobel Peace Prize Laureates? How many tunnels dug between Egypt and Gaza for the smuggling of arms need we destroy before we recognize that we are in a state of war with Arafat? How many rubber boats loaded with weapons need to be intercepted on the Dead Sea from Jordan before we realize that Arafat wants to use those weapons to murder Jews? And how many more concrete bunkers need to be built on the borders of "PLO-land" and Israel before our government realizes that the PLO is preparing for war? Why is our defense minister meeting with the PLO to discuss the final arrangements to open a new PLO airport in Gaza? Are we afraid that the present method of smuggling illegal weapons and armaments to the PLO are not successful enough?
The most strange part about all of this is that it is no secret. All of the things referred to above are not revelations. They appeared in the media and are documented by the Israel government press office. Netanyahu has gone to great effort and expense to prepare reports itemizing all of the flagrant PLO violations of Oslo. For whom has he prepared these reports? Who does he expect will react to them? What does he imagine will result from his revelations?
It would seem that Mr. Netanyahu has forgotten that he is the Prime Minister of Israel. He is not a public relations officer. It is not his job to merely present the facts. It is his job to react to them. President Clinton is not about to do anything in reaction to Arafat's violations. It is only the Prime Minister who can and should do that. As a result of his careful documentation, clearly our Prime Minister has every justification and obligation to take strong measures against the PLO and expect to have the backing of the United States.
Rather than sending Dani Nave to have secret talks with Abu Mazen, Prime Minister Netanyahu should have sent Yitzchak Mordechai with a clear military message to Arafat. Without any notice the IDF should recapture all of the territories occupied by the PLO and remove the entire PLO population out of the Jewish State into the northern part of South Lebanon. This should be accompanied by a large scale invasion of Lebanon to drive Hisballah out of range of our troops and teach them a lesson they will not forget. It is time to stop playing patsy with those who murder our boys.
Do we risk a war with Syria? Perhaps. But why is Syria not afraid of provoking us to war? Will we get complaints from Clinton? Of course. But we will also get something which we presently sorely lack. We will earn the respect of our enemies. We will never get our enemies to love us. But if we can get them to respect us, we will then have security. When the enemy knows that to attack Israel will guarantee a swift and harsh response, he will not attack Israel. When he knows that he can murder seven little girls and get no response.... then why should he stop attacking us?
I do not like war any better than anyone else. But, like it or not, we are already embroiled in one. The current efforts to make peace with our enemies are not peace talks. They are negotiations of conditional surrender to our enemies which will surely be followed by a war which will seek to complete the job and totally destroy us. I do not blame my enemies for engaging in this process. It is truly working for them.
I blame my own leaders who should know better and who are needlessly endangering the lives of our people. When the government of Israel stops pretending that we are making peace with those who clearly are just waiting for the right time to destroy us, and deals with our enemies as enemies and not peace partners, then we will have begun the only path which will eventually lead to true peace.