CUTTING OFF LIMBS
By Boris Shusteff
On March 15 former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban wrote in The Jerusalem Post that "Israel, without a peace process, is a nation with no wind in its sails." The problem is that he forgot to mention that the violent gusts of this "wind" drive the Israeli boat closer and closer to the fatal rapids of an extremely dangerous impassable mountain river.
He forgot to mention the truth that the so-called "peace process" has nothing in common with real peace. As Senator Connie Mack said on March 3, in his speech in the US Senate, "The Palestinian leadership does not want peace. They want, first, their own state which they can control with total power. Then they want to use that state to eliminate the State of Israel."
How often has the word "peace" been invoked in Jewish history to cover up the tragedies? Saying that they are achieving peace the Jewish leaders sent thousands of Jews to their death. These "peace" sacrifices were intended for the common good. On September 4, 1942 Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Judenrat of the Lodz Ghetto delivered a speech to the Ghetto inhabitants. He said:
"The taking of the sick from the hospitals caught me completely by surprise. And I give you the best proof there is of this: I had my own nearest and dearest among them, and I could do nothing for them. I thought that that would be the end of it, that after that they'd leave us in peace, the peace for which I have always worked, which has been my goal."
How familiar are Rumkowski's explanations. Aren't the Israeli leaders working for peace now? Isn't peace their goal? Rumkowski brought the mantra of peace into his speech in order to prepare the miserable Jews of the Lodz Ghetto for a new sacrifice. He told them:
"In my old age I must stretch out my hands and beg: brothers and sisters, hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers, give me your children! I understand you, mothers; I see your tears, all right. I must tell you a secret: they requested twenty-four thousand victims I succeeded in reducing the number to twenty thousand, but only on the condition that these would be children below the age of ten. Since the children and the aged together equal only some thirteen thousand souls, the gap will have to be filled with the sick. I beg: Give into my hands the victims, so that we can avoid having further victims, and a population of a hundred thousand Jews can be preserved. So they promised me: if we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace"
It appears that Rumkowski believed in "peace" till the final moment. When the order was given to liquidate the entire ghetto, the remains of this "hundred thousand," he pleaded with the Jews "to go to the trains in an orderly fashion. Those who came voluntarily could bring luggage, those who did not were to be rounded up by the Jewish police."
Hasn't Israel already made enough sacrifices for peace? Isn't more than 300 murdered Jews and thousands of maimed and wounded Jews a sufficient price? Why this desire to extend "Oslo?" Why does Netanyahu want to resume the "peace process" after the elections?
We cannot run away from the facts made clear as a result of Israel's surrender of territory. However, it does not mean that we have to acquiesce with them. Israel does not have to allow the creation of another Palestinian state to comply with the desires of Arafat and his supporters in the European Union and American administration. It is time for Israel to try to rectify the terrible consequences of the agreement that has brought more than forty thousand armed enemies, who are extremely well prepared for war, into the Jewish state's back yard.
The Israeli government must stop acting like a Judenrat. It cannot just think how to provide adequate food and shelter, heat, medicine, and work to the Israeli "ghetto" population. The leaders of the Jewish state must demonstrate to the world that they are strong enough to preserve Jewish honor and dignity. They should make it clear to everybody that Eretz Yisrael is the land of the Jewish people, that it belongs to the Jewish people and that it is to be settled by the Jewish people.
The approaching deadline of May 4, 1999 is the beacon of Israel's survival. On that day the Jewish state must declare that it is free of any obligation towards the Palestinian Authority and immediately annex the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). Netanyahu should stop talking and should prepare to act. Instead of warning Arafat that Israel "will respond aggressively" if the PLO "unilaterally declare a state with Jerusalem as its capital," he should prepare the Israeli public for his "aggressive" move.
There is nothing that Israel can talk about with Arafat and the PLO. Arafat's intentions are well known. They completely contradict Israel's interests. Netanyahu's March 14 statement that "the Palestinians have lowered their expectations since I came into office," is the continuation of a policy of self-deception. On October 30, 1998 Achmed Tibi, a major political adviser to Arafat, in an interview with Yedi'ot Aharonot presented this "lowered" expectations in the following way:
"I am putting everything on the table so that in the future the Israelis will not be able to say that we lied to them. Our final aim is a state within the 1967 borders, no less than that. All the agreements are aimed at reaching that target. The Israelis must know our position and understand it."
When Rumkowski wanted the Jews of the Lodz ghetto to sacrifice their children for "peace" he said, "I must perform this difficult and bloody operation - I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself! I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well." In today's situation this "cutting off limbs in order to save the body" represents the complete surrender of Yesha. This means sacrificing almost 200,000 Jews living there. After all, maybe "if we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace?" Only one should remember that the body cannot be saved when the heart is no longer inside it, and Yesha contains the heart of Eretz Yisrael.
On April 22,1998 Emuna Elon wrote in Israel's daily newspaper Yedi'ot Aharonot, "The entire history of the State of Israel revolves around a land dispute. Our fallen soldiers have all been the victims of a century-old land dispute. This is what the entire Israeli-Arab conflict boils down to." This simple truth, although very uncomfortable for many Israelis, should determine the policy of the Israeli government. The peace experiment with the Palestinian Arabs has failed miserably. The Palestinian Arabs have used these five years to feverishly arm themselves and prepare for a military confrontation. The armed conflict cannot be prevented, and the cutting off of limbs will delay it only for a short period. The question is whether Israel is ready for this conflict or not. Will she will be able to use her overwhelming military superiority? Will she commit herself to a victory or will she put her soldiers in a precarious position as she did in Lebanon?
Raul Hilberg wrote in the book The Destruction of the European Jews, that "Preventative attack, armed resistance and revenge are almost completely absent in two thousand years of Jewish ghetto history Both perpetrators and victims drew upon their age-old experience in dealing with the each other. The Germans did it with success. The Jews did it with disaster." It is a must for Israel to draw upon her previous experience in dealing with the Arabs. The alternative is to go to the trains in an orderly fashion. [03/16/99]
1. Quotes from Rumkowski's speech are from Michael Berenbaum's book Witness to the Holocaust.
2. Unless indicated otherwise, the translations of the Jewish press are from I & G News
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
The Freeman Center receives no public funds and exists solely
on private contributions which are fully tax deductible.