A Voice from Hebron -- July 15, 1997



By Gary M. Cooperberg

The fact that we are debating with murderers is bad enough. Former Labor minister, Uzi Baram, stated his opinion that we have no choice but to continue negotiations no matter what the PLO does! We have long passed all red lines just by giving Arafat the dignity of the impression that his PLO is a legitimate body with which to negotiate. Former Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, opened the door to this insanity when he desisted from totally destroying the PLO and executing Arafat in the Peace for Galilee operation.

Netanyahu always maintained that he would not conduct negotiations along with terror. Yet the Arabs are throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, and bombs at our soldiers and we are still talking rather than eradicating the enemy.

The PLO has orchestrated daily street battles with our soldiers and has succeeded in making the IDF look like an impotent army. Our flag is desecrated daily before television crews of the world press with complete impunity. And leaders of the PLO publicly participate in such spectacles without the slightest concern that it might cause repercussions.

Achmud Tibi, Arafat's right hand henchman, justified the desecration of the Israeli flag by stating that such demonstrations took place on "Palestinian" soil where such activities "do not conflict with the law". Such a statement is grounds, not only to stop the talks, but to declare all agreements as invalid and to repossess all Jewish land taken by the enemy.

The Oslo agreement, as sick as it was, never ceded land to the PLO. All it did was agree to permit the PLO to rule over its own people on Israeli soil. It was never agreed to give Arafat sovereignty over any of the land. This has become a defacto alteration of the original agreement which remains virtually unchallenged by the Israeli government. It is in contravention of the law and requires an Israeli response. Instead all we hear from our government is a deafening silence.

Now we see how the efficient PLO police can instantly stop the violence. While some may point their fingers at this new attitude and express their delight that, at long last we are now on the road to cooperation, nothing could be further from the truth. All we can see from this is further proof that the PLO approved of, if not openly instigated, the violence in Hebron. The minute they decide to stop it, it stops. So why, you might ask, did they stop it?

Perhaps they were afraid of the Prime Minister's warning to take strong measures. Or, more likely, they felt that by staging a public display of cooperation which restored order, they would be in a better position to demand that Israel permit them to open their own airport and sea port in Gaza. Such actually seems to be the case.

In spite of the fact that the PLO actually paid children to throw rocks and fire bombs at our soldiers, the world media portrayed the Israeli side as the aggressors. In the propaganda war we are losing miserably. Now that the PLO has proven its integrity by stopping the violence, Israel would seem unfair, indeed, should she deny such a "peaceful" request as opening the Gaza airport to international traffic (and a massive influx of weapons).

My complaint is not with the PLO. They are doing what an enemy is supposed to do. What disturbs me is the lack of leadership in Israel. Today, Uzi Dayan, IDF commander for Judea and Samaria, issued a warning to all the Jewish communities in YESHA to be on the alert for terrorist attacks. Perhaps this warning was meant to comfort us. It doesn't. Usually it is the enemy who warns us that he is out to terrorize us. Such a warning is, in and of itself, an act of intimidation. Now we have top Israeli generals doing the work of our enemies by warning us of impending terrorist attacks.

I had thought that Netanyahu had a policy of refusing to talk peace while enduring acts of terror. Instead he has fallen back on the old policy of accepting terror while continuing to talk with our enemies and make concessions to them. Why did we have to wait for the PLO to stop the rocks and bombs? Why do I need to be warned of impending terror? Why is Oslo still a viable process? We consistently close our eyes to every violation of the letter, never mind the spirit, of agreements signed at Oslo on the part of the PLO. We lend credence to their lies about us by treating murderers as if they were reasonable people.

Even now, when the PLO still is in a position where it has much to gain by participating in negotiations where Israel continues to compromise on all of its principles, Arafat has taken a stand which declares that all Jewish growth must stop before he will renew negotiations! He has succeeded in getting the issue of Har Homa on the agenda of the United Nations! All this is a direct result of the Israeli government yielding on the most basic principles of Jewish sovereignty and self respect.

The problem is not that Arafat wants us to commit national suicide. It is not that Abu Allah likes to dance on the ashes of the Israeli flag on international television. And it is not that fact that the head Moslem cleric in Jerusalem called Jews monkeys and pigs and called for our mass murder. The real problem is that Tatiana Susskind drew a picture of a pig and called it Mohammed. Tatiana is in jail while

Arafat, the Mufti, Tibi, and Abu Allah are all treated as men of stature. They say that all is fair in love and war. . . but this is just ridiculous. If we are making peace then, by all means let's make peace. But, if our enemies are making war, then making peace by ourselves is just stupid.

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