A Voice from Hebron -- July 28, 1998

WE NEED A JEWISH FIST. . . FOR PEACE

By Gary M. Cooperberg

The Jewish People have always been very good at believing that which they want to believe. If things are difficult or unpleasant they just pretend that everything is fine. It is an ostrich philosophy which contends that if we put our heads in the sand bitter reality will disappear. This actually a defense mechanism which we have perfected after living for two thousand years as unwanted exiles in foreign countries. When we lived under foreign rule in strange lands as a tiny and often persecuted minority, there was little else we could do but simply endure, and await our redemption.

Two thousand years is a very long time. During that time we have lost sight of our connection to our past. We absorbed the foreign cultures and ideologies of the lands of our exile. We became accustomed to living outside of our land to the degree that many of us find it difficult to relate to the ancient dream of Zion in real terms. Ironically it is precisely at a time when we seem to be giving up on this focal point of Jewish existence and survival over the centuries, that we fail to notice that our dreams are indeed coming to pass. The Jewish People are not only returning to the Land of Israel from the four corners of the world, exactly as predicted in the Torah, but we have returned Jewish sovereignty to much of our ancient homeland under impossible conditions. We have been attacked by enemies whose design was to destroy the Jewish nation, yet, miraculously, we have emerged from every war, not only intact, but ever stronger.

Oddly, from the ranks of our own leadership, we hear declarations that we are tired of war. When was the time that we actively sought war? We never ever wanted or started a war with our enemies. The only kind of war we ever fought was for our survival. Yet, in some strange way, we seem to be apologizing to our enemies for having survived!

President Clinton, when praising the "peacemakers" on the White House Lawn, described how momentous is was that Israel and the PLO are resolving their differences. What were those differences? Clearly the PLO wants to destroy the Jewish nation, and Israel wants to continue to live. How does one reconcile such differences? Do we agree to disappear is stages? Perhaps we will agree to self-destruction rather than impose that bitter task upon our enemies.

The sickness of self-delusion has become so all-encompassing that the best example we have today of a right wing extreme position is that of Rafael Eitan. His "strong" stand is to demand that we only give away 7% of Jewish land in Judea and Samaria to Arafat! Netanyahu is still amazing friend and foe alike with his dazzling ability to dance between the raindrops as he is threatened by some if he dares give away another inch, and threatened by others if he refuses to give away all that the USA is demanding.

Our Arab enemies, from within and without, are united in their resolve to destroy the Jewish state. This resolve is further reinforced by pressure from the United States, and from within various political factions in the Knesset and even the government. The most optimistic of the so called "right-wing" is hoping that Arafat will fail to live up to his agreements and thus enable Israel to gracefully refuse to self-destruct. The problem is that Arafat is not as stupid as we think. All he needs to do is find a way to comply, or seem to comply, and then even the most right-wing in the government will be obligated to participate in the plans for our self-destruction.

This is why it is vital to find a voice of Jewish sanity. No one would dare say such things as: Arabs in Israel, especially under the circumstances which exist today, are clearly participants in an overall effort by the PLO to destroy Jewish Israel and exchange it for Arab Palestine. This is not an accusation, rather a reasonable observation. It is only natural for Arabs to want to live in an Arab country. It is not normal to think that a proud Arab would be content to live in a country he feels should belong to him yet agree to be subject to the sovereignty of a Jewish government.

Not only would such a declaration bring immediate cries of racism, but the one issuing such a statement would be treated as criminal or insane. The clearest attempt to justify the wisdom of Oslo is to ask the rhetorical question, "Do you want to go back to Gaza?" Of course the expected response is a loud and resounding "NO!" But why not? Is there something about Gaza which makes it undesirable to us? Only one thing. . . its enemy Arab inhabitants. It is not Gaza which we want to be rid of. . . it is the enemy Arab population festering there that we must rid ourselves of. This may not sound nice. It isn't nice. But this is the reality which we have refused to face.

While many would chastise such a position as unrealistic, I hasten to remind you that our present defense minister said, just a few short months ago, that the IDF is well able to take back everything that we gave away to the PLO. He was quick to add that we don't want to. But why don't we want to? Is it normal not to want to throw your enemies out of your homeland? The answer takes us back to the ancient Jewish grasshopper philosophy. Our enemies are overwhelming and we are tiny. We cannot rely on miracles and thus must come to terms with the demands of our enemies rather than risk a war which we may not win.

As sensible as that theory may sound, the fact is that it is not even rational. We still have a reputation of having a strong army and the ability to win any war which our enemies would dare start with us. What this peace nonsense is doing is telegraphing our fear to the world. It is advertising that we do not believe we can win another war. Such an attitude does not promote peace. On the contrary. It invites war. The minute our enemies believe that they can defeat us they will waste no time on words and just jump in to finish us off. The only way to avoid war is to be strong and to act strong.

The only way to transform Oslo into a real peace process is to scrap it completely and to physically remove Arafat and all of his supporters out of the sovereign state of Israel, including Yesha and Gaza. Only with a Jewish fist will we convince our enemies of the wisdom of living in peace. (Ironically enough even Shimon Peres recognized this fact recently when he told a Jordanian audience that it is only because we have nuclear weapons with which to threaten our Arab enemies that we have the ability to have a peace process).

Arafat is not our peace partner. He is a deadly enemy who must be destroyed. By doing so now, while we still have a strong upper hand, we can also flush out our other enemies and really bring security to our country such as we have never seen yet. One does not negotiate with terror. . . he smashes it. As is says in this week's parsha:

"Look, I have given you the Land which lies before you. Go in and take possession of the Land that G-d swore to your Fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov, to give them and to their descendants after them." Deuteronomy I:8

Clearly it is a mitzvah to fight to posses the land. How then can we expect to achieve peace by willingly taking the Land already in our possession and giving it away to our enemies? No Prime Minster and no Jewish government has the right to hand our obligatory inheritance to anyone, much less our worst enemies. Only a Jewish fist will bring peace and security to Israel.

 

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