A Voice from Hebron - July 26, 1999
THE PEACE OF ASSAD
by Gary M. Cooperberg
Syria is an interesting country. Her hatred for the Jewish State is legendary. It is national policy to hate Israel and the Jewish People. Horror stories have abounded for years, including a vivid description of how a Syrian soldier took a bound Israeli prisoner and publicly chewed him to death to the cheers of delighted onlookers. Hatred for Israel is taught in the schools and inculcated on the local media. Girl scouts in Syria are required, as part of their initiation rites, to catch a snake and kill it with their teeth. There is no shortage of examples of vicious hatred of Syrians for Israel. Yet, for some unexplained reason, it seems that Syria's president, Assad, has suddenly developed a desire to live in peace with Israel. President Clinton is ecstatic, as is the government of Israel.
Anwar Sadat was murdered by Islamic militants who viewed his overtures to Israel as treasonous to Islam. Yet few understood the brilliant cunning of the first Arab leader to make use of Israel's willingness to make sacrifices for "peace". Does anyone remember, or want to remember, that, at his first meeting with Begin, Sadat sported a necktie decorated completely with swastikas? He had no love for Israel and no love for Jews. His "peace treaty" with Israel gained him Jewish land, without having to fight for it. It also gained him unprecedented American financial and military aid. And what was his contribution for "peace"? He signed a piece of paper recognizing the right of Israel to exist; diplomats were exchanged; and borders were opened to tourism, albeit that most of the tourists are Israeli's going to Egypt and not the other way around, and that Israeli tourists have been murdered when visiting that country. In fact, Egyptians to this day do not feel "at peace" with Israel.
What did Israel gain from this treaty? She gained more pressure from the United States to yield more of her homeland to her enemies. She contributed to the propaganda campaign which suggests that real peace can be achieved through Israeli retreat. And she enabled the Egyptian army to rebuild and greatly upgrade its military capacity. . . for peace of course.
The second "breakthrough" which found us signing a "peace" treaty with Jordan, was really more of the same kind of fraud which only further lulled the Israeli people into feeling safer. What exactly was accomplished with this treaty? First of all, for the first time, the Israeli government overwhelmingly and officially recognized the legitimacy of Arab sovereignty over Jewish soil on the other side of the Jordan River. Secondly diplomats were exchanged and borders opened. Thirdly, Israel agreed to supply water to Jordan, despite the fact the we have our own shortage of water. And, of course, as a result of this wonderful treaty, Jordan received increased financial and military aid from the United States. Israel also has opened trade with Jordan which increases that country's standard of living. Never mind the fact that seven schoolgirls were murdered on a class trip by a Jordanian soldier while visiting Jewish land under Jordanian control.
And what did Israel gain from this treaty? She gained increased pressure from the United States to yield more of her homeland for peace. She further contributed to the myth that real peace can be achieved by giving up more Jewish Land. And she showed the Arab world that they can defeat Israel far easier with "peace" than with war.
Proof of the above premise was quick in coming. Yasser Arafat, whose PLO was created and exists for the sole purpose of destroying the Jewish State, has joined the procession of Arab terrorist murderers who stand on line waiting for their share of Jewish Land in return for "peace". Arafat has declared that he is not "asking for the moon". Actually I would prefer to give him the moon and send him and all of his PLO followers to live there. I would even be willing to recognize his terrorist state at that location.
No one with an ounce of intelligence really believes that the PLO has stopped plotting the destruction of Israel. The government of Israel has set so many self deprecating precedents that it is unthinkable for it to admit that the path it is on can only lead to its self-destruction. Whether or not Arafat declares his PLO state is a technical irrelevancy. The fact is that he already has his state on Jewish soil on this side of the Jordan River and his hand is stretched out waiting for Israel to enlarge it even more, for peace.
Is it not evident, from all of these precedents, that Israel is working, together with her enemies, to weaken herself before them? It certainly is evident to Assad. With all the Land that Israel has already given away to Mubarak, Hussein, and Arafat, if he can convince the Jewish State to give him the Golan Heights, the Arab nations will be that much closer to achieving the peace they all seek. . . a Middle East without a Jewish State of any size.