The Insanity of the Shameless
By Eugene Narrett, PhD
On Thanksgiving Day, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a lengthy report describing reiterated calls for violence by Palestinian officials and details of the recent weeks of violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers from the Jordan to the sea. "Somehow," bleated the bureaucrats, "the world media conveys the impression that Israel and the Palestinians are equally to blame." Who helped create this impression?
Israel's current Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben Ami has been among the most insistent of those urging a return to the bargaining table with Arafat, on the basis of the Camp David II "understandings" (Ha'Aretz, 11-02, 11-24-00). The operative assumptions of this "strategy" to divide Jerusalem and surrender 95% of Yesha are that an agreement can be reached with Arafat and that such an agreement will be honored or enforced. The first assumption had some pieces of paper to support it. The second is a volatile fog of delusion and deceit, shrouding seven years of gathering danger over Israeli streets and farms. Of course the media and Foreign Service bureaucrats of other nations despise Israel; weakness in defending one's nation is despicable. Sold on the assurance of Israeli strength, the "progress" of Oslo has demanded Israeli weakness. Thus Ben Ami's plaint is stupid or disingenuous. Once the Israeli Labor-Meretz-Arab coalition formally made Arafat a negotiating partner at Oslo, they created the illusion of moral equivalence between Israel and the Arabs. When they followed that up by repeatedly overlooking gross violations of the Accords, they exposed the principle that for decades has driven Labor policy: that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are to be surrendered, and their Israeli population removed by force or attrition regardless of Arab compliance. The process is outcome-based; the conclusion foregone. The blood that is being spilled today and the inevitable contempt for and bias against Israel by global power centers results from this mad and shameless betrayal of Israel and its Jewish heritage.
The Foreign Ministry Report defensively protests that "under these difficult circumstances [unremitting attacks by Arabs], the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is acting with the greatest possible restraint, doing its utmost to prevent injury and the loss of life." That "greatest possible restraint" is exactly the problem, as it has been for seventy years. The first week in October 2000, it admitted, "the IDF has been following a policy of maximal restraint. This policy does not seem to be producing the desired effect." Of course it will not conciliate but rather encourage Arabs to attack Jews, a point Jabotinsky made repeatedly during the 1920s and '30s. The policy is not only foolish but, at best, misleading even in its ostensible goals. "Restraint" by the IDF invites injury and murder of Jews by Arabs, and then, eventually, when the government is pressured to a minimalist response, produces some Arab casualties, at which the media and diplomatic powers of the world cry "excessive force."
"Israel has no interest in escalating the violence," complained the IDF. "To the contrary, Israel believes it is imperative that the Palestinians stop this violence so that both parties can return to the negotiating table. Israel maintains that a just and sustainable solution can be found only through dialogue, not armed conflict." This is the essence of the madness: to return to a negotiating table that Arabs have defined and used as a site to extract unilateral Israeli concessions in exchange for promises that are, as Marwan Barghouti of Fatah explains, part of a "cease fire" (hudna) that complements armed attacks. This is precisely the tactical combination of violence and "negotiation" favored by the Arab masses as indicated in the broad base survey conducted in the West Bank and Gaza November 06-09 by Bir Zeit University (see www.memri.org, 11-15).
The shamelessness is the shedding of ever more Jewish blood and the failure to respond with the force that would deter future assaults. The week of November 20 saw a steady and gruesome escalation of attacks on Jews. A school bus was bombed near Kfar Darom in the Gaza strip killing two teachers, a mother of four and a father of six children. Three children were so badly mutilated that parts of their legs had to be amputated. The next day, a sniper bullet killed a Jewish civilian waiting for a ride. Then a bus in Hadera, on the northern coastal plain was bombed, killing two and wounding 53 civilians.
These murders accompanied further declarations of war by Palestinian officials. "We will shoot at settlers and soldiers everywhere in the West Bank and Gaza," said Fatah leader, Hussein Sheikh. Shortly afterward, an 18-year old Israeli youth, Itamar Yefet, on his way to make a condolence call to the family of one of the Jews murdered two days earlier was shot to death. Arafat's Secretary General (whatever that means in his thug-ocracy), Ahmed Abdel-Rahman showed the quality of Arab mercy and commitment to peace by stating, "yes, our policemen will now use their guns in self-defense [sic] in areas under our full sovereignty" (Jerusalem Post, 11-22-00, evening). Worse was to come.
There is more than brazen violation of commitments to enforce security in this announcement. Arab hatred for Jews is so extreme that a civilian mourner going to make a condolence call to a family bereaved by a murderous attack on a school bus is considered an aggressor requiring Arab "police" to shoot in "self defense." Those who made and wish to make further "agreements" with these Arabs are insane, and complicit in the murder of their own people. Beyond these wake-up calls, was the problem pointed out for eight years by critics of Oslo (and of the mad acknowledgment at Camp David I of Palestinian "rights to a homeland"). Once the Arabs have a sovereign area, whether termed an "autonomy" or a state, the "police" of that state will be empowered to accumulate and use their guns.
The complicity appeared in the belated killing of a Fatah-Tanzim leader 11-22. Jailed for attacks on Israeli soldiers, he had been released in 1999 by the terms of the first "Sharm el-Sheik agreement" despite objections and a formal petition by the Victims of Terror Association. In recent weeks he had organized many terrorist attacks in Gaza (Arutz-7, 11-23). Even as the Fall 2000 war of attrition against Jews developed, the IDF continues to refer to Fatah-Tanzim as "activists" (peilim). As Aaron Lerner pointed out (IMRA 11-22), this allows diplomats like Madeline Albright to sanitize Fatah's Jew-killing militia as a sort of protest or civil rights group.
It is not politicians or the IDF High Command, but civilians and enlisted men who pay the price of the Oslo fraud, one of whose delusions was that there could be meaningful "joint-security patrols" between Arabs and Israelis. For years, Arabs on these patrols, especially in Gaza (where the CIA have been training the Arabs in "security" techniques) have been pointing their guns at their Israeli 'peace partners' in the midst of patrols, prompting crises that short-circuit genuine security. In fact the Rosh HaShana war began with the murder of Israeli soldiers in Gaza and Samaria by their patrol partners. On November 23, an Arab obeying PA-Fatah commands to shoot at Israelis "in the territories" threw a hand grenade into the DCO, the office where joint patrols were coordinated. This killed Israeli lieutenant, Edward Machnik and wounded two soldiers. "The Palestinians struck at IDF soldiers who worked with them, shoulder to shoulder in the joint office for seven years," the IDF spokesperson complained. What did they expect, especially after events of the previous two months? Does the IDF monitor the public pronouncements of PA and its affiliated Fatah officials? "This serious event harms the trust that still remains between the IDF and the Palestinian security authorities," concluded the IDF statement (11-23-00). "The trust that still remains"? There is no excuse for stupidity of this magnitude.
Yet worse stupidity and betrayals followed. The IDF ordered the closing of the DCO's but the Arabs simply refused the order. They similarly (and predictably) refused the IDF's offer to cooperate in investigating the murders (Ha'Aretz, 11-23, Amira Hass). One Arab took his familiar 'victim' role and poignantly told the media, "we need the DCO's for humanitarian purposes, such as coordinating passage of ambulances" (Jerusalem Post, 11-24). Dining in Moscow, Arafat had Putin telephone Barak who soon "agreed to renew senior contact and security cooperation in an attempt to end the violence" (Ibid.). This shameless acquiescence to murderous deceits was followed by reports that Barak is bending to Russo-Turkish proposals to station "observers" in Judea and Samaria "to end the violence" (Jerusalem Post, 11-26). Thus, Barak achieves the impossible: he brings Russia and the Turks together. How? Over Israel's nearly dead body, and simultaneously fulfills Arafat's strategic goal. Earlier reports suggested that his toady, Ariel Milo has been negotiating precisely this endgame concession at the UN ("Secret Israeli-Palestinian Talks, Washington Post, Colum Lynch 11-16, p. A35). What a sweet pill this must be for the parents and family of Lt. Machnik, Itamar Yefet, of Gabi Biton and Mira Amichai.
Those who are considered stalwarts of the Israeli opposition often show themselves to be deeply affected by the Oslo mad-peace disease. MK Rehavam Ze'evi sounded what passes for a bold note in urging assassination of Mohammed Dahlan, head of PA "Security" (murderous attacks on Jews) in Gaza. Then he added, "so should Arafat be made into a target if he continues along the path of terrorism." "IF?" The IDF knows that Arafat smuggles weapons and ammunition into Gaza on his private plane at the airport the Israelis keep open for their "peace partner" there, the airport where PA police repeatedly have shot at and wounded Israeli customs inspectors. Military Intelligence has informed the government of Arafat's strategy "to balance the account of blood with Israel" (Ha'Aretz, "Arafat wants to kill Israelis," 11-24). Fatah is Arafat's personal faction; it orders and carries out attacks on Israeli "settlers and soldiers" and the "nationalist" says, "if he continues in terrorism?" Would Ze'evi too, sit down with Arafat for another deal? "Of course in the end we will have to sit and negotiate anyway" he declared at a rally titled, ironically, "Let the IDF Win!" Have any Israeli 'hard-liners' heard the term, "unconditional surrender?" There are enemies with whom one does not negotiate, for example, murderers of civilians and those who scrawl, "Hitler killed germs." Anyone who still speaks of "negotiating" with "Palestinians" is emitting fumes of shameless madness.
For decades, the Labor-IDF nexus has appointed and promoted second-rate leftist hacks to top command positions, then moved them into politics whence they have proceeded to "negotiate" their nation almost to death. Current Chief of Staff Shaul "Barak-Lite" Mofaz epitomizes the pattern. It was just compounded when one of the most competent top officers, Brigadier General Effie Eitam was again passed over for promotion because he is an observant Jew. "Many less talented officers were promoted above him," noted a colleague, announcing his resignation from service. Earlier in November, Colonel Haggai Eldar also resigned, because, he explained, he no longer could assure his enlisted men that he would be allowed to use all means to rescue them if they were wounded in action. "I can't live with that," he said, adding, "I see that this began with [aviator] Ron Arad, and then with Joseph's Tomb where an IDF soldier was left bleeding to death and the army asks the Palestinians to evacuate him. This is terrible! And then a week later at Mt. Ebal" (Arutz-7, 11-06-00). Abandonment of Jews and of Jewish holy places is the method and signature of Barak. This is what he did to Jonathan Pollard 15 years ago, and has continued to do. So it is a sort of justice that Clinton & Co hang Ehud out to dry when his utility to them nears its end. Once one sells one's soul to the Devil, the fiend will not take 'no' for an answer. Betrayal must be complete. Death is the only out, and Barak has preferred Israel's death to his own.
As for satanic voices, Clinton administration officials pressuring Israel for further restraint and concessions care little for Americans, either. Two days before the latest round of arm-twisting by Albright and William Cohen, PA TV broadcast a call for "the Arab world to enter into confrontation with American interests using all possible means, to boycott American products and denounce its policies." And it called upon Arabs to "demand the shattering of American hegemony" (11-20-00. Transmitted by Palestine Media Watch). Clinton & Co. ignore these signs of hostility because they care nothing for their own people (witness the USS Cole incident), and less for Israel. Like his masters, Barak abandons his own.
The only sober voice among Israeli officials was that of Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu. "I would never be willing to sit in the same government as Barak and Beilin. It's time for the national camp to stop stuttering on this issue." Exactly; at this late stage of the endgame to efface Israel, the minimum condition for leadership is total repudiation of Oslo and the resignation or removal from government of all officials who supported it, especially those who designed and sold it to the nation, often through the big lie method. It is not simply that "Barak has failed in everything he touched," but that his masters and makers, Clinton and Peres mean him to deliver his nation on a platter. Their success is Israel's failure. Shameless insanity or betrayal, this is what the recent "open season on Jews" has been. Not until Israel takes back all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza will it and its leaders be taken seriously and that is the essential step to respect and life.
Eugene Narrett teaches at Boston University.