Some Observations

By Bernard J. Shapiro

1. It is apparent to many people that, despite his exalted military career, Prime Minister Ehud Barak is showing cowardice in the face of Palestinian attacks during the current war. While IDF soldiers and officers certainly are personally brave in the face of the enemy, Israel's political leadership is indecisive and non-aggressive. I ask you: When in Israel's military history did its forces not attack and occupy enemy positions from where live fire was coming? Only today is the IDF entangled with rules that prevent its ability to defeat the enemy decisively. The failure to engage the enemy with force and aggressiveness has led to a massive loss of deterrence on the part of Israel.

2. The repeated cease-fire talks with U.S. President Bill Clinton have made the Israelis look like a "banana republic" as well as fools for expecting Arafat's signature on an agreement to mean something tangible.

3. The level of lying on the part of the Palestinians about Arafat's war is an indicator of how unreasonable and "anti-peace" they really are.

4. It is clear to me that Barak is using Arafat's war for the purpose of causing the Jews of YESHA to evacuate their homes. This to save himself the difficulty of personally taking charge of the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the area. He has already given the green light to Arafat by his actions in not suppressing the war.

5. Barak's giveaways at Camp David should have brought down his government, yet he still rules. I am very disappointed at this. Where is the nationalist camp?

6. There is talk of international observers for YESHA. This would be a great victory of Arafat and justify his war against Israel. The Israeli response should be a deafening no. From experience of 52 years, we all know that the UN, its bodies, and all International Forces are biased against Israel and in the pocket to the Arabs. The only purpose of such a plan would be to diminish Israel's rightful sovereignty in the area.

7. Barak's constant warnings and threats, for which he never acts, further reduce Israeli deterrence.

8. Allowing the news media to photograph teenagers throwing stones is bad for Israel's image. It is well know that these very same photographers avoid taking pictures of Palestinian gunfire. The print journalists avoid references to live fire from the Palestinian side. Many rioters wait for journalists to arrive before rioting. It is past time to remove journalists from the areas of clashes.

9. Oslo and Camp David must be terminated with extreme prejudice.

10. Israel must annex immediately areas B and C leaving the Palestinians with only A for now. Then the Palestinians must be told that those who engage in hostile activity against Israel will be expelled from the country. If hostility is widespread then the entire population should make a new home in Jordan.

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