OH L-RD, HOW SHALL I MAKE THE BLIND SEE?
By Bernard J. Shapiro
OK, sometimes I do get frustrated. I spend all my time and energy bringing the truth about the harsh realities facing Israel and the Jewish people. Many good people, like the readers of IsraelNationalNews and The Maccabean Online, understand my feeling of despair at our total lack of influence in centers of power in Israel. We are searching for a new course of action that is more effective. Short of a miracle I don't know what to do. For the sake of history this editorial will review the relevant facts. It is my fond hope and prayer that some one in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office will read and understand our message:
THE HARSH REALITIES
We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution, expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls.
It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly cautious not to fall for a pseudo-peace that is really the wolf of war wrapped in sheep's clothing. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. Why do some Jews believe that Peres and Rabin really negotiated PEACE with Arafat, one of today's Hitlers?
Israelis my age have fought in five wars and I understand their desire to be free of constant conflict. Unfortunately there is no magic cure. I wish I could write more optimistic words. Beyond the neighboring states that Israel is negotiating with now lies another ring of unmitigated hostility led by Islamic fundamentalists like those in Iran.
As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.
In blood and fire was Israel born and on a hot anvil was she forged. The brave young soldiers of Israel must take a quick glance back to the crematoria of Auschwitz and then go forth to face the enemy knowing that there is still no alternative (ein briera).
Just as bigots obscure reality about certain groups in an evil way, reality can be obscured by the seemingly well-meaning, who are deluded. This self-delusion, or self-deception, can sometimes have tragic consequences. Unfortunately, Jews throughout history have deluded themselves about their position in society. They pursue utopian solutions to complex political problems and disputes. Jews rejoiced as the enlightenment spread across Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many were eager to give up their Jewishness and become German, French, Italian, and English. In the final analysis those societies viewed them as Jews. Self-delusion came into collision with reality and left us with the stench of burning flesh from the ovens of Auschwitz. Many Russian Jews eagerly supported the communist idea of a worker's utopia with no nationalities and no religion. Reality taught them that their neighbors still considered them Jews.
The left-wing in Israel suffers from gross delusions about Arabs. In the face of all empirical evidence to the contrary they believe peace is possible. In the book Self Portrait Of A Hero: The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976), Jonathan Netanyahu, the fallen hero of Entebbe and brother of Benjamin, said it best:
"I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs. Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
I wish someone would explain to me why ANY INTELLIGENT Israeli could believe the nonsense (Oslo, Road Map, Geneva) its leaders are expounding. Professor Mark Steinberger (Department of Math and Statistics, State University of New York in Albany, New York) supplied the best answer I have ever heard:
"I would say that leftists must inhabit an alternate universe, except that we wind up having to pay the consequences for their detachment from reality. But while we do live in the same objective world, their vision of it seems to have nothing in common with ours. They do not comprehend reality as we see it, and when challenged with evidence that would seem to buttress our view, they seem either to dismiss it for theoretical reason or ignore it completely. One can list various dangers in the agreement, and give objective evidence that Palestinians have no desire for peace, but still want to drive our people into the sea. What is the reaction? They will tell you that self-determination and prosperity will change the Palestinians' outlook and behavior. On what do they base this? Not on evidence from Arab societies. Rather it is based on theory.
To me, this looks like an unwillingness to deal with reality, and it echoes the unwillingness of the Jewish community of the thirties to recognize the threat posed by the Nazis. Indeed, it seems we have learned nothing at all from our experience with Nazism. The Holocaust has become little more than a tale to frighten children: demons in a morality play. They have turned the Holocaust into an image divorced from real world happenings. Millions more Jews could die in Israel, but they refuse to even imagine the possibility. They will not allow reality to interfere with their myths."
IS PEACE POSSIBLE BETWEEN
AND THE ARAB WORLD???
The answer is YES But only after mind-boggling changes in the Arab world. True peace can only be made after the Arab world undergoes democratization. Simply put, democracies rarely go to war with one another. All our major wars of the last two hundred years have been between dictators or between democracies defending themselves from dictators. When a ruler is elected by the people, he has a natural restraint preventing him from sending their sons and daughters into combat in an aggressive war. No such restraint exists anywhere in the Arab world.
ISLAM AND JIHAD
The second major change required of the Arab/Moslem world is to create secular states not subservient to the rule of Islam. The problem for Israel with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is the very hostile attitude that Islam has toward Jews and any non-Islamic person. Islam is all encompassing and guides behavior, law, religion and attitudes and relations with non-Moslems. Islam perceives the world as two separate parts:
1.The first is Dar el-Islam or the World of Islam.
2. All the rest is Dar el-Harb or the world of the sword or the world of war that is those non-Muslim nations that have yet to be conquered.
The concept of JIHAD or Holy War has been understood by most of us but there is another concept in the Koran with which few of us are familiar. But it is essential to understand this concept when relating to Moslems. That is the law of HUDAIBIYA which dates back to Muhammad and states clearly that "Muslims are permitted to lie and break agreements with non-Muslims." This applies to business, personal life and politics. Would a peace treaty be worth much if the other party is Moslem?
Islam divides the world between Believers and Infidels. Jews and Christians are relegated to the status of Dhimmis or second class citizens. The Koran clearly calls on Moslems to degrade and humiliate both groups.
The Arab/Moslem world will have to develop a tradition of respect for women, minorities, and human rights in general before they will be ready for peace with Israel. It seems a bit odd that our State Department is pushing democracy and human rights from one end of the globe to the other WITH THE REMARKABLE EXCEPTION OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Why are the Arabs insulated from pressure to democratize their societies?
It is obvious that no peace agreement would be worth anything with people believing in the above Islamic tenets, failing to practice democracy or show respect for minorities and human rights.
WAR AND PEACE
Great issues of war and peace as related to Israel are being debated by Jews in Israel and America. There are strong opinions on both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the major issues. Professor Paul Eidelberg of Bar-Ilan University, reviews the historical facts:
"Between 1945 and 1978 the longest time without a war going on someplace was a mere 26 days. On an average day there are 12 wars being fought somewhere on earth. The consensus of scholars has been that the norm of international relations is not peace but war. As Eidelberg reports, "Indeed, the occurrence of 1,000 wars during the last 2,500 years indicates that "peace" is little more than a preparation for war. Which means that peace treaties are WORTHLESS, to say the least."
Eidelberg then quotes from a book by Lawrence Beilenson, entitled THE TREATY TRAP, saying, "After studying every peace treaty going back to early Roman times, Beilenson concludes that treaties are made to be broken. In fact, he shows that treaties for guaranteeing the territorial integrity of a nation are useless to the guaranteed nation, and worse than useless insofar as they engender a false sense of security. Such treaties can only benefit nations governed by rulers intending to violate them whenever expedient." [This also goes for the recent Oslo and Geneva treaties.]
NATURE OF PEACE
Midge Dector on "peace" "What I want to say is something that virtually the whole history of the 20th century teaches us and yet something we refuse to learn. And that is , when applied to the affairs of nations, peace is an evil word. Yes I said evil. And the idea of peace as we know it is an evil idea. From the peace of Versailles to "peace in our time" at Munich...each declaration of peace or expressions of longing for peace ended in slaughter. Not necessarily immediately and not necessarily directly, but slaughter all the same..."
"For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostile cannot do so. To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long a go, is not the _expression of hope, not even superstition but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth."
THE COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
The Land of Israel was given to Abraham for the Jewish People in perpetuity. David Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister and founder of the Labor Party, said the following about the Jewish People's connection to Israel:
"No Jew has the right to relinquish the right of the Jewish People over the whole Land of Israel. No Jewish body has such authority, not even the whole Jewish People has the authority to waive the right (to the Land of Israel) for future generations for all time."
A TIME FOR PEACE, AND A TIME FOR WAR
We find all the expressions of horror at the recent Rabbi's ruling concerning a soldier's obligation to avoid abandoning army bases and settlements to terrorists, to be hypocritical, self-serving, and unfortunate. The Israeli government is in rebellion against everything that Israel, Zionism, and Judaism are all about. They are the ones causing the rift in the body politic and they will be totally responsible for any resulting violence.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with the left-wing tyranny that rules Israel [though seeming not the ruling party]? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? The monopoly on power must be broken or there is no hope.
History is usually written by the victors but truly there are seldom universally accepted moral standards. We can say with absolute certainty, however, that the Jewish return to Zion and our struggle today for Eretz Yisrael are more righteous than any other struggle for national liberation in the history of the world.
Following my five weeks of research in Israel, I spelled out (May-June 1994 issue of THE MACCABEAN) the nature of this inevitable conflict:
THE PRIMARY INHERENT FLAW IN THE OSLO AGREEMENT THAT WILL LEAD TO MILITARY CONFLICT
1. The Palestinians expect and will demand that every Jew be removed from their areas of control including the whole of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
2. The Jews of YESHA not only plan to stay in their homes but will fight for them militarily. This obviously conflicts with #1.
I also stated: "The number of Jews in YESHA is about 144,000 (now over 240,000). Not counting women, children, and men over 50 leaves about 50,000 men capable of resisting a PLO armed force. These men are all IDF veterans and reservists with army issue UZI's or M-16s with at least two clips (30 rounds per clip) of ammunition per gun. All Jewish villages are on the hills with a commanding view of the area. The Arab villages control the roads creating a strategic situation similar to the pre-state fighting of 1947-48. During my visit I toured the whole area, and emphasized the need to get past the shock of the government's disregard for their interests and make serious preparations for the coming battles."
Among other things I recommended the following: (1) bring ammunition supplies up to a minimum of 300+ rounds per gun (2) stockpile food, medicine and water supplies for 30 days in case the roads are impassable (3) all vehicles that have been equipped with shatterproof window to deflect rocks need to be re-equipped to become fully bullet-proof (4) Each community needs several trucks armored to withstand 60 caliber machine gun fire, small grenades and some protection from roadside bombs (5) begin constructing bunkers and hardened firing positions.
Nine years have passed since that report and events are playing out exactly as I predicted. The military struggle is about to begin in earnest. If anyone believes this to be unlikely, stay posted and we will see how the future plays out. The Jews of YESHA should not leave their physical well-being to the good graces of Arafat or Sharon.
The Jews of YESHA must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. They must fight the Arabs, where necessary, to maintain their travel, water, and land rights. When the Israeli government retreats, leaving them behind PLO battle lines, they must be prepared to go on the offensive militarily to secure safe contiguous areas of Jewish control. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who are willing to surrender our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in YESHA who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham nor their right of self-defense.
Should the Jews of YESHA be forced into military combat they would be fully justified. They will be fighting for the security of Israel and the future destiny of the Jewish people. These brave Jews would be continuing the long tradition of Hebrew Warriors, including Joshua, David, the Maccabees and Bar Kochba, who fought against all odds to save their people and their country.
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, and two in 1973 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to an evil terrorist, who delights in killing Jewish woman, children, even babies. The Brave Heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to passive civil disobedience. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.
SERIOUS FLAWS IN THE OSLO, ROAD MAP AND GENEVA APPEASEMENTS
(1) The most fundamental flaw is the renunciation of Jewish claims to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is God-given and cannot be renounced by a transitory Israeli government. The present government has no right to deprive future generations of Jews and Israelis of their legal patrimony.
(2) Yasir Arafat's PLO is incapable of providing Israelis with the cessation of violence they so dearly crave. The PA is, in fact, the primary source of terrorism and coordinates with Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalist factions that will continue to kill Jews.
(3) Without the presence of Israel's internal security force (Shin Bet) inside Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it will be impossible to halt terrorism or even keep it within present levels. The Israel Defense Forces maintain tremendous power but are of little importance in day-to-day terrorism.
(4) Arafat's signature on any agreement and the PLO acceptance is of no consequence as Arafat is a documented liar. Muslims are permitted to lie to non-Muslims and break agreements with them under the Koranic law of HUDAIBIYA. Treaties and contracts with them are worthless.
(5) By virtue of these appeasements, the Israeli government has validated Arab claims to the Land of Israel. Decades of fighting Arab propaganda and distortions of history are trivialized and discounted.
(6.) These appeasements put the status of Jerusalem on the negotiating table. Every previous government of Israel steadfastly stood by the principle of Jerusalem being non-negotiable.
(7) All of Israel's military and civilian communications could be easily monitored from the hills of Judea and Samaria.
(8) While Israeli radar and military installations are limited by these current appeasements, the future is less certain. Eventually the Arab population will force the Israelis out.
(9) Whether they admit it publicly or not, Israeli leaders know that this is the first step to a Palestinian state.
(10) The "Palestinian right of return" has been acknowledged for the first time by the Israelis and could result in a flood of Arabs to Judea and Samaria.
(11) The inevitable increase in Arab population will result in tremendous pressure on Israel's water supply. As Arab wells are dug in the Judean and Samarian hills, the natural mountain aquifer that supplies much of Tel Aviv and the coastal plain with water will be serious depleted. Such depletion will cause the salt water of the Mediterranean Sea to penetrate Israel's coastal strip, thus destroying all water supplies. This process can be witnessed in California, where sea water has already penetrated five miles into the coast.
(12) Some 70% of Israel's population and industry is concentrated in a small strip of coast and greater Tel Aviv. That population will be immediately threatened by Kaytusha or Quassam rockets. Fired singly from the hills of Judea and Samaria, and set with timers they will be virtually impossible to stop. The Israeli government plan to coordinate with the Palestinian police is akin to working with the fox to guard the henhouse. The Palestinian police are being recruited from among the terrorists who delight especially in murder and mutilation of bodies. Will they arrest and turn over a terrorist who kills Israelis and then escapes to Gaza?
(13) Judea and Samaria have geographical features that are extremely significant for Israeli security. Most important is the Judean-Samarian mountain ridge running north and south and parallel to the Jordan river. From the Jordan to the top of the ridge the elevation is very sharp and fast causing a channeling of enemy forces into five passes easily controlled by much smaller Israeli forces on the mountain top. On the other hand, the slope from the top down on the western slope to the coast makes it possible for enemy troops to attack Israeli cities on the coastal plain with the IDF being unable to anticipate the route of attack, channel it and destroy it.
From the top of the mountain ridge Israeli radar is able to see as far as Iraq providing an early warning of hostile military activity. In other words, the Judean-Samarian mountains are not just a barrier but also a radar point. To surrender of such a strategic asset with great topographical significance for defending Israel from attack from the East would be the height of foolishness.
(14) The Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza will no doubt be victims of ethnic cleansing. The Arabs will insist on a Jew-free country like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The government has already begun confiscating the weapons of Jews, which could cause them to become vulnerable to massacre like the Bosnians.
(15) The air and seaports planned for Gaza will facilitate the entry of weapons and terrorists, threatening the security of Israel.
(16) The proposed "safe passages" for the PA will facilitate the movement of terrorists and weapons from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.
(17) And finally these appeasements place biased anti-Semites in charge of Israel's security and compromise Israel"s sovereignty.
Is there any need to say more? Please copy and distribute this information as widely as possible. Please urge Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to read it and respond correctly and urgently to the dangers presented.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly Internet magazine, The Maccabean Online (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). He also edits the Freeman Center's daily email broadcast The Freemanlist.