A Voice from Hebron - November 23, 1998


By Gary M. Cooperberg

It may be true that the United States is still Israel's best foreign ally. It may also be true that the government of the United States sincerely wants to bring genuine peace to the Middle East. Were I a Congressman or Senator I would certainly consider voting to give assistance to former warring nations who were now embarking on the road to peace. I would look favorably to giving grants for projects which would bolster the economy of those nations and further promote the peaceful relations which they had strived to achieve.

But, let's be honest, is this the purpose for which Israel is requesting another 1.2 billion dollars in American aid? Netanyahu and Arafat sat, together with the American President, at the Wye River Plantation, and worked at a marathon peace negotiation which, allegedly, saw the two parties achieve significant advances toward peace. A ceremony was held and the two leaders smiled and shook hands. Clearly the window of opportunity had been opened and the white Dove of Peace fluttered right in.

So why is the Israeli Defense Minister traveling to Washington to ask for 1.2 billion dollars from the United States? Will those funds be used to tear down borders and usher in a new era of peaceful relations between Arabs and Jews? Will it be used to finance joint commercial projects? Perhaps the funds will be used to erect a new building in Jerusalem which will house the joint governmental headquarters of Israel and the future PLO state?

Were any of the above suggested as reasons for such a loan, I could certainly understand how American politicians would be willing to grant such a sum. But this is just not the case. Right after working out a precedent setting peace agreement, the Jewish State is asking for financial assistance to build fences, trenches, by-pass roads, sophisticated electronic surveillance devices, bulletproof vehicles, and bullet proof windows for civilian homes. Does this sound like money being spent to enhance peaceful relations? If the two leaders both claimed to be on the road to peace, why then does Israel need to invest huge sums of money to defend itself from attack from its new peace partner? If I were an American politician I would never consider granting any sum of money to finance a lie.

The lie began after the first results of Oslo were revealed. It may well be that Rabin and Peres really thought that they had something with the concept of PLO autonomy. They even planned to test it out before committing themselves to it. Remember "Gaza and Jericho first"? The idea was that Gaza and Jericho would be a test to see if the PLO could accept the concept of self-rule under overall Israeli sovereignty. The test failed miserably. Rather than being grateful for the opportunity to gain autonomy, the PLO openly showed contempt for the concept as they tore down the Israeli flag and raised the PLO flag in its place. Not only was this a violation of the agreement, it was an outright act of war! It was a declaration of PLO sovereignty over Jewish soil! It was at this juncture that the Jewish leadership began its worst self-deception. It "overlooked" an act of war and called it "peace".

Today the Netanyahu government has enhanced this process to the next step. Not has he merely ignored the fact that Arafat has, defacto, declared sovereignty over all lands over which he is only permitted autonomy, but he has openly declared this concept for future concessions as well! This is an alteration of the intention of Oslo to the detriment of the Jewish State. It has turned the autonomy plan into one of outright surrender of our sovereignty! And this is even before Arafat bothers to declare statehood!

It would be one thing if our leadership really thought that we could make peace. But the bitter truth is that no honest person anywhere can really consider what is going on here as a peace process. Arafat has, for all intents and purposes, declared his intention to take our country away from us. He is prepared to at least begin the conquest by "peaceful" means. He will take what we give him. Only after he has gotten all that we are willing to give will he employ the "old fashioned" method to get the rest. This is not a secret. It is just something we prefer not to think about, much less annunciate. We prefer to "hope" for peace. Even when that hope is based upon nothing.

I live next door to the PLO. I admit feeling more comfortable to know that the bus I ride in has bulletproof windows and panels. My car is not so protected and, yes, I am afraid when I have to drive the roads where others have been murdered. I admit that I would feel safer if we had new roads which by-passed heavily populated Arab areas. Perhaps one big underground tunnel to Jerusalem would be even better. But will this bring peace? Is this not admitting that we are under siege. . .literally living in and accepting a state of war?

I don't want bulletproof buses. I don't want to live in a cage. I don't want to spend millions or billions of dollars on new roads and elaborate defensive devices. If monies are to be used for peace, they would be best used to remove our enemies from our homeland. Israel was, is and always will be the exclusive homeland of the Jewish people. We have no right to alter our obligation as Jews by sharing, selling or giving away any part of this Land to any foreign entity for any reason. Even in secular terms the "land for peace" concept is a contradiction in terms. No one buys peace. Land is taken in war. Every piece of land we have given to the PLO is, in their eyes, a military victory. Thus we have been inviting the war we delude ourselves into thinking that we are avoiding. And, to add insult to injury, the very fact that we are willingly weakening ourselves before our most implacable enemies, as we entrench them within our sovereign borders, encourages all of our Arab neighbors to prepare for another attempt to destroy the Jewish State.

So I would tell the American Congress not to give Israel any money for a lie. By-pass roads and bulletproof buses are not tools of peace. They are proof that Oslo and Wye are deceptions. If we need to spend billions to turn our towns and villages into armed fortresses to protect our families from our peace partners, then both the recipients and the benefactors will be parties to a terrible lie which will eventually blow up in our faces. If we really wanted to spend money for peace, it would be better spent relocating Arabs to Arab countries. If the war is coming, and it is, I would prefer to fight it on the borders of my country. This will only be possible if we remove our enemies now, while we still can.

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