An Editorial


By Bernard J. Shapiro

1. Israel must be prepared for a massive disproportionate retaliation against Iraq if attacked. Better than retaliation for new missile attacks, Israel should try to pre-empt Saddam's ability to endanger her ever again. Israel's failure to defend itself during the 1991 Persian Gulf War left a damaging psychological scar on the Israeli psyche. The experience of sitting helpless in sealed rooms created the climate for the Oslo appeasement. Israelis felt weak and impotent. After the war, when asked why they supported Oslo, they said they were "fatigued" after four decades of war. They wanted to stop fighting their war of survival. So they accepted the false notion of Oslo with its plan of trading land for "peace."

2. There is no such thing as "territories for peace." It never existed in history and doesn't exist today. Albright's permutation of this concept, the 'phased redeployment plan' (a little territory for a little security), is also a fraud and should be rejected. It has been four and half years since Oslo and Israel has given a lot and received nothing. Now the US wants to let the PA pocket their gains and then sell the security rug to the Israelis for the third or fourth time. If Albright's plan of a little security for a little withdrawal made sense, then total withdrawal (into the sea) would mean total security. They must think that Israelis are idiots. They may be right.

3. (There is a) continuity of Jewish history and its unbreakable connection with Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). Modern Israel is the beginning of the Third Temple Period and the spiritual heir to Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba. I frequently write about the security reasons for incorporating Judea, Samaria, and Gaza into the body of Israel. There is another side to this issue and that is the spiritual-religious side. The truth, which many find inconvenient, is that the Eretz Yisrael was promised by G-d to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. The Land of Israel is not speculative real estate to be bartered away for some high sounding false promise of peace. The hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria contain the collective memory of the Jewish people. It was here that the Israelites first entered their Holy Land. And it was here they fought the battles, built the towns, elected their kings and were preached to by their prophets and judges. And it was on this soil that they wrote the Holy Scriptures we call our Bible. (Jews, G-d & Israel, 1992)

4. Israel on its own soil is more powerful than the sum of its weapons and men. Jews who had wandered the earth powerless for two millenniums attained great power when re-united with the soil of Israel. Anyone who has followed the Arab-Israeli conflict must be aware of the rising cost paid for Jewish blood. Before Israel was established, nations of the world took Jewish lives with impunity. Arabs learned that the iron fist of Zahal (Israel Defense Forces) exacts a high price for even one Jewish life.(Jews, G & I, 1992) [ Then came Oslo and Jewish lives were cheap again.]

5. One thing is clear to me: the L-rd has blessed Israel by re-uniting Jerusalem and bringing Judea, Samaria, and Gaza back under its control. It would be a horrendous sin against G-d and common sense for Israel to renounce this inheritance to which it is entitled. Israel holds these lands as a sacred trust for the Jewish people for all time.

It would not only be sinful, but also criminal, to abuse that trust by denying future generations of Jews their Holy Land - Land of their Fathers; the one tiny spot on planet earth given to them by G- d.

(Jews, G & I, 1992)

6. My response to the Oslo Accords:

"The rush of events in the Middle East has been dizzying. The media hype, the talking heads, the worldwide expectations of peace in the Middle East are all quite staggering. Radio, TV, newspapers herald the coming of a new era of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The positive images are so abundant that any moment one might expect to see Isaiah on Nightline showing Ted Koppel video clips of lions lying down with lambs. Though studying the same history as many of those cheering recent developments, I see nothing to be happy about....Despite the media hype surrounding these developments, let me make something very clear: A leopard does not change its spots. And you can say a berachaha (Hebrew blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand --before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime." (Press release, Jewish Herald-Voice September 3, 1993)

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