WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GOLAN?
TIME TO SAY NO
By P. David Hornik
Another "process" has started, and there won't be any stopping it. True, Prime Minister Barak warns us that it's not a done deal, the talks with Syria will be tough. What he doesn't mention is that, when snags and problems occur, there's a certain principle that ensures they'll be overcome: the principle that Israel always gives in.
Too much is already invested in this "process" for Israel not to give in. There's already been a grand, "historic" meeting at the White House. Bill Clinton has his sights set on glory, on redeeming his checkered presidency by going out as the great peacemaker. We'll present firm demands on security, on normalization, Barak assures us. Ah, normalization -- that was supposed to be our quid pro quo from Egypt for ceding the entire Sinai; yet for twenty years Egypt has derisively ignored every stipulation of the peace treaty about trade, cultural, and other relations.
What makes it all so incredibly hollow is the already existing record of the "processes" with Egypt and the Palestinians. We haven't received "peace" from either of them. Instead we see the ongoing buildup of armed force (largely illegal in the Palestinians' case, but that's already old hat), the continuing indoctrination of their publics, even their schoolchildren, in anti-Israeli hatred. But Egypt hasn't attacked us in twenty years, the devotees of peace proudly proclaim. The fact that Egypt is all the while building an army far larger and more sophisticated than any it had in the past, totally inexplicable in any terms other than enmity toward Israel, doesn't interest the enthusiasts of peace.
So the stage is set; the Israeli-Syrian process can go forward. When "crises" emerge, count on Israel to fold.
We'll fold because we have no beliefs, no principles that stand up to the seductions of peace. Jewish archeological sites on the Golan, ancient synagogues? A joke. We don't care if we never see them again. People, after all, who release thousands of murderers from prison to appease Yasser Arafat's corrupt, brutal regime aren't going to strike too hard a bargain.
The Jewish town, villages, farms, factories that exist on the Golan in the present? Barak has already written them off, with sugary words about a "painful price." At Camp David at least, Begin tried hard to salvage the Sinai settlements, and was stricken and guilty when he failed. Barak has already spared himself such anguish. With peace beckoning on the horizon, we won't trouble ourselves with questions about whether this constitutes "transfer," a violation of the human rights of the Jews who live on the Golan. True, we'd never talk about the forcible removal of an entire community of Arabs as part of arrangements for peace, and the world wouldn't countenance it for a second. But if it's Jews . . . then somehow it's all right.
Forget about pride, independence. We, with our powerful army, have all the capacity in the world to defend the Golan ourselves. But we'd rather have someone else do it for us; bring in the Americans, the Europeans. Even though placing U.S. troops as a tripwire between Syria and Israel represents the last step in turning ourselves into a vassal state of America, in renouncing our capacity to determine our own strategy and policy . . . on with the show. The rewards, after all, are irresistible. Photo-ops with Assad! Humous in Damascus! Peace, our prime minister intones, with the entire Arab world!
Is there any hope of stopping this farce, whereby Israel tightens around itself a noose of military danger and hatred in return for empty words, documents that are a joke to everyone who signs them except ourselves? Yes, there is one hope -- the Israeli people, who have the option of saying No to another act of bald appeasement in a referendum. The time has come to say no. No to establishing commitments through tortuous hours of negotiations and then looking the other way, winking, shrugging, when they're flagrantly violated. No to lionizing and embracing and beaming at the cruelest dictators and terrorists of our time. No to razing Jewish communities to the ground. No to a Pax Americana that makes Israel progressively weaker and more dependent.With polls so far showing a solid majority of voters opposing the abandonment of the Golan, I feel, amid the despair, hope that at last the Israeli people will say No.
And if the Golan Is Judenrein .
By Arie Stav
Withdrawal from the Golan Heights will bring upon Israel an array of catastrophes that are discussed in the present article and in other articles that appear in this and the next issue. However, even the strategic blow associated with the ceding of a crucial territorial asset such as the Golan, the loss of the water sources in the north, the economic crisis that will result from Israel's having to invest tens of billions of dollars, and so forth, are distinct from the moral corruption entailed in the ethnic cleansing of Jews by Jews. In expelling the residents of the Golan the Jewish state will accept willingly, not by force, the Nazi principle of Judenrein.
The Golan was not conquered in 1967. The Golan, an ancient tract of Hebrew land, to which Israel has an incomparably greater right than Syria, was liberated in a defensive war than which there has been none more justified in history. In time-honored fashion going back to the beginnings of Zionism, the Jews reclaimed a ruined stretch of land, captured an arid waste of tanks and cannons that had served the Syrians as a launching point for the destruction of Israel three times in twenty-five years; and there they built houses, planted trees, and raised their children. All of this means that Israel's historical, legal, and moral right to the Golan is absolute insofar as those values can ever be absolute. This is a right that goes to the roots of the purpose of human existence in a just society.
The destruction of the Jewish community on the Golan is not only a mockery of the foundations of historical justice and international law, not only a clear violation of Israeli law, but a diametrical inversion of morality and an adoption of the tenets of Judenrein, this time in Arab guise. An Israeli government that plays a part in this crime of ethnic cleansing, of expulsion and banishment -- notions that in the Jewish context represent the ultimate in horror in the history of all peoples -- will be judged by history; yet the punishment incurred by Israel itself will be unbearably harsh.
It may be that the loss of a strategic asset can be compensated for by technological means; that a water shortage can be surmounted by towing icebergs from the North Pole or importing water from Turkey; and an economic crisis can always be coped with. But willful adoption of the tenets of Judenrein is a fatal blow to the national ethos, and there is no compensation for loss of the purpose of existence. Jan Masaryk, the son of Tomas Masaryk, summed this up well in the wake of the Munich Treaty, as despair descended over Czechoslovakia with the severance of the Sudetenland: "If the soul has atrophied, more thousands of tanks and fighter planes will not help."
All Israeli prime ministers since 1977 have worked energetically (sometimes inexhaustibly) to undermine the foundations of the national existence. They have done so by deliberate misleading of the voting public (as in the case of the late Rabin); by complete repudiation of the principles of Zionist belief (see also Begin and Netanyahu); by means of an out-of-control utopian compulsion à la Shimon Peres; or by pathetic, baseless personal presumption in the manner of Ehud Barak. (It should be noted that Yitzhak Shamir, though he was caught in the snare of the Madrid Conference, was blessed with enough personal honesty not to fall into the semantic recklessness of calling this catastrophe a "peace process.")
In this sense, then, Ehud Barak is continuing the process that began at Camp David. Menachem Begin sold the Sinai and thus destroyed once and for all Israel's chances of being a regional superpower. The precedent of withdrawal from every "grain of sacred Arab land" was established, and thus also the precedent of the destruction of settlements. By means of Israel, Egypt won generous military aid from Washington and was able to upgrade its army with American equipment. Cairo's preparations for war with the "Zionist enemy" are thoroughly blatant -- in the military sphere, in the delegitimization of Israel in every international forum, in a campaign of venomous anti-Semitism reflecting the Nazi precedent though on an incomparably greater scale.
With the Oslo agreement Yitzhak Rabin established the infrastructure of a Palestinian state -- that is, he placed the legitimacy of the state of Israel acutely in question. This is said in the spirit of his own assertion: " . . . a Palestinian state will rise on the ruins of the state of Israel" (see Yitzhak Rabin, Record of Service, Hotza'at Ma'ariv, 1978,p.583). The Palestinian Covenant, which has never been repealed, invalidates the national existence of the Jews in the Land of Israel; the Phased Plan of 1974 gives the Palestinian state the status of a springboard to the destruction of Israel by the Arab states; the Fatah Constitution, under Arafat's authority in 1998 (!), being the constitution of the Palestinian state that will be set up this year, reiterates that the goal of the Arab world is the destruction of the Zionist entity.
Like Egypt, the Palestinian Authority is conducting a virulent anti-Semitic campaign and is building up its army. Immediately upon the establishment of the Palestinian state, it will declare mandatory conscription and thereby soon create a standing army of 150,000 soldiers -- the same number as in the standing army of the IDF -- and this on the outskirts of Gush Dan.
And now Ehud Barak stands up and sells the Golan Heights. The evacuation of the Golan will constitute a precedent of the evacuation of sovereign Israeli territory and will necessitate the annulment of the Golan Law. Since all of the sovereign territories of Israel beyond the "partition borders" are "occupied territories," since what the Israelis call the "War of Independence" is considered by the international community, let alone the Arab world, a war of conquest no different from the Six Day War, the annulment of the Golan Law will constitute a precedent for demands for the revocation of sovereignty over the territories conquered in 1948and the contraction of Israel to the partition borders. Arafat has been conducting extensive diplomatic activity in this regard for about a year, with Egyptian guidance. The pressure to return to the partition borders will be combined with pressure to implement UN Resolution 194 on the 1948 refugees' right of return to their homes.