By David Basch

Dear Boston Globe Editor:

H.D.S. Greenway is the kind of person that used to be called a "useful idiot" during the time when the West was fighting the menace of totalitarian Communism. ("Israel must respect Palestinians," 12/25/00, The Boston Globe) The "useful idiots" were used by the Communist enemy during the "cold war" to mouth their propaganda of how the Communists were saving the world from the diabolical Capitalists. Now with the cold war over, the "useful idiots" apparently are to be found in another incarnation, as spokesmen for Arab propaganda directed against Israel.

A more perfect agent of Arab propaganda than Greenway cannot be found in the Arab war to annihilate the Jewish State. Greenway sounds reasonable and idealistic as he presses Israelis to further acquiesce in advanced stages of the Arab war to completely destroy Israel.

It should be remembered -- but it will not be remembered by such as Greenway -- that at the beginning of the Oslo process, almost a decade ago, the Arab side had proclaimed it had renounced violence and was looking for peaceful coexistence. But after all this time we find an Arabs no closer to peaceful thoughts but rather a side that has instead become an illegal, fully-armed, military entity that now menaces Israel's population. This military force would especially pose a danger to Israel were her borders to heat up from assaults from Arab nations, who regularly threaten to open hostilities.

If I were an Israeli I would have no respect for such an Arab enemy that used a diplomatic process that was supposed to lead to peace as a means to improve its military position. Meanwhile, all of this is accompanied by violent assaults and slanders by the Arabs, who have yet to enunciate one point of compromise in all these years to match the many concessions made by Israel.

The fact is that the Arabs have not abandoned their goal of annihilating Israel. While Arafat in the beginning spoke of accepting peace with Israel as a legitimate nation, he has long abandoned this position and still does not recognize any historic Jewish claim in the region. For example, the PA flag features a map of all of what is now Israel, openly displaying the Arab intent. What is more, for fifty years, the Arabs have kept in squalor what now amounts to millions of their own people, who are referred to as "refugees," as an obvious battering ram to one day replace the Jews of Israel.

With the souring of the diplomatic process by egregious Arab betrayals of their obligations to Israel, Israelis are wising up to their position as the Arab target of a coming holocaust. Therefore, against the "music" of Arab propaganda played by such as Greenway, a more skeptical Israel now seeks arrangements that do not depend on Arab willingness to live in peace, since such willingness is absent, existing only in the illusions of the likes of Greenway.

So what is the solution? It is not, as Greenway suggests, to have more respect for the demands of the savage Arab betrayers of peace. It is rather to show more respect for Israel, the side which now wishes to defend itself effectively against those who would attempt to deligitimate it and make war from improved strategic positions, gained by diplomatic maneuvering using a false peace as bait.

Obviously, there is no clean way to change these conditions since it depends on firm action to make the Arab enemy incapable of carrying out his plans. But I believe a resolute Israeli people can pull this off when Israelis shuck off all vestiges of former optimism about the Arab enemy, the kind that Greenway's

propaganda expounds. The Arab side has given no reason for such hope. I am sure that Israelis would rather debate the merits of this issue having succeeded in disabling their enemy, rather than receiving Greenway's commisserations when they have become new boat people.


David Basch is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and an expert on Shakespeare's Jewish roots.

 HOME  Maccabean  comments