by David Basch

Considering the impossibilities imposed on Israel's capacity for survival by the prior Labor government, I can't tell at the moment whether Netanyahu is putting up a good defense against the Arabs. One day, those who survive our times will learn the truth of the sins of omission and commission that will have led to whatever outcome comes about. But, already, it is easy to see that Arab leadership has been spectacularly successful. Their's has been a real quality leadership.

No doubt, the Jews of surrender will argue that the latter could not be true since the Arab people have suffered greatly to achieve the deal that is at hand when they could have had more at less price in 1948. But such Jews would be speaking out of the fog of ignorance and self­delusion that has been their constant companion. In 1948, the Arabs could not have known the strength of the Jews. Then, the Arabs had acted in accordance with goal of what was to be their constant policy: the elimination of Jewish nationhood.

Ever since, Arab policy has been constantly forward if not always successful. They have learned from their Jewish enemies, who ironically are their coaches, to modulate their public rhetoric while keeping pure their message of Jewish destruction beamed to the Arab people. The welfare of the Arab people was never a consideration of Arab leaders. First, second, and third has always been Israel's disappearance. The Arab tactic has been to engage in negotiations through which they advance this goal, a most successful policy.

Through this tactic, the Arabs have gained legitimacy for high profile, partial goals, confused by most Jews with the terminal Arab goals. While in the short run the Arabs pose as interested in peace, the Arab masses correctly know that this is only temporary. It pays off. The Arabs are now addressed by Netanyahu as the "Palestinian people" and as the recognized rulers over "Arab" territories formerly "occupied" by the Jewish "robbers," with the prospect of receiving lots more with the expected cooperation of the same Jewish "robbers."

Such a conception of a Jewish nation of robbers, a conception accepted by almost half of Jewish Israelis, has had devastating consequences on the Jewish community worldwide. What decent young Jew would want to be part of the moral monstrosity that is portrayed as the image of Israel? As a result, many young Jews have voted with their feet to join "worthy" movements elsewhere ­­ anything rather than to be associated with the heartbreak of what they regard as a "misconceived and immoral" attempt to resuscitate ancient Israel on the lands of others. "Thank you Israeli governments," these young Jews say, "for helping us to see the light. And now, a plague on the houses that fight in the Middle East. We will have none of it." Or, at least, these Jews engage in what they regard as the lesser evil of forcing Israel to gut herself in favor of what they think of as a "compromise," but which is in fact the further advance of the Arab enemy. Here is the fruit of grossly inept Israeli policies ­­ a subject of a never ending series of conferences that regularly fail to take account of the massive Jewish contributions to this self­destruction.

Peace was never the true Arab goal in its relations with Israel. The Arabs know that by holding fast to their ultimate design they would keep their people enthused and the way paved for Israel's destruction. As a result of their strategy, public talk of peace while actually making war against Israel, the Arabs have received gifts of diplomatic legitimacy, money, and territory to aid their cause and have sacrificed absolutely nothing for these gains.

In all its "peace­making" that has involved enormous Israeli sacrifices, Israel can point to nothing that has advanced her cause. Unlike de Gaulle who knew he had to restore pride to the French people (NY Times 11/6/98) lest it degenerate into "mediocrity, fight with each other and head for the bistro" (the latter the equivalent of Israeli "trance dancing"), Israeli governments have too often shunned such Gaullist wisdom. How else to regard Sharon's suggestion for unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in the face of enemy attack, which suggests a gross blindness of how this would affect Israeli morale and embolden the enemy and strengthen his propaganda? From such defeatist policies, Israel has reaped well­deserved injury to their nation, hopefully not yet irreparable but in danger to be leading to such a mortal crisis.

After five years of the so­called "peace process," Israelis awake today from their trance dance to find that they have acquiesced in the presence of an illegal Arab military establishment within Israel's borders supposedly forbidden by the Oslo agreement. This establishment has policy goals, both in the domestic and in the foreign policy areas, that are thoroughly at odds with Israel's and is seen as now calling the shots on what the Wye agreement obligates Israel to surrender while feeling no reciprocal obligations toward Israel. At stake are Israel's borders, her own capital city, and her ability to control her population and lands ­­ all now regarded by the world (and too many Israelis, even in their government) as morally legitimate elements to be shaped to the pleasure of Israel's enemies.

It is no secret that the Arabs will continue to reap their harvest from the new Jewish surrender process, agreed to by Netanyahu, that gives the Arabs the diplomatic cover as they continue their relentless march toward statehood and toward Israel's destruction. Arafat will certainly ride the peace train and talk peace while he continues to gain lands, only to unveil his sword when the train stops, as it must. Only the Jewish fools who sacrifice their own people to the calf of the peace process will be surprised.

As to the moral claims of the Jewish people to their land and to the right of Israel to shape herself for survival? The truth to be told, these are not exactly burning issues in the hearts of most Jews. Arab propagandists could not have done better in shaping Israeli policies to bring that end about. When I read of a Lubavitcher Rebbi who fully anticipated the consequences to an Israel that showed a willingness to compromise on her moral rights with an enemy who regarded falsehood as its chief weapon, the truth of Israel's incompetence and precarious condition emerges starkly. Today, it is only a segment of Orthodox Jews who have a full sense of the enormity of the moral and physical tragedy that has befallen the Jewish people and their Israel. It is only they who have shown that they have understood their plight with 20/20 vision as they ride the broken roller coaster of Israeli policy downward to the unmentionable.

Today, Israel still awaits a quality leadership that affirms its people and the traditions that make its society legitimate and great among the nations of the world, a leadership that shows a willingness to work in single­minded devotion to the triumph of the Israeli society. Currently, it cannot rival the Arab leadership in these.


David Basch is an architect in New York and an expert on the Jewish roots of William Shakespeare. His web site, which can be found on the Other Links page of the Freeman web site, proves Shakespeare's Jewish origins. He also serves as the Freeman Center's political philosopher.

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