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.