THE ALTERNATIVE

By Yedidya Atlas

In This Article:

1. No Choice?
2. Clinton Pressure, No U.S. Pressure
3. Palestinian Violence Will Not Cease
4. Stripped of Security
5. Netanyahu or Netanyahu

1. NO CHOICE?

Pick up almost any Israeli newspaper today, and invariably there will be a slew of articles pointing out that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no choice but to pursue the course of further unilateral territorial concessions to Arafat and the P.A..

No choice because the Americans are pressuring us.

No choice because the Palestinian Arabs will resort to violence, or rather, they will continue to use violence, terrorism et al as an acceptable tool of negotiation.

No choice because to cease with our unilateral concessions to Arafat and the P.A. would bring an end to the Oslo peace process.

But, of course, we do have a choice.

2. CLINTON PRESSURE, NO U.S. PRESSURE

Despite a hyperactive Left wing advocacy media in Israel, there is no real "American pressure". Both Houses of Congress are openly and loudly critical of their own embattled President - himself embroiled in personal, political and legal scandals -- and his blatantly Arabist State Department. Beyond constant public and private nudging, there is little the Clinton administration can do in the way of real pressure without the cooperation of the U.S. Congress.

In fact, given the unusually overt support Mr. Netanyahu has received from the Republican majority in Congress, as well as from not a few Democrats -- not to mention the overwhelming backing voiced by conservative Christian leaders and many top print media columnists and editorial writers -- a cave-in to the empty threats of the Clinton-Albright crew would be a pointless slap in the face of all these American supporters. Moreover, Netanyahu's buckling to the Clinton-Albright ultimatum now, would probably guarantee that all this unprecedented out-on-a-limb support for Israel would disappear. You only have to knife the Americans in the back once to lose their support.

3. PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE WILL NOT CEASE

What makes the suggested Israeli policy of further territorial concessions even more incredible is the harsh reality that no Israeli security figure, from Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai on down, denies the claim that giving up an additional 13% of Yesha (the equivalent to 13 times the size of greater Tel Aviv) would cause an deterioration in the security situation. No one is claiming that Arafat would now: -- fight terrorism (his own organizations or of Hamas); -- extradite wanted terrorist murderers to Israel (or the U.S.) for trial from their current safe haven in PA territory; -- cease his own, and other P.A. leaders' incitement to violence against Jews; -- change the Palestinian Covenant which calls for Israel's destruction and all the other things upon which the Oslo Accords were predicated and to which Arafat and his gang committed and have yet to fulfill.

4. STRIPPED OF SECURITY

The much-vaunted Oslo Accords together with Mr. Netanyahu's Hebron Accord are very much like the legendary Emperor's new clothes. No one wants to publicly admit that Israeli national security has been stripped naked by this series of defective agreements. Aside from the accords' initial faulty premise, it is beyond comprehension how even a quasi-rational and objective human being can maintain that Israel must continue to carry out tangible concessions in the face of utter non-compliance by Arafat and the P.L.O./P.A.. There is an old adage: "It takes two to make peace, but only one to make war." Our ongoing national give-away in the face of negative reciprocity by the Palestinian Arabs should bring us to the realization that the Oslo Process was seriously flawed from its inception, and that we have lost our own sense of national purpose -- something we can ill-afford to do.

5. NETANYAHU OR NETANYAHU

Prime Minister Netanyahu, we are told by his political colleagues, justifies his pursuing a course of further withdrawal, by claiming in effect that he is the lesser of two evils. "What's the alternative," Mr. Netanyahu maintains to those coalition members who threaten to topple his government should he unilaterally implement any withdrawal, "that Ehud Barak become Prime Minister and give away even more to Arafat?"

The true alternative for a weak-willed Binyamin Netanyahu -- prepared to unilaterally abandon further parts of the Land of Israel, endanger Jewish lives and violate his voters' trust -- is a determined Binyamin Netanyahu who will choose the responsible course: no further withdrawals (especially with no reciprocity), prevent the isolation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and keep his word to his supporters. Thus he will continue to be Prime Minister to the end of this current term and be reelected for another four years.

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Yedidya Atlas is a Senior Correspondent for Arutz-7, and comments on geopolitical and geostrategic affairs in the Middle East. Arutz-Sheva Educational Radio is a project of Bet-El Yeshiva Center Institutions.



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