STRAIGHT ANSWERS FOR TOUGH QUESTIONS

By Bernard J. Shapiro

Q. Will Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's Gaza retreat plan lead to peace between Israel and the Arabs?

A. On the contrary, if implemented, it will lead to greatly increased terrorism against Israel.

Q. Will Egypt be able to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and control terrorism from there as Sharon says.

A. Of course not. Egypt is a major part of the problem - not the solution. Egypt has been one of the most anti-Semitic nations in the Arab world. They have done everything possible to sabotage any agreement between Israel and other Arabs. They have used their relationship with America to build a huge modern army that today threatens Israel. Egypt has done nothing to stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from its territory. At present there are huge stockpiles of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons in Sinai. There are also Kaytusha and other missiles that can hit targets deep into Israel. There is ABSOLUTELY no chance that Egyptian behavior will change after an Israeli retreat. Only a fool would believe so.

Q. Then why does the international media, world leaders (including Bush), and even Israeli PM Sharon act like this is an opening to begin negotiations that could lead to "peace?"

A. There is a distinction between international supporters of the Gaza surrender and Israeli supporters. The world generally doesn't care about Israel's survival due to latent and open anti-Semitism and a desire to appease the Arabs.

Israelis (mostly leftists like Labor, Meretz and Peace Now) for some psychopathological reasons hate their Jewish heritage and will only be happy with self-destruction. In many ways they honestly supported Oslo as a way to absolve their "sin" of creating a Jewish State. Like obsessive compulsive psychotics they continue to expect Oslo to work if only Israel worked harder for its success, even though it was the Arabs who made it unworkable. They hit their heads against the brick wall of Oslo and then get a bloody headache. Being obsessive compulsive they keeping hitting their heads over and over again, each time expecting a different result. It will never happen and the Gaza retreat is just a revival of the failed Oslo blunder.

Q. Will Israeli-American relations suffer if the Gaza retreat is rejected?

A. No, Israeli relations with America are based on many common political and strategic interests and can survive any temporary disagreement on policy. America will respect a strong Israel defending its security interests and fighting terrorism. A weak Israel will only earn contempt. Israel military industries are developing many weapon systems used by the US military. Some are jointly produced with American companies. Israeli intelligence services have been extremely important in America's war against international terrorism. And finally, President Bush's political base is with the Evangelical Christians, whose support for Israel is unshakeable.

Q. Can't the IDF with its immense power be able to control terrorism after a retreat from Gaza, like it is doing now?

A. Unilateral retreat from Gaza will inevitably lead to a terrorist Palestinian State which would be recognized by the entire world. Israel would find it much more difficult to cross a national border to fight terrorism. It would not be able to maintain its extensive intelligence network which has prevented 90% of attacks before they can be perpetrated.

Q. Wouldn't a Palestinian State be demilitarized with Israel controlling its borders and air space?

A. With reference to the writings of Louis Rene Beres (an international legal expert and strategic analyst from Purdue University), once a nation's sovereignty is recognized it is under no legal obligation to adhere to the conditions it agreed to before it became a State.

Q. Does this mean that planes flying into Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport would be vulnerable to Palestinian anti-aircraft missiles?

A. Yes! And even if there is an international treaty obligation not to fire on civilian aircraft, I would not expect the Palestinians to honor ANY agreement.

Q. Would a Palestinian State lead to the "End of the Conflict with the Arabs?"

A. No!! The Palestinian would still want to continue terrorism to drive the Jews into the sea. Their maps do not even show Israel existing in the Middle East. The same with the other Arab countries including Egypt. They are just biding their time while Israel is being weakened by the Palestinian State ( the end result of Oslo, the Road Map, Geneva, and now the Gaza retreat). Then they will launch a surprise attack to destroy what is left of Israel, bringing about a Second Holocaust.

Q. Why are all negotiations in the Middle East aimed at helping the terrorist Arabs, and none is to benefit Israel?

A. A better question is: Why do the Israelis participate in these one-sided talks?

Q. If America is truly Israel's best friend, why do they pursue the Road Map and back Sharon's surrender to terrorism in Gaza, which could lead to Israel's destruction?

A. It is necessary to make clear distinctions when referring to the United States. Most important there are many supporters of Israel. For example: The US Congress, the American people (especially Evangelical Christians), the US Defense department (which works with Israel developing many high-tech weapon systems) plus a high proportion of the US Jewish population.

And then there is the US State Department which has a long history of trying to undermine Israel's security. Before WWII they restricted visas to Jews trying to escape the Nazis. They opposed the Partition Resolution of the United Nations in 1947 that led to Israel's re-birth as a nation. Even though Truman forced the US Ambassador to the UN to vote YES on the resolution, the State Department enacted an arms embargo on the new Jewish State. At the same time England and France were feverishly arming the Arabs. The Arabs announced publically that this would be a War of Extermination that would be remembered like the great Mongolian massacres.

Q. Is there any hope for Israel's survival in this hostile Arab/Muslim world? In fact, the whole world seems anxious to rid the planet Earth of Jews.

A. We must struggle to survive. Those who think that we are at the End of Time and can relax are grossly mistaken. The struggle of Israel and Am Yisrael (the Jewish People) continues. Peace will come with Moshiach and not any retreat from Gaza, Oslo or Road Map.

Q. Why is Israel like Charlie Brown?

A. As a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was Charlie Brown and his gang of off beat characters. It is a little embarrassing to admit that my fondness for Charlie Brown extended way into my adulthood. There was something about him that seemed to correspond to my life. He was always trying to do good but forces beyond his control kept intervening.

One of those forces was a nasty little girl named Lucy. She would promise Charlie to hold a football so he could kick it. Simple enough, except she never followed through on her promises. She would pull the football away and Charlie always landed on his back, stunned at the betrayal.

It may sound over simplified to equate Israel with Charlie Brown, but I am going to do it. Israel repeatedly has tried to make peace, negotiate with the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat and others. Of course they always end up on their back with more suicide bombings, shootings, and sniper attacks.

Charlie Brown never learned his lesson and neither has Sharon. Although he recently launched a wide ranging offensive to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, he is still ready to retreat and let terrorism revive itself there once Israel has left.


THE BOTTOM LINE

As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.

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Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of both The Maccabean Online and the freemanlist.