NIGHTMARE OR DREAM
By Eugene Narrett, PhD
12 Nisan 5760 (04-16-00)
"When Hashem returns the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers" (Ps. 126)
As Barak the Incredible soars on the hot air of the peace process, untethered from his halachic link to the earth and sanity, too, a tiny bump may recently have troubled his bottomless doze. Aloft toward Cairo to explain his latest concession to his Egyptian friends so they could suitably nuance their Jew-hating rhetoric, his pilot was forced to sheer off to the north. Egyptian air traffic control would not allow Barak to fly over the Sinai (1). The rebuff brimmed with historical lessons.
A sane response to this insulting incident was hinted in the plane's having to swoop down from the north, coming in over the Mediterranean as the Israeli air force had when it pounded Egypt in 1967, insuring victory. That victory consisted in redeeming Jewish Land west of the Jordan, on the Golan and in the approach to Goshen. The last named was given by the Lord God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Israel's possession of it was confirmed by Pharaoh ("the best of all the land of Egypt, it is yours!" Genesis 45:17-20, 46:28-47:6), and re-conquered by Joshua (Joshua 10:41, 11:16). There is, however no sign as yet that the pattern, forced on Barak's plane by Egypt (as were the wars of 1967 and 1973) awakened the memory, faith or sobriety of Clinton's toy.
The PM of Israel still founders in the sleep of reason though every day the fraud of the peace process becomes more obvious. Subordinates of Arafat like Abu Ala and Ahmed Rachman called for "actions" and "a new and more dangerous intifada" if Jews continue to settle in Judah and Samaria (2). There duly followed bombings in Gush Katif and a week of shootings against Jews near Netzarim. As in 1947, Jews in Israel must travel in convoys and under guard to avoid certain death.
Egyptians continue helping Jews come back down to earth by demonstrating Arab attitudes toward "peace." Israelis visiting Cairo to attend a seminar on "Jews, Judaism and Zionism" were barred from Cairo University and informed that Egyptian institutions continue to oppose "normalization" (as do all of the professional associations in Jordan) . Egyptian professors describe Israel as essentially in contradiction with that of Egypt [which] has respect for territory, history, heritage, nationalism and [its own] civilization." When Jews in Israel speak of honoring "history, heritage and nationalism" they become "right wing extremists" who risk "incitement" and prosecution by the High Court (4). It indicates the decrepitude of Israel that Egyptians see the antipathy between the two nations as based in Egypt's "respecting the sense of belonging to the land," while the government of Israel does not.
The same reversal of history and destiny occurs in relation to "Jordan," a nation that in its entirety belongs to the Children of Israel by divine covenant. Having foregone the chance to assert that sovereignty, it is left for "Jordanians" to speak of "the unity of what remained of Palestine [after the Jews 'stole' some of it in 1948] and Jordan. Jordanian nationality was formed through the continued geographic and demographic contacts and close interests of people on both banks over the past generation. Unity became a fact on the ground that cannot be denied" (5). Israeli nationalists used to insist on "both banks" but that position came to be considered so "extreme" that Menachem Begin himself implicitly renounced it as part of the Camp David Agreements by ratifying the fiction of a "Palestinian people." And so the slide began, and continues. A few days after the "unity" of Jordan-Palestine was asserted in Amman, Israel's 'best friend in the Arab world' declared that it must "prepare for war with Israel lest Jerusalem be lost to the Muslim world" (6).
It is the self-contempt of some Jews for their own heritage and grace, that enflames Arab hostility. In the southern suburbs of Jerusalem, Jews recently began building on land they own but have prevented from developing because it may harm the "process." "Here is a neighborhood close to Jerusalem, with all the necessary building approvals, and work is stopped simply because Arafat makes a phone call to Barak. This is a national weakness unheard of in other countries" (7). When Israelis began the work despite Arafat's distress, Jews from "Peace Now" demonstrated and disrupted it. "Tell me, are they crazy," asked an Arab observing nearby. "Those guys fighting against their own nation, are they nuts?" (8). In the current talks on the "third stage" withdrawal, as throughout the Oslo process and, indeed, since the withdrawal from the Litani in 1948, '"the issue is whether or not Israel wishes to feel pressured" (9).
The "Peace Now" sleep walkers help Barak remain somnambulant. They don't seem to notice or mind when Arab students at Universities in Haifa and Jerusalem wave Palestinian flags and shout, "death to the Jews" (10). These same Arabs have their tuition covered by Israeli taxpayers. When Jews try to collect other debts from Arabs, the same ingratitude emerges, not just from the Arabs, but enforced by Israeli courts where "the chances for a Jew [to prevail] are nil. Unrecoverable private funds for this year are $140 million (570 million shekels)" while Arafat demands more subsidies from the state he insists he will destroy (11).
These problems are not mainly about money or even the settlements in Judah (after all, the West Bank was not "occupied" in 1948 or May 1967). Sheik Nasrallah of Hizbullah demands that "the Zionist project that brought forth the state named Israel is the source of all [Muslim] problems. Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon will not end our struggle because it is our duty to liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine" (12). These sentiments are expressed even more vividly in Israel's peace partner, Egypt, where Barak checks in frequently to explain and apologize to Pharaoh for his tardiness in surrendering the remainder of the Zionist project. "Every Zionist, in every place in the world is a target that should be hit. Jihad is the ideal way to deter Jewish Nazism," say Pharaoh's priests (13). "Jews will face torments of Hell unfathomable to the human mind. It will be the Holocaust again, only this time an eternal Holocaust with no hope of salvation" (14). For relief from these love taps, Jews who stamp their feet and demand "peace now" can turn to Syrian high school textbooks whose latest editions instruct, "justice obligates the application of a single verdict on the Jews from which there is no escape, that they be exterminated" (15).
Most Israeli environmentalists also prefer to sleepwalk over the cliff with Barak and the Court. Professor Ya'ir Parag was shunned when he demanded that his colleagues join him in opposing surrender of the Golan ("don't we have to protect the Kinneret from destruction," he demanded of his fellow 'Greens'). "During Oslo 2 and Wye we knew about the dangers to our aquifers and rivers, but we kept our mouths shut, [and] we ignore the enormous damage to the Temple Mount, one of the most important historical sites in the world." The response, Parag says, has been along the lines of, "for peace, I am even willing to accept destruction of the Kinneret" (16). Thus does ecology severed from nationalism reveal itself as a death wish that prefers surrender to Asad to a redeemed Land with all its pure water.
The official response is just as troubling. The government has given the PA a few hundred more assault rifles and Barak has offered Arafat 20% more of Yesha now if his Excellency would allow Jews to retain 10% of the re-conquest of 1967. But this won't appease Arafat who can smell Jewish guilt from afar. "Please don't refer to PA forces as policemen," says journalist Roni Shaked. "We are talking about an army, a light infantry division. They have the beginnings of a navy, air force and military academies and have recently opened an expanded training facility in Jericho. Arafat may follow Ben Gurion's example of declaring a state and then fighting for it" (17). And note that a state is free to make alliances, import and export goods and receive immigrants. Forget about assurances and "notes for the record."
As head of a presumptive state, Arafat has just issued five red lines for continuing the covenant with death to which Barak & Company are wed. Withdrawal to the June 4 (pre six day war), 1967 borders; removal of Jewish settlers, return of Arab "refugees" and "no Israeli presence within the Palestinian State," for example, at the Jordan River (18). "Thanks to the actions of others," writes Aaron Lerner, "Barak has stumbled into a position that many believed could be achieved only by a government of the left." That is to say, the Arabs from Damascus and Beirut to Cairo have handed Barak many reasons to call off the game. But even now, he zooms to Washington to knee the imperial throne.
At the very end of the film, Exodus (1960), Paul Newman ("Ari ben Canaan,") stands over the grave of his boyhood friend, the Mukhtar Taher and declaims, "I swear, the day will come when Arab and Jew will live in this land in peace!" The vow was and is vain. Even in the film it was the Arab who spoke truly. The previous night, Taher himself had rejected Ari's appeals to remain in the newly independent Israel, insisting that it was impossible for two people to have sovereignty in one land. "I am a Muslim. I must live with my people," said Taher, by which he meant, in a land where Muslims rule. Committed to integration and to democracy at the expense of Judaism, "Ari" could not hear him, nor could his real life predecessors or successors. In 1948 they begged Arabs to remain in the land and took the blame for driving them out. In 1967, Dayan physically returned them to Hebron and the rest of the heartland. Now his ideological descendants are completing the betrayal of the Jewish people and God. Why do they still refuse to honor not only their own heritage, faith and people but the repeated and explicit demands and threats of the Arabs?
The pathology has been analyzed succinctly. Because they take the Torah with a grain of salt (if they tolerate it at all), the arrogant and nervous secular utopian Jews that dominate Israel accept Arab arguments that the Land is Muslim. They hope (and used to insist) that it also be a refuge for Jews but "don't want to rule over another people." So they demand that other Jews surrender their land and rights to Arabs. But because the utopians retain their own property and status, their guilt festers. So they make concession after concession to the Arabs, begging in return a crumb of forgiveness, a handshake, a smile, a promise of peace, however empty. Lack of faith soon reveals itself as self-contempt, and guilt turns into active self-hatred that cowardice directs at Jews who refuse to be segregated out of their heartland. Utopian Jews believe in integration and democracy above all. Arabs believe in segregation and Islam, or at least, in supremacy over the Jews. This is a one way street to Jewish exile, as the Katzir decision indicates.
Will Barak awake before the dream of a restored Zion becomes the nightmare of another exile? Let us call his attention to the declaration of Ben Gurion on the exclusive and inalienable Jewish Right to the entire Land. "No Jew is entitled to give up the right of establishing the Jewish Nation in [all of] the Land of Israel. No Jewish [governing] body has such power. Not even all the Jews alive have the power to cede any part of the homelandThe Jewish Nation is neither bound nor governed by any such waiver. Our right to the whole of this country is valid in force and endures forever" (19). This divine gift must more than ever be kept in the forefront of mind as the UN declares that "sovereignty may be forfeited on humanitarian grounds" (20). As so often before, these pious declarations are directed toward wiping out the name and memory of Israel and its Sovereign.
The undying envy and malice of the Arabs against Israel continues to provide opportunities for the decisive victory that will reclaim the Land and bring peace and genuine security. "Joshua waged war for a long timeit was from Hashem, to harden their hearts toward battle against Israel, in order to destroy them [the Canaanites]." The more fully Israel inhabits its true boundaries, and seals them "like iron and copper," the more expansive will be Zion's heart, the more room her children will have to breathe and the safer they thus will be from both conventional and missile attack. Deterrence too will grow as the force of Israel is deployed where it best should be, at the far reaches of our Land in near proximity to enemy capitals. "Thus Joshua took the entire Landand gave it to Israel as a heritage, according to their tribes. And the Land rested from war" (Joshua 11:18-23).
This joyous dream of redemption is the alternative to the nightmare of surrender and death. The latter will make Israel a byword and mockery over whom her neighbors will wag their heads. Short of the war rapidly approaching, it is difficult to see how Israel will be redeemed from the death grip of the moral and spiritual drunkards now ruling the courts, media and even the armed forces. The IDF senior Command does not want an "overwhelming victory" for fear the enemy would resent it. A modest victory presumably will lead Ishmael and Esau to love Israel (21). The surging staff will sweep away this refuge of lies and leave a precious cornerstone of truth as the foundation of a lasting Home centered on Judah and Jerusalem. "Then they will declare among the nations, 'Hashem has done greatly with these'" and the captivity enforced by an impoverished regime will reverse like a stream in the Negev after a thunderstorm turns it into a torrent. Those who have sown in tears of sacrifice and humiliation will reap the gratitude of every Jew and of the entire world as Israel becomes what it is meant to be, settled, fortified, planted and abundant, a beacon to the nations.
Eugene Narrett teaches at Boston University.
1. Arutz 7, April 14, 2000.
3. Al Ahram, Omayma Abdel Latif, April 08-14, 2000.
4. Ibid. & A-7, April 10, 2000.
5. Speech by former Prime Minister Taher Masri, March 27, 2000, reported in Jordan Times, March 31, 2000.
6. "Prepare Against Israel," Dr. Musa Keilani, Jordan Times, April 09, 2000.
7. MK, Tzvi Hendel interviewed by Kobi Sela at Har Gilo, A-7, 4-12-00.
9. Zalman Shoval, former ambassador to America interviewed by A-7, 04-10-00.
10. A-7, April 04, 05, 2000.
11. A-7, April 13, 2000.
12. L'Orient du Jour, April 11, 2000.
13. Adel al-Jojari, "Expel the Israeli Ambassador," Al-Ahrar, al Sha-ab, March 03, 2000, MEMRI #78, March 17, 2000.
14. Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud, Al Ahram, April 01, 2000. MEMRI # 86, 4-12-00.
15. Islamic Education for 10th Grade," (1999), page 116. Quoted by American Jewish Committee in ads in New York Times, etc.
16. Jerusalem Post, March 2000. A-7, interview with Yosef Zalmanson, 04-03-00.
17. Shaked, "Training the Palestinian Police to be an Army," Yediot Ahronot, April 11, 2000. A-7, interview with Shaked, April 11, 2000.
18. Dr. Aaron Lerner, "Commentary on Arutz-7 for week of April 13, 2000. IMRA April 14, 2000.
19. David Ben Gurion, "Declaration on Jewish Right to the Entire Land," 20th Zionist Congress, Basle, Switzerland, 1937. Quoted by Howard Greif, ACPR, #77, page 95 in "Petition to Annul the Interim Agreement."
20. UN University Report, UPI, March 20, 2000.
21. "Senior Command Does Not Want too Great a Victory in War," Amir Oren, Ha'Aretz, April 07, 2000.