From the Jewish World Review - October 10, 2000
THE PIECEMEAL DESTRUCTION
by George Will
THE LATEST of many upheavals in and bordering on Israel was planned by Yasser Arafat and his friends in the Arab world. That is what Palestinian political analyst Khalil Shikaki told the Oct. 4 Jordan Times as he observed the Palestine Liberation Organization's Fatah participation in the violence. How many more examples of intransigence are necessary before apologists in Israel and enablers in Washington understand that the enemies of Israel want nothing less than the complete destruction of the Jewish state?
This has been a piecemeal process, and not one that will lead to peace. Israel has given up land it seized for its own protection following wars started by its enemies. Still, Arabists in the State Department and leftists in Israel proceed with the fiction that peace can be achieved between peoples whose outlooks are irreconcilable.
It was a mistake to give up land without reciprocity. It was a mistake to release terrorists from Israeli prisons so they could rejoin their armed comrades. It was a mistake to allow for the creation of a Palestinian "police force,'' which has been turned into an army. The vandalizing of Joseph's Tomb on the eve of Yom Kippur, while the "police'' did nothing is proof that the "police'' won't control a mob determined to carry out Arafat's orders. And the abandonment of that tomb can only encourage Israel's enemies that the Jewish people's strong resolve may be crumbling.
The late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir saw what the current Israeli "leadership'' refuses to see. In her book, "My Life,'' she wrote: "I have never doubted for an instant that the true aim of the Arab states has always been, and still is, the total destruction of the State of Israel or that even if we had gone back far beyond the 1967 lines to some miniature enclave, they would not still have tried to eradicate it and us.''
Rioting for the benefit of American and world TV cameras has long been an Arafat ploy. He has orchestrated terrorism and unrest to force concessions out of Israeli leaders that could not be won through war. The visit of Ariel Sharon to the Western Wall was merely a convenient excuse for the rioting to begin. It had been preceded with roadside bombs that killed an Israeli soldier guarding a civilian convoy. Later a Palestinian policeman (terrorist?) killed his Israeli partner in cold blood while they were on a joint patrol. Arafat explained that the Palestinian was "unstable.''
There's more violence coming. Iraq, which has not been heard from lately, has been taking a ferocious stand against Israel, unmatched by any state in the region. Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammad al-Sahhaf referred to Israel as a "midget entity, a usurper and a claw of colonialism .... Iraq does not, and will not, recognize this usurper entity.'' On Oct. 3, Iraqi TV broadcast remarks by Saddam Hussein: "An end must be put to Zionism. If they cannot, then Iraq alone is able to do so. Let them give us a small adjacent piece of land and let them support us from afar only. They will see how we put an end to Zionism in a short time.'' What piece of land might he have in mind? Some analysts believe he has his eye on Jordan.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Congress has appropriated $900 million in foreign aid for the PLO. The speaker of the Palestine National Council says the United States has promised $30 billion to help resettle Palestinian "refugees,'' meaning they'll be settled in Israel from which, as we are seeing, they will be used by Arafat to undermine the Israeli government.
There is no evidence that Israel's enemies wish to live at peace. Anti-Jewish incitement in PLO school textbooks continues. The PLO Teacher's Guides read: "The student should learn (that) racist superiority is the heart of Zionism, Fascism and Nazism.'' Among the "important values'' that follow is: "Wrath unto the alien thief (Israel) who obliterated the Homeland and dispersed its people.''
Amnesty International says Arafat's Palestinian Authority routinely arrests those who oppose its policies, creating an atmosphere hostile to free expression.
New leadership is needed in Israel, as is a new policy by both Israel and the United States. The current one is an obvious failure. If war comes, Israel had better win this one, too, grabbing as much land as it can and never again letting go of it. There will be no peace between Israel and her enemies. The best she can hope for is to maintain order.