FUNDING WYE IS NOT IN THE
"Strategic Interest" OF THE U.S.
By Ruth and Nadia Matar
As a Member of Congress, the primary consideration on how to vote on Wye funding must be what is in the best interest of the United States of America, and not what is in the best interest of Israel. By that sole criterion, voting for Wye funding in any amount is a cardinal sin.
The United States has strategic interests in the Middle East where 80% of the world's oil supply is presently located. Both the United States, and many leading industrial nations are vitally concerned that an uninterrupted flow of oil at a reasonable price be obtained from that region. The ideal, of course, is that the region not be involved in any conflict which would disrupt this vital oil supply. The Clinton Administration is guided by the above evaluation.
They argue that funding for Wye is essential in order to bring peace to the region. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Wye funding will promote conflict and bring war to the Middle East.
The basic flaw in President Clinton's thinking is that it is based on hope and wishful thinking and ignores the realities. America does not possess the ability to control or change the nature of slick Arafat, and wily Hafez Assad of Syria. These are the individuals on whom the United States must rely for the success of their "huge investment." Both these tyrants, in their respective dictatorships, have a track record of complete disregard for democracy, ruthless acts of barbarity, immorality and a long and sordid record of broken promises and commitments, irrespective of any agreement they may have signed. Add to this Arafat's little concealed adulation and continued support of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Gadaffi of Libya. Everyone is aware that at the "appropriate" time Arafat will join forces with them against America, as he has done in the past, notwithstanding the aid and assistance America will provide him with.
Accordingly, voting on monies that will not bring peace to the area, but rather war and turmoil, is counterproductive and harmful. It will help arm Arafat, whose duplicity Congress is unable to control. All who have any expertise in the area know that Arafat will inevitably, and at the first strategic opportunity, join with the other enemies of stability in the Middle East to destroy Israel, the only reliable ally America has in the region. In forging a relationship with someone like Arafat, America is going against all the hopes and ideals that America has long stood for, and which have set standards for the world. It cannot be stressed too emphatically: Clinton's present foreign policy on Wye is against America's own self-interest. No Senator or Congressman can, in good conscience, vote the huge amount of the funds necessary to implement Wye, when it will only result in strengthening an unreliable Arafat to subsequently destabilize the entire Middle East.
Ruth and Nadia Matar are co-presidents of Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green).
JERUSALEM, October 27, 1999