A Voice from Hebron -- October 3, 2000
The Fruits of our "Peace" Process
by Gary M. Cooperberg
I first learned about the current uprising by the Arabs against the Jewish State when my children, who were on their way back to Jerusalem after spending the holidays with us in Kiryat Arba, were turned back by the IDF because the roads were too dangerous to drive. So, thanks to Arafat, I had the good fortune to have my children spend another evening with us.
It is hard to fathom why anyone would be surprised at the recent violence we have experienced and continue to experience in Israel. Only a self-deceiving fool would imagine that the negotiations in which Barak and Arafat are engaged are a genuine effort to compromise in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Barak expresses surprise that, while he is fully prepared to make "painful" concessions for "peace", Arafat seems unwilling to do so. What our Prime Minister will never understand is that Arafat has pride and self-respect. Those terms are completely foreign to our Prime Minister. Genuine Jewish leaders have always been prepared to sacrifice their lives for their country. This is the first era in Jewish history which finds our leaders prepared to sacrifice their country for their lives.
President Clinton made a remark which remarkably echoed that which I heard from Shimon Peres last night on Israel television. "This violence shows us what the alternative to the peace process can be". Clearly both gentlemen suggest that, as terrible this violence is, perhaps it can lead us back to the negotiation table. It would seem that such thinking, in and of itself, not only justifies this violence, but actually encourages it! Give Arafat what he wants, and he will stop throwing rocks and shooting bullets at you. This was the kind of demonstration which Al Capone would arrange prior to asking storekeepers for "protection" money. Surely a few bucks every month is better than getting your head bashed in.
Last Friday, when a PLO "policeman", serving on a joint patrol, murdered his Israeli partner in cold blood, perhaps we should have convened a special committee of inquiry to find out just what caused such an incident to occur. If that sounds ridiculous, how does one react to the fact that our brilliant military hero-turned-prime minister, Ehud Barak, not only has failed to put down the outright insurrection which has embroiled the entire country, but has actually been seeking an audience with the very fellow who is orchestrating it in an effort to try to appease him?
If anyone is listening, the alternative to sitting down and watching as a cancer eats away at you, is to take a knife and cut it out before it totally devours you. The world and even local media has already condemned the victims for being violent. So what do we have to lose by actually employing genuine violence, once and for all, and ending the madness? What virtue was there in failing to rescue our wounded soldier in Shechem when he was under siege by the PLO? How is it conceivable that the mighty Israeli Army allowed that soldier to die rather than force their way to Yosef's Tomb and rescue him? Is this the same army that sent its forces half-way across the world to rescue Jewish hostages in Entebbe?
Arafat has given us a present and we refuse to take it. He has given us complete justification to do that which we should have done long ago. He has made it abundantly obvious that the process in which we have been engaged is nothing less than step one in his overall plan to take Israel from the Jewish People. Arafat and the PLO are engaged in war while Barak is busy making peace. The logical results of such a combination would be that Arafat and the PLO win and Barak and the Jewish People lose. Fortunately for us logic does not rule in this country. No matter how great the odds against us may be, the Living G-d of Israel continues to watch over us and protects us both from our enemies, and from our (mis)leaders.
The good thing about this insurrection is that it permits the Jewish people to see with their own eyes that which they refused to admit to themselves. The constant lies fed to us by our own media and government had many actually believing that Arafat and the Arab world really want to make peace with Israel. I am amazed at the shock which I hear expressed at the fact that "Israeli" Arabs joined in the rioting. When we watch our television screens and see "our own Israeli" Arabs throwing rocks at our soldiers while waving the PLO flag perhaps we can begin to question the unlikely premise that any Arab could be happy with or loyal to a Jewish State. Even now, as the rioting rages, Israel television grants tremendous amounts of air time to Achmud Tibi, (Arafat's right hand man turned Israeli Knesset Member) as well as other outspoken Arab Knesset Members who are all, by definition, rabidly anti-Israel. It is an outrage that such a concept as an Arab Knesset Member exists! It is like asking the wolf to be involved in planning the defense for the sheep.
The G-d of Israel has given us all the tools to bring immediate redemption. It is now up to us to use them. The longer we pretend that we know how to make peace better than He does, the more grievously we will suffer, G-d forbid. It is true that one of G-d's Names is Shalom, Peace. But we would do well to remember that He is also called a Man of War. There is no honor in a peace which would have us denying our obligations to G-d. And there is no shame in fighting a war to uphold those obligations. If Mr. Barak is prepared to make painful decisions, then let him decide to rid our country of the cancer which is destroying us from within. Anything less will only make the current war to destroy Israel even more violent and bitter.