ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
By Boris Shusteff
The ongoing violent and bloody confrontations between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli soldiers and police have permanently destroyed the myth of an approaching era of peaceful coexistence between the Arabs and the Jews. It is clear that the Arab leaders do not want their people to leave peacefully with their Jewish neighbors. They are ready to tolerate the Jews for a certain period of time and only under certain conditions, but not to coexist with them.
The pretext for the current bout of violence, Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, only demonstrates once again that the house of cards termed the "Oslo peace process" was built on the sand of futile hopes of blind and deaf Jews. The hurricane of Arab hatred is able to destroy it in a second, transforming the incitements and lies of the Palestinian Arab leaders into torrents of blood streaming all over Eretz Yisrael.
The violence associated with the construction on Har Homa, the opening of the Hasmonean tunnel, and now with Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, used by Arafat to demonstrate the "spontaneous reaction of the Palestinian people," took place only because the Arabs know that the Jews are afraid of this Arab tactic. Scores of dead and maimed Arabs are a very cheap price for the Arab leaders in their struggle against the Jewish state. Arafat will not hesitate to sacrifice hundreds of times more in order to gain control over Jerusalem.
Sharon's visit to the holiest Jewish place has nothing to do with this new wave of violence. It started prior to Sharon's visit with the death of an Israeli soldier David Biri in an explosion in Gaza and the cold-blooded shooting murder in Kalkiliya of Yossi Tabaja, an Israeli Border Guard policeman, by his Palestinian "colleague." The Palestinian patience ended before the Arab blood was spilled in the capital of the Jewish state.
Nevertheless, the world community blamed the Jews, as usual. On September 29, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher declared that "We ... were quite concerned that the visit by Sharon to this site risked creating tensions, and in fact it did." How shameful it is that America, Israel's "best friend," dares to question the intent of a Jew to visit the holiest Jewish place? Maybe the Clinton administration meant that Sharon was supposed to disguise himself in torn clothing, grow a beard in order not to be recognizable, and in the middle of the night, when no one was looking, sneak into the Temple Mount area? Perhaps Boucher has forgotten that he is not dealing with a medieval Jew attempting to venture outside the ghetto walls?
The reason for the latest outbreak of violence is not Sharon's visit but the existence of Israel itself. The way the Arabs see events is absolutely different from the way that the Jews see them . Nothing can better prove this than the September 12 Charlie Rose Show interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amre Moussa and Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami. Moussa explained it all when he said: "We all know history. You read it in your way, but we read it in our way" (1). It is worth listening to the argument about Jerusalem between Ben-Ami and Moussa to understand the futility of any attempt to reconcile the Jewish and the Arab positions,
MIN. BEN-AMI: It [Jerusalem] was never the capital of any other state in history. This is a fact. A, --
MIN. MOUSSA: No, no, it is not a fact.
MIN. BEN-AMI: Yes, it is a fact.
MIN. MOUSSA: No, it is not a fact.
MIN. BEN-AMI: No, it is in the books of history.
MIN. MOUSSA: No, no, no, you announced that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel after they established Israel. When? Fifty years ago. That is all" (1).
For the Arabs, nearly five thousand years of Jewish history simply do not exist at all. History started only in the 20th century with the "attempts of the Zionists to conquer Arab Palestine." There are no facts whatsoever that the Jews can bring in support of their historic rights to Eretz Yisrael in order to change the Arab perception. The Arabs will not accept them. They do not want to accept them. Period. They have their own reading of history.
For the Arabs, the Jews are the aggressors. The Jews think that by giving the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) to the Arabs and by agreeing to share Jerusalem they are doing the Arabs a big favor. Ontheir part, the Arabs consider it to be a tremendous favor to the Jews if they agree to accept only the land that the Jews are giving them, since "all the land of Palestine belongs to the Arabs." Therefore, despite the amount of land they will receive, the Arabs will continue to see the Jewish state as a usurper of Arab land. It is for this reason that on August 22, an editorial on the official Palestinian National Authority web-site stated, "Most of all, the end of the conflict is linked to historical reconciliation, which implies, if not absolute justice, at least the acknowledgment of what happened: the truth. For Israelis, this means recognizing that the State of Israel was created through a military campaign of ethnic cleansing which inflicted a gross and massive injustice upon the Palestinian people" (2).
Even if the Jews give 100% of Yesha to the Arabs, divide Jerusalem, allow the "Palestinian refugees" to invade Israel proper, and crawl on their knees begging forgiveness for the "ethnic cleansing which inflicted a gross and massive injustice upon the Palestinian people," the Arabs will not agree to end the conflict. As the editorial clearly puts it "without a change in the whole system of Jewish-Arab relations, including the system of representations, the use of symbols and the production of images, within the state of Israel itself, as well as in its relations to others, there can be no definitive end to the conflict"(2).
Isn't it time for Israel to stop pretending that she does not realize what price she must pay to be "accepted" by her Arab neighbors? Isn't it time to stop deceiving ourselves that peace is just around the corner? Isn't it time for the Jewish state to stop living in the Oslo dreamland and to start using its formidable force without restrictions?
Since the beginning of the Zionist enterprise the Jews have tried to establish peaceful relations with the Arabs, but their overtures have been constantly rejected. The Jews tried all possible and impossible options of appeasement but never thought of relying completely on brutal force.
Stones and boulders so efficiently used by the Arabs should be placed by the Israelis into the category to which they belong - they are weapons, used by the Arabs to kill or inflict harm. Thus Arab stone-throwing should be met not by rubber bullets and tear gas but by live ammunition. The Israelis should make it clear to the Arabs and to the world community that from now on they are going to use their force. If the Arabs are suicidal and want to be killed, their desires can be satisfied.
Enough is enough. The Jewish state cannot afford her weak posture anymore. It is in a state of war and must use all of its might to defeat the enemy. Those who dream of peace must understand that peace can be achieved only as the result of a victorious war. War has an ugly face, but this is its nature, one cannot change it. Being in a state of war, Israel can either win it or lose it. As it was in all other wars Israel cannot afford to lose this war. The defeat will mean not only the destruction of the Jewish state but the physical eradication of the Jews as well.[10/03/00]
1. Transcript of Charlie Rose Show interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amre Moussa and Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami: 11:00 PM, Date Tuesday, September 12, 2000. e-mail posting on Middle East discussion group. 9/14/00.
2. Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). No. 130, September 28, 2000.
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.