OVER THE CLIFF?

By Boris Shusteff

"A few months ago, at the AIPAC policy conference, I asked Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk for one example of PLO compliance with the Oslo Accords. He told me that I wouldn't like his answer. 'They have declared their support for peace,' he said after a long pause." (Mandell I. Ganchrow, Where is the strength? The Jerusalem Post, 8/13/98)

On September 21, 1993 Yitzhak Rabin presenting the Declaration of Principles to the Knesset said, "There are no differences of opinion in this House over the eternalness of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. United and unified Jerusalem is not negotiable and will be the capital of the Israeli people under Israel's sovereignty and the subject of every Jew's yearnings for ever and ever."

Five years later, on August 12, 1998, Reuters quoted Yasser Arafat, who declared in Cape Town, "Peace will not prevail and security and stability be achieved without the return of Jerusalem to its homeland and owners, . Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. There is no concession or bargaining for it."Arafat's statement just repeated the well-known position of the Palestinian leadership that was confirmed on July 18, 1998 during a Palestinian Authority meeting in Ramallah. The official statement read as follows:

"The Judaization of holy Jerusalem is a crime against the divine religions, history, and human civilization, as well as a flagrant aggression on the Palestinian people's right to their holy Jerusalem, the capital of our independent Palestinian state. Holy Jerusalem is the heart of our homeland and the capital of our state, and the Palestinian people will not sell out an iota of holy Jerusalem's soil. Moreover, Jerusalem is a holy city for the Arabs, Muslims, and Christians." [Note the omission of Jerusalem as holy for Jews.]

For anybody who is eager to see and listen it is absolutely clear that if Israel is to remain a Jewish state the Israeli and the Arab positions are irreconcilable. Any attempt to obfuscate the Arab position by saying that it is rhetoric and propaganda and that the Arabs do not mean it is inexcusable. They mean it. They mean it one hundred percent! They play with open cards. They do not hide anything. Yes, they want to establish a second Palestinian state. Yes, they want to destroy the Jewish state. Yes, they want to replace it with an Arab one. Sakher Abu Nizar, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, for the thousandth time presented this position at the official website of Fatah, the group that is the kernel of the PLO. He explained that Fatah's goal is to "ensure total and comprehensive withdrawal of the occupying forces from all Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 including Jerusalem. This constitutes a first step in the struggle that should be resumed by different methods in order to achieve all strategic goals."

He does not hide the strategic goals either. Accordingly, "the general strategic plan. [is] the liberation of Palestine, and the creation of a Democratic Palestinian State on all Palestinian lands with Jerusalem as its capital."

There is no reason to delude ourselves. What "all Palestinian lands" means is absolutely clear. Sakher Habash, another member of the Fatah Central Committee, in the seminar entitled "The Palestinian Refugee from the Political Parties' Perspective," which was held at Al-Najah University, explained that "in 1948 the Palestinian land has been torn into four parts" and one of them is the "part occupied by the Zionists in 1948, and on which they established their alleged state." He said that Fatah's responsibility is "creating the favorable conditions that make the West Bank the central base from which the revolution is launched."

On April 16, 1998, on the anniversary of Abu-Jihad's "martyrdom," Arafat said in a speech that "in the long revolutionary march, we stand by our pledge and oath. The pledge is that the revolution and its intifadah will continue with the same vigor and firmness; and the oath is that the revolution will continue with the same relentless determination." He declared that "the convoys of martyrs are . torches on the road to Palestine and that their pure blood is a trust and a debt that surrounds our neck, and the debt is a right that cannot be delayed." Arafat called for "more revolution, . more escalation of our blessed intifadah; more steadfastness, firmness, and faith; and more great epics with the souls of our righteous martyrs and the pure blood of our wounded. Let us turn the land into a flaming fire under the feet of the invaders."

In his September 21, 1993 Knesset speech, Rabin said, that we "cannot choose our neighbors and our enemies, including the cruelest of them. We must deal with what we have." He admitted that the PLO is "a merciless terrorist organization, an organization that dispatched the terrorists who murdered the children in Avivim and Ma'alot, who shot the guests in Tel-Aviv's Savoy Hotel, who attacked the innocent victims riding the bus on the Tel Aviv-Haifa coastal road, and who committed hundreds of other acts of murder and terror."The five years of the "peace process" have confirmed Rabin's evaluation. The gruesome list of terrorist acts committed by the Palestinian Arabs has increased dramatically. We have more "murdered children," more "innocent victims riding the buses," and more "other acts of murder and terror." The recent killings in Yitzhar of Shlomo Libman and Harel Bin-Nun are simply another link in the murderous chain of Arab crimes.

Rabin was right. We must deal with what we have. We must wake up from the five-year long "peace" dream and look at reality. We cannot choose our "neighbors and our enemies" but we can choose between sanity and insanity. We did not believe that Hitler would do what he promised to do to us, and we paid an unforgivable price. We did not listen to Zeev Jabotinsky in August 1932, when he said at the Fifth Congress of revisionist Zionists in Vienna that "very soon millions of Jews will be forced to leave their homes where their lives are in danger." We did not listen to him seven years later, in May 1939, when at a meeting in Warsaw he said:

"The most terrible thing is what I see among a great many East European Jews: indifference, fatalism. People behave as if they are sentenced. This kind of submissiveness to one's destiny is unknown in history, even in novels I have not encountered anything like it. It is as if somebody made a small group - some twelve million - sit down into a cart and pushed the cart toward a cliff. The cart continues moving toward the cliff and the people inside - some are weeping, some are smoking, some are reading newspapers, some are praying - and it does not occur to anyone to take the reins and turn the cart. It is as if the people are under narcosis. I came to you with a last attempt. I am calling to you. Wake up! Try to stop the cart, try to turn it, jam the wheels somehow, do not go like cattle to the slaughter! Even sheep, when a wolf kills one or two from the flock, try to ran away. And here, O L-rd, and here is an enormous cemetery!

Today the cart of the Oslo agreement is moving towards the cliff. The Jewish State is in a mortal danger. Our enemies have openly declared that they want to destroy us. During the last five years they have substantially improved their odds. Let us stop pretending that we do not know this. Let us stop deceiving ourselves. We want to live in peace with our neighbors: to live in peace, not to die from "peace." [8/14/98]

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Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies. Some Arabic translations are from I & G News



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