|DECEMBER 1998||PUBLISHED BY AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL|
Among the many horrendous consequences of the Wye agreement is the transformation of dozens of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria into Israeli islands completely surrounded by areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The Netanyahu government is cutting off these Jewish towns from the rest of Israel and, in the process, is cutting off the Jewish nation from its own heritage and history.
The Jewish claim to Eretz Yisrael has deep spiritual roots in the Hebrew Bible. It is deeply rooted, as well, in thousands of years of extraordinary history. It is also anchored in noble and patriotic concepts such as nationhood, independence, and pride. Yet such terms seldom pass the lips of the Prime Minister or of his spokesmen. They never speak of Jewish rights or Jewish history--only of "security."
Of course, even with all its rhetoric about "security," this government has utterly failed to secure Israel's safety. Instead of the "iron wall" of Jewish strength that Ze'ev Jabotinsky preached, the Netanyahu government has placed Israel's fate in the hands of Yasser Arafat, by placing strategic portions of the Judea-Samaria high ground under the Palestinian Authority's control. It is not only that many settlement s have been cut off from Israel--it is also that Israel has cut itself off from areas vital for its defense.
It is remarkable that Arafat and his aides never speak of "security" as their goal. They speak of "homeland," "national rights," "Arab honor," and "Islamic sanctity." Arafat understands that in their hearts, people aspire to something loftier than "security."
Once upon a time, the Likud, too, understood this. Its party platform --up until just a few years ago-- proudly asserted the Jewish right to all of the Land of Israel--including the area east of the Jordan River, which was illegally torn from the Jewish homeland in 1922 and turned into the artificial kingdom of "Transjordan." In those days, Likud actively encouraged the creation of new Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. But the Likud of Benjamin Netanyahu, Tzahi Hanegbi, and Dan Meridor bears little resemblance to the movement that was once led by the likes of Benzion Netanyahu (Jabotinsky's senior aide), Geula Cohen (Hanegbi's mother and leader of the nationalist Tehiya Party) and Yaakov Meridor (a leader of the 1940s Irgun Zvai Leumi underground).
No, the leaders of today's Likud have cut themselves off from the traditions of their party and the heritage of their people, and thus they feel little shame in cutting off dozens of Jewish communities from Israel and abandoning them in a sea of Palestinian Arabs.
The residents of those communities will not surrender. They will not "dry up" and leave as Yitzhak Rabin once hopefully predicted. They cling tenaciously to the Zionist idea, even if their country's leaders have become estranged from that most fundamental Jewish concept. But they will face unprecedented hardships. Their children's school buses will have to pass through Arab areas twice each day. Their water and electricity supplies will pass through PA-controlled territory, giving Arafat the ability to create blackouts and shortages at will. There will be no opportunity to acquire land to build homes for new residents.
Israel's friends abroad have a moral obligation to do everything possible to aid these brave pioneers, who are truly the last guardians of the spirit of Zionism.
Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel.
IN THIS ISSUE:
A Free Fall to Disaster ...3
Back to the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan? ...5
Understanding Israel's Islamic Enemies ...7
The Handbook for Making Peace ...10
December 1998 - 1 - Outpost