|JUNE 1999||PUBLISHED BY AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL|
The body politic of Israel has made its preference known by a wide margin in a scrupulously democratic election. To our mind, this election was clearly about personalities and not policies. The debate was about which candidate would continue to implement disastrous policies--Bibi with a sullen acquiescence or Barak with enthusiasm. One candidate bested the other and the disaster remains. The outrageous PLO violations of every relevant paragraph of the Oslo Accords were not even campaign issues. We at Americans For a Safe Israel remain committed to the concept of a secure Israel with religious, national, historic and strategic claims to the Land of Israel. Unfortunately, neither candidate rose to defend those rights.
While Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ehud Barak taunted one another on trivial and superficial issues, Arafat escalated his demands and the Clinton administration and the European Union encouraged him without so much as a whisper of protest. The euphoria of the victor and his supporters can only be temporary. There are too many expectations in too many quarters.
President Clinton and the sophomoric minions who formulate his foreign policy are desperate for a "success." In spite of the shambles of Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, they are determined to wrest a measure of victory in the Middle East by demanding total Israeli surrender to Arafat. Even as they confront a brewing scandal over unprecedented security lapses, they escalate their demands on Israel, barely concealing their animus. It will be a short and stormy honeymoon with the Americans.
The European Union, the United Nations, the Vatican, and most of the former Soviet Union have already endorsed a surrender of Jerusalem and a return to "international" status for Israel's capital. They have gone beyond anything envisaged by the Oslo accords. In Israel, the population reminds one of the British after Chamberlain returned from Germany, assuring his constituents that one could do business with Hitler and promising "peace in our time." The giddy response of the British was short lived and the rest is history.
We at Americans for a Safe Israel are convinced that a strong and secure Israel strengthens Jews everywhere. It behooves us, then, to state our admiration and gratitude to Mr. Barak for his valor in defense of Israel. Jews everywhere are in debt to Israel's heroes, including Bibi Netanyahu. Their example in the military strengthened our pride and resolve.
It is a tragic fact of politics, however, that even those who are willing to die in war for their principles, can so easily betray them in order to win elections. We hope that Barak will not fall into that trap, but look with concern to the future.
Barak has said that Beit El, Efrat, and other Gush Etzion settlements will remain, but will he stand firm even on these, let alone the other communities to which he has not even made a commitment? Will the Christians of southern Lebanon be abandoned? Will the Turkish-Israeli alliance be sacrificed for the mirage of "peace" with Syria? Will Jerusalem be sacrificed under some complicated formula that boils down to redivision of the city? We are full of foreboding.
Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Why Netanyahu Lost ...3
Map: Resolution 181 ...7
The Bitter Fruits of Surrender ...8
Edward Alexander v. Edward Said ...10
June 1999 - 1 - Outpost