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   MARCH 2000 -  Issue #123    


Abandoning Lebanese Allies?

Herbert Zweibon

One of the most traumatic Jewish experiences in this last terrible century has been the sense of abandonment. The enemies of the Jews moved in for the kill and the rest of the world turned its back. By the late 1930s, Jews were desperate to leave Germany and Poland, but the United States and Europe closed the doors to all but a handful. In so far as the United States is concerned, perhaps no single event embodied that abandonment as dramatically as the voyage of the St. Louis. Packed with 930 Jewish passengers, it sailed from Germany in May 1939 for Cuba. Cuba suddenly changed its mind and refused to allow the ship to land. For 734 of the refugees, Cuba had only been a way station: they had fulfilled all the U.S. immigration requirements, had quota numbers, and needed to wait only between a few months and a few years for entry. Incredibly, despite this, the United States would not admit them. The ship came close enough to Miami for the lost souls aboard to see the lights of the city. But all the U.S. government did was to send the Coast Guard to shadow the ship to make sure no desperate refugee leaped off the boat to swim to shore.

Even after the state of Israel was established, that terrible sense of abandonment returned. In 1967, when Israel seemed to stand on the brink of annihilation, her Arab neighbors poised to attack, the world turned its back. Thanks to its armed forces, especially its air force, Israel turned the tables on its tormentors and the Six Day War was a great victory. But for Jews in the period immediately preceding that war, the sense of abandonment was uppermost.

Given this background, one would expect that Jews would be the last people to abandon others. Shamefully, it appears this is not so. Israel is poised to abandon the South Lebanese Army which has endured a staggering number of casualties while defending the southern Lebanese buffer zone that shields northern Israel from Hezbollah terror.

The fate of this force -- and the families of its soldiers--when Israel withdraws its troops, is all too obvious. Hezbollah's gangsters, equipped with Iranian arms, and enjoying Syrian protection and support, are sure to seek their revenge. Several thousand people, SLA soldiers and those working in Israel or doing business with it, have been condemned in absentia by Lebanese courts and are in terror of what lies ahead for them. Nor can the Israeli government claim it does not know what is in store for the Lebanese who depended on them and trusted Israel's word that it would stand fast until a genuinely independent Lebanon was created. Israeli cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who himself commanded Israel's forces in south Lebanon during the Rabin administration, has warned of the dangers of a "slaughter" once Israel retreats.

Abu Arz, a prominent Lebanese Christian military leader, was recently in the United States to discuss the future of his beleaguered countrymen. Arz is head of the Guardians of the Cedars of Lebanon, the Lebanese Christian militia that has fought to protect the city of Jezzine. Arz claims that with generous Israeli military and financial support, the Lebanese Christians will be able to develop a force large and powerful enough to replace the departing Israelis. This speaks more to the courage and desperation of the Lebanese than to the practical situation, for without Israeli forces it is difficult to imagine a relatively small Lebanese force withstanding the power of the Syrian occupation army.

To their credit, Israel's generals have made their opposition to the government's policy of "cut and run" clear. Israel's Chief of Staff, Shaul Mofaz, and other lead-

(Continued on p.9)


Israel's Holocaust-Denial ...3

Are the 1967 Borders Defensible? ...5

A Leadership Without Honor ...7

Barak's Kibbutz Requires a "Special Majority" ...8

March 2000               - 1 -               Outpost


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