Monday, March 2, 2009

Netanyahu: Lobbyist for a Stateless Arab State

by Paul Eidelberg

In May 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel in the country’s first national election for that office. He defeated Shimon Peres, the architect of the disastrous Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement. Netanyahu thus had a mandate to scuttle Oslo. He himself had previously said Oslo would lead to war, not peace.

During his premiership, Netanyahu’s office issued daily reports of PLO violations of Oslo. He nonetheless failed to abrogate Oslo even though Israel had every legal and moral right to do so. Unreported, however, are the political and psychological consequences of Netanyahu’s timidity: By adhering to Oslo despite constant terrorist attacks, Netanyahu virtually legitimized Arab terrorism. People abroad became increasingly indifferent to terrorism in general, and to the murder of Jews in particular. They were conditioned to Israeli passivity until Operation Cast Iron Lead, and then the ugliest hatred of Israel erupted.

Netanyahu is partly responsible for this hatred. For by failing to abrogate Oslo as soon the PLO violated its agreement with Israel, he fostered worldwide acceptance of Arab terror and then worldwide outrage against Israel’s belated retaliation in Operation Cast Iron Lead. No one is saying this, neither critics like Moshe Feiglin, nor supporters like Caroline Glick.

Moral responsibility as well as political accountability has been buried in this country along with 1,700 Jewish victims of Arab terror. That’s why Shimon Peres is President of Israel, why Olmert remains Prime Minister, and why none but moral clods or third-rate politicians contested Netanyahu’s return to the premiership. Par for the course in Israel.

Without constitutional checks and balances, without a constitution that could be taught in schools and thus enlighten the public, prime ministers, like Olmert, don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, and they can ignore public opinion with impunity. Thus, on September 27, 1996, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on CNN that no one ever thought he would meet with Yasser Arafat, which means that the people who voted for Netanyahu not only opposed such a meeting, but also its logical consequence, the implementation of the Israel-PLO Agreement! Netanyahu unwittingly admitted that he had betrayed his voters!

(Netanyahu is not unique. Sharon betrayed the nation when he adopted Labor’s policy of disengagement; and Rabin violated his pledge to the nation not to negotiate with the PLO.)

Netanyahu is more subtle. Despite his warning that Oslo would lead to war, he said, "We always intended to implement the Israel-PLO Accords," except that he insists on “reciprocity." What can reciprocity mean? Perhaps this: Israel gives Arabs Judea and Samaria on which to establish a state, and the Arabs give Israel a signed document that this state will have no army, will not make treaties with any country it wants, will not control its own airspace and water supplies?

Can you imagine the Arabs agreeing to this “reciprocity”—this stateless state? Can you imagine the Islamic world remaining silent about this warmed-up version of the Begin Autonomy Plan? Any Arab that agreed to head this stateless state would be committing suicide. Does Netanyahu take Arabs for fools? Or is he taking Jews for fools?
Like other unprincipled politicians, Netanyahu has trapped himself in a charade that requires him to negotiate with terrorists committed to Israel’s destruction. His latest spin is that he will not negotiate with the Palestinian Authority if it includes Hamas—as if Fatah consisted of Canadians rather than Jihadists.

His advisers say he will “lobby Secretary of State Hillary Clinton … against US recognition of a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas” (Jerusalem Post, February 26). How charming! In this illusionary democracy, the people elected not a prime minister so much as a lobbyist who is going to charm Hillary with his illusionary Palestinian state!

Let’s get serious. Can this spin master compete with relentless and cunning foes like Fatah and Hamas? Can he choose a foreign minister and a defense minister that can reverse the disastrous course of Oslo when he himself voted against its abrogation? Can his foreign minister and defense minister have the conviction and courage to say an Arab state on Jewish land is theologically unacceptable and strategically suicidal?

But since Judea-Samaria is not a theological problem for secularists, perhaps Netanyahu will have them say something like this: “Let’s not rush into this two-state business. We need two decades to make the Palestinians prosperous, peace-loving, bourgeois democrats.” Perhaps he can enlist Natan Sharansky to help him? Just the man to enlighten President Obama about a democracy run by Arabs who taught their children to hate Jews and emulate suicide bombers!

Yes, but Obama has a short-term schedule. As for Fatah and Hamas, they are now playing the “soft-cop-hard-cop” routine. Theirs is the Soviet strategy of the "uninterrupted attack." This strategy uses not only arms but peace offensives, diplomatic pressure, psychological warfare, and manipulation of the media to emasculate the enemy prior to the coup de grace. Never let the enemy relax—this is the essence of the Arab war against Israel, and the Arabs will use Israel’s Left to facilitate their objective.

Israel's leaders don’t know how to fight such a war. They overemphasize the role of PR, and this requires a lot of time when time, in warfare, as in physics, is linked to space. Moreover, unlike the Arabs, who have a forward or offensive strategy, Israel has a strategy of territorial retreat. It’s called “territory for peace.”

But peace with bellicose Islam is a contradiction in terms. Peace with Islam would require Muslims to renounce the ethos of Jihad. It would necessitate the transformation of Islamic civilization. Imagine Netanyahu winning the long distance race in the next Olympics.

Netanyahu has resigned himself to a Palestinian state—and this means nothing less than a sovereign state. He will now have the support of Israel Beiteinu’s chairman Avigdor Lieberman, whose Jewish convictions are as deep as a billboard.

That’s what Oslo is all about. Oslo means the establishment of a Palestinian state on the one hand, and the dissolution of the Jewish state on the other.

Let’s be honest: Israel is supposed to be the God-bearing nation. Anything less is a world-historical fraud, which will prompt more and more gentiles to call for Israel’s elimination. You’re seeing the world’s loss of Israel in America, where the Courts have banned the Ten Commandments from the public sphere.

Leaving the Jewish vision aside, can Netanyahu act on the time-proven principle that nations respect strength, not weakness? Hence, can he go on the offensive against Israel’s enemies and so-called friends?

Does he have the backbone not only to abrogate Oslo, but also to declare that any nation that aids Hamas violates international law and will be deemed a belligerent?

Does this sound truculent? Rabbis have said, “Don’t irritate the goyim?” But Israel’s very existence irritates the goyim. Good Christians will tell you that. Israel should therefore give nations solid cause for being not merely irritated but fearful. Polls say Israel poses the greatest threat to peace. Perhaps it would be wise for Israel to be worthy of that canard? If so, Israel should then be utterly unpredictable, a regime that, if threatened, can set the Middle East ablaze.

Am I sounding mad? But how often is it said that if Israel does not agree to a Palestinian state the Middle East will explode? This means that the only way to prevent this explosion is for Israel to commit suicide.

Better the Middle East should explode. The United States will do nothing about it, if only because America is dependent on an oil rich regime within striking distance of Israel.

Can Netanyahu rise to the challenge and gather a small group of people to wage a sustained multifaceted war against Israel’s enemies?

The provocation or pretext will come any day. Can he eradicate the entire network of terrorist groups west of the Jordan River and thereby cow the enemies beyond?

Can he stop being a politician and a pacifist and become a statesman and a conqueror?

Of course, I am tilting at windmills. Netanyahu will remain Bibi, won’t he? But who knows? Who knows what Israel is capable of doing given the existential threat of Iran. Perhaps Netanyahu will rise to the occasion.

No comments: