Friday, October 07, 2005

Ok the Disengagement was Hell.... So let's do it again. This time Bigger.

What? Does 2 + 2 = 5? Apparently, in Israel it does. Read on.

by Richard H. Shulman

Hillel Halkin wrote frequently and vigorously in behalf of Sharon's abandonment plan, right up until its execution. A couple of weeks later, in "Commentary," he started off with, "It was necessary, it would seem, for the disengagement from Gaza to take place for the strategy behind it to be revealed as unworkable." (Not "necessary" for its critics.)

That strategy, he explains, is that Israel can neither remain in the bulk of the Territories, nor arrange with the weak, antagonistic, and untrustworthy P.A. to make a final arrangement. The more the P.A. reflects the will of its people, the worse, for the people have been indoctrinated in irredentism. The greatest danger to Israel, given the current conflict, would be not war but demographic swamping and international de-legitimization. Therefore, Sharon made an initial and unilateral withdrawal, in a process of determining Israel's borders without Arab participation. The new borders eventually would gain international acceptance, Israel would be rid of the restive Arabs, and it could better defend itself.

The world has called that withdrawal a success, but Mr. Halkin calls it an indication of the strategy's failure. It went swiftly enough, but proved costlier than estimated. It would cost ten at least ten billion dollars, compared with the $2 billion for the one already done. The resources to do it on a larger scale would be unobtainable. It would cost ten at least ten billion dollars, compared with the $2 billion for the one already done. The resources and logistics to oppose it on a larger scale would be insurmountable. The trauma from an attempt would be unacceptable and destructive of Zionism. More Israelis would sympathize with the expellees. Dividing the task into phases would draw out the anguish, and therefore also fail.

I think the failure and the costs of the Gaza abandonment are greater, because the fighting is intensifying and the results would be deadlier, thanks to the free pass that abandonment has given to arms smuggling and to movement by terrorists. Halkin has not given up, however. He still wants Israel to pull out of most of Judea-Samaria. He's just scheming for some way to do it. He admits that the P.A. could not establish a viable state even it it had all the
Territories. He suggests that it combine with Jordan.

The answer, he finds, is for the US to declare itself in favor of Israel retaining the major settlement blocs, in conformity with UN Security Council Resolution 242. The rest of the world would accept it as the end of the conflict. Israel would gain a recognized frontier "along militarily tolerable, demographically viable, morally acceptable lines that are also relatively safe from terror." Israelis would accept such a withdrawal.

Arab irredentism would continue to exist, Halkin admits. Hamas still would launch rockets against Israel, and Israel would fire back, but this would be limited. (Why limited? He does not explain.) How much strife would remain depends on how fast the Arabs civilize. "all this, however, will be infinitely preferable to the present state of affairs - and
to any of the other alternatives on offer." This would be a bold step by the US (10/2005.) Why "preferable?" He does not explain.

No, it would be timid, appeasement, one-sided, unrealistic, and based on false assumptions.

Halkin's major errors are to ignore jihad, antisemitism, the Arab presence in Israel, and Jewish entitlement. His minor observations make sense.

Halkin's primary fear is of Arab demographics. Yet he ignores the presence of a large, growing, and increasingly hostile Arab fifth column in Israel. So do most of the nationalists, having become intimidated by politically correct accusations of Kahanism hanging over anyone who were to suggest that the non-loyal Arabs be encouraged to depart.

He treats the Arab-Israel conflict as a land dispute, whereas it is existential. That is why all the plans that are variations of Oslo and Road Map would wreck Israel. The Arab strategy is to whittle Israel down until it can be conquered. Halkin's plan would achieve most of this whittling for jihad, if the State Dept. had the imagination to accept his plan temporarily. He even admits that fighting would continue, only he thinks it would be desultory. He gave no basis for that assumption. It is far likelier that the jihadists would fight harder, with more and improved rockets and more territory to base them in, whether organized by the PLO or its likely successor, Hamas. That is what the Arabs all over the world are gearing up for.

The world is not reasonable. Contrary to what Halkin imagines, antisemitic W. Europe would cheer the Arabs on. Thus Israel would not be "relatively safe from terror."

The pattern is for the world to swallow Israeli concessions and then demand more. Dependence upon a declaration from the perfidious US is naive. Has he not noticed that the State Dept. sides with the Arabs? (The State Dept. didn't want Israel to be established or survive, presses for Israeli withdrawal, and continues aiding the P.A. without an ultimatum to disarm terrorists). Someone should remind Halkin that the Council on Foreign Relations, to which almost all US foreign policy officials belong, issued a position paper proposing that Israel relinquish ALL of the Territories and eastern if not also western Jerusalem. There were no prominent demurrals.

The problem with the supposed Jewish State is its emotional dependency upon gentiles. Sharon is not a believer, and Halkin eschews Jewish self-reliance in favor of what the gentiles will say and do. If Sharon were a believer, he might at least have made Israel's case. Israel has a good case. Instead, Halkin not only lets the world think that Israel is usurping Arab land, he calls that land "occupied." He seems to think that appeasing the world's ignorance and prejudice is more realistic, than speaking up and standing up. I don't.

The only reason he seems to give for retaining major settlement blocs is that the Jews on it would resist moving, making it too costly. There is no basis for him to suppose that the rest of the world cares what it would cost Israel. If he is depending on the rest of the world accepting a partial withdrawal, he is likely to be disappointed. For Israelis, the consequence is likely to be their conquest. He ought to stop playing these games, like Peres, of let's see if we can find a rationale for appeasement. He must uphold Jewish entitlement to the Land of Israel, in at least Israel and Yesha, as the Jewish patrimony recognized in the Palestine Mandate for a Jewish national home.

Put another way, he claims that the cession of most of Yesha to the Arabs would produce "morally defensible borders." Not true. The cessions would be to aggressors. Halkin defines what borders are morally defensible based on what antisemites and other uninformed people think. That is morally indefensible! It reflects the neurosis of my fellow Jews, who look to their unethical enemies for validation instead of to their own, fine, ethical code.

The warfare he foresees from a smaller territorial position would leave Israel less depth and eliminate strategic borders against invasion. He calls that better than the status quo, with its secure borders, but does not explain why. He just asserts it. A plan that is based solely on assertion should be rejected out of hand.

The US Chiefs of Staff study found almost all of the Territories vital for Israel, in providing secure borders. The mountains of Judea-Samaria, like those of the Golan, have natural tank traps, the advantage of heights, strategic depth, and line-of-sight advance warning of advancing forces. The alternative is having enemy forces smack-dab up against
Israeli cities. For Halkin to call a border bereft of most of that "militarily tolerable" is stating an excuse contrary to fact and reason. It is inexcusable. How like the Pollyannaish rationalizing typical of Shimon Peres!

Perhaps, as he believes, Israelis would accept such a border. That does not make it right. That makes them manipulated. Their media deceives them. Intellectuals such as Halkin, who should know better, mislead them. The polls distort their views, which are far less supportive of Halkin's giveaways than he claims. The polls usually put it, in effect "would you be willing to cede this territory, IF the Arabs were to lie down like lambs?" Israelis answer, in effect, "If the Arabs have become utopians, we would sacrifice for peace." Utopian? The Arabs have become demonic - being exhorted to kill Jews as sub-human, just as the Nazis did. Those who report polls and popular opinion fail to include the caveat on which that opinion is based.

Also overly optimistic is Halkin's solution for P.A. non-viability: federation with Jordan. Jordan, itself, is not viable. It depends on foreign subsidy. In any case, federation is likely to put Jordan under control of PLO or Hamas jihadists. The jihadists would gain sizeable territory, a formidable military, a longer border with Israel, and proximity to its southern port. Does Halkin work under the illusion that the Palestinian Arabs would use this
opportunity to better their economic and social condition? They didn't before. I think they, being primitives, would use the opportunity to advance their raison d'etre, jihad. Let Halkin focus on making Israel viable, which means retaining Yesha.

In his article, Halkin refers to Mandatory Palestine. He does not seem to realize that the major part of it was taken away from the Jewish people to become the independent, Palestinian Arab state of Jordan. Therefore, Jewish concession of further territory should not be viewed as a compromise. It really is stealing Jewish patrimony, already compromised.

The status quo, he asserts, is worse than any offer on the table. That's a clever way to put it. It excludes Jewish nationalist solutions, which I think are better for the Jews, better for deterring war, and better against jihad. If Israel pressed its own claims, it would make its own case for entitlement to the whole Territory. It is a good case. After and while making its case, Israel should act on it.

Israel should declare Oslo void, due to Arab violations. It should declare the Map void, due to the Quartet not recognizing Israeli reservations and to the Arabs failing to implement their obligations and to its unsupportable usurpation of Israeli sovereignty. Israel would refer to its authority under the Mandate to settle the Territories with Jews.

Accordingly, Israel should annex not just settlement blocks, but all major settlements and all areas where there are few Arabs. That would start to take care of the demographic threat from the Territories. The annexation would serve notice that the Arabs will not get another Arab Palestinian state there and that they have no future there.

To make sure the Arabs have no future there, Israel would have to stop subsidizing the P.A. in various ways. That means barring P.A. Arabs from working in Israel, including the annexed Jewish towns now in Yesha. The Arabs would have to start moving back out. Similar means should be applied in Israel, after enforcing the law against the Arabs for stealing land, building illegally, withholding taxes, and rioting.

I pray for an end to proposals for unilateral Jewish sacrifice to unrelenting enemies based on false and unexplained assumptions, as if those fanatical enemies would genuinely and fully accept the proposals and make peace. The question is not whether the Arabs would feel constrained, if the US said they had to give up a few percentage points of Judea-Samaria. Their real goal is to end what they consider the occupation by the Zionists of that Jewish entity called Israel.


Blogger Nancy said...

I second your prayer. Your post was honest!

Keep writing!!

This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News

12:57 AM  

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