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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
January 25, 2005
Friend of FLAME:
As Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) makes signs of assuming power over
the Palestinian government apparatus and begins negotiating with terrorist
organizations like Islamic Jihad and Hamas, both of whom openly advocate
Israel's destruction, we will do well to curb our enthusiasm. We've
been down this road before . . . with Arafat. We heard Yasser talk about
Middle East peace in English while advocating the annihilation of the
Jews in Arabic (no contradiction, actually, for what in Arafat's mind
could have been a more satisfying peace than a world with no Jews?).
As Abbas moves token troops into Gaza and temporarily halts the launching
of Qassam rockets into Israel, we should remember the vivid newspaper
photos just about ten years ago of armed Palestinian policemen standing
by watching as Palestinian militants attacked Israeli soldiers. No my
friends, we must remember that Israel is in a fight for its life. Making
the wrong decision especially appeasing one's mortal enemy or capitulating
without reciprocity could be suicidal. So concludes Professor Louis
Rene Beres, Professor of International Law and International Relations
at Purdue University in his article below. Professor Beres argues persuasively
that Sharon's plan to evacuate Gaza is precisely that dangerous: A strategy
that could lead to Israel's demise. You'll find his words a sobering
reminder of both the high stakes at play and the need to keep a sharp
eye on those who have for decades advocated the destruction of our state
and the murder of the Jewish people. So far no Arab state and certainly
not Mahmoud Abbas has recanted on either point.
by Professor Louis Rene Beres
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Published in Milnet Brief (www.milnet.com),
January 20, 2005
"All people, Jews or gentiles, who dare not defend
themselves when they know they are in the right, who submit to punishment
not because of what they have done but because of who they are, are
already dead by their own decision; and whether or not they survive
physically depends on chance. If circumstances are not favorable, they
end up in gas chambers....." Bruno Bettelheim in "Freud's
Vienna And Other Essays"
Bettelheim, like the Greek poet Homer, understands that the force that
does not killthat does not kill just yetcan turn a human
being into stone, into a thing, while still alive. Merely hanging ominously
over the head of the vulnerable creature, it can choose to kill at any
moment, poised portentously to destroy breath in what it has "graciously"
allowed, if only for a few more moments, to breathe; this force mocks
the fragile life it intends to consume. The singular human being that
stands helplessly before this force has effectively become a corpse
before any lethal assault is even launched.
Israel, still manipulated and assaulted by an intermittent stream of
barbarous Palestinian terror, is in the process of becoming this pitiable
individual writ large. Called upon again and again by our "civilized"
world to negotiate with ritualistic murderers and child-sacrificers,
the Jewish State under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will soon face a
very basic choice. It can accept an immutably genocidal Palestinian
state carved out of its own still-living national body, or, instead,
it can affirm its sacred post-Holocaust obligation to endure and reaffirm
its enduring Torah obligation to "choose life."
Should the Sharon Government accept the former, and continue with its
announced "disengagement" policy of unilateral territorial
surrender (a policy linked to an imagined "Two-State Solution"),
Israel would already lie defeated.
Prime Minister Sharon plans to "disengage" from 21 Gaza settlements
and from four settlements in Samaria beginning in July. Yet, in his
latest annual report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,
Shin Bet intelligence director Avi Dichter underscored the manifest
perils of Jewish evacuation and surrender. His strategic argument, straightforward
and essentially unassailable, was that Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists
newly unencumbered by any Israeli military presencewill quickly
transform southern Israel into a second South Lebanon. He added that
handing northern Samaria to Palestinian control could result in the
creation of a second Gaza.
Even today, even after Oslo and the "Road Map", and the election
of a Palestinian "president", the official Palestinian Authority
(PA) map of "Palestine" still includes all of Israel. There
are no two states on the PA maps, only one. There is no plan for coexistence
with Israel in PA doctrine, only continuation of the longstanding Arab/Islamic
"phased plan" for Palestinian "liberation". There
is no Arab state on this bleeding planet that genuinely accepts a Jewish
State in the Dar Al-Islam, in the "world of Islam".
What sort of peace can Israel negotiate with a "partner" whose
only real question is, "How long before we can get the Jews to
die?" And how shall Israel navigate such a problematic peace in
a world where the traditional forms of anti-Semitism are now being reinvigorated
by newer fashions of Arab/Islamic Jew killingfashions that call
openly for the maiming and mutilation of Jewish children with nary a
hint of condemnation from "civilized" countries?
Shall Israel complain? No problem, it can always find authoritative
comfort in the United Nations and its International Court of "Justice".
Shall it be allowed to erect a fence to protect its children from being
torn apart and burned alive? Certainly not, since the lives of Israel's
Jewish children are loudly declared to be less valuable than the olive
trees of inconvenienced Palestinian farmers. So it has already been
written in the ICJ's July 9, 2004 advisory opinion on Israel's security
One might expect that Israel, after all the horror it has suffered at
the hands of Arab terrorists, would betray itself no longer. When Priam
enters the tent of Achilles, stops, clasps Achilles' knees and kisses
his hands, he has already reduced himself to a hapless and unworthy
victim, one to be disposed of without ceremony and in very short order.
Realizing this, a gracious Achilles takes the old man's arm, pushing
him away. As long as he is clasping Achilles' knees, Priam is an inert
object. Only by lifting him up off his knees can Achilles restore him
to a position of self-respect and to a living manhood.
Here Israel and Priam part company. Israel's frenzied enemies, twisted
by Jihad, will never act in the honorable manner of Achilles. Their
aim is not the high-minded revitalization of a respected adversary,
but rather the "liquidation" (still the term favored in the
Arab world) of an inert object by genocide and war. The Iliad
reveals certain important lessons for Jerusalem; it should be read with
this in mind.
For whatever reasons, Israel has now come to accept a deformed view
of itself that was spawned not in Jerusalem or Hebron, but in Cairo,
London, Damascus, Paris, Baghdad, Washington, Teheran, Hamburg, Jericho
and Gaza. Degraded and debased, this is the view not of a strong and
powerful Jewish people, determined to remain alive in its own land,
but of a conspicuous corpse-in-waiting, brought home from a two-thousand
year exile only to make its present-day slaughter even easier to inflict.
It goes without saying that large majorities of courageous Israelis
have always fought bitterly against such an intolerable view - against
the delusionary vision of Israel's "Peace Camp" and the Sharon
plan - but this view is currently the official national image nonetheless.
After Auschwitz, after Belsen, after Warsaw, after Lodz, there can't
be any more intolerable expression of Jewish self-deception than an
Israel that has learned to "live with terror." To suggest
otherwise, after every blown-up bus or school or restaurant, to say
that life in Israel must return to "normal", is not normal.
It is inexcusable and unspeakably abnormal.
Writing several years ago about Israel under the Oslo Accords, the Israeli
novelist Aharon Megged noted: "We have witnessed a phenomenon that
probably has no parallel in history; an emotional and moral identification
by the majority of Israel's intelligentsia with people openly committed
to our annihilation."
This identification has taken poisonous root in a succession of Israeli
governments that have stubbornly refused to understand their enemies,
even while the streets of Israel's cities have been transformed by primal
Palestinian killers from civilian thoroughfares to sacrificial altars.
Today, there are even Jewish scholars who advocate Israel's unilateral
nuclear disarmament, arguing in prestigious American journals that Israel
can negotiate true peace only by first agreeing to a "nuclear weapon-free
zone" in the Middle East.
There is a way out of this humiliating, fateful and delusionary condition,
but it must go far beyond the standard suggestions of policy and leadership
changes. Replacing Ariel Sharon will not be enough. Israel requires
a way that demands, more than anything else, an upright posture for
the nation, an appropriately heroic posture that precludes clasping
the enemy's knees and kissing his hands. It is a way of dignity, not
of supplication. It is a way of open, full and unapologetic warfare
against evil, of standing firm for Jewish lands, of choosing boldly
and faithfully to stay alive, of avoiding not only death at the bloodied
hands of inflamed enemies, but also avoiding a shameless and distinctly
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