March 3, 2005
Reliving the Oslo Agreement Nightmare
Friend of FLAME:
As Yogi Berra would put it, it’s déjà vu all over again. The Oslo “peace process” is on course as if it had never been tried and failed.
The needle of U.S. policy is once again caught in the groove of “territories for peace” — the broken record U.S. administrations have played since Israel’s birth. The result has produced Nobel peace prizes — but not peace. And this is inevitable, for what no U.S. administration has been willing to face, although the evidence mounts as high as Everest, is that the Arabs are not interested in a slice of Israeli territory, but are determined to wipe out the Jewish state.
In the 1950s there was Secretary of State Dulles’s suggestion that Israel give up the Negev on the theory that peace would come once Egypt and Jordan no longer had a frustrating geographic barrier between them.
Two years after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War of 1967, Secretary of State Rogers advanced the so-called Rogers Plan, calling for Israel to withdraw more or less to its prewar armistice lines. In the 1970s there was a new wrinkle as President Carter, in March 1977, called for a Palestinian “homeland” (up until then the so-called “West Bank” was to be returned to Jordan). In 1982 the Reagan Plan once again called for Israel to go back to the old armistice lines. Now Condoleeza Rice joins the long line of Secretaries of State promoting doomed-to-fail plans to bring peace through Israel’s territorial amputation.
And so President Bush gears up — along with the EU, Russia and the UN, all sworn enemies of Israel — to implement the “Road Map” for a Palestinian state. As writer P. David Hornik notes, the conservative Bush administration should surely realize “that there is no reason why the inversion of all its principles — not to compromise, deal with, or capitulate to terrorists, fighting evil, distinguishing between attacker and defender — should produce good results uniquely in the Israeli-Palestinian case.”
Indeed the results are likely to be uniquely terrible. Turning points are rarely recognized when they occur but this is likely to be one. The moral scandal of Israel uprooting Jewish communities and establishing a Palestinian Arab state in the historical homeland of the Jewish people is likely to presage the end of Israel. We have the irony of a President of the United States, supposedly intent on bringing democracy to the Middle East, pursuing policies that will destroy the only democracy that exists there. It may deeply wound that democracy even before a renewed Arab jihad. As the Sharon government, in its efforts to accommodate pressures from the West, pursues its ethically and strategically indefensible actions, it is producing internal turmoil, and the government’s reaction may well be massive detention of Jews without trial, undermining the state’s democratic foundations.
While Israel is clearly the primary victim, the implications go well beyond Israel. Israeli retreat, the creation of a Palestinian state, the dissolution of internal Israeli cohesion, the snowballing assault on Israel’s existence that all this is bound to produce, represent the triumph of the most evil forces in the world. It is the triumph of the bin Ladens, the al-Zarqawis, the Arafats, those imams who preach hatred each Friday from their mosques, the suicide bombers, Hezbollah, Hamas, those burning with hatred of the West and its civilization, who would, if they could, bring a new Dark Age upon the world.
And the triumph over Israel will energize those forces, not appease them, any more than Czechoslovakia’s abandonment appeased Hitler. For the abandonment of Israel, far from persuading the Moslem world that the Christian world is their friend, tells the Islamists that the West has lost the will to defend its civilization, not merely the Europeans (that they already knew), but also the United States.