Walter's World with Walter Bingham - every Sunday on Israel National Radio

Walter Bingham is a veteran journalist and broadcaster from London who now lives in Jerusalem. His weekly radio programme, Walter´s World, can be heard on Israel National

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tommorow Never Comes

Nov. 24 2005

In almost every speech that Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has delivered since the implementation of his order to expel 10,000 of his Jewish fellow citizens from their legally owned homes in a legitimate part of Israel, he has referred to it as a "painful decision". Painful?
It was indeed a ruling that caused immeasurable pain, mental and physical, to the victims of his ruthless decision. But observing Sharon since then, I have not been able to detect any manifestation of the pain he flaunts on every possible occasion.
On the contrary, he is cheerfully and obediently carrying out every instruction he receives from Condoleezza Rice, whose false smile betrays her real intention of reducing Israel to a size that will hardly be able to sustain itself economically, politically, militarily and even demographically. Rice's allies, the EU and the Quartet, are already seeing to it that the Palestinian Authority shall be neither short of money nor weapons. Dr. Rice is a smart cookie and it is my belief that she will be a Republican contender for the presidency of the United States. If she were to succeed to that position, she would quickly and efficiently finish the task she set herself for this region of the Middle East.
There is, of course, still time left to remedy the situation, but not a lot.
Now that Sharon has resigned from the Likud and the 16th Israeli parliament will be dissolved, the chance for the nation to speak has arisen earlier than anticipated.
It is hoped that the inevitable wheeling and dealing of the smaller right-wing political parties will bring about a united front, and that their leaders will for once put aside any thoughts for their personal gain and prestige, and act in the interests of the electorate and the country. That would make it possible for the votes of their supporters to actually carry weight and prevent the emergence of either Ariel Sharon or the new radical left-wing leader of the Labour party, Amir Peretz, to become the new prime minister.
The State of Israel, under the leadership of either of these two intellectual dwarfs, would be manoeuvring herself into such a tight corner that she would find it difficult to extricate herself. Unfortunately, it is too much to hope that MK Uzi Landau and Moshe Feiglin would withdraw as contenders for the leadership of the Likud and instead join the united front, which would then have a more-than-excellent chance to emerge the victors at the ballot box.
I have to confess that the third alternative is also not ideal, because, human nature being what it is, even in victory there would not be unity. Changing coalitions within the 'united' front would inevitably stifle many good policy proposals.So, I go for the fourth alternative and the only sensible solution, the party that will treat the cause and not the symptoms: Hazit, the Jewish National Front. Here is a part of its manifesto:
1. Consistent with strategic as well as religious reasons, we categorically reject the surrender of any part of the Land of Israel to non-Jews.
2. We categorically reject the idea that Jews can lawfully divest themselves of Jewish land by means of a national referendum, as proposed by various members of the Knesset. (Abraham Lincoln echoed Jewish law when he said "a people has no right to do what is wrong.")
3. We demand that the government abrogate the Oslo Accords, or Israel-PLO Agreement, which has been constantly violated by the PLO and has resulted in the murder of more than 1,500 Jews.
4. We categorically reject the government's immoral policy of self-restraint vis-a-vis Arab terrorism. This policy makes the lives of an indeterminate number of Jews expendable. We therefore demand that the government pursue a policy of zero tolerance for Arab terrorism.
5. We categorically reject the release of Arab terrorists, which is a violation of international law: "No crime without a punishment."
In addition, Hazit advocates electoral reform, so that the members of Knesset and local councils will be accountable to the constituents who vote them into power. The lack of accountability is the cause of the corruption that is rampant in Israel.
With those points in mind, after the next general election, which is expected to take place in March of next year, Israel needs to quickly reestablish herself as the nation she once was: proud, asserting her independence as a sovereign state, and defending herself as she thinks fit, resolutely and without fear. Sadly, fear seems to have overcome her. Fear of the displeasure of George Bush and Rice, for whom the continuing supply of Arab oil is paramount and supersedes everything; fear of disobeying what was after-all only an advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice at the Hague about the route of the security fence; fear of hurting Arab civilians from behind whom the terrorists are operating, in their houses and their fields. Judging by the tactics of US forces in Iraq, the dictate to Israel is "do as we say not as we do."
This attitude has now reached intolerable proportions, to the extent that the government would rather put Jews at risk than mount an attack against an enemy who is gaining not only strength, but also confidence, by the day. The proposal to reinforce the roofs of schools and other vulnerable buildings in towns and cities that are within range of Palestinian rockets is the most wasteful and inefficient strategy that could have been devised. Soon, Israel will no longer be in a position to prevent delivery of more powerful weapons to the Palestinians, so that in the not-too-distant future, the whole country will be within range. Is it proposed to progressively strengthen roofs everywhere? That is the same as just giving painkillers to a patient with stomach ulcers, instead of cutting them out before the body stops functioning. Regrettably, Israel's leaders, many of whom come from the ranks of the military, are excellent tacticians, but poor strategists. In other words, solve the problem of today - tomorrow never comes.
Sustained terrorism has scored one important success. It is the effect on a large part of the Israeli population, who have grown tired of wars and terrorism. They fall easy prey to the left-wing rhetoric that land-for-peace will bring peace after the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State. The vociferous left-wing lobby, in this instance led by Shimon Peres, also disseminates the belief that if Israel facilitates a strong Palestinian Arab economy, their population would be content and desist from supporting aggression against Israel. That sounds absolutely plausible, because generally, you wouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. However, these well-meaning people are overlooking one very important fact. In negotiations with today's Arab leaders, we cannot apply Western logic.
It is said that "clothes make the man." True enough in appearance, but not in the Arab leaders' hearts. Their hatred of anything Jewish will no more dissipate under a collar and tie as it did under a kaffiyeh. In the London, and probably also the New York and Tel Aviv diamond exchange, a handshake and a few Hebrew words suffice to seal the deal; it's cast iron. Not so with our so-called 'peace partners', who have up to now dishonoured every agreement; not made with a handshake, but written, signed and sealed. That, I suggest, is what Messrs. Bush, Rice, Wolfensohn and the rest have to learn quickly.


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