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March 28, 2010: Winds of War?

July 25, 2010

The Arab League is currently holding a summit meeting in Libya.  Yesterday, head of the League, Amr Moussa, told those gathered that:
“We must prepare for the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure.  This is the time to stand up to Israel. We must find alternative options, because the situation appears to have reached a turning point.”
What do you imagine are the “alternative options” that are being considered?
I place responsibility for this situation solidly and firmly on Obama.  The Arabs are taking their lead from him.  They see us as weakened, and Obama as firmly on their side.
Abbas, who also spoke, said there would be no peace agreement unless we agreed to end the occupation of “Palestinian land” including in “east” Jerusalem.
He added that the conflict here could ignite the entire region, and that he would not participate even in indirect talks if we did not first stop settlement activity, by which he means also in Jerusalem.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was at the summit as well, spoke of  the Israeli “violation” of  Muslim holy sites, which he termed unacceptable.
And UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon? Why, he was there too.  He urged that negotiations be given a try, with the goal of achieving a final solution within two years.  Yet, what did he say? 
“I am aware that regional confidence in the Israeli Government is very low, but there is no alternative to getting the parties to the negotiating table and testing their commitment.”
“Very low confidence” in us?  “Testing our commitment”?  Let this be a lesson — please G-d, the final lesson — for all those here who have imagined that by making concessions we might earn good will.
Ban also referred, once again, to the “settlements” as “illegal,” which they most decidedly are not.  Not by any yardstick.  Not according to relevant UN Security Council resolutions, or Oslo, or the Roadmap. But why should the head of the UN let mere facts stand in the way of his expressed sympathy for the Palestinian Arab “cause.”?
While the Arab League may not go there yet — especially in light of Ban’s urging — today leaders from Syria and Libya, Assad and Kaddafi, urged Abbas to abandon talks and return to violence.
This horrific situation is simply not rational.  Please note:
[] None of the land being claimed by the Palestinian Arabs was ever “theirs.”  It was Mandate land, intended for a Jewish homeland, which fell into Jordanian (Jordanian — not Palestinian Arab) hands in 1949, following our War of Independence, and then was acquired by Israel in 1967, after the Six Day War.  
[] UN Security Council resolution 242, after the Six Day war, does not require us to return to the Green Line, and does NOT mention either a Palestinian people or a Palestinian state.
[] We have been building in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line for many years, just as we have been doing construction in our communities in Judea and Samaria. This never stopped negotiations between Israel and the PLO/PA.  Not until now, just when we have a prime minister who conceded more than any prime minister ever conceded before — with a 10 month freeze in the communities. 
[] It has been pointed out, and pointed out, that the Palestinian Arabs do not want a “two-state solution,” but rather to destroy us.  They could have had their state several times over, if that was what they wanted.  Arabs recognize strength and are contemptuous of concessions that they perceive to be weakness.  Right now, especially with Obama at our throat, they see an opportunity to move on us.
The only proper response is strength and unity from our side.
I would like to recommend the Friday column by JPost editor David Horovitz.  David frequently tilts left and more often than not I disagree with him these days.  But now even David is saying that the position that the Obama administration has embraced, with regard to a readiness by Abbas to lead the Palestinians on a path to peace, is simply unfathomable to Netanyahu and his government.
“…2009 came and went without any direct Israeli-Palestinian talks – the first such barren year in 17, as an Israeli veteran of past peacemaking dialogues with the Palestinians observed here this week. At the rate we’re all going, he went on, 2010, at the very best, will be no more productive.

“In fact, it looks certain to be a whole lot worse than that.”
One IDF officer, Major Eliraz Peretz, 32 from Eli, and an IDF soldier, Staff Sergeant Ilan Sabyatkovski, 21, from Rishon LeZion — both of the Golani brigade — were killed on Friday afternoon in an exchange of fire with terrorists who were planting explosives along the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
Major Peretz, who leaves a wife and four children, was the second in his family to die for Israel:  His older brother Uriel died in a battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 1998.  His mother, weeping during the funeral at Har Herzl this morning, said that her sons fell so that “the entire nation of Israel can live safely here.”

Maj. Eliraz Peretz of blessed memory 

Such is the courage of the Israeli people.
The good news:  Two-thirds of the US House of Representatives (totaling 327 Congresspersons) has signed a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, protesting the strong-arm tactics of the government being used against Israel.
This must be having some effect, for now key Obama advisor David Axelrod has told CNN that the president did not give Netanyahu a cold shoulder (I would add: even if he walked away without dining with him, and did not permit a photo op, and did not release a joint statement).  Axelrod’s spin: “It was a working meeting among friends…”
As we approach Seder Night now, I close with this message:  We shall persevere. 
As a rabbi said at one of the shiurim (lessons) I attended yesterday:  It is a matter of emunah (faith). 
If someone had come into Auschwitz, he said, and told the people there that Israel would be founded as a modern state, and have the world’s second best air force, and do incredible advancements in health, the people would have scoffed furiously.  But, against all the odds, all of this has come to pass.
We cannot respond only in terms of what seems to be, but in terms of what we know and believe will be, with the help of the Almighty. 
And we must work to that end.



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