Indefensible Assumptions

Ruth King, AFSI

Two days after President Bush reiterated his vision of “the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security,” former CIA director James Woolsey, speaking in Israel, called the Israeli-Palestinian peace process a “scam”, adding “Washington should not be pushing Israel to make a “land for peace deal now.”

We welcome Jim Woolsey to the club. Scam or swindle or wishful thinking, regardless of what you call it, Israel within defensible borders and Arab sovereignty in any part of Judea, Samaria and Gaza are incompatible. Just look at a map. End of story. Nonetheless, this oxymoronic (emphasis on second half of the word) policy is now the enshrined paradigm for solving the Israel-Arab conflict. James Woolsey is right: the whole thing is a scam but the “scamees” are willing participants.

It was not always so. In the aftermath of Israel’s victory in 1967, Defense Secretary McNamara and the United States Joint chiefs of Staff concluded: “From a strictly military point of view, Israel would require the retention of some captured Arab territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders….to be determined according to accepted tactical principles such as control of commanding terrain, use of natural obstacles, elimination of enemy-held salients, and provision of defense in depth for important facilities and installations.” In 1974, another study undertaken by the U.S. Army’s Command and Staff College reached the same conclusion..

President Lyndon Johnson only a few days after the end of the war said: ”… a return to the status before the outbreak of hostilities is not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities. What is needed are recognized boundaries that would provide security against terror, destruction and war.”

Shimon Peres, before he became a serial appeaser, often reiterated his opposition to the pre-1967 lines and Abba Eban, hardly a hard-liner, dramatically referred to the pre-1967 boundaries as the “Auschwitz Borders.”

Even after Oslo, Yitzhak Rabin, in his last appearance in the Knesset, said: “We will not return to the lines of June 4, 1967 – the security border for defending the State of Israel will be in the Jordan Valley, in the widest sense of that concept.”

How did these cogent arguments morph into a “two state solution?” What assumptions altered Israel’s view of its own security?

First is the false premise that moral high ground is achieved by capitulating to one’s enemies. No claim was sustained for Israel’s historic or religious or strategic rights. No case was made for legal alteration of boundaries by the victims of illegal aggression. No one emphasized that after World War II the victorious allies adjusted borders and transferred millions of ethnic Germans to punish the Nazi aggressors. Instead, Israel adopted and practices a double standard on itself.

Second, we heard the theory of the “demographic time bomb,” a scare scenario of burgeoning Arab population growth in Judea and Samaria. Thanks to Yoram Ettinger’s actual census study, and the stubborn Zionism of the settlers of the areas, the whole concept has been debunked. In fact an increasing number of Arabs are leaving the area, and given a minimum promise pf permanence, the size of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would double.

Third, Israel has been willing to take “risks for peace” based on American guarantees. Yet according to Israel’s retired Major General Yaakov Amidror’s account of a private conversation: “Henry Kissinger…, when asked for American guarantees in exchange for Israeli territorial concessions….explained that South Vietnam had international guarantees from twenty countries. Yet when North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, no country took Kissinger’s telephone calls. His implication was clear: do not rely on guarantees and risk withdrawing to the 1967 lines.”

Fourth is the dangerous assumption that in view of advanced military equipment, strategic depth is no longer relevant. Amidror explains :”…. missiles in flight cannot be stopped at a country’s borders. In the face of such a threat, the dispersal of infrastructure installations and weapons systems, as well as command and control mechanisms, becomes critical. Without Israeli control of the relevant territory east of the 1967 line, there is no way the Israel Defense Forces can prevent the firing of rockets and mortars from the hills dominating Ben-Gurion International Airport. One mortar shell per week in its vicinity will be enough to stop air transport completely.”

Fifth is the outright silly notion that Arabs will choose peaceful coexistence when given the opportunity for elections and independence. See Gaza and Hamas and laugh. It is also a fact that as Hugh Fitzgerald astutely claims, the Arab-Israel conflict is a “little jihad” with goals identical to the “big jihad” and this imperative is far stronger than the desire to rule by the ballot.

Finally, Israel’s present rulers remain unwilling to insist that the only viable borders for Israel are from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Missiles rain on Israel from Gaza, the purported area of Palestinian Arab “independence.” Only months ago they hit Haifa from Lebanon. And now Iran is preparing nuclear capability to strike Israel. And what do those auditioning for the Prime Minister’s role say about all this?

Benjamin Netanyahu, the so called “hardliner” who gave up Hebron and collapsed at Wye, offers “Allon Plus.” The Allon plan envisaged the return of territories not annexed by Israel to Jordan. Perhaps he has not noticed that Jordan no longer controls the area. So what exactly is his strategy? To make an “independent Arab state” out of territory roughly the size of Central Park?

The ludicrous Tzipi Livni babbles of an “Oslo plus.” Avigdor Lieberman? Uzi Landau? Anybody there?

The “A” word in Israel stands not for “annexation” but for “Arab Rights” including all the outrageous and escalating demands Arabs make. The effort is, as Saul Singer, usually a thoughtful journalist, declared in a recent Jerusalem Post op-ed “how to make the Arabs say yes to peace.”

Well how about saying ‘no’ to the Arabs, ‘no’ to another terrorist state; ‘no’ to national suicide and finally a big resounding ‘no’ to the indefensible assumptions that make defensible borders impossible?

March 20, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. With America becoming “flexible” with terrorists by now meeting with select members of the Hamatah government, the moral underpinnings for the war on terror have been erased forever. The new and weakened USA might as well begin to justify meetings with select members of Al Qaeda to find some common ground and agreement on a timetable for the end of freedom, democracy and the mass conversion of Westerners.

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