Since September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush has outlined, in word and in deed, an emerging new architecture for the post-Cold War world.
At the center of this architecture seems to be a new Middle East. What then, is the relationship, if any, between the nascent Bush Doctrine and America's strategy toward the region's most prominent conflict, between Arabs and Israelis?
The Arab-Israeli conflict presents an obvious challenge to the Bush Doctrine, since that doctrine is about ridding the world of terrorism, and it is in this conflict that the tool of terror has become so prominent. The White House would argue that there is no contradiction, the US is attempting to quash terror against Israel with the same fervor it is fighting terror against the United States.
There remains, however, a distinct difference in strategies, and one that goes beyond the fact that here the US is not moving in with its own forces, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To understand this tension, we must first go back a bit and trace how US policy has tacked this way and that in an attempt to find the Arab-Israeli conflict's place in the wider Bush Doctrine.
The first period was just after September 11 when the US had already decided that the first target would be Afghanistan's Taliban regime and the al-Qaida forces it was harboring. At that time, it was expected, even assumed, that the US would be much tougher on Yasser Arafat's refusal to fight terror in the wake of Bush's statements dividing the world into two: those on America's side against terrorism and those not.
Instead, the Bush administration's rhetoric toward Arabs and Israelis continued unchanged from the Clinton era, in which the US spoke of a "cycle of violence" that was the responsibility of both sides to end.
On September 27, 2001 for example, the State Department spokesman went so far as to argue that the terrorism facing Israel and America were "two different things," where the former involved "political issues that need to be resolved through negotiation" while the latter involved "violent people trying to destroy societies." The implication was that all-out war was permissable, even necessary, to confront the latter, while utmost caution should be applied to the former.
Rather than being embraced as an ally in the war against terrorism, Israel initially found itself under pressure to be restrained in its own self-defense, while the US seemed to be approaching Iran, Syria, and Yasser Arafat for help in the fight against al-Qaida.
By October 4, 2001, concern in Jerusalem over the US course ran so high that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon felt compelled to speak out directly against Bush in his controversial "Czechoslovakia" speech.
"I call on the Western democracies and primarily on the leader of the free world, the United States: Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when enlightened European democracies decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a convenient temporary solution. Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense. This is unacceptable to us. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia. Israel will fight terrorism."
The White House called this statement "unacceptable" and Sharon subsequently expressed regret for hauling out the most damning of all foreign policy analogies. After this, however, the US slowly began to speak of Israel's right to defend itself.
Speaking of Israel's right to self-defense was verboten before because that would imply that Israel was being attacked, which in turn would place the blame on the Palestinians, and therefore would unbalance America's attempts at evenhandedness. But even after admitting that Israel could defend itself, the US continued to empty this statement of meaning by opposing the main methods Israel had of doing so, such as air and ground incursions into the Palestinian-controlled "Area A," and targeted killings of individual terrorists.
More broadly, the US model for ending Palestinian terrorism and restarting negotiations remained unchanged: pressuring both sides to take baby steps toward the other. One envoy after another - George Mitchell, George Tenet, Anthony Zinni, Richard Cheney, and Colin Powell - all pushed variations on the same theme. Israel would be pressed to reduce its military pressure on the Palestinians, in exchange for the Palestinians taking varying degrees of responsibility for fighting terrorism themselves.
Each plan was painstakingly "evenhanded," paring actions required by each side and, by implication, spreading responsibility equally between Israel and Palestinians for both the conflict and its resolution.
THE CONFLICT itself and the excruciatingly balanced, baby step approach to resolving it came to a head in March-April, 2002. In March alone, 125 Israelis lost their lives in terrorist attacks, including the massacre at a Pessah Seder in Netanya's Park Hotel. This wave of terror led to Operation Defensive Shield, during which Israel broke out of the tacit American straitjacket, and entered Palestinian-controlled West Bank towns in force.
As the world rose up in indignation and the UN geared up to pass a harsh Security Council resolution against Israel, the US stood back and let Israel take care of business - for exactly one week. On April 4, 2002, Bush stood in front of the White House, Powell by his side and said "enough is enough," called on Israel to withdraw its forces, and announced that he was dispatching Powell to the region.
In that speech, Bush again illustrated the tension between America's own unlimited fight against terror and the limits to what Israel could do in its own fight. On the one hand, Bush said "Terror must be stopped. No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death." On the other hand, Bush made repeated references to the need for a Palestinian state, and spoke of Israeli responsibilities to make that happen, and to treat Palestinians better in the meantime.
Powell's mission failed to produce what Bush called for, "an immediate cease-fire, immediate resumption of security cooperation with Israel against terrorism. An immediate order to crack down on terrorist networks." Yet it was not lost on Washington that Israel's operation did succeed in reducing terrorism substantially.
Perhaps this is what led to the first real application of the Bush Doctrine to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and therefore the greatest innovation in the US approach since the Six Day War: Bush's June 24 speech calling for a "new Palestinian leadership."
The speech was revolutionary because, for the first time, the US edged toward placing the bulk of the responsibility for Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians themselves. Statehood, which had for decades been the implicit goal of US policy, switched from being axiomatic to conditional on breaking with terrorism and the leadership that was tainted by it.
But soon after this policy was announced, the US began sliding back into the old paradigm. Just as the US was willing to bend in its opposition to terrorist states in order to build the coalition for the war in Afghanistan, it did so again to assuage European opposition to the war in Iraq. And so the "road map" was born.
The road map contains many of the same elements as Bush's June 24 speech, such as Palestinian statehood and elections, ending terrorism, and freezing settlements. Yet instead of front-loading the expectations of the Palestinians, as Bush did, the road map returns to the painstakingly balanced set of requirements for both sides, like the Mitchell and Tenet plans (and the Oslo Accords) that preceded it.
Furthermore, the expectation of a year ago that Arafat's removal was necessary and would follow that of Saddam Hussein was defused by the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as prime minister.
The upshot is that so far, US policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict remains more of an exception to, rather than a natural continuation of, the Bush Doctrine's idea that support for terrorism is punishable by regime change.
The Bush Doctrine has obviously been applied piecemeal, one nation at a time. But in the other cases, such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea, the sense is that the US has not forgotten that they are on the list, barring a radical change in their behavior. Here, the US is playing along with the idea that Arafat's regime can be changed without changing him, and that Bush's call for democratization before statehood can be fudged.
From the beginning of May until last Tuesday, the Palestinians carried out 323 terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. That is an average of 12 per day. These attacks include suicide bombings, penetrations of Israeli towns by gunmen, roadside shootings, grenade and anti-tank missile attacks, mortar shellings, rocket attacks, assaults, and stabbings.
The navy's interception last Tuesday of the Hizbullah arms boat en route to Gaza was an indication that the Palestinians are not satisfied with the results of their aggression but are intent on improving their capabilities. It is also a sign that the Palestinians are not acting on their own; they are conducting their terrorist war with the direct military support of Iran, Hizbullah's boss, and Syria, Hizbullah's enabler.
Over the past two weeks, rocket attacks on Sderot from the Gaza Strip have markedly increased. On Wednesday, Sderot was attacked twice with four rockets. Two rockets scored direct hits on private homes. Luckily, the residents were not present when their homes were destroyed, yet two women and a young girl were hospitalized for shock.
Speaking in Holon last Saturday, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal explained that while it seems as though the IDF's actions in the northern Gaza Strip have been unsuccessful in thwarting the rocket attacks, the truth is that were the IDF not operating in Beit Hanun, the home of the Kassam rocket industry, Sderot would be absorbing "not a few rockets a day, but hundreds."
The cargo on board the intercepted boat showed that the Palestinians are intent on increasing the effectiveness of their attacks.
In an interview with Yediot Aharonot on Thursday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas repeated for the 1000th time that he has no intention of taking any action against the terrorist infrastructure. While he maintains that he is presently negotiating with Hamas to stop attacks on Israelis and states that once he has an agreement for a cease-fire, he will try to work out arrangements with Fatah and Islamic Jihad, Abbas will take no military action against any of the terror networks. "We will never have a civil war," he said.
He also indicated that Israel must help him to convince terrorists to agree to a work stoppage by "releasing prisoners and avoiding military operations."
For his part, Saeb Erekat was even more succinct. Speaking with the Associated Press on Wednesday, he explained that Abbas is aiming to get Hamas and Islamic Jihad to agree to wait until after a Palestinian state is declared before attacking Israeli targets. In his words, Abbas "will insist on this declaration [of a cease-fire] because that's the key... for him to go out and tell the Palestinians, 'Look, we've got the Israeli government to recognize the Palestinian state, [so] we need two years in a peaceful, meaningful peace process."
With all this taking place before our eyes, the government Sunday agreed to accept the Quartet's road map plan for the swift establishment of a Palestinian state. Unbelievably, the cabinet ministers who voted in favor of the road map stated that they were doing so even though the plan is antithetical to Israel's national interests. Naively, they excused their behavior by mentioning that the Bush administration has agreed to consider Israel's qualifications to its agreement during the implementation stages of the plan.
These 14 qualifications, which the government was too cowed to even release officially and therefore simply leaked to reporters, would, if accepted, mitigate some of the dangers inherent in the road map. But there can be no consolation in this, because the Bush administration has made clear that it rejects these qualifications. Secretary of State Colin Powell said flat out that there would be "no changes" to the road map.
It is necessary to point out that the road map forces Israel to accept at the outset the establishment of a Palestinian state ruled by the PLO on land to which Israel has a legal claim to sovereignty as strong as, if not stronger than the PLO's.
While Israel is forced to cease taking actions to defend its citizens from armed aggression carried out by the Palestinians, the Palestinians themselves are requested only to make statements to the effect that they are opposed to armed aggression against the State of Israel. While Israel must recognize the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and to relinquish the right of return of Jews to lands whose sovereignty is disputed, the Palestinians are not asked to recognize that the State of Israel has a right to exist as the Jewish state.
The road map makes no reference to the need for the Palestinians to renounce their demand to settle millions of Palestinians within Israel.
Perhaps Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thought that accepting the road map would throw the ball back into the Palestinian court. For the past two months, the Bush administration placed unrelenting pressure on the prime minister to accept the road map "for the president." According to some reports, the State Department was even threatening Israel with economic and military sanctions if Sharon were to refuse.
The Middle East Newsline reported earlier this week that the State Department recommended denying Israel $8 billion in loan guarantees and $1 billion in supplemental military assistance if the government did not accept the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of the year as stipulated by the road map.
The State Department was also recommending that the administration announce an investigation into the use of Apache and Cobra attack helicopters and F-16 fighters by the air force in operations against Palestinian terrorists.
And yet, immediately after the cabinet announced its decision, Washington announced its plans for a trilateral summit among President George W. Bush, Sharon, and Abbas next week. Top administration officials are now here busily working to ensure that Sharon will be forthcoming with concrete concessions at the Akaba summit to ensure the meeting's "success." So if Sharon thought accepting the road map would decrease US pressure, he was dead wrong. Far from lessening the pressure, Sharon's decision to accept the road map has only increased US pressure on him tenfold.
In his June 24 speech last year about the Palestinian war against the Jewish state, he made quite clear that the Palestinians are the aggressor.
And yet, in light of the recent actions by the administration, actions that are quite simply hostile to the State of Israel, the president's credibility as a friend and an ally of the state is necessarily placed in doubt.
Parallel to his calls for democratization of the PA and demands for PA action against terrorism, Bush has distinguished himself as the most outspoken champion of Palestinian statehood to have ever occupied the Oval Office. Bush is the first US president to have ever adopted the establishment of a Palestinian state as an aim of US foreign policy.
Bush first made this statement in a letter to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah on August 29, 2001. The announcement came 36 hours after Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar delivered a breathtakingly hostile message from Abdullah to the White House that amounted to little less than a declaration of war against the US. According to press accounts, Bandar informed National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that because of the administration's support for Israel, "the crown prince feels that he cannot continue dealing with the United States."
Subsequently, the Bush administration sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1397 that for the first time gave Security Council support for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Bush, while acknowledging Israel's right to self-defense, has never allowed Israel to take decisive action against the Palestinian war machine.
And now, today, all that remains of the contents of Bush's historic address last June, all that has survived the events of the past year, is an unwavering demand from Israel to accept Palestinian statehood immediately.
Critics of the president's newest actions against Israel have argued persuasively that this new hostility toward Israel and embrace of Palestinian terrorists is inimical to US national security interests and deals a harsh blow to the US war on terrorism. From Israel's perspective, however, the largest problem with this policy is the one with which we never imagined having to contend.
This problem is that when judged solely on its actions, the Bush administration has shown that while in the past it could be relied on for at least a modicum of support, today it no longer views such support as concordant with its interests. Therefore we can no longer blindly trust its intentions.
Whether the current, openly hostile US policy toward Israel is the result of the president's own preferences or of bad advice he has received from his advisers is impossible to know. But whatever the case, this crushing and heartbreaking reality cannot be swept under the rug. The threats arrayed against us are too foreboding.
We must accept the truth. As presently constituted, the Bush administration's Middle East policy is hostile to the national security interests of the State of Israel.
The unmistakable "music" coming out of the Prime Minister's Office in the weeks leading up to Sunday's cabinet acceptance of the road map was that the Bush administration understood Israel and would support its position.
True, President George W. Bush made comments in the White House Rose Garden in mid-March about the map being the practical implementation of his Middle East vision speech of June 24, but this was largely chalked up here as either pandering to the Arabs before the war in Iraq, or trying to throw a bone to ally Tony Blair. The message that won the day inside the Prime Minister's Office was that of Sharon's all-powerful bureau chief Dov Weisglass: "Don't worry, the Americans understand us. The Americans are with us."
As a result, Israel tried to ignore the map, concentrating instead on Bush's "vision."
Weisglass's insistence that the White House understood Israel's positions led to strain with Ephraim Halevy, head of the National Security Council, who warned in internal meetings that Israel was on a collision course with the US over the plan. Halevy, however, was effectively sidelined on this issue.
And then, lo and behold, the country woke up Sunday morning to headlines that the Bush administration is indeed pressing Israel to bring the road map to the cabinet, and that Jerusalem's long-discussed reservations would not be included. The Americans may have understood Israel's position, but they didn't necessarily agree.
Rather than incorporate Israel's reservations in the text, or provide side letters that would have anchored Israel's position, the White House released a statement saying it shares Israel's view that these are "real concerns," and "will address them fully and seriously in the implementation of the road map."
Whatever that means.
The point is that the country was presented with one picture of Washington's position, and woke up to another. And this is not the first time with this administration. Prior to the January elections, Sharon and his staff had the electorate believing the loan guarantees and financial aid Israel needed from the US were in the bag. Visiting senators and congressman said consistently that the $8 billion in guarantees and $4 billion in supplementary military aid were not a done deal, but again, the message received was that there was nothing to worry about.
Reality, however, was somewhat different. Instead of $8 billion in loan guarantees, Israel got $9 billion, and instead of $4 billion in aid, Israel received $1 billion.
The argument can be made that this is nitpicking. Why make a big deal out of $2 billion? But this misses the point. Sharon's office created the impression that the Americans were in Israel's pocket on this issue - when they clearly were not.
The same misreading of American intentions was reflected in the overly rosy scenarios painted here for the "day after" Iraq. To hear the Prime Minister's Office before the war was to believe that after Iraq, everything would fall into place. The war would change all parameters, reduce pressure on Israel, make it easier to get rid of Yasser Arafat, and even perhaps sweep the road map off the table.
But none of this happened. Which makes one wonder about some of the government's other major assumptions.
At a press briefing on Sunday following the cabinet meeting, two senior government officials speaking off the record said it is clear to the Americans that serious moves by the Palestinians to tackle terror are preconditions to any significant Israeli action on the road map.
When reminded that the language of the map states that the steps should be taken in parallel, the thrust of the reply was: "Don't worry, the Americans are with us on this."
Really? Might we not wake up one morning and find that this assumption too was overly sanguine; that the Bush administration doesn't see things the way Israel does?
No matter how one views this week's cabinet decision, one thing is clear: Israel misread US intentions - and not for the first time. Which raises a fundamental question: How can there have been such faulty diplomatic intelligence?
The obvious place to look is at the embassy in Washington. After months of feuding between Sharon and his then foreign minister Shimon Peres over who should be named ambassador to the US, a compromise candidate was finally agreed upon - Danny Ayalon.
Ayalon, Sharon's foreign policy adviser for two years, went to Washington with no ambassadorial experience, and without the personal clout of his predecessors - people such as Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Arens, Zalman Shoval, Itamar Rabinovich, Simcha Dinitz and Moshe Arad.
The road map started to move in August, a short time after Ayalon arrived. The plan was downplayed here as yet another European initiative - this one put together by the Danes, with input from others - that was bound for nowhere. That Sharon was reportedly caught by surprise when Bush presented him with a draft of the plan during his October visit does not speak well of the diplomatic intelligence job the embassy performed.
ONE MUST also look at the Foreign Ministry. Where was the minister when the plan was first floated, and why was the ministry not working either to nip it in the bud if the government felt it didn't reflect Israel's interests, or at the very least get Israel's reservations incorporated into it?
One reason is that back in September, the Foreign Ministry was in the hands of Shimon Peres and his director-general Avi Gil, for whom the map was welcome. Indeed, in September Peres spoke at the UN about the government's support for international efforts aimed at brokering a peace agreement.
In November, Binyamin Netanyahu took over the Foreign Ministry for a short stint, and immediately called the road map into question, saying it should be pushed off until after the war in Iraq. Netanyahu's problem, however, was that everything he said was viewed in the context of his race against Sharon for the Likud leadership.
His comments on the road map drew fire from Sharon, who interpreted them as an attempt to throw a wrench into his relations with the US - perhaps Sharon's strongest campaign asset. As a result, the road map was buried under domestic political concerns.
Much of the heavy work on the map took place from mid October until the second draft was published on December 20. It was during this period that the Quartet members - the US, EU, UN and Russia - along with the Palestinians and other Arab countries, were busy providing input. The Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry, however, were much less involved - with Sharon and Netanyahu engaged instead in an election dog-fight. The result was that Israel's reservations were not incorporated into the December 20 plan, and - despite expectations - were not incorporated afterward either.
The final point in this triangle is the Prime Minister's Office, which has pretty much single-handedly run interference on this issue with Washington. And the person doing the leg work there was Weisglass, who traveled to the US on numerous occasions since December to thrash out the road map.
A successful lawyer, Weisglass - who enjoys Sharon's complete trust - had little diplomatic experience when he took over as Sharon's bureau chief in April 2002. Nevertheless, it was Weisglass handling negotiations with Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice, and some of the most senior officials in the State Department. Weisglass's critics ask whether he might have missed some nuances that those with more experience may have picked up.
In addition, the internal discussions of the plan took place behind closed doors in the Prime Minister's Office - without the input of the Knesset or the cabinet. Ministers complained on numerous occasions that such a fateful plan should be brought to the cabinet for discussion, but Sharon's answer was that he was concerned about leaks, and that the plan would be brought for a full discussion in due course.
In addition, the Prime Minister's Office was operating on certain assumptions that - in retrospect - seem to have been faulty.
The first was a tendency to overplay the divisions between the State Department and the White House, and a penchant to disregard the clear signals coming from the State Department that it viewed the plan with utmost seriousness.
The second assumption was that the close personal relationship between Sharon and Bush would keep Bush from any arm twisting. It did not.
The third assumption was that the Palestinians would not take the reform measures needed to get to the road map's starting gates. Weisglass was quoted a few months ago as saying that the reform expectations placed on the Palestinians were so great that to perform them they would have to transform themselves into "Swedes with blue eyes." What was not taken into consideration, quipped one analyst, is that the Europeans would declare Mahmoud Abbas a Swede, gaze into his eyes and remark how wonderfully blue they are.
And the final mistaken assumption was that if Israel just rode out the Iraqi war - showing restraint and acting "responsibly" - new diplomatic vistas would open up, making the road map irrelevant.
Paradoxically, Iraq - and Sharon's reticence in the run up and during the war to enter into a conflict with Bush - kept the government from seriously challenging the road map. Notice how hard Sharon pushed to get publication of the plan delayed until after Iraq.
Instead, the opposite took place. Saddam Hussein is out of the way, "Iraq" has come and gone, but the road map is being pursued more forcefully now than ever.
How U.S. President Bush and Ariel Sharon Share in the Blame!Women in Green - Ruth Matar - Arutz Sheva English Program, May 28, 2003
Almost 2,000 years ago, the Jewish People were expelled from their homeland. Driven out from their land and homeless, they wandered from country to country throughout the centuries. Fifty-five years ago, with G-d's help, they finally merited their own state.
The People of Israel are intertwined with their land - all of it - from the depths of their very soul. All the prophets predicted that they would return - and lo and behold, this is happening in front of our eyes.
To counteract this, Muslim terrorists, backed by Arab dictatorships, have made it their mission to wage war against the restored State of Israel, vowing to battle until its destruction. They have one goal in mind: to steal the Promised Land from its rightful owners, the Jewish People.
Who could have dreamed that an Israeli Prime Minister and the United States President would collaborate with Muslim terrorists to deprive the Jewish People of their rightful heritage?
United States President Bush has abandoned Israel. He well knows that a Palestinian state will be a state of terror. He knows that militant Islam has waged a war against the West and that Palestinian terror is just part of this war against the whole Western Civilization. That is why the most popular graffiti on the walls of the Arab world is: "First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People."
Has President Bush forgotten how many Americans have been attacked by Muslim terrorists: the murder of two American diplomats in Sudan; the first World Trade Center bombing; the bombing of the Oklahoma Federal Building; the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; the downing of the TWA plane; the attack on the US Cole; the attack on the American embassies in Africa; attacks against American tourists all over the world; the recent bombings against American interests in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and this is only a partial list.
And surely President Bush has not forgotten how the Muslim terrorists murdered over 3,000 Americans in New York and Washington DC on 9/11! It certainly is difficult to forget how the Arabs celebrated their "victory" of 9/11 by dancing in the streets and handing out cakes and candy!
Is President Bush trying to forget that the State of Israel has had 15,000 terror attacks since the Oslo War started, and that 787 Jews have been murdered since September 2000 (the American equivalent would be 43,285 people), and that many thousands have been maimed for life?
Is President Bush trying to ignore the public reaction of Hizbullah to Israel's acceptance of his Road Map? The Hizbullah has called on their Muslim brethren to continue their terrorist activities, since the suicide attacks have achieved the "victory" over Sharon and Israel.
President Bush has called for a global war against terrorism. He has said that there would be no negotiating with terrorist elements. His famous and oft-quoted remark is: "You are either with us or against us in the war against terror." So, why has President Bush abandoned Israel, which has had 15,000 Arab terror attacks only since September 2000?
Many of us thought of Mr. Bush as a deeply devoted and religious Christian. Does he only use religion for political reasons when it fits his purpose? If he were a real Christian, he would realize the dangers of the "Road Map" to Israel and to the United States.
Ariel Sharon is just as guilty as President Bush, maybe even more so, in this betrayal of Israel. He is the elected leader of Israel and was chosen because he promised us security, but many more civilians have been killed on his watch than in all the years of Israel's statehood. That America has continually pressured Israel to show restraint is no excuse. Sharon's primary responsibility is toward the Jewish People, both in Israel and the rest of the world.
I have speculated in many of my previous radio programs as to what has happened to Ariel Sharon, the erstwhile hero of Israel, who helped to create many of the so-called "settlements" in Judea and Samaria. I have quoted from the many articles he has written, and also from his autobiography "Warrior". There is one passage in this book which I find particularly relevant.
Sharon tells us about his fervent desire to join an elite Jewish defense force, the Palmach. However, the Palmach turned over Jewish freedom fighters, those not aligned with them, to the British. This was in the early 1940s, during the so-called "season". The British either imprisoned these freedom fighters or executed them. Ariel Sharon's father, therefore, was adamantly opposed to his son joining the Palmach.
The following is a verbatim quote from Sharon's autobiography "WARRIOR": (pgs. 35 & 36)
"But it turned out that my father had other ideas. One day as we were working together in the orange groves, I glanced up and saw him looking at me, his face framed by the branches of a tree. With an expression full of concern he said, 'Arik, I want to tell you, anything you decide to do with your life is all right with me. But you have to promise me one thing. Never, never participate in turning Jews over to non-Jews. You must promise me that you will never do that.'Ariel Sharon has now done exactly what his father warned against. Just as the Palmach did during the "season", he plans to turn over fellow Jews of Judea and Samaria to the enemy. Is it a valid excuse that he is being pressured by President Bush? No, it isn't! We should recall that a brutal pressure by the United States administration (including a military embargo) did not deter Prime Minister Ben-Gurion from declaring independence in 1948, did not dissuade Prime Minister Eshkol from launching the preventive Six Day War in 1967, and did not prevent Prime Minister Begin from destroying the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.
Sharon said that he supported the Road Map, because it was not a formal agreement, and therefore he did not need to bring it to the Knesset. "This is a frame, not an agreement. We have a direction, not an agreement." This, of course, is playing with semantics on Sharon's part. Maybe that is why his father worried about him when he made him promise never, never to participate in turning Jews over to non-Jews. There is no getting away from it, Ariel Sharon. You have betrayed the People of Israel.
We have two important guests tonight, each in a different field, but both very committed true Zionists: Professor Sohar, a Professor of Medicine who has written a definitive book on American-Israeli relations "Israel - Concubine of the Middle East", and Michael Freund, former Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office.
(A recording of this entire program, including the interviews, is available on http://www.israelnationalnews.com Click on Radio/On Demand Audio)Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has betrayed not only the Jewish citizens of Israel, but the Jewish People as a whole, as well as the countless Jews who have yearned, and struggled, and died for this land. Nor should we forget the countless Christians who have worked with heart and soul for Israel - nor the overwhelming majority of American Congressmen and Senators who opposed the Road Map. We have all have been betrayed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He will go down in infamy in the annals of Jewish History for this betrayal of Israel.
US President George W. Bush is also a bitter disappointment. Maybe, after all, his father and former Secretary of State James Baker are indeed the primary influences on his presidency.
Former US President Bill Clinton was speaking at a White House ceremony in 1998, marking the 50th Anniversary of the State of Israel. He said the following: "As a Christian, I do not know how G-d, if He were to come down to earth, would divide the Land, over which there is dispute now."
Unfortunately, US President George W. Bush has gone even further. He talks about "occupied" land rather than "disputed" land. He doesn't wonder, as a Christian, how G-d would divide the land if He came down to earth. He has decided to divide the Holy Land on his own.
President George W. Bush must be made to understand that he will pay a heavy political price for pushing to create Palestine. American Jews and Christians must cry out in protest, not only against the Road Map itself, but against the vision behind it, of a terror state within the Holy Land. We have to put the President on notice that in the 2004 campaign, American Christians and Jews will forge a direct linkage between how they vote and how he acts towards Israel. The question is: Will he stand by the People of Israel as they struggle to preserve their ancestral homeland, or will he choose to defy the Divine Will and reward Arab terror with a state carved out of the heartland of Israel?
My fear is that the American People will think that Ariel Sharon represents the will of the Israeli People. This is very far from the truth. Mr. Sharon has always been a superb General and tactician. He outmaneuvered the Egyptian army in 1973. He outmaneuvered us, the Women in Green, when we tried to demonstrate against his policies in front of his residence. Sharon made two clever moves: he transferred the meeting to a different place, and he ordered all the public street lights turned off where our demonstration took place. We stood in the pitch dark, not being seen by anyone.
Likewise, he outmaneuvered the Likud Knesset Members by not allowing them time to discuss the Road Map proposal. Sharon was accused of going against procedure by failing to bring the issue to his own Likud Party prior to the vote, but instead forced the 23 Cabinet Ministers of the entire coalition into an immediate vote. The vote was actually a cliffhanger: 12 for, 7 against, and 4 abstaining ministers, who had previously declared they were absolutely against the Road Map. In effect, then, the vote was actually 12 to 11. The pressure used by Sharon to convince the 4 Likud ministers to abstain was his old canard: "This is a dangerous time to go against the United States." Sharon also said that it was unnecessary to let the whole Knesset vote on this question, as "this is only a frame, not an agreement. we have a direction, not an agreement." Who is he fooling?
Why does Sharon not want to bring the Road Map agreement to the Knesset? Why does he prevent Israelis from demonstrating against his policies? Only dictators try to suppress the expression of the will of their people!
It is therefore very important that American Jews and Christians, who live under a truly democratic government, strongly express their opinions to their Senators and Congressmen by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard 202-224-3121. Most importantly, call President George W. Bush, or fax the President at 202-456-2461. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The message is simple and powerful:
NO to the Road MapTherefore, in the call to your Senators, also ask them to vote in favor of concurrent Senate Resolution 32, and when you call your Congressman, ask him to vote in favor of concurrent House Resolution 150.
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
“We are not occupiers. This is the homeland of the Jewish people.”—P.M. Ariel Sharon, who earlier this week caused an uproar for using the word ‘occupation’ to describe Israeli rule over Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, backtracked from his remarks, explaining that what he had meant was that it is “not desirable to rule over another people.”
If the Arabs put down their weapons today - there would be no more violence.
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