Since 1976 the 4th of July marked two significant events in the free world, one ensured the dominance of Western thought throughout the world and the other taught us how to keep civilization alive. The American Revolution, as a seminal event, needs no embellishment here, however the other event might. Twenty-seven years ago, on July 4th, elite Israeli Special Forces rescued 105 Jewish and Israeli hostages from the hands of Arab Palestinian terrorists at the Entebbe airport in Uganda.
The fact that twenty-seven years have passed since the otherwise left-oriented government of Israel took dramatic efforts to destroy the murderous purposes of terrorists won’t be marked with great fanfare. There won’t be television specials, in-depth analysis in the newspapers, nor will pundits around the United States opine on the rescue at Entebbe. For shame, on the contrary, we should all be stirred to righteous determination while the heroics of Entebbe are retold once again. It comes as no surprise, however, that Entebbe will again be forgotten. There is no sorrow over the fact that the great courage of the IDF is ignored, but rather what is so very distasteful is that the lessons of Entebbe have been lost. Following the evil terror actions of 9/11, Entebbe should have been America’s blueprint for the War on Terror. And for a brief moment in time it actually appeared that it was. But alas, “The Road Map” is upon us.
And that is a tragedy, because this summer, with the imposition of “The Road Map” to peace and the outrageous notion of terrorist “cease fires,” it is very instructional to review just how Israelis and the western world used to respond to terror. The action of Entebbe not only saved lives, but also produced new facts on the ground and important policy commitments.
The years of the mid-1970s were among the worst for Israel in the arena of international relations. In the aftermath of Israel’s nearly disastrous Yom Kippur War, the United Nations had turned sharply and most viciously against Israel. Yassir Arafat was permitted to address the UN General Assembly. The UN General Assembly ultimately passed the infamous “Zionism is Racism” resolution. The PLO’s terrorists were being hailed by Europeans as well as America’s new left as freedom fighters. In Africa and Asia, communist guerillas hailed the terrorists as comrades in arms.
Domestically, Israel was not fairing any better. Israel’s economy was on the decline and unemployment and inflation were on the rise. A retired general, Yitzhak Rabin, led a government mired in controversy, partisan political infighting and scandal. The nation’s morale had sunk to unprecedented depths. In 1977, an Israeli electorate grown weary of the Israeli left’s incompetence and stagnation voted in Menachem Begin. He and the heirs of the Jabotinsky Zionist tradition had won leadership for the first time in Zionist history.
In the midst of these troubled times, the PFLP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) with the aid of German terrorists hijacked an Air France jetliner filled with Israeli and Jewish passengers and flew them to Entebbe, Uganda. The ordeal of the hostages in Entebbe, and the flamboyant antics of Uganda’s Muslim dictator, Idi Amin, drew the attention of the world away from the American bicentennial celebration. As the terrorist threat to randomly murder a Jewish or Israeli hostage every hour until their demands were met, more attention was drawn to the drama.
The Israeli response to the terrorists was simple and direct: “Israel does not negotiate with terrorists!” The success of the rescue operation, launched after Israel used the subterfuge of a compromise, was spectacular. Over ninety hostages were rescued, with just a few hostage casualties; the one fatality among the Israeli commandos was Col. Yoni Netanyahu, whose younger brother Benjamin would later be elected Israel’s prime minister.
Israel was seen by world opinion as having triumphed over international terrorism. The morale of the Israeli people was lifted. The Israeli army regained its reputation earned in the stunning victories of the Six Day War and its self-confidence was restored.
The PLO and other terrorist groups would start a long decline in the aftermath of Entebbe and especially after Camp David and the retreat of the PLO from Beirut during Israel’s Peace for Galilee campaign in Lebanon and remain irrelevant to Middle East current events until after the launch of the first intifada uprising in 1987.
The lessons to learn from Entebbe are simple and yet profound. When the victim of terror stands tall with conviction and moral clarity. Further, when instead of cowering, the victim unapologetically faces down evil, when its does not retreat from its responsibilities to its citizens and it perceives that it is right and its enemies are wrong – the world can see that its cause is just.
When the United States and most importantly, Israel, follows the lessons learned from Entebbe, they will regain power and prestige and its enemy’s retreat and decline. Appeasing the enemy never works. And on this 227th anniversary of American Independence, let us remember that the British were not driven from American soil through appeasement but by a triumph of arms. So too, will the terrorists be defeated by strength, perseverance and moral vision. If President George Bush has lost his bearing, it must be Israel and American Jewry that redirects this administration’s direction. Celebrate and honor the 27th Anniversary of Entebbe.
Arno Weinstein is the Executive Vice President and National Director of the American Friends of Israel’s National Union. The National Union is Israel’s largest politically conservative voting bloc and holds two cabinet posts and seven Knesset seats.See also The Lesson Of Entebbe
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Listening to US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, they seem to be determined not to be midwives to a new terrorist state. The road map is supposed to prevent such a state from coming about.
Yet there is no escaping that the cease-fire that Israel is expected to accept will result in such a state, or the ultimate continuation of the war to eradicate the nascent Palestinian "unity government" of terror.
The "initiative," as last night's internal Palestinian agreement among the terrorist groups now attacking Israel is called, is not really a cease-fire, but a set of demands on Israel in order to agree to a cease-fire. Just one of these demands is the release of all the terrorists Israel has captured so far.
Israel has made such releases as part of the Oslo Accords, only to find these same terrorists killing again when the agreement falls apart. This mistake must not be repeated.
The idea of releasing terrorists who have been given multiple life sentences for the murders they committed is repugnant. If the Palestinians were signing a comprehensive peace accord with Israel, considering such a step might be understandable. Why, however, should Israel release terrorists when the Palestinian side is not even claiming that the end to terror is a permanent one? The murky Israel-Palestinian Authority agreement reached Friday does not seem to include major demands put forward by each side: prisoner releases by Israel and confiscation of weapons by the PA. Israel did commit to withdrawing to its pre-September 2000 positions in the Gaza Strip, and the PA to ending incitement and enforcing the cease-fire.
Few expect this cease-fire will hold, but in a sense the bigger question is what if it does? What has been accomplished? According to The New York Times, there is a consensus even between the US State and Defense departments, which have been divided over policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, that dismantling Hamas is a sine qua non. Even the road map, already in Phase I, requires the PA to "begin sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure." But if Hamas and other groups accept the intra-Palestinian "initiative" in the works, it will be precisely to stave off their dismantlement. If the alternative to the cease-fire is dismantling Hamas, why is the cease-fire a good thing?
What is happening now is reminiscent of the years 1991 to 1993, during which the PLO saw itself to be in mortal danger, having been dropped like a stone by Saudi Arabia and other countries for supporting Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. The result was the Oslo Accords, which not only resuscitated the PLO but put it in charge of a proto-state.
Now September 11 and the war in Iraq have ostensibly deprived the Palestinians, whether the PLO or Hamas, of the tool of terrorism and a major base of support. Now the question is: Will the forces seeking Israel's destruction themselves be destroyed, or will they be resuscitated and given a more permanent base once again?
Unlike the last time, it is evident that this is not just a question for Israel, but for America's global war against terrorism. The formation of a terrorist state at a time when such regimes are supposed to be toppled or tamed would be a stinging blow to the Bush Doctrine and to the vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratizing Middle East.
If the US is serious, it must jetison the fantasy that a PA headed by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas will dismantle Hamas, an organization that it just invited into the government. Abbas, in many respects, is like Mikhail Gorbachev during the waning days of the Soviet Union: a reformer whose goals, however encouraging they might seem, are directed toward saving an unsalvagable system rather than tearing it down.
The effect of the cease-fire is to save Hamas and of the road map to save the PA.
The current attempt to avoid the unavoidable will be costly. How many more Israelis and Palestinians will have to die for the US to learn what it already knows?
A year ago, Bush said that peace requires a "new and different Palestinian leadership... not compromised by terror." This is not it, nor does it have a chance of becoming it. A PA that welcomes Hamas inside itself, or leaves Hamas, not to mention its own Fatah forces, intact to murder another day is not a step closer to fulfilling Bush's vision, but a step further away.
Every failed revolution in modern times has had its fellow travelers, a phenomenon hard to define but easy to recognize. Picasso was one; Jean-Paul Sartre, another; FDR's vice president, Henry Wallace, a third. Two, three decades later, Susan Sontag would also put her words to work for the brutal engineers of soul and society.
There were literally tens of thousands of these influentials in the United States and elsewhere in the West. And the revolutions of the left did not have a monopoly on fellow-traveling. In the 1930s, there were lots of fellow travelers of Nazism, too: Charles Lindbergh, Ezra Pound, the duke of Windsor and many others.
Many fellow travelers went exuberantly from one decaying communism to another, seriatim, from the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of China to Castroite Cuba and Vietnam and then to Sandinista Nicaragua, never quite realizing they would soon feel the need to move on again.
But move on they would, armed as always -- as author David Caute put it -- with their usual arsenal of "bifocal lenses, double standards, a myopic romanticism."
Of course, there is now no world revolution into which these deluded folk can vest their ardors, as yesteryear's fellow travelers did when extolling the nonexistent -- but exemplary -- democratic virtues of Stalin's Russia or of some other transformatory idyll. Only certified kooks are in the business these days of changing the nature of man.
So the present-day romantics, who at home typically despise the idea of the nation-state and the realities of national interest, are left with often contrived and almost always murderous nationalisms to adore. The nationalism du jour is Palestinian nationalism.
It was the British political historian David Pryce-Jones who, I think, first made the analogy between the old fellow travelers and the new, between those who romanticized the Soviets and those who now romanticize Palestinian (and Islamic) terrorism.
Not that all Palestinians are terrorists, not at all, although polls show an overwhelming proportion of them to be supporters of terrorism. But terrorism happens to be the defining paradigm of the Palestinian cause. Thus it is terrorism that is being supported by the American and British university professors who demand that their institutions divest from companies invested in Israel. And it is terrorism that is being supported by scientists and other academics who propose institutional and personal boycotts of Israeli intellectuals.
In any case, the political pilgrims from abroad drawn to the Palestinian cause seem, almost unfailingly, to be lured to those whose very vocation is terror.
Take, for example, the International Solidarity Movement, a nongovernmental organization ensconced in Gaza. The two British Muslims recruited by Hamas who blew up Mike's Place, a blues pub in Tel Aviv, moved in and out of Israel from the territories with remarkable ease, aided by ISM activists.
On its own Web site, the ISM admits to supporting the Palestinian right to "legitimate armed struggle." This did not keep much of the press from calling the organization "pacifist." Not surprisingly, Linda Gradstein, Jerusalem correspondent for NPR (now widely known as National Palestine Radio), is one of these. On "All Things Considered," she blithely characterized ISM as "committed to nonviolent resistance." Well, it cannot, after all, be committed to both. And it isn't. Its activities are dovetailed with the needs of Hamas. It stages media events for the murder militias, and sometimes its own volunteers get hurt -- or even killed, as one American was by an Israeli bulldozer. The best you can say of them is that they are gulled. But this is not bravery; it is stupidity.
Unlike the deluded men who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and thought they were putting their lives on the line against Hitlerism while they were actually risking their lives for Stalinism, there are no such daydreams available to the partisans of Palestine.
Let us concede, as I do, that the Palestinians need a state. But let us also concede that, had not the Palestinians started a bloody insurrection in the midst of negotiations with Israel during the fall of 2000 and turned that into a Walpurgisnacht of unrelenting terror, they would already have a state and be on their way to as robust an independence as they could manage -- contingent only on the peacefulness of their borders.
But why should the cause of independent Palestine resonate with idealists and international moralists? After all, there are dozens of historic nations and peoples, some more numerous than the Palestinians, who are stateless and powerless in the world. There are, living among the Arabs themselves, the Berbers and the Kurds, who have no established political power. Even in Europe, where the nation-state was born, there are nations deprived of independence. Do they and the more numerous stateless peoples of Asia and Africa not merit solidarity and support for independence? What is so special about the Palestinians?
Actually, nothing. Except that their neighbors are the Jews. There is certainly no reason to believe that independent Palestine will be an ethical advance over the other long-independent and, at best, autocratic states in the Arab world, some of them barbarisms.
The truth is that no one who has had a real hearing among the Palestinians has ever articulated a vision of Palestine that is premised on an idea of social justice, a new relationship between the classes, among the clans and tribes, between the sexes. Believe me, Palestine will not be a democratic state because Palestine is not a democratic or tolerant society. This is in devastating contrast to the Zionist enterprise that had true ideals about how human beings and political difference were to be treated, ideals that were turned to realities.
The contrast is not an abstraction. We've had nearly a decade of Palestinian rule in the West Bank and Gaza and, between 1976 and 1982, six years of Palestinian rule over southern Lebanon to judge this empirically. There is no mystery about how its courts are run and how its press is manipulated and terrorized. No one actually imagines an independent judiciary or a truly free and competitive press in Palestine. Even though Palestinians work enormously hard, there is no animating dream of what a productive and fair economy would look like. What one sees way in the future is a corrupt corporatism engineered by those who hold political power.
Palestine will soon have its political expression in statehood. On the night it happens, gunshots will echo throughout the Arab streets -- to the rest of the world, a peculiar way of celebrating. Still, it will be a celebration. And on the long morrow, there won't be much disenchantment because nothing truly fundamental will have ever been promised or even envisioned.
Dictatorship will settle its rule onto independent Palestine, as it had during the long struggle. Civil strife will follow, and likely another dictatorship will replace the first.
And the borders of Palestine will not be still. But, by then, the fellow travelers of the Palestinian revolution will be gone, some of them on to other causes, most of them (like the veterans of the 1960s) nursing their heady memories for retelling to their children. Heady memories...and lies.
I don't know about you, but with each passing day I find it more and more difficult to listen to the news. I can feel my pulse begin to quicken as the radio announcer declares Israel's intention to withdraw in response to Palestinian terror.
Disbelief gives way to a swelling sense of fury as the weakness of our leadership grows ever more apparent. Have they learned nothing from the past? Hundreds of innocents are dead and thousands of others have been injured thanks to their shortsightedness and stupidity.
Drunk with arrogance they sought to tear this land and this people apart, empowering our enemies in their reckless pursuit of an illusory daydream. Their false hopes of peace should have been discarded long ago as the foolish concessions they offered elicited little more than a spasm of fatal Palestinian terrorism.
Nonetheless, our leaders go on, pulling back Israel's troops where they should be advancing, capitulating to terror instead of combating it.
Not surprisingly, the results are no different from those of the past. Just hours after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza on Sunday, the Palestinians responded in predictable fashion. A mortar shell was fired at a Jewish community in Gush Katif, bullets were sprayed at an Israeli army outpost near Rafah, and an anti-tank missile was launched near Neve Dekalim.
In Judea and Samaria on Sunday night, Palestinian gunmen shot at the Givat Avot neighborhood of Kiryat Arba. North of Tulkarem, two bombs were thrown at Israeli troops on Monday while firebombs were tossed at Israeli civilian vehicles west of Bethlehem.
Then there were Monday's two shooting attacks, one of which left a foreign worker dead. The Al-Aksa Brigades of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction did not hesitate to claim responsibility for this heinous act.
For nearly a decade Israel has withdrawn, redeployed, pulled out and dismantled. And for a nearly a decade the Palestinians have replied with nothing more than violence and bloodshed. Enough is enough. How many more innocents will have to die before the government ceases to saunter down the path of defeat? How many more lives will have to be ruined before the folly of appeasement is at last thrust aside?
There was a time when even Prime Minister Ariel Sharon seemed to appreciate this. Just a year and a half ago he invoked an analogy that was startling both in its prescience and in its timing. With the United States preparing to launch its global war against terrorism in the hills and valleys of Afghanistan, Sharon stood before the microphones and issued a courageous warning to US President George W. Bush.
"Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense," Sharon said. "Israel will not be Czechoslovakia."
Yet that is precisely what Israel is shaping up to be. With barely a whimper the sovereign government of the State of Israel is acceding to its own demise, proceeding down a road map that will lead inexorably to calamity and defeat.
At a campaign fundraiser in Florida on Monday Bush proudly told his listeners, "Terrorists declared war on the United States, and war is what they got." Sharon, by contrast, can make no such claim. For although terrorists have indeed declared war on the Jewish state, what they have gotten in return have been concessions and appeasement.
BUT IT IS not too late for Sharon to act, to rise to the enormity of the moment and save Israel from dismemberment. The past few days have shown once again the futility of relying on others to defend us and ensure our safety and well-being.
The Palestinian Authority will not stop the terrorist groups, just as it has done nothing to stop them over the past 10 years. To think otherwise is to engage in a dangerous form of self-delusion, one that ignores the PA's track record in planning, financing and carrying out acts of violence and terror against the Jewish state.
The only answer, the only way to emerge from this senseless quicksand threatening to engulf us is for Israel to do what it should have done long ago - send in the troops and reassert permanent and complete military control over Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Rather than being rewarded with statehood, the Palestinian Authority should instead be punished with removal. A terrorist regime that harbors terrorist groups needs to be dealt with accordingly.
Israel must stop worrying so much about how Colin Powell will react and start worrying a little more about the lives of its citizens. This means dismantling the Palestinian Authority, disarming the terrorist groups and declaring, at last, an end to the delusion that a false peace can be reached with those who seek our demise.
As important as Israel's relationship with Washington may be, it pales in comparison with protecting the lives of innocent Jewish men, women and children. Diplomacy has a role to play, but when it comes to safeguarding the welfare of its citizens, Israel has no choice but to put aside all other considerations and act to defend itself and its citizens.
Doing so will not be easy. It will strain relations with Washington, provoke outrage in Europe and invite condemnation in the halls of the UN. But if it saves even one Jewish life, which it surely will, and if it thwarts even one Palestinian terrorist attack, which it definitely will, it will most certainly have been worth the effort.
The Palestinians had their chance, on more than one occasion, and they blew it. They could have had a state, they could have made a deal, - with Ehud Barak, with Shimon Peres, even with Yitzhak Rabin. But they chose instead to continue the killing, and so they have no one to blame but themselves for the outcome.
As he considers his options in the coming days Sharon would do well to recall the words of Winston Churchill, who inspired his nation to stand firm in the face of daunting aggression. Speaking to Britain's war cabinet in May 1940, after the debacle of Dunkirk, Churchill noted that history had shown there were two types of nations. "Those which went down fighting rose again," he said. "But those who surrendered tamely were finished."
The choice now facing Israel is equally clear: It can take a stand for freedom and defend itself against the Palestinian foe, or surrender tamely to pressure from abroad and watch its security and independence wither away.
Here's hoping the people of Israel will finally awaken to the gravity of the current situation and press Sharon to free us from this madness once and for all. The future of the country may very well hang in the balance.
The writer served as deputy director of communications & policy planning in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office.
"We didn't hear about any arrests. I have no idea what President Arafat was talking about."- PA security official on Arafat's claim that the killers of a foreign worker near Jenin had been apprehended.
BETHLEHEM CONFERENCE DENOUNCES CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS(IsraelNationalNews.com) The leading Palestinian Authority daily, Aal-Hayat al-Jadida, carried a report this week (July 2, 2003) on a recent three-day conference in the city of Bethlehem, which focused, in part, on Christian Zionism in America. According to the newspaper, "the speakers emphasized that Zionist Christianity is not connected to Christianity in any way." Palestinian Media Watch provided the English translation of the article.
The newspaper reports that in their remarks at the conference, "Archbishop Munib Yunan, Dr. Manuel Chassasian, and Father Marun Laham agreed unanimously that those involved with Zionist Christianity should be expunged, by establishing committees from the local and Middle Eastern Churches, for the purpose of conducting conferences in America, where there are around fifty million of them [Christian Zionists]. The speakers stated that [Christian Zionists] are opposed to the Road Map and are against the Palestinian rights."
Conference President Doctor Jarris Khouri's lecture equated the "return" of Jesus and the "return" of Arab refugees seeking immigration to Israel. He said that "the return of Messiah from Egypt to Palestine bears a meaning of the return of peace, rights, justice and freedom," and that the "return of the [Palestinian] refugees bears the same meaning and consequences." "Khouri stressed that without this there will not be a just peace," the paper said.
23 Reasons To Oppose The Creation
Of A Second Palestinian-Arab State In Yesha
by Joseph Alexander Norland - IsraPundit.Com
The object of this 23-article series is to provide a resource that is not only reliable and well documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from the web. The term "second Palestinian-Arab state" is used in order to underscore that one Palestinian-Arab state already exists: Jordan, which is located in the part of eastern Palestine that was originally to have been part of the Jewish National Home.
This is an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file. Free Reader required.
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