When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visits with President Bush next week, he will ask a question on the minds of many Israelis: What if the "road map" for peace fails?
While Mr. Sharon will reaffirm his government's commitment to seeking ways to make the U.S.-backed plan work, the increasing evidence that the Palestinians are unable or unwilling to keep their end of the bargain is raising the obvious question of what to do if the peace efforts collapse.
This issue was raised during a recent visit to Washington by Israel's former minister of internal security, Uzi Landau.
To date, it seems, none of the four architects of the so-called road map — the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States — has given much thought to the prospect of failure.
They appear more interested in meeting their own self-imposed road-map deadlines than in the realities on the ground. Yet it is the realities, not the deadlines, that will ultimately determine success or failure.
For example, the United States, which declared last year that it would no longer deal with Yasser Arafat, is turning a blind eye to the reality that Mr. Arafat is continuing to call the shots. And all four sponsors of the road map are ignoring the reality that the Palestinians have refused to disarm their terrorist organizations, one of the plan's most urgent requirements.
The Palestinian leadership claims it is powerless to disarm the terrorists or dismantle their infrastructure, as called for by the road map. Instead of insisting that they comply, the sponsors are taking the easier route: pressuring Israel to make even more concessions than called for in the plan.
So far, while the Palestinians have done little or nothing, Israel has withdrawn troops from parts of Gaza and the West Bank, dismantled dozens of unauthorized settlements, eased roadblocks and other travel restrictions, released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and offered to pay the Palestinian government millions of tax dollars.
Instead of reciprocating, the Palestinians say they can't move forward unless Israel does more. They are now calling for the release of all prisoners, including known terrorists and murderers, faster dismantling of Jewish settlements, further withdrawal of Israeli troops and removal of all restrictions on Yasser Arafat.
These demands are accompanied by threats from the Palestinian terrorist leaders that unless Israel complies, they will resume their suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.
This is not the way it was supposed to be. The demands go well beyond the road map.
Yet incredibly, the other road map sponsors — the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — are providing the Palestinians with public support on these issues.
Worse, they have declared that they intend to continue to deal directly with Mr. Arafat as the recognized leader of the Palestinians, regardless of the wishes of the United States and Israel and of the many Palestinian moderates who are sick of Mr. Arafat's corruption.
By conferring this recognition on Mr. Arafat, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia seriously undermine the authority of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to conduct further negotiations with Israel, thereby making the chances of success far less likely. In effect, they are torpedoing their own road map.
At the same time, they appear to be deliberately snubbing Mr. Bush, who has declared that the United States will not deal with Mr. Arafat and has demanded that the terrorists be disarmed and their infrastructure dismantled. They also insult Israel, without whom, needless to say, no progress can be made.
Ariel Sharon is well aware of the politics involved, and the desire of the United States to not only bring peace to the Middle East, but to improve its still strained relations with Europe. He will tell Mr. Bush that he will continue to do all he can to make the road map work.
But he will also remind the president that his primary responsibility is the security of the Israeli people. Neither he nor any other Israeli leader can compromise on this. They cannot be expected to make concession after concession without any indication that the Palestinians are willing or able to move against the terrorists, or seriously undertake any of the other obligations they undertook when they signed the road map.
And he will make it clear that unless things change, the road map is as good as dead.
Does the United States have a fallback plan?
It should. As things are going, it will almost certainly need one.
Tom Neumann is executive director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
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The "new" anti-Semitism is as virulent as ever, but it's often easy for Americans - Christian and Jew alike - not to notice.
Christians and Jews get along here. Evangelical Christians have become some of the best friends Jews have, and, for their part, most Jews are not as suspicious of Evangelical motives as they once were. Since the anti-Semites abroad regard America as the great Satan and Israel the little Satan, we all feel equal-opportunity hate.
Anti-Semitism is no longer the preserve of the Ku Klux Klan, the uneducated, the outcasts and the bigots of the night. The bigotries at home are nurtured now on the left, by domestic radicals allied with the usual suspects abroad. This is not easy for some of us to get used to.
Phyllis Chesler, a left-wing feminist, was a reluctant candidate to become a "professional Jew," as she puts it in The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It.
The role was thrust upon her by men and women she thought were her intellectual, emotional and social comrades in arms against injustice, but who took an irrational detour into vicious mendacity, spouting demented politically correct propaganda against Jews and Americans everywhere.
"I now find it necessary and sane to think tribally as well as internationally to think as an American and as a Jew who is concerned not only with justice for all but also with the survival of America and of the Jewish people," she writes. "Islamic reactionaries and Western intellectuals and progressives who may disagree on every other subject have agreed that Israel and America are the cause of all evil. Israel has fast become the Jew of the world - scorned, scapegoated, demonized and attacked."
Angry words, but amply documented. She shows how the new antiracist (so called) anti-Zionist shares a common hatred with the old anti-Semite. She won't separate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism, but cuts to the core of obfuscation and hypocrisy, recalling how Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to a student who attacked Zionism: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."
She gets to the point of why Israel's enemies abroad, with no appreciation of the pluralism on which democracy thrives, hate America, too: "In many ways the state of Israel towers above its neighbors both morally, politically, and in terms of religious freedoms."
As a feminist, she's particularly outraged that many feminists have muted their criticism of Islamist misogyny, or how others are oblivious to their own self-interests. What could be more ludicrous, she asks, than to see grown men marching against Zionism behind a banner proclaiming "Queers for Palestine." Queer, indeed. If these men lived in an Islamic culture they would be harassed - or worse. Much worse.
Some of the enemies she identifies are familiar. Noam Chomsky, whose anti-Israel and anti-American books are best sellers on campus, catalogs the imperfections of American and Israeli democracies but forgives the total lack of democracy in Islamic countries. Edward Said, the "prestigious" professor of literature at Columbia University, compares the Palestinians under Israeli rule to the plight of the European Jews under the Third Reich.
What has emerged in the past decade is how the new anti-Semitism has become politically and psychologically respectable among western intellectual elites: "The American and European Left have made a marriage in hell with their Islamic terrorist counterparts."
The new anti-Semitism drips into the mainstream with surprising ease. Since she went to print, a popular columnist in The Observer, one of the most popular of Britain's liberal papers, piously announced that he would no longer even read letters to the editor about anti-Semitism if they were signed with Jewish names.
The Chicago Tribune, with several newspapers following its lead, only recently ran a particularly nasty political cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stereotypical hooked nose and the Jewish star sewn on his jacket, staring down with pleasure as President Bush satisfies his greed by paving "the roadmap to peace" with dollar bills. (The Tribune apologized for failing to recognize the anti-Semitic slurs.)
The Belgian affiliate of Oxfam International, organized to fight poverty, posted a cartoon on its Web site depicting a slice of orange dripping with blood-red juice: "Israeli fruit tastes bitter. Say no to the occupation of Palestine. Don't buy any fruit from Israel." The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization," protested on its Web site with a reproduction of a Nazi poster from April 1933: "Germans! Protect yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!"
The new anti-Semitism passes unnoticed among those who should know better. Writes Phyllis Chesler: "In a politically correct, multicultural world, anti-Semitism is the last acceptable prejudice."
Even in America, the land of the free and the home of the bravest.
3. HAPPY HUDNA!
To give the Palestinians any credit in a month of 167 terrorist attacks is absurdBy Michael Freund - The Jerusalem Post - July 30, 2003
Today marks the one-month anniversary of the Palestinian terrorist organizations' decision to declare a temporary hudna, or cease-fire, in their ongoing campaign of murder and mayhem against Israel.
Reading the press, it would be easy to conclude that this is a date almost worthy of national celebration. Take, for example, a July 17 Associated Press dispatch, which asserted that "a temporary cease-fire declared by Palestinian militants on June 29 has brought a dramatic drop in violence."
And then there was Monday's issue of The Guardian, which declared that there has been "a sharp decline in terror since the end of June."
Dramatic drop in violence, sharp decline in terror - it almost makes you want to fling open your windows, sweep your arms through the air, and declare to the world: Happy Hudna!
But the reality, of course, is that there is very little to celebrate. For, despite the media's predictable attempts to cheerlead on behalf of the Palestinians, the fact is that anti-Israel terror has far from petered out.
According to statistics compiled by the IDF there have been a total of 167 Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel in the four weeks since the hudna went into effect. That averages out to about six Palestinian attacks per day, every day, over the past month.
A hundred and sixty-seven attacks. Think about that number for a second: 167 individual, separate attempts over a 30-day period to murder as many Jews as possible using knives, bullets, bombs and stones.
Is this really something to cheer about? After all, a cease-fire means that the Palestinians are supposed to cease the firing (hence the name). Does it really matter if instead of trying to kill Jews 300 times per month they have decided to temporarily "cut back" to just 167?
Others have cited the "relatively" low Israeli death toll in July as proof that the cease-fire is working, since "only" three Israelis and one foreign worker have been killed since the hudna went into effect.
Aside from the immoral nature of such a statement, which necessarily devalues the lives that were lost and the families that were destroyed, such an assertion is also patently false. It mistakenly assumes that the cease-fire is the primary reason why there has been a drop in the number of Israeli fatalities, ignoring the role played by the army's efforts to prevent attacks.
THUS, FOR example, in the second week of July the IDF captured three would-be suicide bombers in Hebron before they were able to carry out their attacks. On July 21 soldiers operating near Nablus found and dismantled a suicide belt containing 10 to 15 kilograms of explosives, while the day before a Palestinian near Jenin was killed when a bomb he was carrying exploded prematurely.
In other words, it is not that the Palestinians haven't been trying to kill Jews of late, it is just that they haven't been succeeding. If any one of the dozens of attacks thwarted by the army over the past month had not been stopped, the death toll for July might very well have been 40 instead of "just" four.
Hence, to give the Palestinians even a measure of credit in this regard is simply absurd.
Indeed, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has made it plain that he has no intention of disarming or disbanding the terrorist groups, who are now reportedly using the hudna to build over 1,000 Kassam rockets with a range of up to 20 km. for use against major Israeli cities (The Jerusalem Post, July 22).
And so, even with the cease-fire in place, the violence continues and the Palestinian terrorist buildup proceeds apace. In effect, then, the only thing that has really changed during the past month is the level of gullibility demonstrated by our leaders, who are quick to forget that the country is still under attack.
The first step toward emerging from this crisis is to return to our senses. Israel must remain firm in demanding zero tolerance of terror. And zero tolerance means zero attacks. Period.
Making excuses for the Palestinian leadership's failure to quash terror, or minimizing the extent of the violence itself, is merely a recipe for further bloodshed and carnage. For by doing so we come perilously close to accustoming ourselves to terrorism and even accepting it as part of our daily lives.
And that is something which no nation in the world should ever have to tolerate.
Only by dismantling the Palestinian terrorist regime that has arisen alongside Israel - and removing the terrorist threat once and for all - can we possibly hope to enjoy true peace and security.
And only once Abu Mazen and his Hamas and Islamic Jihad accomplices are removed from the scene will we truly be able to say, with feeling and even a measure of joy: Happy hudna to all, and to all a good night.
The writer served as deputy director of communications & policy planning in the Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu.
We Cannot Negotiate With Terrorists. Seriously.by Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman - Jewsweek.com - July 24, 2003
Editorial note: There were many pro-Israel rallies held this past Sunday (July 20) across the nation in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem. One, in front of the Israeli Consulate in downtown Atlanta, had nearly 200 people from across the denominational and religious spectrum, who showed up in support of the Jewish state. One of the speakers at the event was Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob in Atlanta. His remarks appear below:
Thank you, Reverend Lawler, and thank you all for being here today. Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord.
We are united by many things:
We are united in our love for the people of Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle East;
We are united in our respect and admiration for Israel, which has shown great courage, both in fighting the wars that have been forced upon it, and in exploring every possible road to peace;
And we are united as proud Americans, who find ourselves in a similar conflict with an enemy that seeks to terrorize us and dismantle our way of life.
As Americans, during these past 22 months, we have come to realize certain rules -- basic principles -- that Israel has known for quite some time.
Among these realities are:
Negotiation and terrorism do not go together. Negotiation is something civilized humans do, and when someone embraces terror to kill your people, they are kind of hinting to you that they are not civilized;
If your partner at the table is a statesman by day and a terrorist at night;
If your partner across the table is a diplomat in English and a murderer in Arabic; he does not accept your right to exist and you should not be talking to him;
If terrorism is tolerated anywhere in the world, it will come to your backyard. If you expect your allies to negotiate with terrorists, terrorists will expect you to negotiate with them as well.
That is why we are gathered here today. The realization of basic facts unites us in supporting Israel and its security as it embarks courageously on this roadmap to peace.
We encourage the world to remember:
Which country it is that has already transferred almost all of Hebron, all of Jericho, all of Nablus, all of Bethlehem, all of Jenin, and many other cities to the control of the Palestinian Authority, and offered much more, when it thought there was even a slim chance for peace;
Which country it is that recognized the Palestinian Authority when it thought, in so doing, there was a chance for peace;
Which country it is that has suffered the loss of hundreds of civilians whose only crime was to go shopping by bus, or to eat pizza in a store, or to sleep in their own bedroom, or attend a Passover seder, or celebrate a bar mitzvah, or have a coffee, or dance at a night club, since the last time it embarked on a road map to peace, and still that country looks eagerly for a negotiating partner to emerge;
We encourage the world to remember these facts, too:
Which society it is that has glorified suicide as a ticket to Heaven;
Which society it is that prints textbooks that show no Israel on the map, of any size at all;
Which society it is that has still, 10 years after it promised in Oslo, refused to clearly, unambiguously accept the right of the Jews to live in a land of their own in the Holy Land;
Which society it is that calls murderers of women and kindergarten children "freedom fighters";
Which society it is in which one risks life and limb to demonstrate for freedom or free and open elections;
Which society so despises its own children that it would train them to kill themselves and use them as examples for other children;
There is another point I'm sure we all agree on: the enemy America faces embraces the same ideology as those who seek to destroy Israel.
As a religious leader I say this: I have heard it said that the suicide bomber, the likes of which killed thousands of my fellow citizens on a beautiful Tuesday morning in September, is representative of a fringe element, that Islam is a religion of peace, that America is not at war with Islam as a religion.
I hope this is true. I would like to believe this is true. But I am confused.
Where is the universal, and loud, and consistent, outcry of the Imams?
Where is the condemnation from the mosques of Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and Jordan, and Iraq, and Palestine, and, yes, my fellow Americans, where is the universal condemnation from the mosques of America?
Whether it is fringe or mainstream, let us face this reality squarely: if we think we are fighting a purely military battle, and refuse to acknowledge that we are engaged in a war of ideas, we will never win this war. Our greatest weapon is our belief, and we should be governed by clarity of conviction and faith.
I pray that God continues to give Israel the strength and courage to pursue peace. And I pray that, as Israel embarks once again on a search for a road to peace, that she is provided with a partner across the table that has joined the community of civilized nations. For this to happen, Israel must be guided by the same clarity and courage as President Bush and these great United States:
The clarity of President Bush that sent troops and guns to Afghanistan, and not diplomats;
The courage that sent planes and armies to the Butcher of Baghdad, and not messages of appeasement;
The moral clarity that is not afraid to use the word "evil doers", because that's what our enemies are.
Yes, God expects us to love our neighbor.
Yes, God expects us to negotiate when we disagree.
But God expects us to call murder and cowardice by its real name: evil.
And we are never to accommodate or negotiate with evil.
Alan Dershowitz defends Israel. The famous lawyer makes the case for the Holy Land.
In September 2003, Alan Dershowitz will be releasing a revolutionary new book called "The Case for Israel" which will, in classic legal fashion, lay out the case for the Jewish State. In conjunction with the book's publisher, Jewsweek has been able to get a sneak peek at Dershowitz's latest and is now able to share with our readers the first ten pages of the upcoming book.
"Israel's fight is our fight. And so shall it be until the last terrorist on earth is in a cell or a cemetery."- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
"One of the unchallenged axioms of American civic religion is that each and every group of people on earth must consist of an "overwhelmingly vast majority of decent, hard-working, honest people, who want peace and are tolerant and freedom-loving and anti-violence."- From King Sweeney Meets Bin Laden by Steven Plaut
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