July/August 2000


by Elyakim Ha'etzni Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio Broadcast on Aug. 18, 2000 / Av 17, 5760 In this article:
1. The Real Way to Paradise
2. Reality Mocks All Theories
3. The Problem is Arab, not Palestinian
4. Rabin's House
5. "No Solution" is the Solution
6. Slaying Sacred Cows on Both Sides


"He is a holy martyr. He will attain Paradise." We are used to hearing such sentiments voiced by Arab families from Samaria only to glorify the names and memories of slain terrorists. Most recently, however, they were uttered following the death of 24-year-old Omri Jada, a father of two whose wife was pregnant. Jada recently jumped into the waters of the Kinneret to save a Jewish child, but unfortunately drowned himself.

This is not an isolated case. In June of this year, after Ahmed Frej died in a traffic accident, his family donated his organs; they were transplanted to eight recipients. The deceased was named after his grandfather who was murdered in the Kfar Kassem massacre of 1956. His other grandfather, Mahmud, who was wounded in the same incident, said, "Despite all that our family has experienced, we didn't take the past into consideration. We just wanted to make many Jewish families happy. We have no desire for vengeance. This will lead to rapprochement between Jewish and Arab hearts."

In 1998, the family of yet another traffic accident victim - this time from the El-Burej refugee camp in Gaza - donated his organs, and explained: "This will foster better relations between the two peoples. Our blood is identical."

In a special file in my archives, entitled "Light," I found yet another case, and there are probably many others. Veteran Kiryat Arba residents, including myself, can recall from personal experience the assistance which Arabs render Jewish travelers in distress on the roads. Only two weeks ago, an Arab neighbor surprised us by passing on through the fence a sack of cucumbers that he had just harvested from his field, accompanied with his blessings.


I have noted these items not in order to depict a non-existent idyllic state of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Amidst the personal and human relations which each of us has probably experienced, there is the familiar terror: rocks, Molotov cocktails, hostile acts, and more. These very days, we are readying defensive measures to counter violent Arab forays into our communities, while at the same time these communities are filled with Arabs in building, services, trade and industry. Along with the examples of light that I have cited, one can juxtapose many cases of "darkness." For example, not a few times have Jewish ambulances rushed to rescue of Arab victims, only to be simultaneously targeted by Arab stone throwers.

This, then, is the true picture - a mixture of light and darkness. As someone once said, "It's impossible with the Arabs, and it's impossible without them." Undoubtedly there are Arabs who say the same thing about us. Reality mocks all the theories.

Ehud Barak, implementer of the program of "Peace Now," himself makes use of the expression made famous by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane: "They will be there - we will be here." Here, then, is proof that the principle of separation is common to the extreme left and the extreme right. At the junction of theories that cannot be implemented in reality ­ the extremes meet.


Many theories were shattered at Camp David. The left wing's assumption that the "Palestinian problem is the heart of the conflict" is but one example.

Barak - and those who foolishly idolize him ­ take pride in his "courage to place everything on the table" at Camp David, and to dare touch upon the "exposed nerves", including Jerusalem ­ the real heart of the conflict with the Palestinians. What emerged from that summit, however, is that the very heart of the conflict is not Palestinian, but Pan-Arab. Mubarak, and the Arab world as a whole, will not grant Arafat a free hand to compromise on Jerusalem. Arafat, too, admitted at Camp David: "I am not the boss of this house…"

Let us recall a dialogue between two Arab rulers at the Amman Conference of 1987, cited by Ma'ariv (Nov. 30, 1987): Assad of Syria: "Palestine is mine, part of Syria. There was never an independent state called Palestine." Hussein of Jordan: "The appearance of a distinct Palestinian national personality emerged for the purpose of rebutting the Israeli argument that Palestine is Jewish..."

It emerges, then, that the attempt to bring about the end of the conflict with the Arab world by turning Jerusalem over to Arafat - and the Jordan Valley to the Palestinians, in spite of an apprehensive and antagonistic Jordan - was merely rash and almost childishly naive.

Another fundamental and axiomatic assumption of the "Peace Camp" was that one could induce the Palestinians to waive their demand for the "right of return." Here, too, Barak managed to expose an unusually raw and sensitive nerve, but to what avail? It was merely demonstrated once again that Arafat and his establishment do not exercise exclusive authority over the problem. It emerged that Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the refugees themselves are also direct parties, and they are also partners to the sacred myth of dispersion and return - material, spiritual and ideological assets that they will not forfeit. Arafat explained this to Clinton in the following way: "If I do concede on the matter of the refugees, they will put a bullet through my brain. "


Once upon a time, the late Yitzchak Rabin visited the military government headquarters in Hevron. In an ensuing discussion, I told him that the rocks that often hit my car on the road to Jerusalem near the Dahaishe refugee camp were not targeted at me ­ since the Arab residents of Dahaishe are not interested in my home in Kiryat Arba. They desire only the places from whence they came, such as Jaffa and Haifa. They want, for instance, the site in Tel Aviv where Rabin's house stands. The rocks were hurled at me, I explained, simply because I chanced to pass by at that particular moment - but it was he, Rabin, rather than myself, who was the true target.

Indeed, the Israeli government once offered the residents of Dahaishe adjacent (Jewish) land for building; they would not even be required to waive their demands for their former original places. The reply was negative. Rabin heard; he didn't respond and he didn't internalize the message.


"So what?" asks the Peace Camp. "Will the sword forever feast? (i.e., will there never be an end to war?)

Not necessarily.

As long as we are strong and exude determination and confidence in the justice of our cause, there is no necessity for war to erupt. But at the same time, there is not the slightest chance to attain "Peace," and there will not be Peace - at least not in our time… On the contrary, the "exposure of sensitive nerves" in order to obtain peace, the irresponsible attempt to bring about a "solution" at any price, is a sure recipe for war.

The leftist sages seem to have never considered another, simpler notion, namely, that we can live without peace and without war - in other words, without a "solution." Have we not - without a "solution" - grown 100-fold from the 50,000 residents of eighty years ago to a Jewish population of 5 million - without "peace"?

Where would we be today if the boundaries had been fixed and frozen in the year 1937 according to the Peel Commission map giving us only the Sharon, the Jezre'el Valley, and a slice of the Galilee?

And what would have happened had we been confined to the 1947 UN partition boundaries without Nahariya, Acre and Nazareth; without Jaffa, Ramle and Lod; without Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and the Jerusalem corridor; and with an internationalized Jerusalem - even the western half?

And where would be in Yesha and Jerusalem without the results of the 1967 Six Day War?

We didn't want these wars, and we wouldn't have voluntarily sacrificed the lives of our children by initiating them. Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the fact that in the absence of peace, we have established a strong state, we have begun ingathering our exiles, and we have built a flourishing economy. And why wasn't there peace? Precisely because the Arabs opposed such growth!

The converse is also true: Our growth would not have been possible and our very existence would have been in doubt had we been prepared to pay the real price for peace - strangulation boundaries, a halt or drastic reduction of Jewish immigration, and the Arab "right of return".


The Left loves to slay sacred cows. In fact, not a single "national" cow has survived the left's slaughtering knife, and the left has still not satiated its desires. Maybe the time has come to slaughter also some sacred cows of the opposing side? For example, the cows named "Peace", "Solution", and "End to the Conflict"?

Is it not, perhaps, more sensible to seek a "modus vivendi" - which means to live, even without a "solution" - precisely because one wisely ignores "the raw nerves?" To live, by overcoming the childish impulse to disassemble the watch at any price, even at the cost of breaking it. Maybe our Prime Minister's great expertise in disassembling watches is a liability, rather than an asset?

An absence of peace is not necessarily war. The peace on the Golan, which has lasted since Yom Kippur, 27 years ago, demonstrates this. We live with the Arabs and they live with us ­ without peace. Who fills our hospitals? Who mans the reception tables in the hotels? Who prepares and serves food in our restaurants and cafes? How many Arab doctors and academics do we employ? Why do over 80% of the Arabs in Um El Fahm and most of Jerusalem's Arabs refuse to separate themselves from us? It is the necessities of life that speak, the economic benefits as well as the advantages of living in a democratic regime, despite all the sometimes-justified complaints.

All of this, the "Peace Camp" is attempting to destroy attaining a "formal peace" at any price, including a terrible war where the blood of the casualties, ours and theirs, will erase even that measure practical co-existence which exists today - and will extinguish the few points of light such as Omri Jada's sacrifice and the noble words of his family.

Atty. Elyakim Ha'etzni, a former Knesset Member from the Techiya party, is a frequent contributor to Arutz-7 and Yediot Acharonot. He lives in Kiryat Arba.
Source: Arutz 7
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