The engines had just about cooled on the aircraft returning from the "roadmap" summits when the first two Israelis were axed to death. This was soon followed by the murder of five more.
The headlines of the next day's papers --unfortunately taking their cues from the State Department and the White House's own statements--largely opened, however, with a rebuke of Israel. Here's Ibrahim Barzak's AP description in the lead paragraph on June 11th: "The missile attack threatened to rekindle a cycle of violence and wreck a new U.S.-backed peace effort."
Those of us concerned about the long-term future of Israel and who wish for peace for all peoples--Jews included--had worried all along that the roadmap would simply become a resurrected Oslo II. In that discredited process, the more Israel conceded, the more it bled. This played right into the hands of the Arabs' "destruction in stages" policy adopted after the 1967 Six Day War: take whatever diplomacy (i.e. pressure) will yield, making the final goal--Israel's destruction--that much easier to achieve. This is the Arabs' own oft-written and oft-stated policy. Poll after poll amongst Arabs show that most are still not ready to accept an Israel whether it's nine or nine hundred miles wide.
Prime Minister Abbas-- Holocaust denier, terrorist accomplice, and Arafat appointee--has made very clear that he's not willing to use force against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and his own al Aqsa Brigades. That means that unless Israel does something itself to protect its citizens from being butchered, no one else will. The organizations mentioned above openly state that Israel has no right to exist and that all Jews are legitimate targets. Tel Aviv is as much "occupied territory" for them as is Nablus.
What would any other country do under such circumstances? Does going after the leaders and inciters of those who murder your own people sound reasonable? Probably...unless you happen to be Jews and the country happens to be Israel. Then you'll get such headlines as those mentioned above...i.e. it's the Jews themselves who threaten to rekindle the cycle of violence because they reacted to the murder of their own people by going after their executioners. Jews, after all, are supposed to be used to this sort of thing by now. What's all the fuss about?
The United States declared "zero tolerance" for those who acted against us this way, but Israelis are expected to just continue to put up with being disemboweled and incinerated. When we thought we knew where Saddam was dining, we leveled the restaurant....innocent bystanders and all. Microscopic Israel is far more vulnerable than the United States. When it loses one person, it's equivalent to almost seventy Americans being lost. So why the continuous hypocrisy and double standards?
Arabs have continuously made it clear that their real alleged grievance is not "occupation" but the existence of Israel itself. They wouldn't even consent to making peace with a sole Jewish State of Israel at the summits...while demanding a 23rd of their own. And most of the latter had been conquered and forcibly Arabized from non-Arab peoples such as Kurds, Berbers, Copts, Black Africans, Jews, etc. Has anyone heard, for example, of a "roadmap" being devised for the creation of a state for some thirty million stateless Kurds? Arabs must have two dozen, but the latter are to remain forever stateless, always at someone else's mercy. What's wrong with this picture?
Many had feared that the roadmap would turn into this one-sided pressure cooker again whereby Israel is forced to make the hard, painful, and tangible concessions which put its very existence at stake, while excuses are continuously made for Arab failures to honor the promises on their own end. But few, if any, of us expected our fears to be vindicated so early in the new "peace" process. It's not that we didn't expect the attacks, but for the blame to be placed on Israel in such a one-sided manner so early is truly the sum of our fears. And so the Jerusalem bus attack which killed and maimed scores of Jews soon afterwards, predictably, will be placed at Israel's doorstep as well: The Jews brought it on themselves, destroying the peace process--as per the headlines, State Department, White House, etc.-- by not allowing the murders of their people to continuously go unanswered.
©2003 - Gerald A. Honigman