Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Oslo Syndrome

The more I think about the new political map here in Israel, and what the future holds assuming the polls are correct, I am forced to just shake my head in disbelief.

The latest piece of news relating to the future borders of the State of Israel came from Ami Ayalon, former Shin Bet Chief (courtesy of Ha'aretz):
If it was up to him, no settlements outside major blocs would remain on the Palestinian side of the West Bank separation fence by 2010.

"It is unethical to build houses, knowing that they will be destroyed, and it is immoral to send soldiers to kill and be killed over land that will not be controlled by Israel," Ayalon said at a meeting held with Ben-Gurion University students in Be'er Sheva.

The only thing that surprised me here is that he is willing to wait 4 years for this to happen. If anyone still believes that the main purpose of the "security fence" is to fight terror, I do not know what planet you live on. It has been clear for well over a year now that the "security fence" has always been about unilaterally setting Israel's future borders (along the Green Line) - if it also helps to stop a few terrorists, that a plus. What the Arabs couldn’t take from us on the battlefield we will hand to them on a silver platter - whether they want it or not.

So, here's where I am confused.

By no later than 2001, it was clear to everyone in Israel that Oslo was a sham, that the "Palestinians" were not interested in a state of their own, unless it would be one that totally replaced the Jewish State. The current war of destruction against the Jewish State was in full swing, and the Israeli voters brought Ariel Sharon into office to end the madness, to crush the "Palestinians", and to bring real security to Israel. The "Peace Process" of Labor / Meretz was shown to be a joke, and instead, Jews in Israel voted in the "Iron Wall" of Sharon and the Likud.

Yet, since then, the war against the Jewish State continues on at full-steam, Jews are still being murdered for the sole crime of living as Jews in the Jewish State, the Government of Israel & the IDF were the driving force behind the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes in Aza and the Shomron - areas that were handed over to our enemies, and a "security fence" is being built along the 1967 border (more or less) that will be used to determine Israel's final borders - unilaterally. (The Jews stuck on the "wrong side" of the fence, in the eyes of the government, should never have been there in the first place, and represent an obstacle to peace and a liability to the army).

What in the world is going on?

What seems clear to me, is that Oslo was never about bringing "peace" to Israel but of a desire amongst many in Israel to have nothing to do with Judea, Samaria and Aza. It is clear today, that the desire amongst many in Israel to get rid of the very places that are so central to the very identity of the Jewish People, that if they can't give them away as part of a negotiated settlement then they will unilaterally give them away, under a barrage of Qassam rockets and suicide bombers - anything to just be free of the unbearable burden known to them as the Land of Israel and Jewish Destiny.

What troubles me most, is that the majority of those living in Israel seem prepared to go along with this - as if they have become lemmings, incapable of independent thought - unable or unwilling to recognize that we are at war with an enemy who seeks nothing short of our total destruction, and who is not interested in Aza and the Shomron, unless they are the 1st down payment towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Somehow, to too many in Israel, the very idea of the Government of the Jewish State using the army of the Jewish State to expel thousands of Jews - citizens of the Jewish State - from their homes, razing them to the ground, and handing them over to our enemies (who proceeded to destroy our Holy sites), is seemingly logical and acceptable.

When / where did we lose our moral clarity? When did it no longer seem clear as day of the right of the Jewish People to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel?

Does no one else see what I see? It's like a bad dream, watching everything unfold before your eyes, but feeling helpless to do anything about it.

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!



AS I have commented before - there is one thing having an opinion based on a completely irrational faith in which politics should be a reflection of the will of G-d and the will of G-d is understood by asking your rabbi, it is another to completely distort facts or lie to support this case. And worst of all is to pretend that your position, which is basically completely dependent on faith is really dependent on some reading of the political map.

Distortion no 1:

"the Government of Israel & the IDF were the driving force behind the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes in Aza and the Shomron"

How does the number keep growing? There were just over 7,000 people in Aza and just over 500 in the northern Shomron. How has it grown to 10,000? Even on this blog you have previously put the figure at an already inflated, but not quite so fanciful 9,000. This falsification and distortion is no different to what the enemies of the Jewish people do.

Distortion no 2:

"By no later than 2001, it was clear to everyone in Israel that Oslo was a sham, that the "Palestinians" were not interested in a state of their own, unless it would be one that totally replaced the Jewish State."

Where do you get the right to speak for "everyone in Israel"? I happen to be someone in Israel, and that certainly isn't my opinion, nor is it the opinion of the hundreds of thousands of people who have attended memorials to Rabin. And not of the third of the country who vote for Left wing parties, and certainly not of the Arab Minority. A more fact based reading of Oslo's failure may go something like this.

Rabin and Peres never really trusted the Palestinians, but they recognised that making peace was about building up non-existent trust. This would be a long and difficult process, with enemies of the process on both sides trying to destroy it. By 1995, the enemies of the peace process were regularly inciting their followers to carry out acts to harm the process. In the end, one of these followers murdered the Prime Minister (having been told this was G-d's will by his supposed "Rabbis"). With Rabin, died the Oslo Process. That does not mean it was flawed nor that its underlying presumptions were - but rather that the process was destroyed by the murderous "religious" extremist, Yigal Amir, whom the right wing are now trying to set free from prison.

Distortion no. 3:

"Oslo was never about bringing "peace" to Israel but of a desire amongst many in Israel to have nothing to do with Judea, Samaria and Aza"

Except the Oslo process never spoke of giving back all of this area - as you yourself have pointed out in claiming that actually Sharon is more willing to give away Eretz Israel than Rabin was. So how can you say that and then claim that the desired result was not peace but getting rid of Yesha? And even if you were to make this bizarre claim - what is the reason. We shall come to this in distortion 4.

Distortion 4:

"It is clear today, that the desire amongst many in Israel to get rid of the very places that are so central to the very identity of the Jewish People, ... anything to just be free of the unbearable burden known to them as the Land of Israel and Jewish Destiny."

Given that I am one of these "Many" in Israel, Ze'ev, try and explain to me why I made aliyah if it doesn't have something to do with the Land of Israel and Jewish Destiny? You made aliyah because your god told you too. That actually has very little to do with the land of Israel and Jewish Destiny - but I and the many like me who made aliyah from western countries but not driven by a deranged connection to a supposed divinity, are here for exactly that reason. Your attempts to claim that all Jews who disagree with you have no sense of jewish Destiny is a besmirchment of Zionism's name. Am I less Jewish than you Ze'ev. No absolutely not. And it is offence to all Israel that you would suggest it.

You are right - maybe no-one does see what you see. Because we look with our eyes at the world and the way it is. We are not blinded by the hands of our rabbis from accepting that the world is not the same as it was when the amelikites attacked the weak and defenceless among us. It has progressed. So has the Jewish Spirit.

It is a shame you haven't.

By Anonymous H, at Wed Dec 07, 11:22:00 AM GMT+2  

Ze'ev wrote:

> What seems clear to me, is that Oslo was never about bringing "peace" to Israel but of a desire amongst many in Israel to have nothing to do with Judea, Samaria and Aza.

This is almost right, but not quite. Any of us who can read a map know that the pre-1967 de facto borders of Israel were impractical. Any of us who know some history know that the West Bank (but not the Gaza Strip) includes much of our earliest history as a people. The whole idea of Oslo - and now of unilateral disengagement - has nothing to do with an aversion to the land itself, to defensible borders, or to our history.

Oslo and Disengagement are not about separating from the Land; they are about separating ourselves from the Palestinian Arabs living on it. Since most Israelis don't believe that mass expulsions are possible (at a reasonable cost, at least) or desirable, we are stuck with the fact that the Territories include several million hostile Arabs. We have the choice of ruling over them as occupiers, granting them citizenship and equal rights (and watching as we lose our ability to control our own state), or else forcing independence on them, putting them in their own
state (which will no doubt be a major shithole), and locking the gates in the fence.

Of course, there are all sorts of problems with a Palestinian Arab state; but the alternatives are even worse. For many of us, creating a Palestinian state is the essence of Zionism - since it's the only way to keep Israel as a viable Jewish state.

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Thu Dec 08, 04:28:00 PM GMT+2  

Don - I accept your point that they might not be running away fro mthe Land of Israel - but they are certainly trying ot run away from their problems instead of dealing with them. The Arabs, "Palestinians" included are comitted to the destruction of the Jewish State, whether through war, or babies or both, and this is a war that is being fought both within and without the State of Israel. Creating a "Palestinian State" solves none of the problems that we are currently faced with, it merely buys us a few more years.

We have already lost the majority in the Galil and the Negev, Jerusalem isnt too far behind... What's your soloution there?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu Dec 08, 04:49:00 PM GMT+2  

First, as a general principle, the fact that a large number of our Arab neighbors hate our guts and would gladly wipe us off the map is relevant in terms of our preparedness - in other words, it's a good reason why we need to stay heavily armed and crazy - but it is not a priori a reason for holding on to any particular piece of territory or refusing to allow the creation of a Palestinian state. If we believe (as I do) that the Palestinians are much more of a threat to us as an occupied population than as citizens of a neighboring State of Palestine, then we should force the creation of a Palestinian state even if the Palestinian leadership doesn't want one.

The best thing we can do as a start in our own demographic defense is to create borders. Because of the abject failure of the settlement movement to induce large numbers of Israelis to move more than a few kilometers from the Green Line, these borders will wind up being fairly close to the Green Line in most places. Doing this will give us a State of Israel with a solid (75-80%) Jewish majority.

In order to preserve this majority, we should refrain from re-instating the huge supplement we used to give to very large families; instead, we might think about fiddling with the numbers in order to encourage four-child families. (The previous system penalized small families and started giving heavy rewards only from the fifth child on - which meant that the only people who were ready and willing to "play the system" were Haredim and Arabs. I'm suggesting a system that wouldn't encourage huge families as that would expand the Arab population, but would encourage ordinary, non-Haredi Jewish Israelis to have one more child.)

In order to maintain our military advantage over our neighbors, we need to maintain our economic advantage. That means that we need to be sensitive to our international standing, even if we think that a lot of the "right-thinking" people in the larger world are in fact full of shit. If demolishing the family homes of suicide bombers damages our international standing and our trade relationships, this has a significant and direct (albeit hard to measure specifically) impact on our ability to maintain our military edge.

I don't believe that we ever had a Jewish majority in the Galil and the Negev - although I'll admit I'm less than 100% sure about this. Certainly these were never solidly Jewish areas in the way that Gush Dan is. By all means we should try to increase Jewish settlement in these areas. One good way of doing this would be to expand our network of commuter trains so that people could live in these areas and work in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and so on. (For the Negev, Be'er Sheva would be the natural hub for employment, I suppose.) The problem today is that for most Israeli Jews, there is simply no way to move to the Negev or the Galil, since there is no practical way to live there and continue working in the central part of the country.

Jerusalem: The only solution is to re-divide the city. I know this is considered sacrilege - but in truth, most of the eastern parts of the city are not and have never been effectively Israeli. We obviously don't want to divide Jerusalem along the Green Line - I'm not talking about giving up the entire Old City or the Temple Mount! But there are plenty of neighborhoods that we could give up quite easily, with no impact on Jewish-Israeli life. Remember that most of eastern Jerusalem wasn't even part of the city in Biblical-to-Herodian times.

Radical enough for you? :-)

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Thu Dec 08, 05:14:00 PM GMT+2  

Don, thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful comment, I will try to do it some justice:

1) I see little difference between how the "Palestinians" would relate to us if they would have their own State, or if the current situation remained unchanged, nor do I believe that giving them a state would allow us then to militarily respond if they continued attacking us - the world will never go for it.

2) Your demographic solution doesnt solve the issue of all of the Israeli Arabs - unless setting borders wont include eastern Jerusalem, the Galil and the Negev

Basically, you are talking about building a tiny Jewish ghetto, and then hoping that the big, bad neighbors outside allow us to live in peace.

3) Why not encourage large-jewish families - and give subsidies to Jewish families who have lots of kids - just like the Law of Return only applies ot Jews, we can have a similar law for having Jewish babies. I dont think we need to be giving a shekel to Arabs to have kids - i would even pay them not to - but do whatever it takes to have Jews make babies.

4) There is no way that Israel will ever be able to win the war that we are currently in and also win world opinion - the two re diametrically opposed. The world wants to see Israel weak, and they want ot appease the Arabs - if we stand up and fight - we will be condemed - such is the way of the world.

5) Basically, I do not believe that the "Palestinians" or any other foreign entity (real or imagined) has any legitimate claim to sovreignty in the Land of Israel. I do not believe that ceding Land to our enemies will bring peace, as they will continue their war of annihilation against us - the sooner we recognize this and take the steps to deal with it, the better.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Fri Dec 09, 12:15:00 PM GMT+2  

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