by Dr. Jerome S. Kaufman
May 18, 2003 / 16 Iyar 5763
There is also a basic misinformation problem perpetuating the misconception that Israel is on Palestinian occupied land and must get off. We have no time for a history lesson, but take my word for it: The Israelis are on only a small part of the land that was supposed to be the Jewish homeland by all historical, legal and biblical criteria. But nobody knows that anymore and the Arabs will never buy into it. So, lets take a more practical tack:
Even the most dedicated leftist now understands that fundamentalist Arabs do not want the Jews in the Middle East in any way other than as dhimmi, the second-class citizenship the Jews suffered for 2000 years under Arab rule.
The Arabs will continue to gnaw away at Israel, undermining its existence in every way possible through the art of boycotts, the indoctrination of hatred in preschoolers, the hatred thats generated on the college campuses, the Palestinian-sympathizing attempts at divestment from Israel, the professional Arabists and propagandists deluging the world media and the inroads into the American educational system under the transparent guise of anti-globalization, anti-nuclear energy, anti-global warming, affirmative action and diversity. Do you think these glorious shibboleths are truly in Jewish or Israeli interests?
Look at the map of Israel. Do you understand its miniscule size? It is basically only 40 miles wide, including Judea and Samaria (West Bank); at Netanya, it is only 9 miles wide and at Tel Aviv not much further. Do you know the topography? Do you know that the hated settlements are on the Judean mountain range that protects the Israeli coast from immediate invasion and capitulation?
Do you comprehend that such a small strip of land cannot possibly accommodate two nations, especially one irrevocably dedicated to the destruction of the other, yet incapable of sustaining its own economy.
Do you think all of the above begs the question? Wrong. All of the above dictates the only answer. Israel must remain so strong and so defensible that the Arabs dare not once again invade Israel, because they would be destroyed along with their legendary self-deluding pride.
Did Uncle Sam via President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and so many of my heroes blink and make friends with their intractable enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or, did they destroy them and are now dictating a peace that will be in Americas best interests?
Israel cannot afford to deal with its enemies in any other way. The Jewish state, still under attack after 55 years, must deal as the Americans have from the universally understood currency strength.
What about the territories? If you look at the map of Israel, you can see that they must remain under Israeli jurisdiction. Lets get to specifics. I like the term municipal authority. The concept is to give the Arabs complete management over all their civic functions sans Israeli citizenship. Such citizenship was never Israels obligation. Israel must insist, through the world bodies, that the huge and wealthy Arab nations take in the supposed refugees and that those who remain in Israel behave themselves. The U.N.-financed, hate-generating refugee camps must be disbanded.
What about Israels economy? Tourism is dependent upon a vibrant economy and a welcoming secure country. It is Israels job to make its streets, markets, schools, nightclubs, etc. safe for its own citizens and its tourists. How preposterous to give that basic national responsibility to the Arabs or the United States! When Israel is safe, there is little question that Jews will flock in from the world over. Why would they remain as a hated minority in France, Argentina and Russia, or even Britain? How many more Americans, especially our dedicated religious Jews, would make aliyah?
One other congenital problem: Israels economy remains in the throes of a pipedream called socialism. It is dominated by an archaic Histadrut labor union steeped in the original Russian misconception. Despite Israels awful times, the Histadrut called a general strike and further crippled the economy. The union was unhappy with Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahus attempt at bringing Israel into the 21st century, incorporating the realism of capitalism. Until this gargantuan change occurs and the Jewish state elects to pay its own bills and removes itself from the American dole, Israels future will remain tenuous and she will continue to take a very dangerous back seat in the relationship.
See, I told you that you would not like the answer.
Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America.