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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 10, 2002

For the love of democracy - don’t go wobbly, Israel!

I am troubled by two news stories from today’s [October 9] press.

The first concerns the water diversion scheme in Lebanon. Ha’Aretz reports:

Lebanon pumped water on Wednesday from the Wazzani River, testing for the first time a project to draw water from the river that also feeds Israel. An official overseeing the project described a four-minute test of Lebanon's biggest project to date to pump water from the Wazzani river as "very successful."

The Hezbollah guerrilla group described as "a great victory" the four-minute test of Lebanon's biggest project to date to pump water from the Wazzani.

Israel has made it perfectly clear that the diversion would be considered casus belli, yet there seems to be no real action on Israel's part. I am reminded of the days before the 1967 war, when diplomacy to reverse the closure of the Straits of Tiran only succeeded in emboldening Nasser more and more (since the 1956 war, Israel made it clear that the closure would be considered casus belli). In the end, the embattled democratic republic of Israel was forced to resort to arms against the autocratic regimes surrounding her.

The second troubling news item concerns the dismantling of settlements in Judea/Samaria by the Israeli government. The Jerusalem Post reports:

The IDF dismantled three Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank on Wednesday and plans to remove 24 others in the coming week, Defense officials said.

The action came a day after four Israelis were wounded in an ambush on a car in the Hebron area, one of whom remains in critical condition at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Karem.

I realize that as a Canadian living in a peaceful country, thousands of miles away from Jerusalem, I have no right to "advise" the democratically-elected government of Israel how to run its affairs. And yet, reading these two news stories I can hardly squelch my plea, “For the love of democracy, don’t go wobbly, Israel!”.

A concession to terrorists anywhere hurts democracies everywhere, as the appeasement calamity in Munich, 1938, proved. And who should know this truth better than Israel? A comprehensive examination of the consequences of trying to appease the Arabs through concessions is a job for an entire book, not for a blogger’s article, but I can hardly refrain from mentioning two major Israeli concessions that failed miserably: the Oslo Accords (September, 1993) and the unilateral withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon (May, 2000). Both resulted in emboldening terrorists.

And so, once again, for the love of democracy, don’t go wobbly, Israel!.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland