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

January 13, 2003

Let the debate begin

When it comes to a Palestinians State, Israel is acting like the son who doesn't even ask any questions.

Ha'aretz, of all papers, is saying that Israelis are going Like sheep to a Palestinian state "without inquiring, without asking the right questions, without probing the conception."

Absent from the scant public discourse on the issue of the Palestinian state and its effect on our existence here is a series of fundamental questions.

Who, for example, will prevent the ongoing and insane arming of the Palestinians, when even today, despite being in control of and able to act almost as it pleases in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces has only succeeded in limiting it? And how will this be accomplished?

What intelligence will be at our disposal in order to thwart terror attacks when we are no longer in the territory intended for a Palestinian state? Most terror attacks are thwarted today by means of this intelligence. What will be the extent of freedom of action and the military's ability to maneuver when the IDF and the security forces face a sovereign state, any infiltration into which will be considered by most of the countries of the world to be a blow to its sovereignty?

All the signs indicate that the Palestinians' motivation to see us destroyed is not waning, rather the opposite. Evidence of this is the continued incitement - with clearly anti-Semitic motifs - in the Palestinian textbooks and media, which, during the Oslo years, most of the public here chose to ignore.

Who really believes that a Palestinian state will do what the Palestinian Authority has not done, and fight Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, and perhaps also al-Qaida, whose operative tentacles have, according to the defense minister, already stretched into the territories?

And who will prevent the inundation of the territories with returning refugees who will undermine the basis of the demographic balance in the western part of the Land of Israel?

How will the State of Israel succeeded in preventing infiltrations, marches to the fence, diplomacy and continued terror, all in the name of one aim from which the Palestinians have not retreated to this day - the return of the Palestinians to their homes in Acre, Haifa, Ramle and Lod?

And all this without going into the issues of water, the dreadful wrench that will occur in the wake of the uprooting of tens of thousands of Jews from their homes ("the painful price," in Sharon's words), the Palestinians' reputation with respect to honoring agreements and questions of values having to do with the Jewish ties to this land, which have long been out of fashion.

Why are the interviewers and moderators of the popular radio and television programs not posing even some of these questions in light of this new consensus that is shared by Sharon and Labor Party candidate Amram Mitzna?

It is certainly possible to find answers to some of these questions, whether they be partial or full. To some of them, there is certainly no answer. But the left and the center are making an easy job of it for themselves, when they leave the pubic discussion of these questions to the alternative media developed by the right, like the Makor Rishon newspaper, the Arutz Sheva radio station, the national religious Hatzofeh newspaper, or the Nativ journal.

More than 1,000 dead and thousands wounded since the signing of the Oslo accords necessitates a change in approach not only with respect to the "diplomatic process" and its results, but also with respect to what is accepted by the heads of both major parties as their final stop.
It is dissapointing that the most important issue of all, whether to allow a Palestinian State to be created, is not even being debated.