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

May 02, 2003

The U.S. and Israel: The Road Ahead

An essay by Abraham D. Sofaer from the May 2003 issue of Commentary provides a very thorough analysis of the failure of the Oslo accords and the "Road Map". (Reprinted at FrontPage Magazine)

Comment by Ted Belman
This article is of extreme importance.
Instead, in the face of the continuing violence, the United States kept pressing Israel to make further concessions, thereby convincing Palestinians that they could go on cheating and killing and still procure the benefits for which they had been negotiating. In the end, it seemed reasonable to suppose that they might even force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza as it had been forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon in the summer of 2000.

But Palestinian violence is a much more serious and difficult problem than even Dennis Ross now admits. It is the product of an environment that fosters, shelters, encourages, and rewards acts aimed at nullifying Israel’s very existence. And that environment is itself the creation not only of the Palestinians, or of the Arabs, but also of the international community—including the United States. To change this situation requires changing not just the actions and attitudes of Palestinians but the policies and practices of others, again including the United States. No recognition of these facts, let alone any acknowledgment of the need to do something about them, has been made part of the road map—which is again why it shares the basic flaw of every Middle East peace plan that has preceded it.
These include
1. Maintaining the refugees in camps under UNWRA rather than forcing their resettlement.
2. Allowing the Palestinian schools which are financed by the UN, to incite to hatred and murder.
3. Not only has the US allowed US groups to raise money for terrorist organizations but the US has continually put pressure on Israel to turn over money to Arafat which would be used to further fund terror.
4. The US has condemned Israel's rightful self defense against terrorism including targeted killings and the like
5. The US has joined the chorus of voices condemning Israel for using excessive force, further preventing Israel from defending itself.
6. The State Department whitewashes and minimizes the extent Arab terror.
7. The US has permitted Iran, Syria and others to sponsor terrorism against Israel with impunity.
8. The US refusal to move its embassy to West Jerusalem puts West Jerusalem up for grabs. Better to openly declare West Jerusalem is Israel's.
9. The US allows the "right of return" to be advanced by not quelching it once and for all. (They even left it in the Road Map rather than making a categorical statement that it is a no go.)
10. Jewish refugees are never mentioned as an offset.
11. State Department mistakenly proceeds on the basis that Res. 242 meant '67 borders with minor adjustments. It should declare that major Israel settlements and defensive settlements are to remain thereby reducing what is left to negotiate. US policy keeps all the settlements in play.
12. The US tolerates and sometime participates in the deligitamation of Israel at the UN and elsewhere.
13. The US permits incitement and antisemetism to emanate from countries and mosqes throughout the world, included in the US, thereby fostering a climate that killing Jews is OK. It is outrageous for the US to be silent in the face of crowds chanting "death to the Jews".
14. The USA tolerates the Arab rejection of Israel and the Egyptian cold peace and the smuggling of weapons from Egypt.
15. America supports the idea that exclusion of Israel is acceptable by not openly embracing Israel as a coalition partner and key alley of the US.
16. The US supports the notion that Palestinian areas should be judenrein. Instead they should argue for not transfering Jews out. The whole debate changes then.
In the democratic West, no one wishes to believe this—it is too awful. And that, too, adds to the magnitude of the threat. By omission as much as by commission, the United States and other democracies have encouraged radical Palestinians and their supporters to cling to their dream of eliminating the Jewish state. They have acquiesced in and thereby promoted the separate and unequal treatment of Israel as a member state of the community of nations. They have truckled to, and pressured Israel to reach an accommodation with, the most radical elements among its adversaries, while subsidizing and turning a blind eye to the culture of violence in which generations of those adversaries have been raised. When it comes to the workings of anti-Semitism, they have chosen not to absorb, and not to act upon, the indelible lessons of history.
Had enough?