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Waving a white flag? (ISRAEL INSIDER COMMENTARY) By David Wilder 11/24/03)Source: http://web.israelinsider.com/bin/en.jsp?enPage=ViewsPage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enDispWho=Article%5El3005&enZone=Views&enVersion=0& ISRAEL INSIDER ISRAEL INSIDER Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
I planned on writing today about one of the most extraordinary Shabbatot I´ve ever experienced. After all, it´s not every week you participate in a Hebron Shabbat together with another 25,000 Jews. Friday night it was virtually impossible to get into Ma´arat HaMachpela - The Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. It was simply packed. There wasn´t room to move inside. And outside, in the courtyard, thousands of people participated in Shabbat evening prayers. It was a sight to behold.

So too, Saturday. Thousands upon thousands of people walking the streets, visiting the different neighborhoods - it was really unbelievable.

However, current events will not let me dwell on the wonders of this past Shabbat in Hebron. There are other matters which are more pressing.

While in the United States, I heard rumors that Ariel Sharon was planning another landmark address, Herzliya II, as it was called. During the first Herzliya speech, in December 2002, Sharon officially accepted the ideas behind the Roadmap, culminating in a fully sovereign Palestinian state. Realizing that the Palestinian terrorist authority does not have the desire or ability to fulfill even the most minimum requirements in order to convince a majority of Israelis to back this arrangement, Sharon is planning the next stage in his farcical premiership. This is being labeled Herzliya Two. This morning it hit the headlines.

According to media reports, Sharon is fed up with the current deadlock and is looking for a way out. He promised Israelis peace and security and hasn´t yet been able to deliver the goods. Without a ´peace partner´ it´s difficult to negotiate. So, Sharon has decided to go it alone. Latest accounts say that Sharon is planning a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces to the vicinity of the new ´wall´ (which seems to be known to some as the Messiah in disguise). This unilateral withdrawal includes the destruction of ´isolated settlements,´ most probably in Gaza - like Netzarim, Morag, and Kfar Darom. However other communities in Yesha have not been ruled out. Jews evicted from their homes are to be transferred to new settlements, this time in the Negev.

Other communities are scheduled to be ´moved,´ creating ´settlement blocks.´

This is, in brief, what has been floating around today.

Now, it´s important to understand why Ariel Sharon is even considering such measures:

Ariel Sharon is facing massive legal problems in Israel. He is likely on the verge of being indicted for illegal financial dealings, some of which concern campaign funding, illicit loans, and possible bribery. Should he be indicted, Sharon will have to resign. But Sharon knows that the left understands that they will never be able to evict Jews from Yesha - only a ´right-wing´ bulldozer like Ariel Sharon, who was responsible for much of the development of Judea, Samaria and Gaza will be able to take it apart. He has experience - he did it in Sinai. Sharon also knows that the decisions taken concerning his future political life and tenure in the Prime Minister´s residence lie in the hands of the left. In other words, if he is a ´good boy´ and practices what they preach, they will, more than likely, leave him alone. In other words, he will trade Eretz Yisrael for political survival.

Reason number two: George Bush and the White House. Ariel Sharon knows that George Bush is a good friend of Israel. All things considered, he´s probably the best friend Israel has had in the White House in decades. He also knows that George W. is in trouble. Iraq, dead American soldiers, and continuing world terror is ruffling feathers. The elections, a year away, are already catching headlines. The campaign has begun. Sharon also knows that the democratic alternatives to Bush spell catastrophe for Israel. So, Sharon is interested not only in saving himself; he´s also interested in saving George W´s skin. So, he is willing to trade pieces of Eretz Yisrael for Bush.

Reason number three: Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres and Geneva. The ´Geneva Accords´ initiated by Yossi Beilin are covered with the fingerprints of several well known players. First on the list is Shimon Peres, who was Yossi Beilin´s teacher. The first big Peres production, "Oslo" was such a hit, that he decided to produce a follow-up. Not being able to sponsor a ´by-pass´ plan to a government which he still hopes to sit in, Peres assisted Beilin into Geneva, another cataclysmic suicide plan for the State of Israel. Geneva includes the worst of the worst-case scenarios conjured up since the commencement of Oslo, leaving Israel as a virtual nonentity.

Another player in the Geneva fiasco is undoubtedly the European Union. Last week Beilin and Company put two million copies of the Geneva Accords into the Israeli mail. Do you have any idea how much it costs to print up and send two million copies of anything? I don´t have exact costs, but it is a tremendous amount of money. I am certain that the financial backer of this escapade is the EU. I might also surmise that the EU is receiving a great deal of that money from another power broker - very likely Saudi Arabia. So from the Saudis to the Europeans to Beilin. What a team.

But please, do not underestimate these players. The Geneva Accords are exerting overwhelming pressure on Ariel Sharon. These accords are being backed by world media. Foreign governments are starting to get involved, viewing them as an alternative to the dying roadmap. And in Israel, again, the left is initiating something solid, as opposed to the waffling of the other side, whoever they are. Sharon remembers only too well the pressures that brought Ehud Barak´s cowardly flight from Lebanon. He knows that the name of the game is not to sit on the fence; rather it is to grab onto something solid and pave the way. It makes no difference which direction the path goes in - to heaven or to hell. What is important is to offer an alternative. And that is what Sharon is doing.

Ariel Sharon has not despaired of several dreams: He still wants to dispel the ´war-monger´ image he picked up during the Lebanese War in the 1980s. He would also like to be remembered as a statesman and as the ´great peacemaker.´ And last, but not least, he would like another term in the office of the Prime Minister, despite his age (and seemingly deteriorating mental health).

All of this adds up to transferring Jews, destroying communities, and abandoning Eretz Yisrael.

The big question is, of course, what we can do to prevent this madness. There are no easy answers. We have to make a lot of noise, and let this government know that the People of Israel will not allow Ariel Sharon or anyone else to chop up Eretz Yisrael, we will not allow appeasement to terrorists, and we will not commit communal suicide. The very fact that these ideas are being floated around have already caused immense damage to Israel. The idea of withdrawal at all, but especially in the middle of a war, is unthinkable.. This is exactly what our enemy wants and we must not give it to him. Withdrawal is surrender, and surrender we will not. Our flag is blue and white, and that blue makes all the difference in the world. Abandonment and transfer of Jews from Yesha is tantamount to the removal of blue from our flag.

Israel must not wave a white flag. (© 2001-2003 Koret Communications Ltd. 11/24/03)


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