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Debate over Prime Minister Sharon's so-called policy of “restraint” continues to swirl. Among other things, our editorial last week expressing support for his measured responses to the escalating Palestinian terrorism drew more reaction than any Jewish Press editorial in recent memory. The letters from readers on the subject which appear this week are only a sampling of what we actually received, besides some really animated phone calls.
Of course we respect the heartfelt concerns of those ? especially residents of the areas under terrorist siege ? who have the most serious doubts about the efficacy of anything short of a broad military retaking of Judea and Samaria and Gaza. And, in all candor, we may well be moving in that direction. Without question, Israel is at war, and there are lessons to be learned from the American experience in Vietnam and later in the Gulf War about the relative merits of measured responses and the employment of overwhelming force.
However, we still cling to the hope that Mr. Sharon's approach will, in any event, pay critical dividends. It is not, as some have suggested, to “worry about what the goyim think,” to seek to do all that is prudent to keep President Bush's confidence. America's support is indisputedly critical for Israel at this point in its history. This is not to say that Israel should woodenly follow the dictates of a foreign government at the cost of its own interests. It is to say that it is in Israel's best interest to seek to cultivate the support of the United States in pursuit of its goals.
It continues to be clear to us that Israel's quest for peace is materially aided if the Palestinians come to believe that they have no alternative but to work out their differences with Israel. That is, when they realize that the United States has no intention of pressuring Israel to accede to Palestinian demands, Israel's prospects are enhanced. And over the last few months, the only times the United States seriously objected to Israeli actions was when there was a declaration by an Israeli general that an incursion into Gaza was to last indefinitely, and when it used American-supplied F-16's to attack a terrorist enclave when other means had not been exhausted. Significantly, on other occasions, when Secretary of State Powell was critical of Israel, President Bush and Vice-President Bush sent a very different message.
The implication is plain. America will go along with Israel as long as Israel has no other apparent option. That is, Mr. Bush accepts the notion that Israel is the aggrieved party and that it is entitled to do what is unavoidable at particular junctures in order to deal with the Palestinian threat. No more, but also no less.
It should not be lost on anyone that Israel has now taken over Orient House, the Palestinian “White House,” and has also seized several Palestinian strongholds on the outskirts of Jerusalem, to the great dismay and chagrin of the Palestinians. Israel also now moves at will into Palestinian enclaves and destroys terror cells and Palestinian infrastructure. These actions are not as dramatic as an all-out invasion. But they are very, very big deals. And this is all happening with nothing other than perfunctory negative comments from the State Department.
In sum, we here in America should not make the mistake of thinking that Israel's not doing all that it could militarily, amounts to appeasement and inaction. It is one thing to criticize a Prime Minister Barak for pulling his punches in blind pursuit of a discredited “peace process.” It is quite another to similarly criticize a Prime Minister Sharon who keeps upping the military ante in an effort to avoid all-out war. The number of people already killed by terrorist shooting and bombings is an unspeakable tragedy. But there will be a lot more than that number of 19 and 20 year-old Israelis who will die on the battlefield if Mr. Sharon's strategy fails. For now, he is the one to make the exquisite judgment as to when the time has come to go for broke.
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Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-policy-of-restraint-the-controversy-continues/2001/08/22/
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