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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Clinton Plan’

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Money Better Spent

As people prepare to fulfill the mitzvah of mishloach manot on Purim, may I remind them that the mitzvah involves sending a gift of two (2) different food items to one (1) friend. I do not believe the mitzvah is to send extravagant $300 baskets to everyone living within a three-mile-radius of one’s home. Wouldn’t that money be better spent by sending it to a worthy organization, such as Tomchei Shabbos or Hatzolah?

By sending money to Tomchei Shabbos, you ensure that needy observant families have the necessary items for a beautiful Shabbos – challah, wine, gefilte fish, and other traditional Shabbos foods. By sending a donation to Hatzolah, you ensure that your friend or neighbor will have immediate medical attention in case of any life-threatening emergency.

Now isn’t that money better spent than sending an overpriced basket containing a small bottle of grape juice, some jelly rings, some cookies, some imported chocolate, and other things that people really do not need in their home four weeks before Pesach?

Barry Koppel
Kew Gardens Hills, NY

Workable Shidduch System

Chananya Weissman in his op-ed article “The Shidduch Crisis – The Case For Natural Meetings” (March 18) asks for any evidence that forbids mixed settings.

The Mishna in Sukkah 5:2, speaks clearly of the “tikkun gadol,” the great improvement, which refers to the balcony made in the Beis Hamikdosh, designed to keep men and women from mingling.

I think the shidduch scene in the U.S. is problematic primarily because it seems to be acceptable for a boy to date more than one girl at a time. Nevertheless, the answer surely is not to disband the system but to make it workable – as it is elsewhere in the world.

Rabbi B. Katz
London, England

C-SPAN Unfiltered

Jason Maoz hit it right on the head with his characterization of how the hosts of C-SPAN’s “Morning Journal” allow the most outrageously anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments from callers to go unchallenged (“C-SPAN Falls Over the Edge,” Media Monitor, March 18).

The argument that the public is intelligent enough to sort out fact from fiction is a demonstrably weak one in light of years of studies and surveys showing that a sizeable percentage of the public is blissfully ignorant of history and current events. By allowing misinformation to routinely be transmitted under its auspices, C-SPAN is guilty of poisoning the public discourse in a far more egregious manner than any of the radio talk shows that liberals love to hate.

Marion Arnold
New York, NY

Columbia’s Moment Of Truth

Columbia University is approaching a decision that will test its civilized thought and rigorous scholarship. The issue is whether the university will continue to welcome as a professor a man who espouses deeply offensive views about Jews.

Joseph Massad is an assistant professor in Columbia’s Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, where students have charged that some instructors enforced anti-Israel views through classroom intimidation. Massad is among those teachers. Citing a “witch hunt,” he has denied the charges, which are being probed by a university committee. He declined an interview.

This is not scholarship. It is an expression of belief that Jews are all but programmed to victimize others; that they are flawed to their essence. The idea has no place at Columbia. Or anywhere else.

Allen Slater
(Via E-Mail)

‘Solomon Plan’ For Social Security

We need to set aside a portion of the Social Security tax and place it in special accounts to benefit our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. That way, the more offspring one has, the greater his/her nest egg will be.

The majority of the Social Security tax revenue collected will, as it currently does, continue paying through the general fund to all who are qualified for its benefits, regardless of whether or not they have children. But let’s allocate a small portion of our Social Security to those who gave us life. Those who have offspring who work and pay taxes will reap additional benefits from the “Fifth Clause” (as in the Fifth Commandment), which will grant them the additional funds.

President Bush, a devout Christian, is pro-life and obviously would recognize that under this plan people would think twice before aborting their innocent babies. This new “Solomon Plan” would create a healthy cycle of more children being born, and after eighteen short years those children’s tax dollars would begin paying for their parents’ retirement cost of living.

As one of the most loyal fans of our brave president, I pray that he continue adhering to the very sound advice that his faithful advisers, men and women of faith, provide him by the grace of God. May Hashem always bless him, his family, and the noble work he is doing for all mankind.

Joseph Lieberman
Brooklyn, NY

Right Wing And Pragmatic? Readers Respond

Refreshing Change

The Jewish Press is to be commended for publishing Joseph Schick’s well-reasoned op-ed “Can One Be Right Wing And Pragmatic?” (March 18). His article represents a refreshing change from the “Israel is about to be destroyed” scenario constantly posited by so many right-wingers here and in Israel.

One can be an unreconstructed hawk on Israel and still be realistic enough to realize that it’s ludicrous at this point in time to be talking about “expelling all the Arabs” or insisting that “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian people” (historically speaking, that’s correct, but we lost that public relations battle years ago).

I admire Mr. Schick for his courage in stating convictions that no doubt will invite derision from extremists, and I thank The Jewish Press for providing a forum for views with which many of its readers undoubtedly disagree.

Yitzchak Cates
New York, NY

Benefits Of Absolutist Opposition

Although I always appreciate reading Joseph Schick’s thoughtful views on the Middle East, he falls prey to his own arguments in his March 18 op-ed. Schick says he disagrees with Prime Minister Sharon’s “disengagement” plan because he thinks it is a faulty strategy to bring about his (Sharon’s) goals “to retain all of Jerusalem’s Old City, part of the Jordan Valley, and more than the four percent of Judea and Samaria that Israel was left with under the Clinton Plan.”

But he is sharply critical of those opposed to any territorial concessions and who lack a “recognition that Israel will have to give up territory but must fight hard to keep whatever it can.”

“There is no understanding,” he says, “that both Oslo and Barak’s concessions greatly damaged Israel’s negotiating position, and that Sharon’s motivation is to preserve more than the four percent Israel would have kept had Arafat accepted the Clinton Plan.”

Why does Schick think that absolutist opposition at home does not strengthen Sharon’s hand internationally and tend to lead to fewer Israeli concessions over time? Isn’t that the flip side of Schick’s acknowledgment that Oslo and Barak’s unilateral concessions undermined Israel’s negotiating position?

And why does he not explore the consequences of a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in terms of it representing a reward for terror, resulting in a boost for Hamas and an undermining of Mahmoud Abbas?

Moreover, doesn’t an uncompromising biblically-based Jewish claim, especially to East Jerusalem, add crucial weight to Israel’s position in the light of the Palestinian rationale of not only nationalism but also religious imperative?

Finally, to me it is not very seemly to criticize as politically naive those who unashamedly take the Five Books of Moses seriously. One man’s naivete is another’s faith. Schick may disagree with their interpretation of Scripture, but the religious Right really does have a point.

Glenn Friedman
New York, NY

Defeatist Attitude?

Joseph Schick seems to suffer from the same defeatist attitude that afflicts many in the Jewish community. No one respects someone who does not stand up for principle. When Arafat rejected the so-called Clinton Plan, it was only because he thought it was a gift so easy to come by that an even better deal was just around the corner. For good reason, he saw Oslo as a ground floor for future negotiations.

Nor has President Bush gone as far as he has because of Israel’s rolling over. Bush’s support is as strong as it is because of Israel’s willingness to take on terror and its refusal to knuckle under to the UN and the Europeans.

Barak’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon made heroes of Hizbullah and did more than anything else to glorify terrorism in the Arab world and encourage Palestinian recalcitrance. How can anyone think that Gaza will be any different? The problem is not that people don’t think that Sharon has a plan to keep as much as possible, but that he does not seem to have learned from recent history.

Leslie Millstein
(Via E-Mail)

Joseph Schick replies:

Yitzchak Cates’s kind words are appreciated. Glenn Friedman asks why I don’t explore the consequences of a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. In fact, I have analyzed – in detail – Sharon’s plan in previous Jewish Press columns, and expressed my opposition to the withdrawal based upon such analysis. Those columns are available on the Jewish Press website.

Mr. Friedman believes that “absolutist opposition” will “lead to fewer Israeli concessions over time.” But history suggests the opposite. Prime Minister Shamir’s government was brought down by the far right following Israel’s participation in the 1991 Madrid Conference. Shamir was replaced by Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the Oslo Accords and revived the PLO. The National Religious Party caused the collapse of the Netanyahu government following the 1998 Wye River Agreement to transfer 13 percent of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority. When Ehud Barak defeated Netanyahu in the ensuing election, the NRP was the first to join Barak’s new coalition. Barak’s concessions at Camp David and Taba dwarfed anything Netanyahu ever contemplated.

This does not mean that right-wing opposition to Sharon is always inappropriate or ineffective. As I wrote, my views are similar to those of Uzi Landau, who leads the Likud opposition to Sharon. Landau recognizes that territorial compromise will be necessary for real peace, but rejects the Sharon plan. Coherent opposition based upon pragmatic goals is distinct from “absolutist opposition.”

As for the Five Books of Moses, I too take them seriously – along with the rest of Tanach and the Talmud. Religiously, historically and morally, Israel has a right to all of Judea and Samaria. But a strategy that ignores the serious challenges Israel faces will not succeed in retaining disputed territory.

Leslie Millstein calls my attitude “defeatist” but his letter has little to do with my column. The column and previous ones clearly stated my view that Oslo, Ehud Barak’s acceptance of the Clinton Plan and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza were and are mistakes. Mr. Millstein’s failure to distinguish between my political views and goals and those of Barak are a good illustration of my column’s assertion that many on the extreme right have no ability to recognize nuance. Not everyone to the left of Kach is a leftist. Mr. Millstein’s apparent belief that President Bush’s vision for a permanent settlement differs greatly from Clinton’s ignores Bush’s frequent comments that indicate the contrary.

Defending Israel’s Right To Secure Borders

Friday, January 9th, 2004

Following the Six Day War, UN Resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw ”from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” while affirming Israel’s ”right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.” The principal authors of 242 were Eugene Rostow of the State
Department, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Arthur Goldberg, and Lord Caradon of Britain.

Lord Caradon explained that ”It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948.”

Rostow wrote in The New Republic that Resolution 242 ”allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until ‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’ is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces ‘from territories’ it occupied during the Six Day War — not from ‘the’ territories nor from ‘all’ the territories, but from some of the territories.”

Goldberg concurred, saying ”the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.”

Unfortunately, in the last few years the intent and meaning of 242 have been ignored, resulting in unfair demands on Israel to withdraw from all or nearly all of Judea and Samaria (the ”West Bank”) and to redivide Jerusalem. The Sharon government’s plan to include several large towns within the security fence has been sharply criticized by the Bush administration, even though those areas were slated for annexation under the peace plans of Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak.

Colin Powell has praised the Geneva Accord, which calls for Israel to withdraw from 98 percent of Judea and Samaria, with almost all settlements to be surrendered intact after a detailed inventory is taken, so that Palestinians could move right in and turn the synagogues
into mosques. Geneva would divide Jerusalem, give Palestinians control over Jaffa Gate, the primary route to the Western Wall, relinquish control over the Temple Mount, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, and make international parties such as the UN and the EU the
arbiters of any disputes. Israel would take in an undetermined number of refugees (there is no ceiling), and pay compensation to all refugees.

These concessions go far beyond what the drafters of Resolution 242 contemplated.

The prevailing trends are disturbing, but not necessarily irreversible. A determined media and public relations effort must be made to explain that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would leave Israel with indefensible borders; that Israel has strong legal and historical rights to Judea and Samaria; that those territories were captured in a defensive war in which Arabs attempted
to annihilate Israel; that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not located on Arab land; and that annexation of those communities would not displace Arab residents.

An end to the demonizing of residents of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria must also be demanded. Whatever one’s political position, the routine comparisons of ”settlers” with Hamas terrorists is no less a Big Lie than were the blood libels in Christian Europe. The result has been a legitimization of the murder of Jewish civilians living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Until 2000, there was a bipartisan recognition in both Israel and the United States — shared by Likud and Labor, Republicans and Democrats — that Israel would not return to the 1967 borders, and would retain permanent control of a significant portion of Judea and Samaria.

In 1968, President Johnson said that ”a return to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.” In 1982, President Reagan noted that ”In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies.” Reagan promised, ”I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” In 1991, the Bush
administration assured Prime Minister Shamir that the ”United States does not intend to issue a call for a return to the 1967 borders or for only cosmetic changes in these borders.”

Secretary of State Powell’s four most recent predecessors all expressed similar sentiments. George Shultz said, ”Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders.” When James Baker was asked whether Judea, Samaria and Gaza are
”occupied Arab territories” or disputed territories, he responded, ”They’re clearly disputed territories. That’s what resolutions 242 and 338 are all about.” Warren Christopher assured Prime Minister Netanyahu, ”Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders.” Madeleine Albright stated: ”We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 as occupied Palestinian territory.”

In contrast, Powell recently called the Green Line ”a recognized border” and territories beyond it ”Palestinian areas.”

Among Israelis, there was almost unanimous agreement that secure borders require a united Jerusalem and annexation of the Jordan Valley along with a number of settlement blocs. Labor initiated settlement of the Jordan Valley and Gush Etzion, and the Allon Plan, under which
Israel would keep about one-third of Judea and Samaria, guided its peace plans. In the early 1980′s Yitzhak Rabin visited Lincoln Square Synagogue and urged congregants to move to the new community of Efrat that their rabbi, Shlomo Riskin, was founding.

Even the Oslo Accords did not shatter this consensus. In October 1995, one month before he was murdered, Prime Minister Rabin told the Knesset that Israel’s permanent borders ”will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 borders.” Rabin called for a ”united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’aleh Adumim and Givat Zeev,” and the annexation of the entire Jordan Valley, Gush Etzion (including Efrat)
and of settlement blocs. Rabin opposed the formation of a Palestinian state, preferring a limited ”entity which is less than a state.”

Similarly, in a visit to Beit El, Ehud Barak promised that ”Israelis will remain here in Beit El forever,” and that ”a united Jerusalem must remain under full and unequivocal Israeli sovereignty… under no circumstances will we return to the 1967 lines.” After he was elected prime minister in 1999, Barak insisted that Israel could make peace while annexing towns such as Beit El, Ofra and Ariel. A June 4, 1999 Jerusalem Post editorial stated what then
seemed obvious: ”No mainstream Israeli leader, and certainly not Ehud Barak, can imagine Israel leaving the towns of Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, or Efrat.”

On June 1, 2000, in a ceremony marking Jerusalem Day, Barak vowed: ”Never again will Jerusalem be under foreign sovereignty. Only someone who has no sense of reality, who does not understand anything about Israel’s yearning and longing and the Jewish people’s historical
connection for over 3,000 years would even consider making any concessions over the city.”

Barak quickly broke his vow, first at Camp David and again at Taba. In accepting the Clinton Plan, he agreed to divide Jerusalem and withdraw from the Jordan Valley and most of the communities in Judea and Samaria, including Beit El and Ofra. The IDF’s chief of staff, Shaul Mofaz (the current defense minister), blasted the Clinton Plan, telling Barak’s cabinet that it would expose Israel to ”great danger,” would ”threaten the security of the state,” was
”almost out of the question from a security standpoint,” and would leave Jews remaining in Judea and Samaria in an ”unbearable situation vis-a-vis the Palestinians.”

Unfortunately, despite more than three years of terror, Israel’s right to secure borders has been mostly forgotten, proposals offering territorial concessions even more extreme than the Clinton Plan are gaining legitimacy, and the Sharon government’s attempts to include within the security fence areas that would have been annexed to Israel under the Clinton Plan have been strongly condemned.

Worse, the Labor party has completely abandoned Rabin’s red lines and set forth principles calling for a return to the 1967 borders, including dividing Jerusalem. In doing so, Labor is undermining implementation of a plan based upon Barak’s concessions, by opposing the inclusion within the fence of towns that Barak would have annexed.

Tellingly, Barak rejects the Geneva Accord and has disavowed the Clinton Plan and Israel’s Taba concessions in favor of his less egregious Camp David proposals. Under Barak’s Camp David offer, Israel would have kept 8-10 percent of Judea and Samaria, and its concessions in Jerusalem applied to outlying Arab villages, but not to the Old City.

During his short tenure as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen told Newsweek that President Bush ”told us that he will stick to his vision of a Palestinian independent state and Israeli withdrawal to the ’67 borders.” Abu Mazen’s statement obviously cannot be verified, but the Bush administration has endorsed the road map, which says nothing about secure borders and references the Saudi plan, which calls for a full Israeli
withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

Bush has opposed Israel’s desire to include the Western Samaria settlements (including Ariel) within the security fence, even though those settlements would have been annexed even under the Clinton Plan. The Clinton Plan called for settlements containing 80 percent of Judea and
Samaria’s Jewish residents to be annexed, but without Ariel’s 18,000 residents, it would be impossible for that percentage of settlers to remain. As a recent Jerusalem Post editorial stated, ”Bush should … be categorical that terrorism will not succeed in moving him to the left of Clinton, that is, by undermining the settlement blocs that even Clinton recognized must be annexed to Israel.”

Powell’s support for the Geneva Accord, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz’s lauding of a similar plan, are causes for serious concern. Also disappointing is that when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld referred to Judea, Samaria and Gaza as ”the so-called occupied territories,” the Bush administration quickly clarified that Rumsfeld was speaking only for himself and that ”occupied” is the administration’s term for the territories.

Despite the negative trends, some assume that Israel would never leave Ariel and Efrat, and give up Rachel’s Tomb and all of Hebron. This view is naive; it is very possible that Yossi Beilin, the architect of Oslo, will persuade a future government to implement his Geneva

Israel’s right to secure borders has especially been undermined by the media’s acceptance of the Palestinian narrative, according to which all of the territory captured in 1967 is occupied Arab land. By never formally claiming any part of Judea or Samaria, Israel has contributed to this presumption. The ”settlers” are continually and falsely labeled as colonialists who ”unmistakably squat on land that was once Palestinian,” as Richard Cohen wrote in the Washington Post, and, particularly in Europe, as violent fanatics who scuttle prospects for peace. Little is being done in support of an accurate portrayal of settlements and their residents’ right to live peacefully within them.

Proudly proclaiming that Barak offered almost all of the territories, as Israelis and their supporters often do, is the wrong approach. Alan Dershowitz tried it recently on CNN, telling Lou Dobbs that Barak offered 97 percent of the West Bank. Dobbs asked what right Israel has to the other three percent, and compared Israeli retention of even a tiny portion to rat poison, because ”it’s that two percent that gets you.”

Netanyahu applied a better approach in a recent Washington Post column, explaining, ”most of Judea and Samaria is barren and empty. The combined Palestinian and Jewish populations live on less than one-third of this territory. But the empty swaths of disputed land, comprising
the heart of the Jewish ancestral homeland, are vital for Israel’s security.”

Joshua Schwartz recently wrote in The Jerusalem Post that Swiss reporters came to his town of Efrat, the largest community in Gush Etzion, and asked his daughter, a Bar-Ilan student, how she feels living on ”Arab land.” The young woman responded by informing the reporters of the history of Gush Etzion, where Jews lived from biblical times until 1948, when Arabs looted and then completely destroyed all four settlements, massacring 240 men and women. On June 7, 1967, hours after the liberation of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion was liberated. ”Thanks to my daughter,” Schwartz wrote, ”what they did not know before — they know now.”

Many dismiss the media as inherently hostile, and some of the media are. But in December 2001, MSNBC’s Gregg Jarrett (now of Fox) hosted a program live from Efrat. Jarrett’s tone was favorable toward the town and its residents. He quipped that Efrat looked like Palm Beach, and described the community as a ”resettlement,” explaining to viewers that Jews lived in the area until 1948 and had returned to reestablish their presence.

When the spotlight is not on ”the occupation” but on the universal right to live in one’s home, the results are favorable. For example, in a poll commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America asking whether Jews should be permitted to live and build homes in Judea and Samaria, more than 60 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative.

The goal must therefore be to shift the focus from Arab claims of ”occupation.” As a result of these claims, many people are under the erroneous impression that prior to Israel’s formation a Palestinian state existed. This myth must be destroyed. Contrary to what Richard Cohen wrote, Israelis do not ”unmistakably squat on land that was once Palestinian.” Palestinians never had a state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

It must be reiterated that Israel captured the disputed territories in a defensive war; that the PLO was founded for the purpose of destroying Israel in 1964, prior to that war; that Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzook boasted on CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ that Hamas’ s Qassam rockets are able to hit Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem; that Israel must therefore maintain its presence in areas north of Jerusalem such as Beit El and Ofra and areas south of Jerusalem such as Efrat; that if Israel withdraws from Western Samaria, Qassams or shoulder-fired missiles could shoot down planes taking off or landing at Ben Gurion airport; that Israeli
control of the Jordan Valley is vital, because if the Jordanian border is controlled by Palestinians, smuggling of weapons from Jordan will occur, just as massive smuggling has taken place at the Gaza-Egypt border; that there is a long Jewish history in Judea and Samaria; that Judea and Samaria are mostly empty; that Arab towns and people have not been displaced as a result of settlements; and that annexation of 30 percent of Judea and Samaria would leave only a small percentage of its Arab residents under Israeli rule.

This is not a ”right-wing” issue. Support for territorial compromise is consistent with Israel’s right to secure borders, beyond the indefensible ones it held in 1967. That right is under severe threat. It must be asserted.

Joseph Schick is an attorney. His blog, The Zionist Conspiracy, is located at www.jschick.blogspot.com, and his e-mail address is josephschick@hotmail.com. Links and/or references to material cited in this column will be posted on the blog.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/defending-israels-right-to-secure-borders/2004/01/09/

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