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At this point in Israel’s problematic diplomatic agenda, there is really only one overriding policy question: Can any form of negotiation with the Palestinians,...
Si vis pacem, para bellum atomicum. "If you want peace, prepare for atomic war." However reluctantly, this must be Israel's overriding strategic mantra in the years ahead. This is not because a nuclear war is especially likely, but rather because Israel's nuclear deterrent will remain indispensable for the prevention of large-scale conventional conflict.
The following article was originally published in The Jewish Press in February 2000. It is being reprinted here now because over the past ten years, nothing has been learned about the central impediment to real peace in the Middle East. The core problem was, and still is, the far-reaching Islamic hatred of Jews. Doctrinally, Israel will never be accepted in the Islamic Middle East because it is a Jewish state. As with the Oslo process discussed in this 2000 article, no "Road Map" or other currently favored form of twisted cartography can hold any plausible promise for Israel. Today, as in the case of Oslo, the Road Map simply requires Israel to exchange land for nothing. President Barack Obama, please take note.
From an existential standpoint, Israel must quickly change its strategic and diplomatic course, or prepare to disappear in increments. More specifically, with a new prime minister in place, Israel will soon need to reassess its presumed faith in the so-called Road Map to Peace in the Middle East.
Regarding the Oslo accords and Israel's vulnerability to war, Israeli security has become increasingly dependent upon nuclear weapons and strategy.
Jewish Law is democratic in the sense that it belongs to all of the people, a principle reflected in the Talmudic position that each individual can approach G-d in prayer without priestly intercessions.
In the Jewish tradition, the principle of a Higher Law is not only well established; it is the very foundation of all legal order.
Over the years, regular readers of my column in The Jewish Press may have noticed a continuing regard for the concept of time.
For Jews, free will must always be oriented toward life, to the blessing, not to the curse. Our binding charge is to strive in this obligatory direction of individual and collective self-preservation by using our intelligence and by exercising our essentially disciplined acts of will. In circumstances where such striving is consciously rejected, the outcome - however catastrophic - can never rise to the dignified level of tragedy.
Back in August 2007, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Prime Minister Olmert's "partner in peace," named a soccer tournament after Ziyad Da'as, a Fatah-Tanzim terrorist who had been eliminated by Israel exactly five years earlier. The Palestinian Da'as was responsible for the heroic January 2002 attack in which gunmen opened fire with an M-16 at a Bat Mitzvah in Hadera, murdering six and seriously wounding thirty. With equal courage, he had also planned the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli civilians in Tulkarem in 2001.
Can the current government of Israel protect its citizens? Clearly, Israelis have already experienced the Oslo and Road Map "peace process," as a Terror Process. If Judea/Samaria are soon transformed into "Palestine," the peace process will once again become a war and terror process.
Already from its imperiled beginnings in May 1948 - indeed, even before statehood - Israel has sought desperately to negotiate with its enemies. Always, always - it has preferred peace to war. Nonetheless, challenged by interminable Arab aggression and subversion, diplomacy has almost always failed Israel.
The following is the original text of an important lecture delivered by Professor Louis Rene Beres to the Dayan Forum, Israel, on March 11, 1994 (Ambassador Zalman Shoval, presiding). It remains entirely relevant today, especially with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's: (1) recent release of Palestinian terrorists as a "goodwill gesture;" (2) the Prime Minister's equally incomprehensible support of one murderous terrorist faction (Fatah) against another (Hamas); and his corollary commitment to the altogether twisted cartography of a markedly one-sided "Road Map."
Jews and justice can never be uttered in the same breath. So it is too for the Jewish State, always the individual Jew in macrocosm. Whether it wishes to acknowledge the existential danger or not, Israel's only hope for survival now lies in a well-reasoned and coherent nuclear strategy for dealing with nuclearizing enemies.
The poet Auden understood many things. He understood truly important things as only the poets can. He understood that humankind can always be found in pretty much the same imperiled condition.
In an ancient myth, the Greek gods condemn Sisyphus to roll a great rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone will inevitably fall back of its own weight. By imposing this terrible judgment the gods had prescribed the dreadful punishment of interminable labor. But they also revealed something vastly more difficult to understand, namely, that even such useless labor need not be altogether futile. Such labor, they knew, could also be heroic.
A dear friend of mine in Israel, a hard-fighting veteran of all too many wars, was asked to summarize his view of the "disengagement." "What," I inquired, "do you think of the forcible deportation of Jews from Jewish lands in Gaza and parts of Samaria by the government in Jerusalem?"
Arafat is gone, but the "Road Map" remains. Indeed, regarding Israel's continuance in the Middle East, absolutely nothing has changed in the Palestinian Authority or in the Arab world generally. Notwithstanding President Bush's explicit plea for a "Two State Solution," the PA and its allies still see only one state. This State of Palestine would include all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and ALL of the rest of Israel.
Even now - after Arafat, after thousands of Israeli men, women and children have been systematically dismembered, burned and mutilated by the most barbaric terrorist movement in recent memory - much of the world remains willfully impervious to geopolitical truth.
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