Israel’s recent military action has shown everyone that when it comes to her vital interests no one can tell her what to do. It has shown Jews – afraid of their own shadow – in Israel and around the world that despite mighty pressure and criticism Israel can pursue her vital interests without fear of what will the nations say? And it has galvanized the Jewish world to stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters under attack.

Now that the action is winding down however the next step becomes more difficult. Perhaps without realizing the import of their words speakers at Washington’s super-rally echoed a platitude that would be a joke if it were not dangerous. The Arabs have only to renounce terrorism – went the refrain ? and they will get their state in the Holy Land.


Isn’t the idea of such a state already dead and buried? After hundreds of cruel deaths and thousands of serious injuries of innocent Israeli men women and children since Oslo especially during the past 20 months doesn’t everyone realize how dangerous such a state would be to Israel and the world?

In practice such a state has already been functioning for several years in areas A and B of the territories where the PA civil administration governs 98% of Arabs in the West Bank. The PA has had full autonomy in most areas except foreign affairs and the right to maintain a full-scale army. With huge funding – courtesy of the United States Europe and Israel – it has also had plenty of time and resources to prove itself.

Yet this virtual state has done nothing to improve its residents’ lives. It has been busy executing any moderate-minded Arabs still left while its media and educational system spew forth a constant stream of pathological hatred that has thoroughly poisoned the minds of its population especially the youth against Jews and against the United States. It has become a powerhouse of terror against Jews and in alliance with the worldwide Islamic fundamentalist terror consortium against the entire free world.

Let’s admit it. It was a dismal experiment carried out on live guinea-pigs – the citizens of Israel and many unfortunate Arabs – that has been one colossal failure. Well-meaning people commiserating with the perceived misfortune of the Arabs thought it a great idea whose time had come. But the idea has come and gone been tried and failed and must remain gone and unlamented.

Reviving the idea of such a state means asking Israel to commit national suicide. It’s like asking the United States to agree to let an Al Qaeda-run state be established across the Potomac from Washington D.C.

After its failure to keep any of its commitments till now – towards Israel the world and its own citizens – who can still trust the PA to keep any promises in the future? In defiance of all agreements it has secretly imported hefty armaments (from the USA’s enemies such as Iran) and built up a heavy military force – in the center of the land within close reach of all Israel’s cities. It has directly sponsored armed and funded heinous murders of countless innocents by its terrorist cohorts. So can anyone still trust them to cease their constant war against Israel and its citizens despite the most solemn promises?

Don’t forget they have done this even before independence. If they would get independence (G-d forbid) imagine how much worse it would be? Just as no one stopped Germany in the 1930’s from reoccupying the Rhineland and rearming despite international agreements imposed by the world’s greatest powers who will bother to stop an independent state from arming its military with the most destructive weapons known to man? And after all we have seen does anyone believe they would hesitate to use them?

Now that Israel has learned to endure the world’s criticism it must reassert its right to survival. It must declare in no ambivalent terms that it can never agree to the establishment of an Arab state on the west side of the Jordan for no one has a right to demand of anyone to commit suicide.

Sure it will raise a storm of indignation. But clear-minded people in this country are already starting to see the light on this issue. Many have revised their perspectives since 9/11 and now see Israel as a natural ally against the global danger of Islamic fundamentalist terror.

Above all Israel must know what it wants and stand firm. As we have seen even mighty leaders have backed down when they realize that Israel is only demanding its right to survival.

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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at [email protected].