Barak has turned every stone to achieve
Truth is, he has turned every stone to build
settlements. Since his first day in office, he has accelerated the pace of
setting up new settlements (in the guise of “enlarging” existing ones),
confiscating lands, demolishing Palestinian homes and building “by-pass roads”
(whose main purpose is to add Palestinian lands to the “settlement blocs”
which he wants to annex to Israel.) In all these activities, Barak has done
more than Netanyahu.
In the political field, too, Barak has upstaged
Netanyahu: Bibi returned at least the greater part of the town Hebron to the
Palestinians. Barak has not returned one single inch of occupied
At Camp David, Barak went further than any previous
Even if this were true, it would mean very
little. If one Marathon runner (Netanyahu) falls down after one mile, and
another (Barak) falls down after three, the difference between them is not
really important. What is important is that neither of them got even near the
finishing line (26 miles).
Barak’s proposals at Camp David were far
from the minimum necessary to make peace with the Palestinian people and the
whole Arab world: Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, and especially
the compound of the holy mosques (Haram al-Sharif).
Barak indicated at
Camp David that he might “consider” some cosmetic changes (and thereby he
indeed broke some of the Israeli taboos concerning Jerusalem) – but as a
matter of fact he denied the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims
sovereignty over the compound of the holy mosques and the major Arab
neighborhoods in the city. That’s why the summit failed and the escalation
started, leading up to the “al-Aksa intifada”.
Arafat blew up the
Camp David summit.
On the eve of his departure for the summit,
Barak announced five “Red Lines”, which he would not cross under any
circumstances. Among them: Israeli sovereignty over the entire city of
Jerusalem, No return to the 1967 border, Keeping 80% of the settlers were they
are, No return of a single refugee to Israel!!! Afterwards he softened some of
these stands, but not enough to come anywhere near an
All the time, we give, give, give. Arafat doesn’t
When the Palestinians agreed to a peace
settlement based on the pre-1967 border (the Green Line), they were already
giving up in advance 78% of the land between the sea and the Jordan river.
They are ready to set up their state in the remaining 22%. Our government
wants a “compromise” over this area. Meaning: “What’s mine is mine, about
what’s yours, we shall compromise”.
(Factual background: the November
29, 1947, UN partition resolution gave the Jewish state 55% and the Arab state
45% of Palestine. In the ensuing war [started by the Arabs], we conquered half
of the territory allotted to the Arab state. Thus the “Green Line” came about,
leaving 78% of the country in our hands.)
The problem is not expressed
in percentage points only. Barak appears to be asking for only 10% of the
occupied territories. In reality, it’s closer to 30%, taking into account the
territories he wants to annex in the Jerusalem area and place under his
“security control” in the Jordan valley. But even worse, in the map submitted
to the Palestinians, these percentage points cut the country up from East to
West and from North to South, so that the Palestinian state will consist of a
group of islands, each surrounded by Israeli settlers and
How can one make peace with the Palestinians when
they break every agreement?
Well, Palestinian violations pale
in comparison with ours. Before the end of the 5-years interim period (May
1998), the IDF had to withdraw from all the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
except “specified military locations”, settlements and Jerusalem. Barak
refuses to do this even at this late date. Also, four “safe passages” between
the West Bank and Gaza should have been in operation long ago. In practice,
only one was opened, and this one can only be used by Palestinians after much
Barak is the heir to Rabin.
from it. Within a few months he has succeeded in destroying not only all the
achievements of Rabin, but those of Begin, too. He has buried the Oslo
agreement (to which he objected from the beginning) and destroyed the
relations built up with much effort between Israel and a number of Arab
countries. He has created ferment among the Arab citizens in Israel itself. In
many respects, he has thrown us back to 1948, even 1936.
lynching in Ramallah shows that the Arabs are animals.
confrontation like this one, each side points to the atrocities committed by
the other, “forgetting” the atrocities committed by his own side. Israel
points to the horrible lynching, the Palestinians point to the killing of
12-years old Muhammad al-Dira in the arms of his father and the brain-killing
bullets used by Israel army snipers against stone-throwing children. Our acts
of violence come in response to the actions of the Palestinians, theirs come
in response to ours. It’s a vicious circle.
media are instruments of incitement.
That is true, but
unfortunately there is no great difference between theirs and ours in this
respect. Ours and theirs speak the same language, following guidelines from
above. When Palestinian TV shows over and over again the picture of the boy
dying in the arms of his father, that’s incitement. When our TV shows dozens
of times a day, day after day, the atrocious lynching in Ramallah, that’s
They shoot at us and the Israeli army is
It is strange that in two weeks of
“self-restraint”’ about 110 Palestinian and 3 Israeli soldiers have been
killed. No Israeli officer has explained (or was asked to explain) this
(The explanation is, of course, that the Israeli army
has long in advance trained snipers to choose a person from among the
demonstrators, take exact aim through a telescopic sight and hit him with a
special deadly, high-velocity bullet. Instead of “pacifying” the area, as
intended, this method has inflamed it even more. Every funeral has led to
The Arabs send their children against our army
positions, so that they can be killed, in order to provide pictures for the
This is a horrendous accusation, betraying an
obnoxious racism. It contains the belief that Arab parents do not care about
their children dying.
In the struggle waged by our underground
organizations before 1948 and during our War of Independence, boys and girls
played an important part. The arms training of Palestinian boys is no
different from the training of our own Gadna youth battalions. The boy who, in
1948, destroyed a Syrian tank at kibbutz Deganya has become a national hero.
When a people fights for its very existence and freedom, its youth cannot but
take part. (I joined the Irgun, defined by the British as a terrorist
organization, at the age of 14 and a half. By the age of 15 I carried
It is an illusion to think that Palestinian parents can restrain
their children from going out into the street and throwing stones, when they
live under a cruel occupation and their brothers and sisters provide examples
of heroism and self-sacrifice. It is natural for the Palestinian people to be
proud of them.
Joan of Arc, by the way, was 16 years old when she led
the French army into battle.
The settlers routinely exploit their
children and babies, not hesitating to put them in harm’s
Again it is proved that the whole world is against us.
They are all anti-Semites.
World public opinion is always on
the side of the underdog. In this fight, we are Goliath and they are David.
In the eyes of the world, the Palestinians are fighting a war of
liberation against a foreign occupation. We are in their territory, not they
in ours. We settle on their land, not they on ours. We are the occupiers, they
are the victims. This is the objective situation, and no minister of
propaganda (like Mr. Nachman Shai) can change that.
no partner for peace.
True, we have no partner for a peace
that Palestinians see as a capitulation to Israeli ultimatums. We do have a
partner for a peace based on equality and mutual respect.
is quite clear: the State of Palestine must be set up within the pre-1967
border, with Jerusalem serving as the capital of the two states - East
Jerusalem with the Haram al-Sharif must belong to Palestine, West Jerusalem
with the Western Wall and the Jewish quarter must belong to
When this solution is accepted in principle, negotiations can
start about the other problems: mutual security, exchange of territories, a
moral and practical solution for the refugee problem, water allocation
This peace will come about, because the only alternative is hell
for both sides.