Op-Ed: Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant
The father of American Zionism, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, once famously stated that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”.
The quote is perhaps Brandeis's most enduring and remains widely used today. It speaks to the notion that evil and injustice are defeated by the ready availability of truth. That is, of course, why laws referring to the fundamental democratic value of government transparency are commonly known as “Sunshine Laws.” Secrecy, on the other hand, is the method of bad intentions.
When announcing the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on July 19th, Secretary of State John Kerry asserted: “we [the negotiators] are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now.” Days later, in Washington DC, Secretary Kerry further emphasized that the concerned public would be denied any and all information when he declared: “I will be the only one, by agreement, authorized to comment publicly on the talks…That means that no one should consider any reports, articles, or other – or even rumors – reliable, unless they come directly from me, and I guarantee you they won’t.”
It was revealed by Israeli Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis that even government ministers and members of the Knesset are being kept in the dark and intentionally misled.
As they affect the Jewish nation, concessions extracted from us in the “peace process” would have potentially disastrous consequences upon our well-being. Every Arab demand is aimed at harming us, from seeking to push us back to the indefensible Auschwitz Borders, overrunning us by giving citizenship to millions of hostile Arab refugees, or spiritually breaking our back with the division of our holy capital, Jerusalem. Every concession is of fundamental importance to our future and concerns our safety and survival.
Also of grave concern is the fact that Israel’s negotiating interests are being represented by Tzipi Livni, the mother of Israeli appeasement and defeatism. Secrecy allows the negotiators to issue deceptive denials as harmful concessions are made, thereby thwarting voices of caution and dissent.
While Secretary Kerry suggests that secrecy is necessary to formulating an agreement, the truth is that it has much more to do with forcing the implementation an agreement, especially where the terms would be contrary to the interest and will of the Israeli people. Let’s face it, if a deal is somehow coerced upon the negotiators themselves, Obama and Kerry won’t care what the Israeli public or government has to say upon the matter.
The secrecy is aimed at moving the process beyond a certain point of no return. If a signed deal emerges from Obama’s negotiating room, no matter how harmful the terms or popular the opposition, it will be implemented.
It is wrong to think that a referendum will protect Israel from even the most obviously dangerous agreement. The Israeli people and government will not be permitted to freely determine their future.
President Obama will immediately exert pressure upon Prime Minister Netanyahu, while the threat of American abandonment in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat and UN unilateralism looms large. The Europeans will pour a massive amount of money into NGOs who will wage a public relations campaign in ruthless fashion and search for legal means to thwart the referendum altogether.
The alliance of the Arabs and the International Left will threaten of the “deserved” boycotts, divestment and sanctions that rejecting an agreement will unleash. The courtesans who lead the American Jewish establishment will go on with their platitudes about the nobility of making “painful decisions” despite the tremendous risk of Jewish life involved. A
ll this, when combined with the all-too-often apologetic and self-defeating nature of the Jews will be too much to bear. We will submit, with tragic consequences following soon thereafter.
Considering the dangerous concessions that may be offered by or extracted from Israel’s desperate negotiator, Tzipi Livni, and given the absolute lack of transparency, we must expect the worst and act immediately on that basis. We simply cannot afford to give the benefit of the doubt where we are being denied access to the truth.
The media must be encouraged to pry hard into the negotiating process. As J Street seeks to bring Congressional pressure to bear upon Israel via Senator Feinstein’s Resolution 203, AIPAC must be encouraged to fight and defeat their effort. Israel’s supporters must begin to exert real pressure upon leaders in Israel and the U.S. by threatening to withhold financial support. Christian Zionists must quickly become active stakeholders rather than mere supporters lest they find themselves in the hands of an Arab-Islamic country the next time they care to visit their sites of religious import.
Most importantly, responsible members of the Israeli government must prepare a plan of action to bring down the present government if necessary, before a dangerous unknown deal can emerge from the darkness. If an agreement that brings true peace is ever to be reached, it will only be accomplished in the sunshine without anything to hide.
The writer is an attorney and Zionist activist residing in Florida.