Impossible Restraint

?Remarkable restraint?. The administration of George Bush the First coined that phrase in reference to Israel?s submissive/cooperative stance during the Gulf War. Ariel Sharon?s spokesperson has used it on CNN with regards to our controlled response to terror. And George W. Bush requires it of us while he fiddles with the UN.

Ellen W. Horowitz,

Arutz 7
?Remarkable restraint?. The administration of George Bush the First coined that phrase in reference to Israel?s submissive/cooperative stance during the Gulf War. Ariel Sharon?s spokesperson has used it on CNN with regards to our controlled response to terror. And George W. Bush requires it of us while he fiddles with the UN.

I think it is remarkably stupid that this post-Holocaust Jewish nation is willing to submit to continued torture and blood-letting while we wait for America to act. What type of restraint are we talking about? Is it the world?s longest umbilical cord or an iron chain that fetters us? Is it a lifeline or a manacle, or a little bit of both?

For awhile, it resembled an umbilical cord, as America and Israel shared a great symbiotic and fraternal relationship. Israel was able to successfully manage the Six-Day War, Operation Entebbe, the bombing of Iraq?s nuclear plant, and the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry without too much interference from the United States. America stood by us as a valuable diplomatic ally. Israel would act, followed by a noisy outcry in the world community and America would respond, like a good friend, by vetoing those nasty UN resolutions or using other diplomatic means to settle things down. Those were the days. It should be noted that the relationship has hardly been one-sided. America has received vast amounts of intelligence information from the Jewish State, in addition to having Israel?s stable, democratic presence in a volatile, but vital, region of the world.

Yet, over the years, things changed. The great American/Israeli umbilical cord has managed to wind itself around the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, in addition to wrapping itself around financial districts from New York to Tokyo. It got really hung-up in Europe. Our umbilical cord is now a tangled, knotted mess and the whole world seems to be tripping on it . And every time they do, it seems to pull on the noose that?s wrapped around Israel?s neck, and it is beginning to choke. We have been asked to pay a very heavy price in territory and blood in order to keep the cord intact.

Israel has done its best to salvage the relationship. We withdrew from Sinai, conceded in Madrid and sold our souls with Oslo. We are so willing to please and make things happen for America. But our submissive posture has backfired. America and Israel need to urgently reassess this relationship, before we both gag.

Had Israel and America maintained a relationship based on mutual security concerns, launching a campaign against Arab and Islamic terrorism could have been a piece of cake. Unfortunately, power, greed, ego and Europe had to enter the picture.

We in Israel have our problems with Saddam (who just this week sent $262,000 to Palestinian ?martrys?), and America has theirs . America and Israel could have fought side by side and successfully carried out one very powerful, efficient and effective operation against a common enemy. In this way, America would not be fighting Israel?s war and Israel wouldn?t have to sit bound and gagged while being forced to watch everyone from our infants to grandmothers being blown sky high. Together, we could have turned to India, another sincere democracy with a major Islamic headache, to strengthen the alliance. But America opted to take the European/United Nations highway to hell. We Jews have already been there and done that. We don?t want to shlep our tattered umbilical cord through the decaying shell of the Kremlin and over a crumbled Berlin Wall, only to get it twisted in the lattice work of the Eiffel tower.

Israel has been reduced to some pawn on the geopolitical chessboard; America?s fall guy. Disgruntled members of America?s legislature and public are beginning to point fingers at American Jewry and Israel for plotting against the Good Ol? U.S.A. They?re asking themselves, ?Why do we have to
fight Israel?s war?? And it is not just French diplomats who are referring to us as a ?shi--y little country? under their breath.

Meanwhile, in Israel, preemptive action against an enemy that is relentlessly assaulting our civilian population is impossible, as it may spoil America?s diplomatic strategy. So much for our war against terror. As for America?s war on terror, well, it looks like we?ll just have to cooperate. The government of Israel has once again asked us citizens to gird our loins with remarkable restraints and, if necessary, absorb a first strike from Saddam and company. This is an unacceptable, impossible, humiliating and perilous situation for any sovereign country to be in. Don?t think it will get much better after Saddam?s downfall.

When all of this is over, America will have to repair its tarnished image in the world community and guess who gets to do the polishing? What do you mean you don?t like to polish? You?ve done it before in Madrid and Oslo (dare I mention Sinai and Camp David?). Don?t want to go down that road again? Okay, so cut the cord.

That would mean austerity measures over the next few years. International boycotts would kick in, as well as a massive reduction in economic and military assistance from our big brother. It would mean having to be isolated and to stand alone in a world gone mad. It would also mean cafe hafuch instead of latte, a felafel instead of a Big Mac and a kibbutz guest house, as opposed to a five star hotel; Gottex and Goldstar, rather than Christian Dior and Heineken, a bowl of Telma flakes rather than Kellogg?s; and listening to Boaz Sharabi over Britanny Spears. There would need to be a reduction in foreign workers, a revival of Israeli agriculture and building with our own hands.

Ahhh, to touch the earth again. I sound like some Zionist dreamer, right? Well, it?s easy to dream a dream that was successfully actualized time and time again in the past. In fact, the Jewish nation is the only one on Earth that has the ability to turn back the clock and return to its former glory. Israel the way it used to be - yeah, we?d be simple and broke, but proud. Securing our own flesh and blood would once again take priority over saving Uncle Sam?s skin or reputation. America would be our friend and we would be theirs, but on different and more reasonable terms.

One of my sons was born with the cord wrapped around his neck three times. It was a long labor. The cord kept choking him as he entered the birth canal and he would pull back. The midwives and doctors of the innovative hospital I was at failed to detect the problem, but - with a little determination on my part - G-d intervened rather than the surgeon. Immediately after the birth, I remember how amazed the staff in attendance was at the exceptionally long umbilical cord. I was far more fascinated with the baby laying across my stomach, who, despite the ordeal and trauma, was holding his head up and breathing on his own.
Ellen Horowitz lives in the Golan Heights with her husband and six children. She is a painter and writer and can be reached at
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