Lot and the Roadmap

The biblical account of Lot came to mind. No, not the episode in which Lot?s wife turns into a pillar of salt, but the prelude to that episode.

Alan Perlman,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Driving the other night from Tel Aviv to my home in Carmel in the Hebron Hills, I pondered the absurdity of the Roadmap, and the recent meeting between George Bush, Ariel Sharon, and noted terrorist leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas.

The biblical account of Lot came to mind. No, not the episode in which Lot?s wife turns into a pillar of salt, but the prelude to that episode.

Two angels, in the guise of men, came to the house of Lot - one angel to destroy Sodom, and one to save Lot and his family. The men of Sodom, being the men of Sodom, demanded that Lot hand over his guests to them for their lusts. What follows must be one of the strangest accounts ever. Lot grew up in the home of his righteous and kindly uncle, Abraham, from whom he learned the full meaning of hospitality. He would not hand over the angels to the men of Sodom.

And yet, his similarity to Abraham ends there, for in the next breath, he offers the men of Sodom his two unmarried daughters.

What is the logic here? To worry about your guests and at the same time offer your daughters to the savages. Can anyone understand such utter depravity? What could Lot have been thinking?

Yet, Israelis find themselves in a similar situation.

Israelis live with the fact that whenever the government lifts a closure on Palestinians, or announces any other humanitarian gesture, terrorist attacks follow like clockwork. They also live with the fact that Yasser Arafat always launches terror offensives when diplomatic visitors come to Israel, or Israeli representatives go abroad. So it was that terrorists murdered Israelis at the Dophinarium during the visit of Germany?s Joschka Fischer, and murdered Israelis at Sbarro?s during Anthony Zinni?s visit. And several weeks ago, Sharon cancelled his planned meeting with Bush following similar attacks.

Given these facts, one would expect that when meeting with foreign dignitaries, Sharon would enforce or tighten closures. And one would be wrong.

Sharon always announces humanitarian gestures before such meetings. In anticipation of the Roadmap conference, as a confidence building measure, Sharon increased the number of work permits for Palestinians to 25,000, and released prisoners, including a mass murderer. How noble and humane. Protect the poor, suffering Palestinian terrorists. So what if they savage our daughters and sons, our parents and grandparents?

All Israelis are familiar with the above formula. They only disagree about motive. Some will suggest that Sharon eases closures before a meeting because he really wants to build Palestinian confidence and make a true peace. Others will suggest the opposite - that Sharon deliberately eases closures before talks so that the ensuing terror attacks will ensure that the talks end in failure.

And there?s the rub: motive is irrelevant. Whatever the government?s motive, all Israelis recognize that when the government eases the closure, it is effectively offering Jewish blood to satisfy Palestinian blood lust. And this Lot-like depravity is not limited to Sharon alone. It applies to the whole Oslo process. In perverse, misplaced compassion for the Palestinians, Israel released known murderers from prison, gave them weapons, and then shrugged off the murder of Israelis, calling the murders ?sacrifices for peace.? Through Oslo, Israel denied its heritage and its rights to its own land, including its holiest site. Perhaps people reading the accounts of Oslo a thousand years hence will wonder at the utter depravity of the process.

Yet, this is only half the story. The depravity in the biblical account continues. The angels bring Lot inside and strike the men of Sodom blind.

Now logic would dictate that if you planned to assault someone, but you were suddenly struck blind, you might just decide to forgo the assault and try to make your way home - but not the men of Sodom. They were so thoroughly perverse that, even as they were struck blind, they continued to grope for the door to find Lot?s guests. It is hard to imagine such intense lust and deep-rooted perversity.

But this was no ordinary blindness. The Hebrew term used for the blindness in this episode is ?sanverim?, an unusual term that may well suggest delusion and hallucination. Which brings us to the Palestinian side of the equation.

Those who know history know that the supposedly indigenous Palestinians are, in fact, latecomers who were drawn to the land by the opportunities created by the early Jewish settlers. Their ?ancient history?, which they write as they go, is a fabrication, as is their Palestinian identity. As recently as British Mandate days, the term ?Palestinian? was used only to refer to the Jews of Israel - no self-respecting Arab would ever have called himself a Palestinian. Even Arafat, the leader of the Palestinians, is an Egyptian.

This non-nation, with a fabricated history and no real claim to the land of Israel, was offered a state by Ehud Barak. Never was a more undeserving group so close to a state. But instead of accepting the offer, they decided to go to war against Israel. Can one imagine a more delusional act?

In launching the Oslo war, they?ve undermined their ostensible goal of acquiring an independent state, the Roadmap notwithstanding. (Clearly, their actual goal is Israel?s destruction.) In the process, they?ve impoverished themselves, destroying what little economy they had. They?ve turned their children into savages and turned savagery into a form of worship. And they so lust after Jewish blood that they gladly kill themselves for the chance to kill Jews. Can anything be more perverse?

George Bush and Arik Sharon should think long and hard about the parallels between Oslo and the biblical account of Lot and Sodom. The Roadmap is unlikely to lead to a Palestinian state, but it could have major consequences for both Bush and Sharon.

The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and G-d promised to redeem the Jewish people on their land - the entire land. Unlike the fabricated Palestinian people, the Jewish people are eternal. They have long memories and they write everything down, including which leaders are friends and which are enemies. Mr. Bush is currently seen as a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people, but he can undo that in a flash. He would do well to consider on which side of the redemption he wants to be, and how he wants to be remembered in Jewish history.

Mr. Sharon would do well to consider the same, and to consider that the signing away of Israeli land and the tearing down of settlements have always been followed by the collapse of the responsible government.
Alan Perlman is a technical writer from Carmel in the Hevron hills region. His columns have appeared on IsraelInsider.com, as well as the web-sites of Yahoo! News, Aish HaTorah and radio personality Rush Limbaugh.