Arno WeinsteinArno Weinstein is the Director of Policy Research of the American Zionist Leadership Policy Institute.
During Israel?s most recent elections the Likud garnered a sizable majority, while the Labor Party had an abysmal showing. Led by Amram Mitzna, Labor ran on a platform of ?peace?, promoting immediate Oslo-type negotiations with Yassir Arafat. Mitzna went so far as to declare that should his party attain power, he would lead a unilateral withdrawal from the 1967 territories if a deal with Arafat failed.
Soon after the Labor Party?s collapse at the polls, Mitzna was ousted from his leadership position. As a temporary head of the party, the stalwart war-horse of the Israeli left, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres assumed the reins of power in the party. Peres, the Oslo veteran, has consistently misunderstood Israel?s enemies and has unceasingly drawn the Jewish State into acts of appeasement, resulting in bloody episodes of Israeli deaths at the hands of Arab terrorists.
Now, elements in the White House and their puppet-masters in the State Department are pushing Prime Minister Sharon to make his government ?Road Map?-friendly. By bringing Labor into Israel?s ruling coalition, Sharon would be, as a matter of consequence, removing most of the current government?s coalition partners. Sharon?s collapsing ?red lines? on the ?Road Map? are not enough for the United States. Those in the Bush Administration who have Oslo Withdrawal Syndrome (OWS) and are hell-bent on running roughshod toward disaster should take note of the very recent past.
It wasn?t so many years ago when the Clinton Administration sent ?political consultants? (read, party hacks and political operatives) to ensure the victory of Ehud Barak. James Carville and others were dispatched to Israel and ?advised? the Labor candidate Barak on how to unseat the Likud?s Binyamin Netanyahu. The motive for this interference into the internal affairs of a foreign country was to get an Israeli leader who would play ball with President Clinton, Yasser Arafat and the Olso process. The Americans knew that, though malleable, the Likud under Netanyahu, would be far more difficult during negotiations than the Labor would-be prime minister, Ehud Barak. Labor in power would not only mean an Israeli government more amenable to the capitulation to terrorists required of the Oslo process, but a grateful prime minister could give Bill Clinton the ultimate leverage he needed. Sure enough, Ehud Barak won and the total capitulation to Oslo was complete. The Clinton Administration found Barak a more-than-willing partner for Oslo. In 2000, Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat what can only be described as everything Bill Clinton could have desired.
What both Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak failed to understand was that the more you give to terrorists, the more the terrorists will seek to take. As is well known, Arafat walked away from the sweetheart deal offered by the Barak/Clinton partnership at Camp David. On the heels of Arafat?s rejection, began the intensification of the Oslo War, perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority.
Why restate the political blunders of the past? Why rehash the embarrassing politics resulting in death and the growing strength of terrorists? Should the Bush Administration continue in their attempts to remake the Israeli government into an appeasement-ready coalition, they will be as responsible for the future Jewish deaths as the Barak/Clinton alliance is responsible for the current Oslo War.
Israeli politicians pass OWS around like the plague that it is. Make no mistake, the syndrome is deadly. And the ?Road Map? is only a variant of the abnormal reactions to the defeated concepts of the Oslo process. Rather than firm up an Israeli government bent on self-destruction, the Bush Administration needs to ignore the forces that strive to negate the Bush Doctrine. After all, the United States? best defense against OWS is the Bush Doctrine. That is, the unswerving position that terrorists and their supporters must be defeated.
Oslo Withdrawal Syndrome is insidious and first affects rational thought, as is illustrated by the following quotation from Middle East News Line citing an unnamed White House official: ?The main concern is that Sharon will move away from the ?roadmap?. Someone like Peres can ensure that that won't happen.?
The ?Road Map? is outrageous in that it calls on America?s closest and most dependable ally in the Middle East ? Israel ? to retreat from borders that are already a challenge to defend. Additionally, the ?Road Map? puts the security of the Jewish State at considerable risk, not to mention advancing the unthinkable idea that Israel must trust her very existence to terrorists that have previously pledged themselves to her absolute destruction. Rewarding terrorists for their brutal and evil actions is a dangerous message for America to send to Islamic terrorists throughout the world. American values and American security are at stake here, terrorism is evil and sacrificing allies for short-term gains is not a role that the U.S. State Department should be allowed to play; illness or not.