Israel in Retreat - Part II

Why is Israel's government behaving in this craven and self-destructive fashion? Why is it appeasing terrorists while oppressing its own people?

Rachel Neuwirth,

Rachel Neuwirth
Rachel Neuwirth
[John Landau contributed research and reporting to this article. Part one can be read at]

Why is Israel's government behaving in this craven and self-destructive fashion? Why is it appeasing terrorists while oppressing its own people? As an American, I am ashamed to admit the truth: one reason is relentless pressure on Israel from the United States government, from our own president, George W. Bush, and his assistants and advisors, to do exactly what Israel's government is now doing. In November and December of 2004, President Bush's White House advisor for Middle Eastern Affairs, Elliot Abrams, told closed meetings of American Jewish leaders that the administration expects Israel to dismantle all of the Israeli "settlements" outside the "security fence" that Israel is now building.

Some sources suggest that Abrams did not specify the precise route of Israel's future border fence. But the usually well-informed Debka internet newspaper says that it must exclude all "settlements" to the east of the segment of the security fence that Israel has already built, along its narrow, ten-mile-wide "waist". This would place Israel's border literally a stone's throw from its major metropolitan area, Tel Aviv, and the neighboring towns and suburbs along Israel's central coast. If Debka's information is correct, nearly all Israeli towns and villages ("settlements") outside of Israel's 1949 armistice lines would have to be abandoned under the Bush plan, and their inhabitants expelled and resettled -- well over 400,000 people in all, including some 200,000 within the city limits of Jerusalem. Among the communities that would have to be "dismantled", according to Debka, are Ariel (18,000 inhabitants), Maale Adumim (30,000), Efrat (7,300), Kiryat Arba (7,500) and their nearby villages. Debka also asserts that Abrams will soon be appointed America's new ambassador to Israel, with the mission of "ascertain [ing] that these Jewish sites are removed from the West Bank."

According to the Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, a position paper written jointly by a team consisting of officials of the US State Department, the Egyptian government, the Palestinian Authority, Canada and the World Bank, joined by representatives of Israel's leftist opposition -- but without any input solicited from the Israeli government -- lays out the Bush plan in greater detail. The chief architect of the document is George Bush the First's former Secretary of State, James Baker, who is still a major player behind the scenes in the administration of George the Second. The present Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, relies on this document for guidance, according to Glick.

The Baker "street map to the Road Map," as one U.S. diplomat calls it, makes it explicit that all 400,000-plus Jews living outside Israel's pre-1967 borders must be expelled to make way for a "contiguous" and ethnically pure Palestinian Arab state. The document doesn't even mention the word "terrorism", and does not require the Palestinian Authority to crack down on terrorism or dismantle terrorist organizations. An international force will patrol the frontier between the Palestinian state and what is left of Israel, thus making it impossible for Israel to strike back at the terrorists if there are more attacks. Israel will be required to facilitate the training, arming and operation of the Palestinian "security forces", without interfering with them in any way. Political "reforms" will be instituted in the Palestinian state with the objective of "consolidating Fatah [a terrorist organization dedicated in its constitution to the destruction of Israel] as the main political player in Palestinian society." And enforcement of the settlement will be controlled by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, thus depriving the State of Israel of sovereignty even within its truncated borders. Egyptian military forces will play a more important role in implementing the "agreement" than the IDF.

Apparently, Israel's Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, has been informed of these American dictates and has acquiesced to them. When asked by a reporter about the future of Israeli settlements outside the pre-1967 lines, he said that US has never accepted the idea of settlements in the territories, and that the consent of the Palestinians would be needed for their long-term survival. Needless to say, that consent will not be given.

It was the late Foreign Minister Abba Eban who first called the pre-1967 Israeli borders, to which the Bush Administration demands that Israel retreat, the "Auschwitz borders". No nation in today's high-tech world could survive within such frontiers against an enemy armed with superior numbers, state-of the-art weapons, and the training and will to use them effectively. And if history is any guide, the impact of repeated retreats and forced evacuations displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, all without any real letup in Arab terrorist attacks and hostility, will be so demoralize and divide the Israeli people that they will lose the will and psychological stamina to defend themselves. Signs of this demoralization, war-weariness and deep internal divisions are already all too evident in Israel.

Under similar external pressure from "friends" as well as enemies, Czechoslovakia withdrew from the predominately German-speaking areas of their own country in 1938. Czech refugees streamed out of the areas seized by Nazi Germany under the terms of the Munich "peace process". Within five months, the Czechs had surrendered their country without a fight. In 1975, following the withdrawal of US troops from South Vietnam and cutbacks in American aid, President Nguyen Van Thieu decided on a strategic withdrawal of South Vietnamese troops from the Central Highlands region, then under attack by the North Vietnamese forces, to what he thought would be more defensible positions near the coast. But the mass flight of soldiers and civilian refugees demoralized the army and the whole nation. Within seven weeks, North Vietnamese tanks were in Saigon. Czech and Vietnamese societies couldn't hold up under the pressure of withdrawals and mass evacuations before an advancing foe. Can we assume that things will be any different for Israel?

The Jewish people in America and throughout the Diaspora must shake themselves out of their comfortable lethargy, ignorance and indifference to what is going on before it is too late. They must raise the alarm and cry out "No" to the Bush-Baker-Sharon plan from the rooftops, with all their heart and soul. Only then, perhaps, will Israelis be roused from their world-weariness and demoralization, and their slavish obedience to US government pressure. There is no time to lose; in a few months, it may be too late to prevent Holocaust II.

[Part 2 of 2]