Olmert, Ahmadinejad and Bar-Rafaeli

Olmert is sure the public has no memory.

Prof. MK Arieh Eldad

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When the Nazis came to power in Germany and its streets filled with shattered glass, tens of thousands of Jews rushed to pack their belongings to escape. But when they tried to
He who begins by forfeiting his property cannot then negotiate the price.
sell their homes, they were offered only a pittance. Their German neighbors knew that the Jews had no choice. Many Jews left their property behind and fled.

It is common knowledge in commerce: he who hurries does not bargain, and he who begins by forfeiting his property cannot then negotiate the price. This was also the case of the Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries after the establishment of the State of Israel. They, too, were unable to negotiate over the price.

Because we can understand why Jews were forced to relinquish their property without compensation in times and places where they were unprotected, we find it impossible to grasp how Ehud Olmert has maneuvered Israel into the position where the state is rushing to give its enemies the heart of its country - including Jerusalem - without compensation. The Prime Minister is lying to the public when he says he is conducting give-and-take negotiations with Abu Mazen. There is no take, only give; even the slickest real estate broker cannot demand a price for that which he has already promised he would give for free.

Olmert is sure the public has no memory. In his speech at the opening of the Knesset's winter session last week, he said that on the day he was elected, he promised to bring peace to Israel. But there are still many in Israel who remember that it was not a peace plan Olmert touted during the last elections, but rather a plan for "unilateral convergence," following Ariel Sharon's "unilateral disengagement." Just as the Arabs were not called to pay any price for the "disengagement" from Gaza, Olmert had no attention of asking for anything in exchange for Judea and Samaria. Some Israeli citizens may have forgotten, but Abu Mazen remembers; and he who was prepared to flee and relinquish the territory cannot now suddenly attach a price tag to it.

And even if Olmert did intend to demand something in exchange, he knows very well that Abu Mazen and his government are incapable of paying. Abu Mazen cannot promise peace, security or an end to terror. He has already proven that he could not deliver these even when his own life and that of his government were hanging in the balance. It was only a few months ago that his soldiers deserted and joined the ranks of Hamas, and he was even unable to protect his own office in Gaza. He has already proven his weakness to the entire world; therefore, the world no longer asks anything of him. He can only provide Olmert with the fig leaf of a virtual partner. This is necessary because, after the Second Lebanese War, public opinion polls showed that the vast majority of the public is not prepared to accept any further unilateral retreats.

Abu Mazen understands quite well that Olmert is desperate and needs to sell what he has even without any compensation. And he knows that this kind of opportunity will not often present itself to the Arabs; therefore, he wants Jerusalem included. Olmert, Chaim Ramon, Avigdor Lieberman and their partners are ready to give him this, as well. They have already given up on the Jewish dreams of returning to Zion, for they are ready to give Zion itself to the Arabs. But this prize that Abu Mazen wants to swallow and Olmert
They are ready to give Zion itself to the Arabs.
wants to spit up may yet choke both of them. It is the heart of the Jewish people.

The demagoguery of Olmert and his partners, who say that we have not been praying for two thousand years for Kalandia or yearning for Jabal Mukabar, will not help them, because they are also willing to give the Arabs the Temple Mount, the very spot to which the prayers of the Jewish nation have been directed. The eyes of Olmert and his partners are not on the neighborhoods or mountains of Jerusalem. Their vision extends no further than their behinds and the cabinet chairs they fill.

And even if a Jewish heart is no longer beating in the breasts of Olmert and his partners, and to them Jerusalem is no more than a piece of real estate, still, they were too hasty in announcing to the world the demise of the Jewish people. The Jewish people is not dead yet and not ready to donate its heart. The public here may be paralyzed, but it is not brain-dead. Only he who has long ago lost any national dream, only he who has no Zionist vision, can be so wrong about the Jewish people.

If I am wrong and they are right, and even over the issue of Jerusalem the Jewish people does not rise and throw its leaders into the dust bin of history - if Olmert is right, then Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wants to send us to Alaska, and Bar Rafaeli, who sees no difference between Uganda and Israel, are also right.*

* Bar Rafaeli is an Israeli supermodel who left the country recently for Los Angeles, and explained why.