Blowin' in the Wind

Gerald A. Honigman

OpEds Honigman

     Bob Dylan's song helped to define my '60s generation…the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind was an expression that could be taken in contrasting ways regarding some of the most serious issues and ills of our world at large--war, peace, and freedom in particular.
     Related to those current problems involving Jews and Arabs in the Middle East, however, the wind holds no answer. Indeed, one could argue that all Israel's current leaders know how to do is to simply bow to the wind..
     Arabs know what they want, insist upon it, and have openly stated that they won't budge from their demands. And no one pushes them to do otherwise--certainly not the current American President who is part of their rah rah team.
     Obama has been pressuring Israel, even before his 2008 election to the White House, to cave in to all Arab demands in the form of the alleged Saudi Peace Plan. The latter calls for a return by Israel to the '49 armistice lines (not borders)--which made it a mere 9-15 miles wide at its strategic waist, where most of its population, industry, and so forth are located.  And after this occurs, Israel is next expected by that same "peace" (of the grave) plan to allow itself to be inundated by millions of allegedly returning jihadi refugees. Recall that more Jews fled "Arab" lands then vice-versa after Israel was attacked by a half dozen Arab armies in 1948.
     This would all be funny if it were not so dangerously pathetic.
     After all, does it not sound like a joke? Who in their right minds would consent to their own destruction?

     As I repeatedly point out in my writings, the Arabs are not shy and openly speak of their Trojan Horse, destruction-in-stages plans for Israel…and these are the State Department's allegedly moderate good cops. Forget about the bad ones--Hamas & Co.--who are more honest and refuse to mince words for the sake of billions of dollars in American and other support.
     Now, contrast this with the allegedly tough team now running Israel's show led by Benjamin Netanyahu. He huffs and puffs, but then caves consistently--and on critical issues. His Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, seems a bit better, but he's basically been blackballed.
     There is no way that Israel should be agreeing to any building freezes right now--not with the rejectionist enemies it faces who simply aim to whittle it down to non-existence in due time.
     Israel was assured by UNSCouncil Resolution 242 that it would never have to return to its '49 armistice line, sub-rump state status.  It was promised by most presidents since the '67 War that any withdrawals from territory would be to new, more secure and defensible borders where Jews as well as Arabs had rights to live.
     None of the areas in question in the original April 25, 1920 Mandate (which included all of present day Jordan, Israel, and the disputed, non-apportioned territories now in question )were "purely Arab" land. Indeed,  valid documentation shows the latter as mostly newcomers into the Mandate from elsewhere themselves…Arab settlers setting up Arab settlements in Palestine.
     By caving in to not allowing Jews to build beyond the "Green Line"--the '49 armistice lines--Netanyahu simply brings the Arabs' destruction-in-stages game plan yet one step closer…the next advance towards their end goal after the unilateral gift of Gaza several years back. Check out the PA area websites, maps, school text books, and so forth if you doubt this.
     Netanyahu keeps on blowin' in the wind, but then inevitably collapses under pressure. This time he's supposedly going to get more sophisticated aircraft which Israel might need to play its Iranian card. But tell me, please, what he expects to do when Tel Aviv gets hit like Sderot has been clobbered in the south after the Gaza withdrawal?
     It's not a lack of aircraft which is Israel's problem here. Israel needs some version of in-depth defense. It must have the buffer envisioned by 242.
   Netanyahu must learn to play the game the way Arabs do. They say what they mean and stick to it.
     Firstly, he must firmly state...
     Forget about a 22nd Arab state--and second, not first, one in "Palestine"--unless Arabs unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jews. No word games allowed…
     If Arabs can call their states purely Arab -which they do--all of which belong to the Arab League, despite the presence of scores of millions of native, subjugated, non-Arab peoples who live in fear in those lands, then Israel--with the freest Arabs anywhere in the Middle East-- can call itself and be recognized as a Jewish ( think Irish, English, Polish) State. If the latter is not officially recognized, then Bibi must say goodbye to negotiations and not return. There must be no wiggling around this crucial issue. Israel must then simply prepare for the next inevitable war--one which will better be fought if Israel is not 9-miles wide.
     And the next major point where there must be no cowering away from is the one I opened with above…no return to the '49 Auschwitz Lines.
     A meaningful, effective territorial compromise--the vision of all of the architects of 242, Presidents Johnson, Reagan, and others as well--is a must in the disputed, not "purely Arab" territories. That's why the building freeze issue is so important.
     Israel's consenting to Obama and the Arab demand to continue the freeze only prolongs the inevitable confrontation over Israel getting the more secure borders it must have. No good can come from this. Arabs won't change their minds after the new freeze deadline arrives, and the pressure will just be increasingly applied solely on the Jews yet again.
     The State Department has been trying for decades to throw 242 out of the window. I have carefully documented this in previous articles.And they now have a President who supports their position--the Arab position--wholeheartedly.
     No hot air coming from Jerusalem will resolve this problem. The answer isn't blowin' in the wind.
     Only an Israeli leadership acting as true leaders of Israel reborn can save the nation from the nastiness being planned right now. Indebting Israel to others for quickly evaporating guarantees has already proven to be beyond foolish.
     If Arabs refuse to budge on those two crucial issues above, it must be Prime Minister Netanyahu who says good bye to the non-negotiation "negotiations."  And he must stay away, regardless of the threats he will receive from President Obama's Washington. All of this is nothing but a set up, and Bibi better wise up real fast.
     2010 just witnessed many folks elected to office who disagree greatly with the President's virtual vision of justice for Arabs only in the Middle East. If need be, Bibi just needs to tread water for another two years. It will be difficult, the screws will be increasingly tightened…but it will be doable and better than caving in to what the Arabs have in store for Israel, and now with an American leader's consent.
     The American people will continue to watch Obama's one-sided, unfair manhandling of Israel very closely.
The American people realize that there's more at stake here than building freezes--even if that's all the news reports--taking their cues from Washington--talk about.
     Indeed, what real demands does Mr. Obama make on the Arabs? What tangible compromises does he expect from them?
     None…none at all.
     Israel is to give, Arabs are to take. Period.
     And Arabs know that both the President and the perpetually hostile State Department feel this way. So, why should they budge any at all? Again, it is not a coincidence that Mahmoud Abbas and other PA leaders have repeatedly stated that in any negotiations, their job will be simply to take what Israel will be forced to give…their own exact words.
     Under such conditions, Netanyahu would be best to simply refuse to partake in such a travesty.
     And finally, speaking of Bob Dylan, listen carefully to the words of his song Neighborhood Bully some time...Guess what that's all about? He called it right decades ago. Check out the beginning...
     Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
     His enemies say he’s on their land
     They got him outnumbered about a million to one
     He got no place to escape to, no place to run
     He’s the neighborhood bully
     The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
     He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
     He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
     He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
     He’s the neighborhood bully
     The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
     He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
     Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
     He’s always on trial for just being born
     He’s the neighborhood bully
     See the rest at ...and thank's Bob, this song fits the Arab-Israeli situation nicely.

(Find Gerald Honigman's new book at )