|Editorial - April 2006|
|By Roland S. Süssmann|
“America is at war!”. It was with these words that President Bush opened his introduction to the four-year report, “The National Security and Strategy of the USA”, issued by the White House in the middle of March. The enemy specified was not a country, but “terrorism fed by an aggressive ideology of hate and murder”. The main interest in this study lays in the fact that Mr. Bush’s opening words apply not just to the USA but also to the free world in general and to Israel in particular, especially following Hamas’s rise to power on 25 January 2006.
This victory surprised only those who wanted to believe in the masquerade of Arab moderation since the signature of the Oslo Accords. The time has come to stop lying to ourselves. It was always obvious that the local population never identified with what the politicians of the Palestinian Authority (PA) were saying. The message put out for the benefit of the West wanted to make belief in some sort of acceptance of a “territorial compromise”, and even one day a “peace” treaty – after Israel would have ceded half of Jerusalem and accepted, under the euphemism of the “right of return”, the invasion of the Jewish state by four million “Palestinian refugees”. Rather, the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza go along with the message disseminated in the mosques every Friday, advocating the total rejection of the Jewish State’s right to exist, calling for the struggle to destroy Israel and to replace it with an Islamic theocracy: first between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, then in Jordan and Iraq (where 10,000 Iranian-trained terrorists have been infiltrated), with the final objective being to join up with Iran. Israel’s very existence is the West’s rampart that prevents this happening – the guarantee of the maintenance of individual freedoms.
The day after the Hamas’s electoral victory European governments wanted to be reassuring; they restated Israel’s right to exist (as though that was necessary), loudly protested that non-recognition of the Jewish state was “unacceptable” and that it was inconceivable to deal with a terrorist organization, even if legally elected, that sought Israel’s disappearance. But none of these words were followed with actions: no PA embassy was closed down or ostracized, not in London, Madrid, Paris or Bern. A week before the Hamas government took office, the European Union hurried to invite its representatives to an official meeting in Strasbourg. Yet why be surprised by the attitude of the Europeans and their complicity with those whose raison d’être is Israel’s annihilation? Collaboration between the Europeans and the enemies of the Jewish people did not start today. Was it not in Europe, just 65 years ago, that six million Jews, including one and a half million children, were openly massacred? More recently, have we seen a single European country break diplomatic relations with Iran after its President officially announced that Israel should be wiped off the map of the world ? Nothing at all happened, and the West immediately found sounds of moderation in what Hamas was saying! When Israel says that it is high time to call “a terrorist organization a terrorist organization” and to put it outside the pale of international society, the very quick response is, “Hamas was democratically elected”. However, democracy is not an electoral process, it depends on the character of those participating in the elections. Following the example of the Nazis, Hamas once elected does not hide its final objective. In this regard, the day after 25 January 2006, Natan Sharansky said, “Free elections are not in and of themselves a sign of democracy. A vote where the electors’ choice is between a terrorist organization and a corrupt dictatorship is no proof of democracy”. The clear cut result of these effectively free elections was to provide Hamas with the respectability and international recognition it did not have.
The question everyone is asking today is what Israel will do. Hamas does not consider itself bound by the Accords signed by the PA, whether those of Oslo, Wye, Sharm-el-Sheikh or the Road Map. It follows that the vision expressed in what George Bush said in June 2002 about the establishment of a “viable, democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel”, can today be restated as, “the creation of another autocratic, fundamentalist Arab state that promotes terrorism, built upon the ruins of Israel”. The entire concept of a Palestinian state, yesterday considered the universal panacea to sort out the Arab-Israel conflict, has thus found its rightful place, in oblivion.
It is true that Israel holds all the winning cards. Hamas does not represent a major military threat. Israel is thus faced with two alternatives. The first is to continue with the error of unilateralism; the second is to continue the combat that will be the facts on the ground for the next 50 to 100 years; this without relinquishing territory or accepting political concessions, while confronting the difficulties and pursuing a single objective, developing a strong Jewish state. For the time being it has been shown that the policy of unilateral withdrawal was only “unilateral” in the expulsion of Jews from their homes and the surrender of Jewish lands to an Arab terrorist organization. It was effectively an exchange, territories for Kassams. Since the Gaza debacle over four hundred of this type of rocket have fallen on the Negev, Sederot and the Ashkelon area, in particular close to the pipe-line and power station providing the center of the country with 30% of its electricity. The vacuum left by Israel in Gaza has been quickly filled by terrorist groups associated with various international Islamic groups, Hamas, Al-Qaida, Hizbullah and various Palestinian factions. If, despite all, the new Israeli government opts to continue unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria, there can be no doubt that the Gaza disaster will quickly be replicated, with the difference that this time terrorists of every sort and Kassam rockets will be deployed a just few kilometers from Jerusalem, 11km from Ben Gurion airport and at the gates of Raanana.
Ehud Olmert is saying loudly that he will fight terrorism with an iron fist, while at the same time he wants to withdraw from most of the Jewish land in Judea and Samaria. However, the Israeli electorate has clearly refused him the mandate to conduct the policy of unilateralism. Kadima is invoking the ideology of Ariel Sharon. It is true that he was a fighter and a man of hope, but he was also riddled with contradictions, at one and the same time savior, builder and destroyer.
I recall that at each of our meetings, he told me, “I am above all else a Jew and I will do everything in my power to protect the Land of Israel”. Let us hope that this credo will serve as a guide for the new government, because, like America, Israel is at war: for its existence and the survival of the Jewish people.
The entire SHALOM team wishes you a marvelous Pesach holiday.
Roland S. Süssmann
Editor in Chief