By Abraham H. Miller in Pajama’s Media:
This Passover, as in every previous Passover, the struggle for Jewish survival continues.
We now face an administration that has turned a bureaucratic flap over an incomplete building permit into a diplomatic crisis with Israel.
Ramat Shlomo is a Jewish neighborhood. The Arabs never protested building there because the Arabs never envisioned that Ramat Shlomo would be turned over to them in a final peace accord.
Twelve years ago, major construction began in Ramat Shlomo without a stone being thrown.
Today, a fourth stage of a seven-stage building permit and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s central synagogue, malevolently and illegally destroyed under the Jordanian occupation, creates an Intifada, the Obama Intafada.
Obama has created negotiation positions for the Palestinians they themselves knew were unrealistic. But no Palestinian leader can afford to demand less for the Palestinians than the Americans are willing to demand for them.
First there was the demand for a settlement freeze as a prelude to negotiations. But negotiations took place all the time while settlements were being built. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas never asked for a freeze as a precondition, but once Obama carved out that position, Abbas had to fall into line. Can the Palestinian president be more accommodating to the Israelis than the Americans are?
Then, of course, the Obama administration put the building freeze in Jerusalem on the table. Abbas never asked for a freeze in Jerusalem until after the administration took the lead. Does the Obama administration believe they can make Jerusalem Judenrein (“Jew free”)?
Building in Ramat Shlomo, and the reopening of the central synagogue, the Huvra, transformed into rallying cries for a new Intifada, about which the administration remains mute. Whenever Jews choose to return to where they lived before the Jordanians evicted them, they are met with outcries from the international community. This is the same international community that chose to be blind and mute about Jews being evicted from their homes and cut off from their holy places during the Jordanian occupation.
Obama wants to be the American president who created a Palestinian state, and his vision is clear: Israel returns to the ‘67 boundaries and large segments of Jewish Jerusalem are given over to the Palestinians for a capital.
There are two problems with that offer. First, it has been rejected by two Palestinian leaders, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Second, the refugee problem now overshadows the issue of territory. No Palestinian leader has ever said that the return of the territories is a sufficient or even a necessary condition for peace. Yet all forays into the “peace process” behave as if territory will solve everything.
This is the view of the vacuous liberal elements of the Jewish community, who seem to suffer from a terminal case of battered wife syndrome: Just give them more land and they won’t blow themselves up. They are really nice people when they are not teaching their children jihad or celebrating the deaths of their “martyrs.”
The Palestinians want three generations of Jew-hating refugees settled within Israel’s borders, a demand designed to topple the Jewish state. That is not going to happen, but there are options in terms of compensation, if only the Palestinians were serious about negotiations.
To date, the Obama administration has exceeded the demands of the Palestinians. The administration’s public face has hyped the proximity talks, a throwback to 1992 before there were direct negotiations, and the administration has refrained from making a single demand on the Palestinians for concessions, not even for direct negotiations.
We already know what a Palestinian state will bring Israel. Gaza is the laboratory for that. The Israelis withdrew from Gaza. Jewish philanthropists bought the settlers’ greenhouses and donated them to the Palestinians, hoping to give the Palestinians an economic livelihood. Instead, the Palestinians vandalized the greenhouses, tearing them apart for the value of their scrap copper and tubing. This was followed by an escalation of Kassam rockets and subsequently by Iranian-supplied Grad missiles. Gaza became a launching pad for attacks on Israel.
And so, too, will become the Judean Hills above Ben Gurion Airport. The airport will become the next Sderot.
What my liberal Jewish friends forget is that the Palestinians do not even have to fight the next war; all they have to do is position themselves so as to make life in Israel miserable, so that those Israelis who can leave will leave.
The Palestinians have repeatedly shown that they are interested in pseudo negotiations about a “peace process,” but they never have shown any real interest in peace through deeds. No Palestinian leader has ever suggested that the return to the 1967 boundaries, what Abba Eban called “the Auschwitz borders,” will lead to peace.
What our liberal American Jewish community has done and continues to do is to mindlessly embrace this administration and project the community’s own values on to the Palestinians. We are engaged in mirror imaging and are playing recklessly with the lives of over six million Israeli Jews.
The real chance for peace will come from strength, as Ronald Reagan showed with regard to the Soviets. Only by defeating this administration at the polls will there be a prospect for peace. To follow this administration blindly into the Palestinian abyss by weakening Israel means the end of the Jewish state.
This Passover season the struggle for Jewish survival persists as a modern-day Pharaoh, with a hardened heart, sits in the White House, deluded by his own narcissism and worshiped by liberal Jews who slavishly follow him.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.