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Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2000 /5 Shevat, 5760

Don Feder

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Israel and America march toward oblivion at different paces -- THERE IS A WEARINESS in the West. Most of the elite and a significant part of the population have concluded that survival is simply too fatiguing. Israel is far advanced on the road to national suicide. But the same ebbing of the instinct for self-preservation can be seen in America.

Meeting in Shepherdstown, W.V., this week and last -- fittingly, as the Israelis are going like sheep to the slaughter -- Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Syria's foreign minister moved closer to a deal transferring the Golan Heights to Damascus. Though an agreement has yet to be reached, Barak's government is committed to a withdrawal under what it considers favorable terms, including an American troop presence.

American forces once were stationed in South Vietnam. Little good it did the Saigon government.

As it haggled over the terms of its sellout to the Syrians, Israel handed over an additional 5 percent of the West Bank. Another transfer, scheduled for Jan. 20, will give Yasser Arafat 40 percent of the territories and almost their entire population.

Arafat has violated each and every one of his Olso-Wye commitments (from stopping the propaganda war on Israel to extraditing killers). Each noncompliance is rewarded with more land and the release of another batch of terrorists from Israeli jails.

While they go through the motions of making peace, both Arafat and Syrian dictator Hafez Assad signal their true intentions to the Arab world.

Syria, which propagates the blood liable in its press, is moving to strengthen its ties with Iran, whose chief ayatollah recently demanded "the annihilation and destruction of the Zionist regime."

In its Dec. 29 issue, Al Hayat Al Jadida (Arafat's official newspaper) had an editorial cartoon that labeled Jews "the disease of the 20th century." The fate of the "Zionist regime" will soon be in the bloodstained hands of these career criminals.

In 1994, when he was Israel's chief of staff, Barak urged, "Even in times of peace, we must hold the Golan." Former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon points out that the only line of defense where Syria's 4,000 tanks could be stopped runs through the Golan.

Arafat has built a paramilitary force of 40,000, armed with automatic weapons. In the December 1999 issue of Commentary ("When the Palestinian Army Invades the Heart of Israel"), Knesset member Yuval Steinitz explains how, at the outset of the next Arab-Israeli war, a few thousand infiltrators from an independent Palestine could successfully sabotage Israel's mobilization.

A recent opinion poll showed 57 percent of Israelis oppose a Golan handover. But last spring -- dissatisfied with the pace of Likud's retreat -- the same majority brought Labor's surrender specialists back to power.

While you're shedding a tear or two over Israel's going-out-of-business sale, save a few for America. The United States isn't encircled by enemies, but we too have lost the will to resist.

We not only refuse to control our borders, Washington even allows a government that's a front for drug lords to insult us on our own soil.

Teodoro Maus, the Mexican consul in Atlanta, has called for a Hispanic boycott of American businesses that refuse to offer services in Spanish.

It's taken for granted that immigrants have no obligation to learn English. Still, a country with a shred of national pride would send Maus packing. Washington didn't so much as protest his affront.

And while Jerusalem continued its dance of death last week, America welcomed the announcement that Beijing was willing to resume high-level military exchanges.

Apparently, the Chinese communists -- who have the same goodwill toward us that Arafat and Assad have for Israel -- need more opportunities for espionage. The defense secrets they steal enhance a war machine built with the surplus from their trade with America ($66.4 billion in 1999).

By spreading national guilt and glorifying Third World people as victims, liberalism saps a people's will to resist.

It's so much easier to place our faith in negotiations with the faithless, to trade strategic assets for paper pledges, to surrender a unifying language in the name of inclusiveness, to ignore calculated insults than to risk being called a nationalist or an obstacle to peace.

Israel at least has selected a relatively quick route to oblivion. America is taking a slow-acting poison.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest book is Who's Afraid of the Religious Right. Comment on his column by clicking here.

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© 2000, Creators Syndicate