Jewish World Review March 4, 2002/ 20 Adar, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- THE Saudi peace proposal is a sick joke. If it's adopted, Israel could die laughing.
Still, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says it's a "breakthrough." Yasser Arafat is calling for a "very strong, and very quick push from outside" to shove Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon into this death trap disguised as a peace plan.
Crown Prince Abdullah is proposing that Arab states normalize relations with Israel in return for the latter's withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders (Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once called them "Auschwitz borders") and the ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Jews from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Understand, all of this is to transpire before final-status negotiations commence. Then, after Arafatistan is up and running, talks will begin on "the right of return" (his scheme to swamp what's left of Israel with millions of Palestinians) -- as well as over a corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank, and other contested issues.
The olive branch is offered by the de facto ruler of the nation that bankrolls Islamic wack-jobs from Nigeria to Indonesia. It's courtesy of those wonderful folks who act as if Osama bin Laden were a Swiss national.
Abdullah recently told Time that if Iran and Iraq were somehow tied to terrorism, the fault lies with "a small fringe group" in each country, and not their Ghandi-like governments. So much for the prince's credibility.
Normalization of relations is the holy grail of Middle East peacemakers. But Israel already has diplomatic ties with two Arab states -- not that you'd know it.
Egypt made peace (of sorts) with Israel in 1979. In exchange for the Sinai and its oil, Cairo signed a piece of paper.
There's no tourism or trade to speak of between the countries. In 1980, Egypt and Israel negotiated agreements on trade and cultural exchanges, which have yet to be ratified.
Enraged over Israeli self-defense against suicide bombers, Egypt withdrew its ambassador over a year ago. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refuses to visit the Jewish state.
The official government media are rife with anti-Semitism. Last year, toward the end of Ramadan, Egyptian television stations began airing a 37-part dramatization of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (the czarist forgery claiming to be a Jewish master plan for world domination). Next, they'll turn it into a musical.
Jerusalem also has had the sobering experience of a paper peace with Jordan since 1994. Israel, which has chronic shortages itself, regularly diverts water to Jordan.
Amman shows it gratitude with Hitlerian hate speech. The destruction of the World Trade Center was "the work of Jewish-Israeli-American Zionism, and the act of the large Zionist Jewish mind controlling the world economically, politically and through the media," wrote a columnist for a government newspaper.
A Jordanian who sold land to Jews in Jerusalem was imprisoned for a year. Currently, there is no Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv.
But there's an even better example of what normalized relations with the Arab world would resemble. At Oslo, Arafat shook hands with then-Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin and copped a Nobel Peace Prize for the gesture.
Jerusalem allowed him to set up shop in the territories and armed his 40,000-man security force. Currently, over 98 percent of the Palestinian population is under his authority.
But don't think this peace was one-sided. Arafat guaranteed Israel's security. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement would not be tolerated.
Since Oslo, close to 600 Jews have died at the hand of Palestinians. Arafat has provided safe havens for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. His own Tanzim militia has gleefully joined in the carnage. (There were 5,353 shooting incidents in the territories in the last year alone.) When it comes to Jew hatred, the Palestinian Authority's media, schools and mosques make Jordan and Egypt look like Hadassah meetings.
This is the peace Abdullah has in mind. All Israel has to do is give up defensible borders, evict 200,000 of its citizens from their homes, and pave the way for the next round of concessions and the next war -- one in which Arab tank columns could cut Israel in half in a matter of minutes, by racing across its then-9-mile-wide midsection. No wonder Arafat is
JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.