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Jewish World Review / Oct. 21, 1998 /2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas A 'peace' agreement: Wye not?

WHEN THE ISRAELI DELEGATION arrived at Maryland's Wye Plantation for "peace talks'' with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat and his friends in the Clinton administration, it walked into a trap.

The relinquishing of an additional 13 percent of land to the Palestinian Authority was thought to be in the bag. All that needed to be negotiated were enough meaningless statements by Arafat to address Israel's security concerns, and the deal would be cut in time for a White House ceremony. But in the wake of a grenade attack in southern Israel, the Israeli delegation refused to discuss any topic but security.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, slandered as an obstructionist by administration Arabists, is asking for no more than his late predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin: cancellation of the Palestinian Covenant calling for Israel's destruction and a results-based war against terrorism. Arafat consistently refuses to agree to such a deal. His advantages are many, including an American administration that is largely on his side and the "luxury'' he enjoys not having to respond to a democratic constituency or a parliamentary form of government. Absent an agreement on Israel's two primary concerns, any "negotiations'' are meaningless.

Arafat intends to establish a Palestinian state by next May. He also intends to use whatever land he has at that time as a base from which he and his friends plan to topple the Jewish state and evict all Jews from the land. Is there any proof to the contrary? As Netanyahu said before leaving Israel, "An Arab willingness to compromise 50 years ago could have prevented all this suffering.'' They didn't compromise then, and, after four wars and numerous terror attacks, it is clear that they have no desire to do it now. Only Israel is being pressured to compromise, which would be unilateral disarmament.

While leaders talked in Maryland, the true intentions of Israel's enemies could be seen and heard back home. The 10th terrorist attack in the last few weeks occurred in Beersheba. A man, identified by Israel as a Palestinian, reportedly drove up in a BMW, tossed into a bus station two grenades that wounded 60 people. No immediate action was taken by the Palestinian Authority. According to an article in the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Oct. 19, the PA also continues to stockpile weapons, including Katyusha rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, in violation of the Oslo accords.

Palestinian television speaks not of peace but of war and victory. The Palestinian Authority newspaper, called PMW, says it is a "lie'' that "the PA media ha(ve) always defended the peace process.'' Recent television clips support that view. The PA media continue to incite against Israel, saying that Israel's establishment was illegal and therefore void; that death in battle fighting Israel is a desirable achievement; that Israel must be fought and all of Palestine must be liberated (that includes the anemic borders of 1948, too). In the PA media Israelis are compared to the Nazis, and they are said to be enemies of Mohammed and Islam and guilty for massacres committed by others.

One TV clip designed for children depicts all of Israel as Palestine and says, "They took everything in 1948.'' Martyrdom fighting Israel is shown as a Palestinian's highest calling, and mothers appear thanking Allah that they were able to give their sons in the cause of "liberation.'' Even PA schoolbooks poison the minds of the next generation by promoting war against and hatred of Jews. Are such teachings, statements and broadcasts consistent with an attitude of peace and plans to live in a neighborhood dedicated to harmony and understanding?

In an Oct. 14 letter to Netanyahu, the National Religious Party (NRP) said the government of Israel should have "stopped long ago the destructive process of interim withdrawals which have no value and (instead) insist on the immediate opening of negotiations of a permanent settlement.''

The NRP is right. If the PA and its friends in the Arab world were serious about peace with Israel they would first change their behavior, then their covenants and other belligerent words. Then, perhaps, Israel would begin to feel that its security and survival were protected. Not until then should Israel give another inch. If that means war, Israel's next move should be to prepare and to make sure it will win again, even if the Palestinians would lose the land they already have, along with the base they are building to wipe Israel off the map. War and victory are better than surrender and annihilation.


10/19/98: Vanity Fair snubs some of the greatest women 'leaders'
10/14/98:The mean machine
10/09/98: Impeachment: an outside perspective
10/07/98: The corruption of the Secret Service
10/02/98: Land erosion in Israel
10/01/98: The race panel: lies in black and white
9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
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7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.