|OUTLIVING THE ROAD MAP
WHAT WE CAN DO PERSONALLY TO HELP SAVE ISRAEL
by Louis Rene Beres, The Jewish Press, September 14, 2002
|I have been lecturing widely on risks to Israel of the Road Map. Yet, whenever I complete my largely analytic examination of
the issues, I am left with a vague feeling of discomfort - a feeling that I have left my audience without enough concrete recommendations for practical action. With this in mind, I now offer the following precise answer to the important question:
"But what can I do personally to help save Israel?"
1. Above all, let us never be indifferent to the fate of our fellow Jews in Israel. It is unseemly, to say the least, when we
continue with our regular entertainments while Israelis are being slaughtered in their own streets by Arab terrorists. I am
always troubled, and surprised, that only hours after the latest suicide bomb attack, Jewish friends and acquaintances speak entirely of their vacations, their accomplishments and their planned shopping expeditions. It's as if the broad community of
Israel, the People of Israel, are merely a minor and dispassionate concern. We need to care more, and to pay attention. As parents, moreover, we must be sure to share this attentiveness with our children. If our children are college students, we must awaken them to the obligation and the blessing to see themselves as Jews and to partake meaningfully of Jewish campus life whenever possible. Here at Purdue (ICAP), a pro-Israel advocacy group whose members are predominantly non-Jews. For
the most part, our Jewish students don't want to seem "too Jewish." For them, "fitting in" is substantially more important.
2. We must all act to oppose existential pressures upon Israel, in every customary and permissible fashion available in
democratic societies. The Road Map, like Oslo before it, is an example of such misconceived and inexcusable pressures. It represents nothing less than an Arab Trojan Horse, a device to complete Israel's Final Solution. The Arabs say so themselves, overtly and repeatedly. What more do we need to hear?
3. We must begin to increase our cooperation with America's Christian Zionists. Many millions strong, these good people of
faith believe, genuinely, in G-D's promise to Israel. Indeed, their commitment to Israel's peace and security often exceeds that
of most American Jews. Personally, I have been deeply impressed and deeply moved by their unselfish devotion to Israel.
And without them, our political voice in the land will assuredly be too weak. Already, the number of Islamic-Americans
exceeds the number of American Jews. Wonderful people and organizations - Esther Levens of the National Unity Coalition
and Dick Hellman of Christians For Israel Political Action Committee (CIPAC) - are entirely devoted to the cause.
4. We must recognize, publicly, the unique and unforgivable barbarism of Palestinian terrorism. It can never be acceptable
to try to justify Palestinian suicide-bombers by citing to rights of "self-determination" or "national liberation." Leaving
aside the inherently flawed argument that Palestinians "deserve" a state, neither international law nor ordinary standards
of decency can ever allow deliberate murder of Jewish children. In this connection, the Jewish inclination to "fairness" often
goes much too far. Rest assured that in a world of over one billion Muslims, fewer than a handful would ever speak of
Jewish rights - including even the minimal right not to be maimed and murdered in schools or buses.
5. We must recognize, immediately, that there is no "cycle of violence" in the Middle East, only endless Arab terror followed
by indispensable counter-terror. If the Arabs were to stop their murderous attacks on unprotected civilians, the Israelis
would never lift a hand against them. If, however, the Israelis should ever stop defending themselves, the Arabs would
murder every Jew in "Occupied Palestine." In response to Palestinian arguments that there is "equivalence" between Arab
terror and Israeli counter-terror, therefore, we must always recall an essential difference between premediated murder and
required national self-defense.
6. We must learn to read beyond the mainstream press, which is often ignorant of facts on the ground, or - worse - maliciously
inclined toward Israel's enemies. In this connection, American Jews must really learn history - Jewish history; Israel's
history; Arab history. Presently, because there is so much historical ignorance amongst us, Arab propagandists and their
allies normally have an easy time debating the issues. As a professor I see the difference every day between the intellectual
preparedness of the Jewish students regarding history, which is generally weak, and that of the Arab students, which is
usually far stronger. As a beginning, every American Jew should now be reading THE JEWISH PRESS and considering vital
internet sources such as the GAMLA; ARUTZ-7, TZEMACH AND FREEMAN CENTER websites.
7. We must all be willing to speak and write in defense of Israel. This is not just the responsibility of the professors.
Heaven forbid: if it were, we would be hearing even more about the evils of Israel's "occupation" of "Arab land." Here
in West Lafayette, Indiana - in my own temple - only a small handful of Jewish souls make a sound about Israel's survival. Nowhere is it written that Jewish doctors; Jewish lawyers; Jewish dentists; Jewish accountants; Jewish merchants; Jewish plumbers cannot speak openly and audibly for Israel. The argument that "I don't know enough" is simply wrong and
inexcusable. If you don't know enough, make it your business to know more. Now. And if you fear that it will be "bad for
business," be ashamed of yourself - justifiably ashamed of your cowardice and demeaned Jewish spirit.
8. We must encourage each other to undertake serious intellectual examinations of the issues, and to exercise imaginative
thinking for solutions. To a significant extent, the survival problems faced by Israel have an important intellectual dimension.
For example, how to achieve any sort of reconciliation with the Palestinians must draw upon difficult conceptual
explorations of both culture and trust. Similarly, as Israel will soon face expanding weapons of mass destruction among some
of its state enemies, its leaders will have to figure out optimal strategies of deterrence, defense and preemption. As Chair of
Project Daniel, a small advisory group to the Prime Minister concerned with chemical/biological/nuclear threats to Israel, I can
testify to the difficulty of the intellectual tasks before us. Don't think if you are not a Ph.D strategist or a member of the IDF
General Staff that you are necessarily incapable of making useful observations.
9. We must recognize that Israel now faces - and has always faced - a genuine genocide from its many enemies. It is true,
thankfully, that we Jews now have a state to prevent a repeat Holocaust. But it is also true and intolerably ironic that war can
now become the instrument of another Jewish genocide. It is now possible to bring gas to the people; it is no longer necessary
to bring people to the gas. Moreover, the Arab side has never been subtle about its plans to "liquidate" the Jews (the term
they have favored since 1948) and we can assume that if left unchallenged, they will at some point have both genocidal
capability and genocidal intent. Keep in mind here that Israel is half the size of Lake Michigan, and that its Jewish population
is largely concentrated along a tiny coastal section of the microscopic country. Keep in mind also that Arab clerics in mosques
throughout the Islamic world insist in their weekly sermons that Allah has concentrated the Jews in Israel precisely to facilitate
their next annihilation.
10. We must always recall that memory is the heart of redemption and that we are obligated - strongly obligated - never to
forget, to honor the souls of the six million, of the KEDOSHIM: To do this we must never separate ourselves from the fate
of our brothers and sisters in Israel. If necessary - and this is critical - we must sometimes oppose the Jewish establishment
in the United States. Let us recall that this Jewish establishment was largely silent during the Holocaust and that it insisted
upon support for Oslo even when it was apparent that Israel's good intentions would forever be unreciprocated. Nor should
we ever assume that Jewish candidates for public office are necessarily good for the Jews or good for Israel, or even that they
are honorable or capable in general. Senator Joseph Lieberman is a case in point, a Clinton-like politician who believes only
in himself. New York Senator Chuch Schumer is another.
Rabbi Eliezer Waldman has written importantly in THE JEWISH PRESS of "the eternal flame of Jewish life in Israel."
By working for the redemption of Israel, Rabbi Waldman instructs, we work to bring a blessing to all peoples of the world.
It follows that we Jews in this country ought never to see a contradiction between our struggle for Jewish survival in the land
of Israel, and our concern for both America and the wider global community. Following Rabbi Waldman's moving call upon
Jewish leaders "to draw their faith from the depths of the Jewish soul," we must now ALL begin to draw our faith from
that very same eternal and inextinguishable source. Only then can we begin to act personally to help save the imperiled
State of Israel.
|Louis Rene Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on Israeli security issues.
He is Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS