The American Example
The prime minister’s visit in Washington takes place a few days after the Bush administration taught the world a bit about delicate taste. The photographs of the corpses of Uday and Qusay, the proof that more enemies have been eliminated, arouses thoughts of what would have happened had the State of Israel had adopted such nauseating American norms.
Less than a year ago, the IDF court-martialed soldiers who photographed the bodies of murderous terrorists who were killed in battle. They did not distribute the pictures worldwide, but among themselves. The IDF was right to court-martial them because such actions degrade human dignity.
But the Americans do as they please. They photograph corpses and distribute the pictures throughout the world, officially. One of Saddam’s grandsons was killed, and no one thinks that an investigation should be launched.
We are not America, but it is no shame to admit that we have much to learn. The determination to make sure that fighting does not stop until complete victory, the realization that the victory must penetrate the consciousness of everyone in the area (which is why the photographs were published). It would be appropriate for us to learn these values, even if by other means than publishing pictures of the crushed heads of Uday and Qusay.
The American example should accompany Ariel Sharon to Washington. After the meetings between Bush and Abu Mazen, the US is preparing a campaign of surrender to Palestinian terrorism for Sharon. Sharon’s administration has refrained from eliminating or expelling Arafat, even when Washington believed that Israel was about to do so (for example, after the Palestinian massacre in the Park Hotel in Netanya). From this they learned, and got proof as time went on, that pressure on Sharon, even light pressure, produces results. And thus we have arrived at a situation where by pressuring Sharon, the government accepted the outrage known as the road map, in which it commits to concessions to the end, including the right of return, the 1967 borders and a Palestinian state, things that were not signed in the Oslo Accords and even Ehud Barak was not willing to give. And after this agreement, the Palestinians announce openly that they will not respect the agreement about confiscating weapons and fighting Hamas, while Israel is told to release prisoners to placate them, while such a release does not appear at all as part of Israel’s concessions in the road map.
When Sharon arrives for his meeting with President Bush this week, it would be appropriate for him to compliment his host on the lesson we would all like Sharon to learn from Bush himself. For there is no one wiser than the one with experience. And if Bush does not understand why Sharon is giving him such a compliment at such an important time, Sharon will be able, when Bush pressures him to make more and more concessions, to teach the President what is written in our Book of Ethics, “Take the beam out of your own eye, before you concentrate on a sliver in your neighbor’s eye” and perhaps to demand, at the same opportunity, that he allow Jonathan Pollard, who is rotting in an American prison, to return to Israel on the prime minister’s plane. Because if Bush believes that Israel does not need to be afraid of releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, why is the greatest empire in the world afraid of releasing Jonathan Pollard to his homeland?
This piece ran in Hatzofeh on July 27th, 2003