Tomorrow night begins Rosh Hashana. This is a time of accounting. We are bidden to do a heshbon nefesh — a spiritual accounting. As a people, as well, we must do that accounting.
Now especially, as world events have become so incomprehensible and so immorally farcical, do we need to turn to Heaven. Would it be that with Hashem’s help we Jews might, as a people, come to understand our role on this earth and to carry it through. Would that we would find the strength to understand the great gifts that have been given us, to treasure them, to protect them and to have inner integrity as a people. May the Almighty protect us and vanquish the enemies who seek to destroy us. I pray.
Following this will be no further postings until after Rosh Hashana.
To everyone reading this I send my heartfelt prayers for you to have a life of fulfillment, inner peace, personal growth and deep love.
I speak above of world events that have become an “immoral farce,” and day after day, with a heavy heart I have been writing about this. The world is so upside down. A distraught friend asked me today why, when Annan addressed the General Assembly regarding the turmoil the whole world will find itself in if Israel and the Palestinians don’t make peace, someone didn’t stand up and tell him, “You are without moral authority, you let hundreds of thousands die in Rwanda and so have nothing to say to us now.” Of course her question was rhetorical, but it was totally on the mark, none the less. That the man who indeed did let hundreds of thousands die in Rwanda (by pulling out the UN forces when he got wind of a possible genocide) should have the honor and accoutrements of leadership is mind-boggling. Our leaders in the main are without moral compasses. The world requires a heshbon nefesh, not just the Jewish people.
Today in New York Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a press conference. Could there be greater farce than this? He spoke about the sweetness and light that his nation represents: “We love everyone.” This the western world needs to provide him with a platform to say?
But yesterday — in a meeting that had generated fierce opposition and dissension — he spoke with some senior US government officials at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. The conclusion American officials came away with is that a major confrontation with Iran is inevitable. As much as taking him on militarily is a terrible thing to contemplate because of inevitable consequences, I await such a decision eagerly: the alternative — doing nothing — will result in consequences that are far more terrible still.
See Krauthammer on precisely this point: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/14/AR2006091401413.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns
In a wonderful report two days ago, JINSA (whose reports are often wonderful) addressed an issue I have been referring to frequently: The insistence by the western world that Israel and the Palestinians have to be negotiating “peace” before a coalition against Iran can be put together. Says JINSA: “So Israel, victimized by attacks across her borders from terrorist, non-state actors ideologically committed to its destruction, is required to engage in a ‘peace process’ with them in order to secure the Administration’s attention to a state actor ideologically committed to its destruction and ours? And the Arab states, concerned as they should be with Persian Iran’s hegemonic designs on the region, are telling the Administration that they won’t cooperate in the defense of their own interests unless Israel makes new promises to the Palestinian ‘push-me-pull-you’?
“The crux of this is that no one, repeat no one – not the United States, not the Arab states, not the Europeans, not Israel – no one is ready to deal directly with Iran’s quest for a nuclear capability that includes weapons. They are hiding behind the ‘peace process’ to avoid facing their nakedness in the mirror. Israel is too small a country to cover them.”
It strikes me still that among world leaders, George Bush remains one of the few with some clarity of vision and genuine moral compass where the Middle East is concerned. In fact, JINSA just praised him for “leaving Israel out.” That is, at the UN he emphasized Palestinian responsibilities:
“It is not ‘settlements,’ not checkpoints, not the Security Fence – not Israel – that prevents the evolution of a more peaceful Middle East or even the establishment of a Palestinian State. It is Palestinian behavior and the President quite rightly focused his attention on that point and left Israel out.”
But having said that, I would suggest that the presidential compass is more than a bit askew here. JINSA touched on matters that President Bush got wrong and brushed them aside as fairly minor. I do not believe they are minor at all and would like to address them.
The president is still calling Mahmoud Abbas a “man committed to peace,” a leader who will act on behalf of his people and with whom there can be negotiations. This is imaginary. It is pie in the sky. It is pretend for the sake of political appearances. But to suggest this and propose Israel act on it — so that Arab states can be mollified — is highly dangerous.
Abbas never was a man of peace. He has solid terrorist credentials. He’s just an incredibly smooth and smart operator. But we don’t have to go back to his history to determine his attitude toward genuine peace. It will suffice here to consider some simple facts:
— Abbas’s Fatah party still calls for the destruction of Israel in its charter.
— Abbas actively courted Hamas from the day he became president in January 2005.
— Fatah and Hamas recently struck a deal based on the “Prisoners’ Document” (actually a version edited to be more to the liking of Hamas): It does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and sanctions terrorism everywhere.
— During the Lebanon war, the PA (including Abbas) supported Hezbollah.
This is the “peaceful man Bush thinks we should negotiate with?
To make matters more complicated and more “pretend”: Bush is warning that any new PA government would have to adhere to the basic conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing terrorism, and accepting previous agreements. These conditions are being referred to as the “Quartet” conditions and actually the Quartet released a statement with regard to this yesterday: “The Quartet welcomes the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to form a government of national unity, in the hope that the platform of such a government would reflect Quartet principles.”
But Haniyeh, the PA prime minister, has just reiterated his staunch refusal to recognize Israel or renounce terrorism. So what does it mean?
MK Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP) gave an interview on army radio yesterday in which he touched on the issue of Arab emigration. He continues to be a breath of fresh air. May he go from strength to strength in the coming year. Said Eitam:
“Look, in the wake of this war, the people of Israel need to begin to say the truth. The deceptive myths must end. The myth that we can abandon territory without it becoming a launching ground for attacks on us and the myth that this struggle is over the outcome of the Six Day War [i.e., the Palestinians only want Judea-Samaria].
“The days of viewing our territory as a check book – through which we can buy off the rejection of our existence here – have ended. We therefore must be honest with ourselves – if we can’t give the land away and we can’t keep the land with this hostile nation upon it – we must encourage them to emigrate.”
How splendidly put: “The days of viewing our territory as a check book – through which we can buy off the rejection of our existence here – have ended.” This was the failing of the land for peace concept of Oslo, because we have been ready to give land but they want our total elimination.
Eitam reported that on recent trip to the US, he discussed his ideas with Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was very receptive, because of the lessons of September 11th. “The assertion that the world will not allow transfer to occur is another deception,” Eitam said.
see my website www.ArlenefromIsrael.info