October 22, 1998
October 22, 1998
As of this writing, the negotiations at Wye are continuing, more or less as expected. This is a classic example of ‘give and take.’Israel is giving and Arafat is taking. Netanyahu’s capitulation is difficult to fathom. Ariel Sharon’s acquiescence is almost beyond belief. With all of the question marks about Sharon, no one expected him to collapse, together with the Prime Minister.
Why is Netanyahu caving in at Wye? What is he going to do when he gets back to Israel? There is formidable opposition to the pending agreement, so much so that the government may very well fall. There are even rumors that upon his return, Netanyahu may hand in his resignation, thereby forcing new elections within sixty days.
A very reliable source disclosed to me that Netanyahu has confided that ‘without an agreement, I won’t be reelected.’ His reasoning is simple Following initial agreement to this ‘further redeployment’ which is nothing less than abandonment of an additional 27% of Eretz Yisrael, Netanyahu will have an easy time with the Israeli electorate. To those in favor of the accords, of centrist ideology, he will say, “I fulfilled our obligations. Arafat received Hebron, and I successfully concluded the next interim agreement. I was more cautious than Labor ever was, and have maintained full security for the Israeli people. The fact that I cannot yet implement the agreement is not my fault – the agreement must receive both Cabinet and Knesset approval. Your vote for me is a vote for continued negotiations for a true and secure peace.”
With the Israeli right, he also won’t have a difficult time. The first round of elections will see several candidates for Prime Minister, including at least one representing the Israeli right. However, a Prime Minister cannot be elected without receiving 50% of the vote. A runoff is inevitable. Barring a miracle, the runoff will almost surely include Barak and Netanyahu. Netanyahu will then say to the right-wing electorate. ‘You have two possibilities – nu, who are you going to vote for? Barak?’
All of this doesn’t even take into account that Labor candidate Ehud Barak is not overly popular with anybody. In the end Netanyahu expects to be reelected with an overwhelming majority.
Why do we continue to firmly oppose this agreement? So many people have asked me why we can’t accept this as the least of all evils. The answer is all too simple.
Earlier this week a terrorist by the name of Salem Rajib Sarsur threw some hand grenades into a crowd at the Beer Sheva Central Bus Station. Sixty seven people were wounded. Sarsur was apprehended. During his interrogation several very interesting facts were revealed.
On the night of August 20, Sarsur, armed with several firebombs took a little walk in Hebron, where he lives, looking for an army target. Not succeeding in finding a group of soldiers, he saw Rabbi Shlomo Ra’anan in his bedroom in his Tel Rumeida caravan home. Sarsur changed his plans, jumped through the window, killed the Rabbi, threw a firebomb inside the caravan, jumped back out the window, and went home.
According to media reports, which have been confirmed, Israeli intelligence approached Sarsur prior to the murder, asking him to work for the Shabak. Sarsur refused.
On Yom Kippur, this same Sarsur, this time armed with hand grenades, and officially working for Hamas, took a walk from his home into an Arab cemetery, on the border between Arafat’s Hebron and Jewish Hebron. He threw the hand grenades at a group of soldiers on Hebron’s main street. Fourteen were injured. Soldiers seeing the attacker shot at him but refrained from chasing him after he caught an Arab taxi and escaped. However, Sarsur was identified and his extradition was demanded. Of course, the palestinian authority ignored this extradition demand.
And so it was that Salem Sarsur managed to find himself in Beer Sheva, a few days ago, again with some more hand grenades.
Had Sarsur been looked for and apprehended following the Ra’anan murder, two other terrorist attacks and 75 injuries would have been avoided. Had he been searched out and caught after the Yom Kippur attack, the Beer Sheva attack would not have occurred.
This story does not begin or end with Salem Rajib Sarsur’s murderous attacks and capture. He is only an example, an example of things to come, should the Wye-Why Accords be signed, sealed and implemented. But the story will not end at Wye, because Arafat wants, and expects to get, more. The same way that Sarsur continued to attack, as long as no one stood in his way, so it is with Arafat. And not only isn’t anyone standing in Arafat’s way. He is receiving assistance from not only Clinton and the US, but also from Israel. As long as Israel continues to concede, more and more submissions will be requisitioned, in the name of ‘peace.’ Until, in the name of peace, we will have to leave. No, not move out of Hebron, rather, evacuate the State of Israel. And don’t think that only Hebron residents make such rash assertions. Yesterday, MK Uzi Landau, Likud Chairman of the prestigious Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, speaking on Israel television, spoke about Arab demands that we return to the 1947 UN partition plan borders.
What we are witnessing is a chain of dominos, lined up in a row. The row isn’t necessarily straight – there are winding bends along the way. But the result is the same once the first domino falls, the others aren’t far behind. Sarsur’s terrorist attacks in Hebron and Beer Sheva were falling dominos. Israeli concessions at Wye are also fallen dominos. Continued abandonment of land can have only one result More and more dominos will drop. The problem is that each domino entails human lives and eventually the existence of the State of Israel. We have no choice but to stop the chain reaction, before the last dominos give way.