WINSTON MID EAST ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY June 15, 2000
Please disseminate & re-post. If you publish, send us a copy. Please see our web sites at http://www.gamla.org.il & (Freeman Center) http://freeman.io.com
by Emanuel A. Winston
Several years ago when those deeply cognizant of Middle East problems questioned American foreign policy vis a vis' Israel and her Arab neighbors, Jewish leadership in America ignored their concerns. With the exception of several Jewish leaders who opposed the Oslo peace process' on its de-merits from its inception until today, most American Jewish leaders dutifully accepted the precepts of foreign policy from the White House and State Department as infallible.
Incredibly, they never read the Oslo agreements and never saw that the men, women and children in Israel as well as the water and holy sites were at risk and that Jerusalem was on the table for negotiations for the first time since 1948. The information was readily available and they were told (specifically at the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations in November 1993) - but they preferred to be blinded by the euphoria of peace' on the White House lawn.
The Peace Process' could not be questioned and, if you did ask questions, clearly you were against peace. The Jewish leadership in America is starting to become uncomfortable with the results of a policy which, until now, they have supported unwaveringly. Although through the years they have been advised of the peace' problems, instead they relied upon the assurances of President Clinton and spokesmen of the State Department to sooth their concerns.
They simply refused to listen to anyone who did not accept the mantra of Peace' - as those policies began to show fatal flaws. Since Oslo more than 300 Israelis were killed (including 12 Americans) and thousands more were wounded, some maimed for life by Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks. Even then the Jewish leaders remained mute.
They refused to listen when translations of Arafat's words in Arabic to his own people were leaked out. The day Oslo was signed, very often since and even this week, Arafat has proudly proclaimed: "We will have the State of Palestine from the river to the Sea, with Jerusalem as the capital of that State and only that State, and anyone who doesn't like it can go drink Gaza (or Dead) Sea water."
They refused to look at Arafat's maps showing Palestine' across the whole Land of Israel on his walls, his stationary and official documents, the logo his of TV station (paid for by America), the emblems of his soldiers, et al. They refused to see or acknowledge the vicious incitement in Arafat's children's TV programs where 4 and 8 year old kids sang and shouted: "I will be a suicide jihad' (holy war) warrior. I will go with a knife and bombs to liberate Jerusalem."... then to be kissed by Yassir Arafat for singing so prettily. They refused to read Arafat's official curricula for the children's schools which sowed the virulent seeds of Jew-hatred and praise for killing Jews to the next generation. All evidence of the peace process failures was ignored or rejected out of hand.
Occasionally the Jewish leadership would be invited into the impressive inner sanctum of the State Department or White House for briefings designed to solicit and ensure their support, particularly to the Congress. They were, of course, awed by the circumstances and flattered at being recognized as leaders to be consulted - as court Jews. Nobody actually listened to them or considered their opinions seriously. It was merely a manipulation by the iniquitous State Department through whoever was the current Presidential Administration to use them to further mask their pro-Arab policy driven by the market.
The political weight of the Jewish vote guaranteed that Jewish leaders, presumably speaking for the Jewish body of voters were respectfully welcomed by the Congress. Therefore, the Jewish leadership became an important conduit for the White House and State Department on Foreign Policy in the Middle East. If, however, the message from the State Department masked other interests then the Jewish leadership would become proxy spokesmen for Administration policy and those other interests, not necessarily in the best interests of Israel.
One must remember that the White House and State Department policy-makers were driven by certain powers in the oil and weapons' businesses. What President Eisenhower called the military/industrial complex had a far greater vested interest in the Arab markets. The multi-national companies and Western countries were greedy to get back the exorbitant monies Americans and the rest of the world had contributed for Arab oil. These interests are what fueled extortionate oil prices in the past and today.
In addition, the State Department has deep connections to a broad spectrum of Arab nations with Ambassadors and fully staffed Embassies whose only jobs were to advance trade, build massive infrastructure, secure energy, sell weapons, banking services, etc. Therefore, the foreign policy of the U.S. was and is heavily influenced by these considerations. When Congress is lobbied to act in a certain way by Jewish leadership, they were and are likely to go along - even when they believe it is bad policy.
Jewish leadership has recently become concerned that they will be blamed for promoting a peace process' now that it is so obvious how much damage has been and will be done to Israel. Each agreement pressed upon Israel seems to have brought her not the peace which sounded so appealing but only ramped up demands for more concessions and no reciprocal discharge of obligations by the Palestinian Authority.
For example, the Oslo Accords allowed the Palestinian Authority to have 24,000 lightly armed policemen. In complete violation of his treaty obligations, Arafat now admits to having 41,000 police/soldiers, as well as at least 9 secret services, armed with automatic weapons, explosives, bombs, armored vehicles and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and Stinger' missiles smuggled into the PA illegally. This is a Palestinian Army who has already shot at and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The U.S. Adminstration requested Jewish leaders to help lobby Congress for money to Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority which now totals at least $900,000,000. That is $900 Million of American taxpayers' money. There was no accountability or transparency, and even his own people accuse Arafat of perpetrating a fraud by using the monies for corrupt purposes. Now Congress and the other donor countries feel manipulated and blame Jewish leadership in their respective countries for carrying the message. Granted the Jewish lobbyists did act as merely the messengers and the message came from the White House. So why would they blame the Jewish leaders? Just because.
Worse yet. When the State Department could no longer issue reports approving Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords which allowed the release of these monies to Arafat, the State Department ceased issuing their bogus compliance reports and merely re-routed the money through various Palestinian front organizations. The supporting Jewish leaders uttered not a peep of objection.
Things are beginning to unravel in Israel. Ehud Barak, Prime and Defense Minister and former war hero has stumbled badly and now wants billions of American taxpayers' dollars from Congress for withdrawals and for new defenses to protect Israelis from hundreds of thousands of hostile neighbors now living within their heartland and a stone's throw (bomb's throw) across a barbed wire fence on the porous border with Lebanon.
Clinton has promised these billions and Ehud Barak has yet to understand that only Congress can vote the money. Clinton will be out of office in 61/2 months. What are the promises of a lame duck President worth? Can Barak take it to the U.S. bank'?
Clearly, Congress does not wish to give billions to Israel, particularly in an election year where there is a call for funding American domestic programs. These surrenders and withdrawals are pushing Israel from being the admired, strong, democratic ally in the Mid East to a vulnerable, costly, liability whose weakness was self-induced. Who could maintain their respect for a country that stupidly and willfully self-destructs?
Further, Congress sees that the agreements with the Palestinians have failed and have led into even greater demands by the Arabs. Why do you think the late Hafez al-Assad deliberately slapped Clinton with the impossible demand of all (down to Lake Kinneret) or nothing? Congress is beginning to draw away from receiving advice from the Jewish leadership although, for political reasons, still greets them cordially. Jewish organizations, including Jewish Presidents and AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee: Israel's official lobby in America) are beginning to feel vulnerable, as well they should. If the Palestinians do increase their demands and hostility (as they are), Jewish leadership both in Israel and America will be blamed. Somebody needs to be the fall guy. Fund raising, both for the Jewish organizations themselves and for political contributions will see great difficulties. Congress will feel the heat and blame the Jewish leadership for misleading them.
They will be correct since the so-called Jewish leadership allowed itself to be duped by assurances from an Israeli government who had a vested interest in a peace process' that has gone bad. Jewish Americans will, indeed, single out and blame their Jewish leaders should Israel come under attack by her supposed peace' partners as each withdrawal further weakens her. Being emasculated by surrendering vital Land, Water, Holy Sites, and now even Jerusalem creates the perception in the eyes of the Arab/Muslim world that Israel has been crippled sufficiently for the final Arab/Muslim coalition to attack and overrun what used to be an admirable, well-defended and viable sovereign Jewish State.
As most of the Jewish leaders failed to mount a campaign during WWII to rescue Jews from Nazi Europe in defiance of Government policy, so too, they have once again ignored the risk to the very survival of the Jews in Israel.
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East Analyst & Commentator and research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
PLEASE FAX & E-MAIL TO THE JEWISH MEDIA & THE LEADERSHIP OF JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS - INCLUDING THE CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS & AIPAC