By Emanuel A. Winston
Breaking codes is not easy. First, you need to intercept messages and watch for the results to see what was really intended. Then you can work backward on all the old messages which said one thing but really meant another. PM Ehud Barak's reputation for clever thinking was well-earned and, no doubt, he was a sharp weapon against our enemies when he was Chief of Military Intelligence. Unfortunately, like a misguided Josephus, he has turned that sharp weapon (the ability to out-think the opposition) against his own people's best interests.
Unlike the dour Yitzhak Rabin, who could not hide his disdain for the loyal opposition, particularly those he called "settlers" with such contempt, Barak is a charmer. He visits each different segment of the opposition and commiserates with them. He wins them over. He tells each that he knows what they are going through. He shares their pain. He neglects to tell them that he has specific plans which will increase their pain. His latest words were from his 'religious appeal' platform in his Succa that "his peace with Syria would require Painful Concessions'".
Breaking Barak's code, a translation of what he really intends is something like this: "I have been working with the U.S. State Department to pick up at the last Rabin concessions, according to Assad, wherein we, Israel, will evacuate the Golan down to the Kinneret. We will leave all facilities in place, to include farms, industries, roads, town, infrastructure. We will receive a similar peace as is presently in place with Egypt, called "no war - no normalization - no de-militarization".
While paperwork, drafted primarily by the U.S. State Department, will speak of normalization and de-militarization, as with Egypt, there'll be no actual normalization - and only a short delay before a creeping militarization of the Golan. Barak asked Clinton for $20 Billion for the Golan withdrawal although the final cost is likely to exceed $50 Billion in the long run. Barak expects Clinton to approve this grant which is then to be underwritten by the U.S. Congress. But $20 Billion won't even approach the actual cost, most of which will be raised by taxing the Israeli people. Although Barak asked Clinton for $20 Billion for the Golan withdrawal, Congress just passed a foreign aid bill - minus the $1.2 Billion for Israel promised for the Wye agreement and $2 Billion short of what Clinton wanted for general foreign aid. Barak doesn't understand only Congress can approve and budget the expenditures expected by Barak. Clearly, they won't vote $20 Billion for the Golan withdrawal. Clinton may have promised Barak the money but Barak, the brilliant, never understood Washington nor Clinton's inability to deliver.
Within the draft document, Syria will probably agree not to interfere with Israel's water supplies, perhaps including some sort of token payment from Israel per cubic meter flow but, in the end, for its own needs, Syria will cut down the water flow to Israel. Israel will protest to the co-signer - America - but they will do nothing, much the same as when Egypt broke its agreement to de-militarize the Sinai. Israel protested, but the U.S., as the co-sponsor, said it could see no wrong-doing, even with the photos Israel and their own American satellites supplied. And the matter was dropped.
One would assume that the Golan's new Syrian residents occupying the Israeli towns left intact would be primarily military families in civilian dress as an advance contingent, cycling back for training into the Syria heartland. Clearly, the Golan would be militarized in a year or two, with the Israeli Army bunched up on the low ground, trying to maintain some sort of defensive borders.
Barak's secret code tells us many useful things. For example, we observe Labor Leftists and the Palestinian Authority condemning Barak's allowance of issuing additional building tenders released to the settlements in Judea and Samaria. In "Barak Speak" he is quieting the opposition by telling them that he is on their side and "Not To Worry". On the Back Channel' and in Barak's Code, he is telling the Left and the PA, "Not To Worry", because eventually these settlements, including the new buildings, will be theirs anyway. But, to have Labor Leftists, Meretz, Peace Now and the Palestinian Authority all screaming, "Foul!", is a wonderful bone to throw to the Right. Barak tells the naive settlers: "See what I am doing for you! See what heat I am taking on your behalf! See what suckers you are!"
Barak has excellent mind-twisting advisors. He has the whole anti-Israel U.S. State Department, including Clinton's clique of Left-Liberal Jews: Sandy Berger, Albright, Indyk, Ross, Miller, Kurtzer, (until recently) Jamie Rubin. But, even better, he has Clinton's man, James Carville and his Jewish partner, Greenberg. They have the Israeli public charted, computerized, psychologically analyzed...all cut and dried. Barak has even adopted the Clinton/Carville sound-byte phrasing which says nothing in three or four words, leaving the opposition speechless and confused.
So easy to trick the public and even easier to easier to trick the unsophisticated Jews of Israel. So, when Barak says "Peace with the Palestinians and Syria will need Painful Concessions", he is telling you in code what he intends to do whether you protest or not. When he offers photo ops of him holding the paw of a dog used to sniff out victims in Turkey's earthquake, he is telling the public "Not to Worry! Look how good I look as a lover of animals. You can trust me."
In his coded messages, the hypnotic mantra, designed by James Carville is: "Trust Me! Trust me! Trust me!" He sympathizes with each segment of the public, meeting them separately, telling them: "Trust me! Trust me! Trust me!" - even as he works, in advance, to break them so when the hammer comes down, they are without spirit and quietly walk into the next world he has prepared for them.
As for the opposition, he keeps them paralyzed with depression. They're kept separate and mildly at each other's throats. The religious are easily bribed; those of YESHA are thrown a few bones - each thinking that they'll be safe because Barak said a few kind words or allowed them to build a few buildings. Soon, he'll introduce the mind-teaser called "The Referendum". He 'll tell the nation they'll have a determining part in the decision-making process of giving up water, defensive borders, holy sites, homes, farms and industries. But, what he will NOT tell them is that, like Oslo, it will all be decided before the Referendum, co-signed by Clinton, with the approval of the pro-Arab E.U. (European Union) and then offered up as a non-cancelable contract, to be followed by an irrelevant peoples' Referendum.
Barak even has the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza working for him. YESHA spokeswoman Yehudit Tayar says about a group of young settlers who organized to discuss future strategy called Next Generation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, that they are "....young couples from hilltop neighborhoods [who] feel we are too silent in our actions." (1) Tayar says that about her Council: "...no one knows the details. When they are forced to face reality at their doorsteps, they will react." Knowledgeable Israelis know that Israelis never act in real time. When the loss of Golan water should be a vital consideration, Israelis will only react when they can't flush their toilets or wash their cars. Jews can't seem to project the future and only respond on the day the calamity arrives.
So, dear Jews, know this. There are some few Jews who do plan for the future. The plan evolved in the early 80's to clean out the Jews from the territories is moving forward. Those who refuse to leave will be, purposely left in a sea of hostile Arabs where the pre-planned misery index will be so intense that they will eventually be forced to abandon these towns because their families are endangered.
In 1986 I published a series of articles, indicating that Labor had an operational plan to pressure the settlers to evacuate Judea, Samaria and Gaza in three phases: One: to pay compensation as in Yamit; Two: to rely upon the Arabs to increase the danger/misery index to scare the second wave of emigres; and Third: to withdraw all military protection - leaving the idealogues surrounded by Arab who would eventually force those remaining to leave the neo-state of Palestine. Apparently, this last truth of being stuck in an Arab state and no longer being a citizen of Israel has finally reached the Israeli media that they are asking the questions: The radio station Reshet Bet interviewed a settler about 1 PM today (September 30): "What will do if you have to live under Palestinian Authority?" The settler replied: "We're not thinking about it. We don't want to think about it."
You will lose the watershed under the hills of Samaria and Judea. You will lose part of Jerusalem, with the rest to follow. You will lose the water, high ground, farms, wineries and other industries from the Golan. You will lose the defensive borders along the Jordan River. You will lose the holy sites in the heartland of Jewish history in Judea and Samaria. You will gain millions of armed and hostile Palestinians living next to your towns and cities. You will satisfy long term plans laid down in the early 80's by the Labor government in close collaboration with the American State Department. You will pay in taxes for what will be lost in the Golan, much as you did when you relinquished the Sinai. Israel will be shrunk to a size where Israelis on vacation will camp in their yard and not bother to unpark the car.
In the meantime, you can take comfort from Barak's code words because that is all the comfort you will get. As for Barak's code...look back on his statements and decide if his protests about the excessive demands of Assad are merely statements preceding his acceptance of those demands. When he says NO to 1967 borders, he is likely already negotiating those borders guided by the Clinton administration who desperately needs a foreign policy win to obscure the embarrassment of 8 years of scandal. When he says NO to the influx of millions of Palestinians to Israel, be assured he is only waiting for the time or the Carville-designed method to open the flood-gates. Clearly, Barak is brilliant as Josephus was brilliant. Too bad he isn't working for the long term best interests of the Jews of Israel.
I do not believe that Barak is evil or intentionally planning to start Israel down a road of increasing vulnerability, eventually leading to the fall of the nation. However, a man whose sole world was the closed walls of the military and who was nurtured to be the political replacement for a Labor government leader, simply cannot have the clear vision to safely guide the nation's future. Brilliance developed in such a restricted environment cannot be expanded in its limited world view once maturity is reached and set in its ways. Such truncated brilliance when confronted with a new unfamiliar world accepts guidance from other powers and interests not necessarily friendly. While American citizens have always been friendly to Israel, Arabists in the American government have a far greater interest in Arab markets than in Israel's future. As a neophyte in world affairs. Barak is clearly accepting prejudiced guidance.
"Yihye Tov! It will be all right. Kol b'Seder! Everything will be OK." These are the phrases every Israeli is familiar with because they know that "nothing is all right."
1. "Settlers' 'New Generation' discusses Strategy" JERUSALEM POST 9/30/99
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst & commentator and research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.