Arafat Would Offer Russia an M.E. Angola
"Arafat Would Offer Russia an M.E. Angola"
A STORMY ARGUMENT has broken out within the Israel Labour Party. The issue at stake is: To who should the regions of Judea and Samaria, liberated from the Hashemite invader in the Six Day War, be handed over?
There are those Labour members who demand that Hussein should "get them back". Others, swayed by the new mode, are ready to hand them over to what is called "Palestinian rule".
The historic tragedy is that these Labour Zionists give no thought to a third possibility—which they should have considered above the others: that Hebrew sovereignty be maintained over these regions.
That is a question that the Likud poses continuously, in the Knesset and outside it: Is this the only alternative—that there can be only this Arab regime or that Arab regime in Judea and Samaria? What about the Jewish people and its inalienable rights?
In posing that question, we do not ignore any political or security problem.
On the contrary—by rejecting the Labour Party's alternatives we are looking the facts clearly in the face. There is no differentiation whatsoever between our historic rights and our right to security.
If Judea and Samaria were torn out of our State, that would mean the destruction of the very basis of our security—and that inevitably means the end of all chances of peace.
There is no need for any guesses about the future to prove that. The experience of the recent past suffices. Did we enjoy a single day of peace when Hussein's troops were stationed in Bethlehem, Schechem, Tulkarem and Qalqilya?
Human memory is brief, especially when one wants to forget. But can we forget the bloodshed and the constant threats that were our lot after the Transjordanian invader seized the territory of Judea and Samaria in 1948?
It is necessary to emphasise, therefore, that our right to Eretz Israel is not something abstract. It is our very life and security.
The so-called "pragmatists" who want to hand over Judea and Samaria to Arab rule should look again closely at the end of their road and ask themselves whether they may not be daydreaming about the outcome of their hopes.
Let them, for example, read the latest Hussein interview with Newsweek editor De Bourchgrava:
Q.: Would Jordan be prepared to participate in the Geneva talks?
We are no longer directly concerned with the return of the West Bank. The P.L.O. has been authorised to negotiate for the restoration of the occupied Palestinian territory and so we feel that the P.L.O. must participate from the outset in the Geneva talks, even without us.
Q.: The P.L.O. believes that it can isolate and break up Israel. How can impetus towards peace be established…?
Israel is the State in this region striving to expand. It is the Arabs who need guarantees that Israel is prepared to live peacefully within its original borders.
Q.: Which borders? Those of 1947 or 1967?
The agreed Arab view now is 1967.
So—while Labour Party leaders still talk about a Transjordanian-Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Transjordan, and ignore the Arab decisions at Rabat, the king about whom they are daydreaming does his best to set them right. He tells them explicitly that the terrorist "P.L.O." is the Arabs' accredited spokesman for negotiating the future of Judea and Samaria.
The address, he stipulates, is Arafat—not Hussein.
And we should pay attention to his phraseology: "NOW", at this moment, the Arabs are agreed on the 1967 borders.
How in the circumstances can our "pragmatists" continue with their insistence on handing Judea and Samaria over to Transjordan? Can they not see? Do they not hear?
There are those other "pragmatists" who say that, in the circumstances, they have no alternative but to hand over Judea and Samaria and Gaza to the "Palestinians". Proud of their being in the vanguard of "progressive" philosophies, they explain that "the Palestinian people have the right to self-expression". There is a new criterion for "progress" nowadays. If you recognise a "Palestinian entity", you are progressive. If you regard that concept as a weapon for the destruction of Israel, you are a reactionary.
In fact, the exact opposite is true—just as it was in those days when the accepted criterion for "progress" was subservience to Moscow's ideas.
The day will yet come when it will be realised that there is nothing more reactionary than the concept behind the campaign to create a Palestinian entity. It is a campaign to shatter the basis of Jewish statehood, to deprive us of our historic, ancestral Homeland.
But at this moment reactionary, discriminatory circles are in the ascendancy, and so Jewish "pragmatists" consider themselves to be very "progressive" if they espouse the idea of a Palestinian State in the heart of Eretz Israel. Why, even the Pope agrees with them.
But they insist that the State they are campaigning for will not be an Arafat-led State.
They accept that an Arafat State in the heart of Eretz Israel would endanger Israel's security. "Palestinians—yes", they say; "Arafat—no."
They should ask themselves how many hours would elapse before the Arab mayors of a State such as they envisage would invite Arafat to come over and place himself at their helm.
Such a development is intrinsic in the whole tenor of the decisions taken at Rabat—and the decision to invite Arafat's representative to take part in the Security Council debate.
Overnight, there would be triumphal arches in Judea and Samaria in honour of Arafat and the Fatah; and he would enter Shechem, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jericho as a conquering hero—just as Hitler once entered Vienna.
What could Israel do then? The invitation to Arafat would be within the absolute right of a sovereign State. By what right would an outside Power intervene? This would surely be part of the development of the right to self-determination of the "Palestinians", whose existence the Labour Party leaders wish Israel to recognise voluntarily.
So Arafat would be allowed to take over Judea and Samaria. Is that what "pragmatism" means?
The truth is that there can be no "Palestinian" State—only an Arafat State.
Whoever invites the Arabs of Eretz Israel to establish a "Palestinian State" is inviting Arafat to take over. That is where this "pragmatism" leads.
No one disputes that an Arafat State would be the most pro-Communist and pro-Soviet State in the whole Middle East.
No Arab leader has visited Moscow as frequently as Arafat has. He is in continuous contact with the Soviet secret service. Russia hastened to recognise his murder organization long before the United Nations did. It is all part of the new Russian drive for a warm water Mediterranean base. Not long after Arafat take-over, we would witness a repetition of the Angola process right on our doorstep. There would be an airlift of sophisticated military equipment—and the Kremlin would react to any "Don’t upset detente" warning from Washington in exactly the same manner as it has reacted to Kissinger's warning over Angola.
There is no need to explain the significance of such a development for Israel.
And yet it would be we, with our own hands, who would be bringing about that danger to our very existence.
Then, from the international point of view, the Russians would be returning to the Middle East with a vengeance—able to strike north, east and south at will. That would fundamentally alter the balance of world power.
Moscow talks detente—and battles its way into Angola. All it needs in the strategic Middle East to further the plans that have taken it to Angola is an invitation to enter Shechem and Bethlehem.
This is something that can be explained to the free world—especially to the United States.
It is essential that it be done, so that, timeously, we may establish recognition of the mutual interests of Israel and the free world is keeping Arafat and his colleagues (of Damascus and Moscow) out of Eretz Israel.
Since we abandoned the Suez Canal, recognition of that fact has been blurred. But I can be renewed on the basis of the developments in Angola. The facts are there, to be discerned clearly by all who are shown them. Let Israel's leaders taken their heads out of the sand.
Eretz Israel is the Jewish people's as of right. That right is inextricable bound up with our right to security. By maintaining our right to Eretz Israel, we maintain our security. Moreover, we ultimately deny Moscow a base in a most strategic region for white-anting the free world.
There are only two alternatives before us: Either we remain in Judea and Samaria—or Arafat and the Russians take over.
For our sake and that of the free world there can be only one answer.
(Translated from the Hebrew by Joe Kuttner.)