“Koenig Report” Shows Labour’s Comples
"'Koenig Report' Shows Labour's Complex"
MAPAM'S VICTOR SHEM-TOV, MINISTER OF HEALTH, was responsible for some bitter humour a few days ago when he took time off from the hospital crisis to ask the Cabinet why Meir Amit, former head of the Mossad – the Intelligence Service – had been allowed to reveal details of secret Cabinet discussions about the release, after the Six Day War, of Israelis imprisoned in Cairo.
Some days after Mr. Shem-Tov had posed that question, his party leaked for wide publication a top secret internal memorandum – the Koenig document on the growth of the Arab population in the Galilee – although as one Mapam commentator confessed "We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of publishing the document, and more than once the opinion gained ground that it might be better to pigeon-hole it."
He added that it had been felt that publication of the document would lay Israel bare to foreign censure and cause a furore among Israeli Arabs.
But the opposing considerations overcame these scruples – with the consequences foreseen by the commentator.
Not everyone has had the patience to read the Koenig document to its very end, and for that reason two of its recommendations are not widely known.
One recommends that to wrest Arab representation out of the hands of the communistic Rakah party, the Labour Party should establish a sister party to attract Arabs. This party should be controlled by Labour. The other suggests that every effort be made to bring "the Zionist parties to a national consensus on the subject of the Arabs of Israel in order to remove them as a subject of domestic politics." The document bears the name of Mr. Koenig – who is a member of the National Religious Party. It is difficult to believe that at NRP member would propose that a sister party to Labour should be established to have the monopoly of Arab adherence.
It has been said that a number of members of the ruling Labour Party participated in the formulation of certain paragraphs of the Koenig document; and it seems obvious that the two I have quoted stemmed from them.
Taken together they are another indication of the ugly monopolistic complex of Labour.
Mr. Meir Amit, to whom I referred at the outset of this article, is also a veteran and important member of the monopolistic party and certainly obtained permission from his party to publish his memoirs on the Cairo prisoners.
He gives the impression that it was due to his efforts alone that the Government was given sufficient respite to ensure the success of its efforts to have the prisoners released.
I have no doubt that Mr. Amit still recalls a festive gathering attended by those prisoners and two members of Mr. Eshkol's National Unity Cabinet who had played a role in the efforts to free the prisoners. Why am I so sure? Because it was Mr. Amit who invited those two Ministers and the ex-prisoners to that gathering.
Yet now he "reveals" that he alone acted, exerted pressure, achieved and liberated. He alone.
And now the Minister of Foreign Affairs enters the arena and proclaims that it was he who gave the main impetus in the Government for the liberation of those prisoners…After reading all these claims by these honourable men, I find myself amazed. Are these disciples of Labour's monopolistic ideas unable to recognise any rights in others?
In regard to anything positive, their vocabulary contains only one word: I, I, I.
But when it comes to accepting responsibility for anything negative, there is only one other formula: Not I, not I.
You may recall that after the terrible acts of omission prior to the Yom Kippur War, the nation was told "We are all guilty."
When will these complexed people learn to say "We" with regard to considerations, decisions and actions in which others also participate?
Mr. Rabin, for instance, continually poses the question: "Shall we tell the Arabs and the Americans – 'Either peace, or nothing?'
The phrasing of that rhetorical question is ugly. The Prime Minister is trying to insinuate that those who disagree with what he believes today are shortsighted and are telling the Arabs and the Americans "Peace – or nothing," while he is offering the only reasonable, moderate road to peace.
Since I cannot believe that Mr. Rabin has already forgotten the documents which he helped formulate and which he signed only a year ago, I have no alternative but to assume that he is willing now to discard with a gesture of his hand or a phrase what he demanded, wrote and signed a year ago.
Let me remind the reader of Article 8 of the Interim Agreement between Israel and Egypt. It states:
"This agreement is considered by both parties as an important step towards a just and lasting peace. This is not final peace."
And it continues:
"The parties will continue with their efforts to negotiate a final peace agreement in the framework of the peace conference in Geneva, in accordance with Resolution 338 of the Security Council."
There is another document that makes the meaning even clearer. Let me quote Article 6 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of Israel and the United States, dated September 1 1975. It says:
"The United States Government agrees with Israel that the next agreement with Egypt must be a final peace agreement."
It should be noted that it was not Egypt that made this demand for a "final peace agreement" of Israel or of America. Nor was it the United States that made it of Israel. It was Israel which insisted on this undertaking from the United States. The United States, as the document plainly states "agrees with Israel" etc. It was Israel which proposed and America which agreed.
So, just a year ago, it was Mr. Rabin and his colleagues who demanded that after last year's Interim Agreement would come a final peace agreement.
There would not be another interim agreement. It would be peace – or…?
But on the eve of Kol Nidrei, Mr. Rabin told the United States: "Whatever it was I demanded of you, I abrogate completely." And to the Israeli public, he said – and in spite of that earlier demand, undertaking and signature – 'What do you mean: either peace – or nothing?'
Mr. Rabin will forgive me if I say that that is not the conduct befitting a Prime Minister.
In recent weeks four public opinion polls have been held in Israel. I always advise my friends not to depend on such things. But it seems that this time it is precisely the Labour monopolists who are paying attention to these views of a limited number of voters which indicate a certain voting tendency. The proof of that statement is the fact that the Labour Party has initiated two secret surveys of its own.
In one of them, the Likud had a 4 per cent advantage over the Alignment. In the second, the Alignment had had a smaller advantage over the Likud.
In a (non-secret) survey conducted by the Dahaf institution, once again the Likud takes precedence over the Alignment; while in a survey initiated by Yediot, the gap between the Alignment and the Likud shrank to four mandates, in places of the 12 of the last elections.
If there is any significance to such public opinion surveys, it seems that it may be said without exaggeration that the Alignment and the Likud are today two central forces. It is evident, therefore, that the Likud has progressed a great deal towards its goal in the next elections.
This is the complexity and arrogance of the monopolists. Everywhere else in the democratic world, a change of government is regarded as the highest expression of the democratic will of the people. But for Israel's monopolists, it is a tragedy. They believe there should never be a change in regime. It belongs to them.
The truth is that the catastrophes have occurred under the regime of the monopolists – from the "Lavon affair" to the Yom Kippur War acts on omission, from the mass Yerida to the basic undermining of the economy, from the worrying signs of social crumbling of the grave crisis in essential services and the deep agitation in all labour relations.
In order to free the nations from these and other catastrophes, a new Government must be established in Israel. Even our monopolists must start getting used to the idea that there is a possibility, or a prospect, that in the coming year the democratic decision of the voting public will lead to the establishment of a Government not controlled by them – and it will be good for Israel.
May this be a good and blessed year for the whole House of Israel.