Peace Can Be Built Only On Truth
"Peace Can Be Built Only on Truth"
DURING THE dark days of Stalin, the only means of expressing opposition in Soviet Russia was by means of popular jokes. One of the most prevalent concerned Pravda (which means Truth) and Iszvestia (News): "There is no news in Pravda and no truth in Iszvestia."
I was reminded of that joke when I read that the Israel Labour Party had decided to amend the phrase "true peace," which has been part of its platform for 10 years, by deleting the word "true."
In fact, on the basis of experience we can say to the leaders of the Mapai-Mapam Alignment: In your peace there is no truth; in your truth there is no peace.
There is, for instance, the characteristic "swift reaction" of Mr. Rabin to President Sadat's declaration that the Palestinian State which would arise in the area which Israel would have to evacuate – right up to the June 1967 lines – in order to obtain a treaty of "non-belligerence" would be linked in some fashion (in a federation or a confederation) with the Kingdom of Jordan.
Mr. Rabin described that as "a first step, though vague, but in the right direction."
Naturally, that stamp of approval was cabled around the world, especially to Washington, where the Carter administration was deciding its Middle East stance.
Every Prime Minister not bereft of sense and responsibility would have rejected Sadat's words as a "peace offensive" after the style of Sadat's hero – Hitler – who was always ready to sign a non-aggression pact and who had no further territorial ambitions.
A Prime Minister blessed even slightly with an analytical mind would explain that Sadat's plan was meant to jeopardise the existence of Israel and try to liquidate it "peacefully."
But that was not Mr. Rabin's way. He aimed to appear moderate – and succeeded in portraying the enemy as moderate.
It is characteristic that after Sadat has reiterated time and again that the question of Israel's total withdrawal to the June 1967 lines is "not negotiable," no one in Europe or America has called him an extremist, obstinate or stubborn. On the contrary, everyone continues to praise him as a wise, peace-loving, moderate ruler striving for peace in the Middle East.
Why should we be amazed at this world assessment of him if the Prime Minister of Israel could describe his plans as a move in the right direction?
What exactly is the true assessment of that direction? Well, we have the description of Mr. Abba Eban of those June 1967 lines as: "The lines of Auschwitz."
Mr. Yigal Allon, the present Foreign Minister, takes every opportunity to express his opposition to a third State between the sea and the desert. Yet he adds thoughtlessly that there can never be peace "without a solution to the Palestinian problem."
How is that problem to be solved? In only one way, say Sadat, Hussein, Assad and Arafat: by establishing a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza which will be linked in a federation with Transjordan.
Mr. Rabin described that answer as not being as clear as he would like it, but still as an answer in the right direction.
So what remains of the Labour opposition to that third State?
Let us assume that matters continue in this "right direction," where shall we be? They answer that, let us see where the Arabs will be. It is not by chance that Arafat and Kaddoumi are agreeable to a link between "their" Palestinian State and Transjordan. Behind them and on their flanks will be the Arab Legion, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Lebanon.
It will be a united Arab front such as has never before existed.
The Hashemite Legion has always joined in every war against Israel. So has Iraq. But, in the past, the desert was an obstacle to the passage of large numbers of Iraqis to our eastern front. Today, Iraq has more than 800 tank transporters, which means it could have four armoured divisions on our eastern front in 48 years.
Saudi Arabia's army is very weak, but its arsenals are piling up modern, sophisticated weapons from the West – Britain, France and the United States – in vast quantities.
To the east and south is the Egyptian front – this time to the east of Suez Canal.
To the north: the continuation of the Syrian front along the Lebanese border, which Syria will control either direction or through the terrorists, about whose return to southern Lebanon Mr. Rabin said: It is merely a return to the status quo ante.
So it seems that the "right direction" about which Mr. Rabin talked is the most comfortable one for the Arabs and the most dangerous one for Israel.
Where is the truth in such a "peace?"
In fact, that "Palestinian State" would become the central Soviet base in the Middle East.
Why is that truth not stated?
What would there be to prevent Arafat from calling for an arms airlift from Odessa, which is only a few hours away from Eretz Israel by air?
After all, even Hussein was ready to sign an arms deal with Moscow – and only desisted – temporarily – because he was able to extract modern armament from America for his Legion.
Not all the allocations accorded him by the CIA would make him invade a "Palestinian State" to prevent such a "federation partner" of his obtaining the latest arms for use against Israel.
Would Syria, all of whose modern arms are Russian, prevent Kaddoumi carrying such arms to Bethlehem or Tulkarem?
Would Egypt – which still receives MiGs from Russia! – try to prevent its Arab brothers obtaining Russian arms?
On the contrary, they would all welcome Russian arms for a Palestinian State, whatever area of Western Eretz Israel it occupied, because, logistically, there would be one source of arms supplies for the three fronts.
And perhaps even the truncated Israel, which according to the unhappy Allon Plan would be 14 to 15 kilometres across at its narrowest, might feel impelled to invade that Palestinian neighbor – and thus set fire to all the fronts, under the most difficult strategic circumstances for itself.
If the Alignment plans are fulfilled, there will be no escape from the creation of a Palestinian State and its transformation into a Soviet base – with all the dangers that that implies for Israel.
The obvious conclusion is that whoever is ready to hand over tracts of a Judea, Samaria and Gaza to foreign rule is willy-nilly giving the signal for the establishment of a third State between the sea and the desert. The one cannot be done without bringing the other inevitably in its train.
Only the totally blind cannot see that.
So what sort of peace, in truth, do the Alignment leaders offer? Its leaders declare that they are willing to see an Israeli withdrawals on all three fronts – but "without qualification" (in Mr. Rabin's words) will never return to the lines of June 1967.
Two consequences are inevitable; The Arabs will not sign a peace agreement on such terms. They demand total withdrawal – including the evacuation of East Jerusalem. That is not negotiable, says Sadat.
And secondly, since Israel's leaders are already willing to yield so much – since they have already verbally drawn the map they say they won't draw – they are inviting further pressure (not only from the Arabs, but from the international community) to make further concessions to reach, if not peace, then at least some Arab-Israel "arrangement."
The European socialist leaders who recently attended the Labour Convention in Israel, said as much from the platform of that convention.
That is the truth of the Alignment's policy. It offers no prospect of peace. It merely invites further pressure – for retreat to the "Auschwitz lines."
The Likud believes in facing the truth in its striving for true peace. It believes its programme will prevent the threefold catastrophe of the establishment of a Palestinian State, pressure for total withdrawal and terrible bloodshed jeopardising all prospect of peace.
(Translated from the Hebrew of Joe Kuttner).