The Golan Heights are Not the Sinai
Last week I was invited to a very important meeting called by the Center for Security Policy, the blue-ribbon think tank concerned with security problems for America in many parts of the world, which has lately concentrated on the problems of Israel and the United States with regard to the Golan Heights. The meeting discussed the report just issued by the Center and written by the most respected military and political experts. The meeting, which took place in Washington on November 1, was chaired by Mr. Frank Gaffney, Jr., former acting assistant secretary of defense, and now director of the Center. Among those who attended the meeting were retired Air Force Gen. John Foss; Professor Eugene Rostow, former under secretary of state and father of U.N. resolution 242; Douglas J. Feith, former deputy assistant secretary of defense; staff members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, representatives of various pro-Israel political action committees, including Richard Hellman (CIPAC), Sarah Stern (WINPAC) and Charles Brooke (NATPAC), and JINSA, representatives of various think tanks, such as Washington Institute for Near East Policy, School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University) and a multitude of members of the media, including Time, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Washington Times, Middle East Quarterly, Near East Report, Jane's Defense Weekly, Associated Press, World News Digest, McNeil Lehrer Report, Wall Street Journal and Washington Jewish Week. Israel was represented by members of the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the daily newspaper, Yedioth Aharonoth. A member of AIPAC also showed up.
The Committee's 23-page report, titled, "U.S. Forces on the Golan Heights: An Assessment of Benefits and Costs," was the subject of the indepth discussion. Professor Rostow, the venerable elder statesman of U.S. policy in the Near East, gave a sweeping review of the history of the problem of the Six Day War in 1967 with special reference to Resolution 242. Together with the late U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, it was Prof. Rostow -- then under secretary of state under President Lyndon Johnson -- who had formulated Security Council Resolution 242. He had labored for six months on every word in that Resolution, especially to assure wide latitude for Israel in her choice of territory to give back after total peace with all her neighbors was established. Thus the resolution specifically and deliberately does not ask Israel to give back all territories taken over in that war, but only "territories." The previous Israeli government correctly held that by giving back the Sinai, which made up 91 percent of the territories occupied in 1967, Israel had more than complied with 242. Offering more territory, as the Rabin-Peres government is doing, lies totally outside the parameters of the Resolution. It is questionable whether Peres and his amateur peace negotiators knew this. Likewise, whenever Clinton asks that Israel comply with 242, he evidently does not realize that Israel has already fully complied with the Resolution. Certainly, the Resolution does not require Israel to give back the Golan Heights, since the Resolution guarantees Israel "recognized, secure" borders, which would be impossible without the Golan.
The Report denies the truth of the often-used cliché that "Land for Peace" is needed to achieve peace. The Report says: "The argument that peace is better than territory is valid only as long as there is peace. But if war was to break out again, no one can seriously suggest that Israel would be better off holding a treaty signed by Assad than holding the Golan Heights." As Chief of Staff Barak has said, such peace must be the kind that exists between Holland and Belgium, which of course is impossible with the likes of Assad. Therefore, the Golan Heights remain a strategic must for Israel.
General Foss stated that the total American Military force today is less than it was in 1939, before World War II. A total of no more than 500,000 troops are under arms. A troop presence on the Golan Heights would require at minimum a battalion of 5,000 men to be rotated three times, which means that 15,000 service men would be tied up for the operation -- a substantial percentage of the total worldwide military forces of the United States. Such a depletion of U.S. forces is, of course, out of the question.
The meeting clearly spelled out the difference between the U.S. forces now in the Sinai and those proposed for the Golan. In the Sinai case, Israel and Egypt are separated by hundreds of miles of desert. The forces therefore do nothing but peaceful monitoring. No terrorists or armed bands are nearby. But on the Golan it would never do for U.S. troops just to act as observers. The U.S. forces would have to act as "trip wires," who go into military action if Israel is attacked. But the United States cannot agree to be automatically drawn into a war in this fashion. Therefore U.S. troops or the Golan can never be d deterrent against a Syrian attack nor protect Israel. On the contrary, U.S. forces would be automatically withdrawn once they are attacked! In other words their usefulness would be "zero." It would be no more than the U.N. forces that up to 1967 were supposed to help keep Egypt and Israel apart. But as soon as Nasser demanded their withdrawal, U Thant, the secretary general of the United Nations, withdrew them, leaving Israel exposed to full attack by Egypt. Abba Eban, in his memorable speech at the United Nations on June 7, 1967, said the United Nations acted like a firefighter who ran away the moment a fire broke out.
Since U.S. troops would serve no military purpose, nor could they protect Israel in case of attack, the whole idea of placing U.S. troops there -- the idea being advanced by Rabin -- is nothing but a psychological ploy to lull Israel into a feeling of security in the face of a potential Syrian attack once Israel has given up the Golan. But that is not a factor that impresses American Senators and congressmen, who have to approve and fund stationing of U.S. forces on the Golan, therefore, the idea would never pass Congress.
We as Jews have another consideration: Israel has always been admired foreign solders. Why give up that strength? Israel would become a powerless satellite of the United States, totally subject to the whims and changes of mood and policy in the United States. Any risk to U.S. soldiers would unleash anti-Semitism in this country, especially among the black community, which contributes a major part of the personnel of the Army. Can anyone imagine the backlash against the Jewish community if black soldiers come back in body bags after sitting on the Golan to protect Jews?
Rabin' disregard for these factors bespeaks his indifference to the dangers posed to the Jewish community in America by pressing for U.S. troops on the Golan.
A sad spectacle could be observed in recent months. The Israeli embassy has desperately tried to suppress any discussion of the placing of U.S. troops on the Golan. Their line has been "such discussion would be premature before a peace agreement with Syria has been reached." This deceptive line does not convince anyone anymore. It is just like Rabin's idea to hold a referendum in Israel on the Golan question -- but only after a peace with Syria has been initiated. His idea is to gain psychological escape from well-considered, rational discussion of the pros and cons of this vitally important question.
At our meeting a member of AIPAC, a puppet for the Rabin government, tried to throw cold water on the crystal clear finding of the blue-ribbon report of the Center for Security Policy. This proves that despite its often professed support for the full discussion of the matter, AIPAC is behind the efforts to throttle it. Of course, their efforts were futile, and the Report now will reach all segments of the U.S. government departments concerned, plus all members of Congress for full discussion. It can be safely predicted that the idea of U.S. troops in the Golan has been shot down and that therefore Israel is safe from any threat to her security on the Golan Heights.
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and CIPAC also experienced the hostile and destructive efforts by AIPAC on the Golan question. Considering that AIPAC is funded by $16 million from American Jews, the organization's full, dubious role in the efforts to deploy U.S. troops on the Golan should be fully aired to the Jewish public. It becomes doubly embarrassing to note that it is Christian groups, like the Center and CIPAC -- besides ZOA -- who are battling to protect Israel from the disastrous dismantling of her security, which is being planned by a Jewish government in Israel.
A similar study was also conducted by another think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Their report was also issued recently. It comes to the same conclusion as the Center for Security Policy, namely that since no "warm" peace with Syria can be envisaged -- in the face of Syria's dismal record of accord violations -- the stationing of U.S. troops on the Golan cannot be supported.
The Dahaf Poll, published last week in the Jerusalem Post, gives Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud opposition party, a lead of 4 percent over incumbent Rabin. If elections were held today, Netanyahu would gain 46 percent of the vote, against Rabin's 42 percent. The Likud has seen a slow but steady increase in its popularity over the last six months, showing Israel's disenchantment with the peace process.
Dr. Goldstein, z"l, practiced last Purim the law rodef (pursuit) -- which permits a pre-emptive strike against someone poised to murder you. The Shamgar Commission report -- despite the government's efforts to hide it -- exonerated Goldstein of the charge that his action constituted an "unprovoked attack." There was ample proof that the Palestinians had planned a large-scale pogrom against the Jews of Hebron on the morning of Purim. Goldstein successfully blunted the attack by his own action inside the Cave of the Machpelah. For months, the leftists -- starting with Michael Lerner and the anti-Zionist Americans for Peace Now -- jumped on the incident as an excuse for attacks on all settlers and demands for their disarmament -- exposing them to continued murderous attacks by Arabs. Their ferocious and hate-filled attacks on the settlers were based on falsehood: Goldstein's action was, in fact, fully justified under the law of rodef. Now, Rabin has shown that he himself has adopted Goldstein's less: Last week he ordered the killing of Hamas terror chief Hani Abed because it had become known that Abed was about to mount a suicide attack on Jews. Rabin's pre-emptive attack on the Hamas terror head was consistent with the law of rodef and will probably also be followed in the future to save Jewish lives.
It is sadly paradoxical that at the same time Israeli government forces are bent on destroying any monument, even a tombstone, honoring the memory of Goldstein. The admirers of Goldstein must keep an around-the-clock vigil at his grave to prevent its desecration by government forces! Rabin, having learned the Jewish law of self-defense from him, should join those who honor Goldstein's memory.
During World War II no one contributed more to the killing of Jews at Auschwitz than the Mufti Al Haj Amin el Husseini. He was Hitler's honored guest in Berlin, where he had escaped after his unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the British from Iraq for the benefit of Nazi Germany. Hitler listened to his incessant demand that the maximum number of Jews should be gassed and burned and thereby kept the gas ovens of Auschwitz burning day and night. The kinsman of this arch-killer of Jews Yasser Arafat el Husseini, is now being invited by President Lech Wales of Poland, to attend the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. No greater historical injustice and insult to the memory of Jewish martyrs could have been concocted than to invite Arafat -- the man who prides himself with continuing the Mufti's efforts to evict Jews from Eretz Yisrael -- to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. We must appeal to Lech Walesa, to rescind this outrageous invitation.
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