Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Behold! You've Been Warned!

Ari Shavit has issued the most trenchent analysis of Olmert's Plan. The fact that Kadima now stands at 42 seats in the polls proves, finally, that the idea that Jews are smart is an anti-semitic canard.

Olmert's Arrogance
by, Ari Shavit

In September 2000, the Palestinians began a terror offensive against Israel. They did this because they refused to accept the Camp David proposal, which promised them the entire Gaza Strip and 91 percent of the West Bank in exchange for full recognition of Israel and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Ehud Olmert is elected prime minister and implements his convergence plan, then in September 2010 the Palestinians will have sovereignty over the entire Gaza Strip and some 91 percent of the West Bank, and all this without recognizing Israel and without ending the conflict.

Thus will the national Palestinian movement fulfill the objectives of its wars and obtain a full strategic resolution against the State of Israel. The history books will record Olmert's unconditional withdrawal as the unconditional surrender of Zionism. No, it will not be the end. But it will be the beginning of the end. While relying on big money on one side and big journalism on the other, Olmert will lead the country to the beginning of the end.

At first glance, Olmert's plan appears enchanting - no fear, no hesitation, and very Israeli. Here, we'll take our destiny in our own hands. Within three years we'll evacuate some 80,000 settlers. Within less than five years, we will undergo a final disengagement from the Palestinians and converge within the borders of a flourishing lowlands country. We will surround our existence with a high wall, which will protect us from both the craziness of the Land of Israel and from the threat of Palestine. And so, in one term, we will isolate ourselves from all the sickness and terrors of the Middle East. So simple. So clear. How did we not think of this sooner. Why did we wait so long so that the man who saved Jerusalem could also save the State of Israel.

However, on second glance it becomes clear that the Olmert plan has a small flaw: It has no Palestinians. This is a plan whose logic is simplistic and patronizing. This is a plan for Israelis only, which ignores its ramifications on Israelis. It takes an extreme unilateral position to the point of absurdity, totally ignoring the fact that the conflict is bilateral and the political reality is multilateral. The plan, then, is an arrogant one, and the hubris that characterizes it is no less than the hubris of the person who formulated it.

What Olmert plans to do in the next few years is to establish an armed Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Via the nearly complete withdrawal, Olmert will promise Hamas almost total control in the Palestinian state for generations. The Palestine of Olmert will be hostile, dissatisfied and violent. Its founding ethos will be "We've chased them out of Ofra, we'll chase them out of Tzahala too."

Since Olmert is establishing this country without first assuring its demilitarization, it will have significant military capability. Since he is establishing it without removing the right of return from the agenda, it will have a destructive claim against Israel, whose legitimacy is recognized by the international community. The combination of political sovereignty, military power and a commitment to demanding return will transform Olmert's Hamas state into one that will endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.

Despite the irony, the convergence plan will not implement the Bush vision, but will destroy it. It will not build a stable two-state solution, but will create an unstable reality in which an Islamic Palestinian state systematically undermines the foundation of the Jewish democratic state. But it is not just the stability of Israel that Olmert is endangering. He is also endangering the regional stability. A Hamas state will accelerate Jordan's collapse. There is no chance that the Hashemite rule will stand up against a Palestinian state on its doorstep whose religious fervor has just subdued the Zionists. Egypt will also be threatened. A victorious Muslim Brotherhood republic that controls a third of Jerusalem and devours the Temple Mount will be the beacon of zealotry for the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo. And in Damascus. And in Amman. And Olmert will be supporting not only anti-Israeli terror, but also the anti-Western revolutionary movement. His radical unilateral process will disrupt the American strategy in the area and will bury U.S. President George W. Bush's dream of stability and democracy in the Middle East.

The Land of Israel must be divided. The occupation must end. A two-state solution is necessary. But the Hamas victory has made a two-state solution more distant and more complicated. Olmert's convergence plan makes it impossible. Therefore, if the public gives him the chance to carry out his arrogant plan, then March 28, 2006, will go down in history.

History will remember it as the day that did not bring peace and did not bring security, but began the end.

[Note: Obviously, I disagree with his 'take' on the so-called 'occupation' (which ended over a decade ago.]


Out of Step in Kfar Saba said...

Kadima will end up with less than 30 seats.
Have you seen an election in Israel with so few bumber stickers? There is no passion for Olmert or Kadima - his voters won't show up at the polls - especially if its a beach day.

Anonymous said...

i beg to differ with oosks.
for reasons i cannot fathom, a party with no track record, made up of a potpourri of members with no coherent policy beyond disengagement, and no proven leader, is the clear favorite.

the lack of stickers is, if anything, more proof of kadimas confidence. they do not need bumper stickers. in my limited experience, a clearly leading party does not need the heavy advertising. look at the orange representation: orange emblems far outnumbered the blue, and yet i believe that most of the country was in favor of withdrawal (certainly at the rallies it was almost exclusively orthodox, and their proportion in the country is something short of negligible; at least not at all representative).

of course, time will tell.

Zalman said...

I’ve been thinking out the possibility (hope?) that Kadima could suffer from the effects of "the lonely middle".

Kadima can only appeal to the pragmatic voter, not the idealogue. But even the pragmatic voter would prefer to stick to his ideals.

Based on the polls, Kadima will form the next coalition. And Labor will certainly get enough votes to get into Knesset. If a traditionally Labor voter believes that Kadima is the pragmatic approach to his ideals, why should he hold his nose and vote for Olmert and Tzachi? Kadima does not need him. So he can still choose to vote his ideals and vote Labor (or Meretz) and help pull the Kadima coalition (further) to the left. Ditto for the right leaning Kadima voter.

Walla! Kadima is left in the lonely middle. With far fewer seats than predicted...

YMedad said...

Funny, Shavit was very pro-Sharon. The question, then, is: is not Olmert Sharon's (er) "worthy" successor or is Shavit only willing to follow Sharon doen the garden lane. Instead of declaring disengagement a failed policy because it didn't stop terror and led to the Hamas victory, among other things (like cruelly kicking 10,000 out of hoem, out of livelihood, out of sanity), he attacks the unilateral aspect of it which Olmert led two years ago in his newspaper interviews (for those that recvall) and which he is trying to repeat. It is not so much the unilateralism which is at fault (after all Beilin complained too) but that peace is not possibel with Palestinians in any consideration of geography at this moment of time.