Thursday, March 02, 2006

In This Game, No One Is Called For Interference

During the first week of the new year, Amir Taheri made a policy that was in effect during the first few decades of Israel's existence:
For a war to be won, it is not enough for one side to claim victory. It is also necessary for one side to admit defeat. Yet in the Arab-Israeli wars, the side that had won every time was not allowed to claim victory, while the side that had lost was prevented from admitting defeat. Why? Because each time the United Nations had intervened to put the victor and the vanquished on an equal basis and lock them into a problematic situation in the name of a mythical quest for an impossible peace.
Israel was always expected to play nicely. As if it were all a game, what was won was expected to be returned--because the UN or some other world power said so. Natural consequences were never allowed to take their course and so a situation has been allowed to artificially fester and grow.

But the fact that there no longer all-out wars has not limited the opportunities for foreign countries to interfere. Hillel Halkin writes about a current example in the New York Sun about the Palestinians and The Right to Make Bad Choices:
Recognizing a government as a legitimate expression of popular will that is therefore entitled to rule is one thing. Supporting a government by extending financial or other aid to it is something else. It is patronizing to treat the Palestinian people as ignorant innocents who did not know what they were doing when they elected a party that calls for the destruction of Israel. They were aware of it and knew whom they were voting for. To now argue that financial assistance to a Hamas-led PA should continue as before, because if it doesn't the PA will collapse financially, is absurd. It is treating the Palestinians like children who are not responsible for what they do. [Registration required. Summary here]
The aid in question is from foreign as well as Israeli sources to again interfere and prevent the natural consequences of decisions and actions from taking effect. Halkin's point ties in with Treppenwitz's post from last week and the point that needs to be hammered home:
This word 'infantilization' must be brought into consistent and mainstream use wherever and whenever the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is discussed. It is untenable that Israel be the only party cast in the role of grown-up; making concessions, living up to agreements, being held accountable for actions (or inaction), simply because the other side is allowed to be portrayed as too immature and undeveloped to be held to the same standard.
But the world does not merely see the Palestinians as immature and Israel as grown-up. The world is not just telling Israel what it should do and bending its arm until it submits. Whether the issue is that the West really does think it knows better or is terrified of standing up to the Moslem world, direct interference in Israel's internal affairs has been going on to a degree unheard of within a Democratic country.

Caroline Glick traces the history of US Presidents who meddled in Israeli affairs and lists instances of interference to varying degrees.

o George H. W. Bush helped get Yitzhak Rabin elected 1992 by undermining Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir--refusing to provide Israel with $10 billion in loan guarantees to enable her to absorb one million Jews from the former Soviet Union.

o In 1996, Bill Clinton came to Israel and actively campaigned for Peres. It was the Palestinian terrorism secured Netanyahu's win over Peres.

o In the 1999 elections, Clinton sent Bob Schrum, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg to Israel to manage Barak's campaign against Netanyahu.

o And President George W. Bush, after refraining from getting involved in the Israeli elections in 2001 and 2003:

the administration has made it self-evident that it wants a Kadima victory and is willing to do a great deal to ensure that such a victory comes about. Since Sharon's second stroke two weeks ago, Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made it clear that in Sharon's absence they want Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to form the next government.
Apparently in the US, meddling in Israel's internal affairs is not limited to Presidents--anyone can play. When Arutz Sheva reported last year on the opening of the Rafiah border under Rice's personal intervention under the headline "U.S. Jews Pushed Rice Into ´Unprecedented´ Intervention", it noted:
The left-wing Israel Policy Forum, Reform movement members and Americans for Peace Now met with Rice to express their backing before her recent trip to the Middle East. The Forum also sent a letter to Rice stating the "strong support" that the Bush administration has "from Jewish Americans on both sides of the aisle."
Of course the US is not the only country meddling.

Soccer Dad has a post on foreign investment in Israel. He refers to a post by Tel-Chai Nation on how the bulk of Peace Now's activities comes from foreign governments. and notes among the sources of foreign funding:
Britain (220,000 pounds), Norway (2.4 million kroners), Finland (50,000 Euros), Holland, Germany and Canada (900,000 Euros altogether)
In an article in 2002, Caroline Glick wrote about--

o money that the EU gave to Yossi Beilin's Economic Cooperation Foundation

o money that the EU gave to Rabbis for Human Rights, "which recently participated in organizing delegations of foreign activists who were brought here to stand in front of IDF tanks and attempt to force their way through IDF roadblocks."

o the Norwegian government being one of the chief contributors to the Shimon Peres Center for Peace, whose operation is the main subject of Glick's article.

In a separate article from 2002, Glick pointed out both the irony and the consequence of the foreign funding of what Glick refers to as "peace profiteers":
These peace profiteers have for nine and a half years made their personal fortunes by illogically arguing that Arafat is both the problem and the solution - that without his dictatorial consent, Israel will get no peace deal with the Palestinians.

...The truth is that the problem has gotten worse because so many so-called peace advocates have made personal fortunes by dint of their close relations with Arafat and his cronies. When we look around us, after two years and three months of the PA terror war and wonder how it is possible that Oslo and the corrupt terror regime it spawned still has domestic and international support, we need only to look to the money for our explanation. [emphasis added]

Arafat is gone but his role is currently being played by Hamas, as the financial meddling and political pressure of foreign governments in Israel's affairs continues unabated.

Crossposted at Israpundit

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