In pursuing peace with its neighbors, Israel has made one strategic concession after another. In 1979, it surrendered the Sinai to Egypt when Anwar Sadat promised peace and then was murdered for doing so. In 1993, Israel adopted the Oslo accords, legitimating one of its most virulent enemies - Palestine Liberation Organization terrorist chief Yasser Arafat - and setting the stage for Palestinian control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Space constraints will not permit a full rendering of the costs associated with these serial mistakes.
Eight years ago this month, Israel unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon, creating a vacuum promptly filled by Iran's proxy army there, Hezbollah. Then, in 2005, Israel forcibly removed its citizens living in Gaza and turned the strip over - temporarily - to Arafat's right-hand man and successor, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Importantly, the Israeli people finally seem to have had enough of false peace processes. Recent polls indicate two-thirds of Israelis oppose their country's surrender of the Golan; a majority believe it is motivated by Mr. Olmert's efforts to stave off prosecution. Even the Bush administration is said to be unhappy about his Golan initiative.Which may be the distinction between the White House and American Jews: the actions the US takes in the Middle East are based on self-interest. Considering that the West in general has not been responding to Islamists in a way that necessarily furthers its own interest, we should hardly rely on the US to push Israel to make the hard choices needed to insure her continued existence.
This weekend, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) - universally known as "the Israel lobby" - holds its annual policy conference in Washington. The organization exists to support the Israeli government. At this juncture, however, attendees have an opportunity to object to that government's increasingly reckless, and predictably tragic, conduct. After all, friends don't let friends commit staticide.
As it is, by accepting every suggestion offered her, Israel has made it possible for just about anyone to suggest just about any action that the Israeli government must take in the interests of peace and still be labeled "a friend of Israel".
Remember when a two-state solution was not discussed as a viable option?
Read the entire op-ed.
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