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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Yes, we can!

If anyone knows of a free platform out there other than Blogger, please let me know - I am getting tired of the amount of time it takes to write a post.

Michael Freund argues that it is possible for Israel to say no to the United States, that Israel has done so in the past, and that the sky did not fall in.
Take, for example, the Reagan plan.

On September 1, 1982, US President Ronald Reagan delivered a nationally-televised address in which he called for a “fresh start” in the Middle East peace process. He laid out a series of proposals which included a construction freeze on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and a transition period leading to “self-government by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in association with Jordan.”

Astonishingly, the plan was drawn up in consultation with various Arab leaders, while Israel was kept in the dark until right before Reagan’s speech.

But Jerusalem reacted quickly and with resolve.

On September 2, then-prime minister Menachem Begin interrupted a vacation in Nahariya, returned to Jerusalem and convened a special cabinet meeting, which lasted for three hours.

Afterwards, the government issued a communique that was striking in its audacity. It contained a point-by-point rebuttal of Reagan’s speech, stating that, “The positions conveyed to the Prime Minister of Israel on behalf of the President of the United States consist of partial quotations from the Camp David Agreement or are nowhere mentioned in the agreement or contradict it entirely.”

It went on to state that, “the positions of the Government of the United States seriously deviate from the Camp David agreement, contradict it and could create a serious danger to Israel, its security and its future.”

And guess what? The sky did not fall in, the sun still rose the next morning, and Israel and the United States continued to be friends, even if there was tension in the relationship.

Several days later, Begin went even further, sending a personal letter to Reagan which should be required reading for every Israeli diplomat and statesman lacking a backbone.

With a mixture of grace and determination, Begin made clear to the leader of the Free World that as much as he valued the ties between Israel and the US, he would not compromise his core principles or Israel’s national interests.

“Dear Ron,” wrote Begin, “What some call the ‘West Bank,’ Mr. President, is Judea and Samaria; and this simple historic truth will never change. There are cynics who deride history. They may continue their derision as they wish, but I will stand by the truth,” he said.

“And the truth,” insisted Begin, “is that millennia ago there was a Jewish kingdom of Judea and Samaria where our kings knelt to God, where our prophets brought forth the vision of eternal peace, where we developed a rather rich civilization which we took with us, in our hearts and in our minds, on our long global trek for over 18 centuries; and, with it, we came back home.”

After spelling out his objections to Reagan’s peace plan, Begin concluded with a paragraph as piercing as it was heartfelt. “Mr. President,” he stated, “you and I chose for the last two years to call our countries ‘friends and allies.’ Such being the case, a friend does not weaken his friend, an ally does not put his ally in jeopardy. This would be the inevitable consequence,” Begin asserted, if the president’s proposals were to become reality.

“I believe they won’t,” the prime minister concluded, before quoting from the prophet Isaiah: “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest.”
Barack Hussein Obama is not Ronald Reagan in any sense. There are two key differences between Reagan 1982 and Obama 2014 that must be pointed out.

First, Reagan in 1982 was in his first term, and faced a re-election campaign to which Jews could contribute financially (which they did) and at the polls (which they largely did not).

Second, Reagan had a basic commitment to Israel's continued existence as an ally of the United States, while Obama seems to have no such commitment.

But read the whole thing. At the end of the day, we have no choice but to say no. Survival has to come ahead of our relations with the United States.

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At 11:45 AM, Blogger Devorah said...

Fabulous. thank you for posting this.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Navah said...

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At 3:59 AM, Blogger Mitchell Wyle said...

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