Monday, February 07, 2005

The Battle for Jerusalem 2/7/05


With the visit of Sec Rice to Israel the battle for Jerusalem has begun. With a warning to the Israelis not to create facts on the ground in Jerusalem all of us who admire the President should shake ourselves out of our lethargy and realize we are entering a dangerous phase of mid-East negotiations.

It is too early to evaluate the appointment of Gen William Ward as a security coordinator. We have been through similar appointments in the past often leading to tensions with Washington. However, in fairness we should get more information before we criticize or analyze what will be its significance.

This we do know! It's make-up time with the Europeans and there is a love fest underway with Mr Abbas. It is our job to make certain that Israel is not the sacrificial lamb, with Jerusalem as the altar. That means maintaining a constant vigilance and pressure on Congress who might be carried away by the smell of peace, even if it means dividing Jerusalem. We must be prepared to answer and confront left-wing American Jewish groups ready to give away the store. I find it quite interesting that the left wing Kerry-Dean types who hate Bush are the first to send the President letters urging him to squeeze Israel.

But before we lay blame on US policymakers let us remind ourselves that most of the critical errors since 1967 and then Oslo were committed by Israeli leaders. It was Dayan who gave away the keys to the Temple Mount and not US pressure. And it was Barak who wanted to cement that act by further relinquishing Jewish sovereignty to the future site of the third Temple.

It is the Israeli Supreme Court that rules that the Jewish National Fund cannot allocate JNF funds to Israelis only for that is a racist move. It is that same court that slows down the security fence when the Cabinet and IDF order its implementation. It is the Likud Attorney-General that voids the cabinet decision to take possession of abandoned Arab homes in Jerusalem.

For some reason Israel has gone out of the way to tie its hands behind its backs at every opportunity. Let us hope that the prisoner release will not incur greater long range violence against Jews.

In the meantime I have never understood why the Likud and religious parties have never insisted upon a reorganization of the Supreme Court so that future Justices more closely resemble the body politic and not the Tel Aviv intellectual elite.