Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recalling a 30-Year Old Attack on Begin's Government

From David Gerstman:-

Nearly 30 years ago, Anthony Lewis wrote a column for the New York Times about a study performed by former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti. The title of the column, taken from Benvensti, was Five Minutes to Midnight.
The Begin Government aims to have 100,000 settlers in the West Bank as soon as possible. That figure would be, it says, a ''critical mass'' - so large a number that no Israeli government thereafter could agree to withdraw from the territory.
That is why the facts brought out by the study are so urgent. For the United States, they point to the early end of what has long been the premise of American diplomacy there: an exchange of territory for true peace. For Israel, they point toward an annexation that will change the very nature of the Jewish state, incorporating within it a large, subservient and resentful Arab population.
But it is the Arab leaders who need most of all to understand the meaning of the Benvenisti study. They have maneuvered for years, avoiding negotiation. But unless they move now - unless they accept the fact of Israel and talk about ways to secure the rights of Palestinians in accommodation with that fact - there will be nothing left to negotiate.
In late 1995 the Los Angeles Times reported:
In the last seven weeks Israel has handed over six West Bank towns and more than 400 villages to the Palestinian Authority. The authority now controls about 90% of the West Bank's more than 1 million Arabs, and about one-third of the land in the Delaware-size territory.
Despite Israelis living in Judea and Samaria apparently reaching "critical mass," Israel ceded enough territory to give the Palestinians the opportunity to govern themselves nearly twenty years ago. Did Lewis foresee that Israel would end up complying with what he claimed was necessary and still not have peace or the acceptance of the Arab world?

If 1982, was five minutes to midnight, what time is it now? In today's editorial, Israel's embattled democracy, the editors of the New York Times charge:
Mr. Netanyahu’s past dependence on hard-line parties has manifested itself in aggressive settlement building and resistance to serious peace talks with the Palestinians — who themselves have not shown enough commitment to a solution. Without Kadima’s moderating force, these trends will continue.
It's as if the years from 1993 to 2000 never existed. "Aggressive settlement building?" Even when Netanyahu stopped building two years ago Abbas didn't come to the table! And the Palestinians have shown NO commitment to a solution. A few weeks ago, Abbas refused to negotiate without Netanyahu because Netanyahu wouldn't release enough terrorists from jail! The editors of the New York Times couldn't have gotten this much wrong in their editorial unless they were trying. They are not ignorant. They hate Israel.

This blind hatred of Israel manifest by lamenting Israel's declining democracy and insufficient commitment to peace despite all the evidence to the contrary is par for the course at the New York Times. I'd write more but Israel Matzav has ably refuted the editorial point by point.

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