The familiar scenario in the Middle East goes like this: Israel's enemies, unable to eradicate the Jewish state after five tries from without and multiple tries from within, use the West to pressure Israel into swallowing the notion that peace is only a few acres of land away. Israel gives up land, but peace remains as distant as a carrot hanging on a stick in front of a donkey. When Israel refuses to give any more land without reciprocal and agreed-upon action by her sworn enemies, rock-throwing and suicide bombings ensue. More land is ceded but it's never enough, and when Israel again asks for reciprocity, it doesn't get it and refuses to give up additional land until it does. Then the cycle of violence resumes.
Even the former American ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, grudgingly acknowledged what was clear to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear when he said last month that the old Oslo accords were a ‘‘failure'' because Arafat ‘‘never really gave up violence.'' Not only that, the Palestinian Authority was training terrorist bomb-makers as far back as 1995 at the height of the Oslo process, according to Enis Mahmoud Namoura, a top PA terrorist who was serving as one of Arafat's personal bodyguards until his recent arrest by Israel. How credible were Arafat's pronouncements about peace when he was planning and making war all along?
For a change, Israeli public opinion favors Sharon's activist approach against terrorism. Even many leftists have had an awakening to the folly of making peace with those whose idea of peace is killing or expelling every Jew from the land.
If another war comes, Israel's challenge will be to confine it to Arafat and his legions of well-armed ‘‘police,'' who are not police at all but soldiers whose huge numbers violate Oslo. If any or all the Arab states join (which is unlikely but always possible), it will be more difficult than in any of the previous five wars for Israel to prevail, but prevail she must. The first war Israel loses will be her last, while Israel's enemies always live to fight another day.
If Uzi Landau is right and war comes, the price exacted by Israel should be so high that Arafat (or whoever follows him) will want to make a real peace of accommodation and co-existence, not a false peace that allows him to try again. His leadership should be so damaged that he can no longer lead. Israel should recapture as much of the land it has ceded as possible and not give another inch until documents are signed and ironclad guarantees are in place that the Palestinians and the Arab nations have accepted Israel as their true half-brother and not their mortal enemy.
Frankly, I don't believe that day will come without divine intervention, and that's why Israel must remain strong and distrusting of all who believe it will.