Friday, March 27, 1998

Percentage Points, Pressure-Points, and "What-If"

Percentage Points, Pressure-Points, and "What-If" 
March 27, 1998 
One of the various functions I fulfil in Hebron is as liaison between The 
Jewish Community of Hebron and the Jerusalem-based American Consulate. 
Because the United States does not recognize Israel's "occupation" of the 
"West Bank" the US embassy in Tel Aviv has nothing to do with us. 
Consequently, the US consulate is delegated with the authority to stay in 
touch with (or spy on) us.

Why should I use the word 'spy?' This morning I had a meeting in our
offices in Hebron with the present American consulate liaison, Ms. Rebecca
Lynn, and three others - 2 men and a woman. The men, Bill Richardson and
Paul Frendanell, and the woman, Aden Hynsheimer, were introduced to me as
working with some kind of economic study in the State Department. I asked
if they have anything to do with the present Dennis Ross visit, and was
told that their presence here, together with Ross, is 'coincidental.' 
Maybe. I know, for a fact, that they are connected to the political wing 
of the State Department. I do not know for a fact, but have a very strong 
hunch, that they are also connected to the CIA. I do know that employees 
of the American Embassy, connected with the Ross visit, who have spoken to
colleagues of mine about these same people, denied knowing them when I
inquired about them. 

When I asked how I could help them, they answered that they'd like to know
about life in Hebron, the economic situation in Hebron, etc. I would like
to relate some of my reply. (I am writing in the first-person - as speaking
to them.)

Being that Dennis Ross is here, and you are here, I cannot ignore what the
United States is doing to Israel. I will answer all your specific
questions, but first must make our position clear as to the role the US is
playing here in Israel.

I spent quite some time trying to figure out how to make you understand how
we feel. So, without sounding too far-out, let's play 'what-if.' What if - 
during the recent crisis with Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator sent the
following message to Bill Clinton: 

'Dear President Clinton, I know you want access to all our palaces, and
other presidential residences. And I am willing to allow you that very
access. But, you should know that I have, strategically placed in all
major US cities, Iraqi agents. These agents are equipped with aerosol
containers containing biologically poisonous germs. If you attack us with
your bombs, I will order my agents to release this poisonous material,
thereby causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, or
perhaps even more.

I will call them back to Iraq at a moment's notice, though, if you agree to
one condition. I have only one request: Give me the city of Silver Springs,
Maryland. (This city is about an hour from Washington D. C.) I want this
city to have the same status as an international embassy. In other words,
it belongs to me, entirely. If you give me Silver Springs I will call back
my agents and allow you access to anywhere you want in Iraq. Should you not
agree, you will be responsible for the consequences.'

Would you give Saddam Silver Springs? What if you did? And what-if 
Saddam's madmen started shooting at apartments in Washington D.C. And 
what-if Washington's security forces, for fear of an international 
incident, did nothing in response. How do you think Washington's civilian 
population would react? What would they do?

The United States of America is playing an unforgivable role in Israel. It
is forcing a democratic country to make undemocratic decisions. A majority
of Israelis elected Netanyahu and evicted Peres because a majority of
Israelis reject the policies initiated by the previous administration. Yet
you - the United States, is forcing the Israeli government to continue
making concessions to Arafat, against our will and contrary to our national
interests. In short, you are compelling Israel to commit suicide. 

You know that Israel is smaller than New Jersey. You know that Arafat is a
reprehensible terrorist, 2nd only to Hitler in his hate for Jews this
century. You know that he has not complied with any of the Arab obligations
accepted and signed in the Oslo-Hebron Accords. You know that he has no
intentions of ever fulfilling these obligations. Yet, you are demanding
that we give him more and more land. As Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed
out, each additional percentage point is the size of Tel Aviv. Yet, you do
not care. 

You have become involved in internal Israeli politics. Before the last
election, Clinton literally endorsed Peres over Netanyahu. But your
involvement is even more serious. This week Hebron's Jewish Community
released a pamphlet describing the 'undue process of law' applied to Jewish
residents of Judea and Samaria, and most particularly, Hebron. These
'special rules' define us as 'unequal before the law.' I cannot directly
blame you for these discriminatory guidelines, which are still being
enforced against us. However, I do know that the pressure you continue to
exert on Israel has pushed the Israeli government into a corner, whereby
they have painted an immaculate picture of Yassir Arafat and, at the same
time, vilified us. He was the friend and we were the enemy. I have no
doubt that American influence played a role in the decision to author, and
then, implement, these 'special rules.'

I know too that you see us as a 'fringe, fanatic element.' Well, I have
news for you. There are people in the Knesset who feel just as we do. And
we will not allow Israel to commit suicide. We will not start a civil war,
we will not shoot anyone, nor do we have any intentions to use violence as
a means to reach our goals. To the contrary. In my opinion, the Israel
people's decision at the polls was much more effective than Yigal Amir's
bullets. But, we will not, under any circumstances, allow you to push us
into committing national suicide. 

Because in Israel, we are not playing 'what-if' and we are not talking
about percentage points. We are dealing with real people's lives, with
the land we live on, and with our very national existance. I suggest you 
point your pressure in some other direction.

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