Tuesday, October 13, 1998

Why Wye - Summit or Abyss

Why Wye - Summit or Abyss 
October 13, 1998

Yesterday afternoon two Jerusalem Braslaver Hassidim were immersing in a stream not far from Hadassah Hospital on the outskirts of Jerusalem. While bathing the two men were shot at by Arab terrorists. Twenty four year old Itamar Doron was killed. His companion, Ilan Mazon was very critically injured, having been hit in the chest and stomach.

Netanyahu's reaction: This again goes to show how crucial it is that Israel demand Arafat's fulfillment of his obligations, as undertaken by the Oslo/Hebron Accords. "We will be willing to go to great lengths if we are convinced that Arafat will fulfill his obligations."

This morning the Prime Minister, together with Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon flew to Amman to brief Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan on the upcoming negotiations at the Wye Plantation - Camp David II. Jordan, having 'successfully' assisted in completing the Hebron Accords, is considered a major element in pushing the 'piece process' forward.

According to the Arutz 7 internet news report, during yesterday's cabinet session Netanyahu reported the following breakdown of land to be abandoned to Arafat, in the event that an agreement should be reached:
"Prime Minister Netanyahu informed the Cabinet that 27.2% of Judea and Samaria will come under Palestinian control in the framework of the planned withdrawal, as follows:
* 1% that will be transferred from Area C (total Israeli control) to Area A (total Palestinian control);
* 9% from Area C to Area B (Palestinian civilian control, Israeli security control);
* 3% from Area C to a special nature reserve status, under Israeli security control and where Palestinian construction will be forbidden;
* 14.2% that will go from Area B to Area A."
"In return, Israel is demanding that the Palestinians carry out their previous Oslo obligations "in stages."
In other words, 15% of Judea and Samaria, presently under total Israeli security, will be transferred to Arafat's security control. This means that 15 Tel-Avivs will be under the authority of armed terrorists. (1% of land is the size of Tel Aviv).

If there is any proof of Arafat's convictions, it is Hebron. The last six weeks have witnessed:
The murder of Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan
A shooting attack in Kiryat Arba
A shooting attack on the road to Tel Rumeida
A hand grenade attack on Israeli soldiers on Yom Kippur
Two shooting attacks on Beit Hadassah
This, in addition to rocks, bottles and firebombs.
The last year and a half can only be defined as a qualified catastrophe.

According to former defense minister Moshe Arens, in an article published in the Jerusalem Post (October 9):
"Almost two years later, even the government that signed the agreement has to admit that it has turned out to be an abject failure.
For the Jewish community of Hebron, there is no security and no peace. There is most certainly no peaceful coexistence for Jews and Arabs in the city of Abraham. There are daily violent incidents that have already taken a deadly toll of Jews and Arabs alike. Rather than a step advancing the peace process, the Hebron Agreement seems to have placed a roadblock in its path. …As for the Jews, the agreement must be seen as almost totally neglecting Jewish interests and sentiment in the city… THE SAD truth is that theHebron Agreement has put the lives of Hebron's Jews in daily jeopardy."

What will happen in Washington? If we remember back almost 20 years, US President Jimmy Carter pushed Camp David down Menachem Begin's throat. Of course, he had help. Anwar Sadat, and more importantly, major advisors Ezer Weitzmann and Moshe Dayan. The latter two were the prime pushers of Camp David, which led not only to the abandonment all of Sinai, but also to agreeing to grant 'autonomy' to the 'palestinians.'

During Camp David II, Netanyahu is surrounding himself with a mixed lot: Yitzhak Mordechai may be equated with his Camp Davidpredecessors Dayan and Weitzmann. Natan Sharanski yesterday suggested that Israel call off or at least postpone the Wye rendezvous. The big question mark is Ariel Sharon, newly appointed foreign minister.

On the one hand he has continuously voiced vehement opposition to abandoning 13% to Arafat. On the other hand, he followed Begin's orders and destroyed Yamit. We can only hope that Arik's natural common sense, and overall commitment to Eretz Yisrael will turn the tide in the right direction.

In truth, we can ask - Why Wye - why go to Wye at all? Why should Bibi go to Wye and help save Bill Clinton? Clinton not only actively campaigned against this administration during the last election, but together with his wife, will serve as Honorary Dinner Chairs at the Shalom Achshav-Peace Now 1998 Shimon Peres Peace Award Dinner to be held on October 22. This affair is directed at raising funds which will be used to work against the Netanyahu government.

The Wye meeting may be a summit, a true high point, if Bibi comes home declaring that Oslo is all over, without shaking Arafat's hand, without signing away anymore of Eretz Yisrael. Should Netanyahu crumble to US pressure it will be a dismal abyss, one of the lowest points in the Jewish People's 4,000 year old history. Let us pray that when Wye is over, we won't again have to ask WHY.

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