Ruth S. King
Israelâ€™s Prime Minister, flanked by government officials and leaders of all Israelâ€™s Jewish parties, announced that Israel will skip the summit in Annapolis. Citing the failures of all previous â€œpeaceâ€ parleys, Mr. Olmert declared: â€œOslo and the Gaza disengagement led to riots, looting, desecration of holy sites, rocket attacks and terror.â€ In a calculated slap at Bibi Netanyahu, standing at his side, Olmert added: â€œAt Wye we gave away Hebron, the cradle of our faith, even as we watched the destruction and defiling of Josephâ€™s Tomb in Jericho.â€
â€œUN Resolution 242 is null and void,â€ said Olmert. â€œInstead of endless fatuous parsing of the omissions of articles â€˜theâ€™ and â€˜allâ€™ before â€˜territoriesâ€™ we should have scoffed at the hypocritical notion that it is â€˜inadmissible to acquire territory by force.â€™ Thousands upon thousands of borders have been altered by wars. Why should Israel reward the aggressors?â€
Olmert continued: â€œThe second amendment of 242 written in November 1967 calls for an end to belligerency and the â€˜right of all states to live within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of forceâ€™â€¦.Does it suffer in translation to Arabic or did the PLO, Syria, Egypt and the entire Arab League miss that paragraph entirely?â€
Speaking of secure and defensible borders for Israel, Israelâ€™s Prime Minister scoffed: â€œWho will decide where they are? The honorable dictator from Egypt where Mein Kampf is a best seller and where the media, the sermons, the editorials and â€˜the streetâ€™ indulge in the most primitive anti-Semitism? Or will the borders be drawn by the honorable kinglet of Jordan whose Hashemite clan already rules over 82% of Palestine? And, if, as Madame Rice has indicated, the Saudis and the Syrians plan to show up for this kangaroo court, where do they think Israelâ€™s defensible borders are?â€
â€œAs for Mr. Abbas, the latest poster boy of the peace processors, I invite him to work out a modus vivendi with Israel that insures maximum civil rights for the Palestinian Arabs which are compatible with maximum security for Palestinian Jews.â€
Bibi Netanyahu chimed in: â€œWe are in total agreement here. Three of our soldiersâ€”Israelâ€™s treasureâ€” are still not released.â€ Striking a military pose, he paraphrased a famous Patton quote: â€œSure we want peace with our neighbors and an end to war. The quickest way to get this is to get the bastards who promote terrorism and jihad. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can talk and they will finally understand we are here to stay within our present borders. The shortest way to peace is through strength and determination. And, when we free our captured soldiers, I personally will shoot their tormentors….just like I would shoot a snake.â€
In a dig at Olmert who dodged military service (even in unanimity, there is backbiting in Israeli politics) Ehud Barak reminded the press: â€œAs one who has actually been in combat with our enemies, I second the decision to boycott Annapolis.â€ Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni closed the meeting with: â€œRead my lips. No more concessions.â€
What would happen? Condoleezza Rice/Powell/Albright could turn her attention to escalating international jihad, Russian saber rattling, North Koreaâ€™s mockery of the U.S., crude threats from a nuclear Iran, a crisis in Burma and a costly war to contain terror in Iraq.
The UN would pass 270 resolutions condemning Israel, the New York Times would publish an equal number of editorials, Jimmy Carter would have apoplexy and by far the most important, international jihadists would get a clear message.
Herbert Zweibon is in Israel.