By Ted Belman
It is obvious that the Arabs by refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in addition to everything else they are refusing, don’t want peace, but surrender.
The US for its part has removed the gloves and are down to bare knuckles or should I say brass knuckles, at least when it comes to Israel. Rice has made it clear that Israel must march to the US drummer or else. She is now demanding that that Israel make it clear that it will be withdrawing from Judea and Samaria by enforcing the settlement freeze and dismantling the “illegal” outposts built since 2001.
Her ostensible authority for demanding this is Israel’s acceptance of the Roadmap. Need I point out that the Roadmap arrived stillborn and that the Arabs have never complied. In addition, Israel’s acceptance was subject to Fourteen Reservations. So one doesn’t have to be a lawyer to understand that Israel isn’t bound by it.
So the time is fast approaching for a dustup. The US used to argue that the Roadmap is about “process”. Now it is arguing that it is no longer about process but about the goal. Nothing, not even process, will stand in the way of the creation of a Palestinian state.
A settlement as envisioned by the US will impact Israel in very significant ways,
1. Economically. It will cost Israel about $90 billion just for relocation.
2. Security. It will greatly endanger Israel causing a vast increase in the Defense Budget
3. Socially. Israel society will be further divided to the breaking point. Also the lives of 200,000 citizens will be seriously disrupted as witnessed by the Gush Katif expellees.
4. Ideologically. It will bring the end of Zionism and will gut Judaism.
Israel as a Jewish state will not survive.
Allow me to speculate what will happen if Israel just says “no”.
The US could divorce itself from Israel totally but the American people would not let this happen.
The US could withhold military grants of about $3 billion a year. This also is unlikely to happen as giving Israel these credits justifies selling arms to the Arabs. The millitary/industrial complex in the US would strenuously object. Even if it did happen, Israel could develop its own industry without restraint and would find much cheaper good elsewhere. Israel’s exports would boom.
Economically Israel would be much better off doing without the US arms grants than disengaging and incurring $90 billion in expenses. Even with a US Guarantee of any borrowings necessary, it would cost Israel far more to disengage than to say “no” and loose the grants.
Disengagement in Gaza and Lebanon has cost Israel dearly in human and economic terms. Her defense budgets have greatly increased and many more lives were lost as a result of disengagement than occupation. It is cheaper and provides more security for Israel to stay in Judea and Samaria.
The US would then start a debate on whether the US should pressure Israel or go along with it. No such debate has yet to take place because both parties support “peace” and the two-state solution. This debate is long overdue. It is a debate that supporters of Israel will win.
Similarly, in Israel, rejection of Oslo will be debated in earnest. The rejectionists there will also win.
“Bring it on.”