The Ariel Sharon – Yamit Syndrome
June 22, 2001
The Sharon administration can finally be described as having plunged to the depths – not of the Barak administration, and not of the Netanyahu administration, but rather of the Rabin-Peres administration. In those days it seemed that Rabin-Peres had plummeted about as far down as is humanly possible. Yet it seems that we were wrong. If Ariel Sharon continues in the present direction, his pit will definitely be deeper than all of those preceding him, perhaps even deeper than all of them together – a truly bottomless abyss.
Despite continued killing, Sharon has ordered the Israeli army to continue evacuating outposts throughout Judea, Samaria and Gazza. Jewish residents in some of these areas have been instructed to travel by convoy, at least two cars driving together. The rational behind convoy-driving is simple: “Up until now, almost all terror attacks have been perpetrated against lone vehicles.” (Excepting, of course, the killing of Doron Zisserman from the Einav community earlier this week, who was driving the first of three cars traveling together, all of which were attacked.) [As a result, in all probability, orders will soon be issued instructing people to drive in groups of “even numbers” two, four, six, etc.]
The Homesh community in the Shomron lost two of their residents this week at the hands of Arafat’s armed terrorist forces. Children from the Homesh and Neve Tzuf community, protesting outside the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem were beaten by Israeli riot police. As of twelve o’clock this afternoon over 30 firebombs have been thrown in Hebron, with no effective response by the IDF.
Yesterday, Thursday, June 21, 2001, HaAretz newspaper reported: “The Health Ministry has advised everyone injured in the suicide bombings at a Netanya mall on May 18 and at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium three weeks ago to be immunized against Hepatitis B. Forensic tests indicated the two bombers may have had the disease.” Clearly, chemical-biological warefare.
Earlier this week an Israeli airplane almost crashed coming into Ben Gurion airport because Arafat forces were jamming communications between airplanes and the control tower.
Yet the restraint continues.
A few days ago Arik really blew it by announcing, “I have no intentions of leading the country into war.” One Israeli columnist described this as a “revelation of top-secret information.” What more could Arafat want to hear? He can continue killing Jews, be it in Homesh, Neve Tzuf, or Tel Aviv, and not worry about the repercussions.
And the list of embarrassments stretches on: The mini-cabinet, which, for all intensive purposes, makes ALL the crucial decisions, is composed of Sharon, Peres, and Defense Minister ben-Eliezer. Originally, in order to reach sensitive operational decisions, a majority vote was necessary, (leaving the Likud Prime Minister in a self-imposed minority). This week, in order to appease Peres and patch up the national unity government, Peres was granted veto power over all decisions.
And saving the best for last: what could be more conducive to continued retraint: Of course – UNCLE SAM. Even if he wanted to react, even superficially, Sharon’s hands are tied because: 1) he must wait until concluding next week’s visit in the US, including a midweek meeting with Bush. And once that’s over, he must delay any serious response to Arafat-initiated killing due to Colin Powell’s invasion into Jerusalem, next weekend. The American Secretary of State is arriving in order to “cement” the Tenet-Mitchell Accords, punishing Israel for Arafat’s declaration of war and killing of over 100 Jews in the past 9 months.
Just how inept can a prime minister be?
Why is Sharon worse than Rabin-Peres? Simply because he truly knows better. Sharon built Judea and Samaria. He understands its strategic importance to the State of Israel. Yesha leaders are his friends, his compatriots. Yet, for reasons totally incomprehensible, Ariel Sharon is treating his fellow countrymen as pawns in a chess match, knocking them down and allowing them to be killed off, one after another, leading to what seems to be an inevitable checkmate. Rabin used to say, “I will not let them (the ‘settlers’) move me (i.e. influence me). Sharon isn’t saying it, but that is exactly what he’s doing, demanding of us an awful price in human life. We have been turned into human pawns.
The Prime Minister, of course, denies this, excusing his inaction, not as “restraint” but as a “low-keyed response.” This being the case, there is one factor, discussed before the elections, but since ignored, that must be remembered. That is, Yamit.
A bulldozer can plough in two directions: it can clear the land of waste, in preparation for productive building, or it can clear the land of productive building, transforming it into waste.
Sharon has experience bulldozing both ways.
On Tuesday, January 30, 2001, HaAretz newspaper reported that:
“Sharon told a group of Golan residents Monday that he is still sorry about the dismantling of the Sinai town of Yamit 18 years ago,… “Believe me, I am sorry about that until this day.” Sharon’s campaign headquarters clarified that Sharon did not regret the peace agreement with Egypt, but only regretted destroying the Israeli buildings in Yamit.”
We may be experiencing today the “Ariel Sharon – Yamit Syndrome.” In a few years, will we read in the newspapers? “Sharon told a group of Israelis that he is still sorry about the dismantling of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. ‘Believe me, I am sorry about that until this day.’ Sharon’s press secretary clarified that Sharon did not regret the peace agreements with Arafat, but only regretted destroying the Israeli communities in Yesha.”