For many months now he has been spreading the mantra: "I have
turned every stone on the way to peace." I have given the
Palestinians much more than any previous Israeli Prime Minister. But the
evil Arafat (also the devious, treacherous terrorist, the corrupt liar
who breaks every promise and violates every agreement) refuses my
unprecedentedly generous offer. Instead of kissing both my hands and
signing an agreement to end the historic conflict, he started to shoot,
blow up, murder and butcher us.
Addressing the right-wing he
spreads the opposite message: "I havent given anything at
all." The weakling Netanyahu has given them 19% of the West Bank
and most of the town of Hebron. I am tough and havent given them back
even one square yard. Nothing, nothing at all!
Now Barak intends to combine
these two messages and to contest the elections both as the man
who-has-turned-every-stone and has-not-given-back-anything.
In order to reinforce the first
message, he sends somebody to meet Arafat every day: the innocent
Lipkin-Shahak, the not-so-innocent but willing Shlomo Ben-Ami and others.
(He wanted to send Ami Ayalon too, but being an honest person, the
former Security Service chief requested to see the files first, and
after studying them for four hours declined to go.) Barak has read the
polls that show that the majority of Israelis desire peace, and he is
telling them: See, even in the middle of an election campaign, and even
while Arafat is butchering us, I continue turning every stone. Thats
how I am, a peace-maker!
And at the same time he sends
word to the right-wing: "Trust me, I wont give them anything,"
and continues enlarging the settlements at a frantic pace and "liquidating"
Palestinian activists wholesale, in the style of Pinochets death
This may all look sophisticated.
But in practice, it ensures his defeat by whoever stands against him.
There is a simple reason for it:
The real leftists know that Baraks right-wing message is true, and
that he indeed has not given back an inch. Therefore they will not vote
for him. While the rightists and the bulk of the center really do
believe the left-wing message, that he has made the Palestinians an
incredibly generous offer, giving in to all their demands, and that they
refused and then opened fire. Therefore, it is obvious that the
Palestinians do not want peace. They only want to kill Jews, as we knew
all the time. If so, the Likud has been right all along, and one must
vote for Netanyahu or Sharon.
The truth is, of course, that the
first mantra is totally mendacious. Baraks proposals are manifestly
unacceptable to the Palestinians. Contrary to the story spread by his
"leftist" agents, that he will settle for 5% of the West Bank
and is ready to give back all the rest, he proposes to annex immediately
11% of the territory, in the form of "settlement blocs" that
cut the West Bank up from north to south and from west to east. In
addition, he wants to annex the Jewish areas near Jerusalem. Also, he
intends to keep "temporarily" the "back of the mountains"
along the Jordan and the Dead Sea. Only a fool would believe that in the
distant future, after the Palestinians have already signed a declaration
ending the conflict, when every square yard will be covered by a
settlement, Israel will return these territories.
The practical upshot of this is
that in his most generous offer, near the end of the negotiations, Barak
intends to annex 30% of the West Bank. Since all the occupied
territories amount to only 22% of the pre-1948 Palestine, Barak is ready
to give back to the Palestinians only 15% of the country (70% of 22%),
and these, too, only in the form of disconnected enclaves, each of which
will be surrounded by Israeli settlers and soldiers.
At Camp David, Barak thought that
the Palestinians would swallow this bitter pill if he sugar-coated it
with nice words about Jerusalem. He did indeed break an Israeli taboo
and made verbal concessions there. But when the Palestinians took a
magnifying glass and examined the offer closely, they found out that the
changes were mainly cosmetic. The sovereignty and thats what
counts was left with Israel.
Summing up: Barak did not make an
offer that the Palestinians could accept. The leftist stone-turning is
make-believe, while the rightist wink is the real truth: He indeed did
not give up anything.
Actually, one could offer the
Likud some advice: If you folks cant make up your minds between
Netanyahu and Sharon, why not take Barak? He does the same, and,
contrary to the other two, he makes the whole world believe him.
Trouble is, the right-wing people
and the bogus left-wingers believe the story of Baraks stone-turning
and Arafats Jew-killing, and therefore will vote against Barak, while
the real left and the Arab citizens know the truth and therefore will
not vote for him.
Out of sheer sophistication,
Barak will find himself falling between all the stools.
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