/ / /
haGalil onLine -

Search haGalil


Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha

Koscher leben...

Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit
Archivierte Meldungen aus den Jahren 1995 - 1999

Translation of an article to be published
in Ma'ariv on December 14, 1999

Sinai und Syrien:
Begin und Barak

by Uri Avnery

What is the connection between Ehud Barak and Menahem Begin?
Begin had a clear strategic concept. He wanted to acquire the whole of Eretz-Israel. Therefore he saw -- rightly, from his point of view -- the Palestinian as the eternal enemy. At the utmost, he saw them as hewers of wood and drawers of water in Great Israel. "Autonomy for the inhabitants but not for the territories", as he put it (taking his cue from his teacher and master Vladimir Jabotinsky, who demanded such a status for the Jews in Czarist Russia at the beginning of the century.)

In order to defeat the Palestinian people and to eradicate it as a national entity, Begin planned to cut it off from any possible support by the Arab states. Therefore he paid Anwar Sadat a very heavy price: The return of the vast territories of Sinai and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements there. The Town of Yamit, the jewel in the crown of settlement, was razed to the ground, a monument to Begin's resoluteness.

I have no doubt that Begin was ready to do the same on the Syrian front. The borders of Eretz-Israel, as shown in the official emblem of Begin's Irgun underground organization, included neither the Golan nor Sinai. They were the borders of the British mandate from the early twenties. A peace agreement with Syria, after the peace agreement with Egypt (and the informal peace agreement with King Hussein, which was there all the time) would have closed the encirclement of the Palestinian people and left it defenseless at the mercy of Israel.

Why, then, didn't Begin finish the job? Because Hafez al-Assad was not yet ready. The Cold War was at it's height, Syria could count on the Soviet Union. After the "treachery" of Sadat, Assad hoped to become the leader of the Arab world. And, first of all, the mental powers of Begin were ebbing away. Arial Sharon, a man bereft of any serious strategic thinking, seduced Begin into invading Lebanon in order to destroy the PLO, and contrary to his promise, he compelled the Syrian army to become involved in the war.

Barak is continuing Begin's strategy. He is determined to do in the Golan what Begin did in Sinai: To return the territory and to dismantle the settlements, in order to get the Syrians out of the conflict and to isolate the Palestinians completely.

However, there is an important difference between the two. Barak, like Begin, knows that the Palestinian problem is the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict, but while Begin wanted to eradicate the national existence of the Palestinian people, Barak is ready to offer them a minimal solution. He has decided on a "permanent status" that gives the Palestinian a mini-state, comprising some 15% of the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean, after tearing off the "settlement blocs" from the West Bank and annexing them to Israel. The exterior borders of the Palestinian state will be controlled by Israel, as well as its economy and water resources. Jerusalem and the refugees are not to be discussed at all.

Barak wants to impose this "solution" as an offer the Palestinians can't refuse. For this purpose, the Palestinians have to be completely isolated. To achieve this, he will accede to practically all Syrian demands. The price will be heavy, but from the point of view of Barak it will be worthwhile. In return he hopes to achieve an end of the conflict as well as much better permanent borders for Israel.

Will this really bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Of course not. If we understand that, what should be our attitude towards this peace with Syria?

We were faced with the same problem some twenty years ago, when Begin signed his peace agreement with Sadat. It was clearly a separate peace, part of Begin's anti-Palestinian strategy. Some of us in the Sheli peace party leadership, including General Matti Peled, Me'ir Pa'il' Ya'acov Arnon and others, pondered this problem. We decided that a peace activist cannot object to any peace agreement, faulty as it may be. The most important point for us was that the agreement creates a powerful precedent of giving back territory and dismantling settlements. Therefore, as a member of the Knesset at the time, I voted for Begin's agreement, while many in Begin's own party voted against.

I believe that now, too, we must be in favor of the agreement with Syria, because of the same reasons. Of course, the Palestinians will not surrender and will demand for themselves the same terms as the Syrians: A return to the pre-1967 borders and evacuation of all the settlements.

Whoever wants a real peace and a real historical reconciliation will struggle for this solution.

Translation of the unabridged version of an article to be published
in Ma'ariv on December 14, 1999.

[Visit the Settlement Special]

Die hier archivierten Artikel stammen aus den "Anfangsjahren" der breiten Nutzung des Internet. Damals waren die gestalterischen Möglichkeiten noch etwas ursprünglicher als heute. Wir haben die Artikel jedoch weiterhin archiviert, da die Informationen durchaus noch interessant sein können, u..a. auch zu Dokumentationszwecken.

Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher!
Werben in haGalil?
Ihre Anzeige hier!

Advertize in haGalil?
Your Ad here! ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2006 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved