Senator Phil Gramm, The Texas Aggie, who was a powerful Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a presidential candidate, was astounded to hear from a prominent Hebrew University professor, that Israeli concessions could moderate the PLO. “Professor”, he responded, “I’m not a Mideast scientist. But, I was told at Texas A&M, where I taught economics, that if your kids are threatened by a poison ivy, you don’t water and fertilize it. The only way to de-poison ivy is by uprooting it!”
The Department of State “Road Map’ has ignored Gramm’s common sense. Moreover, the Department of State’s Road Map has overlooked the track record (since the late ’50s!) of the Fatah/PLO/PA as the role model of systematic and violent violation of agreements (concluded mostly with Arab countries as well as with Israel), international terrorism, hijacking, murder of ambassadors, treachery, corruption, suppression of human rights and oppression of Christians.
Contrary to Gramm’s recommendation, the “Road Map” prescribes further watering and fertilizing of the poison PLO/PA ivy. It defies the 1,200 Israelis (proportionally equal to 60,000 Americans!) murdered by PLO and Hamas terrorists, harbored by the PA. Once in a while, Israel trims some branches of the poison ivy in a surgical manner, deluding itself that trimming could de-poison the ivy. However, trimming tends to strengthen the roots, and the potency of the poison keeps growing, unless the ivy is completely uprooted.
The Texan President, Lyndon Johnson, was known for his social compassion and political ruthlessness. “When confronted by a rattle snake, don’t wait until it bites you; grab a hoe and hit the head – and not the tail – of the snake,” LBJ advised his political allies. Israel has ignored LBJ’s advise since the eruption of the unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism, triggered by the 1993 Oslo Accord. In its battle against Palestinian terrorism, Israel has focused on the tail – rather than the head – of the PLO/PA/Hamas snake, which keeps on biting. On the other hand, LBJ’s legacy has been adopted by Turkey, Peru, Germany, Italy and the US, thus yielding military victories over Kurdish (PKK), Armenian (ASALA), Shining Path, Baader Meinhoff and Red Brigade terrorists, as well as the terror regimes of Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), Panama (1989), Afghanistan (2002) and Iraq (2003).
In 2003, President Bush of Midland Texas launched the war on Saddam’s regime (and may have determined its outcome) by dropping a few smart bombs – a few thousand tons each – on the bunker of the political and ideological elite. In 2002, he bombed the political, ideological and financial headquarters of the Taliban in Kabul. 1986, President Reagan instructed the US Air Force to target Qaddafi’s Presidential Palace. In contrast, Israel has mostly targeted terrorists, who execute the strategy and ideology enunciated by their political leadership.
The Department of State “Road Map” has legitimized the self-defeating and artificial distinction between “Political PLO” and “Terrorist PLO,” as well as the non-existing distinction between the top of the PA/PLO pyramid (Arafat) and the entire structure of the PA/PLO pyramid. It has reinforced the morally-wrong and strategically-flawed Moral Equivalence – professed by the Department of State – between a terrorist regime and its democratic victim. The Road Map has legitimized an underlying pitfall of the Oslo Process, which refers to a most lethal endemic enemy as a partner for co-existence. It has thus further handcuffed the hands of Israel’s Defense Forces.
Would President Bush consider surgical elimination of terror leaders and cells in Afghanistan and Iraq, while refraining from the destruction of the Taliban and the Saddam regimes (as is Israel pressured to do)?! Would the former two times Governor of Texas contemplate negotiation with any of Saddam’s deputies and lieutenants, who were intimately linked to Saddam during the last few decades (as is Israel pressured to do)?! Would the principle-driven President Bush have entertained the idea of a cease fire with Afghani or Iraqi terrorists, rather than the eradication of the civilian and military infrastructure, which fed the fire of terrorism (as is Israel pressured to do)?! Would President Bush take seriously a proposal to entrust the security of Basra, in Southern Iraq, to Saddam’s regime, as a test of its intentions and capabilities (as is Israel pressured to do)?! Would Paul Bremer, the Governor of Iraq, allow members of the Ba’ath Party and Saddam’s security forces to join the governing bodies of Free Iraq (as is Israel pressured to do)?! Should President Bush have acted in face of Islamic terrorism in accordance with the Road Map, and in a manner, which he pressures Israel to act in face of Palestinian terrorism, he would have failed in his mission, becoming the laughing stock of global and US public opinion!
The Department of State’s “Road Map” is fertilizing and watering the lethally poisonous Oslo Ivy/Process. The Road Map has sacrificed the (blood-saturated) lessons of the last 10 years – since the signing of the Oslo Accord – on the altar of wishful thinking. The Road Map has dealt another blow to Israel’s personal and national security, has undermined Israel’s confidence in its own cause and power, has eroded Israel’s capability to withstand pressure, has chopped Israel’s posture of deterrence, has radicalized Arab expectations and demands, and has therefore added more fuel to the fire of terror and war, which has further distanced Jews and Arabs from peace.
The “Road Map” constitutes a thundering reflection of the Texas colloquialism: Fool me once shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.”
In order to free itself of the deadly trap of the 1993 Oslo Process, the 1998 Wye Accord and the 2003 Road Map, it is incumbent upon Israel to continue talking Hebrew, but fight in Texanese!