A Time For War, A Time For Peace

Categories: Israel
By Danny Shapiro

Israel has not chosen war. The enemy has.

The cannons should be silent when they need to be silent. Not before. And I don’t think that moment has arrived.

As for the key point here – Israel’s unilateral attempt to determine its
borders: I have come to fully accept the unilateralist outlook, which
says:

Getting out of at least the vast majority of the territories is a life and death imperative for the Zionist enterprise, aka the State of Israel.

There is no chance for a real, negotiated peace in the foreseeable future, because our potential partners and enemies are becoming increasingly radicalized, and even the moderate ones want one version or the other of “destruction in stages” of the State of Israel as a state with a large majority of Jews. There is no negotiated peace anywhere on the horizon.

So if we abandon unilateralism, and an agreement is not possible, we are left with continued occupation – which is exactly, exactly, what our enemies want. They care about the effects of the occupation on their own people only as so far as it puts Israel in a continuially bad light. They know the occupation will kill us eventually – by destroying us demographically and by completely undermining our international legitimacy.

As for legitimacy, those who condemn Barak’s historic and brave decision to unilaterally withdraw from Lebanon ought to remember not only the hundreds of young Israeli lives that have not been lost in the past 6 years; but that even in the current war, and even with the outrageous and nauseatingly hypocritical double standard at which we are typically being held by the world community today – our situation in the North is much much better than it would have been without the withdrawal. Because the basic premise is understood: Lebanon is a sovereign state and responsible for its territory. And Israel has been attacked and has a right to self-defense.

As for the Palestinian territories: The Gaza withdrawal was a great success if you accept that the goal was saving the State of Israel in the long term and that there was never any realistic possibility to begin with that the disengagement would improve security, at least in the short run.
This was a calculated and conscious lie by Sharon. There is no improvement in security not only because the Palestinians (at the very least Hamas and apparently significant portions of other groupings) hate us and and are fanatically dedicated to our death, but, more importantly, want to prevent the next unilateral disengagement. They don’t want statehood (not right now, at least), and the continued Israeli occupation serves their goal.
They, just like Arafat before them, have patience and are willing to wait 10 or 30 or 70 years for demography and/or shift in regional balance of power and/or whatever, to either conquer Israel in a war or to have the area from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River turn into one large state without a Jewish majority: the coveted one state solution.

My dear colleagues in the peace movement, I know that your heart and mind tell you otherwise, but I fear that wishing for real negotiating partners will not make them appear; and opposing unilateralism will only prolong the occupation, which will eventually bring about the end of the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic country.

About Danny Shapiro

Danny Shapiro was active in Hashomer Hatzair in New York and Canada in the 1970s. He has lived in Israel since making aliya in 1980, was a member of Kibbutz Harel, and served in the IDF between 1984-86. In 1995, he founded the ShomerNet, an internet forum for past and present members of North American Hashomer Hatzair, which has grown to nearly 500 members. Danny has worked for Tel Aviv University for the past 10 years, and is currently the University's director of development and public affairs.
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