Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a young journalist visiting
in Israel. Just to give you an idea of how long ago, I was a blonde
then and the Defense Minister, Arik Sharon, was just a "little
stout". I remember meeting him at a 'working luncheon' and
found him to be a little flirtatious and a lot charming.
Then, I thought he was nice and rational. Amazing how a few decades
can change things. Today, I find Israel's prime minister neither
charming nor rational. As an American living in California, I find
him treacherous, corrupt and downright scary.
Lord, and this from a woman who also personally found Shimon Peres
charming in her dealings with him. Makes me totally doubt my judgment
in men, as both of them could not be more dangerous to the well-being
of the Jewish State.
Do you know how confusing it is to read an article in anti-Semitic
newspapers like the Los Angeles Times entitled, "Sharon Says
He's Prepared to Make 'Painful Concessions'"? They never mention
though, how, as a result, Israel will be making disastrous concessions.
The Associated Press was absolutely gloating over how the Israeli
prime minister, in his first interview with an Arab newspaper, sought
to soften his image among Egyptians. How lovely. How absolutely
terrific that, while the Jews are getting ready to be shipped out
of their homes, Ariel is giving interviews to the Arab press about
how ready, even anxious, he is to "make painful concessions."
Now, here's a catchy phrase: "to end the region's half-century
of conflict." Sharon might want to ask himself, before more
destruction is done to Israel, who actually caused this "conflict".
As though all of the marvelous concessions he, Yossi Beilin and
Peres have in store are going to actually make the Arabs like the
Jews. I don't think so.
The thinking behind the "painful concessions" comment
is to show the Arab world that Sharon is really, really nice. So
what if, as seen from here, the very future of Israel is hanging
by a thread? And, while the Islamic enemy is using this time to
re-group and re-charge, Sharon and company are giving photo-ops
and interviews to Al-Ahram. He said that "he had faith that
he, Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could take the opportunity
to push the Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian people forward."
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Once again, Sharon 'hinted' that he would like to see a Palestinian
state established during his term. Now, doesn't that make you feel
all warm and fuzzy? Hey, I know the Palestinians have to be happy
with him. After all, the Sharon and Peres duo have agreed to create
a country for a people that did not exist until 1967. Furthermore,
the Israeli prime minister was willing to state to the foreign press
that the "controversial barrier Israel is building to separate
itself from the West Bank will not mark the borders of a new Palestinian
I find it amazing that just like that, with a snap of the fingers,
a few self-serving politicians just decided to "make a Palestinian
state". Supporters of the new state in the press did have the
decency to comment that Sharon still has a few "traditional
sticking points such as the status of Jerusalem, the return of Palestinian
refugees and the borders of the Palestinian state."
If it is so easy to make a state, then how difficult could it be
to hire a public relations company and do a few photo-ops for a
transfer? (Of course, moving the Jews out of their country was not
the transfer that I had in mind.)
Everybody laughs about the 'fruits and nuts' living in California.
And sometimes, I agree. However, not so long ago, a great many of
us were unhappy with the mentality of the then-governor, Gray Davis.
He was incompetent and costing the state a fortune. So, a grass
roots effort was started and petitions signed and pretty soon, they
had enough to have a vote for a new governor to run the state. The
key word here folks, is "vote"!
Arnold was elected, the destruction was halted, and the rest is
history. That, to me, folks, is democracy at work. The very idea
that a few recycled politicians, for self-serving needs or due to
misguided incompetence, can decide the direction of an entire country
without a referendum of the entire population is not democracy!
Agreeing to create a country for a people that did not exist until
1967 is bizarre. The people of Israel have to decide, in a countrywide
referendum, what has to be done.
A lot of work needs to be done, and fast, but Israel can change
the system. Critical life and death decisions are in the making
and should not, can not, be done by a few destructive men. What
is happening now is dangerous beyond comprehension. For the first
time, I see the Jewish state in danger of a tremendous split from
within. They have enough trouble from their real enemies, who live
for their deaths, without continuing on the track they are on.
First and foremost, Israel needs a Constitution, just like every
other real democracy. It wouldn't even hurt if the Israeli system
could take a lead from what we do in the United States and actually
use a system of government that has checks and balances. Someone
could sit them down and tell the citizens of Israel all about the
separate executive, judiciary and legislative powers - a system
that actually works. The judiciary and the attorney general are
important here, but they don't run the country, as seems to be happening
in Israel's version of a "democracy".
Hey, maybe if they tried something called term limits, then we
wouldn't be seeing, four or five decades later, the same old - and
I do mean old - politicians still running the country. When it comes
to our presidents, eight years is enough! Most of the time, it's
more than enough.
And what better place to start than with the citizens of Israel
and a referendum? It is obvious that the men leading the country
need to be changed, but the system is the first problem.
The answer is not in a two-state solution, which Sharon and some
anti-Semitic world leaders seem to be proposing. That is the beginning
of the terrorists' state within Israel, which will be the ultimate
destruction of Israel. Each concession that is forced upon and accepted
by Israel, to my way of thinking, is another nail in the coffin
of the country. "Never Again" seems to be "Possibly
Again," if George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Kofi
Annan, Vladimir Putin, Javier Solana, Sharon and Peres have their
Enough is enough!
Arlene Peck is an internationally
syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. Arlene
will soon be headlining her new show on a new National Jewish Cable
Channel - ShalomTV ---- Ask your cable provider for ShalomTV.
She travels extensively
worldwide, reporting to her audience about political events, social
happenings (Cannes Film Festival, London event for the Variety Club,
etc.) and "must see" spots. If there is a place to see
and be seen, she'll write about it for her international audience.
Arlene's syndicated column
is read weekly by millions and her television show ("Wow! It's
Arlene Peck!") can be seen throughout Southern California every