I am frightened; truly frightened. Mostly, I am afraid that I am
right, and it is too late to change things for the better. Once
the pebble has passed through the surface of the still pool, the
waves have been generated, and the ripples will reach the shores;
this is the definition of inexorable. It is how the world works.
It still makes me feel very frightened.
The Honorable George W. Bush is riding high. He is such a winner
at the moment that the mainstream media are actually praising him
and his actions. The idea that people want freedom in their "natural
state," a la Rousseau, is gaining momentum is not necessarily
a bad or wrong idea. However, where one's success leads is often
to attempting to exceed the previous success with another, even
greater success. This often leads to overreaching, and often to
results that some people might not have expected, and which deviate
drastically from their original expectations. I believe that men
and women the world over yearn for freedom. I also believe that
there is a natural desire for political and economic self-determination.
I also believe in Occam's Razor, or at least that others believe
in Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor is the proposition that the simplest
explanation for any phenomenon is the correct explanation. The belief
in Occam's Razor also leads people to look for the simplest solution
for any problem, or group of problems. In practice, that means that
if a solution works for one problem, it will probably work for a
All of the above preamble is to cover me for when I tell you what
I think I see in the near future. The Lebanese are attempting to
get their freedom from Syria. The Bush administration is urging
the Lebanese to force the issue. The Bush administration is urging
the Syrians to leave Lebanon totally and rapidly. The Bush
administration has advised the Syrians that a partial withdrawal
is "unacceptable." The Lebanese will gain their independence
from Syria in the very near future and the Syrians will completely
withdraw from Lebanon. The Bush administration will not very modestly
accept the applause of the world. The Bush administration will praise
the Syrians for their decision to comply, but the Syrians will now
be holding the winning card. The Syrians will call on the Bush administration
to force Israel to leave all Syrian territory totally and rapidly.
After the entire Golan is returned to Syria, we can only pray for
the "green line" as the best final settlement. We are
traveling down a slippery slope and the government of Israel greased
the slope with a "unilateral disengagement." Someone please
show me where I am wrong. Show me how it can turn out any better
than that. I can't see any way that the entire case is already settled
in the minds of the world, and the only choices left to us are the
"green line" or the boundaries of the UN Partition Plan.
The UN Partition Plan, of course, gives the Arab State of Palestine
those ever so important "contiguous borders" and if you
remember, we, the Yishuv have already agreed to the non-contiguous
I hope that I am not a prophet, but I still wake up in a cold sweat
several times a night.
Shalom Yedidi HaTov,
I've just finished reading your article. It is as usual well thought
out and shows your concern for the future of Israel and the Jewish
people. That's why I would like to try and put your mind at ease,
if I can and may.
I think that you are being overly optimistic about the Syrians leaving
Lebanon in the near future. The Syrian regime cannot afford to leave
Lebanon at all, neither willingly or unwillingly. The reasons are
There are 1,400,000 Syrians working in Lebanon and sending their
salaries back to Syria. The loss of these jobs would be a serious
blow to the Syrian economy as this money would stop flowing into
Syria, and the Syrian economy cannot find jobs for these workers
if they have to return home.
The Syrians need an occupied Lebanon with Hizbollah sitting on the
border with Israel instead of the Lebanese army in order to carry
out the proxy war that has been going on for the last 20 years.
A free Lebanon with a disarmed Hizbollah would bring an end to this
proxy war and leave Syria open to direct Israeli retaliation for
any hostile acts that would be committed directly from her territory.
Therefore, willingly withdrawing from Lebanon would more than likely
bring about the fall of the regime which is in the hands of the
much-hated Alawite minority.
Being forced out of Lebanon would lead to the same fate for the
Alawites as the regime would be conceived as weak and ready for
Events of the last few days and hours show that the Syrian withdrawal
to the Bekaa Valley is only window dressing and that Damascus has
no intention of being run out of Lebanon so easily. The Hizbollah
demonstration yesterday, along with the increased pressure on the
Lebanese opposition groups also indicate the true Syrian intentions
vis a vis withdrawing from Lebanon. We just heard on the news that
a new puppet government has been installed in Beirut.
Regarding the Golan Heights, the Syrians have consistently botched
getting them back, and I see no reason to expect the Syrian government
not to continue the time-honored tradition of never missing an opportunity
to miss an opportunity.
I think that you can put your mind at ease on that score.
Regarding the contiguity problem please go to this website: http://www.answers.com/topic/1947-un-partition-plan.
There you will see a map of the Partition Plan that the UN General
Assembly approved. neither the Jewish State nor the proposed "Palestinian"
State were actually contiguous as this map clearly indicated. This
should be the central theme of the anti-contiguity campaign that
should be launched against the State Department and White House.
© 2005 Rabbi Haim Cassorla and Joel Block
To contact Rabbi Haim Cassorla, please send emails to: Rabbi