Israel Palestine Infos
July 31, 2010
All Quiet on the Eastern Front
PEOPLE ENDOWED with sensitive political ears were startled this week by two words, which, so it seemed, escaped from the mouth of Binyamin Netanyahu by accident: “Eastern front”.
Once upon a time these words were part of the everyday vocabulary of the occupation. In recent years they have been gathering dust in the political junkyard.
THE VERBAL couple
“Eastern front” was born after the Six-day War. It served to buttress the
strategic doctrine that the Jordan River is
The theory: there is a
possibility for three Arab armies – those of
This was a doubtful
theory to start with. In order to take part in such an offensive, the Iraqi army
would have to assemble, cross the desert and deploy in Jordan, a lengthy and
complex logistical operation that would give the Israeli army ample time to hit
the Iraqis long before they reached the bank of the Jordan. As for the Syrians,
it would be much easier for them to attack
In recent years, the
theory has become manifestly ridiculous. The Americans have invaded
True, situations can
change. Regimes change, alliances change. But it is impossible to imagine a
situation in which three terrifying armies cross the
Moreover, the idea of a
ground attack, like the Nazi blitzkrieg in World War II, belongs to history. In
any future war, long-range missiles will play a dominant role. One could imagine
the Israeli soldiers in the
So how did this silly idea gain new life?
IT MAY be useful to go 43 years back in time, in order to understand how this bogeyman was born.
Only six weeks after the Six-day War, the “Allon plan” was launched. Yigal Allon, then Minister of Labor, submitted it to the government. It was not adopted officially, but it did exercise a major influence on the Israeli leadership.
No authorized map of the
plan was ever published, but the main points became known. Allon proposed to
He did not care whether
the West Bank would be returned to
The plan was put forward as a military imperative, but its motives were quite different.
In those days I met with Allon fairly regularly, so I had the opportunity to follow his line of thought. He had been one of the outstanding commanders of the 1948 war and was considered a military expert, but above all he was a leading member of the Kibbutz movement, which at the time exercised a lot of influence in the country.
Immediately after the
seizure of the
In my opinion, the entire Allon plan was a fruit of agricultural greed, and the military theory was nothing but an expedient security pretext. And, indeed, the immediate result was the setting up of a great number of kibbutzim and moshavim (cooperative villages) in the valley.
Years passed before the limits of the Allon Plan were burst open and settlements were established all over the West Bank.
THE ALLON PLAN gave birth to the bogeyman of the “Eastern Front”’ and since then it has terrorized those who seek peace. Like a ghost, it comes and goes, materializes and vanishes, once in one form, once in another.
NOW COMES Netanyahu and resurrects the verbal duo “Eastern Front”.
What Eastern Front? What
threats are there from our eastern neighbors? Where is Saddam Hussein? Where is
Hafez al-Assad? Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad going to send the armored columns of the
Revolutionary Guards rolling towards the
Well, it goes like this:
the Americans are going to leave
This is manifestly ludicrous. So what is the real aim?
The entire world is now
busy with the American demand for starting “direct talks” between
The “proximity talks” have been going on for several months now. It would be wrong to say that their results have been close to zero. They were zero. Absolute zero. So what will happen if the two parties sit together in one room? One can predict with absolute certainty: Another zero. In the absence of an American determination to impose a solution, there will be no solution.
So why does Barack Obama
insist? There is one explanation: throughout the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here, too, Obama is facing failure. He hoped to
achieve much without investing anything at all, and was easily defeated by the
Netanyahu, on his part,
is quite satisfied with the situation as it is. Israel is calling for direct
talks, the Palestinians refuse. Israel is extending its hand for peace, the
Palestinians turn away. Mahmoud Abbas demands that
But the Americans are
exerting tremendous pressure on Abbas, and Netanyahu fears that Abbas will give
in. Therefore he declares that he cannot freeze the settlements, because in that
case - God forbid! – his coalition would disintegrate. And if that does not
suffice, here comes the Eastern Front. The Israeli government is giving notice
to the Palestinians that it will not give up the
In order to emphasize the
point, Netanyahu has started to remove the remaining Palestinian population in
the valley, a few thousand. Villages are being eradicated, starting this week
with Farasiya, where all the dwellings and the water installations were
destroyed. This is ethnic cleansing pure and simple, much like the similar
operation now going on against the Bedouins in the
What Netanyahu is saying, in so many words, is: Abbas should think twice before he enters “direct talks”.
THE JORDAN Valley
descends to the lowest point on the surface of the earth, the Dead Sea,
The revival of the Eastern Front may indicate the lowest point of Netanyahu’s policy, with the intent of putting to death once and for all any remaining chance for peace.