It is fitting that Condoleezza Rice chose the U.S. Naval Academy for the venue of tomorrow’s so-called Mideast peace conference. The reputation of that extraordinary institution in Annapolis has been sullied in recent years by a succession of rapes of young women. Despite official efforts to low-ball its significance, Ms. Rice’s conclave is shaping up to be a gang-rape of a nation on a scale not seen since Munich in 1938, when the British and French allowed Hitler and Mussolini to have their violent way with Czechoslovakia.
This time, the intended victim is Israel. As with the effort to appease the Nazis and Fascists nearly sixty years ago, however, the damage will not be confined to the rapee. The interests of the Free World in general and the United States in particular will suffer from what the Saudis and most of the other attendees have in mind for the Jewish State – namely, its dismemberment and ultimate destruction.
As it happens, millions Americans have lately been introduced to the Saudis’ attitude towards gang-rape, pursuant to the theocratic code known as Shari’a that they seek to impose on us all. We learned that a 19-year-old Saudi woman identified only as the Girl of Qatif had been kidnapped and raped by seven men. The rapists were to receive prison sentences and whippings. The woman, though, was sentenced to receive 90 lashes for the crime of sitting in a car with a male who was not a relative. When she had the temerity to appeal her barbaric sentence, it was increased to six months in prison and 200 lashes.
There will, of course, be no punishments for the perpetrators of the coming gang-rape of Israel at Annapolis. To the contrary, the Bush Administration feels deeply indebted to the Saudi foreign minister for his participation and that of a representative of a country Ms. Rice’s department lists as a state-sponsor of terror: Syria.
In fact, as an inducement for attending, a host of nations who have never formally and concretely abandoned their historic determination to bring about Israel’s liquidation have been assured by their U.S. hosts that they will be able to use this event to promote their agendas. As one American official blithely put it: “No one’s microphone will be turned off.”
Consequently, it seems likely that Annapolis will feature an outpouring of sentiment – in fact, near unanimity – on the following points: Israel must relinquish to its Palestinian and Syrian enemies territory essential to the defense and security of the Jewish State. Hard experience in southern Lebanon and Gaza leaves no doubt that the vacuum thus created will be used by terrorists to attack Israel, and perhaps America.
The gang assembled at the Naval Academy – Europeans, Russians, non-governmental organizations as well as Arabs – will largely insist that the Israelis allow the capital of a new Palestinian state to be established in the section of Jerusalem most holy to Jews (and Christians). Never mind that from East Jerusalem, the Israeli-controlled remainder of the city can be shelled at will with Kassam rockets or even mortars.
At Annapolis, virtually everyone will also agree that Israel must accept some arrangement affording rights to millions of Arabs who have been, as the esteemed historian Bernard Lewis points out in today’s Wall Street Journal, deliberately condemned to refugee status (in some cases, for as many as five generations) by their regional “brothers” and UN enablers. Everyone understands this demand will translate demographically into the end of the Jewish State.
By virtue of its sponsorship of the event and its actions, both there and subsequently, the United States will once again assume the role of “honest broker.” This mutation of Israel’s one ally makes it still less likely that America will block such international demands.
Even before Annapolis, Condi Rice has found it inexpedient to do more than mouth platitudes of the kind that once governed George Bush’s policies vis a vis the Jewish State and its enemies. Today, Palestinians can remain in the terror business – they can even officially and explicitly refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish homeland – and still enjoy the Administration’s political support and access to U.S. military equipment, training and vast amounts of taxpayers’ funds.
The bigger problem is that the government of Ehud Olmert seems disposed to go along with the emerging “international consensus.” Indeed, Olmert has already signaled a willingness to compromise his country’s future security and integrity as a Jewish state in the hope of rescuing his failed premiership and avoiding prosecution for corruption. For their part, his people seem to be sleep-walking, unable to believe that every one of their longstanding national requirements (for example, a unified Jerusalem, secure borders, no “right of return” for “refugees,” etc.) is being abandoned in the pursuit of a “peace” no one can seriously believe is in prospect from the Saudis and their friends.
Sadly, like the Girl of Qatif, the people of Israel stand to be punished for putting themselves in such a compromising position. Unfortunately for them and for others who will be victimized in the future by Israel’s emboldened Islamist enemies, the penalty for the “process” resuscitated at the Naval Academy and the concessions that will flow from it will not be the lash. It may well prove to be a death sentence.