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.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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