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February 15, 1980 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

56 Friday, February 15, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Carter Doctrine for Soviets Leaves Israel Vulnerable

By YITZHAQ BEN-AMI

The emergence of a new Carter policy
towards the Soviet Union, somewhat
startling because of its suddennesi, should
not sidetrack attention from what, by now,
has become his "old" doctrine on Palestine.
What is fascinating in Mr. Carter's conduct
of foreign affairs is his combining inno-
cence with detachment from history.
It took the President three years to re-
cignize the reality of the centuries-old Rus-
sian drive towards Southwest Asia and the
Indian Ocean; it took him hardly any time
at all, after assuming the Presidency, to
formulate his doctrine on Palestine.
Unlike his belated enlightenment on
Russian-Imperialism-Nationalism, under
the black Czarist eagle, and today under
the red banner of the USSR, Mr. Carter has
given a perfected doctrine, hatched and
matured at the Brookings Institution,
under the tutelage of one of its most distin-
guished alumni — Zbigniew Brezezinski.

YITZHAQ BEN-AMI

Recent in-
ternational
developments
are domi-
nated by the
unpredicta-1
bly (by the
United States
intelligence
community)
swift col-
lapse of the
Shah's re-
gime, fol-
lowed by the
deterioration
of Iran's cen-
tral govern-
ment, and its

national cohesiveness.

Those were followed by the ominous
signs of growing internal subversion of
Saudi Arabia's medieval hierarchy, the oc-
cupation of the U.S. embassy in Teheran,
.1 and the invasion of Afghanistan. These
events gave birth to the Carter doctrine.
In brief, it is based on U.S. power coun-
tering Soviet expansionism and subver-
sion.
The doctrine assumes that Saudis.,
Egypt, as well as other states presently
ruled by "friendly" regimes, would eventu-
ally welcome American military power
into their national territories. Also, that
overt and covert activities by the U.S. will
secure such bases for its military, assure
the West accessibility to, and the safety of,
the Arabian Peninsula's, hopefully also
Iraq's and Iran's,' petroleum resources. It
assumes that the USSR may try, but will
fail, to subvert these developments.

The gap between the basic pre-
requisites for carrying out the pro-
nounced doctrine, and the political
and military realities of the region,
must cause untold anxieties to the mill-
tary leadership of the U.S., and the few
Western leaders whose sights are
aimed higher than next summer's
gasoline requirements.

The fact is that, as of early 1980, the
West is an unwelcome alien to the people
who inhabit the lands from Morocco to the
shores of Japan. Futhermore, the states
and regimes stretching across North Af-
rica, through the Middle East and India,
have in common those symptoms that
make that vast stretch of the globe one of
the most unstable.
The socio-economic inequalities, fueled
by massive accumulation of wealth by the
few, compounded by uncontrolled historic,
social and religious strifes, combine to

make that part of the world a most fertile
ground for nihilism and anarchy. These
are the grounds that Russia, the
generation-old, imperialist-colonial giant
of the north, has been covetously looking
at, to sow its seeds of divisiveness and reap
its harvest of anarchy and internal col-
lapse.

Superficially, it appears that the new
Carter Doctrine has, by now, grasped
the not-so-new background of recent
events. However, it does show its im-
maturity in its vagueness on the prac-
tical steps to counter the aggressive
challenge from the north.
Inter alia, one of its crucial shortcomings

is the almost instinctive incorporation
within the new doctrine of the old Carter
policy on Palestine. This has become more
obvious in recent weeks, through the al-
most daily messages channeled to the lead-
ing publications in the country by "senior
officials" in Washington.
The crux of the messages is that a "com-
prehensive solution of the Palestinian
question" is crucial to securing the U.S.
and the West's positions in the Middle
East. Somehow, we are invited to recognize
that the "Palestinian question" played a
decisive role in the toppling of the Shah,
the invasiton of Afghanistan, the growing
threat to Pakistan, and an eventual
Baluchi uprising in southwest Iran .. .
Seriously, however, the "Carter Pales-
tine Doctrine" derives its rationale from
ignorance of the history of the region, its
people, and the driving forces that have
kept it in turmoil for the past six decades
and before.

abandoned and has, time and again,
surfaced through statements of key
members of the PLO!

Behind Syria stands ready and covetous
Iraq, with its mounting oil wealth, growing
armaments and dreams for a Fertile Cres-
cent, from Khoramshar to Gaza, ruled by
the heirs of the Assyrians and Babylonian
Empires.
And further down the road, a "new" or
post-Sadat Egypt may confront Syrian-
Iraqi Baath expansionism in the south of
Palestine. Egypt has had a soft spot for
southern Palestine for centuries. Such
scenarios are not improbable for that little
country on the crossroads of three conti-
nents, which has not known peace for mil-
lenia.
This is where the second shortcoming of
the "Palestine Doctrine" comes in — the
lack of historic understanding of Israel's
rebirth by Carter, and the intentional ig-
noring of it by Brzezinski.

The Hebrew nation that has
emerged, after 2,000 years of Diaspora
life, does not intend to become another
version of the threatened Christian
community in Lebanon, face the fate of
the Armenians of Turkey, or the end-
less subjection of the Kurds by Iraq,
Iran and Turkey. Not for such a fate
was the nation's hope and dream kept
alive through 20 centuries.

It was no accident that, in early 1979,
Arik Sharon, at a Jerusalem meeting,
with the Israeli Cabinet present, had to
enlighten President Carter about the
original area that was mandated to
Britain by the League of Nations for
the creation of the Jewish Homeland,
and the truncating of almost three-
quarters of it (in 1922) to create the
Emirate of Trans-Jordan -- all by and
for pure British colonial interests.

To date, this and previous administra-
tions ignored the unilateral abrogation by
Britain of the Mandate; the creation of an
Arab Palestinian state (Jordan) on terri-
tory assigned to the Jewish National
Homeland; the illegal attempt by that
state in 1949 to annex additional lands on
the West Bank; that a Palestinian Arab
state has existed, de facto, since 1922; that
its illegal annexation in 1949 of the West
Bank was recognized only by Britain and
Pakistan
We native Palestinians have our grave
doubts about the validity of the Palesti-
nian Arab claim to nationhood. That claim
has no roots in history or fact, in ethnicity
or in culture. Nevertheless, let us assume
that this refusal is preventing the settling
of the dispute between Palestinians of
Jewish and Arab ancestry. The fact is that
Israel, despite many apprehensions and
misgivings, declared its readiness to accept
such an Arab Palestinian state (now
called Jordan), in the large area the British
cut off from the land, internationally
pledged and recognized as the Jewish
people's.
Israel is ready to forge peaceful and close
links with that entity, to strengthen it eco-
nomically and to help protect its indepen-
dence.

The belligerent Arab neighbors op-
pose such concepts. Syria has coveted
parts of Jordan, aiming (as in 1970)
to absorb it and in the process elimi-
nate Israel and fulfill its dream of a
great Syria! That goal has not been

JIMMY CARTER

-411i111 ■ -

The key to independent survival is self-
reliance. Israel must have defensible geo-
graphic borders and the means to defend
them alone. There is one force it obviously
could not face by itself— Russia. Survival
of a free world, in which Russia has swept
down, by land, to the African Continent, is
hard to accept as a probability.
Israel's geo-political deliberations prob-
ably exclude, in the foreseeable future, a
direct Russian attack on it. Other military
probabilities are analyzed as manageable
from an Israeli survival viewpoint.
It may seem unreal, but the danger to
Israel's security comes from another
source. It we read correctly the signs
emanating from Washington, Carter, in
case of re-election, would resume the
"brutal pressure" of Camp David (so aptly
described by the Washington correspon-
dent of the Tel Aviv daily, Haaretz) — aim-
ing at the creation of a PLO state in Judea
and Samaria.

Israeli sacrifices and internal ten-
sions will mount in direct proportion
to U.S. pressures. At a certain point,
the people of Israel, the one realiable
solid ally of the West on the Asiatic
mainland, faced with a critical choice
between survival as a defenseless
minority or independence, may choose
to go it alone.

Descreetly (this being an election year),
the Carter Administration is pursuing a
single-minded policy which would turn the
Hebrew nation into an emasculated, Mid-

dle Eastern minority community. The
ceremonial references to "secure borders,"
the "existence of Israel" cannot be taken
seriously. They will not survive even a
covert campaign in the U.S. that will link
the lowering standards of living in the U.S.
(because of an Arab oil embargo), or physi-
cal dangers to U.S. troops caused by U.S.
intervention on behalf of Israel's security.
Once the political year of 1980 is over,
the "brutal approach" once applied by Car-
ter on Menahem Begin (at Camp David)
will be reborn. One can only hope that, this
time, it will fail and Israel will hold stead-
fast. But in the process, Israel probably
will find itself alone, vulnerable and
weakened.
Weakness invites aggression, and any
armed conflict between Israel and • its
neighbors will be costly and tragic for all.

What is disheartening about the Car-
ter "Palestine Doctrine" is that it is
(like John Connally's and George
Ball's concepts of the Middle East)
founded on the illusion that if only
Israel would cease to exist (or at least
self-shrink into a "Maronite-
Christian-Lebanese" style community)
the Middle East will quickly turn into a
peaceful oasis in this turbulent world.

This simplistic reasoning and solution,
wishfully conceived in the minds of "prag-
matists," was applied to other parts of the
world, with disastrous results.
Critical avoidance of facing the region's
vulnerability — its inherent ethnic tur-
moil, its enormous wealth, and its obvious
appeal to imperial interests of all colors —
borders on -the catastrophic. Sadly, the
West, the champion of humane and free
societies of our times, must rely for its bas-
tions, its pillars for defense of the area, on
anachronistic and artifically conceived
states such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,
as real and secure as the Fate Morgana
that abound in the Arabian Desert.
Neither Islam nor Pan Arabism are the
cohesive forces of the future. The Middle
East is emerging out of its Middle Ages, to
be rocked and torn by its next era —
Nationalism, combined with socio-
economic upheavals.

Within that larger context, there is a
smaller, regional problem — the Arabs
of Palestine. Those Arabs who con-
sider themselves as of a new Palesti-
nian nationality may or may not sur-
vive as such under present scenarios.
The Jews of Palestine, today's Israelis,
have offered repeatedly to live
alongside a Palestinian-Arab state
(Jordan) in peace and friendship. If the
Palestinian Arabs are serious about
declaring themselves a national entity,
independent, prosperous and secure,
their natural ally is Israel.

The chance for an independent existence
can be found in mutual respect, achieved in
face-to-face comprehensive negotiations
between the two peoples who live in Pales-
tine, on both sides of Jordan.
The Palestinian Arabs will have to ac-
cept their population's dislocation, the
same as the 800,000 Jews from the Arab
countries have accepted theirs. More than
half of the Hebrew nation, back home in
Israel, come from Arab lands.
Exchanges of populations took place all
over the globe. Millions of Hindus and Mos-
lems on the Indian sub-continent have
reconciled to their population exchanges.
So did Greeks and Turks, Poles and Ger-
mans, and others throughout recent his-
tory.

Today's deep antagonism between
the two people will not be solved by a
"Carter Doctrine" that will emasculate
the Hebrew state or expose a
Palestinian-Arab nationalism to de-
gredation by their Syrian or Iraqi
"brothers," or subjugation by the im-
perial interests of the Soviets.

It is for a much different "comprehen-
sive" solution to the Palestinian issue than
the Carter "Palestinian Doctrine" is offer-
ing, that the West should be striving for in
the land between the great desert and the
Eastern Mediterranean.

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