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March 22, 1991 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-03-22

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Security And Political Borders
Can Be Different For Israel



t every stop along Sec-
retary of State James
A. Baker's Middle
East tour, local tutors of all
persuasions instructed him in
"Lessons of the Gulf War."
Many of these new lessons ac-
tually are old litanies
repackaged. Here, the lesson
is said to be that Israel's
freshly demonstrated vulner-
ability proves that we must
hold onto all of the West Bank
In actuality, the war only
dramatized what the Israeli
military has known for years:
As long as Israel remains
threatened, we must retain
full military control over all
of the West Bank. This is as
true today as it was last July.
But a crucial corollary also
remains valid, one long ac-
cepted by a large majority of
Israel's defense experts and
supported by Israeli public
opinion: Effective military
control of the West Bank, as
a defensive buffer zone, does
not require Israeli political

Shlomo Gazit is a former
head of Israeli military
intelligence. This article first
appeared in the Los Angeles

rule over 1.8 million Palesti-
nian Arabs.
Israel faces a familiar array
of threats. To be sure, the war
accentuated some immediate
dangers, such as Jordan's in-
stability, while it diminished
others, including Iraq's offen-
sive capability. But Israeli
defense planners dare not
focus on transient events.
They must look far ahead and
prepare for worst-case con-
tingencies. From this perspec-
tive, Israel's peril remains
fundamentally unchanged:

Strategic depth
does not require
political rule.

• Heavily-armed,
tatorial Arab states pose a
serious threat to Israel's very
existence. Imagine Israel's
military position had we fac-
ed an Iraqi-led Arab coalition
alone. In a sea of instability,
even relatively docile states
like Jordan can turn sudden-
ly virulent.
• Signing a peace treaty
will not in itself obiate the
threat to Israel. This threat
will persist until a com-
prehensive peace agreement
resolves all bilateral issues,
and the Arab-Moslem soci-

eties undergo a revolutionary
social and cultural transition
to democracy and stability.


Occupied b y

• Deep Palestinian hostility
to Israel continues. If they on-
ly thought it possible, most
Palestinians would advocate
replacing Israel with a
Palestinian state stretching
from the Mediterranean Sea
to the Jordan River.

• The festering Israeli-
Palestinian conflict enables
local tyrants like Saddam
Hussein to easily incite Arab
masses throughout the

As long as these threats re-
main, the Israeli army must
retain the West Bank as a
military buffer zone. But the
essential benefits of strategic
depth — such as early warn-
ing, surveillance, control of
airspace, and strict
demilitarization — do not re-
quire Israeli political rule
over the inhabitants and the
Twenty-three years ago
former Prime Minister Levi
Eshkol recommended "a clear
differentiation between
Israel's security borders and
her political borders!'
Israel's political borders
delineate the land over which
we exercise full political

sovereignty — the boundaries
of the state. Our security
border marks a far larger
area over which we must ef-
fectively maintain full
military control.
Former Prime Minister
Menachem Begin im-
plemented Eshkol's formula
when he signed the peace

Sweet Justice In The Parking Lot


Managing Editor


hat was perhaps the
greatest example of
police enforcement
and community justice oc-
curred right before my eyes
last Wednesday outside of
the Dunkin Donuts on Nor-
thwestern in Southfield.
There was no robbery
stopped in progress or
aborted mugging. Instead, a
Michigan State trooper, who
was busy sipping coffee and
reading the newspaper dur-
ing his break, saw a woman
park her car in a space re-
served for handicapped
The trooper put his paper
down and tapped on the
window, pointing to the
parking space which was
clearly marked with a
wheelchair stencil and sign.
But the driver ignored the
officer and started walking
to the entrance.
The trooper met the

customer at the door and
asked her politely to move
her car. The request was
followed by a frown and the
woman walking out of the
door in a huff. She moved
her car and started saying
nasty things about the offi-
cer to herself but loud
enough for some of us to
During the entire time she
was in the store, nobody
with a handicapped permit
parked in the space. But the
important thing was that
she didn't park in the space
Parking spaces for the
handicapped are a real sore
point here. When you grow
up with a mother who was
afflicted with multiple
sclerosis, you look for every
break and nicety that society
can throw your way. But
what I learned the most from
my experience with my
mother is that you can't
always be nice.
I can remember how emo-
tional my late father would

get when he was blocked out
of a parking space by a
young yuppie couple and
their two children. I can re-
member how he confronted
the adult male, and how that
adult male used four-letter
words to describe my dad.
For the most part, people
who have handicapped per-
mits or license plates wish
they could park at the fur-
thest point of any mall park-
ing lot and take a brisk walk
to the stores. But they can't.
Of course, there are those
with permits who might
abuse the system. But these
are really in the minority.
My parents have been
deceased now for over five
years. But I can still feel
deep inside the strain of lif-
ting a wheelchair from the
trunk of a car and then hav-
ing to lift my mother from
the front seat into the
wheelchair. When you do
this exercise enough times, a
small thing like a parking
space really helps.
I carry that knowledge

with me no matter where I
travel. And there have been
times when I've come to near
blows with people who de-
fiantly parked where they
didn't belong.
And I will tell you right
here and now, for all of us to
see, that if I see you parked
illegally in a handicapped
spot, I'll ask you nicely to
leave. If you choose not to,
I'll call the police. I owe this
to my parents, and I owe it to
the handicapped commun-
ity. But I also owe it to you.
Because if I don't say some-
thing, you'll keep doing it
even if there isn't a han-
dicapped driver for miles
and miles.
The greatest piece of law
enforcement I've seen in
years happened last week in
Southfield. And a police offi-
cer took some lip for it.
When he looks in the mirror,
he'll see a hero. When the
woman with the nasty
mouth looks in the mirror,
she'll see herself. ❑

treaty with Egypt. Israel
withdrew to the 1948 border,
but left in place elaborate de
facto security arrangements
starting at the Suez Canal.
Mr. Begin thus achieved the
best of both worlds: He
neutralized Israel's most
dangerous enemy, yet kept all
the military advantages of
the Sinai buffer zone.
The details of security ar-
rangements in the West Bank
must go far beyond those in
Sinai. The topography,
demography and distances
are radically different. With
a continuing threat from the
east, Israel will justifiably de-
mand extensive security
measures, including warning
stations, air defense systems,
overflight, surveillance, and
strict border controls, as well
as a limited Israeli military
presence at certain vital
strategic points in the West
Yet, perpetuation of Israeli
political sovereignty over 1.8
million restive Palestinians
gains us nothing but grief. It
exacts a growing cost to
Israel's economy, unity,
morale, and international
standing. It may undermine
our ability to successfully ab-
sorb the largest wave of im-
migration in the history of
the Jewish state.
The sooner a political set-
tlement is reached, the better
Israel's chances for the future.
It does not take a prophet to
see that in the age of missile
and unconventional warfare,
military developments in the

Continued on Page 10


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