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June 20, 2003 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-20

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Taming The Thrill Ride

is the greatest thrill on Earth,
soaring high, then declining
precipitously at death-defying
speed. The location isn't Walt
Disney World or any other amuse-
ment park, but the Middle East. Like
the coaster, the end is clear; unlike
the coaster, the ride to the end is
The thrill ride began when I visited
Israel on May 18 with great hope
because it appeared the road map to
peace in the Middle East was gaining
momentum. It was authored by the
European Union, Russia, the United
Nations and the United States,
approved reluctantly by Israel, uncon-
ditionally by the Palestinians and tac-
itly by much of the Arab world.
While in Israel, however, my initial
enthusiasm was dampened in that
most Israelis felt desperation, despair,
frustration, hopelessness and disbelief
toward any solution to the conflict.
Nonetheless, I returned to Israel,
Ramallah and Cairo June 9-11 to
specifically lobby for the road map
with Dov Weisglass, office of Israeli
prime minister; Omri Sharon,
Knesset; Shimon Peres, leader of the
Labor Party; Ami Ayalon, formerly
of Shin Bet; Jeff Feltman, U.S. con-
sul general, East Jerusalem;
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian
Authority prime minister; Hanan
Ashrawi, spokesperson, P.A.;
President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt;
Osama El Baz, peace advisor to
Mubarak; Ahmed Maher AlSayeed,
foreign minister, Egypt; C. David


Joel D. Tauber ofWest Bloomfield went
to Israel with the Israel Policy Forum. He
is immediate past chairman of the United
Jewish Communities, the umbrella for the
North American federated network.

Welch, U.S. ambassador to Egypt.
David-Taba understandings
Oslo, Madrid, Camp David,
after the extreme violence
Taba, Mitchell and Tenet. So
Like the coaster ride, my emotions
soared when the president went to
since those negotiations and
the issue is clear: How can
Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba and the
the new threat of the Israeli
Hamas be disarmed?
involved parties all said the right
Arab community.
First, the past debate on
things. They plummeted the next day
The broad outline of the
whose fault, whose history,
potential final settlement is:
with the killing of four soldiers and
whose land, who was
wounding of four others, but there
• Two states for two peoples
wronged, etc., as well as the
was still hope because of Israel's ini-
with full acceptance and legit-
potential elements of a settle-
tially moderate response.
ment, must be set aside for
Corn munity
We met with the Israeli government
• Permanent borders on the
later negotiations so that the
Vi ews
basis of the June 4, 1967,
officials, which took me up the next
only focus is on Hamas and
hill, but the coaster reached a plateau
lines modified by equitable
the road map.
when their positions became extreme- and agreed-upon territorial
The United States and
exchange with no settlers in the
Israel are not in a position to pressure
ly guarded. Then came the Israeli
and negotiate with Hamas because
attack on Hamas leader Abd al-Aziz
Palestinian state.
• Jerusalem will be an open city,
the terrorist organization does not
Rantissi on June 8, causing a giant
the capital of two states. Freedom of
dip in the ride. Meeting with the
trust or believe them. Abbas' negotia-
Palestinians and U.S. officials took
religion and full access to holy sites
tions with them have been an utter
me up yet another little hill as they
- will be guaranteed.
failure. He cannot force them to dis-
arm as he lacks manpower as well as
still maintained a positive attitude
• Palestinian refugees will be com-
pensated by an international fund.
the jails, telecommunication systems
toward the road map.
The Egyptians' part of the ride was
• Palestinian state will be demilita-
and cars that were destroyed by the
level because they wanted to be help-
• Upon the full implementation of
It, therefore, seems to me the par-
ful to the process, but were generally
these principles, all claims on both
ties most likely to have success are
skeptical. On our return from Egypt
those who have developed "peace
to Israel, we were confronted with the sides and the Israeli-Palestinian con-
plans" of their own: the Arab League,
June 11 terrorist attack on a bus on
flict will end.
the main street in Jerusalem, killing
the European Union, Russia and the
United Nations. Their nice words,
17 and wounding over 100. Israel
Containing Hamas
encouragement, plans and pro-
responded the day after that atrocity
The need at this moment is to just
nouncements must now be turned
with two rocket attacks on Hamas
into concrete action. They need to
leaders. The roller coaster took its
begin the trip down the road map.
No one would start such a trip facing apply pressure, cut off funding, make
biggest dive.
the current violence. It must stop
threats and, if all else fails, deploy
before we even start the engine of
military forces to disarm Hamas.
The Big Picture
All should understand that failure
to stop terror would negate the road
That night as I left Israel, I felt disil-
Because of the position of Sharon
map and their substantial efforts to
and Abbas at Sharm el-Sheikh, the
lusioned, frustrated and helpless. But
stabilize the Middle East. Such a fail-
those emotions must be overcome if a spotlight of world opinion shines
intensively on Hamas, the Al Aqsa
ure would have disastrous results for
solution is to be found.
that region and the world's fight
Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad as
The final agreement is fairly clear.
the terror organizations blocking
against terrorism.
It is based on the Camp David-Taba
Let us hope these "peace planners"
negotiations. If they are not disarmed
discussions, or something less than
act quickly and decisively before yet
and their violence stopped, there will
that. It is unlikely that anyone in
be no road map. It will go the way of another opportunity is lost. II
Israel would accept the full Camp

Save Us From Ourselves

feel like a Jew in Berlin in
1938. They are trying to kill
me, to kill my family. This is
not figurative, but literal.
I was in Netanya's Park Hotel
seder night 2002. I was in the center
of Jerusalem yesterday, June 12. I
took a cab there but I took a bus
home because I'm tired of being


Naomi Regan is an Israeli author who
made aliyah in 1972. Her e-mail
address is Naomi@naomiRagen.corn



And when I walked through the
door the phone was already ringing,
my husband calling from Tel Aviv,
anxious to know if I was all right.
I hadn't even heard yet. I had just
walked through the door. So I called
my son, to see if he was all right.
And the phone lines were busy.
So I waited, and when I got
through, he told me he'd gone to
pick up his wife in the center of
Jerusalem. That she'd been there
when the bomb went off near the

protect the lives of Jews,
Mahane Yehuda outdoor
when people around the
market a few streets away.
world looked on in indiffer-
My son and daughter-in-
ence at their slaughter.
law, had walked through the
Instead, we have allowed
rubble of the Park Hotel
our leadership to neutralize
seder night, to safety. And
those forces, permitting the
now, once again ... They
slaughter to continue.
were on their way home, he
I don't expect anything
told me.
Commentary from the world. The idiots
We founded the State of
in Europe who believed all
Israel so that we could stop
Hitler wanted was "living
our enemies from killing us.
space" when he took over neighbor-
So that we could have an army and
ing countries; who believed that the
air force, a government that would

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