Rabbi Meir Kahane
“On Jews and Judaism” May 25, 1979
“Palestine” and Autonomy
“Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20)
“Hear, ye deaf, and look, ye blind, that ye may see” (Isaiah 42:18
Prime Minister Begin has been adamant in stating that there will “never be a Palestine state” and “we will never speak with the PLO.” Yet in the Camp David accords, Mr. Begin agreed to the following:
“Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the representatives of the Palestine people should participate in negotiations on the resolution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspect.” And again: “The solution from the negotiations must also recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements.”
The “Palestine” people. For decades, Israeli leaders were careful never to speak of or recognize a “Palestine people.” For if there exists a “Palestine people” what is a more just requirement and a legitimate right than a state of their own? What is the most basic right of any people if not the right to its own state? How can we speak of a “Palestine people” and then say “but they cannot have their own state!”
And if we speak of the “representative of the Palestine people,” what will be if these “people” choose as their representatives, the PLO? And any Israeli leader who tells us that the majority of the “Palestinians” do not accept the PLO as their leaders, lies to us, and proof is his for the asking by simply allowing free elections in which the PLO is allowed to participate. Indeed, there is ludicrousness in the repeated pledges against speaking with the PLO even as there is daily contact and cooperation with the PLO mayors of Hebron, Ramallah, Sh’chem and other towns!
When Begin signed an accord which had as its official English translation the concept of a “Palestine people” and its “legitimate and basic rights,” he set the stage for a confrontation with the entire world, a confrontation which is of his own making. Instead of having cleaved to a staunch, open and honest disclaimer of any “Palestine people,” he, for the countless time, chose the path of deviousness by which he signed an accord that speaks of a “Palestine people” and then stated in a letter to Carter that he construes “Palestine people” to mean “Palestinian Arabs.” It is, once again, the tortured legalism that Begin uses so often to evade confrontation but which is so meaningless to the world. The official version speaks of a “Palestine people” and its legitimate rights, the most basic of which is clearly the right to the same kind of state that Jewish have.
The FULL meaning of Autonomy
The commitment to FULL AUTONOMY by Begin in the letter of March 26, 1979 signed jointly by him and Sadat. The letter states:
“The two governments agree to negotiate continuously and in good faith … They also agree that the objective of the negotiations is the establishment of the self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza in order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitant.”
No amount of legalism and tortured hair-splitting can possibly “prove” that Begin has not agreed to “full autonomy.” In the minds of any honest person that means exactly what it says – FULL and not partial self-rule. On the day that Sadat complains to Carter and the American people that Begin is dishonest and is not negotiating in the “good faith” required by the peace treaty, what will the response be? What will American Jewish leaders say? But more of that later.
The agreement by Begin to “full autonomy” is made even clearer in other paragraphs of the accords. To the anguished and angry cries of opponents of the Purim Peace, claiming that autonomy will place Jews, living and traveling through the liberated lands, in jeopardy since the police will be Arab, Begin has attempted to claim that this will not be so. Consider however, the agreement that Begin signed at Camp David”
“A strong local police force will be constituted by the self-governing authority. It will be composed of inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza.”
And again: “A strong local police force will be established which may include Jordanian citizens.”
How can Begin possibly explain away this language? The agreement speaks of a strong, exclusively Arab police force to be appointed by the Arab authority. Will they catch the terrorists who fire rockets into Kiryat Arba? Will they insure that the highway from Jerusalem and Beersheba and all the other roads be safe for Jewish riders? And has being clarified for us what he meant by signing the agreement that reads in the Camp David accords”
“A withdrawal of Israeli armed forces will take place and there will be a redeployment of the remaining Israeli forces into specified security locations.”
I want an explanation, and all Jews should too. Three things appear to emerge rather clearly from this. One: There will be a WITHDRAWAL of Israel troops from the liberated territories entirely. Two: For the “remaining” troops there will be a redeployment from their present positions that today are scattered throughout the territories and from which they go anywhere, any time. Three: From now on there will be “specified” and limited locations for “security” beyond which troops will not go.
What emerges most glaringly is a picture very different from the one Begin now seeks to paint for Israelis.
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