- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to Israel morphed from a man who presents his well-established pro-Israeli Labor Party and pro-Arab leanings as the stuff of an "honest broker" into a man who has patently broken faith with Israel. On Friday, Ambassador Martin Indyk declared that, when it came to the issue of Jerusalem that has confounded him and his fellow peace-processors, "There is no other solution but to share the holy city… . It is not, and cannot be the exclusive preserve of one religion.
Questions as to whether Mr. Indyk was simply free-lancing or acting upon instructions from Washington appeared to be settled when, according to the London Guardian, Khalil Jahshan of the American Committee on Jerusalem, a group that supports the Arab line on the holy city, said: "We are delighted to see a representative of the U.S. government saying publicly what we have heard privately that there should be a settlement by which all national aspirations are accommodated."
As it happens, Mr. Indyk's declaration also breaches as noted in a properly critical analysis circulated on Monday by the Zionist Organization of America a pledge made by candidate "Bill Clinton in 1992 … to recognize all of Jerusalem as Israel's, and violates the near-unanimous congressional resolution of 1995 calling for U.S. recognition of united Jerusalem as Israel's capital." Unfortunately, the political landscape is littered with Mr. Clinton's broken campaign promises and actions at odds with the law.
What sets the Indyk declaration apart is what it says about the Clinton-Gore administration's determination to get a "peace" agreement between Israel and the Palestinians at any price, before the president leaves office and, ideally, before the polls close on the vice president and Hillary Clinton's respective campaigns. Under Mr. Clinton and Al Gore, the United States has effectively abandoned its traditional support for Israel as the Jewish State and is now actively collaborating with so-called "post-Zionist" efforts there that may well leave it neither Jewish nor a state.
To be sure, it has in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak a willing collaborator in this assault on the very essence of the Zionist dream. Stung by the wholesale repudiation his government has experienced over the hash it has made of peace diplomacy at the hands of his country's religious and other opposition parties, Mr. Barak has declared what amounts to a jihad or holy war on Israel's Jewishness. His "secular revolution" calls for ending the official practice of honoring the Sabbath by suspending most commerce, El Al flights, bus service, etc. from sundown on Friday until the sun sets on Saturday.
Like most of Mr. Barak's actions and virtually all those taken by his sponsor in Washington, Bill Clinton the impetus for these steps and for taking them now is transparently political. By appealing to the large number of Israelis who are non-observant Jews, and to Israel's Arabs (who are generally hostile to the Jewish character of the state whose citizens they happen to be), Mr. Barak evidently hopes to build a new political base. He clearly is calculating that, if he can just secure a peace deal, irrespective of its terms, he can fashion out of this subset of the electorate a working majority in the Knesset, and avoid the repudiation that his opponents have in mind, and history surely has in store, for him.
Mr. Barak's secular revolution is, therefore, of a piece with and a necessary precondition for his abandonment of the position taken by every Israeli government since 1967, namely that a unified Jerusalem is Israel's eternal capital. If Israel ceases to be the Jewish State, then it follows ineluctably that such a state's historic attachment to the holy sites of Jerusalem need no longer preclude its government from, in Martin Indyk's words, "sharing" them with the Palestinians. Welcome to Post-Zion.
Urged on by intense U.S. pressure and inducements, the Israeli prime minister has gone well beyond agreeing in principle to recognize Arab sovereignty over parts of the Old City of Jerusalem, however. As Charles Krauthammer noted in a characteristically brilliant essay circulated on Sept. 18 by the Jewish World Review:
"[Mr. Barak also] surrendered the Jordan Valley, a strip of barrenness that buffers Israel from the Arab tank armies to the east, [even though his] own Labor Party insisted for 30 years that it could not be ceded without fatally compromising Israel's security… . [And] he conceded the principle that Israel should receive and resettle Palestinians who left their homes 52 years ago in a war started by the Arabs for the express purpose of destroying the newborn state of Israel."
If implemented, these concessions will create new "facts on the ground" that will not only further diminish the Jewish character of the State of Israel notably by effectively accepting the principle of a "right of return" for millions of Palestinian "refugees." They may also make it impossible to defend that state against enemies, foreign and domestic.
For Bill Clinton and his political allies notably, his hand-picked successor and first lady expediency demands an Israeli-Palestinian deal, no matter what the price. He is prepared to promise any amount of financial and military assistance Mr. Barak will require in order to sell such a deal at home, especially since all those bills will come due on somebody else's watch.
For Israel, however, the stakes are infinitely higher. What Mr. Clinton and his minions like Martin Indyk are pressing the Israelis to surrender is not only the future viability of their state but its Zionist soul. Israel cannot and must not go there, and the American people must not permit their government to compel the Jewish State to do so.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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