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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Chammelha - Give me more....(says Yasser Arafat)

The high point in Israel’s short history was the Six Day War of 1967, when the whole world applauded Israel’s miraculous achievement of defeating the combined Arab armies. It is said that every Jew in the Diaspora walked three inches taller. That euphoria was gradually frittered away by the mistakes of the Politicians. Firstly, Moshe Dayan and others were hoping to achieve peace with the Arabs from a position of strength, but the Arabs who were shell-shocked by their massive defeat were not in a position nor in a mood to make peace. Secondly, the Israelis wanted to use cheap Arab labours to enhance her economy which was a big mistake. Thirdly, leaders like David Ben Gurion and Shimon Peres kept wanting to make peace with the Arabs, oblivious of the fact that the region consisted of many other nationalities who could strengthen Israel’s hand in creating a Middle Eastern Union, not predominantly Arab.

Thus, thirty four years after the Six Day War, Israel has reached the low point of her history when Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 98% of the administered territories, half of Jerusalem and Estate of their own, but they kept asking more concessions, emboldened by Arab states and even by the British Foreign Minister. Israel cannot now afford to give anything more that would not lead to the eventual dismantling of the Jewish State.

Whilst President Clinton was apparently trying to help Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians, he was in fact only interested in obtaining the Nobel Peace Prize. In the last months of his term he asked Prime Minister Ehud Barak for the best terms that Israel could offer the Palestinians. Naively, but in confidence, Barak offered most favourable terms to the Palestinians. When Arafat saw the list he could not believe his eyes, but in Arab fashion he decided to ask for more.

"Chammelha": In the Middle East haggling is normal in any purchase. When a Bedouin comes to the market he cannot judge for himself the correct price of what he wants to buy. So he tells the grocer Chammelha (put some more). Arafat acted in the same fashion and he who wants all will end up loosing all. This is where the Palestinians stand now.

Where do we go from here? Israel must modify her approach by regarding the problem as a regional matter which can only be solved by the active participation and contribution of all the countries of the region. There is no room for a Palestinian state. Jordan should have been regarded as the Palestinian State, but since this opportunity was missed, the administered territories should be divided into two or three autonomous areas. Palestinian labour should be completely eliminated from Israel’s economy.

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