Friday, March 11, 2011

An Open Letter to Benjamin Netanyahu by Yitzhak Heimowitz

An Open Letter to Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi, you are a very smart man. So why do you fall (or jump) into the same trap time after time?
Two of the last bastions of support for Israel in the US are the Congress and AIPAC. So why are you preparing to announce new Israeli concessions to the Arabs in one of these forums? In other words, why will you equate support for Israel with support for Israeli concessions, "davka" before Israel's strongest supporters?

The Senators and Congressmen and the AIPAC delegates want to give you repeated standing ovations to express their support for Israel. Why are you going to force them to make these into support for Israeli concessions as if the only way to support Israel is by supporting Israeli concessions? And who will tell them this? The Prime Minister of Israel, so how can they be "more Catholic than the Pope"?

You may comfort yourself that your proposed concessions will be balanced by demands for security measures like keeping the IDF on the Jordan. But all experience shows that these will be "gone with the wind", while the concessions (which the Arabs will anyway reject as insufficient) will remain as the new, reduced Israel opening position for negotiations, if and when they ever take place. Do you remember the 14 Israeli conditions which Arik Sharon tacked on to approval of the "Roadmap" in order to get it accepted by the Israeli Government? If so, you and I are the only ones who do, while the roadmap (without the conditions) binds us.

Or do you remember Resolution 1701, "Tzippy Livni's triumph", which was going to stop the smuggling of Iranian Arms to Hezbollah? UNIFIL never saw even one of the 60,000 smuggled missiles, but they protest every Israeli overflight to gather intelligence as a violation of Lebanese sovereignty.
So at least don't fool yourself that anything good will come out of announcing new Israeli concessions before Israel's greatest supporters, and thus forcing them to regard supporting Israeli concessions as the only way to support Israel.

It appears so far that you intend to keep the contents of your speech secret from your own septet, security cabinet and government; consulting only with your paid professional assistants. But ours is not a presidential system and you are not President Obama, who can bind the US without consulting his "pkidim", the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, etc.

Apparently the only minister you consult (and who does not consult you in return) is Ehud Barak, who has gone completely off the tracks. His call for an additional $20 Billion in US aid to Israel will alienate every supporter of Israel in Congress and give new aid and comfort to those who want to increase aid to the Arabs. What brilliance!


Yitzhak Heimowitz
Tel Aviv lawyer, former Natziv Betar in North America