Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

For the past 4 years, and some might say for the past 48 years, Israel has been held hostage by those professing the Mr. Nice Guy Doctrine.

This is the doctrine that holds that Israel can persuade the Arabs to make peace and can persuade the Israel bashers of the world of Israel's good intentions by making gesture after gesture, concession after concession, by withdrawing to the 1949 borders and giving the PLO its own state, by being patient and understanding and never ever striking back.

One implication of the doctrine is that professing goodwill and making concessions and turning the other cheek should lead to payoffs in public relations with the world. Israel would convince the Israel bashers through concession after concession that she was not so cussedly evil after all. She would demonstrate good will far beyond the reasonable, bend over far beyond the natural to appear nice to the Arabs, and then rake in all the PR chips and the sympathy of a newly supportive world.

Well, what better chance to test the Mr. Nice Guy Doctrine than by examining the reactions of the world to the minor retaliations in Lebanon? Are Arabs reacting with appreciation of Israeli restraint? Of the precision bombing, where choppers hit only certain floors in the terror headquarters in Beirut to avoid annoying the neighbors. (Peres is so proud of this; I bet the "neighbors" in Beirut all think Israel is pusillanimous for not flattening the entire neighborhood.) Are they willing to legitimize Israeli use of force for retaliation? How about the Clinton Administration?

Will the Eurocrats suddenly abandon their Dutch (Ch)Elm Disease and suddenly demonstrate vertebrate and bless Israeli actions? The Pope? How about US black leaders? And our dear peace partners from the PLO, who are getting a state over our dead bodies and out of Labor generosity. Are they at least willing to grant legitimacy to Israeli reprisals against the Hizbollah? The same Hizbollah that left behind nearly 300 dead US Marines, you recall?

Is the whole world now exhibiting understanding and support for an Israel that compromises its very existence and sovereignty in order to be nice? Wake up, smell the coffee, and turn on CNN to see, grasshopper.

Dr. Steven E. Plaut
Graduate School of Business
University of Haifa, Haifa Israel

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