Gerald A. Honigman
Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida
educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle
Eastern Affairs, created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda
programs for college youth, lectured on numerous campuses and
other platforms, and has publicly debated many Arab spokesmen.
His articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of
newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites all around
Phillips: You Can't Have It Both Ways July 28, 2009
Friday July 24th's FrontPage Magazine Symposium featured a debate
between two respected defenders of Israel, Melanie Phillips and Alan
Back in the '70s, I recall a major event at Ohio State University at
which Harvard's Professor Dershowitz was invited to debate a fellow
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) colleague at OSU's law school, Professor
Quigley was/is a well-known anti-Israel (as in its very existence)
spokesman who made the rounds spouting such wisdom as "if Jews can have
a state, why not Catholics?" I know...I followed him several times to
nail his derriere in public.
Now let's understand something...
The NLG is universally described as a "Progressive/Leftist"
organization. Today, that translates into blatantly anti-Israel as well.
So, members like Dershowitz have a very hard time dealing with such
membership. "Liberal" today isn't what our grandparents' "Liberal" was.
But, it's still hard for some to digest that, for too many, today's
"Liberal" is too often also an extreme Leftist, minimally
anti-Zionist, and often a closet or open anti-Semite as well.
Before going any further, I don't need anyone explaining to me the need
to care for others. I get that from my own Judaic roots (the Torah,
Hebrew Prophets, and so forth) and my own sense of justice G_d
thankfully instilled in me. So, I don't require lectures from the likes
of NLG folks.
Now, Dershowitz did not debate Quigly. I seem to recall that the latter
refused to engage him. So, someone else was called in for the debate
instead. The audience was huge, and the substitute was mediocre.
Okay--enough of a background...
Dershowitz makes some good points as does Phillips in their writings and
in their debate; however, there is no doubt that the esteemed Lady has a
greater grasp of the realities which Israel faces.
Yet both--Dershowitz far more than Phillips--seem to miss perhaps the
key point related to their debate over settlements' issue and President
Obama's opposition to them.
Paying mere lip service to UNSC Resolution 242 without acknowledging the
link between the settlements issue and it is useless. And that's exactly
what Dershowitz routinely does.
I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that the good professor may have to
travel farther to go from his nice, safe home to work than the state of
Israel is in width according to the '49 armistice lines imposed upon it
in 1949. Most of those lines were merely the points at which the
hostilities stopped after about a half dozen Arab armies attacked the
nascent Israeli state in 1948. As would become the pattern, the U.N. did
nothing to stop the initial Arab aggression, but stepped in only after
the Jews had turned the tide to minimize Arab losses.
As has been repeated often, after the Arabs' renewed attempt at Israel's
destruction backfired badly in June 1967, the much-debated final draft
of UNSC Resolution 242 was worded in such a deliberate, precise way as
to permit Israel to finally gain secure, defensible, and real borders
instead of what has been called the "Auschwitz"/armistice lines which
made it nine to sixteen miles wide at its strategic waist, where most of
its population and industry are located, that it had prior to then. The
latter were just a constant invitation to Arabs to cut the country in
half in some future combined assault.
The quotes below have also been presented frequently to make the point.
Nevertheless, they have to be resurrected time and again to answer those
who demand that the sole, minisculestate of the Jews
ignore its own minimal, vital security interests for the sake of
creating a twenty-second state for Arabs (and second one in the
original 1920 borders of the Palestine Mandate-- Jordan having been
created from almost 80% of the total land in 1922).
A reading of Lord Caradon,
Eugene Rostow, Arthur Goldberg, and other architects of 242 clearly
shows that after the June '67 war Israel was not expected to return to
the deadly and absurd status quo ante.
Britain's Lord Caradon... "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its
positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and
artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of
each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They
were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis
return to them."
President Lyndon Johnson
summarized the situation this way on June 19, 1967:
"A return to the situation
on June 4 (the day before outbreak of war) was not a prescription for
peace but for renewed hostilities." He then
called for "new recognized boundaries that would provide security
against terror, destruction, and war."
Johnson was then backed up
by General Earle Wheeler of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and many others as
well. Here's a brief excerpt from Wheeler's Pentagon document prepared
for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on June 29, 1967:
"...Israel would require
retention of some captured Arab territory to provide militarily
Keep in mind that on the
West Bank, Israel took these lands in a defensive war from an illegal
occupant--Transjordan--which subsequently renamed itself Jordan
as a result of its 1949 illegal acquisition of non-apportioned
lands of the original 1920 Mandate west of the Jordan River that Jews as
well as Arabs were legally entitled to live on. Indeed, Jews have
thousands of years of history connecting them to these lands and owned
property and lived there up until their massacres by Arabs in the 1920s
and 1930s. Additionally, many, if not most, of the Arabs themselves were
also relative newcomers, pouring in--as the Records of the Permanent
Mandates Commission and other documentation show--from Syria, Egypt, and
elsewhere in the region.
Once again utilizing
Ambassador Dore Gold's useful summary, here's what President Ronald
Reagan had to say about all of this on September 1, 1982:
"In the pre-1967 borders,
Israel was barely 10-miles wide...the bulk of Israel's population within
artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live
that way again."
In 1988, Secretary of
State George Shultz declared, "Israel will never negotiate from or
return to the 1967 borders."
And even in the 1990s,
during the Clinton years (and despite the later pressure brought to bear
on Prime Minister Ehud Barak to sweetin' the pot by offering
Arafat far more than 242 called for at Camp David and Taba in 2000),
official policy, as expressed by Secretary of State Warren Christopher
in 1997, was still that, "Israel is entitled to secure and defensible
borders," a la 242.
The point, of course, is
that to take a brush under the rug approach to this crucial issue
as Dershowtiz and other "Progressive" supporters of Israel do (other
nations have acquired territories far away from home in the name of
their own national security interests, let alone Israel, which has
historic claims itself to the lands in question and which has been
repeatedly attacked from those lands) is to not understand the
fundamental importance of the settlements issue now on center stage.
Regardless of the
religious argument for Judea and Samaria (i.e., the West Bank), if that
didn't exist, the vision of an Israel finally seeing the travesty of the
'49 armistice lines rectified demands the creation of those very
settlements which are at issue now.
Most, if not all, of the
settlements are built on the very high ground areas envisioned and
permitted by 242 to create the buffer to give Israel those relatively
secure, defensible borders to help protect the heartland of the Jewish
Will Arabs "recognize"
this--as is also stated in 242?
Of course not...They don't
recognize a Jewish State that is nine-miles wide, let alone anything
But Israel can't wait for
Arab recognition from either an Arafatian Abbas or Hamas that will never
come before it acts. It must draw its final lines which represent a
reasonable territorial compromise a la 242 and progress and set policy
from there--regardless of the flack that it will surely catch from the
assorted worldwide hypocrites and practitioners of the double standard.