Israel Shouldn’t Forget Yitzhak Rabin’s West Bank Map

Jan. 13 2022

Pursuant to the Oslo Accords, the territory liberated from Jordan during the Six-Day War is divided into three zones, apart from Jerusalem: Area A, administered directly by the Palestinian Authority (PA); Area B, jointly administered by Israel and the PA; and Area C, to remain under Israeli control pending further negotiations. Together, Areas A and B are home the vast majority of the West Bank’s Palestinians, while Area C contains its entire Jewish population. Gershon Hacohen explains the different attitudes Israel prime ministers have taken to Area the last zone, and expresses concern over what it might do next:

The main difference between the post-peace deal maps proposed by the late Yitzḥak Rabin and those proposed by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert has to do with the role of Area C. On Rabin’s map, this territory was vital to Israel’s security outlook, whereas Barak and Olmert saw it as a “deposit” for a future agreement, to be handed over at the end of the process.

After more than 25 years, one can cast a critical eye over the vision of security for Judea and Samaria vs. the one that has taken shape for the Gaza Strip. Especially after the disengagement in 2005, Gaza came to be surrounded by a contiguous border that determined the operations of IDF forces deployed along it, with the separation being complete. . . . It has become a difficult military operation for the IDF to cross the border into Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.

This reality has led to the IDF losing its ability to operate deep in the Hamas-controlled area. In contrast, in Judea and Samaria—thanks to Rabin’s creative views, which led to the division of the territory into Areas A, B, and C—the IDF still has almost unlimited freedom to operate. Among other things, this led to the success of Operation Defensive Shield, [which ended the second intifada in] 2002 and still allows IDF forces to pursue terrorists and arrest them without sending in heavy forces.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Israeli Security, Oslo Accords, West Bank, Yitzhak Rabin

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter