Time was when sensible folks truly believed that if you venture too far, you’d
fall off Earth’s jagged edge into the endless void below.
That was the
majority view, the widely accepted and fundamentally unquestioned conventional
By now, though, one would assume that nobody swallows that any
more, certainly not in the erudite parts of what we’ve for centuries recognized
as our globe.
Welcome to the International Flat Earth Society, now
largely California-based (where else?). You think its members are crazy? You’d
be surprised to learn that they’ve diagnosed the rest of us as profoundly insane
for not grasping reality as they know we should.
They reject as
counterfeits all compelling scientific data. These, they insist, are elaborate
deceptions cynically perpetrated on humanity – for inexplicable purposes – by
successive US administrations via their principal charlatan agency,
This isn’t a joke. The Flat-Earthers are real and they are
dead-earnest. No amount of proof will sway them – just as no amount of proof
sways our inveterate Osloites.
Had reason prevailed, the Oslo Accord’s
perpetrators would be hiding for shame in shuttered rooms. But in our
unreasonable milieu they insist on having another go at what failed miserably,
keeps exacting a scary price and imperils our very existence.
have kidded ourselves that following two full decades of torment and trauma,
there’d be no return to obsequious Osloite appeasement. But heck no, like the
Flat-Earth inanity, the land-for-peace chimera somehow survives as if nothing
had sown even a teensy seed of doubt in the Israeli public’s collective
The withdrawal fixation of our agendadeterminers hasn’t
dissipated despite their incontrovertible repeat flops since the advent of their
Oslo debacle in 1993.
Yes, unbelievably Oslo is officially 20 years old
today and, its obvious putrescence notwithstanding, it carries on and still
succeeds to drag browbeaten Israeli society behind it. It’s as if the
citizenry’s broadminded duty is to ignore the unmistakable decay and foulness
and obediently go into raptures over the fragrant blossoming of idyllic
Even the mayhem and mob madness of the Arab Spring failed to cool
Without compunction, unrepentant Osloites turn us all into
proverbial astronauts who see the truth from their satellites but are bound by
crass opportunism, political correctness and/or geopolitical expedience to
testify that all they behold from out there is a suspended terrestrial
Like the flat-Earthers, they deny what is staring us all in the
face. Our misnamed peace partners indeed take little trouble to disguise their
Already in his May 10, 1994, address to Muslims in South Africa,
Yasser Arafat proudly crowed that Oslo was a ruse, like the 7th-century Treaty
of Hudaybiyyah with the Quraish tribe. The truce it proclaimed was eventually
reneged upon. Meanwhile, however, it lulled defiant Jewish communities in the
Arabian Peninsula into complacency, until the opportunity for attack presented
itself and the insubordinate Jews were slaughtered.
declaration of intent was unwelcome among our Osloites, who preferred to pretend
that it was never uttered.
“Where are those Katyushas?” sardonically
teased Oslo’s first sucker, Yitzhak Rabin.
Ignoring Arafat, he lashed out
at his domestic critics when they then predicted that Oslo would rain terror
upon us. Today, we know how on-target these predictions were, although even the
most prescient of yesteryear’s analysts didn’t envision more than a fraction of
what Oslo unleashed.
Arafat further elucidated his objectives on January
30, 1996 (well into the Oslo fiasco), when the much-lamented “prince of peace”
addressed Arab diplomats in Stockholm. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate judged
that the “peace process” must inevitably result in Israel’s downfall.
Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem,” Arafat
“[Shimon] Peres and [Yossi] Beilin,” he emphasized, “already
promised us half of Jerusalem.”
According to Arafat, Israel’s collapse
hinged on “PLO efforts to split Israel psychologically into two camps... We plan
to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a pure Palestinian state. We’ll
make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and a massive influx of
Arafat’s reputedly moderate assistant/understudy Mahmoud Abbas
(Abu Mazen) persistently pursues the identical goals, while simultaneously
posing as the pitiable underdog and the noble altruist.
A valiant few
nonconformist Israeli politicos dared say so. Over a dozen years ago, Binyamin
Netanyahu declared, “Oslo is dead. The Palestinians quashed the deal they
He set three conditions for restarting talks: “An
absolute cease-fire, an unambiguous renunciation of the rampant incitement
inculcated into the Palestinian people by its leadership; and the testing of
these conditions over a prolonged period – not just two to three
He stressed that “no real coexistence can emerge from a situation
in which Palestinians speak war and Israelis speak peace. Only after thorough
and unambiguous overhauls of Palestinian intentions and behavior can we return
to a clean negotiating table.”
But did Netanyahu, the reelected prime
minister, unceremoniously dispose of Oslo and bury it for good, as per his own
advice? Incomprehensibly, Oslo’s sinister specter still flourishes under
After two intifadas, thousands of Israeli dead and
wounded, the attendant betrayal and folly of disengagement, the Hamas takeover
of Gaza (which resulted from the disengagement) and an ever-burgeoning series of
egregious Israeli concessions (all of which the Palestinians disdainfully
rebuffed), it can be confidently concluded that our geopolitical situation was
never this bad.
We mechanically move, as if mesmerized, from debilitating
delusion to devastating weakness.
That said, with minimal effort we can
recall how much better things were in the summer of 1993, before Oslo was
underhandedly unleashed on unsuspecting Israel and allowed to grow exponentially
from atrocity to atrocity.
Twenty years ago, the first intifada had been
quelled. The PLO was down and out, crumbling and deprecated even in the Arab
realm. Arafat and 50,000 of his henchmen hadn’t yet been imported here to set up
their corrupt latifundia. The Palestinian state was make-believe. “Family
reunions” hadn’t yet added 150,000 Arabs to Israel’s population.
deterrent was viable. Israel controlled all terror breeding grounds from south
Lebanon to Gaza, and all of Judea and Samaria. Suicide-bombings and unilateral
Israeli retreats weren’t in vogue.
No rational overseas democracy
considered a full Israeli withdrawal to the untenable 1949 armistice lines a
feasible probability. No foreign government seriously assumed that halting all
settlement construction was even a theoretically acceptable proposition for
Israel. None presented settlements as the conflict’s underlying root of all
Israel’s right to exist wasn’t challenged in respectable society.
Israeli academics weren’t ostracized as they are nowadays. Campuses worldwide
weren’t off-limits to pro-Israel opinions. Israel wasn’t lustily demonized in
what appear to be pluralist liberal environments.
The Jewish state wasn’t
the universally reviled pariah. To be sure, it was never the international
community’s darling, but nothing approached Israel’s current isolation and
Nonetheless, delusional folly followed hot on the heels
of the previous delusional folly.
On the eve of disengagement, for
example, prime minister Ehud Olmert energetically peddled Oslo’s derivative pipe
dream: “Disengagement will bring better defense, greater security, significantly
more prosperity and much joy to all who live in the Mideast...
we will move forward in the direction of forging new relationships, improved
mutual understanding and enhanced trust.
“We will sit with our neighbors,
talk to them, help them, cooperate with them, become their partners, so that the
Middle East will indeed transform into what it was supposed to be to begin with
– the Garden of Eden upon this earth.”
Olmert’s sidekick, Tzipi Livni,
still promotes the same blatantly deceptive vision, even if this time she does
so at Netanyahu’s apparent behest.
Late IFES president Charles Johnson
made it his mission to persuade us that “science is no more than a delusional,
fraudulent religion,” which he intended to “replace with sanity.” He recruited
converts and contributors from the world over, including from such bastions of
modernity and enlightenment as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
No less disdainful
of empirical fact, Livni spearheads Israel’s establishment elite – cliquey
opinion-makers, self-serving trendsetters and bon-ton groupies. Their premise –
that Jews must always pay – is as valid as the obstinate assertion that we
inhabit an oversized rocky pancake.
But that premise is the root symptom
of the Jewish nation’s abnormality and inability to behave like other sovereign
Nowhere is there another country whose citizens ponder daily
what more to offer their foes, what they can cede to curry a little favor
The need to pay for our right to live is uniquely Jewish. We
alone bear an onus to justify what’s self-evident and inalienable to any other
people. Our obsession to perceive things from our enemies’ point of view is
The origins of Jewish guilt for burdening assailants and
the compulsion to make amends are traceable to the penchant of every local
medieval tyrant to oblige Jewish communities to pay exorbitantly for the
privilege of not being slaughtered. Jews began to treat such levies as the way
of the world.
That’s possibly why Israelis can’t conceive of their
territory as inviolable as that of other nations – ones whose ancestral tribal
thugs or robber barons managed to wrest given land holdings. Nobody doubts
ordinary nations’ legitimacy or their continued tenure in their various grabbed
The Jewish state’s postulate, however, is that its existence
is impermanent and its possessions are currency with which to haggle for
reprieve. No other nation pays for its right to exist, buys time or seeks
No nation would countenance such ignominy.
while we still smart from Oslo’s repercussions, our land-for-peace fanatics
mulishly return to their discredited old habits. As with Flat-Earthers, hard
evidence and reality checks don’t count.
Samuel Shenton, the original
reviver of the Flat Earth cause (he was succeeded posthumously by others), was
unfazed even by photographic evidence from outer space. He judged that “it’s
easy to see how pictures like these could fool the untrained eye.” For him, the
Earth remained a motionless disk and what appeared like a curvature was “no more
than atmospheric refraction.” The moonlandings were... a Hollywood hoax scripted
by Arthur C. Clarke.
Of course, the difference between him and Livni is
that Shenton was a harmless loon, who endangered
Debunking the Bull, Sarah Honig’s book, was
published recently by Gefen.