by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) – May 2001
Since the very beginning of what has become known as the ‘Peace Process’, we’ve been inundated by politicians and the media by a term called ‘Peace Dividends’. Any positive economic news for the State of Israel has been coined as a dividend of the peace process. A multinational corporation makes an investment in Israel and the peace banner waves on and on. A home grown start up technology company gets listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange and the proponents of ‘compromise’ beam with self assured confidence celebrating that the pundits are wrong once again. Along the way some Jews are murdered. They are brushed off as mere sacrifices for the greater good, the ‘Peace’. By September 2000 Arabs in the Land of Israel have murdered almost 450 Jews. Many times more are injured and maimed seriously and/or permanently. Then the ‘Aksa Intifada’ erupts and this latest excuse for an ‘uprising’ has claimed the lives of close to another 100 Jews and almost no one is talking about dividends any longer.
The economic benefits and so–called world recognition that we enjoy from the ‘Peace’ is what the architects of the process and their supporters, and mostly followers, have defined to be their definition of ‘Peace Dividends’. I have 2 problems with the way they have coined the term. The 1st problem is who says that what they have been calling ‘Peace Dividends’ are necessarily dividends? The 2nd problem that I have is what really is peace?
There are more than enough arguments to support the theory that Israel’s economy was growing rather well before and up to the original signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993. The world was heading high tech and Israel had one of the world’s highest percentages of engineers within her population. With or without a new peace agreement Israel’s high tech industry was growing. I therefore question the veracity of their claim that it was the Oslo Agreement alone that paved the way for Israel’s economic growth. As for world recognition, all one has to do is open any newspaper or television and see how Israel’s standing amongst the nations has crumbled even further.
The Jewish definition of peace is the Jewish Nation finally living in peace. I can’t and won’t define Jews getting stabbed, shot, and bombed as peace. When Jews have to be escorted from the Kotel on Fridays because it’s too dangerous to pray there, I don’t call that peace. When Arab schools in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and all the rest of the State of Israel don’t need security guards to protect Arab children from terror, but every Jewish Israeli school wherever there are Jews in the Land of Israel, all have security guards to protect them against Arab terror, I don’t call that peace. When Jewish motorists and bus passengers can’t ride past an Arab community in the land of Israel without fear from violence, I don’t call that peace. When Jews have to have their bags checked at shopping malls, theaters, etc, while Arabs have no such problems in their marketplaces in the Land of Israel, I don’t call that peace. When the despots with whom Israel has signed agreements continue to join in mass denunciation of Israel while their state–controlled media continue to spout vile anti–Jewish and anti–Israel rhetoric, I wouldn’t call that peace. There are more examples of what I wouldn’t call peace which have been taking place in our beloved country, many since the capitulation of one Israeli government after another in the name of ‘Peace’. What are examples of peace?
When the early settlers and holocaust survivors fought against the British and retaliated harshly and consistently against Arab marauders to finally force out the British along with many of their Arab terrorist partners and in doing so created the State of Israel, I call that the beginning of peace. Following the ’67 war when faced with annihilation Israel destroyed Egypt’s, Syria’s, and Jordan’s armies, while at the same time captured large chunks of land that finally placed her citizenship in a defensible position and awakened Jewish pride around the world, I call that a big step toward peace.
SECURITY AND SAFETY ARE THE REAL DIVIDENDS OF PEACE
It is the responsibility of the State of Israel to show the world that we won’t be forced or negotiated back to the days of exile when Gentiles could beat, rape, steal from, and murder Jews with impunity. To do this takes faith and a deep belief that our cause for a secure homeland in Eretz Yisrael is the right and destined one. Corporations don’t invest in countries because of their peace policies. They invest because of the security of their investments. They may endorse a peace agreement but only because they believe that it will bring stability to the region and will subsequently be good for their current and/or future investments. Now that the truth is so completely exposed, that Camp David, Oslo 1 and 2, Wye, etc, were just tools to break Israel down, very few people including Israelis themselves want to invest money here. Tourism is completely flat, foreign investment is shrinking, etc. Tourists want to have a safe and enjoyable time. Companies don’t want to deal with instability. I agree with them.
There is a time for war and a time for peace. It is never the time for peace when gentiles kill Jews with impunity, especially on our G–d given soil. If we haven’t learned this lesson yet, we will because they obviously won’t stop until we finally do. That is when we will crush those who seek to destroy us. And, after some harassment from the world community and perhaps a bad recession from the economic sanctions that may follow, the world will be dealing with a leaner but ideologically stronger Israel. The new Israel will then be ready to receive the real dividends of peace.