The Price Israel Is Paying

I have no doubt that most Israelis wholeheartedly support their government’s policy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, and see the continuation of the status quo in the territories, as established in the Six Day War, as a very impressive achievement.

This is the fifth year since Israel’s victory and the territorial situation established by the war remains unaltered. We are still at all the cease-fire lines, the war on the borders has subsided, and there is peace within Israel’s enlarged boundaries. The economic growth which started after the war is still in full swing; there is full employment, and the technological development of the country in continuing. The growth rate has been quickened in population as well as in the economy and in the country’s political as well as its military power. The attraction Israel holds for the Jews of the diaspora has steadily increased.

All seems well. We are witnessing a growing integration of the Arab population of the territories into Israel’s economy, and the impression, not unfounded, is that the tension between the Palestinian and the Jewish population is weakening, at least in everyday life. During this period it was also proven that the fears of renewed war, or of renewed shooting at the borders, were unfounded, at least for the immediate future. All signs, including the recent withdrawal of Russian military advisers from Egypt, indicate that the Arab camp is crumbling and that its ability to resist by force Israel’s presence in the occupied territories is steadily weakening. Moreover all attempts to impose on Israel solutions or policies against her will, whether by the superpowers or by international bodies, have failed.

In 1971 we saw an outstanding example of Israel’s strength and capacity to follow a course according to her will and to formulate her policies according to her basic positions. Sadat, like his predecessor, Nasser, by threat of war tried to compel Israel to change her policies concerning the territories but failed. His long-prepared plan to create, with the opening of last year’s UN session, maximum pressure on Israel by threats of war did not achieve any results, and the threat itself has proven unfounded, although Sadat staked his political prestige on the success of this move.

Moreover, United States policy in the Middle East and toward Israel strengthens the impression that Israel’s position in the world is solid. The US has apparently accepted Israel’s view and has retreated from its former position, as formulated by Mr. Rogers, regarding the arms supply, and has abandoned its own proposal for a solution of the Arab-Israel dispute.

The order of things seems to be reversed. The client has succeeded in taking the superpower in tow and has proved her independence of the boss. All this strengthens the impression that Israel’s policy toward the occupied territories has been brave, prudent, realistic, and highly successful. In this respect the Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union takes on special significance. The miracle of the ever-increasing Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union…

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