Gatekeeper means, doorkeeper, caretaker, a person who has the ability to protect a gate, another person, or a country. Mistaken means, erroneous and misguided.
Maj. General (Ret.) Amihai “Ami” Ayalon, whom I heard speaking in front of audience this week, is a feisty man. He is one of the recipients of Israel’s Medal of Valor for his participation in Operation Bulmus 6, also known as the Green Island raid in the Red Sea at the southern mouth of the Suez Canal, on the night of July 19, 1969; he is also the former commander-in-chief of Israel’s Navy, the previous head of Israel’s Secret Service and a former member of the Knesset for the Labor Party. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ami_Ayalon). Ayalon also headed the “National Census” joint Initiative, in support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, with professor Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al Kuds university in East Jerusalem. But his claim to not so much fame is his recent contribution – by participating – in the disgraceful Oscar-nominated Israeli movie “The Gatekeepers.”
It is worthwhile noting Melanie Phillips’ review on the film: “Phew! Thank heavens the Israeli film The Gatekeepers failed to win an Oscar. Maybe the Almighty is a cinema-goer and also felt like throwing up when he saw it. The Palestinians believe that the Jews’ uniquely developed conscience and sense of compassion will ultimately undermine their necessary defence against aggression. In the battle between those who love life and those who love death, there is alas no contest. And on the evidence of this film, the Palestinians are right.
Mr. Ayalon’s speech topic was, ‘Israeli Perspective-40 years after the Yom Kippur War’. He claims that the Yom Kippur War – the war the shook the Israeli nation to its core – has been the discourse in the Israeli street for over a year.
But I find that Mr. Ayalon has rather a removed from reality opinion on this subject, and the reality in Israel in general, which is rooted in his Left leaning ideology. Ayalon claims that in 1972-73 Israel had an opportunity to sign a peace agreement with Egypt, conditioned to Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai; then prime minister Golda Meir turned the opportunity down. Reasons:
The timing was off The partner, new elect president Sadat was weak Concessions were too high, and Domestic political pressure too strong.
With different approach, could Yom Kippur War been avoided? Ayalon mulls. Israel has become an expert in identifying risk and because of that could it be that she became blinded to the political opportunity?, he questions. Israel must not miss, rather seize, present opportunities he asserts.
The Middle East is tectonic, experiencing clashes within Islam, between pragmatism and radicalism. Israel is right in the heart of it all. Political Islam is getting stronger in the Middle East while economic crisis everywhere is deepening and the governments simply cannot supply the people with basic needs.
Additionally, the USA influence in the Middle East is declining and the region’s governments are getting weaker while the people in the street are getting stronger. In all likelihood the people will be those who will shape the future of the Middle East, Ayalon claims. People in the region no longer believe their governments and the people posing as leaders.
Traditional governance is not working and the leaders do not have the power to execute. Therefore, Ayalon suggest that wholesale diplomacy and politics is moving toward retail politics, to the street, which will shape the Mideast future. And in that turmoil Israel has to deal with Iran. Iran is thriving for regional dominance and this it can achieve only by having nuclear arsenal power.
Israel will have to find a formula for a regional alliance that will stop Iran from going nuclear and stopping nuclear proliferation and terror. Ayalon suggests that Turkey – the country that unilaterally has made 180° turn on its close ties and relations with Israel – should be the corner stone of such regional alliance that will include the USA and EU. Why? Because Turkey is not seeking to become a nuclear power and it is the closest to a democracy, with a twang, as a Moslem country could be.
Ayalon believes that Israel must make progress in the “peace” process with the Pal-Arabs because without this progress this “pragmatic” coalition will not happen. Therefore, the road to Ramallah is a critical issue. We have to have two states between the River to the Sea, Ayalon claims, and the time ticking bomb for that is Spring 2014. To achieve the two states – Jewish and Arab – Ayalon does not believe Israel needs to maintain control over the Jordan Valley. He is willing to give up Israel’s rights to vast portion of her land for a dicey agreement and Arabian conniving promises.
The other ticking bombs Israel is facing is Iran. If and when Israel is to attack Iran, what will happen the day later? Such calculation is imperative. What will be the level of violence that Israel will face and she can contain. And there will be violence and people will lose their life. In summation, Ayalon sees Israel sailing in a very stormy region and navigating her right is crucial. The captain of today, the government, is not listening to the people, the sailors. He believes that the people will determine the course of the state of Israel ship. I totally agree with this point Mr. Ayalon believes in diversity and not so much in a Jewish state identity. I do not agree with this point. Diversity is secondary to being first and foremost a Jewish state. People who choose to live in Israel need to succumb to the fundamental idea that they are putting roots in a the Jewish people’s homeland, which differs from any other country in the world.
In general, Ayalon’s kind of mindset is helping the Arabs’ intransigence to achieve their goal. To eliminate Israel and replace it with an Arab Palestine. Because the Arabs are not ready for prime time peace and for accepting the Jewish state as a permanent and influential resident in the Middle East region. I oppose certain key points about which Mr. Ayalon spoke about. To me he is a peacenik for a peace with the Arabs at any price. His outlook of what Israel should or should not do, vis-a-vis the Arab population in her midst and the “peace process,” could pause danger to Israel’s future. And after the fact there is nothing you can do but lament.
If you do not believe that the land – between the river to the sea – legally belongs to the nation of Israel, as it appears in Ami Ayalon’s case, then Tel Aviv and Haifa do not belong to Israel either. If you give up on what belongs to you and you hold to now, the Arabs’ claim to more of Israel’s land will continue until Israel is no more. Surprisingly, Mr. Ayalon ignores all the conventional wisdom, based or reality, not peace fantasy. That it is imperative for the government of Israel to be guided by the LEGAL RIGHTS to the land and then the security doctrine of ‘defensible borders’. Such defensible borders depend on Israel’s presence in the Jordan Valley that legally belongs to Israel, and from which he is willing to part. His type of rhetoric is strengthens the Arabs extortion of greater concessions from Israel and thus endangers Israel’s further.
The world from here: Why Jordan relies on Israel to secure the Jordan Valley
The Ayalon type and his talk kind puts fuel into the fire. If Israelis speak this way how can any Israeli expect the world to top them and talk in more support of Israel and her defends needs? Through the Ayalon words’ type the world disrespects Israel even more. What nation is so uncertain of her legal rights to her own land and is willing to negotiate these rights in return for vacuum? Negotiate for nothing that will hold but water.
If Israelis like Mr. Ayalon do not respect their country’s rights and needs why will anyone respect Israel and her many plights? It appears that Israel has sown very bad seeds in the last 65 years and Ayalon is a testimony to it. The minute Israelis adopt Left-leaning agenda their Jewish values rot and everything that Israel stands for rots with it. They don’t understand WHY they are there on that sliver of Mediterranean land and what is their purpose. It is a pity that Israel produces such individuals that serve in such important positions that give them the opportunity to sway the minds of others in the wrong direction. Really, there is something wrong with the education system in Israel that produces Ami Ayalon’s type mindset. So tell me, are we, Jews, the worst enemy of ourselves or what?
One of the victims of the recent anti-Semitic attack in Sydney, Australia, said that the attack is why Jews need – a strong – Israel (http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=12907). Because the land of Israel belongs to the Jews; because to the entire Jewish nation Israel serves as a HOME to where Jews who feel unsafe elsewhere can go live; because if Jews do not have a homeland the nation of Israel has no future. So please, with all due respect Ami Ayalon, maybe your way of thinking is wrong? Surely the movie the Gate Keepers is a fine testimony of it! There is a saying among the members of the Jewish people: If we do not depend on each other we will hang next to each other.