nice words...makes me proud!

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    Israel's victory was retaining its moderation in midst of war

    By Amnon Rubinstein

    No, we did not win the war of terror that the
    Palestinians declared against us. They did not
    surrender and we are not celebrating our victory
    over them. On the contrary - the fears of a
    renewed outbreak of terrorism are as great as the
    chances of ending the conflict are small. But
    there is a partial respite, and Israel has always
    known how to get stronger during respites.

    No, we did not win. But Yasser
    Arafat lost. Before he launched
    the war, he was a recognized
    international leader. Today, he
    is leading the opposition to
    the agreements that he signed.
    Granted, he is worshiped on the
    Palestinian street, but the
    Arab world is full of dictators
    who impoverished their people.

    No, we did not win, but Arafat failed in his
    double plan: to break our spirit so that he
    could impose a South Lebanon-style withdrawal
    on us, and to bring about the
    internationalization of the conflict and the
    dispatch of foreign troops to our borders.

    Arafat received no help in his war from the Arab
    states. Jordan and Egypt recalled their
    ambassadors from Israel, but did not bother to
    come to his assistance. Israel's status was
    damaged in European public opinion, but the
    European Union did not propose sending troops
    here. In the United States, Arafat is
    irrelevant, and Russia is not helping him

    No, we did not win, but Israeli society - to the
    surprise of many - proved wondrously resilient.
    Israel's achievement in this war is unique. In
    a situation of indiscriminate terror against
    civilians and intolerably difficult military
    service in the territories, the state allowed
    its citizens to leave the country. Even veteran
    democracies have forbidden their citizens to
    leave their borders during war or to take their
    currency out of the state. In Israel, both
    civilians and reservists can escape from the
    danger for the price of a plane ticket. Yet
    despite this, people did not flee the country
    and call-ups of the reserves were not impaired.
    No other state has ever experienced this
    phenomenon: hell at home and the door wide
    open, but nobody uses it.

    Israeli society passed another test, no less
    important. Despite the terrorism, despite the
    help that a few Israeli Arabs gave the
    terrorists, despite the venomous provocations
    of Arab Knesset members, no ethnic riots
    erupted here, as they did in Northern Ireland
    and the former Yugoslavia. Nor did shocking
    acts occur like those in France - where,
    although there were no terror acts, Arab
    passersby were murdered a few years ago and
    their bodies were either thrown into the Seine
    or thrown from trains. Granted, there was also
    a grave incident here, in which police killed
    Israeli Arabs during the October 2000 riots,
    but this was different in essence from ethnic
    riots, and an inquiry commission was set up to
    investigate it.

    Moreover, although violence and terror usually
    lead to a right-wing radicalization, in Israel
    the opposite took place. In Belgium, Austria,
    France and Holland, right-wing parties became
    stronger because of their objection to Muslim
    immigrants, although these states did not
    suffer from terrorism. In Israel, however, in
    the midst of acts of murder and anti-Semitic
    Arab incitement, the Herut Party of Michael
    Kleiner and Baruch Marzel did not manage to
    cross the low electoral threshold of 1.5
    percent, while the National Union-Yisrael
    Beiteinu Party, which expected a big success,
    lost a seat. The public voted en masse for the
    Likud, but only after the prime minister
    announced his support for "painful concessions"
    and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    The Likud adjusted itself to a public opinion
    that had become more moderate.

    In what democratic state could such a process
    take place during war? This is why one could
    say that in the deepest sense of the word,
    Israel did win - because during three years of
    ongoing nightmare, it demonstrated both
    resilience and political moderation.

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