Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies

THE MACCABEAN ONLINE

POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS

"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest."

VOLUME 9 B"H APRIL 2001 NUMBER 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS

APRIL 2001

IS PEACE POSSIBLE?....Bernard J. Shapiro 2

THE OSLO IDIOTS
PLO TERRORISM AND GRAND STRATEGY....Prof. Paul Eidelberg 6
LAND FOR WHAT?....Daniel Pipes 8
FANTASIA 2001: A LAST REFUGE....Michael Freund 10
LIFT THE 'SIEGE'?....Daniel Pipes 11

LESSONS FOR THE ISRAEL'S FUTURE
THE ONLY ROAD TO PEACE....Boris Shusteff 13

BUSH AND SHARON
TALKS WITH A FRIEND: SHARON'S AGENDA....Sidney Zion 16

STRATEGIC LESSONS FOR ISRAEL
REMEMBERING SUN-TZU ISRAEL AND THE ART OF WAR....Louis Rene Beres 17

ARAB PROPAGANDA AND ISRAELI EDUCATION
RAISE THAT FLAG, LIMOR!....Michael Freund 19
THE MEDIA AS THE GORGON MEDUSA....Emanuel A. Winston 20

HISTORY
JEWISH CONNECTION TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT ....Reuven Hammer 23
DEFINING THE ISSUES: THE FRUIT OF VICTORY....David Basch 25
The Role of Culture in the Middle East Conflict: WHAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OVERLOOKS....Dr. Steven E. Rothke 28
CRASH COURSE ON THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT 31
HITLER AND THE ARABS....Jan Willem van der Hoeven 34
BIBLICAL ZIONISM IS THE ONLY PATH TO PEACE....Gary M. Cooperberg 37

 

THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro,

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IS PEACE POSSIBLE?

By Bernard J. Shapiro

Great issues of war and peace as related to Israel are being debated by Jews across America. Israelis are debating the same issues among themselves. There are strong opinions on both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the major issues. What seems to be lacking in all these discussions is the proper historical context. Professor Paul Eidelberg of Bar-Ilan University, reviews the historical facts.

Between 1945 and 1978 the longest time without a war going on someplace was a mere 26 days. On an average day there are 12 wars being fought somewhere on earth. The consensus of scholars has been that the norm of international relations is not peace but war. As Eidelberg reports, "Indeed, the occurrence of 1,000 wars during the last 2,500 years indicates that "peace" is little more than a preparation for war. Which means that peace treaties are WORTHLESS, to say the least."

Eidelberg then quotes from a book by Lawrence Beilenson, entitled THE TREATY TRAP, saying, "After studying every peace treaty going back to early Roman times, Beilenson concludes that treaties are made to be broken. In fact, he shows that treaties for guaranteeing the territorial integrity of a nation are useless to the guaranteed nation, and worse than useless insofar as they engender a false sense of security. Such treaties can only benefit nations governed by rulers intending to violate them whenever expedient."

Midge Dector says this about "peace":

What I want to say is something that virtually the whole history of the 20th century teaches us and yet something we refuse to learn. And that is , when applied to the affairs of nations, peace is an evil word. Yes I said evil. And the idea of peace as we know it is an evil idea. From the peace of Versailles to "peace in our time" at Munich...each declaration of peace or expressions of longing for peace ended in slaughter. Not necessarily immediately and not necessarily directly, but slaughter all the same...

For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostiles cannot do so.

To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long a go, is not the expression of hope, not even superstition but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth.

On September 3, 1993, I wrote the following:

"The rush of events in the Middle East has been dizzying. The media hype, the talking heads, the worldwide expectations of peace in the Middle East are all quite staggering. Radio, TV, newspapers herald the coming of a new era of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The positive images are so abundant that any moment one might expect to see Isaiah on Nightline showing Ted Koppel video clips of lions lying down with lambs. ......Despite the media hype surrounding Oslo, let me make something very clear: A leopard does not change its spots. And you can say a berachaha (Hebrew blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand --before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime."

On May 18, 1994, I wrote:

On May 17, 1994, in Johannesburg, Yassir Arafat called for a "jihad (holy war) until Jerusalem is restored to Moslem rule." He said this after undertaking many peaceful commitments since September, and after signing the Declaration of Principles in Washington and the Autonomy Agreement in Cairo. He also chose to draw a parallel between the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, which he signed with Israel, and the Hudaibiya Pact signed in 628 by the Prophet Muhammad with the leaders of the Quraysh tribe. Muhammad violated the agreement two years later and it has become a symbol for the Islamic principle that agreements and treaties with non-Moslems may be violated at will. There is a lesson for us all in this event.

On June 22, 1995, 'MA'ARIV' finally saw the truth:

"There is a growing impression that we are caught up in a mania (Oslo) to withdraw from all of the key positions that have ensured our existence up until now, without receiving anything appropriate in return."

IS PEACE POSSIBLE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE ARAB WORLD???

Only when the Arab/Moslem world is to create secular states not subservient to the rule of Islam. The problem for Israel with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is the very hostile attitude that Islam has toward Jews and any non-Islamic person. Islam is all encompassing and guides behavior, law, religion and attitudes and relations with non-Moslems. Islam perceives the world as two separate parts:

1.The first is Dar el-Islam or the World of Islam.

2. All the rest is Dar el-Harb or the world of the sword or the world of war -- that is those non-Muslim nations that have yet to be conquered.

The concept of JIHAD or Holy War has been understood by most of us but there is another concept in the Koran with which few of us are familiar. But it is essential to understand this concept when relating to Moslems. That is the law of HUDAIBIYA which dates back to Muhammad and states clearly that "Muslims are permitted to lie and break agreements with non-Muslims." This applies to business, personal life and politics. Would a peace treaty be worth much if the other party is Moslem?

Islam divides the world between Believers and Infidels. Jews and Christians are relegated to the status of Dhimmis or second class citizens. The Koran clearly calls on Moslems to degrade and humiliate both groups.

HITLER AND THE ARABS

(Abridged from an article by Jan Willem van der Hoeven which appears in this issue.)

"Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and the rest of the Nazis, inadequate to a man, were both pathological and pragmatic liars. They lied so convincingly and so hugely that most statesmen from other countries could not believe that what they were hearing was a lie... One of Hitler's biggest lies was constantly to assure the world of peaceful intentions while obviously planning war by building up massively strong armed forces." [John Laffin, ‘Hitler warned us.']

Anis Mansour, editor of the Egyptian paper October and a Sadat confidant who accompanied the Egyptian leader to Jerusalem wrote: "The World is now aware of the fact that Hitler was right, and that the cremation ovens were the appropriate means of punishing [the Jews]."

Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, is still required reading in various Arab capitals and universities, and is widely distributed by others.

Samuel Katz writes in The Hollow Peace:

"The Arab attitude is pointedly and incisively expressed in modern Arabic literature, which is chock-full of unbridled hatred of Israel, of Zionism and of the Jewish people. The idea of the destruction of Israel is expressed in hundreds of books published on the subject of the ‘dispute' itself, and anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist teaching has even been incorporated in school text-books, even, improbably enough, in arithmetic books."

The only reason that the Arabs have not yet done to the Israeli Jews what Hitler did to their forefathers in Europe is that they have thus far lacked the military means and weapons of mass destruction which were at Hitler's disposal, to do so.

That the Arabs have not done so to date has not been due to any reluctance on their part, but because, this time, there has been this difference: The Jews in Europe had no army to defend them. Thank G-d, the Jews in Israel have!

This deeply entrenched hatred of the Jews and love for Hitler and the Nazis surfaced during the time of one of the first Palestinian leaders, the Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini, during the 1930's.

It is evident in what the Mufti said on Berlin radio while he was Hitler's guest in Germany. His words prove that there was total agreement between the Palestinian leader and this murderer of G-d's people:

"Kill the Jews - kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah!"

May Israel be wiser in relation to this death wish of her neighbours, than the Jews in Europe were. They belittled the writings and speeches of Hitler and the Nazis and were massacred as a result. May it not happen again!

ARAFAT AS ENEMY

Dr.Aaron Lerner reports on March 15 that the Ramallah terror cell responsible for 8 murders and was prevented from blowing up a car bomb inside Jerusalem. The closure imposed on Ramallah that was the brunt of media criticism prevented them from achieving their objective. The group was coordinated by none other than Mahmoud Damra, the head of Force 17 in Ramallah.

Force 17 is not a Hamas force. It is not a group far beyond Arafat's sphere of influence. Force 17 is Arafat's own elite CIA trained presidential guard. The terrorist cell is also believed to be tied to Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

So much for the spin that Barghouti and other so-called "loose cannons" are responsible for terrorism. These terrorists aren't "loose cannons" - they are part of a terrorist force being coordinated by Arafat's most tightly controlled group.

This is where the left went wrong. They believed that you could make peace with your enemies by being nice, making concessions, and in every way appeasing their demands. Yet they immediately forgot that these people were just that: the enemy.

Dr. Lerner says the following" : You can sit for hours and days in "dialog" with an enemy. You can share tons of humus and pitas and talk about your families etc. But that still does not mean that the person you are sitting with is any less an enemy.

In a way, it is the greatest insult one can give to the Palestinians to think that just because a Jew is willing to shake their hands and share a meal that this will change their goals. Their program to destroy Israel with a state of Palestine from the river to the sea.

The Israeli leftists were convinced that the post-dialogue terrorist leaders did not warrant the respect due an enemy devoted to our destruction. As a result, these Israeli leaders made no serious effort to address the security disaster that Oslo was creating.

Arafat is in fact the enemy and not a victim of loose cannons and therefore a new security policy must be introduced. The Palestinians are an enemy armed with anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, armored cars, mortar launchers, etc. It takes action to significantly neutralize that enemy force. To destroy their weapons store, their bunkers, their strategic positions.

Israel's leaders must talk today of destroying the terrorist infrastructure they must recognize that the most dangerous and powerful and significant "terrorist infrastructure" inside the Palestinian Autonomy is Yasser Arafat's own web of armed forces.

A HARSH REALITY

We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution, expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls.

It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly cautious not to fall for a psuedo-peace that is really the wolf of war wrapped in sheep's clothing. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. Why do some Jews believe that Peres and Rabin really negotiated PEACE with Arafat, one of today's Hitlers?

Israelis my age have fought in four wars and I understand their desire to be free of constant conflict. Unfortunately there is no magic cure. I wish I could write more optimistic words. Beyond the neighboring states that Israel is negotiating with now lies another ring of unmitigated hostility led by Islamic fundamentalists like those in Iran.

As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.

In blood and fire was Israel born and on a hot anvil was she forged. The brave young soldiers of Israel must take a quick glance back to the crematoria of Auschwitz and then go forth to face the enemy knowing that there is still no alternative (ein briera).

THE BOTTOM LINE

THE OSLO ACCORDS: A FAILURE - PEACE IMPOSSIBLE NOW

1. Giving world recognition to a terrorist organization as a representative of a legitimate national entity.

2. Terrorism - almost 600 killed thousands maimed and injured.

3. Armed Palestinian force in the heart of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

4. Incitement against Jews, Nazi like Anti-Semitism on PA TV, sermons, newspapers and in schools.

5. Arafat supports massive violence and terrorism against Jews and turns his back on promise of negotiations for peace.

6. Potential loss of strategic territory.

7. Loss of water resources.

8. Greatly divided Israel when unity was necessary to face the Arab threat.

9. And finally, the Arab/Muslim world rejects a Jewish state in their midst for deeply held cultural, religious and anti-Semitic reasons.

9. A victory for post-Zionism and a decline in Israeli patriotism.

 


 

PLO TERRORISM AND GRAND STRATEGY

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres wants to continue the policy of negotiating with Arafat despite on-going PLO-Palestinian violence. Prime Minister Sharon rejects this policy, or so he would have us believe. The present writer will argue that negotiating with Arafat is a grave error. To explain, allow me to recall an article I wrote about the PLO back in March 1985, almost four years before Arafat renounced violence in Geneva.

1. Like all terrorist organizations, the PLO uses terror to gain recruits. Terrorist leaders know as well as Hollywood move-makers that violence and bloodshed are alluring to no small number of men. They do not harbor a softheaded view of human nature.

2. To attract recruits the PLO must of course succeed, from time to time, in killing Jews, especially in Israel. Only by murdering Jews can the PLO obtain from Saudi Arabia the financial means with which to buy arms. Only by murdering Jews can Yasir Arafat's PLO obtain diplomatic support from the Moslem world... above all from Egypt, the creator of the PLO and the most steadfast champion of this organization's claim to represent the so-called "Palestinian people."

3. Unlike Western politicians, Moslem leaders think in long as well as in short terms. Jewish children in Israel eventually become Jewish soldiers. Murdering one is eliminating the other. No less a "moderate" than [the late] King Hussein of Jordan urged Moslems to "kill Jews wherever you find them, kill them with your hands, with your nails and teeth."

4. Now let us go a little deeper. Operating under the leadership of Yasir Arafat, another "moderate," the PLO [then ensconced] in Lebanon used schools, Mosques, hospitals, and other civilian structures for storing arms and other military purposes. The object was not only to inhibit Israeli retaliation against terrorist attacks, say on Israel's northern towns and resort areas. To the contrary, Arafat surely knew that such PLO attacks would compel Israel, at some point, to strike at the PLO's civilian sanctuaries with the consequence of killing Lebanese civilians, but of thereby alienating American public opinion and triggering U.S. military sanctions. Viewed in this light, terrorist attacks are instruments of grand strategy, the subject of the next consideration.

5. It was said above that the PLO must engage in terrorism in order to obtain financial and diplomatic support from Arab states. If the PLO were to go [purely] "political" – and not merely for the purpose of wresting Judea and Samaria from Israel in preparation for a mortal blow [by Arab states] – it would self-destruct; it would be of use to no one. The Islamic world uses the PLO to keep alive American fear of another Middle East war. This fear aligns the United States with Egypt and other Moslem autocracies against Israel's retention of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza [as well as] the Golan Heights. I am referring to the key strategic function of the PLO...

6. Consistent therewith, Islamic autocrats have foisted on the U.S. the fiction that the "Palestinian problem" is the "core" of the Middle East conflict. PLO terrorism serves to dramatize this fiction because nothing gains the media's attention more than violence. The short-term pragmatism of American politicians enables Moslems to pander to one of America's worst instincts: the belief in "quick-fix" solutions... for all problems. And what is the neat solution to the so-called Palestinian problem? Simply Israel's return to her pre-1967 borders. Within those borders, however, are 600,000 [now almost 1.2 million] Moslems. These Moslems are not only related by blood to the mythical Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, but they identity with... the PLO. This unpleasant but strategically significant fact is conveniently ignored by sheltered American commentators on the Middle East [to say nothing of Shimon Peres].

7. Consider, now, the impact of repeated terrorist attacks on Israeli morale [and this was written 8? years before Oslo]. Moslem leaders know very well the value Jews place on a single human life... [Hence] one aim of terrorist attacks against the people of Israel is to break down their will and perseverance, their political sobriety and national solidarity. Jewish realism may give way to Jewish wishful thinking: the ... desire for peace may move softhearted and shortsighted politicians to enter into unwise and dangerous agreements. Here PLO terrorism functions as a form of psychological warfare.

8. Terrorism is also used as an instrument of economic warfare. Planting bombs in Jerusalem cannot but diminish tourism, on which Israel's economy to no small extent depends.

9. Finally, reluctant as the free press may be so say it killing Jews is a religious obligation for Moslems so long as Israel remains a sovereign and independent state. Ponder the words of Dr. Abdul Halim Mahmoud, rector of Cairo's al-Ashar University, theologically and politically the most influential university in Islamdom: "Allah commands Moslems to fight the friends of Satan wherever they are to be found. Among the friends of Satan—indeed, among the foremost friends of Satan in the present age—are the Jews."

To begin to fathom this venomous hatred of the Jews, let us cite Professor Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz of the University of Baghdad: "The existence of Israel nullifies the unity of our civilization which embraces the whole region. Moreover, the existence of Israel is a flagrant challenge to our philosophy of life and a total barrier against the values and aims we aspire in the world."

Not the "Palestinian problem" but the "Jewish Problem" is the core of the Middle East conflict. For Islam there is but one "Final Solution" to this problem, which is why all Moslem states support the PLO Covenant calling for Israel's destruction...

It is hard for men of good will to take implacable hatred seriously, which is why Adolph Hitler was chosen Time's Man of the Year in 1939.

Thus my 1985 article. Only a postscript is necessary. Sharon will either make war with the PLO or succumb to its minister in the cabinet, Shimon Peres.

 


 

The American Spectator - March 2001

Land for What?

By Daniel Pipes

The election of Ariel Sharon allows us to look back with amazement at the last eight years. The Israeli government pursued a course without parallel in the annals of diplomacy.

The best known of its negotiations were with Yasir Arafat and the Palestinians, but these were paralleled by no less important discussions with the Syrians and Lebanese. In all tracks, the Jewish state pursued a similar approach, which might be paraphrased as follows: "We will be reasonable and will give you what you can legitimately demand; in turn, we expect you to have a change of heart, ending your campaign to destroy Israel and instead accepting the permanence of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East." In brief, the Israelis offered land for peace, as the U.S. government had long pressed them to do.

This policy prompted Israel to take a series of steps which struck some observers as bold and others as fool-hardy: to the Palestinians it offered a state, complete with Jerusalem as its capital and sovereignty over the Temple Mount. To the Syrians, it offered full control over the Golan Heights. To Lebanon, it not only offered but actually carried out a complete and unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces from the southern part of that country in May 2000.

These concessions won Israel in return precisely nothing. Reaching out a hand of friendship won not Arab acceptance but ever-increasing demands for more Israeli concessions. Palestinians and Syrians disdained successive Israeli offers, always demanding more. Lebanese took everything Israel did and made more demands.

Worse, the jaw-dropping array of Israeli concessions actually increased Arab and Muslim hostility. When the Oslo process, as that episode of diplomacy is called, began in 1993, Israel was feared and respected by its enemies, who were beginning to recognize Israel as a fact of life and reluctantly giving up their efforts to destroy it. But those efforts revived as Arabs watched Israel forsake its security and its religious sanctities, overlook the breaking of solemn promises, and make empty threats. The impression was of an Israel desperate to extricate itself from further conflict.

What Israelis saw as far-sighted magnanimity came across as weakness and demoralization. Combined with other sources of Arab confidence-especially demographic growth and resurgent faith-this led to a surge in anti-Zionist ambitions and rekindled the hopes of destroying the "Zionist entity." Steps intended to calm the Palestinians instead heightened their ambitions, their fury, and their violence. For all its good will and soul-searching, Israel now faces a higher threat of all-out war than at any time in decades. No doubt that is why Sharon was elected by so wide a margin.

Land-for-peace contained a plethora of errors, but the two most fundamental were economic. One overestimated Israeli power, the other misunderstood Arab aspirations.

First, the Oslo process assumed that Israel, by virtue of its economic boom and formidable arsenal, is so strong that it can unilaterally choose to close down its century-old conflict with the Arabs. Israel's GDP is nearly $100 billion a year and the Palestinians' is about $3 billion; Israel's per-capita income of $16,000 is slightly higher than Spain's, while the Syrian per-capita income of about $800 compares to that of the Republic of Congo. The Israel Defense Forces deploy the finest aircraft, tanks, and other materiel that money can buy; the Palestinian police force has rudimentary weapons.

This material strength, it turns out, does not permit Israel to impose its will on the Arabs. In part, it cannot do this because the Arabs initiated the conflict and have continued it; only they, not the Israelis, can end it. The key decisions of war and peace have always been made in Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad, not in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

However formidable Israel's strength is in planes and tanks, its enemies are developing military strategies that either go lower (to civil unrest and terrorism, as in the recent Palestinian violence against Israel) or higher (to weapons of mass destruction, as in the Iraqi threat).

Finally, a high income or a mighty arsenal are not as important as will and morale; software counts more than hardware. In this respect, Israelis do not impress their opponents. In the words of philosopher Yoram Hazony, Israelis are "an exhausted people, confused and without direction."

Loud announcements for all to hear that Israelis are sick of their conflict with the Arabs-how they loath reserve military duty that extends into middle age for men, the high military spending, the deaths of soldiers, and the nagging fear of terrorism-do not inspire fear. How can an "exhausted people" hope to impose its will on enemies?

Thus is Israel's hope to coerce its enemies illusory.

A second assumption behind the Oslo diplomacy was that enhanced economic opportunity would shift Arab attention from war to more constructive pursuits. The logic makes intuitive sense: satisfy reasonable claims so the Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese can look beyond anti-Zionism to improve their standard of living. If they only had a nice apartment and a late-model car, the thinking went, their ardor for destroying Israel would diminish.

There is little evidence for this expectation. As shown by the Arab readiness to accept economic hardship in the pursuit of political aims, politics usually trumps economics. The Syrian government has for decades accepted economic paralysis as the price of staying in power.

More dramatic is Palestinian refusal to give up the "right of return." To fend off Palestinian claims to territory and buildings abandoned by their ancestors in Israel over fifty years ago, the idea was sometimes bruited of buying them off, in return for giving up of a distant and seemingly impractical aspiration. No deal. A reporter in Baqaa, a Palestinian camp in Jordan, recently found no one willing to take cash in return for forgoing claims to Palestine. As one middle-aged woman put it: "We will not sell our [ancestral] land for all the money in the world. We are Palestinians and we'll remain Palestinians. We don't want compensation, we want our homeland." The owner of a pharmacy concurred, adding, "Even if Arafat agreed to compensation, we as Palestinians can't agree to it."

Israelis had devised an elegant push-pull theory of diplomacy: between Israeli strength and Arab hopes for a better future, they figured the Arabs would find themselves compelled to shut down the long anti-Zionist campaign. Both assumptions, however sensible sounding, were dead wrong.

In this, the Oslo process belonged to a tradition of failed diplomacy that relies on granting an opponent some of what he wants in the hope that this will render him less hostile. It did not work for Neville Chamberlain with Hitler; nor for Richard Nixon with Brezhnev. The Israelis offered far more than either of these and ended up with even less.

==========

Daniel Pipes is director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum.
http://www.DanielPipes.org

 


 

FANTASIA 2001: A LAST REFUGE

By Michael Freund

As the Palestinian violence against Israel enters its sixth month, one would have expected that the proponents of Oslo might finally have come to terms with its indisputable collapse. After all, when one's peace partner responds to a generous series of concessions with lethal gunfire and bus bombings, it is a fairly reliable indicator that the peace process has come to an end.

But Oslo's enthusiasts continue to dream, their slumber undisturbed by the bullets whizzing all around them. Like the sorcerer's apprentice in Goethe's 18th-century poem "Der Zauberlerling" (later popularized in Walt Disney's film Fantasia), they have unleashed forces that proved to be dangerous and uncontrollable. Unlike Disney's protagonist, however, they seem stubbornly unaware of what they have wrought.

And so, as if nothing had happened since last September, Labor's Yossi Beilin can assert in all seriousness that, "I do not buy the thesis that the clearly defined Palestinian desire - that they are not ready to reach an agreement with us - has been revealed" (Yediot Aharonot, March 2).

So, too, Ran Cohen of Meretz, who now proposes that the way out of the current violence is for Israel to withdraw from Gaza completely and uproot the thousands of Jews living there in what he terms "The Gaza Strip First" plan (Yediot Aharonot, March 5).

Prior to the signing of Oslo, such statements might have been seen as bold or even visionary, presenting a new course for solving the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after eight years of Israeli withdrawals and Palestinian terror, they can only be looked upon with pity, for they represent the delusions of men unwilling to accept reality and admit the error of their ways.

The implementation of Oslo began with "Gaza first," and we see all around us what that has led to. But Ran Cohen and friends are undeterred, insisting we compound the first mistake by repeating it. What they fail to comprehend is that you do not solve problems by running away from them, particularly when the problem in question is armed and dangerous.

Indeed, the illusions prevailing among some members of the peace camp can, at times, be chilling. Just one day after the suicide bombing in Netanya this week that killed three Israelis and injured 80, peace activist Uri Avnery wrote, "Opposite us stands a nation that is fighting for its freedom. Not gangs. Not terrorism. A nation united with Arafat as its symbol and leader" (Ma'ariv, March 5).

Equally misguided are those with the peculiar tendency to criticize Israel for trying to defend itself from attack. Thus, for example, columnist Gideon Levy (Ha'aretz, March 4) describes Israel's policy of sealing the territories to prevent terrorists from slipping through as an "atrocity" and the "mass jailing of an entire people, with its monstrously inhuman dimension."

It is tempting to dismiss such views as inconsequential, but the fact that they are held by some of Israel's leading politicians and journalists means that their power should not be underestimated. For it was similar thinking that brought Israel terribly close, just a few months ago, to surrendering half of its capital to those now firing mortar rounds at Jewish homes.

Fantasy is often the last refuge of those unable to deal with reality, particularly one that they are responsible for having created. But a country such as Israel, in a region such as the Middle East, cannot afford to daydream. Reality may not always be to one's liking, but it can not be ignored in formulating policy.

In Disney's Fantasia, it was the sorcerer's sudden appearance on the scene, and his reversal of the spell cast by his apprentice, that saved the day. One can only hope that Ariel Sharon's rise to power will likewise succeed in helping Israel to overcome the spell of Oslo, and dispel its illusions before it is too late.

The writer served as deputy director of communications and policy planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.

 


 

The Jerusalem Post - March 14. 2001

LIFT THE ‘SIEGE'?

By Daniel Pipes

Nearly six months of sustained violence against Israel has left the Palestinian Authority economically destitute. Per-capita income has fallen about one-third, from $2,000 to $1,400. The population living below the poverty line has gone up by 50 percent. Unemployment has gone up four-fold, from 11% to 45%. Recipients of United Nations aid to alleviate hardship has increased tenfold, from 8.5% to 85%.

US Ambassador Martin Indyk finds the Palestinian economy "on the brink of collapse." A UN source predicts that, if nothing is done, the PA "could collapse by the end of March." To prevent this, Israel is being pressed from all sides, in US Secretary of State Colin Powell's words, to "lift the siege."

The assumption behind this pressure, as explained by London's Independent newspaper, is that economic problems are causing the PA territories to slide into an anarchy that undercuts PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's ability to negotiate with Israel "over restoring calm." Implicitly, those calling on Israel to ease the economic pressure are saying that no matter what the PA does - break its word, incite hatred, sponsor violence - Israel's enlightened self-interest requires it to assure that Palestinians economically fare decently. This, to put it mildly, is a highly original argument.

When the UN had a problem with Rhodesia, South Africa, and Libya, it pursued exactly the opposite approach and imposed an embargo to cripple those countries economically. Similar embargoes remain in effect on Iraq and Afghanistan. The goals are multiple: weaken the military machine, punish the leadership, demoralize the regime's supporters, turn the population against its rulers. The US government uses the same tactics: generations-old embargoes remain in place on Cuba and North Korea.

Nor is this anything new, for conflict has always had an economic angle. Ancient armies cut supply routes. Medieval cities were starved into submission. Two centuries ago, during the Napoleonic wars, the British Navy established a naval blockade to cut France off from supplies. World Wars I and II witnessed extensive use of economic deprivation.

What Israel is doing - withholding tax money, denying entry to laborers, and restricting movement - fits into an ancient, sensible, and somewhat effective method of warfare. Why, then, is it expected to do otherwise?

The reason, ironically, has little to do with the UN or US and much to do with Israelis themselves. They developed the "new Middle East" notion (which others now echo) that Israel's long-term welfare and security lies, not in depriving its enemies of resources, but in helping them develop their economies. This, the American analyst Patrick Clawson writes, is "a vision of the Middle East that looks for all the world like the French plan for Europe after World War II: use economic cooperation as the starting point for cementing ties and reconciling peoples, with the goal being a common market that in turn leads to close political ties."

But Germans were incorporated into the French vision, it bears noting, not while Hitler ruled, but after the Nazi defeat. The French plan built up the former enemy only after he was crushed, acknowledged his errors, and had a totally new government. By a similar token, American aid packages will flow to Iraq only when Saddam Hussein is history.

In contrast, the "new Middle East" idea offered economic help even before the war is over. It is tantamount to sending the enemy resources while fighting is still under way - not a hugely bright idea so long as, in Efraim Inbar's words, "Arafat and his coterie are part of the problem and not of the solution" ("Chaos is not so bad," March 5). Accordingly, the strengthening of Arafat will hardly "restore calm." Rather, it will provide him with the resources for a bigger arsenal and a more long-lasting intifada.

Until the Palestinians do give up their war against Israel, they need to be shown that aggression carries a heavy price. The higher that price, experience shows, the sooner they are likely to give up their hostile ways. Thus all who hope for a resolution of the Palestinian problem should urge the Sharon government to squeeze the PA just as hard as it can. Ironically, this is in the long-term interests of everyone, including the Palestinians themselves.

(c) Jerusalem Post 2001


 

THE ONLY ROAD TO PEACE

By Boris Shusteff

"Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." (Numbers 23:9)

The Jewish State is at a crossroads. It desperately wants peace, but Arab terror and hatred are the only response to its overtures. The more Israel tries to accommodate her enemies the more contempt she gets in return. The Arabs regard the concessions made to them thus far (unprecedented from the Israeli viewpoint) as absolutely insufficient. The latest phase in the search for peace, named "Oslo," has placed Israel in the most dangerous situation since its 1948 War for Independence. However, the main threat to the Jewish State originates not from the 50,000-strong Palestinian Army, nurtured and armed by the Jews themselves, it lies in the psychological sphere.

The Jews are losing the only weapon that can eventually bring peace to the Middle East. By trying to be like other people, by yearning towards Western "normalcy," by ignoring that we are the "chosen people," we are ruining our only chance to melt the ice of Arab hatred. By suppressing the Jewish nature of the state we destroy the only valid argument that can be understood by the Arabs - our uniqueness.

The late Dr. Yaacov Herzog, one of Israel's most prominent public figures, brilliantly explained in many of his speeches what Israel must do in order to endure. The title of the book that contains his wisdom gives the answer to the secret of Israel's survival. The book is entitled: "A People That Dwells Alone." Herzog said in one of his speeches:

"The belief of political Zionism [was] that the idea of a 'people that dwells alone' is an abnormal concept, when actually the concept of 'a people that dwells alone' is the natural concept of the Jewish people. ...Not only in order to understand how it has managed to survive, but no less from the point of view of its right to exist, must one invoke this phrase" ([1] p. 52).

If one looks at Jewish history one realizes how correct Herzog is. For more than four millennia we have dwelled alone in the world. Whether living in our own state, in other countries, or surrounded by the walls

of many ghettos, whether fighting against the Roman Empire or revolting in the Warsaw Ghetto, whether massacred by the Nazis or chastised by the United Nations, we have almost always stood alone. No other people wanted to help us and share our destiny with us. No other people was destined to share it.

We are God's chosen people. We never said that we were better than other people. We know that we are different, and the rest of mankind knows this as well. "Jewish chosennes has always meant that Jews have believed themselves chosen by God to spread ethical monotheism to the world and to live as a moral 'light unto the nations' (Isaiah 49:6). All other meanings imputed to Jewish chosennes are non-Jewish" ([2] p. 43).

There is nothing in the Torah, which is where the concept of chosenness originates, that even hints at any Jewish superiority or privilege. We were not chosen because of certain merits or qualities. "Every nation is equal before God - 'Are you not as the children of Ethiopia to me, children of Israel?' states the prophet Amos" ([3] p. 43). The chosenness did not imply privileges, only obligation and suffering. All our history proves our uniqueness. There is no other people in the world that survived without a state for almost 2,000 years and preserved its religion, language and character. There is no other people in the world that, for two millennia, cherished the thought of returning to the Land and carried a boundless devotion to it in its heart.

It is not only we ourselves who understand that we are unique. The rest of mankind agrees with us. How many great philosophers, writers and political leaders were trying to find an explanation for our resilience, uniqueness and immortality? It is this uniqueness that reinforces our right to Eretz Yisrael. Herzog said in one of his speeches:

"As long as the external world agrees that the Jewish people is a unique phenomenon in human history, that its course in history is separate and distinct from all other historical processes, that it is both a stranger and a sojourner at one and the same time - belonging to the world civilization and yet distinct from it, and that this is truly the essence of the Jew, it cannot deny the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel in favor of the so-called Arab nation, which was allegedly expelled from its land." ([1] p. 51)

The historic fact is that, before the beginning of World War I, the non-Jewish population of Palestine never constituted a distinct nation. Ever since the Jews were exiled from Eretz Yisrael, the land never had a bond with any other people, in the sense of a real spiritual, geographical, political, national or tribal tie. Herzog said that the twentieth century decided that "a nation living in a particular territory is entitled to independence from any colonialist regime" ([1] p. 51). Even if we assume that the Arabs who lived in Palestine would have developed into a nation in the land of Palestine, this concept of independence could not prevail over the concept of Jewish uniqueness.

Herzog said in one of his speeches that, "we were not just some nation of homeless, persecuted refugees that has won a foothold here, some nomadic tribe spewed out by Western civilization, which, for lack of an alternative, has found a refuge in Palestine" ([1] p. 54). We had a much stronger bond with Eretz Yisrael that not only kept alive our dream of returning to the Land, but also kept us alive as a people. The major blunder of political Zionism was in not understanding that we cannot follow the "normal" route. The founders of socialist Zionism thought that we would return to Eretz Yisrael "along the ordinary twentieth century road. Scores of peoples had started to get some kind of independence after World War I and we too would win independence here [in Palestine]. The world would recognize this independence, and we would become a normal people, liberated from the burden of exile, accepted all over the globe" ([1] p. 51).

In the beginning it appeared that this plan could work. The community of nations, first through the League of Nations and then through the United Nations, confirmed and reconfirmed our bond with Eretz Yisrael, encouraging the creation of the Jewish state there. It was not the Jews who voted for the establishment of a Jewish state, but the rest of mankind. The world community, well aware of our uniqueness, of our habit to "dwell alone," did not see any "racist" tendency in this "strange" habit of ours.

While the Western world was well aware of our uniqueness, the Arabs saw the Jews as the bridgehead of the Western invasion into their domain. In his book The Arab Mind Considered, John Laffin wrote that, to the Arabs, "Israel is a bastion of imperialism, and the Israelis are representatives of the hostile Western world. Israel was planted at the heart of the Arab world for various vicious purposes" ([3] p.166). Gamal Abdel Nasser wrote about these "vicious purposes" in April, 1954:

"Our Arab countries have not ceased for centuries to be the goal of the imperialists' attacks and enmity, as if imperialism wanted to avenge an ancient wrong on the nation that brought civilization to their countries with the conquests of the Caliphate after Mohammad" ([3] p.166).

Herzog explained that the Arabs' "undying hatred towards the Jews" was not simply a struggle over refugees or borders, but that it was "A struggle against what they regarded as the intrusion of a foreign body into an area in which it did not belong; as if, by the very fact of our appearance, we had destroyed the basis of their equanimity for generations to come; as if this were a force that not only had no right to be there, but was liable, in that it had no such right to deprive them of their right to exist, in the profoundest sense of the term" ([1] p. 53).

For the Arabs we were "just some nation of homeless, persecuted refugees" and they thought that it would be easy to destroy us. When we prevailed against all odds, first in 1948, and then in 1967, something changed in the way the Arabs saw us. They began to understand that, perhaps, things are not simple as they seem at first glance. According to the Koran Allah gives victory only to those who deserve it, supports only the righteous course, and the Jews were defeating the Arabs time and again. As Herzog put it, they started to realize that we settled in Palestine "not for lack of an alternative. They are beginning to wonder whether, after all, it is not something much deeper. I believe that the prospects of peace or war depend on this Arab perplexity." ([1] p. 54)

Our victory in 1967 was our golden chance to eliminate any doubts concerning our right to Eretz Yisrael once and for all. In order to persuade the Arabs to recognize our right to the Land, it was necessary only to annex Judea, Samaria and Gaza and to declare to the world that we fulfilled our obligation to conquer the Land and to settle there. The Arabs would require no more explanation to prove this point than a quote from their own holy book.

"Bear in Mind the words of Moses to his people. He said: 'remember, my people, the favor which God has bestowed upon you. He has raised up prophets among you, made you kings, and given you that which He has given in no other nation. Enter, my people, the holy land which God has assigned for you. Do not turn back, and then lose all'" (Koran 5:20,21).

This was our golden chance then, and it is our golden chance now, too. It is useless to use the concept of independence to prove our right to Eretz Yisrael. The unquestionable argument of our uniqueness is definitely much stronger. Since it applies to the whole of Eretz Yisrael, no one can say a word demanding our retreat from a single inch of our Land. Upon the altar of twentieth century nationalism we have already sacrificed almost four-fifths of our patrimony for the sake of the Palestinian Arabs.

All our attempts to become a "normal" people will lead only to disaster and to our extinction. We are the people that dwells alone. We can survive only as a Jewish state on our God-given Land. We were chosen to be different, and we remain different. It is our uniqueness that makes our right to Eretz Yisrael unquestionable. Only if our unique need to dwell alone and our separate path is understood by the Arabs, can we be accepted as part of the Middle East. Only then peace will be possible. 03/17/01

NOTES

[1]. "A People that Dwells Alone. Speeches & Writings of Yaacov Herzog." Edited by Misha Louvish. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1975.

[2]. Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin "Why the Jews?" Simon & Schuster, New York, 1983

[3]. John Laffin. "The Arab Mind Considered." Taplinger Publishing Company, New York, 1975.

===========

Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

 


 

New York Daily News March 19, 2001

TALKS WITH A FRIEND:
SHARON'S AGENDA

By Sidney Zion

ARIEL Sharon will be warmly welcomed in the White House on Wednesday. That this is not news, that it appears to be ordinary, is really news. Because no American president since the creation of Israel would truly put his arms around a man like Arik Sharon.

Bill Clinton would smile, but his teeth would grind down. And Bush the First would have trouble keeping from his eyes the glint that spelled contempt for such a Jewish warrior as Ariel Sharon.

But the son rises differently. George W. Bush happens to like Arik Sharon. And this appears to make a difference in our policy towards Israel and the Palestinians.

"You can see it without reference to the friendship of Arik and Dubya," one of Sharon's top advisers tells me. "Both of them are ranchers, and so understand how to keep rustlers away from the cattle."

What?

"Arafat is the rustler, and Arik and Dubya are the ranchers. That's their connection, beyond politics. And they also know how to kill foot-and-mouth disease. Poor Yasser always puts his foot in his mouth, and his people die."

Translated, this is the optimism that the Israelis have on the eve of Sharon's visit to the White House. It may not work out, but I have to say it looks OK.

Bush has sent mainly good messages to Israel. First and foremost, he will not lay hands on - he won't push the Jews around, make them accept deals they can't live with.

This is a sea change from the Clinton policy, which in the event was part and parcel of the Israeli government under Ehud Barak. Did Barak ask Clinton to make him surrender to Arafat, or was it the other way around?

It doesn't matter now. Arik Sharon is a man whose entire career spells independence. He takes no orders from anyone but his own superiors, and today he has no superiors. Including George W. Bush, who he properly views as an ally - and, I hope, vice-versa.

But of course we have the upper hand. Israel needs us as its only real friend and its only armorer.

The first thing Sharon needs from us is help to construct an anti-missile defense against the Iraqis and Iranians, who may have already developed chemical warheads that could destroy Israel.

The Israelis have something going there, of course, but we have more. This is probably the top of Sharon's wish list.

Next is support from America for whatever Israel has to do to end the violence, the intifada that Arafat has refused to end.

Here, the signs from the Bush administration are positive in almost every way. We have made it clear to the United Nations that we oppose an international force to "protect the Palestinians" from Israeli "aggression."

Yeah, the State Department has attacked Israel for its "overreaction" to the Palestinian intifada. But the Sharon people poo-poo this as the usual reaction of the State Department's Arabists.

"No question, we're better off with Bush than before," Arik Sharon's people say. And that much is clear, or else why would he be feted in the White House this week?

 


 

REMEMBERING SUN-TZU

ISRAEL AND THE ART OF WAR

By Louis Rene Beres

15 March 2001

Chinese military thought likely originated with neolithic village conflicts almost five thousand years ago. But it was Sun-Tzu's THE ART OF WAR, written sometime between the eighth and third centuries BCE, that synthesized a coherent set of principles designed to produce military victory and minimize the chances of military defeat. The full corpus of this work should now be studied closely by the IDF General Staff and by others who would wish to strengthen Israel's military posture and associated order of battle.

Let us begin with Sun-Tzu's principles concerning diplomacy. Political initiatives and agreements may be useful, we are instructed, but military preparations should never be neglected. The primary objective of every state should be to weaken enemy states without actually engaging in armed combat. This objective links the ideal of "complete victory" to a "strategy for planning offensives." In Chapter Four, "Military Disposition," Sun-Tzu tells his readers: "One who cannot be victorious assumes a defensive posture; one who can be victorious attacks....Those who excel at defense bury themselves away below the lowest depths of Earth. Those who excel at offense move from above the greatest heights of Heaven."

Israel take note. Today's IDF strategic posture emphasizes various forms of ballistic missile defense. Although this is certainly understandable in light of the growing threat of unconventional weapons, it can never succeed. In essence, by placing great hope in BMD systems, Israel has effectively disavowed all pertinent preemption options. The result is that Israel continues to survive, increasingly, at the mere pleasure of its enemies. Sooner or later, having been permitted to develop weapons of mass destruction because Israel has been burying itself away "below the lowest depths of Earth," these enemy states will attack. Israel's nuclear deterrent posture notwithstanding, there will come a time in which it may be immobilized by enemy miscalculation, inadvertence, mechanical accident, false warnings, unauthorized firings (e.g., coup d'etat) or outright irrationality.

But let us be candid. Israel has already lost the offensive with respect to Iraqi and/or Iranian WMD (weapons of mass destruction) infrastructures. As a consequence of enemy multiplication, dispersal and hardening of these infrastructures, Israel can only wait....fearfully, until the time comes for it to retaliate. Such waiting to be attacked represents an absolute indifference to the still-valid general principles of classic Chinese military strategy.

Perhaps there is another section of the ART OF WAR that can help Israel to compensate for its misconceived reliance upon defense. I have in mind Sun-Tzu's repeated emphasis on the "unorthodox." Drawn from the conflation of thought that crystalized as Taoism, the strategist observes: "...in battle, one engages with the orthodox and gains victory through the unorthodox." In a complex passge, Sun-Tzu discusses how the orthodox may be used in unorthodox ways, while an orthodox attack may be unorthodox when it is unexpected. Taken seriously by IDF planners, this passage could represent a subtle tool for tactical conceptualization, one that might purposefully exploit an enemy state's particular matrix of military expectations.

For Israel, the "unorthodox" should be fashioned not only ON the battlefield, but also BEFORE the battle; indeed, to prevent the most dangerous forms of battle, which would be expressions of all-out unconventional warfare, Israel could examine a number of promising postures. These postures would focus upon a reasoned shift from an image of "orthodox" rationality to one of somewhat "unorthodox" irrationality. I have in mind here what the American nuclear strategist Herman Kahn once called the "rationality of pretended irrationality." For now, every enemy state of Israel knows exactly - within entirely acceptable parameters of error - how Israel will initiate major military action (it won't) and how it will respond to armed attack and armed conflict initiated by others (with the least "required" measure of force). If, however, Israel did not always signal perfect rationality to its enemies - that is, that it's actions (defensive and offensive) were always completely measured and predictable - it could significantly enhance both its overall deterrence posture and its associated chances for national survival.

Everyone who studies Israeli nuclear strategy knows about the "Samson Option." This is generally thought to be a last resort strategy wherein Israel's nuclear weapons are used not for prevention of war or even for war-waging, but simply as a last spasm of vengeance against a despised enemy state that had launched massive (probably unconventional) countercity and/or counterforce attacks against Israel. Faced with the "End of the Third Temple," Israel's leaders would decide that the Jewish State could not survive, but that it would only "die" together with its pertinent enemies.

The view of the "Samson Option" from the Arab/Iranian side is clear. Israel may resort to nuclear weapons only in reprisal, and only in reprisal for overwhelmingly destructive first-strike attacks. Correspondingly, anything less than an overwhelmingly destructive first-strike will elicit a measured and proportionate Israeli military response. Moreover, by striking first, the Arab/Iranian enemy knows that it would have an advantage in "escalation dominance," allowing it/they to control the "ladder" of escalation. These calculations would follow from the informed enemy view that Israel will never embrace the "unorthodox" on the strategic level, that its actions will likely always be reactions, and that these reactions will always be limited.

What if Israel fine-tuned its "Samson Option?" What if it did this in conjunction with certain doctrinal changes in its longstanding policy of nuclear ambiguity? By taking the bomb out of the "basement" and by indicating, simultaneously, that its now declared nuclear weapons were not limited to "Third Temple" scenarios, Israel might go a long way to enhancing its national security. It would do this by revealing a departure from perfect rationality; in essence, by displaying the rationality of threatened irrationality. Whether or not such a display would be an example of "pretended irrationality" or of an authentic willingness to act irrationally would be anyone's guess. It goes without saying that such an example of "unorthodox" behavior by Israel could actually incite enemy first-strikes, or at least hasten the onset of such strikes as may already be planned, but there are ways for Israel in which the "unorthodox" could be made to appear "orthodox."

==========

Louis Rene Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy and nuclear war. His work is well-known to Israeli prime ministers, past and present, and to the IDF General Staff. Professor Beres has lectured at the IDF National Defense College near Tel-Aviv and to the Knesset leadership. His articles on Israeli military matters have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE JERUSALEM POST, and HAARETZ. He is Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS.

 


 

THE JERUSALEM POST - March, 21 2001

RAISE THAT FLAG, LIMOR!

By Michael Freund

Israel is famous for many things, but civil discourse isn't one of them. In a political culture oddly reminiscent of American professional wrestling, with its outlandish scripts, bizarre characters and predictable cliffhanger finales, Israel's democracy is as vibrant as it is chaotic. But, whereas America's wrestlers deliver blows that are staged for effect, Israel's political pugilists strike with far more painful force.

Indeed, Israel's intellectual vanguard has wasted little time in directing its acrimony at newly appointed Education Minister Limor Livnat. Livnat was just settling into her new position when she came under fire for daring to suggest that the Jewish state ought to be teaching Zionist and Jewish values in its classrooms.

This "sin" was compounded by her decision to remove an inflammatory poem by a Palestinian militant nationalist from the Israeli school curriculum. Livnat further raised the Left's ire when she barred an Education Ministry textbook deemed unfit because it distorted Israeli and Jewish history.

Sadly, rather than criticizing Livnat on the merits of her decisions, many of her detractors have resorted to the lowest of schoolyard tactics: name-calling. Examples, unfortunately, abound.

Columnist Gidon Spiro compared Livnat's actions to the repressive measures adopted by the Chinese Communist party against its foes (Kol Hazman, March 16). Hebrew University Prof. Eli Poudeh warned that if Livnat continues on her current course, "the Education Ministry will turn into, in the words of George Orwell, the Ministry of 'Truth' " (Ha'aretz, March 19).

Even more distressing is that some of Israel's leading writers have joined the fray, tossing aside thoughtful analysis in favor of mudslinging. Tom Segev, considered to be one of Israel's top journalists, labeled Livnat the "Batwoman of Zionism" and asserted, "Her fury transforms her into a sister of the Buddha-smashing Taliban in Afghanistan" (Ha'aretz, March 16). Columnist Yoel Marcus invoked the shadows of the past when he wrote, "What will she do next? Burn books in the downtown districts of Israel's cities?" (Ha'aretz, March 16).

It is simply astonishing that a government minister is attacked for trying to instill in Israeli schoolchildren the most cherished values and beliefs of our people. That, after all, is why schools exist - to teach not merely the mechanics of mathematics, but the qualities of good citizenship. And to be a good citizen in Israel means to appreciate and understand the country's history, traditions and heritage.

Equally astonishing is the manner in which this "debate" is being conducted. Those opposing Livnat have vilified her rather than criticized her. They claim to be coming to the defense of our children's education - but the manner in which they do so only sets a poor example for those very same kids.

It is clear that Israel's schools desperately need a strong injection of Zionist and Jewish values. Israeli youth need to be reminded why they are here and why the State of Israel is far more than just another Levantine state with decent cable TV.

To infuse Israeli students with a greater sense of attachment to the country, we can start by insisting that every schoolroom be adorned with a large Israeli flag next to the blackboard. There is no reason why the national symbol should be virtually invisible in our nation's schools.

Similarly, the singing of "Hatikva," the national anthem, should become a regular part of every school's routine. Growing up in the United States, I recited the "Pledge of Allegiance" at the beginning of every school day, and I remember it still. With its beautiful words and stirring music, "Hatikva" should resonate off students' lips every morning.

Another untapped resource is Israel's wealth of national and historical sites. Though occasional school trips incorporate such places in their itinerary, it is essential that they become a more frequent part of the curriculum. Nothing can be more powerful or educational than to visit the sites of our people's triumphs and tribulations.

Finally, we need to remind ourselves and our children that nationalism is not a dirty word. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the 18th-century French philosopher and a favorite among Western liberals, wrote, "Do we wish men to be virtuous? Then let us begin by making them love their country." How sad that his would-be intellectual heirs in Israel seem to have forgotten this basic truth.

(The writer served as deputy director of communications and policy planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.)

(c) Jerusalem Post 2001

 


 

THE MEDIA AS THE GORGON MEDUSA

By Emanuel A. Winston

The Gorgon Medusa is best remembered as the mythological hideous female monster with serpents for her hair. It was said that, if a mortal looked at her, they would die and be turned to stone. The snakes writhe on her head and can be seen whispering evil thoughts into her ears. Her tongue forks out along with her serpents which, in the mythical lore, suggests telling a lie or "speaking with a forked tongue". The Gorgon Medusa had many sisters with the same ugly powers. Perseus, who cut off the head of the first Gorgon Medusa, put it in a pouch but, when he needs it to kill, he just pulls it out.(1) While Perseus killed the one, her sisters seems to be thriving in the Media and the State Department.

What then does this ugly bit of Greek mythology have to do with the media?

The explanation starts with the NEW YORK TIMES headline of March 5th, which reads "Suicide Bomber Kills 3 Israelis A Day After 6 Palestinians Die" by Deborah Sontag, a Jewish journalist for the N.Y.TIMES. As you read this, keep referring back to the Gorgon Medusa and her snakes with similarly forked tongues.

Deborah Sontag mouths or rather hisses her version of the March 4th Suicide Bombing in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya. Sontag begins her story after the misleading headline with the fact that ‘only' three Israelis were killed, balanced against the unrelated fact that 6 Palestinians were killed the day before. Sontag deliberately leaves out the fact that over 70 Israelis were maimed by the Palestinian suicide bomber. Instead, she begins a defensive, damage control explanation, well-crafted to redirect the readers' shock and anger away from the terrorist's despicable act. Has anyone thought how strange it is for Jewish journalists like Sontag or Tom Friedman to always be there, apologizing for and protecting Arafat's terrorists?

Sontag launches into a plea for other Palestinians, six of whom were killed by Israelis in other areas during shootouts the day before. Sontag neglects to mention these casualties were in self-defense after Palestinian gunfire attacks against Israeli civilians. She and the NEW YORK TIMES have also never mentioned that there have been more than 3300 Palestinian attacks with gunfire, bombs and firebombs against Israelis since the Rosh HaShanah Arab Assault began.

As usual, she tries to create a moral equivalency as a barrier to the readers' fury and revulsion over the scene of decapitated heads, other amputated limbs and much blood. This suicide bomber blew himself up at a busy intersection during morning rush hour in order to kill as many Jews as possible. The amount of explosives he carried sent a nearby car flying into the air.

We now see the Medusa with her snakes wriggling and hissing furiously as Sontag justifies the killing of Jews. The local Israelis knew that this was a Palestinian terrorist attack because it has happened before. I wonder how Americans would have reacted to the World Trade Center bombing - if they knew at that moment it happened that Sheik Abdul Rahman and other Arabs had tried to kill everyone in both buildings of the Twin Towers.

Sontag goes on to direct the emotions of the reader to be angry at the Israelis. She explains that, after the explosion which sent bodies rocketing through the air, Israelis took out their anger on local Arabs in the open air market.

What Sontag does not say is that in the open air market the Palestinians were free to shop and walk about without any threat from Israelis.

Sontag spends more time describing how one Palestinian man was beaten unconscious as the crowd raged in helpless fury. Sontag quotes one Israeli, the owner of a fruit stand, who says: "And it's too bad they didn't kill him. They wanted to tie him to a car but the police came - too bad." Hissss!!

Note! Sontag still hasn't mentioned the 74 maimed Israelis (and she never did) - leaving the reader with the information that only 3 Israelis had been killed. Well, 3 dead Israelis aren't even equal to 6 dead Palestinians she mentions at the beginning of the article - are they?

Clearly, this is the malevolent work of the deadly Medusa, where even one glance kills the viewer. Similarly, every misled reader has died a little as they look upon the Medusa of the NEW YORK TIMES. We have all been bitten by the venomous fangs of Medusa's many sisters in the Media.

Sontag later in the article starts to describe the suicide bomber's handiwork but finally ends her story by describing the crowd's attack on the Arabs. Here she waxes eloquent in describing the beating of the Arab. Someone in the crowd intones: "Oy! Oy! Oy!" Then it is repeated as she describes a kick aimed at the head of the Arab...again: "Oy! Oy! Oy!"

We agree that attacking innocent Arabs in frustration is unfair but not as unfair as blowing to bits innocent Israelis because they are Jews.

Why does the NEW YORK TIMES always play as one of the snakes on the Medusa's head? Where is the lair of the Medusa? Can it possibly be the U.S. State Department who immediately alerts all of the other snakes to hiss their protection of the terrorists and their supreme leader, Yassir Arafat? Why do they seem to admire terrorists so much and work so hard to implement damage control on their behalf?

How many snakes are there on the head of a Gorgon Medusa? We see the NEW YORK TIMES, CNN, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, NPR (National Public Radio), TIME Magazine - among others - all hiss and sway to the desires of the State Department bureaucrats when Israel is the target. It doesn't seem to matter who is the Secretary of State - those civil servants keep on working to subvert and undermine America's best ally and the only democracy in the Middle East.

What can the average citizen do against so formidable and deadly an enemy? Yes, write letters to the editors but one does not have to look at the Medusa. You can always cancel your subscription and neglect to buy it on the newsstand...unless you have assumed the chore of monitoring the Media for its egregious insults, slanted, biased, misrepresented, inaccurate reporting and commentary about Israel. Then, you join the Jewish activists in the world of damage control where we fight the Gorgon Medusa every day.

You can gather yourself and your organizations to visit the editorial staffs directly. You can even call the reporters, columnists, journalists at their offices and at their homes. Surely, they - as news gatherers - will want to hear your considered (polite) opinion at any time of the day or night. March in front of their buildings with signs telling them: "You Are Killing Us With Misinformation".

Get to know the editors, TV producers, and journalists on sight. Stop them in the street to give them your opinion. Do not, however, use violence or threaten them. Always be polite. Use the sound bite technique if you want to get your letters and opinions printed: 3 short pithy paragraphs with an interesting point as the ‘hook' as an attention-getting device. Contact your local synagogue and church to speak out against this incitement to hatred and not buy newspapers.

Deborah Sontag has long since lost her credibility as an ethical journalist. Maybe she has to write and writhe that way to become and maintain her status as head Israel writer for the NEW YORK TIMES. Does Deborah Sontag willingly write damage control pieces, protecting the terrorists and their head Arafat? She seems to be an extension of the State Department's hostile policy against Israel and for the Arabs.

Maybe the other writers and TV announcers like CNN's Gerald Kessel and Walter Rogers, are either ordered to or think their producers want that kind of bias in their reports. Maybe the heads of the various Medusa Media outlets - the publishers, editors, producers, and owners - have gotten their orders from the State Department.

Again, I ask: Where does it come from?

Perhaps our new American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, now in the lair of the Gorgon can, like Perseus, cut off the head of the deadly Gorgon Medusa and put it in a sack so it kills only our enemies instead of our friends.

###

1. "The Gorgon Medusa: Women in Antiquity" by Alicia Le Van May 7, 1996 from "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets" by Barbara Walker.

P.S. This just in:

It has been reported that the Netanya suicide bomber was released from prison by Shimon Peres in 1995 although he had been sentenced to 18 years in jail in1991 for participating in other terrorist attacks against Israel.

Peres, now Ariel Sharon's Foreign Minister and drafter of the first secret Oslo Accords, said: "My first priority will be to meet Mr. Arafat and begin negotiations for peace. I'll meet Arafat in order to resuscitate the peace process." (2)

2. LONDON SUNDAY TIMES March 3, 2001

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Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East Analyst & Commentator and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.

 


 

JEWISH CONNECTION
TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT

By Reuven Hammer

The recent religious ruling (fatwa) of the mufti of Jerusalem, totally denying that the Western Wall has any connection to Judaism, is another attempt by Arab leaders, religious and political, to rewrite history and erase the memory of the Temple Mount from world consciousness.

We all remember Yasser Arafat's denial of the existence of the Temple on that site. This is not the only example of Arafat's habit of ignoring inconvenient facts. The general treatment of the Temple Mount - including turning the so-called Solomon's Stables into a mosque - is an attempt to hide the evidence of a Jewish presence, and to establish an exclusive Moslem face for the Mount.

This fatwa now establishes that according to Moslem religious law, Jews have no connection to or rights even to the Wall - the supporting wall created by Herod for the Temple platform. These farfetched assertions fly in the face of everything that is known and accepted by all archaeologists, scholars and historians - except those in the Arab world.

Why was the Dome of the Rock erected where it is if the Temple was not found there? The "Rock" over which it is built, and which it is meant to enshrine, is the same rock which was the site of the Holy of Holies. It was the rock which, according to Jewish tradition, was the "foundation stone" of the universe. It was the rock upon which Isaac was bound or, according to Moslem tradition, Ishmael was bound.

A document found in the Cairo Geniza describes the way in which Umar I brought a group of Jews to the site of the Temple in order to clean it. The Jewish elders were asked to identify the stone known as the Foundation Stone. When it was found and identified, Umar ordered "a sanctuary to be built and a dome to be erected over the stone and overlaid with gold." As a reward, Umar permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem and establish the Jewish Quarter.

If the Temple of the Jews was not there, the Dome of the Rock would not be there either. IT IS unfortunate that the conflict over sovereignty has become a religious conflict, but it was probably unavoidable. The problem is that both Christianity and Islam see themselves not as sisters or daughters of Judaism but as successors to it, and succession implies the illegitimacy of the previous religion.

Christianity sees itself as the complete fulfillment of Judaism, and its "New Covenant" as supplanting the "Old Covenant." Yet somehow in recent times the Catholic Church has found a way to accommodate an attitude of respect to Judaism and justify its continuation without doing away with its own claims.

Unfortunately the same thing has yet to happen in the Moslem world. Nevertheless the history of Islam demonstrates that there were times when Jews were tolerated and treated with respect in Islamic states. Their status as "the People of the Book" gave them special rights, even though they were always to be kept subservient to those who held "the true belief" - Islam. A modus vivendi can and must be found, but it is unlikely to happen so long as the political struggle continues.

In the meantime, what attitude should we take? It seems to me that the very first thing we must do is stand up for the truth. The role of the Temple Mount and of the Western Wall in Jewish history must be reasserted. We need not deny the importance of these places to Islam, but we must put it in proper perspective. From the time of David on, the Temple Mount has been Judaism's most sacred - perhaps only sacred - site, connected with the very beginnings of our people through the story of the binding of Isaac.

We must reassert our stand that these sites holy to Judaism do not belong to Islam, but that we have a historic claim to them. At the same time, we need not take steps to change the status quo. The existence of the Dome of the Rock and of the mosque on the Mount are facts and there is no reason for us to attempt to change these facts.

All talk of immediate restoration of the Temple by human hands and all actions taken toward that goal are harmful and unnecessary.

Extremists within our own people would do well to heed the advice of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai during the Roman period following the destruction of the Temple who taught, "If youngsters tell you, 'Let us go and build the Temple,' do not listen to them. If the elders tell you, 'Let us go and destroy the Temple,' listen to them, for the building of youngsters is destruction and the destruction of elders is building" (Avot DeRabbi Natan 31b). A recognition of that which exists is a sign of wisdom. A wise person takes into account the consequences of one's actions and acts responsibly.

As we act responsibly and with respect toward Islam, we must demand that the religious leaders of Islam act likewise toward Judaism, and uphold the sanctity of our holy places. It cannot be a one way street.

(c) Jerusalem Post 2001

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Reuven Hammer is a lecturer and author living in Jerusalem and the author of The Jerusalem Anthology.

 


 

DEFINING THE ISSUES:
THE FRUIT OF VICTORY

By David Basch

"When the hardly-Jewish youth are faced with the choice
of either loyalty to their "occupier" brother Jews in
Israel or to loyalty to a grandstand, universalistic
pseudo-ethics that dictates support for
'freedom fighters' against 'occupiers,' count on
these Jews to take the "freedom fighter" side...."

Lest Jews go to sleep, it is important that they learn that the issues of war do not only concern territory but also the definition of what the war is about. For wars not only determine territory, but, even more important, they determine whose definition of reality will win out. In these terms, the Arabs are far ahead in at least one important dimension of their ongoing war against Israel. Though Israel may at the moment be slightly ahead in the war for territory, Israel is either losing or has lost the war over the definition of what the war is about. This war of definition is being won by the Arabs, with devastating impact on Israel and the Jewish people. Alas, Israeli governments have failed to realize what has been happening all along in this war of definition.

To understand what is at stake, go back a decade to the beginnings of the Oslo process, the ruse so successfully mounted by the Arabs and their allies. In the inception of this crafty gambit, the Arabs had agreed to accept the existence of Israel and to renounce violence in settling issues. In return, Israel recognized "the Palestinian Arabs" as a "people" who would be allowed to negotiate a mutual acceptable national existence in some part of Israeli territory, which was to be ceded to them. Here was a major Arab victory in their war against Israel.

Israel's agreement to these terms was tantamount to surrender on the definition of the war. Israel's government had ended up swearing to the grand falsehood that there is such a thing as a "Palestinian Arab people." Yet such a "people" was not even mentioned as late as 1967 in UN Resolution 242, which only mentioned "refugees." This peoplehood had to be created from virtually nothing. In fact, there was no "people," only a motley of Arab and other nationals who in 1948 were living in the area of the lands of the Mandate of Palestine, from which was drawn the name "Palestinian." To be sure, in these terms, as residents of the Mandate areas, Jews were also "Palestinians" and in 1948 it was more usual for the term "Palestinian" to refer to Jews since the resident Arabs preferred their identification with the nation they most recently came from or that with the supposedly "grand Arab nation" that transcended national boundaries.

Such a peoplehood is altogether different from the organic peoplehood of the Jews, the Jewish Palestinians, who shared a long history and ethos tied up with the lands demarcated by the Mandate of Palestine. In the case of the Palestinian Arabs, a goodly portion of these persons prior to 1948 (125,000 out of an estimated 650,000) had been very recent arrivals to the region, barely living in the area for two years. It required that the UN relax its rules on recognition of refugees as persons who lived twenty or more years in an area. Others of the Palestinian Arabs had arrived over previous decades from adjacent nations as a result of the economic growth spurred by Jews who were stepping up settlement in their ancient homeland. The promoting of a Jewish homeland in the area was one of the major reasons for the existence of the Mandate of Palestine in the first place, an objective recognized by the World's League of Nations and later by the UN.

So here was lost a major battle for reality in 1992 when the Rabin government surrendered to Arab propaganda that insisted that the Arab side represented a bona fide people with national rights in the land.

The consequences of this lost major battle have been as devastating to Israel as they have been strengthening and energizing to the Arab enemy. For one thing, the Arabs never did come across with their recognition of the legitimacy of Israel and the renunciation of violence, the basis for the Oslo agreements in the first place. But what was just as bad was that accepting "Palestinian Arab peoplehood" vindicated the phony Arab propaganda alleging that Israel was robbing an Arab nation of its preexisting national existence (which never was), a nation now to be known as "Palestine." By the way, this is a name unpronounceable by Arabs since it contains a "P" that is not even in the Arab language, indicating its bogus, foreign origin and status. Acquiescing in that falsehood self-branded Israel as the robber of "Palestine."

Moreover, it enabled the Arabs to define as "Palestinian" a large Arab population who were living external to the Israeli held lands, allegedly the Arabs and their subsequent descendents who had left the area in 1948, now numbering in the millions through population growth, accretion of Arabs drawn by food ration books and grants, and other forms of chicanery. These Arabs too were to be considered part of this ersatz peoplehood. With the participation of the Israeli government in this falsehood, the Arabs lost no time in demanding the right of these "Palestinians" to return to their alleged native land -- a killer demand that exists to this very day and which tells of the true Arab goal.

Naturally, the "Palestinians," as a venerable national entity recognized by Israel's government of liars -- the latter government having sworn to falsehood -- it became natural for the world to bestow on these Arabs the romantic aura of "freedom fighters" for the recovery of their lost nationhood, with the corollary, of course, that Israel became defined as the "colonial occupier" of the lands which these "freedom fighters" were attempting to liberate. Is it any wonder that Arab barbarity is crowned with the admiration to which real freedom fighters are entitled?

Israel could hardly have done more to prejudice its reputation and existence than accepting this mighty blow to the nation's integrity and legitimacy. It should not be surprising that now the Arabs capitalize on this falsified history to create headlines in the world press attacking the Israeli "occupier." And if anyone protests against this slander, he is directed to Israeli government statements and policies that have accepted and underwritten these falsehoods. Moreover, the Palestinian Arabs have since embellished on the story of their peoplehood and have retrojected their brief, manufactured history back millennia, modeling a false history to ape the history of Israel. To Arab youth, and, unhappily, to ignorant Jewish youth, including the Israeli, this is the only history they know irrespective of its fallacious status as history.

Compounding the error, Israeli leftist governments have joined in the embellishing of this false history to disguise the fact that leftists had participated in writing it so as to vindicate the shameful leftist actions of surrendering the nation's land to the enemy as an expression of a socialist, universalist world view, a view as unsubstantial and as mythical as Palestinian Arab history.

Perhaps Jews today may wonder at how in these last decades there has been such a tremendous rise among Israelis and Jews of the world joining with the Arabs to fight on behalf of the Arabs for the phony semblance of "justice" concocted by the Arab-Israeli sanctioned propaganda. Is it any wonder that many Israeli soldiers do not feel right in serving as "occupiers" and opposing these "freedom fighters"? All of these are incidents played out as a result of Israel's lost battle of definition and the losses are only beginning as the results are being felt in Jewish communities worldwide.

World Jewry is melting as Jewish youth are hardly given the rudiments of their tradition while at the same time they are being inculcated as full fledged secular, universalists with a half-baked, universalist ethics to match. So when the hardly-Jewish are faced with the choice of either loyalty to their "occupier" brother Jews in Israel or to loyalty to a grandstand, universalistic pseudo-ethics that dictates support for "freedom fighters" against "occupiers," count on these Jews to take the "freedom fighter" side. The details matter little to them if it gives them that warm feeling of being moralistically magnanimous, showing themselves willing to renounce self for a vague, questionable, universalistic higher ideal -- an ideal, to be sure, cleverly crafted by the enemies of the Jewish people. Jewish egotism wins hands down every time. The choice is made even easier by the Israeli government voices echoing the universalist cause and willing to eventually accept a bogus Arab nationhood on Israel's lands -- a nationhood that was crafted by the Arabs for the purpose of replacing Israel. In these terms, the strengthening of such an emerging Arab community can be directly compared to nourishing baby jackals among the sheep the jackals are destined to devour.

Israel's enemies know all about the Jewish penchant for moralism and universalism and cleverly make sure all these buttons are pressed in its battle to destroy Israel -- a battle that is now being undertaken with the help of the universalistic segment of world Jewry. The only people who have trouble recognizing the ploy are liberal Jewish governments and liberal Jews who are regularly being co-oped into this anti-Jewish-Israeli force to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. If Israel's government recognized the nature of the forces that have been unleashed against the nation, the emotion laden hysteria for a fictionalized justice that is being mobilized against the Jewish nation and its roots, perhaps it would begin inculcating a different truth to its people and to the Jewish world, not aid and abet the Arab crusade to usurp the lands, history and culture of the Jewish people.

It is nauseating to contemplate what has been perpetrated and carried out this past decade by self-destructive Israeli governments that have guaranteed the Arabs a foothold in Israel's lands so that they may eventually usurp its Jewish owners. There is no doubt that this is the Arab objective. Whatever is done to strengthen this rival Arab community within the bosom of Israel, whatever the allegedly good and humanitarian reasons for this, will be taken from the strength of Israel, like the parasite which feeds on the host.

Israel is really at the crossroads. If Israel does not catch on to the Arab tactics arrayed real soon, the rest of the war, the war of territory, will also be won by the Arabs. The foothold the Arabs are gaining in a defined "Palestinian peoplehood" that can make rival national claims against the Jews and be honored by the world and even by Jews for such claims is a mighty lever to gain all the rest. Already this has been coupled with an appreciable land base to array military forces against Israel. Now is the time to get off this propaganda train to Jewish destruction. The Arabs failed to make good on their obligations and Israel must rescind and renounce the Arab claim to a peoplehood linked to Jewish lands.

Unfortunately, this is an Arab campaign with a propaganda machine which still receives the cooperation of Israeli governments and a leftist religion which has a fanatic compulsion to serve the nation's enemies as a universalistic gesture. This threatens to make the Jewish nation into an exemplum of national self-destruction and degradation -- a dark light unto the nations for what other self-respecting nations should never become.

==========

David Basch is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies. He is also an expert on William Shakespeape and his Jewish roots.

 


 

The Role of Culture in the Middle East Conflict:

What The State Department Overlooks

Dr. Steven E. Rothke

The Bush Administration and new foreign policy leadership inherit many brewing crises, most notably the Arab-Israeli conflict, now in its 53rd year. Yet perhaps the most vexing international relations issue being passed down from the prior dozen Administrations is a seriously flawed world-view that all nations and peoples utilize the same problem solving approaches (i.e., Western logic), have the same aspirations for peaceful coexistence, and hold the same respect for contracts and treaties. The role of culture, religion, and traditions, are given little or no weight in Washington's calculus of understanding the behavior of foreign states and how to relate to them. These oversights have led to years of failed peace initiatives and thousands of lost lives.

A recent body of research by Professor Richard Nisbett and colleagues at the University of Michigan, summarized in an upcoming issue of Psychological Review, indicates culture has a meaningful impact on how people think. As it turns out, not all peoples hold a devotion to Western logic or show a tendency to think in terms of linear cause-effect relationships. For example, in a series of social psychological studies, they found that those raised in Oriental cultures tended to think more "holistically," paying greater attention to context and relationship, relying more on experience-based knowledge than abstract knowledge, and showing more tolerance for contradiction. Those raised in the United states or Western Europe were found to be more "analytic" in their thinking, tending to detach objects from their context, to avoid contradictions, and to rely heavily on formal logic. Westerners were also found more likely to make attribution errors – a tendency to explain human behavior on the basis of the traits of individuals even when powerful situational forces were at work. This type of conceptual error can be seen to operate in Washington when a foreign leader is described as a proponent of peace because he speaks in moderate terms while ignoring the war-like rhetoric in that nation's press and people on the street. The other major finding relevant for foreign policy analysis was that Americans are more likely than Asians to stick with the rules of logic when logic and experiential knowledge are in conflict, and more likely to actually solidify rather than modify their opinions when faced with evidence contradictory to their opinions or when their logic was based on implausible assumptions. Again, this can be seen to operate at the State Department and the White House over the past half century where advisors have dug their heels into the "logic" that peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors is at hand given only the right land-for-peace concessions despite 53 years of hard experiential evidence that no concessions are ever enough. The lesson from this body of research is that the American "world-view" needs to be reassessed and the cultural and cognitive differences between the parties to the Middle East conflict need to be much better understood and considered.

Key cultural differences between the Arabs and Israelis that contribute to the ongoing conflict but have been largely ignored in Washington include child rearing practices, customs for social interchange, views on what constitutes an agreement, and religion. In Western cultures, guilt is the principal tool for socializing children; however, in traditional Arab homes of the Middle East it is shame.1 The impact of the latter is a lack of self-criticism and capacity for remorse for behavior; one learns to yield to social pressure and criticism and to primarily behave in a way that avoids further humiliation. In such a system, wrongdoing is defined as something wrong done in the presence of others leading the actor to seek to obscure or conceal his intentions or actions. The individual comes to believe that he is not responsible for his actions but is rather a victim of the pressure to avoid humiliation. In this type of society, one seeks to avoid open disagreements; instead, social flattery and amusement of the other set the tone of social discourse. Unfortunately, rather than genuine agreements between people, temporary solutions abound. There is no expectation to keep promises because individuals do not feel free to say "no." One learns to become duplicitous as a tool of adaptation. The word for this in Arabic is neefik meaning having two faces. It is very unlikely that this developmental experience is left at the door when Arab, Israeli, and American negotiators meet, a fact often neglected by Americans and recently by the Israeli leadership as well. Another implication of the role of shame in the upbringing of Arab children is that it often leads to a sense of rage in response to the humiliation. This sense of rage can be seen to operate in the acts of extraordinary brutality, by Western standards at least, seen in the killings of the captured Israeli soldiers at a Palestinian police station last fall. This rage is usually easily elicited, and the rage of the poorly educated masses is frequently misdirected against the West by charismatic leaders of the Middle East; it is also noted in acts of brutality against fellow Arab or Moslem States.

Religion can also have a significant impact on thinking and behavior. Islam, the predominant religion of Middle Eastern Arabs, does not separate church from state and thus pervades most aspects of its followers' lives.2 A principle tenet of Islam is that it is the duty of the believers to strive to convert or at least subjugate the nonbelievers. This struggle does not end until the whole world has accepted the Islamic faith or is beholden to the Islamic State. The means by which this is accomplished is jihad or holy war. When advantageous, the war can be interrupted by an armistice or treaty of limited duration. However, no permanent peace is possible – only a final victory is acceptable. An early precedent for this was the Treaty of Hudaybya between Muhammad and the Quraysh people of Mecca. What was supposed to be a ten-year agreement was broken after three years, by some accounts, when Muhammad had the military strength to conquer the Quraysh. Of great concern is the fact that Yassir Arafat makes frequent reference to this treaty in his Arab language speeches to his people, presumably drawing a parallel between the temporary nature of Muhammad's treaty with his own intentions toward Israel (the nonbeliever state of the Middle East).

It is no surprise, in light of the cultural and religious background of the majority of the Arabs of the Middle East, that there is no Arab language equivalent of a permanent agreement. The closest word, teswiyeh, refers to a temporary settlement. It stems from a form of situational bargaining (i.e., an agreement to be broken when a better opportunity comes along) as opposed to the Western concept of contractual bargaining that carries the expectation of permanence and enforcement by legal remedies. This is the way of doing business in much of the Middle East (i.e., agreements are made to be broken). Yet, Western interpretations are made of the statements of Arab negotiators (i.e., they genuinely want a permanent peace) and pressure is then put on Israel to trade its security for Arab promises for peace.

The overall political strategy of the Arabs derives from many influences including the sense of humiliation and rage resulting from developmental experiences, the reliance on duplicity as a tool of social adaptation, and the religious imperative of jihad. The Arab position is one of Totalism, which is defined as:

"the aim of and often obsession with total wins regarding basic issues in conflict. It entails the complete elimination or subordination of the other. It derives from highly negative and monolithic perceptions of the enemy who is viewed as intrinsically evil, inherently aggressive, or basically inferior, with no right to the of attainment of his aims."3

States or peoples displaying a Totalist strategy view their opponents as having no legitimacy where as the view of the self is grandiose sometimes to the point of megalomania. This is likely in response to underlying feelings of inadequacy, victimization, powerlessness, and humiliation (such as might be expected following many years of shame and degradation as noted in the Arab culture). In psychology, this deep blow to the self-esteem is known as a narcissistic wound. This is not only found in the present culture of the Arabs; the precedent for this long-term sense of outrage and humiliation may be the rejection of Muhammad as the true prophet by the Jews of Medina in approximately the year 622 (which was followed two years later by a series of wars he waged against several Jewish tribes leading to executions of men and forced slavery of women and children). Thus, Totalism is a psychological compensation or form of restoration of the self-image following repeated narcissistic wounds. Achievement of the aims of the Totalist State often requires a long-term approach. Nationalist or religious propaganda maintains the peoples' fervor for the cause. Accommodations with the enemy are acceptable for short periods of time but only complete elimination of the other satisfies their aspirations (note the parallel to jihad). Gestures of cooperation by the enemy, even when backed by firmness, are interpreted by totalists as weakness who expect that their enemy will eventually give up or be worn down -- an extraordinary parallel to today's Middle East peace process peppered by Israeli concessions on one-hand and intifadas and terrorist attacks on the other. The Totalist strategy is the antithesis of the way democratic states of the world operate, including Israel and the US, another great divide in how the parties to the conflict think.

The examples discussed here demonstrate clearly how culture and religion impact on how a people think, set their goals and expectations, view others, and act. The outlook by America's foreign policy elite over the past 50 years, particularly on the Arab-Israeli conflict, completely fails to take these critical issues into account. Instead, the US can be said to be guilty of a "cognitive elitism," assuming the entire world thinks the way that we do. This perspective assumes that the Arabs and Muslims of the Middle East would give up a 1400-year-old grievance for a simple set of land gifts by Israel or a peace of paper cosigned by the President. This is delusional thinking as much as it is elitist. It is time for a very serious reassessment of the process by which our foreign policy leaders assess and predict the behavior of nations. The differences in culture, religion, and traditions of social discourse between our Western allies and their adversaries must be considered before any self-mutilating gestures for peace are asked of Israel. This is not an argument that one culture is good and the other is bad or that one religion is right and the other is evil; cultures and religions should be respected. It is simply a matter of more clearly recognizing these differences, utilizing them in formulating a foreign policy and taking peace initiatives, and having the will to back our allies with strength when these differences threaten their and our existence.

Sharabi, Hisham. Family and cultural development in Arab Society. The Jerusalem Quarterly, 1977 (winter), 60-72.

2 Lewis, Bernard. The Political Language of Islam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (1988)

3 Kaplowitz, Noel. National self-images, perceptions of enemies, and conflict strategies: Psychopolitical dimensions of international relations. Political Psychology, 11(1), 39-82, 1990.

========

Dr. Rothke is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago IL.

 


 

CRASH COURSE ON THE
ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

The material below was written by an American Christian professor. It's important information to know since reporting from the media tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.

HERE'S THE BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY... It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew it doesn't matter.

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict; The Arabs are represented by twenty separate nations, not including the Palestinians.There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19.The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20.The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?

Send this to 20 other people you know and ask them to send it to twenty others. Jew and non-Jew it doesn't really matter. The truth and the cause of peace are universal values we all share, and everyone must know.

============================

Jerusalem's role as "The Third Holiest Site in Islam" in mainstream Islamic writings does not precede the 1930s. It was created by the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini.

In the days of the Prophet Mohammed, who died in 632 of the Common Era, Jerusalem was a Christian city within the Byzantine Empire. Jerusalem was captured by Khalif Omar only in 638, six years after the Prophet Mohammed's death. Throughout all this time there were only churches in Jerusalem, and a church stood on the Temple Mount, called the Church of Saint Mary of Justinian, built in the Byzantine architectural style. And the Prophet Mohammed probably didn't ascend to heaven from the roof of a Church.

The Mufti in the 1930s knew that nationalist slogans alone would not succeed in uniting the masses against arriving Jewish refugees. He therefore turned the struggle into a religious conflict. He addressed the masses clearly, calling for a holy war. His battle cry was simple and comprehensive: "Down with the Infidels!" From the time Herbert Samuel appointed him to the position of Mufti, Haj Amin worked vigorously to raise Jerusalem's status as an Islamic holy center. He renovated the mosques on the Temple Mount, while conducting an unceasing campaign regarding the imminent Jewish "threat" to Moslem holy sites.

The Moslem "claim" to Jerusalem is based on what is written in the Koran, which although Jerusalem is not mentioned even once, nevertheless talks (in Sura 17:1) of the "Furthest Mosque": "Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque." But is there any foundation to the Moslem argument that this "Furthest Mosque" (Al-Masujidi al-Aksa) refers to what is today called the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem? The answer is, none whatsoever.

The Aksa Mosque was built 20 years after the Dome of the Rock, which was built in 691-692 by Khalif Abd El Malik. The name "Omar Mosque" is therefore a misnomer. In or around 711, or about 80 years after the Prophet Mohammed died, Malik's son, Abd El-Wahd - who ruled from 705-715 - reconstructed the destroyed Christian-Byzantine Church of St. Mary and converted it into a mosque. He left the structure as it was, a typical Byzantine "basilica" structure with a row of pillars on either side of the rectangular "ship" in the center. All he added was an onion-like dome on top of the building to make it look like a mosque. He then named it El-Aksa, so it would sound like the one mentioned in the Koran.

Therefore it is historically clear that Prophet Mohammed could never have had this mosque in mind when he compiled the Koran, since it did not exist for another three generations after his death. Rather, as many scholars long ago established, Mohammed intended the mosque in Medina as El Aksa, the "Furthest Mosque." This is another instance where religious reproof and instruction is being twisted for political gains.

 


 

HITLER AND THE ARABS

By Jan Willem van der Hoeven

Director, International Christian Zionist Center

"Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and the rest of the Nazis, inadequate to a man, were both pathological and pragmatic liars. They lied so convincingly and so hugely that most statesmen from other countries could not believe that what they were hearing was a lie... One of Hitler's biggest lies was constantly to assure the world of peaceful intentions while obviously planning war by building up massively strong armed forces." [John Laffin, ‘Hitler warned us.']

When Saddam Hussein grew up, he did in the shadow of a giant portrait that hung on the wall of his father's house, a portrait of the face of a man his father adored above every other political leader. It was the face of Adolph Hitler! Writing in Inside Asia, Joseph Gunther said: "The greatest contemporary hero (in the Arab) world is Hitler."

Even Anwar Sadat, a man deemed by many in the West to be a moderate Arab leader, as a young man wrote the following words to the leader of the Third Reich:

"My dear Hitler,

I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. Even if you appear to have been defeated, in reality you are the victor. You succeeded in creating dissensions between Churchill, the old man, and his allies, the Sons of Satan. Germany will win because her existence is necessary to preserve the world balance. Germany will be reborn in spite of the Western and Eastern powers. There will be no peace unless Germany once again becomes what she was."

Anis Mansour, editor of the Egyptian paper October and a Sadat confidant who accompanied the Egyptian leader to Jerusalem wrote: "The World is now aware of the fact that Hitler was right, and that the cremation ovens were the appropriate means of punishing [the Jews]."

Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, is still required reading in various Arab capitals and universities, and is widely distributed by others.

Samuel Katz writes in The Hollow Peace:

"The Arab attitude is pointedly and incisively expressed in modern Arabic literature, which is chock-full of unbridled hatred of Israel, of Zionism and of the Jewish people. The idea of the destruction of Israel is expressed in hundreds of books published on the subject of the ‘dispute' itself, and anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist teaching has even been incorporated in school text-books, even, improbably enough, in arithmetic books."

The only reason that the Arabs have not yet done to the Israeli Jews what Hitler did to their forefathers in Europe is that they have thus far lacked the military means and weapons of mass destruction which were at Hitler's disposal, to do so.

Had there not been an Israeli Defense Force to defend the remnant of European Jewry that immigrated to Israel, the Arabs would have gladly fulfilled Hitler's dream a long time ago by finishing off those of the Jews the Nazi megalomaniac had left alive.

That the Arabs have not done so to date has not been due to any reluctance on their part, but because, this time, there has been this difference: The Jews in Europe had no army to defend them. Thank G-d, the Jews in Israel have!

This deeply entrenched hatred of the Jews and love for Hitler and the Nazis surfaced during the time of one of the first Palestinian leaders, the Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini, during the 1930's.

It is evident in what the Mufti said on Berlin radio while he was Hitler's guest in Germany. His words prove that there was total agreement between the Palestinian leader and this murderer of G-d's people:

"Kill the Jews - kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah!"

No, the crux of the Middle East problem has never been as has generally been held the Palestinian Arab problem. It has been and still is the Palestinian Jewish problem. It was this problem that had to be solved by the Arabs, even as has been well documented in cooperation with the Nazis. They have used the Palestinian Arabs as their front and excuse to achieve their Hitler-like goal: The extinction of a sovereign Jewish nation in their Muslim midst!

Maybe it is because many Israelis have themselves swallowed the lie that they are unable to formulate a convincing line of defense. As Joan Peters writes so perceptively in her wonderful book From Time Immemorial:

"Goebbels, Nazi exponent of Hitler's "Big Lie," averred that if a lie were repeated often enough and long enough, it would come to be perceived as truth. What he did not add was that the victim of the lie may also grow to believe it."

"Many young Israeli "Palestinian" Jews react with anxiety, empathy, and concern about their alleged culpability, in response to widespread perceptions about the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank, and the myth of the "three-or-four million Arab Palestinians excluded from their homeland inhabited by them since time immemorial." For so long the propaganda has reiterated that "Jews displaced Arab natives" in "Palestine," without even any factual framework for evaluating sick allegations, that many Jews feel they must bear that guilt."

When interviewed recently by a woman for a Dutch programme I was asked, after I had related the terrible violence and murders the Israeli people have to live with, whether it was not also true that the Israelis are sometimes guilty of using excessive force. My answer was, that though the Allied forces bombed whole cities in Germany as a response to Nazi violence and aggression, I had never heard this kind of criticism about them using excessive force by the Allies. Right or wrong people did not criticize the West or Allied armies for using too much force to free Europe from the scourge of Nazidom.

Why, then, does Israel subject herself again and again to this worldly wise criticism by nations who, when it came to the defense of their own best interest used far more force and destruction that Israel has ever allowed herself to use against those who, like Hitler, threaten her with extinction through gas and other weapons of mass destruction that will soon be in their hands!

Has Israel bombed and obliterated whole cities as the Allied forces did to Dresden, Darmstadt, Berlin and others? Or has Israel done as the U.S. did to bring Japan to her knees by - flattening Hiroshima and Nagasaki thus killing (as a Christian Western nation) 250,000 Japanese civilians! Has Israel ever done such a thing to rid herself of the enemies that wish and dream to one day do to them as the Nazis did? And yet it is Israel, who does not thus defend herself as the West has done, is blamed, scolded and censured by the governments of these very same Western nations!

It is truly amazing how hypocritical nations can be when it comes to Israel. There is a word for this double standard: Anti-Semitism.

For those in and outside Israel who would still scorn the accuracy of these related facts it may be good to end this article with a quote from Dr. Yahya al-Rakhaw, an Egyption in the issue of Al-Ahrar the organ of the Liberal Party! (July 19, 1982). He writes:

"When the State of Israel was established and won the good-will of the world and was recognised by many in both East and West, one of the reasons for this recognition was the desire of the people in the East and West to get rid of as many as possible of the representatives of that human error known as "the Jews." Behind this motive there was an additional, secret purpose; to concentrate them in one place, so that it would be easier to strike them at the right moment. There can be no doubt that such hopes occupy the thoughts of politicians more intelligent than Hitler but at the same time more cowardly than he was.

And for us, we must remember, among both bombardments and negotiations, both speeches and landmines, that we are all - once again - face to face with the Jewish problem, not just the Zionist problem; and we must reassess all those studies which made a distinction between "the Jew" and "the Israeli"... and we must redefine the meaning of the word "Jew" so that we do not imagine that we are speaking of a divinely revealed religion, or a minority persecuted by mankind. Every word has an origin, a development and a history, and it seems that the word "Jew" today has changed its content and meaning.

We thus find ourselves face to face with the essence of a problem which has recently donned the gown of religion and concentrated itself on a piece of land. In this confrontation we cannot help but see before us the figure of that great man Hitler, may Allah have mercy on him, who was the wisest of those who confronted this problem... and who, out of compassion for humanity, tried to exterminate every Jew, but despaired of curing this cancerous growth on the body of mankind. And now they virtually confirm the accuracy of his intuition."

May Israel be wiser in relation to this death wish of her neighbours, than the Jews in Europe were. They belittled the writings and speeches of Hitler and the Nazis and were massacred as a result. May it not happen again!

 


 

A Voice from Hebron - March 5, 2001

Biblical Zionism is the Only Path to Peace

By Gary M. Cooperberg

Next Sunday, March 11, I will be coming to the states for the remainder of the month. I am leaving with a heavy heart as I realize just how unstable our government is. As much as we are hopeful that Sharon will restore our security, we are also apprehensive that he will fall into the same trap as have his predecessors. Already he is talking about continuing negotiations with these murderers, should they "contain" terror. This is a clear indication that the political pressures are already asserting a negative influence upon the new leadership in this country.

The Oslo agreement was a test. It was an effort on the part of the Israeli government to make painful concessions to achieve peace with our enemies. What everyone seems to have failed to notice is that the test failed miserably. In spite of this clear fact, the government of Israel has continued to surrender to our enemies under the self-delusion that this surrender would some how bring peace. It hasn't. On the contrary. The more we surrender or even suggest a willingness to surrender, the more Arafat and his murderers attack us. Their theory is that by instilling terror in the Israeli population, they will break our will to fight and hasten our willingness to surrender, if only to stop the terror. This is a self-perpetuating process which not only will not end terror, rather will encourage more terror, as we can already see.

Yitzchak Rabin stated very emphatically that, should the PLO ever use the weapons we have given them against Jews, then the entire agreement would become null and void, and the IDF would take back everything. Three successive Prime Ministers have since endured the murder of Jewish civilians with weapons we gave to the murderers, and not one has even suggested fulfilling Rabin's declaration.

It pains me to say it, but even the alleged "ultra-right-wing" Sharon has not so much as suggested that he might do what Rabin clearly said he would do, even now in the face of open attacks in Jerusalem, Netanya and other areas in Israel proper.

The Truth needs to be declared and repeated wherever and whenever possible. Israel, the Jewish State, is not a political entity. It is the beginning of fulfillment of Biblical Destiny. It concerns not only the Jewish People, but all nations of the world. Redemption has clearly begun, and all the nations are being judged by G-d. The nation of Israel too is being judged by how it behaves. The terror we see in Israel today is in direct correlation to the failure of our leaders here to conduct national policy according to Biblical mandates. G-d's Plan will be carried out no matter what we choose to do. If we conduct ourselves in accordance with His Will, we will see a glorious and beautiful redemption. If we choose to work against the Divine Process of Biblical Zionism, the process will continue in spite of us, but accompanied by much needless tragedy.

It was G-d's Plan for the Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Children of Israel, the Jewish People, to be His example to all the nations of the world. We are destined to be the light unto the nations. It was for this that we were chosen by Him. When we stand up and fulfill our destiny we will enable all people to elevate themselves to holiness. This will eventually create conditions for true redemption and world peace under the rule of the Living G-d of Creation.

Presently we are all being tested by G-d. We, in Israel, have the opportunity to express our faith in G-d by refusing to negotiate our birthright, and being prepared to sacrifice for our beliefs. And the nations of the world all have an opportunity to express their faith in the Living G-d of Israel by standing up to the overwhelming political pressures wielded by the oil rich Arab nations against the Jewish State.

President Bush cannot equivocate and maintain neutrality on the status of Israel and the PLO. The United States of America will be judged by how it relates to the Jewish State according to Biblical, not political, interests. The stance that the President of the United States takes will affect every American. Bush still can change course from the errors of the former Clinton administration and save his country from disaster. All those who understand this must assert every effort to influence him to act in the interest of the United States of America.

I will be bringing this message with me as I speak out to Jew and Gentile alike.



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