Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies



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





JEWS, G-D & ISRAEL....An Article Special To Me....Bernard J. Shapiro 3


THE STATE OF JUDEA - Medinat Yehuda 5

THE JEWISH STATES....Boris Shusteff 5

ANNEX YESHA NOW!....Boris Shusteff 8


SETTLERS GET IDF OKAY TO USE LIVE AMMO ....Gideon Alon, Ha'aretz Knesset Correspondent 12

THINK AGAIN: The Seeds of Surrender....Jonathan Rosenblum 13

THE RED LINES FOR PEACE....Ariel Sharon 15




"WAILING WALL" BELONGS TO MUSLIMS....Shaykh Hayyan al-Idrisi 18



IMRA COMMENTARY FOR WEEK OF JULY 27, 2000.....Dr. Aaron Lerner 20


JEWISH MIS-LEADERSHIP....Emanuel A. Winston 23



AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY AND ISRAEL....A Maccabean Perspective...Bernard J. Shapiro 28




THE MACCABEAN ONLINE * [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro * Published Monthly by the FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, P. O. Box 35661, Houston, TX 77235-5661,


Phone/Fax: 713-723-6016, E-Mail: ** URL:

Copyright (c) 2000 Bernard J. Shapiro

The Freeman Center receives no public funds and exists solely on private contributions which are fully tax deductible.




1. I was promoted to the Executive Committee of the national organization, AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL OR AFSI,1623 Third Avenue @ 92 Street. Suite 205, New York, NY 10128-3638, Tel: 212-828-2424, Fax: 212-828-1717, Email: Web Site:

2. I will continue to operate the vital information services of the Freeman Center from my office in Houston. A new division is being established to protect the rights of religious and Zionists Jews and Christians from the vicious attacks from both the Israeli and American Left.

3. I am forced to take notice of the Orwellian Newspeak ad placed in the Jewish Herald-Voice on July 19, 2000. Titled: AN OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER EHUD BARAK. Issued during the Camp David Summit and praying for a peace agreement with Arafat's anti-Jewish terrorists.

It was signed by:

1. American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Steve Brown and Mark Toubin)

2. American Jewish Committe (Donna De La Paz)

3. Anti-Defamation League (Gene Rosenblum and Martin Cominsky)

4. Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

(Terry Gardner and Randall Czarlinsky)

5. Jewish Herald-Voice (Joe and Jeanne Samuels)


1. The ad is written with total disregard to the history of the last eight years. Remember my favorite quote. "If you don't learn from history, you will be forced to repeat it." Jewish history is full of dreadful events that I don't think any good Jew would want to repeat.

2. ‘Palestinian' Arab education, media, speeches and sermons are filled every day with most vile anti-Semitic Nazi-like statements. Yet our esteemed leaders of the Jewish community in Houston, see no evil, hear no evil and speak NO TRUTH to their constituents.

3. The ad refers to the good graces of President Bill Clinton, OF WHICH THERE ARE NONE.

I ask the reader to read one of my last broadcasts in May entitled: CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND ISRAEL. Clinton has lead the battle to weaken and make vulnerable Eretz Yisrael.

This process can only lead to a SECOND HOLOCAUST in less than 75 years from the FIRST.

4. Why any Jew would vote for a successor to this anti-Israel escapes me completely. The facts are perfectly clear.

5. The most inaccurate and dangerous statement in the ad is its claim that PEACE can be achieved with an agreement with a bloodthirsty terrorist who has broken every agreement ever signed with Israel, the US and dozens of Arab countries.

6. Barak and his One Israel Party are custodians of the Land of Israel and not its owners. They have no right to give away one inch. The land is held in perpetuity as a covenant between G-d and Abraham and can not be traded for some temporary false ‘peace.' Eretz Yisrael belongs to the whole of Am Yisrael (People of Israel for all eternity). No treaty by modern man can change G-d's intent and purpose in granting this tiny spot on earth to his flock.

7. Your problem is that your so-called Jewish leaders have no clue as what is really happening in Israel and the Middle East and have become mere puppets of the Israel government and the US State Department (notorious for abandoning Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust).

8. The ethnic cleansing of Jews from YESHA is no more moral than the expulsion from Spain by the Catholic Church in the 1500 century or pogroms of Poland, Russia and Germany.

9. To depend on Arab MK loyal to Arafat and the terrorist cause of destroying Israel for a Knesset majority or a majority in a referendum is in and of itself a crime against principles for with the Jewish State was founded. Herzl would cry out from his grave if he knew.

10. Should the summit succeed as the singers of this ad pray for, Israel would cease to be an independent Jewish country and become a ‘banana republic' of America subject to the whims of the anti-Semitic US State Department, CIA and any future President. The idea of Jew defending themselves on their on soil would disappear in a faint memory. Then Israel would disappear.


All Takes For Evil to Triumph -- Is For Good Men To Do Nothing

Ignorance Is Weakness

Self-Inflicted Ignorance Is Suicide

The Freeman Center Is A Cure For Ignorance



An Article Special To Me


My Zionist Passage

By Bernard J. Shapiro

In blood and fire was Israel born, and on a hot anvil was she forged. Her youth understood that life in the new Jewish homeland would require sacrifice. With stories of the stench of burning flesh from the ovens of Auschwitz embedded deep in their psyches, the young Israeli soldiers fight with the firm conviction that there is no alternative "ein brera." .......(from the author's private diary).

It was somewhat of a fluke that I became a Zionist. Having been raised in a congregation not known for its pro-Israel views, I could have lived my life without ever understanding the crucial link between Israel and the Jewish people. As it happened, I was in San Diego in 1959 and enrolled in a Jewish history course taught by a wonderful Reform rabbi. He required that we read two books: The Course of Modern Jewish History by Howard M. Sachar and Exodus by Leon Uris. While Sachar gave me the historical framework to understand the birth of Israel, it was Uris who made me feel involved. The San Diego Public Library provided me with many books on Israel and Jewish history and I eagerly read them all.

While I considered myself a Zionist by 1960 and made my first trip to Israel in that year, it would be seven years before fully understanding the connection between Israel and the Jewish people. Israel's victory in the Six Day War in 1967 was the background for the most meaningful experience of my life. I arrived in Israel a few days after the war ended and like many Jews, rushed to Jerusalem to see the Western Wall.

The Wall, the last remaining remnant of Solomon's Temple and sacred to Jews for over 2000 years, had been in Jordanian controlled Jerusalem since 1949. The Jordanians, acting with malice aforethought, had denied Jews access to their sacred holy place. I walked with hundreds of Jews, praying and singing through the Old City. The feeling of anticipation and exhilaration was contagious as we approached the Wall. As I stood a few feet away, I saw pious Jews pressing little scraps of paper into the cracks between the sacred stones. The pieces contained prayers, which legends hold go straight to G-d when placed in the holy Wall.

The people in front of me finished their prayers and suddenly I was pressed up close to the object of all our joy and hope. I had expected the stones to be rough and weathered after all this time, but they were smooth from 2000 years of touching and kissing. The gentle caresses of Jews over the ages had worn soft finger grooves in the hard rock. As I placed my hands on this magnificent relic of our forefathers, I felt a surge of light and energy the likes of which I had never known. In what had to have been but the flash of a second, I felt at one with Jews from all periods of history. At the Passover Seder we are told to thank G-d for delivering us from Egypt as though we ourselves had been brought out of bondage. At that moment in Jerusalem, this Seder message was very real for me.

In an instant I saw the continuity of Jewish history and its unbreakable connection with Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). I understood how modern Israel is the beginning of the Third Temple Period and the spiritual heir to Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba. I frequently write about the security reasons for incorporating Judea, Samaria, and Gaza into the body of Israel. There is another side to this issue and that is the spiritual-religious side. The truth, which many find inconvenient, is that the Land of Israel was promised by G-d to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. The Land of Israel is not speculative real estate to be bartered away for some high sounding false promises of peace. The hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria contain the collective memory of the Jewish people. It was here that the Israelites first entered the Holy Land. And it was here they fought the battles, built the towns, elected their kings and were preached to by their prophets and judges. And it was on this soil that they wrote the Holy Scriptures we call our Bible.

In my blinding flash of insight at the Wall, I also understood that Israel on its own soil was more powerful than the sum of its weapons and men. Jews who had wandered the earth powerless for two millenniums attained great power when re-united with the soil of Israel. Anyone who has followed the Arab-Israeli conflict must be aware of the rising cost paid for Jewish blood. Before Israel was established, nations of the world took Jewish lives with impunity. Today, Arabs have discovered that the iron fist of Zahal (Israel Defense Forces) exacts a high price for even one Jewish life.

One thing is clear to me: the L-rd has blessed Israel by re-uniting Jerusalem and bringing Judea, Samaria, and Gaza back under its control. It would be a horrendous sin against G-d and common sense for Israel to renounce this inheritance to which it is entitled. Israel holds these lands as a sacred trust for the Jewish people in perpetuity.

It would not only be sinful, but also criminal, to abuse that trust by denying future generations of Jews their Holy Land -- Land of their Fathers; the one tiny spot on planet earth given to them by G-d.

[This article was first published in the Jewish Herald-Voice on July 11, 1992]



THE STATE OF JUDEA - Medinat Yehuda

(IsraelWire-7/25) Efforts towards the establishment of the State of Judea, intended to fill the void left by Israel's abandonment of any and all lands of Israel to the PLO Authority, has been announced. The organizers carefully point out their statement of purpose that the goals are in no way to combat Israeli forces, or engage in any inciteful activity against the current Israeli administration. Following are some of the points of clarification appearing on the State of Judea website:

Those of us who support the ideas presented on this website wish to clarify a few major points:

1. We do not advocate any seditious activity against the current Israeli regime and therefore present no threat to the State of Israel.

2. We intend to act only if abandoned to the enemy State of Palestine and to act only against the forces of the enemy State of Palestine.

3. We believe that the existence of the State of Judea is in the best interests of the State of Israel in that it will provide a safety valve to relieve religious/secular tensions and in the eventuality of the creation of a State of Palestine, the emergence of a State of Judea in that area will make for a better neighbor and peace partner to the State of Israel than the alternative.

4. That part of historical Eretz Israel known as Yesha has never been part of the modern State of Israel, but has remained since 1967 "disputed territory" that was never annexed or placed under Israeli sovereignty.[For additional information, one may visit the State of Judea official website at ]




By Boris Shusteff

Our destiny lies in our own hands. We ourselves must determine what is right for the Jewish people and the Jewish state. We ourselves must choose the course we shall follow. We need and we desire the understanding and the support of others, but in the hour of decision it is our judgement and our resolve and our vision that must guide us. (Yosef Tekoah. Israel's Ambassador to the UN, New York, April 15,1975).

The negotiations going on in Camp David unequivocally prove that the world community wants to establish another Palestinian state on a land whose every corner breathes with Jewish history. They also show that the current Israeli leadership is incapable of defending the territorial interests of the Jewish people. The Israeli leaders do not want to admit even to themselves that the abandonment of Yudea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) creates an existential threat not only to the citizens of Yesha but first and foremost to the citizens of Israel. An Israel will emerge crippled from these negotiations, squeezed into its pre-1967 Auschwitz borders; its capital - a divided Jerusalem; its water sources in the hands of its enemies.

At the same time the recent events in Israel clearly demonstrate that the trivial measures are not sufficient to stop the sliding of the Jewish state into the abyss. Although the no-confidence vote in Knesset prior to Ehud Barak's departure to America proved that the majority of the Israeli parliament does not support Barak, it still fell seven votes short of forcing a new election. The disintegration of the Israeli government and the resignation of the National Religious Party, the Yisrael B'Aliyah party and the religious Sephardic SHAS party did not stop Barak's departure to Washington either. Tel Aviv's July 16th demonstration against Israel's surrender was almost 200,000 strong. However, the event has a greater chance of entering the Guinness book of records than influencing Barak's actions in Camp David.

Undoubtedly all those who gathered on July 16 in Rabin's Square to show their support for the Jewish state must be commended. However, a demonstration is simply not enough. Israel has almost crossed the point of no return and only a colossal and concentrated effort could stop its demise. It is necessary to admit that if Israeli citizens continue playing by the established rules they will simply expedite the creation of the second Palestinian state and subsequent disintegration of the Jewish state. Needed is a chain of positive events that will establish a new reality in Eretz Yisrael and will give initiative to those who support Israel's Jewish identity.

Israel's so-called national camp needs a revolution. The major Israeli "right" parties have all but converged with the "left" ones and their ideologies are indistinguishable. The Likud as it was known 20 years ago no longer exists. Who will believe today that in March 1977 the Likud coalition platform declared: "Judea and Samaria will not be handed to any foreign administration; between the sea and Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty" (1)? The almost total obsession with the "termination of the Arab-Israeli conflict" by all possible means inevitably leads to the situation where the baby is thrown out with the water.

Today's Israeli leaders routinely see the territorial concessions while obviously "painful" but tolerable and acceptable. They simply do not understand, as Israel Harel put it on July 20 in "Haaretz" that:

"If the state of Israel is neither "the Land of Zion and Jerusalem" nor all that is connoted by this phrase, which appears in our national anthem, then our entire country is, as the Arabs claim, occupied territory that belongs to another people. If the state of Israel is like any other country on the face of the globe and if what we have established here is just one more state lacking any particular identity or uniqueness, we have no right, moral or otherwise, to be living here atop the ruins of Arab towns and villages."

Fortunately there are still large portions of the population that are ready to carry the onerous burden of centuries-old Jewish tradition. While they can be found in every strata of Israeli society, their biggest representation is obviously among the citizens of Yesha and among the Israeli youth. It is they who will carry forward the torch of the Jewish life on the Jewish land. It is the citizens of Yesha that can prevent today the disastrous dismemberment of Eretz Yisrael. It is the young Israelis with their idealism that still hear in every beat of their Jewish hearts the unexplainable longing towards their Jewish homeland.

All those who love Eretz Yisrael must realize that changes in the Israeli government are not enough to reverse the situation on the ground. First, there is no time left for these changes, as Arafat has declared that on September 13 he will proclaim a Palestinian state. Second, even electing a new leader tomorrow would have no effect. There is no leader among Israel's major parties who would have the courage to announce the annexation of Yesha to Israel.

Therefore only one plausible solution remains - the citizens of Yesha should proclaim an independent State of Judea on the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Like Ben Gurion did 52 years ago with the creation of Israel, the leaders of Yesha must call a press-conference and announce the creation of a second Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael - the State of Judea. This step must be taken by the Yesha Council immediately, before the other contender, Yasser Arafat, does this on September 13.

For those who do not accept the divine link between the Jews and Eretz Yisrael, and do not recognize that sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael was given to the Jewish people by the Almighty, there is an internationally recognized legal aspect that makes the proclamation of the State of Judea legitimate. On April 24, 1920 the League of Nations through the British Mandate "recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine"(1) and established "grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country"(1). Article 6 of the Mandate "encouraged... close settlement of the Jews on the land"(1) including the lands of Yesha. When the United Nations was created in lieu of the League of Nations, its Charter included Article 80 specifically to allow the continuation of the existing Mandates (including the British Mandate).

Article 80 stated that "nothing...shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever... of any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties." Thus the rights of the Jews to settle Eretz Yisrael were again confirmed by the international community. From the legal standpoint the Jews did not lose these rights even when in November 1947 UN General Assembly resolution 181 was issued, recommending a "Plan of Partition" of Palestine. Firstly, this resolution was not enforceable, it simply "recommended" the division of Palestine; and secondly, it lost its legitimacy immediately after the Arabs violated it by starting the war against Israel.

All this means that there does not exist an internationally valid document that stops the Jews from reconstituting their national home in Palestine, including Yesha. The only obstacle that stands between the proclamation of another Jewish state is the lack of willing leaders. Since the Israeli leaders are hesitant to proclaim Jewish sovereignty over the lands of Yesha, the leaders of Yesha must do that themselves. There is no international law that prevents the Jews from having two states (the Arabs have almost two dozen states). Although the Jewish population of the State of Judea will constitute 400,000 people, (if it includes the eastern and northern parts of Jerusalem) one should recall that Israel's population at the time of her proclamation was also small, only 600,000 people.

After the State of Judea is proclaimed and its government is established the territory of Yesha will stop being a contested land, as it will have acquired Jewish sovereignty. The first task of the government of Judea would be to unveil an extensive, highly visible public relation campaign to explain to the world community the well-known truths about the ties of the Jews with the land of the State of Judea. Emphasis should be given to the fact that 80% of the places mentioned in the Torah are located in the State of Judea.

The State of Judea will immediately enjoy the recognition of another Jewish state - Israel. The Gallup opinion poll carried on July 19, 2000 demonstrated that "48% of the representative sample of 594 surveyed adult Israelis (both Jews and Arabs) support settlers" (2). That means that after the State of Judea is created the Israelis that support the settlers will give economic assistance to the new state as well as aid in settling the land in the new state. One of the first articles in the Constitution of the new state will proclaim the right of any Jew in the world (Israeli Jews included) to live in the State of Judea.

The Israeli government, absolved from the responsibility of making decisions pertaining to the annexation of Yesha will be glad to extend a helping hand to its sister state. The new Middle East will be created. The State of Judea will sign a military agreement with the state of Israel, thus allowing Israel to deploy her military forces in locations mutually agreeable to both states. This will make the presence of Israeli troops in Yesha legitimate, while giving the State of Judea time to establish their own military forces.

The State of Judea will officially apply for membership in the UN. It will demand from the world community recognition of the inalienable rights of the Judeans (or Jews as they are known among the world community): their right to repatriation, self-determination, and establishment of their independent state. The millions of Judeans scattered all over the world will be able to return to their homeland and live as a free people in a free land.

As for the non-Jewish inhabitants of the State of Judea it is not the intent of this article to discuss the different available solutions. One should only mention that the future government of the State of Judea could decide to lease some lands (i.e. parts of the Gaza strip) for certain periods of time, under certain conditions to its Arab residents. At the same time the future relations between Israel and the State of Judea could one day lead to the creation of a confederation between the two states.

If the Jewish people wants to live in Eretz Yisrael the creation of the State of Judea is a must. After the State of Judea is created and enjoys the support of the Israeli army any attempt by Arafat to lay claim to the lands of Yesha will be an attempt to claim the sovereign land of a sovereign state. In other words it would be pure aggression that would be answered by the Israeli and the Judean armies accordingly.

Of course one could say that all of the above is a utopia. [Editor's Note: "If you will it, it need not be a dream."...Herzl] Then there is a question one should answer first: "If the world is so eager to accept two Palestinian Arab states what is wrong with two Jewish states?" [07/23/00]


1. The Israeli-Arab Reader. A documentary history of the Middle East conflict. Editors Walter Laquer and Barry Rubin. Penguin Books, New York, 1995.

2. "Maariv," 21 July, 2000.


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




By Boris Shusteff

"We agree with Mr. Sharansky's May 30, 2000 letter to you in which he stated 'A dangerous reality is being created according to which Israel relinquishes all of its assets.'" (An open letter of 30 American Jews to Ehud Barak. June 19, 2000).

Every day more and more people begin to understand the mortal threat that the Oslo agreement holds for Israel. Just two examples of the mood change among people who can in no way be associated to the "right" camp are an open letter to Barak, signed by 30 prominent American Jews, among others by former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) executive director Neal Sher, who was always a staunch supporter of the peace process, and a recent article by the New Republic's chief editor Martin Peretz, in the June 26 issue of the magazine, in which he wrote that "it is only now that I have the confidence to admit that I think the Oslo agreements were a mistake."

However, neither Neal Sher nor Martin Peretz can change Israel's reality. This can be done only by the Israelis themselves. They are the only ones who can stop the countdown towards the proclamation of another Palestinian state. Unfortunately, the latest news from Israel show that the Israeli political and military leaders are stubbornly

trying to continue the completely lost endgame. They resemble a bad chess-player who keeps playing in an obviously losing position, naively hoping that his opponent does not know how to achieve a victory.

The Israeli leaders are so mesmerized with the "peace process" that they are ready to continue it just for the sake of the process itself, incapable of foreseeing its consequences. The Israeli daily Ha'aretz wrote on June 20 that in a meeting of the security cabinet on June 18, the IDF General Staff "proposed an interim 1.5-2 year pact with the Palestinian state without defining borders or settling other major issues but giving them more land now." The top Israeli military brass recommended that Israel "recognize a Palestinian state," to continue "conducting negotiations with it on demarcating the final borders," and to give the Arabs "another slice of the West Bank as part of the IDF's third redeployment." The agreement "will have a duration of a year and a half or two years and will not be defined as an 'interim settlement,' but rather a transitional arrangement designed to define relations in the phase leading from autonomy to statehood."

The most shocking aspect of this proposal is that it completely coincides with Arab desires. On June 22 "The Jerusalem Post" quoted Palestinian authority (PA) Planning Minister Nabil Shaath who said:

"The declaration of statehood does not mean a declaration of will give us additional international support... Following the declaration, the conflict would become a border dispute between two states, and as a state, the Palestinians could ask the UN to define the borders between Israel and the Palestinians, as they did in the case of Lebanon."

While the Arab plans are extremely clear, since they have no doubt that the international community, including the European Union, will recognize a Palestinian state once it is declared, Israel's behavior is based on a total misconception. Anyone who has monitored the Oslo process from the very beginning can see two distinct tendencies: a constant Israeli retreat accompanied by the release of Arab terrorists and desperate Israeli attempts to acquire "international legitimacy" by pledging allegiance to the UN's resolutions.

It is interesting to note that since the beginning of the so-called "peace process" Israeli leaders have been constantly repeating the word "peace" without ever trying to define it. In reality the "peace process" is simply a synonym to the term "surrender of lands," and anyone who dares to protest the squandering of the Jewish patrimony is immediately defined as an enemy of the "peace process."

It is simply assumed that as soon as a "sufficient amount" of the primordial Jewish land is given to the Arabs, something called "peace" will descend on the Middle East. This "something" has different names, including the "new Middle East," economical cooperation, creation of industrial zones, and so on. However, the only important prerequisite of a real peace - the acceptance of Israel by the Arab world - is conspicuously missing. The Israeli leaders conveniently prefer not to see the brewing Arab hatred towards the Jews and Israel. Non-stop anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli propaganda in the Arab press, textbooks from kindergarten through high school levels full of anti-Israeli venom, and incessant hatred towards the Jewish state seeded by the Arab countries all over the world in international organizations and forums cannot possibly serve as a sign that the Arabs are ready to accept Israel's existence. And they are not!

Edward Said, one of the most prominent Palestinian Arabs summed up the attitude of the Arab world towards Israel in Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram on June 14:

"With only a tiny and insignificant number of exceptions, no cultural or political figure of independent national stature, no popular, syndicate or really autonomous non-governmental organization among those Arabs whose leaders have made peace with Israel has in any serious way accepted the peace. Israel has remained "unnormalized," and basically isolated at the only level that counts in the long run. Resistance to its presence is still strenuously, not to say vociferously displayed."

While the Israeli leaders are busy trying to sell to the general public the idea that the Arabs are ready for "peace," the Arabs at the people-to-people level, "the only level that counts in the long run," categorically reject the Jewish state. Even if one were to assume, G-d forbid, that, as reported on June 23 by Ha'aretz, Israel will "withdraw from 90 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in return for a permanent agreement that will declare the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ended," in reality the conflict will be ended only on the paper.

How was it determined that Arafat and his cronies will honor this paper? Just recall that the PLO Charter is still legally unchanged after countless promises by Arafat to change it. The Israeli leaders simply became tired of the issue and swept it under the carpet. The precedent was established and the Arabs know that on the other issues the Israelis will finally give up as well.

The assumption that Arabs will be "tied" by international legitimacy is ridiculous. If America, the leader of the democratic world, feels comfortable violating international agreements when she considers it "important for her security," why then should Arabs behave differently? America violated both the UN and the NATO Charters by attacking Yugoslavia, a sovereign state, and member of the UN, and established another precedent that the Arabs will be only too glad to follow under the pretense that Israel does not treat the Israeli Arabs as it should.

Moreover, after leaving Lebanon Israel declared that it has "internationally recognized borders" since it fulfilled UN Resolution 425. The Arabs immediately jumped on the band wagon of Israel's worshipping of UN Resolutions, demanding from Israel the "return of all Arab land occupied in 1967" as "required" by UN Resolutions 242 and 338. The international community, like the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens, has no idea whatsoever that these Resolutions were written based on Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, and thus they are NOT ENFORCEABLE and should be considered only as a RECOMMENDATION (as opposed to Resolutions based on Chapter 7, which are indeed enforceable).

Almost immediately after the Six Day War Professor Yoram Dinshtein, one of the foremost Israeli specialists in international law, published an article where he proved that resolution 242 does not oblige Israel to do anything!! The Oslo agreement was based on Resolutions 242 and 338 and it means that Israel gives the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (collectively known as Yesha) to the Arabs on a strictly voluntary basis. Speaking strictly from the standpoint of international law, Israel, as was proven by Professors Yoram Dinsthtein, Louis Beres, prominent Israeli lawyer Elon Yarden and many others, has all the rights to annex the lands of Yesha. The only reason that Israel does not do that is her lack of desire. The Jewish state simply does not want to annex Yesha.

When in 1967 the Jews conquered the lands of Yesha, Jordanian sovereignty over this land was not internationally recognized by the UN (Great Britain and Pakistan were the only two countries in the world that considered it to belong to Jordan). According to international law this was the only territory in the world over which sovereignty was not allocated to any country. Then, in July 1988, Jordan abandoned its self-proclaimed sovereignty over the lands of Yesha. From that moment onward, Israel gained the opportunity to annex this land outright, since there were no other sovereign states who had claims to it.

However, it is extremely important to understand that if Israel allows the creation of a Palestinian state on the lands of Yesha the situation with the land will become IRREVERSIBLE. While today, it is still a DISPUTED LAND, as soon as the Palestinian state is established and recognized by the UN the status of the land will change. The land will become the property of a sovereign state. The only way for Israel to get it back would be by the means of war. By allowing the creation of a second Palestinian state Israel will voluntarily abandon the Jewish rights to Yesha for ever.

The argument that annexation of Yesha is not good for Israel since it will not allow her to remain a Jewish state should be dismissed. There is no contradiction in Israel being a Jewish state and simultaneously annexing territories with a large Arab population. It is not a problem at all as long as one condition is met. As proposed by the Yamin Israel party anyone who lives on the annexed territory and wants to become an Israeli citizen must pledge allegiance to the Jewish state. Otherwise he or she will become a resident of the Jewish state with curtailed political rights.

The annexation of Yesha will be healthy for the Jewish state for many other reasons as well. It will bring an increase of aliyah, since the lands of Yesha will become available for settlement encouraged by the government. One can just compare Israel in its pre-Six Day War "Auschwitz borders" with Israel that includes the Golan and Yesha, in order to understand which one will be more attractive to potential immigrants. Only the insane can prefer the former with the 80% of its fresh water resources located in the territory of her hostile neighbors and without any strategic depth for military defense.

From the end of the Six Day War Israel has tried in vain many different ways to deal with the lands of Yesha stubbornly rejecting the most simple one - annexation. There are three months remaining till the planned establishment by Arafat of the second Palestinian state. Israel still has time to do the right thing. It is now or never. [06/25/00]


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




By Louis Rene Beres

Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University

21 July 2000

Recently I met privately, at the Israeli Embassy, with Ambassador David Ivry. Reflecting further upon that July 3rd meeting, I am now struck by one particular rationale offered to me by the Ambassador for Israeli adherence to Oslo: Israel, he stated, MUST give its young people the hope for peace; anything less would lead them to abandon their country and "move to the United States."

Let us think for a moment about this rationale. First, is it decent or productive to offer hope for peace when the offer cannot possibly be kept? If the Ambassador and his Government were anticipating an authentic peace, his argument could have been quite compelling. But he and the Prime Minister know full well that this "peace" is entirely contrived, and that the long-documented Arab plan for phased destruction of Israel remains fully in place.

Perhaps the Ambassador and the Prime Minister hope - hope beyond any reasonable factual support - that somehow, somehow, endless concessions will quiet their sworn enemies; that these enemies will be "reasonable" and turn away from their oft-declared plan for "liberation of occupied Palestine." Is such a hope defensible? Shall Israel keep its young people from moving to Los Angeles because of hopes that are anchored in delusion? For what purpose? Shall they remain in Israel only to discover later, in complete surprise, that Oslo's "peace" was rooted in a peculiar form of madness? Shall they then die in a war brought about by a so-called "peace process?" Better, it would seem, to let them move off to Los Angeles now; far, far better.

There is something else that is wrong with the Ambassador's rationale, something very, very wrong. Even if he and the Prime Minister sincerely believe that Oslo's risks for peace are tolerable, that incremental Israeli surrenders are justifiable if there is even a remote chance for peace, the message is clear: ANY peace is preferable to ANY war. What this would suggest is that Israel is no longer worth fighting for, and that all considerations of Jewish Law and Obligation are now subordinate to the absolute avoidance of military force.

With such a message, the following question must be put to the Ambassador and to his Prime Minister: Why, in essence, should Israel continue to endure? Is it merely to avoid injury, even at the cost of shameless concessions and capitulations to those who will fight to make it disappear? Or does Israel exist to serve certain broader principles of the Jewish Nation, principles so timeless and so sacred that, in comparison, even any hint of peace must be considered less valuable?

Of course, such a comparison need not even be evoked in the current condition of world politics. The Oslo "peace" is leading directly to war, and this coming war will be especially hard on Israel BECAUSE of the Oslo agreements. Current Israeli Government policy maximizes neither safety nor principle. If this policy stands for anything, it stands, at best, for a profound lack of wisdom and understanding. At worst, it stands for an official form of national self-loathing that cuts out the very heart of Jewish meaning and survival.

Israel's leadership will never be sufficiently generous to acknowledge the darkness it brings upon the entire Jewish world. Instead, it will continue to premise the disappearing Jewish State upon an elaborate infrastructure of false hopes and insupportable promises. Intellectually frivolous, religiously vacant, this leadership - disconnected from both Faith and Reason - will remain amateurish at everything important. Intoxicated with its own fabrications, it will never understand that banana republics should not be self-imposed.

A leadership that is seriously interested in the procession of ideas and of irreducible beliefs will find it worthwhile to pause over the spectacle of human history. For the Government of Israel, such a pause could occasion substantial and unassailable doubts concerning prospects for peace, doubts that would underscore the intermittent inevitability of war. There is nothing pleasant about such doubts, to be sure, but they cannot be rejected in favor of more pleasant lies.

No, the truth must always be acknowledged, and all pertinent policies must then proceed from this truth. If Israel's leadership believes that it is better for its young people to remain at home in the false hope for peace than to move to Los Angeles in the correct expectation of war, it misses an absolutely overriding point: Israel's continuance in the world must have a meaning beyond physical survial of the State. It must stand for the Jewish Nation and the Jewish Faith. If it is unprepared to accept the truth, however disconcerting and painful it may be, it will simply place millions of Jewish lives in harms way for the sake of an increasingly humiliating American client state.

Israel's reason for being is not to avoid war at all costs, but to protect Jewish life. This objective cannot be served by an Israeli Government that now prefers a delusionary peace because it may keep its youth from departing to America. It CAN be served by reminding this youth of the sacrifices of earlier generations of Jews and Israelis, and of its particular good fortune not to be without power in the face of new generations of genociders.


LOUIS RENE BERES lectures and publishes widely on Israeli defense matters.




Ha'aretz -- Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Ha'aretz: Settlers get IDF okay to use live ammunition;
PA preparations for trouble include stockpiling arms,
food and gasoline, says Mofaz

By Gideon Alon, Ha'aretz Knesset Correspondent

IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz yesterday revealed that IDF officers and settlers in the West Bank have been given orders to take "all necessary measures" to prevent Palestinian demonstrators from breaking through the perimeter fence of settlements in case of attack. The orders clearly imply that the defenders of the settlements are authorized to shoot with live fire in order to prevent entry.

Mofaz told the Knesset Foreign Policy and Defense Committee of the orders during an extensive briefing regarding the possible scenarios of clashes with the Palestinians in the event that the Camp David Summit will collapse.

Some military intelligence estimates suggest a broad scale conflagration is expected in the territories if the summit fails. Mofaz said that there are clear signs of preparations being undertaken by the Palestinian Authority for armed clashes with the IDF. He cited stockpiling of fuel, food and medicine to fend off an Israeli siege of Palestinian towns and villages, as examples.

According to the General, the Palestinians are preparing for a variety of scenarios and they have intensified their defensive preparations, reinforcing positions and outposts.

Mofaz said that it is known that the Palestinian Authority has a large supply of small arms and added that there have also been unconfirmed reports of anti-tank missiles entering the Palestinian arsenal. He said that part of the PA's preparations for a possible conflict with the IDF involved training sessions for hundreds of teenagers.

The Chief of Staff also warned that there would be renewed trouble in southern Lebanon, both with the Hezbollah and the Palestinian opposition groups in the refugee camps there. Mofaz said that the Hezbollah is believed to be preparing kidnappings of IDF soldiers in an effort to exchange them with prisoners held in Israel, such as Mustafa Dirani and Sheikh Obeid.

However, military intelligence also believes that the Hezbollah has not yet made a final decision on whether to "heat" up the border with Israel. Analysts believe that the organization is being held back by Syria, which is interested in bolstering the recently elected Bashar Assad, and elements in Lebanon, concerned with the possible backlash of any action against Israel on the eve of elections there on August 27.



THINK AGAIN: The Seeds of Surrender

By Jonathan Rosenblum

[Friday, July 28 2000 02:40 25 Tammuz 5760 The Jerusalem Post] We are currently witnessing the reprise of an ancient midrash, which relates an argument between Ishmael and Isaac. Both claimed to be the true heirs of the Divine promise of the Land to their father, Abraham. And both understood that the issue revolved around who was willing to sacrifice more for the Covenant.

Ishmael boasted that he had submitted to circumcision when he was 13 years old, not a mere eight days. Isaac replied that he would be prepared to offer himself on an altar. That, says the midrash, was the prelude to the Binding of Isaac. For the moment, it is the Arabs who have accepted the role of Isaac.

At Camp David, Prime Minister Ehud Barak asked Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat what he really wanted in Jerusalem. Arafat replied by describing his vision of traveling unimpeded to Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state. Barak told him to skip the vision thing and get down to practicalities.

Arafat, however, had the last word: "Anyone who does not understand what Jerusalem means to me is an impractical man." Thus did a Moslem leader lecture a Jewish prime minister - descendant of unbroken generations who directed their every prayer to Jerusalem - on the preciousness of Jerusalem.

One could take a cynical view of the importance of Jerusalem in Arafat's eyes. After all, as Daniel Pipes has conclusively shown in these pages, Jerusalem occupies a very minor status, at most, in Islam, and is not even mentioned in the Koran.

But there is something much deeper going on here. The Arabs have contempt for those who have lost all connection to their past, and to the historical sense of their peoplehood. Salah Tamari, a former Palestinian terrorist told Israeli journalist Aharon Barnea of the complete transformation he underwent in an Israeli prison. While in prison, he had completely despaired of any hope that the Palestinians would one day realize any of their territorial dreams, and so he was ready to renounce the struggle.

Then, one Pessah, he witnessed his Jewish warder eating a pita sandwich. Tamari was shocked, and asked his jailer how he could so unashamedly eat bread on Pessah. The Jew replied: "I feel no obligation to events that took place over 2,000 years ago. I have no connection to that."

That entire night Tamari could not sleep. He thought to himself: "A nation whose members have no connection to their past, and are capable of so openly transgressing their most important laws - that nation has cut off all its roots to the Land."

He concluded that the Palestinians could, in fact, achieve all their goals. From that moment, he determined "to fight for everything - not a percentage, not such crumbs as the Israelis might throw us - but for everything. Because opposing us is a nation that has no connection to its roots, which are no longer of interest to it."

Tamari goes on to relate how he shared this insight with "tens of thousands of his colleagues, and all were convinced."

THE severance of connection to a Jewish past is one of the chief goals of the branja (clique), which, as alarmingly described by Yoram Hazony in his book, The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul, dominates Israeli intellectual life, and whose influence is felt in every sphere - education, the military, and the judiciary.

In the eyes of our intellectual elites, Judaism itself has become an enemy, because Jewish history and the age-old Jewish sense of ourselves as one people gave legitimacy to the idea of a Jewish state. And that state, a colonial enterprise, conceived in sin, founded upon outdated concepts of national character and mission, is a militaristic oppressor of indigenous peoples.

For members of the branja, giving back Judea and Samaria is not a painful step necessitated by the desire for peace, but a welcome thing in its own right, for it destroys our link to some distant tribal past. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they recognize the connection between the Land of the ancient kingdom of Judea, and Judaism and our identity as Jews.

Everything that binds us to our past must be destroyed. Thus Shulamit Aloni, as education minister, vehemently opposed trips to Auschwitz for Israeli high-school students, lest they foster feelings of national identity. One of the chief architects of the Oslo process told US Senator Daniel Moynihan six years ago that Israel would have to prepare its people over the coming years for painful concessions - the abandonment of settlements, Palestinian statehood and control over areas of Jerusalem.

That, our leaders have done brilliantly.

Over the past six years, there has been a massive shift in public opinion: the Likud position of today is the Peace Now position of six years ago. Had Ehud Barak spoken openly a year ago of making the kind of concessions he was apparently prepared to make at Camp David, there is no question he would have been defeated overwhelmingly.

But, said the Oslo architect, the other side also needs to prepare its people. They must know that there will be no recognition of a right of return, no Palestinian sovereignty over the Old City, and they must recognize Israel's right to exist.

The danger, he said, is that only one side will undertake its responsibilities while the other will continue to educate its people that all its maximal demands are within reach, while preparing them for war. And if that happens, the side that failed to educate its people in the necessity of compromise will view its adversary as having surrendered, and will thus be emboldened by the prospect of eventual victory.

That is precisely what has happened. Barak went to Camp David with compromise offers that would have been unthinkable mere months ago. But Arafat held fast. And then came the American bridging proposals, which started from the point of Barak's offers and required Barak to offer yet more.

Yet Arafat stood firm. He has reached the same conclusion as Tamari: the Jews are surrendering.






I believe it is possible to reach an agreement with a united and undivided Jerusalem, but in a different wayThey tell us we have reached the moment of truth, so it is time to say it loudly and clearly: All Israel seeks peace. But our commitment is to real and lasting peace that will provide security for generations.

The end to the Arab-Israeli conflict requires a clear and unequivocal agreement on the termination of the state of war with all the countries in the region (including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other peripheral states).

An agreement that terminates the conflict must include a clear and unambiguous recognition on the part of the Arab world and Arab governments, of the legitimate historical rights of the Jewish people to a Jewish state in their one and only homeland - Israel

Without these principles and their implementation, and in the absence of real education for peace among our Arab neighbors, we might get an agreement that has, perhaps, a formal recognition of Israel's existence, but without the clear and long-term commitment on the part of the Arabs, to a process of true reconciliation - the cornerstone for any lasting peace.

It is necessary to arrive at a permanent and mutually obligating peace agreement that will terminate the conflict. If as a result of constraints all that we can possibly achieve is a long-term interim agreement with the Palestinians - Israel must continue to hold on to most of its strategic assets.

Arafat and his people are threatening an outbreak of violence if their demands are not met. Barak's close circles are insinuating and spreading this same message; the response to these threats, in my view, should be only one sentence, saying very clearly: Beware - Israel is strong! That is how a state with self-respect should behave, and acting in this manner perhaps we could prevent the violence threatening us.

However, if in spite of this there will be an outbreak of hostilities instigated by the Palestinians, Israel must prepare and plan in advance its domestic, political, diplomatic and security countermeasures. It is clear now that Prime Minister Barak has committed himself to hand over to Arafat historical and strategic assets, way beyond what Israel can afford to give away, thus endangering Israel's future.

The picture is this: Barak will leave the summit, probably, with no real concessions from Arafat. But he will leave with drafts of Israeli commitments for far-reaching concessions. Barak leaves in Arafat's hands a down payment of sorts, which he already offered to pay in full. Arafat, in return gives nothing, not even a promise to renounce violence.

Pay attention to how the Barak propaganda machine is already working full steam: Barak's close circle of advisors are spreading around a "tranquilizer": Israel will "receive" Givat Ze'ev, Ma'aleh Adumim and the Gush Etzion settlements. Thus Israel is in fact "receiving" what it already has and what Barak promised will remain in Israel's hands forever. Israel is giving Arafat what was never in his hands -against Barak's pre-election promises that he will never concede parts of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Barak is simply violating and reneging on the campaign promises on which he got elected.

I BELIEVE it is possible to reach an agreement with a united and undivided Jerusalem, but in a different way. In my view, we must concentrate all our efforts to arrive at a broad national consensus based on clear unequivocal "red lines." I propose six red lines which can serve as a basis for broad national consensus, strengthen Israel's position, and enable us to reach a better and more secure agreement:

1. Greater Jerusalem, united and undivided, must be the eternal capital of Israel and under full Israeli sovereignty. The question of Jerusalem should not remain open, as it may become the time bomb for the next conflict.

2. Israel will retain under its full control sufficiently wide security zones - in both the East and the West. The Jordan Valley, in its broadest sense, as defined by the Allon Plan, will be the eastern security zone of Israel. This includes the steep eastern slopes of the hill ridge of Judea and Samaria (west of the Allon Road) overlooking the valley. Israel will maintain contiguous presence and control of the entire valley up to the Jordan River, including the border passes. The western security zone will include the line of hills commanding the coastal plain and controlling Israel's vital underground water sources. Strategic routes will be retained under Israel's control.

3. Jewish towns, villages and communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as access roads leading to them, including sufficient security margins along them, will remain under full Israeli control.

4. The solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees from 1948-1967 will be based on their resettlement and rehabilitation in the places where they live today (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, etc.) Israel does not accept under any circumstances the Palestinian demand for the right of return. Israel bears no moral or economic responsibility for the refugees' predicament.

5. As a vital existential need, Israel must continue to control the underground fresh water aquifers in western Samaria, which provide a major portion of Israel's water. The Palestinians are obligated to prevent contamination of Israel's water resources.

6. Security arrangements: All the territories under control of the Palestinian Authority will be demilitarized. The Palestinians will not have an army; only a police force. Israel will maintain complete control of the whole air space over Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

I believe that any government in Israel that will adopt and implement these principles will strengthen Israel's deterrence and could reach a better, more secure peace, one that will ensure Israel's long-term national strategic interests.

(c) 2000 The Jerusalem Post



Brig. Gen.(res.) Aharon Levran on the
Strategic Importance of Jordan Valley

Interview by Aaron Lerner

IMRA interviewed former senior intelligence officer Brig.Gen. (res.) Aharon Levran, in Hebrew, on June 29, 2000:

IMRA: What is the strategic importance of the Jordan Valley and how would a war scenario play out differently without Israeli forces controlling the Jordan Valley?

Levran: The best defense positions, from a strategic defense standpoint, are the slopes of the mountain ridge by the Jordan Valley. They have a commanding presence over the entire area. But what with this insane government, no one is even talking about Israel holding onto these vital positions. This leaves us with, as a second best position, the flat area of the Jordan Valley.

The Jordan Valley provides a broad border area within which it is possible, for a military standpoint, to separate between Israel and Jordan. It also provides a vital buffer between any Palestinian entity and Jordan - a nation with a heavy Palestinian population whose stability could be undermined if it had an open border with the Palestinians.

IMRA: Prof. Shai Feldman of the Jaffee Center believes that in the case of war Israeli forces would simply return to the Jordan Valley.

Levran: This is ridiculous. You have to have a fortified defense line - with all the systems, camps and infrastructure prepared in advance - as we have today. You can't just walk up to the border. The IDF would also have to cross through the mountain passes that would be under Palestinian control. The Palestinians can be expected to preposition explosive charges that can block these passes off at various tight choke points.

IMRA: But if the IDF responded to an Iraqi move through Jordan by a preemptive strike within Jordan would any of this be relevant?

Levran: Let us not fool ourselves. If Iraq moves into Jordan does anyone seriously expect Israel to immediately jump into Jordan? Consider all the times in our recent history that we decline to react to various threats. Instead of a preemptive strike we would be counseled to show restraint to avoid disturbing the peace.

Instead of Israel holding a defense line that it has fortified and prepared and is intimately familiar with we have this reckless proposal that in the event of war the IDF somehow makes its way to open territory. Complete insanity.


Dr. Aaron Lerner is director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) (mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645



[Note from the J. Herring family: Hillary's tactics are reminiscent of Egypt when they invaded on Yom Kippur.]
Sunday July 23, 2000 10:47 AM EST

Hillary's Planned Kiss-And-Make-Up With Jews

This Saturday Hillary showed up in the Hamptons and visited an orthodox synagogue. According to reports, more than 350 people showed up for religious services and discovered that Hillary was the guest speaker.

``I know this has been a very difficult and trying week for you,'' said Rabbi Marc Schneier, one of New York's most notable rabbis. ``It's time for us to move on. Hillary has always been a friend of our people.'' Clearly the event was planned to dampen the impact of allegations that Hillary had referred to a Jewish campaign aide as a "Jew bastard."

But some in the Jewish community are outraged by what they believe was an attempt by Rabbi Schneier to help Hillary and undercut any protest of her comments and her stance toward Israel.

On Friday morning had received a phone call from Susan Rosenbluth, editor of the monthly Orthodox publication The Jewish Volice. Rosenbluth informed us that the buzz in New York was that Rabbi Schneier was planning to invite Hillary to services in the Hamptons.

Why there, as opposed to having an open meeting between Hillary and New York's Jewish community right in Manhattan during the week? According to Rosenbluth, the "impromptu" visit by Hillary to the Hampton services did not allow her critics, including those in the Jewish community, adequate time to prepare a protest.

More to the point, Rosenbluth said, by cleverly having her address take place during sabbath services, other Orthodox Jews angry with Hillary couldn't travel to the Hamptons to make their dissent known. Sabbath rules forbid travel.



"Wailing Wall" Belongs to Muslims

Date: 7/23/2000 3:11:47 PM Central Daylight Time (Murray Kahl)

Shaykh Hayyan al-Idrisi, preacher of the al-Aqsa Mosque, called yesterday for encountering Israel's intransigence and its refusal to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem. Yesterday, at al-Aqsa Mosque he said: "Jerusalem with its heart - the al-Aqsa Mosque - the first of the two qiblahs [direction to which Muslims turn in praying] and the third holiest mosque- is the property of all Muslims.

Al-Idrisi emphasized that all the excavations and tunnels dug by the Israeli Archaeological Department under the al-Aqsa Mosque and in other parts of Jerusalem have not proved a Jewish presence in the city. Even the al-Baraq Wall [Wailing or Western Wall] is part of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Shaykh Taysir Bayyud al-Tamimi, deputy chief Islamic judge in Hebron, stressed during his Friday sermon at the al-Ibrahimi Mosque [Tomb of the Patriarchs] that the al-Aqsa Mosque and the area surrounding it are Islamic. He inextricably linked the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to the Holy Mosque in Mecca.

Shaykh al-Tamimi stressed that the Ibrahimi Mosque [in Hebron] is a fully Islamic mosque in which the Jews have no rights. Hebron is also an Arab and Islamic town that was occupied by the Israeli occupation forces in 1967. He called for the liberation of the occupied part of Hebron and its restoration to its owners and for the removal of the settlements from Hebron and all the Palestinian territories.



Syria's 'Lion' Was Really a 'Monster'

By Daniel Pipes

The Wall Street Journal

June 12, 2000

Hafez Assad, the strongman of Syria, died Saturday morning. News reports did not specify the cause of death-they rarely do for a man who has built a cult of personality around himself-but it's no mystery. The 69-year old had suffered from a host of disabilities after his heart attack of November 1983: a stroke, kidney failure, lymphoma, and "intermittent dementia."

Much else about the Syrian president is also unclear. His official date of birth was Oct. 6, 1930, but research suggests that he was born several years earlier. His family's official name was Assad (Arabic for "the lion") but that had been changed from Wahsh ("wild beast" or "monster"). Although his parents were well-off by local standards, Assad spread a story of early poverty. Shimon Peres, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, once aptly called Assad "an enigma wrapped in a riddle."

The most mysterious thing of all, however, was Assad's religion. As the ruler of Syria, a majority-Muslim country, he found it expedient to present himself as Muslim, although he really adhered to the small and secretive Alawi faith. Alawism goes back to the 9th century, when its founder, born a Muslim, declared himself the "gateway" to the divine truth and abandoned Islam. Since then, Alawism's relationship to Islam has roughly resembled that of Christianity to Judaism; it is, in short, a totally separate religion.

Trouble is, because Islam puts great emphasis on its being the final revelation of God, Muslims cannot tolerate the idea of a religion emerging out of Islam. That explains why, when Alawis took power in Syria in 1966, they presented themselves as standard Muslims. For example, they compelled leaders of the Syrian Islamic establishment to endorse Alawis as a kind of Muslim. This and other steps, however, did little good. Syrians continued to see Alawis as non-Muslims, even as "an apostate, irreligious sect." This hostile attitude haunted Assad through his 30-year rule and will no doubt bedevil his successors too.

The first of his family to attend school, Assad, upon graduation in 1951, enrolled in a military academy and distinguished himself as a combat pilot. He had been active in politics as early as 1945 and when still a student was jailed by the French colonial authorities for political activities. He joined the Baath Party, an extremist organization, soon after its creation in 1947, and by 1959 had began a decade-long process of consolidating his position within the Syrian armed forces. He played an important role in the Baath Party's coup of March 1963 and was rewarded for his efforts by a meteoric rise through the ranks, going from captain in early 1963 to field marshal in 1968.

The 1963 coup gave Assad his first taste of administration and authority, and from the start he proved competent at both. His timely support for a coup in February 1966 proved decisive in the events that brought the Alawis to power; his reward was to be appointed defense minister. By 1968 he was the most powerful figure in the country, but he bided his time before taking complete control. The right moment came in November 1970, when he simultaneously ousted his last rival and culminated the Alawi rise to power in Syria.

Assad's 30 years in power were marked by the contrast between his initial successes (stabilizing Syria's politics, reviving its economy, performing credibly in war against Israel, taking control of Lebanon) and his later failures (economic decline, inability to appoint a successor, failure to end the conflict with Israel, humiliation by Turkey). More broadly, what may have seemed to be smart policies in the early years, such as aligning with the Soviet Union and adopting its form of command economy, a generation later looked like a huge mistake.

Worst of all, Assad never managed to overcome Muslim revulsion toward his Alawi identity. Tensions brewed for years until finally erupting in 1982 in the form of a fundamentalist Muslim revolt in Hama, Syria's third largest city. Assad responded with such ruthlessness, massacring some 20,000 Syrians, that the problem never resurfaced. It was also not solved. As Alawis attempt to continue ruling Syria after Assad's death, they will almost certainly face renewed expressions of Muslim enmity. Most likely, this will present the foremost political challenge for Assad's successors.

But it will hardly be the only one. Assad leaves behind him a country in roughly as terrible shape as when he took it over in 1970. Yes, Syria benefited from the stability he brought, but it was a desolate, repressive stability that masked, and did not solve, the deep tensions in Syrian society. As in the former Yugoslavia, these could explode after the long-time dictator's demise. Yes, Syria has benefited from the oil produced on Assad's watch, but now the economy suffers from too much dependence on that single commodity. Yes, effectively annexing Lebanon was a great achievement, but the deep resentment of that country's population will be a force Syrians will have to reckon with shortly.

Assad's rule, like that of every totalitarian despot, must in the final analysis be judged not just a failure but a tragic failure that needlessly caused millions to suffer.


Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and author of three books on Syria.



IMRA's weekly commentary on Arutz 7
27 July 2000

By Aaron Lerner

Before Camp David I listed the standards against which to judge the outcome of the summit. It is with deep regret that I note that Prime Minister Ehud Barak was a dismal failure at the talks. Yes, the talks failed, but by accepting the American bridge proposal Barak has already set the precedent that his administration accepts incredibly dangerous concessions among them the division of Jerusalem INCLUDING THE OLD CITY (turning them into a super Area A under the complete control of the Palestinians but with symbolic Israeli sovereignty until that too is dropped in later negotiation).

To make matters worse Barak embraced a policy of forfeiting Israel's ability to develop its own its own independent edge in weapons technology in return for promises of additional US aid – this at a time that America is brutally honest that there is basically no conventional weapons technology that the petrodollars of our enemies and potential enemies cannot buy at the right price.

Yes, difficult decisions are being taken at this time due to the difficult situation our nation has been presented with as a result of the developments at the Camp David Summit. And when these decisions are taken it is important that several factors be taken into account.

#1 Prime Minister Ehud Barak is not about to concede that he made a grave error in the negotiations.

#2 If elections are held and Barak wins it will not matter WHY he won (for example, problems with the opposing candidate or issues having nothing to do with Camp David), the victory will be considered an endorsement of his positions.

#3 No official presentation of those positions can be expected to be shared with the public.

#4 There is no indication that the failed summit puts the suicide process on hold.

Keeping this in mind, the preferable situation would be the establishment of a new national unity government under the leadership of Barak but with clear guidelines rejecting the dangerous concessions Barak has made. Barak does not have to admit error – just make the statesmanlike observation that in a democratic system based on coalition government not one man, even the prime minister, can claim to have a monopoly on the truth and that he RESPECTS the majority view of his new government.

If this fails then we are left with no choice but to proceed with efforts to bring about new elections. The road ahead will be tough, but I fear we have no choice. And if we have to go that route we must remember that nothing is insurmountable if properly approached.

If Barak does not formally present his Camp David stand, it can be argued that he understated the severity and scope of the concessions to the voting public.

Even the "most often decorated" line used to give the impression that Barak is a military genius. The public can be made to understand that those awards were for the execution of the policies of OTHERS, much like the most valuable player in a game may not be responsible for team strategy (or in American parlance, the most valuable player award does not necessarily go to the quarterback who called the play).

Again, this will be a tough week with tough calls. But we may have no choice.


Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director is direcotr of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(POB 982 Kfar Sava)



The New Republic 26 June 2000

Martin Peretz blasts Oslo
and withdrawal from the Golan

By Martin Peretz

We are ending our three-and-a-half-month stay in Israel, and it is only now that I have the confidence to admit that I think the Oslo agreements were a mistake. Looking out from my rooftop apartment, I see the Mediterranean immediately to the west and the hills of Samaria not at all so remotely to the east. Tel Aviv, at its farthest, is 15 visible miles from the old frontier with the West Bank, and it is somewhere near this old border that the new one with nascent Palestine will be set. Some day soon, I fear and I expect, mortar and missiles will target old Israel from new Palestine, from those hills to here.

Only an idiot can believe that Israel has strategic depth anywhere but on its frontier with Egypt--and that exception owes to the unique vastness of the Sinai.

The fatal flaw of the Oslo process is process. Israel committed itself to an extended sequence of negotiation and concession, whereby it would make a series of permanent and palpable sacrifices, while what was expected of the Palestinians was mostly that they show up and mutter the empty formulas of reassurance. If they didn't like what and how much Israel was prepared to relinquish, the Palestinian Authority would simply leave the table and go home. Then, to get Arafat's men back to the table and to accommodate pressure from the United States, the Israelis would give away something more--all without even knowing what the outcome of all these leavings and takings would look like.

What is being expected of Israel is magnanimity in the dark. Surely the friendship of the United States cannot make up for the blindfold that it is asking Israel to wear on the road to peace.

Now we learn that the Israeli government is prepared to relinquish even the Jordan Valley, which until yesterday was considered off-limits by all but the most reckless peace processors. This must send shivers down the spines not only of many Israelis but also of the moderate, friendly (and pro-American) royals in Amman, who know that without an Israeli presence there, the river Jordan will blow chilly and cold, and the Palestinians may begin to feel their old craving for the Hashemite kingdom. Iraq and Syria, too, have ambitions toward Jordan; and Israel can defend the Hashemites (and, of course, itself) only if its forces are strategically positioned to move directly and without interference from Arafat's legions.

The father of this "what's yours is yours and what's mine is yours" process is Shimon Peres, the French intellectual who long ago bought into the great contemporary cliché that territory is no longer important in warfare. The preposterousness of this idea (which has its devotees in Washington, too) has been demonstrated in every modern war, from Vietnam to Iraq to the Balkans. The only certain consequence of the dependence upon air power has been disillusionment with the dependence upon air power. Neither bombs nor missiles will dislodge or disarm the adversary if his forces hold land. Early in June I heard Peres pronounce on just about everything important to Israel in a muddle of an after-dinner talk in Jerusalem. We will turn bullets into ballots. We will turn terrorists into tourists. Frontiers are of no importance. Science knows no borders. Science knows no language. The science of knowledge and the knowledge of science. One thing we do know is that Peres himself knows no science. If he did, he would know that science by itself makes neither people nor government virtuous.

Science is neutral. In wicked hands, it is wicked. But the pundits now discern an inclination toward peace in Bashar al-Assad because he is an ophthalmologist.

Edward Said may have fabricated his life as a Palestinian refugee, but he was telling God's honest truth when he asserted in a recent column (reprinted in The Jerusalem Post!) that there is no "new peace between old enemies." The opposite proposition, he writes, "has been disproved by the examples of Egypt, Jordan and the PLO, whose leaders have gone all the way toward Israel without persuading their populations to follow suit.... Resistance to its presence is still strenuously displayed ... the conventional wisdom about peacemaking in the Middle East has essentially been disproved." Said knows whereof he speaks: he is the most prestigious of all tenured rejectionists. But Israelis, mostly eager for peace, have begun to grasp that their neighbors do not reciprocate the eagerness. Whatever happens to Ehud Barak's government, the popular enthusiasm for the Oslo process is fast unraveling. Indeed, it was a stroke of luck for Barak that Hafez Assad stiffed Bill Clinton in Geneva: had the bloody tyrant (now widely treated as a prudent statesman by, among others, the American president and secretary of state) agreed to take back the Golan Heights, leaving only a few symbolic yards on the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee in Israel's hands, the Israeli electorate would almost certainly have rejected the deal.

Syrian participation in the negotiations over the Golan is not part of the Oslo drama, but it shares with Oslo two salient characteristics. The first is Syria's maximalist presumptions. Neither the Palestinians nor the Syrians are contemplating real compromise: they want nothing less than everything they lost in 1967. The second is the American role. In the negotiations over the Golan there was hardly even a pretense that the parties in conflict were talking to each other. (In Shepherdstown, remember, the Syrian foreign minister refused to shake the Israeli prime minister's hand.) But the legacy-addled American president was frantic for an agreement; and so the only real negotiating was between Washington and Jerusalem. To be sure, teams of Palestinians and Israelis talk to each other endlessly; but the real bargaining took place between the United States and Israel, with the United States always pushing Israel to give more and more and more.

Maybe there will be an agreement with the Palestinians. But it won't cover Jerusalem, and it won't cover the Palestinian refugees (by the third and fourth generation, are they still refugees?). Still, Israel will have turned over to the emerging Palestinian state some 80 to 90 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Then what? Every question left unresolved will become yet another cause for violence. In the eyes of many Palestinians, the imperfections of the deal will justify riot or terror or both. And what happens when an illegal missile is illegally launched from Palestine? I once asked a dovish Israeli friend what would happen if a post-peace Syria suddenly diverted the waters of the Golan from the Jordan to its own uses. He said that Israel would urgently seek a meeting of the Security Council. Urgently! From my sun-drenched roof I behold the Israeli miracle along the coast and I think: It was not the Security Council that secured this; it was self-reliance. Even people who are not friendless must establish their safety and their felicity for themselves.


The Freeman Center receives no public funds and exists solely on private contributions which are fully tax deductible.



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by Emanuel A. Winston

Several years ago when those deeply cognizant of Middle East problems questioned American foreign policy 'vis a vis' Israel and her Arab neighbors, Jewish leadership in America ignored their concerns. With the exception of several Jewish leaders who opposed the Oslo 'peace process' on its de-merits from its inception until today, most American Jewish leaders dutifully accepted the precepts of foreign policy from the White House and State Department as infallible.

Incredibly, they never read the Oslo agreements and never saw that the men, women and children in Israel as well as the water and holy sites were at risk and that Jerusalem was on the table for negotiations for the first time since 1948. The information was readily available and they were told (specifically at the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations in November 1993) - but they preferred to be blinded by the euphoria of ‘peace' on the White House lawn.

The ‘Peace Process' could not be questioned and, if you did ask questions, clearly you were against peace. The Jewish leadership in America is starting to become uncomfortable with the results of a policy which, until now, they have supported unwaveringly. Although through the years they have been advised of the ‘peace' problems, instead they relied upon the assurances of President Clinton and spokesmen of the State Department to sooth their concerns.

They simply refused to listen to anyone who did not accept the mantra of ‘Peace' - as those policies began to show fatal flaws. Since Oslo more than 300 Israelis were killed (including 12 Americans) and thousands more were wounded, some maimed for life by Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks. Even then the Jewish leaders remained mute.

They refused to listen when translations of Arafat's words in Arabic to his own people were leaked out. The day Oslo was signed, very often since and even this week, Arafat has proudly proclaimed: "We will have the State of Palestine from the river to the Sea, with Jerusalem as the capital of that State and only that State, and anyone who doesn't like it can go drink Gaza (or Dead) Sea water."

They refused to look at Arafat's maps showing ‘Palestine' across the whole Land of Israel on his walls, his stationary and official documents, the logo his of TV station (paid for by America), the emblems of his soldiers, et al. They refused to see or acknowledge the vicious incitement in Arafat's children's TV programs where 4 and 8 year old kids sang and shouted: "I will be a suicide ‘jihad' (holy war) warrior. I will go with a knife and bombs to liberate Jerusalem."... then to be kissed by Yassir Arafat for singing so prettily. They refused to read Arafat's official curricula for the children's schools which sowed the virulent seeds of Jew-hatred and praise for killing Jews to the next generation. All evidence of the peace process failures was ignored or rejected out of hand.

Occasionally the Jewish leadership would be invited into the impressive inner sanctum of the State Department or White House for briefings designed to solicit and ensure their support, particularly to the Congress. They were, of course, awed by the circumstances and flattered at being recognized as leaders to be consulted - as court Jews. Nobody actually listened to them or considered their opinions seriously. It was merely a manipulation by the iniquitous State Department through whoever was the current Presidential Administration to use them to further mask their pro-Arab policy driven by the market.

The political weight of the Jewish vote guaranteed that Jewish leaders, presumably speaking for the Jewish body of voters were respectfully welcomed by the Congress. Therefore, the Jewish leadership became an important conduit for the White House and State Department on Foreign Policy in the Middle East. If, however, the message from the State Department masked other interests then the Jewish leadership would become proxy spokesmen for Administration policy and those other interests, not necessarily in the best interests of Israel.

One must remember that the White House and State Department policy-makers were driven by certain powers in the oil and weapons' businesses. What President Eisenhower called the military/industrial complex had a far greater vested interest in the Arab markets. The multi-national companies and Western countries were greedy to get back the exorbitant monies Americans and the rest of the world had contributed for Arab oil. These interests are what fueled extortionate oil prices in the past and today.

In addition, the State Department has deep connections to a broad spectrum of Arab nations with Ambassadors and fully staffed Embassies whose only jobs were to advance trade, build massive infrastructure, secure energy, sell weapons, banking services, etc. Therefore, the foreign policy of the U.S. was and is heavily influenced by these considerations. When Congress is lobbied to act in a certain way by Jewish leadership, they were and are likely to go along - even when they believe it is bad policy.

Jewish leadership has recently become concerned that they will be blamed for promoting a ‘peace process' now that it is so obvious how much damage has been and will be done to Israel. Each agreement pressed upon Israel seems to have brought her not the peace which sounded so appealing but only ramped up demands for more concessions and no reciprocal discharge of obligations by the Palestinian Authority.

For example, the Oslo Accords allowed the Palestinian Authority to have 24,000 lightly armed policemen. In complete violation of his treaty obligations, Arafat now admits to having 41,000 police/soldiers, as well as at least 9 secret services, armed with automatic weapons, explosives, bombs, armored vehicles and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and ‘Stinger' missiles smuggled into the PA illegally. This is a Palestinian Army who has already shot at and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The U.S. Adminstration requested Jewish leaders to help lobby Congress for money to Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority which now totals at least $900,000,000. That is $900 Million of American taxpayers' money. There was no accountability or transparency, and even his own people accuse Arafat of perpetrating a fraud by using the monies for corrupt purposes. Now Congress and the other donor countries feel manipulated and blame Jewish leadership in their respective countries for carrying the message. Granted the Jewish lobbyists did act as merely the messengers and the message came from the White House. So why would they blame the Jewish leaders? Just because.

Worse yet. When the State Department could no longer issue reports approving Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords which allowed the release of these monies to Arafat, the State Department ceased issuing their bogus compliance reports and merely re-routed the money through various Palestinian front organizations. The supporting Jewish leaders uttered not a peep of objection.

Things are beginning to unravel in Israel. Ehud Barak, Prime and Defense Minister and former war hero has stumbled badly and now wants billions of American taxpayers' dollars from Congress for withdrawals and for new defenses to protect Israelis from hundreds of thousands of hostile neighbors now living within their heartland and a stone's throw (bomb's throw) across a barbed wire fence on the porous border with Lebanon.

Clinton has promised these billions and Ehud Barak has yet to understand that only Congress can vote the money. Clinton will be out of office in 61/2 months. What are the promises of a lame duck President worth? Can Barak ‘take it to the U.S. bank'?

Clearly, Congress does not wish to give billions to Israel, particularly in an election year where there is a call for funding American domestic programs. These surrenders and withdrawals are pushing Israel from being the admired, strong, democratic ally in the Mid East to a vulnerable, costly, liability whose weakness was self-induced. Who could maintain their respect for a country that stupidly and willfully self-destructs?

Further, Congress sees that the agreements with the Palestinians have failed and have led into even greater demands by the Arabs. Why do you think the late Hafez al-Assad deliberately slapped Clinton with the impossible demand of all (down to Lake Kinneret) or nothing? Congress is beginning to draw away from receiving advice from the Jewish leadership although, for political reasons, still greets them cordially. Jewish organizations, including Jewish Presidents and AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee: Israel's official lobby in America) are beginning to feel vulnerable, as well they should. If the Palestinians do increase their demands and hostility (as they are), Jewish leadership both in Israel and America will be blamed. Somebody needs to be the fall guy. Fund raising, both for the Jewish organizations themselves and for political contributions will see great difficulties. Congress will feel the heat and blame the Jewish leadership for misleading them.

They will be correct since the so-called Jewish leadership allowed itself to be duped by assurances from an Israeli government who had a vested interest in a ‘peace process' that has gone bad. Jewish Americans will, indeed, single out and blame their Jewish leaders should Israel come under attack by her supposed ‘peace' partners as each withdrawal further weakens her. Being emasculated by surrendering vital Land, Water, Holy Sites, and now even Jerusalem creates the perception in the eyes of the Arab/Muslim world that Israel has been crippled sufficiently for the final Arab/Muslim coalition to attack and overrun what used to be an admirable, well-defended and viable sovereign Jewish State.

As most of the Jewish leaders failed to mount a campaign during WWII to rescue Jews from Nazi Europe in defiance of Government policy, so too, they have once again ignored the risk to the very survival of the Jews in Israel.


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





(The Freeman Center was instrumental in the initiation of military relations between India and Israel. This was done pre-Oslo via Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of the alcoholic Jew murderer (The Altalena) Prime Misiter Yitzhak Rabin 1992. Sales of Israeli military projects to India as risen rapidly to over #2 billion per annum. The US military and industrial complex (Eisenhower) would like keep Israel emasculated and UNFREE/DEPENDANT on America for arms which leads to loss of Israel sovereignty and survival. I begged Peres not to cancel the Lavie deal and not to give into American pressure --- but he did. Barak must now show some independence for Israel. Barak is near canceling the sale of the Phalcon. As former Defense Minister (3 times) Moshe Arens said recently):

U.S. Military Aid: A Mixed Blessing

By Moshe Arens - Ha'aretz 27 June 2000

Seventeen years ago, U.S.-Israeli technological cooperation in defense projects reached its apex with the Lavi fighter-aircraft project. The Lavi was an Israeli-designed fighter, with a U.S. jet engine specially designed for it. The U.S. administration gave its green light to American technology transfer wherever needed, and Congress approved an annual allocation of 250 million dollars of U.S. military aid money to be spent in Israel for Lavi development, rather than for purchases in the U.S. A number of U.S. aerospace companies became partners in the program to develop the most advanced fighter-aircraft of its day - an aircraft superior to the F-16. It was an unprecedented level of cooperation not equaled by U.S. projects with any of its other allies. No wonder that those U.S. aerospace companies that were not involved in the program lobbied against it, and that then defense secretary Caspar Weinberger, who did not share the support of president Ronald Reagan and secretary of state George Shultz for the program, did his best to scuttle it. The surprising thing was, and is to this day, that a number of Israeli politicians and IDF generals, some of whom have since turned politicians, told Israel's friends in the U.S. administration and in Congress that Israel did not need the Lavi. Using deception and misinformation they succeeded in bringing about a one-vote majority in the cabinet for the cancellation of the Lavi project, that was at the time already in an advanced state of development. They struck a severe blow to Israel's defense capability and at U.S.-Israel technological cooperation, which never again reached a comparable level. That American pressure brought about the cancellation of the Lavi project is a myth. It was a self-inflicted wound.

Without exception, it has been Israel's experience throughout the years that the greater the degree of independence it demonstrates in weapon system development, the more inclined the U.S. administration is to provide Israel with advanced weapon technology. The logic of this policy is obvious: In all cases where Israel was on the point of attaining a level of technology equivalent to that of U.S. industry, or possibly even surpassing it, there was no reason to deny Israel access to this technology. In the Lavi project Israel was on the point of drawing level with the U.S. aircraft industry. Completion of the program would have given the Israel Air Force a superior fighter aircraft and one not available to Arab air forces. It was likely to give Israel continued access to U.S. aircraft technology, while fostering an on-going partnership in fighter aircraft development with U.S. industry.

All that is gone, and Israel has been feeling the effect in the intervening years. It has left Israel completely dependent on U.S. manufactured fighter aircraft for its air force. This dependence was demonstrated only recently when the United States refused to permit the installation of the superior Elta radar in the latest batch of F-16 aircraft purchased by Israel. Israel was told to take it or leave it.

The latest step is an attempt to block the sale of the Israeli developed Phalcon AWACS aircraft to China and to subject any future export of Israeli defense products to U.S. control. That, like the U.S. defense industry, the Israeli defense industry is dependent on export sales, is clear in Washington. The claim that operation of the Phalcon by the Chinese air force might endanger U.S. interests is very far-fetched, whereas the sale of the similar U.S. AWACS aircraft to Saudi Arabia and F-16s to Arab countries does create a potential danger to Israel. But Israel's dependence on U.S. military aid, and in particular the IAF's dependence on American fighter aircraft, makes it more difficult to stand up for Israel's security interests in this controversy.

The thinly veiled threats from Washington of a cut in U.S. military aid to Israel and a suspension of aircraft delivery to the IAF if the Phalcon sale to China is not canceled, should lead to a reexamination of the utility of U.S. military aid to Israel. The two billion dollar annual aid package, most of it restricted to use for purchases in the United States, is a mixed blessing. It has brought about a neglect of Israeli defense R&D and industry in favor of purchases in the United States, and brings in its wake restrictions on exports of the Israeli defense industry.

Recent years have made it clear that local defense research and development have been the foundation on which Israel's hi-tech industry has been built and that export of defense products constitute a significant share of Israeli exports. A close examination may very well determine that in the long run, the Israeli economy might be better served by the end of U.S. military aid and the acquisition of those American weapon systems needed by the IDF with Israeli resources.


Moshe Arens has been Israeli Defense Minister three times.



An Editorial from the May 1999 issue of THE MACCABEAN


A Maccabean Perspective

By Bernard J. Shapiro

This article is quite critical of American Foreign Policy, therefore, I would like to say a few positive things up front. The American people when properly polled come out consistently in support of Israel. There are at least 50 million Evangelical Christians who are friends and dedicated supporters of Israel. Many of America's presidents have bucked the US State Department to help Israel with arms and money. The US Congress and Senate have consistently been friends of Israel. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed his love of Israel many times. My own grandfather, for whom the Freeman Center was named, expressed his love of America upon his arrival on our shores:

"But what a change in life upon arriving in America - Free America. Here I suddenly found myself unbridled., the air free, no stifling, atmosphere - I could give free expression to the cravings of my soul! Life began to have a different meaning. What a blessing to have free assemblage, free speech free press! Can an American who has always enjoyed these blessings appreciate what it means to one who was deprived of them until manhood.?"

Unfortunately there are institutions in America that don't love Israel as much as most of us do. Israel's relations with America go back even before statehood in 1948. During the critical years of WWII, the Zionist community of both America and Israel appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt to take action to stop the Holocaust. They were rebuffed at every turn. It was apparent that neither America nor any of its allies were very interested in saving Jewish lives. England was the most persuasive when arguing that the Jews saved would want to go to Palestine. This would anger the Arabs and should be avoided at all cost. It is true that European Jewry would have been a vast reservoir of new citizens for the emerging State of Israel. Their sheer numbers would have eliminated the Arab demographic problem in the new State. American policy came down solidly on the side of dead Jews as opposed to live Jews.

When Israel declared its independence in 1948, we were all pleased that the American president, Harry S. Truman, made America the first nation in the world to recognize the Jewish State. Yet even here there was a dark side to American Foreign Policy. The State Department had argued in vain against the recognition of Israel. When they didn't succeed at that they successfully placed an embargo of arms to Middle Eastern States. Seemingly neutral it only affected Israel since the British and French were arming the Arabs. So we have the spectacle of American recognition of Israel's independence while at the same time refusing the arms it needed to survive, to defend their lives.

Following Israel's Sinai Campaign in 1956, Eisenhower and Dulles forced Israel to withdraw with little political gain. Two "benefits" appeared to be: a UN Force in Sinai to guarantee free passage for Israel in the Gulf of Eilat; and an American promise to guarantee such free passage. In 1967 the UN Force disappeared as did the American promise, which the State Department claimed they could not verify.

In the period since 1967, the US State Department has devoted an excessive amount of time developing and promoting plans to force Israeli withdrawal to the ‘suicide' borders of pre-1967. With amazing regularity, the State Department has failed to be honest about violations of the agreements it has negotiated between the Arabs and Israelis. The US has been blind to Arab violations from the failure to see missile movements in Egypt (1970-76) to the failure to see Palestinian violations of the Oslo and Wye Agreements. This US blindness has always been one way. The Israelis are subjected to constant misinterpretations of agreements. For example, never having agreed to a freeze in Jewish building, US spy satellites are active daily counting houses in YESHA. And then publicly rebuking Israel for a normal activity of a sovereign country.

In order to pressure Israel, stories appear on a regular basis claiming that Israel is transferring American technology to third parties. In every case they are proven false, but the constant repetition is meant to weaken Israel diplomatically. The State Department has orchestrated a media campaign to damage Israel's reputation in general and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular. A few examples:

1. Netanyahu is the "hardline" PM of Israel while other world leaders are Statesman. Arafat is a ‘leader'

2. Ethnic cleansing is bad in Kosovo but the ethnic cleansing of Jews from YESHA is good

3. All disputed land in YESHA ‘belongs' to Arabs even when Israel has clear title

4. All foreign capitals are recognized ‘except Jerusalem'

5. Israeli soldiers defending themselves from attack have been treated by the media as the ‘bad guy'

6. Rock throwers who can crush you skull have been treated as ‘demonstrators or protesters' by the media

7. Jewish villages are ‘settlements' and ‘illegitimate' while Arab villages are all considered legitimate

The list could on but now we must say something that should have been said years ago. It is very important for Israel to disengage from its close embrace with American diplomacy. It should be obvious to all that American and Israeli interests differ markedly in relation to the negotiations with the Palestinians. America has by its own admission ceased to be either pro-Israel or a neutral mediator (the Americans claim to be ‘even-handed'). American policy in the final analysis will leave Israel with indefensible borders and an irredentist Palestinian neighbor yearning for all the land "from the river to the sea.." Then, of course, they will also want Jordan.

Much more can be gained for Israel by negotiating directly with the Arabs. This used to be Israeli policy. In reality, Arafat has ceased negotiating with Israel and now is negotiating only with Washington.. It may be necessary to give up American aid dollars and possibly weapons to break out of the current US embrace. It will certainly be difficult, but in the end, there will exist a truly free and sovereign Israel. The alternative is to learn nothing from history: placing Israel's destiny in America's hands as was done during WWII. America won the war, but 90% of Europe's Jews were already dead. I would prefer Israel to survive.



Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of July 27, 2000


By Uri Dan

(The writer is one of the authors of The Mossad: Secrets of the Israel Secret Service and other books on the Middle East.)

Despite the outcome, the Camp David summit leaves one terribly saddened and worried. The Israeli delegation, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak, performed like a team of clowns.

For public consumption the professional PR people, Moshe Gaon and his assistants Yoni Koren and Eldad Yaniv, declared that "the prime minister spent long periods by himself before making crucial decisions," after he had already agreed to let the Palestinian flag fly about the Temple Mount.

In fact, as Barak's confidant revealed to me, "the prime minister was in the worst mood I had ever seen him in. He has no government. Arafat has made no concession approaching those made by Barak. Consequently, he was in a very bad mood, and just didn't want to talk to anyone."

It seems that Karl Marx's assertion was correct: History repeats itself twice - first as a tragedy, and then as a farce. Begin's great tragedy was that in the 1978 agreement he agreed to recognize "the legitimate rights of the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael," and agreed to uproot the settlements in Sinai.

But in Camp David II, Barak and his aides acted like a flock without a shepherd, even when the fate of Jerusalem lay in the balance. At a moment of truth, before he fell into the chasm of concessions on Jerusalem, Barak tried to escape from the trap last week and return home without an agreement. Barak's office and coding room in Emmitsburg was dismantled.

But the circus manager, Bill Clinton, flew to Japan and ordered the clowns to remain suspended on the trapeze until he returned. Food valued at $7,000, which had been loaded on the prime minister's aircraft, was dumped in the garbage, and an angry Barak kept to himself, without exchanging a word with Yasser Arafat for three days.

It suddenly became clear to the Israeli players that they would have to seriously discuss the division of Jerusalem. For some reason, Reuven Merhav was summoned urgently, because of some dubious research he had done on the capital.

A spokesman later admitted that the team was "not prepared to seriously discuss the future of Jerusalem."

At the same time, the tension increased among the actors, both in the delegation and amongst Barak's aides outside Camp David. Barak's official spokesmen were neutralized to a large extent by Yaniv and Koren - and they all danced to the tune of Gaon's PR minions.

Based on the instruction sheets Gaon gave Barak's aides - many of them civil servants - the PR people were engaged in actual election propaganda. They disseminated stories whose purpose was to hide, or explain, Barak's concessions on Jerusalem. (It is not known who was paying Gaon, who has business connections with James Carville, Bill Clinton's PR guru. But his work cost lots of money. Was he being paid by contributions, perhaps?)

Sometimes Barak had to intervene, as when Yaniv was told to inform the press that those pressing for concessions on Jerusalem were Shlomo Ben-Ami and Amnon Shahak. The latter counterattacked, and Barak was forced to deny the statement which he had himself ordered circulated. Towards the peak of the Camp David II comedy, Barak ordered the return of about 20 of the 50 aides who had come to the summit.

All told, the former leader of brilliant commando operations was revealed as incapable of competently managing the campaign to preserve the unity of Jerusalem.

All these slapstick events were hidden from view by the efforts of Gaon, who presented Barak as "a leader engaged in historical decisions, like Ben-Gurion."


Neither he, Begin, Golda Meir nor Yitzhak Rabin needed PR men to boost their images, because they were real leaders. Barak's PR men tried to dress him up as a leader, but in fact, the emperor Barak was naked.

"Because of the quarrels between Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, Jerusalem was destroyed," Barak warned in the Knesset two months ago, when he tried to silence the opposition. The irony of history is that Kamtza and Bar Kamtza were present in his delegation, when he gave up ground to Arafat on Jerusalem.

Barak had already shown, in his negotiations with Shas, Meretz and the striking doctors, that he is incapable of reading the map of reality properly.

Insulated in Camp David, his aides at home kept telling him that his image was improving and that he would win the elections and/or a referendum. There was no one there near him to tell him that his comedy was liable to end as a tragedy for the Jews.

There was no one amongst his aides who would get up and warn him that at the moment when he, Barak, began to slice up Jerusalem like a salami, he would, in the end, lead us not only to war with the Arabs, but to a bitter civil war, to the final collapse of the Jewish state.

(c) Jerusalem Post 2000



Daily News Online Edition -- July 27, 2000

Arafat Kept His Word, Not the Israelis

By Sidney Zion

Don't blame Yasser Arafat. He has never veered from his pledge that there can be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. They didn't believe him. Not the Israelis, not the Clinton administration. In Camp David they made him an offer he couldn't refuse. He told them to drink from the Dead Sea.

He is accused of arrogance. The arrogance belongs to Israel and America for their refusal to take him at his word. Fundamentally, it's a West versus East conflict that amounts to patronization. The Arabs are children, all they need is the diplomatic help of the Western democracies to understand what their real goals are.

This was the basis of the Oslo agreements. Yeah, Arafat says he wants Jerusalem, but in the end he'll take what's good for his people. Half a loaf is better than nothing, right?

It turns out that the only guy who had it right was Prof. Henry Higgins: "The Hebrews learn it backwards, which is absolutely frightening." First you arm the enemy, next you give him your land - and then you talk Jerusalem. Which you say is nonnegotiable, even as you put it on the table.

The trouble is that Arafat and the Arab world also say Jerusalem is nonnegotiable.

Why leave it for last, when it's first for everybody concerned? The answer is that the Israeli government lied to its people, while Arafat told the truth.

I am not theorizing here. The other day, Israel's minister of justice, Yossi Beilin, said Ehud Barak in effect deceived the Jews when he ran for prime minister.

The Labor Party was willing to divide Jerusalem, Beilin said, "but we didn't speak about this in the election campaign, because we knew that the public would not like it." This astonishing confession simply says Barak won his office by fraud.

Today the Israelis, who, like the Jews in the Borscht Belt, always have a joke to go with their tsuris, say: "The difference between Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak is that Bibi lied to the Arabs and the Jews, while Ehud lies only to the Jews."

It caught up to Barak at Camp David. Everything he promised in his campaign for prime minister, he violated. He would never divide Jerusalem. He would never give up the Jordan Valley. He would never permit Palestinian refugees to return. At Camp David, he offered 95%of the West Bank to Arafat; he agreed to the return of at least 100,000 Palestinian refugees to Israel, and he was willing to grant the new Palestinian state everything but the word "sovereignty" over East Jerusalem.

When Arafat said "no" unless East Jerusalem was delivered to him without qualification, Barak and Clinton were shocked. But all Arafat was saying was all he and the Arab world had said before. Anwar Sadat would not make the deal with Menachem Begin until Begin gave him every inch of the Sinai. And Syria's Hafez Assad turned down the Golan Heights.

The Arabs mean what they say. Only the Israelis and the Americans refuse to believe them. Who's sorry now?



Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post, Thursday, June 15, 2000 01:13 12 Sivan 5760


By Sarah Honig

There comes a time in our life's void,

When praise is called for unalloyed

By carping criticism of indecision,

Of dithering on membership in the coalition.

(June 8) Natan Sharansky's political performance hasn't always risen to the pinnacles of his principled pronouncements. But he more than made up for past irresolution last week when he dispatched a gutsy letter to Ehud Barak. He was thereby instantly transformed into Hans Christian Andersen's generic candid kid who hollers out loud that the emperor is wearing nothing.

Just like him, Sharansky told it like it is. He accused Barak of denuding the Jewish state and divesting it of its strategic assets, leaving it humiliated, bare and unprotected in a world unlikely to turn any gentler or kinder overnight.

Quite the contrary. Barak may exude self-congratulation about the flight from Lebanon, and his generals may tell us that abandoned equipment means diddly, but that's not the view from the Palestinian Authority. Perceptions there matter a whole lot more than he admits. The sight of abandoned tefillin, computers, uniforms and armored vehicles signify to all Arabs one thing and one thing only - an Israeli defeat. Palestinians envy the Hizbullah and would like to count coup too. Emboldened, they talk about emulating its tactics and sending "civilians" to conquer the settlements just as so-called Lebanese civilians overran abandoned IDF and SLA fortifications in the security zone. The sight of a vanquished opponent is no incentive to compromise.

Odds are that Arafat's minions would grow more unyielding if they judge Israel more pliable. But Arafat's subjects are not the only problem. Some of Barak's own voters are getting ideas too. Their morale and expectations were no less boosted. Too little notice was taken of Israeli Arabs who rushed to the border fence to greet inflamed Hizbullah provocateurs. They joined in their frenetic celebrations, replete with "V" signs to signify solidarity in the fight against the common foe - Israel.

But the Israeli establishment reacted with remarkable aplomb to the sight of such ecstatic support for mortal enemies by Israeli citizens who vote in elections, demand a say in referendums that could determine the fate of the Jewish state, and whose representative Barak admitted into the Knesset's sensitive Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. There's little doubt on whose side that representative (MK Hashem Mahameed) is.

Our enlightened higher echelons condescendingly dismissed the Arab spin of what looked like a rout. But could our officialdom's sophisticated supercilious spin be the one that's just a tad distorted? Could it be that like the rogue Imperial Court Weavers who spun splendid invisible cloth for the sucker emperor, our leaders conned the trendsetters among us not to confess an inability to discern the fabulous colors of peace and the florid designs of the prosperity and security which are to envelope us? Not to see what they sell us would prove either that we are incorrigibly stupid or that our military top brass, government bigwigs, pompous politicians, renown journalists, and celebrity broadcasters are unfit for the offices they hold. Failure to fathom the infinite wisdom of our prime minister could ruin reputations. Besides, he is on the politically correct side of the political divide, and so any hint of skepticism is akin to betraying the cause of peace.

This is where Sharansky comes in. What peace? he asked in his letter, maintaining that Barak has already decided to cede as much as 95% of the territories, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley and the shores of the Dead Sea. As many as 50 settlements would be evacuated and as many as 100,000 settlers might become refugees, though the IDF needn't necessarily forcibly evict them, just as it didn't forcibly disband the SLA to please the "international community." It merely abandoned its allies to their grim fate, leaving them to scurry home at the very last minute and rush those family members they found there to safety. The SLA hadn't collapsed: we brought it crashing down.

The same modus operandi may be applied to the settlers. The international community wants them out even more than it wanted the SLA disarmed. As in the Lebanese episode, Barak's personal hands would stay unsullied. The cynical scheme was apparent for all to hear in Minister Haim Ramon's sly semantics. He stressed that "Barak never promised that most settlements would remain under Israeli rule, only that most settlers would." Translation: settlers can choose between deserting surrendered settlements or lingering on under Arafat's benevolent rule of law. They can take their chances, like our SLA comrades could with Nasrallah. It's a free country.

Nevertheless, Sharansky notes, even all these riskiest of sacrifices cannot buy us peace, because pesky problems like Jerusalem would be left unresolved till public opinion is sufficiently softened to surrender chunks of the capital. If Nasrallah can wax so militant over Shaba, imagine how Arafat would rail over the sacred Al Kuds.

Though we will have recklessly gambled with the very survivability of the state, the other side won't be satisfied. Its dissatisfaction will fester as a pretext for ongoing and escalating conflict against the vulnerable, disrobed and dishonored Israel.

Sadly, however, little attention is paid Sharansky's warnings. Instead, the media, in astonishing unison, harps on the identity of Sharansky's sources and on whether his letter reached news desks before being delivered to the prime minister's desk. Andersen's little boy, who told it like it is, got the crowds to drop the pretense. No one bothered to measure the pitch of his voice, check his adenoids, or examine the reliability of his eyesight. What mattered was the truth he forced the fools to confront and admit.

In Sharansky's case, practitioners of advocacy journalism make sure his message won't be amplified. Perhaps it could even be muffled under numerous layers of magnificent non-existent cloth wrapped around to conceal what lies underneath. The trouble is that for Sharansky, and us, far more is at stake than the emperor's personal disgrace.

If you are interested in preserving the security of Israel, please contact the following Israeli political personalities:

Ehud Barak

Prime Minister of Israel

The Prime Minister's Office

Jerusalem, Israel


Eliyahu Yishai, MK

Shas Party Office

The Knesset

Jerusalem, Israel


Ariel Sharon, MK

Moshe Arens, MK

Uzi Landau, MK

Likud Party Office

The Knesset

Jerusalem, Israel

Natan Sharansky, MK

Yisrael Be'Aliyah Party Office

The Knesset

Jerusalem, Israel


Rechavam Ze'evy, MK

Benjamin Elon, MK

Michael Kleiner, MK


Ha-ichud Ha-leumi Party Office

The Knesset

Jerusalem, Israel


David Levy

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Jerusalem, Israel

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