Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"
VOLUME 9 B"H AUGUST 2001 NUMBER 8
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ISRAEL ACQUIESCES TO RESTRICTIONS ON ITS SOVEREIGNTY....Bernard J. Shapiro 2
THE END OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
UNLEASHING THE DOGS OF WAR ....Martin Sherman 4
WHY ISRAEL REJECTS 'OBSERVERS'....Saul Singer 6
THE PRICE OF WEAKNESS.....Yisrael Harel 8
WAR IS COMING......Michael Freund 10
THE ANTIDOTE TO SHARON'S PERES' TWO-STEP....Eugene Narrett 11
THE ANTI-SEMITISM INTERNATIONAL....Uri Dan 13
UN DRAFT: ZIONISM A MOVEMENT BASED ON RACIAL SUPERIORITY'.....Janine Zacharia 14
THE NEW QUARANTINE OF ISRAEL....Avi Davis 16
U.S. MIDDLE EAST POLICY BURNS ON THE STOVE.... Avi Davis 17
TOO LATE FOR A PEACEABLE SOLUTION....Boris Shusteff 19
NO PEACE PROCESS AND NO CEASE-FIRE EITHER....Christopher Barder 21
THINK AGAIN: WAS THE EU BILKED?.....Jonathan Rosenblum 23
LESSONS FOR ISRAEL'S FUTURE
A CANDID CONVERSATION (Part 1).....Boris Shusteff 25
A CANDID CONVERSATION (Part 2)....Boris Shusteff 27
IRON IN THE SOUL....Avi Davis 29
STRATEGIC LESSONS FOR ISRAEL
PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD AND INTERNATIONAL LAW....Louis Rene Beres 30
TIME AND TIDE CONTAIN NO SOLUTIONS....... Moshe Arens 32
THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF CLAIMS.......Boris Shusteff 33
ARAFAT'S REWRITING OF HISTORY......Gerald M. Steinberg 36
THE MENACE OF JIHAD SUICIDE.... Daniel Pipes 37
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404]
Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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Copyright (c) 2001 Bernard J. Shapiro
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ISRAEL ACQUIESCES TO
ON ITS SOVEREIGNTY
By Bernard J. Shapiro
For over 50 years Israel has fought for survival in a very hostile neighborhood. After winning 6 major wars, Israel still finds its sovereignty questioned by its Arab neighbors and the international community. Some six or more international or UN peacekeepers have been give the task of patrolling Israel's borders as well as cities like Hebron and Jerusalem. A new observer forces is being demanded by the Palestinian Authority today.
As early as Israel's victory in its War of Independence, it was saddled with numerous United Nations entities and troops. It very borders were considered "temporary" and a "right to return" was granted to a hostile Arab population.
Faced with continuous terrorist (fadeyeen) raids from Egypt, Israel joined France and England in a the Sinai Campaign (1956). After winning a great victory, Israel was forced to withdraw by US President Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. They received promises of free passage through the straits of Eilat and a UN protection force in Sinai. Both of which evaporated in 1967.
Israel's spectacular victory in the Six Day War gave it some breathing space from foreign intervention. Even the UN which had piled up a huge record of one sided anti-Israel resolutions, passed a fairly balanced one. Israel was not required to return to its old borders but to new secure ones following peace agreements.
Unfortunately Israel had only a brief period of feeling secure. A certain concept (mechdal) set in the military and the public that the Arabs would never launch an attack on Israel. Though there are differences among historians, most agree that Israeli intelligence knew some 72 hours before Egypt and Syria launched their surprise attack on Yom Kippur 1973. Israel's political leadership including Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan consulted Washington and were told not to launch a first strike. We all know what disaster resulted. What many don't know is that Israel's desperate need for resupply was used by Washington to force Israel to submit to concessions in the post-war negotiations. On both the Syrian and Egyptian fronts Israel was force to withdraw from badly won territory with no gain.
In the Peace for Galilee War of 1982, Israeli forces trapped PLO Yassir Arafat and his terrorist gangs in West Beirut. Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon were freed from his terror. The US and international community demanded that he be allowed to escape the encirclement and sail to Tunis free of consequences for the damage he had wrought in Lebanon and Israel. The media totally distorted Israel's military operation and left a black eye that has yet to recover.
The Intifada of 1987 came and Israel was unable to defeat teenage Arab boys who threw stones at Israeli soldiers and civilians. Every time the army tried to control the situation it got very strong media and international condemnation. The result was a feeling of helplessness that ultimate led to Oslo. The view that there was no military solution to Israel's relations with the Arabs became common on the Left.
The Persian Gulf War of 1991 was the most critical. Israeli acquiescence to restrictions on its sovereignty in recent history. Israel was always proud of its military tradition of fighting its own battles and not being dependant on foreign forces. When the US forced Israelis to cower in sealed rooms and not fight back against the Iraqi SCUD missile attacks, it had a major negative effect on Israeli morale and its deterrence level in the Middle East. The post-war period found Israelis weakened and led the Labor Party to begin negotiations on the disastrous OSLO APPEASEMENT. Labor leaders Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin thought that by creating a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza they would bring an end to the historical conflict between Jew and Arab. They had another goal which was to limit Jewish sovereignty and increase Labor's election chances by pleasing Israeli Arabs.
Once Oslo began in earnest, Israel began to face affront after affront to its sovereignty. A Palestinian army began to develop and constant anti-Jewish incitement began to be a regular PA feature in its schools, mosques, TV, and newspapers. Every provision of the Oslo Agreement was violated by the PA and the Israeli government meekly ignored them. Terrorism began almost immediately after the signing of Oslo. Buses started blowing up and Arab attacks intensifies. Unfortunately many Israelis were so deluded by the vision of "peace" that they failed to see the harsh reality in front of them.
The PA got bolder and bolder in its insults to Israel. From its pollution of Israeli water supplies to its harassment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount. The Moslem Waqf began to destroy Jewish antiquities on the Mount and no Israeli authority stepped in to stop it. In almost every instance the Israelis backed down from insisting on their rights. To the Israelis this may have seemed moderation but to the Arabs it was weakness.
At Camp David (2000) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, PA leader Yasir Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton met to hammer out a final status "peace agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians. Barak made an offer to Arafat that would have been disastrous for Israeli security and Arafat REFUSED. Why? Simply put, Arafat was not prepared to make peace with Israel of any size. For him Palestine must rise on the ashes of a destroyed Israel with all the land from the "river to the sea."
Following the breakdown of the talks, Arafat launched the terrorist Rosh Hashona War, attacking Jews all over the country. Israel's responses were moderate at first but gradually increasing in deadliness. As Israel counter-attacked in both military and economic terms, a chorus of criticism arose. The Europeans, the UN, the Americans all demanded that Israel stop defending itself. International observers were demanded by the Europeans and the Palestinians. The US wanted CIA or State Department observers. The Israelis, knowing full well the futility of biased observers opposed the idea. Judging from passed experience, I would predict that Israel will give in on this point.
The Temple Mount is now totally off-limits to Jews although the right of Jews to pray there has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. The police chief has prevented them from exercising their rights under the threat of Arab violence. Can you imagine the US (in the 60's) refusing to send in troops to protect the right of black students to attend public schools in the South, DESPITE the threat of White violence.
The erosion of Israeli patriotism began with the post-Zionist movement founded in academia in the 70's and 80's. This movement taught that the Zionist movement was not based on the legitimate national cravings of the Jewish people. It was described as the brutal exploitation of another people, the Arabs.
Once a portion of the Jewish people believed in this ruinous philosophy, it was possible to justify any compromise with the Arabs, even at the expense of the Jewish State.
Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, and Zionist leaders, Theodore Herzl and Ze'ev Jabotinsky are probably restless in their graves over current events.
The Jerusalem Post July, 29 2001
UNLEASHING THE DOGS OF WAR
By Martin Sherman
(July 29) - With each passing day, the macabre reality of death and destruction wrought upon the nation by the Palestinians is making one thing increasingly clear: something is dreadfully amiss with the way Israel is handling its affairs.
Afflicted by an inexplicable impotence, the country is sliding inexorably into an abyss of self-annihilation.
Israel's continued restraint in dealing with the onslaught upon its citizens is rapidly become morally untenable. For it is sending a clear message to both its Arab adversaries and the world at large: "Judacide" is tolerable - and hence morally acceptable - for if it were not, a far more assertive response would be forthcoming.
No people can adhere to such a policy of self-disparagement without forfeiting its claim to sovereignty as an independent nation. No country can command the respect of others if it consistently fails - or worse, refuses - to employ all means at its disposal to protect the lives and property of its citizens against concerted attack from foreign entities. In such circumstances, restraint will not be construed as strength, but as weakness, inviting more aggression from foes and growing alienation from friends.
Only a dramatic change of policy can turn back the inevitable tide of events relentlessly washing away the awe-inspiring achievements of the Zionist revolution and eroding the very foundations upon which the nation-state of the Jews were founded. The Arab attack must now be met with a response of ferocity and force that will leave a traumatic scar on the collective national consciousness of the Arabs. Israel must now unleash upon its assailants a fury akin to that which the democratic powers unleashed in World War II on those who dared threaten their survival.
Nothing less will quell the violence. Only when a terrible, disproportionate price is inflicted for attacks on Jews, will such attacks cease.
However, for such a martial initiative to succeed, it must be combined with an equally resolute assault on public opinion, both at home and abroad. This is, in many ways, a far more challenging task than the military one. For Israel will have to contend with years of neglect in this field. It will have to roll back perceptions which have been inculcated in the public consciousness over the last three decades. This requires a totally different approach to Israel's public relations efforts (hasbara) from that which has been adopted up to now.
Instead of the self-effacing apologetic endeavor of trying to explain away current events, what is required is a new assertive attitude aimed at changing the public perception of the overall context in which these events take place. Instead of allowing Israel to be portrayed as a cruel plunderer and a callous oppressor, motivated only by territorial avarice and religious egotism, it must be depicted for what it really is: a valiant and beleaguered democracy, locked in a deadly struggle for its very survival, and assailed from all quarters by vicious aggressors who subscribe to values that are not only divergent from, but diametrically opposed to, those of the pluralistic libertarian nations of the world.
This is an undertaking of daunting proportions which should not be underestimated. But neither should the difficulty be overestimated. In fact, the very erosion of Israel's image in world media is proof that international perceptions of the protagonists in the Arab-Israeli conflict are not immutable. Moreover, those who claim that it is an insurmountable task are, in fact, saying that the truth cannot be disseminated and that falsehood must inevitably triumph over veracity. For Israel is still both a bastion and a beacon of immeasurable importance to the West - even after the fall of the Soviet empire.
Indeed, in the brewing clash between radical Islam and the democratic nations, Israel's geo-strategic significance for the West is likely to be even greater than it was in the days of the Cold War. Thus, it is demonstrably counter-productive and self-defeating folly for the democratic world to side with those likely to identify themselves with its potential foes and against those who are likely to be among its strongest allies.
The Jewish people have taken their peace-making efforts to irrational extremes. To prove to the world that that they yearn for peace, they have meekly offered the other cheek, abjectly bent over backward in an attempt to accommodate Arab demands and demeaningly beseeched their adversaries to accept, as a craven peace offering, large tracts of their ancient homeland in which the history, tradition and heritage of the nation were forged. All to no avail.
This policy of excessive appeasement has done nothing to placate the animosity of foes, nor to rally the support of friends. Indeed, it seems that quite the reverse is true.
The time has come for Israel to assert its fundamental right to self-defense and for the Jews to remind the world that they can be fearsome warriors when pushed to the wall. It is time to convey to the public at home and abroad that Jewish patience is at an end, that Jewish lives are not cheap and the letting of Jewish blood will no longer be acceptable. It is time for this embattled nation to arise, to cry "havoc" and let slip the dogs of war. Only then will it be clear that the present policy of restraint was indeed a noble gesture of benign strength and not of ignoble faintheartedness.
(The writer teaches political science at Tel Aviv University and served for seven years in Israel's defense establishment.)
July 3, 2001
WHY ISRAEL REJECTS 'OBSERVERS'
By Saul Singer
Editorials editor and columnist for The Jerusalem Post
JERUSALEM -- On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dropped what to Israeli ears sounded like a bombshell. Standing next to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, Mr. Powell said, "I think as we get into the confidence-building phase there will be a need for monitors and observers to... make an independent observation of what has happened." Within hours, Mr. Powell shot down his own trial balloon by ruling out any monitoring mechanism opposed by Israel. And with yesterday's terrorist bombings in the Israeli city of Yehud, the matter of "confidence-building" may already be moot. Still, pressure for an observer force is bound to increase. The international community will wonder why Israel should so adamantly refuse what seems like a sensible measure for its own security -- unless, of course, Israel has something to hide. This, in turn, serves the propaganda purposes of the Palestinian Authority. As Mr. Arafat asked last weekend at a Lisbon meeting of the Socialist International, "Why does the government of Israel reject the dispatching of international observers to consolidate and protect the cease-fire?" Actually, a cursory glance at history shows that the reason for Israel's objection is the same as for Mr. Arafat's enthusiasm: International observers will not protect the cease-fire, but Mr. Arafat's ability to violate it. The long record of international observers in the Arab-Israeli conflict is unblemished by a single sustained example, when tested, of basic fairness toward Israel, let alone protection from Arab aggression.
The discouraging record begins even before the founding of the state. In his autobiography, David Ben-Gurion recalls when the British, then governing Palestine, took the term "observer" to extremes. On April 13, 1948, a convoy of ambulances and armored buses headed for Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus. Two hundred meters from the British military post that was supposed to secure the route, the convoy came under Arab attack from both sides of the road. "The soldiers [at the post]," Ben Gurion reports, "watched the attack but did nothing." British military cars passed three times during the seven hours the convoy was under attack, one including Jerusalem's ranking British general, but did not stop to intervene or assist. Seventy-seven Jewish academics, nurses, and students were massacred that day, after top British officials had "personally guaranteed" that medical and civilian transports would be protected by the British army and police.
Under the 1949 Armistice Agreement, United Nations Military Observers were deployed along the cease-fire lines with Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. In the 18 years before the Six Day War changed these lines dramatically, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of attacks against Israel -- in the 1950s from Egyptian-held Gaza and in the 1960s by Fatah, from behind Syrian and Jordanian lines. None of these attacks produced a single condemnation by the United Nations, the body that was ostensibly policing the cease-fire lines. The U.N. observers could be relied upon to complain, however, whenever Israel retaliated in response to Arab attacks.
In more recent times, U.N.IFIL, the U.N. observer force deployed in southern Lebanon while Israel fought with Hezbollah there, showed that the powers of observation of such forces had become no less selective. Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold recalls the standard pattern: "Hezbollah would launch artillery attacks 50 meters away from a U.N.IFIL outpost, Israel would shoot back, and U.N.IFIL would protest against the Israeli response."
The picture of international observers as neutral pairs of eyes and ears has not been borne out in practice. Observers ostensibly have a mandate to be impartial, but they do not check the interests of the nations they represent at the door. It should not be a surprise that the same nations that vote against Israel en masse in international bodies have trouble acting fairly when serving in an observer force.
Even the United States has bitter experience with the inability of international observers to stick to their mandate when it conflicts with the policies of the nations that send them. Saddam Hussein was able to whittle away the effectiveness of U.N.SCOM, the U.N. monitoring effort in Iraq, through constant pressure on the relevant capitals to hold him to lower standard. U.N.SCOM's fall was a classic case of how even the most dedicated international observers ultimately reflect the will and biases of the bodies that stand behind them, not some objective standard of fairness, or even the mandate they are sent to uphold.
In addition to whatever biases national representatives bring to the table, Israel also suffers from a structural asymmetry: the lack of plausible deniability. These days, Israel is not being attacked by armies of sovereign nations or even by the Palestinian Authority per se, but by proxies that allow national leaders to shirk responsibility. Israel, by contrast, must defend itself with its army, and stand behind its actions. Israel will always be a more convenient address for international protest than murky bodies such as Hezbollah or the latest offshoot of Mr. Arafat's myriad security forces.
In response to this dismal record, a number of purported counterexamples are constantly trotted out: the U.N. Disengagement and Observer Force on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Multinational Force and Observers in the Egyptian Sinai, and Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Yet these examples illustrate a point made recently by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, "Observers can observe once you have peace. They cannot observe a lack of peace." The distinction between peace-making and peace-keeping is a vital one. U.N.DOF "works" despite the lack of a Syrian-Israeli peace because Syria does not want to attack Israel over its own border, preferring instead the deniability of supporting Hezbollah's attacks from Lebanon. Egypt has no interest in violating its demilitarization commitments in the Sinai, so Israel does not have a problem with the MFO there.
The TIPH is the closest thing to an example of a potentially volatile situation that may have been calmed somewhat by an international presence. But the TIPH, it is important to note, does not report to the United Nations but to Israel, the Palestinians, and the governments of its members. It did not stop the Palestinian sniper who murdered 10-month-old Shalhevet Paz in her stroller in March.
In short, Israel's experience with international observer forces ranges from benign to harmful. There is no reason for Israel to risk the placement of a one-way mirror between it and the Palestinians, with a special glaze that lets through Palestinian attacks, while reflecting back Israeli responses straight into the court of world opinion.
-- From The Wall Street Journal Europe
Ha'aretz, Thursday, July 12, 2001
THE PRICE OF WEAKNESS
By Yisrael Harel
Israel's policy of restraint has failed not only in Israel, in the military sense. For the first time in many years, and against the background of what has become a chronic war of attrition, there are forces, mainly in Europe, that are no longer satisfied with the establishment of a Palestinian state. They now deny the very right of a Jewish state to exist within any borders. And if in the past such voices could be heard only from the fringes, today they are increasingly being heard from intellectuals, media figures and rightist and leftist politicians. Shimon Peres likes to talk of the support Israel enjoys as a result of its restraint, but the Knesset members who returned this week from an Interparliamentary Association conference report that they encountered a hostile atmosphere and genuine hatred, the likes of which they had never encountered before. Major newspapers and television stations, especially in Europe, have come out pointedly against Israel, in some cases using terminology reserved in the past exclusively for Nazis. It seems that when the Jewish people demonstrate weakness, particularly in their own country, all swoop down to attack it with the their beaks and claws. And Israel's crisis of direction, will and military ability is having a deleterious effect on the Jews of the Diaspora. In many locations in Europe, they find they are once again forced to contend with soaring and terrifying hatred, like in the days when the Jews did not yet have a state. Jewish schools are guarded like prisons and community institutions have become fortresses. Anti-Semitic hatred, more often than not camouflaged as "legitimate" anti-Israeliness, is once again rearing its ugly head, especially in the media. More than 50 years after the establishment of the Jewish state, which allowed Jews to stand tall in the Diaspora and caused anti-Semitism to go underground, it is once again hard to be a Jew in Europe. And this time, with the irony of history, the Jewish state itself is partly to blame.
Most Arabs in Europe are recent arrivals there whom one might expect to feel the insecurity of immigrants (a large proportion of them are not even citizens). They nonetheless, and by the thousands, very aggressively demonstrate their identification with the acts of murder perpetrated by their Palestinian brethren against civilians, including the terror attacks at the Dolphinarium and the shopping malls. But the Jews, most of whom are native-born and well-established European citizens, do not dare to come out against them. Israel, which in the past made them feel proud and bolstered their identity, is now, because of its weakness, having an adverse effect on their status and prestige. It appears that the Jewish state has not solved the problem of anti-Semitism, as the Zionist theories postulated. Recently, and particularly in the last 10 months of weakness and restraint, anti-Semitism has once again reared its ugly head - sometimes openly, but mainly in the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-Israeliness - to spit out its venom and hatred, most commonly in the countries of the European Union.
Europe has a great fear of an inundation by Arabs. The French, for example, shudder at the thought that Muslims might take over cities and districts in southern France. Especially great is their fear that fundamentalist terror, like the explosion in the Twin Towers, will arrive in their cities. The Bin Laden phenomenon, fear of which caused the panicked flight of the American navy last week (perhaps influenced by the film "Pearl Harbor"?) from the ports of the Gulf, has filled American and European hearts with terror. And on the other hand, the number of Jews currently living in Europe is tiny compared to the influx of Arabs and Muslims in recent years. But despite this, most Europeans, even in those countries such as Norway - with very few Jews, have thrown their support wholeheartedly behind the Palestinians. And France of all places, where opposition to the Arab presence is greatest, is where about one third of all violent anti-Semitic acts in the world occur.
The European Union has taken a unilateral, open and blatant stand in favor of the Arabs. And the media, in particular the British media, has taken an obvious and sometimes even malicious and anti-Semitic position against Israel. On the BBC - and not only on its "special" on Sabra and Chatilla - we can already hear frequent claims that the Arab suffering of today is the result of the ethnic cleansing (the most morally charged term in the Western world today) that Israel carried out in its 1948 war.
The denial of Israel's right to exist as the state of the Jewish people has become the stuff of legitimate discourse in all cultural salons and prestigious talk shows in Europe. Arabs, who are often invited to participate in them without any Jewish balance being provided (or in the presence of Israelis who share the Arabs' views), are not the only ones who hold these convictions. Never, since the days of the Nazis, has anti-Semitism reared its head the way it is doing today, cries that moderate man, Michael Malchior, Shimon Peres's deputy. In Norway, where he served as chief rabbi, Israel's Law of Return has become the prototype of "absolute evil" and Zionism an evil and racist movement. And all this has happened since the signing of the Oslo agreements, encompassing very broad circles of society, with intellectuals and government officials taking an active role in stirring up the muddy wave. This is yet another product of the "Restraint is strength," and "Our moderation has caused the world to identify with Israel" strategy. The world, at least from the way it has been responding lately, has chosen to identify with the murderers of children.
The Jerusalem Post of July 18, 2001
WAR IS COMING
by Michael Freund
It is a chilling thought, but it now seems almost inevitable: the ongoing Palestinian violence will soon ignite an all-out war. It may be just a few days or weeks away, but the die seems to have been cast, perhaps irrevocably so. After eight years of reeling from crisis to crisis, the Oslo process is now poised for its final, Chernobyl-like meltdown.
It is impossible to know what the match will be that will spark the conflagration, but chances are that the Palestinians are cooking up something dramatic. Arafat seems intent on dragging the region into war, as his rejection of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's proposals at Camp David last year made all too clear. The Americans have come and gone, with the Mitchell Report and the Tenet cease-fire having amounted to little more than an intermission, as the curtain prepares to rise for what might be a fearsome final act.
Indeed, the Palestinians have been conducting themselves as if they wish to provoke an all-out armed conflict. There is simply no other logical explanation for their behavior. The barbarity of the Tel Aviv disco bombing seemed designed to elicit an overwhelming Israeli response. By targeting teenage youngsters out for a night on the town, the Palestinians set a new low for ruthless cruelty, one they surely knew would turn Israeli public opinion still further against them. And now, the Palestinian provocations are again intensifying, as the mortar fire on Gaza's Jewish communities has returned, the gunfire against Jewish homes in Hebron and Psagot has resumed, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad are again blowing up innocent Israelis.
Arafat knows full well that the consequences of another mass terror attack against Israel will be overwhelming and decisive. According to media reports, the Israeli army is preparing to sweep into Judea, Samaria and Gaza and dismantle the Palestinian Authority should the terror continue. Nevertheless, despite heavy American and European pressure, Arafat refuses to rein in his minions, preferring instead to play with fire.
Perhaps the surest sign of the impending hostilities is the sudden burst of "desperation diplomacy". Shimon Peres' unscheduled meeting with Arafat this past Sunday, just days after Omri Sharon's secret visit to the Palestinian leader, are eerily reminiscent of the last-minute attempts by the previous Bush administration to forestall the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Western mind stubbornly believes that a last-ditch appeal to common sense can prevail upon hardened dictators such as Saddam and Arafat to step back from the brink. If only it were so.
Many analysts have suggested that Arafat's goal is to internationalize the conflict, force the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force and thereby turn up the heat on Israel to make further concessions. But such an analysis is faulty, for it is based on the assumption that Arafat sees war as a tactic designed to achieve better results at the negotiating table.
It should be clear by now, though, that Arafat views war with Israel not as a tactic, but as a strategy. His aim is not to regain the 1967 borders, which were offered to him by Barak, but the 1948 borders. His aim is to destroy the State of Israel, to eliminate the Zionist presence from the Middle East.
For some, it is a painful conclusion to reach after hoping for peace for so many years. For others, it is merely confirmation of what we suspected all along: that Oslo was a bad gamble, akin to betting one's entire paycheck on the roulette wheel of fate.
But however deep the political divisions may have been in the past, let there be no mistake about the willpower and determination of the Jewish people in the present. Arafat's gravest error will yet prove to be his underestimating the resolve of this people to survive. As Golda Meir told a rally in New York during the 1967 Six Day War, "Those that perished in Hitler's gas chambers were the last Jews to die without standing up to defend themselves." The spirit of Israel will not be broken or subdued.
Standing alone, facing an intemperate enemy bent on its destruction, Israel will still emerge victorious. The price may be high, the cost in lives excruciating, but there are times in history when a nation has no choice but to defend itself. As Woodrow Wilson, the pacifist American president who led his country into World War I, told the U.S. Congress in April 1917, "It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have carried nearest our hearts."
The coming war is one that Israel neither wants nor hopes to fight. But if Arafat starts it, Israel will certainly know how to end it.
The writer served as Deputy Director of Communications and Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.
THE ANTIDOTE TO SHARON'S PERES' TWO-STEP
By Eugene Narrett
I explained in March that Ariel Sharon was preparing the way not only for the rehabilitation of the Labor Party, but for an unprecedented catastrophe: a Shimon Peres government. He was doing this indirectly by utterly discrediting the Likud as an alternative to the appeasers and anti-Judaisers of Labor, and by directly advancing discredited and treacherous Labor Party officials to his cabinet, including two of its three most powerful positions.
Already during his campaign, Sharon spoke of the need for Israel to make additional "painful compromises." As Arab mortars fall on Jerusalem, and Jews continued to be murdered from Tel Aviv to Chomesh, and from Binyamina to Kiryat Arba, the magnitude of the pain is clear.
Comments by Sharon's Defense Minister, 'Fuad' Ben Eliezer (Labor) indicate that the worst is yet to come. In the aftermath of the bombing of the train at Binyamina and the mortaring of Jerusalem, Fuad stated, "the government has no intention of causing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority." That should be the end of this government and elections for a new Knesset at the earliest possible time. As I have written often in recent months, the longer Sharon's restraint and dithering continues, the more risk there is that the current large advantage of the opposition parties over Labor will erode in the fog of political confusion and the paralysis that goes by the name of "the national unity government."
And as the Hebron Press Office noted July 17, Ben Eliezer's claim that the IDF already is doing its maximum to protect Israeli citizens is a gross lie that indicates his unfitness to be involved in directing the national defense.
The path to peace is clear. It begins with repudiating Oslo I & II, and the Hebron and Wye Accords. MK Michael Kleiner has introduced a bill (# 28933, July 11) to do this but it likely will take a new Knesset to do this rather than the current evil assembly. But a vigorous military attack on Israel's enemies in the meantime will curtail the Oslo War and implicitly cancel these agreements that all, as Kleiner's bill argues, are "null and void" because of massive violations by the PLO signatory.
My friend Yitzchak Gross reminds me that the Shulkhan Aruch makes clear (Hilchot Shabbat, 82-3, Siman 329 and Se'efim 6-7, 9) that even on Shabbat, it is required to go to war against enemies of Israel, even if they only intend to attack Jewish property. How much more so is all of Israel commanded to attack and destroy those who repeatedly seek to murder Jews anywhere in Eretz Yisrael. Moreover, the Lubavitcher Rebbe followed Rambam in noting that it is absolutely forbidden to hand over any part of the Land to goyim and that there is no teshuva for those who do so. Nor is there peace for them or from them, but only disgrace and war.
Hashem states in the Torah that all the men of Israel between the ages of 20-60 shall ascend three times a year, on the shalosh regalim to Jerusalem (Exodus 34:23-4). And that when they do, He will broaden our boundary and no nations will dare to covet, much less attack Israel.
Some might consider this a mysterious chok ("Statute") of Torah but it is rather an eidus, whose logic readily is clear. If all (or even a majority) of Jewish males gathered in Jerusalem, at the Temple Mount, three times annually, it would strengthen their Jewish pride and identity enormously, and with it, their willingness to fight for the Land and to demand that their leaders do the same. It would greatly strengthen the pride and resolve of all other Jews. And these action also would impress and deter any other nation or groups that wish to attack or possess any part of the Land God gave to the Children of Israel in perpetuity.
The Torah is a Torah of truth and life, and we are all responsible for fulfilling this life and Land-saving mitzvah, publicizing it and fulfilling it.
David Wilder observes that "Israeli soldiers do not receive diplomas in theatrics. They are trained warriors who wear uniforms, not costumes, and helmets, not wigs. Their job is not to make noise, it is to defeat the enemy" (July 16, 2001, on Arutz-7). Truth and amen! Sharon's phony war of restraint leads to defeat and death and alienation of more Land. "Expectations" that American should or will "pressure the Palestinians to stop their attacks" are faithless and delusional (DM Ben Eliezer, July 17). So is the constant, State Department-prompted hand-wringing about the need to avoid a regional war. That is a problem for the Corporate-One World planners who direct American policy.
Israel needs to fight and win the war that confronts it. This war is eminently winnable, and the sooner it is fought, the fewer casualties Israel will take, the sooner its enemies will be deterred and the more inspiring and saving an example it will give to all Jews (and gentiles) of the truth of God's Torah and promises to Israel.
Eugene Narrett is the author of Gathered against Jerusalem: Essays on a False Peace.
Editor's Note: The rise of worldwide anti-Semitism is a direct result of several factors. First the Oslo appeasement process (1993) led to the legitimization of Arafat's terrorist movement. The Palestine Liberation Organization was then seen as a true national movement of liberation. Liberation would, of course, mean the destruction of Israel. Europeans and Americans with traces of guilt from the Holocaust could claim that Israel was guilty of the same crimes to the Arabs. The Israeli Foreign Ministry made a concerted effort to AVOID defending Israel's historical positions on foreign policy issues. No spurious claim by the Arabs or the international community was worthy of an effective rebuttal. It was as if the Israeli information services were paralyzed resulting in the massive growth and influence of Arab propaganda. Universities were abandoned to the Arabs........
The Jerusalem Post of July 5, 2001
THE ANTI-SEMITISM INTERNATIONAL
By Uri Dan
(July 5) - The anti-Semites in Europe are currently making a great effort to bring about the de-legitimization of the Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael. This is the background against which the Belgian judicial authorities are insolently attempting to bring Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to trial on the false charge of involvement in the slaughter of Muslim Arabs (Palestinians) by Christian Arabs (Phalangists) in Lebanon's Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982.
This is a combined effort by the anti-Semites and the Arabs to destroy Israel. The Belgian judicial authorities attacking Sharon will, of course, explain that it is just a matter of justice and of defending human rights. But in today's Europe - in Belgium, France, England and other countries - taking a stand against Israel is a convenient and legitimate form of anti-Semitism.
This was the technique used by the producers of the BBC Panorama program on Sharon, Sabra and Shatilla, which deliberately revived the blood libel against the prime minister.
When British Prime Minister Tony Blair warmly welcomed Sharon to 10 Downing Street on June 24, it was a public rebuke to the BBC producers.
There is an obvious link between the anti-Semites at the BBC who concocted the lie against Sharon in Panorama, the charge submitted by the Palestinians in Brussels, and the decision by the Belgian judge. They have adapted the Communist International slogan "Workers of the world, unite," to "Haters of Israel, unite." They are well aware that Sharon is the real, if not the last, obstacle to the realization of their dream - to bring about the collapse of the Jewish State in a terrorist war waged by the real war criminal - Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Sharon is setting out for Berlin and Paris to present the facts about who is actually responsible for the cruel war that has been waged against Israel for over nine months now.
A major role in the anti-Israeli activities in Europe is being played by the leaders and representatives of several small countries wishing to achieve prominence at Israel's expense. When the US and Russia and, to a lesser extent, Germany and France, attempt to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is understandable. But no one took any notice of countries like Norway, Belgium, Denmark, and Spain until their representatives took Arafat's side against the policy of the Israeli government. Instead of contributing to the solution, they are adding fuel to the fire by unilaterally supporting the terrorist dictator Arafat - in the poor man's version of Munich, 1938.
Have the Belgian authorities, who have just taken on the European Union presidency, purged themselves of their own real crimes? It will be remembered that Belgians, headed by Leon Degrelle, collaborated with the Nazi conquerors in destroying the flourishing Belgian Jewish community. The history books are full of the grave crimes the Belgians committed when they ruled the Congo, when they slaughtered the natives in their avarice for natural resources. Just ask around in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) - there are plenty of witnesses there to keep the righteous judges in the Belgian law courts busy for years - after they finish with the pedophile trials.
Naturally, in this International of hatred of Sharon and the Jewish-Zionist State of Israel, you will also find Jews, among them Israelis. After all, according to the Israeli professors who are counterfeiting history, even David Ben-Gurion was suspected of war crimes. In their view, he was responsible for expelling and murdering the poor Arabs in 1948 and subsequently. This is the original sin, in whose name political psychopaths in Israel have for many years tried to bring about "post-Zionism." They are also participating in the attempt to de-legitimize their own country. Incidentally, Haim Baram, of the leftist lunatic fringe, at least had the courage to admit that he maintained constant contact with the producer of the defamatory Panorama film on Sharon.
The Jews are finally closing ranks to fight back against this International of hatred from without and within, against Arafat and his terrorist attacks on Israel, and against Hizbullah. The Jews are now sensing the anti-Semitic monster that raised its ugly head in Brussels. Jewish communities, both in Europe and the US, are waking up and beginning the struggle, because they remember that tomorrow may be too late.
Jerusalem Post of July 04, 2001
UN DRAFT: ZIONISM A
ON RACIAL SUPERIORTY'
By Janine Zacharia
WASHINGTON (July 4) - Despite the threat of an American boycott, the latest draft of a declaration up for adoption at a UN conference on racism next month includes references to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians as a "crime against humanity" and revives the classification of Zionism as a "movement which is based on racial superiority."
A copy of the latest version of the text - which also refers to Arabs who suffered as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war as victims of "ethnic cleansing" - was obtained yesterday by The Jerusalem Post. The document is slated for final approval by the conference's preparatory committee when it convenes in Geneva on July 30 for the last time ahead of the late August "World Conference against Racism, Ra cial Discrimination, Xeno phobia, and Related Intolerance" to be held in the South African port city of Durban.
Following are clauses that relate to Israel and Zionism:
Clause 25, listed in a section entitled "Ethnic cleansing, genocide, slavery, and similar crimes," reads:
"We affirm that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination, with the aim of continuing domination on the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities, and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity and a serious threat to international peace and security."
Clause 29, in a section entitled "Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance," begins: "We salute and acknowledge the memory of all victims of racism, and racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, slavery, and slave trade, colonialism.
Items where there is still disagreement among delegates refer both to the Holocaust and to "ethnic cleansing of the Arab population in historic Palestine."
There are also references to "racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories" and a call for the cessation of such practices.
Clause 54 speaks of the need to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as intrinsic to opposing all forms of racism, while the draft of Clause 55, on which there are also conflicting opinions, reflects deep concern at the worldwide increase in anti-Semitism and "the increase of racist practices of Zionism... as well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas, in particular, the Zionist movement, which is based on racial superiority."
..........The proposals, said Deputy Foreign Minister Melchior, undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel and even the existence of Judaism. By using words like genocide in relation to settlements, and by criticizing the Law of Return as an absolute evil, the proposals cheapen what is truly evil," he added.
"If to build an apartment in Gilo is genocide, if the Law of Return is racism and apartheid, the expressions of absolute evil are watered down. If all is genocide, then nothing is genocide," Melchior said.
In addition to delegitimizing Israel and Zionism, Melchior said, "the proposals also attempt to delegitimize Jewish death and suffering of the past," by lumping anti-Semitism with a variety of other "phobias."
........The US is also opposed to parts of the resolution that would reinforce claims by African Americans and African nations demanding reparations from countries that were involved in the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell met last month with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, who will chair the week-long conference, which opens August 31.
......The dispute is the latest rough spot in US-UN relations. Earlier this year, the US was voted off a UN human rights body and America has in the past withheld its payment of UN dues. Diplomatic sources in Washington say if the resolution passes in its current form, Congress could move again to deny those payments.
THE NEW QUARANTINE OF ISRAEL
By Avi Davis
Picture this if you can: Egypt, seething with rage at Israel´s treatment of the Palestinians, threatens Israel with punitive military action. In concert with this threat, Syria mobilizes and masses its troops on the edge of the Golan Heights. Jordan, unable to resist the pressure of its saber rattling neighbors, allows Iraqi tanks to roll across its frontiers and take up positions on the Israeli border. Throughout the Arab world, giant posters announce jihad against the Jewish state and newspapers call for death to the Jews.
Meanwhile, Israel´s diplomatic efforts are foundering. The American president warns Israel that it must not make a pre-emptive strike and insists on a peacekeeping mission. France ambitiously attempts to convene a Four Power Conference to find a diplomatic solution, only to fail. Britain and the U.S promise a joint show of force to discourage Arab militarism, but it never materializes. Finally, Israel´s foreign minister makes a frantic world tour to shore up international support for the country´s position, yet finds, to his grief, that Israel stands alone.
Sounds uncomfortably familiar? It should. These were the exact events preceding the outbreak of war in June1967. Fighting on three fronts, Israel waged and won the Six Day War in a climate of frigid international indifference. The real threats to the country´s existence seemed to have caused barely a stir in the consciences of world leaders, many of whom were convinced that Israel´s liquidation was only a matter of time. Proof of this was obtained only a few years later when among Charles De Gaulle´s papers was found a speech, written in the first week of June 1967, mourning the destruction of the State of Israel.
As the G8 representatives met in Genoa this week, the ghost of that terrifying period hovered over Israel. The Israeli government, having urged the international community for many months to isolate Yasser Arafat, decry his terrorism and reward its own blood-sprayed policy of restraint with support, was given an astonishing rebuff. The declaration of the G8, calling for the installation of international observers to monitor the implementation of the Tenet cease-fire proposal and the recommendations of the Mitchell Report, proved that the interval of thirtyfive years had changed nothing.
Instead of acknowledging the mayhem and murder Arafat has brought to the Middle East, the G8 in fact sought to apportion no blame. It chose, rather, the path of moral equivalence. It was as if the Oslo Peace Process, Ehud Barak´s extraordinary gestures of rapprochement and the Palestinians´ violent September response followed by its murderous campaign ever since, had never occurred. In the mind of these leaders, all that now remains are two antagonists whose claims and conduct are equally deserving of either attention or condemnation.
No Israeli government in its right mind is likely to agree to placement of international observers in its territory at this time. The reason is obvious: the only "observations" that are likely to be reported are those of a Israeli military response to Palestinian terrorism. Unable to gauge when and where Palestinians terrorists will strike, observers will, the Israelis correctly fear, record Israeli reprisals as acts of aggression. This fear is not without basis. The Palestinian-leaning bias, with which the supposedly independent international media report the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, should be enough to convince just about anybody that impartial monitoring is not feasible.
Whatever the reasons for the G8´s decision to back the international monitors, the signs for Israel are ominous. The convention of the U.N. World Conference on Racism in Durban in September, where the only country identified for condemnation is Israel, adds a telling warning. The country is now viewing the prospect of being wedged between the cold "objectivity" of the international community on one side and continued, if not escalating terrorism on the other. Under these circumstances, the threat of military and diplomatic quarantine may be more serious than at any time since the 1967 war.
For Ariel Sharon´s national unity government, this could only mean one thing: the entire policy of restraint, designed largely to shore up international opinion, is in the process of collapse. The fear of Kosovo-like international intervention, an apprehension that has paralysed the government from rooting out the true sources of Palestinian terror, must now be balanced against the prospect of a militant Arab world, prepared to take advantage of what it perceives to be a psychologically weakened Israel.
If the international doors continue to clang shut, the only avenue left open to Israel, as in 1967, may yet be a massive but decisive retaliation. That could mean a regional war, but it will be a war for which the international community can then proudly claim authorship.
Avi Davis is senior editorial columnist for Jewsweek.com whose book The Crucible of Conflict: Jews, Arabs and the West Bank Dilemma will be published in the Fall.
U.S. MIDDLE EAST POLICY
BURNS ON THE STOVE
By Avi Davis
Want a recipe for a doomed Middle East policy? Then try this
one: Base diplomatic expectations on a cease-fire that never
occurs; make the cease-fire a precondition for the implementation
of a report that only one side accepts; then use that report to
support the continuation of a peace process that no one believes
The Bush Administration's Middle East policy, prodded into life by continuing violence, is now beginning to resemble more warmed-up Clintonian even-handedness than anyone in Israel could have expected. Last week's unhappy meeting between Bush and Sharon, followed by Colin Powell's trip to the region, threatened to envelop American foreign policy in a myopia that has crippled many administrations from Eisenhower to the present day. That is a preparedness to kowtow to regional Arab opinion at the expense of a natural and strategically irreplaceable ally.
There is little mistaking the source of George Bush's insistence that Ariel Sharon agree to a dramatically reduced cease-fire, followed by a foreshortened cooling off period. Clearly, whisperings from Arab oil states, unhappy with the Administration's apparent one-sided approach to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, have caught the President's ear. With Saddam Hussein still a specter hovering over the Persian Gulf and Osama Bin Laden reportedly plotting further attacks against American targets, the Administration may be feeling pressure to develop a plan that will appease Arab opinion.
But a U.S. caving to Arab pressure, at a vital moment in Middle East diplomacy, represents a historic miscalculation. There are few foreign policy analysts who do not acknowledge that terrorism, instigated and executed by Islamic fundamentalists, poses the singular threat to American security in the first decade of this century. Access to biological and chemical agents that can wreak havoc in America's urban centers or the appearance of rogue states who can supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, presents a source of immense danger to the West. As Walter Laqueur comments in his recent book, The New Terrorism "the idea of a holy war that is a sacred duty, permits the use of all weapons and sanctions unlimited bloodshed - all of which may be put in the service of non-religious interests."
That is exactly the case with the Palestinian uprising. Led by Yasser Arafat, a secular Moslem, Intifada 2 has harnessed the fury of fundamentalists and used religious language and symbols to inflame the passions of many secular Palestinians. The result is a heady cocktail of nationalism and religious fundamentalism that has roared across Palestinian controlled areas, extinguishing moderate voices and engulfing the region in violence. In the process, the Palestinian media identifies the enemy not only as "the Zionist entity" but as western culture. Little wonder that despite all Bill Clinton's ingratiations, the American flag burns with equal relish in Palestinian areas and the American president's effigy often sits on top of the pyre.
All of this should have alerted the credulous Bill Clinton and should now serve as a sober warning to his successor. States that sponsor terrorism, both domestically and abroad, are watching the Palestinian insurrection with great anticipation. If the Palestinians are successful in extorting even minimal rewards from both Israel and the United States by a resort to terrorism, open season may be called on Western and principally American targets throughout the world. A new era awaits the outcome of a Middle East struggle that no American, particularly an American president, should mistake as being restricted to Israel's borders.
In this climate of heightened awareness, the United States should remain implacable in its rejection of Arafat's resort to violence and steadfast in its diplomatic support for Israel. It should recognize that Israel is at war and that in this military confrontation its own strategic and moral positions are at stake. To this end, expecting Israel to absorb unlimited killings of its citizens in the name of a cease-fire that only it observes, represents as shortsighted a policy as the one that led Dwight Eisenhower and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, to hand Egypt's Abdul Nasser a needless victory in the 1956 Suez War. The result of that diplomatic disaster was a conflagration known as the Six Day War.
A victory for Yasser Arafat, even if psychological and short lived, could have far more devastating global implications than anyone can imagine.
Avi Davis is a writer based in Los Angeles whose book The Crucible of Conflict: Jews, Arabs and the West Bank Dilemma will appear in the Fall.
TOO LATE FOR A PEACEABLE SOLUTION
By Boris Shusteff
We welcome the Jews to live as dhimmis, but the rule in this
land and in all the Muslim countries must be the rule of Allah...
(Sermon on PA TV, 7/6/01). (1)
The Jews have always tried to coexist with the Arabs. Devoid of a state they were forced to live under a dhimmi status in the Moslem ruled countries. When the modern Zionism was born the socialist-minded Zionist leaders believed that they would peacefully share the land of Eretz Yisrael with the Arabs. More and more Jews would come to Eretz Yisrael and they would eventually constitute the majority of the population. The Arabs would gladly embrace the innovations and the life improvements brought by the Jews and would happily live in the Jewish state.
The reality was absolutely different. The Arabs did not embrace their "saviors." They watched with astonishment and envy how the "newcomers" were transforming the barren land into an oasis. The idyllic dreams of the socialist Zionists regarding the Arabs never materialized. The Jews did not understand the Arabs; the Arabs did not understand the Jews. They knew each other´s languages, but they were unable to bridge the differences in their respective mentalities.
For the Arabs the Jews were the dhimmi people. In the master-slave relationship that they were used to, the dhimmis were not supposed to become the masters. The Jews on their part were unable to understand that even their very small "victory" - another dunam of land that was sold to them by the Arabs as a wasteland and transformed into a garden, was another mortal blow for the Arabs. The children of Islam felt that through these victories the Jews emphasized the Arab inferiority. The Arab world was stagnating for many centuries and it was unacceptable for the Arabs that the Jews were the ones to bring them "progress." They did not need this progress and they did not need the Jews.
The Arab hostility towards the Jews was not born with Sharon´s visit to the Temple Mount, it was not born in 1964 with the creation of the PLO, and it was not born in 1948 with the establishment of Israel. It was always present and simply started to grow from the day that the Arabs realized that the Jewish state is inevitable. Interestingly, the Arabs knew that the Jewish state would come into existence even before the Jews themselves started to speak about it. At the time when no Zionist leaders, with the exception of Zeev Zhabotinsky, spoke about the creation of the Jewish state, the Arabs where discussing its "dangers."
Prior to Israel´s creation the Jewish leaders desperately
tried to convince the Arabs to accept the Jews. On September 15,
1947 a secret meeting was held in London between Abba Eban and
David Horovitz, the Jewish Agencies liaison officers with the
United Nations Special Commission on Palestine and Abd al-Rahman
Azzam, Secretary-General of the Arab League. The transcript of
their talks might be taken for a transcript of talks between
Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, and Nabil Shaat and Abu Mazen. The
same topics, the same arguments, the same issues. Eban and
Horovitz then, as well as Peres quiet recently, even said
"that the Jewish state to be was very interested in being
integrated into processes of regional development and in certain
conditions would be glad ´to joining with the Arab States in a
The Jewish eloquence was in vain. Azzam told them that the Arabs "resented [Zionism´s] very presence as an alien organism, which had come without their consent, and which refused to be assimilated to their way of life" (2). The next fifty-four years have been a non-stop reminder to the Jews of this Arab position. NOTHING has changed since. Zionism is still an alien organism to the Arabs. The Jews come to Israel without the Arab consent.
Azzam explained that the Arabs would never accept the Jews. He said:
"[For the Arabs] you are not a fact at all - you are a temporary phenomenon. Centuries ago the Crusaders established themselves in our midst against our will, and in 200 years we ejected them. This was because we never made the mistake of accepting them as fact." (2).
The Arab leader told the truth to the Jewish leaders. They simply did not want to listen to him. The "Jews- Crusaders" motif and the readiness to wait as long as needed is constantly instilled in the Arabs by their leaders. In an interview on December 13, 1981 with the al-Rai al Amm (Kuwait) Hafez Assad said,
"We view the matter from the perspective of the future of the nation and not that of the next few hours, months or years Let us go back to the crusader invasion. Although they fought us for 200 years, we did not surrender or capitulate. They too [like Israel] were a big power and scored victories, while we had been defeated. After 200 years, however, we triumphed. Why are we now expected either to score a decisive victory in approximately thirty years or completely surrender?" (2)
Twenty more years passed and one of the Palestinian Arab "moderates" Faysal al-Husseini continued the theme. In the last interview before his death on June 24, 2001 he told the Egyptian "Al- Arabi, "We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure. If you are asking me what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: ´from the river to the sea.´ Palestine in its entirety is an Arab land, the land of the Arab nation, a land no one can sell or buy, and it is impossible to remain silent while someone is stealing it, even if this requires time and even [if it means paying] a high price" (3).
It is time to ask all those who keep deceiving themselves saying that it is possible through negotiations to achieve peace with the Arabs. Can they explain which of the above excerpts from the statements of the Arab leaders makes them so optimistic? Is it not clear that there is no common ground whatsoever between the Arab position and even the most defeatist Jewish position? Is it not clear that the Arabs are ready to wait infinitely long since they "view the matter from the perspective of the future of the nation and not that of the next few hours, months or years?"
Where did the appeasers find any hints that the Arabs would agree to give them something? Do they not understand that the Arabs will not "accept them as a fact?" How can the Jews deceive themselves hoping that the Arabs voluntarily through negotiations will agree to the Jewish state in "Palestine [that is] in its entirety an Arab land, the land [that] no one can sell or buy?"
The Arabs gave the answer to the Jewish peace overtures long ago. Azzam made it crystal clear in 1947 when he told Eban and Horovitz,
"You will achieve nothing with talk of compromise and peace. You may perhaps achieve something by force of your arms. We will try to rout you. I am not sure that we will succeed, but we will try. We succeeded in expelling the Crusaders, but lost Spain and Persia and may lose Palestine. But it is too late for a peaceable solution You speak of the Middle East. For us there is no such concept; for us there is only concept of the Arab world. For us there is only one test, the test of strength. In any case, the problem is likely to be solved only by force of arms" (2).
It was too late for a peaceable solution in 1947. It is definitely too late today as the Arab hatred towards the Jews has increased exponentially. Nothing will be achieved with talk of compromise and peace. For Arabs there is only one test - the test of strength. The problem can be solved only by force of arms.
1. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). A Friday Sermon on PA TV: "... We Must Educate our Children on the Love of Jihad..." 7/10/01. www.memri.org
2. Efraim Karsh. Fabricating Israeli History: The ´New Historians.´ Frank Cass &Co. Ltd., London, Portland (Or), 1997.
3. MEMRI. Faysal Al-Husseiny in his Last Interview: "The Oslo Accords Were Trojan Horse; The Strategic Goal is the Liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] sea" 7/2/01. http://www.memri.org
12 July 2001
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
NO PEACE PROCESS AND NO CEASE-FIRE EITHER
By Christopher Barder
The terms we are being forced to read are fraudulent and misinforming. They are a part of a disinformation process which colours perceptions in a most damaging way. They are rooted in agendas which are not based upon designs for Israel's safety or security. Indeed, political terminology derives from attempts at approximating to realities and labelling them. So many of the terms in current use, liberal, conservative, democratic fore examples, stem from usage in the first half of the nineteenth century when it was necessary to describe emerging European political ideas and phenomena.
Today we have equivalents. Peace process' is one of them: it is supposed to mean a kind of evolutionary and developing set of trends lending themselves to peace. It appears that it takes the form often of agreements which are then violated with impunity so that they can be improved on for the benefit of one side. This is especially true in the Middle East version, where there is a requirement apparently, that land be given away in order to buy peace and therefore since the land given is never enough to ensure peace, peace must be contingent upon the next offer. Thus there is never peace prevalent for long as that would be to signal enough land had been given away to cause peace. It is scarcely surprising therefore that all negotiations have been to some extent under the shadow of the gun.
However, what Shimon Peres did in meeting with Yasser Arafat was to signal that it is legitimate to talk with enemies and those responsible for the enmity and that is constructive.[i] Yet all the world with eyes to see knows that Arafat: 1. does not want peace with Israel and nor does his constituency'; 2. could cease the incitement and provocation in the speeches, media and culture of the PA; 3. has no intention of stopping hatred and murder; 4. has the track record for brutality and intimidation to stop anyone in his way from doing anything (yet PLO brutalities in Lebanon, for example, have been conveniently forgotten). In a philosophical and realpolitik sense therefore, anything goes so long as it means the process' is maintained talking while murdering, accepting violence as a part of everyday life, building to protect against snipers but tolerating the shooting anything except what international law recognises as essential: punishment of offences. And also what international peace can depend upon: deterrence of aggression. This list goes on: policing borders to maintain peace is essential. Where there are no borders, policing still remains a duty. Different ethnic or religious or political communities still require policing. All these norms are abandoned by the rest of the world when it comes to Israel and by Israel's governments, under that duress, too.
As Professor Beres has powerfully put it: "With Israel, as with the torture victim, the declared motive of the perpetrator is largely a fiction. The torturer tortures because he enjoys torturing. The Palestinian terrorist murders Jews because that, exactly, is what he wants to do. The torturer cannot be stopped by answering his questions (the overwhelming majority of torture victims know absolutely nothing about such questions, and the torturer knows that his victims know nothing). The terrorist cannot be stopped by giving in to terror. In the case of Israel, the Palestinian terrorist will cease his terror only when the Jewish State has itself ceased to exist. It is not surprising, in this connection, that all official PA maps identify Israel proper as "Occupied Palestine." And Israel does not exist on the maps of a single Arab country."[ii]
It is equally absurd, and a dangerous misnomer, to call the prevalent conditions of June-July 2001 a cease-fire'. There is no cease-fire with deaths and shooting continuing. It is not, as the media choose to misrepresent it, a fragile affair struggling to be maintained. That may be useful as an interpretation glorifying to the Mitchell Report, the CIA, Kofi Anan and the hopes of the State Department, but in reality it is an utterly misleading concept. Frequency and intensity of confrontation are issues relevant to the measurement of conflict but cease-fires can only be in place or not in place. They cannot be half in place by virtue of level of firing if it exists at all, then it has not been ceased from. That is all there is to the matter.
Ariel Sharon has limited the effectiveness both of pre-emption and of deterrence. As such he has rendered violence unpunished and removed the means of protecting the citizens of Israel from what they require, in a number of respects. The current situation does not, as the spin-doctors assert, require a political settlement. First it requires a security/safety one. That is a military one. Retribution must be swift, terrible and superbly targeted. Above all it must be sufficient to make escalation impossible, due to its speed and ferocity but also its precision. It must be shown that violence will render the PA and its security services, inoperable, unable to function, and the promise to make Jewish lives safe must be kept: no more empty words or threatened punishments. This is not a matter of a cycle of violence. It is a matter of rendering the enemy unable to function in a violent manner.
This is not so hard to achieve. Sealed off in their own towns, with no communications and armaments buildings undamaged, with all muster points and police and intelligence venues destroyed and broadcasting facilities rendered useless (remember the NATO attack on Belgrade's Serbian television building), the water and electricity supplies in the hands of Israel -- then price becomes too high to pay. Hence endangerment of Jewish lives must be shown to be an option unavailable to Islamic Jihad or Hamas and, as they are parts of Palestinian society, that society which tolerates them, in its midst, will be destroyed. In other words, if Nabil Sha'ath and Hanan Ashrawi and other western supported spokespeople (moderates') will indeed not allow decent international cooperation on behalf of law and order to occur, then Israel will do its own work and the purposes of the Oslo accords are null and void.[iii]
After learning how neighbours should behave, IF that lesson were ever learnt, be it by the hard way or any other, IF Palestinian behaviour and education turned towards acceptance and peace, and that for a protracted period of years, then and only then are talks of any value, and then and only then can peace be said to be on the Arab agenda in any true and meaningful sense. Until such a day, which is tragically hard to imagine, the value of human life and the living in peace of all citizens, must be ensured by all the force and determination necessary. And it is time that these grim realities were faced up to and the deceptive descriptions which do nothing but postpone and mislead were abandoned.
What the statistics show cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.[iv] Nor can it continue to be described and circumscribed by verbal distortions for where truth is a casualty, so too is human life.
05 July 2001
The author writes on Middle East affairs.
The Jerusalem Post July, 12 2001
THINK AGAIN: WAS THE EU BILKED?
By Jonathan Rosenblum
(July 12) The European Union has been spreading its largesse liberally with respect to Israel. That largesse has taken two forms: large grants to various "peace" groups for the purpose of moving the electorate to the Left, and support for groups opposed to all Israeli settlement beyond the 1967 borders.
After eight years of fairly open manipulation of Israeli elections by the Clinton administration, foreign funding to influence internal Israeli politics no longer occasions surprise. When Ramparts magazine revealed in 1967 that the CIA was funding the international activities of the National Student Association, the NSA instantly ceased to be a force on American university campuses. Today Israeli groups in the employ of foreign governments, not always suspect of having Israel's best interests at heart, feel no need to deny or apologize for their sources of funding.
From the EU's point of view, its money has been well spent. Knesset member Roman Bronfman received $320,000 for the purpose of moving the immigrant community into the "peace camp," according to EU documents revealed by Ma'ariv's Yoav Yitzhak. Certainly Bronfman gave it his best effort. In the 1999 election, he took the lead in arousing hatred for Sephardim and the religious among new immigrants to attract them to the Left, and after the election he deserted the centrist Yisrael Ba'aliya party.
If the events of the past 10 months have conspired to drive the Russian immigrants back to the Right, it is hardly Bronfman's fault.
And the Four Mothers Movement's campaign for withdrawal from Lebanon was so successful that Israel was out of Lebanon before Four Mothers could collect its $200,000 EU grant.
Other grantees may not have had a large impact on Israeli public opinion, but they have furthered the EU's interest in undermining both Jewish and non-Jewish support for Israel abroad.
Gush Shalom, which received $200,000 through its affiliated Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICHAD), describes Palestinian violence since October as a "legitimate revolt against colonial oppression." That line does not have many buyers in Israel today.
But when ICHAD's Jeffrey Halper convinced Amnesty International to report that Israel plans to demolish 6,000 illegally built Arab homes, the country's international standing took another blow. (The July 10 New York Times reported the actual number of demolitions of illegally built homes as less than 14 per annum.)
Henry Siegman of the Council of Foreign Relations has an enviable track record of publishing op-ed pieces in the prestige press critical of the Israeli government, and fully deserved the EU grant for a project he was supervising.
And the EU-funded supercomputer housed at Orient House containing records of all pre-1948 Arab-owned property in Jerusalem will prove handy for all Palestinians laying claim to their former holdings or seeking compensation from Israel.
ONE OF the EU's grants, however, does raise questions as to whether the mandarins of the EU were hoodwinked: a $200,000 grant to Tzvia Greenfield's Machon Mifne for the purpose of "encouraging the settlement and religious communities in Israel to change their prevailing negative attitudes toward peace and democracy."
The national-religious community is variously described in the document as "democracy-suspicious" and "non-educated."
Enlightenment, however, is soon to follow.
Greenfield's contract with the EU boasts that "Machon Mifne enjoys a unique position among the right-wing nationalistic audiences," which have so far been inaccessible to the peace and democracy camp" and has succeeded in "penetrat[ing] the uttermost bastion of national-religious education."
Perhaps Greenfield's benefactors were misled into believing that she presently has great influence by virtue of her frequent media appearances.
Yet the frequency of those appearances reveal more about the Israeli media's fondness for curiosities than about Greenfield's influence. No doubt there will always be an audience, in Tom Segev's words, of "secular Jews who love to hate the ultra-Orthodox" for a woman wearing a resolutely unstylish wig who is only too happy to confirm all their stereotypes. But the very qualities that endear Greenfield to that audience make her anathema among those she would influence.
An invitation to Greenfield to speak in a national-religious synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof was quickly rescinded as soon as synagogue members found out who she was. And if that was the reaction in her own neighborhood, with a largely English-speaking, university-educated membership, one can surmise her popularity among the larger national-religious community.
In her new book, They Are Afraid, Greenfield puts both the haredi and national-religious communities on the psychiatrist's couch. Among the former she finds "hysteria" and a tendency towards necrophilia. The latter, she concludes, are not so much moved by the theology of Greater Israel as by the desire run the country and turn the secular population into the "Messiah's Donkey."
The centerpiece of her book is her theory that the haredi world has allied itself with Binyamin Netanyahu (dubbed the Prince of Darkness) out of hatred for the Zionist state, whose failure they crave. To see the Zionist enterprise fail, the haredim are prepared to engulf us in all-out war. (Here Greenfield is reminiscent of the Israeli playwright who had a haredi chorus praying for war to provide jobs for the burial society.) Greenfield's thesis does not explain the far greater enthusiasm for Netanyahu among those who proclaim the state "to be the first flowering of the redemption."
The point, however, is not the validity of Greenfield's thesis, but rather the likelihood that those described by her as "fascists" or "necrophiliacs" or as "leading spiritually desiccated lives" will be attracted to her banner. Be religious Jews ever so tolerant, modest and self-critical, it is doubtful that Greenfield will win friends or influence many of them with such epithets.
So was the EU duped? Probably not. They were no more paying Greenfield to dialogue with the religious world than they were paying the Four Mothers to set up a dialogue with Lebanese women, as specified in the latter's grant.
Like many on the post-Zionist Israeli Left, our EU benefactors see religion as the source of Jewish national identity, and that national identity as the only thing preventing peace from breaking out all over. For without that national identity, we will eventually throw in the towel and decide that the price of living is Israel is not worth it.
In short, they paid Greenfield to discredit Judaism. And she delivered.
A CANDID CONVERSATION (Part 1)
By Boris Shusteff
"And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land
before you . . .
and if you will not dispossess them . . . they will oppress you over the
land in which you are settled" (BaMidbar ch. 53).
In the realm of Middle East politics, there are certain controversial topics of discussion that people are extremely reluctant to discuss. While very much interested in the issues themselves, they run away from talking about them. Those who would prefer to avoid such uncomfortable topics had better stop reading now. However, they should know that a self-delusional "ostrich policy" will not alter reality and will not bring a resolution of those issues a single inch closer.
On June 18, after his return from Syria, Azmi Bishara, a member of the Israeli Knesset, said at a press conference in Nazareth, "I am not an Israeli patriot. I am a Palestinian patriot and I cannot regard Syria as an enemy state." The most troubling thing about this declaration is that it was made by a person who recently ran for the post of Israeli Prime Minister. If we have witnessed the day when a "Palestinian patriot" ran for the job of the Prime Minister of the Jewish state, this means the illness of Palestinian subversion is so advanced that surgical intervention is inevitable.
We need to talk about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. There is a consensus today among Israeli leaders regarding this issue. It can be summed up with the joke about how the "Model T" Ford could be painted any color, provided that the color was black. Rephrased in local political language it sounds like this: the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs may be resolved in any way, provided that the Arabs stay where they are living right now. Or, using the "t-word", no transfer can even be discussed.
Yuli Edelestein, Deputy Minister of Immigrant Absorption, wrote in the Israeli Russian daily "Vesty" on June 19, that "the transfer of the Palestinians is unrealistic for implementation, since the moral norms of the Jewish society will not allow us to conduct a forceful deportation of several million people. In addition to this, the international community will never agree to this kind of action." We are not going to ask the Deputy Minister if the moral norms of the Jewish society allow it to watch, day after day, how Israeli Jews are murdered by those Arabs to whose suffering the highly-moral Israeli society is so sensitive. We will simply try to emphasize the seriousness of the issue of Arab demography and subversion.
The problem of Palestinian Arab demographic growth was the reason why Yossi Beilin dragged Israel into the swamps of Oslo. This Israeli Jew placed himself in the ranks of the most ardent Zionists and decided that he knew how to revive Zionism. On June 12, in an interview with Ari Shavit published in the "Ha´aretz" Magazine, he explained his position:
"The real question that I have asked myself every day for the past ten years is what will happen when an Arab majority exists west of the Jordan River; what will happen when the number of Arabs who are citizens of Israel and the number of Arabs who are under Israeli rule exceeds the number of Jews. Because that moment is not far off. We are just a few years from it. Less than a decade, a lot less than a decade. That is what constantly preoccupies me: What we will do on the day when the nightly newscast informs us at the end of the program, just before the weather forecast, that the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the Jews have become a minority in the western part of the Land of Israel. Because if that day comes and we don´t have a border, if on that day there is no Palestinian state on the other side of a border, all hell will break loose here. I hardly want to think about what will happen in that case. It will be the end of the Zionist idea."
In order to preserve the "Zionist idea" Yosi Beilin found an absolutely fantastic solution. He decided to transfer the Palestinian Arabs from the Jewish state, together with the land on which they currently live. As he said in the same interview, if parts of Jerusalem are given to the Arabs, "220,000 Palestinians now in East Jerusalem will cease to live in Israeli territory." The naivete of this approach is striking. Perhaps temporarily, through this kind of "subtraction," Beilin could have kept the current demographic balance at a level that was acceptable (to him). Of course, the next generation, were it to follow in his footsteps, would be forced to use the same arithmetic logic, and cut again from Israel the Galilee, for example, where the Arabs will be in the majority.
The futility of Beilin´s exercise can be easily shown if one studies the summary of the conference on "The Balance of National Strength and Security in Israel" that was held in the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya in December 2000. The abstract of the discussed issues was presented in March 2001 to President Moshe Katzav. The Israeli daily "Ha´aretz" wrote on March 22 that, "The core of Israel´s political and defense establishment has come out with a document that corresponds, in some of its recommendations and in general tone, with the views of the far right. This is mainly true with respect to the importance attached to the demographic threat to Jewish Israel posed by the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs."
The document points out that "the birth rate of Muslims in Israel (4.6 children per woman) is nearly double that of Israeli Jews (2.6 children). Today, approximately one out of every five Israeli citizens is a Muslim Arab. Within 20 years, the ratio will be one to three." The document warns not only about the security problems and the issues associated with the implications for Israel´s identity as a Jewish state, it discusses the economic ramifications as well. It states, "Israel´s growing Arab sector is endowed with socioeconomic characteristics that will turn it into a millstone around Israel´s neck. A very small percentage of the Arab population participates in the work force, whereas its consumption of public services (welfare payments, social services, schools and health services) greatly exceeds its relative share in the total population."
Any objective person, after becoming familiar with just these two excerpts must agree that Beilin´s idea of relocating Israeli Arabs from Israel together with the land will not solve the problem. It will only exacerbate it. By forfeiting a large part of Jerusalem to the 220,000 Arabs, and accepting 100,000 Arabs into Israel (according to Beilin, this would satisfy Arab ambitions regarding the "right of return for the refugees"), Israel will not increase the birth rate among the Jews and will not reduce it among the Arabs. Very soon, today´s ratio of Jews to Arabs will be restored, though in a truncated, "Zionist" (according to Beilin) state. And then, using the same sort of thinking, Israel will have to decide the sequence of parting with the Jezreel Valley, Galilee and Negev, where the Arab demographic threat is most obvious.
This day may arrive much sooner than expected, since the emasculated Jewish state - without the Temple Mount, without a large part of Jerusalem, without Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) with their thousand places inseparably linked with Judaism and Jewish history - will become much less attractive to potential Jewish immigrants. If we recall that today´s demographic balance exists as it does only because of the almost 1,000,000-strong aliyah of Russian Jewry in the last ten years, we must agree that Beilin's fears are not exaggerated. However, it does not mean that his solution is the correct one.
22 July 2001
A CANDID CONVERSATION (Part 2)
By Boris Shusteff
"And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land
before you . . . and if you will not dispossess them . . . they
will oppress you over the land in which you are settled"
(BaMidbar, Ch. 53).
In order to solve the problem of Arab subversion in the State of Israel, one must understand how it was born. Luckily, in this case, the answer lies on the surface. From the very beginning of the modern Zionist enterprise, when on the eve of the 20th century the torrent of Jews returning to Eretz Yisrael became stronger and stronger, the Jewish leaders never seriously considered the option of the "people that dwells alone." They were always ready to share the land of Eretz Yisrael with the Palestinian Arabs.
The option of resettling the Arabs somewhere else was never viable. The major argument was constantly the same: it is immoral to uproot people from their houses. Therefore, when Rabbi Meir Kahane began to talk about transfer, the word itself became a forbidden one and Kahane was ostracized and became a pariah. Perhaps this happened because of poorly-chosen terminology. It is possible that if Kahane had used the term "population exchange," instead of the word "transfer," today Israeli Jews would have been sun bathing at the Gaza beaches. Obviously, it would have been much better if this idea had come into the heads of the state´s founders, but it was completely unrealistic to expect this from a people with a socialist mentality, obsessed with the "brotherhood of nations."
All those who are ready to accuse the author of this article of racism and ask him if he belongs to the Kach party should calm themselves. It is worth mentioning that the concept of "population exchange" was not invented by Kahane. An Arab leader introduced it even before Israel was established. "In 1939, Mojli Amin, a member of the Arab Defense Committee for Palestine, drew up a proposal, published in Damascus and distributed among Arab leaders, entitled ´Exchange of Populations.´" (1). Amin suggested that, "All the Arabs of Palestine shall leave and be divided up among the neighboring Arab countries. In exchange for this, all the Jews living in Arab countries will go to Palestine. The exchange of population should be carried out in the same way that Turkey and Greece exchanged their populations. Special committees must be set up to deal with the liquidation of Jewish and Arab property." (1) Amin wrote, "I fear, in truth, that the Arabs will not agree. But in spite of this, I take upon myself the task of convincing them" (1). Not only this Arab leader, but the world community, as well, saw nothing criminal in a population exchange of this type. A report by President Truman´s International Development Advisory Board, published on March 7, 1951 emphasized that, "The exchange of the Arab population of Palestine with the Jewish population of the Arab countries was favored by the League of Nations as an effective way of resolving the Palestine problem. In practical effect, such an exchange has been taking place. The resettlement of the Arab refugees is much simpler in Arab lands" (1).
Those who think that an exchange of Arab and Jewish populations would have been a unique thing are greatly mistaken. Between the years 1933 and 1972 the number of refugees and displaced people that moved from one place to another all over the world constituted 179,200,000 people. (1). One of the most well-known population exchanges took place between India and Pakistan in the1950's, when 8,500,000 Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and almost 6,500,000 Muslims moved from India to Pakistan. Speaking at a press conference in Cairo in 1960, Pakistani President Mohammed Ayub Khan "suggested that Pakistan´s settlement of the nearly seven million refugees from India might act as an example for the ´three-quarters of a million refugees from Palestine´ in Arab countries"(1).
Today, moving several million Palestinian Arabs out of Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) is a much more difficult task than it would have been in 1948. Nevertheless, it is a great mistake to think that it is unachievable. Perhaps it cannot be done in one all-encompassing step, although this option should not be taken out of consideration, but Israel must develop a clear and unequivocal overall strategy. First of all, Israel must decide for herself if she wants to remain a Jewish state or if she wants to be an accomplice in her own dismantling. If we accept the assumption that Israel wants to remain a Jewish state, the only possible conclusion is that the relocation of the Arabs from Israel and Yesha is an inevitable and important step in that direction.
Obviously, a certain number of the Arabs will decide to remain inside the Jewish state, since living standards in Israel are much higher than in any Arab country. If the Israeli Arab citizens pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state, and devote their life to its strengthening and prosperity, they will be welcomed as equal citizens of the Jewish state. However, no right to remain in the Jewish state whatsoever can be given to people who are ready to put their signature to the letter sent to the Knesset on June 20 by Azmi Bishara, which stated, "I am not an Israeli patriot. I am Palestinian, a member of a nation whose tragedy did not end in 1948. Don´t ask me, for example, to rejoice in Israel´s victories on the battlefield, or to celebrate Independence Day. By the way, on this count too, you will be hard pressed to find Arab citizens who hold a position that differs from mine. I am an Arab and a Palestinian. Israel´s victory is my tragedy."
On June 24 "The Jerusalem Post" confirmed Bishara´s comment about Israel´s Arab citizens. According to the latest polls, only 11% of the Israeli Arab population "identified themselves as Israeli Arabs. Nearly 70% identify themselves today as Palestinians, and an almost equal number say that they would support the Palestinians in an all-out confrontation with Israel." For Bishara, and for Arabs like him, who see Israel´s victory as a tragedy, there is no room in a Jewish state. They can love their pseudo-people, but they cannot expect to live together with the Jewish people. And they should not be rewarded for their hatred of the Jews with primordial Jewish lands. If Bishara and other Palestinian patriots do not want to move to Jordan, a Palestinian state, where the Palestinian Arabs have exercised their right to self-determination for more than fifty years, they should be clearly told that in the rest of mandated Palestine there is no place for them either. Like the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha, they will have to abandon their houses and move.
The exchange of populations that begun in 1948 artificially interrupted by Israeli leaders who tried to keep Arabs inside the Jewish state - must resume. Israel must choose this extreme option not because of antipathy to the Arabs, but because it is the only way for her to remain a Jewish state. However, in order to do this, Israel will have to devote all of its public relations efforts to a massive campaign in order to explain to the world community the absolute necessity of this step.
At the same time, Israel must make it unequivocally clear to the Palestinian Arabs that they cannot satisfy their national aspirations within the Jewish state, sharing with the Jews the crumbs of the Jewish land. If their national ambitions are not satisfied with one Palestinian state, called Jordan, they should appeal to the world community to help them obtain a parcel of land in Sinai to build another Palestinian state there. The resettlement of the Palestinian Arabs from Israel and Yesha in Sinai will make the Middle East much more stable. Israel will retain the borders that will give her the necessary strategic depth, guaranteeing her security and forever extinguishing Arab hopes to get rid of the Jewish state. At the same time, the Palestinian Arabs, unlike any other people in the world, will have a unique second opportunity for self-determination.
23 July 2001
1. Joan Peters. From Time Immemorial. Harper &Row, Publishers, New
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
IRON IN THE SOUL
By Avi DavisThe scene in Jerusalem is all too familiar. Blood soaked streets, mutilated bodies, a blackened, hollowed out cafe. Heartbreak for dozens of families coupled with physical and emotional scars that may never heal. Yet, the victims of this horrifying crime are somehow not victims at all. In the eyes of the western media, they are instead trading cards in a game of reciprocity that is cynically labeled "a cycle of violence." Closing one's eyes to the true nature of evil is certainly nothing new to the liberal intelligentsia. It is, in fact, the kind of denial Jean Paul Sartre, author of the classic existential novel, "Iron in the Soul," made famous. Confronted with hard evidence of the evils of Stalinism, Sartre and his paramour Simone de Beauvoir were unrelenting supporters of the communist regime, and remained so until incontrovertible proof risked turning their reputations as champions of freedom into self-mockery.
Yet revisionism and denial among intellectuals did not die with Sartre and de Beauvoir. Its spirit lives on in myriad academic and left-wing incarnations.
One needs only to read recent revisionist accounts of last summer's Camp David summit by such writers as Deborah Sontag, (New York Times), Robert Malley (New York Review of Books), and Yossi Beilin (Haaretz) to be convinced that the members of the left-wing intelligentsia have staked a claim to the same morally muddied terrain as their predecessors. That should not be surprising.
Today it is possible to read Middle East commentary in the Economist, Le Monde, the New York Times and Ha'aretz, with the kind of bewilderment we once reserved only for tabloids. Here is argued, in all seriousness, that Yasser Arafat's return to terror and violence starting last September was a natural result of the absence of Israeli flexibility at Camp David and, remarkably, should even be excused.
Here we read from a Clinton advisor to Camp David that Clinton and Barak trapped Arafat and that Barak's unprecedented offer of 95% of the West Bank together with most of East Jerusalem was not a serious proposal.
Here we have an Israeli political leader telling us that his negotiations with the Palestinians at Taba in January, while Israelis were being murdered on the roads by Palestinian snipers, was the prelude to a historic peace treaty.
This in spite of evidence that has bubbled to the surface since, that Arafat and his henchmen may have been plotting the intifada even as Camp David was taking place; that Arafat's team did not bother to make even one counterproposal at the summit or that the relentless Palestinian insistence on the right of return for 3-million refugees is an obvious deal breaker that no Israeli government, even one of the far-left, could ever accept.
The British historian, Paul Johnson, who wrote a scathing examination of the private lives of celebrated intellectuals, has shown that certain members of the intelligentsia, whose prime motivation is either ego gratification or self-publicity, will take stands that vitiate against both logic and their own principles in order to advance their careers. But the level of cognitive dissonance necessary to bury one's conscience so completely must require something more.
Certainly the way in which the Hitler and Stalin apologists, who were prominent thinkers, leaders and champions of freedom in their own societies, remained so unmoved by mounting evidence of concentration camps and forced labor gangs, is one of history's more egregious examples of moral blindness.
The Arafat apologists, however, have raised that brand of denial to a new level of acceptability. How these liberal commentators, who have access to far more graphic depictions of daily events, could excuse Arafat's resort to suicide bombings, his tolerance for targeting babies and children or the continued incitement and anti-Semitism of the Palestinian media-no matter what he did or did not do at Camp David-is truly a thing of wonder.
But is the repeated incidence of self-delusion an example of career advancement, or is it just plain heartlessness?
Given the apparent drift of U.S. policy into neutrality and the tacit endorsement of Arafat that it suggests, we should now pay heed to American literary critic Lionel Trilling's admonition that "what begins as failure of perception among intellectuals, finds its fulfillment in policy and action."
Meanwhile, as the ashes of Thursday's bombing are swept into history, it is time for those intellectuals who still consider Arafat a worthy, or even a possible peace partner, to check their spiritual barometers for a malignant condition that should be recognized, unmistakably, as a classic case of iron in the soul.
Avi Davis is a senior editorial columnist for Jewsweek.com and a senior fellow at the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
13 July 2001
PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD AND
By Louis Rene Beres
Under authoritative international law, a state must possess the following qualifications: (1) a permanent population; (2) a defined territory; (3) a government; and (4) the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Moreover, the political existence of a state is independent of recognition by other states. Indeed, according to the Convention on Rights and Duties of States (Montevideo Convention): "Even before recognition, the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit...."
When the Palestine National Authority (PNA) declares statehood sometime in the next twelve months, these standards and rights of statehood will be formally invoked and widely acknowledged. Much as theGovernment of Israel, seeking to challenge the declaration, will cite to pertinent Oslo violations, the PNA will counter argue that its rights to declare an independent state of Palestine are "peremptory" (essentially so fundamental that they are beyond legal challenge) and therefore override any expectations of the non-treaty Oslo agreement with the State of Israel. In this connection, the PNA will undoubtedly cite as well to certain allegedly fundamental and immutable rights under international law concerning "self-determination" and "national liberation." Israel's extraordinarily small cadre of capable international lawyers will assuredly have no convincing response, none whatever.
For years, Israel has not troubled itself with the juridical aspects of "Palestine." After all, Israelis were always entirely convinced that Palestinian statehood would never become a serious issue. Now, of course, the declaration of statehood is certain, and Israel hardly knows where to turn. Legally, as well as militarily, the Jewish State has been outflanked. Even worse, it has contributed mightily to its own debility. By agreeing to negotiate with a terrorist organization (PLO) and allowing that organization the trappings of international legitimacy (metamorphosed into PA), Israel now makes it impossible to deny the authority of "President" Yasser Arafat. While the Israelis have insistently kept up a hollow refrain of "autonomy" as opposed to "sovereignty," it has been a unilateral and uninspired refrain, one heard by no one outside of Israel.
Over time, Palestine will likely enlarge to include what Palestinians still refer to as "Occupied Palestine," that is, the entire State of Israel. This has always been the undisguised PLO/PA objective. (Looking over the official PA maps, one must acknowledge that they have always been scrupulously honest in this regard). Should this happen, it will be the direct result of jurisprudential brilliance on the part of the Arabs and jurisprudential indifference/incompetence on the part of the Israelis.
Over the years, a number of cases in United States federal courts have rejected the idea that the PLO is in any way the core of an independent state. Israeli lawyers and policymakers might at one time havebeen able to refer to such cases in support of an argument denying Palestinian statehood (inasmuch as judicial decisions of domestic courts may themselves be a source of binding international law), but not any longer. After Oslo, after persistent Israeli recognition of PLO/PA authority, Israel will grudgingly have to accept Palestinian arguments. It will be just one more expression of Israel's self-inflicted disappearance.
One must envy the Palestinians the dexterity with which they have successfully outwitted the Israelis. For years they have listened and learned and watched and persevered. Unlike the Israelis, who STILL haven't taken the trouble to learn relevant international law or to seek the informed counsel of those American scholars who are expert in this area, the Palestinians have engaged certain first-rate American professors of international law as policy advisors. While the Israelis have been busy developing complex weapon systems that will be utterly beside the point in the coming catastrophic war, the Palestinians - lacking Israeli arrogance - have been busy thinking and consulting. While Israeli professors of international law worry largely about protecting Arab rights from "Zionist infringements," Arab scholars worry about the very same issue. Not surprisingly, Jewish rights to survival in Israel, already self-diminished in law, will be lost materially in the now inevitable war.
Returning to the Montevideo Convention, all states are legally equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise. The moment that the PA declares a State of Palestine, the new state will be the full juridical equal of Israel. When Israelis begin to object hysterically to Palestinian claims for more territory - territory within the extant State of Israel - the world will listen more than politely to the Palestinians. They will, after all, now be fully equal to Israelis under international law - courtesy of every Government of Israel from Rabin to the present.
It is too late to change all this. But Israel can still learn some important lessons from its carefully codified "Oslo" mistakes of the past eight years. A first lesson should be this: Heed the sound advice of those international law scholars outside the country who are more than willing and able to help you. Ask your Ambassador in Washington to listen carefully.
LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D.,
1971) and is Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue
University and is a long-time expert in international law. The
author of fourteen books dealing with international law, he has
co-authored scholarly articles in Israel and the United States
with former Ambassador Zalman Shoval and COL. (IDF/RES.) Yoash
Tsiddon-Chatto. Other international law articles by Dr. Beres
have been published in Israel in NATIV; BTZEDEK; HAARETZ; THE
JERUSALEM POST; THE JERUSALEM LETTER; BULLETIN OF THE JERUSALEM
INSTITUTE FOR WESTERN DEFENCE; and the Policy Paper Series of the
Ariel Center. Born in Switzerland, Professor Beres is Strategic
and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS in New York
E MAIL: BERES@POLSCI.PURDUE.EDU
Reprinted from Ha'aretz of July 24, 2001
TIME AND TIDE CONTAIN NO SOLUTIONS
By Moshe Arens
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was asked in a recent
interview what is the answer to our present predicament and
replied: "The solution is to wait". It was just one of
several pearls of wisdom he delivered on this occasion (an
interview with The Jerusalem Post). Another unfortunate utterance
was "you can't protect every single settler". This may
have been a slip of the tongue - or a possible corollary to other
It was this first answer that seemed to put in a nutshell his strategy for dealing with Palestinian violence. But he should be aware that "time and tide wait for no man" The French tried the waiting tactic on the Germans in 1940 during the "phony war" and reaped a bitter harvest. If David Ben-Gurion had adopted this strategy in 1948 the State of Israel would not have been established.
The current situation is too explosive and there are too many concerned bystanders to make waiting an intelligent strategy. We will either have an explosion on our hands, which under present circumstances seems almost inevitable, or else be faced by the active intervention of some of the bystanders attempting to avert the explosion. Neither of these developments is likely to play in Israel's favor.
We have passed through ten months of murder on the roads, suicide bombers, and car bombs, all leaving a trail of death and sorrow behind them. There is no end in sight. The policy of unilateral cease-fire and restraint adopted by the Sharon government has proved a failure. It has not put an end to the killings nor has it marshaled international support for effective Israeli action against Palestinian terrorism.
The position staked out by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on taking office four months ago - that there would be no negotiations with the Palestinians until Palestinian violence ended - was good and valid, a substantial improvement over the Barak government's policy of negotiating with Arafat while the violence continued.
It was understood and supported by the Israeli public and by governments around the world, but it has begun to fail as a sustainable policy, as it becomes evident that Arafat has no intention of ending the violence and Israel is not taking effective measures to bring the violence to an end. In recent weeks it has simply degenerated into Ben-Eliezer's waiting game.
With near mathematical precision one can predict that a continuation of this waiting strategy will culminate in criminal acts against Palestinians by Israelis frustrated by the mounting toll of Israeli casualties. Or there will be an Israeli military response to local Palestinian violence that accidently exacts heavy Palestinian casualties, or a repeat of the Dolphinarium attack. The result of any of these events will be international pressure on Israel to begin negotiating with Arafat - in other words Arafat will attain the objective he set himself in recent months of getting the Sharon government to start negotiations with him without an end to Palestinian violence. The government's strategy will have been turned on its head and will achieve the opposite of its intended goals.
The statement of the G8 economic conference in Genoa advocating that international observers should be stationed in the region is a clear indication of where "wait and see" is leading us. It is true the G8 is an economic forum of the major industrialized nations that has no statutory authority.
But the fact remains that the United States was party to the decision, indicating that Washington will not wait anymore for Israel to end the violence. Let there be no mistake about it - the U.S. is concerned that an open-ended continuation of the violence - or worse still, an uncontrolled escalation - could threaten American interests. Urged on by the Europeans the Americans are likely to make their position known in no uncertain terms if the present state of affairs continues. For Israel, this is no time to sit back and wait.
THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF CLAIMS
By Boris Shusteff
The recent visit of the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to
Washington and the US Secretary of State Colin Powell´s trip to
Middle East were as helpful to the solution of the Arab-Israeli
conflict as the latest earthquake in Turkey. The conflict cannot
be solved through forcing Israel to "return to the
negotiation table." However, while no Israelis will go
skiing in a desert, a very large majority of them still believe
that the Jewish state can achieve peace with the Arabs by
negotiating with Arafat the surrender of the lands that she
gained in the Six-Day War.
The reason for the common misconception is the complete misunderstanding of the nature of the conflict itself. David Brooks explained in an excellent article in the July 2nd edition of the "Weekly Standard" that the core of the conflict is embedded in the Jewish and Arab incompatible moral claims. He wrote, "The whole dispute hangs on a simple question: Is Israel a criminal state? The Arab population has swung behind the idea that it is, and the Jewish population has swung behind the idea that it isn´t."
For the Arabs, the existence of Israel itself is unacceptable. On June 29 "The Jerusalem Post" quoted Dan Meridor, Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Relations and Defense Committee, who was a member of the Israeli negotiating team at Camp David. Talking on June 28 to the Israel-Britain and the Commonwealth Association he explained why the negotiations failed.
"The problem was not putting an end to occupation nor the creation of a Palestinian state, it wasn´t even Jerusalem or the right of the Palestinians to self-determination The very acceptance of the Jewish state was the issue. Israel has to be courageous enough and truthful enough to see the reality and not substitute it for wishful thinking."
For the Arabs, Israel is an illegitimate child of the western imperialism implanted in their midst. The Arabs do not want to recognize anything that will even hint at the legitimacy of Israel´s existence. Brooks described an episode that happened during the Camp David summit when the Israeli delegation proposed to give the control of the top of the Temple Mount to the Arabs. In exchange they asked the Arabs never to dig into the earth below the mosque plaza, since there lay the remains of the Holy Temple destroyed by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago. The Arabs agreed to this arrangement. However, "when Shomo Ben-Ami asked them to put words into the agreement making clear why the Israelis didn´t want the Palestinians digging, the Palestinians vehemently refused. They could not sign a document that acknowledged even the possibility that the spot might be legitimately holy to the Jews. This symbolic position could not be compromised because it goes to the core of the moral claims."
The Arabs are not shy to shove their position into everybody´s face. Even at the peak of the Camp David´s summit Arafat stared straight into Clinton´s eyes and "expressed doubts that the ancient Jewish temple actually lay beneath the Islamic-run compound in Jerusalem."
The more frequent the lie is repeated the more it is believable. The Arabs categorically reject any Jewish connection with Eretz Yisrael prior to 1917. To them the starting point of the Jewish history in Palestine is the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. Their position is simple: the Jews are the occupiers that came to Palestine from all over the world to displace the local Arab population; the Jews robbed them of the land and of their right to self-determination.
The Israeli "peace camp" cannot understand that it is not the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) that is rejected by the Arabs, but the Jewish presence in all of the Land of Israel. On June 14-17, the Jerusalem Media & Communication Center conducted a poll among the Palestinian Arabs throughout Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, that unequivocally proved this. When asked, "In your opinion what should be the final goal for the current intifada?" 41.2 % of the respondents answered - "the freedom of all Palestine." Asked if they "agree to the cessation of the Palestinian intifada in return for cessation of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories," 67.1% disagreed. This hatred towards the Jewish state did not develop as a byproduct of the "intifada." The poll performed among 2000 Arabs of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestinian Autonomy by the Israeli daily "Maariv" in November 1999, showed that 67% of the respondents "believe that Israel must be destroyed."
While the Arabs consistently reject the legitimacy of the Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, the Israeli leaders are tirelessly working in support of the desires of the Palestinian Arabs. Before the creation of the PLO in 1964, nobody talked about the "Palestinian nationalism." It simply did not exist. The PLO itself was established by the Egyptian President Nasser as a weapon to obtain Egypt´s hegemony over the Arab world. Jillian Becker wrote in the book "The PLO" that, the first PLO Covenant specifically "denied that the PLO had sovereignty over the West Bank of Jordan (annexed by the Hashemite monarchy), Gaza (taken under Egyptian administration) or the al-Hamma region (annexed by Syria)."
Since the proclaimed intention of the PLO was to "forge a Palestinian consciousness in the present generation," it is apparent that this "consciousness" was not supposed to be forged among the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and al-Hamma. That means that they were not considered to be a "separate people" and did not need to exercise the right of self-determination.
After Israel´s 1967 victory, in addition to the lands of Yesha the Jewish state acquired a big group of Arabs that technically were the citizens of the Arab states - Egypt and Jordan. Instead of annexing the land, thus making the Arabs that lived there the foreign nationals of the neighboring countries, Israeli leaders demonstrated indecisiveness and utter non-preparedness to deal with the situation. Many of them say today that they "do not want to rule over another people." The truth is that they never ruled over the "other people." The option that they chose was the worst possible. They were "teasing" the Arabs of Yesha, developing among them envy, forcing them to compare the standards of living in Israel with those in Egypt and Jordan.
Never in all other wars in the history of mankind has such a problem existed. The victors either expelled without hesitation the population of the enemy countries from the conquered territories or incorporated them. Israel neither had the guts for the former nor the desire for the latter. This uncertainty gave the chance to the PLO to gain a foothold among the Arabs of Yesha, and it began to "forge a Palestinian consciousness" among them.
By exploiting the 20th century mantra of "self-determination," Arafat and the PLO established a smokescreen of legitimacy for their actions. The Arabs proved to be capable students of the Western democracy. They realized that they could not sell the plan of the outright Israel´s destruction and found a brilliant way to substitute it with the "legitimate" struggle of the "Palestinian people." The terror was presented as a legitimate action of the "occupied people" against the "Israeli occupiers." The Arab propaganda lured the western world to buy a story of an "indigenous Palestinian people" devoid of "homeland and rights to self-determination." What is even worse, the Israeli intellectual elite played the first violin in helping to sell this story.
It took the Arab propaganda only a few years to convince the world and many Israelis themselves of the "moral equivalence" between the Jewish claim to Eretz Yisrael and the claim of the "Palestinian people" to Palestine. More than 4,000 years of the Jewish history became equivalent to the 30 years of the history of the "pseudo-people." The Arabs convinced others and themselves that the Jews are the "criminals that stole their land," and that the Jews are so greedy that they do not want to "return" even a small piece of "Palestinian land."
The Palestinian Arab propagandists skillfully piled together the UN Resolutions 242 and 338, the formula "land for peace," and the declaration of their "right" to establish an "independent Palestinian state with holy Jerusalem as its capital." However, the fact is that in Resolutions 242 and 338 there is not a single word about establishment of any states, and, moreover, the word "Palestinian" is not even mentioned there.
It is absolutely clear that the moral claims of the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs are incompatible. While the Arabs are demanding from Israel to recognize the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to Palestine, they are categorically rejecting the rights of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael. All these are the elements of the plan to substitute the Jewish state in Palestine with the Arab one. As Faysal al-Husseiny said in his last interview published on June 24 in the Egyptian daily "Al-Arabi," "if we agree to declare our state [in] West Bank and Gaza - our ultimate goal is [still] the liberation of all historical Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations" (1).
Meridor was right when he said that, Israel has to be courageous enough and truthful enough to see the reality and not substitute it for wishful thinking. The only question is how long will it take?
1. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI): Faysal Al-Husseiny in his Last Interview: "The Oslo Accords Were a Trojan Horse; The Strategic Goal is the Liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] sea." 7/2/01. http://www.memri.org
02 July 2001
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
The Jerusalem Post July, 27 2001
ARAFAT'S REWRITING OF HISTORY
By Gerald M. Steinberg
One thousand nine hundred and thirty-one years ago, the Jewish revolt against Rome was crushed, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and the capital city of the second Jewish commonwealth fell.
Even for mighty Rome, this was a major achievement, and was commemorated by the minting of special coins with the words "Judeae Capta." The image stamped on the coin, of the broken Jew, crying under the palm tree, became the symbol of exile and dispersion.
Since then, on the ninth day of the month of Av, the Jewish people have mourned the loss of the Temple and of their sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Jews have always returned to the site of the Temple Mount and the remaining Western Wall to pray daily for the restoration of Jerusalem and return to the Land. In Jewish homes, a corner or wall was traditionally left unfinished, as a sign that their lives were incomplete without Jerusalem.
Jewish pilgrimages to Jerusalem continued, even during the most difficult of times. Between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan closed the Old City of Jerusalem in blatant violation of the armistice agreements, Jews gathered on Mount Zion. Since the 1967 Six-Day War, when the gates were reopened, the Western Wall plaza has filled with hundreds of thousands of Jews on Tisha Be'av and other occasions.
And yet, somehow, these reflections of over 3000 years of intense Jewish identification with Jerusalem have escaped the attention of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian and Arab leaders. One year ago, at the critical point in the Camp David summit, when the issue of Jerusalem was finally addressed, Arafat and his entourage demanded exclusive control of the Temple Mount area, and totally negated any Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
According to numerous witnesses, in the presence of then-US president Bill Clinton, and to the consternation of the Americans, Arafat simply denied the fundamental historical facts. According to Arafat's interpretation, which was repeated in many PLO publications and Internet sites, whatever Jewish temple "might have existed" was located in Nablus, the site of the Samaritan sanctuary. By this account, Jesus was never in Jerusalem. More worldly and experienced members of the Palestinian delegation, among them Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, repeated this myth until various "neutral" and accepted texts, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, were brought in and consulted.
This incident clearly demonstrated that the primary obstacle to peace and the success of the Oslo process was neither disagreement over technical formulae for compromise, nor allegations regarding Ehud Barak's "take it or leave it" negotiating style. Revisionists and defenders of Arafat, such Robert Malley, who served in the US National Security Council under Clinton, are entirely off-base in their explanations and efforts to shift the blame to Israel.
At the most fundamental level, the peace process failed because for Arafat, as well as for many other Palestinian, Arab and Islamic leaders, the Je__wish religious, historic, and cultural core of Israel remains invisible. The masses of Jews who gather to mourn for Jerusalem every year on Tisha Be'av have been expunged from the picture. Like blacks in the US before the civil rights movement, or in South Africa under apartheid, Israeli Jews and our connection to this land are erased from the environment.
In contrast with the popular tendency to describe and explain the conflict in carefully balanced and even-handed terms - one of the major weaknesses of the Mitchell Report - in this key dimension, there is no symmetry. The Israeli consensus has shifted significantly over the past decades, and is very sympathetic to Palestinian views and the Palestinian desire for a state. Last year, at Camp David, the Israeli leadership was prepared to make fundamental and very painful compromises, based on the understanding that both peoples have deep historical and religious attachments to this land. However, this readiness for compromise was not reciprocated, and Arafat again chose the path of rejection, violence and terrorism.
In Arafat's distorted world, the acceptance of Jewish claims and history, in any form, would undermine Palestinian and Arab claims to primacy in Israel and Jerusalem. As a result, the dominant myths remain exclusivist and uncompromising, fostering a mythological hiory of Jerusalem that starts with the Islamic conquest 1400 years ago. Ignoring the reality of Jewish history, they have created a myth equating Zionism with the Crusader episode, and still expect the Jews to return to the Diaspora. The Islamic Authority's secret construction and stone-cutting activities on the Temple Mount also seem designed to prevent the discovery of more ancient Jewish artifacts. In the eight years that have elapsed since the Oslo Accords, the total rejection of Jewish links to the land has changed not at all.
Following the failure of Camp David and the Palestinian campaign of violence and terror that followed, attention has shifted to efforts to salvage the failed Oslo process, and marginal issues such the number of CIA officers to monitor a non-existent cease-fire. It would be better for would-be peacemakers to focus their energies on developing the basis for tolerance, compromise, and mutual acceptance. As long as Palestinian and Arab leaders and intellectuals continue their desperate efforts to rewrite Jewish tradition, culture, and history while the reality of the Jewish presence remains invisible, peace is only a distant hope.
The Jerusalem Post July 27, 2001
THE MENACE OF JIHAD SUICIDE
by Daniel Pipes
Soon after an EgyptAir plane crashed into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from New York in October 1999, killing 217, the plane's copilot came under suspicion of intentionally bringing down the aircraft.
To which the Egyptian reaction was adamant: no way - Egyptians don't engage in suicide. "Committing suicide is not a trait that Egyptians and Muslims are known for," commented the head of the pilots association.
Islamist (or fundamentalist Muslim) leaders in the United States emphasized that, being a religiously observant Muslim, the copilot would never commit suicide. "Suicide is a major sin in Islam," Maher Hathout, imam of the Islamic Center in Los Angeles, explained. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations pronounced that suicide "would not be in accord with Islamic beliefs and practices."
Well, sort of. The Qur'an does tell Muslims, "Do not kill yourselves" and warns that those who disobey will be "cast into the fire." The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that a suicide cannot go to paradise. Islamic laws oppose the practice.
This religious prohibition has had the intended effect. According to Franz Rosenthal, a scholar of the subject, "suicide was of comparatively rare occurrence" in traditional Muslim society. In contemporary Egypt, statistics bear out that suicide is exceedingly rare.
But those spokesmen are not telling the whole story, for Islamists consider suicide as not just legitimate but highly commendable when undertaken for reasons of jihad (sacred war). Going into war knowing with certainty that one will die, they argue, is not suicide (intihar) but martyrdom (istishhad), a much-praised form of self-sacrifice in the path of God, a way to win the eternal affection of the houris in paradise.
A leading Islamist authority, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, recently explained the distinction this way: attacks on enemies are not suicide operations but "heroic martyrdom operations" in which the kamikazes act not "out of hopelessness and despair but are driven by an overwhelming desire to cast terror and fear into the hearts of the oppressors."
In other words, Islamists find suicide for personal reasons abominable, suicide for jihad admirable. If the EgyptAir copilot brought the plane down because he was depressed about his daughter's illness, he will burn forever in hell. If he did it to kill Americans in suburban Long Island, they might endorse his act.
JIHAD SUICIDE has been around for a millennium. The Assassins, a fanatical religious sect that flourished in the twelfth century developed jihad suicide into a powerful tool of war that succeeded in killing dozens of leaders and cast a long shadow over the region's politics for decades.
The Assassins' suicide soldiers' mission, as explained by the historian Bernard Lewis, had a distinctly familiar flavor: "by striking down oppressors and usurpers, they gave the ultimate proof of their faith and loyalty, and earned immediate and eternal bliss."
In recent times, the revival of jihad suicide began as an Iranian project, starting with the 1981 blow up of the Iraqi embassy in Beirut, killing 27, and followed by a long sequence of attacks on U.S. installations around the Middle East, killing as many as 19, 63, and 241 Americans. During its eight-year war with Iraq, Tehran dispatched young soldiers to detonate land mines, then commemorated their deaths as martyrs.
The Iranians also sponsored a suicide campaign against Israeli troops in southern Lebanon during 1983-85 that did much to push those troops nearly out of Lebanon. Tehran persisted afterwards too. Islamic Jihad, its main Palestinian anti-Israel ally, already complained in 1995 that it had just one problem: "We have too many candidates for martyrdom and not enough resources to prepare them all."
The Palestinian Authority (PA) eventually noticed the effectiveness of this Iranian war instrument and recently adopted it, urging everyone from school boys to hardened criminals to hurl their lives against Israel, with many takers. Their actions have appalled Israelis while spurring impassioned support across the Middle East for the Palestinians.
The danger here is considerable: Yasir Arafat's PA has successfully adopted what had been the unique tool of Khomeini's Islamist regime, suggesting that suicide jihad is a flexible tool potentially available to a wide array of non-Islamist rogue Muslim states (such as Iraq, Syria, and Libya) and maybe even to some terrorist organizations.
It's yet another danger from the Middle East for everyone to worry about.
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