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 FEBRUARY 2001 NUMBER 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TO FRIENDS OF ISRAEL....Bernard J. Shapiro 2
BEST WISHES AND PRAYERS FOR ARIEL SHARON...An Editorial....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
THE TRUTH ABOUT SHARON AND WHY HE WILL WIN
AM I REALLY GOING TO VOTE FOR SHARON?....David Margolis 4
IS SHARON DANGEROUS?....Daniel Pipes 6
WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE THIS MAN?....Evelyn Gordon 6
WHICH SHARON? GAZA OR WYE?....Emanuel A. Winston 7
ARIK AMBUSHED....Emanuel A. Winston 9
LESSONS FROM JEWISH HISTORY
DO THEY REALLY KNOW?...Boris Shusteff 10
THE "HA'ARETZ" JEWS....Boris Shusteff 14
LEGAL AND STRATEGIC LESSONS FOR ISRAEL
ISRAEL'S STRATEGIC ERROR...Professor Louis Rene Beres 16
ISRAEL AND PREEMPTION: STRIKING FIRST UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW....Louis Rene Beres 19
CORRELATION OF FORCES AND COMING WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST....Louis Rene Beres 20
CLINTON AND BARAK
WAR THROUGH WEAKNESS: Barak's Policies Have Increased The
Chances Of Conflict In The Middle East.....Tom Rose 22
Israel Offers Joint Sovereignty Over Western Wall And Other Sites With Palestinians....Dr. Aaron Lerner 23
BARAK'S SORRY LEGACY....Moshe Arens 25
A NATION'S SYMBOLS ....Berel Wein 26
THINK AGAIN: Loved, Then Left ....Jonathan Rosenblum 27
HOW TO REFUTE ARAB PROPAGANDA
THE BIG LIE' TACTIC....Evelyn Gordon 30
THE CONTRIVED MYTHS: of SABRA & SHATILLA; WAR IN LEBANON; & THE CAUSE OF THE AL AKSA INTIFADA' ....Gail Winston 31
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro,
Published Monthly by the FREEMAN CENTER FOR
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THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Copyright (c) 2000 Bernard J. Shapiro
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January 20, 2001
Dear Friend of Israel:
VICTORY IS AT HAND. AFTER
EIGHT YEARS OF
FIGHTING THE SUICIDAL OSLO PROCESS, WE CAN SEE
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.
We project a victory by Ariel Sharon in the coming elections. This creates a favorable situation but also offers challenges.
When we were founded eight years ago the concept of "land for peace" and then Oslo was viewed favorably by many American Jews.
At the time we wrote in our first press release (September 2, 1993): "The Freeman Center says the rush to embrace PLO is foolish and ultimately dangerous...nothing more than an elaborate trap for Israel'..."Despite the media hype surrounding these developments, let me make something very clear: A leopard does not change his spots. You can say a berachah (blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand - before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime."
Most major Jewish organizations, with millions of dollars of Jewish community funds, supported Oslo and its delusions of peace. The Freeman Center stood strong, never backing down, never lowering its voice in defense of the security of Israel.
Today our experts foresee a massive effort to discredit "hard-line" Sharon in the international media. Pressure to live up to Barak's concessions to Arafat will come from the U.S. State Department, the Europeans, the UN and the Arab/Muslim world. Israel will be portrayed as opposing "peace" if it opposes these concessions.
What will the Freeman Center role be in this changed reality?
We will intensify our hasbara (informational) efforts. Now, finally, the Israeli government will be in sync with us.
This will be accomplished utilizing the following resources:
1.THE MACCABEAN ONLINE: http://www.freeman.org/online.htm
The monthly magazine on the Freeman Center web site containing articles from the daily freemanlist. It is archived dating from 1995 and every article can be downloaded.
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4. THE FREEMAN CENTER is a center of activity rallying the Zionist community in its struggle for Israel. We will continue to forcefully oppose Arab propaganda, media bias and the anti-Zionism of our own Jews (i.e. Peace Now).
We need your help!
The Freeman Center greatly appreciates all those who have made very generous contributions in the past. We could not have helped Israel without you. We, however, need your continued generous support. We also need to appeal to all who have made smaller donations and urge you to increase your support for our work this year.
Influential people in Israel have informed us that our educational efforts are making a difference. In these critical days we need the help of all our friends to save Israel. Please respond as generously as you can by sending your tax-deductible donation today.
With Love of Israel and Faith in HaShem,
Bernard J. Shapiro, Executive Director
BEST WISHES AND PRAYERS
FOR ARIEL SHARON
By Bernard J. Shapiro
As he takes office, Ariel Sharon, can look back on an illustrious career in both the military and political spheres. The words controversial, dynamic, stubborn, hardline and adventurous are used frequently. The most accurate description of Sharon's military career is brilliant. His tactics from crushing terrorism in Gaza to saving Israel during the Yom Kippur War set almost impossible standards for the Israel Defense Forces. War collages around the world study his tactics. The Labor/Left has tried to tarnish his image over the Peace for Galilee War (Lebanon). It was, in fact, a major success driving Arafat and his PLO troops out of Lebanon into exile in Tunis. All was not perfect but the security of Northern Israel was greatly improved. With Oslo, the Left brought Arafat and his gang of terrorists to the heartland of Eretz Yisrael.
Sharon has held many high offices and political positions with great distinction. In this troubled time he is being called upon to lead the nation as its Prime Minister. He must restore the Zionism that has been destroyed by the post-Zionist Left. He must restore patriotism and security for all of Israel's citizens.
I pray for a new proud Jewish government under Sharon coming to power in Israel. A government that reclaims the Jewish Holy Places and restores Jewish sovereignty in all of Eretz Yisrael. I pray Moslem control will be removed from the Temple Mount to make it ready for Moshiack. I pray that the enemies of Israel, who raise up their hands to murder or injure Jews will driven from our Holy Land. I pray that the secular Jews of Israel and the world will become more observant and return to the Torah. I pray religious Jews become more tolerant of diversity in Jewish practice.
I pray that a new Israeli foreign policy grovels before no nation, no matter how powerful. I see Israel's Foreign Minister informing every nation that their embassies must be in Jerusalem. If they don't respect Israel's capital, then maybe they can have a consulate in Tel Aviv. I see the government demanding that the Vatican return all the property it has stolen from the Jewish people during the last 2000 years. Maybe they will refuse and we could always hold their property in Israel as a down payment. The Vatican has been used to dealing with obsequious groveling Jews, but now they would see proud fearless Jews. I pray that Sharon's government would change its relationship with America from one of subservience to one of equal alliance.
Yes, I have a prayer that Jews will no longer debate the obvious: like whether to hold onto what is theirs or trade it away; whether to struggle for survival or to give up from fatigue. I have a dream that under Sharon's inspiration the Jews of the kibbutz and the Jews of YESHA will be reborn as brothers and patriots. From the Galilee to Eilat, all the people of Israel will share the same dream of a powerful independent Zionist nation. I have a dream that this strong, proud independent Israel will win the respect of all the nations of the world, including the Arabs. Instead of the contempt it has earned in recent years, Israel will again be a light unto the nations. And finally, I pray that this new Israel will find the peace it so dearly deserves. A peace with strength and self-respect. As I look back at 4000 years of Jewish history, I have but one urgent hope and prayer: We must make this dream a reality. There is no alternative.
May the Lord bless Ariel Sharon and give him the courage to pursue peace, and the wisdom to know when it is not attainable. May the Lord bless the war-weary Israeli people with the stamina to bear up under the strain, if peace not just around the corner. May they understand that their fate may be that of endless struggle to survive in a hostile world and may they have the strength to understand that there is still no alternative (ein brera). May the people of Israel prosper and go from success to success never forgetting that their destiny lies in their might, their righteousness and their faith in HaShem.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 28, 2001
AM I REALLY GOING
TO VOTE FOR SHARON?
By David Margolis
Not happily, not comfortably, but in a word, yes, I am going to vote for Ariel Sharon. I know about Sabra and Shatilla, but Ehud Barak has so completely betrayed the hopeful vote I cast for him in 1999 that by now even most of my ambivalence is gone, replaced by an urgency to oust Barak and his clique of professional delusionaries.
Barak's only two successes during his year-and-a-half in office are an inversion of his mistakes. With his violations of principle, he has rekindled Zionist fervor, unifying Right, Center and parts of the Left against him. With his concessions, he has exposed the Palestinians' nasty secret: that they will not make peace even if we divide Jerusalem, give them three-quarters of the Old City, and surrender the Temple Mount, the Jordan Valley and control of the border crossings.
This is very good for us to know.
The Palestinians' design has become so clear, in fact, that only a child or an academic could fail to see it. Their leaders string us along, making concessions from one round of negotiations the starting point for the next round. Their idea of peace is our suicide - the "peace of the grave," with three million Palestinian refugees dancing on it. They boldly deny any Jewish historical connection to the Land of Israel and destroy Jewish historical and religious sites that come into their possession. We're dealing, in short, with barbarians.
This, too, is good for us to know.
Meanwhile, our own leadership continues to impersonate the Wise Men of Chelm. Every day something new strains one's credulity. While the Palestinians shoot and bomb, the government continues to funnel money to the PA and to fatten Arafat's private bank account in Tel Aviv. Shimon Peres counsels Arafat to help reelect a sympathetic government by reducing the violence until the elections - after which, presumably, Arafat would have permission to increase the violence again.
Another government minister, Matan Vilna'i, opines that negotiations should stop in response to terror by the PA, but denies that violence by the Tanzim, Arafat's Fatah militia, is in that category - even while Israel's security services blame the PA itself for approximately 80 percent of attacks since September.
In 1999, Barak was a security-conscious general skeptical of the Oslo Accords who would cautiously pursue a treaty with the Palestinians. His eloquence about the Jewish connection to Jerusalem made him seem trustworthy to act resolutely, from deeply Jewish motives, in a time of difficult compromises.
"Only those who are completely removed from any connection with their historical legacy and who are estranged from the vision of the nation - from its faith and from the hope it has cherished for generations - only persons in that category could possibly entertain the thought that the State of Israel would actually concede even a part of Jerusalem."
It was all an act, a lie - just like Arafat's handshake on the White House lawn, just like the "peace of the brave."
So, yes, I'm going to vote for Sharon, even if he is a bully overly confident in military solutions who should have disappeared from public life after the Lebanon War. I don't think he'll last long as prime minister - we'll have elections again soon - and that's fine with me. I need Sharon only long enough to reduce Barak to a historical footnote, with his capitulations to our insatiable Palestinian neighbors, reversing Israel's transformation into a defeated nation suing for peace on terms that shame us.
Anyway, maybe a bully is just what we need to cope with the bully Arafat.
Perhaps, instead of being coddled and spoken to earnestly, the Palestinians, like wayward children, need to be slapped - hard - once or twice to bring them to their senses.
And if they cannot be brought to their senses, that too is good for us to know.
Barak's greatest failure is that he has brought Israel to the point where it needs Ariel Sharon. But he has, it does, and that's how I'll cast my vote.
(c) Jerusalem Post 2001
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 23, 2001
IS SHARON DANGEROUS?
By Daniel PipesA wide consensus has developed that the election of Ariel Sharon as prime minister, as appears likely on February 6, would have disastrous results.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat holds that Sharon's victory would cause "an escalation of the conflict. With him in power we cannot have peace." Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri agrees, saying that "Sharon's position is the best prescription for war." Concurring, Prime Minister Ehud Barak calls Sharon's ideas a "recipe for violence and deterioration."
And he is hardly alone; according to survey research, more than 40 percent of Israelis worry that Sharon's election would "hasten the risk of war." Some outside analysts concur.
These pessimists focus either on Sharon's electoral platform (his plans not to hand over more territory to the Palestinians) or his history ("the name Sharon is synonymous with catastrophe," remarks a former Lebanese foreign minister).
But there is another, more optimistic way of looking at Sharon's impact as prime minister, one that sees him stopping the escalation of the Arab-Israeli conflict now under way.
This viewpoint notes that the danger of large-scale bloodshed has vastly increased since the Oslo process began in 1993. Then, almost no one worried about an all-out Arab-Israeli war; today, this is a commonplace concern.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has moved divisions close to Israel and threatened six months of continuous bombardment. Troops in Syria have reportedly gone on alert. Israeli forces have been reinforced and other steps taken to prepare for war.
The increase in tension has many causes, one of which is the Arabs' and Moslems' perception of a weakened Israel. They are not impressed by an Israel that pulls out its troops under fire from Lebanon or from Joseph's Tomb, that permits its soldiers to be abducted or lynched without reprisals, or that issues ultimatums without consequence.
Nor are they impressed by an Israel that persists in making more concessions, no matter how little it gets in return. This they see as a sign of desperation and they respond with aggression. That should come as no surprise; as the Russian proverb puts it, "if you want to attract wolves, act like a lamb."
Thus have Israeli policies since 1993 brought the region closer to all-out war than at any time since the mid-1960s.
To avoid the decline into war, Israel urgently needs a leader who will intimidate potential enemies, making them less likely to resort to force.
This is where Sharon enters the picture.
Precisely because of his bellicose reputation, Sharon's ascent to power could diminish the chances of war. Seen by Arabs as wild, out of control and even crazy, his presence would make Saddam or Arafat think very carefully before making trouble.
Not only could a Sharon prime ministry save Israel from war, it could also benefit the West and even the Arabs.
The West gains because a full-scale Arab-Israeli war - with its possible disruption of oil supplies and terrorism - is the greatest danger the Middle East poses. If Sharon prevents such a war, he forwards American, European and global interests.
Arabs profit too. However demoralized Israel may be, its mighty war machine practically insures that should war break out, the Arabs would lose, just as they lost every prior war against Israel. By intimidating the Arabs, then, Sharon saves them from another likely defeat.
It is also possible that Sharon's being prime minister will help Arab-Israeli relations. Dan Meridor, chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and until days ago a part of Barak's coalition, made this point when he endorsed Sharon's candidacy: "We cannot make peace with the Palestinians if they maintain their current positions. Maybe Sharon's hard-line stance will convince them to change their positions."
Most of Sharon's long career as a soldier and a politician took place when Israel was perceived as a strong country. In those years, his impulsive and uncompromising actions were sometimes over the top.
But now, when Israel suffers from being seen as weak, Sharon could well be precisely what the country needs. His historical moment, it appears, has arrived.
(c) Jerusalem Post 2001============
The author is director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 23, 2001
WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE THIS MAN?
By Evelyn Gordon
It is hardly surprising that the Arab world, the West and Israeli leftists all detest Ariel Sharon: If elected, he is highly unlikely to continue the string of unbroken diplomatic concessions that all of these groups consider the only acceptable behavior for an Israeli prime minister. What is surprising, however, is the number of rightists who are almost equally unenthusiastic about Sharon. His candidacy is often treated as something to be tolerated only because anyone would be better than Ehud Barak.
That this is the case is testimony to the stunning success of the Left's favorite tactic for blackening Sharon: the redefinition of his many achievements as failures. On security, for instance, Sharon's success in combating Arab terror is virtually unmatched. When he was given the job of stopping Arab terrorism in Gaza in 1971, he succeeded in reducing the number of attacks from 36 in June to only one in December - with one-third of the Palestinian casualties (and most of these were terrorists rather than civilians) that Barak has produced in less time. This ability should be a serious qualification for leadership in a country that has suffered daily shooting and bombing attacks against civilians for the past four months. Instead, it has been redefined as "brutality" - even by those prepared to countenance Barak's current tactics.
Sharon's outstanding military career has been similarly redefined as a failure. Even many leftists admit that he was largely responsible for saving Israel from defeat by the Egyptians during the Yom Kippur War. Yet they insist that this success was overshadowed by his "failure" in Lebanon.
Ironically, it was Sharon's own high standards that made it so easy to redefine the Lebanon War as a failure: Israel both achieved less than he had wanted and paid a higher price than he expected. But though the war did not achieve the perfect security Sharon had hoped for along the Lebanese border, it did significantly improve the lives of Israel's northern residents.
It has, of course, become fashionable to forget what these residents suffered before 1982, when they were subjected to nonstop shelling and terror attacks by the PLO in Lebanon. But you will not find many northerners who did not consider the post-1982 situation vastly preferable - which is surely a good measure of success. And though the war, and Israel's subsequent stay in Lebanon, did cost soldiers' lives, it must be remembered that the alternative was not no deaths at all; it was letting the PLO continue to kill civilians instead. This is not an alternative any civilized country would consider.
FINALLY, there is Sharon's record on economic affairs. Leftists love to point out how much money Sharon wasted as housing minister from 1990 to 1992. But again, they choose to forget the panic then sweeping the country at the prospect of large-scale Soviet immigration. The media at the time were full of dire warnings regarding the lack of housing for these immigrants, and offered gloomy forecasts of new immigrants sleeping in the streets.
Sharon therefore embarked on an energetic plan to solve the problem: He purchased large quantities of caravans, and persuaded contractors to build apartments quickly by pledging that the government would buy any that remained unsold.
Needless to say, Sharon wound up buying many unsold houses: by some estimates, as much as NIS 4 billion worth. But the result of his quick action was that Israel was able to absorb close to 200,000 immigrants in 1990, 150,000 in 1991 and 1 million for the decade as a whole, without any of them having to sleep in tents.
Would it have been better had no money been wasted? Certainly. But was an extra NIS 4 billion - out of Israel's annual budget of NIS 100 billion - a reasonable price to pay for the successful absorption of a million Soviet immigrants in a decade? It is hard to believe that anyone would argue otherwise.
Sharon has also been guilty of some genuine mistakes. The most glaring, of course, was his poor judgment in failing to foresee that his Lebanese Christian allies were liable to commit a massacre if allowed into the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982 (their official mission was to round up suspected terrorists).
Yet despite such occasional failures, on balance, Israel has benefited from Sharon's long career of public service. Does all this mean that Sharon will necessarily be a good prime minister? As Barak has amply proven, success in other jobs is no guarantee. But on his record, he is certainly not a candidate of whom Israelis need to be ashamed.
(c) Jerusalem Post 2001
WHICH SHARON? GAZA OR WYE?
By Emanuel A. Winston
In the 1970s Arik Sharon cleared the Muslim terrorists called fedayeen' out the Gaza area.
In 1973 over the objections of a fearful General Staff, Arik Sharon took his tanks over the Suez Canal and single-handedly surrounded Egypt's Third Army Corp. In hindsight all agreed, he saved Israel by creative daring and sound military tactics. His routing of the Egyptian third Army, forcing their surrender, is studied in American War Colleges to this day.
A little known fact of history demonstrates this. Arik Sharon was always a visionary whose prognoses were usually correct. After the 1967 Six Days War, Sharon was certain that the Egyptians would attack again which of course, they did on Yom Kippur in 1973. While Israel had control of all the Sinai Desert, Arik built footings to anchor a pontoon bridge for a probable Suez Canal crossing, and then covered them with sand. In 1973, Arik relocated those footings so that Gen. Israel Tal's rolling steel bridge could be quickly anchored allowing the IDF's tanks to cross into Egypt. (Tal was the creator and builder of the Merkava tank, the tank a Jewish mother could love.)
Arik of the Wye negotiations may win him an invitation to the White House but Arik of Gaza and Sinai is the strong, intelligent leader who the Israeli people must rely upon to save the nation. Barak had an open door to the White House as long as he offered the Arabs debilitating concessions. I have little doubt that, should Arik move to eliminate terror and NOT genuflect to the Washington Arabists in the American government, they will smear him as they did PM Yitzhak Shamir and earlier PM Menachem Begin.
Accommodating foreign interests by concessions designed to appease the Arab governments or Yassir Arafat just didn't and won't ever work. The more tangible assets that were gifted, the greater the expectations for even more gifts. The gifts were taken as a plea from a foe whose will to fight was collapsing. Therefore, more terrorism became the rule rather than the exception. Today Israelis are faced with a Palestinian Para-Military Force of up to 60,000 well-armed men in uniform plus at least 9 Secret Services in mufti. Oslo allowed only 24,000 lightly armed Police.
However, Arafat has illegally smuggled in major heavy weapons such as: Kalashnikov rifles, Katyusha rockets, antitank and antiaircraft missiles, night vision sniper rifles, explosives, bombs, and more. Some are visibly in use, although most are still hidden for Arafat's next War. They have proven themselves to be a deadly and growing threat who, together with the Israeli Arabs, act as a collaborating Fifth Column loyal to Arafat. This creates an impossible danger in the center of the country. During a hostile attack from outside the borders, they will effectively prevent mobilization of the reserves.
Barak's ignominious retreat from Lebanon, abandoning our Christian Lebanese allies of 18 years, was viewed as absolute proof that Israel was well on its way to collapse and its leader, PM/DM Barak really was like the woman of his now famous commando disguise. Never had the Israeli Army fled on orders of her Prime or Defense Minister, leaving behind tanks, artillery and tons of ammunition which, do doubt, will be used by the Syrian-backed Hezb'Allah against the cities of Israel's North. Would Arik have issued such orders to flee from the terrorist rabble? I don't think so.
Everyone is waiting to see if Sharon's soft approach to voters of the Center represents the Arik of Wye. I personally hope that, in the face of terrorism now grown into a War of Attrition activated over all Israel, that the Arik of Gaza will emerge. Yes, he will have to carry the burden of liberal cynics in Israel and the U.S. who will try to smear him - even as he saves their precious cowardly skins.
Yes, the Leftist Media will attack him, echoing the prompting of Peace Now in their ads petitioning the division to Jerusalem. (This is happening even now!)
Yes, the State Department will use their channels to the American Media to castigate Sharon for daring to save the Jewish nation because he may embarrass America's Arab friends by once again defeating them. Today's papers (Jan. 11, 2001) have already started the State Department's manipulated smear campaign.
But, Arik of Gaza and the Suez Canal has broad shoulders and he can carry the burden.
Clearly, after the failed experiments for peace called Oslo 1, Oslo 2, Hebron, Wye, Camp David 2 and Sharm, it is time to consider developing a cold peace. Israel should be in control of her own security, destiny and sovereignty. Concessions to the Arabs brought nothing except the murders of over 350 Israelis, including 14 Americans, with thousands more wounded, some maimed for life.
If anyone can, Arik Sharon can bring Israel a "Peace of Respect" by once again convincing the Arab world that Israel is too strong to defeat on the battlefield or through terror in her cities and on her roads.
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East Analyst & Commentator and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
By Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Arik Sharon, the driving force of every successful war Israel had to fight, was ambushed by a young high school girl, coached to lie for Ehud Barak. Arik Sharon was ambushed by a young high school girl who stood up in her Barak T-shirt and asked why he did not take responsibility for her shell-shocked father, caught up in one of Sharon's battles in Lebanon.
As it turned out, her father, a Barak supporter was wounded in a battle directed by Ehud Barak at Sultan Ya'akoub. HA'ARETZ reported January 23rd that Barak commanded the Sultan Ya'akoub battle, advancing forces into a Syrian trap without proper cover. This was the largest battle under Barak's command. Barak was second-in-command and took the initiative when his senior commander was away, ordering the forces to advance and grab what they could. While intelligence agents at the time warned of the presence of Syrian forces in the area, Barak's reconnaissance did not pick up the trap. Three Israeli soldiers, Zachery Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Tzi Feldman remain missing in action from that battle at Sultan Ya'akoub in 1982.
This was not Barak's only military mistake. The others have conveniently been pushed out of sight on his carefully managed career aims toward a political future for the Labor Party.
This 16 year old girl was coached to lie and it just happened that Barak's campaign director managed to have a TV film crew there to watch Arik fumble for an answer. Arik said very clearly that "I suggest transferring the blame to its right address."
Evidently, Barak's planners, like James Carville, are still there planning dirty tricks and succeeding - only now we can add the NEW YORK TIMES, the State Department's mouthpiece, as a willing participant in promoting Barak's election campaign.
Even as the lie they fed to this vulnerable young girl was exposed in Israel's most Left wing newspapers and became known to all the foreign journalists, Deborah Sontag of the NEW YORK TIMES carried the lie on the TIMES front page January 24th. In her story Sontag supports the lie by saying, "But with emotions too raw for anyone to charge publically that they [the girl's accusations] were contrived, a teenager was confronting Mr. Sharon with his checkered past and suggesting to the country that it may not be overlooked."
Sontag has become known as a purveyor of biased journalism and is clearly linked to promoting Barak's candidacy and the policies of the Left/Labor-Meretz parties. This has been the anti-Jewish policy of the NEW YORK TIMES' editors from at least as far back as World War II. Any journalist who covers Israel has to toe that line. It is remarkable that so many of them, especially the Jewish ones willingly act as the TIMES' hatchet men and women against Israel.
Clearly, Sontag. has stepped so far past the red lines of honest reporting that her journalist's credentials should be lifted and she should be sent out of the country. She has dishonored ethical journalism and brought shame to her family. Ms. Sontag, have you no shame - no decency - no standards of ethical journalism? As the NEW YORK TIMES, with respect to the Jewish issues, if there ever was an Evil Empire of journalism, the NEW YORK TIMES must be it.
Why did this happen? Quite simply Arik has surrounded himself with a well meaning team of amateurs who could not think ahead. Arik's team has cut itself off from hard thinking planners and organizers from the Right. They can anticipate tricks and plan strategies to overcome. Arik's team is not really connected to the street so they only prepare ideas with little opposition or debate. Many of Arik's advisors also guided Bibi Netanyahu's campaign and similarly cast off his supporters from the Right in their hunger for the undecided Center.
The Left planted this little 16 year old girl Ilal Comay and her father, Tzvika, as a lie to be delivered on TV. Any amateur campaign manager would have looked ahead and planned for such an ambush. The myth that Arik was culpable in the Sabra and Shatilla massacre was disproved when he won his libel suit against TIME Magazine. And yet, this smear is used against Sharon in every article about him - in Israel and internationally.
But, Arik's team, cut itself away from the hard fighters and thinkers of the Right. He is surrounded by Yes' men who really have no clue as to how to fight the battle. Worse yet, Ark keeps thinking of a unity government after the elections so he does not speak of Barak's failures. How can he speak of these things if he plans to enlist Barak in a future cabinet?
Israeli voters are very changeable, often in a day. Arik may find, at the last minute, he could lose the election and when he turns to what should be his bedrock of supporters, they will not be there. Who wants to hang around when you have been taken for granted, ignored and pushed to the side? Right now the Israeli voters are voting against Barak and not necessarily for Arik. This has happened before when the voters voted against Peres, not for Bibi. In both cases, the candidates pocketed the vote of the Right, accepted their fervent help and then arrogantly pushed them aside.
Perhaps Arik, in his election campaign battle plan, will remember that it was the Right who cut short the term of office of these last two Prime Ministers. It's just not smart to make enemies of your friends and supporters.
DO THEY REALLY KNOW?
By Boris Shusteff
On December 1 the "New York Post" columnist Sidney Zion wrote that the behavior of the Israeli Jews "may support the notion that Israel is the only nation in history to mass produce dumb Jews." Maybe this is the reason why the Israeli leaders have completely reversed their attitude towards their mortal enemies while their enemies' attitude hasn't changed.
On August 5, 1981 Israel's Government under Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared in its Fundamental Policy Guidelines:
"Under no conditions will a Palestinian state emerge in the territory of western 'Eretz Yisrael.' At the end of the transition period, set down in the Camp David agreements, Israel will raise its claim, and act to realize its rights over sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Settlement in the land of Israel is a right and integral part of the nation's security"(1).
Less than 20 years later, on November 30, 2000 Ehud Barak, another Israeli Prime Minister, announced that he is ready to recognize a Palestinian state in western Eretz Yisrael. The Israeli leader has not yet agreed to surrender ALL the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). However, the Arabs have no doubt that this will eventually happen. Witnessing how Israel gives up one principle after another they know what to expect in the future.
They knew it already in February 1978, when Dr. Mahjub, one of Fatah's ideologues, gave a lecture to the Fatah leaders stressing that "the PLO must stick to its principles unwaveringly. No pragmatic concessions must be made, he said; no adaptation in the name of realism (2)." Today's proponents of "peaceful coexistence" with the PLO, who cannot understand how it is possible that Arafat rejected an extremely generous proposal from Barak, should go back to 1978 and listen to Dr. Mahjub. He said,
There is a clear example from our own experience Political powers within the Zionist camp have changed some of their positions to the point of admitting overly the existence of a 'Palestinian people.'
Moreover, some even recognize the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state alongside the continuation of the Zionist entity 'Israel.' Naturally, such a shift from an attitude of completely ignoring the Palestinian problem and people to another attitude, supportive of... the Palestinian revolution, such a shift is slow though growing all the time"(1).
Since Dr. Mahjub delivered his lecture the "attitude supportive of the Palestinian revolution" has grown in the Israeli peace camp to catastrophic proportions. The "peaceniks" decided that they must be the builders of the "bright Palestinian future." Therefore, when Arafat rejected Barak's Camp David's offer, they were aghast and unable to comprehend reality. On November 1 Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami admitted in a television interview with Jim Lehrer, "To some of us it means the collapse of the work of a lifetime. The peace camp in Israel is shattered to pieces. Those who believe that generosity, flexibility, the creation of the Palestinian state, what is due to the Palestinians, because the Arab world, when they occupied these territories, never gave to the Palestinians any rights, let alone self-determination[sic]" (3).
The Israeli "peace camp" wanted only one thing in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state. They naively believed that the Arabs would accept them. They were unable to understand that Arafat and the other PLO leaders never planned to "recognize the Zionist entity in one way or another, on the pretext of being practical, or realistic, or pragmatic, or seizing the opportunity" (1). They could not comprehend that "even a mere tendency towards such recognition of the 'right' of the Zionist enemy 'to exist' on the Palestinian land means not only giving up the land, but giving up the Palestinian identity" (1).
Almost at the same time that Menachem Begin's government stated that "under no conditions will a Palestinian state emerge in the territory of western 'Eretz Yisrael'" Crown Prince Fahd, who later became the King of Saudi Arabia, in a statement that became known as the "Fahd plan," demanded, among other things "First, that Israel should withdraw from all Arab territory occupied in1967, including Arab Jerusalem. Second, the Israeli settlements built on Arab land after 1967 should be dismantled. ...Fourth, an affirmation of the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and to compensate those who do not wish to return. ...Sixth, that an independent Palestinian state should be set up with Jerusalem as its capital" (1).
While Begin's "under no conditions" has, in less than 20 years, transformed into Barak's readiness to recognize a second Palestinian state, the Arabs have not moved an inch from the "Fahd plan." This is why they were absolutely unimpressed with Barak's offers at Camp David. This is why Arafat will never agree to return to the point at which Barak interrupted his concessions. On November 2 Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, explained in Washington,
It is obviously not going to be enough to go and put on the table exactly what was put on the table at Camp David. It was put on the table by the Israeli side with a feeling that they had gone far beyond what any other Israeli government had done; and it was rejected by the Palestinian side as being grossly insufficient and not responsive to their legitimate rights or their concerns. Now, it obviously was not enough. ...And if peace is our objective, Israel will have to put on the table more than what it had put at Camp David (4).
The Arabs make no secret of what this "more" should be. These are the same old elements of the "Fahd plan." Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator and the Palestinian Authority's minister of local government, gave a brief summary of these requests: "Israel must carry out a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, including East Jerusalem, and acknowledge that Palestinian refugees have the right of return" (5).
Another PA Minister, Minister of Refugee Affairs As'ad Al-Rahman reiterated the same demands in even stronger terms. On November 22, he wrote in the PA newspaper "Al-Quds,"
"The danger is not, as some believe, in allowing the Intifada to continue, but rather in stopping it without any accomplishments or appropriate political guarantees that satisfy the national Palestinian and Arab Minimum Plan: the Right of Return; self-determination on all lands of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital" (6).
Even if one disregards the fact that Al-Rahman placed the "Right of Return" as the first priority, one should note that the PA Minister speaks about the MINIMUM plan. In order to learn what a more extended plan will imply we should become familiar with a debate hosted on November 17 by "Al-Jazeera," the Qatar-based Arabic TV news channel. One of the debaters, PA Minister Abd Rabbo, was very diplomatic when he said:
"There is almost a consensus among Palestinians that the direct goal is to reach the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital,... regarding to the future after that, it is best to leave the issue aside and not to discuss it"(7).
However, Musa Abu Marzuq, one of the other debaters and deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, was more explicit when he said , "it is clear that if a state is established within the 1967 borders, these will not be its final borders. We must further aspire for borders that will include Palestine in its entirety"(7).
If Israelis want to know what the "entirety of Palestine is" they should tune in to the November 29 Special Broadcast on official PA TV when Dr. Jareer Al-Kidwah, Arafat's Education Advisor, gave a description of Arab Palestine. "I want to say that our Palestine [is] from Metulla [Israel's northernmost city] to Rafiah [Southern border] and to Aqaba [Israel's southernmost point], from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea; whether they want it or not"(8).
All those Israeli "peace seekers" who still believe in "separation" with the Arabs through abandoning Yesha, hoping thus to preserve the "Jewish character of the state" are well-advised to pay attention to Abd Rabbo's satement during the November 17 debates. When asked whether Israel would still be the state of the Jews after the establishment of a Palestinian state, he said that "every attempt to establish a racist state in the region has failed in the past and will fail in the future."
Bilal Al-Hassan, another participant in the debates, who is an analyst with the London-based daily "Al-Hayat" elaborated on the issue of the Jewish state, explaining why the idea of a Jewish state is unrealistic.
"Since the first day of its existence, Israel wanted to become the state of the Jews... but it has failed because of the Palestinian Arabs in its midst. Today, one fifth of Israelis are not Jews. The goal of a Jewish state is not realistic, and if Israel adheres to it, it will become a racist state, in the literal sense of the word. Israel must choose between becoming a state of its citizens or a racist state. To choose a Jewish state is to choose a racist state, which means that we will have to fight Israel as if we were fighting a racist state like South Africa" (7).
While the Arabs are more and more vocal about their plans, the Jews remain in a state of a blissful ignorance. A November 29 Gallup poll conducted in Israel clearly demonstrated this. "Imagine that a cease fire will be reached and Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat reach an agreement for a permanent arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians and there was a national referendum in Israel. From what you heard or know up until now, would you vote for or against it in a national referendum?" In the response to this question 59% said that they would lean to vote for it (9). Asked if they will support "reaching an interim agreement with the Palestinians that includes setting the territory of the Palestinian state, its borders and security arrangements with it, but not including Jerusalem and the right of return, that will be postponed to a later period" 52% said that they will support it (9).
Since the Arab leaders are not hiding their views and openly declare all their plans, an objective observer looking at the results of these polls can only come to the conclusion that Sidney Zion was right about the mental status of Israeli Jews. Though there may be one more explanation of the results. Perhaps the Israeli public is absolutely unaware of the plans of their "peace partners," since the Israeli media and Israeli officials try to suppress the real intentions of the Arabs. Do the Israelis really know what is at stake? If they do not, then the crime that the Israeli leaders are committing against their own people is unforgivable. 12/03/00
1. Walter Laquer and Barry Rubin, editors. The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict. Penguin Books, 1995.
2. Jillian Becker. The PLO. St. Martin's Press, New York, 984.
3. News-hour with Jim Lehrer. Interview with Israeli Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami. Interviewer: Ray Suarez. November 1, 2000.
4. Remarks by Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Nabil Fahmy at
the Federal City Club Luncheon. Topic: The Middle East Peace Process. Location: The Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C. Time: 1:00 P.M., November 2, 2000.
5. Saeb Erakat . "What We Want." Washington Post. 11/09/00
6. The Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), 11/30/00
7. The Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), 11/22/00
8. Palestinian Media Watch, December 3, 2000.
9. Ma'ariv 1 December 2000. Gallup Poll Wednesday 29 November, 2000.
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
THE "HA'ARETZ" JEWS
By Boris Shusteff
Two thousand years ago there was a period in Jewish history when many Jews became so sick and tired of their own religion and culture, and so excited with those of the Greeks, that they decided to switch their allegiance. They were called the Hellenistic Jews. It is true that the Greeks "helped" in the majority of cases through brutal force and strictly-enforced regulations. Nevertheless there were plenty of Jews who embraced the Hellenistic culture voluntarily.
Today we witness a very similar situation, in which a great number of Israeli Jews who do not understand the Jewish religion, traditions, culture and history are trying to reinvent the wheel by turning their backs on their own people. The major difference between Hellenistic times and our inglorious age is that no one is using force to convert Jews today. They do it themselves, absolutely voluntarily. With a few exceptions, such as Israel Harel and Nadav Shragai, nobody represents these Jews better than the writers and the editorial staff of the Israeli newspaper "Ha'aretz." We shall therefore call them "Ha'aretz" Jews.
Every time it seems that the current Israeli leaders have reached the lowest point of their shame and degradation, one is forced to admit that the pit into which they are falling is bottomless. The decision of the Israeli government to accept the latest Bill Clinton proposal as a "basis for discussion" proves this without the shadow of doubt. It is very difficult to understand what makes the Jews believe that the American President knows what is good for the Jewish state. Since Bill Clinton's most intimate connection with the Jewish people is based on his relations with Monica Lewinsky his credentials are not very trustworthy. American syndicated columnist Cal Thomas wrote on December 27 that "President Clinton has so dishonored his own country he has no shame in dishonoring another one - in this case Israel."
Clinton's "bridging proposal," according to which the Jews should abandon their sovereignty to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, is despicable. It demonstrates his absolute contempt for the Jewish people and for their history. However, why should anyone be surprised that Clinton does not care about the Jews if the Jews do not care about themselves? What depth of self-humiliation must an editor of the Israeli newspaper "Ha'aretz" reach in order to write in a December 25 editorial that, "Due to many powerful reasons, both practical and emotional, East Jerusalem is the heart of the Palestinian state which is in the process of being established, and therefore, will become its capital." Who gave permission to the "Ha'aretz" Jews to perform a heart transplant and to move the Jewish heart into a "Palestinian state?"
Only a Jew without a heart can say that Jerusalem "is the heart of the Palestinian state." Let us not pretend that the adjective "East" changes anything. It does not. Jerusalem is indivisible. It is exactly East Jerusalem for which the Jews were yearning during their 2,000 years of exile. It is about East Jerusalem that Yehuda Halevi, the greatest Hebrew poet of the eleventh century, wrote, "Would that I have wings that I could wend my way to Thee, O Jerusalem, from afar!" It is East Jerusalem where Nachmanides (the Ramban) settled in 1267. It is about East Jerusalem that Psalm 137 says, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!"
If one wants to be honest in describing the part of the city that Arafat wants to snatch from the Jews, one should use more precise adjectives. One should not call it East Jerusalem. One must call it Jewish Jerusalem, from which the Jews were evicted by the British in 1920. One must call it Jewish Jerusalem, where the Jews were massacred by the Arabs in 1948 and forbidden to live for 19 years. One must call it Jewish Jerusalem - a city which the world community is eager to steal from the Jews in order to award it to the Arabs for their hatred of them.
What are these "many powerful reasons, both practical and emotional" that the "Ha'aretz" Jews do not want to share with us? There are only two reasons that dominate their thinking: self-hatred and cowardice. Only self-hating Jews can completely disregard 3,000 years of Jewish emotional ties with Jerusalem and artificially replace them with the "emotions" of the Arabs. Only cowards can betray their own people and rush to embrace their enemies.
How far away must these "Ha'aretz" Jews be from the Jewish people when they say, "The yearning of generations of Jews for the Holy City is a remarkable human phenomenon and a main element of the national identity, and it should be considered satisfied with the return of the Jewish nation to its homeland." What kind of logic is this? Why must the Jews who have returned to Eretz Yisrael surrender their Holy City? It is equivalent to suggesting that a childless couple that finally succeeds
in having a child through the miracles of medicine must place their baby in a foster home, since their desire to have children is satisfied.
Each and every sentence in the editorial is a masterpiece of self-abasement by itself. Take this pearl, for example: "the Arab-Israeli dispute over Jerusalem revolves around a hub of symbols, not around elements fundamental to existence." If this is true, why is it so important that the Arabs keep this "hub of symbols" and why is it so trivial to take it away from the Jews? Jerusalem is not a favorite toy that one child can play with and then give to another.
Jerusalem is the heart and the soul of the Jewish people. What else, if not the heart, is fundamental to a people's existence? If the "Ha'aretz" Jews are so ignorant about Jewish history, they would be advised to listen to Willem van der Hoeven, International Director of the Christian Zionist Center, who, after learning of Barak's readiness to embrace Clinton's plan, wrote in utter disbelief, "Is Israel willing to cut out her very heart, the heart of Jerusalem, holy to the Jews from time immemorial, and offer it to a people who have just murdered and lynched them...?"
Yes, it is possible to extract the heart from a live body and to connect the body to a life-support system that will circulate the blood, allowing the existence of the body to continue. In this case the heart really is "not fundamental to existence." Does it mean that the "Ha'aretz" Jews suggest this kind of existence for the Jewish people? Perhaps, this is so, since they wrote that "there is no reason to be overly saddened by the forthcoming result." They believe that the "proposed compromise in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount" will be good for the Jewish state "stabilizing its existence in the region and safeguarding its future."
The only problem is that there will be no future for Israel in this case at all. The same "Ha'aretz" newspaper reported on December 25 that when Israel's Chief Rabbi, Yisrael Meir Lau, learned about the planned concessions, he said, "We cannot turn our back on Jewish heritage, the historic covenant with Mount Moriah [the Temple Mount], through [King] David who bought it. We are here by force of right, not right of force. The moment we abandon this right, we are losing our right to the land of Israel itself."
If the "Ha'aretz" Jews do not understand Rabbi Lau, maybe they will listen to Joseph Farah, who wrote on December 29 that the "secular Israeli leaders have lost all sense of national purpose -- any notion of the sacred, the role of Providence in the history of the Jewish state and, ultimately, reverence for the One who authored the land-deed that justifies occupation of the Promised Land." Farah further wrote,
"Perhaps I -- a Christian-Arab-American -- don't have a right to criticize. But my faith, too, is intertwined with Israel and Jerusalem. My scriptures, too, make clear that God -- not Yasser Arafat - is sovereign over Jerusalem. And that's the real trouble Israel has today. It's not just poor, inept, incompetent, misguided political leadership. The trouble with Israel -- like so much of the rest of the world -- is that it has forgotten about God."
The Hellenistic Jews forgot their God; the "Ha'aretz" Jews have forgotten their God as well, and started to worship "peace." This worshipping takes a very primitive form. Onto the altar of their new god, the "Ha'aretz" Jews have thrown more and more victims, and now they are ready to sacrifice the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Before going beyond the point of no return they should reply to the questions asked by Willem van der Hoeven:
Would the Muslims, for peace sake, surrender Mecca and the Ka'aba stone to the Jews? Would Catholics, for peace sake, surrender the Vatican and St. Peters Cathedral? Would any nation in the world, after praying for 2000 years to return to its holiest place on earth, forfeit it for a peace which will not even be a real peace but a stage for further concessions till Israel, according to the deep-seated wish of many of her Muslim enemies, is dissolved and is no more?
And while contemplating the answers to these questions, perhaps, they should consider returning to their One and Only God? 12/30/00
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
ISRAEL'S STRATEGIC ERROR
By Professor Louis Rene Beres
The basic problem with the so-called Middle East "Peace Process" should be apparent to anyone who thinks. On the Arab side, Oslo-mandated expectations are always nothing more than a cost-effective method of dismantling Israel. On the Israeli side, these expectations are taken, more or less, as a necessary way of averting war. The resultant asymmetry in expectations enhances Arab-Islamic power while it degrades and immobilizes Israel. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Israel will soon face a carefully orchestrated assault on many fronts - convulsions spawned by Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line joined with major attacks (possibly unconventional) led by Syria, Iraq, Iran, and "Palestine."
At its heart, the problem of Israel's existential vulnerability lies in the Jewish State's basic assumptions concerning war and peace. While Israel's regional enemies, state and nonstate, believe that any power gains for Israel represent a power loss for them - that is, that they coexist with Israel in a condition of pure conflict - Israel assumes something very different. For Israel, relations with Arab/Islamic states and "authorities" are not, as these enemies believe, "zero-sum" relations, but rather a mutual-dependence connection, a nonzero-sum relation where conflict is mixed with cooperation. Israel, unlike its enemies, currently believes that any gain for these enemies is not necessarily a loss for itself. Indeed, Israel is generally unwilling even to identify its enemies as enemies.
Israel believes that its enemies also reject zero-sum assumptions about the strategy of conflict. Israel's enemies, however, do not make such erroneous judgments about congruence with Israeli calculations. These enemies know that Israel is wrong in its belief that Arab/Islamic states and authorities also reject the zero-sum assumption, but they pretend otherwise. There is, therefore, a dramatic and most consequential disparity between Israel and its multiple enemies. Israel's strategy of conflict is founded upon miscalculations and false assumptions, and upon an extraordinary unawareness of (or indifference to) enemy manipulations. The pertinent strategic policies of Israel's enemies, on the other hand, are founded upon correct calculations and assumptions, and upon an astute awareness of Israel's strategic error.
What does all of this really mean? Above all, it positively demands that Israel make rapid and far-reaching changes in the way that it conceptualizes the continuum of cooperation and conflict, of peace and war. Israel, ridding itself of wishful thinking, should immediately recognize the zero-sum calculations of its enemies and should begin to recognize itself that the struggle in the Middle East must still be fought overwhelmingly at the conflict end of the continuum. This struggle, in other words, must be conducted - however reluctantly and painfully - in zero-sum terms.
There is no "New Middle East." If Ehud Barak or his successor wants to continue the "Peace Process," even if only to appease his American masters, he should find another way of expressing this "pragmatic" sentiment. It ought not to be expressed upon the corpse of Israel.
Next, Israel should acknowledge immediately that its support for Oslo is fully inconsistent with both the zero-sum calculations of its enemies (which must now again be understood as enemies) and with its own newly- recognized imperative to relate on the basis of zero-sum assumptions. By continuing to sustain Oslo, Israel, in effect, rejects correct zero-sum notions of Middle East conflict and accepts the starkly incorrect idea that its enemies also reject these notions. By rejecting Oslo, Israel, in effect, would accept correct zero-sum notions of Middle East conflict and accept the correct idea that its enemies base their policies upon exactly these notions. By such rejection, Israel would also be acting in support of international law. This is the case because these accords with a terrorist organization that threaten national survival are intrinsically illegal.
As matters stand presently, Israel's mistaken strategic assumptions, and the juxtaposition of these incorrect assumptions with the correct assumptions of its enemies, undermine Israel's very survival. Ironically, these Israeli mistakes and asymmetries have the effect of creating an alliance between Israel and its enemies, not the sort of alliance that can help the Jewish State, but rather the altogether one-sided and unreciprocated sort in which only Israel serves its enemies' needs.
Israel should not continue to be the best ally its enemies could ever have. Instead, it should now seek to serve itself, supplanting false assumptions that stem from misguided hopes and projections with correct assumptions based upon valid argumentation.
In the language of formal logic, invalid forms of argumentation are known as fallacies. The overriding problem of Israel's current search for "peace" is the commission of various fallacies. Unlike simple instances of falsity and error, which of course abound in ongoing Israeli military judgments, these fallacies are vastly more injurious because they involve the very property of transition from a set of premises to a policy conclusion. Distinguishable from singular mistakes, these fallacies ensure that all subsequent calculations will also result in error. This means that it is in the process of strategic thinking, not in the assessment of particular facts and issues, that Israeli transformations are most desperately needed.
In the most charitable interpretation, Israel's strategic error has been the product of certain more or less remediable intellectual deficiencies. In a less charitable assessment, they have been the result of deliberate government manipulations, by Rabin, by Peres, by Netanyahu, by Barak. If the fallacies of Israeli government strategic policy have been expressed with the intent to deceive, to carry conviction without justification or to impede open discussion, they are an example not of mere foolishness, but of a fatal sophistry. [18 January 2001]
LOUIS RENE BERES Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and has published widely on strategies of conflict and the theory of games. Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS, he is the author of twelve books and several hundred scholarly articles and monographs. Professor Beres's work is well-known to the Prime Minister of Israel and to the IDF General Staff. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Tel-Aviv based CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH, and publishes frequently in NATIV, THE MACCABEAN and MIDSTREAM.
ISRAEL AND PREEMPTION:
STRIKING FIRST UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
By Louis Rene Beres
To its great credit and survival, Israel - facing certain Arab attack in June 1967 - opted to strike first itself. Today, with the winds of war blowing again in the Middle East - winds even more ominous than before the Six Day War - Israel may again have to consider a strategy of preemption. How might such a strategy be defended under international law?
Where it is understood as "anticipatory self-defense," the customary right to preempt has its modern origins in what is known as the CAROLINE incident. Here, during the unsuccessful rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada, against British rule, it was established that the serious THREAT of armed attack may justify militarily defensive action. In an exchange of diplomatic notes between the governments of the United States and Great Britain, then U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster outlined a framework for self-defense which did not require a prior attack. Military response to a threat was judged permissible so long as the danger posed was "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment of deliberation."
Strategic circumstances and the consequences of strategic surprise have changed substantially since the CAROLINE. Today, in an age of chemical/biological/nuclear weaponry, the time available to a vulnerable state could be notably very short. From the standpoint of Israel, now faced with multiple adversaries endowed with ballistic missiles, there is reason to believe that a future resort to anticipatory self-defense would be well-founded in international law. This is especially the case since January 2001, as new anti-Israel alliances have been forged between Iraq and Syria; Iraq and Russia; and Iran and Russia.
Some scholars, however, argue that the right of anticipatory self-defense expressed by the CAROLINE has now been overriden by the specific language of the United Nations Charter. In this view, Article 51 fashions a new and more restrictive statement on self-defense, one that relies on the literal qualification of a prior "armed attack." This narrowly technical interpretation ignores that international law cannot compel any state to wait until it absorbs a devastating or even lethal first strike before acting to protect itself. Significantly, both the Security Council and the General Assembly refused to condemn Israel for its 1967 preemptive attacks against certain Arab states, thereby signifying implicit approval by the United Nations of Israel's lawful resort to anticipatory self-defense.
The right of self-defense by forestalling an attack is well established in classical international law. In 1625, Hugo Grotius, in Book II of THE LAW OF WAR AND PEACE, indicates that self defense is to be permitted not only after an attack has already been suffered, but also in advance, where "...the deed may be anticipated." Or as he says a bit later on in the text: "It be lawful to kill him who is preparing to kill...." Similarly,in his famous text of 1758 known as THE LAW OF NATIONS, Emmerich de Vattel affirms that "The safest plan is to PREVENT evil," and that to do so a nation may even "anticipate the other's design...."
Appropriately, because we are here concerned with the prospect of ISRAEL'S preemptive strikes, both Grotius and Vattel - the founding fathers of international law - parallel the Jewish interpreters. The Torah contains a provision exonerating from guilt a potential victim of robbery with possible violence, if - in self defense - he struck down and even killed the attacker BEFORE HE COMMITTED ANY CRIME (Ex: 22:1). In the words of the Rabbis, "If a man comes to slay you, forestall by slaying him." (Rashi: Sanhedrin 72a). Although these arguments speak more generally of interpersonal relations than of international relations in particular, they are valid for the latter by extrapolation.
Israel's right to preempt under international law is strengthened further by the ongoing nature of belligerency with enemy states. According to Grotius, citing to Deuteronomy in THE LAW OF PRIZE AND BOOTY, the Israelites were fully exempted from the issuance of warnings in dealing with existing enemies (what we wouod call today "protracted war" - exactly the condition that now obtains between Israel and all Arab states except Egypt and Jordan). The Israelites, recounts Grotius, had been commanded by G-d to "refrain from making an armed attack against any people without first inviting that people, by formal notifications, to establish peaceful relations...." Yet, he continues, the Israelites "thought that this prohibition was inapplicable to many of the Canaanite tribes, inasmuch as they themselves had previously been attacked in war by the Canaanites."
There is much to be studied here by Israel's legal advisors in the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
LOUIS RENE BERES, Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on international law and defense issues. You may contact Prof. Beres at BERES@POLSCI.PURDUE.EDU.
CORRELATION OF FORCES AND
COMING WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
By Louis Rene Beres
The term "correlation of forces" is a useful concept of military strategy. Widely used by the former Soviet Union, it is applied as a measure of armed forces, from the subunit level to major formations. Additionally, it has been used to compare resources and capabilities on both the levels of military strategy and of so-called "grand strategy." This meaning is closely related to the concept of "force ratios" used in the West.
Today, with the winds of war blowing again in the Middle East, Israel must undertake productive assessments of enemy states with particular reference to "correlation of forces." Here it must seek more than an "objective" yardstick for measurement of opposing forces. Although the IDF is assuredly comparing all available data concerning both the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of units, including personnel, weaponry and equipment, its commanders will need to know more to establish Israeli force superiority at decisive places and times. This is especially the case in matters of grand strategy, where opposing forces are endowed with weapons of mass destruction.
What, exactly, must be the IDF concept of "correlation of forces?" First, it must take careful account of enemy leaders' intentions as well as capabilities. Such an accounting is inherently more subjective than assessments of personnel, weapons and basic logistic data. Such an accounting must be subtle and nuanced, relying less on scientific modeling than upon carefully informed profiles. In this connection, it will not due to merely gather relevant data from all of the usual sources. It will also be important to put themselves into the shoes of each enemy leader, determining what Israel looks like TO THEM.
Second, the IDF correlation of forces concept must take account of enemy leaders' rationality. An adversary that does not conform to the rules of rational behavior in world politics might not be deterred by ANY Israeli threats, military or otherwise. Here the logic of deterrence would be immobilized and all bets would be off concerning expected enemy reactions to Israeli policy.
Third, IDF assessments must also consider the organization of enemy state units; their training standards; their morale; their reconnaissance capabilities; their battle experience; and their suitability and adaptability to the prospective battlefield. These assessments are not exceedingly difficult to make on an individual or piecemeal basis, but the IDF needs to conceptualize them together, in their entirety. To get this more coherent picture will require creativity and imagination, not merely mathematical skills.
Fourth, IDF assessments must consider the capabilities and intentions of Israel's nonstate enemies; that is, the entire configuration of anti-Israel terrorist groups. And once again, such assessments must offer more than a group by group consideration. Rather, the groups must be considered in their entirety, as they interrelate with one another vis-a-vis Israel. And these groups need to be considered in their interactive relationship with enemy states. This last point might best be characterized as an IDF search for pertinent "synergies" between state and nonstate adversaries.
Fifth, IDF assessments must take special note of the ongoing metamorphosis of a nonstate adversary (PLO) into a state adversary (Palestine). With this metamorphosis, Israel's strategic depth will soon shrink to barely manageable levels, and a far-reaching enemy momentum to transform Israel itself into part of the new Arab state will be energized. How shall Israel "live" with Palestine? This shall be an absolutely critical question for strategists and scholars.
In the matter of synergies, the IDF must also consider and look for "force multipliers." A force multiplier is a collection of related characteristics, other than weapons and force size, that make a military organization more effective in combat. A force multiplier may be generalship; tactical surprise; tactical mobility; command and control system; etc. The presence of a force multiplier CREATES synergy. The unit will be more effective than the mere sum of its weapons. IDF responsibility in this area concerns (1) recognizing enemy force multipliers; (2) challenging and undermining enemy force multipliers; and (3) developing and refining its own force multipliers. Regarding number (3), this means a heavy IDF emphasis on air superiority; communications; intelligence; and surprise.
Correlation of forces will essentially determine the outcome of the coming catastrophic war. It is time for Israel to go well beyond the usual numerical assessments to "softer" considerations, and to focus especially upon the cumulative importance of unconventional weapons and strategies in the region.
LOUIS RENE BERES, Professor Department of Political Science, Purdue University, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is author of many publications dealing with Middle Eastern security issues.
Reprinted from The Weekly Standard of January 15, 2001
WAR THROUGH WEAKNESS
Barak's Policies Have
Increased The Chances
Of Conflict In The Middle East.
By Tom Rose
With his reelection prospects faltering, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak is employing a political tactic familiar in the annals of doomed campaigns. By charging that his conservative opponent, Ariel Sharon, will "lead the country into war," Barak is trying to scare an increasingly disgusted Israeli public.
Unlike Jimmy Carter, who tried this against Ronald Reagan in 1980, Barak isn't necessarily wrong in predicting that war will accompany a Sharon victory. He's just blaming the wrong person. After all, it isn't Sharon who has accelerated the most dangerous deterioration of regional security in a generation. It is Barak himself.
But to admit as much, even at this late hour, would be to concede what even many committed peaceniks in Israel now understand: The Oslo peace process not only failed to bring peace, it has hurtled the region into escalating danger.
Almost all strategic analysts here agree that the risk of war is greater now than it has been since 1973. Just last week, the Israeli Defense Force was instructed to prepare for action. Reservists are being put on notice, and field equipment is being readied for use. Attacks on Israel's northern border by Syrian and Iranian backed Hezbollah guerrillas are testing Israel's resolve. Iran has threatened to attack Israel with ballistic missiles containing non-conventional warheads if Israel responds. Iraq has likewise threatened ballistic missile strikes in addition to moving two mechanized divisions toward the Jordanian border.
What happened? How did a process that was supposed to bring peace, cooperation, and development to the region instead lay the groundwork for war? Oslo lulled Israelis into believing that their neighbors had changed and that a series of one-sided concessions would consolidate the change. Instead, concessions only increased Arab appetites.
From the earliest days of Zionist settlement through that famous handshake on the White House lawn, Israel had followed a strategy whose guiding principle was deterrence. By continually asserting its right to defend itself with whatever means it deemed necessary, Israel had earned grudging respect, if not acceptance, from its neighbors, and life in the region had settled into a recognized pattern. While Arab rhetoric changed little, the actions of Arab leaders changed a great deal. By the early 1990s, most Arab states had given up conspiring to destroy Israel by force. They knew that attempts to harm the Jewish state would be mightily repelled. At the time the Oslo accords were signed, in 1993, the Middle East seemed further from war than it had since Israel's founding.
Oslo started to change that. By conceding territory to Yasser Arafat, Israel seemed to concede the premise that the source of conflict in the Middle East was its military victory in 1967. The Israelis were largely delighted at the prospect of ceasing to occupy a hostile population, but their withdrawal from territories they had captured in defensive wars gave the Arabs their first taste of victory since 1948.
An increasing number of Israelis believed that the Arabs' rising expectations could be kept in check so long as no concessions made went unreciprocated. In fact, in one of Oslo's many ironies, the three-year tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister brought enough equilibrium to the process that even right-wing skeptics began to believe the process could work. The accord's most articulate critic was starting to make it work.
But Netanyahu's defeat in 1999 allowed his successor, former Army general Ehud Barak, to turn Netanyahu's hard-headed concessions into a flood of unprecedented offers. By proclaiming his intention to reach a comprehensive settlement with the Palestinians within 15 months of taking office, Barak shifted all the pressure from Arafat onto himself. He also conveyed a sense of Israeli desperation to an increasingly confident Arab public. Up to that point, Israel's policy had been to wait the Arabs out. While not terribly satisfying, this had worked well.
In May 2000, Barak unilaterally withdrew Israel's troops from its security zone in southern Lebanon. This telegraphed to the Arab world that Israel could be forced to retreat. At the very time he was trying to increase pressure on the Palestinians to settle the conflict completely and permanently, Barak fatally undermined his own effort by showing them that they really didn't need to make any concessions. All Arafat had to do was do what he has always done best: kill Jews.
Why should Arafat concede what a band of Iranian-trained and Syrian-funded Hezbollah guerrillas did not? Rather than punish Arafat for launching a terrorist war against Israel in September, Israel rewarded the PLO leader with still more concessions. In three months last fall, Barak dismantled a deterrent policy fifty years in the making.
Because it is now clear that the Palestinians have no intention of reasonably settling their conflict with Israel, one can only ask what possible alternatives to war are left? How can Israel continue Barak's policy of tolerating the existence of a 40,000-man terrorist army increasingly successful in its objective of creating mayhem and panic in Israel? When Israel is finally forced to confront this army, what will the Arab world's reaction be?
And after encouraging Arafat for so long, can even moderate Arab states like Egypt and Jordan stay out of a regional conflict? Arafat has always sought to draw Israel and the Arab world into a war on his behalf in the belief that this war would lead to an internationally imposed solution rewarding the Palestinians at Israel's expense. By continuing to attack Israeli civilians, Arafat is all but begging Israel to do what at some point it must: attack him.
And when Israel does take action, can it allow Syria to exploit the situation by using its Hezbollah proxies to attack northern Israel with rockets and terrorist infiltrations? Won't Israel have to respond even though Iran and Iraq have both threatened war?
Barak's offer to cede Jerusalem's Temple Mount (Judaism's holiest site) to Palestinian control may have pushed the region past the point of no return. Never before had even the most rejectionist Arab leader dreamed that any Israeli would agree to concessions in Jerusalem, let alone offer up the Jewish people's heart and soul. Barak made this offer at the very time Israeli buses were being blown up and Israeli civilians murdered on their roads. Never before had Israel appeared so weak and on the run.
Thus has the government of Israel stoked an Arab frenzy of expectation and awakened fear and fury in Israeli hearts. It is for this reason alone that Ariel Sharonperhaps Israel's least attractive political candidate, a man reviled in the Arab world and despised on the Israeli left and in the salons of Europe as "Israel's Milosevic"holds a staggering 30-point lead in the polls over Ehud Barak.
Like it or not, Sharon is the only Israeli left whom Arabs fear. He may now be the only one whose election can deter a conflagration.
Date: 22 January 2001
Israel Offers Joint
Sovereignty Over Western Wall
And Other Sites With Palestinians
By Dr. Aaron Lerner
THIS IS NOT A PARODY
Israel Radio senior diplomatic correspondent Yoni Ben Menachem reported this morning that according to a senior source in the Israeli delegation to the talks at Taba, Israel offered the Palestinians yesterday for the first time, within the context of a "special authority" that would rule eastern Jerusalem, that the Western Wall would be included within the framework of the "special authority - namely joint sovereignty of Israel and the Palestinians" on all the holy places in eastern Jerusalem that are holy to the three major faiths.
Ben Menachem then read the following list of places that would be under joint Israeli-Palestinian sovereignty under the Israeli proposal: Western Wall, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, City of David, Southern Temple Wall Excavations, Ophel, Archeological Garden, "Ma'alot Devorah the Prophetess", Shiloah Tunnel, the mosques on the Temple Mount, the churches - including the Church of he Holy Sepulchre in the Old City.
[Editor's Note: For the last 15 months the Palestinians have been desecrating the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. Massive construction work is being done that is destroying valuable archeological treasures of the Jewish people, including relics of the First and Second Temple. They have prevented Jews from praying on the Mount. Barak has turned a blind eye to this activity. Ask yourself: Are these the people you want to share sovereignty with?]
Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director is director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis).
Reprinted from Ha'aretz 23 January 2001
BARAK'S SORRY LEGACY
By Moshe Arens
Lt.Gen (Res) Ehud Barak seemed to enter the office of prime minister in July 1999 with a similar military mind-set - possessing "chess-board thinking." He announced that he had a plan to end the hundred- year old Jewish-Arab conflict in fifteen months. Within twelve months he was going to sign a peace treaty with Syria and, presumably in the remaining three months, he was going to sign a peace treaty with Yasser Arafat. Along the way he insisted on setting a number of milestones, issuing ultimatums left and right in an attempt to force all involved to adhere to the schedule he had set.
Since most Israelis were eager to see an end to the conflict and a stable peace established in the area, his plan at first met with considerable approval from the Israeli public. Even when he began to deviate from the national consensus, offering concessions that had until then been considered inconceivable, he was hailed by many for his daring, courage, and willingness to slaughter Israel's sacred cows. One of the sacred cows he offered up for slaughter was the Temple Mount, the site holiest to the Jewish people. It was only when it became clear that his plan had fallen apart and that his concessions had been rejected, that widespread disappointment set in, together with a creeping realization that peace could not be achieved by a rigid military plan. Within less than two years, the almost unlimited credit that Barak had established with the Israeli public after his landslide victory over Benjamin Netanyahu was used up in a spendthrift fashion by this general-turned-politician. Barak's "Schlieffen Plan" had failed.
Even worse than his performance during his tenure as Prime Minister is his exit from the stage of government. Dedicated to the plan he had set, he insists on continuing, even after announcing his resignation, on a course that is obviously leading nowhere, and despite the violence initiated by the Palestinians. He offers the Palestinians the Jordan Valley, much of Jerusalem, and is prepared to discuss in principle Arafat's demand for the Palestinian "right of return." The rejection of these concessions by Arafat as insufficient does not phase him, and he continues on. Presumably he will not stop until February 6, and perhaps not even then, continuing to do damage until such time as a new coalition is formed and, by law he must vacate the Prime Minister's Office. He is pursuing a scorched earth policy.
He may have had the best of intentions, but he surely knows that as he continues to negotiate with Arafat he is making life very difficult for the next government. Arafat's insistence that negotiations proceed under the new government at the point where they left off under Barak, can only serve to impede the peace process to which Barak is presumably so dedicated. Is he trying to make it impossible for the government that will succeed him to continue with the peace process?
In these last minute negotiations he has requested and received the assistance of the outgoing U.S. president, Bill Clinton. Clinton surely knows that for a prime minister who has already resigned to carry out negotiations bearing on the future and security of the state is inconsistent with the norms of democratic government. But he evidently could not refuse Barak's pleas and resist the temptation to chaperone a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In the process, Barak ignores the incoming Republican administration in Washington, making it no easier for the next Israeli prime minister. Barak will be leaving behind him a sorry legacy. Like Madame de Pompadour he must be saying to himself "apres moi le deluge" [after me the flood].
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January, 11 2001
A NATION'S SYMBOLS
By Berel Wein
The difficulty in holding elections in such a time of crisis is now apparent to all. The drive for power is so strong that recklessness becomes the accepted method of behavior. There is no other word than recklessness to describe the current behavior of our prime minister and foreign minister.
The rush to sign an agreement, any agreement, with Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton would be laughable if our eyes were not so filled with tears and our hearts with sadness. The strength of the elixir of power is so great that those who pursue it are convinced that they are selfless and have only the public interest at heart.
We are constantly told that the window of opportunity is closing and will never reopen. We are bombarded with threats that war, God forbid, is on the threshold if the Clinton plan is not signed. We are told that Israel will be blamed in the international arena for blocking the peace that the whole world is so anxiously waiting for if we do not surrender Jerusalem and bring back the Arab refugees.
What reckless statements!
Ehud Barak, Shlomo Ben-Ami, Yossi Beilin and the others who are pushing for the Clinton peace plan would have a much more receptive audience for their cause if they were not running for office. Barak's victory at the polls is essential for this group to stay in power. There is apparently nothing that will be allowed to stay in the way of this drive to stay in power.
The fact that Clinton's plan not only divides Jerusalem but tears the Jewish people and Israeli public into bitterly feuding camps seems to be of no concern to the peacemakers. The people who are not running for office - Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein and others - have publicly warned against the Clinton Plan. No matter, though, because the drive for power blinds even otherwise sincere and intelligent people to the folly of their behavior.
The damage being done to Israel and the Jewish cause worldwide by the recklessness of accepting the Clinton Plan is immeasurable. One only hopes that somehow it will be reversible.
A NATION is united by symbols. A flag, an anthem, a common history, a sense of special pride are all symbols of national unity. The Jewish people, over its long centuries of exile when it had no flag or anthem, relied on other symbols to unite it. The Bible and the Talmud, Jewish values and tradition, became those symbols.
More than that, Jerusalem, Rachel's Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the Western Wall, were our flag and anthem. Zionism succeeded only because it promised Jerusalem and the reclaiming of Jewish history.
In all of the bitter contentious infighting within the Jewish people over the past century, there still remained a thread of Jewish unity - Jerusalem and the Western Wall. All Jews felt an affinity to the Holy City and to the place of the Temple. And now that slim thread of Jewish unity has been torn by those who preach unity and practice divisiveness.
One hundred and one "rabbis" in America signed a statement that waives our rights to the Temple Mount. Who authorized them? By what right do they possess the power to annul Jewish history and faith? Do they not care that they are ripping the Jewish people apart with their recklessness? The leader of the Masorti Movement in Israel writes an op-ed piece in this newspaper justifying abandoning the Temple Mount and Jewish sovereignty over much of Jerusalem. Is this an act of Jewish conscience? Will it further Jewish unity, a cause that he espouses?
Let us leave the military, political and societal fallout of the abandonment of Jerusalem, tragic as that will undoubtedly be, aside for a moment. Look at the damage it will do to the Jewish people and how it will cripple its fragile hold on its survival as a faith community. No one will recite "Next year in Tel Aviv." Think of how reckless this behavior is. Who can estimate the historical effect of the near-certain dire consequences of such reckless behavior?
Bill Clinton will be out of power soon. But he is desperately trying to play out a role in history, which is after all the greatest bestower of power.
His presidential statement about the Middle East and the peace between Israel and the Arabs is a play to the power thrust within him. And our feckless leaders kowtow to this nonsense.
But history is unforgiving, especially Jewish history. Those who wished to be remembered for bringing peace to Israel through the Oslo Accords have already seen their reputations and memories tarnished by the events of history. Those who now behave recklessly with the Jewish symbols of memory and unity and destiny will not be remembered as peacemakers. They will be remembered as those who needlessly divided the Jewish people and ripped out the heart of the people in the midst of a terrible moment of crisis.
Jewish history will not be blinded by the desperate reach for power. Loyalty to Jerusalem remains our strongest bond remaining. It should not and will not be torn asunder.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 26, 2001
THINK AGAIN: Loved, Then Left
By Jonathan Rosenblum
The world has finally bid adieu to the most formidably talented politician of our generation - a man able to project intimate emotional contact to millions.
Among those who will miss US President Bill Clinton most are Israelis. According to last week's Yediot Ahranot poll, 72% of Israelis like Clinton. Yoel Marcus' farewell in Ha'aretz, in which he described Clinton as the "friendliest, most involved, most caring, most well-meaning American president ever," was typical.
Yet if confronted with the standard question in American political campaigns - Do you feel more secure and confident about the future than you did eight years ago? - an overwhelming majority of Israelis would answer in the negative.
Like other special friends of Bill, it is not clear that Israel has been well-served by the relationship.
For the first time, Israeli Jews - 67% according to an October Yediot poll - are expressing doubts about Israel's continued existence. Former Supreme Court President Moshe Landau recently told Avi Shavit of his doubts that his grandchildren will live out their lives in Israel.
Clinton's final present, the Clinton Plan, which was accepted by Prime Minister Barak, would leave Israel defenseless. Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz told the Knesset Foreign Relations and Defense Committee that the plan would render Israel far more vulnerable to terrorists, destabilize Jordan (and with it Israel's entire eastern flank) and threaten dozens of Jerusalem neighborhoods with the fate of Gilo.
Clinton did not initiate the Oslo process; nor did he single-handedly sustain it. Internal Israeli weakness and messianic delusions fueled that process. But he pressured successive Israeli governments into an ongoing stream of concessions without receiving the one thing that could justify the process: Arafat's commitment to peaceful co-existence and a willingness to prepare his own people for compromise. The Palestinian demands remain today exactly the same as in 1993.
Israeli protests of Palestine Authority violations of the Oslo Accords were consistently ignored. So it was, for instance, when Israel protested the doubling and then quadrupling of the Palestinian police forces allowed under Oslo into a full-fledged army.
When the Netanyahu government vociferously insisted on enforcement of PA undertakings, it was treated as an obstacle to peace by the White House. Clinton's closest political advisors were dispatched to ensure a Barak victory in 1999, as America involved itself to an unprecedented degree in internal Israeli politics.
Clinton took pains to prettify Arafat's image as a peacemaker. A 1995 Government Accounting Office study of PA finances was classified and never saw the light of day. After the House International Relations Committee screened film clips of Arafat calling for jihad against Israel in September 1995, Clinton personally intervened with all the major news organizations so that the event was unreported.
Half a year later, he falsely certified before the whole world that the PLO Covenant calling for Israel's destruction had been revoked, when all Arafat had done was refer the matter to a committee. In his last weeks in office, Clinton announced that Arafat had accepted the contours of his blueprint, even as Palestinian negotiators were explicitly rejecting both its premises and its provisions.
Far from acting forcefully to encourage a revision of Palestinian textbooks and an end to incitement against Jews and Israel in the PA media, the US brokered the 1999 Sharm agreements in which clauses concerning PA incitement were eliminated. The joint American-Israeli-Palestinian task force created under the Wye Agreements to monitor PA incitement ceased meeting in January of this year because of US Ambassador Martin Indyk's lack of interest.
Any true relationship must be based on trust and honesty between the parties. That good faith has often been lacking from the US-Israeli relationship over the past eight years.
Most egregious was the broken presidential promise at Wye to pardon Jonathan Pollard. So confident was Netanyahyu of that promise that a senior Israeli Embassy official told reporters that Pollard was already "on the plane."
Clinton set Barak up for the role of abandoned maiden. Like a practiced roue, he showed an instinctive grasp of Barak's vulnerabilities and psychological needs. The sole desideratum of Israeli foreign policy under Barak has been the need to maintain American approval.
Wild promises that no American Congress would have ever approved - billions of dollars in aid, exclusive technology transfers, the stationing of American peacekeepers - were repeatedly made to Barak. First in return for withdrawal from the Golan, later in return for retreat from Lebanon, and finally as a quid pro quo for reckless concessions to Arafat at Camp David and after. Yet Clinton left office with the upgrade in strategic relations so frequently dangled in front of Barak still unsigned.
The true lover, Plato informs us, seeks the benefit of the beloved. "Our best friend ever," however, placed the interests of American arms manufacturers above Israel's security needs. The strenuous Defense Department opposition to the Phalcon sale, three years after first being informed of the deal, was a catastrophic blow to Israel's defense industry. Clinton repeatedly pressured Israel into granting America a veto over Israeli military sales, and required much of American military aid to be spent on American goods, even where superior Israeli products were available.
At a time when America is transferring the same advanced technology to Egypt and Saudia Arabia, a viable local defense industry is crucial to Israel's ability to maintain a qualitative edge. That viability has been seriously damaged by US policy.
The fate of Czechoslovakia, sealed at Munich, should serve as a permanent reminder of the danger of relying on the good will of superpowers. The Czechs believed that having ceded territory at Britain's behest, Britain would commit itself to the defense of Czechoslovakia. But superpowers, like the US today and Britain then, have interests of their own - lessening the threat of Arab terrorism, lower oil prices, a Nobel Prize for the president. They encourage smaller countries to compromise to avoid problems for themselves, not to risk losing their own troops in defense of others.
By succumbing to Clinton's charms, Barak has placed Israel in the situation of Czechoslovakia in 1939.
Somehow I doubt that's what Clinton's pastor had in mind when he adjured him in his dying words: Never do anything to endanger Israel.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 16, 2001
THE BIG LIE' TACTIC
By Evelyn Gordon
One of the most surprising developments of the past few weeks has been the support expressed by many ordinary Americans and Europeans for the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees to Israel. What is surprising about this proposition, put forth in numerous letters and opinion pieces published in the press recently, is that it accords Palestinians a "right" enjoyed by virtually no other refugees in history.
Most of the writers are unaware of this. But that so many well-meaning people can mindlessly parrot the canard that the repatriation of refugees is an "inalienable right" is yet another proof of the efficacy of the well-known tactic of the "big lie" - that any lie, however outrageous, will eventually be believed if repeated often enough. Certainly, it would be hard to think of many lies as easily disprovable as the idea that refugees have a "right of return" to their former homes.
The history of the 20th century is one long lesson in the falsity of this claim. To cite just a few examples:
* Millions of Moslems fled India for Pakistan following the bloody riots of 1947. India not only stripped them of citizenship, but barred them, in its constitution, from ever returning. No one ever suggested that these Moslems had a "right of return."
* After World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled all its German citizens. Yet no one suggested that the millions of Sudeten Germans had a "right of return." In 1997, Germany even signed a treaty acknowledging the irrevocability of the expulsion.
* When the communists took power in Vietnam, millions of "boat people" fled to the United States and various Asian countries. No one has ever suggested that these people have a "right of return."
* In the five years after its establishment in 1948, Israel absorbed close to 500,000 Jewish refugees - about half from the wreckage of the Holocaust and the remainder from Arab countries.
A similar number poured in over the next three years. As a result, the new state's population had doubled by 1953 and tripled by 1956. Yet no one has ever suggested that these refugees have a "right of return" to their countries of origin.
In fact, none of these refugees were even granted monetary compensation - another "inalienable right" claimed for the Palestinians. Nor is there any lack of other examples that fit this pattern. Why, then, are the Palestinian refugees so unquestionably awarded a "right" enjoyed by virtually no other refugees in history?
The best explanation lies in a circumstance that is also virtually unique to the Palestinians: Unlike most of history's refugees, the countries to which the Palestinians fled refused to absorb them - preferring to leave them in squalid refugee camps for the sake of encouraging anti-Israel sentiment.
The Moslems who fled India became full-fledged citizens of Pakistan. The Sudeten Germans were fully absorbed in Germany. The Vietnamese boat people are now productive citizens of the US. Jewish refugees from the Arab world have been fully integrated into Israel.
Yet the Palestinians - whose Arab hosts bear direct responsibility for their flight - through their decision to declare war on Israel rather than accepting the UN partition plan - still languish in refugee camps after 52 years.
Jordan, at least, granted its Palestinian refugees citizenship, but made no effort to get them out of the camps. This is why refugee camps were still flourishing when Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967, after 19 years of Jordanian rule.
Yet the refugees who fled to Jordanian-controlled territory were lucky: Those who went to Lebanon, for instance, not only were not made citizens, but were also deprived of basic civil rights, such as the right to work in over 70 different professions.
Ironically, the one country that did try to improve the situation of the refugees was Israel.
In Gaza, for instance, some 36,000 refugees had been moved into better housing by 1973, before international pressure and PLO threats against the refugees put a stop to the project.
The most astonishing element in this tale of neglect, however, is the role of the Palestinians themselves.
Most of the refugees have been under autonomous Palestinian rule for the last five years - yet the Palestinian Authority has spent not one cent of the millions of dollars it received in foreign aid to improve their living conditions. Apparently, it, too, prefers to let its people suffer for propaganda purposes.
It is impossible not to pity refugees who, thanks to the callous unconcern of their fellow Arabs, have been living in misery for the last 50 years. But that does not entitle them to a "right of return" accorded no other refugees in history.
The only just solution to their problem is for the Arab world, and particularly the Palestinian state-to-be, to absorb them - just as Israel has absorbed Jewish refugees the world over since 1948.
THE CONTRIVED MYTHS: of SABRA & SHATILLA; WAR IN LEBANON; & THE CAUSE OF THE AL AKSA INTIFADA'
By Gail Winston
Head of M.E.I.R., Mid East Information Resource
Let us start with a story told to me by a knowing friend: A woman had a lover. Her husband knew she did but he didn't stop her. She wanted to see her lover. He told her to come to his home. "But, you live in a dangerous neighborhood." "If you want to see me, come anyway." Her husband knew she was going but didn't stop her. She went to his dangerous neighborhood and she was murdered. The question is: "Whose fault was it that she was murdered." [Answer at the end of this article.]
The Media both in Israel and in the U.S., following the State Department lead, are already smearing Ariel Sharon with the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla, that the "Peace for Galilee War in Lebanon in 1982 was unnecessary', and that Arik Sharon's visit to the Jewish Temple Mount caused what the Media now calls the Al Aksa Intifada'. These 3 myths appear in every article about the Likud candidate for Prime Minister in Israel's February 6th snap elections. However, there are a few facts which have been conveniently discarded by perennial Israel bashers.
First, there was an intense vicious war going on in Lebanon that had nothing to do with Israel. Between the Lebanese Muslims and the Lebanese Christians there were so many factions killing each other in horrible ways, it was almost impossible to keep track. The total number of Muslims and Christians who killed each other added up to 100,000 in the 12 year Civil War that really began in earnest when Arafat entered in 1970.
Arafat's PLO established his own mini-state of terrorism in Lebanon. These were the Palestinians who escaped from Jordan after what the PLO calls Black September when King Hussein massacred more than 10,000 Palestinians who were trying to overthrow his kingdom. There were 26 agreements that Arafat had agreed to in controlling his PLO within Jordan - all of which Arafat broke. It was forgotten that it was the Jews who rescued thousands of Palestinians from the Jordan River as they were escaping from King Hussein's Bedouin warriors. Arafat's Palestinians turned Lebanon into a jungle of warfare as they stirred up hatred between Lebanese Christians and Lebanese Muslims. The Civil War in Lebanon lasted in Lebanon lasted for 12 years - from the time Arafat came in with his Palestinians in 1970 (Black September) until Israel came in 1982. The Lebanese greeted the Israeli soldiers with flowers of happiness and hope that the Israelis would rescue them from the bloody wars of PLO between the Christians and Muslims. From his base of operations in Lebanon Arafat launched innumerable terrorist attacks against Israel.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin always denied that then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon had "dragged" him and Israel into an "unnecessary" war in Lebanon. Israeli intelligence knew that Arafat was poised and armed for a major war against Israel. Under Gen. Sharon the Israelis successfully pushed the PLO terrorist army all the way to the outskirts of Beirut. The Israelis discovered that Arafat had built huge tunnels throughout the areas they controlled. These tunnels were loaded with tons of weapons and Arafat's "secret" plans to invade Israel very soon. But, of course, that isn't ever reported or remembered when each article lambasting Sharon accuses him of leading Israel into an unnecessary war. The fact that Arafat and his PLO were actively planning a war and had the weapons to commit major atrocities was keep as a secret closely held by the professional journalists. That War in Lebanon was justified as self-defense and inevitable because Jews were again being killed by cross-border terrorist raids and plans imminent war.
What makes professional journalists keep such secrets in order to smear a man for all his life and to skew an election where he is 20 points ahead in the polls 13 days before the vote?
The Media has blown up the concept that Gen. Arik Sharon brought Israel into Lebanon, that it was his fault Israel couldn't finish their victory; and that it was his fault that Israel had to stay in her self-declared security zone and that many, too many Jewish soldiers were killed. Of course, the Media tars and feathers Sharon with Sabra and Shatilla - and that the Kahan Commission accused him of (not causing but) failing to stop the Sabra and Shatilla massacre.
Their complete blacklisting of Sharon was enabled and assisted by the famous "secret " section of the Kahan committee. The Hebrew newspaper MA'ARIV on its internet site, claims that because it was kept secret it was always viewed as trying to "hide" something terrible about Arik Sharon. However, a recent book by Attorney Yosef Dar who worked for the Shin Bet security service for a few years, maintains that the Kahan Commission did Sharon a serious injustice. Most interestingly, Tom Segev, well-known as extreme left wing revisionist historian did an excellent review in HA'ARETZ despite a long history of openly hating Sharon. (1)
To remind you of the events: In September 1982 Christian Phalange units entered the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut under the auspice of the IDF and murder about 800 people in revenge for the assassination of Lebanon's president-elect, Bashir Jemayel.
A key fact about why the Israelis still near enough to have heard a possible massacre and did not stop it was revealed in a tenth anniversary broadcast by NPR, National Public Radio. The massacre was called the "Night of the Long Knives" because that those were the weapons the Christian Phalangist murderers chose because they could not be heard. (No shots were fired.)
The Kahan Commission of Inquiry, headed by the president of the Supreme Court at that time, Justice Yitzhak Kahan, which was appointed to investigate, effectively removed Ariel Sharon from his post as Defense Minister.
However, Yosef Dar's explosive book "Phalange Justice" exposes the "secret" annex which entirely exonerates Arik Sharon of any culpability for this massacre and condemns others of malfeasance of office, conflict of interest, not taking responsibility, etc. (but that isn't important to this story). Sharon was NOT culpable.
The fact that he won his libel suit against TIME Magazine should have proven to the media that Arik Sharon was not to be and could not be smeared ever again over Sabra and Shatilla. Unfortunately, the truths revealed were not sustained. The media continues to blacken Sharon's name. He is such a colorful target.
Another book: "From Israel to Damascus: Lebanon, the Mystery of the Unknown" by Robert Maroun Hatem, known as Cobra, he describes how Elie Hobeika, known as H.K. planned to destroy Lebanon so he could become a minister in the current Pro-Syrian Lebanese structure. Bashir Gemayel who was the popular Lebanese Christian slated to be President of the new Lebanon, now that Israel had freed it of the PLO terrorists. Hobeika was responsible for killing Gemayel, ordering his men to "totally annihilate" everyone in the camps, and was instrumental in the fall of the Likud Government. He was protected from revenge reprisals by Hafez Assad.
Cobra describes in detail the tragedy of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres and the Syrian responsibility for the deaths - as well as the innocence of Gen. Ariel Sharon and the Christians of the South Lebanese Army. Hobeika said there were about 2000 terrorists still hiding in Sabra and Shatilla. Hobeika had a key elite force of 200 men high on regular and immoderate use of heroine and cocaine. Sharon ordered him to behave like a regular army, round up the terrorists left behind after the Israelis forced the evacuation of the PLO in August, 1982 to Tunisia. This book is a complete eye-witness testimony and description of exactly what happened. Syria was behind it. It was discovered later and proven that Bashir Gemayel's actual assassin, Habib Tanios Shartuni was a secret member of the pro-Syrian anti-Kataeb Party. (2)
The third major myth that Arik Sharon caused what the Arabs and the world Media call the "Al Aksa Intifada" has been disproved by the facts. There were several attacks by PLO Palestinian Police against Israelis prior to the start of what should be called the Rosh Hashanah War 2000 on September 23rd. One Palestinian Policeman point-blank killed the Israeli with whom he was on joint patrol 2 days before Sharon went to the Temple Mount. there were several other egregious incidents preceeding Rosh Hashanah. The Muslims will never tolerate Jews visiting their most Holy Site, the Temple Mount. Israeli intelligence presented voluminous information to the U.S. that Arafat was planning a major assault against Israel and that Sharon's visit was merely used as an excuse. But, this smear was readily accepted by the Media and the World.
Arik Sharon is the only man in Israel now for whom the Arabs feel fear and respect. It is only he for whom they will make peace because they know they cannot best him in war or in political negotiations. And the Arabs know that Sharon cannot be pushed around by America, by any presidential administration nor any State Department career Arabists. They will have no power over him and that is why they are using every dirty trick they can imagine.
Israel will be strong again. Jews the world over will experience a re-born pride in their Jewish identity. The Arabs within Israel, in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jerusalem will fear Sharon sufficiently to respect the Jews again.
All of the Labor Left's concessions offered to date to Arafat have merely engendered a furious contempt for Israel, for the Jews within Israel and an Arab chutzpah to take more and much more of Israel - as Arafat shows on his maps, army badges, stationary, etc. the new State of Palestine covers over all of Israel. And as Arafat has proclaimed since signing Oslo in 1993,
"The war of the stones will not stop until the Palestinian flags fly over all of Jerusalem's mosques and churches and is the capital of the new state of Palestine and only that state - and whoever doesn't like it can drink Gaza sea water."
I challenge the Media and the Ministry of Education to enter into these historical issues to investigate the truths of these myths. If these myths are exposed and the truth is taught to our kids, we have a chance for peace in the next generation. Myths are very difficult to shatter and destroy unless you can teach a new and true myth.
Is the Media mounting a smear campaign against Sharon using these 3 myths? To wit: The LONDON SUNDAY TIMES, January 21st in a photo caption under a picture of Arik Sharon: "On the warpath: Sharon, left, campaigning last week, has a long history of being uncompromising in his readiness to use troops against Palestinians and Israel's neighbors." (3)
If there are any honest and true investigative journalists in the field today, they could do a great service and win a Pulitzer Prize for daring to debunk the myths which are undermining our Jewish and our Israeli identities.
1. "Study finds Aharon Barak's Conflict of Interest Biased Kahan Commission against Sharon n Investigation of Sabra & Shatilla Investigation" by Yosef Dar (reviewed by Tom Segev HA'ARETZ 12/29/2000)
2. "From Israel to Damascus - Lebanon: The Mystery of the Unknown" by Robert Maroun Hatem Chapter 8
3. Photo caption under picture of Arik Sharon LONDON SUNDAY TIMES Jan. 21, 2001
Answer to the question "Who was at fault for the woman being murdered?" If you answered anyone but the murderer, you don't understand the Middle East or Sabra and Shatilla.