Christopher Barder, Yossi Ben -Aharon, Louis Rene Beres, Gary Cooperberg, Uri Dan, Moshe Feiglin, Elaykim Ha'etzni, Morton Klein, Dr. Aaron Lerner, Dr. Steven Plaut, Yehuda Poch, Jonathan Rosenblum, Boris Shusteff, David Wilder, Emanuel A. Winston, Moshe Zak
WHY I WON'T WEEP FOR KING HUSSEIN....An Editorial....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
THE RETURN TO ZIONISM....Guest Editorial....Boris Shusteff 4
POLLARD MUST BE SET FREE
TWO SHORT POLLARD ARTICLES....Morton Klein and Jewish Press editorial 5
BRING JONATHAN HOME....Jonathan Rosenblum 6
CONSPIRACY AGAINST POLLARD & ISRAEL.....Emanuel A. Winston 8
THE COMING ISRAELI ELECTION: AN ANALYSIS....Yehuda Poch 12
ET TU, BEGIN....Moshe Feiglin 18
CLUCKING AWAY....David Wilder 19
A LACK OF CLARITY....Moshe Zak 21
BEYOND THE FRONT-RUNNERS....Dr. Aaron Lerner 22
BURST BALLOON.....Uri Dan 24
A CHOICE, NOT AN ECHO....Yossi Ben-Aharon 25
DIRTY POLITICAL TRICKS....Emanuel A. Winston 26
THE ELECTIONS AND SECURITY.....Christopher Barder 27
ELYAKIM HA'ETZNI ON GENERAL SHAHAK 28
IMRA'S WEEKLY COMMENTARY ON ARUTZ 7.....Dr. Aaron Lerner 30
ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
HUSSEIN'S DEATH: A PRELUDE TO GREATER PALESTINE?.... Elyakim Haetzni 32
HYPOCRISY....Boris Shusteff 36
CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT....Boris Shusteff 38
PRAYING WITH ARAFAT....Louis Rene Beres 40
BETRAYAL OF THE LAND....Rachel 7 42
WHEN ONE SLEEPS WITH DOGS, He Should Not Be Surprised To Wake Up With Fleas....Gary Cooperberg 43
MEASURES OF STRENGTH....David Wilder 45
TO SHARE OUR SOVEREIGNTY IS TO SURRENDER IT....Gary Cooperberg 46
HOW MANY JEWS MUST BE KILLED BEFORE
WE TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY..Gary Cooperberg 48
SYRIA TO GO ARMS SHOPPING...Daniel Sobelman 50
ISRAELI FASCISM....Dr. Steven Plaut 50
ISLAM - THE ARAB IMPERIALISM....Anwar Shaikh....Book Review...Ibn al Rawandi 51
O LAND OF ZION....Poetry....Bernard J. Shapiro 54
WE ARE ALL SETTLERS....Poetry.....Evelyn Hayes 55
The passing of King Hussein of Jordan has unleashed a huge torrent
of praise and adulation. One could imagine that the King was gd
like, a man of few flaws and much good deeds. A man who sought
peace above all else. I have a contrarian view. One where his
vile and despicable deeds are interred with his bones and his
good is magnified beyond all recognition.
Hussein ruled east Jerusalem between 195267. During that period
he oversaw the destruction of 56 synagogues and much of the Jewish
Quarter of the city. He failed to honor the 1949 Armistice and
allow Jews pray at the Wall, their Holy Site. He desecrated the
graves of pious Jews buried on the Mount of Olives, making latrines
of their tombstones for his army.
In later years he hosted terrorists dedicated to destroying Israel.
When they threatened his rule, he simply massacred 20,000 of them.
He had common interests with Israel and there was frequent cooperation.
It all served his interest and was not done out of grace and love
for the Jews.
Hussein was a great survivor, which he managed by playing off
various conflicting interests. During the Gulf War he sided with
Iraq despite its obvious intention to destroy Israel. He forbade
Israel from overflying his territory to retaliate against Saddam's
When he finally made peace with Israel it was only with massive
bribes: money from the US and 100 million cubic meters of scarce
water from Israel. In addition he demanded and got Israeli territory
in the Arava Valley. He generally supported Oslo for the same
reasons that Arafat supported it: It would diminish and weaken
Israel. this had been an Arab goal for 45 years. He did fear a
rising Palestinian State and hoped Olso would entangle Israel
and the Palestinians for many years, diverting the threat from
When two Mossad agents were caught trying to kill a leading Islamic
terrorist in Amman, he deliberately embarrassed Israel and insisted
on the release the head of the Hamas terrorist organization, Sheik
Yassin. We must remember that the Mossad had worked for decades
protecting the King from assassination and plots against the throne.
The media has focused on his "quest for peace" in the
Middle East. In all of his negotiations and discussions on the
subject, he never found the need to support the Israeli position.
He never asked Mubarak of Egypt to warm up the peace with Israel.
He never asked Arafat to stop terrorism and comply with his Oslo
obligations. When Clinton brought him to Wye, the purpose was
clear. It was to apply pressure on Israel to sign on the dotted
line. To accept another flawed agreement.
And so, I won't mourn for King Hussein. I find the media extravagance disgusting. And most of all I find the outpouring of praise from Israeli leaders to be opportunistic. Surely they must know the facts above. I can not offer redemption to King Hussein for any good he did during his latter life. He will be judged like all men by HaShem who will weigh the good that he did on a scale of justice with the bad.
Some students, after solving a mathematical problem given as homework, peek into the solution section and correct their answer if it is different from the one in the textbook. It does not occur to them that there could be a mistake or a typo in the book and that their answer may have been correct. Many Israeli leaders today resemble these students in their dependency on public opinion surveys. Instead of following a certain political line they constantly adjust their policy according to the latest poll results. Nothing can prove this better than the creation of the socalled "centrist" party, which should really be called the "instant poll" party.
This illness has not spared the nationalist camp either. As soon as some polls showed that voters are moving away from Benny Begin to Yitzhak Mordekhai, voices began to sound, calling for Begin to withdraw his candidacy from the Prime Ministerial race in order not to hurt Netanyahu's chances for reelection. Somehow principles and ideology do not count anymore. The Yesha council is in disarray, and its leaders are threatening to resign if the council does not support Netanyahu. All of Netanyahu's "sins" are forgotten and he is again envisioned as the future "savior" of the country.
It is very much possible that Netanyahu is the best choice for the nationalist camp, but this is only true if he can be steered in the right direction. And the driver's seat must be taken by the minor "rightist" parties. They must define their positions clearly and forcefully. Only by adopting an unbending nationalistic stand will the minor Israeli parties Herut, Moledet, Tzomet, Tekumah and Yisrael Beytenu be able to force Likud to return to its former position of the unacceptability of relinquishing any part of Eretz Yisrael.
On January 22, leader of the new Yisrael Beytenu Party Avigdor
Lieberman in an interview with Tel Aviv "Novosti Nedeli "called
for an "ideological renovation" when he said, What is
particularly bitter and painful for me is lack of principles,
cynicism and the loss of ideals... A state, particularly a state
such as ours, cannot exist without a clearly defined purpose.
The general devilmaycare attitude is spreading wider and wider,
like an oil spot on the water surface. Today, the very notion
of the "Zionist idea" which was the foundation on which
Israel was built sounds as something obsolete, an anachronism.
The return to Zionism is the only solution that will allow Israel to have a future. Only by going back to Zionist principles the first and foremost of which is settlement will it be possible to change the situation. It is not a coincidence that, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper "Vesti" from February 5, fifty two percent of Moledet members constitute immigrants from the former USSR. Separated for generations from their homeland they instinctively cling to a nationalist party. They, better than many "sabras," understand what it means to regain a homeland. Their dormant nationalist feelings are finally awakened, and they cherish every inch of the Jewish land and are ready to fight for it.
However, it would be unfair to say that it is only the Russian Jews who are "nationalistic." The favorite Israeli resource of information polls can serve as an eye opener for those who claim that the land is not important. A survey conducted among the Jewish population on January 27 by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University showed that 66.3% said "No" to "the establishment of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital [even] if this would remove the last stumbling block on the way to true peace between Israel and the Palestinians." What is extremely interesting is that 77.9% of the survey participants are "greatly or somewhat supportive of the peace process between Israel and the Arabs" and 11.4% are "in the middle."
This survey clearly indicates that the Jewish people still long for the Jewish land. It is the task of the nationalist parties to touch the most sensitive strings of the Jewish soul. By accentuating the true Jewish and Zionist values the nationalist parties and Likud could guarantee a victory in upcoming elections. In order to attract the voters they need to convince them that they really mean what they preach.
While a strong nationalist stand is a must for the "rightist" parties, unity is a must too. When Benny Begin says that he is not going to join forces with Rehavam Ze'evi because the latter's "transfer" idea (relocating the Arabs of Judea and Samaria to other Arab countries) is "antieducational," he simply misses the point that Moledet's main idea an undivided Eretz Yisrael is very much proeducational. There are and there always will be differences between the nationalist Israeli parties, but much more important is the common link that unites them. This common link the allabsorbing love for Eretz Yisrael and the unshakable belief in the necessity to settle every corner of Judea, Samaria and Gaza should become the foundation of unity.
The Zionist ideology must be reborn. What can be more sacred then the love of one's homeland? The twothousandyear yearnings for Zion and Jerusalem that were suppressed by postZionism need to be released from their incarceration. Like a mighty river they should sweep away the ghetto mentality and selfhatred that ruins the Jewish state. The Israeli Jews should proudly raise their head and declare to the whole world that they love their Land. It is so natural to love it. It deserves to be loved. Every inch of it is soaked with Jewish blood, sweat and tears. It is the love of Eretz Yisrael that allowed the Jewish people to withstand the inferno of the Holocaust. It is Eretz Yisrael where the Jewish people found shelter after being abandoned by the whole world.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin in his Commentary on the Weekly Torah reading
for 20 Shvat, 5759 (February 6, 1999) wrote, "It is no mere
coincidence that both the Torah of Israel as well as the Land
of Israel are called 'morasha,' which our Sages connect to 'me'orasa,'
or 'beloved fiancee.' One must love the Torah as well as the land
if one is to acquire each of them." This love creates miracles.
It turned the desolate and withered land into an oasis. It returned
the People to the Land. It can preserve the Land for the People.
This love can be expressed in words. Since it is fashionable for
Israeli political parties to have a campaign slogan the united
Nationalist Front should adopt one too. It can simply state, "To
Love and to Settle the Homeland." 02/05/98
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is
also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic
Studies. Unless indicated otherwise, the translations of the Jewish
press are from I & G News.
EHUD BARAK, JONATHAN POLLARD - JAMES CARVILLE
JEWISH PRESS (New York) EDITORIAL -- January 29, 1999.
Several weeks ago THE JEWISH PRESS reported that
Prime Minister Netanyahu and his chief rival, Ehud Barak, had
agreed to send a joint letter to President Clinton urging the
release of Jonathan Pollard. A draft of a letter was prepared
and the matter reportedly only awaited Mr. Barak's signature.
To our dismay, we learned the other day that Mr. Barak had informed
the Prime Minister, publicly, that he would not be signing the
letter, giving as his reason that he believed that a public declaration
of support at this time, not only would not help, but would be
We are not aware of any change in the political atmosphere that
ordinarily would have prompted this remarkable aboutface regarding
an issue that has come to symbolize to most Israelis a demand
for fair play. And we are thunderstruck that a public declaration
is the problem. Nothing about Mr. Pollard could happen out of
the public eye for the next 50 years!
It seems to us then that what is up is the stealthy hand of Mr.
Barak's head of campaign, the Clintondispatched James Carville.
We can well understand that the President may not want to risk
antagonizing those members of the Senate who are opposed to clemency
for Pollard and must vote at his impeachment trial. So we can
also understand why Mr. Carville would importune Mr.Barak to forbear.
What eludes us, however is why Mr. Barak would go along.
In truth the fortunes of neither the American nor the Israeli
republics depend upon what happens to Mr. Pollard. But it is clear
to anyone who has taken the time to think about the treatment
meted out to him that the whole matter reeks. From the reneging
of the Justice Department on a plea bargain to Caspar Weinberger's
"Trustmehedidsomethingterrible" last minute secret
memorandum to the court at sentencing, to the extraordinary life
sentence, to the continuing leaks cryptically hinting at continuing
threats to America's security, the Pollard case is unique and
has been recognized as such by Jews around the world.
At all events, Ehud Barak, the man who would be prime minister,
owes an explanation to the Israeli electorate and indeed to world
Jewry, as to why he is a willing pawn in a Clinton scenario at
the expense of an important Jewish issue.
SEYMOUR HERSH'S DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN
By Morton Klein National President, Zionist Organization of America
THE JEWISH PRESS -- January 29, 1999.
In a widely publicized article in a recent issue of THE
NEW YORKER, journalist Seymour Hersh claimed Jonathan
Pollard should stay behind bars because according to Hersh
some of the data Pollard gave Israel was then forwarded by the
Israelis to the Soviet Union.
But Hersh neglected to inform his reading public of a crucial
point he made the same allegations back in 1991, and they were
based on a source that turned out to be, in the words of THE
JERUSALEM POST, "a notorious, chronic liar."
In other words, Hersh is just recycling information from a discredited
source in order to harm Pollard. Perhaps that is not surprising,
considering Hersh's long record of extreme antiIsrael bias. In
1982, for example, he gave a speech at Hiram College in which
he "compared Israeli attitudes toward the Palestinians to
American views toward the Vietnamese and the Nazis' policy toward
Jews. (according to NEAR EAST REPORT)
The fact that Hersh has stooped to recycling allegations that
were discredited eight years ago is an indication of the weakness
of the case made by Pollard's enemies. No reasonable case can
be made to keep Pollard in jail any longer. Pollard is the victim
of an outrageous double standard, in which he has been punished
far more severely for spying for an ally of America than the punishments
given out to those who have spied for nations that are not friendly
to the United States. The time has come for President Clinton
to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 8, 1999
President Bill Clinton is scheduled to conclude another review of the Jonathan Pollard case next week. The latest clemency review is the sop offered by Clinton after reneging on his unequivocal promise at Wye to release Pollard. No defender of Pollard has been heard on his behalf. His fate will again be decided on the basis of information supplied solely by those determined to see him die in jail.
Unlike Alfred Dreyfus, Pollard is not innocent. He committed a serious crime for which he has already served a longer sentence than anyone ever convicted of the same offense. The average prison term for spying for allies is two to four years. But just as the Dreyfus case was an indictment of French justice, so is the Pollard case a stark indictment of American justice.
Pollard was charged and pleaded guilty to one count of delivering defense information with intent to aid a foreign nation i.e., Israel, a staunch American ally. As in any espionage case, the US government was eager to avoid a trial and the inevitable exposure of intelligence secrets such a trial entails. And it was doubly eager in Pollard's case, because a trial would have revealed how the US had failed to fulfill its treaty obligations to supply intelligence data to Israel and the full extent of its tilt toward Iraq in the early '80s, which included countenancing Iraq's missile buildup and development of weapons of mass destruction.
Lest there be any doubt of the strength of Pollard's bargaining position, consider the case of Aldrich Ames. For large payments to support a lavish lifestyle, Ames exposed over 30 American agents to the Soviets, leading directly to their executions. He nevertheless secured in return for his plea bargain, assignment to a minimum security prison, where he has his own private room and TV, no work requirement, and access to an18hole golf course.
Meanwhile, Pollard shares a cell with four other inmates, works eight hours or more a day, and is denied kosher food. And that's a picnic after seven years in a hospital for the criminally insane and subsequently in isolation in America's toughest federal prison. In return for his plea bargain, Pollard received the maximum sentence under the statute in short, a "bargain" in which one side received absolutely nothing.
Government prosecutors made three promises to Pollard: that they would not ask for a life sentence, that they would inform the court of the great importance of his cooperation in the assessment of damage from his activities, and that they would limit their presentation to the court to the "facts and circumstances of the case." The prosecutors broke, in the words of Washington DC Circuit Court Judge Stephen Williams, every one of these promises in spirit and the third in letter as well.
MENTION OF Pollard's cooperation including nine months of interrogation and 52 polygraphs was tucked away in the middle of a section of the government's submission detailing why he should receive a substantial sentence. Far from limiting themselves to the "facts," the government prosecutors loaded their submission with the most conclusory allegations of Pollard's venality, addiction to a high lifestyle, arrogance, and deceitfulness allegations belied by the fact that Pollard initially volunteered his information to Israel and it was his handlers who insisted on relatively small payments.
Though he did not explicitly ask for a life sentence, the chief prosecutor later told reporters that he hoped Pollard "never sees the light of day again." And he acted accordingly. Most damaging, of course, was the last minute in camera submission of then defense secretary Caspar Weinberger. Pollard and his attorneys were never given a copy of the allegations presented to the sentencing judge by Weinberger, and were thus unable to rebut them. It is harder to imagine a greater affront to the due process right to confront one's accusers.
In the public part of Weinberger's submission, he labeled Pollard
a "traitor," a crime of with which he was not charged
and was not guilty. Weinberger told the judge that he could not
imagine a crime "more deserving of a severe punishment"
or which had done "greater harm to national security,"
all but demanding the maximum sentence. Jonathan Pollard was thus
sentenced for the crime of damaging the United States a crime
with which the government had explicitly refrained from charging
him. By implication, Israel was transformed into an enemy.
Compare the case of US Navy Cmdr. Michael Schwartz (not Jewish), who sold secrets to the Saudis. Schwartz's only punishment was a less than honorable discharge, and nary a word of criticism of the Saudis was heard.
Weinberger had good reason to be piqued with Pollard. He favored keeping Israel vulnerable, and Pollard reduced that vulnerability. But the claim that Pollard damaged US security interests will not bear scrutiny. Professor Angelo Codevilla, who as chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1985 had access to the full Pollard file, recently stated flatly that while Pollard subverted Washington's then proIraq and proArab policy, he barely affected intelligence operations: "No US communication intercept system was taken out of service or had its budget affected...; nor was any US agent 'forced out of the cold.'"
Clinton is fond of lecturing Israel on the importance of confidencebuilding measures. Israel herself could use some confidencebuilding measures now, especially when Pollard's chief persecutors seem to be the same CIA charged with policing the Wye Accords. In seeking those measures, let us recall as Jews and Israelis, the words of the Shulhan Aruch: "There is no greater mitzva than the redemption of captives."
(c) 1999 The Jerusalem Post
Jonathan Rosenblum is a biographer and contributing editor
to the 'Jewish Observer'.
Never in our recorded history have so many Intelligence Agencies,
the Military and the Politicians conspired to keep one man in
jail. Their zeal verges on mass hysteria which is so blatant it
makes one wonder if they are anxious to protect the United States
Jonathan Pollard betrayed a trust or did he? He gave Israel
information about Soviet supplied weapons to Iraq, Syria, Libya
and other Arab countries, including NBC (Nuclear, Biological and
Chemical) materials and missile technology to deliver it. According
to several prior MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) including
1983 by a long line of American Presidents and Congress, this
vital information was to be shared with Israel as part of American
policy to insure Israel's defensive viability against a host of
surrounding hostile Arab countries. And yet powerful men like
Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Admiral Bobby Ray Inman,
Deputy CIA Director embargoed this life and death information
from Israel. Inman was enraged by Israel's bombing of the Iraqi
nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1991 and from that point on, deliberately
withheld this information from Israel. Weinberger tried to insure
a "Level Playing Field" for the combined Arab confrontation
States arrayed against Israel. (What exactly was the Weinberger
Inman relationship with Saddam which enraged them.)
Caspar Weinberger revealed his knowledge of Saddam Hussein's intentions
to use gas capability against Israel during a radio interview
which we heard during the first SCUD attack on Israel, January
18,1991. Weinberger said: "It's a shame that Saddam is using
poison gas against Israel." In 1983 when Pollard protested
the embargo of this information from Israel, he was told by his
superiors: "Don't tell the Jews. They're too sensitive about
gas." Weinberger's secret memorandum to Judge Aubrey Robinson
before his sentencing of Pollard to "Life with No Parole"
has never been shown to any of Pollard's lawyers, violating American
justice of the defendant's rights to confront his accusers. We
know from Justice Arthur Goldberg's admission that Weinberger
falsely accused Pollard of spying for South Africa to enrage Judge
Robinson (who is black).
After the US government abrogated its plea agreement with Pollard,
they locked him down in solitary first in a prison for criminally
insane and then at Marion Illinois' maximum security prison for
over 7 years. He is now in his 14th year of prison 4 times what
others who spied for allies received. Clearly, the conditions
of lockdown were more than to keep him isolated and more like
an effort to break him, possibly ending in a staged suicide.
Whenever the American and Israeli people, the Congress and the
Knesset have moved in unity to urge commutation of Pollard's sentence
to time served or for any kind of leniency against his sentence
of "Life with No Parole", the Intelligence community
has arisen in a vast coordinated movement to stop it. By now the
punishment has gone beyond any imprisonment of any spy, particularly
one who warned an ally that Saddam Hussein was building up his
NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) arsenals with Israel
as his first target. Several spies for enemies like the Soviet
Union have been released after 4, 6, 9 and 19 years (of a 40 year
sentence) respectively. The maximum sentence for spying for an
ally is 10 years, the median sentence is 24 years or nothing.
Was the release of Jonathan Pollard after 14 years a risk to the
nation years after the secrets were stale? Or were these same
Intelligence Agencies, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Defense Secretaries
acting so maliciously because of their own risk of exposure as
coconspirators in a nefarious plan to eliminate an ally, Israel,
whose presence disturbed their Arab oil market clients? Angelo
Codevilla, professor of International Studies at Boston University
and former Naval Intelligence officer served on the staff of the
US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the Pollard
arrest and conviction. He has written that: "Some US intelligence
experts say the Intelligence community in Washington no longer
opposes Pollard's release. The group that wants to keep Pollard
in jail consists mostly of those who dealt with the case in the
mid 1980s: Weinberger, Bobby Ray Inman and the US prosecutors
[possibly one desperate former President]. It is a straightforward
political matter. "In briefings to the Senate Committee,
US officials never claimed that Pollard gave intelligence methods
and sources to Israel. Instead, he relayed data, analysis and
photographs the sort of material that Israel had received from
the US. Pollard angered US government leaders by his effort to
undermine what he regarded as a proIraqi policy by Washington.
The US policy of aiding Iraq was a disastrous policy which led
to the Gulf War. The authors of that policy were Shultz, Weinberger
and Inman." "Inman said they [the Israelis] had used
US satellite pictures to plan the bombing [of Osirak]..and had
harmed sophisticated US efforts to build an important relationship
with Saddam. Therefore, he [Inman] personally cut Israel off from
satellite information about Iraq and later began to send satellite
pictures to Saddam." (1)
George Bush, then VP (former Director of the CIA) and Jim Baker
(Reagan's Treasury Secretary) were deeply involved in manipulating
the Reagan administration's buildup of Iraq, a policy they continued
as President and Secretary of State until the day Saddam invaded
Kuwait. And, since Bush ended his Desert Storm after only 4 days
on the ground, allowing Saddam and his top Revolutionary Army
to survive, facilitating his transfer of 100 jets to Iran (later
shipped to Syria), one wonders about their complicity in building
Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction and responsibility for its
eventual victims. This includes victims of the Gulf War as well
as those casualties of Saddam's poison gas attacks against Iran
and his own Kurdish citizens.
Another question begging for an answer: Was Saddam given President
Bush and Sec. of State Baker's approval to invade Kuwait, to take
its $80 billion in assets so Saddam could continue his massive
purchases of weapons and continue fulfilling our aberrant foreign
policy? According to reports, US Amb. April Glaspie under orders
from Baker, told Saddam "the US wasn't interested in his
border disputes." This was the "green light" for
Saddam to invade Kuwait.
Saddam still claims Kuwait Iraq's sovereign territory. So it's
not over yet. Thanks to Bush/Baker's premature halt to the first
Gulf War and to Clinton's wimpy occasional bombing, Saddam is
still the power and threat to the Middle East. Denials notwithstanding,
Col. Scott Ritter disclosed that Secretary of State Albright had
interfered with UNSCOM's surprise inspections to avoid a political
confrontation with Saddam in order to continue our foreign policy
to protect him. (2) Is it OK for the CIA to spy in Iraq today
in order to expose Saddam's NBC arsenal, but in 1984 it wasn't
OK for Pollard to blow the whistle on Saddam's intention to eliminate
Israel? Saddam declared that he would "burn half of Israel"
and he had the weapons from the West to do it.
For years Pollard's accusers hinted mysteriously that he had done
terrible things such as betraying the intelligence methods and
identities of American spies in the Soviet Union. But, lo and
behold, the spy who did this turned out to be a deep and powerful
CIA mole who himself created the disinformation against Pollard
because he was in charge of that brief. Aldridge (Rick) Ames,
chief of the CIA's Soviet/Eastern Europe counterintelligence,
was convicted of the very crimes for which he accused Pollard
and which precipitated the deaths by execution of at least 34
of these American and allied agents in the Soviet Union. Ames
identified 55 clandestine US and allied operations in the Soviet
Union, thus causing the deaths of many others.
However, even after Ames was revealed as the spy and mole who
caused these deaths by his leaks to the USSR, Pollard was then
and is still being falsely accused by the Intelligence Agencies
of Ames' crimes. Pollard has been wrongfully blamed for the deeds
of a CIA Director (Ames) who had for years transferred every secret
he could lay his hands on. One can understand why the present
CIA Director, George Tenet tasked to improve the image of the
CIA, would threaten to resign if Pollard were released. The coverup
of the CIA failure was to be erased from the American mind by
keeping Pollard as their permanently jailed scapegoat.
According to former Justice Department attorney John Loftus, "In
order to hide his own espionage for the Russians, Rick Ames successfully
point the finger of suspicion at Pollard for the spate of serious
leaks that crippled US networks inside the Soviet Union."
How does Loftus know? He cites: "recent disclosures in the
'intelligence community'. Several investigations from the CIA
and NIS (Naval Investigative Service) have made sheepish admission
that Pollard was the victim of hysterical overreaction."
The first key to this turnaround, says Loftus, is "the recent
confession of CIA agent Ames that he (not Pollard) was responsible
for leaking top level secrets to the Kremlin." Loftus quotes
Naval Intelligence sources as admitting that "90 percent
of the things we accused [Pollard] of stealing, he didn't even
have access to." (3)
John Loftus wrote in "Secret War Against the Jews: How
Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People 192092" that
"Pollard had little access either to communications intercepts
or satellite data , let alone secret NSA codes. His primary access
US Navy data banks on ocean shipping. His private focus was on
arms shipments to terrorists." Which, according to Loftus,
"is where the ugly truth lies. Pollard noticed a pattern
of vessels back and forth from Greece to Yemen, where the PLO
had a major base. Summer of 1984 the Israelis tipped off the Greek
authorities to seize an entire shipload of arms destined for the
PLO. Neither Pollard nor Israel was aware that they had smashed
George Bush's first shipment of arms to Iran. The British Secret
Service had arranged the Greek shipment to ransom American hostages
held in Lebanon. Pollard never realized that he had busted the
most secret White House operation of modern times. The summer
1984 Greek shipment was a dagger over George Bush's head. The
Greek shipment in 1984 exposes the entire White House coverup."
Jerry Agee, Pollard's superior in Naval Intelligence told Wolf
Blitzer, he and another colleague were suspicious of the number
of classified documents Pollard was taking home with him. They
concluded that the information was almost certainly going to Israel.
As the materials dealt with Soviet weapons systems and Arab military
capabilities, it was not something the Soviets would be interested
in. As Agee said to Blitzer: "It didn't take a fool to find
out that the Soviets were not buying back all their own information."
Now, with President Clinton about to commute Pollard's sentence,
the Intelligence, Military and Justice Department communities
have become frantic. As a desperate measure they released, through
a journalist who was fed the "correct" information,
the great secrets that Pollard was to have transferred.
On January 11, the deadline day of Clinton's promised clemency
decision, an article was printed in the NEW YORKER
by Seymour Hersh. Of course, the article was cooked and planted
by the same Intelligence Agencies, and "leaked" it to
a journalist known for his susceptibility for sensational stories.
Of course, Seymour Hersh is known for gullibly accepting the disinformation,
including rumors, he propagates in the Pollard chapter of his
book "The Samson Option." Hersh gains much profit
by the credibility the NEW YORKER article lends
to his reputation and his book. But, Hersh is thought to be an
'empty vessel' into which the disinformation entities pour their
What is so outrageous about the NEW YORKER article
is that Hersh drowns his listener in what even he calls "Tom
Clancy" stuff details and extrapolations of technical espionage
that the US carries on against friends and allies alike. He fails
to footnote, uses numerous "unnamed" sources: and quotes
all the defamatory false accusations we've seen piled up against
Pollard since 1985. One man he does quote by name is a former
convict, now journalist. However, in alia, Hersh reveals that
the US does indeed spy on its friends and allies, including especially
Israel. Nothing is mentioned regarding US transfer of this information
to such nations as Saudi Arabia, Syria or Iraq consistent with
an aberrant foreign policy pushed by special oil interests.
And, of course, in this day of the Internet and instant communications, it simultaneously appears in the NEW YORK TIMES: "US Now Tells of Must Deeper Damage by Pollard Than Thought" by Tim Weiner and repeated in the JERUSALEM POST: "Pollard Stole 10volume Intelligence 'Bible'", etc. They threw in every false accusation printed before and made up now for "effect" to scare off those members of Congress, Knesset, American and Israeli publics who smell a collective rat. Most have appeared before and been refuted:
Volume of material: an absurdity. He would have needed a moving
van on several occasions. Inveterate liar: (9 months of polygraphs
proved Pollard told the truth.) Cocaine abuser: Accuser a convicted
felon. Disproved along with spurious and salacious charges of
alcoholism and homosexuality. A test for drug use by a private
physician was negative. Strangely, that medical file disappeared.
These nowtobe released "secrets" of what Pollard was
to have stolen include a "10 Volume Directory of electronic
frequencies and signals intercepted by the NSA (National Security
Agency the US primary electronic eavesdropping service and its
biggest espionage entity) which listens to every nation in the
world. Hersh admits there is no documented proof for the accusations
leaked to him.
But, if this was that important, why hadn't the Soviets tasked
Aldridge Ames to secure these volumes. Clearly, Ames had the highest
level of security rating and access to this information years
earlier. It would seem that our Intelligence Agencies, in an effort
to keep hidden some of their ugly work against Israel, huddled
and thought up a number of chilling scenarios which they could
feed to the President (distracted by his own personal trials)
and the American citizens via the media to justify their unjust
continued imprisonment of Pollard. But, mostly they acted to assure
their own personal safety and continued employment.
Have our President, Military Intelligence, CIA, NIA, NSA or politicians
every lied to us? You bet. Do Politicians lie? Examine the Iran/Contra
and Iraqgate lies. Yes, indeed, these people are following the
psychology explained by Carl Jung, wherein you blame your victim
for what you are about to do to him. "They" are telling
us Pollard committed "Treason" (which he was never accused
of nor indicted for). But, it was "They" who aided Saddam
to build up his NBC arsenal, that, according to VP Al Gore, could
kill off all the people on Earth. The "They" who should
be questioned includes, among others: George Bush, Caspar Weinberger,
Bobby Ray Inman, prosecutor Joseph Di Genova, George Shultz, James
Baker, Brent Scowcroft, and various heads of the Intelligence
Agencies and Justice Departments during the 1980s and 1990s. They
have been aided and abetted by willing journalists, always eager
for the scoop and sensation that gets them and their papers or
TV/radio stations profits and good ratings.
The great American nation and its wonderful people have been an
example to the world in its humanity for others. True, we have
our crooks, our dirty politicians, our murderers and rapists
like all other nations. The problem is that as a superpower,
we attract the power brokers who believe they know best. We find
them often at the highest levels of government and in our Intelligence
Agencies. They all believe they are doing right for the country
and themselves by using any means illegal or unethical to
a achieve their goals. They know the American people would not
approve of their methods and so they go underground.
"They" tell us Pollard is guilty of crimes not originally
spoken about during his "in camera" hearing. Pollard
never had a trial. He gave up his right to a trial because they
promised his ill wife Anne better treatment with no prison term
and a light sentence for Pollard. The government broke its plea
agreement and Pollard received a life sentence. Let us then have
an open, fair trial where his accusers can openly charge Pollard
and then have their accusations tested by lawyers who know to
dig out the facts from this reluctant cabal bent on keeping themselves
out of the docket and possibly jail. Let the liars lie under oath
and we'll see where it leads.
Some may recall the hearing at an Appeals Court where three judges
heard some of the evidence. Two concluded on a technicality that
it was too late for such a trial. One was Ruth Bader Ginsberg
who shortly thereafter was appointed to the Supreme Court. But
the third Judge Stephen Williams said that "This was a gross
miscarriage of justice." No, he did not receive an appointment
to higher position.
So, we have an amoral President, a twisty State Department, Intelligence
Agencies who will do anything to achieve their goals and cover
their backsides, certain industrialists connected to Arab oil
and their markets all seemingly coalesced to assure that this
one man stays in prison til he dies. You have to wonder why.
The true story of the Wye fiasco was exposed by Kenneth Timmerman."Apparently,
at 4 am on Friday at the Wye Plantation President Clinton agreed
to a request not from Mr. Netanyahu but from PLO Chairman Yassir
Arafat to release Pollard as part of a prisoner exchange to
get Israel to drop its demand that Israel extradite the 36 Palestinians
wanted on terrorism charges. The key terrorist of the 36 was the
commander of the Palestinian Police, Ghazi Jabali. Arafat wanted
to exchange Pollard for Jabali. President Clinton agreed. Several
hours later, after the CIA jawboned him, he back out. And when
Mr. Netanyahu balked at Clinton's reversal, Clinton threatened
the US would recognize a unilateral declaration of Palestinian
statehood in May the equivalent of dropping a nuclear weapon
on Netanyahu and his supporters." (6) Of course, the head
of the CIA, George Tenet had to threaten to resign to achieve
this full score effect.
This sounds like the Dreyfus Affair, except that Pollard readily
admits his guilt for transferring vital intelligence to Israel
and has often expressed deep remorse. However, his accusers
seem to have adopted a plan to elevate Arab military power to
a level that could wipe out Israel.
Pollard was not charged with nor convicted for treason but
it is highly probable that his accusers may have committed treason
and are now desperately trying to cover up their black deeds.
1. "Israel's Spy Was Right About Saddam" by Prof. Angelo M. Codevilla, WALL STREET JOURNAL, August 6, 1998
2. "Richard Perle Suggest Albright May Need to Resign Over Iraq: "DayLong AEI (American Enterprise Institute) Symposium (Oct. 14, 1998) Demonstrates Flaws of Clinton ME Policy as Wye Summit Threaten to Compound Them" by Frank Gaffney Center for Security Policy #98D 174
3. "Whose Crimes? Pollards or Ames's?" by Hershel Shanks, Editor MOMENT
4. "Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People 19201992" by John Loftus & Mark Aarons, St. Martin's Press 1994 p. 402
5. "CIA Aims at Pollard for Scapegoating" by Arnold Forster & David Kirschenbaum HERITAGE SOUTHWEST 11/25/94
6. "Peace Process or Spin Politics?" by Kenneth
Timmerman WASHINGTON TIMES 10/27/98
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East Commentator and Analyst.
He is also a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic
A Freeman Center Special Release
The current election situation in Israel is still very fluid,
and will remain so for at least another 46 weeks. What follows
is a brief picture of the legalities and political maneuvering
that are taking place in the Israeli political scene.
Any party can run for the Knesset (the Israeli parliament). In
order to receive official standing, and a portion of election
budgets, any party wishing to run for the Knesset must be registered
with the Central Elections Commission. In order to register, a
party must have the signatures of 50,000 citizens on its application,
or of 10 Members of Knesset.
Elections in Israel are by party list and not by district representation.
Each party must submit to the Central Elections Committee a list
of 120 names. When seats are apportioned after the election, the
top names on the list get seats. If one member of Knesset resigns
or dies in office, the next name on the list of that party takes
the seat, with no byelection.
In order to receive seats in the Knesset, a party must gain 1.5%
of the national vote. There is a bill pending before the Knesset
to raise this to a 5% minimum. Seats are apportioned according
to the percentage of the vote. Each seat is worth 50,000 votes.
If the number of votes does not equal a multiple of 50,000, all
votes over the nearest multiple are wasted. Thus, if a party gets
463, 297 votes, it will get 9 seats, and 13,297 votes will be
wasted. Thus, in the last election, in an effort to avoid vote
wasting, the Likud, Tsomet and Gesher united and ran as one list
for the Knesset. The same will likely happen with other parties
in this election, as described below.
There are 120 seats in the Knesset.
Registration of parties can take place up until a defined time
prior to the elections.
In Israel, the Prime Minister is elected on a separate ballot
from the party, and need not lead the largest party in the Knesset.
Thus, in the current Knesset, the leader of the largest party,
Ehud Barak of Labor, is not the Prime Minister. Not every party
leader must run for Prime Minister, but in order to run for PM,
a person must lead a party. There are currently 6 declared candidates
for Prime Minister. In the likely event that none receive 50%
on the first ballot on May 17, a second round will be held between
the top two candidates on June 1. The elections for Knesset will
be held on May 17.
The normal term of the Knesset is 4 years, though the government
can fall earlier.
New parties are announcing their formation or official registration
daily. What follows is a listing of the parties officially registered
as of January 17, 1999, or expected to officially register this
week. This list is not complete due to the constant fluidity of
Current declared candidates for Prime Minister:
current Prime Minister. Leads the Likud party. Has served as Israel's
Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Deputy Foreign Minister.
Was part of Israel's delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference.
Ehud Barak, leader
of the opposition. Leads the Labor party. Former Chief of Staff,
Israel Defense Forces. Served in previous government as Minister
of Interior and as Foreign Minister.
Yitzchak Mordechai, leads the asyetunnamed "Centrist" party. Former Defense Minister in the current government, and former BrigGen in IDF. Former Commander of the Northern Front and of the Southern Front.
Rafael Eitan, Minister
of Environment and Agriculture. Leads Tsomet party. Former Chief
of Staff, Israel Defense Forces.
former minister of Science. Leads Herut party. Son of former Prime
Minister Menachem Begin. Professor of Geology, founding Director
of the College of Judea and Samaria, in Ariel.
Parties running for seats in Knesset:
Likud: Party leader,
Binyamin Netanyahu. Current seats in Knesset: 23 (three members
have resigned from the party and now sit as independents) This
party was born through the efforts of Menachem Begin and Ariel
Sharon in 1973, as the union of the older Herut and Liberal parties
in Israel. Likud has traditionally held the following policies:
antiPalestinian state, supports settlement of Judea and Samaria.
Against negotiation with Palestinians, whom the Likud viewed as
terrorists. The Likud has traditionally enjoyed the support of
immigrants from north Africa and the Middle East, who were impeded
from joining the European elite in Israel. Likud support has also
traditionally come from economically disadvantaged communities.
During the current term, the Likud has suffered from inept management
and internal strife. Several large political scandals have rocked
the party and many members are unhappy with the current situation.
Netanyahu maintained a strong, nononsense posture with the Palestinians,
refusing to negotiate while terrorist acts were still being carried
out against Israelis. In January 1997, Netanyahu gave control
over 80% of the city of Hevron to the Palestinians. Israelis on
the right felt betrayed over this, viewing Hevron as the cradle
of Jewish civilization. Benny Begin resigned from the government
and the party over this agreement. In Octber 1998, at the Wye
Plantation, Netanyahu agreed to a further withdrawal from Judea
and Samaria, despite continuing terrorism. This agreement lead
to the early fall of his government and new elections. Likud's
economic policies have been tightfisted in an effort to soften
the blow of economic recession. Interest rates have remained high
and government spending has been held down. This has provided
little extra money to solve the problems of unemployment, but
it has succeeded in keeping prices down. privatization has added
to the efficiency of the economy, which is now leading to lower
unemployment. But many people are unhappy with the economic situation
Other leaders in the party: Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, former
Commanding Officer Northern Command and Southern Command; Justice
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi; Chairman of Knesset Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee, Uzi Landau; Moshe Arens, former Foreign and
Defense Minister (also newly appointed Defense Minister to replace
Mordechai); Communications Minister Limor Livnat.
Labor: party leader,
Ehud Barak. Current Knesset seats, 32. Labor was founded as the
amalgamation of several parties who have traditionally held power
in Israel. David BenGurion, Golda Meir, Yitzchak Rabin, and Shimon
Peres are some of the people who have lead the party in the past.
Labor represents the European male elite in Israel. Most of its
members of Knesset have attained high rank in the army. Labor
traditionally represents unions in Israel, which have been extremely
strong. Over the years, as Israel modernized, Labor has come to
represent the wealthy elite in Israel, including big business
and the Israeli jet set. Labor's economic policies are in need
of modernization, eschewing privatization, and preferring to maintain
control over the economy while doing little to spur economic growth.
Labor supports the collective kibbutzim, and has in the past spent
billions of dollars to bail out these financially nonviable ventures.
Other leaders in the party: Former Health Minister Haim Ramon,
Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Ophir
Paz, Shlomo BenAmi, Yossi Beilin (former Deputy Foreign Minister).
New members of the party include Matan Vilna'i, former deputy
Chief of Staff of the IDF and former commander of the Northern
leader Aryeh Deri. Current Knesset seats: 10. This party is made
up of religious members of North African and Middle Eastern ("Sfardic")
descent. The party represents chiefly these communities. Policies
of the party include economic improvement for the disadvantaged
communities in Israel, many of which are Sfardic communities,
more classroom hours in schools, and fighting unemployment. The
party also maintains a strong voice in religious issues. The party
follows the leadership advice of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Sfardic
Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Other leaders of the party: Interior Minister Eli Suissa, Religious
Affairs Minister Eli Yishai, Knesset House Committee Chairman
Party: Party leader Education Minister Yitzchak Levy. Current
Knesset Seats: 9.The NRP represents the interest of the modern
religious population. The party is actively involved in settling
Judea and Samaria and other areas of low population, and enjoys
wide support in these areas. The party is ideologically allied
with a network of yeshivot, Hesder, which combine army service
and Torah study, and which contribute many of the combat leaders
in the army's elite units. The NRP is against the Oslo process,
but historically prefers to fight for its policies within the
government framework rather than from the opposition. They did
not vote to bring down the government after the Wye agreement.
Other leaders of the party: Transportation Minister Shaul Yahalom,
Knesset Law Committee Chairman Hanan Porat, Tzvi Hendel, Nisan
Slomiansky, Rabbi Avraham Shapira (former Ashkenazic (European
descent) Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu (former sfardic
Chief Rabbi), former MK Rabbi Chaim Druckman.
party leader Yossi Sarid (former Environment Minister). Number
of Knesset seats: 9 Meretz was created before the 1992 elections
through the unification of three parties, two of which were on
the extreme left, and one of which was relatively centrist but
was opposed to all religion in Israel. Meretz is situated at the
left extreme of the Knesset. They support a Palestinian State
and a shrinking of Jewish boundaries. They are against settlement
activity in, and any retention of, Judea and Samaria. They support
dividing Jerusalem and creating a Palestinian capital in that
city. They support transfering all Jewish residents of Judea and
Samaria out of these areas and into what is left of Israel. They
are against any manifestation of religion in Israel.
Other party leaders: Dedi Zucker, Haim Oron, Amnon Rubinstein
(former Education Minister).
party leader Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky. Number
of Knesset seats: 7. (two members have resigned from the party
and now sit as independents.) Natan Sharansky was previously known
as Anatoly Shcharansky, the leading Prisoner of Zion in Communist
Russia. The party was set up to represent the 750,000 Russian
Immigrants who have come to Israel since 1990. Their platform
consists of economic programs for immigrants and other disadvantaged
communities, and protecting the rights and benefits accorded to
immigrants in Israel. They are also striving to protect the Russian
culture that has come with these immigrants. They have no specific
policy regarding the peace process.
Other party leaders: Immigration Minister Yuli Edelshtein, Roman
Bronfman, Tzvi Weinberg.
party leader David Levy, number of Knesset seats: 5. (one member
has resigned from the party and now sits independently.) Gesher
ran for the current Knesset on a joint list under the umbrella
of the Likud. David Levy was originally the Foreign Minister in
this government, but resigned on January 4, 1998 due to his dissatisfaction
with the budget. Levy is now leading Gesher independently in the
current election campaign. Gesher's policy supports economic packages
for the disadvantaged, particularly among the sfardic community.
But the party is run more as a vehicle for satisfying Levy's ego
than for any real benefit.
party leader Environment Minister Raphael Eitan, number of Knesset
seats 4. Tsomet also ran under the Likud umbrella. The party was
founded in 1988 as a breakaway from the Likud. The party is made
up largely of people who do not live in Judea and Samaria but
support Israel's retention of those areas. The party supports
liberal economic policies and does not support religion. The anachronistic
nature of their policy platform has lead to a consistent decline
in their public support.
Other party leaders: deputy minister of education Moshe Peled.
Third Way: Party leader Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani, number of Knesset Seats: 4.
The party was founded in 1996 as a single issue party supporting
Israeli retention of the Golan Heights. Kahalani, a former General,
was a decorated war hero in the Yom Kippur war as he lead the
valiant fight to defend the Golan from Syrian invasion. He left
Labor when they began negotiations with Syria over the Golan.
Since the 1996 election, the party's policy platform has grown
to include national unity and reconciliation between left and
right, and between secular and religious.
Other party leaders: Emmanuel Zissman, Alex Lubotsky, Yisrael
United Torah Judaism: party leader Rabbi Meir Porush. Number of Knesset Seats: 4 This party represents the "Haredi" or ultraOrthodox communities in Israel. It is answerable to the Council of Torah sages, which is made up of representatives of the major Haredi communities in Israel. Their platform centers around defending the rights of the religious communities in Israel, and of the network of yeshivas in the haredi communities.
Other party leaders: Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Avraham
Ravitz, businessman Chaim Sheinfeld, Shmuel Laizerson, Rabbi Uri
party leader Rehavam Ze'evi, Number of Knesset seats: 2 This party
represents the right extreme in the Knesset. They support retention
of all of Judea and Samaria and the transfer by agreement of all
Arab communities out of these areas and into Jordan or Syria.
They support integrating the IsraeliArab communities into national
life in Israel, including service in the army. The party supports
increased Jewish construction in the eastern portion of Jerusalem,
specifically in the Old City's Arab quarter, the City of David
neighbourhood, and the Mt. of Olives.
Other party leaders: Rabbi Benny Elon
Party leader, MK Avraham Poraz. Shinui is the centrist party that
joined with Meretz in 1992, and has now decided to run independently.
They oppose religion in Israel, and are in favour of territorial
withdrawal from areas of Judea and Samaria. They are against futher
Jewish settlement in these areas, and favour a Palestinian State.
Their major emphasis appears to be on national unity, emphasizing
secular values, and improving education.
Party: leader AbdulWahab Darawshe Communist Party / Hadash:
AbdulMalik Dehamshe Total Knesset Seats: 9
These parties represent Israeli Arabs in the Knesset. They support
a Palestinian State, and Arab land claims in the Galilee. They
oppose further Jewish development in Israel.
Other parties that will compete for elections:
(no official name yet): Party Leader: Former Defense Minister
Yitzchak Mordechai. Policy is not clear yet, but they support
the creation of Palestinian State, and greater economic relaxation.
They oppose religion in Israel, and support territorial compromise
on the Golan Heights. They are jockeying for position in the center
of the political spectrum with Labor and Likud, and several smaller
parties (Third Way, Yisrael Ba'aliya).
Other senior party members include former Chief of Staff Amnon
LipkinShahak, former Likud finance and justice minister Dan Meridor,
former Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo, former Labor MK Haggai Merom,
and former Labor Party Secretary General Nissim Zvilli.
party leader Avigdor Leiberman, former Director General of the
Prime Minister's office. This party is formed as an alternative
to Yisrael Ba'aliya for the Russian immigrant vote. They support
changing the electoral system in Israel to allow for a Republicstyled
government including district elections of all members. They will
support Binyamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister.
party formed by Benny Begin. He is using the old name used by
his father, Menachem, in the 1950's and 60's for his party. This
party supports retention of Judea and Samaria, and is opposed
to a Palestinian State. They support greater settlement in these
areas. They have no stated economic or social policies yet. Other
leading supporters include MK Michael Kleiner.
The left wing of the National Religious Party which has broken
away to run independently. The party is made up of religious members
who support the peace process and compromise on religious issues.
The party has attracted former Labor MK and current Jewish Agency
Head Avraham Burg, and Third Way MK Alex Lubotsky. NRP MK Eli
Gabbai and Transportation Minister Shaul Yahalom may also join.
party supports settlement activity in Judea and Samaria and the
Hesder Yeshivot. The main difference between Tekumah and Herut
is that Tekumah is largely religious, while Herut is largely secular.
Party leaders include Yaakov Katz (Katzele), director general
of Arutz7 radio, Bet El Mayor Uri Ariel, Kiryat Arba Mayor Benny
Katzover. Rabbi Avraham Shapira and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu will
likely support this party in the election. This will end up being
the right wing of the National Religious Party, and attempts will
be made to attract NRP MK's Hanan Porat, Tzvi Hendel and Nisan
Formed by Labor MK and Histadrut National Labor Union leader Amir
Peretz. The party is founded on the basis that the Labor party
has abandoned the blue collar workers and the disadvantaged communities
of Israel in favour of the old ruling elites. Chief issues are
labour relations, higher wages, better working conditions, and
more jobs to solve unemployment.
Voice of the
Environment: Nechama Ronen, Director General of the Ministry
of the Environment, has formed this party whose platform is environmental
party has no named leader yet, but represents women's rights,
and is in favour of a Palestinian State. The party name is made
up of the initials of the Hebrew words Yitzug Shaveh, meaning
Party: founded by Israeli cosmetics magnate Penina Rosenblum
(Israel's Mary Kay) and with no apparent policy platform.
There will likely be far too many parties competing for limited
votes. Most of the smaller ones will not place in the Knesset.
But some new ones will. The greatest political activity in the
next few weeks will come from these areas:
The new centrist party will decide upon its policy and its name.
It will also continue to attempt to attract leading names in public
Tekumah and Herut will likely join forces in an attempt to unify
the right wing and avoid wasting votes. They may be joined by
the Moledet Party, and by a collection of Members of Knesset,
belonging to different parties, who all support increased settlement
in Judea and Samaria and strengthening of Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
These MK's, called the Land of Israel Front, numbered 17 in the
current Knesset, and formed a strong lobby group for the Israeli
right. The Land of Israel Front is coordinated by MK Michael Kleiner,
who has joined Herut.
Labor and the new centrist party have both made overtures to Meimad
to join them. Meimad is negotiating with Labor and is asking to
be guaranteed the Education ministry in any Laborled government.
Yehuda Poch is a political analyst and writer living in
Israel. He holds a degree in Political Science and International
Relations from the University of Toronto, and has served as political
analyst for the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies since 1993.
He has also done research on Zionist history. Currently, Poch
is a leading member of the Israel Action Alliance, a grassroots
group in Israel working for rightwing unity and a greater understanding
of religion and religioussecular issues. He comments widely on
Israeli political issues, and has been featured on Arutz7 National
Radio, and in print media in North America. Poch and his wife,
Rebecca, have two children, and live in Rehovot, Israel.
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio -- Jan. 11, 1999 / Tevet 23, 5759
THE ELECTION PUT US ON HOLD
I am very happy about the upcoming elections. True, they messed
up our registration drive for a "Candidate of Faith,"
because instead of singing a solo, we find ourselves suddenly
joined on the electoral stage by a plethora of singers, such that
our delicate voice singing the truth can barely be heard. In fact,
it looks like we will have to let the coming elections pass us
by, and continue our driveoffaith afterwards. But, still and
all, I'm happy that Kleiner and friends toppled the government,
such that we are now facing new elections.
The reason for my happiness is very simple. Bibi was smack in
the middle of giving over the Land of Israel into the hands of
Arafat. He had already given over the northern section of Shomron
(Samaria), and was just about to surround
Beit El with the Palestinian Liberation Army making it something
along the lines of Netzarim in Gush Katif when all of a sudden
these new elections fell upon him, stopping this insanity, at
least for a few months. So the elections did accomplish something
WHERE HAS ALL THE PRESSURE GONE?
By the way, we can learn something very interesting from this.
Suddenly, all the pressure on Israel to give away territory has
stopped. The Americans aren't pressuring Bibi, neither is the
European Union, and even Arafat has adapted his various declarations
to Israel's election schedule. Strange, no? Why should the world
care about our elections? What happened all of a sudden there's
no one in Israel for them to tell, "Come on, let's go, out
of those occupied territories already"?
The answer is simple. No one really takes Oslo or Wye very seriously,
and no one really particularly cares for the fate of the Arabs
in Gaza, or for the 'legitimate rights' of the terrorists. The
world only cares about one thing: the Jews. The world wants to
see what we think, and then it will act accordingly. If, for instance,
we elect someone who says "Zo Artzeinu This is our land,
because this is the decision of the Master of the Universe; no
agreement that says otherwise is relevant, because it contradicts
what is clearly stated in the Bible, and we will fight anyone
who attempts to does not accept this," then, this
temporary respite from world pressure that we are enjoying during
this election campaign hiatus will become our permanent lot all
But if, on the other hand, we elect someone who admits that the
Arab claim to Eretz Yisrael is not totally unfounded someone
like Benny Begin, for example, who is proud of the Camp David
agreements, the 'original sin,' which created a Palestinian nation
out of nothing and recognized its "legitimate rights"
or, of course, Bibi Netanyahu, or Ehud Barak, or their clones
then the international community will realize that its pressure
upon us to make concessions is indicated. The world will say,
"Arafat's demands are just even you admit it."
In short, the static situation that we now face can teach us that
everything begins and ends with *us.* The world exerts pressure
on us only when we agree or maybe even want to be pressured.
We should then not have complaints against anyone except ourselves
even not to Arafat.
OK. So who should we vote for? This is a very difficult question.
We have to make two choices: one candidate for Prime Minister,
and one party list for the Knesset. For the Knesset, it's best
to vote for the party which will most effectively fight if it
can be called that for the Land, the People, and Jewish identity.
But for Prime Minister, as of now, there is simply no one for
whom to vote.
For all intents and purposes, the process started by the Jewish
Leadership movement has been pulled to a grinding halt by the
advancing of the elections. Everyone is now involved in much more
important issues: the infighting of the Likud, the infighting
in Labor, what will Limor [Livnat] do, on which horse will Yitzik
[Mordechai] bet, and similar crucial questions. Our voice is therefore
not heard amidst the cacophony. We'll apparently have to wait
until the storm blows over. Then, when the dust of this election
settles, and we return to the sad reality, we'll officially register
the Jewish Leadership movement, field a worthy candidate, and
continue from where we left off. This is how the situation appears
now, although there could always be developments that would change
things. In Israel, things change so fast that it's really impossible
to know for sure, but at this point, this appears to be the way
for us to go.
ET TU, BEGIN
All of the candidates that are presently running for Prime Minister
are committed, in the final analysis, to the Oslo process. Let
me say clearly: This includes even Benny Begin. On the day that
he announces that we must tear up the Oslo, Hevron, and Wye agreements,
and that they do not obligate him I will retract these words
of mine. But he will not say this, because all he knows how to
say today is the same things that Bibi said three years ago before
the last elections. Begin says, "We must keep our agreements,
but Arafat did not fulfill his part, and this is how we'll be
able to get out of it." Begin, the sworn legalist, can't
seem to say that this agreement is invalid because our contract
with Gd takes precedence. That's the way it is.
Unfortunately, we can predict fairly accurately what will happen
in the near future: Whichever candidate is elected will continue
with the withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael, and the security situation
in Tel Aviv will deteriorate in direct proportion. The other side's
appetite and brazenness will only increase, as will the despair
on our side. At some point, not far off, elections will again
be held, and the nation will have given up on the recycled, wornout
"solutions" of the usual candidates, and will be willing
to listen to something totally new. The members of the Jewish
Leadership movement, together with the thousands of registrants
who have signed up for our Candidate of Faith campaign, will,
at that time, be an excellent nucleus for the soughtfor alternative
at that difficult time.
Shalom, and Skolnick must be freed.
Moshe Feiglin, a resident of Karnei Shomron, is one of
the founders of Zo Arzeinu and the Jewish Leadership movement.
HebronPast, Present and Forever - January 8, 1999
This morning, on my way into a Kiryat Arba supermarket, I was
greeted in a most unusual manner. Two men, speaking outside, saw
me and started yelling at me: "You really fY..
this one up good, didn't you Wilder!? Now, instead of Netanyahu,
we are going to get Ehud Barak and Yossi Beilin." I looked
at them, somewhat surprised, and asked, "Me, I brought Netanyahu
down?" "Yeah, you and those others in Hebron and the
leadership of the right you always said, Bibi must fall. Now
see what you've gotten us into."
So, what's the answer? A friend told me the following story: A king's son once decided that he was a chicken. He took off his clothes, got down on his hands and knees under a table, and starting eating crumbs off the floor. The king brought all his doctors to try and convince his son to stop being a chicken. To no avail. Finally a famous doctor arrived from a far away country. He promised the king that he could cure his son. The king promised him rewards of gold and silver should he perform such a miracle. With that, the doctor removed his clothing, stooped down on his hands and knees under the table, with the king's son, and too, began eating crumbs. The king's son looked at his companion and asked him, "who are you?" "I too am a chicken," said the doctor, and for several days they ate together crumbs from the floor.
After some time the doctor suddenly put on his pants. "And
what is this?" asked the king's son. "Oh, don't you
know. There are chickens who wear pants." The king's son
mimicked the doctor's actions. After a few more days the doctor
put on his shirt, as did the king's son, and so it went until
one day the doctor sat in a chair, saying that there are chickens
who sit in chairs, and a few days later began eating with a fork
and knife. So, in the end, the king's son remained a chicken,
but he acted like a human being.
What is the moral of the story? A few years ago a man named Binyamin
Netanyahu proclaimed, "I represent the Israeli right."
A little while after being elected Prime Minister he shook hands
with Arafat, saying, "the right too can shake hands with
Arafat." Then he abandoned 80% of Hebron, saying, "the
right can give away Eretz Yisrael too." Then he went to Wye
continuing to say, "the right can be like the left, but still
be the right." And there is no doubt that given the opportunity,
under the circumstances, he would have continued implementing
Wye right down to the last comma and period.
How can we be so sure where this government would go? A few nights
ago on Israeli television's Channel 1 news, it was reported that
secret negotiations are underway between Israel and Arafat concerning
reopening of the Arab market outside the Avraham Avinu neighborhood
and the total reopening of "Shuhada" King David Street,
leading from the Avraham Avinu neighborhood to Beit Hadassah.
This, in order to receive assurances from Arafat that our Arab
neighbors will not 'cause disturbances' as a result of the new
construction at Beit Hadassah and Tel Rumeida.
In any other language, this is called a bribe. The Arabs say,
"we won't break the law, riot, shoot, throw firebombs, or
knife anyone because you are building. Just give us the marketplace
and the street." This, coming after another terrorist attack
in Hebron earlier this week, which left two women injured, one
critically. And Netanyahu and his Defense Minster are willing
to pay the bribe?! This is the Netanyahu administration. This
is the reason Binyamin Netanyahu had to fall.
No, Bibi Netanyahu we will not follow your act you do not
really represent us. You are not a true lover of Eretz Yisrael
you have proven that you are not a genuine representative of
the Israeli right. We will not follow you wherever you go. So,
where do we go now. There is an ideal, and then there is practicality.
Ideally, the Prime Minister should not be Netanyahu. Practically,
we may get him back. We may even have to vote for him, if not
the first time around, then during the runoff election. We may
hold our noses and try to keep from being sick when we cast our
ballots, but there won't be any choice.
What will be the secret ingredient that may bring us victory?
One word: unity. Whichever of the two major blocks, left or right,
succeeds in unifying, they will win. If the Israeli right, today
led by Benny Begin forms a block, including Moledet, the NRP and
other rightwing factions, thereby receiving a large number of
mandates in the next Knesset, they may very well determine the
policy platform of the next government, regardless of who is elected
So far it is a freeforall. The left is divided. So is the right.
Meridor, Shahak, Barak, all represent the same political ideology.
But the right has yet to make an intelligent move to pull the
forces together. Next week Dr. Irving Moskowitz, leading a large
delegation including Dr. Joseph Frager, is arriving in Israel
to study the situation and help pull the right together. If Dr.
Moskowitz and his delegation succeed in impressing the heads of
the major political factions that they have no choice but to work
together, there is a VERY GOOD chance that we will be victorious.
The truth is that we really don't want Barak, Beilin, or Shahak.
However Bibi must know that if he wants to be a chicken, eating
crumbs off the floor, he cannot disguise himself, claiming to
be something else. If he wants to cluck around,
that is his prerogative. But he cannot make believe that his clucks
are actually intelligent speech and try to sway us to act accordingly.
Arafat is Arafat, Eretz Yisrael is Eretz Yisrael, and Hebron is
Hebron. Nobody, however hard they try, will ever be able to persuade
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 27, 1999
The election campaign is in full swing. Officially, this is the result of the earlyelections legislative initiative by opposition MKs Haim Ramon and Haim Oron, but it was actually sparked by the objections of many coalition members to the Wye Memorandum. The agreement cost Netanyahu his Knesset majority.
On the eve of the Wye conference, Netanyahu claimed that he was willing to take a political gamble and endanger his coalition's stability to achieve a good agreement with the Palestinians that would assure Israel's security. Netanyahu was relying on the safety net offered by Labor Party leaders to implement any agreement he would reach at Wye.
But after the agreement was reached, he soon discovered that he had fallen between the cracks; he had lost some votes of his coalition partners and the votes promised by the opposition. The Wye agreement hastened the coalition's internal disintegration, as rifts developed between those demanding its complete and immediate implementation, without conditioning it on the Palestinians' fulfilling their commitments, and those calling to totally abandon the Wye agreement. Yitzhak Mordechai led the former group; Benny Begin the latter.
Surprisingly, though, the Wye agreement has not yet become a central issue in the election campaign. In his letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mordechai, US President Bill Clinton did not forget to rub in the importance of the Wye agreement and praise their part in achieving it. But the voters don't seem inclined to debate an outdated accord. After all, under the agreement, the negotiations on the permanent settlement should already have started. But the major parties' stances on the subject of the permanent settlement remain shrouded in mystery.
The elections are meant to be the ultimate opinion poll on all essential issues, great and small. But unfortunately, as we are bombarded, morning, noon, and night, with an increasing number of preelection opinion polls, we lose the opportunity to make a precise assessment of the public's views, both on questions of religion and state and concerning relations with our neighbors.
When Ronni Milo first raised the centrist party standard, he sharply criticized the clericalization of our society. But when Yitzhak Mordechai was chosen as leader of the party, he not only went to pray at the Western Wall, but also went to kiss Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's hand. The new party acts like all the old parties; it is trying to be as variegated as possible, to make itself attractive to different groups of voters, religious and antireligious alike.
Before the crisis that led to the elections, Netanyahu and Ehud Barak conducted talks about establishing a nationalunity government. In the 10 secret sessions, agreements were reached on a number of diplomatic issues, including the Golan Heights question. The Labor Party claimed that there were no serious differences of opinion on territorial compromise on the Golan Heights. Now the center party comes along and says it wants to renew talks with the Syrians on the basis of territorial compromise. But the new party hasn't made it clear what it means by "compromise." Does it mean that it will refuse negotiations on the basis of a Syrian ultimatum for a full withdrawal to the shores of the Kinneret? It doesn't specify if we should refuse to conduct negotiations if the Syrians refuse any compromise.
MORE complicated are the solutions being proposed in Judea and Samaria. The Hebron and Wye agreements show that the Likud is also ready for territorial compromise. Both parties make withdrawal conditional on Israel's security needs. But both they and the center party are unable to define the parameters of these security needs. For example, do they refer only to the Etzion and Ariel blocs, or indicate also a firm stand against concessions in the Jordan Valley?
Before the negotiations on the permanent settlement, none of them will reveal a map of their fallback positions. They are only talking about their starting points in the negotiations. Concerning the extent of possible concessions there are differences of opinion, even within the party leaderships.
Only the NRP and Herut at one extreme, and the Communists and Arab parties at the other, have taken clear stands on territorial compromise. The other parties have obscured their positions, and none of them tells the voter what will happen if the Palestinians refuse to accept our generous offers and demand everything. So the public is unable to express its opinion on their manifestos. Their vague language also serves to conceal the differences of opinion in parties that act like supermarkets, selling a variety of conflicting positions.
Almost all the parties repeat the mantra of "united Jerusalem
under eternal Israeli sovereignty." But none of them makes
clear what will happen if Jerusalem becomes the only issue preventing
the signing of a peace.
Originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post on January 20, 1999
When the polls close in a few months, it is far from clear what
mandate the winner will have. Of the major candidates, we have
one who wants carte blanche, another whose soundbite platform
is internally inconsistent and a third who would not be facing
early elections if he had only followed what he has embraced,
once again, as his platform.
Does Amnon LipkinShahak have red lines? He claims he does, but
won't reveal them. Shahak's unstated motto, "Trust me,"
denies his supporters the opportunity to vote their views. Ehud
Barak is confusing. He advocates separation "we here, they
there" yet supports annexing the major settlement blocs
and keeping "United Jerusalem" intact.
Barak is equally vague on security issues relating to the Palestinians.
He trivializes the issue of illegal weapons missiles, cannons,
mines, etc. that the Palestinian Authority has and refuses to
dispose of, labeling it "a thousand rifles that Palestinians
may or may not have," insisting that the real security issue
is the nonconventional threat posed by Iran and Iraq.
Does he mean that as long as Yasser Arafat doesn't have a nuclear
device we shouldn't let Palestinian weapons get in the way of
Of course, in the democratic process the voters cast their ballots
for the closest available match which is rarely a perfect match
to their goals and ideals. Hopefully by Election Day, Barak
will clarify his program. But that would still leave us with the
Peres problem. Barak's spokesperson, Aliza Goren, told me that
if Barak is elected, Shimon Peres will be a minister. She assured
me that Peres would not work behind Barak's back. But given Peres's
track record, I tend to doubt this. And I am not alone.
A Gallup Poll commissioned by the Independent Media Review and
Analysis organization this week found that over half of adult
Israeli Jews believe that Peres would pursue his own program even
if it clashed with Barak's policies. Almost 44% of those who voted
for Peres in 1996 shared this view.
As for Netanyahu, he zigzags. He is now proud that he is building
on Har Homa, but the construction contracts stipulate that "the
manager is allowed to halt construction for governmental reasons."His
campaign slogan on territory is "Barak will hand over, the
Likud will keep" yet Netanyahu pushed through approval
of the Hebron withdrawal and pulled out from even more territory
after signing the Wye Memorandum.
Netanyahu speaks of "reciprocity" yet he left most of
Hebron before reciprocity was assured, and did it again this winter
when he termed the Palestinian handwave in Gaza a "PNC decision
to revoke the Palestinian charter." (It should be noted that
the Palestinians' own official news agency, WAFA, doesn't say
that there was a vote only a waving of hands.)
It would have been one thing if the "hand wave" had
truly been a watershed event. But it wasn't. Arafat still considers
violence to be a legitimate tool for pressuring Israel. The statements
of incitement continue; the only difference today is that a committee
meets to catalog them.
Wye was so ambiguous that this committee has yet to even agree
on what "incitement" is, let alone actually take measures
to stop it. And the incitement works, with a recent Palestinian
poll by the Center for Palestine Research and Studies finding
almost 53% of Palestinians supporting armed attacks against Israel.
The prime minister insists that his administration ensured the
security of the settlers in the Hebron Agreement, yet he concedes
that their security has been compromised by Palestinian violations.
But let's be fair. The withdrawals outlined by Wye, as bad as
they were, would probably not have brought the Netanyahu government
down. It was the serious uncertainty regarding his true agenda
that yielded the critical mass of opponents from his own camp.
Which brings us to MK Ze'ev (Benny) Begin, who at this time is
not considered a major candidate.
He certainly has a clear position on withdrawals he wants none
but is "Just Say No" enough? Does Begin plan, as his
detractors claim, to march back into Nablus and Gaza? Is he a
oneissue candidate? Far from it.
Begin told me this week that he would support maintaining the
ties and programs between Israel and the PA for the mutual benefit
of all. While Barak speaks of slashing the number of Palestinian
workers permitted within Israel, Begin sees Palestinian employment
as vital for the welfare of our neighbors criticizing the efficacy
of closure as a security measure.
The same goes for Palestinian access to Israeli hospitals, ports
and other services. But can Begin cut a deal with Arafat? Given
the declared "red lines" of the other candidates, Begin
notes, he is in good company. Insisting on a united Jerusalem
under Israeli sovereignty and the retention of major settlement
blocks Israeli demands unacceptable both to Arafat and the Clinton
administration puts Barak and Netanyahu in the same boat as
With one major difference. Begin would reach the impasse with
a stronger position on the ground and the diplomatic advantage
Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent Media
Review & Analysis).
The newspapers called him "a statesman, a considered strategist, on whom peace depends." Television and radio broadcasts repeatedly reported almost always relying on anonymous sources that Mordechai had blocked numerous military adventures the prime minister had planned. The members of the media, most of whom make no secret of their hatred for the Likud government, inflated Mordechai's ego. Mordechai, in turn, acted as if he'd forgotten that these journalists were essentially reporting what his own public relations people were feeding them. His spokesman, Avi Benayahu, who is known to have leftist roots, indeed did good work, painting Mordechai as a diplomatic Popeye and security Gulliver, depictions that had no basis in reality.
And Mordechai began acting as if he believed his own publicity. His ego swelled to balloonlike proportions, until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, by firing him on a live TV broadcast, stuck a pin in it.
Mordechai was so secure with what the papers were writing about him that he allowed himself to do things that are forbidden in a democracy. The Likud minister, for several weeks, conducted both covert and overt talks with the Labor Party, as well as with those whose blind ambition is to overthrow Netanyahu Dan Meridor, Ronni Milo, and Amnon LipkinShahak.
He was trying to figure out where it most paid for him to be. Stay in the Likud? Fine, but he demanded a signed agreement from Netanyahu securing his status. Join the others? Maybe, but only if they'd let him head their list, so he could demand for himself no less than the prime minister's post.
At the same time, in a blatant publicrelations ploy, he managed to secure for himself an invitation from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. All this went on when he was still defense minister and a member of the Likud. He really believed that Netanyahu wouldn't dare do anything to him, since, after all, he was such a popular figure, an outstanding statesman and a superior strategist.
Mordechai forgot that he was popular primarily because he was defense minister. The position made him; he did not make the position.
Mordechai was a good fighter on the battlefield, exhibiting personal bravery. But the battle he is particularly proud of when he commanded the battalion that engaged the Egyptians at the socalled Chinese Farm in the Sinai in October 1973 though a brave battle, served no real purpose, led to many casualties, and generated the sad joke: "Mordechai fought there until the last Chinaman fell."
Mordechai is also proud of the fact that he is the only general to have commanded the Southern, Central and Northern commands. But so what? He didn't leave his particular mark in any of these posts; during his stint as OC Northern Command, for example, the ongoing war in Lebanon was conducted in the same routine and stupid fashion.
In fact, the chief of General Staff at the time, one Amnon Shahak, wouldn't agree to appoint Mordechai his deputy, a disappointment that forced Mordechai out of the IDF and led him to pursue a political career.
Funny now this same Shahak is telling us that the man that he didn't think was worthy of being his deputy, is nonetheless fit to be Israel's prime minister. Perhaps it would be funny, except that now Mordechai, as the political commander of the centrist party, and Shahak, as his deputy, are insisting they are worthy of leading the country.
If Mordechai truly was a statesman, instead of acting like a petty
political activist who'd gotten caught with his pants down last
Saturday night, he would have learned something from some of the
great political battles of the past.
Take Moshe Dayan, a leader with a history of military and diplomatic accomplishments a hundred times greater than Mordechai's; he set up his own party in 1981 to run against Menachem Begin and barely got two Knesset seats. Ezer Weizman did something similar in 1984 against Yitzhak Shamir, and met with similar "success."
What does Mordechai have in his kit bag to sell us that could be any better than what Dayan and Weizman had to offer in their time? Soon it will be clear that he has far less, and the Israeli public will be the beneficiaries, since Mordechai will no longer be defense minister.
Because as defense minister, nothing commanded more of his attention
than his own image.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 8, 1999
The original concept of autonomy was designed to provide the Palestinians
with maximum political selfexpression, short of statehood. Except
for a small minority, all the political parties in Israel agreed
that an independent Palestinian state was too much of a risk and
a danger. Contrary to this undertaking, however, the RabinPeres
government deliberately set in motion a process that would lead
to the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan
River. By the time the Peres government was removed from office,
it had become abundantly clear that we had been saddled with a
hostile entity, governed by a terrorprone leadership, that was
serving as a safe haven for terrorists.
Binyamin Netanyahu was elected against this background. Most people did not expect him to renounce the Oslo Agreements outright and trigger a fulldress confrontation with the PLO. We did, however, expect him to undertake a thorough review of the Oslo process and steer it toward a healthier track. This would have entailed, first and foremost, applying a brake to the slide toward a PLOterrorist state. In addition, he was expected to serve notice to Yasser Arafat, right from the outset, that he must choose between living up to every undertaking in the agreements and a total suspension of the Oslo process. Netanyahu would have thus unmasked the total bankruptcy of the previous government's policy of "promoting the peace process as if there is no terrorism and fighting terrorism as if there is no peace process."
We were all sick and tired of Hamas terror attacks, coupled with PLO prevarication, doubledealing, and deception. A firm, principled, and consistent Israeli posture would have elicited popular support here and understanding in the US. Instead, Netanyahu adopted a policy of acrosstheboard equivocation. He would initiate contacts with the Palestinian Authority, intimate that progress was being made in the Oslo process, then turn around and publicly castigate the PA for violating the agreements. Similarly, one day he would declare wholehearted support for the inhabitants of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and the next day it would transpire that the government refused to permit bringing in even one caravan to a settlement. He would trumpet eternal dedication to united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and at the same time prevent any building in Har Homa or Ras alAmud.
THE FINAL blow was the Wye Plantation agreement. Contrary to the Netanyahu's protestations, that agreement has not rectified any of the disastrous blunders in the Oslo Accords. If anything, it only compounded the grave situation which those accords had created. It enabled, by such measures as an airport at Dahaniye, the resumption of the trend toward Palestinian statehood. It did not check the tide of Hamas terror attacks which were countenanced, if not encouraged, by the Palestinian Authority.
The argument that if we reject Netanyahu, we will be saddled with Ehud Barak does not hold water. The Israeli Left has been steadily losing the last vestiges of ideology and credibility. Since the demise of socialism, the Labor Party has been groping for a substitute without much success. It adopted the motto of peace with the Palestinians with gusto and fanfare, but that crusade turned sour because the PLO's concept of peace turned out to be a sham. It then chose Barak as its leader, hoping that following in the footsteps of Yitzhak Rabin, also a former chief of General Staff, would guarantee success for the party.
But that move turned out to be another blunder. Barak is an inexperienced novice in the complex political arena. He is, to a large extent, a prisoner of the RabinPeres ephemeral achievements in peace. Amnon LipkinShahak is another candidate who mistakenly believes that being a former general is a sure guarantee of success in politics. He is trying hard to sell a centrist image. But once he and his competitors begin disclosing each other's past, Shahak' s central role in creating and promoting the Oslo process will place him squarely in the RabinPeresBarak camp.
We cannot afford a leadership that is tied, ideologically or politically, to the Oslo process. We have paid too high a price for governments that gambled with the country's security and future. We desperately need a new and courageous leadership that is not beholden to the disastrous policies of the past and is capable of adopting a course toward a secure and stable future for our state and people.
(c) 1999 The Jerusalem Post
Yossi Ben-Aharon is a former directorgeneral of the Prime
Carville's office in the firm of Stanley Greenberg and James Carville
was burglarized of records supposedly pertaining to polls done
in Israel for Carville and Clinton's client, exGen. Ehud Barak
of the Labor Party. What's that smell? Could
it be that the burglary was a putup job so, as in the past, Labor
could scream that the opposition was terrible, horrible, untrustworthy,
evil, Nazis, storm troopers much, much more.
Why would a burglar steal polling data when most of it changes
by the hour in Israel? How did the burglar know which filing cabinet
to break open? Barak has already said that strategy is planned
in his office so the great Carville thoughts were not stolen.
But, consider the benefit and an opportunity to jump on the shouting
platform, saying, "We have been injured!" If that was
the intention, to blame Netanyahu and Likud for stealing those
precious files it worked. NPR, National Public Radio has already
gleefully proclaimed there is speculation that Netanyahu and Likud
did a Watergatestyle burglary. Netanyahu through his spokesman,
David Bar Ilan already had to deny that Netanyahu and Likud had
burgled Carville's office. Having to deny is as good as proof
for the media and the gullible public.
Well, in Washington the art of the Dirty Political Tricks was
sharpened to an ugly razor's edge. I would not be surprised if
many of those in Washington, so desperate for a Labor win, thought
that a little burglary would be just the right touch. The fact
is that Netanyahu has been conducting almost weekly polls and
knows by the minute where he stands relative to the competition.
He, least of all, needed what Carville had accumulated.
I smell a Dirty Political Trick and it's time to ask Labor, Barak
and Carville if they have any ideas who would want files of little
news except to be spun by the spin doctors in the bowels of the
Oval Office, the State Department, Industrial
Arabists and all those who are desperate for a Labor government
return to power. They have reason to worry, given the fact that
Ehud Barak is not showing any leads in anyone's polls. A little
'explosion' on the political scene would certainly help Labor's
Come to think of it, Yitzhak Rabin was in a similar losing position
in the polls when he was shot. The perpetrators of that affair
are still being investigated. Strange isn't it, that all these
things happen before elections, when one side is down in his polls.
So, what's the next likely move?
First, the NEW YORK TIMES, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, LA TIMES, CNN,
NPR are likely to run this 'great' event as a lead story,
following the Clinton trial. CNN will, of course, show footage
of the building and, with some luck, the vent on the roof where
the penetration was made. All of this will percolate down through
other newspapers and TV anchor news. This kicks off the whisperwhisper
campaign that Carville's polling notes were a "Key to the
Election" of his client, General Barak and the Likud did
This thing is so amateurishly transparent that the event didn't
deserve a two inch column on page 52 of a 51 page newspaper.
But, folks...watch the PR buildup in the US which will be funneled
into Israel where the four leftist newspapers will jump on the
story and spin, spin, spin.
So, c'mon, you can do better than this pathetic attempt at what
appears to be nothing more than a cheap Political Dirty Trick.
In any case, this appears to be merely a warmup for coming political
Dirty Tricks, courtesy of the Labor party, Carville and Arabist
propagandists who desperately want Labor to fulfill their fondest
dreams. Add to that "Campaign Contributions" in different
forms with most brown bagging it from Mr. Clinton's White House.
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst & commentator
and a research associate of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
It is scarcely worthy of comment per se that so far so much surrounding
the Israeli elections has concerned matters of security policy.
This, of course, is not unusual for Israeli politics. But what
is particularly remarkable about it is that it is so little worthy
of remark. Why should this nation have uppermost in its political
debate matters concerning frontiers, safety for its citizens,
threats to security, what is or is not safe? (And this almost
ceaseless and continuous for 50 years, at that!)
Indeed, this issue may legitimately be taken further still. It
should be a matter of the utmost concern that debate over what
the borders of Israel should be exists in the context of Arab
sensibilities. For this fact itself speaks volumes about the nature
of relations with those whose longstanding hostility and trackrecord
of aggressive endeavour still has a profound impact on Israeli
politics and society. Thus when the late Yitzhak Rabin commented
that one made peace with one's enemies, it was what is nowadays
called a 'sound bite' but actually lacked truthful content. One
cannot 'make peace'. It is not an objective reality to be made
by one side. It cannot be readily and easily imposed by one side,
although aggressive desires and intentions may be deterred. Nor
indeed is it made with enemies. Rather it results from changes
of heart that evidently have produced friendship that stands tests
and withstands disagreement, and from this change of heart and
attitude, from the steadfastness of this newfound friendliness,
peace flows. Enemies must cease being so before the reality of
peace can occur.
Trust, in international relations, as in any others, must be earned
and also be seen to be well founded. If it is a matter of gambling
then it is not firmly founded. It is plain enough that if good
will needs purchasing, it cannot at the same time be genuine and
bona fide. The dire fact of the matter is that Israeli politics
reflect the need to try to buy Arab toleration and acceptance
of Israel's right to exist, and also even, of her de facto existence.
Thus, as in no other country's case in the world, the degree of
land to be surrendered in the process of trying to appease and
buy acceptance is a determinant of the platform of political parties.
The level of risk to be taken with citizens' lives has become
an issue separating these parties, one from the other (hence the
disgraceful oxymoron 'victims for peace' characterised one interpretation
of the causes of Islamic murder). Willingness to trust the words
of avowed enemies, hitherto absolutely undependable, marks off
one set of voters from another.
Despite these realities, lurking and prominent, the disgraceful
nature of them passes the rest of the socalled liberal, democratic
world by. So the Israeli right is made to appear as if it does
not really want peace and is morally corrupt for not accepting
the idea of Arab good will on which the DOP and Oslo accords
are predicated. Since however not their school books and not their
professional organisations, not their news media, nor their politicians,
have even begun to speak or broadcast warmly or in friendly attitude
concerning Israel, there are no grounds for accepting strategic
weakening. But the Likud appears to have suffered a loss of identity
and principles. It has suffered major figures departing. The new
'centre' parties are actually further to the left than Labour
traditionally was before the 1992 elections and Israel's true
safety is arguably less than at any time since 1973.
The left of centre 'Jerusalem Report' put on its cover page for
October 12, 1998 '25 Years After the Yom Kippur War Could Israel
Be Surprised Again?' Its finding was that to some extent the answer
rested on the outcome of negotiations with the Palestinians. But
it is not negotiations which make security, any more than pieces
of paper do. Rather, it is changes in outlook and perception which
make these worthwhile. So far no evidence exists to show either
that the PLO leadership's 'constituency', or their own beliefs
and statements, are at all different to what they were. Since
the Palestine National Covenant was declared 'caduq' by Yasser
Arafat in 1988, eleven years have changed nothing. President Clinton's
attendance at the most recent pretence at advertising changes
in the document still made no difference as the body was not the
one cited in the Covenant as the one which could change it. The
committee meeting revealingly about incitement cannot even
agree on a definition.
Corruption and brutality in the PA governing regime, not to mention
armaments smuggling, mean that Israel's neighbouring Arab entity
reveals no trace of those qualities required in a neighbour. It
adheres to the spirit and letter of agreements if at all with
extreme reluctance, builds where it should not and tolerates car
thefts continuously. Why should any of this tempt anyone to vote
in favour of further concessions and transfer of assets? The persistence
of Arafat is worthy of tribute, according to Shimon Peres recently,
but his persistence is that of attitudes of violence, hatred and
murder. That Israeli votes should involve acceptance of appeasement
of dictatorial evil in the form of him and Hafez elAssad is a
tragedy. That, in the face of this, the Right needs to rally,
unite and spell out the realities unequivocally should appear
obvious. It is by no means clear that it does.
Benjamin Netanyahu has purported to seek 'reciprocity' from the
PA. He has, however, continued the process of land surrender regardless.
He knows the original accords were illegal in a number of ways
but has set about declaring that he regards them as binding. He
set out, perhaps, to make them work. That might, even if misguided,
have been a noble objective. One reason his government fell was
that some felt things (at Wye for example) had gone far enough.
Can anyone seriously now think that the accords have worked? If
so then there is nothing to fear for any Israeli choosing to shop
in Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah, Kalkilya, Gaza or anywhere else. If
that is not so, then the weakening and costs to Israel of continuing
with the demands of Oslo remain pointless and the process should
If in turn the matters of frontiers and security are so controversial
and undetermined after nearly six years of the 'peace process'
then it is time to say 'no more' and for all reasonable people
to accept the unpalatable reality. It is to be hoped that the
Israeli elections will reflect this sooner rather than later.
Election platforms need to reflect truth and reality, not dreams
which have already failed.
Autz7 Internet January 7, 1999
After a steep climb in the popularity ratings, the new contender
for premiership, Amnon LipkinShahak, in one fell blow, put an
end to the dream to refreshen the dull, wornout and discredited
political stage with a new element - a party of the center, with
a knight in shining armor - a former Chief of Staff - at its head.
In a pressconference, formally announcing his intention to run,
LipkinShahak finally showed his cards, for everybody to see that
there is nothing in them. Question: What about the Kibbutzim breaking
the law, opening their shopping malls on the Shabbat? Shahak's
answer: "To that the answers will have to be given by dialogue."
And what about the Reform representatives in the religious councils?
"An answer to that has to be found".What about the drafting
of the yeshiva students? "One should sit with them and talk,
until the problem is solved".And what about unemployment?
"I intend to deal with their problems." But how? Only
when pressed hard, Shahak revealed his real agenda, the only area
where he has a clear concept and straight answers: Peace, with
a capital "P". Peace will bring investments and reduce
unemployment. And how is this peace to be achieved?
A Palestinian state, as the outcome of the final status negotiations;
The uprooting of Jewish settlements; Solving the Lebanese predicament
by satisfying the Syrian demands in the Golan. Shahak left no
doubt as to his readiness to surrender the entire Golan, save
only for some bickering around the nearest proximity of the Kinnereth.
Of course, none of these ideas is new, new is only the pathetic
attempt to hide this leftist program under the cloak of "centrism".
But what in this Meretzplatform belongs to the center?
And yet, Shahak rejects the proposal to join Labor, whose left
wing has the very same orientation. Shahak admits this, but claims
that his sole purpose in running separately (and thereby jeopardizing
both his and Barak's chances to win) is to evade the "Leftist"
image of Labor. Everything is clear now: Shahak tries to find
a formula, how to be a leftist without looking like one. Yet in
this he utterly failed. Words like "there is a rift in the
nation, I know of no one who can heal it", or "We shall
convince very many people that we are serious and that we speak
the truth, and they will come" - make a naive, almost childish
impression. The Israeli public is by now sophisticated enough
to ask for specifics, and specifics there were none.
In an interview on the TV, Shahak in addition to all that made
a very grave mistake, that for some reason passed unnoticed. After
having passed judgment on Netanyahu "as dangerous to Israel"
without giving any reason for such far reaching accusation, he
hinted darkly that in the wake of the September 1996 Kotteltunnel
riots, Netanyahu proposed a military action inside the Palestinian
Authority territory, which was "very wrong" and would
have had very negative results. Such a proposal
was rejected by him and by the Minister of Defense. By this, Shahak
reached a new nadir in Israeli public political morals. From now
on an P.M., deliberating over security matters even in the most
intimate circle, must guard himself against the possibility of
his Chief of Staff going tomorrow into politics and then using
such inner topsecret intelligence - against him in the political
arena. This is a new, very serious, breach in the very foundations
of our political fabric. But the largest question mark around
Amnon Shahak are his friends and confidants, the inner circle
of his political advisors. One of them is Uri Savir, Peres' right
hand man in Oslo, in short "Mr. Oslo". Which reminds
us, that Shahak himself, while serving in the army, was Peres'
front man in dealing with the PLO, contributing no little to the
politization of the army. Now, the civilian Mr. Oslo, Savir, and
the military Mr. Oslo, Shahak, again march hand in hand, but this
time under the banner of "Centrism".
Another intimate advisor is Shimon Sheves, in the past Rabin's
Director General in the Prime Minister's Office, who was the center
of many political scandals, later left his post with Rabin and
is now involved in a criminal investigation, close to prosecution,
in a financial scandal . Under public pressure Sheves now retired
from the official entourage of Shahak, but assured us, that nevertheless
his advice would continue to be available. And then there is Mr.
Yossi Genossar. A short biography: Genossar served as deputy chief
of the G.S.S., the famous Shabak. The man first became infamous
in the Izat Nafssu affair, an officer in the IDF, who - under
suspicion of treason , brutally tortured by Genossar - admitted
guilt. In the military court Genossar perjured himself denying
torture, causing Nafssu to be sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment.
A committee, chaired by Justice Landau, pointed out that Genossar
himself had doubts as to Nafssu's guilt, and yet did not shrink
from committing perjury to get him convicted. Nafssu was eventually
cleared and released.
Then Genossar was involved in the bus No.300 affair, where members
of the Shabak killed captured and disarmed terrorists. A semijudicial
committee was set up, the socalled Zoreacommittee, in which
Genossar served as member. However, he betrayed his trust, leaked
out information, also advised the Shabak, how to maneuver the
committee to obliterate the truth. Genossar was sacked from his
post in the G.S.S.
When the Labor government came to power in 1992, Genossar , who
by then had become a prominent member of Labor, was given the
post of Director General of the housing Ministry. But here, the
High Court intervened and ordered his dismissal. Justice Barak
had this to say: "A criminal who committed perjury and obstructed
justice - how can he lead a government office, what personal example
can he give to his subordinates? How can he gain public confidence
in the fairness and straightforwardness of public servants?"
Now, Mr. Genossar is in private business. The Israel economic
paper "Globs" (16 February 1966) ran a big article under
the caption "How did G. from the Shabak transform into Mr.
Five Percent of the Palestinian Authority?" Further in the
headlines: Yossi Genosar, while serving as Chairman of Amidar,
brokers business with P.A. - involved with Muhamad Rashid, Arafat's
right hand, cashing in percentages. For instance, import of cigarettes
into the socalled Autonomy. Genossar demanded 3% of the turnover,
otherwise there would be no licenses. Says Globs, summing up:
Muhammed Rashid and Yossi Genossar are like Siamese twins. In
any deal involving Rashid the name of Genossar pops up.
Tell me who your friends are, and I shall tell you who you are.
In his press conference, Shahak gave Genossar full backing, as
one of his nearest personal and political friends and collaborators.
If this is the renewal and renaissance of Israel politics, we
shall soon yearn for the old ones.
Elyakim Ha'etzni is a lawyer and Jewish activist who lives
in Kiryat Arba.
Tonight I'd like to say a word about the linkage being apparently
made between the early release of Jewish murderers and Palestinian
terrorists, some things you may not recall about Yitzchak Mordechai
including a Gallup Poll we commissioned last week, and Barak's
1. Israeli Murderers Are Not "Our" Murderers
President Ezer Weizman is commuting the long sentences of seven
Jews who were serving time for murdering or attempting to murder
Arabs. Arye Shumer, speaking on behalf of Weizman, explained that
the move was to "encourage the peace process." Releasing
Jewish murderers encourages the peace process?
Let me explain the theory: Weizman, and apparently Justice Minister
Hanegbi, think that those who oppose the release of Arab terrorists
will soften their stand if they are paid off. And the "payoff"
is the release of Jewish murderers. Now I am not going into the
backgrounds and stories of the Jews who murdered Arabs. If they
were crazy, or acted because of extenuating circumstances or any
other explanation that might be offered to justify a reduction
of the sentence of an individual murderer. Such matters should
be considered on an individual basis. These murderers should face
the same system that any other murderer in Israel faces. It should
have absolutely nothing to do with the socalled peace process.
The point is simple: when Weizman and Hanegbi think that they
can "pay off" opponents of the release of Palestinian
terrorists by releasing Jewish murderers they are asserting that
these opponents identify with the Jewish murderers.
Let me make it clear, and I am confident that I speak for the
overwhelming majority of those who oppose the release of terrorists
the Jewish murderers are not repeat not on "our"
side. I do not consider there any gain whatsoever in the release
of Jewish murderers. I am deeply insulted and offended by the
very idea that my president, Ezer Weizman and Tzachi Hanegbi think
that I and others identify with these Jewish murderers.
It pains me that while the overwhelming majority here in Israel
do not identify themselves with the release of Jewish murderers,
the opposite is the case for the Palestinians. The Palestinian
leadership calls for the release of all terrorists regardless
of how heinous their crime. The Palestinians argue that all terrorists,
regardless of what they did, were essentially soldiers. And as
soldiers, they maintain, the terrorists should be released since
the "war" is over.
But even wars have rules. That's why Adolf Eichman ended
up at the end of a noose in Israel rather than a ticker tape parade
2. Some Things You May Not Recall About Mordechai
Just some quick reminders about exDefense Minister Yitzchak Mordechai:
when he pressed for Israeli withdrawals he rarely remembered to
make withdrawal conditional on Palestinian compliance. As Akiva
Eldar noted this week in Ha'aretz, at a critical stage in the
Wye negotiations Mordechai had the hutzpa to reveal Netanyahu's
hand by telling US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that
the suitcases Netanyahu ordered put outside to signal an imminent
departure were empty.
Mordechai says he opted "many times" to leave cabinet
meetings in order to avoid hearing inaccurate reports. Talk about
fulfilling his duties as a cabinet member! If he thought someone
was lying it was his obligation to do something about it. That's
what's needed and that's what the public wants. An IMRAcommissioned
Gallup Poll of adult Israeli Jews last Thursday found Israelis
opposed Mordechai's walkouts almost five to one.
On June 19, 1996, Netanyahu began his first full day in office
by establishing the National Security Council (NSC), a council
first proposed by the Agranat Commission that investigated the
foulups that preceded the Yom Kippur War. This was to be the
start of his hundred days. Unfortunately, Netanyahu dropped the
plan because thendefense minister Mordechai feared that the NSC
would encroach on his turf.
3. Barak's "E" word
As I noted several weeks ago, Ehud Barak has chosen to make the
use of the "E" word as an integral part of his campaign.
He keeps calling his political rivals extremists. He labels people
from the camp that opposes him "extremists".
It seems that in every interview he manages to fit in Zion Square,
the Rabin in a Gestapo uniform photo montage and the coffin at
Raananaa Junction. This is out and out incitement. When Netanyahu
was in Zion Square and every place else he made a point to
admonish those in the crowd with unacceptable placards to take
their signs down and denounced unacceptable slogans. That Barak
should even mention the photo montage is incredible since the
only reason it is known to the public is that a GSS agent, Avishai
Raviv, made a point of getting it televised in order to hurt the
As for the coffin in Raanana Junction Barak doesn't even try
to claim that it is Rabin's coffin anymore. He just calls it a
coffin. One of scores of coffin used in protests as a prop by
Israeli students, workers, Arabs and others.
Hopefully this heavy use of the "E" word will
backfire on Barak. After all, when you label such a large part
of the population "extremist" that's a lot of people
who won't vote Barak.
Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent Media
Review & Analysis.
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio -- Feb. 7, 1999 / Sh'vat 21, 5759
1. RECLAIMING INNER INDEPENDENCE
There is an old saying that it is easier to take a Jew out of
the Diaspora [Galut] than to take the Diaspora out of the Jew.
The truth of this adage becomes abundantly clear when one witnesses
the reactions of the Israeli media ever since the news broke this
past Friday that King Hussein was dying. Voice of Israel radio
decided to play sad, subdued, mourning music. Channel 2's Oshrat
Kotler looked as if she'd lost a close relative. "Independence"
is not only a political status it is also a state of mind. The
Jews of Israel still have a long way to go to attain inner "independence",
inner balance and selfassurance. Lost 1929 years ago, these qualities
cannot be retrieved in merely 50 years.
2. LEST WE FORGET
We all support the peace treaty with Jordan. There is also no
doubt that, among Arab rulers, Hussein most closely fit the definition
of a "good neighbor." And yet, we should never forget
the facts: It was Hussein that desecrated the Jewish cemetery
on the Mount of Olives, even using some of the tombstones for
Arab Legion latrines. With his consent, the socalled "West
Bank" served as a basis for terror attacks until 1967. One
need only recall the massacre on the bus in Ma'aleh Akrabim in
the Negev which claimed 11 victims; the 34 victims of Jordanian
terrorist attacks in 1954; and the frequent shootings from the
wall around the Old City of Jerusalem. In 1967, Hussein joined
the Egyptian attack on Israel. After the retreat of the Jordanian
army, Israeli soldiers found written orders from the King
instructing his men to kill everybody men, women and
children in Motza and Sha'alvim, two Jewish communities situated
between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
3. SPLIT PERSONALITY
After '67, Jordan once again began to serve as the basis for terrorist
infiltration, resulting in heavy Israeli casualties in Karame.
During what became known as Black September 1970, the benevolent,
smiling, welleducated King killed approximately 20,000 Palestinians.
(Subsequently, Israel gave asylum to over 100 terrorists who sought
refuge from the massacre.) Had a Jewish ruler done anything even
remotely similar, the Israeli left would never have forgiven him.
During the Gulf War of 1991, King Hussein conspired with Saddam
Hussein to partition Saudi Arabia, and to crown Hussein as King
of Hajaz. To this end, Hussein even began to grow a "fundamentalist
beard" which he later quietly and quickly shaved off.
All those years, behind the scenes, Hussein maintained good and
sometimes intimate relations with all Israeli governments from
both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. His explanation
for this "twofaced" game: his precarious position in
the Arab world. Hussein's Hashemite regime lacked legitimacy,
given the fact that Jordan was the creation of British imperialism.
Indeed, the King's grandfather, Abdullah, the founder of the Hashemite
dynasty, was placed on his throne by Britain.
4. A SHARED NIGHTMARE
Israel and Jordan cooperated closely economically, politically and militarily long before the signing of the formal IsraeliJordanian peace treaty. This relationship was not rooted in "love." There is no such thing between nations. It was a partnership based on mutual interests, clearly demonstrated in September 1970, when Israel moved its army to the Syrian border, forcing an armored Syrian column (which had already succeeded in penetrating Jordan) to withdraw.
It was Oslo that forced Jordan to sign a formal peace agreement
with Israel, because, despite Jordan's proPalestinian rhetoric,
the emerging "State of Palestine" is Jordan's real nightmare.
Jordan knows for sure that after taking Jerusalem,
Arafat's next move will be to get control of Amman. (Tel Aviv
will come only later!) King Hussein was always painfully aware
that 60 to 70% of his population was Palestinian; he was thus
careful to keep his Palestinians away from real political power,
especially in respect to Jordan's armed forces. "Greater
Palestine" extending from Gaza's Mediterranean shores up
to the Iraqi border to Teheran, would constitute a contiguous
sovereign, hostile Islamic land mass. This is the common nightmare
of both Israel and Jordan.
5. TWO INSURANCE POLICIES
Since the pernicious Oslo Accords, "Jordan is Palestine"
is no longer a slogan of Israel's political right. On the contrary:
Oslo made it a feasible goal for the Palestinians. Hence the caution
and the fear in Israeli political circles for the future and stability
of Jordan. Israel has two insurance policies in the face of this
danger. First: Jordan's Hashemite regime. Second: territory
the terrain of Judea and Samaria. The Judean desert and its mountains
are virtually unconquerable by an army attacking from the east.
In Samaria, the few passes leading from the east into the country
are controlled by a mountain range towering 800 meters above the
Jordan Valley. In a joint announcement, 100 American generals
and admirals described the region as "the only military margin"
Israel possesses to safeguard its very existence. Only from there,
say the experts, can an invading army be destroyed. Once up the
mountain plateau, a hostile foreign army faces obstacles on the
way to Tel Aviv.
From the Jordanian viewpoint, a Palestinian state sharing a common
border with Jordan would be tempted to infiltrate and destabilize
Jordan with the intention of annexing it to "Palestine."
Thus, both Israel and Jordan have a common interest in keeping
Israel on the mountain plateau of Samaria, in the Jordan Valley,
and on the Jordan River. Is it exaggerated to state that the second
insurance policythe territory, is the better one? After all,
what country would make its very existence dependent on the well
being of another state?
6. THE SETTLERS: A GIFT OF PROVIDENCE
Hussein's death is a classic illustration of how fragile and dangerous
is the total reliance on the stability of Jordan (a stability
that we hope will prevail under King Abdullah II). But Providence
has given Israel another leg to stand on: 200,000 Jewish settlers,
sitting on this very mountain plateau. If the Yesha settlers were
not there, they should have been invented. Providence also wanted
it so that the spearhead and backbone of this Jewish population
came there in search of tradition, religion and history, in the
footsteps of the Patriarchs. A spiritual magnet turned out to
serve as a material security belt for the Jewish coastal state.
The Israeli establishment's jitters in the wake of Hussein's death
should serve as the handwriting on the wall warning right and
left not to touch Israel's only true insurance policy: the territory
and the settlements of Judea and Samaria.
Former Techiya MK Elyakim Haetzni is an attorney living
in Kiryat Arba. Hehas a weekly spot on Arutz7, and writes a column
for Yediot Acharonot. ArutzSheva Educational
Radio is a project of BetEl Yeshiva Center Institutions.
On October 16, 1998, during an extremely brave operation, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a London hospital. The 83year old general, recuperating from back surgery, was arrested on a Spanish warrant alleging that he ordered "murders, kidnaping and torture during his 17year rule." An official Chilean government report says that 3,197 people were killed or disappeared at the hands of his secret police including some Spaniards. The Associated Press reported on January 21 that "new allegations by Spain say [that] Pinochet also began ordering torture in the months before his September 11, 1973 coup." "It is clearly established international law and has been for many decades that torture is a crime ... and all states enjoy jurisdiction over it," Christopher Greenwood, a lawyer for Britain and Spain, told Britain's highest court. "It is simply not tenable to say today that torture falls within the internal rights of a country."
Watching the tireless efforts of Amnesty International to prove Pinochet's guilt, following a hearing by the British highest court (that includes seven judges instead of the usual five) that will decide whether to uphold the extradition warrant, and witnessing the demonstrations of protesters that keep vigil in London, one should be stunned by the unprecedented hypocrisy of all these "warriors" for justice. How is it possible to run an extensive campaign in favor of prosecuting Pinochet and at the same time elevate a well known murderer and criminal Yasser Arafat to the status of an honorable political leader? How is it possible that instead of arresting Arafat and putting him on trial for the countless atrocities committed by the PLO under his rule, the civilized world community awards him millions of dollars and demands of Israel that she grant him the heartland of the Jewish people the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza?
If the international community "suddenly" recalled what happened in the seventies in Chile it would not hurt to remind it of Arafat's role in the destruction of Lebanon. Yes, Pinochet bears the guilt for the crimes perpetuated in Chile; however, during his rule a backward country was transformed into a strong state. At the same time, Lebanon the Switzerland of the Middle East was destroyed as a sovereign state through the activity of Yasser Arafat and the PLO. It was the PLO that lead all of the "revolutionary" factions in Lebanon. "It was the PLO which gave them their opportunity, their pretext, their military means; and it was the PLO which gave them their orders" (113).
"Out of a population of 3.2 million, some 40,000 or more
people had been killed, 100,000 wounded, 5,000 permanently maimed
and 500,000 displaced from their homes. About 300,000 Lebanese
fled to other land."(136). Arafat and the PLO plunged Lebanon
into "massacres, orgies of rape and mutilation, rampages
of looting and wrecking, invasion and partition" (116). The
Amnesty International attorney Ian Brownlie, who on January 21,
1999 presented the House of Lords with the severity of the charges
facing Pinochet, said that "Britains 1978 State Immunity
Act provides amnesty only for acts recognized as a part of a leader's
official duties. Torture, murder and kidnaping could never fit
into that definition." He also contended that "international
law specifically removes immunity from anyone even current or
former head of state accused of international crimes such as torture
or the taking of hostages."
Apparently the previous definition does not apply to a future head of state. This is exactly the mantle that Arafat is preparing to try on after the "MiddleEast peacehungry" international community tears away from Israel the land that gave the Jewish people its name. Or maybe the events perpetrated by the PLO in Lebanon are not considered as falling into the category of murder and torture? Just few examples representing a minuscule portion of the PLOs murderous activities in Lebanon will be enough to answer this question.
In January of 1976, the destruction of Damour, a town of some
25,000 was completed by the PLO within two weeks. "The priest
of Damour, Father Mansour Labaky desperately trying to save people
of the town telephoned Kamal Jumblat [one of the Lebanese leaders],
in whose parliamentary constituency Damour lay. 'Father, Jumblat
said, 'I can do nothing for you, because it depends on Yasser
Arafat' " (122). All efforts were useless. In the morning
following the first night of invasion, when more than fifty people
were massacred, Father Labaky "despite the shelling managed
to get to the one house, to bring out some corpses. An entire
family had been killed, the Canan family, four children all dead,
and the mother, the father, and the grandfather. The mother was
still hugging one of the children. And she was pregnant.
The eyes of the children were gone and their limbs were cut off. No legs and no arms" (123). In total, 582 people were massacred in the storming of Damour. Father Labaky went with the Red Cross to bury them. "Many of the bodies had been dismembered, so they had to count the heads to number the dead. Three of the men they found had had their genitals cut off and stuffed in their mouths" (126).
Azmi Zrayir, the PLO hero, an organizer of the terrorist attack in March, 1975 on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in which seven people were killed and eleven wounded, was remembered in Lebanon as "a thief, a murderer, a rapist and a torturer." Being a PLO headquarter commander in Tyre, "he formed a football team into which he conscripted teenage children. The players were forced to gratify Zrayir's sexual appetites. He debauched both girls and boys. At least one child who defied him was shot dead" (144).
Arafat was ruthless not only with the Lebanese citizens but with
the Palestinian Arabs too. In January, 1976 during the Christians'
attack on Tall alZa'tar refugee camp the PLO tried to prevent
the people in the camp from leaving. "Conditions within the
camp became critical, with acute shortages of food and water,
as bombardment continued day after day. The ideal of selfsacrifice,
imposed on the civilians by a leadership which itself took no
risks, was never known to be the choice of the unhappy people
themselves. And not all of the fighters who fell with their guns
in their hands were cut down by the fire of the Christians. Some
who tried to surrender or escape from the camp were shot in the
back by their own comrades" (133). The high command in the
PLO headquarters in West Beirut "not only refused to let
the Palestinians leave the camp, or let the fighters surrender
in order to save them all from hell, but insisted that the entire
population, including the children, were to be sacrificed"
Knowing the atrocities perpetrated against their Arab "brethren" one can only imagine the fate of those who were considered by the PLO to be "spies" or "traitors." "While searching a citizen in Sydon, the PLO found on him Israeli money and a pair of shoes made in Israel His hands and legs were chained to the fenders of four vehicles. When a Fatah officer signaled with his pistol, the four cars raced away, tearing his body apart while horrified spectators screamed. The cars raced through the streets with the bloody limbs dangling" (268).
"Nada alMurr the daughter of Alfred alMurr, a well known Lebanese civil engineer and industrialist, and May alMurr, a poet and historian saw a man torn apart by two vehicles" (147). If one wonders where the PLO bandits learned their barbaric skills one should be advised to look into a book by Jhon Laffin. He wrote in "The PLO Connections," how the PLO trained their youth. "An instructor gave an order and a boy reached into basket and pulled out a chicken. Then he wrung its neck and dropped the dead bird. "No, no, no!" Arafat said reprovingly. He too reached into the basket and dragged out a chicken. And without wringing its neck he pulled the thing apart."
The Lebanese crimes are only a short page in Arafat's criminal biography. Torture, murder and the kidnaping of innocent people was Arafat's and the PLO's signature wherever they were present. Thousands of people perished in Jordan in September of 1970 when Arafat tried to wrest power from King Hussein. More than a thousand Palestinian Arabs accused of "collaboration" with Israel were brutally killed by Arafat's cronies during the "intifada." During the thirty five years of the PLO's existence thousands of Jews have been maimed and murdered in bombings, driveby shootings, stabbings, etc.
The terror unleashed by the PLO all over the world has destroyed
and ruined lives of countless people in countless countries. The
PLO leaders proudly declared that Arafat bears full responsibility
for everything done by the PLO. Ahmed Tibi, AbuMazen, and Mohammed
Dahlan have repeatedly said that it was "Arafatwho sent [the
"fighters"] out on their operations." Is it possible
to imagine a greater hypocrisy than the arrest of a halfconscious
83year old former Chilean dictator in a hospital, and the embrace
of Arafat by the leaders of almost all countries in the world?
There is a story in Greek mythology about a Phrygian peasant named Gordius who very skillfully tied an ox yoke to his chariot. The legend said that the man who could loosen the difficult knot would become a ruler of all Asia. Many people tried but none succeeded. Finally Alexander the Great cut the knot with his sword, and declared that he had fulfilled the prophecy.
The time is long overdue for Israel to cut the Gordian knot of the Oslo agreement. The more the Israeli leaders try to stick to this selfinvented mantra, the more land they transfer to the Palestinian Arabs the more they obfuscate the truth. And the truth is very simple: if Americans have the right to America, Canadians to Canada, and Australians to Australia, then the Jews have a hundred times more rights to Palestine.
For almost two thousand years Palestine and the Jews were inseparable in the minds of civilized mankind. Palestine, or, as it was called before, Judea, was known to everybody as the land of the Jews. Lord Lindsay wrote in Letters on Egypt, Edom and the Holy Land, published in London in 1847 that, "the Jewish race may once more obtain possession of their native land The soil of Palestine still enjoys her sabbaths, and only waits for the return of her banished children."
American President John Adams confessed in a letter to Mordechai Noah in 1818: "I really wish the Jews in Judea an independent nation." Abraham Lincoln said in 1863 during his meeting with Canadian Christian Zionist Henry Monk that, "Restoring the Jews to their homeland is a noble dream shared by many Americans." Benjamin Harrison, yet another American President, wrote in 1891 that, "It is impossible for one who has studied all the services of the Hebrew people to avoid the faith that they will one day be restored to their historic national home."
The two millennia of continued Jewish presence in Palestine amidst ruthlessness, discrimination, persecution and massacres have no equal in history. It is this heroic and desperate clinging to the Land that convinced the world community at the beginning of this century to give the mandate to Palestine to Britain in order to facilitate the restoration of the Jewish national home.
Two additional reasons were behind this decision. When, in the year 70 AD the Jews lost their independence, their population in Judea numbered between five and seven million people. In the middle of the nineteenth century according to J. De Haas History of Palestine, the Last Two Thousand Years, the estimated population of the whole of Palestine was between 50,000 and 100,000 people. Thus, the Zionist slogan of the country without the people was not an exaggeration.
Another reason was explained by Sir George Adam Smith who wrote in 1891: "Nor is there any indigenous civilization in Palestine that could take place of the Turkish except that of the Jews who have given to Palestine everything it has ever had of value to the world." The absence of the "indigenous civilization" was confirmed by the prominent Palestinian Arab Professor Rashid Khalidi. In the recently published book Palestinian Identity, he wrote, "So profound a transformation of the sense of self of the Arab population of Palestine, which began during the years immediately before World War I, resulted in the emergence of a Palestinian national identity where a few decades before no such thing had existed."
This "sense of self" was discovered by the Arabs through the Jewish ethos. Khalidi quoted a "remarkable article" written in 1919 by no other than Hajj Amin alHusayni (later to become the Mufti of Jerusalem), who in "an unmistakable reference to Zionism and Palestine argued that the Arabs should take heart from the experience of a people long dispersed and despised, and who had no homeland to call their own, but did not despair and were getting together after their dispersion to regain their glory after twenty centuries of oppression."
Thus, not just the Europeans and Americans, but the Arabs too were well aware of the unique Jewish ties with Palestine. This is why there were no objections on their part when the Jews were called the "Palestinian settlers," the Jewish newspaper was called "The Palestine Post" and the Jewish symphonic orchestra was called the "Palestinian orchestra." The Arabs were the Arabs, and the Jews were the Palestinians. Because of another well known truth, it is outrageous to actually say that the Jews occupied Palestine. The tiny sliver of territory including the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza constitutes only slightly more than 20% of historic Palestine.
For an unbiased view of history it is important to look at events at the time when they were not yet marred by political considerations. Nothing can serve this purpose better than browsing through the pages of old books. The book "The Forgotten Ally" written by Pierre Van Paassen, a Dutch born newspaper correspondent, belongs to this category. It was written in 1943 and published by the Dial Press in New York. The author, who came from a family with a long line of Protestant clergymen on both sides, wrote this book at a time when Israel did not exist. To the contrary, the Jewish people was on the brink of extinction. For this reason, the facts presented in this book deserve even greater attention.
One episode is especially relevant to our theme. In spring of
1927 Van Paassen visited the retired French General Sarrail, who
prior to his retirement served as a High Commissioner in Syria.
Explaining why it was necessary for Britain to elevate Emir Abdullah
"to the throne in a country that was arbitrarily detached
from Palestine," General Sarrail said:
"That is the significance of making him Emir of TransJordan.
Some day the Arabs in TransJordan and Palestine will clamor for
a reunion, or be made to clamor for it, which amounts to the same
thing. The two countries, now separated arbitrarily, do in fact
belong together. They are both Palestine. It is merely that Jordan
divides the country into two parts. When the British Colonial
Office thinks they are ripe for reunion, it will set the Arabs
yearning for reunion. Their separation will be made unbearable."
The seventy two years that have passed since Sarrails prediction
have not changed the facts. Palestine is not occupied by the Jews.
It is occupied by the Arabs. Almost 80% of Palestine belongs to
the Arabs while the Jews are huddling together on a tiny piece
of land that they have miraculously managed to preserve. It is
not the Jews but the Arabs that usurped Palestine. As it was during
the darkest time in their history the Jews are not permitted to
live in four fifths of their historic homeland. Every new transfer
of land to the Palestinian Authority makes this forbidden territory
The Arabs are well on their way to making Sarrails prediction come true. The civilized world the British Colonial Office of our days encourages the "Arabs yearning for reunion." If another Arab state is created in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, then, very soon, the Arabs of this new state, the Israeli Arabs, and the Arabs of Jordan "will clamor for a reunion."
As General Sarrail warned: "What can the Jews say if and
when the Arabs of the two countries want to reunite? What argument
can they have if England demonstrates to the whole world that
the Arab claims are legitimate and that if they don't give in
to these aspirations there will be trouble?"
The Gordian knot tied around the neck of the Jewish state strangles
its more and more. One cannot untie it. The only way to prevent
complete suffocation is by cutting the knot. This can only be
done through the abrogation of the Oslo agreement and immediate
annexation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. If one says that nobody
expects from Israel these kinds of actions then they should be
reminded that the expression cutting the Gordian knot means solving
a difficult problem in an unexpected way. [1/14/99]
1.Quotes by Lord Lindsay, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin
Harrison are from Eliyahu Tal's book "Whose Jerusalem?"
2. Quote by Adam Smith is from S. Katz's book "Battleground"
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is
also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic
Yasser Arafat, a longtime terrorist, has been an honored guest at the White House on several occasions. He will return again to Washington on February 4th, when he will meet privately with President Clinton. This meeting is scheduled to follow Arafat's invited speech before the Congressional Prayer Breakfast. No representative from Israel has been asked to attend.
This visit, even more than its several predecessors, will represent a serious violation of international law. Moreover, as all international law is a part of the law of the United States, Presidential and Congressional reception of Arafat will be a serious crime under American law a boldfaced rejection of both Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution and of several major decisions of the Supreme Court. While Senators and Congressmen repeat the daily mantra of concern for our Constitution in the trial of William Jefferson Clinton, they now prepare to undertake a much more substantial breach of justice on February 4th.
Neither President nor Congress has been particularly animated by considerations of law on matters of terrorism. But this does not mean that Arafat the documented murderer of Israeli schoolchildren at Ma'alot (by literally cutting their throats) and of American diplomats at Khartoum is immunized against all legal remedy. There are provisions under this country's laws, Presidential and Congressional disregard notwithstanding, to use United States courts to enforce human rights standards identified by international law. These provisions follow a law known as the Alien Tort Statute.
Under this eighteenthcentury legislation passed by the First Congress in 1789, federal district courts have "original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." Significantly, this law is currently being used to bring a civil suit against Dr. Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs. Endorsed by the Clinton administration, this suit, brought by two plaintiffs known only as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, uses United States courts to remedy another category of crimes against humanity.
The Alien Tort Statute authorizes the United States federal courts to deal with civil claims by aliens alleging acts committed against international law when the alleged wrongdoers can be found in the United States. This means that terrorists like Yasser Arafat, when within the territorial jurisdiction of this country, can be brought before our federal courts for civil remediation of their unspeakable crimes. As a practical matter, this would require an interested foreign national most plausibly a citizen of Israel with some direct link to an Arafatengineered act of criminality to serve papers upon the PLO terrorist leader.
There are some special ironies in the current United States invitation to Yasser Arafat. The Palestinian Authority, which he chairs, has just released Abdallah alShami, one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. AlShami was detained a month ago after engaging in incitement to murder President Clinton on his recent visit to Gaza. Although he stated openly that he would be "happy if the American President were to be killed during his visit to the Palestinian Authority areas," Chairman Arafat freed alShami on the occasion of Muslim holiday celebrations.
Yasser Arafat is guilty of other pertinent categories of criminality as well. The PLO Chairman gave his blessings to numerous crimes of war, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity committed by Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War a war in which soldiers of the United States fought bravely and at considerable personal cost. In case the President and Congress may have forgotten, units of Arafat's Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) served with Saddam's forces in occupied Kuwait, making them actively complicit in multiple mean crimes of extraordinary horror and ferocity. Regarding Arafat's direct responsibility for PLO crimes, official voices within the PLO not only accept this responsibility of their Chairman, they celebrate it. On July 13, 1994, Dr. Ahmad Tibi, senior advisor to Arafat, stated: "The person responsible on behalf of the Palestinian people for everything that was done in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is Yasser Arafat...."
In theory, a United States led by a lawabiding President and Congress could provide venue for criminal prosecution of Yasser Arafat's crimes within our federal courts. American federal law confers jurisdiction "to try any person who, by the law of war, is subject to trial by a military tribunal...." Additionally, federal law grants jurisdiction to the federal district courts for all offenses against the laws of the United States. Since the United States was founded, we have reserved the right to enforce international law within our own courts. For a President of the United States who may have forgotten the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 10 confers upon Congress the power "to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations."
It is sad, to be sure, that an American President and Congress
remain so woefully indifferent to international and national law.
It is tragic, nothing less than tragic, that the people's White
House and Congress will be darkened by the visit of an especially
malevolent terrorist. But it will be inexcusable, absolutely beyond
pardon, that this honored guest of the United States, after praying
with the President and Members of Congress, shall be able to exit
our shores again without even any hint of legal interference by
lawenforcing remedy. In the future, in the face of
persistent official unwillingness to remember that international
law is part of our law, civil remediation by means of the Alien
Tort Statute may represent the last hope for decency and justice
in Washington. It is a fitting irony that such a remedy, impractical
as it is, would have to be applied by a citizen of another country.
LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author
of fourteen books and several hundred journal articles dealing
with international law. His next book is titled FORCE, ORDER
AND JUSTICE: INTERNATIONAL LAW IN AN AGE OF ATROCITY.
Is there some kind of longstanding conspiracy, some tacit agreement
between Jewish leaders in Israel, the Diaspora, and the Gentile
Western nations? Is there some kind of timetable whereby Israel
commits suicide, selfdestructs, and ceases to be? Is there
some timetable in which the land of Israel is declared, encouraging
as many Jews as possible to return and reclaim the land from desert
and swamp, making it fertile, building cities, creating a modern
infrastructure only to hand it over to the Arabs?
Israel was reconstituted through the determination of a people
to sacrifice everything in the face of all odds and win. Israel,
a persecuted little nation, who after many years of oppression
had vowed not to be passive any longer, and fought to survive
and prevail. Israel is the story of how a people created something
out of nothing...a homeland made out of sand and rocks, and against
It took an unusual breed of people to create the State of Israel....people
with great physical stamina, deep conviction, great persistence,
courage and an understanding of what it was all about. The builders
of Israel were the true pioneers, nationbuilders...people of
destiny. They were people you knew you could rely on ...they wouldn't
let you down. They were all team players and highly disciplined
soldiers. They were a group of people who showed the world how
human beings could reach for the stars and bring them down to
No one handed the Jews over a state on a silver platter, except
for the sons and daughters who were willing to lay down their
lives for it. They were the silver platter on which Israel
was offered to us.
Do Jewish leaders, Israeli politicians, Jewish establishment figures
in the West really want a Jewish State? Did they ever genuinely
desire a Jewish land in which the Jew alone, would be master of
his own destiny? A land under Jewish law, in which the Jew, after
2,000 years of being murdered with impunity by his neighbors,
could at last feel free to walk the streets in peace, security
Certainly, the longsuffering Jewish people have always wanted
Israel to be that land. Unfortunately we have been denied a genuine
Jewish land, peace, security, and safety by leaders who have deliberately
betrayed all the aspirations of their own people. Up until
now, Israel has been cursed with leaders, politicians, and establishment
figures whose loyalty belongs exclusively to their Gentile masters
in Washington whom they fear.
From Ben Gurion to Netanyahu, whether Labor or Likud, all have
been instructed and controlled by the West, never daring to declare
to the world the Jewish nation's sole and rightful ownership of
the Temple Mount, Hebron, Judea and Samaria. They have been despised
by the Arabs for their selfabasement, and are jumping to the
whims of their Western puppeteers. Through government control
of the media, they have infected Jews with guilt and selfhatred.
Israelis have been convinced that they are thieves who have stolen
the land from the "poor Palestinians." This makes it
all the easier for them to accept suicide and the destruction
of the Jewish State. The message that gets to the people is that
the Arabs, Arafat, and the PLO, etc., are not the real enemies
of Israel, but Judaism is.
They have always ensured that no genuine Jewish leader would ever
be allowed to gain political power. No man, no party would ever
be allowed to emerge that could alter the set course of selfdestruction
of the Jewish Nation. The longsuffering, selfsacrificing
Israeli Jews deserve much better than leaders who continually
betray them into the hands of their enemies, and who speedily
silence with harsh jail sentences patriots who criticize or
Even though Gd has bestowed upon us miracle after miracle in
His land, our leaders, through fear of angering their Western
masters, have overturned every one of them, always insisting on
immediately turning the clock backwards and putting Eretz
Yisrael and the Jewish people into a more dangerous position
than before. They turned victories into defeats, and Jewish pride
in winning, instead of losing, into shame for living instead of
If there is no formal agreement, no conspiracy, no timetable
for Israel to commit suicide and selfdestruct, then Oslo, Wye,
and the Israeli government's determination to speedily implement
this disgraceful crime against the Jewish nation, must go down
in history as the greatest betrayal of one's land and people that
has ever been known. Silently accepting this will surely hasten
the disappearance of the State of Israel.
It is time for Jews to send a message to the world again: WE ARE NOT COWARDS AND WE CAN WIN.
Rachel 7 is the director of the Middle East Political
Forum on AOL.Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of
January 28, 1999
A Voice from Hebron -- January 12, 1999
Shimon Peres actually believes that he graduated from the post
of Prime Minister of Israel to the Prince of World Peace. He opened
his Peace Center which he humbly named after himself, and he has
begun a herculean effort to raise billions of dollars to give
to the PLO to make peace. His assertion is that Arab terrorists
will stop murdering Jews and give up on their dream to destroy
Israel if they are given good jobs.
Were Peres not a former Prime Minister of Israel his efforts would
be comical. But because of his connections with world leaders
resulting from his former position, this man is a genuine menace
to the Jewish State. As a private individual Shimon Peres, like
any citizen, has the right to express his opinion. But when he
abuses his former credentials and presents himself to world leaders
as an extrapolitical entity representing a pseudo official Israeli
position which places itself above the government of Israel he
is overtly undermining his own government. Peres has set himself
up as some kind of ambassador of peace by abusing his reputation
as a former Prime Minister. He is literally conducting foreign
relations independently of the Israeli government and betraying
the Jewish state by so doing.
It is amazing that no judicial body in Israel seems to notice
that Mr. Peres is undermining Israeli foreign relations under
the guise of innocently promoting peace. How is it that he can
host leaders of over a hundred foreign nations as if he were still
representing the Israeli government without as much as a protest
from government sources? Doesn't anyone notice that this man is
openly betraying his country before the nations of the world?
Doesn't anyone in this country care that the man who was voted
out of office for creating the horror of Oslo is being allowed
to continue his efforts to help our enemies destroy the Jewish
State without as much as a protest? Peres should be tried for
treason rather than be extended the dignity of a pseudo ambassador.
This former head of the Jewish State is openly acting as Yasir
Arafat's personal political advisor! What greater betrayal of
one's country can there be than for a former head of state to
openly counsel our enemies on how to negotiate our self destruction?
He was seen on international television broadcasts addressing
the PLO parliament in Ramallah and assuring the PLO that he will
personally help them achieve statehood! He was clearly giving
them advice as to how best they could achieve this goal. If this
is not enough to charge Shimon Peres with high treason, I cannot
imagine what else would be.
Israeli elections are around the corner. We have numerous candidates
who feel that they are qualified to become the next Prime Minister.
Is it not a wonder that not even one of these candidates even
addressed the treasonous behavior of a former Prime Minister?
Should we not expect at least some of them to demand that criminal
charges be issued against him? Nothing? All we hear is the deafening
silence of lemmings marching to their selfdestruction with smiles
on their faces and sweet words about a nonexistent peace.
The Jewish people are totally bereft of leadership. Netanyahu,
our most eloquent politician and alleged leader of the right,
has entangled himself in a web of confusion of his own making
which has seen him not only fail to stop Oslo, but to enhance
the process of our self destruction. It seems that every one of
our potential leaders feels the need to accept the path of self
destruction as the only one we have to take. Why can we not find
one contender for leadership who has the courage to stand up and
demand that we take back our homeland from our enemies? Why can
no one muster the courage to openly declare Oslo an act of treason
which must be immediately undone? Why can no one seem to remember
that Arafat is a murderer who deserves to be executed and his
army destroyed? And why is Shimon Peres permitted to conduct official
acts of high treason without as much as an objection from anyone?
This is why we do not have peace. We are being lead by fools who
are actively participating in our self destruction. But, what
is worse, no one is objecting. When students felt that their tuition
costs were too high they took to the streets and willingly faced
police batons and arrest in order to make their case. They went
on hunger strikes. How then is it conceivable for the people of
Israel to complacently stand by and watch our leaders give away
our homeland for which so many of our sons gave their life blood
Where are the protests? Why is Shimon's Peace Center not under
siege day and night by Jews who demand that he not be given permission
to represent the Jewish State as the Prince of Peace, or in any
other capacity? Why are no charges brought against this traitor
by anyone? Why are we whining about what Arafat may or may not
declare next May? Can't we see that, defacto, we have already
permitted him to establish his state? Why is there no serious
discussion about dismantling the PLO state which already exists?
Why is there no contender for leadership who has the courage to
just be a Jewish leader?
I really want to vote on May 17th. But it seems to me that, as
of now, there is no contender who offers leadership. Not one candidate
seems to care that we are on the path to self destruction. Only
when this fact is recognized will there be hope to turn things
around. I am looking and I am listening. What I see and hear is
Shimon Peres ignoring democracy and conducting a foreign policy
of treason with impunity. When the people of Israel watch their
leaders kissing murderers. . .when they see former leaders openly
betraying their country in the name of "peace" without
as much as a protest, then they should understand why we suffer
as a nation. When one sleeps with dogs he should not be surprised
to wake up with fleas.
HebronPast, Present and Forever -- February 5, 1999
Two subjects have become major topics of the current elections:
Tel Rumeida and Bibi's new campaign slogan.
Tel Rumeida? Yes! Labor candidate Ehud Barak has turned Tel Rumeida
into a campaign issue. In what way? For example, a few days ago,
on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, as quoted in Ha'Artetz newspaper: "We
have clear red lines. Yitzhar and Tel Rumeida
are one thing; But Alphei Menashe, Gush Etzion, Ariel, Nirit,
the Jordan Valley settlements and many other places are part of
the State of Israel in the permanent settlement as well."
In other words, Tel Rumeida is NOT part of the State of Israel,
according to Barak.
What exactly is Tel Rumeida? This Hebron neighborhood is very
special. The word Rumeida, in Arabic, has something to do with
a fire that occurred well over 1,000 years ago and for some reason
the name stuck. However, the real name of this site is not Tel
Rumeida. Rather, it is Tel Hebron. For this is the site of the
original Hebron the home of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca,
Jacob and Lea.
According to archeologists, a huge, ancient wall found here originated
during the days of Joshua. Later, this site was the location of
King David's first palace the first capital of the Kingdom of
Judea, where David went following the death of King Saul. Visitors
can see here the Tomb of Jessie and Ruth Jessie, King David's
father, and Ruth, his great grandmother.
Other excavations have unearthed ruins from two thousand years
ago, during the time of the Second Temple. Only a few months ago
a superficial excavation discovered 40 clay jugs four thousand
years old. Some of this pottery was intact, and some of the jugs
contained jewelry inside them. When I take tourists to visit this
neighborhood I tell them, "You literally have 4,000 years
of Jewish history here, under your feet. This is the roots of
the Jewish People, the roots of monotheism. Our history began
here. This is the original Hebron, the first Jewish city in Israel."
Tel Rumeida today is a small Jewish neighborhood. Small, not because
this is the way we want it, but because we have denied the ability
to build, or to bring in prefabricated structures. Seven families
live today in this area, living in what we call 'caravans' or
mobile homes. Each caravan is about 45 square meters in size.
One family, who we frequently visit while touring, has two caravans
90 square meters. The reason: they recently celebrated the birth
of their 12th child. So they need a little extra room. Another
family in Tel Rumeida came from Russia, not too many years ago.
The wife, Anna, is one of Israel's premiere musicians. Tel Rumeida
is also home to Hebron director Rabbi Hillel Horowitz and his
family. And of course, I must mention another family, a family
which experienced tremendous tragedy a few months ago: Rabbanit
Chaya Ra'anan. Her husband, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan, the sixty three
year old grandson of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, Israel's
first Chief Rabbi, was brutally murdered by an Arab
terrorist less than six months ago.
These are some of the seven families living today at the site
of Israel's first Jewish city. This is the neighborhood of the
'extremists' which, according to Barak, is NOT a part of
the State of Israel. This is a land area which, according to Barak,
WILL BE GIVEN TO ARAFAT, as part of a final status
(A few weeks ago an Israeli archeologist who excavated at Tel
Rumeida, and who is also a wellknown activist of Shalom Achshav
Peace Now, in the Israeli left, told us, "This is the second
most important archeological site in Israel, second only to Jerusalem."
He added, "Unfortunately, it belongs to Arafat.")
This is where Barak draws the line.
The second topic I mentioned is Bibi's campaign slogan, which
says: Netanyahu: A strong leader for a strong people. (Well, they
got half of it right. We are a strong people. Whether or not Netanyahu
is a strong leader is another story.)
Why is this a controversial subject? For some reason, people object
to the use of the word 'strength'. It seems to have negative connotations.
This, I personally find difficult to comprehend. Strength does
not necessarily mean physical strength. What about moral and ethical
strength, spiritual strength, or what might be called assertiveness
i.e. standing up for what you believe in?
What I find interesting is that the same people who negate
Tel Rumeida also object to this campaign slogan. And the reason
seems to be fairly obvious. They prefer weakness. They prefer
mediocrity. They prefer a fuzzy and obscure identity. They cannot
identify with Abraham or King David or Joshua, because these central
figures in the history of our People were strong and assertive.
They cannot associate with a people like the Maccabees, who revolted
against the Greeks, or BarKochva, who led the revolt against
the Romans following the fall of the Second Temple. Both the Maccabees
and Bar Kochva battled in ancient Hebron. For they represent the
antithesis of 'good Jews'. They prefer Jews who kowtow to the
demands of others, who prefer Washington and Geneva to Hebron
and Yitzhar (a community in the Shomron). They prefer to erase
our past, thereby stunting our future.
A people unwilling to honor its past, cannot honor its future.
Of course we always have to look forward, but when we look at
ourselves in the mirror of history, we are our past. If we despise
our past, we despise our present. And in the future, we too will
be disregarded. The measure of who we are Israelis and Jews
this is our past and our strength. That is why, obviously, Barak
rejects not only the 'strength' in the campaign slogan, but also
the historic identity with Tel Rumeida.
We, to the contrary, have a different measure of strength, a strength
which is inextricably bound up with Tel Rumeida with Abraham
and King David, with Joshua and the Maccabees. And with seven
families who are keeping this ancient holy site accessible for
all the Jewish people.
(Note: The present administration has recently granted permission
to build at Tel Rumeida. Hopefully, following archeological excavations
due to begin shortly, new houses will be built at this site and
the population will be doubled.)
A Voice from Hebron -- February 5, 1999
There seems to be, deeply imbedded within the Israeli mentality,
a powerful paranoia which makes any effort to identify Arabs as
enemies of the Jewish people an expression of "racism"
which cannot be tolerated. This fear of possibly prejudging our
Arab neighbors solely on racist grounds is so repugnant to all
levels of the political eschelon as to have rendered our normal
sense of survival moribund.
President Ezer Weizman has decided to release Arab murderers from
prison, for peace, and, in order to mitigate criticism, he has
agreed to reduce the sentences of Jewish prisoners convicted of
killing Arabs. The logic, as usual, is full of holes. If the PLO
has been forgiven for murdering our children because we now recognize
that they were only fighting for their legitimate rights, then
how can we free Jews who killed Arabs when, clearly the Jewish
effort to fight for our homeland denies the Arabs their rights?
It seems that we can no longer distinguish between right and wrong.
. . between the Jewish right to our homeland and the deceitful
Arab claim to it.
No matter how hard our politicians may try to justify, even to
themselves, our current negotiations with those who seek our outright
annihilation, I am not convinced that even one honestly believes
he is dealing with a potential partner in a genuine peace process.
There was a time, not so long ago, when only fringe elements on
the left had succeeded in this selfdeception.
Today we have a rightwing Prime Minister, and the legendary Ariel
Sharon, both actively pursuing a dead end course of trying to
make peace with terror. The only complaint the left can make is
that this extremist government is not committing suicide fast
enough for them.
The picture gets even more ridiculous when we find the alleged
super right wing, Benny Begin, refusing to join with Moledet,
citing that party's desire to transfer our enemies out of our
homeland as being racist. The most ludicrous of all is the fact
that Ghandi's position only calls for "voluntary" transfer
of those of our Arab neighbors who are terrorists. And further,
he only calls for this limited expulsion for those particular
terrorists who live in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli Arab terrorists
have immunity from his transfer plan on the grounds that they
are Israeli citizens.
How is it possible for an entire political system to have contracted
such a deep seated madness as to justify the right of our enemy
to seek our destruction on our own soil? Not only this, but we
have been and continue to be, actively assisting our enemies in
their efforts to destroy us. We have invited them to set up an
entire military infrastructure, with autonomous control, on our
sovereign Land. We have given them weapons and closed our eyes
as they smuggle in more. We have given them military bases, and
have literally ceded large portions of land over which they have
established defacto sovereignty, in violation of the most basic
intentions of the Oslo agreement. Not one political faction has
cried foul. Instead even Mr. Reciprocity himself has accepted
the innumerable PLO violations and, in spite of them, continues
the madness of giving away more of our sacred homeland to the
How is it that the office of the Prime Minister has spent such
an enormous amount of time publishing itemized lists of the PLO
violations of every agreement, and yet fails to acknowledge the
fact that agreements which are openly and consistently violated
are no longer agreements? By definition, both Oslo and Wye have
long ceased to be valid by virtue of this clear and measurable
fact. Yet the government of Israel sees the need to continue to
act against our most fundamental self interest even as it cries
that it doesn't want to continue a bad agreement! It is my contention
that the establishment of a unique and strange "morality"
in Israel which redefines the term racism to mean saying or thinking
anything bad about Arabs, even if they are murderous enemies of
the Jewish State, has so completely embedded itself into our culture
that even those who choose to call themselves "right wing"
are no longer able to recognize our enemies as such.
The Jewish State was established to be the homeland of the Jewish
people. At the time this was not considered a racist concept.
Today it would seem that our entire government, from right to
left, thinks that it is. We have replaced the Zionist concept
of establishing a safe haven for the Jewish People, with a poor
replica of the American credo of a homeland for all peoples. Our
Arab enemies have exploited our obvious vulnerability to this
absurd "racism" complex and have used it to establish
the framework with which they hope to restructure the concept
of a Jewish State, to a democratic state with full and equal rights
for Arabs, and then take advantage of that "equality"
to democratically turn Jewish Israel into Arab Palestine. This
is not a clandestine deception, rather an open campaign. Arafat
does not want to become an Israeli citizen. He wants to be King
of Palestine with Jerusalem as his capital. Tibi does not want
to be an Israeli legislator. He wants to take the government of
Israel from the Jews and rebuild it as the government of Arab
Palestine. I do not blame Tibi and Arafat for working to achieve
Arab sovereignty over my homeland. It is perfectly normal for
my enemies to hate me and try to destroy me. But how can I explain
or tolerate a Jewish government which assists our enemies in these
I am back to my dilemma of an upcoming election day. Once again I am told that I must vote for Bibi, because Barak is worse. But it is clear to me that both are disastrous to the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland. Only a Jewish leader who remembers why we created this reborn Jewish State is worthy of being elected. No, I do not need a perfect leader. But there must be some minimum guidelines to which a leader worthy of our vote must subscribe. I can think of two simple ones which do not require the candidate to be either the Messiah or even religious. First and foremost such a leader must declare that Israel is the Jewish homeland which cannot be parceled out to others, even for real peace. And secondly, any nonJew who declares his intention to take any part of our homeland from us must be immediately expelled. If these two minimal concepts of survival cannot be adopted by a candidate, then why should I vote for him? I know, if I vote for the left they will give away my country quicker. But if I vote for the so called right, then I am lending my approval to the abandonment of my homeland! How can such a stance be morally justified?
Election day has not yet arrived. If I find a candidate who can
accept those two minimum points as part of his platform I will
vote for him. If not. . .
Editor's Note: Every time I read about an Israeli demand
that Arafat apprehend terrorists, extradite terrorists, stop incitement,
stop terrorism, break up terrorist infrastructure etc, I
WANT TO VOMIT. Fighting terrorism is the job of the
Israel Defense Forces and it cannot be turned over to Arafat.
Afterall, ARAFAT IS THE TERRORIST. How long before the
Israeli Government realizes this SIMPLE FACT. In the old
days the IDF would go into Gaza, Jordan, and Egypt WHEREVER
NECESSARY TO CRUSH THE EVIL FORCES THAT WOULD TAKE JEWISH LIVES.
Oslo has turned a once proud Jewish State into a bunch of wimps,
deluded into thinking that one can make a ham sandwich kosher,
by saying a brucha (in the form of a treaty) over
it...........Bernard J. Shapiro
Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry Jerusalem January 4, 1999
Mail all Queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, URL: http://www.israelmfa.gov.il
Following this morning's shooting attack in Kiryat Arba, Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, this evening (Monday), 4.1.99,
sent a sharp message to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
Arafat and demanded that he take all necessary measures to apprehend
those responsible for the attack.
Prime Minister Netanyahu further demanded that Chairman Arafat
take vigorous action to prevent attacks in Hebron, as he has committed
to do in the agreements.
A Voice from Hebron -- January 4, 1999
How does one get used to living with terror and murder? How is
it possible that we Jews, who have been persecuted by nearly every
nation in the world, can agree to accept terror in our own homeland,
especially when it is under our control? These are questions which
most prefer not to even ask, much less consider addressing. Is
there any circumstance imaginable which can justify a powerful
Jewish nation agreeing to accept the fact that it must tell its
citizens to live with terror?
To call our present situation humiliating is an understatement.
It is criminal for any nation to accept terror as something it
must live with.......especially when that nation is well able
to put an end to that terror. After repeated brutal acts of murder
and attempted murder, our government still insists upon respecting
the "rights" of our enemies to live amongst us and to
choose the time and place to attack our civilians. Further, it
has provided those enemies with safety zones, within our own country,
to which they can and do escape capture.
This morning, as I was leaving the Machpelah building after morning
prayers, I heard a loud and long volley of automatic weapons fire.
It was disconcerting, but not really unusual to hear gunfire in
Hebron. Then, as I was beginning to drive home, I saw a white
van pull up to the police station in front of Machpelah and sound
its horn furiously. I got out of my car and walked over, horrified
to see the entire left side of the van riddled with bullet holes.
Most of the occupants were women, including kindergarten teachers,
who were on their way to Hebron from Kiryat Arba.
From the little I could see, despite the incredible amount of
shooting, most people were unharmed. I did not want to interfere
with the security and medical personnel so I left without really
knowing all the details. We learned later that two women were
seriously injured, but, miraculously, all survived the attack.
This is not the first attack upon Jewish civilians in Hebron.
. . but there is no reason why it should not be the last. How
many Jews need to be murdered in cold blood before we get the
message that the Arabs are not prepared to live in peace with
Jews? This is not a matter of semantics. Jews are targets, sitting
ducks for terrorist murderers who have been given weapons and
escape zones by a Jewish government! How it warms my heart to
hear that my defense minister, Yitzchak Mordechai, is calling
upon the PLO to catch the murderers! Did it not occur to this
genius that it was the PLO who sent these murderers? How many
more Jewish lives will he entrust to his friend Arafat before
he comes to the conclusion that only the IDF can and will defend
and protect Jews?
Every day Jews, who travel on our new bypass roads, are attacked
by Arab stone throwers. The idea of spending millions of dollars
on these new roads was to avoid attacks by bypassing Arab villages.
Why did it not occur to the planners of this concept of security
that the Arabs are able to climb on the hills overlooking the
new roads and pelt our cars with rocks? One would expect that
firm measures would be taken to protect our civilians. Instead
we are forced to run the gauntlet every day, and Arab traffic
is being given a "safe passage zone". Why can't Jews
have a safe passage zone?
It is we who are guilty for the terror and bloodshed in our country. Once we rewarded the intifada with recognition of the PLO and the surrender of Jewish land to Arafat, we only whetted the appetites of our murderers to demand more and more. This is not surprising. What is surprising is the fact that our government has continued to give them more and more, thus guaranteeing greater amounts of terror, and, eventually a war which will see our enemies in a far better position to destroy us than they could ever have hoped to have achieved under any other circumstances. By "being strong" and postponing the Wye agreements, Netanyahu challenged our enemies. Having learned from our past behavior, the Arabs have decided to return to the intifada, which worked in the past. The real challenge for our prime minister is to prove to the Arabs that this time it won't work. And the only way to do that is to respond to attacks brutally and conclusively. If not, we are back where we started.
If Netanyahu gave away 80% of Hebron to Arafat, the least he could
do would be to transfer 100% of our Arabs out of our 20% and create
a security zone where it would be possible to prevent any attacks
upon Jews. This is not a matter of diplomacy. It is a matter of
life and death. Thus it should be of the highest priority.
We are on the eve of elections. Where are the voices of our wouldbe
leaders? Is there a contender for leadership who has the courage
to express his interest in protecting the safety of his citizens
other than to repeat the cliche "peace with security".
We have nothing remotely resembling either peace or security.
It is all lies. We like the words, but the music is off key. When
election day comes I will only vote for a candidate who openly
declares how he intends to protect Jews from our enemies. If we
have no candidate who is even thinking of taking back our country
from those who are trying to take it from us then we have nothing
to vote for.
Editor's Note: How many of you remember the Oslo idiots telling you that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Israel didn't need to worry about Russian arms in the Middle East?
The Syrian Defense Minister, Mustafa Tlass, will head a military
delegation to Moscow in the coming days to discuss weapon deals
with Russia. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the
two sides will discuss $2 billion worth of military equipment,
including modern fighter aircraft and S300 air defense systems.
The Syrian delegation is scheduled to stay in Moscow for 10 days.
The renewed strengthening of military relations between Syria
and Russia began about two years ago. Some 90 percent of Syria's
arsenal is based on Soviet equipment, and much of this is in need
of updating and refurbishment. The Russian Defense Minister, Igor
Sergeyev, visited Damascus about two months ago, the first such
visit since the breakup of the Soviet Union. After this visit,
it was reported that the two countries had agreed on settling
Syria's debt to Russia, estimated at $12 billion.
Russian sources say that Syria is interested in purchasing T80
tanks. The Syrian Army has about 4,000 tanks, but most of them
are very outdated.
Seems like hardly a day goes by without someone on Israel's Lemming Left denouncing all those NOT on the Left as "fascists". Today's "Fascistcalling" sandbox toddler is none other than Honest Abe Avraham Burg. Burg is at the extreme left corner of the Labor Party (and was a Knesset Member), and is currently head of the Jewish Agency. You see, there is nothing wrong with large umbrella Jewish organizations having far leftists as their heads, but if one dares to consider a Republican conservative who has supported Netanyahu (like Ronald Lauder), then this of course must be prevented at all costs. [Editor's Note: Lauder was recently elected president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.]
Anyway, Burg's sandbox tantrum was in response to the Likud's
new campaign slogan, which is "Netanyahu, a strong
leader for a strong people". Burg believes this constitutes
fascism because the word "strong" is used, and thank
goodness the Likud did not dare to use the word "niggardly"
or Burg would no doubt denounce the Likud as antiSemantics. This
of course comes after Haaretz carries neardaily OpEds with the
same message, namely that anyone who disagrees with the Left is
Anyway, since I can see the confused looks on your faces, I have
decided to clarify for us all the true meaning of "fascism"
and so we will now be able to avoid the appearances of fascism.
|'Tis FASCISM!!||Ain't FASCISM!!|
|Netanyahu a strong leader for a strong people.||If I were an Arab I would become a terrorist.|
|The Palestinians do not have the right to their own state.||Israel should cease to exist and be replaced by an Arab state of Palestine.|
|I support capital punishment for terrorists.||I applaud the murders of settlers.|
|The Americans should bomb Iraq EVEN during Ramadan.||The Palestinians have the right to use terror to defend their lands.|
|Jews have the right to pray on the Temple Mount.||Arabs have the right to use terror against civilians to recover their stolen lands.|
|It is okay to use force against imprisoned terrorists to extract information.||It is understandable that Arabs blow up buses.|
|Jews have the right to live in the West Bank and Gaza.||Jews do not have the right to live in Haifa and Tel Aviv.|
|I believe rioting Palestinians should be shot with live ammunition.||Saddam Saddam Gas the Jews!!|
Steven E. Plaut, PhD, Graduate School of Business, University
of Haifa Email: SPLAUT@econ.haifa.ac.il
Anwar Shaikh is a remarkable man. Born a muslim in the Indian
city of Gujarat (now Pakistan) in 1928, he has lived in Britain
since 1956, where he has published several books at his own expense
attacking Islam in an uncompromising fashion.This activity has
earned him the hatred of the muslim clergy in Pakistan, who demand
his extradition so that he may be publicly hanged. Shaikh's loathing
for Islam grew from harrowing personal experiences at the time
of independence and partition in 1947. (See "Anwar Shaikh:
a staunch critic of Islam", New Humanist, Vol.
113, no. 2)
In his latest book Islam: The Arab Imperialism, Shaikh
attacks head on the muslim claim that Islam is a universal religion
addressed by God to the whole of mankind, constituting the final
revelation delivered by the final prophet. Far from this being
the case, Shaikh sees Islam as the product of the genius of Muhammad,
who masterfully exploited the ancient Middle Eastern notion of
prophethood in pursuit of his own and his people's "dominance
urge", which sounds very like Nietzsche's Will to Power.
Shaikh begins by pointing out the inherent absurdities in the
concept of prophethood. How it in effect puts belief in prophets
above belief in God, since the prophet is supposedly God's messenger
and mouthpiece, implying that He is incapable of communicating
with humans in any other way. The muslim idea that Muhammad is
the final prophet, confirming and fulfilling all previous prophets,
is seen as Muhammad's masterstroke, putting the kibosh on any
change or innovation.
On the basis of the text of the Quran, underwritten by the traditional
biography of the Prophet, Shaikh discerns a progress in Muhammad's
expression of his prophetic role. In the beginning, when he was
politically weak, he claimed to be a mortal and humble servant
of Allah, but when he became strong, after his supposed move from
Mecca to Medina: "he began changing his tone, until he was
able to claim himself to be Allah's Superior". (75) The proof
of this is Q.33:56 "Lo! Allah and his angels shower praises
on the Prophet (Muhammad). O ye who believe also shower praises
on him and salute him with a worthy salutation". Shaikh claims
that the word translated "shower praises on him", really
means worship and is usually applied to God.
According to Shaikh the arrogance of Muhammad is fully expressed
in the arrogance of the religion he invented toward all nonArabs,
especially the Jews. The notorious episode of the Jewish tribe
of the Banu Quraiza, in which Muhammad is supposed to have overseen
the slaughter of 800 Jewish men, is seen by Shaikh as: "a
pathetic model of ethnic cleansing. The Jews suffered this fate
when they refused to become Arabs. We cannot find an example of
such extreme nationalism so early in history. Yet the muslims
believe that Islam does not recognize nationalism. They insist
that it is a message of international brotherhood". (1034)
As regards history this is not quite true of course. It was routine
in the ancient world that when a city was conquered the men were
killed and the women and children sold into slavery. However that
may be, Shaikh is undoubtedly right to emphasize the essentially
Arab nature of Islam, and how that ethnic identity was imposed
on those they conquered.
The crucial question is how long did this process take and who
was responsible for originating it and carrying it out. To attribute
it all to the genius of Muhammad is to take for granted the picture
of the origin of Islam that the muslims invented for themselves.
This pays an unnecessary compliment to the integrity of the Quran
and the hadith and the veracity of muslim historiography. Pointing
out the contradictions and unpleasantness in the Quran and extracting
an unattractive portrait of Muhammad from the hadith is an easy
game to play and good for annoying muslims, but it is nowhere
near radical enough if the rug is really to be pulled from under
The interpretation of the origin of Islam in which Muhammad is
seen as a wily and lascivious politician and military leader,
rather than as a religious figure, was popular in the West in
the good old prepolitical correctness days of the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. The intention then was to show
the inferiority of Islam to Christianity and of Muhammad to Jesus
Christ, but with the spread of unbelief and the advent of ecumenism
this approach was toned down and is now only popular amongst evangelicals.
In more recent times, since about 1975, any approach to the life
of Muhammad and the origin of Islam based on the Arabic sources
has been seen as problematic, since it is now widely recognized
by scholars how unreliable those sources are.
If the earliest biography (sira) of Muhammad, compiled by Ibn
Ishaq over one hundred years after the Prophet's death, is taken
at face value, it provides a life situation for the revelation
of the Quran and the hadith. Taking this life story in combination
with the texts of the Quran and the hadith it is possible to construct
various scenarios in explanation of the origin of Islam alternative
to that favored by muslim traditions. The problem is that if the
sources are tendentious and unreliable no reconstruction based
upon them is more likely to be true than any other. Abstracting
a Muhammad who is an unscrupulous politician, ruthless military
leader, and cynical lecher, is no more likely to represent true
history than that of a saintly prophet chosen by God as an example
for humanity. The lust for positive results in historical investigations
is usually the handmaid of some ideological agenda, whether acknowledged
Admitting that we simply do not know what Muhammad was like, if
he existed, that the writers and compilers of the Quran will remain
for ever unknown, and that none of the so called prophetic traditions
represent authentic sayings or doings of the Prophet, is not much
fun and provides no grist for anybody's mills, rather, it calls
for an intellectual ascesis without appeal, but at the same time
it shows the traditional account of the origin of Islam to be
a baseless fiction.
In addition to his writings on Islam Anwar Shaikh is also the
editor of the humanist journal Liberty, available from the same
address as his books. Volume six, issue nineteen is a special
edition containing an excellent article on Islam and human rights.
Shaikh rightly points out the absurdity of the muslim notion of
"God's rights", since: "rights are required to
protect one's entity, interest and future, threatened by aggression
and fear of usurpation. Allah, who is projected as the Almighty,
the Absolute, the creator, the Allwise and Free of desires, does
not need the shield of right to shelter, secure and screen Himself
from man, whom he is supposed to have created and whose every
movement He is said to control". (3)
Shaikh also considers the rights of muslim men, infidels, and
muslim women under Islam. It follows that if God has rights man
has no substantive rights at all, since any rights he has are
derived rights and only accrue to him from his abject submission
to the primary rights of God. Infidels, because they do not acknowledge
God's rights, have no rights at all and are only fit for extermination.
As for the rights of women under Islam they are practically nonexistent.
Even the much trumpeted rights to inherit property and to divorce
men are nullified by the overriding law of purdah, forbidding
their participation in social life. Whereas men can divorce their
wives quite independently and at will, a woman is forced to go
through a long legal process, almost impossible in a male dominated
society used to treating women as second class citizens. In effect,
women's rights are limited to her maintenance provided she obeys
her husband. The article closes with a devastating point by point
analysis of the derogatory muslim attitude to women derived from
the Quran and the hadith.
Shaikh's work deserves more attention than it has so far received. It is an act of courage and carries more weight coming from someone born a muslim. It should be especially effective amongst those coming from muslim families and living in the West. Those wishing to read and distribute his books should write to him at the above address.
[Islam: The Arab Imperialism is available from the Freeman
Center Book Department]
THE MURDER OF YITZHAK RABIN by Barry Chamish ...Feral House... $12.95
THE KORAN AND THE KAFIR (Islam and the Infidel) by A. Ghosh $7.95
PEACE NOW: Blueprint For National Suicide By Dan Nimrod, 1984, Dawn Publishers $10.00
EYE ON THE MEDIA by David Bar-Illan $14.95
FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine By Joan Peters.
Harper & Row (pa) $16.95 (12.95)
THE RISE OF THE ISLAMIC EMPIRE AND THE THREAT TO THE WEST by Anthony J. Dennis,
Wyndham Hall Press $19.95 ($16.95)
ISLAM, THE ARAB NATIONAL MOVEMENT... Anwar Shaikh...The Principality Pub. $7.95
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE..Ed Alexander ($10)
THE WRATH OF ALLAH...Robert E. Burns $12.95 ($10)
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