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THE MACCABEAN

POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS

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

VOLUME 7 FEBRUARY-MARCH 1999 NUMBER 1

THE ISRAELI ELECTION

KING HUSSEIN'S DEATH

JONATHAN POLLARD

OSLO/WYE

IN THIS ISSUE:

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


.................

And Much More Inside

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FEBRUARY- MARCH 1999

PAGE

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

ISRAELI ELECTION

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

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THE MACCABEAN
[ISSN 1087-9404]

Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro Published Monthly by the

FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES

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(c) 1999 Bernard J. Shapiro





An Editorial

WHY I WON'T WEEP FOR KING HUSSEIN

A Contrarian View

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The good men do is oft interred with their bones.

If this be true, so let it be with Caesar....William Shakespeare

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 Scud attack.

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 Jordan.

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.

............Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor

Guest Editorial

THE RETURN TO ZIONISM

By Boris Shusteff

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.


TWO SHORT POLLARD ARTICLES

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 counterproductive.

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

BRING JONATHAN HOME

By Jonathan Rosenblum

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'.


CONSPIRACY AGAINST
POLLARD & ISRAEL

By Emanuel A. Winston

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 ­ or themselves.

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." (4)

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." (5)

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 vitriol.

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.

NOTES

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

MAGAZINE 12/95

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 Studies.


A Freeman Center Special Release

THE COMING ISRAELI ELECTION
An Analysis

By Yehuda Poch

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 the situation.

Current declared candidates for Prime Minister:

Ž Binaymin Netanyahu, 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.

Ž 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.

Ž 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.

Ž Rafael Eitan, Minister of Environment and Agriculture. Leads Tsomet party. Former Chief of Staff, Israel Defense Forces.

Ž Benny Begin, 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:

Ž 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 in Israel.

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.

Ž 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 Front.

Ž Shas: Party 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 Raphael Pinchasi.

Ž National Religious 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.

Ž Meretz: 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).

Ž Yisrael Ba'aliya: 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.

Ž Gesher: 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.

Ž Tsomet: 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.

Ž 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 Harel.

Ž 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 Lupoliansky.

Ž Moledet: 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

Ž Shinui: 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.

Ž Arab Democratic 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:

Ž Centrist Party (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.

Ž Yisrael Beiteinu: 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.

Ž Herut: New 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.

Ž Meimad: 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.

Ž Tekumah: This 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 Slomiansky.

Ž Worker's Party: 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.

Ž Voice of the Environment: Nechama Ronen, Director General of the Ministry of the Environment, has formed this party whose platform is environmental protection.

Ž YESH: This 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 equal representation.

Ž Penina Rosenblum Party: founded by Israeli cosmetics magnate Penina Rosenblum (Israel's Mary Kay) and with no apparent policy platform.

Political Fluidity:

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 life.

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

Et Tu, Begin

by Moshe Feiglin

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 positive.

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 year round.

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.

NEXT QUESTION

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

CLUCKING AWAY

By David Wilder

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 Prime Minister.

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 us otherwise.


Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of January 27, 1999

A LACK OF CLARITY

Groping In The Fog

By Moshe Zak

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

BEYOND THE FRONT­RUNNERS

By Dr. Aaron Lerner

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 further withdrawals?

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 Begin.

With one major difference. Begin would reach the impasse with a stronger position on the ground and the diplomatic advantage of clarity.

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Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis).


BURST BALLOON

By Uri Dan

Former defense minister Yitzhak Mordechai is the most recent classic case of a political opportunist who is tempted to believe everything the media says about him and loses all sense of proportion regarding his true worth.

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

A CHOICE, NOT AN ECHO

By Yossi Ben-Aharon

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

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Yossi Ben-Aharon is a former director­general of the Prime Minister's Office.


DIRTY POLITICAL TRICKS

By Emanuel A. Winston

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 cause.

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 it.

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.

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Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst & commentator and a research associate of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.


THE ELECTIONS AND SECURITY

By Christopher Barder

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 stop.

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

Elyakim Ha'etzni on General Shahak

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.

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Elyakim Ha'etzni is a lawyer and Jewish activist who lives in Kiryat Arba.


IMRA'S WEEKLY COMMENTARY
ON ARUTZ 7

By Dr. Aaron Lerner

February 4 , 1999

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 "E" word.

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 in Berlin.

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 nationalist camp.

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.

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Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis.


Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio -- Feb. 7, 1999 / Sh'vat 21, 5759

HUSSEIN'S DEATH: A PRELUDE TO GREATER PALESTINE?

By Elyakim Ha'etzni

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.

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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.


HYPOCRISY

By Boris Shusteff

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" (133).

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?


CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT

By Boris Shusteff

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 bigger.

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]

NOTES

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 Studies.


PRAYING WITH ARAFAT

LEGAL REMEDIES FOR PRESIDENTIAL
AND CONGRESSIONAL HARMS

By Louis Rene Beres

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.


BETRAYAL OF THE LAND

By Rachel 7

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 great adversity.

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 earth.

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 and safety?

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 dissent.

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 dying.

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

WHEN ONE SLEEPS WITH DOGS

He Should Not Be Surprised
To Wake Up With Fleas

By Gary M. Cooperberg

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 to regain?

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

MEASURES OF STRENGTH

By David Wilder

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 settlement.

(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

TO SHARE OUR SOVEREIGNTY
IS TO SURRENDER IT

By Gary M. Cooperberg

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 PLO murderers.

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 efforts?

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 ask@israel­info.gov.il, URL: http://www.israel­mfa.gov.il

PM NETANYAHU:
ARAFAT MUST TAKE STEPS
TO APPREHEND TERRORISTS

(Communicated by the
Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

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 Many Jews Must Be Murdered
Before We Take Back Our Country?

By Gary M. Cooperberg

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?

SYRIA TO GO ARMS
SHOPPING IN MOSCOW

By Daniel Sobelman [Ha'aretz -- January 29.1999]

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.


ISRAELI FASCISM

By Dr. Steven Plaut

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 a fascist.

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


Book Review

Islam ­ The Arab Imperialism

By Anwar Shaikh

The Principality Publishers
P.O. Box 918,
Cardiff CF5 2NL (UK) $8.95

Reviewer: Ibn al Rawandi

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 Islam.

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 or not.

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]


O LAND OF ZION

By Bernard J. Shapiro

Look to the east to a land far away but near

To a land where prophets roam and warriors do battle

Where the river Jordan flows in mystic splendor

Where hopes are born and dreams are realized

I look to a land of struggle, blood and tears

The Land is my people, the mother of the Jew

O Land of Zion, my heart longs for you.

The soil of Zion is good beyond measure

It rewards those who care enough

To see its beauty and its grace

Past the sand and stones of neglect

The valleys blossom with the fruit of Eden

And the mountains are ablaze with color, they sparkle with the dew

O Land of Zion, my heart belongs to you.

I wandered far and searched the earth for peace

But only in Zion was my heart at rest

And only in Jerusalem was my soul free at last

To seek the meaning of the universe and all its mysteries

To ponder the rebirth of my people and our destiny

Here in the hills and valleys of Israel, my understanding grew

O Land of Zion, my true love is with you.

* * *

(This poem was written in Jerusalem in 1967 and first published

in the Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston, TX) on December 13, 1973.)

We Are All Settlers, II

Lyrics by Evelyn Hayes

I'd love to be a settler and come home to the promised land.
No more sojourning from where they want us gone.

I'd love to be a settler with Avraham Aveinu in Beit El.
No more burnings, pogroms, murders on foreign soil.

I'd love to be a settler in Hevron, Zichron Yaakov, Ashkelon.
No more sojournings and running on and on.

I'd love to be a settler with Yosef, Menashe and Ephraim.
No more sojournings, no more chasings from here and there.

I'd love to be a settler in Yerushalyim, Schem, Petah Tikvah, Beersheva.
No more sojournings, no more sweeping us away.

I'd love to be a settler in my homeland
Together with my sisters and my brothers
Together with The Fathers and The Mothers.
I'd love to be where I belong.

I'd love to be a settler high on the hills of Shiloh, Gasmla, Kiryat Arba, deep in Jewish history at Itamar.
No more sojournings from where they want us gone.

I'd love to be a settler on the plains of Susiya, Psipora, Herzelia
No more sojournings, torture, from where they swipe us out.

I'd love to be a settler and follow our true fate,
resettle what they ruined, rebuild our ancient streets,
rebuild what was, create what should have been.

It's time to be a settler, throw away the yellow stars.
It's time to be a settler, and join our countrymen.
It's time to be a settler and wave the Magen David: affirm our past, reclaim our future.
It's time to be a settler, to be at home in the land we adore.
It's time to be a settler and proclaim a promised love.
It's time to be a settler in Eretz Yisroel and fulfill the Torah's tale.
It's time to be a settler in Eretz Yisroel,
stop sojourning here and there,
erase the centuries of fear.

It's time to be a settler in Eretz Yisroel and fulfill the Torah's tale.
It's time to be together with my sisters and my brothers
in the land of The Fathers and The Mothers.
It's time. It's time. It's time to be together in our ancient
settlement, our country, sacred state, our own land,
the promised homeland.
It's time we are all settlers and come home....
  1. January 15, 1999

FREEMAN CENTER BOOK SALE

(Freeman Center price in parenthesis, postage & handling (U.S. only) $2 first book + $1 each additional book).

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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THE MACCABEAN

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