This Issue is dedicated to the memory of
BINYAMIN ZE'EV AND TALIA KAHANE ZT"L HY"D
Lovers of Zion
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"
VOLUME 9 B"H JANUARY 2001 NUMBER 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A TIME FOR PEACE, AND A TIME FOR WAR...An Editorial....Bernard J. Shapiro 2
REFLECTION 2001....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
ISRAEL AT THE CROSSROADS
THE REAL PURPOSE OF OSLO....Elyakim Ha'etzni 4
HOW COULD IT HAPPEN?....Emanuel A. Winston 5
THE GUARDIAN OF OUR HERITAGE....Arthur Cohn 7
The Jerusalem Post Editorial...Voices of Dissent 8
AN UNORTHODOX ITINERARY....Israel Harel 9
THINK AGAIN: Failing the test....Jonathan Rosenblum 10
SHOULD CONGRESS FUND PLO CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE? 12
ISRAELI ELECTIONS ARE LOST RATHER THAN WON....Moshe Arens 14
CONFUSING ARAB PROPAGANDA WITH REALITY....David Basch 15
DUEL ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT....Uri Dan 16
BARAK'S NONSENSICAL U-TURNS...Evelyn Gordon 18
IMRA'S WEEKLY COMMENTARY ON ARUTZ 7....Aaron Lerner 19
LETTER TO AARON LERNER ON CIVIL DISOPEDIENCE....Nadia Matar 21
COGITO ERGO BOOM...RESCUING ISRAELI STRATEGIC STUDIES (AND ISRAEL)....Louis Rene Beres 23
HA'ARETZ: PHALCON TALKS WITH INDIA PUT ON HOLD UNTIL NEW US ADMINISTRATION....Amnon Barzilai 24
ARAB EAST JERUSALEMITES FEAR PA RULE (most would prefer Israel stays)....Baruch Kra 25
DOWN WITH HANUKAH....Rabbi Meir Kahane 27
ON THE SPECIAL IMPORTANCE OF BERNARD SHAPIRO AND THE FREEMAN CENTER....Louis Rene Beres 30
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404]
Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
Published Monthly by the FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, P. O. Box 35661, Houston, TX 77235-5661, THE MACCABEAN ONLINE: URL: http://www.freeman.org/online.htm
Phone/Fax: 713-723-6016, E-Mail: FREEMANLIST@AOL.COM ** URL: http://www.freeman.org
Copyright (c) 2000 Bernard J. Shapiro
The Freeman Center receives no public funds
and exists solely on
private contributions which are fully tax deductible.
A TIME FOR PEACE,
AND A TIME FOR WAR
By Bernard J. Shapiro
We find all the expressions of horror at recent statements concerning a soldier's obligation to avoid abandoning army bases and settlements to terrorists, to be hypocritical, self-serving, and unfortunate. The Israeli government of Ehud Barak is in rebellion against everything that Israel, Zionism, and Judaism are all about. They are the ones causing the rift in the body politic and they will be totally responsible for any resulting violence.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with the PLO supported tyranny that rules Israel? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? Why don't members of the Nationalist Camp understand that FORCE is being used by only ONE side and that is the government. The monopoly on power must be broken or there is no hope.
Under the Nazis, the Jews of Warsaw numbered over 500,000. They were depleted with regular deportations aided by Judenrats (Jewish leaders). The Revolt in Warsaw began when the Jewish population was down to 50,000 (or 90% murdered). At what point is it OK to rebel? When is civil disobedience OK? When is civil war a better course than suicide? All throughout history there have been rebels and loyalists. History is usually written by the victors but truly there is seldom a universally accepted moral standard as to what is a proper rebellion and what is not. We can say with absolute certainty, however, that the Jewish return to Zion and our struggle today for Eretz Yisrael are more righteous than any other struggle for national liberation in the history of the world.
A massive outpouring of Israelis prepared to get arrested in civil disobedience would have stopped the Oslo Suicide Pact years ago. The government plan to withdraw the IDF from settlements in YESHA is nothing more than a than a way to make them insecure in the face of Arab attacks. The ultimate aim being to cause them to evacuate their homes and save the government the trouble of ethnic cleansing them for Arafat. Jews will have a choice: being massacred or abandoning their homes. Their ability to defend themselves will have been thwarted by the government in collusion with the terrorists.
Following my five weeks of research in Israel, I spelled out (May-June 1994 issue of THE MACCABEAN) the nature of this inevitable conflict:
THE PRIMARY INHERENT FLAW IN THE OSLO AGREEMENT
THAT WILL LEAD TO MILITARY CONFLICT
1. The Palestinians expect and will demand that every Jew be removed from their areas of control including the whole of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
2. The Jews of YESHA not only plan to stay in their homes but will fight for them militarily. This obviously conflicts with #1.
I also stated: "The number of Jews in YESHA is about 144,000. Not counting women, children, and men over 50 leaves about 40,000 men capable of resisting a PLO armed force. These men are all IDF veterans and reservists with army issue UZI's or M-16 with at least ten clips (30 rounds per clip) of ammunition per gun. These numbers have proven too low as shown in the recent fighting. All Jewish villages are on the hills with a commanding view of the area. The Arab villages control the roads creating a strategic situation similar to the pre-state fighting of 1947-48. Bunkers must be built and homes fortified as well Armourded cars must be acquired and food and medicine for at leased a 30 day period must be stocked. During my visit I toured the whole area, and emphasized the need to get past the shock of the government's disregard for their interests and make serious preparations for the coming battles."
Six years have passed since that report and events are playing out exactly as I predicted. Arafat's Intifada II has been launched with attacks all over Yesha. Arafat's PLO terrorists will soon take over Judea and Samaria under Barak's new sellout of Israel (Camp David Plus). The military struggle is about to begin in earnest. If anyone believes this to be unlikely, stay posted and we will see how the future plays out. The Jews of YESHA should not leave their physical well- being to the good graces of Arafat or Barak.
The Jews of YESHA must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. They must fight the Arabs, where necessary, to maintain their travel, water, and land rights. When the Israeli government retreats, leaving them behind PLO battle lines, they must be prepared to go on the offensive militarily to secure safe contiguous areas of Jewish control. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who have surrendered our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in YESHA who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham nor their right of self-defense.
Exercising one's right to self-defense is a moral imperative. There is a lot of hypocritical talk coming from the government about the danger of Jew fighting Jew. These warnings are coming from the likes of Yitzhak Rabin's colleagues who encouraged him to shoot Zionist (Betar) teenagers swimming to shore after his forces sank the Altalena in 1948. These same hypocrites are putting the Jews of YESHA in life threatening peril. They care nothing about Jewish lives!
Should the Jews of YESHA be forced into military combat -- most likely against Arabs, they will be fighting for the security of Israel and the future destiny of the Jewish people. These brave Jews would be continuing the long tradition of Hebrew Warriors, including Joshua, David, the Maccabees and Bar Kochba, who fought against all odds to save their people and their country.
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, and two in 1973 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to an evil terrorist, who delights in killing Jewish babies. The Brave Heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to passive civil disobedience. Freedom sometimes needs to be secured through the barrel of a gun. It is considered patriotic to die fighting Arabs for Israel's survival, then it is just as patriotic to mobilize massive civil cdisobedience against Jews who would lead Israel to destruction. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.
WE MUST PRAY THAT THE WATCHMAN OF ISRAEL PROTECT HIS PEOPLE FROM THE DANGEROUS POLICIES OF THE BARAK GOVERNMENT. MAY HE LIBERATE HIS PEOPLE FROM CRUEL TYRANNY AND RESTORE ZIONIST RULE TO JERUSALEM.
[This article has been updated on December 24, 2000 from an editorial in the August 1995 issue of THE MACCABEAN.]
By Bernard J. Shapiro
As we enter a new year there are some thoughts I would like to share with you. The study of Jewish history in general and the Arab war of extermination against Israel in particular reveal a central persistent theme. The Jews are a gifted people, beneficial to the world community in vast disproportion to their numbers.
Despite the above, the world has plotted their destruction more times than can be counted. The next to last being the Nazi Holocaust and the present one being the Arab/Muslim war of extermination planned for Israel. All the great powers of the world who ignored the Jews cries for during the Holocaust are again turning their collective backs on Israel. And America seems to be apart of that group.
The hoax of a "peace process" is meant to cover the betrayal. Everyone knows that Israel will not be safe in shrunken non strategic borders. It is but a stage in Arafat's plan of "stages" to dismember the Jewish State.
Where are the leaders needed to face this apocalyptic threat?....Bernard J. Shapiro
THE REAL PURPOSE OF OSLO
By Elyakim Ha'etzni
[December 16, 2000] In the shooting incident involving a bus in Jerusalem's French Hill the shooter dropped his automatic rifle. It emerged that it was one of the weapons which Israel supplied Arafat. But this is not the entire story. The armor piercing bullets that Arab snipers fire from their Kalashnikov rifles are also made in Israel. The suppliers of these bullets with minds programmed by Oslo, apparently thought that they were supplying Peace bullets for Peace rifles. Now that these bullets are fired at their own people, one should expect that they apologize, contend having made an innocent, fatal error. But no! Even now, realizing what the original intent of these weapons had been, they continue to walk hand in hand with the shooters towards their goal: The establishment of a Palestinian State in a land cleansed of Jews.
The I.D.F. is depleting its energy by an absurd, expensive, corrosive and morale destroying armoring effort, coupled with a futile pursuit after every terrorist, while those who dispatch them enjoy immunity.
A hallucinating government, blind to reality, is incapable of divining the destructive impact of the nearly daily funerals of peaceful citizens whom "the most powerful army in the middle east" is incapable of protecting on the very doorstep of their homes. Similarly our Prime Minister fails to realize that the dragging on of these events draws the countries of the region with ever increasing momentum into the maelstrom of a general war.
The turnabout, which brought upon us this "darkness at noon", occurred in the cabinet meeting following the blowing up of the bus in Hadera. In its wake the new pattern of this "ridiculous war" (drole de guerre" was the name, which the French bestowed on the waiting period in 1940, when its army sat passively behind the Maginot Line and allowed Hitler to conquer half of Europe) emerged. Arafat became purposeful: No more mass assaults with children in the forefront and no more massive firing from cities under his control. He had already reaped the maximum propaganda value from the dead children, and the Israeli return fire was causing too much damage in the Palestinian areas. As for casualties, hence forward he preferred to count Jewish dead, and not merely Jews, but settlers and the soldiers guarding them. A cost effective method: The price of Arab bullets is negligible, the cost of Jewish protection gear defies imagination. For example, it costs 40 million Shekels to bullet-proof 100 buses alone. With a few hundred bullets one can ruin the lives of 200,000 people, drive the I.D.F. berserk, inflict damage in the billions to the Israeli economy, gradually destroy the entire settlement project, and widen to the very abyss the rift within Israeli society. The Arab pattern of action has become sagacious, efficient, logical and deadly.
In contradistinction, the post-Hadera pattern of action of the Barak Government is the very opposite: No more reprisal actions and no initiative. At best a generally ineffective return of fire and a snail like self enclosure within a variety of fortifications. By night commandos apprehend some ringleaders in the Arab villages, swatting one mosquito and another mosquito, instead of draining the swamp. By day we have good-will measures: Opening the Dahania airport and the passage to Egypt, unblocking funds, restoring V.I.P. certificates. Soon "in honor of Ramadan" more terrorists will be freed to fill the depleted ranks of the shooters.
There is method to this madness. Because of its messianic devotion, the Peace Camp is incapable of operating against those who dispatch the gunmen, from the command level of the Tanzim militia and up to Arafat and his establishment, because the fall of the Palestine Authority would shatter once and for all the whole Oslo peace dream. Even now that the dream has turned into a nightmare, the dreamer refuses to awaken, for he has nothing worth awakening for.
We are being murdered on the roads not because the slogan "let the I.D.F. win" is "imbecility and wickedness" in the words of retired Southern Command head General Yom-Tov Sammiah, but because an I.D.F. victory means the collapse of Arafat's rule and the dismemberment of the rotten and corrupt Palestine Authority with its dictatorial and murderous apparatuses. But precisely this sort of victory the peace camp will not tolerate because it would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State and the liquidation of the hated settlement project, the only way of barring the rise of the right and the religious which cannot be halted due to their increasing demographic advantage.
True, the removal of Arafat and his regime will stave off a general conflict, will thwart the influx of millions of Arab refugees, and will put a damper on the incitement of Israeli Arabs, but all this is no compensation for the end of a dream. The Peace Camp will never allow the War of Oslo to end with the death of Oslo, whatever the cost to Jewish life and to a Jewish future in the Land of Israel.
Elyakim Ha'etzni is an attorney and Jewish activist who lives in Kiryat Arba.
HOW COULD IT HAPPEN?
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator
How could one single man who has resigned from office - who has almost no support from the people's Parliament, give away the very core of the Jewish State?
What mind control has taken hold of Ehud Barak, making him a veritable toy in the hands of an impeached, corrupt, lame duck American President whose loyalties lie with oil companies and Arab terrorists?
How can a single person, elected to a temporary office believe he has sole ownership to the land, her Jewish Holy Sites, her water resources, the lives of her citizens and the very life of the State?
Yet, under the mind control of a corrupt President/State Department/CIA, this Israeli Prime Minister has been instructed to divest the Nation of Israel of all these vital parts of her body and, with them, the future existence of the State of Israel. Thousands to millions of people, Jews, Muslims and Christians, may die because he follows these orders like a mindless zombie.
Barak, without any authority to hand over the deed for much of the Nation of Israel, is doing exactly that. Like a Bank President who believes he owns the money of the Bank's depositors and embezzles the funds, Barak first steals the Nation and then sells it to Arafat and Clinton.
How could it happen? Why haven't the people of Israel poured into the streets and forced the illegitimate Barak Government to close down immediately? Why has not the Knesset passed legislation to stop what may be the last breath of the Jewish nation? Can it be true that Israel's main products are weak, apathetic Jews?
The people have seen the aberrant Left collude with Israel's enemies to make the Nation so vulnerable that she must inevitably die. We all have seen Arafat break every single agreement made - even with the Clinton guarantee - and yet this suicidal Israeli government plunges on with more agreements - each of which has failed in its own turn.
We know the Arab nations continue to arm and pledge destruction of Israel. We know that they have kept hidden their stockpiles of illegal weapons such as: machine guns, land mines, grenades, mortar shells, antiaircraft and antitank guns and possibly artillery. (1) We know such nations as France, Germany and those others who make up the United Nations connive with the Arabs for the day they will sweep Israel from the map of the Middle East.
My dear, pathologically stupid Jewish Chevra, if you insist on dying, at least do so standing on your feet. If you must die and plan to take your families with you, at least do not follow a brain-washed leader and the most corrupt President America has ever known. Do not passively put your head on the chopping block without a word or a gesture of protest.
If you wish Arafat to be your/our executioner, then go out patriotically, bravely - with honor.
But first, make sure that those of the Left who sold you out, share the same fate. If there are to be rivers of blood, don't let them escape but let them be first. Insure that they are well up in front to greet the hordes of Arabs who, even now, are preparing their oft-declared Jihad' (Holy War) to "Dance in the blood of the Jews!" - as they state so plainly.
How could it happen? Quite simply, we let it happen.
1. "The Palestinians are amassing an arsenal of illegal weapons" by Barbara Demick PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER 12/18/2000
Emanuel A. Winston is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
THE GUARDIAN OF OUR HERITAGE
By Arthur Cohn
(December 27) - This week, I was awarded in Jerusalem the annual Menachem Begin Prize by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, for the production of the film One Day In September, dealing with the 1972 Munich Olympics. The film had won an Oscar and numerous other international prizes, but this award, presented by President Moshe Katsav, was particularly meaningful because of my high esteem for Begin and all he stood for.
Begin was above all a human being with love and respect for all his fellow Jews. Great parts of the population responded with sincere affection. The Sephardim were particularly fond of Begin despite his being so proud of his Polish descent.
Begin was an upright democrat. In contrast, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has broken the basic, accepted norms and values of a democracy. For months without a majority in the Knesset, Barak daily accepts new concessions which in every detail are contrary to his political program prior to his election.
On the way from Switzerland to Israel, I read that until the new election of a prime minister, not even an Israeli ambassador to Korea can be named. But why, at the same time, can the division of Jerusalem be contemplated without any parliamentary backing?
Begin was a Jewish statesman. He never, ever would have considered negotiating Jerusalem because he was deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and saw himself as representative of Jewish history. While Begin gave the Jewish world the feeling that there is one state in the world to defend the Jews, Barak apparently does not mind going down in history as the first leader to destroy the comforting knowledge in the Diaspora that the Jewish state will preserve and defend its Jewish heritage.
Begin was proud to be a Jew. Never would he have tolerated the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel campaign of hatred of the Palestinian media. He would most assuredly not agree to continue negotiations as long as Israelis are attacked and killed by his negotiation partners.
Begin asked himself at each and every decision whether it is good for Israel. Before independence, for example, he endeavored to prevent a civil war.
Barak, in contrast, is obsessed with his political survival at all cost, even at the cost of Israel's image. He must know full well that the Knesset will not ratify any agreement which would put an end to the unification of Jerusalem.
Yet, in his demagoguery, Barak does not mind the terrifying effect on Israel's standing in the world when the Knesset rejects "his" plan, branding this as a rejection of "peace."
If Barak irresponsibly does not take into account the frightening lack of any reciprocity during the years since Oslo, why should other nations be expected to do that?
Why should the world sympathize with Israel's fear that what happened in Gilo might happen in other neighborhoods once the Palestinians rule the Old City and villages surrounding Jerusalem?
Who will care if the Western Wall becomes inaccessible in the same way as Joseph's Tomb - just as the Wall was unapproachable until 1967, despite an agreement with Jordan?
The latest breathtakingly antidemocratic actions of Barak mark a sad decline of Israeli democracy.
I prefer to remember with respect and gratitude Menachem Begin, who saw himself with a sense of responsibility as a link between generations and at all times based his judgment solely on what is good for the future of Israel within secure and defendable boundaries and in protection of the essence of a proud Jewish heritage.
(The writer is a film producer living in Basel, Switzerland. His Oscar-winning productions include The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis, Black And White In Color, Dangerous Moves, and, this year, One Day In September.)
(c) The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post: Editorial
Voices of Dissent
(December 27) - Judging from Prime Minister Ehud Barak's performance - the word is chosen advisedly, given his ham-fisted table-slamming and exaggerated shouting - on Nissim Mishal's Channel 2 interview program on Monday evening, it seems clear the prime minister has taken a decision to accept the US bridging proposals for moving ahead with negotiations with the Palestinians.
In so doing, Barak has broken a number of pledges, the first of which was his determination not to negotiate with the Palestinians under the sound of gunfire. Even if there has been a statistical reduction in the number of terror incidents over, say, the past two weeks, it is impossible to claim that the situation has returned to the pre-Rosh Hashana levels of security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Also going by the wayside are Barak's commitments not to improve on the offers made at the Camp David summit in July and that Israel would not concede sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Although the details of the US plan have not been officially released, it seems clear that Barak's Camp David offer of relinquishing to the Palestinians around 90 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been bumped up to 95 percent, with another 5 percent of land from the Halutza area in the Negev, adjoining the Gaza Strip, also being transferred to the PA.
As for the Temple Mount, it appears as if Israel is now prepared to accept Palestinian sovereignty over Judaism's most holy site, relying on some form of understandings to prohibit the Palestinians from digging underneath the mount, the area believed to hold the remains of the First and Second Temples. And under the contours of the American-proposed agreement, Israel's capital, Jerusalem, would be divided, with the Palestinians receiving sovereignty over the Arab neighborhoods.
Given the historical enormity of this decision, the muted sound of protest of opponents to such an agreement is simply stunning. Less than five years ago, Shimon Peres lost an election due in no small part to the slogan "Peres will divide Jerusalem." Or, as Brig.-Gen. Effi Eitam (Fine) put it earlier this week, it would have been inconceivable for Israel to hand over a state to "a wretched murderer" like Yasser Arafat. Speaking at a Bar-Ilan University conference, Eitam said: "Five years ago, he [Arafat] did not have a place to rest his head, he was not here at all, and it never crossed our minds to hand him a state."
The brigadier-general, who was officially on active service when he made the remarks, had been roundly criticized by those on the Left, with some Knesset members calling for his dismissal, something his resignation has prevented. These Knesset members argued that, as a serving IDF officer, Eitam had no business promoting his political views in public.
There would be something to this argument if it were applied even-handedly across the political spectrum, but it seems only criticisms of a left-wing government are grounds for dismissal. When senior IDF officers continually and publicly insist there is no military solution to the present violence, only a political one, no one demands their dismissal even if such a statement is and of itself a political statement. There is no doubt that the IDF could impose quiet on the territories; the decision not to employ the full force of the IDF stems from non-military considerations.
And in calling Arafat a "wretched murderer," Eitam was only paraphrasing, albeit in a blunter and less diplomatic manner, his superior officers in the IDF and Barak himself. Ever since the "Aksa intifada" broke out, the official Israeli position has been that the PA is responsible for the violence and that Arafat, as its head, has it within his power to call a halt to the killing.
These next few days and weeks will be fateful for the country. It is vital that all sectors of the population and all viewpoints are heard, and are allowed to be heard, before the nation goes to the polls to give its stamp, or not, of approval to the agreement Barak seems determined to sign. The concessions Barak is prepared to offer are so major that there has to be a full public airing of the issues involved. This is not the time for gagging the voices of dissent.
(c) The Jerusalem Post
Ha'aetz 28 December 2000
AN UNORTHODOX ITINERARY
By Israel Harel
Israel Foreign Ministry organizing trips in Israel in support of Palestinian propaganda.
The first few weeks of the Oslo War were hard not only on the citizens of Israel. In addition to their concern for Israel, Jews in many places around the world felt that the ground was burning in the diaspora as well. So many communities organized solidarity delegations that braved the trip to the Holy Land despite across-the-board warnings from all foreign offices.
Two weeks ago an Israeli spokesperson met with one such delegation. We came here to encourage you and get your support, they said, but instead what we got was (Palestinian leader) Ziad Abu Ziad. This would maybe make some sense in ordinary times, but at a time like this? That Israel should give him center stage to deliver his anti-Israeli propaganda? And with us as the audience? Jews who come to express their solidarity with Israel?
This week the same Israeli was asked to meet another delegation. When he inquired who the other speakers would be, he found that Ziad Abu Ziad was once again on the list. The organizers had nothing to say in their defense against the claim that only total derangement, if not worse, was the only explanation for what was supposed to be Israeli PR. Giving a podium to the enemy's best propagandists, from which to shatter the confidence of diaspora Jews in the righteousness of their people and of Israeli soldiers, is nothing short of deliberately sabotaging Israeli and Jewish fortitude, and all the more so when this is being done at a time of war.One such delegation, from a European country in which Arabs have been terrorizing Jews, was taken to Nazareth. Mayor Ramez Jerayssi, they reported, told them all about how Israeli policemen had deliberately massacred the Arabs. They were shown video clips shot by Arabs and cut to COGITO ERGO BOOM show only dead bodies, blood and funerals. When they tried to ask why they are shown nothing of the Arab vandalism, no shootings at the Israeli police and no footage of how the northern part of the country was cut off, they were told that this was Zionist propaganda.
Having successfully fostered such close bonds between the Jews of the diaspora and Israeli Arabs, the Foreign Ministry, which planned these visits, had but one more minute detail to complete as promised: to get the delegation together with the Jews of the Galilee, who had experienced first-hand the pelting, siege and road raids. But instead of this promised meeting, they were brought together with MKs Yael Dayan, Naomi Hazan, and Collette Avital. How foolish to think that Galilee residents would be the best to convey their own feelings. Professor Galia Golan, a Peace Now leader (and one of the people behind the ad published in the Arab press, blaming settlers for Arab terrorism) was also squeezed into this busy schedule.
On the third and final day of the visit, still in shock, the visitors were taken to Jerusalem. Now, they thought, they will finally have those long-awaited meetings for which they came here in the first place. But instead of following the plan and going to Yad Vashem, they were driven to the American Colony Hotel, a stronghold of Palestinian diplomacy and PR. The main item on the Jerusalem agenda, it turned out, was none other than Ziad Abu Ziad. With remarkable eloquence he explained that Israel and especially the settlers are the ones that waged the war. It is they who created provocation that the oppressed Palestinian people could no longer contain, and it is they who generated such desperation as that which led to the Ramallah lynching.
After lunch - at the American Colony, of course- there was no time left toexpress solidarity with Gilo. The organizers didn't think a meeting with soldiers (a photo with Israeli troops is a highly emotional and well appreciated momento for diaspora Jews) important enough. Although the delegates explicitly asked to meet Ethiopian immigrants, this was stricken from the agenda because of the long bonding meeting with Abu Ziad. Thus, directly from Mount Herzl, where they paid their respects at the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, the delegation was hauled directly to the airport.
The response of the Foreign Ministry: Our embassy in that country forwarded us the plan, at the delegation's request, and we simply scheduled the meetings they asked for.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
The Jerusalem Post
THINK AGAIN: Failing the test
By Jonathan Rosenblum
(December 28) I'm depressed.
"Don't worry," my friends in shul tell me. "We have a good Protector."
I know that. Yet I can't help recalling that our Protector does not always spare us from the folly of our leaders, and that Jewish history has not been one long romp through sunny meadows.
Mostly, I'm afraid that our Protector may be more than a little fed up with His people.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's words, written at the beginning of Jewish resettlement of Eretz Yisrael, haunt me. Hirsch warned that there is no Divine promise that we will not be exiled once again: "From time to time in the course of the centuries, God allowed His people to touch the Land again. He put them to the test to see whether the miracle of their existence through centuries of exile had at last taught them to utterly despise the gods of the earth, and had eradicated their stiff-necked refusal to acknowledge the Divine word."
The evidence on that score is not encouraging. A month before the renewal of the intifada, our prime minister announced a secular revolution. Buses would run on Shabbat, the malls would be open, nationality would no longer be listed on our identity cards. A month later, after Arafat emptied the jails of every Hamas terrorist, some malls were empty for fear of terrorist attacks. Parents were asking themselves before they sent their children on any bus: Is the trip necessary? The soon-to-be-erased line for nationality became the basis on which the security forces screened potential terrorists.
The violence first flared in full force on the eve of the Day of Judgment on Judaism's holiest site. Just days before, Israel had been floating the idea of transferring control of the Temple Mount to the UN Security Council. (Remember when that seemed a radical idea?)
A week later, Israel stood condemned for war crimes by the same Security Council. God seemed to be pointing directly at our loss of national identity - the destruction of which was the unspoken goal of the secular revolution - as the source of our trials.
The message fell on deaf ears.
Assessing the failures of his tenure in office recently, the prime minister could think of only one: not pursuing the secular revolution more aggressively. He promised to do so if re-elected.
Barak's vulgar materialism - his watchmaker's sensibility - leaves no room for God's influence in the affairs of men and nations. In the materialist universe, only that which can be measured exists. And who has seen God or, for that matter, the human soul?
That same materialism prevents Barak from comprehending the role of will and spirit in the life of nations. He cannot understand that a nation without a past is a nation without a future. Arafat demands as a condition of peace that the Jewish people abase itself and admit that the Temple Mount is more important to the Arab world than it is to the Jews. That is the whole point of the exercise over sovereignty: to prove that nothing could induce the Arab nation to renounce its claim to the Temple, while the Jews will do so for will-o'-the-wisp pieces of paper.
On that mount stood the two Temples, the dwelling place of the Divine Presence in this world, for nearly 1,000 years. On that mount our father Abraham bound his beloved son, upon whom his entire life mission depended, in fulfillment of a Divine command. For the thousands of years of exile, whenever a Jew prayed anywhere, it was toward the place the Holy of Holies stood.
For centuries the dream of all our ancestors was to be buried on the Mount of Olives.Only the exceptionally pious, it was believed, would ever merit the privilege. Today, however, the Mount of Olives must be returned to the hands of those who turned its ancient tombstones into building blocks and the Western Wall to the control of those who used it as a urinal. (Once the Temple Mount is in Palestinian hands Israel will not be able to protect Jewish worshipers at the Wall from attacks from above.)
Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the Koran and no Arab leader, other than King Hussein, visited it during 19 years of Jordanian control. Yet today no Arab sacrifice is too great for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Meanwhile our Jewish materialists look at the Wall and see only huge stones. They look out over Eretz Yisrael and think to themselves that there are more beautiful vistas in the world. (Is it a surprise that the author of the Oslo process proclaims that the whole idea of returning to the land was folly, and that we should have settled for Uganda?)
As for the dead on Mount of Olives - degenerating matter, nothing more.
Those who returned to this land over the past century came from an intensely Jewish milieu. They were filled with love of the Jewish people and a love of the land. They knew that a life in which there was nothing worth dying for is a life not worth living.
Their descendants, however, two or three generations removed from the sources of that love of people and land, are left with nothing to believe in other than their own material existence. For them, giving away all that has been most precious to the Jewish people throughout the ages is not a painful necessity but a wonderful opportunity to free themselves of the dead hand of the past and its multiple fetishes. Barak is their hero for slaughtering all the "sacred cows."
Hanukka, which concludes today, celebrates the triumph of a faithful few over the Jewish Hellenizers, who were primarily drawn from an elite so ashamed of being Jewish that they surgically removed the evidence of their circumcision.
May we yet merit to celebrate a similar triumph in our day.
(c) The Jerusalem Post
THANKS TO YORAM ETTINGER FOR THE FOLLOWING:
U.S READERS, PLEASE TRANSMIT TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS:
The following one-page newsletter could interest US legislators (at their home and DC offices) and other US movers and shakers, who are concerned about the proper use of US foreign aid, accountability and transparency. Would the US Congress appropriate further subsidies to farmers, who have misused previous subsidies? Please note that the US Administration has notified Congress that a request for a special foreign aid package to the PLO/PA will be presented, should there be an agreement reached between Israel and the PLO/PA.
SHOULD CONGRESS FUND
PLO CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE?
1. PLO expenditures per capita for human-services rank among the lowest in the world. However, the number, and the cost, of PLO's secret services per capita is the highest in the world.
2. Arafat's 14 security organizations are primarily dedicated to the preservation of his regime. All are tightly controlled by Arafat, monitoring (and sometimes fighting) each other, in order to minimize the prospect of an anti-Arafat coup. The commanders of the organizations are veterans of terrorist training in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Aden, which currently accommodate the training of PLO's rank and file.
3. The Tanzim, which has led the recent campaign of anti Israel terrorism, is the military/terror arm of Arafat's own Fatah. It has been groomed and funded by Arafat, as the Bad Cop organization, known for its brutality against Palestinians.
4. While refusing to assist refugee camps on PLO territory, Arafat and his closest confidants have accrued significant wealth. Their spacious homes, built next to the refugee camps attests to the enormous gap. "Six Pack Ahmed and Fatima" have accused Arafat of corruption, bribery, nepotism, misuse of aid funds and suppression of human rights, including the oppression of Christians and of opposition circles.
5. Some 30% of aid funds (from the US, Europe, Japan, Israel, etc.) end up in overseas private bank accounts of Arafat and his cronies.
6. Arafat's economic advisor, Muhammed Rashid ("Khaled Salaam"), manages Arafat's personal bank accounts in the US, Switzerland, Israel and other countries, investment in the French, German and Japanese stock exchanges and farms and factories throughout the globe (estimated at several billion dollars). Rashid, and Arafat's chief-of-staff, Ramzi Khouri, own and run the Shirkat Al-Bakhar real-estate company. Al-Bakhar builds flashy homes for PLO's leadership and possesses the monopolies of cement, iron and commercial sand. Rashid, and Arafat's advisor, Hassan Asfour, are also a co-owners of a gasoline monopoly. Arafat's wife, Souha', and Arafat's communications advisor, Nabil Abu-Roudayna co-own pharmaceutical and apparel monopolies.
7. Muhammed Dahlan, the chief of PLO's security services in Gaza, known for his unmatched brutality, is a close friend of Muhammed Deif, the chief Hammas terrorist. Dahlan collects more than a million shekels per month in protection money (from suppliers of oil, cigarettes, etc.), kickback for issuing licenses, "taxes" and (since 1997) border-crossing-fees. The "income" is used to solidify Dahlan's control of Gaza and to finance his luxurious life style.
8. Nabil Sha'ath, Arafat's eloquent special emissary to the UN and Washington, DC, owns a monopoly of computer hardware and software. Abu Mazen, Arafat's veteran deputy, owns Sky PR company and several export import companies. His son, Yasser Abbas, owns PalTech, a monopoly of electronics. Abu Ala', who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo Accords, is a co-owner of cigarettes, conserves and dairy monopolies. Jibril Rajoub, the chief of PLO 's security services in the West Bank, owns a poultry and flowers farm, collects protection money from distributors of oil and other commodities, receives kickbacks from the Jericho Casino and is a leading intellectual properties felon.
9. The PLO has refused to provide the US General Accounting Office with accounting reports and supporting documents. In 1997 alone, some 40% of the PA's operating budget was wasted, stolen or misused. (Ralph Nurnberger, government relations counselor, Preston Gates, who was involved with US aid to the PA). But, Congress appropriates foreign aid to the PLO.
Please visit www.acpr.org.il for previous issues of the Cloakroom.
Ha'aretz, December 26, 2000
Israeli Elections Are Lost
Rather Than Won
By Moshe Arens
Two months ago Ehud Barak peremptorily plunged the country into early elections for the post of prime minister. Misusing a poorly phrased section of the unfortunate direct election law, he blocked the Knesset's legislation for early elections to the Knesset by resigning his post, only to announce that he was running again.It was a "dirty trick" to rival Shimon Peres' dirty trick that brought down the National Unity government ten years ago and raised the hysteria that eventually brought upon us the two-ballot system of elections.
With elections only six weeks away Barak is now engaged in a frantic race to conclude an agreement with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that he would like to put before voters on election day. He is evidently under the influence of polls that indicate that while he is trailing badly in the race with Sharon and that most of the voters have lost confidence in him, the majority would nevertheless support an agreement with the Palestinians.
That presumably will be his ticket to victory in the elections. But Barak is misreading the public mood. While most Israelis yearn for an end to the conflict and violence, they harbor serious misgivings about Arafat and doubt the value of any agreement signed by him. After all, wasn't it Barak himself who only a few months ago announced that Arafat was not a partner for peace?
The election clock is ticking away as Shlomo Ben-Ami in Washington negotiates sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the division of Jerusalem, Palestinian control of the Jordan Valley, and the "right of return" for Palestinians - all matters of utmost importance to Israel's future. The results, whatever they will be, although not legally binding on the next government, will seriously impair its negotiating position in the peace process.
With a change of government possibly only weeks away Barak is in the process of making life difficult for the next government, as well as setting the stage for an escalation in Palestinian violence.
Barak's supporters argue that until a new government is assembled after the elections, the present government is authorized to perform all of the functions of government, including international negotiations. Although in the narrow legal sense this is correct, it is without precedent in the annals of democratic governments.
In the period leading up to elections, major issues - especially international commitments - traditionally have been left in abeyance. Several months before the US elections President Bill Clinton decided to leave decisions about the National Missile Defense system to the next president. The issue is controversial and a source of disagreement between Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
Although important, its significance for the United States by no means matches the potential impact on Israel of the issues being discussed in the Washington negotiations. In postponing his decision, Clinton followed the tradition of democratic governance, a tradition for which Barak evidently has little respect.
When Arafat returned from the Camp David summit and began his campaign of violence, Barak made it clear the Palestinians would not be allowed to gain anything by it and negotiations would not proceed so long as the violence lasted. These words have now been forgotten. Like many other times in his brief career as prime minister, he has reversed his position and is counting on the negotiations in Washington to bring him victory in the coming elections. He is grasping at straws.
Reports of more and more concessions being offered by Ben-Ami in Washington, and of Arafat insisting these are still insufficient for an agreement, accompany the daily accounts of Israeli casualties in Palestinian attacks. Barak is mistaken if he thinks that this creates a mood among the Israeli public supportive of the negotiations.
The people would have to believe him a saint to think his negotiating position is not being influenced by electoral considerations. To be seen giving up the Temple Mount to win an election is no way to attract votes.
It has been often been demonstrated that Israeli elections are lost rather than won - it is the eventual loser's mistakes that determine the outcome. Presently, it is Barak making the mistakes - the ones that are likely to lose him the next election.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
CONFUSING ARAB PROPAGANDA
By David Basch
Dear Boston Globe Editor:
H.D.S. Greenway is the kind of person that used to be called a "useful idiot" during the time when the West was fighting the menace of totalitarian Communism. ("Israel must respect Palestinians," 12/25/00, The Boston Globe) The "useful idiots" were used by the Communist enemy during the "cold war" to mouth their propaganda of how the Communists were saving the world from the diabolical Capitalists. Now with the cold war over, the "useful idiots" apparently are to be found in another incarnation, as spokesmen for Arab propaganda directed against Israel.
A more perfect agent of Arab propaganda than Greenway cannot be found in the Arab war to annihilate the Jewish State. Greenway sounds reasonable and idealistic as he presses Israelis to further acquiesce in advanced stages of the Arab war to completely destroy Israel.
It should be remembered -- but it will not be remembered by such as Greenway -- that at the beginning of the Oslo process, almost a decade ago, the Arab side had proclaimed it had renounced violence and was looking for peaceful coexistence. But after all this time we find an Arabs no closer to peaceful thoughts but rather a side that has instead become an illegal, fully-armed, military entity that now menaces Israel's population. This military force would especially pose a danger to Israel were her borders to heat up from assaults from Arab nations, who regularly threaten to open hostilities.
If I were an Israeli I would have no respect for such an Arab enemy that used a diplomatic process that was supposed to lead to peace as a means to improve its military position. Meanwhile, all of this is accompanied by violent assaults and slanders by the Arabs, who have yet to enunciate one point of compromise in all these years to match the many concessions made by Israel.
The fact is that the Arabs have not abandoned their goal of annihilating Israel. While Arafat in the beginning spoke of accepting peace with Israel as a legitimate nation, he has long abandoned this position and still does not recognize any historic Jewish claim in the region. For example, the PA flag features a map of all of what is now Israel, openly displaying the Arab intent. What is more, for fifty years, the Arabs have kept in squalor what now amounts to millions of their own people, who are referred to as "refugees," as an obvious battering ram to one day replace the Jews of Israel.
With the souring of the diplomatic process by egregious Arab betrayals of their obligations to Israel, Israelis are wising up to their position as the Arab target of a coming holocaust. Therefore, against the "music" of Arab propaganda played by such as Greenway, a more skeptical Israel now seeks arrangements that do not depend on Arab willingness to live in peace, since such willingness is absent, existing only in the illusions of the likes of Greenway.
So what is the solution? It is not, as Greenway suggests, to have more respect for the demands of the savage Arab betrayers of peace. It is rather to show more respect for Israel, the side which now wishes to defend itself effectively against those who would attempt to deligitimate it and make war from improved strategic positions, gained by diplomatic maneuvering using a false peace as bait.
Obviously, there is no clean way to change these conditions since it depends on firm action to make the Arab enemy incapable of carrying out his plans. But I believe a resolute Israeli people can pull this off when Israelis shuck off all vestiges of former optimism about the Arab enemy, the kind that Greenway's
propaganda expounds. The Arab side has given no reason for such hope. I am sure that Israelis would rather debate the merits of this issue having succeeded in disabling their enemy, rather than receiving Greenway's commisserations when they have become new boat people.
David Basch is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and an expert on Shakespeare's Jewish roots.
DUEL ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT
By Uri Dan
The duel between Lt.-Gen. (res.) Ehud Barak and Maj-Gen. (res.) Ariel Sharon is taking place publicly, in the light of day, on the heights of the Temple Mount. The historical irony is that they both developed as commanders, as leaders, in the ranks of the IDF. Barak has been ready to give up the Temple Mount,
secretly, ever since the Camp David summit, even without first consulting his government. Sharon is holding on to the Temple Mount in a way appropriate to it: as a symbol of the Jewish people's longing for a state of its own. It is hard to believe that they both came from the same IDF.
The gulf between the two approaches cannot be attributed solely to the way they were brought up - Barak in Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon and Sharon in Kfar Malal. The difference in their ages (58, 72) also fails to give an explanation.
The difference in their army ranks is also insufficient to explain this duel on the Temple Mount. Barak, lieutenant-general, former chief of general staff, excelled in small, surgical commando operations. Fortunately for him, he never commanded a single large-scale military campaign, or even a single national campaign, until he reached his present position.
Only in the Lebanon War did Barak serve, with great enthusiasm, as the second in command of an armored corps, numbering about a thousand tanks, whose troops displayed bravery (including in Sultan Yakoub), during the IDF's effort to evict Yasser Arafat and his 10,000 terrorists from Beirut. The then minister of defense Sharon later promoted Barak from brigadier-general to major-general.
Sharon, even before waging campaigns on the national scale - during the last 23 years, as foreign minister, national infrastructure minister, minister of housing and construction, minister of industry and trade, minister of defense, minister of agriculture - brought to the IDF some of its most glorious victories on the battlefield. There, Sharon had already demonstrated his ability to direct large and complex elements.
Barak is known as one who takes clocks to pieces but doesn't know how to meet his own timetables. As a child Barak excelled in picking locks, but he has now failed to pick the combination lock of the national safe for peace and security. Ask Zvika Malhin, a skilled lock-picker, formerly employed by the Mossad.
THE TREMENDOUS difference in experience between a lieutenant-general and a major-general cannot explain how Barak, in such a frivolous and unbelievable manner, can order his foreign minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami, to plead with the Palestinians that they acknowledge "our deep historical attachment to the Temple Mount" before handing it over to Arafat, who has no intention of giving anything in return.
Sharon is the youngest and last of the leadership generation that held the belief that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall - not Rehov Sheinkin, not Rehavia, not Savyon, and not Herzliya Pituah, and not even Kfar Malal and Mishmar Hasharon - caused the Jews' return to their country.
Yigal Allon, Moshe Dayan, Haim Bar-Lev, David Elazar, Yitzhak Rabin, would never have considered wheeling and dealing about the fate of the Temple Mount with foreigners, not even as an election ploy. Leah Rabin, on her deathbed, managed to say: "Yitzhak would turn in his grave if he were to see the concessions Ehud is making in Jerusalem."
Sharon represents this generation which, despite being secular, never abandoned its national conscience and direction. It is a generation with values. He and his late friends joined the army before the War of Independence and remained in the IDF because of the national need for someone to defend the homeland. Their political orientation was known during their service, and remained the same when they entered political life.
Barak, despite his volunteering for the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, at some stage in his army career started making plans to exploit his army service, including his medals, as a springboard into political life, straight into a minister's seat. This is a generation of technocrats, opportunists, careerists. Just look at the cases of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Matan Vilna'i, Yitzhak Mordechai, and others.
Consequently, as COS, Barak strongly professionally criticized the Oslo Accords. As prime minister, he implemented them in such an extreme manner, that even Yossi Beilin, who hates Sharon and ardently defends Arafat, was forced to hold him tight to restrict his movements.
It is no wonder that Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount led to the chain of events that ended in Barak's resignation. Barak himself recently explained in Sharm e-Sheikh, when vigorously defending himself and Sharon before the impudent Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, "By his visit to the Temple Mount Sharon challenged my policy, as he had the right to do."
The Temple Mount is an appropriate place for the two to hold their current duel, over the soul of the Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.(c) Jerusalem Post 2000
Uri Dan is an author of The Mossad: Secrets of the Israel Secret Service and other books on the Middle East.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
Barak's Nonsensical U-turns
By Evelyn Gordon
(December 12) - If additional proof was needed that Ehud Barak is unfit to be prime minister, the announcement of his resignation Saturday night provided it.
Under different circumstances, his resignation might have been admirable. Such a step would, for instance, have been entirely appropriate after his coalition shrank to barely a quarter of the Knesset and his efforts to rebuild it failed. It would also have been reasonable two weeks ago, when a majority of the Knesset declared its lack of faith in him by passing an early elections bill in first reading. Saturday night, however, it was not appropriate.
This is not because the resignation was a "dirty trick" designed to keep former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the race, as Likud MKs have charged. Resignation is a perfectly valid tactic under the rules of the game set out by Israeli law. The problem, rather, is what this resignation says about Barak's decision-making abilities.
Barak's frequent and rapid U-turns on policy have long bewildered most Israelis. His handling of the current conflict with the Palestinians is a classic example: One day, he bellows that peace with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is impossible; the next, he declares that Arafat is a partner, and Israel is determined to reach an agreement with him.
The same is true of Barak's "secular revolution." He campaigned on this issue in 1999, dropped it after being elected because he wanted Shas's support on diplomatic issues, raised it again when Shas left the coalition this summer, discarded it a second time when he needed Shas's parliamentary "safety net" this fall, then resurrected it yet again in his resignation speech Saturday night.
This inability to set a course on complex policy issues provides ample reason to deem Barak incapable of leading the country. But with his resignation, he has proved that he cannot steer a course on even the simplest of issues.
In the 12 days that elapsed between his decision to support early elections for the whole Knesset and his decision to call elections for the prime minister only, nothing changed. All the facts were the same. Barak simply could not make up his mind about how to interpret them. He tried to justify his about-face by saying he had become convinced a swift election was necessary to end the paralysis of the political system. That is undoubtedly true.
But the need to end this paralysis was already pressing two months ago, when it became clear that the Knesset would not be able to pass such basic legislation as the 2001 budget due to the lack of a governing coalition. It reached a crisis 12 days ago, with the Knesset's vote in favor of early elections. Yet even then, Barak dragged his feet, refusing to let his representatives finalize a date for new elections with the Likud.
What sudden epiphany occurred on Saturday night?
Even more puzzling is the question of why, having belatedly grasped the obvious truth that quick elections were necessary, Barak did not simply agree to the Likud's proposal of early elections in March. Two weeks ago, he said he did not want new elections for the prime minister only, because in that case, he would still lack a parliamentary majority if reelected.
Barak's official explanation for this reversal - he has since concluded that even this parliament would accept the people's mandate and support him if he were reelected - is nonsensical, because parties are responsible only to their own voters. Even swing parties such as Shas, who remain convinced that their voters despise Barak, will not ignore their own electorates. What possible benefit could there be in forfeiting his last chance of obtaining a parliamentary majority?
One cannot even explain the prime minister's actions on the basis of self-interest. One could understand Barak wanting to improve his chances of winning by calling special elections, thereby leaving Netanyahu out of the race. But two weeks ago, the polls also showed Netanyahu beating Barak by a significant margin. If the polls were not reason enough to call special elections then, why should they be reason enough now?
These three issues - the urgency of quick elections, the need to restore his parliamentary majority, and the threat represented by Netanyahu - are probably the simplest any politician could ever hope to confront. Yet even on these issues, Barak has proven that he is unable to analyze the data in real time and come to a firm conclusion. And a man incapable of making even such basic decisions as these is hardly fit to guide the country through the complex problems now facing it.
(c) The Jerusalem Post
IMRA'S WEEKLY COMMENTARY ON ARUTZ 7
Aaron Lerner Date: 28 December, 2000
#1 A mind numbing plunge
For those who think that developments of the last week have shown just how extreme the extreme left is a word of warning: You have not seen anything yet. Yes, we have seen some incredible things:
Foreign Minister Ben Ami, whose voice has taken on a frighteningly hysterical tone since he returned from Washington, declared the end of territorial Zionism. That's right, no need to live in a place in the Middle East called Israel. That's passe.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak was joined by almost all the ministers in endorsing a plan for the division of Jerusalem with Jaffa Gate and David's Tower in the very heart of the city part of the Palestinian state.
The list of dangerous concessions is so long that it would take my entire spot just to cover them all. Suffice it to say that Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz explained yesterday to the Cabinet BEFORE they voted that the agreement would undermine Israel's security. That's right, UNDERMINE ISRAEL'S SECURITY. Leave Israel unable to defend its Eastern border, unable to defend the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, unable to defend Tel Aviv, Netanya and the rest of the major population centers against attack from the Palestinian State.
But do not think for a moment that this is the end. There will be more concessions.
#2 A message to American Jewry
There is still a chance that there will be a signing ceremony before Clinton leaves the White House. But that signing ceremony will not, repeat not, legally obligate Israel. The agreement, because of its territorial concessions, will require approval by a special majority in the Knesset as well as approval in a national referendum.
Yossi Beilin knows that. Ben Ami knows it too. But they won't let the law get in their way. Remember the byword of the Left: "the ends justify the means." So here is the plan: Immediately after there is a signing ceremony, President Clinton will rush the agreement to the United Nations Security Council for its adoption as a Security Council Resolution.
This way, even when the Knesset and Israeli public rejects the deal, the agreement will have a life of its own as a Security Council Resolution.
And if you think for a moment that Beilin, Ben Ami and the rest of the radical Israeli Left will not lobby for sanctions against the Jewish state if it refuses to accept the deal then repeat after me:"the ends justify the means."
I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to friends of Israel in the United States to raise their voice at once against this devious plan to straitjacket Israel.
Tell President-elect Bush and his advisors that this travesty is unacceptable. Tell your senators and congressman. And tell Senator-elect Hillary Clinton that this would be a most serious stain on her record. A stain that would be remembered four years from now if she were to run for president.
I cannot overstate how critical it is to head off this plan to straitjacket the Jewish State with an agreement initialed by a desperate prime minister who does not enjoy the support of the public or the Knesset in his last days in office.
3. Keep our eyes on the ball - the name of the game is the DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
In a little more than a month there will be elections for prime minister. Again. In a little more than a month there will be elections for prime minister.
As I already noted, the Left will pull out all the stops in this campaign. The ends justify the means. There will be dirty tricks you never dreamed of. And the favorable polls for Sharon may lull the people into complacency and the politicians into allowing themselves the luxury of destructive infighting.
But the elections can certainly be won. This even when Barak threatens the public with apocalypse if his destructive approach is rejected. And what does a group do when it can win elections? It works on the elections.
Does it talk now about civil disobedience? NO!
As MK Benny Elon, who was a leading activist in Moshe Feiglin's Zo Artzeinu, a group that introduced civil disobedience in the fight against Oslo, told me this afternoon, civil disobedience is a tool of the weak. But we are not weak. We are the majority.
Civil disobedience is a device to press a government to resign and call for new elections. But Barak has already resigned and elections will be held in a little more than a month. And most important as we approach this critical election: civil disobedience and reckless words can boomerang.
The last thing we need to do today is to provide Ehud Barak's campaign team with images and sound bites that can be used to challenge the legitimacy of the national camp. By its nature, this election will be first and foremost a vote AGAINST Barak and his disastrous policies.
Barak's team wants those images and sound bites to make sure that the extreme leftist voters do not stay home election day, hold their noses and vote Barak. They will use those images and sound bites to convince the mainstream Labor Party supporters and others in the center who are now seriously considering Sharon that a vote for Sharon is a vote for dangerous right wing radicals. Those images and sound bites may not be enough to convince these people to vote for Barak, but they certainly may succeed in convincing them to stay home on election day.
Yes, I know that the situation is desperate. That it is frustrating. But the last thing we can afford to do today is to lose sight of the game. And the name of the game today is to win the election with a devastating majority that will send Barak's policies to the dung heaps of history.
Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis).
LETTER TO AARON LERNER
ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
By Nadia Matar
Subject: Re: IMRA'S WEEKLY COMMENTARY ON ARUTZ 7 - 28 December 2000
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 10:52:00
This is probably the first time that I must disagree with you. I am talking - as you guessed- about what you wrote about civil disobedience.
1) There is nothing "extremely fanatic" in blocking a few roads. The truck drivers have done it, the students have done it; it shows that you care and that you hurt. l think exactly the opposite of what you said: if we do not demonstrate now in a non-conventional way, and if we do not get the masses out in the streets now, then those center people you are talking about will see this as an acquiescence on our part.
They will say to themselves: If the ideological right does not demonstrate strongly now, then they must not care....maybe then I should vote Barak.
In addition, this has to be a strong message to Sharon. as we know, we have to be careful about him too. He constantly talks that he will get a "better" agreement, but it will still 'hurt". What does that mean? Uprooting 75 yishuvim instead of 100? you will say : well, if Sharon will do that, then will be the time to do civil disobedience, after he will be elected. But I want to remind you that when the Right is in power, it is VERY difficult to get the demonstrators in the streets and demonstrate. It is much easier to demonstrate against the Left, now.
Massive non-conventional, non-violent demonstration will only help Arik Sharon. He will be able to tell the Americans, the Arabs and the Europeans:"look, the People of Israel have gone out in their hundreds of thousands against this agreement. I represent them and we will not carry out or respect such an agreement.
If we do NOT go out in the streets, the international pressure on Sharon will be tremendous, to force him to continue to cave in.
So I think that big non-conventional demos, and non-violent civil disobedience will only help Sharon to get elected and to stay loyal to our principles.
COGITO ERGO BOOM
RESCUING ISRAELI STRATEGIC
By Louis Rene Beres
[20 December 2000] As Israel faces its most significant existential threats since 1948, citizens should begin to ask serious questions about the prevailing levels of strategic discourse. Persistently, a suffocating intellectual stubborness blocks the way of productive Israeli strategic thinking. There is also great danger that Israel's political and military leaders, presuming high-quality scholarship in the universities and think-tanks, will continue to accept academic recommendations with insufficient skepticism. The net effect of such erroneous presumptions could include even unconventional war and unconventional terrorism.
Let me be entirely candid. With precious few exceptions, the leading academic strategists in Israel have offered little pertinent scholarship of any real merit and a great deal of scholarship that is altogether injurious - e.g., the dreadful scholarship that spawned and sustained the Oslo Trojan Horse. Remarkably, on issues that deal with chemical/biological/nuclear threats to Israel, the country's leading strategists remain mired in the outdated "wisdom" of 1950s America. Clinging unimaginatively to certain alleged benefits of nuclear deterrence and a favorable conventional balance of power, these individuals ignore altogether (1) the essential limitations of threat-system dynamics in a region that may soon join CBN technology with irrationality; and (2) the essential and complex nuances of national self-help in an increasingly anarchic world system. There are, to be sure, other factors being widely ignored, but all such shortcomings are the product of a misguided starting point for investigations.
What needs to be done? First, Israeli strategists must look directly, unhesitatingly, relentlessly at their country's existential threats, and must identify these threats - quickly and openly - as the central object of their inquiries. Second, Israeli strategists must understand, without any further delay, that Israel is a system, that the existential threats confronting Israel are themselves interrelated, and that the effects of these interrelated threats upon Israel must always be examined together. Third, Israeli strategists must understand that the entire world arena is best understood as a system, and that the disintegration of power and authority structures within this macro-system will impact, with enormous and partially forseeable consequences, the Israeli micro-system. Fourth, Israeli strategists must turn away from prudence, from fearful and mainstream kinds of analyses that may please the public and their paymasters but are intrinsically valueless and without explanatory benefit. Fifth, Israeli strategists must learn to read literature, not the mundane and simplistic materials generated by American strategists (who themselves read no real literature), but the work of authentic writers, poets and playwrights. Frequently the insights that can be garnered from literature provide a vastly better source of strategic understanding than the matrixes, metaphors and scenarios of "experts." Sixth, Israeli strategists need to recognize the advantages of private as opposed to collective academic thought. Here they should be reminded of Aristotle's view: "Deception occurs to a greater extent when we are investigating with others than by ourselves, for an investigation with someone else is carried on quite as much by means of the thing itself."
In matters concerning Israeli security, one may discover greater intellectual value in the private musings of certain unaffiliated single individuals than in the sum total of collaborative efforts spawned by professional centers of strategic studies. Seventh, Israeli strategists now need to open up, again and with greater diligence and insight, the question of nuclear ambiguity. Here it must be understood that this is not merely a matter of belaboring the obvious, but rather of optimally exploiting appropriate and variable levels of disclosure for purposes of deterrence and, possibly, preemption. Eighth, Israeli strategists need to open up completely the still broader questions of nuclear weapons and national strategy. This should be done, of course, in conformity with all of the other above-listed strategic studies requirements.
Moreover, it is by no means obvious that keeping questions of nuclear weapons and strategy "closed" is in Israel's security interests. Ninth, Israeli strategists must cease their contemplation of an end to national existence as a purely dispassionate, academic consideration. For now, it seems these strategists can contemplate the end of the Third Temple Commonwealth every day, and yet persevere quite calmly and purposefully in their most routine affairs. This ironic and counterproductive juxtaposition should no longer be the case if these scholars could learn to begin to contemplate the very moment of Israel's collective disappearance. It follows that Israeli strategists must begin soon to replace reassuringly abstract conceptualizations of End Times with concrete imaginings of catastrophe. I realize, of course, that such advice is altogether contrary to what Israeli academics have learned in American graduate schools, but their American professors were plainly wrong. As in the case of each individual life, fear in this context has its proper place. And there is no necessary correlation between existential dread and injury to "objective" forms of scholarship. Tenth, Israeli strategists should pay special attention to the requirements of scholarly audacity, of seeking, self-consciously, to steer clear of the comfortable intellectual middle-ground and to take risks, personal and professional, in finding serious answers to vital questions.
There is little time left. Very little.
LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University is the author of twelve books and several hundred scholarly articles dealing with international relations and international law. His work is well-known to the past four Prime Ministers, to the Knesset Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, to the IDF General Staff and to Israel's intelligence communities.
Ha'aretz: Phalcon Talks with
Put on Hold until New US Administration
By Amnon Barzilai
Ha'aretz Defense Correspondent
Ha'aretz, 28 December 2000
Talks between Israeli and Indian defense officials over the possible sale of the Phalcon airborne radar system to India have been suspended pending the changes in the American administration. Israel is also waiting to see whether China, for which Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was in the process of mounting a Phalcon system on a Russian-made aircraft, will find an alternative supplier in Europe.
In talks between Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron and Indian officials this year, the Indian air force expressed interest in acquiring two to four early warning aircraft of the type that was being developed for China. The Indian air force also chose the Ilyushin A-50, Russian made transport aircraft, as the platform on which the Phalcon system would be installed. However, in spite of advanced negotiations on the scale of the deal, which is estimated to stand at $500 million, the Defense Ministry decided to put the negotiations on hold for now. Ministry sources say that the main reason for the suspension of the negotiations is the uncertainty regarding the stance of the American administration on the sale of the spy plane to India. The original deal with China was scrapped following intense pressure from the U.S., causing a rift both in relations with Washington and Beijing. As a result, Israel defense officials are wary of committing to a deal with India without an American green light.
Internal discussions at the Defense Ministry also concluded that it would be best to wait for the outcome of talks being held by China and Russia with possible West European partners for the construction of early warning aircraft for the Chinese air force. Israeli sources estimate that British firms will probably join in the manufacture of the AWACS planes for China.
Israeli officials believe that the U.S. will be unable to block the involvement of any West European country in the development of the aircraft for China, arguing, as it did with Israel, of threats to U.S. strategic interests. It is hoped that the American opposition to the sale of the Phalcon abroad will diminish, and that this will pave the way for the sale to India.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
Arab East Jerusalemites Fear
(Most would Prefer Israel Stays)
By Baruch Kra
Ha'aretz 28 December 2000
The Al Aqsa Intifada, and Israel's response to it, have caused untold damage to Abed al-Razak Abed. The 30-year-old Silwan resident has five children, and his wife is pregnant. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has stopped him from going to work: He's been unemployed for months as the drop in tourism led to cut-backs in the West Jerusalem hotel where he had worked. He also has no way of claiming unemployment.
East Jerusalem's Employment Service bureau shut down when the violent clashes started, and one of two local National Insurance Institute branches (a site where two Israeli security personnel were murdered) has also been closed for weeks.
But the worst is probably still ahead. If there's anything that might further aggravate Abed's personal woes, it could be a hasty, head-long consummation of the PA-Israel peace deal now being discussed. "They don't care about people," Abed says, referring to his own people's leader, along with the prime minister of the country in which he lives. "They're only interested in land, and their own power."
Though most Arab residents in Jerusalem aren't Israeli citizens, their status as Jerusalemites entitles them to the social benefits Israelis receive. Much criticism has been leveled against the shabby, bureaucratic treatment meted-out by National Insurance Institute branches in East Jerusalem, and by the Jerusalem Municipality's welfare bureau. Nonetheless, social services are provided to East Jerusalemites. "Who can promise me that such services will be provided under the Palestinian Authority?" Abed asks.
"Look at what's happening in Ramallah, Hebron and the Gaza Strip. Are residents well off there?" "People are in a panic," says Husam Watad, director of the Beit Hanina community council. "Statistics show that more than 50 percent of [East] Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line, and you can imagine how the situation would look if residents did not receive National Insurance Institute payments. "Many social service professionals, Arabs and Jews, believe that if authority over East Jerusalem neighborhoods is transferred to the Palestinian Authority in a manner that pays little heed to social realities, thousands of local residents could literally go hungry. In contrast to residents in the territories, who lacked rights and were subordinate to army rule, Jerusalem residents experienced the "luxury" of social entitlements, reflects Husam Watad. True, he says, East Jerusalemites suffered from discrimination. Their neighborhoods were inadequately developed, and sewage in their communities was allowed to flow through the streets. On the other hand, he notes, local residents had the small consolation of knowing that they wouldn't go hungry, because of social service entitlements. "It's no wonder," Watam adds, "that many [East Jerusalemites] are afraid of the Palestinian Authority."
Trust in Israeli medical services East Jerusalem residents tend to dismiss sentiments expressed by Zohar Hamdan, a Mukhtar in the Tsur Baher village. Unlike other East Jerusalem public figures, Hamdan warns openly that putting local neighborhoods under PA control will cause misery to Palestinian residents. In Arab communities, he is a pariah figure, both because of his political opinions and because of his reputed lack of moral fiber. Off the record, however, many in East Jerusalem concede that Hamdan has it right this time.
"Were someone to conduct a secret poll, it would clearly show that most residents prefer the continuation of Israeli power," says "A," an academic and social activist who lives in Umm Tova. And "T," a physician who works for the Kupat Holim Clalit health maintenance organization, says that "most of my patients still want me to send them to Hadassah [University Hospital] Ein Karem, rather than... Augusta Victoria. Residents here have more trust in medical services provided by Israelis."
Hamdan isn't the only one who is willing to cite for the record the East Jerusalemite preference for continued Israeli control. "This is a paramount subject today," says Hisham Gol, a member of Ras al Amud's neighborhood council. "As the situation stands now, I prefer Israeli control." Though he is furious with Israel's government, claiming that it has discriminated against Arabs, Gol is no less livid about the Palestinian Authority. "They should stop showing contempt for our intelligence," he says, referring to the PA leadership, "by saying that they're engaged in a peace process, while, on the other hand, they do everything they can to destroy the process and decimate the lives of Palestinians."
Aspirations for sovereignty have stirred anxieties among white-collar professionals. "I met a teacher this morning," Watad relates, "and he asked me: 'What's going to happen to me? Today I earn NIS 4,500. Should power be transferred to the Palestinians, my salary could drop to NIS 1,000."
If their worries applied only to the inevitable growth pains endured by a state-in-the-making, East Jerusalemites say, that would be bearable. But their fears concern more substantive irregularities and abuses: corruption, lack of justice, the over-turning of fundamental democratic rights. "There [in the PA], money goes exclusively to those who have power," says Abed."Here [under Israeli control] I at least know that I'll receive what other unemployed persons get. Here I can at least articulate complaints. Over there, if I were simply to open my mouth, they'd put me in prison."
Abed doesn't think that Arab Jerusalemites will oppose plans to transfer control of local neighborhoods to the Palestinians. But some East Jerusalemites say wistfully that it would be best were the transfer of control to be symbolic, not substantive. Striking this chord, Maum Tova hopes that "symbols of the Palestinian people fly over every house and institution in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, while Israelis continue as the ones who administer them." At any event, he adds, the only thing that matters to leaders is symbols - caring about people is, for them, an irrelevant nuisance.
Hisham Gol expects East Jerusalemites who have nothing to lose to adopt a hard-line nationalist position. As happens in the territories, these indigent residents are the first to join every Palestinian struggle, he notes. For instance, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp, the only such camp located entirely within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries, think that stone-throwing is a viable pastime, he says. In contrast, residents of the Shuafat neighborhood, where living standards are higher, prefer to stay inside their homes, and watch the violent clashes on television.
Requests for citizenship papers "It's no accident that one of the most recent terror strikes in Jerusalem occurred at a National Insurance Institute branch," says "I," an Arab social worker who lives in East Jerusalem. "The fundamentalists know that [NII services] are the most powerful source of Israeli power." He thinks that Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two groups which boast about the social welfare networks they operate, know that they can't provide low-income residents the same gamut of services which the Israeli establishment offers.
"There was a Saudi proposal," Watad says, "whereby they [the Saudis] would attend to the social welfare needs of Palestinians, after power is transferred. But I find it hard to believe that this will happen." Since local residents began to grasp that an agreement could be in the offing, he says, they've descended upon Israel's Interior Ministry, asking for citizenship papers. Many such requests have been turned down.
Residents suffer in a period of limbo. Apart from the closure of NII and Employment Service branches, residency investigations have stopped during the last three months. These inquiries are designed to confirm that persons who seek social service entitlements aren't actually residents of the territories. Such investigations last eight months, and until they are completed, local residents aren't eligible for unemployment payments and other social services.
"I don't harbor any hopes about a new future," says Abed. "Instead, I have despair. I know that the situation is bad now, and I know that it will get worse when the Palestinians take power." Everything might have been better, he adds, had the state of Israel and the Jerusalem Municipality attended to the dignity and needs of East Jerusalem residents. "Nobody would have joined the uprising" against Israel, Abed says, "and nobody would want a change of rule," had Israel been more forthcoming and mindful toward East Jerusalemites.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
DOWN WITH HANUKAH
By Rabbi Meir Kahane
1. If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for himself the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government's ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against that most dangerous of all Jewish holidays - Chanukah.
It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the "Festival of Lights," and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie. For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that stands for everything that the masses of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected - it is this one. If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked - it is this one. If there is any holiday that is more "un-Jewish" in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices - I do not know of it.
The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud is not the Chanukah of reality. The Hanukah that came into vogue because Jewish parents - in their vapidness needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of "we-have-lights-just-as-our-goyisha-neighbors" and in an effort to reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive Rabbi, turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic oke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or-death and that pictures the Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples continue to fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality.
This is not the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and Spain and Babylon. It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died. Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt. For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the real reason for the revolt of the Jews "in those days in our times."
What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago? What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy? And precisely who was the enemy? What were they fighting for and who were they fighting against? For years the people of Judea had been the vassals of Greece. True independence as a state had been unknown for all those decades and, yet the Jews did not rise in revolt. It was only when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in all its bloodiness. It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud. What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashrut, to obey the laws of the Torah. In a word everything about Chanukah that we commemorate and teach our children to commemorate are things we consider to be outmoded, medieval, and childish!
At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were naive and obscurantist. Had we lived in those days we would certainly not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist, and large parts of the Conservative movements write this daily?) Surely we would not have fought for that which we violate every day of our lives. No, at best Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one. Poor Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well meaning chaps all -- but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary sacrifices.
But there is more. Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was not a Greek. He was a Jew. When the enemy sent his troops into Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshiped?) And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous, (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: "Whoever is for G-d, follow me!"
What have we here? What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry? What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious Ha'shomer Ha'tzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal, open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalist (if not Marxist) religion, to honor? What kind of nationalism is this for Shimon Peres (he who rejects the 'Galut' and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?
And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with force? Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all) un-Jewish, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and "descended to the level of 'evil" thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.
Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate? Are these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to honor? Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass on to our children? Where shall we find the man of courage, the lone voice in the wilderness, to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents - the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors?
Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the Law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy? When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents? Down with Chanukah! It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real. Such a Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders. We must do all in our power to bury it.
[Excerpts were published in the THE JEWISH PRESS, NY on December 15, 2000]
ON THE SPECIAL IMPORTANCE OF BERNARD SHAPIRO AND THE FREEMAN CENTER
By Louis Rene Beres
Departmnent of Political Science
In the long struggle to save Israel from itself, no American has been more important than Bernard Shapiro, Laboring tirelessly from his Freeman Center base in Houston, Bernard faithfully puts out the Maccabean Online (plus the archives for each author and month); the Freeman list; and the Freeman Center web site. These authoritative resources have become absolutely indispensable at a time when the traditional media routinely capitulate to commerce and untruth. For tens of thousands of Americans and others who might have been barred from a candid, no-holds-barred view of Israel's place in the world, Bernard Shapiro's vital institution is always an authentic oasis of honesty and intelligence.
I have known Bernard for many years, during which time I have been honored to appear on pages of THE MACCABEAN and to lecture under Freeman Center aegis in Houston. From the very beginning of the dreadful Oslo capitulation in 1993, he has recognized the Arab trojan horse and minced absolutely no words about Arab intentions toward Israel. Not surprisingly, his analysts and publications - including Bernard's own insightful personal commentaries - have been substantially more correct than university-based centers for strategic studies.
Israel has been conspiring against itself. Driven by false hopes and empty promises, the so-called Jewish State has now become a source of real anguish and humiliation to Jews everywhere. "How can it be," asked Bernard from the start, "that Jewish memory is so short?" Well-versed in Jewish history and tradition, he has understood, from the start, that the only Arab goal of the "Middle East Peace Process" is the eradication of Israel and the extermination of Israel's Jews. A terrible goal to acknowledge, indeed, but one that Bernard has consistently had the courage to recognize and combat.
"The fundamental codes of a culture," says Michel Foucault in THE ORDER OF THINGS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE HUMAN SPECIES, "establish for every man, from the very first, the orders with which he will be dealing and within which he will be at home." Since at least 1993, and the birth of Oslo - a birth at which only gravediggers wielded the forceps - Israel's "codes" have been based upon a lie. Promising peace in exchange for surrender, they have instructed the world's most endangered Jews (i.e., Israeli Jews) that their disfigurement as a People is a price worth paying. But as Bernard Shapiro has pointed out again and again, perpetual surrender to those who seek only Jewish annihilation is an inexcusable formula for despair.
How sad it is that the past four prime ministers of Israel were not listening. How much better it would have been for Rabin, for Peres, for Netanyahu, and for Barak, to heed the informed warnings from Bernard Shapiro and the Freeman Center. Instead, these prime ministers relied heavily upon the academic fools at Tel-Aviv's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, upon those enthusiastic archeologists of Jewish ruins-in-the-making for whom thinking was always unbearable. As sure as day turns into night, when the next round of Arab missiles begin to land in Israel's cities and towns, these pretend scholars will be racing for Ben-Gurion Airport, clamoring to be on board the next flight to Los Angeles.
I owe Bernard a great deal. His publications and broadcasts have been an essential venue for me and for all others who write and lecture against Oslo. In a recent letter, Esther Levens, of the National Unity Coalition for Israel, said the following to Bernard: "Thanks for all you do. I rely on your information and consider you the premier source on the internet. I frequently reprint your articles and resend them by fax and e-mail to all the Christian media, including radio, TV and press, to the Jewish and secular press, to Congress, and to hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals. Bless you for your remarkable service."
Bernard Shapiro's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freeman Center Web Site is: www.freeman.org
Louis Rene Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and has often joined Bernard Shapiro in the battle against Israel's auto-destruction. He is Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS.