FOUR SHORT PARABLES FOR ISRAEL....Bernard J. Shapiro
A SOBERING REMINDER BY A GREAT HERO....Yoni Netanyahu
"YOUR DESTROYERS AND THOSE WHO LAID YOU WASTE GO FORTH FROM YOU - AGAIN....Guest Editorial....Arieh Stav
FREE ELECTIONS?...Guest Editorial....Yoram Ettinger
TO PREVENT UNBRIDGEABLE RIFT...Guest editorial.....Boris Shusteff
THE NEW MIDDLE EAST....Sarah Honig
WANTED: ISRAELI NEOCONS....Caroline Glick
A FEW UNFASHIONABLE FACTS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST....Steven Plaut
SLOUCHING TOWARD BIROBIDZHAN....David Basch
CREATING A PALESTINIAN APARTHEID STATE?....Ariel Natan Pasko
HOW IRAQ'S 2,600-YEAR-OLD JEWISH COMMUNITY WAS DECIMATED IN ONE DECADE....Edwin Black
ROLLING HORIZONS....Emanuel A. Winston
THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE?....David Pryce-Jones
STRATEGIC AND POLITICAL ANALYSIS
A MATURE ISRAELI-US PARTNERSHIP....Caroline Glick
ISRAEL ASSISTS U.S. FORCES, SHARES LESSONS LEARNED FIGHTING TERRORISTS....JINSA Online
BIGOTRY'S HARVEST....Caroline Glick
WILL THE REAL ABU MAZEN PLEASE STAND UP?....Michael Widlanski
ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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FOUR SHORT PARABLES FOR ISRAEL
By Bernard J. Shapiro
ISRAEL, CHARLIE BROWN & LUCY
As a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was Charlie Brown and his gang of off beat characters. It is a little embarrassing to admit that my fondness for Charlie Brown extended way into my adulthood. There was something about him that seemed to correspond to my life. He was always trying to do good but forces beyond his control kept intervening.
One of those forces was a nasty little girl named Lucy. She would promise Charlie to hold a football so he could kick it. Simple enough, except she never followed through on her promises. She would pull the football away and Charlie always landed on his back, stunned at the betrayal.
It may sound over simplified to equate Israel with Charlie Brown, but I am going to do it. Israel repeatedly has tried to make a cease-fire and negotiate with the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat. Of course they always end up on their back with more suicide bombings, shootings, and sniper attacks.
And it continues today with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and his faith in Mohammad Abbas to bring peace. Unfortunately Israel will fall on its back but the injuries will be more than a backache - murder and mayhem most likely.
REBOOT SHARON, SAVE ISRAEL AND ENSURE SECURITY
Let's face it, things have not gone well for Israel since Sharon was elected. While we all cheered his election and had very high expectations for his government, the reality has been shocking. Although he was elected by a national/ Zionist/religious coalition, Sharon seems to have undergone a radical transformation. With great skill he seems to have sacrificed his natural coalition on the right in order to curry favor with Bush and the Israeli left. The Labor-left leaders are having a rollicking good time watching Sharon trying to out-Peres Peres. Sharon seems to have mastered the "give the terrorist Arabs anything they wants" trick that we all thought was peculiar to the previous government.
Conspiracy theorists are also hyperactive these days with "explanations" for Sharon's bizarre conversion to the philosophies of the suicidal left. Here are some rumor categories for easy reference:
1. The American Connection: Bush and the State Department have exerted pressure of such magnitude that Sharon could not withstand it. The visible support from Bush was just a cover. In this theory, Arab money, the oil lobby and ex-government officials like James Baker are providing the incentive and intellectual cover for selling Israel out.
2. The Trilateral Connection: Men like David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, agents for the Trilateral Commission, "bought" Sharon in the 70's. Under this theory, the late Yitzhak Rabin was also bought so that they would have control of Israel regardless of which party was in power.
3. The Empty Shirt Theory: This theory holds that Sharon despite his brilliant military record is all "bulldozer". Once in office, it is revealed that he has no ideology and is a weak reed "blowing with the political wind."
4. The PLO A-Bomb Theory: About a year ago the Freeman Center received confirmation that Iran had bought four nuclear devices from the Former Soviet Union (two from Russia, one from the Ukraine, and one from Kazakhstan). There is speculation that Arafat smuggled one into Israel via a tunnel from the Egyptian Sinai into PA Gaza. A Palestinian VIP with permission to enter Israel without having to go through security, smuggled the bomb into the Tel Aviv area and buried it. Sharon was told by Arafat that if the Oslo process did not go forward to his satisfaction, Tel Aviv would be destroyed.
5. The Alien Abduction Theory: Many of our readers who watched the X-Files on TV have written to me convinced that Sharon was abducted by aliens. They insist that Sharon doesn't even exist and the image we see of him is projected telepathically by one of the "aliens" who abducted him.
For the record, I don't believe any of those theories. I have a simpler solution to the Sharon riddle. Sharon is like my computer; he needs to be rebooted periodically. For those not familiar with computers, let me explain. Every once in a while computers get confused and they freeze up. The screen stops working, the mouse has no effect and generally you can't do anything. The solution is to turn the computer off and then turn it back on. This is called rebooting and by some mysterious process everything begins to work properly. All the electrical connections suddenly know exactly what they are supposed to do.
Sharon's problem is that he knows what is best for Israel, but somehow has become frozen in a defective policy (Oslo, the Roadmap, the Retreat), and all his cognitive and operative controls are refusing to function. So we must reboot Sharon in order to save Israel and ensure security. Here's my plan:
Sharon needs to give up being Prime Minister for a period of six weeks. Three members of the cabinet, Uzi Landau, Michael Kliener, and Natan Sharansky, will share the duties of PM during this period of time. They will be trusted (by the rational public) with this responsibility because of their high integrity and proven devotion to Israel. Sharon will go to a quiet peaceful place -- perhaps Safed, where he will be rebooted. Great Zionist thinkers, historians, philosophers and religious leaders will each spend one whole day with him discussing the major issues facing Israel's future. Elyakim Ha'etzni and Paul Eidelberg might spend Mondays with him and Shmuel Katz and Arie Stav on Tuesdays. David Wilder and Gary Cooperberg would come from Hebron on Wednesdays. Strategic analyst Lou Rene Beres and terrorist expert Yossef Bodansky as well as Zionist leaders like Morton Klein and Herb Zweibon would come from the US. Joe Gellert and Christopher Barder from England would come to visit Sharon on Thursdays. On Fridays, Sharon would be blessed by a visit from Ruth and Nadia Matar. Rabbis Eliezar Waldman and Zalman B. Melamed would conduct Shabbat Services and meet with Sharon every Shabbat. Dr. Aaron Lerner will spend Sundays with Sharon going over all Oslo/Roadmap documentation.
If all goes according to my plan, Sharon will emerge from the six weeks retreat, rebooted and ready to be a Maccabean leader of Israel. He will have become a proud Jew, unafraid of the U.S. State Department, Mubarak, Arafat and the Israeli leftist fifth column. He will go forth with the blessing of Hashem, to blow the shofar loud and clear to all the world: There is a new Israel. We will pursue our destiny with great vigor and without apology.
Editor's Note: I modified this folk tale around 1994 and broadcast it during the early days of the Oslo appeasement process. It is now 2005 and we have Ariel Sharon as our Prime Minister. He is a man who historically knows how to do battle with the enemies of Israel. Has he lowered his guard, trying to be friends with everyone? Including the world that abandoned us many times to slaughter for over the last 2000 years?..........Bernard J. Shapiro
A Folk Tale For Israelis
MAKING PEACE WITH WOLVES
How do you make peace with wolves? This question has faced man since he settled the land and domesticated animals for livestock. "G-d created the wolves too," man thought "they too must have some kind of purpose, but why do they slaughter my sheep?" "I'll make peace with them" the man thought. "Surely they will understand what that means, for they are part of G-d's creatures."
So the man met with the wolves and promised them food and shelter if they would leave his sheep alone. The wolves, seeing desperation and weakness, agreed. They lived amongst the sheep, the man fed them and sheltered them and they grew strong and multiplied. One day as the man went out to feed his flock and the wolves, he only found wolves, standing amongst the slain carcasses of his stock. "Why? Why have you killed my sheep?" the man screamed "Haven't I fed you? Haven't I sheltered you? WHY? The wolves looked at the man and smiled,
"Why, you ask, have we slain your sheep? Because YOU LET US, after all we ARE still wolves!"
A government is like a shepherd, its DUTY is to the flock, NOT the wolves. This is a lesson Peres and his Labor government never learned. Peace is wonderful! Peace is what we all want for Israel (the world for that matter) but do we want the peace of a cemetery or the peace of a strong, secure nation? One of two things need to happen, either the Israeli government needs to take off the rose colored glasses and see the wolves for what they are OR the flock needs to get a new shepherd!
Sharon, this applies to you.
ISRAEL AND THE CAMEL DUNG
A Jewish Parable
On his deathbed Neville Chamberlain, former British Prime Minister, said the following to his son:
"Everything would have worked out OK if Hitler had not lied to me."
The circumstances which led to this tale of ISRAEL AND THE CAMEL DUNG were first predicted by the wise men of Chelm sometime in the 18th century. It took 200 years and the revival of the Jewish State for this prediction to come true. At the time these wise men were dismissed as fools.
Sometime in the early 1990's there was a wise King of Israel named Peres the Brilliant. The most serious threat to Israel came from evil man named Yassir the Bloody. Now Peres wondered how he could make peace with Yasser so that Israel would be loved throughout the Middle East. He and his favorite advisor, Beilin the Poodle, set out the make peace and change the Middle East forever.
First they sent emissaries to Yassir and when they found that he was receptive, a meeting was scheduled. They couldn't meet in Israel so they chose the next best place, Oslo. When they all entered the meeting room, everyone noticed a smell coming from a package held by Yassir. Peres didn't want to insult Yassir but was very curious and the odor was a bit overpowering. As was normal, Peres whispered to his Poodle to ask the delicate question. So Beilin asked Yassir and the rest is history.
You see Yassir revealed that a gypsy had sold him a pot of camel's dung that had magical powers. Yassir agreed to sell it to Israel for a price. That price turned out to be the Oslo agreement. According to Yassir, who got it straight from the gypsy, Israel could use the power of the camel dung to wish for peace. Peres and his Poodle were very excited and concluded the Oslo deal with Yassir the Bloody. They then went back to Israel with the camel dung and said that they now had the power to create a peaceful New Middle East.
In the years that followed, peace never came to Israel. Israel had done everything right. They gave up land, water and Holy Sites to Yassir's bloody gang of Arabs. Periodically they checked with Arafat and complained that the camel dung wasn't working. The new King of Israel, Barak of the Wet Diaper, was told by Arafat that Israel must give him Jerusalem, the Golan, and the right of return of 5 million displaced Arabs. Since Barak was getting diaper rash and becoming very cranky, he decided that he must go along with Arafat to bring peace to Israel. Then their government was defeated.
Today a new king, Arik the Bulldozer, has arisen in Israel. With the encouragement of Peres the Brilliant, he has decided to make a deal with the new palestinian Arab PM, Mohammad Abbas. Abbas explained that Arafat was wrong about camel dung and Israel really needed for peace was goat dung. Convinced, Arik the Bulldozer accepted all of the Arab demands.
The rest is history. All those returning Arabs drove the Jews into sea. No country would allow the Israelis to emigrate to their country. Who needs Jews said the British? The Americans didn't have any room for Jews since millions of illegal immigrants were coming without permission.
There in the great sea, sitting on a raft that was starting to sink, Peres the Brilliant, Beilin the Poodle, and Barak of the Wet Diaper and Arik the Bulldozer were discussing the horrible disaster befalling Israel.
Peres summed up the situation in a very brilliant way: "Camel dung does not have magic powers and neither does goat dung. Everything would have worked out OK if Arafat and Abbas had not lied to us.."
THE SHORT CHANGE ARTIST AND OSLO
Or Why One Shouldn't Make Redeployment Maps
During my 23 years as owner of House of Books in Houston, I learned many valuable lessons. One in particular seems to have an application to the current situation in Israel. Let me explain: In 1978, the store was victimized by a short change artist. One of my clerks was at the register when a well dressed gentleman approached with a paperback book costing $2.95. He gave her a $20 bill and then began a back and forth exchange of money. In the end, the bookstore lost about $60.
I called the Houston police department and requested that an officer come to the store and brief my employees on how to prevent this crime from happening again. The officer came and told us a little story. It seems that Johnny Carson once asked a short change artist to come to his show and try to fool him while he was fully alert to what was going down. The criminal had no problem and his skill marveled the audience.
The Lesson: No matter how smart you are, a professional shortchange artist will win out. He is a pro. He does this day in and day out.
How To Stop The Short Change Artist: You simply MUST NOT PLAY HIS GAME. At the first hint of the scam, my employees were told to close the register and call security. They were specifically told NOT to try to outsmart or "keep up" with the short change artist.
How does this apply to Israel and the redeployment? Very simple. Think of Yassir Arafat and the US State Department as short change artists. They set up a scam called "Oslo" and the "peace process." They exchange promises for territory. They keep the territory but never keep their promises. Like I said, it is a scam. Along came the new Likud Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, who believed that he was smart enough to control the GAME. Only he couldn't. No one can. He was up against pros who have been scamming nations for decades. The State Department has reneged on commitment after solemn commitment to the Jewish State. Still they continue, pledging friendship, while surgically inserting knives in our backs.
This high drama of Oslo, Roadmaps and Sharon's Retreat, are just another manifestation of the attempt to control the GAME. There is only one way to win for Israel: Don't play!
We must tell Sharon and the world that the cash register of Eretz Yisrael is closed. The GAME is over. The scam is through.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and the editor of its monthly Internet magazine, The Maccabean Online.
A SOBERING REMINDER BY A GREAT HERO
by Yoni Netanyahu
"I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs.
Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again.
It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes.
They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed.
It would be comic, if it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish People is!"
The writer goes on, "The Wars of the Jews" are always the ugliest and hardest of all.
These are the wars of apologetics and futile bickering, suppression or distortion of facts, and procrastination in making decisions.
There is no doubt that what's called for is new leadership, a more correct perception of the realities, a sound recognition of the enemy's aims, and clear, definitive strategic-political planning.
There must be no fumbling in the dark and no more tactical expedients, for these will get us nowhere. If we don't have a well-defined, realistic objective, we won't have to fight the Arabs for our survival.
The Arabs won't need to fight. The Jews, as usual, will destroy themselves."
He ends by saying, "In the main, the people, as a body, lacks the perserverence while it abounds in political and military blindness. But I repeat, maybe this time we'll sober up."
CLEARLY, NOTHING HAS CHANGED!
The name of the author:
Yoni Netanyahu Z"L (hero of the Entebbe raid), in letter to his Mom and Dad, 11/17/73
YOUR DESTROYERS AND THOSE WHO LAID YOU WASTE GO FORTH FROM YOU - AGAIN
by Arieh Stav
The reader is no doubt astonished by the fact that the current edition of Nativ contains no reference to the central issue on the national agenda, i.e.: the expulsion of Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria as a first stage of the anticipated ethnic cleansing in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the problem is the lack of tools to address this issue rationally.
Isn't the very attempt to present and explain the political failure and the moral disgrace, which is Sharon's action is an insult to the intelligence. Is it necessary to again emphasize that the introduction of the Egyptian army into the Gaza Strip is a strategic failure, the likes of which, in any proper country, would lead to the Prime Minister's removal within 24 hours and his being tried before a military tribunal on counts of treason? Is it not self-explanatory that the expulsion of Jews by Jews from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the cradle of the Jewish nation and Zionism's raison d'etre, is sinking to depths unprecedented in Jewish history? After all, everything has been written and rewritten and rehashed in the patient pages of this periodical.
However, is Sharon indeed guilty? True, a corrupt con artist captured the Israeli premiership, one who led his voters astray and stole their votes. However, Sharon is not alone. Sharon is only a manifestation of the spiritual and moral prostitution of the general public, which bows its head and acquiesces as if possessed by a demon. The fact that a majority of the government of the Jewish State, and all the more so the Israeli Knesset, supports transfer is testament to the moral bankruptcy and the system-wide madness to which we are all subject. This ease, with which Sharon collects these wretched, obsequious, avaricious souls to surround him in perpetrating a national crime that is what arouses horror and despair. Here we see the head of the Judenrat appoints the Jewish capo who entices the victims of the ethnic cleansing with bribes; here the Jewish policemen are preparing the detention pens to incarcerate opponents of the expulsion; here is the Jewish judge pleased with the result: The houses of those expelled will be destroyed, the work to which they devoted their lives is lost. Synagogues, schools, public institutions will be transferred to the murderers, the heirs of the Third Reich.
Is it possible to imagine a similar phenomenon in a normal society, among a populace, which has not totally lost its survival instinct?
Can one imagine a more profound moral nadir than the 'Israel Defense Forces" expelling a Jew from his land and destroying his house? An army whose hands were tied, preventing them from liquidating the murderous Arab gangs, and was therefore ordered to turn on its own people? Here we see the Israeli Defense Minister preparing the IDF destruction units; while the same colorless, pathetic character, a former IDF Chief of General Staff, declares, "next year there will not be even one Jew remaining in the Gaza Strip" has the man lost his mind to the point that he is quoting the perpetrators of the Final Solution? Indeed, if his scheme is successful, he will be able to rub his hands and note with satisfaction Also, Gaza ist Judenrein, to paraphrase the words Hans Frank, the executioner of Poland after the deportation of Warsaw's Jews.
True, we can hope that ultimately Sharon will break his political neck and his name will be inscribed for eternal infamy in the annals of the nation. The question is whether together with him he will drag us down with him to oblivion. I know that these are harsh words and it is conceivable that the undersigned will be forced to pay the price. However in a world in which Sharon and his ilk are running free, sitting in detention will be considered an honor.
Ynet OpEd, Dec. 27, 2004
by Yoram Ettinger
The Palestinian elections, which will be held in January 2005 cannot be free. Free election on one hand, and the nature of the Palestinian Authority on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron.
Elections do not become free through rhetoric, even when the rhetoric is uttered by leaders of respectable nations and by media and academia stars. Elections do not constitute a magic wand, which transforms totalitarian regimes into democracies. On the other hand, it is a free society, which is a critical prerequisite for Free Elections; a Free Society, which is based on the rights of the individual, rather than the rights of the ruler.
Free elections are the by-product of a society, where citizens accord certain rights to their government. Free elections cannot be a by product of societies, where regimes accords certain rights to their subjects, eliminate their opponents and brainwash their population with hate-education. Elections held by a non-free society are inherently non-free, even if prestigious evening news anchormen and press conferences in Jerusalem, London, the UN and Washington, DC refer to them as "free elections". My late friend from Athens Texas would have said that "It doesn't matter how much lipstick and make-up you apply to a Doberman, it will always be a Doberman and never a Poodle."
The January 2004 elections will deal a severe blow to the hopes of Palestinians to be liberated from the oppressive regime, which was imposed on them by "The Tunisians": Arafat, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala', Dahlan, Rajoub and other members of the PLO, who have been considered - by fellow Arabs - as the role model of treachery, corruption, intolerance and terrorism. These elections will accord further Western legitimacy to the political, ideological and financial infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism, and will therefore deal a setback to the pursuit of peace. The coming Palestinian elections will raise further doubts about the capabilities of post-1992 Israeli leaders to benefit from the lessons of the 1996 Palestinian elections, from the unprecedented terrorism of the last 11 years (since the signing of the Oslo Accord) and from the Regime-Change and subsequent elections initiatedby the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The January 1996 Palestinian elections were supervised by international and Israeli observers. They were certified as "free and democratic" by global personalities, such as former Presidents Clinton and Carter, by then Israeli Prime Minister Peres, by the UN, by all European leaders, by the NY Times, CNN, the three major US Networks, etc. They applied much lipstick and make-up, in order to Kosherize the elections, which upgraded the legitimacy of Arafat, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala' and other graduates of terrorist camps in Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Tunisia. However, when the lipstick and make-up disappeared, it became obvious that notwithstanding the "free" election, the Palestinian Authority persisted in hate-education, terrorism, gross violation of human rights, corruption, systematic and violent violation of commitments made to Israel and to the US and repression of the Christian minority.
A cardinal prerequisite to Free Election, to moderate regimes and to durable and peaceful coexistence is the uprooting of the regime, which has been responsible for the deterioration of the Palestinian society. Abu Mazen and Abu Ala' have not been in exile or in the underground during the last eleven years, since the signing of the Oslo Accord. Sometimes they opposed Arafat's tactics, but they always supported Arafat's strategy. Therefore, they were among Arafat's closest confidants and senior deputies since the 1950s, when they were leaders of the Palestinian cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo (which became the ideological mentor of Hamas terrorists). Along with Dahlan and Rajoub, they devised a series of understandings with Hamas, starting with the 1993 edition, which committed the PA and Hamas to a joint strategy (Israel's elimination), while assigning different tactical roles to each organization. Together the four PLO/PA leaders masterminded the system of hate education in PA-controlled schools, mosques and media. The four have earned the nickname - coined by fellow Palestinians - "Mr. 20%", for the notorious kickbacks extracted from businessmen, who deal with the PA.
The US did not initiate elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, before the comprehensive dismantling of the Taliban and the Ba'th regimes. The Allies did not hold elections in Japan and Germany prior to the tearing down of the Tojo and the Nazi regimes.
The Palestinian Authority is not a platform for Free Election. The Palestinian Authority is the key obstacle for Free Election. Legitimizing the January 2004 election - in defiance of the clear track record of the PA - has constituted another victory to wishful thinking over realism. It would, once again, reward Palestinian terrorism and adrenalize Islamic and international terrorism. It would cause, therefore, a setback to moderate Palestinian elements and to the pursuit of peace.
TO PREVENT AN UNBRIDGEABLE RIFT
by Boris Shusteff
On April 26, speaking in Jerusalem at the International Bible Quiz, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said,
"This year's theme for the Quiz was the verse from the Book of Psalms, Forever will Your kindness be built. This verse may be viewed as a wish, however I suggest we call it a binding decree: not by itself will our world be based on a foundation of kindness, and it will not by itself turn into a world in which there is attentiveness and c the poor and the weak, for the stranger and the invalid, for the elderly and the widow. We are the ones who must add this principle of kindness to our world, into the society in which we live."
Beautiful words, one should applaud them. Lack of kindness as well as lack of unity among the Jews are two major components that Israel desperately needs. Actually Sharon mentioned his concern about the lack of unity among the Jews more than three years ago in the interview with Avi Shavit on April 12, 2001 when he said,
"Years ago, I would watch when a group of Palestinian workers would sit down to eat in a circle and each of them would take out what he brought from home and place it in the center of the circle, and then, without restraint, one would take from here and another from there, and they all sat together. While as for our people, each of them would sit by himself and eat his food alone."
Based on Sharon's understanding of the core problem that plagues the Jewish people one could have expected that he would take it into consideration while searching for a cure. Certainly if the drug used in the course of treatment is harmful for the patient it should not be used.
Alas, as many political leaders before him, Sharon literally pays just lip service to his many pronouncements and makes political decisions without properly evaluating what harm they will bring to the society in a long run. Six weeks after his Bible Quiz speech, on June 6, apparently forgetting about his "binding decree" and planned attempts "to turn Israel into the world of kindness," Sharon shoved his decision to expel all Jews from their Gaza communities down the throats of his ministers.
Ignoring his own appeal to "attentiveness and consideration for the poor and weak, for the invalid, elderly and widow" happily living in communities, the majority of which were established 20-30 years ago on land from which not a single Arab was expelled, Sharon not only gave the signal for destroying the flourishing life of Jewish communities, but have mercilessly open the slowly healing wound of shaky unity in the country.
For more than three difficult years Israeli Jews withstood the brutal terrorist war conducted against them by the Palestinian Arabs. The Jews of Gush Katif and Hadera, Tel Aviv and Haifa, Karnei Shomron and Netania were one people attacked by one enemy. Not anymore. Sharon's decision to expel Jews from Gaza and four settlements in northern Samaria, and we are not arguing here whether it has political merits or not, has drastically increased the already existing divide within the Jewish state, making the "settlers" pariahs of society, and guaranteeing that a substantial fraction of Israelis will forever harbor toward them not kindness, but enmity and resentment.
As a result, the number of vitriolic articles in the Israeli press pouring loathing upon the "settlers" has increased exponentially. Especially troubling is the fact that today, not only the regular settler-haters spew venom upon their fellow Jews, but that usually more respectful authors have joined their chorus as well.r chorus as well.
Certainly one should not be surprised reading Gideon Levy's diatribe in Ha'aretz, in which he writes: "To those who are calling for empathy toward these settlers, we must say they do not deserve empathy since they never showed consideration for the feelings of others. There is not and never has been in the history of the state such a destructive and immoral enterprise as the settlement enterprise." And of course one should not be astonished when Uri Avnery echoes Levy by saying about the settlement policy that "for over a quarter of a century Israeli society has allowed a cancer to grow unchecked."
However, one should be shocked when similar writing is penned by Avi Shavit, who wrote in the same newspaper, "For a long time, there was justification for showing understanding toward the settlers. There was justification for talking with them, carrying on a dialogue with them. Not any more... It is either Israelis or settlers."
Sharon said in his Bible Quiz speech: "We must act according to the decree of the Prophet Isaiah, which combines human compassion with mutual responsibility, for 'when you see a naked person, clothe him; and do not hide yourself from your kin.'" Contrary to his own words Sharon hid himself from his own kin.
Not long ago himself praising the settlers of Gaza he made a 180-degree turn. He did not conduct any sensible dialogue in the Israeli society in order to determine how the country should live further if the decision would be taken to uproot the Jews from their homes. He did not allow people to think what will happen to the Jewish state if it rejects the basic tenet on which it was build -- the settlement enterprise. He simply made a decision and like bulldozer went with it ahead.
Of course it is not from compassion that Sharon decided to establish a special unit of some 2,000 soldiers to carry out the mission of removing the Jews from their homes. Israeli newspapers shared with their readers the information that this "special unit will carry out the forceful evacuation of settlers. The unit's soldiers will be specially trained for the operation. It will function as a wing of the police force, and will train only for the mission of evacuation."
On December 26, Yediot Aharanot in the article entitled "Police Prepare for Forced Evacuation" wrote that,
"The police would like to purchase equipment that will be used by the Israel Police and Border Police troops who take part in the evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria... The equipment in question includes hundreds of new batons, dozens of horses and a number of vehicles fitted with water cannons."
Do not we understand the nightmare that is hidden in the words "specially trained for evacuation" and "forced evacuation"? What had happened to our hearts? How did we manage to reach the day that the Israeli press is writing as a matter of fact that the Jews will be "specially trained" to brutally deal with other Jews and a deafening silence meets these pronouncements? Especially since the Israeli soldiers are instructed to walk on eggshells when they deal with their enemies.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz in his speech given at Berkeley University on April 29, 2004 told about a hearing of the Ethics Committee of the Israeli Army that he recently attended:
"The Ethics professor, member of the Committee, said the Israeli government has the right to balance and to value the life of its own soldiers over enemy civilians. However, the Israeli general participating in the hearing disagreed and said the Israeli soldiers must die to save the lives of civilians even if they are enemy civilians."
Does it mean that the soldiers in special units that will be trained to forcefully expel their brethren will be taught to die if the Jewish civilians employ force for defense of their homes, family members, and their own protection?
Did we forget the dark pages of our history when other Jews under other circumstances were also trained to "resettle" their brethren? Actually the situation in Israel today is eerily reminiscent of the last months of Warsaw ghetto, as they are described in the diary of Emmanuel Ringelblum. Even Sharon's policy of exploiting the divide among Israelis is not new. Ringenblum wrote about it,
"'Divide and rule'- [the German strategy] poisons relations between Jews and Poles and makes any help from that [Polish quarter] impossible. [The Germans] fooled the populace about [the meaning of] resettlement. ...[The Germans] set the Warsawers against the refugees. Supposedly the resettlement was to free Warsaw of its 'nonproductive elements."
Disturbingly, the word "resettlement" used by Ringenblum is exactly the word that Sharon uses today in order to describe his intended eviction of the Jews. Moreover, Sharon's strategy leads towards poisoning relations between the "settlers" and the rest of Israeli society.
At the same time the Israeli press tends to present the "settlers" as unproductive parasites. Gideon Levy asked in Ha'aretz, "For what exactly should we be compensating the settlers who will be evacuated from Gaza? For the damage they caused the state for decades? For the scandalous economic price of their living in Gaza? For the blood needlessly spilled over them?"
The parallels with the Warsaw Ghetto are frightening. Ringenblum wrote in his diary that the Germans "closed the ghetto borders, stopped anyone from bringing in produce, and thus starved the Jews out -- brought the Ghetto to the point where for a loaf of bread thousands reported voluntarily for resettlement." Sharon's policy is also directed towards stifling the normal life of Gaza's Jews. He also wants the Jews to leave their homes voluntarily and shamelessly promises them hundreds of thousands of dollars if they abandon their houses of their own volition.
Regarding the forceful evacuation of those who intend to remain in their houses, in the hope that Jews will not expel Jews from Jewish land, the Israeli press writes that it "will be declared a 'closed military zone'" two weeks before the last "time window in order to make it easier for the army to remove any settlers still remaining." And the laws are prepared according to which the settlers refusing voluntary evacuation and resisting security forces will not only forfeit the right to compensation but will go to jail, as well.
One can rest assured that the special forces used to evict the Jews will not demonstrate mercy to those they will be instructed to evict. We should recall how brutal the Jewish police was to their brethren in Warsaw ghetto, when they sent them to death camps, in order to understand that the similar expulsion of different Jews from "only" their homes will be a mere nuisance. Ringenblum wrote about the abominable behavior of the Jewish police,
They reached the height of viciousness during the resettlement. They said not a single word of protest against this revolting assignment to lead their own brothers to the slaughter. The police were psychologically prepared for the dirty work and executed it thoroughly. ...Merciless and violent, they beat those who tried to resist. They weren't content simply to overcome the resistance, but with the utmost severity punished the 'criminals' who refused to go to their death voluntarily."
One might argue that it is wrong to compare the eviction of Jews from Gaza communities with the eviction of Warsaw Jews to death camps. True, in the present case, Gazan Jews will be deprived not of their lives, but only of their property, livelihood and lifestyle. Thus only their souls will be killed and not their bodies. However, this is not the point. What must be emphasized here is the catastrophic absence of unity and kindness among the Jews toward their own, at a critical junction of their history.
By condemning Gaza Jews to expulsion the Israeli Prime Minister not only widens the divide among the Jews and shuts the door to kindness within Israeli society but also invites unnecessary enmity and hatred.
It is hard to be a Prime Minister of any country; it is hundred times harder to be a Prime Minister in a Jewish state. Burden of several thousand years of history makes it a must for any Jewish leader to take into account the lessons of the past. Knowing that the unity for the Jews is the most precious treasure one must be especially careful in not destroying it. If eviction of Gaza Jews could lead towards unbridgeable rift and unforgivable enmity between the Jews it must not happen. What good will it be to strive for an ephemeral peace with the Arabs if the price for this will be war between the Jews?
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
The Jerusalem Post - December 23, 2004
THE NEW MIDDLE EAST
by Sarah Honig
In the milestone year of 1993, Shimon Peres gave us Oslo and the key to the mind-set that produced it - his book The New Middle East. On page 96 he omnisciently informed us that "in the not-too-distant past, history was a chain of military and political conflicts; today international relationships based on economics are the dominant characteristic."
Gullible souls fell for this malarkey. Among them was Druse-Israeli Azam Azam who, inspired by Peres's assertions, sought his fortune south of the border. All he gained were eight years of hell behind Egyptian bars.
But - Azam's suffering notwithstanding - the resolution of his story is just the sort Peres loves to promote as proof that his new Middle East yet thrives, despite tangible evidence to the contrary. The only minor imperfection in a perfectly happy ending is Azam's decision to join the Likud - not Labor.
Other than that, goodwill blossoms all over. Some 170 Palestinian terrorists are going home - to continue their struggle against our existence - as a token of Israeli gratitude to Hosni Mubarak for releasing Azam on the eve of the recent Likud Central Committee session. Mubarak thereby boosted the likelihood that it'd bless the Sharon-Peres remarriage. See how it all comes together?
A dubious match is expedited, and the best man is handsomely recompensed for his services. Everyone has every reason to be pleased, except perhaps those of us killjoys who obstinately abstain from merrymaking and uncooperatively insist on reading the small print of the unpublicized nuptial agreement. And so, while everyone else celebrates, exudes congratulatory wishes, and hopes for the best, we agonize.
With obstructionist pettiness we focus not on Mubarak's magnanimity in freeing "a convicted spy" (as the international media described Azam) but on the fact that he inflicted (without apology) prolonged torment on an innocent individual to signal his rejection of normalization a la New Middle East.
WE'RE LIKEWISE benightedly unimpressed with talk about the expected return of the Egyptian ambassador and the speculation that Mubarak will cajole several other Arab potentates to dispatch diplomats as well. We of little faith can't forget that the presence of Cairo's envoy was anyhow mandated by the 1979 peace treaty, and that his extended absence is nothing but a brazen violation thereof.
We can't discern the wisdom of paying for a maybe-end to a flagrant breach of contract after Mubarak demonstrated for years that there's no penalty for reneging on undertakings to Israel.
Remarketing previously promised searches for Israeli MIAs in Sinai is a con.
The same goes for renewed rosy predictions of economic cooperation - the very sort that landed Azam in the dungeon. It's likely that Mubarak wishes to hitch a ride on Israel's trade agreements, but making suckers of us is hardly coexistence, especially after Israel systematically overlooked the fact that Cairo uses 75% of Washington's financial aid for massive rearmament. The inordinate growth of Egypt's army has made it the biggest in the region - despite ostensible peace.
Its state-of-the-art weaponry, training in assault tactics, and drills in maneuvers to cross the Sinai speedily all point towards a projected anti-Israeli offensive. Egypt has long ago upset the strategic balance, and the looming IDF retreat from Gaza will facilitate any contemplated future aggression.
If Egypt's intentions were honorable, it wouldn't disseminate virulent Sturmer-like Jew-hatred and wouldn't tolerate rampant gunrunning from its territory via Rafah's tunnels. By allowing Egypt to deploy armored corps on the Gazan frontier - supposedly to combat these subterranean smuggling routes - Israel renders itself exceedingly vulnerable and recklessly discards the most significant defense mechanisms of the peace treaty. Egyptian military might at Israel's gateway isn't necessary to defuse Gaza.
Moreover, by aggrandizing Mubarak as a man of peace, we help cover up his indulgence for terror. We also provide him with a casus belli. After the surrender of Gush Katif, any move against Kassam crews will be construed as an unforgivable personal attack on Mubarak.
This cannot be risked, especially when he might at long last grace us with a visit. Thus far he has assiduously boycotted Israel despite obsequious wooing by most of our PMs, with the notable exception of Yitzhak Shamir - the last one for whom the notion of national honor still mattered.
But Peres, Shamir's antithesis, expunged even national interest from his lexicon. Having converted Sharon to Peres-speak, the number-two stand-in premier can now spin new visions of sugar-coated regional harmony - like those he peddled at the hastily convened 1996 Sharm-el-Sheikh anti-terrorism summit half a year before Azam's arrest.
To this day - numerous Israeli casualties later - Peres hasn't backtracked from his dramatic announcement then that "the dark days are at an end. The shadows of their past are lengthening. The twilight of wars is still red, yet its sunset is inevitable and imminent - it will be a new Middle East."
The Jerusalem Post - December 16, 2004
WANTED: ISRAELI NEOCONS
by Caroline Glick
Speaking at the Interdisciplinary Center's Herzliya Conference on Monday, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said that Israel's "interest is to separate the general Palestinian population from those involved in terrorism." This, of course, stands at the core of all anti-guerrilla and counterterror operational thinking.
Ya'alon noted the economic devastation that the Palestinian terror war has wrought on the general Palestinian population. Repeated suicide attacks at the Erez Industrial Park, where some 4,000 Gazans worked each day to support some 35,000 people, forced Israel to close the park. This week's attack against an IDF outpost on the border between Gaza and Egypt forced the army to close the border-crossing terminal, preventing Gazans from conducting business in Egypt. Suicide bombers disguised as ordinary workers have forced Israel to stringently limit the number of Palestinians working in Israel and to erect roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria.
Israel has, over the past four years, and indeed since the first Palestinian suicide bomber introduced himself to Israeli civilians back in 1994, tried to develop methods of screening cargo and workers that would make Palestinian economic activity possible while preventing the infiltration of human bombs. Additionally, as Ya'alon noted, Israel has worked to ensure that the health and education systems in Judea, Samaria and Gaza have continued to operate. This, in spite of the fact that terrorists have hidden in maternity and cancer wards from Bethlehem to Jenin and that the Palestinian school system teaches children that their life goal should be to become a suicide bomber.
Yet, in spite of all of Israel's attempts to separate the broader Palestinian population from the terrorists, Ya'alon admitted that support for the terrorists had not waned, nor had enthusiasm for terrorism in general. In his words, IDF counterterror operations over the past two years "have decreased the ability, not the motivation" of Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis.
And so it can be said that the IDF, and Israel as a whole, have failed in the mission of separating the general Palestinian population from those involved in terrorism.
How can this be the case? After all, Israel's leaders have never declared war on the Palestinians. To the contrary, every time it seemed there was a break in the clouds, Israel moved quickly to embrace any opportunity to begin discussions with Palestinian officials -- whether at the political level or among the various official Palestinian militia commanders.
An answer to this seeming paradox was provided by The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh in a dispatch from Gaza earlier in the week. Toameh reported the case of Dr. Hassan Nurani, a psychologist from Gaza City who wished to run for the PA's presidency. Nurani composed a platform calling for the building of a "civilized and moral society." He was able to collect the requisite 5,000 signatures to submit his candidacy but couldn't afford the $3000 needed to register for the election. Desperate to run, Nurani tried selling off his small parcel of land and his home furnishings. But he still wasn't able to raise the sum, which is the rough equivalent of an annual salary in Gaza.
It is possible that Dr. Nurani supports terrorism. It is possible that he is not willing to live in a Palestinian society which exists alongside a strong and vibrant Jewish state. It is possible that he insists that Israel allow millions of foreign-born Arabs to immigrate freely into Israel as a condition for peace. But we'll never know, because he is too poor to tell us.
And then we have the frontrunner for the Palestinian presidency, new PLO head Mahmoud Abbas. He's the only show in town. It doesn't seem to bother anyone that Yasser Arafat's deputy of 40 years has refused to call for an end to the Palestinian terror war, saying just Wednesday in Saudi Arabia that he didn't mean to offend anyone when he said the day before that violence against Israel is counterproductive.
"All I meant," Abbas explained, "is that we are in a phase that does not necessitate arms because we want to negotiate." And in the meantime, he decried Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's call earlier in the day for the international community to build permanent housing for the millions of Arabs, whose ancestors may have once lived in Israel, who have been interned in UN refugee camps in the Arab world for the past 55 years. "Any proposal regarding the resettlement of the refugees is completely rejected," Abbas, the soon-to-be-democratically elected Palestinian leader, said.
Shalom's call for the rehabilitation of the residents of the UN refugee camps was given in the course of his address to the Herzliya Conference. Aside from daring to raise the possibility of letting these poor people finally be free of the burden of living their lives as political symbols, his speech was actually wholly supportive of the combative, rejectionist Abbas.
Shalom devoted much of his address to calling for the convention of a second Aqaba summit with US President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Abbas right after the January 9 elections. In his words: "The lead actors from the first Aqaba summit, which took place in June 2003 -- Sharon, Bush and Abu Mazen [Abbas] -- are the same actors today, but stronger."
So, in the run-up to the Palestinian election, which is supposed to be the first step toward the liberalization and democratization of Palestinian society, the presumptive winner -- who stands opposed to any action against terror operatives or compromise on the so-called refugees that would enable peace to be achieved -- is embraced as a positive development, a window of opportunity and a foregone conclusion.
In an interview with the Post's Ruthie Blum appearing today, Palestinian apologist extraordinaire Hanan Ashrawi assailed Bush for adopting "the neocon agenda" in calling for the transformation of Palestinian society from a terror-supporting and -engendering society into a peaceful democratic one before the establishment of a Palestinian state. In her words, "You don't use democracy for justifying the existence of states. You would then have to remove many states. Self-determination for Palestinians is a right that has to be implemented as a way of bringing peace and stability to the region. Therefore, you don't make a state dependent on its system of government."
And Ashrawi isn't alone. In his speech at the conference on Tuesday, Labor party leader and soon-to-be acting prime minister Shimon Peres assailed the notion that democratic reform is a necessary condition for peaceful relations.
Indeed, the very thought that Palestinian society must be democratized meets its staunchest opposition from Israeli elites. In his column in Yediot Ahronot last Friday, Nahum Barnea, Israel's journalistic supremo and proud socialist, wrote scathingly of Bush's attachment to the notions of democracy and morality. Speaking of Bush's reading of Minister-without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy, which argues that peaceful relations are contingent on individual freedom and democracy, Barnea sneered, "The book publisher can now advertise it as 'the only book the president has read in the last 10 years.'" He then went on to witheringly criticize Sharansky's book, describing it as "clear, easily digestible, unburdened by doubt, moralistic, very positive and totally simplistic."
Israel's elitists, like Barnea and Peres, and their sheep-like followers like Shalom, no doubt took comfort in the obnoxious responses evinced toward the Bush administration's policy doctrine of bringing democracy to the Arab world during last Saturday's conference on the topic in Rabat, Morocco. There, US Secretary of State Colin Powell was barraged by angry statements from the Egyptian, Saudi and Libyan foreign ministers, who claimed that the US can't talk about democracy until "the peace process" goes forward and US occupation of Iraq comes to an end.
Even German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, the champion of the Israeli Left, said that progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians "will lend all reform and modernization efforts in the Arab world unprecedented momentum."
It isn't surprising that the same people who demonize their political opposition in Israel as warmongering extremists and potential political assassins would have such a low opinion of the possibility that Arabs might, if given the opportunity, choose to live freely and at peace with Israel and the rest of their neighbors.
And yet, as The Washington Post's editorialist noted on Wednesday, even as the Arab potentates were berating the Americans for daring to discuss democracy with them, Arab human rights activists who also participated in the conference insisted that the Americans continue to pressure their governments and that "Palestinian and Iraqi issues should not be used as excuses for not launching reforms."
And what did these people want? They demanded that their governments "allow free ownership of media institutions and sources; allow freedom of _expression and especially freedom of assembly and meetings; ensure women's rights and remove all forms of inequality and discrimination against women in the Arab world; and immediately release reformers, human rights activists and political prisoners."
The American neoconservatives, who have been the most visible proponents of democracy in the Arab world and who Barnea, echoing Ashrawi, alleges "control the foreign policy of the Bush administration," have often been accused of working for Israel. Yet, as our elites' revulsion with democracy and our government's silence on the issue shows, American democracy advocates have almost no one to talk to in Israel. Indeed, Israel's passivity in the face of Palestinian corruption, authoritarianism and hate indicates that what Israel needs most desperately is for a movement of Israeli neoconservatives to arise and "take control" of Israel's foreign policy.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
A FEW UNFASHIONABLE FACTS
KNOWING ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST
The Arabs Stole Palestine from the Jews, and not the other way around!
By Steven Plaut
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation-state in 1312 B.C, 2,000 years before the rise of Islam, and was a nation before that.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C., the Jews have had dominion over the land for 1,000 years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The Arabs conquered Palestine in 635 AD, stealing it from its legitimate Jewish rulers, who had evicted the Byzantines while being led by a woman general, one Hefzibah, who then restored Jewish sovereignty. Palestine was stolen from the Jews by the Arabs and not the other way around. Arab sovereignty over Palestine ended in 1071 when the area was conquered by Seljuk Turks. Palestinian Arabs never held sovereignty over and cannot even pronounce the name of their supposed homeland.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Qur'an (Koran).
7. King David founded the Jewish city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be between 400,000 and 630,000, many of whom in fact were allowed to return after the Israeli war of Independence ended.. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands was much larger.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, the Arabs are the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country smaller than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by 22 independent states, not including what Israel has offered the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended herself each time and won.
14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. In the 1990s Israel gave the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The United Nations (U.N.) Record on Israel and the Arabs: Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 U.N. General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians. Kind of like its silence over the massacres of Algerians or Sudanese by Arab fascists.
19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting their holy sites at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Similar discrimination against Jews has continued under Israeli rule.
SLOUCHING TOWARDS BIROBIDZHAN
by David Basch
"Birobidzhan, Birobidzhan, how my heart yearns for you!"
The above is a song of yearning not heard much these days for the Yiddish homeland that Stalin set up for Russia's Jews in Siberia as a substitute for Zionist idealism. Birobidzhan is still there in Siberia speaking Yiddish except that there are few Jews there and its only synagogue conducts a Christian service. Birobidzhan is the model of the Israel that Sharon is in the process of forging with his surrender of Gaza and Jewish land claims. Sharon is in the act of ceding Gaza to the terrorists so that the Arab terrorists can begin in earnest on the first stage of their "Palestine" that they desire for the sole purpose of replacing Israel.
I note with disgust that Israel gives funds to the Arabs so thatthe Arabs can get to voting and establishing their state. You might have thought that funds garnered from the Arabs would be used to repay Jewish victims for their losses in property, life, and limb from Arab terrorism. But no such wisdom is to be found among the leaders of the new Israeli Birobidzhan.
If Sharon thinks that, for his supreme efforts to become a co-father along with Arafat of a new Arab state, he will win an honored place in history, he is badly mistaken. Though he may well come to deserve a title as "father" of a new Arab state, the Arabs have no need for him as a hero and even Mubarak that now sings his praise will quickly bury his name. And so will the Jews damn him for his disastrous impact with the phrase y'mach she'mo -- "may his name be blotted out."
Sharon thinks that he can dispense with Jewish values and history in building an Israeli state on Leftist Universalist principles. But such a state with no purpose rooted in the deepest depths of the hearts of Jews, that is, not rooted in the religion of the Jews and in the land of Israel, will ever be more than a hollowed out bagel, what the other Birobidzhan is that it will resemble. If it is only "universalism" that Sharon considers to be the alpha and omega of the Jewish future in Israel, then Israel is not any better a place for that than is Los Angeles or New York, and maybe is even worse. For without the heartfelt Jewish attachments that brought the revival of Israel in the first place, Israel will be no match for the powerful opposite force of the religious and national claims posed falsely by the Arabs. Neglecting the powerful Jewish resources of history and religion, Sharon and Leftist Israelis will suddenly find that, like with the original Birobidzhan, they will be presiding over a cultural wasteland, facing a Jewish Israeli stampede towards more felicitous outside centers of the non-Jewish universal values they promote by their precedent of ethnically cleansing their own Jewish brothers from their land.
I noted the article in The Jerusalem Post a few weeks ago about this year's poorly attended Conference of Jewish Organizations in Cincinnati. Among the reasons cited in the article for this poor showing is the declining interest of young Jews in the fate of Israel, something that corresponds with their decline in religious sentiments. These are the very declines in Jewish values that Sharon and the Leftists himself promote in Israel. As the Arabs of the Israeli region grow in military might and national cohesion -- developments aided and promoted by successive administrations of Israeli governments -- the Arabs become ever more assured of their future victory over Israel, with the reciprocal diminishment of Jewish hopes. Reconquest of Gaza and the establishment of the military beachhead there -- the fruits of Sharon's policy -- is just another of the Arab victories that encourage and impel the Arab war against Israel and its terrorism. When will foolish Israelis realize that Arabs will not change their ways and that it is only the decisive defeat of Arab goals that can lead to new paths and discourage war?
It is most discouraging to find Israel's gullible, obsessively-liberal governments regularly manipulated by Arab terrorist leaders by a word and smile into surrender upon surrender. It is especially worrisome that Israel's leadership has not in the least profited from the lesson of the debacle of the Olso surrenders that brought thousands of Israelis killed and maimed and the gutting of Israel's diplomatic posture that has enabled the growing enemy prospects for establishing a new irredentist state. Instead, Sharon brings his nation to the brink of civil war by turning on his own staunchly patriotic Jewish citizens in his fanatic thrusts to placate Israel's enemies. Sharon has apparently not learned that Israel's enemies and their supporters will not willingly accept Israeli policies that protect and affirm the Jewish State and that Israel must not look such enemies for approval. Such policies benefiting Israel must be imposed by Israel for Israel's own sake and, if necessary, thrust upon the scene suddenly and overwhelmingly, their successes creating undeniable facts that place them beyond debate, as occurred through Israeli actions in the 1967 War.
Sharon in his declining years seems to have had his judgment correspondingly impaired to the point that he leads his nation into the jaws of defeat for the sake of temporary political advantage. He fails to distinguish that his job is to build the long-term security of the nation, not squander its claims and surrender its lands to buy temporary advantage that lasts only from election to election.
Why is there not a more vigorous Israeli protest to Sharon's policies of step be step surrender? Have Israelis descended to the level of the folk of Germany following their fuhrer down the path to their own destruction? Unless Israel's people wise up soon, the nation will have passed the point of no return on a downward spiral of a vacuous nationhood that progressively sheds the loyalty and ties of its people as it sheds the nation's lands -- an ever shrinking toehold in the Middle East, an incarnation of a fading BIROBIDZHAN East that no one will ever miss or yearn for in song.
CREATING A PALESTINIAN APARTHEID STATE?
By Ariel Natan Pasko
You know for years, leftists and Arabs, and all kind of anti-Semites have compared Israel to South Africa. For the last few years, there's been a divestment campaign against Israel as was done against South Africa. Many Jews shrugged off the comparison, or hid from it. And most decent people of all persuasions, argued, "No it's not true, Israel is a democracy, and the old South Africa had apartheid."
But it has dawned on me that the comparison makes some sense. Not between Israel - the embattled victim of morally degenerate suicide bombings - and the once racially segregated South Africa. Not between Israel, the victor in a defensive war - that pitted several enemies against it, attempting a second Holocaust in 1967 - and a cruel divisive South African regime that pitted one group against another for racial supremacy. But between Israel the country that since 1948, has wanted to live peacefully with its neighbors; between Israel who has won all the wars that were forced upon it and still made agreements to return territory captured - territory that gave it much needed strategic depth - in return for promises written on paper; and the new racially diverse South Africa of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and the current President Thabo Mbeki.
You see Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk - winners of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize - and Desmond Tutu - winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize -called for reconciliation between groups in South Africa. It might not be perfect now, but after Mandela's release from 28 years of imprisonment in 1990, the first thing he DIDN'T do was call for killing whites. Being elected President in the first multi-racial election in South Africa in 1994, Mandela also knew how to step down after 5-years in office; instead of like Arafat - the infamous Nobel Peace Prize winner - who died in office, incapable of releasing power until his death. Desmond Tutu has used his Nobel money to set up the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre.
Will Yasser Arafat's heirs (Mahmoud Abbas, Marwan Barghouti, Hamas, and others), use some of his stolen money to set up the "The Yasser School of Safe Explosive's Use," maybe?
The Quartet's (US, EU, UN and Russia) so-called Roadmap to Middle East peace, envisions the first case of "Ethnic Cleansing" of the 21st century, this time internationally legitimated. The Sharon government in Israel intends to be a willing accomplice, if it carries out it's planned expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif-Gaza and Northern Samaria (euphemistically called "Disengagement"). I understand that if most countries would have favored the Nazi attempt to commit genocide against the Jews, or most of the world supported forced racial segregation - Apartheid - in South Africa, that would have made them okay to do. You don't agree? So why is it okay to close Jewish "settlements," uproot several hundred thousand Jews from Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - and Gaza, in the name of "Peace," when the world is being promised an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a democratic Palestinian State? Forget Apartheid, they're planning a racially-ethnically pure Arab state free of Jews.
If the "democratic" Palestinian state that Bush and Blair keep talking about, and everyone else envisions, requires uprooting whole communities; towns and villages of thousands, expelling families from their homes, destroying everything built - schools, synagogues, community centers, businesses, people's lives - in the last 37 years, where may I ask is the reconciliation? Where is the peace? When the blacks in South Africa finally gained power, they didn't throw the whites out, or try to murder them.
If Palestine has to be "Judenrein" - free of Jews - then it won't be "democratic" but NAZI!
Palestine won't be an Apartheid State like the old South Africa, but a Nazi state, not racially supremacist but racially pure. And that's a far cry from the vision being presented to us by Bush, Blair, Sharon, and all those nice people who say, "we have to solve the Palestinian problem" or "The solution is two states living side by side in peace". The Palestinian Authority till now has done nothing to stop the Oslo War for over four years. Plenty of evidence indicates they've actually helped carry it out. Marwan Barghouti (founder of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror group, affiliated to Arafat and Abbas's Fatah) just called on Mahmoud Abbas (the Fatah candidate for PA President) not to give up the option of "armed struggle". The expressed purpose of the terror groups is to drive Jews out of their homes, and Sharon is helping them with his expulsion plan for Gazan Jews.
But Jews have a longer history (almost 4,000 years) with these ancient Holy Places (Gaza, Hebron, Shechem, Bethlehem, Shilo, Tekoa, and Jericho) as the indigenous population - than the Arabs do. Most of whom came into the area from the surrounding Arab countries in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. Why should the Jews have to leave? If Arabs can live as equal citizens in Israel, able to be elected to the Knesset (there are Arab citizens in Israel's parliament), or serve on Israel's Supreme Court (there is an Arab Supreme Court Justice), why can't Jews be equal citizens in the democratic Palestinian state in the making, with full rights, responsibilities, and privileges?
The comparison between Israel and the old South Africa doesn't fly, but the comparison between the Palestinian state that they're trying to sell us, and the old racist South Africa goes quite well. On the other hand, the correct comparison is between Israel and the new multi-racial South Africa. The population of South Africa today is about 75% black, with the remainder made up of white, coloreds, and Indians. Israel's population is about 80% Jewish, with the remainder Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Circassian, Armenian, etc. Both are democracies with a dominant majority and minorities sharing equal rights.
The proposed Palestinian state will have an estimated population of between 2.4 and 2.9 million people, and almost 10% of the population is Jews. In Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - there are about 1.5 to 1.8 million Arabs and almost 250,000 Jews, or about 15%. When you include the post-1967 parts of Eastern Jerusalem that some want to make into the Palestinian capital city, it brings the total number of Jews in the so-called "occupied territories" to about a half a million, or almost 20% of the proposed Palestinian state.
So why exactly can't Jews stay in "democratic" Palestine?
In Hebron for example, the media always tells you that there are 500 Jews living among 100,000 or 120,000 Arabs. BIG LIE! What they "forget" to tell you is that the population figure for the Arabs, is for the greater metropolitan area of Hebron, surrounding villages (i.e. suburbs) and all, and if you include all the Jews living in the same areas (Kiryat Arba, and the Hebron Hills towns and villages) there are close to 10,000 Jews living there, or about 10% of the total population. Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria like Ma'ale Adumim with almost 35,000 Jews and Ariel with 22,000 - the size of Anytown, USA - they're going to be expelled?
Why can't all these Jews stay living in Palestine, just as the non-Jews live in Israel? Real peace doesn't mean "Ethnic Cleansing," real peace means reconciliation, respect, and mutual trust. If there aren't any of these, THERE ISN'T ANY REAL PEACE! So, why are the Jews being forced from their homes exactly?
Why does everyone (Bush, Blair, the Quartet, Sharon, Peres and Israel's left) just assume Jews can be moved like cattle (and have no rights)? Why does the world want to Ethnically Cleanse "democratic" Palestine of Jews? Why would the world voluntarily create - at best - another old South Africa - at worst - a Nazi Arab state? Does the world somehow have lower expectations from the Arabs? That Arabs somehow can't live peacefully among others? No one even mentions the possibility of Jews staying in their homes and becoming Palestinian citizens. Does the world have racist attitudes that somehow Palestinians can't live in democratic societies and share? Or, does the world not care about persecuted Jews? Just like in the time of the Holocaust. Where are all the "Great Souls" of the world, morally outraged by a "Peace Plan" that calls for the expulsion of people from their homes? Where are all the anti-apartheid activists, who saw such evil in the old South Africa? Why aren't they protesting this latest injustice? Why not divest from Palestine?
So, I challenge you Desmond, I dare you Nelson, and all you "Anti-Apartheid Great Souls," stand up for those high morals everyone has attributed to you. Don't just sit back and watch as 8,000 people get expelled from their homes in Gaza. Don't let several hundred thousand more Jews get Ethnically Cleansed from their ancient homeland and call it "democracy".
Remember Rev. Tutu, the Land of Israel, Canaan or Judea, that place described in your Bible? Certainly men of such high moral fiber as yourselves, and all the others like you, will call out for "understanding," "tolerance," and "peace and reconciliation," between Arab and Jew in a democratic Palestine. And certainly, you will all oppose expelling people from their homes in Gaza and elsewhere, even if they are only Jews.
Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko
(c) 2004/5765 Pasko
Reform Judaism - Nov. 2004
HOW IRAQ'S 2,600-YEAR-OLD
WAS DECIMATED IN ONE DECADE
by Edwin Black
Baghdad, June 22, 2004. Just days before the Coalition Provisional Authority is scheduled to return power to Iraqi control, four Iraqi Jews--two in their forties, two elderly--inconspicuously board a Royal Jordanian airplane to Amman. Their travel documents and $800 airline tickets suggest nothing out of the ordinary. But their journey is being closely monitored by HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), which for more than a century has been rescuing beleaguered Jews throughout the world. With the exception of approximately eleven Jews who have not chosen to leave, these are the last vestiges of a 125,000-strong Jewish community whose ancestors flourished here for twenty-six centuries!
The dismantling of Iraqi Jewry, once the most established and affluent Jewish community in the Arab Middle East, began at 3 PM on June 1, 1941, some forty years before Saddam Hussein came to power. In Europe, the events of the next thirty-six hours would have been called a pogrom. Iraqi Jews called it the Farhud. Perhaps Farhud is best translated as violent dispossession.The Farhud was not a spontaneous outburst; it was the culmination of an anti-Jewish campaign rooted in an alliance between the Mufti of Jerusalem and Adolf Hitler.
After the Allies had defeated the Turks in the First World War, the British engineered a League of Nations mandate over Iraq. Faisal, who fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia, was rewarded with the monarchy and designated King of Iraq. Faisal died in 1933; he was succeeded by his son Ghazi, who died six years later; and the next in line for succession was Faisal's 4-year-old grandson. So London installed as Iraq's regent Abdul al-Ilah, himself a Hashemite prince from Saudi Arabia. This appointment stirred deep resentment among Iraq's Moslem masses, who viewed the British "infidels" as occupiers and anyone who cooperated with them as lackeys.
As resentment turned to armed resistance and terror, militants targeted the British, as well as anyone they deemed as collaborators--including many Jews who held top posts in commerce and civil service.Seizing on the growing discontent, the pro-Nazi cleric Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Arabs of Palestine, railed against the Jews, accusing them of being part of a Zionist plot to dominate the Middle East.
The Mufti--who was being sought by the British in Palestine on charges of terrorism--had slipped into Iraq on October 13, 1939, six weeks after the outbreak of World War II. In Iraq, he conspired with a group of pro-Nazi officers, the "Golden Square," to overthrow the Regent. The Mufti also entered into a secret pact with Germany, offering Iraq's precious oil in exchange for the destruction of the Jews of Palestine and the Reich's support of Arab national aspirations across the Middle East.
Hitler himself, anxious to thwart Britain's domination of the oil-rich Middle East and secure the oil needed to fuel his planned invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, went along with the idea even though the Nazis reviled the Arab race.On April 1, 1941, the Golden Square staged a coup, forcing the Regent to flee Iraq. British warplanes responded with a series of persistent bombardments against Golden Square forces. By May 31, invading British forces had taken up positions on the outskirts of Baghdad, awaiting the Regent's return the following day.
Just days before, the Mufti, broadcasting by radio, incited the people of Iraq against the Jews by accusing them of having intercepted telephone and telegraph transmissions and passing the information to the British Embassy--thus causing the defeat of the "Golden Square." All Jews, he declared, were spies.On June 1, 1941, the sight of Jews returning from the Baghdad airport to greet the returning Regent was all the excuse an Iraqi mob needed to unleash its vengeance.
The attack began as the Jewish delegation crossed the Al Khurr Bridge. Jews were murdered and mutilated in the streets; women were raped as their horrified families looked on; infants were killed in front of their parents. Violence quickly spread across the city and beyond, as the gangs looted and torched Jewish shops, burned down synagogues, and defiled their Torahs. A government commission later reported that at least 180 Jews had been killed and 240 wounded, 586 Jewish businesses pillaged, and 99 Jewish homes burned.
The Mufti's charge that the Iraqi Jews had pledged their loyalty to the Zionist cause was ironic, for the zeal that had led waves of European Jews to settle in Palestine had no parallel in the Arab world. In fact, Iraqi Jews were decidedly anti-Zionist in the 1920s and 1930s--so much so that no immigration representative, or shaliach, of the Jewish community in Palestine had been posted to Baghdad, and none was welcome.
One high Zionist official, Chaim Arlosoroff, put it plainly: "The Jews there live contented lives, they are involved in all branches of commerce and economy, and therefore have no thought of emigrating." To the Iraqi Jews, explained eminent Baghdad Jewish community leader Menahem S. Daniel, "any sympathy with the Zionist Movement is [seen as] nothing short of a betrayal of the Arab cause....Jews in this country hold indeed a conspicuous position. They form one-third of the population of the capital, hold the larger part of the commerce of the country and offer a higher standard of literacy than the Moslems....[The Iraqi Jew] is, moreover, beginning to give the Moslem...successful competition in government functions, which...may well risk to embitter feelings against him. In this delicate situation the Jew cannot maintain himself unless he gives proof of an unimpeachable loyalty to his country.
"The lesson of the Farhud was clear: the Jews of Iraq could no longer stand on their ancient history and their steadfast fealty to the nation. And so it was that on June 1, 1941 they woke up anti-Zionist, but by bedtime on June 2, Zionism and Jewish Palestine had become an option--perhaps their only option.In the weeks following the Farhud, hundreds of Jews disregarded assurances from the Regent and British authorities that pogroms would not recur and smuggled their families and their possessions out of the country. About 1,000 Jews also applied for visas to enter India. Many sought refuge in Palestine. But by October 1941, as the political climate stabilized, the older generation of Jews believed the worst was behind them.
The younger generation did not share their parents' optimism. Concluding that a horrible end was coming, they formed secret Zionist societies akin to the underground Jewish defense organizations in Nazi-overrun Europe. The first such group in Baghdad, Youth for Salvation, and its sister group in the south, the Committee of Free Jews, made contact with Zionist emigration emissaries in Palestine, who slipped into Iraq to train the youth in underground tactics and self-defense--including the use of firearms.
After the defeat of the Golden Square, the Mufti escaped to Nazi Germany, where he was accorded the personal protection of his host, SS chief Heinrich Himmler. Using Radio Berlin, he now called on Moslems throughout the Middle East to defeat the British and slaughter the Jews. In one fatwa he declared: "O Moslems! Proud Iraq has placed herself in the vanguard of this Holy Struggle....It is the duty of all Moslems to aid Iraq...and seek every means to fight the enemy....The English have committed unheard of barbarisms.... Bring all your weight to bear in helping Iraq that she may throw off the shame that torments her....Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases Allah, history and religion. This saves your honor."For the Iraqi government, the Mufti's diatribes created the perfect scapegoat for the nation's ills--the Jews.
Seeking to distract the public from Iraq's failures--no great industrial achievements to lift the spirits of the average Iraqi, no fair disbursement of the nation's oil wealth--Prime Minister Nuri Said allowed his censorship office to overlook libels against the Jews in the press and permitted the inciters of the Farhud to regain key government positions, especially within the police.
By 1942 Arab unity would coalesce around the notion that all Iraqi Jews were Zionists and therefore enemies of the state.During the remainder of the war years, anti-British and anti-Jewish hatred was everywhere palpable in Iraq. Typical of the mood, when the war film For Freedom was screened in Baghdad cinemas, audiences booed Churchill and cheered Hitler.The defeat of the Third Reich in 1945 only heightened hatred of Jews, as thousands of Holocaust survivors made their way to Palestine.
The situation grew even more precarious with the UN's decision in February 1947 to take up the question of partitioning Palestine. Iraq's newspapers warned that if "the Zionist entity" came into nationhood, no Iraqi government could control "the Arab Street" in Baghdad; indeed, the number of attacks on Jews intensified. Still, many Jews remained in denial. As one Jewish Agency emissary in Iraq observed: "No attention is paid to the frightful manifestations of hostility around them, which place all Jews on the verge of a volcano about to erupt."
On November 29, 1947, the UN voted 33 yes, 13 no, with 10 abstentions, to create two states in Palestine: one Arab, the other Jewish. In response--and using the pretense that every Iraqi Jew with money was secretly funding Palestine--the Iraqi government adopted Nazi confiscatory techniques. Whether wealthy or not, Jews were forced to pay exorbitant fines as punishment for trumped-up offenses.
In April 1948, a month before Israel declared its independence, Iraq shut down the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline, thereby slashing its own oil royalties by half. It then joined other Arab countries in a military invasion of the new Jewish state. "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres," promised Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League.
Israel survived the war and signed a UN-negotiated armistice agreement with Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Only Iraq refused to sign, demanding "a second round."In its war on the Jews, the Iraqi government turned next to the statute books. On July 19, 1948, penal code Law 51 against anarchy, immorality, and communism was amended to include "Zionism." Though the word was never defined, anyone accused of "Zionism" would face up to seven years in prison. The police conducted sweeps of thousands of Jewish homes searching for "evidence" of Zionist activity.
In perhaps the greatest shock to the Jewish community since the Farhud, the wealthiest Jew in Iraq, Ford automobile importer Shafiq Ades, was accused of transporting cars to Israel, fined the equivalent of $20 million, and sentenced to death. On September 23, 1948, Ades was publicly hanged in Basra. His body was allowed to languish in the square for hours to be abused by the celebrating crowds. Many more arrests, confiscations, and executions followed. A quarter of all Iraqi Jews worked in transportation, administering the railways and ports, but in October 1948 most Jewish government civil service employees--an estimated 1,500--were summarily dismissed, crippling communications, railroads, ports, and other key infrastructure.
As the pressure mounted, the Zionist underground sought to establish an escape route through neighboring Iran. In late 1948, Israel's Mossad, the clandestine agency created to spirit Jews out of Europe during the Holocaust, entered into secret negotiations with Iranian Prime Minister Said Maragai and his aides, who, over time, received bribes totaling $450,000. On February 13, 1950, Maragai announced that his country would open its doors to Jews as a grand humanitarian gesture in keeping with its 6,000-year tradition of tolerance.
Soon, some 1,000 Jews per month were flowing into Iran, requiring the creation of refugee transit camps. One of the most overcrowded camps was in an Iranian cemetery. It was nicknamed "Hell."On March 3, 1950, to stem the flight of Jewish assets, Prime Minister Tawfig as-Suwaydi introduced a one-year amendment to Law 1, the Denaturalization Act. The amendment revoked the citizenship of any Jew who willingly left the country. All his assets would be frozen--though upon exit they could be drawn down to pay debts and obligations within Iraq. Once a Jew registered to emigrate, the decision was irrevocable, and the individual was required to leave within fifteen days.
The Iraqi leadership was stunned by what happened next. Government officials had anticipated that only the 7,000-10,000 most "undesirable Jews"--mainly those who had already been pauperized--would choose to leave the country. The wealthier Jews, they had surmised, would remain to protect their livelihoods and assets. They were wrong. Thousands of Jews, poor and rich, immediately registered to leave. Wave after wave of refugees joined the exodus, exiting via Iran.
The massive flow surprised the Mossad as well. Now they were working against time--they needed to rescue as many Jews as possible before Iraq changed its mind and closed its borders to Jews. The solution: an airlift. In the spring of 1950, the Mossad called in its most reliable partner for airlifting Jews--Alaska Airlines, whose president, James Wooten, had just months earlier been instrumental in rescuing the Jews of Yemen.For the Iraqi Jewish airlift, Wooten entered into a secret partnership with El Al. Together they created an American charter company, Near East Air Transport (NEAT). Only Mossad knew that NEAT was not strictly an Alaska Airlines venture. The goal: to fly out 40,000 Jews that first year, about a third of Iraqi Jewry. Flights would operate through Cyprus or proceed directly to Israel--if the route could be kept secret.
To secure charter rights in Iraq, NEAT needed an Iraqi partner, so it teamed up with Baghdad-based Iraq Tours, an operation chaired by none other than Iraqi Prime Minister Tawfig as-Suwaydi.On May 19, 1950, two C-54 Skymasters airlifted the first 175 Jews out of Iraq (code-named Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, after the prophets who, in the fifth century BCE, shepherded returning Jews to Israel after the Babylonian exile). Within days, some 30,000 modern-day Iraqi Jews had registered for the exodus at their synagogues. But only 7,000 had managed to complete the lengthy and redundant bureaucratic process of obtaining all the right forms, from all the right people, with all the right stamps, in all the right order. At the airport, the "lucky ones" were abused and humiliated by airport security workers. Rings were pulled from their hands and linings ripped from their hats, all in the search for valuables.
Life for those left in bureaucratic limbo became a nightmare. At the same time, Israel could barely absorb Iraqi Jews in such large numbers. Its fragile infrastructure was strained to the limit by the thousands of refugees who were also streaming in from war-ravaged Eastern Europe as well as other expelling Arab nations. In March 1951, newly re-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said realized that his 125,000 captive Jews could be turned into a demographic weapon against Israel. Said marshaled the passage of another anti-Jewish statute: Law 12, which permanently seized all the assets of Jews who had been denaturalized by the previous law. Israel's Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett vociferously condemned Iraq's extortion and state-sponsored theft as "robbery by force of law." "We have a reckoning to conduct with the Arab world," Sharett declared, vowing "the value of the Jewish property frozen in Iraq will be taken into account by us in calculating the sum of the compensation we have agreed to pay to Arabs who abandoned property in Israel."
Hoping that the Jewish state would crack beneath the economic burden of the mass rescue, Prime Minister Said demanded that Israel absorb 10,000 Iraqi Jewish refugees per month. He also set a deadline--May 31, 1951--after which no more exit visas would be issued. If Israel did not accept these stateless enemies at once, he warned, the concentration camps would be readied.Israel had no choice but to accelerate the rescue of Iraqi Jewry by as many as 15,000 per month. The number of flights increased day and night--twin engines, four engines, any craft available. The daily spectacle of forlorn Jews, clutching nothing but a bag and their clothes, being hustled into truck after truck, was cause for great jubilation on the streets of Baghdad. But the Jews were able to get out. Between January 1950 and December 1951, Israel airlifted, bussed, or otherwise smuggled out 119,788, all but a few thousand who were too elderly or too unconvinced to leave.
In mid-July 1979, Iraqi President al-Bakr announced his resignation for "health reasons." His right-hand man, Saddam Hussein, immediately assumed the presidency and launched a murderous assault on anyone he deemed disloyal. Jews were afraid to leave their homes. Their synagogues became surreptitious gathering places. The systematic pauperization placed many Jews on the brink of starvation.After each war with Israel, Baghdad's persecution of its dwindled Jewish community ratcheted up, and more and more terrified Iraqi Jews smuggled themselves out of Iraq and into Israel. The most recent of these exits was on June 22, 2004.
Today, about eleven Jews are all who remain of the once glorious Iraqi Jewish community--2,600 years in the making, but dismantled in a decade.
Edwin Black is author of the just-released Banking on Baghdad--Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict (John Wiley & Sons), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the award-winning international bestsellers War Against the Weak, IBM and the Holocaust and The Transfer Agreement.
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East analyst & commentator
David Brooks' OpEd "Make No Mistake" in the NEW YORK TIMES of December 21st led me into a line of thought about how the Middle East's Gordian knot may not be untied or cut. Brooks seems to think that the mistakes made in the Middle East can be packaged and called success.
There is a term called a "Rolling Horizon" which means that things appear as the earth turns and one sees the emerging dawn. The fight for survival by Israel's 5 million Jews against billions of dedicated radical hostile Islamists is such an event with a Rolling Horizon. Think of these events coming into view as micro-slices. Each appears slowly, thus exposing the history - something like this:
*Christians and Muslims developed a philosophy and history which demonized the Jews for thousands of years.
*Hitler had a program which utilized these thoughts to kill of all Jews to which he recruited a willing Europe, previously well imbued with hatred.
*The Americans and England did not interfere with Hitler's killing machine and did not even threaten reprisals for Genocidal war crimes - of which their Intelligence was cognizant throughout the war years. The Rolling Horizon for the Jews rolled on.
*Hitler succeeded in murdering 6 million Jews, 1˝ million are children. Europe then had a temporary spell of guilt as participants in the Holocaust.
*WW2 ended and a remnant of Jews escaped from the Nazi death camps to Palestine - their ancient homeland for 3000 years. The British tried to stop the Jews' migration and imprisoned captured Jews on Cyprus.
*The Arab Muslims, dedicated allies to Hitler, pledged to finish his job to kill all the Jews.
*The U.N. reluctantly partitioned a narrow slice of land for the Jewish survivors to have a State.
*1948, the independent State of Israel is declared. 6 Arab armies attacked but were beaten back by the Jews coming from the graveyards of Europe and the British detention camps on Cyprus.
*The Arab Muslim nations (who were given their states after WW1 courtesy of the Free West) pledged war while the U.S. and Europe boycotted arms shipments to the embattled Jewish Israelis. Their assumption was that the Arab armies would easily finish the fledgling Jewish State and their 'Jewish problem' would be over, appeasing Arab Muslim oil countries by their conquest.
And the Horizon rolls on.
*Six Arab armies attacked and were ignominiously defeated in an embarrassing rout they called their "Nakba" (Disaster).
*More Arab wars followed, interspersed with continual Terror attacks, while the pro-Arab U.S. State Department worked closely with the Saudis, Egypt and even Iraq (until 1990) by subverting Israel, for whatever benefits to the multi-national oil companies and arms manufacturers.
The Camp David Accords were signed in 1979 and Egypt was given the entire Sinai Desert with all the infrastructure Israel built at a cost of $17 Billion dollars - including oil fields Israel discovered and developed which would have allowed Israel to be self-sufficient in energy forever. Camp David subsequently collapsed into an ice-cold peace and the 60 side letters signed by Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt's President Anwar Sadat - agreeing to normal state-to-state relations - were never instituted by Egypt and are now null and void.
Presently, another normalization agreement with Trade as the supposed substance is being negotiated BUT, Egypt still refuses to return their Ambassador to Israel.
Egypt was bribed by the United States to keep the illusionary Camp David peace at a price of $2 Billion a year since 1979 - now adding up to some $60 Billion. Egypt put most of that money into a huge arms stockpile which, as Senator Frank Church once said makes Egypt the military colossus of the Middle East. Egypt was selected by the State Department as Iran's replacement after Jimmy Carter facilitated the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Egypt was to take over Saudi Arabia in order to protect the oil fields (supposedly representing U.S. interests) - IF Syria or Iran ever invaded. Presumably, that Plan is still operational unless Egypt goes radically Islamic after Mubarak is out of office - one way or another.
The Horizon is rolling faster.
More wars, more funds coming from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Libya to build Terrorist organizations to harass Israel which continues on to this day. We should recognize the fact that the arms' smuggling tunnels from Egypt into Gaza is simply War on a different scale.
Somewhat earlier a consortium of these same nations selected and funded Pakistan to develop an Islamic Nuclear Bomb. The investment was to give to each of the investors either an actual bomb or the technology to build it themselves.
This has already happened, notwithstanding denials that the transfer of nuclear technology to all has taken place. (Saudi Arabia and Egypt continue to have a veil of secrecy as to the level of their nuclear programs.)
'Intifada' I and 2 was convened by Yassir Arafat, with funds coming from America, Europe and especially from UNRWA (United Nations Refugee Works Association) passing directly through to the Terrorist organizations. All of the Terrorist organizations and Arab/Muslim nations pledge continual war, with their goal being the elimination of the Jewish State - broken only by occasional useful 'Hudnas' (truces) which allowed the re-assembly of Terror units damaged by Israeli counter attacks. We've seen this Horizon many times.
Comes the secret Accords of Oslo, initiated by Israel's Labor Left and foreign nations to give up territory for Peace, resulting in an abysmal failure, with Jews being murdered at a prodigious pace. Since Oslo was signed on the White House lawn September 13, 1993, Muslim Arab Terrorists have killed more than 1500 Jews with suicide bombs on buses, restaurants, synagogues, schools, homes, on the roads with ambush attacks, firebombs and any other way of killing Jews. Tens of thousands more were wounded, many maimed for life with shrapnel, nuts, bolts and nails left in their bodies, amputated limbs, lost eyes and other grotesque losses. Israel receives brief expressions of condolences after each atrocity but, the 'donors' continued funding Arafat's Terror Palestinian Authority now under a temporary regime.
There has never been an investigation of this illegal foment of treason nor were its assemblers and enablers ever indicted or tried.
Yassir Arafat may be dead but his policies continues to frustrate his donors by not even demonstrating any pretense of peace talks - let alone a cessation of Terror. But, his donor nations still felt free to come down hard on Israel who was cast as the spoiler for this great future "Peace". Their pretext is, of course, with Arafat gone, those who take his place will NOT be Terrorists.
9/11 occured and the "Sleeping Giant" bestirs itself and attacks Afghanistan, looking for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Then Iraq was attacked; Saddam captured - Success. After the great military success, unanticipated Muslim insurgents and 'Mujahadin' (Holy Warriors for Islam) came from Syria began to kill American and Allied troops as well as all the various foreign construction and aid workers who came to put Iraq back together for better living along with the freedom America gave her. Syria remains protected by the State Department and others in Washington, as always. Why? And Who?
President Bush discovered that the newly freed Iraqis are not really grateful and may actually be acting as shields for a mix of Terrorists (local and also from every other Arab Muslim nation).
The U.S. State Department and speech writers came up with the slogan of "Road Map" on the assumption that Israel should make more appeasing gestures to pacify the Arab Muslim Palestinians. Bush is trying to appropriate millions of American tax-payers' dollars to shore up Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) who is unlikely to last a year but, he will serve as a 'talking suit' long enough to force upon Israel unacceptable conditions.
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, at the behest of Bush's political needs, offers the "ethnic cleansing" of Jews from Gaza. The Terrorists take the gesture of appeasement as a clear sign of weakness and speedily increase their launching of Kassem rockets and digging of smuggling tunnels with Egypt's wink and nod. So far more than 5000 Kassem Rockets and mortars have landed in the civilian areas of Gush Katif, plus another couple of hundred over the "Green Line" into Sderot and other Israeli towns.
Israel's most dedicated enemies and friends jump on Sharon's retreat as a sign that he is on the run and can additionally be forced to make all the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria) "Judenrein" (Free of Jews), giving 3 to 5 million Arab Muslim Palestinians the Jews' property which would include their houses, farms, factories, and all the infrastructure needed, water, electricity, roads, schools, businesses for an instant second State of Palestine. Israel's enemies - including the E.U., U.N., pro-Arab U.S. State Department, the Arab League (with reservations) and surprisingly, George Bush - now find that Arik Sharon is their hero - or said another way when Caesar's friends gather around him. "Et Tu, Brutus?"
Bush, through the State Department, double crosses his "friend" Sharon and demands that Sharon's Gaza "Disengagement" now include all the Jewish settlements in YESHA, Judea and Samaria - the "West Bank". Mahmoud Abbas, now titular head of Arafat's Palestinian Authority, is still claiming all of the Land for another State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital as he pledges in Arabic to follow Arafat's Terrorist path.
Now we see radical non-Jewish Jews of the extreme Left cheering Sharon's abandonment of the Land of Israel as a 'wise and statesman-like' move to bring the word "Peace" as the lubricant for Israel's slide into extinction.
David Brooks (remember him at the beginning of this essay?) quotes Henry Siegman of the Council of Foreign Relations. Siegman is no friend of Israel - or, at least, he is a declared adversary of all who refuse to abandon their Land. Brooks' clever reverse spin on every failure of the Arabs, the Jewish Left, the Europeans, the Arabist State Department as a positive happening - in his opinion. Brooks mocks the Security Fence in a sarcastic way, ignoring the accumulated evidence that it was to be the 1967 Auschwitz borders as they were so called by Abba Eban.
Brooks quotes the Left Liberal Robert Satloff who posts an article into The Weekly Standard to the effect that Sharon's "Disengagement" will constitute a huge leap both in psychology and strategy, rivaling the Oslo Accords in historic importance. This follows that the U.S. is raising more millions to help build a decent Palestinian polity.
Gimme a break!
The custom of dispersing donor funds to Palestinian Muslims through well established rat tunnels for Arab Terrorists cannot be wished away. Brooks should know that. But, Brooks is building a misfit puzzle, ignoring all reality to keep the hype going across the globe that we can appease Muslim Terrorists both in Israel and world-wide.
I wonder, Mr. Brooks, if you would commit 'Sepeku' (Japanese ritual suicide of honor) if you are wrong and thousands of Jews and other innocents must die to prove your point. I once personally asked this question of Arik Sharon but, never received an answer.
On December 22nd Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Israel and meets with Sharon to propose one of those infamous International Conferences in London, promising not to put Israel on the block but, as demonstrated in Madrid by Jim Baker's "Jew-Boys", the trap is ready to be sprung. Blair swore up and down that the Conference would only deal with assisting the Palestinians but, you the history of the British.
In his TV Press Conference with Blair, PM Sharon appears with small spastic movements of his head and is constantly looking down at his protruding stomach, giving the impression of extreme discomfort - as if he is a lowly person meeting with a royal leader. He starts to babble about further withdrawals beyond Gaza in a puppy-like way, wiggling to appease his betters. He says he will NOT attend such a conference but, I am sure he or Peres will! They want to spring the trap of International Pressure so they may later claim: "It's not our fault."
In the interim, Iran proceeds with its nuclear arsenal and nothing is said about Saudi Arabi and Egypt's nuclear acquisitions from Pakistan and North Korea.
These nations are all gathering against Israel with the misguided wish that, if they compress Israel and appease the Arab Muslims, the March of Islam against the Free West will cease. Since all Arab nations despise the Palestinian Arabs as a duplicitous, untrustworthy people, the sham use of their cause is merely a useful exercise to expand Islam Globally and win the Clash of Civilizations with World Domination for Islam.
In closing, I am deeply saddened by the political necessity of transporting critically wounded Americans soldiers 9 hours to Germany's Ramstein Airbase Hospital when they could receive faster care at the best in the most experienced trauma centers in the world - Israel. Would the Arab Muslims really feel that offended if American wounded were treated within only a few hours instead of 9 hours...which can make a critical difference.
The Rolling Horizon of Israel and the Jewish people just rolls on.
THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE?
by David Pryce-Jones
Forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, a Middle East analyst & commentator
All of Europe is drowning in Muslims absorbing their Host States as a python swallows its prey - slowly with a long digestion. Neverthless, the Europeans have designated Israel as their preferred target of opportunity. The Europeans have long been an unwilling to face real enemies but prefer to choose alternate targets which will appease the enemy. The Europeans are bonding with Arab enemies and will soon become a prime enemy for their own interests - namely, oil and future markets from oil money. NATO will be included as part of Europe's force AGAINST Israel.
Please note that the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has been running frequent Special Reports. Sunday Dec. 19 their front page plus two inside pages was titled: "Struggle for the Soul of Islam"..."Islam Shaping A New Europe" by Evan Osnos: stating that there in 2003 there were 23.2 million Muslims in Europe up 7.6 million since 1982. Muslims are 4.5% of the continent's populaton up from 3.2% in 1982. France has 5 million Muslims; Germany has 3.5 million Muslims; Britain has 1.6 million Muslims; Italy and Spain each have 1 million Muslims...
This item is available on the Benador Associates website, at http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/10235
Only a few years ago, mass-murder attacks on the West in the name of Islam, like those of September 11, would have seemed like a thriller writer's fantasy. Nor would anyone have imagined that a bombing by Islamists could swing a general election in a European country, that a Dutch movie-maker might be shot dead on the street for a film about the abuse of women in Islam, or that one might find oneself watching, on television, the beheading of Western hostages by men crying out Allahu Akhbar! over their savage deeds. Pakistan now has a nuclear bomb, and this weapon is widely described as an Islamic bomb. To judge by their pronouncements, the Islamist leaders of Iran can hardly wait to perfect and use their derivative of it.
At present, it is not clear whether the religious/ideological rage that is the motive force behind these developments has any limits, whether it may yet succeed in mobilizing truly huge numbers of Muslim masses, or whether it can be deflected or crushed. What is clear is that a phenomenon that at first looked like a cloud no bigger than a man's hand has lashed up into a crisis with global implications.
Does this crisis amount to a "clash of civilizations"? Many people reject that notion as too sweeping or downright misleading. Yet whether or not it applies to, say, the situation in Iraq, or to the war on terror, the phrase has much to recommend it as a description of what is going on inside Europe today. As Yves Charles Zarka, a French philosopher and analyst, has written: "there is taking place in France a central phase of the more general and mutually conflicting encounter between the West and Islam, which only someone completely blind or of radical bad faith, or possibly of disconcerting naiveté, could fail to recognize." In the opinion of Bassam Tibi, an academic of Syrian origins who lives in Germany, Europeans are facing a stark alternative: "Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized." Going still farther, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis has speculated that the clash may well be over by the end of this century, at which time, if present demographic trends continue, Europe itself will be Muslim.
Today's situation has been a very long time -- centuries -- in the making. For much of that time, of course, the encounter between Muslims and the West remained stacked in favor of the latter, both militarily and culturally. Which is not to say that Europeans of an earlier age were blind to the danger posed to Western civilization by a resurgent Islam. One watchful observer was Winston Churchill, who wrote about Islam -- or Mohammedanism as it was then called -- in The River War (1899):
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science . . . the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
Hilaire Belloc had similar premonitions 30 years later in The Great Heresies (1938):
Will not perhaps the temporal power of Islam return and with it the menace of an armed Muhammadan world which will shake the dominion of Europeans -- still nominally Christian -- and reappear again as the prime enemy of our civilization? . . . Since we have here a very great religion, physically paralyzed, but morally intensely alive, we are in the presence of an unstable equilibrium.
To these early observers, nevertheless, it did seem that Western cultural and military superiority could be counted on to prevail, at least for the foreseeable future. (Belloc is better remembered for his boast, "We have got the Gatling gun, and they have not.") And prevail it did throughout a good part of the 20th century. In the last decades, however, another historical process has been at work drastically revising the calculus of power.
Contemporary Islamism might be summed up as the effort to redress and reverse the long-ago defeat of Muslim power by European (i.e., Christian) civilization. Toward that end, it has followed two separate courses of action: adopting the forms of nationalism that have appeared to many Muslims to contain the secret of Western supremacy, or promoting Islam itself as the one force capable of uniting Muslims everywhere and hence ensuring their renewed power and dominance. In the hands of today's Islamists, and with the complicity of Europe itself, these two approaches have proved mutually reinforcing.
In Europe, the world wars of the last century finally undid and discredited the idea of the sovereign nation-state, the engine of the continent's preeminence and self-confidence. In place of this tried and tested political arrangement, now suddenly seen as outmoded and dysfunctional, institutions like the European Union and the United Nations were thought to offer a firmer foundation for a new world order, one that would be based on universal legal norms and in which sovereign power would be rendered superfluous. It has been the resulting decline of the European nation-state that has helped provide a unique opportunity for Islamism, itself based on a world-wide, transnational community that has been united by faith and custom since its inception and that traditionally has drawn no distinction between the realm of faith and the realm of temporal power.
A number of ideological movements have spread and fortified the modern projection of transnational Islam. Perhaps the most successful has been the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, with branches today in some 40 to 50 countries. Yasir Arafat and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, are among those formed by the Brotherhood. Its more recent inspiration derives from the Egyptian-born Sayyid Qutb, whose three-year stay in the United States in the late 1940's and early 1950's convinced him that the West and everything it stood for had to be rejected, while Islam already provided every Muslim with state, nation, religion, and identity all in one. Saudi Arabia has spent billions of its petro-dollars financing groups, including terrorist groups, that promote this idea.
The 1979 revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran was an opening test of the new balance of forces between a rising transnational Islam and the declining Western nation-state. European countries, which in the postwar period seemed largely to have lost the will to respond to aggressive challenges from without, presented no opposition to the totalitarian Khomeini regime and no barrier to its aggrandizement. That left the United States, still a nation-state very much committed to defending its sovereignty. Indeed, to the ayatollahs and their allies, the U.S. represented a final embodiment of the Great Satan, fit to be confronted in holy war.
This remains the case today. In the meantime, though, a battle of a different but no less decisive kind has been taking place within Europe, where some 20 million Muslims have settled. Thanks on the one hand to their high birthrate, and on the other hand to the sub-replacement birthrate that has become the norm among other Europeans, the demographic facts alone suggest a continent ripe for a determined effort to advance the Islamist agenda.
In its global reach and in its aggressive intentions, Islamist ideology bears some resemblance to another transnational belief system: namely, Communism. Like today's Islamists, Communists of an earlier age saw themselves as engaged in an apocalyptic struggle in which every member of a Communist party anywhere was expected to comport himself as a frontline soldier, and in which terror was seen as a wholly permissible means toward victory in a war to the finish. Compare Stalin's "If the enemy does not surrender he must be exterminated" with the refusal of the leader of Hizballah in Lebanon to negotiate with or ask concessions from the West because "We seek to exterminate you." To Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad, a Syrian with British citizenship who until recently led a group called al-Muhajiroun, the terrorists of September 11 were "The Magnificent Nineteen" -- or, as he explains, the advance guard of an army of "our Muslim brothers from abroad [who] will come one day and conquer here."
Throughout the cold-war era, the European democracies under threat from Soviet expansionism were themselves home to Communist parties, as well as to an array of front organizations ostensibly devoted to peace and friendship and culture but in reality manipulated by and for Soviet purposes. In addition, many people from all walks of life accommodated themselves to Communism with varying degrees of emotional intensity and out of various motives, including the wish to be on what they perceived as the winning side and the converse fear of winding up on the losing side.
Each of these elements, in suitably transmuted form, is present today. The pool of local recruits upon which Islamists draw is itself very large. Of Europe's 20 million Muslims, it is estimated that 5 or 6 million live in France alone, at least 3 million in Germany and 2 million in Britain, 1 million apiece in Holland and Italy, and a half-million apiece in Spain and Austria.
It is true that most Muslim immigrants to Europe come simply with hopes for a better life, and that these hopes are more important to them than any apprehensions they might entertain about living in a society ruled by non-Muslims -- something historically prohibited in Islam. Indeed, large numbers have assimilated with greater or lesser strain, and, in the manner of other minorities, have become "hyphenated" as British-Muslim, French-Muslim, Italian-Muslim, and the like. Religious life flourishes: if, a half-century ago, there were but a handful of mosques throughout Europe, today every leading country has over a thousand, and France and Germany each have somewhere between five and six thousand. Muslim pressure groups, lobbies, and charities operate effectively everywhere; in Britain alone there are 350 Muslim bodies of one kind or another.
Among these various organizations, however, a number function as Islamist fronts. Inspired by Saudi Arabia or Khomeinist Iran, by the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda, they work to undermine democracy in whatever ways they can, just as Soviet front organizations once did. They push immigrants to repudiate both the process and the very idea of integration, challenging them as a matter of religious belief and identity to take up an oppositional stance to the societies in which they live. Issues of Islamic concern have been skillfully magnified into scandals in the attempt to foment animosity on all sides and thus further deter or prevent the integration of Muslims into mainstream European life.
The notorious 1989 fatwa condemning the novelist Salman Rushdie to death for exercising his right to free speech as a British citizen was an early example of this tactic of disruption and agitation. Another has been the attempt in Britain to set up a Muslim "parliament" that will recognize only Islamic law (shari'a) as binding, and not the law of the land. Still another has been the insistence, in France, on the wearing of the hijab by girls in public schools, a practice that clearly contradicts the ideals of French republicanism and is in any case not an Islamic requirement. The tactical thinking behind such incitements was well articulated by an al-Qaeda leader who, calling upon British Muslims to "bring the West to its knees," added that they, "the locals, and not foreigners," have the advantage since they understand "the language, culture, area, and common practices of the enemy whom they coexist among."
Still another phenomenon familiar from the Soviet era has lately made a repeat appearance in the West, and that is voluntary accommodation, or fellow-traveling, among non-Muslims. Leftist fellow-travelers once helped to create a climate of opinion favorable to Communism. Many knew exactly what they were doing. Others merely meant well; they were what Lenin called "useful idiots." In like manner, Islamist fellow-travelers and useful idiots are weaving a climate of opinion today that advances the purposes of radical Islam and is deeply damaging to the prospects of reconciliation.
As in the 30's and throughout the cold war, intellectuals and journalists are in the lead. Books pour from the presses to justify everything and anything Muslims have done in the past and are doing in the present. Just as every Soviet aggression was once defined as an act of self-defense against the warmongering West, today terrorists of al Qaeda, or the Chechen terrorists who killed children in the town of Beslan, are described in the media as militants, activists, separatists, armed groups, guerrillas -- in short, as anything but terrorists. Dozens of apologists pretend that there is no connection between the religion of Islam and those who practice terror in its name, or suggest that Western leaders are no better or are indeed worse than Islamist murderers. Thus Karen Armstrong, the well-known historian of religion: "It's very difficult sometimes to distinguish between Mr. Bush and Mr. bin Laden."
One form of Islamist fellow-traveling masquerades as a call for "tolerance," or "diversity," and has penetrated right through the world of European opinion and European institutions. The British Communist historian Christopher Hill once concluded a book on Lenin with a reverent recital of the epithets the party had devised to glorify him. Pious Muslims follow the mention of the Prophet Muhammad with the invocation, "Peace be upon him." This practice has now crept into a biography of the Prophet written by a British writer not ostensibly a Muslim. To encourage such acts of deference, there has been a complementary effort to stifle contrary or less than fully respectful opinions. When the outspoken French novelist Michel Houellebecq pronounced Islam to be hateful, stupid, and dangerous, Muslim organizations and the League for the Rights of Man took him to court, just as the Italian writer Oriana Fallaci was sued for her book tying the 9/11 attacks to the teachings of Islam. Although both writers won their cases, the chilling effect was unmistakable.
The institutions that have been affected by Islamophile correctness run the gamut. In Britain, a judge has agreed to prohibit Hindus and Jews from sitting on a jury in the trial of a Muslim. The British Commission for Racial Equality has ordained that businesses must provide prayer rooms for Muslims and pay them for their absences on religious holidays. In a town in the Midlands, a proposal to renovate a hundred-year-old statue of a pig was rejected for fear of giving offense to Muslims. The British Council, an international organization for cultural relations, fired a staff member who published articles in the Sunday Telegraph arguing that the roots of terror and jihad were nourished in the soil of Islam, while the BBC canceled the contract of a popular television journalist for allegedly using negative language to describe the Muslim Arab contribution to mankind.
Commercial society has likewise rushed to accommodate real or imagined Muslim sensibilities: a British bank boasts that it will comply with shari'a prohibitions on the uses of money, and the German state of Saxony-Anhalt has become the first European body to issue a sukuk, or Islamic bond. Religious society is not far behind: even as bin Laden speaks of wresting Spain ("al-Andalus") from the infidels by violence, the cathedral of Santiago has considered removing a statue of St. James Matamoros ("the Moor slayer"), lest it give offense to Muslims. For the same reason, the municipality of Seville has removed King Ferdinand III, hitherto the city's patron saint, from fiesta celebrations because he fought the Moors for 27 years. In Italy, where Islamists have threatened to destroy the cathedral of Bologna because of a fresco illustrating the Prophet Muhammad in the inferno (where Dante placed him), thought has been given to deleting the art-work from the walls. Even the Pope has apologized for the Crusades. In secular Denmark, the Qur'an (but not the Bible) is now required reading for high-school students. And so forth.
The lengths to which apologists for Islamism are prepared to go is nicely illustrated by the case of Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and a popular writer and speaker. As is well known, the American university Notre Dame recently offered Ramadan a professorship, but U.S. immigration authorities have so far rejected his application for a visa. This has elicited some classic examples of fellow-traveling obfuscation from both Americans and Europeans outraged on his behalf. A letter to the Washington Post protesting Ramadan's treatment undertook to explicate his supposed message to Western Muslims: they "must find common values and build with fellow citizens a society based on diversity and equality."
Not quite. What Tariq Ramadan has really proposed in his writings and teachings is that Muslims in the West should conduct themselves not as hyphenated citizens seeking to live by "common values" but as though they were already in a Muslim-majority society and exempt on that account from having to make concessions to the faith of others. What Ramadan advocates is a kind of reverse imperialism. In his conception, Muslims in non-Muslim countries should feel themselves entitled to live on their own terms -- while, under the terms of Western liberal tolerance, society as a whole should feel obliged to respect that choice.
Ramadan happens to be a grandson of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he is also a guarded writer. In fact, his is a relatively "moderate" and qualified __expression of Islamic reverse imperialism. More overtly, and with an implicit threat of violence, Dyab Abu Jahjah, a Lebanese who has settled in Antwerp, has denounced the Western ideal of assimilation as "cultural rape," and aims to bring all the Muslims of Europe into a single independent community. He, too, needless to say, has his defenders and apologists among European liberals.
Or consider the European reception of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, heir to Sayyid Qutb as the religious authority of the Muslim Brotherhood. Wanted on charges of terrorism in his native Egypt, al-Qaradawi now lives in Qatar. Like Tariq Ramadan in Switzerland, he emphasizes that Muslims must keep apart from liberal democracy as it is practiced in the West while also availing themselves of its benefits and advantages. But he goes much further. Unlike Ramadan, he approves of wife-beating in the forms sanctioned by the Qur'an; as for homosexuals, he is agnostic on whether they should be thrown off a high cliff or flogged to death. Yet this year, in an official ceremony at London's City Hall, al-Qaradawi was welcomed as "an Islamic scholar held in great respect" by the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. "You are truly, truly welcome," gushed Livingstone, an otherwise enthusiastic supporter of gay pride.
Also appearing this year in London was Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudayyis, a senior imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca; among his many distinctions, al-Sudayyis has vituperated Jews as "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs." Standing beside this apostle of "diversity and equality" was a junior minister in the Blair government.
The Islamic Foundation, one of Britain's numerous Muslim bodies, has an offshoot called the Markfield Institute. In July, the London Times linked both the foundation and the institute to terrorism. An offended reader with an English name wrote to protest: "I hope that Markfield . . . will be allowed to help individual Muslims to practice their faith with peace and respect, in a multicultural Britain." Another reader, an Anglican canon in the Diocese of Leicester (a city with a Muslim majority today), asserted that the institute was simply trying to teach imams and Muslim youngsters alike to work within British institutions.
In just that spirit, and even in that vocabulary, the fellow-traveling Beatrice Webb used to advance the transcendent virtues of the Soviet social model. Gullible, false, and dangerous statements of this kind are now as common as rain.
In the realm of classical Islam, Christians and Jews once lived as dhimmis -- that is to say, minorities with second-class rights, tolerated but discriminated against by law and custom. Many contemporary Muslims appear to idealize this long-lost supremacy over others, and aspire to reconstruct it. One way to work for this end is through violence and terror. Another way, the way of Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, is through words. One way and another, the project is advancing. Summing up the collective achievement so far, Bat Ye'or, the historian of "dhimmitude," has written that "Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilization with important post-Enlightenment/secular elements to . . . a secular Muslim transitional society with its traditional Judeo-Christian mores rapidly disappearing." She calls this evolving entity "Eurabia."
If that is the case, or is becoming the case, is it any wonder that some Europeans are switching sides, so as to be on the winning one? The sheer élan and cultural confidence displayed by Islamist spokesmen may have something to do with the fact that every year, thousands of people all over Europe convert to Islam. Some of these converts, from Britain, France, and Germany, taking the direct route from words to action, have gone on to play a disproportionate role in terrorism and Islamist militancy. Thus, at a rally organized in London last year by a radical offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a high proportion of demonstrators were clearly not of Middle Eastern origin. At a recent trial in Cairo in which three British citizens were condemned to prison for subversion and intended terrorism, two were English-born, with English names. They were led away shouting defiance of the West.
There are certainly Muslims in Europe who look with horror upon what is being done in their name, and who wish to have nothing to do with the notion that they are entitled to live in the West as, in effect, conquerors. For wholly understandable reasons, few of them have the courage to speak out. One of the exceptional few recently wrote a letter to the London Times, giving his name and address, and saying that he defines his community as the people with whom he chooses to interact. He went on: "We do not all subscribe to the same way of being a Muslim, neither do we push our beliefs into the civic and political sphere." But, he continued, "Sadly the public does not always get our point of view, because the only Muslims who are consulted are those who choose to drag Islam into the political sphere."
One could not ask for a clearer repudiation not only of all Muslim Brotherhood-style proselytizers but, even more bitingly, of the patronizing and indulgent attitude adopted toward them by the European establishment. Those in Europe who have striven in ways great and small to extend special privileges to Muslims while subtly deprecating their own national identity and culture have indeed helped open the way to Islamic separatism and Islamist agitation. They have thereby hastened the very clash of civilizations that they (or some of them) foolishly claim they are avoiding. If Bassam Tibi is correct in stating that "either Islam gets Europeanized or Europe gets Islamized," powerful forces are at work to foreclose the question.
DAVID PRYCE-JONES, the British political analyst, is a senior editor of National Review and the author of, among other books, The Closed Circle and The Strange Death of the Soviet Empire. An earlier version of the present essay was delivered at a conference at Boston University in October.
The Jerusalem Post - December 31, 2004
A MATURE ISRAELI-US PARTNERSHIP
By Caroline Glick
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the global war on terror that quickly ensued, it is difficult to remember that the first challenge to American security that the Bush administration encountered came not from the Arabs but from the Chinese.
On April 1, 2001, the Chinese government detained 24 US naval personnel whose EP-3E reconnaissance plane made an emergency landing on Hainan Island in China after colliding with a Chinese F-8 fighter craft that was tailing it. The Chinese held the US crew for 13 days before releasing them.
Today the US and Israel are embroiled in a serious dispute which Defense Ministry Director General Amos Yaron referred to as a "crisis" in his testimony Wednesday before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. According to reports, the crisis revolves around Israel's upgrade or servicing of Israeli-made Harpy unmanned aerial vehicles which Israel sold to China in the mid-1990s.
The US objects to the upgrade or servicing of the UAVs and is currently demanding that Israel not return the weapons to China, in spite of the fact that China already owns them.
Concerned that Israel may buckle to US pressure, Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Tang Jiaxuan flew to Israel this week to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and ostentatiously invited him for a state visit to China.
There is good reason for the US to be concerned over Israeli arms sales to China. China, with the second largest national economy in the world, an annual economic growth rate of eight percent, a seemingly insatiable and growing appetite for petroleum and rising global interests and influence is viewed by US policymakers in both parties as one of the central rising challenges to US global power.
At the same time, it should be noted that Israel's arms sales to China in the mid-1990s, including the sale of the Harpy UAVs as well as the aborted sale of Phalcon AWACs aircraft, received the blessings of the Clinton Administration, which in the run-up to the 1996 presidential elections was conspicuously courting Chinese support for the campaign. Bill Clinton's reversal on Israeli weapons sales to China in 1999 came about as a result of his weakened position in his scandal-wracked second term. His weakening, which was due partly to allegations that his campaign knowingly received illegal campaign contributions from Chinese agents, combined with allegations of Chinese nuclear espionage at the Los Alamos nuclear research facility, caused Clinton to do an about-face on his China policy.
The most visible casualty of this reversal was Israel's Phalcon sale to China. That is, it was inconsistency in US policy, combined with Israel's reasonable interest in cultivating good relations with a rising global power, which caused Israel to nurture closer military relations with China in the 1990s.
Additionally, when assessing the current crisis in US-Israel strategic ties arising from American ire at the servicing of the Harpy UAVs, it should be born in mind that the US is not coming to the table with its hands clean. China may be the principal emerging conventional threat to US national security interests, but Egypt, thanks to US arms sales, constitutes the largest potential conventional threat to Israel's national security. Indeed, the conventional threat that the Egyptian military now poses to Israel is far greater than the threat Egypt posed to Israel, with its Soviet platforms and military doctrine in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
To date, Egypt's arsenal boasts some 880 Abrams M1-A1 main battle tanks. Egypt has no external enemies and yet, in its military's main joint forces exercise each year, the imaginary enemy they are fighting is "a small country to the north." Its F-16 pilots receive training in the US and for some years now, Egypt has been producing Abrams tanks at its own domestic facilities.
The US has insisted that its arms sales to Egypt, like its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Jordan, pose no danger to Israel's qualitative edge against its neighbors. Yet the truth is more complicated. The American weapons systems and platforms sold to Israel's neighbors are much more sophisticated than the Soviet models they have replaced. Their presence in Arab arsenals forces Israel to continuously upgrade its own weapons systems in order to maintain its qualitative advantage over the increasingly sophisticated Arab militaries. To do this, Israel must rely on its local military industries. To offset the cost of the constant upgrades of Israeli systems, again necessitated in large part by US weapons sales to Arab states, Israel must, like every other weapons developer, seek international markets for its systems. And China is not merely a major arms purchaser; it is also an important country with which Israel has a national interest in cultivating good relations.
It is easy for Israelis to be angry at the Americans for exhibiting righteous rage over Israeli sales to China given both US competition with Israeli weapons producers in the global arms market and American weapons sales to Arab states. It is also understandable why these weapons sales to China in and of themselves enrage the Americans.
When analyzing the current crisis, which both sides have a clear interest in defusing, it is not enough to engage in prurient and self-righteous finger-pointing. It is necessary to understand what it is about the Israel-US relationship that has caused this current crisis and to look for ways to change the nature of the relationship to ensure that such crises not repeat themselves every few years.
From a strictly strategic perspective, Israel is a valuable ally to the US. Both countries share mutual and increasingly dangerous enemies in Syria, Al Qaida, Hizbullah and Iran, just for starters. Israel is a stable and reliable ally to the US in its war on Arab and Islamic terrorism. Israel provides the US with a wealth of intelligence which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has reasonably stated "is worth its weight in gold."
Since the terror war against US forces in Iraq was instigated shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in the spring of 2003, Israel has provided the US with constant and active assistance in improving its urban warfare capabilities and its tactical intelligence gathering and assessment abilities. Aside from that, the US has benefited greatly from Israeli collaboration in the development of anti-ballistic missile defenses and other sophisticated weapons systems.
From Israel's perspective, there is no question about the strategic importance if its alliance with America. America is Israel's only real ally in the world today. This alliance manifests itself in all spheres of Israel's national welfare -- from its military prowess to its economic well-being to its ability to withstand the pressures of Europe and the UN to capitulate to Arab intransigence and Palestinian terrorism.
And yet, in spite of the mutual importance of the Israel-American alliance, which is recognized by both sides, it suffers from some serious drawbacks that can and ought to be faced and dealt with. Given Israel's international weakness, as a nation rejected by both Europe and the Arab world, American policymakers have a tendency to take Israel for granted as a dependent nation that must always follow America's bidding, lacking any ability to survive on its own.
It is true that Israel is weak internationally. But Israel does have its own national interests that are not a mere reflection of American will. To ensure the long-term health of the relationship it would serve America's interests to stop seeing Israel as a mere dependent and to recognize that Israel, as a sovereign state, may have interests that do not jibe completely with those of the US.
Rather than denying that this is the case, the strategic dialogue between the two allies should focus not only on their shared interests but also on how their separate interests can be mutually beneficial. For instance, Israel's burgeoning security ties with India are a strategic asset to the US in spite of the fact that the alliance serves Israeli and Indian interests that are not specifically related to America. The same is the case with Israel's ties to Mauritania and Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Israel's international weakness has caused a childish neurosis of powerlessness to take hold of many Israelis. The thought that something that Israel does for itself might have adverse effects on a giant like America seems all but impossible to imagine. Indeed, Israeli weakness internationally and its dependence on America has caused many Israelis to become almost genetically programmed to view their state as a vassal of the US. As a result, some Israelis have developed a passive-aggressive and adolescent view of Washington.
Washington is perceived as an all powerful grown-up that can do anything it wishes without any worries. To strengthen its own long-term relations with the US, it is high time for Israelis to grow up and recognize that in spite of its international isolation, Israel is far from powerless in the grip of circumstances and that its actions can and do impact, sometimes adversely, the interests of its only ally.
The current crisis in the US-Israel alliance will no doubt be solved in due course given the importance of the relationship to both sides. Yet the crisis provides a learning opportunity for both countries. If this opportunity is seized, rather than simply patch up the ends that have been tattered, the alliance can be reworked and strengthened in a manner that better reflects the real value each side brings to the table and the shared interests and values that stand at the foundation of the alliance itself.
JINSA Online, December 27, 2004
ISRAEL ASSISTS U.S. FORCES, SHARES LESSONS LEARNED FIGHTING TERRORISTS
Army and Marine Corps forces that battled terrorist insurgents in the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Mosul employed urban warfare tactics gleaned from the combat experience of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In the last two years, hundreds of U.S. military personnel have trained in the Negev desert at Israel's Adam counter insurgency urban warfare training facility. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has completed the construction of a number of simulated Arab villages at the U.S. Army's Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In a letter to Army Magazine in July 2003, Brig. Gen. Michael Vane - Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) - wrote that U.S. officers had recently "traveled to Israel to glean lessons learned from their [Israeli] counterterrorist operations in urban areas." Later, an unnamed U.S. official told the World Tribune, November 10, 2004, "We have learned a lot regarding urban warfare tactics in the Middle East from our allies - yes, this includes Israel."
IDF soldiers train at the Adam counter insurgency urban warfare training facility in Israel.
At the JRTC, the U.S. Army simulates everything from local government meetings, religious protests, and mobs angry over an absence of electrical power or water, and attacks by insurgents, according to the Associated Press (AP), February 14, 2004. The Department of Defense predicts that by 2010, 75 percent of the world's population will live in or around urban centers, making urban warfare training a priority for the military.
Former Iraqi citizens - many whom fled Saddam's regime over the last decade and have since become U.S. citizens - participate in role-playing exercises to help prepare American soldiers earmarked for deployment to Iraq. Hussain Talabani, a 46-year-old Kurdish refugee from Kirkuk, Iraq, regularly participates as a civilian in a simulated mob where sometimes he begs for food, sometimes lures U.S. soldiers into ambushes, and sometimes attempts to provoke American forces. "Whatever way I try to push [the American soldiers] into a corner, they are still quite clear. They are honest with themselves and the people they are confronted with,'' he told the AP, February 14, 2004.
U.S. Army soldiers portray terrorists carrying out a drive-by shooting at the U.S. Army's Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In 2003, the fringe media reported that Israeli commandos were training U.S. Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The story, apparently lacking sufficient sources, was not picked up by the mainstream media. AP, however, reported on December 13, that a large TRADOC delegation visited Israel that year. Anonymous sources said the focus of the meeting was urban warfare tactics learned from the IDF incursions into Jenin and the Gaza Strip in 2002. Israeli officials issued a statement declining to comment on "ongoing strategic cooperation between the U.S. and the Israeli military."
Another area where Israel may have contributed valuable know-how is on the area of information extraction from high-level prisoners. Several fringe media sources noted that American forces had utilized interrogation methods considered to be successful that were learned from Israel where physical punishment is banned by law, the same as in the U.S. This story comes from one outlet - Jane's Foreign Report of July 7, 2004 - and like the issue of the extent of Israeli training for U.S. forces, was also not deemed verifiable by the mainstream press.
Some of Israel's most valued contributions to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) were its advice on erecting and manning roadblocks and checkpoints, and techniques for tracking suspected terrorist using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). More specific assistance has reportedly come in the form of aerial surveillance equipment, decoy drones, and the use of armored construction equipment to clear booby-trapped structures, according to Reuters, December 12, 2003. In Fallujah, Israeli mine-clearing and wall-breaching methods were employed. Opening holes in walls allows U.S. troops to bypass explosive devices on booby-trapped doors. It is also used to create paths through adjoining buildings limiting soldiers' exposure to enemy fire in narrow alleyways and on open streets.
Since liberating Fallujah from the terrorist insurgents, Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) soldiers have uncovered bomb manufacturing facilities, major weapons caches, and captured foreign fighters. Evidence of heinous atrocities and human rights' violations committed against Fallujah residents and foreign nationals by the insurgents were also discovered.
[To understand the magnitude of the battle for Fallujah and the magnitude of the American and Iraqi victory, right-click on the link: First Marine Expeditionary Force presentation "Telling the Fallujah Story to the World" and choose to "save to disk" then open the slide show presentation with Microsoft's PowerPoint application.]
Of the 100 mosques located throughout Fallujah, 60 were used as fighting positions and/or weapons caches in violation of the Geneva Convention, which forbids the use of places of worship "in support of the military effort." MEF forces also discovered at least 11 factories used for the manufacturing of IEDs - including a suicide car bomb assembly facility. American and Iraqi forces confronted and safely detonated 653 IEDs during the battle for Fallujah. Sophisticated electronics and circuitry used for remotely triggering IEDs were found at many sites as well as advanced communication gear,
This almost complete IED was found just inside the doorway of a suspected IED manufacturing center. The IED under construction appeared to be a type of padded armrest similar to those found in local Iraqi vehicles.
In one stunning discovery, a GPS receiver was recovered with waypoints originating in western Syria. Since recovering the GPS receiver, U.S. forces have backtracked the user-entered waypoints from Fallujah to Syria, locating insurgent safe houses and exposing Sunni-run network supporting the foreign fighters entering from Syria. During the past weekend, the 1st Brigade of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division, in conjunction with Iraqi forces, stormed the Iraqi border town of Biaj where several suspected Sunni insurgents and foreign fighters were captured, according to Middle East News Line (MENL), December 7, 2004. Biaj has been cordoned off pending additional searches for weapons and insurgents. Twenty-seven foreign fighters were captured during the joint U.S. and Iraqi liberation of Fallujah - including five Saudis, four Syrians, one Sudanese, one Moroccan, one Algerian, and more than 12 fighters whose nationality has yet to be determined.
U.S. and Iraqi forces in Fallujah identified 203 major weapon caches - one for every five blocks - illuminating the type of ruthless urban warfare insurgents were hoping to wage against the liberating forces entering Fallujah. Among the discoveries was the location of at least three human slaughterhouses used by insurgent forces to torture and kill local residents and foreign nationals.
This SUV was being converted into a car bomb when the assault to recapture Fallujah commenced.
Blood covered walls and floors; along with blood-soaked bags of sand used to soak up spilt blood, greeted U.S.-led forces entering the torture facilities in western and southern Fallujah. The discovered location of the National Islamic Resistance Center - home to the insurgency - surrendered evidence of multiple atrocities and contained a computer bank used to disseminate propaganda and media. Four videotaped beheadings, in addition to training videos and correspondence, were recovered from the various locations. Some of the media evidently contained filmed suicide attacks, ambushes on American forces, and the religious burial of "martyrs". Light arms and urban warfare training manuals were also discovered along with correspondence and letters. One badly tortured Iraqi hostage was rescued in northwestern Fallujah by allied forces.
Handheld GPS receiver found in an IED factory contained waypoints originating in western Syria
Although the U.S.-led effort to liberate Fallujah was considered an operational success, the Department of Defense has chartered a blue-ribbon panel to investigate ways to improve the U.S. military's ability to confront and suppress urban guerilla attacks such as those faced in Fallujah, according to Defense News, December 6, 2004. Designated as the Defense Science Board Task Force on Force Protection in Urban and Unconventional Environments and initiated in late November, the panel expects to draw upon lessons learned by other nations whom have served in similar urban environments; including Great Britain's campaigns in Northern Ireland, Israel's ongoing struggle with Palestinian terrorist groups, and Russia's experience in Chechnya, Defense News reported.
Under immediate investigation by the board are the leading causes of injury and death of military forces serving in post-major combat operations and the U.S. military's intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities in such an environment. Two of the major threats already identified by the task group include rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Of the 500-600 detonated IEDs each month in Iraq, roughly half of them cause harm to U.S. soldiers and their vehicles. In July, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz created a separate joint task force to study ways to defeat IEDs and the shifting insurgent tactics for adapting to the counter-IED measures employed by U.S. forces, Defense News reported.
Anticipating future conflicts in urban environments, a joint project led by the U.S. Army and Raytheon Company, successfully fired a 155mm howitzer shell 20 kilometers down range that was guided to its target using global positioning system (GPS). During the flight at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the "Excalibur" artillery shell continuously corrected its flight and impacted within 10 feet of the target. "With noncombatants around, hospitals nearby, we can't afford to have rounds going every which way," stated John Halvey, Raytheon's program manager in an interview with Defense News, November 29, 2004. "The accuracy and size of the warhead, especially in urban terrain, we can take out that building, but the building across the street will be fin and still standing.
The Excalibur GPS-guided artillery projectile.
Excalibur's unorthodox flight path also makes it an attractive weapon system for urban warfare scenarios. "Excalibur doesn't follow a ballistic trajectory like normal artillery rounds, it glides to a target area and when it gets over the target, it does a nose-down maneuver - straight down. You don't have to worry about intervening buildings," said Lt. Col William Cole, the Army's program manager told Defense News. The original operational requirements document (ORD) called for the GPS-guided round to come within 60 meters of the intended target to be considered a success. Excalibur is scheduled to enter service with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army by October 2006.
by JINSA Editorial Assistant Jonathan Howland
The Jerusalem Post - December 24, 2004
by Caroline Glick
This week, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, who commanded the IDF's Southern Command from 2000-2003, wrote a paper for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs entitled "Lessons of the Gaza Security Fence for the West Bank." In his paper Almog explains that the fence around Gaza has blocked 30 percent of the attempted terror attacks on Israel, while IDF offensive operations inside the Strip have accounted for the other 70 percent of Israel's successes.
Although his paper is intended to be instructive for Judea and Samaria, his point raises the obvious question for Gaza: If the government goes through with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw, thereby ending the IDF's offensive operations in the area, how will such attacks be prevented? Furthermore, today the IDF has a defensive perimeter one kilometer long inside Gaza. According to Almog, this perimeter, along with monitoring equipment that can see six kilometers into Gaza, accounts for most of the success of the fence. Who will be manning the perimeter and maintaining the observation equipment if the IDF pulls out?
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ya'acov Amidror, the former head of the IDF War Colleges and Military Intelligence analysis division, warned last week that in the absence of an Israeli military presence in Gaza, the area will become a focal point for global jihad. Just this week, the Shin Bet announced the arrest of Jordanian national Muhammad Abu Juyad in Tulkarm this past August. Abu Juyad was recruited by Fatah and Hizbullah. He received terror training twice in Syria and also took part in the terror war against American forces in Iraq before turning up here with a plan to recruit Israeli Arabs to blow up trains, kidnap soldiers and attack Israeli facilities in Jordan. Abu Juyad is emblematic of the global and regional face of the war. Luckily our forces are deployed in Judea and Samaria. If he or one of the thousands of terrorists like him were to come to Gaza after Sharon's proposed withdrawal goes through, who would arrest him?
More than 5,000 rockets and mortar shells have now fallen on Israeli communities in Gaza since the Palestinian terror war began. In anticipation of the proposed expulsion of their 8,000 Jewish residents, the Palestinians have dramatically increased their attacks. They want to make it look like we are running away. And the IDF is doing little to dissuade them. IDF incursions into Khan Yunis have been as ineffective as IDF operations against Hizbullah in southern Lebanon were in the months that preceded the withdrawal in May 2000. Like Hizbullah in Lebanon, the terrorists in Gaza will be viewed by the entire global jihad network as having defeated Israel. The price we paid for our precipitous withdrawal from Lebanon was the Palestinian terror war. What should we expect after we have Hamas, Fatah and Hizbullah terror cells operating openly five kilometers from the power station in Ashkelon?
THOSE WHO oppose the withdrawal have sought to make these arguments. But no one will listen. Ariel Sharon, the great military leader of yesteryear, says that it will be okay. And so, as we did when the late prime minister and former IDF chief of General Staff Yitzhak Rabin scoffed in 1994 at the notion that the Palestinians would use the territory he transferred to their control to shoot mortar shells and rockets at Israeli communities, we now believe that our lives will be better and safer if we eject Jews from their homes and farms and villages as our military withdraws to the 1949 armistice lines.
The residents of Gaza themselves are at their wits' end. Over the past several weeks they have been absorbing volley after volley of rockets and mortar shells, antitank shells and rifle fire. Their homes and synagogues have been bombed. Their children's nurseries and community centers have been hit. Their hothouses have been shelled. In a meeting Thursday in Netzer Hazani, residents spoke of the prospect of taking measures into their own hands with village residents manning any gun post that the IDF abandons. Speaking to Ynet, Yaki Yisraeli, treasurer of the community in Gush Katif, said, "If there isn't a suitable response to the mortar fire, people will start defending themselves. The residents serve in all the IDF units and the fear is that they will take the law into their own hands. If the IDF evacuates positions, the residents will take them over."
Aside from the fact that the IDF is clearly failing in its mission to defend them, the residents of Gaza have another problem on their hands. How are they to deal with the fact that the government and the Knesset seem determined to expel them from their homes? How are they to imagine that the lands they have cultivated, the communities they have built and the homes where they have raised their families are set to be turned over to the same people who are bombing them around the clock?
The moral dimension of the proposed destruction of Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria is one that has received scant attention over the past year since Sharon adopted the Labor Party's plan of retreat and expulsion as his own. Indeed, although it was one of the implicit assumptions of the 1993 Oslo process, the fact that a precondition for a final peace accord with the PLO was that all Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would be ethnically cleansed has rarely been mentioned. As for Sharon's withdrawal plan for Gaza and northern Samaria, everyone from US National Security Council Middle East Adviser Elliott Abrams to Labor Party leader Shimon Peres to Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak to British Prime Minister Tony Blair have all noted that the plan, if enacted, will provide a precedent for the destruction of all or most of the remaining Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria with their population of some 250,000 Israelis.
THIS WEEK, the public debate shifted its attention for the first time in 11 years to the question of whether it is moral to ethnically cleanse the territories of their Jewish residents and force all Israelis to live within the cease-fire lines from 1949. With the publication of an open letter from Binyamin Regional Council head Pinhas Wallerstein calling for mass civil disobedience against the proposed ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, the question of the morality of the plan has exploded onto the public stage.
Wallerstein wrote, "The government of Israel has approved the first reading of the immoral law that paves the way for the crime of the displacement of Jews from their homes. The law does not provide those targeted for expulsion with even the minimal human right -- to oppose their displacement from their homes. I call for the public to break the expulsion law and to be ready to pay the price of going to jail."
Wallerstein's call, which was adopted by the entire organized leadership of the Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, caused some dozen members of Knesset to sign a declaration stating that they will oppose the enactment of the law even at the price of losing their parliamentary immunity from prosecution and going to jail.
Gaza residents caused a public outcry when they taped orange Stars of David to their clothes this week. The hue and cry of the politicians on the Right and on the Left said that in using symbols from the Holocaust they were besmirching the memory of the victims of Europe's genocide of its Jews. It would seem that those who decried the residents' symbol have forgotten what a metaphor is. The point was not that Sharon is Adolf Hitler or that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz is Adolf Eichmann. The point of the protest was that Israel is the first Western state to call for the forced removal of Jews from their homes,simply because they are Jews, since the Holocaust and that there is something morally atrocious about the notion that for peace to come -- - to Israel and to those bombing Israel -- - it is necessary for entire regions to be rendered Judenrein. And again, as leaders in Israel and throughout the world have stated, the expulsion from Gaza and northern Samaria is simply a preview of coming attractions for what awaits those who live in Judea and the rest of Samaria.
The security implications of the planned withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza and northern Samaria are entirely separate from the moral dimensions of the policy for what it means for Israel to be a free and secure Jewish state. But they share a common root. This root is to be found in those who are shooting off the mortars and rifles and rockets. It is found in Abu Juyad; it is found in the murder of Ariela Fahima outside her home near Beit Shemesh this week; and it is found in the attempted murder of an Israeli motorist who accidentally drove into Ramallah Monday night and had to be saved by the IDF as a lynch mob gathered around him. This common root is Palestinian rejection of Israel.
There would be no reason for the IDF to be operating in Gaza if the Palestinians weren't conducting a war against Israel from Gaza. And there would be no question about the right of Jews to live in Gaza or northern Samaria or anywhere else they have lived for thousands of years if Palestinian nationalism weren't predicated on genocidal anti-Semitism.
WILL THE REAL ABU MAZEN
PLEASE STAND UP?
By Michael Widlanski
Does the Palestinian Arab press know something that the Israeli press does not know?
Even as the Hebrew press headlined the remarks of Mahmoud Abbas (nickname Abu-Mazen) calling for an end to the "Intifada," the Arab press, especially the Palestinian press, ignored the "news" item.
When "Haaretz" wrote in its lead headline (Dec. 15, 2004) "Abu Mazen: The Use of Weapons in the Current Intifada has hurt us and has to stop," Radio "Sawt Filasteen" "Voice of Palestine"-- the official mouthpiece of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), kept completely quiet. When "Yediot" and "Maariv" extensively covered and featured the remarks of Abu-Mazen (which were made to "Al-Sharq al-Awsat," an Arab newspaper published in London), official Palestinian television and the daily newspapers ignored the event.
So what does this mean? Who got it right the Israeli Hebrew press or the Palestinian Arab press?
It seems that the Arab press was right, if only for professional journalistic reasons.
After all, PLO Chairman Abu Mazen has said exactly the same thing or almost exactly the same thing several times before. In March 2003, he said the same thing to the same Arab newspaper in London when he was Prime Minister-presumptive of the PNA. He said almost identical things to the Jordanian newspaper "Al-Ra'i" in September 2003, and I have personally heard him say similar things on several Arab television stations in Lebanon and the Gulf. Indeed, Dr. Abbas made very similar remarks at the Aqaba Summit on June 4, 2003, and then he quickly "explained" his remarks in a susbsequent "special press conference" held for the Arab press.
One therefore has to ask what is the real importance of the remarks of Dr. Abbas (Abu-Mazen).
First, we must stress that the Arab press's disregard of the "moderate" remarks of the current PLO Chairman concerning the "current Intifada" are not part of a desire to ignore Abu-Mazen, the successor to Yasser Arafat. Quite the contrary! On the same morning (Dec. 15, 2004), Radio Voice of Palestine opened its broadcasts with extensive quotations from the new PLO Chairman who was touring Gulf countries. In fact, the radio as well as official PA television quoted Abu-Mazen's strong opposition to any kind of limitations of the Palestinian "right of return." The Palestinian media asserted that Abu-Mazen said and with him the entire PLO/PA leadership that they would not tolerate leaving any Palestinian refugees inside Arab countries.
It appears, then, that a careful examination of Abu-Mazen's remarks tothe Arab newspaper in London as well as other recent remarks shows that Abu-Mazen does not oppose violence against Israelis from a moral or ideological perspective. Rather, he opposes some violence only from a "pragmatic" or "utilitarian" perspective. And then only for a short time.
Dr. Abbas believes that the Palestinian-Israeli War of Attrition has done more harm than good to the Palestinians. In other words, Abu-Mazen opposes using bullets and bombs against Israeli civilians inside "The Green Line." And he opposes this use of ammunition for reasons of "profit and loss."
In the current interview in "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" as in earlier interviews Abu-Mazen has been very consistent on several points.
1. The "Intifada" is a legitimate form of "resistance to occupation," and it should continue, but without bombs and bullets;
2. Abu Mazen supports attacking soldiers and settlers everywhere;
3. Dr. Abbas opposes for the time being attacks on Israeli civilians inside Israel because it such attacks are "counterproductive to Palestinian interests."
On the same morning that the Israeli press praised Abu-Mazen for his "moderation," the senior anchorman of Voice of Palestine, Nizar al-Ghul called the attack on the Israeli border checkpoint in Gaza a "resistance operation." The radio anchorman also proudly claimed that the "resistance operation" was carried out by the FATAH (headed by Arafat and Abbas) and the HAMAS (the Islamic Resistance Movement) with whom Abbas has been negotiating.
Is this the real meaning of "Palestinian unity" so sought by Abu-Mazen?
The Voice of Palestine radio anchorman's remarks on the "resistance operation" were the lead-in to the morning headlines. The day earlier, Voice of Palestine and PA Television called the tunnel bombers "mustash-hedeen" "heroic martyrs" in Arabic.
It appears possible that Dr. Abbas (who got his Ph.d from the Soviet "Patrice Lumumba University" on the subject of "Relations between Zionism and Nazism") is not only the formal successor to Yasser Arafat but a willing and eager student anxious to apply Arafat's methods of sending multiple messages to multiple (and sometimes gullible) audiences in different locations and in different languages. Dr. Abbas, who wears a suit rather than the military uniform of Arafat, has a more refined and subtle style than his mentor, but it seems likely that their ideological content is similar, if not identical.
We will surprise ourselves a lot less if we study the words and methods of the new Palestinian leadership. Perhaps, we might even discover that when it comes to the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees living in Arab countries for 50 years that Abu-Mazen and Abu 'Ala (Ahmad Qreia) may actually have a tougher line than the Egyptian-born Arafat.
Dr. Michael Widlanski, who teaches Political Communication at the Hebrew University's Rothberg School, has researched the Palestinian media for nearly a decade.