Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"
VOLUME 9 B"H JULY 2001 NUMBER 7
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FREEMAN CENTER SAYS: DISENGAGE FROM AMERICAN DIPLOMACY WITH
ARAFAT........Bernard J. Shapiro 2
A FOLK TALE FOR ISRAELIS: Making Peace With Wolves.....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
ISRAEL AND THE CAMEL DUNG: A Jewish Parable....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
A COALITION OF TERROR ....Cal Thomas 4
ARAFAT IN WONDERLAND....Avi Davis 6
ARAFAT'S LITTLE GAME OF CEASE-FIRES ....Yossi Olmert 7
TERRORISM ON TRIAL....Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson 9
RADICAL ISLAM VS. ISRAEL....Emanuel A. Winston 11
TIME TO ACT....Michael Freund 14
THE FUSE TO A HOLY WAR....Emanuel A. Winston 14
THE MADNESS OF YASSER ARAFAT....Zalman Shoval 16
LESSONS FOR ISRAEL'S FUTURE
FROM ENTEBBE TO TENET....Israel Harel 19
THE ONLY STRATEGY....Boris Shusteff 20
THE THREAT FROM WITHIN....Jonathan Rosenblum 22
THE END OF OSLO: Yasser Arafat Is An Obstacle To Peace.....Tom Rose 25
STRATEGIC LESSONS FOR ISRAEL
WHO ARE YOU REALLY, ARIEL SHARON?....Israel Harel 31
"STRATEGIC BALANCE" IN THE MIDDLE EAST: AN INJURIOUS CONCEPT....Louis Rene Beres 33
COMMISSIONS AND COMPROMISES....Berl Wein 35
FREEZE ARAB SETTLEMENTS....Michael Freund 37
FIGHTING THE PROPAGANDA....Efraim Inbar 38
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404]
Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
Published Monthly by the
FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Copyright (c) 2001 Bernard J. Shapiro
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FREEMAN CENTER SAYS:
DISENGAGE FROM AMERICAN DIPLOMACY WITH ARAFAT
By Bernard J. Shapiro
One of the tactics of American diplomacy is to make "suggestions" and get Israeli reactions. After Israel says no, they make the suggestion again, and again and again and again and again and again until Israel agrees. There is implied pressure but no blatant pressure. It is a form of psychological warfare.
There is another trick to American diplomacy. It is getting Israel to agree to a small concession (sort of the camel's nose under the tent or the thin edge of the wedge) and then beginning a process of expanding it. Since Arafat never makes any concessions, the Americans keep asking Israel to split the remaining difference.
Israel has no red lines so is a perfect candidate for manipulation. Serious security needs are bartered away. Israel's right of self defense is off the table to be replaced with intricate discussions on when to start a cooling off period and political negotiations. Sharon says he will not negotiate under fire and terrorism which continues until today. The Americans and the terrorists say they want negotiations with the continued killings. Why discuss negotiations at all when Arafat sold the rug of nonviolence many times before at Oslo, Gaza-Jericho, Oslo 2, Wye, Hebron, Sharm, Taba etc. He is a pathological liar and murderer so why even discuss negotiations with him.
Sharon says everyday that Israel has the right of self-defense but then does nothing. He is like the kid at school who says to the bully: If you hit me one more time I will really get you. He gets hit and then repeats his threat. Will he ever act?
Essentially we have an Orwellian situation where the parties say black is white, war is peace, terrorism is a cease fire.
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 2001 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 destroy my stock?" "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 stock alone. The wolves, seeing desperation and weakness, agreed. They lived amongst the stock, the man fed them and sheltered them and they grew strong and multiplied. One day as the man went out to feed his stock and the wolves, he only found wolves, standing amongst the slain carcasses of his stock. "Why? Why have you killed my stock?" 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 stock? Because YOU LET US, after all we ARE still wolves!"
A government is like a shepherd, its DUTY is too the stock, NOT the wolves. This is a lesson Peres and his Labor government need to learn quickly. 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 Peres needs to take off the rose colored glasses and see the wolves for what they are OR the stock needs to get a new shepherd!
Sharon, this also applies to you.
ISRAEL AND THE CAMEL DUNG
A Jewish Parable
By Bernard J. Shapiro
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 Yasser 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 Yasser 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 Yasser. Peres didn't want to insult Yasser 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 Yasser and the rest is history.
You see Yasser revealed that a gypsy had sold him a pot of camel's dung that had magical powers. Yasser agreed to sell it to Israel for a price. That price turned out to be the Oslo agreement. According to Yasser, 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 Yasser 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 Yasser'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 25 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.
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 Hispanics 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 were discussing the horrible disaster befalling Israel. Peres summed up the situation in a very brilliant way: "Camel dung does not have magic powers. Everything would have worked out OK if Arafat had not lied to us.."
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of THE MACCABEAN ONLINE and the freemanlist (email)
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 2001 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
Jewish World Review of June 6, 2001 / 16 Sivan, 5761
A COALITION OF TERROR
By Cal Thomas
THE suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv night club last Friday night, which killed 19 and injured scores of other mostly young people, is the latest in a continuing strategy to exterminate Israel and eliminate every Jew from the area.
A government communique issued Saturday in response to the attack minced no words: "The government of Israel has determined that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Chairman Arafat are engaged in terrorist activity, encourage it and are inciting hatred and violence. The PA has not only violated its obligations and agreements to fight the terrorist and incitement infrastructure, but its members are themselves engaged in terrorism and incitement. The PA has established in its territory a coalition of terror, and is attempting to disguise it with words of peace as lip service to the international community, while continuing to incite its people to hatred and violence."
Enough of the excuses for Yasser Arafat's behavior. His condemnations of terror mean nothing because he and his cohorts are behind it. Terror is an instrument of their policy. When former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to meet 95 percent of Arafat's demands, it wasn't enough. When the current Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, unilaterally declared a cease-fire in response to PA shelling of Israeli civilians in late May, the violence continued. People who claim that the Israeli "settlements" in formerly Palestinian territory are responsible for the violence must explain what caused the violence before the "settlements" started to appear.
The response from Sharon's government to the latest bombing should be swift and strong. Since nothing Israel does or does not do will persuade Yasser Arafat to make peace or dissuade him from making war, Israel should declare war on Arafat and his terrorist brigade. The assaults on PA military and terrorist positions should be total and relentless. Call it a war of attrition until Arafat has had enough and takes concrete, irreversible steps to stop the violence.
It should now be clear that Israel cannot tolerate a huge Arab population within its borders, so a political decision must be made. Most Arabs and Palestinians appear to be nonviolent but it can be difficult to tell the difference. As Middle East analyst Emanuel Winston (a research associate of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies in Houston) notes in a recent article: "The terrorists sometimes come in with workers, or the Arab community offers safe houses in Israel to protect the terrorists."
The Jews have misplaced their faith. Gifted with thinking the best about human potential, Jews have made decisions that too often are not in their interests -- such as allowing mortal enemies to live among them and giving up land seized for their own protection after five wars and numerous terrorist attacks.
Israel should declare its intention to transfer large numbers of its Palestinian residents to Arab nations. This sounds radical until one considers that is precisely what Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have done. After the Palestinians assisted Saddam Hussein in Iraq's invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War (which Arafat cheered while calling on Hussein to shell Israel), Kuwait forcibly evicted and transferred to Jordan about 300,000 Palestinians, labeling them as traitors and a fifth column. Saudi Arabia also recognized Arafat's betrayal of their Kuwaiti hosts by transferring about 350,000 Palestinians to Jordan.
Those diplomats who regularly denounce Israel for any perceived slight against Palestinians were noticeably silent about these transfers. As Emanuel Winston writes in a another commentary: "No Arab country, other than Jordan, trusts or welcomes Palestinians into its country as citizens. Even the radical Arab nations of Syria (and) Lebanon (under Syrian control), Iraq and Iran keep them segregated in squalid refugee camps, knowing full well their reputation for breaking agreements and conspiring against their host government."
How quickly we forget "Black September" in 1970. Arafat tried to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan. Hussein killed thousands and drove Arafat and his Palestinians into Lebanon. Arafat, who had broken numerous agreements by then, began a 12-year reign of terror against Christian and Muslim Lebanese. More than 100,000 Lebanese were murdered. raped and tortured by Arafat's Palestinians.
The current model of "land for peace" is not working, nor can it work given the objectives of Arafat and Israel's other enemies. Eviction is a better avenue to stability. Will it happen? Probably not. Should it? Yes.
ARAFAT IN WONDERLAND
By Avi Davis
The prevailing joke in Israel these days is that the meaning of the word "ceasefire" translates in Arabic as "the Israelis cease while the Palestinians fire". The latest Palestinian response to peace-making continues to make a mockery of the word. The Tenet Agreement, following eight months of failed attempts to bring Palestinian violence under control, is conditioned on a view that the Palestinian leadership shares the same understanding of "cease fire" and "peace" as the Americans and Israelis. It offers another example of a continuing myopia to the Palestinians' absence of intention to relent in their armed struggle against Israel.
While optimists see much to be happy about in Arafat's acceptance of the cease fire, the facts on the ground do not offer much cause for rejoicing. Violent attacks by the Palestinians continue. Attacks have occurred in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip with one of the largest bombing missions on record foiled at the last minute by Israeli security agents on Friday. There is continuous gunfire at Rafah on the Gaza–Egyptian border, a traditional point for smuggling in explosives and ammunition for Palestinians. As of early this week, Israel had listed 24 cease-fire violations in Gaza alone. Indeed, forty-eight hours after Tenet had achieved his breakthrough, none of the Israeli demands had been met. Israel Television Channel One Military Correspondent Alon Ben David reported that there is a tacit understanding within the PA that the current cease-fire does not prohibit acts of "popular expression" such as the throwing of rocks and firebombs.
In fact from the beginning the Palestinians promised not to adhere to the cease fire. Marwan Bargouti, Tanzim head and leader of Arafat's Fatah organization in Judea and Samaria, said that the cease fire agreement applies only to the areas under total Palestinian control - but that in other areas, the Palestinians would "escalate their attacks and the intifada." Spokesmen for Islamic Jihad and Hamas similarly said that they did not accept the cease fire, and that they would continue with the intifada. Other PA officials said they would not arrest wanted Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorists, nor will they form the required buffer zones between their forces and Israel's.
Who, reading these statements, can believe that Israel has not been the victim of yet another well practiced Palestinian hoax? The proliferation of plans and papers over the past months – including the Sharm al Sheik agreement, the Egyptian/Jordanian plan, the Mitchell Report, and now the Tenet Agreement, have begun to reflect the words of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland who observed how easy it is to double an offer of nothing. The Palestinian leadership has offered Israel little of substance in exchange for the former's unilateral restraint. With each new document drafted to bring an end to violence and a return to negotiation, this offer of nothing increases while Israelis continue to be murdered.
The only surprise in Arafat's course of conduct is that it is so transparent. Arafat has learned that, almost with impunity, he can now give half-hearted orders for a cease fire, subtly instigate violence through "extremist" factions and then claim Israeli violations when the IDF retaliates. The Tenet cease fire and the subsequent acts of aggression which have followed it are part of the same pattern. They give the impression of a man instilled with such hubris that even the prospect of a crushing defeat leaves him unmoved - as long as the Palestinians can be written about as the underdogs.
But time is fast running out for Arafat. Israel cannot afford much longer to play his cynical cease fire game while its citizens are being indiscriminately picked off by Palestinian vigilantes. The source of the violence is now known to everyone. It is also known and recognized whose hands are at the controls. A massive military initiative, that frees the region of a purveyor of hatred and a distorter of the truth, may well be the only answer to Arafat's flagrant rejection of diplomacy and his embrace of terror.
In diplomacy, as in life, it is important never to underestimate the power of words. As Alice says to Wonderland's Humpty Dumpty: "The question, is whether you can make words mean so many different things." In civilized nations, words such as "cease fire" and "peace" can share only one meaning – the end of violence and killing. After viewing eight months of Palestinian terror, could any reasonable person truly believe that this is what guides Yasser Arafat's thinking?
Avi Davis is a writer based in Los Angeles whose book The Crucible of Conflict: Jews, Arabs and the West Bank Dilemma will appear in the Fall. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jerusalem Post of June, 10 2001
ARAFAT'S LITTLE GAME OF CEASE-FIRES
By Yossi Olmert
The current cease-fire starts resembling previous experiences with the Palestinians in particular, and Arab states, in general. Judging by these experiences, it is an alarming resemblance.
Successive Israeli governments have been intoxicated with the magic effects of a so-called cease-fire, and tended to accept them prematurely and under conditions which were less favorable than what they could be.
Let's remember the cease-fire of August 8, 1970, which ended the War of Attrition along the Suez Canal. Almost every historian of the Yom Kippur War has pointed to the fact that the Egyptians cheated on Israel and used the cease-fire to facilitate their preparations for the 1973 war.
It is still debatable whether Israel should have accepted the terms of the October 1973 cease-fire, when the Egyptian Army was on the verge of collapse and we succumbed to pressure and agreed to a cease-fire. The same can be said about the initial cease-fire which allowed Yasser Arafat to evade a complete and irreversible defeat at the end of the first week of the Lebanon War of June 1982.
Let's move on to the Oslo Accords, not exactly a cease-fire agreement, but an agreement whose timing was convenient for Arafat, whose PLO was then at its lowest ebb, rescued in the eleventh hour by an impatient Israeli government. Not to mention the endless series of cease-fires since the beginning of the current fighting, starting in September 2000.
Israel is repeatedly quick to agree to a cease-fire, perhaps out of exhaustion, perhaps out of real hope that this time it would work, but in reality, always under the illusion that we are dealing with a credible and responsible partner.
Throughout his career, Arafat has developed the art of exploiting cease-fires to his advantage and to the detriment of his enemies. He did it skillfully in Jordan, during the Black September riots of 1970, repeated the same strategy in 1975-76 during Lebanon's civil war, and again with Israel in July 1981, a cease-fire whose collapse led to the June 1982 war.
By now, Israeli leaders should know better regarding Arafat's tactics, but the way we handle the current situation indicates that we learned nothing and are bound, therefore, to repeat past mistakes.
The Arafat method is very simple: first, he initiates acts of aggression, as was the case with the Jordanians, Lebanese and ourselves. Soon enough, particularly when he is faced with superior military power and determination and resolve of his adversaries, he realizes that he is facing defeat, and then he shows willingness to accept a cease-fire.
During the negotiations leading to those cease-fires, he tries to extract diplomatic concessions from the other side, pushes for outside intervention of other states and resumes hostilities exactly when he feels ready militarily and politically to do so. In Jordan it happened 22 times, in Lebanon even more, and here we may be now in the midst of the fourth or fifth cease-fire since the outbreak of violence.
In principle, there is nothing wrong in Israel accepting a cease-fire, but in reality it should happen only when the other side urges it and is ready to pay the inevitable political and diplomatic price for its weakness.
We are told that Arafat was in a state of panic following Israel's harsh rhetoric in the aftermath of the Tel Aviv disco bombing. We are also told that he was subjected to unbearable diplomatic pressure and that Israel has already gained considerably from its policy of reticence.
Let's examine all this. If that is true, how come Arafat did not accept a complete and unconditional cease-fire? How come the hostilities continue, with the difference that they focus more on the settlers and less on Israel within the Green Line?
We also hear, see, and read what is coming out of the international community, and are shocked to find that even the foreign minister of the friendly government of Denmark still argues that Israel is responsible for the current wave of hostilities.
True enough, the Bush administration remains a bastion of friendship, and it has been so from its inception, regardless of casual differences of opinion with Israel. When Israeli intelligence is convinced that yet again, Arafat plays his usual cease-fire game, preparing himself for the next round, the question remains as to the inherent logic of the Israeli eagerness to adopt and continue to pursue the policy of reticence and virtual cease-fire.
We may gain some PR points, strengthen our ties with the US and look as if we are prudent, sensible and reasonable in dealing with an enemy as callous and vicious as Arafat, but with a view to past experience, the question remains as to whether it is really desirable to act like this in dealing with such an enemy.
The Wall Street Journal of May 31, 2001
TERRORISM ON TRIAL
By Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson
On Tuesday, a federal jury in New York returned a guilty verdict against the four defendants accused of plotting the terrorist bombing, three years ago, of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The successful prosecution of these murderers represents a great victory for the United States, for the principle of justice, and for the rule of law. We are all in debt to the brave and capable prosecutors.
Unfortunately, the trial does almost nothing to enhance the safety of Americans. The Qaeda group, headed by the notorious Osama bin Laden, which perpetrated the outrages in East Africa, will barely notice the loss off our operatives. Indeed, recent information shows that Al-Qaeda is not only planning new attacks on the U.S. but is also expanding its operational range to countries such as Jordan and Israel.
In Israel, for example, bin Laden has begun to develop a network among the terrorists of the Hamas organization. Last year, Israel arrested a Hamas member named Nabil Aukel who was trained in Pakistan and then moved to Afghanistan and Kashmir to put that training into practice. He returned to Israel with well-honed skills in the remote detonation of bombs using cellular phones, and was detailed to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel.
Perhaps the real importance of the New York trial lies not in the guilty verdicts but in the extraordinary information made public through court exhibits and trial proceedings. These have given us a riveting view onto the shadowy world of Al-Qaeda -- though you'd never know from following the news media, for this information was barely reported. Tens of thousands of pages from the trial transcript provide a full and revealing picture of Al-Qaeda, showing it to be the most lethal terrorist organization anywhere in the world. They demonstrate that Al-Qaeda sees the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, as the ultimate enemy of Islam. Inspired by their victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the leaders of Al-Qaeda aspire to a similar victory over America, hoping ultimately to bring Islamist rule here. Toward this end, they engaged in many attacks on American targets from 1993 to 1998. One striking piece of information that came out in the trial was bin Laden's possible connection to the World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993. A terrorist manual introduced as evidence was just an updated version of an earlier manual found in the possession of the World Trade Center defendants.
The court evidence shows how Al-Qaeda is an umbrella organization that includes a wide range of Islamist groups, including Hezbollah (Lebanon), Islamic Jihad (Egypt), the Armed Islamic Group (Algeria), as well as a raft of Iraqis, Sudanese, Pakistanis, Afghans and Jordanians. Each of its constituent groups has the capability to carry out its own independent recruiting and operations.
The groups coordinate through Al-Qaeda's "Shura Council," a kind of board of directors that includes representatives from the many groups. The groups meet on a regular basis in Afghanistan to review and approve proposed operations. Most of them have maintained close relationships with each other since the end of the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets. They know each other well and work together efficiently.
We learned from the trial that when operations in one place are shutdown, the rest of the network soldiers on, virtually unaffected. Even if bin Ladin himself were to be killed, this Islamist network would survive and continue to expand, sustained by its ideological adhesion. Islamism is the glue that keeps these groups together, and fired up. The court documents also revealed that although bin Laden has had a leading role in formulating and paying for Al-Qaeda, the organization did rely heavily on state sponsorship as well. For example, Sudanese President Omar Bashir himself authorized Al-Qaeda activities in his country and gave it special authority to avoid paying taxes or import duties. More remarkably, he exempted the organization from local law enforcement. Officials of the Iranian government helped arrange advanced weapons and explosives training for Al-Qaeda personnel in Lebanon where they learned, for example, how to destroy large buildings.
Perhaps the most disconcerting revelations from the trial concern Al-Qaeda's entrenchment in the West. For example, its procurement network for such materiel as night vision goggles, construction equipment, cell phones, and satellite telephones was based mostly in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Bosnia and Croatia. The chemicals purchased for use in the manufacture of chemical weapons came from the Czech Republic.
In the often long waits between terrorist attacks, Al-Qaeda's member organizations maintained operational readiness by acting under the cover of front-company businesses and nonprofit, tax-deductible religious charities. These non governmental groups, many of them still operating, are based mainly in the U.S. and Britain, as well as in the Middle East. The Qatar Charitable Society, for example, has served as one of bin Laden's de facto banks for raising and transferring funds. Osama bin Laden also set up a tightly organized system of cells in an array of American cities, including Brooklyn, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas; Santa Clara, Calif.; Columbia, Mo., and Herndon, Va.
Several conclusions follow from this information.
First, we should think of Al-Qaeda not as an organization dominated by one man but as a global Islamist "Internet" with gateways and access points around the world. Second, Al-Qaeda has a world-wide operational reach. Especially noteworthy is its success in the U.S. and Europe, where it recruits primarily (as this trial showed) among Muslim immigrants. The legal implications of this fact are as serious as they are delicate. Clearly, this is a major new area for law enforcement to grapple with.
Finally, this trial shows that trials alone are not enough. In conceptualizing the Al-Qaeda problem only in terms of law enforcement, the U.S. government misses the larger point: Yes, the operatives engage in crimes, but they are better thought of as soldiers, not criminals. To fight Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups requires an understanding that they (along with some states) have silently declared war on the U.S.; in turn, we must fight them as we would in a war.
Seeing acts of terror as battles, not crimes, improves the U.S. approach to this problem. It means that, as in a conventional war, America's armed forces, not its policemen and lawyers, are primarily deployed to protect Americans. Rather than drag low-level operatives into American courtrooms, the military will defend us overseas. If a perpetrator is not precisely known, then those who are known to harbor terrorists will be punished. This way, governments and organizations that support terrorism will pay the price, not just the individuals who carry it out. This way, too, Americans will gain a safety that presently eludes them, no matter how many high-profile courtroom victories prosecutors win.
RADICAL ISLAM VS. ISRAEL
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Regrettably, the Christian world has not yet come to grips with the fact that Israel is on the front lines against a rapidly expanding wave of Radical Islamic Fundamentalism which, unfortunately is likely to soon engulf the world.
Every religion has its extreme element but, not all to the same degree and not all committed to violence. I address this article to that fringe element who advances their religion by building armies and attacking others through terrorism and full scale war. They insist that others adopt their religion at the point of a sword or gun.
Here again, I must define my terms as to who I am NOT talking about. I am NOT referring to those who live their lives within their religion oblivious to the outside world. Even those who honor animals as creatures whom they imbue with god-like characteristics - or ascetics who wish to dwell in caves, depriving themselves of all earthly comforts. I do not speak of those who spin prayer wheels or hymn mantras throughout their waking hours. I am not speaking of Muslims who develop callouses on their knees and forehead from bowing to Allah in prayer, demanding nothing of others. I am not including the millions of Christians who follow the Bible truly and defend the Jews and the Jewish nation.
SOME LINEAR EMOTIONAL HISTORY
I am, however, speaking about the radical Islamists who leave their mosques indoctrinated with the teachings of intolerance, along with their Iman's incitement to kill or drive out Jews and Christians who will not convert to Islam. The Christians pray to a Jewish man whom they called the son of G-d and, in the past, were similarly incited by radical clergy to punish the Jews whom they accused of causing his death. The people often left the Church services enraged by their priests' denunciation of deicide and conducted killing pogroms against the Jews. The remnants of this school of thought are still with us (although in a latent state) - awaiting a wake-up call, which we Jews pray will never come again. Hence, the phrase: "Never Again".
During the Crusades, religious hatred became so wide-spread and intense that Christian Crusaders, came in waves against the ‘heathen' Muslims, also killing Jews along the way. They butchered their way across Europe and the Middle East. When they reached the Holy Land, they spilled the blood of Jew and Muslim alike. They claimed they were saving the Holy Land while building the power of the Church. The Jews became a valuable tool for their purposes.
Then the Muslims surged back in the upsurge of a vengeful Islam and they too, killed Jews and Christians both. Then, as now, the Jews found themselves on the front lines as the Muslims and Christians engaged each other in wars of extermination to prove their gods were supreme.
Now, we once again see the rise of militant radical Islam which views the Jewish State as a primal challenge to their religion and vaunted manhood. Israel and the Jews are again being used by Muslim leaders as the emotional short fuse to build up their fighting courage and war-making capabilities. This included revising history to absorb Abraham as a Muslim and demanding Jerusalem as a city now allegedly holy to Islam when it never appeared once in their Koran. War-prone nations ride the wave of radical Islam to advance their own powers by hoping to conquer an advanced civilization and absorb their G-d as final proof of the superiority of Islam. Predictably, if they achieve their current goals of attacking Judaism to destroy the Jewish State of Israel with the fire of war, they will continue on against the bastion of Christianity: Europe and America. For the radical Islamists, this will be their final battle but, in the interim, they invite the Christian nations to join them in their war against the Jews.
The Muslims have a saying: "First the Saturday people; then the Sunday people".
This two-tiered war is already in motion as Arabs under the banner of Islam have hurled themselves against the Jewish State in six wars and continual terrorism. With the awakening of that radical part of Islamic Fundamentalism, they have attacked Christians in almost all the Arab and/or Muslim lands. Coptic Christians in Egypt are being systematically eliminated. Bahais in Iran are virtually gone. In Sudan the Christians and animists are being annihilated. Christian Lebanese have been massacred by Arafat's Palestinians. Even Arab Christians in Bethlehem - and wherever Yassir Arafat has been given control - are being driven out or remain under siege by the Muslim population. June 12th a Greek Orthodox monk, Gur Pzipokatsatakis, was ambushed and shot dead between French Hill, Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim - 100 yards from an IDF roadblock. (The Palestinians presumably thought he was a Jew.)
As a relevant aside, Muslims are also now at war in the Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, France, India and wherever else in the world they build up to a critical mass to challenge their host government. They are far advanced in Europe and rapidly rising as a significant threat in America. The West, fearful of arousing the anger of the Arab oil nations, have yet to assemble their defenses or protest this clear and present danger.
Israel is the front line, defying Islamic rage by thwarting their first goal of eliminating the Jews and their religion. Jews do not worship Allah nor do they believe in the laws put forth by Mohammed's Koran in the 7th Century.
Following HaShem's (G-d's) irrevocable instructions, we Jews are to worship only One G-d and there shall be no other G-d before Him. This is an irritant to both Christianity and Islam which neither one can accept as G-d's binding mandate to the Jews. Grafting Judaism to either religion would give one of them the right to claim lineage back to Sinai and the Covenant given to the Jews. It is difficult for either to give up their quests of forcing the Jews to be absorbed into their religions or to be destroyed - followed by laying their uncontested claim to the estate of the Jews. This is the true war that is being waged.
The Christian world, in their own foremost interests, ought to be vigorously supportive of the Jewish State of Israel as their best outer defense barrier against an ongoing attack by the Muslims against themselves. Please note that this does not apply to the many millions of Christians who have heroically come to the aid of the Jewish nation and Jerusalem as only her capital. Many good people, most Americans and most of the American Congress support Israel, but the U.S. government's foreign policy, run by the pro-Arabist U.S. State Department, has been irrevocably anti-Israel since before she was born.
In defiance of the American people's wishes, when push comes to shove, the U.S. government manages to support a hostile, radical Islam and the Arabs in preference to assisting the Jewish State. The Europeans, as a matter of unrepentant guilt generated from past crimes against the Jewish people, only give lip service to the support of Israel but seem more dedicated to the fall of the Jewish State. Their actions through the European Union, the United Nations and as individual countries are most often hostile to Israel's sovereignty and security.
Who can forget the Pope embracing Arafat, the greatest killers of Jews (and Christians) alive on this planet? How quickly most leaders of the Christian world rushed to deny Jews their capital, Jerusalem, their Holy City for over 3000 years. Both Christianity and Islam refused to acknowledge that the Jews were the only people who ever made Jerusalem their capital.
Jews typically have a live-and-let-live ideology. Hillel, the great Jewish philosopher created the concept of "Don't do to your neighbor what you don't want done to yourself", which the Jews follow. Jews are not disturbed that Christians worship a different god. It doesn't matter to them that Muslims follow the teachings of Mohammed and call their god, Allah. Jews don't send missionaries to convert Christians or Muslims to be Jews. They do not march on other nations and, at the point of guns or swords, try to force the Jewish religion and the laws of Torah upon them. They simply trek forward through the centuries, honoring their One G-d and following the laws G-d wrote for them in the Torah. This steadfast single-mindedness seems to ignite rage in these two religions which have their starting roots in the Jewish religion and its people.
Perhaps there will be a great awakening across the entire Christian people that the Jews stand like the Archangel Michael, with sword in hand at the gates of civilization. Perhaps the world will awaken and rally to the support of the Jewish nation who defends them, asking nothing more than to be left in peace. Perhaps there are segments of the Christian religion who will never march to the defense of the Jewish nation but, then again, there are millions who have and, hopefully, more will come.
Just don't wait too long to join us. We do not need you as a burial party. This is a message that can be spoken from the pulpit with vigor and honor. The Jewish nation stands in danger and needs reinforcement. We have right on our side and we have might, but we do not have great numbers. We have military power and weapons, but the West has given the Arab nations the same weapons and in much greater quantity. Worse yet, through their greed for oil and money, we have sold or gifted these hostile nations NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) weapons with the missiles to deliver them. These weapons now threaten the world.
The governments of Europe and America seek to appease the Arabs for fear of losing their oil supply. Let them instead fear their own Christian population who will demand that they cease their cowardly appeasement and, instead, move in strength to support the Jewish State and confront radical Islam on their doorstep.
Many of the nations in Europe already are facing a radical hostile Muslim population. For instance, Russia is threatened by radical Islam sweeping across their continent from the Islamic republics that split off from the former U.S.S.R. to the south of Russia. In America, Islamic organizations have grown powerful, threatening major corporations with economic boycotts and worse, if they do not bend to the Muslims' demands.
Journalists are threatened if they expose the radical Islamists' intent and their organizational structure. Two reporters from NEWSWEEK were arrested recently in Gaza by Palestinian forces. How do you think that will affect the way they report the news? During the 12 year civil war in Lebanon, Yassir Arafat's PLO tried to take over Lebanon to create a terrorist mini-state. At least 10 journalists were killed, many other threatened - causing the Media to settle (read: cower) in the Commodore Hotel in Beirut, accepting biased press releases from Arafat's brother. This is the paradigm to expect if Arafat ever gains control over Israel.
Similarly, political figures are threatened, causing them to drop into conspiratorial silence. The general Arab and/or Muslim population does not intend to be threatening but, as demonstrated in the Middle East, a few dedicated radical Islamists can command the masses' obedience, forcing peaceful Muslims to follow their aggressive orders - or else. The Palestinian Authority has redesigned children's education in the schools, summer camps and their media (which is paid for by the American taxpayers) so their children are taught to hate and kill Jews. They propagate this inciteful material - even training grade school kids to shoot, make and throw firebombs and to be the front line stone-throwing cannon fodder.
Children from the ages of four are taught to hate and kill both Jews and Christians. Therefore, they will be time bombs for the next 50 years, set to carry out the assignments taught in their youth, hate and kill Jews. Destroy the "Little Satan" - Israel" first and then the "Great Satan " who is America.
June 13th another false peace statement was pulled out of Arafat's mouth by the U.S. Director of the CIA, George Tenet. Arafat refused to sign any documents and stated that he had reservations about re-arresting the terrorists he had released. The other terrorist factions, which he controls - Hamas and Islamic Jihad - refused to agree to any cease-fire agreement that applies to any area outside of the Palestinian Authority - leaving all of Israel under their murderous threat.
In other words, Tenet and Sharon accepted the non-binding statement of a cease fire with only Israel having to keep the terms of this empty trick. This is called bending with the wind. It is the same failed modus operandi as the agreements Israel signed at Oslo 1 and 2, Hebron, Wye, Sharm el Sheik, etc.
Since Oslo was signed on the White House lawn, September 13, 1993, more than 600 Jews have been murdered by the Palestinians, thousands wounded, some maimed for life and many children orphaned. This is the result of Radical Islam which threatens the world far more than any other force. I am sorry I do not have a count of the Christians killed by the surge of Islam but, it will meet and exceed Israel's casualty numbers.
Now the death count begins for this current abortive agreement created by George J. Tenet, accepted by Arik Sharon and mouthed by Yassir Arafat. Yes, even as the agreement was announced, several Israelis were murdered and shots were fired all over the areas.
Do we accept more of the same? Bush, Powell and Tenet think we should. Do you?!
The Jerusalem Post of June 6, 2001
TIME TO ACT
By Michael Freund
(The writer served as deputy director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.)
Sitting on the couch in front of the television, full of anger and frustration, I clench my fists and consider whether pounding on the screen will somehow bring this madness to an end. I am sick and tired of watching Jews die nearly every evening on the news.
The events of recent weeks have left us all breathless and bewildered. One shocking terror attack is followed abruptly by another, which is then quickly forgotten as the next incident flashes on our screens a few hours later. Despite occasional respites, such as the present cease- fire, the macabre dance of death continues to haunt us, threatening to reignite at any moment.
For over eight months, the Palestinian Authority has been committing atrocity after atrocity, lynching our soldiers, burning down our holy sites and blowing up Jewish children. We know who the perpetrators are, we know where they live, and yet we seem powerless to stop them.
According to the IDF, there have been a total of 4,823 shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians since the start of the intifada last September, an average of nearly one attack every hour over an eight-month period.
If this is not a war, then why are we calling the current hiatus a "cease-fire?" And if it is a war, then why aren't we fighting it? It is hard to believe this is the same country that vanquished its enemies in just six days back in 1967, or rescued Jewish hostages at an isolated Ugandan airport called Entebbe in 1976. Where have all our heroes gone? What has happened to the Jewish pride and the Zionist values that enabled Israel to withstand the most difficult of challenges?
It is as if we have learned nothing from history, not one thing. After 2,000 years of exile and persecution, the Jewish people did not hang on just to create another Diaspora-like outpost of fear on the shores of the Mediterranean. Through our passivity, we have tragically begun to turn the State of Israel into the Shtetl of Israel, as we hide under our beds waiting helplessly for the next Palestinian pogrom.
The cold, hard truth is staring us all in the face. Everyone knows we are at war, everyone feels we are in a battle for the country's survival, yet we continue to delude ourselves, refusing to acknowledge what we know to be the truth: Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has declared war on the Jewish people. It is time that he be treated accordingly.
No other country would tolerate ongoing terrorist incursions into the heart of its territory. The PA has become a threat to the safety and well-being of Israel's citizens, and it is a threat that must be overcome. The United States spares no effort to track down and punish suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden, going to the ends of the earth if necessary to protect its citizens. There is no reason why Israel should refrain from doing the same.
THE OSLO process is dead because Arafat killed it. Former prime minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian leader far more than he could ever have hoped to receive from an Israeli premier. Rather than responding with a counter-offer, Arafat reached for his pistol. He drew first blood, and now it is time for him to pay.
At this difficult hour, Israel needs a "fireside chat." Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a man of integrity, and the country needs to hear from him, to be reassured by him, just as president Franklin Delano Roosevelt's candid addresses bolstered the morale of the American people during World War Two. Sharon's message should be straight and to the point: This is a war. We didn't ask for it, and we didn't start it. But we will end it.
No one knows better than Sharon what needs to be done. That is why he was chosen by an overwhelming majority of the electorate. If there is a war to be won, he is the man to do the job.
Yes, the Security Council will convene, the Europeans will be hopping mad and the Syrians will make threatening gestures. Israel will pay a heavy diplomatic price for defending itself, but it is a price that pales in comparison with the innocent lives that are being lost to terror every day.
It is not a pretty picture, nor even a particularly desirable one. But we have no choice. This cannot continue. Your time is up, Arafat. The Jewish people have had enough.
(c) Jerusalem Post
THE FUSE TO A HOLY WAR
By Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Yassir Arafat, in linkage with numerous Islamic interests, wishes to act as the trigger to the main charge of the Islamic fundamentalists' "Jihad" (Holy War). The main explosive charge are the Muslims, particularly those who act as Islamic radicals. Arafat desperately needs the cooperation of Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to respond to his ramping up of terror attacks. While the exact sequence of events cannot be specifically predictable, it would go something like this:
Stage 1: Massive atrocity against Israelis by Arafat's Arabs. (Israeli public demands major response.)
Stage 2: Sharon can no longer restrain response and hits many PA/PLO targets, possibly including Hezb'Allah in Lebanon.
Stage 3: Arab nations call an alert.
*Egypt pulls its troops to the Suez Canal.
*Syria brings its forces to edge of the Golan and the Lebanese border with Israel.
*Iraq brings its troops, tanks, missiles to the Jordanian border, with cooperation from Syria.
*Iran - an unpredictable element - except for a pre-preparation to fire long-range missiles.
Stage 4: Israel calls for full alert.
*Israeli troops move to three borders, namely, North to Lebanon; East to Jordan and South to face Egypt near Gaza.
Stage 5: Arafat gives another of his infamous "Green Lights"
*For various terror groups to conduct suicide bombings, blow road intersections, try to impede mobilization of IDF.
*Signal local Israeli Arabs to cause havoc and panic within Israeli population centers. Here again, main arteries are to be cut by explosives, wherever possible.
*Signal local population of Arabs in the Palestinian Authority to attack and overrun settlements, take hostages. The Settlements remain under-armed, under-supplied with ammunition, anti-tank missiles, mortars, etc.)
*Most of Israel's regular soldier mobilized and at the border/ Settlers must go it alone!
Arafat and the Arab nations will do everything possible to bring the Europeans into the conflict at all levels. This would include denying landing rights to U.S. aircraft with re-supply to Israel. Possibly, sending armed forces as forceful "peace-keepers" as was done in Kosovo. The E.U. (European Union) may already be prepared to do this. (This could be considered a forth front, facing the Mediterranean.)
Arabists in the State Department will work diligently to restrict the sending to Israel of munitions, spare parts, materials already on order and even paid for prior to the outbreak of this next real war. After it begins, they, no doubt, will re-double their efforts to stall re-supply. They will lobby the President and Congress, using diplomatic double talk - calling it a "review" while they stall the shipments. President Bush will rely upon his father's old cronies, Eg., James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, John Sununu and other State Department Arabists who will recommend stalling. (Sharon is coming to Washington to confer with President Bush, requesting fulfillment of past promises of material assistance. The response will be an early indicator of Bush support.
Egypt, Syria, Iraq may move forward in a coordinated attack if they see that the Israeli military is fumbling their efforts in bringing troops to the front. Recall that former Prime Minister, General Ehud Barak and past Leftist Prime Ministers had infused the military at the officers' level with Leftist officers who were "politically correct" and were generally pacifists. Regrettably, Sharon has not bothered to clean out the officer's corps which had been weakened by the Labor Party who were using the Army as an incubator for future Labor politicians. (Ehud Barak was merely one example of the ‘sleeper' soldier, being prepared for political office.)
If I were Ariel Sharon, I would assign trustworthy fighters to each of the key officers to act as liaison. Should the commanding officer start to show signs of adopting a pacifistic stance in the field - detrimental to winning wars and, according to Labor policies of appeasement and retreat - that commanding officer would be immediately recalled to a desk job.
Arik Sharon, has adopted a policy of restraint in the face of Jews being murdered daily all over Israel but, particularly in the territories. Sharon has some good reasons to do so and some unsupportable reasons linked to political pressures. Arafat's program is designed to force Sharon to respond to protect the people. Soon he will have no choice even if it means being baited into a regional war with the surrounding nations. (Some problems have no good solutions.)
Once again, if I were Sharon, I would let Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Bashar Assad of Syria, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, President Khatami of Iran and King Hussein of Jordan know that if Israel is attacked as planned, each of their capital cities will be simply vaporized - regardless of world opinion. That would, of course, include their military and industrial strongholds.
Part of Arafat's program would be to enlist the liberal world Media to show Israeli soldiers or police attempting to deal with what will be nothing less than a full scale uprising by the ‘loyal' Arab population, inside of Israel - otherwise known as a subversive ‘fifth column'. This would be designed to enrage the people of other nations against Israel particularly when the footage is manipulated by CNN-BBC-NBC-NPR-NYT, among others.
"THE AMERICAN MEDIA PLAN"
This would be the time for Israel to employ the American policy for the Media as was done for the Gulf War and Grenada. For their own protection and to keep Israeli military positions and strategy from premature exposure, I would use the American plan. That is, I would establish a Central Briefing location where journalists and TV film crews would be provided with reports on the action and film footage for transmission back to their main stations.
Any journalists and/or film crews who were found in dangerous areas would be escorted back to Central Briefing. A Hotel, like the Commodore in Beirut, Lebanon would provide rooms, food, bars and meeting rooms. Any journalist who refused to accept the rules pertinent to combat safety would be politely put on a plane back to their own country. Israeli journalists and film crews would be politely bedded down in the Hotel of Central Briefing. The "American Media Plan" provided a great deal of safety for both journalists and soldiers.
The ultimate goal of Yassir Arafat is to cast his conflict as an Islamic Holy War, in Arabic a "Jihad".
The ultimate goal of Israel would be to quickly subdue Arafat's well-armed army of insurgents - some 85,000 Para-Military with many illegal heavy weapons, stockpiled in deep bunkers after having been smuggled in from Egypt and by sea. Israel would use the maximum force possible. Here, too, this was General Colin L. Powell's plan to minimize casualties on both sides. Extended wars, according to Powell, generated more casualties for soldiers (both sides) and civilians (both sides).
Therefore, his military philosophy was to employ overwhelming force in the shortest possible time frame. Recall at the time of Saddam Hussein's takeover of Kuwait, then General Colin Powell urged tighter sanctions against Saddam and no military rescue. When forced to go to war by popular demand of the nation - which in turn forced Bush/Baker to reluctantly give the order to prepare for war, Powell only then began to assemble a force.
It was lucky for America that they had Israel's intelligence and air umbrellas to protect them while they took six months to mobilize. This was denied by then President Bush (Sr.) who fired a top general for giving an interview where he gave credit to Israel for her invaluable assistance.
Powell managed to extend Kuwait's captivity by six months while mobilizing for war at a snail's pace. Saddam could have easily taken over the Saudi oil fields in weeks. Of course, they only had the "Green Light" to attack Kuwait by then Secretary of State James Baker who fervently denied giving this "Green Light" to Saddam through his American Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. Saddam needed Kuwait's ready cash and the gold in her banks to continue the Iraqi war against Iran and his supporters thought this was the fastest way to keep him funded.
In any case, the choreographed war was fought; the U.S. and allies won a fake victory on CNN. But, Saddam's elite army, the Republican Guard was preserved - as was the rule of Saddam Hussein - courtesy of President George Bush (Sr.) and Secretary of State James Baker.
For Israel the lesson was: Know your enemy!! Suspect your friends! And Fight like Hell to win if you want the Jewish State to survive!!!
Emanuel A. Winston is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
The Jerusalem Post of June, 10 2001
THE MADNESS OF YASSER ARAFAT
By Zalman Shoval
After the massacre at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium, the world's horrified eyes were once again on Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Lately, some of the world's leaders had tended to regard Arafat's behavior, to put it mildly, as somewhat eccentric, having lost all touch with reality. Assessments of this sort were reportedly made during the extensively leaked recent meeting between US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and their respective teams.
"Loss of touch with reality," perhaps, but it would be a dangerous mistake to regard Arafat as some sort of madman. It would be even more misleading to emphasize the sometimes clownish aspects of his behavior - as Hollywood did in the late 1930s and early 1940s with regard to Hitler and the Nazis. In fact, Arafat knows exactly what he wants, and everything he does - including his actions before and after the massacre - is guided by his long-held and long-planned strategic designs.
In simple terms, Arafat's strategic aim is the disappearance of Israel as an independent Jewish state - if not immediately, then some time in the future. He, therefore, never had an interest in final and permanent peace-agreements which would create two states in Palestine, one Arab and one Jewish, though over the years he has had considerable success in anesthetizing most of the world, including the naive Israeli Left which wanted to believe anything Arafat said into believing that the latter was his aim.
The Oslo Accords, from his point of view, would serve as the legal and political framework to attain the first stage of his strategy, i.e. to get control of all or most of the territories which had been in Israel's hands since 1967, at the same time according him the international legitimacy he craved. He also hoped that the internal debates which the Oslo agreements were bound to bring forth inside Israel would fracture Israel's much-vaunted unity and sense of common purpose - features which he correctly saw as important factors in Israel's ability to overcome its enemies in spite of its numerical inferiority.
Interestingly, PA minister Faisal Husseini, who died last week in Kuwait, had told a Palestinian audience in Amman more than 10 years ago, that Arabs should support a peace process because this would, over time, lead to Israel's implosion.
Arafat thus never saw "Oslo" in the same light that Israel's previous leaders or former US president Bill Clinton did: for him it was not a formula of compromise to bring an end to the 100-year old conflict between Arabs and Jews, but a strategem to advance his ultimate aims. This is also the reason why Arafat, in violation of all his written and oral commitments (including his letter to Israel's late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin), never considered giving up the option of violence. Quite to the contrary, from day one he made strenuous efforts to build up his offensive military capabilities under the guise of various security organs, using the subterfuge that he needed arms (which Israel promptly provided) in order to bring the terrorist organizations under control.
In fact, many of Israel's security and intelligence experts had predicted all along that, towards the end of the "Oslo" interim period, the Palestinians would unleash a wave of violence and terror, (as indeed happened in September 2000) in order to extract from Israel - whether directly or by means of international pressure - additional, far-reaching concessions which would ultimately weaken its internal and external positions to such an extent that it would no longer be able to withstand a large-scale Arab onslaught in the future.
The main reason Arafat rejected the very generous proposals which former prime minister Ehud Barak had made at Camp David and Taba - offering him practically 100 percent of the "territories," including most of east Jerusalem - was that this would have required him to declare that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had ended.
Nor, of course, was he prepared to discard even partially the so-called "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees, in spite of the fact that Israel's representatives at Taba, according to a recent article by senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaat, were ready to admit to Israel's partial responsibility for the refugee problem - even agreeing to a formula which could have led to Israel being flooded by tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of so-called "refugees."
So what makes Arafat tick? The answer to that question is that he belongs to that same category of dictatorial, self-centered leaders, well-known from history (of whom Slobodan Milosevic was a recent example), who, as a result of either stupidity or hubris - or both - brought upon their own peoples as well as on others, wars which logically and rationally they never had a chance to win, without being able or willing, however, to draw the necessary conclusions - often not even to themselves.
There could, of course, be another explanation - that, although Arafat himself understands only too well that he can never be victorious in his war against Israel, he prefers to enter the annals of Arab history as the man who never gave in and never compromised. It is the Palestinian people who will continue to pay the price of his obstinacy and self-delusion.
(The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and an ex-Likud MK.)
(c) Jerusalem Post
Ha'aretz of June 14, 2001
FROM ENTEBBE TO TENET
By Israel Harel
When Israeli forces completed the rescue operation at Entebbe in July 1976, Yeshiva University President Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm was on a vacation cruise aboard the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner. The captain, Rabbi Lamm related subsequently at a Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America conference, summoned all the passengers and the crew to a festive assembly.
The captain ordered Zalman, the on-board kashrut (Jewish dietary law) supervisor and an English citizen who very likely had never visited Israel, to step forward and publicly accept the honor celebrating the daring victory of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) over terrorism. In this battle, the captain declared, the IDF had become the army of the entire free world and of every individual on earth who loves freedom, justice and peace. The ship's captain, who had served as a young naval officer during World War II, saluted Zalman, who was wearing, like all the other crew members, his white dress uniform, and, as the passengers (only a handful of whom were Jewish) and crew members cheered, the captain awarded the kashrut supervisor the ship's symbol.
As this anecdote proves, there was a time when the Jewish state did not abandon Jews, no matter where they were and regardless of the circumstances - and certainly not because it was concerned with its "image" or because it wanted to find favor in the eyes of the world. As long as Israel's army fought courageously against terrorism, as the captain of the Queen Elizabeth noted, it instilled a sense of pride in the hearts of freedom-loving people the world over - and even led kashrut supervisors to be compared with the hero of Operation Entebbe, Yoni Netanyahu, who was mortally wounded in that rescue mission.
However, something very serious happened somewhere along the way between that era when Israel was prepared to rescue hostages (no matter what the price, and even if the rescuers had to travel thousands of kilometers in the operation) and the present era when the IDF entrusted the rescue of a wounded Border Patrol officer, Mahdet Yusuf - not because he was Druze - to Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Preventive Security apparatus on the West Bank. (Actually, what the IDF really did was to abandon this soldier during the fighting near Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has realized what that "something" is and decided, after Israel fled Hezbollah, that the time had come for Israel to flee his presidential guard, Force 17, as well. For the past nine months, he has been conducting a Lebanese-style war of attrition against Israel, while the mighty IDF, which, before that "something," had defeated all the Arab armies in only six days (in June 1967), was forced to rely on the brutal pressure that the director of America's Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, exerted on Arafat. It was only through Tenet's efforts that the IDF was able to obtain a cease-fire - and a very flimsy one at that. The IDF had been unable to defeat Arafat and to prove to the Palestinian leader, to the Israeli public and to the entire world that the IDF's solemn promise, that the results of the fighting for the very heart of Israel would be vastly different from the fighting in Lebanon, was not just a hollow declaration. It should therefore come as no surprise that today, in contrast with that distant era, Jews in Israel and around the world feel bitter disappointment instead of pride, and frustration and deep concern instead of confidence in the Jewish state and its army. The withering of Israel's will to survive, as Hezbollah General-Secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah puts it, also undermines the self-image of Jews in the Diaspora.
On the eve of the Six Day War of 1967 and in the course of the Yom Kippur War of 1973, there was a feeling, especially in Diaspora Jewish communities, that Israel's very survival was at stake. Thus, thousands of young Jews arrived in Israel to express their solidarity with the Jewish state and serve their people in its homeland for an extended period of time. Today, young Diaspora Jews, sensing that the danger stems from Israel's feebleness and policy of restraint, rather than the enemy's might, are reacting in defiance and among other things are canceling their plans for a summer vacation in Israel. These young Diaspora Jews have been told over the years that the Jewish people has an army that is stronger than all the Arab armies put together - certainly stronger than Arafat's gangs. "How is it possible," the Diaspora Jews ask themselves, "that this Jewish army, which has defeated all the Arab armies on several occasions, has been standing helpless, for the past nine months, in the face of Arafat's war of attrition?" "How is it possible," they wonder, without arriving at a logical explanation, "that dozens of Jews have been killed on Israel's highways and in its shopping malls and yet the Government of Israel is afraid to exercise its deterrent force so as to convince Arafat not to send terrorists to massacre children who have come to spend a few pleasant hours in a discotheque?" Jewish parents and communal leaders in the Diaspora therefore reason that, "If the Israeli government is not doing anything for the sake of the children of Tel Aviv, that government will certainly not do anything for the sake of the children of Los Angeles."
With a government that follows a policy of restraint, even though young Jewish girls who wanted to enjoy their Friday night outing are murdered, Diaspora Jews find it difficult to feel any solidarity. Israel is the only place in the world where the lives of Jews are sacred, regardless of what the world may say and regardless of the political price of actions intended to protect Jewish lives. Throughout their long, bloodstained Diaspora existence, Jews, lacking a state of their own, always calculated what the world would say and the political price of any action. Today, the Jews have their own state and that very fact should lead them to stop taking such factors into consideration.
Since the Entebbe rescue operation, which made so many people proud both Israel and the IDF, a process of petty calculations has become increasingly dominant in Israel - even when the subject is the rescue of Jews. This is but one of the pieces of rotten fruit produced by the false doctrine that the war the Palestinians (and Hezbollah) are waging against the Jewish state has no military solution. The Jews of the Diaspora, unlike many of the Jews who live in Israel, are not prepared to tolerate a situation in which a Jewish government (and in a Jewish state to boot) prioritizes diplomatic and political interests over and above the halachic injunction that supersedes all other obligations of statehood: that Jews must regard the saving of a human life (and the redemption of hostages) as sacred - supremely sacred.
That injunction is the very essence of the rationale for the Jewish state's existence. Only a resolute application of that principle, without prior conditions and without petty calculations, justifies the existence of a Jewish state. Those who, because of "strategic" or other considerations, are prepared to abandon that principle are destroying the very moral basis of Zionism in the face of all those who claim ownership of this land.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
THE ONLY STRATEGY
By Boris Shusteff
"For all Arabs and Moslems Israel is regarded as a wedge in the heart of the 'Arab region'... From an historical point of view, the defeat was described as a more grievous disaster than the loss of Spain in 1492" (3).
June 1, is the International Day for Children's Protection. The Palestinian Arabs celebrated it by a barbaric murder of 19 and maiming of more than 100 Israeli children and youth. IsraelNationalNews.com reported that "on June 3 the PA city of Ramallah awakened to jubilance, with many people firing their weapons in the air as they danced with joy over the killing of Jews in Tel Aviv." The heinous terrorist attack that became the crescendo of the Arab terror response to the unilateral Israeli cease fire only emphasized how desperately the Jewish state needs a strategy for survival.
Although the majority of the commentators and the whole world expect very strong Israeli retaliation it is absolutely not clear that the Israeli leaders know what they want to achieve. Obviously it is encouraging that "the Government of Israel has determined that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Chairman Arafat are engaged in terrorist activity, encourage it and are inciting to hatred and violence" (1). However, it does not mean that the Sharon's government is finally ready to eradicate Arafat's criminal regime and return to the territories granted to the PA. Even the people like the former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, an advocate of harsh actions, only suggest that the "certain strategic locations in the "A" zone will have to be occupied by the IDF" (2), thus not going far enough.
The reason for this is very simple. The Israeli leaders do not know what to do with the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, collectively known as Yesha. One must understand what Ariel Sharon offered Arafat when he came to power to realize the biggest flaws in the Israeli policy. Technically, Sharon's offer was a nice gift to Arafat. While the PA today unilaterally controls approximately 17% of Yesha, Sharon was ready to bring up this number to 42% (some reports hinted on an additional 10%) , through transforming zone "B" into zone "A." In response Arafat was asked to acquiesce to the state of non-belligerence in the relations between Israel and the PA.
When it is said today that Sharon was unrealistic since Arafat rejected much more generous Barak's gift of almost 96% of Yesha, one must understand the difference between the two offers. In Barak's case Israel wanted Arafat to denounce all claims towards the Jewish state and to declare an end to the conflict. Sharon, knowing well that Arafat will never agree to this, scrapped the "end of the conflict" clause, thus hoping to achieve a respite from the Arab terror at least for several months. In other words Sharon was ready to return to the pre-Oslo situation, but with Arafat controlling 42% of Yesha, having 40,000 - 60, 000 man strong army and a lot of diplomatic achievements. The only thing required on Arafat's part was the cessation of violence.
However, neither 42% nor 96% of Yesha will resolve the conflict. Anyone versed in Arab mentality is aware of this. John Laffin quoted an Arab writer Sania Hamady who explained that the "Arab society it the shame society" (3). As the former Egyptian President Nasser noted on March 3, 1955: "We are a people that never forgets if it has been injured, but the injury to us increases our determination and stubbornness" (3). According to Hamady the Arabs follow the formula:"Shame must be avoided; if it strikes, then it must be hidden; if it is exposed, then it must be avenged" (3).
What can be a greater shame to the Arabs than the creation of Israel by the Jews, the people that they always despised and considered to be a "dhimmi" people? The whole world witnessed their shame. They were unable to avoid it and they were unable to hide it. Laffin wrote that, "The depth of emotions involved in Arab feelings is clearly shown in an utterance of the Shiite Chief Mujtahid of Iraq in August of 1938. In declaring a jihad for Palestine (a decade before the creation of Israel) he said that fighting would be a duty of everybody and that if the Arabs lost they would suffer 'humiliation, death and eternal shame'"(3).
The Arabs lost to the Jews not once, they lost several times. Their "eternal shame" could be avenged only through a final Victory. "Shame is eliminated through revenge, and this is sanctioned by Islam (Koran, sura XI, 173): "Believers. retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed.'"(3).
Only putting this axiom of Arab mentality in perspective the Jews can come up with the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The struggle is not really for the lands of Yesha. The Arabs need them only to the extent that it brings the final victory over the Jews closer and through this the elimination of their shame. Even if 100% of Yesha and half of Jerusalem are given to the Arabs the source of the conflict will not be eliminated as long as Israel exists. The Arabs are obsessed with Israel. Their hatred towards the Jews and Israel is so vociferous that it dwarfs the pre-World War II Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda.
Israel has to understand that the word "peace" has absolutely different connotation for the Arabs.
"In Islam the ideal of permanent peace was restricted to the community of Islam and to those non-Moslems who accepted position of protected persons and paid tribute to Islam. With regard to non-Moslem states, Islam instituted jihad as the accepted relationship and made no provision for peace with them as sovereign and independent entities. Only a truce was permissible, and that was not to last for more than ten years" (3).
In order to develop a sound strategy for Israel's survival the Jewish state has to try on the Arab shoes. Then it will immediately understand that the only solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict is the creation of a strong viable Jewish state. Since in any case the Arabs will not be satisfied with the "crumbs" of Yesha, and the "peace" with them in the normal "western" sense of the word is unachievable, Israel must completely change her course. The Jewish state must stop being a foreman at the construction of the second Palestinian state. Moreover, it must immediately announce a new strategy regarding the fate of the lands of Yesha.
The timid voices whispering that Yesha is the Jewish land must be replaced with a loud proclamation to the whole world that it is the eternal and indivisible property of the Jewish people. As Benjamin Netanyahu said on May 29, at the funeral of Gilad Zar: "It is time for us to tell our children, and the whole world, that Eretz Yisrael belongs to us."
While the first step of the new Israeli strategy - the eradication of Arafat's regime is pretty obvious, it will not succeed without two other steps. In addition to the elimination of Arafat's terrorist infrastructures Israel must annex Yesha and relocate the Palestinian Arabs that live there.
Retired Israeli General Effi Eitam proposed recently a very logical solution that could increase the viability and strength of the Jewish state and at the same time resolve the problems of the Palestinian Arabs. If the world community is so hooked on the idea of the establishment of another Palestinian state it can do it by facilitating the relocation of the Palestinian Arabs from Yesha to the Sinai Peninsula.
The point is that till the beginning of the 20th century Sinai did not belong to Egypt. "The Turko-Egyptian frontier ran from Suez to Rafa. In 1906, Turkey granted Egypt administrative rights up to the line Rafa-Aqaba. Allenby conquered the whole of Turkish-Sinai, therefore Sinai east of the line Suez-Rafa belongs to Britain" (4). This was written in 1920 by Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, who proposed to keep Sinai under British sovereignty.
It is not the responsibility of the Jewish state to carve out another Arab state from the primordial Jewish lands. In any case the Palestinian entity that the world community still wants to establish will be an artificial body. Jordan was carved out of Palestine absolutely artificially as well. Never before in history there existed an Arab state on the territory that became Jordan. The enmity of the Arabs in Palestine towards the Jews was to a great extent a product of the British design. It would be only just to retrieve a part of the Sinai, given to Egypt by the British, from under Egypt's sovereignty and to give it to the Palestinian Arabs. It should also be mentioned that Sinai was returned to Egypt by Israel, that gained it in a defensive war.
If the world community is really concerned with the peace in the Middle East it must understand that the Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be solved through endangering the survival of the Jewish state. The only solution to the problem is the strengthening of the Jewish state. It can be achieved only by incorporating the lands of Yesha into the Jewish state. At the same time the establishment of another Palestinian Arab state in Sinai will drastically reduce the Israeli border with this artificial state. As was noticed already by the American Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1967:
"By occupying the Gaza Strip, Israel would trade approximately 45 miles of hostile border for eight. Configured as it is, the strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel's military advantage."
If asked why Egypt should agree to this solution, it can be reminded that Yasser Arafat is Egyptian, the PLO was established by Nasser in order to gain more influence in the Arab world and as a weapon against Israel. So another justice will be served as well if the PLO returns to the former territory of the country that gave it birth.
The Arab shame will always fuel their hatred towards the Jewish state. The only response to this hatred is the strengthening of Israel. This will occur only when Yesha is annexed to Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are relocated to the place where they can establish an entity transformable into an independent state. The only logical place for this is Sinai. This will open the lands of Yesha to the massive Jewish settlement and lead to a long awaited aliyah of the western Jews. 06/03/01
1. Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry Political-Security Cabinet Communiqué, June 2, 2001. http://www.mfa.gov.il
2. Moshe Arens: "Oslo - a monumental error." Ha'aretz Newspaper -- 30 May 2001
3. John Laffin. "The Arab Mind Considered." Taplinger Publishing Company, New York, 1975
4. Colonel R. Meinertzhagen. "Middle East Diary." London. The Crest Press. 1959
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
The Jerusalem Post of June 24, 2001
THE THREAT FROM WITHIN
By Jonathan Rosenblum
Arab MK Azmi Bishara got what he wanted last week: He managed to give the collective Israeli public a severe case of apoplexy. Bishara traveled to Damascus, on a diplomatic passport granted to Knesset members, in other to participate in a memorial gathering on the first anniversary of the death of Syrian dictator Hafez Assad.
There he called upon the entire Arab world to "unite against the warmongering Sharon government" and expressed his support for the Palestinian violence. He did so in the presence of Hassan Nasrallah, whose Hizbullah militia continues to hold incommunicado four Israelis, and heads of Hamas and other sponsors of suicide bombings targeting Israelis.
Israeli Jews were predictably furious. Proposals circulated in the Knesset for banning Bishara's Balad Party, Interior Minister Eli Yishai considered removing his passport and stripping him of his citizenship, and the Attorney-General contemplated a prosecution for incitement. Right-wing MK Michael Kleiner opined that in any sane country, Bishara would face a firing squad.
The truth is, however, that Bishara's remarks were only marginally more outrageous than those heard from other Arab MKs in recent years. Three years ago a group of Arab MKs were received in Damascus by Hafez Assad. Despite serving in the Israeli legislature and having sworn oaths of allegiance to Israel, the Arab MKs refused to identify themselves as Israelis, wished Assad victory in any future military confrontations, and assured Palestinian refugees that they would yet return to their ancestral homes.
In a speech at Bir Zeit University, last November, MK Mohammed Barakeh praised the intifada and called on Israeli Arabs to participate. He did so in the presence of Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti, one of the chief instigators of Palestinian violence, and Hamas representatives.
At the time of Barakeh's speech, the police were already contemplating filing charges against at least three of his fellow Arab Knesset members for statements in support of Hizbullah. MK Taleb a-Sanaa went so far as to suggest that Hizbullah leader Nasrallah should receive a Nobel Prize for having driven Israel from Lebanon.
Meretz MK Amnon Rubenstein summed up the situation well when he noted that there is not another country in the world "that would agree to its members supporting those who are rebelling against it."
Even more worrisome than the statements of Israel's Arab parliamentarians is what those statements reveal about the mindset of Israel's Arab population. The politicians quoted don't even represent the most radicalized elements on the spectrum of Israeli Arab politics. That title belongs to the Islamic Movement, which already controls a number of Galilee towns, including Umm el-Fahm, overlooking the crucial Wadi Ara highway. Not by accident was Umm el-Fahm the scene of the most violent Israel Arab rioting in October. The Islamic Movement will not even participate in national elections because it does not recognize the State.
Politicians live in perpetual pursuit of votes. If Arab MKs vie with each other in the extremity of their expressions of contempt for the State of Israel and identification with her enemies, we are entitled to assume that the sentiments expressed are those of their constituents as well. That supposition is supported by every survey of Israeli Arab opinion. Five years ago, 38% of that population identified themselves as Israeli Arabs; today only 11% do so. Nearly 70% identify themselves today as Palestinians, and an almost equal number say that they would support the Palestinians in a all-out confrontation with Israel.
When a Beduin soldier in the IDF was killed last month in a training accident, not a single Moslem iman in the northern half of Israel agreed to participate in the burial rites. Itamar Marcus of the Palestinian Media Watch reports that it is no longer a rare event for Palestinian Authority officials to attend graduation ceremonies in Israeli Arab schools where the Palestinian national anthem is played.
Increasingly, verbal expressions of identification with the Palestinian cause against Israel are being translated into action. In Fall 1999, two Israeli hikers were hacked to death in a Galilee forest by Israeli Arabs. The following Spring, Arab students rioted first at Haifa University and later at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Chants of "Death to the Jews" were heard and Israeli flags burned and otherwise desecrated. Thousands of acres of Israeli forests have been destroyed in recent years in fires believed to have been set for "nationalistic motives."
Northern District police commander Alik Ron warned more than a year ago of an increasing traffic in arms from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority to the hands of Israeli Arabs. And just before the outbreak of widespread rioting by Israeli Arabs in October, 41 Israeli Arabs, connected to two separate cells, were arrested on charges of targeting "collaborators" and arms trafficking.
Police suspect the possible involvement of Arabs from Abu Ghoush in the planting of a large explosive device on the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem highway two weeks ago. That involvement, if substantiated, would prove particularly frightening. Abu Ghoush has been considered friendly since 1948, and all traffic from the Jewish suburb of Telshe Stone passes through Abu Ghoush.
Given the pace of the radicalization of the Israeli Arab population, it is hard to see any way to reverse the current trends. The favorite solution of Israeli Arab politicians – the infusion of massive new spending in the Arab sector – is doomed to failure. Israeli Arabs already enjoy a standard of living far better than Arabs in any neighboring state, and yet that has not prevented them from identifying with national movements dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
To believe that infusions of massive new funding in the Arab sector will arrest current trends is to reprise one of the common fallacies underlying the Oslo process and Shimon Peres' vision of the New Middle East: the belief that economic well-being is far more important to most people than national identity. The violence since October that has effectively destroyed the Palestinian economy without dousing the enthusiasm of Palestinians for continuing their war on Israel would seem to give lie to that supposition.
Where does that leave Israel? With a hostile population in its midst that already includes a fifth of Israel's citizens and which is growing far faster than Israel's Jewish population.
The implications of this demographic time-bomb for Israel are truly alarming. Likud MK Yuval Steinitz points out in a Commentary article entitled "When the Palestinian Army Invades Israel," that the arms in the possession of the Palestinian Authority are already sufficient to call into question Israel's ability to defend itself in any future war. Israeli defense doctrine has always been predicated on the quick mobilization of its reserves in the event of attack. The presence of a Palestinian army near Israeli population centers drastically threatens Israel's capacity for such rapid mobilization because the IDF would first have to fight to secure Israel's own internal highways over which that mobilization would take place.
When the threat of armed, hostile Arabs within Israel itself is added to the equation, the peril becomes that much greater. The closure of the Wadi Ara highway for two days during rioting in Umm el-Fahm in October provides a clear example of the extent of this danger.
The threat posed to Israeli democracy is no less. No democracy can disenfranchise 20% of its citizens. At the same time, to empower a hostile minority is to make a laughingstock of the old Zionist vision of Jews controlling their own fate in Israel.
That hostile minority now holds the decisive vote on the vital security issues facing Israel. If the Arab minority participates in elections and votes almost unanimously for the candidate of the Left, a candidate of the Right needs to win over 60% of the Jewish vote to win – in short, an overwhelming landslide. How serious this threat is was brought home in the waning days of Ehud Barak's government when Barak flirted with the idea of propping up his minority government by bringing into his government the ten Arab MKs who have competed with one another in voicing their support for the Palestinians.
In short, we would be very lucky indeed if the issues raised by Azmi Bishara's speech in Damascus were limited to the technical issue of political theory: How can a democracy protect itself from the incitement of parliamentarians dedicated to its destruction? Bishara, however, is just a symptom – symptom of an Arab threat within that may prove no less intractable than the threat from without.
(c) Jerusalem Post
The Weekly Standard of June 18, 2001
THE END OF OSLO
Yasser Arafat Is An Obstacle To Peace.
By Tom Rose
[Jerusalem] The long-running argument in Washington over Yasser Arafat's responsibility for the terror campaign against Israeli civilians should have been settled on June 2, the day after a Palestinian suicide bomber murdered 20 Israelis, mostly teenage girls, outside a Tel Aviv disco. That day, the Palestinian dictator publicly called for a cease-fire—for the first time ever—and by and large the violence ceased, laying bare before the world Arafat's heavy responsibility for creating it. By June 8, as this was being written, the Israeli army was reporting a "significant" reduction in Palestinian terror incidents, justifying the relaxation of some security restrictions imposed on the movement of Palestinians.
With Arafat thus exposed as a deliberate orchestrator of the region's conflict, there is no longer any denying the error at the heart of the Oslo process. In 1993, Israel and the United States consciously chose to resurrect Arafat, discredited by his Gulf War alliance with Saddam Hussein, and make him their interlocutor for peace. Ever since, Washington has operated as if there were only two alternatives in the Middle East, Arafat and war. But for Israelis, the Arafat option is war, and as such is untenable. Even Israelis on the left now see this. Defense minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a member of the pro-Oslo Labor party, made history of sorts when he said on June 6 of Arafat, "His time is past. For Israel it is time to seek new partners and a new path to peace."
Washington may be slower to recognize this. Indeed, it still clings to a ruinous approach, urging Israel to "exercise restraint" in response to the murderous attack on innocent teenagers, and dispatching yet another high-ranking official, this time CIA director George Tenet, to the region to "talk" to the parties. In so doing, the United States is extending Arafat's life and granting him another chance to plunge the Middle East into war.
For both Israel and its principal ally, it is time to withdraw the mantle of legitimacy from Arafat, to stop funding his police state, and to start thinking beyond Oslo.
Consider: For the past eight months, Arafat has used the tightly controlled media of the Palestinian Authority to unleash a flood of blood-curdling anti-Semitic incitement, urging Palestinians to support ever more brazen acts of terror against Israeli civilians. One spot that aired on Palestinian Authority TV for weeks featured the image of Muhammad al-Durra, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy whose televised death in a firefight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen last October shocked the world. In the ad, al-Durra implores other Palestinian children to join him in paradise by becoming child martyrs. The spot was pulled only on June 2, the day after the disco bombing.
Another typical illustration of state-sponsored anti-Semitic incitement was Arafat's personally blaming Israel for the death of Faisal Husseini, a Palestinian Authority official. Husseini, 60, died of a heart attack on May 30 in his Kuwait City hotel room. He had long suffered from asthma and high blood pressure. This could hardly have surprised Palestinians, who have been served a steady diet of anti-Semitic vitriol ever since the United States and Israel gave Arafat his own media empire in 1994. As recently as May, the Palestinian Authority reported that the Israeli Air Force was air-dropping poisoned candy into Palestinian schoolyards and conspiring to destroy Jerusalem's Al-Aksa mosque, for which Arafat's latest war, the "Aksa Intifada," is named.
As history has shown again and again, violent words are the prelude to violent actions. In the last eight months, Arafat's lieutenants and allies have recruited and deployed dozens of suicide bombers, planted hundreds of roadside bombs, and engaged in thousands of shooting attacks. These were all part of a carefully planned, publicly stated strategy—seldom reported outside the Arabic-language press—to kill enough Jews to provoke an Israeli response that would goad Arab states into fighting yet another war against the Jewish state. This war would either succeed in destroying Israel or would serve Palestinian interests by provoking the intervention of an international force that would give legitimacy, aid, and protection to the Palestinians. Thus would the Palestinians secure their goals without having to make the one concession Israel demanded at the negotiating table: a formal end to the conflict with Israel and a renunciation of all future claims against her.
That Arafat is fighting not to establish a Palestinian state but to destroy the Jewish state became apparent at Camp David last July. He was offered nearly everything he was said to be demanding: At the stroke of a pen, Arafat could have had over 95 percent of the West Bank, 100 percent of Gaza, the re-division of Jerusalem, the end of the "occupation," and the dismantling of dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But by insisting that all the descendants of the Palestinian refugees who fled as a result of the Arab invasion of Israel the day after its birth in 1948 be allowed to return, Arafat made clear that for him and his cause, nothing short of the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state will suffice.
If the last year has confirmed Arafat's utter lack of credibility as a partner for peace, where do we go from here? Washington's immediate task is to try to prevent a regional war, now closer than it has been in 30 years. Such a war would not only threaten American allies in the region, but could inflict devastating damage on the United States itself, already grappling with its worst energy crisis since the last Middle East war. Thanks to advances in the war-making capacity of likely participants and the willingness of some of Israel's enemies to use weapons of mass destruction, such a war could have catastrophic human consequences.
Even more ominous for Israel—and advantageous for Arafat and his radical Arab allies—is that Israel faces a rabidly hostile and heavily armed Palestinian population in its own backyard, both in areas that Arafat's Palestinian Authority controls and in Israel proper. Radical Arab states like Syria and Iraq see this vulnerability clearly: For the first time in the history of the conflict, Israel faces the prospect of fighting a multi-front war while also combating an armed fifth column in its midst that would, among other things, besiege the roads its largely civilian army depends upon to mobilize. Israel's vaunted defense force isn't worth much if its citizen soldiers can't get to their bases. With little margin for error, a delay of even hours could seriously impair Israel's ability to repel an armored invasion.
To meet this threat of war, Israel possesses unprecedented military, technological, and economic strength. Its army and air force are among the best in the world. With only six million people, no natural resources, and a country smaller than New Jersey, it has built the largest economy between Europe and India. It has more engineers per capita than any other nation. But of all Israel's strengths, its greatest asset is its relationship with the United States. By publicly reaffirming America's fundamental and unbreakable bond to the Jewish state, by warning would-be aggressors that Israel will never stand alone, Washington could greatly reduce the likelihood of war.
Against the backdrop of a burnished American alliance, Israel must reinforce its own posture of deterrence by resuming the tough policies that worked well just a few years back. Israelis with even the shortest memories can recall the mid 1990s, when their country experienced a rash of terrorism more deadly, if less widespread, than they are seeing now. Despite the early promise of the peace process, Tel Aviv was on fire. Buses were exploding, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians. It was then that the young and untested Benjamin Netanyahu won an upset victory over incumbent prime minister Shimon Peres in the election of 1993. Coming just months after the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Netanyahu's unexpected success was bitterly resented by Israel's left-wing establishment, which helped the world cast the new leader as an "obstacle to peace."
Netanyahu insisted that the only way to stop terrorism was to expose and punish those responsible. Arafat would be held personally accountable for terrorist activity originating in territory he controlled. Publicly and privately, Netanyahu began to drive home the message that Arafat would get nothing without giving something. What the world and some in Israel labeled "right-wing obstructionism" the prime minister called "reciprocity." Yet despite the impolite things people said about him in Washington, Netanyahu was right. His strategy virtually stopped terrorism. That Israelis can name every terror attack that occurred during his tenure attests to how few there were: fewer than in any similar period before or since.
Indeed, Netanyahu's "stop Arafat" policy worked so well that Israelis soon forgot why they had elected him. On his watch, the percentage of the public who cited security as their number one concern dropped to an all-time low, from 73 percent in 1996 to 39 percent in 1999. Today that number tops 80 percent. Alas, it was Netanyahu's success at isolating and punishing Arafat that provided Israelis the very security that lulled them into trading their well-worn realism for utopian dreams of a "New Middle East"—and in 1999 trading Netanyahu for Ehud Barak.
But even if Israel returns to Netanyahu-like firmness and combats terrorism effectively, it is vital that both Israelis and Americans understand that the best they can hope for in the near future is a cold peace. As for a permanent solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the protracted violence spawned by Arafat's rejection of the settlement he claimed he wanted reminds us that there is only one: the Arab world's recognition that Israel is permanent, and its decision to live with Israel in peace.
The decades-old Arab campaign to isolate Israel diplomatically and politically is designed to deny Israel permanence—which is why the United States must diligently counter this campaign at every turn. Simultaneously, Washington should signal its intention to correct the error of Oslo by formally, finally, and completely disassociating itself from Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority.
That the United States is openly vilified in the Palestinian media, that American and Israeli flags are now burned side by side at official Palestine Liberation Organization rallies, should in itself justify ending all financial assistance to Arafat's regime. With Arafat's responsibility for terrorism established, it is time that the Palestinian Authority be put on the State Department's list of terrorist sponsors and banned from the United States, and the PLO put back on that list. The message such moves would send to a jittery Arab world would be profound. By stripping Arafat of his legitimacy and subsidies, the United States would put the radical Arab regimes on notice, while reassuring the moderate ones.
In fact, allowing Arafat to continue using violence to achieve his political objectives threatens Egypt and Jordan—U.S. allies and the only Arab nations formally at peace with the Jewish state—more than it threatens Israel. If, through continued incitement of the Arab masses, Arafat is able to lure the leaders of these two nations into his war against Israel, not only will their armies be defeated and their countries devastated, but they will almost certainly be removed from power. And they know this. President Mubarak, who intersperses his regular repertoire of acerbic attacks on Israel with statements like "I will sacrifice not a single Egyptian life for Palestine," is all but begging the United States to stop Arafat.
The lesson of America's failed dalliance with Arafat is that dictators are inherently unreliable partners because they need external enemies to stay in power. They need enemies to help them justify their repression of their own people and consolidate their own control—as a seasoned democracy like the United States should have known all along.
One who was clear about this is Natan Sharansky, the human rights activist now deputy prime minister of Israel. He warned for years that the Oslo process was doomed to fail, based as it was on the belief that Arafat could be trusted to stop terrorism precisely because he was a former terrorist himself and a dictator unencumbered by the niceties of democracy. The idea was to get the fox to guard the henhouse. As the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin used to say, "Arafat can crack down on Palestinian terror without having to worry about a free press, a supreme court, or any of those annoying human rights groups." But in the end, Arafat was not prepared to fight his own people in order to protect Israel, and the attempt to turn a corrupt, murderous dictator into an ally by indulging him with unimagined power has proved disastrous.
Who or what should replace Arafat? Answering this question is less urgent than recognizing that he must go. The United States regularly pursues "regime change" in instances where its interests are at stake, and today its interests are threatened nowhere so much as by Yasser Arafat. While the history and culture of the Arab and Islamic worlds suggest that democratization is not a realistic short-term option, it must be an explicit long-term goal. The mistake of the past decade was to think that peace could be built by bankrolling an individual rather than supporting the principles and institutions required to nurture a free and open society. The sooner that mistake is acknowledged, discarded, and corrected, the sooner stability can be restored, and maybe even someday peace established, in the Middle East.
Ha'aretz of June 21, 2001
WHO ARE YOU REALLY,
By Israel Harel
Many eyebrows were raised, especially among Israel Defense Forces senior commanders, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared this week that he has "no intention of leading this nation into war.".What prompted Sharon to reveal, without even blinking an eye, to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat a decision that should be a classified strategic secret? After all, Arafat could understand from that declaration that he was being given carte blanche to continue his present actions and that the murder of Jews by Palestinians would not, according to Sharon's promise, lead to the only substantive response capable of stopping the killings.
How is it possible that Sharon, who is entrusted with the supreme responsibility for Israel's national security, disclosed, before the television cameras, something that is certainly top-secret, namely, his strategic decision not to unleash a full-scale war? To that question there can be only one answer: This is one giant hoax.
After all, the moment Sharon made this public declaration, Arafat came to only one conclusion - namely that, even if he continues to violate the cease-fire, both he and the entire PA are in no real danger.
It makes no sense - no sense whatsoever - that Sharon would actually issue Arafat a license to kill Jews or that Sharon would make such a slip of the tongue. Proof for this hypothesis - that Sharon is carrying out a major exercise in strategic deception - can be seen in what Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer proclaimed in Paris.
Ben-Eliezer, who himself is quite a gifted trickster, announced in the French capital: "We are following a policy of restraint and we will continue with that policy." This must be the answer to the riddle.
When Sharon, that old sly fox, rebukes his beloved allies - his faithful, bleeding allies - and tells them, in public and before the television cameras, that he is not prepared to go to war for them, this is an obvious sign that war is imminent.
When he urges them to "keep a stiff upper lip," he is actually saying that Israel is on the threshold of putting an end to the present period in which Sharon has allowed Arafat to go on killing Jews, to throw the lives of Israelis into utter havoc, and to even challenge both Sharon's standing in the world and his leadership of this country.
The only explanation that can solve the riddle of Sharon's repeated declarations that he will continue his policy of restraint is that he is pulling the wool over Arafat's eyes, big time.
On the eve of the Six Day War of June 1967, then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan donned his slippers, invited a group of journalists to his home in Tzahala and declared, just as Sharon declared this week, that he wanted to give the peace negotiations a chance and that "there is no need to lead this nation into war at the present time."
Then, as now, there were demonstrations and acts of protest against Israel's policy of restraint. However, the demonstrations turned into joyous rallies of support when it became clear that Israel had pulled a fast one on the enemy and that the victory was the greatest in Israeli history.
Sharon's act of deception circa June 2001 will be strikingly similar to Dayan's circa June 1967. Sharon will carry out another pre-emptive operation. Israel will launch a campaign that will deal a quick, decisive, elegant, but devastating blow, militarily and psychologically (just like the strike of the Israel Air Force in June 1967). It will end, once and for all, the nightmare on Israel's highways and in its shopping malls, discotheques and central bus stations.
Israel's deterrent force will be restored, Jews and non-Jews will once more visit this country as tourists, and the economy will again blossom. The timing of Sharon's deceptive declaration - namely that he has no intention of launching an all-out war against Palestinian terrorism - was no coincidence.
He issued this announcement on the day following the British Broadcasting Corporation television program that suggested the possibility of his being indicted for war crimes (complaints concerning those crimes have already been lodged with the Belgian authorities).
Sharon has made such arduous efforts to win the favor of both the world media and world public opinion and to prove that he is a moderate, responsible political leader who is not prepared to declare war even in the wake of the daily acts of murder committed against his own citizens. However, he learned this week that world media, despite the steep price he has paid to placate it, will never grant him legitimacy and will certainly never clear his name.
Not even if Arafat's terrorist acts reach unprecedented heights (or depths). No matter what, world media will always support Arafat the Arab and not Sharon the Jew. Had he not been bent on defrauding Arafat in such a grand fashion, Sharon would certainly have revealed to the settlers - just as Joseph revealed to his brothers in the Biblical narrative - his innermost thoughts.
He would have told them: "My dear brothers and sisters, your suffering will end very, very soon. Depressing terms like 'sitting ducks' will disappear from the national lexicon. No more will you say about yourselves in lamenting tones, 'We have become another South Lebanon Army, we have become another South Lebanon.' Israel Army Radio will stop its campaign of encouraging settlers to leave their homes. Your blood, I solemnly pledge, will no longer be cheap. And none of you will ever again ask me, 'Who are you, Ariel Sharon? Who are you, really?' After all, does it make any sense that I, Ariel Sharon, the same Ariel Sharon who sent you to your present homes, would allow Arafat to continue to shed your blood and that I would make no attempt to stop the terrorism, once and for all? Would I dare to shirk my duty to carry out this holy task?"
Thus, when it finally emerges that the policy of restraint has outlived its usefulness, Sharon will decide to take his stand and fight. And then the goal will be to deal a mortal blow, by means of a another brilliant, unique military campaign, (like the old days), to all the infrastructures of Palestinian terrorism.
It will strike the planners, the perpetrators, the stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, the laboratories for manufacturing arms and explosives, the inciting, seditious television and radio stations, and all other resources, whether human or technical, that have enabled, directly or indirectly, the Palestinian terrorists to strike out against both Jews and the State of Israel.
As the founder of modern political Zionism, Theodore Herzl, declared, "If you will it, it is not a dream." To paraphrase that: "If you will it, it is neither dream nor speculation.
(c) 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
IN THE MIDDLE EAST:
AN INJURIOUS CONCEPT
By Louis Rene Beres
The Jaffee Center at Tel-Aviv University has recently released its annual report on "strategic balance in the Middle East." This year the report indicates that the strategic balance in this volatile area is clearly tipped in Israel's favor. Consequently, argues Center Director Shai Feldman, author of the report, violent attacks by the Palestinians will not escalate to regional war.
It is a nice argument, resting upon a nice metaphor. For centuries, after all, the idea of an equilibrium between states has been accepted as indispensable to management of world power. When there is a favorable power "balance," we are informed, there is "stability." There is only one problem with this nice metaphor. IT IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT AND ERRONEOUS. Even worse, it creates serious misunderstandings of what is truly important in processes of war avoidance, leading certain states - in this case the exceptionally imperilled State of Israel - to overestimate their security.
Israel, says Shai Feldman, now enjoys a very favorable strategic balance with its adversaries. Israel's deterrent power, we learn from the report, "remains robust, serving as a barrier against escalation to a regional war." Moreover, says Feldman, the strategic gap favoring Israel continues to widen, especially in areas of technologies that are critical to optimal employment of military force. Paramount among Israel's advantages, we are told, are air power, intelligence systems (including space-based intelligence assets) and ballistic missile defense. In contrast to the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Feldman notes, all Arab armies lag in the realms "that allow the successful execution of ground, naval and air operations."
Only false comfort will be generated by such rationality-based optimism. Little of value is understood by this report. Sadly, Israel's enemies do not think precisely like analysts at the Jaffee Center. As a result, they may calculate the cost-effectiveness of many military options that are ruled out by Feldman's deference to "balance." Indeed, the IDF may be superior on all measurable fronts - even perhaps to any combination of Arab/Islamic armies - but if enemy states do not cooperatively recognize this superiority, or are annoyingly indifferent to it, they may still attack. If Feldman is correct, such an attack may indeed prove less than gainful for the attacker(s). But this will offer little consolation to the thousands of Israelis who are injured and who will perish because Arab states refused to think according to unimaginative rules of the Jaffee Center.
There is always great danger for Israel in presuming too much Reason in enemy decision-making. In the Islamic Middle East the use of violence within and between states is sometimes self-propelled, effectively supplanting Clausewitz with De Sade. A general argument has been made convincingly by Milan Kundera. Describing a sheer force of violence that wills to assert itself as force, he talks about this force as "naked, as naked as in Kafka's novels....The aggressivity of force is thoroughly disinterested; unmotivated; it wills only its own will; it is pure irrationality."
There exists, among Israel's enemies, a voluptuousness all their own; the voluptuousness of war against the Jewish State as such. It is in Israel's strategic interest not to lose sight of this unmeasurable voluptuousness. It is vastly more helpful to this interest than concocted images of "balance." Israel's enemies, for the most part, are not guided strictly by Clausewitz. They are, increasingly, animated by far more primal needs and expectations.
"Men as a rule willingly believe what they want to believe." So says Julius Caesar in THE GALLIC WAR. For Israel, the impact of Caesar's insight became very evident on October 6, 1973, with the start of the Yom Kippur War. Until then, the country had been committed to something known generally as "the concept," the KONTZEPTZIYA, the contrived idea that the Arabs were unwilling and incapable of renewing hostilities against the Jewish State. Based upon data-backed presumptions of a favorable military balance for Israel, the IDF Intelligence Branch (Aman) concluded, until October 5, 1973, that war was "highly improbable" or "improbable."
The Jaffee Center report, if taken seriously, will lead Israel toward another MEHDAL, to a monumental intelligence blunder. The report speaks of "balance" and "power," but misunderstands entirely both concepts. Israel's overall strategic advantage can never be sustained by superior forces. From the standpoint of credible deterrence, even dramatically superior Israeli forces could fail to prevent enemy first-strikes. Conversely, even substantially inferior Israeli armed forces could conceivably convince enemy states that the expected gains of striking first would be exceeded by the expected costs. DETERRENCE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A BALANCE OF POWER.
None of this is to suggest that the Jaffee report is incorrect in arguing for an Israeli strategic "edge," but rather to indicate that the truest measures of power in world politics are often much more nuanced and subtle than meticulous comparative measurements of military assets. In this connection, Feldman fails completely to recognize the potentially decisive synergies between Arab terrorism and Arab war against Israel. According to the report: "...the difficulties entailed in addressing the challenges of Palestinian violence do not erode Israel's overall strategic advantage." A far more correct understanding would reveal that persistent Arab terror attacks upon Israel greatly undermine that country's faith in its own leadership. Further, this Arab strategy of attrition weakens Israel's self-confidence and resolve, bit by bit, until its declining morale and collective well-being are eroded altogether. At this point, Arab strategy will shift from attrition (terrorism) to annihilation (war) - a shift expressing profoundly important interactions that had been ignored by an Israeli strategic community focused narrowly upon neatly-fashioned considerations of "balance."
LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D.,
1971) is now Professor of International Law, Department of
Political Science, Purdue University and has lectured and
published widely on international relations and international
The Jerusalem Post of June, 07 2001
COMMISSIONS AND COMPROMISES
By Berel Wein
The Mitchell Commission, to whose formation Israel agreed in the Sharm e-Sheikh ceasefire agreements (remember those?), has submitted its evenhanded report, taking great care to put the blame for the Arab violence on no one, as though it just developed from thin air. Nevertheless, the Israeli government has agreed to the findings of the report and to its recommendations as being the basis of further negotiations between Israel and the Arabs.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, as is his wont, blithely ignores Israel's unilateral cease fire, and instead flies around the world spreading his poisonous lies. Why doesn't the man ever stay home for an extended period of time? I suppose that his personal wanderlust is none of my business, so I will let that topic rest.
The history of commissions and their findings and recommendations regarding the Land of Israel is not a sanguine one. From the end of World War I until today, there have been numerous international commissions that have attempted to deal with the Land of Israel. They have all failed. The reason for this failure is that all of them have viewed the difficulties as being basically territorial in nature. The solution, therefore, is always a territorial one - partition, separation of the populations, an international presence to guard the artificially created borders, and the promise of economic aid as a bribe to the parties to accept the findings of the commission.
The Peel Commission in 1936 divided the Land of Israel into three parts. A long land corridor from the sea to the center of the country, including the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, was to remain under exclusive British dominion. Seventy-five percent of the rest of the country was to comprise the Arab state and the remaining small amount - the northern part of the coast and sections of Upper and Lower Galilee and the Tiberias area - was to be the Jewish state. This proposal amounted to a complete refutation of the Balfour Declaration and the resolution of the League of Nations that granted the area west of the Jordan to the Jewish national homeland.
There was a great debate within the Jewish community as to whether this plan was to be accepted. After all, it was better than nothing, though it left the proposed Jewish state without defensible borders and with the inability to absorb any truly large immigration. There was a considerable discussion among the rabbis of the time, as well as among the then political leaders of the Yishuv, as to the acceptance of the Peel Commission's report.
The Jews, almost evenly divided on the issue, nevertheless eventually agreed to the findings, but the Arabs mounted a new series of riots and never even considered the plan seriously. Thus the Peel Commission's solution died.
THE NEXT major commission was appointed after World War II by the United Nations. It was to be the final arbiter of the Arab-Jewish struggle in the Land of Israel. Again, the plan was for territorial partition, with the Jews receiving only a small portion of the land and again having completely indefensible borders. Jerusalem was to be an international city under UN administration.
Once more the debate raged within the Jewish world.
Traumatized by the Holocaust, this time there was much stronger Jewish consensus to accept the United Nations partition plan, though many rabbis and political leaders (including David Ben-Gurion) reiterated that no Jewish leadership had the right to agree to forfeit the Jewish claim of generations past and future to any piece of the Land of Israel.
In any event, the Jews finally agreed to this partition plan and it was adopted by the United Nations. The Arabs responded with violence, terrorism and eventually outright war to destroy the Jewish community in the Land of Israel.
Unfortunately, this has been the typical Arab response to all international commissions and compromise plans proposed ever since. We naively believed that perhaps a change truly occurred with the Oslo Accords. But after almost a decade of territorial and economic concessions by Israel, the Arab response remains the same: violence, terrorism and the threat of war.
Perhaps then, all commissions and reports should be shelved until an Arab leadership arises that is willing to forgo violence and truly attempt to come to terms with the existence of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
Partition, separation, compromise, economic development, foreign aid and investment, all may yet be great ideas. Too bad that they have yet to work regarding Israel.
(c) Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post of June, 13 2001
FREEZE ARAB SETTLEMENTS
By Michael Freund
Since Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat announced his acceptance of a cease-fire last week, over 40 mortar shells have been fired at Jewish communities in Gaza, several Israelis have been injured in shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria, and five-month-old Yehuda Shoham died after being assaulted by Palestinian stone-throwers near Shiloh.
Perhaps someone should point out to the Palestinian leader that the Mitchell report calls for a "cease-fire," not a "please fire." It may just be an issue of semantics, but the difference between the two is fairly significant.
While the Palestinian drumbeat of war grows frighteningly louder, the voices emanating from Israel's extreme Left have sadly grown shriller. Rather than placing the blame for the current violence on Arafat and his cohorts, where it so obviously belongs, Israel's oracles of liberalism have instead chosen to fire salvo after salvo of verbal mortar shells at the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Take, for example, what Ha'aretz columnist Hannah Kim wrote on June 6: "The murder of a settler over the Green Line is not the same as a murder inside Israel proper." While Kim is obviously correct that a geographical difference exists between an event occurring in location X and one in location Y, she is disgracefully wrong in suggesting that Jewish blood in Herzliya is somehow redder than Jewish blood in Hebron. Such statements are not only repulsive, but they are indicative of a condescending, elitist view towards Jews of the territories.
Unfortunately, examples of such intolerance abound. Last week, Army Radio reported that a complaint had been filed with the Second Television Authority against journalist Emmanuel Rozen, who said in a June 1 broadcast that, "Israeli soldiers will occasionally be asked to pay with their lives so that the settlers can be more secure." Imagine that. Those pesky settlers have the nerve to expect that their own government should protect them. Who do they think they are - citizens?
Other journalists seem to have no qualms about pinning broad labels and stereotypes on the Jews of the territories. On June 10, Ha'aretz columnist Doron Rosenblum penned a vicious harangue against the Jews of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, calling them "an overbearing fanatic minority." How Rosenblum can toss such nasty generalizations at a population of 200,000 people that includes secular, religious and Haredi Jews, native-born Israelis as well as American, French, Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, is nothing short of astonishing.
But what is far easier to grasp is the sad fact that some of Israel's journalists are consumed with hate for the Jews of the territories. Though they proudly raise the banner of Western liberal values and bemoan the lack of tolerance in Israeli society, it is they who are perhaps the most vocal practitioners of division and discord.
Nowhere is the hypocrisy of the Left more apparent than in their call for a complete freeze on construction in Jewish settlements, which, they assert, changes the status quo on the ground in favor of Israel. But hiding behind this legalistic argument is a more sinister double standard, because how often have you heard the Left say that building in Arab settlements should be frozen as well? If a Jew in Kedumim adding a toilet to his home constitutes a change in the status quo, then why doesn't an Arab adding a toilet in Kalkilya have the same effect? After all, a flush is a flush, is it not?
The Palestinians have erected thousands of illegal structures throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including on state land owned by Israel. Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem have trampled on the law at will, building illegal structures at a frenzied pace in recent years. All of this activity is designed to create facts on the ground and tilt the status quo in favor of the Palestinians. Curiously enough, the Left is silent on this issue.
What some Israelis fail to recognize is that you cannot talk peace with the Palestinians and hate with the settlers, and still think of yourself as an open-minded and tolerant person. It is one thing to disagree with the Jews of the territories, but it is quite another to demonize them and treat them as second-class citizens.
If the Left wishes to bar the Jews of Judea, Samaria and Gaza from building, then it only seems fair to apply the same standard to their Arab neighbors too. Surely what is good for Moishe is equally applicable to Mussa. Hence, the time has come to freeze Arab settlements as well, and to stop discriminating against the Jews. After all, isn't that what liberalism is truly all about?
(c) Jerusalem Post
(The writer served as deputy director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.)
Editor's Note: Please let your consular officials and Jewish leadership know that you believe it is past time for them to fight Arab propaganda vigorously. This battle involves us all and may determine the fate of Israel and the Jewish people.
The Jerusalem Post of June, 11 2001
FIGHTING THE PROPAGANDA
By Efraim Inbar
The Palestinian Authority is waging a limited war against Israel. However, the propaganda war, which is waged at the same time, has an even more ambitious aim, and its potential damage is far greater than even the aims of the armed conflict itself.
The Palestinians are conducting a systematic campaign to denigrate Israel in the international media and on campuses all over the world. Their goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel by portraying it as an inhumane political entity, and to deny the right of the Jews to return to the land of their forefathers.
The Palestinians regularly accuse the Israelis of terrible acts that have not a grain of truth in them. They want to propagate an inhumane image of the Jewish state - an Israel that violates basic human norms.
According to the Palestinian media, Israel is spreading poisoned sweets to kill Palestinian children. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat himself, a notorious liar, spreads the notion that Israeli forces use ammunition against the Palestinians containing depleted uranium. His unforgettable performance at Davos in the presence of Shimon Peres is a clear example of the character of this propaganda. His wife, Suha Arafat, accused Israel, in front of Hillary Clinton, of contaminating Palestinian drinking water with lethal chemicals. Similarly, other Palestinian leaders tell their western audiences that Israel employs toxic gases and radioactive materials in killing the poor Palestinians.
Israelis usually dismiss these fantastic allegations for what they are, assuming they have little public impact. They are wrong. Repeated messages of such a nature have a negative impact on international public opinion.
Palestinian spokesmen also question the Jewish links to the land of Israel, even in the pre-1967 borders. Most recently, the Jewish right to pray at the Western Wall and at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, have been singled out as "historical fabrications." It is not only the Islamic groups that teach that Jewish history in the land of Israel is completely fictitious. The official organs of the PA explain that Jews have no valid claim to this part of the world.
This campaign is partly based on true ignorance of Jewish history on the part of the Palestinians. This writer was amazed to realize that even moderate Palestinians, who have engaged for years in many contacts with Israelis, fall for their own propaganda and deny the Israeli roots to this land. In a recent encounter, past Jewish presence in the land of Israel, such as the two holy shrines that existed on Temple Mount, was dubbed "Zionist inventions."
Israel must understand in the short, as well as in the long term, the large-scale damage inflicted on its cause by the Palestinians in the international arena. Wars are won, not only in the battlefield, but also with words. A small country such as Israel cannot afford to lose the support of the West. While Israel can maintain the high moral ground in its dispute with the Palestinians, it must also act on it.
Nowadays, it is clear that Arafat and the Palestinian national movement are the enemy. The Israeli government should eliminate all qualms and inhibitions about verbally attacking Arafat and the PA. The White Paper, prepared when Barak was prime minister by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, showing the true character of Arafat's rule and political aims has to be finally released. A concerted effort should be launched to unmask the ugliness of the Palestinian national movement, its murderous character and its obsession with violence.
All the ardent supporters - whether sincere or opportunistic - of the Oslo process who are in various government positions, should be removed from any position that places them as mouthpieces for explaining why Israel was forced to fight this war against the Palestinians. For those with any intellectual integrity, resignation is an honorable option. It is ludicrous to continue using unrepentant academics who have continuously lauded Arafat and the PA, and have enthusiastically endorsed the Oslo process, to explain the current predicament, since they have lost all credibility.
Moreover, Israel should set the terms of the debate and its agenda. The term "intifada" should be discontinued from use by Israeli spokesmen and be replaced by systematic use of terms such as Palestinian violent intransigence, terrorist campaign, or violent violation of signed agreements.
Similarly, Israelis should stop referring to the so-called "right of return." Instead, Arafat's unreasonable demand for inundating Israel with the most hostile and radical elements in Palestinian society should be rejected. It can easily be pointed out that settlements were not the issue of discord, as Barak was willing to dismantle most of them in the framework of a permanent agreement, and that this was rejected by Arafat.
So far, Israel is losing the war for the heart of Western public opinion. Winning it is vital for weakening the Palestinian opposition to peaceful coexistence with Israel - and for easing the outside pressures on Israeli society in its protracted war with the Palestinians.
(c) Jerusalem Post
(The writer is director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.)