MCCARTHYISM, SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH THREATENS ISRAELIS....Bernard J. Shapiro
A TIME FOR PEACE, AND A TIME FOR WAR.....Bernard J. Shapiro
SHARON THREATENS GAZA PIONEER SETTLERS WITH CIVIL WAR....Emanuel A. Winston and Bernard J. Shapiro
A DIALOGUE ON REVOLUTION...Guest Editorial....Prof. Paul Eidelberg
ELIMINATE THE MENACE (SHARON) ....Guest Editorial....Michael Freund
POLITICS & HISTORY
ISRAEL'S WAYWARD PRIME MINISTERS....Daniel Pipes
ANOTHER TACK: THE NAKED TRUTH ....Sarah Honig
IRAQ, ARAB-ISRAELI HISTORY & ANTI-SEMITISM
WAR IN IRAQ....BRIEFING WITH PROF. RAPHAEL ISRAELI
MUBARAKS EGYPT -- Undermining US Interests....Yoram Ettinger
UNDECLARED WWIII....Haim Harari
SAUDI ARABIA -- BEHEADING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD....Mike Evans
SAUDI SCAPEGOATING....Alan Dershowitz
SECURITY ARTICLES - MANY VERY IMPORTANT
TIME TO GET MOVING ON IRAN....Caroline Glick
GAZA, THE IDF, SYRIAN NUKES & SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM, NATO & ISRAEL, TERRORISM
THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY AND ISRAEL: A Realistic Agenda.....Gerald M. Steinberg
ISM - TAKING ORDERS FROM ARAFAT....Steven Plaut
ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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FREE SPEECH THREATENS ISRAELIS
By Bernard J. Shapiro
I want to make something perfectly clear to all my readers. No one should even think about harming Israeli PM Ariel Sharon personally. He is a hero of Israel. For reasons none of us really know he has made political and security decisions that are terribly wrong. He may have good intentions. He may be becoming senile and as some doctors suggest, the victim of mini-strokes that have affected his behavior.
On the other hand, we must fight his self-destructive policies with all the might at our disposal. The fate of Israel is in our hands and not that of only Sharons. Mass movements can effect great political change. Most of the public is apathetic. A strong movement with good leadership is capable of producing major improvements in the national situation.
In Israel, the major mass movement has been leftist oriented. This does not have to last forever as evidenced in the most recent election when the Right (as opposed to the wrong) won over 70% of the vote. Unfortunately, Sharon made a 180% turn to the left against the will of those who elected him.
The response of the Right must become massive. Resistence to the ethnic cleansing of Jews must be powerful. I participated in the mass movement for civil rights in America and was a part of the March on Washington in 1963. Standing with 200,000 people and listening to Dr. Martin Luther Kings "I Have A Dream" speech stirred my soul.
The Jews of Russia and America who fought the Communists to liberate the Jewish People were not afraid. They suffered great hardships, but in the end they were free and their battle was instrumental in the Fall of Communism in the Soviet Union.
WHERE ARE THE LEADERS OF ISRAEL?
This brings me to a most important part of my article. The GSS (General Security Service), under orders from Sharon, is targeting opponents of his national suicide plan. The Nationalist Camp should expect "dirty tricks" and agents provocateurs, who will attempt to discredit them with the Israeli public. They did it after Oslo and increased the intensity after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. [See my article below from December 1995.]
With the help of the leftist elite in the media and politics, McCarthysim and suppression of free speech will threaten Israelis. Normal democratic debate on life and death government policies will be called extremism. The specialist in Orwellian (1984 Newspeak) linguistic manipulation will be hard at work convincing Israelis that black is white, war is peace. Dont let them intimidate you or your friends.
You must bravely speak the truth. Fear no one as the G-d of Israel walks with you. Like the brave Jews of Russia and the Afro-Americans in the US, you must march proudly to defend Eretz Yisrael, Zionism, and the Jewish People. No earthly power can stop you. Ein Breira.
McCarthyism in Israel Must be Stopped
By Bernard J. Shapiro
The leftist coalition ruling Israel has cynically used the tragic assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to launch a vicious campaign of slander against the pro-security and religious majority in their country. The hate and divisions in Israel were created by Labor from the earliest days of the State and have been perpetuated by the left-wing ever since. Nothing, however, equals the present outpouring of hate for the opposition. Government ministers are openly equating the democratic opposition to the suicidal policies of the government with the cold-blooded irrational murder of Rabin. They seek to intimidate the opposition in order to carry out their misguided policies without protest. There have been calls to restrict the normal democratic practices of freedom of speech, press, assembly and protest. There is again talk of silencing the pro-security radio station, Arutz 7.
I say to the leaders of Israel: If you are looking for a villain in this tragedy, take a hard look in the mirror. You reap what you sow.
The following comment comes from Gary Cooperberg, the press officer for the city of Kiryat Araba: "I do not rejoice at Rabin's death. I mourn the fact that his policies drove a decent Jew to commit such a desperate act. One can call a process of self destruction "peace". But the self deception cannot go on indefinitely. If you keep heating a pressure cooker it will eventually explode. Only when the leaders of the Jewish state come to grips with reality and govern with regard to the will of those whom they presume to govern will there be hope for us to avoid the further catastrophe of civil strife." There is a massive smear campaign being waged against the pro-security camp in Israel and America. I believe quite strongly that history will view our efforts as heroic and in the best Jewish/Zionist tradition. Hatzofeh, in a recent editorial writes: "We are alarmed at the unceasing incitement against the national and religious public," and regret that "only a few left-wing personalities are speaking out against this." The paper warns against McCarthyism, and declares that "persecution and incitement together, are a dangerous phenomenon that is liable to steer us into an abyss if it is not stopped or halted immediately." Conclusion: Someone needs to explain to our critics that people are responsible for their own actons. Writers, poets, actors, singers, film makers, TV producers and publishers are always being told by self-appointed moralists that THEY are responsible for the crimes of some disturbed individual.
It just isn't so! If criticism of the government caused murder, then there would not be a single free democracy anywhere in the world.
I understand the pressure you must feel from the massive smear campaign being waged against the pro-security camp in Israel and America. I believe quite strongly that history will view our efforts as heroic and in the best Jewish/Zionist tradition. Even if all mankind opposed my work for Israel, I would continue until my last breath. I persevere not for myself; not for this generation; but so that all future generations of Jews shall possess Eretz Yisrael, in perpetuity, according to the Covenant of G-d with Abraham. The international and Jewish media has also adopted the BIG LIE of opposition complicity in this tragic assassination. At the Freeman Center, we take the truth seriously, and will continue to give you the facts no matter how harsh the reality.
For the sake of Zion we demand an end to McCarthyism in Israel!
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and the editor of its monthly magazine, The Maccabean Online and the Freemanlist. This article was the cover editorial for December 1995 issue of The Maccabean.
[Unfortunately I am forced to revise and reissue this article. It was written originally during the early days of the Oslo Appeasement and was the cover editorial in the August 1995 issue of THE MACCABEAN.]
A TIME FOR PEACE, AND A TIME FOR WAR
By Bernard J. Shapiro
We find all the expressions of horror at the recent Rabbi's ruling concerning a soldier's obligation to avoid abandoning army bases and settlements to terrorists, to be hypocritical, self-serving, and unfortunate. The Israeli government is in rebellion against everything that Israel, Zionism, and Judaism are all about. They are the ones causing the rift in the body politic and they will be totally responsible for any resulting violence. We must pray that this does not happen.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with the PLO supported tyranny that rules Israel? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? Why don't members of the Nationalist Camp understand that FORCE is being used by only ONE side and that is the government. The monopoly on power must be broken or there is no hope.
Under the Nazis, the Jews of Warsaw numbered over 500,000. They were depleted with regular deportations aided by Judenrats (Jewish leaders). The Revolt in Warsaw began when the Jewish population was down to 50,000 (or 90% murdered). At what point is it OK to rebel? When is civil disobedience OK? When is civil war a better course than suicide? All throughout history there have been rebels and loyalists. History is usually written by the victors but truly there is seldom a universally accepted moral standard as to what is a proper rebellion and what is not. We can say with absolute certainty, however, that the Jewish return to Zion and our struggle today for Eretz Yisrael are more righteous than any other struggle for national liberation in the history of the world.
Conditions in Israel have passed the period where civil disobedience would be effective. A massive outpouring of Israelis prepared to get arrested in civil disobedience would have stopped the Oslo Suicide Pact years ago. Now, it appears that only force of arms may save the country. The government plan to begin the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza and Northern Samaria is in full swing. Plans are being drawn up in great detail. Soldiers are being recruited for this evil task from volunteers with no Jewish, moral or Zionist sensibilities. Jews will have a choice: being massacred or abandoning their homes of three decades for some compensation. Their ability to defend themselves will have been thwarted by the government in collusion with the terrorists. The terrorists and their supporters, the Egyptians, will take over their homes and set up a safe haven for the training and dispatch of terror the world over. Israel will be subject to increasing attack, but will not be able to respond as per Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's agreement with Egypt and the US.
The Jews of Gaza and the rest of Yesha must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. They must fight the Arabs, where necessary, to maintain their travel, water, and land rights. When the Israeli government retreats, leaving them behind PLO battle lines, they must be prepared to go on the offensive militarily to secure safe contiguous areas of Jewish control. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who have surrendered our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in Yesha who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham nor their right of self-defense.
Exercising one's right to self-defense is a moral imperative. There is a lot of hypocritical talk coming from the government about the danger of Jew fighting Jew. These warnings are coming from the likes of the left who delighted in shooting Zionist (Betar) teenagers swimming to shore after they forces sank the Altalena in 1948. These same hypocrites are putting the Jews of Israel in life threatening peril. They care nothing about Jewish lives!
Should the Jews of Yesha be forced into military combat -- most likely against Arabs, but, G-d forbid, perhaps also against Jews and we must pray that this does not happen -- they would be fully justified. They will be fighting for the security of Israel and the future destiny of the Jewish people. These brave Jews would be continuing the long tradition of Hebrew Warriors, including Joshua, David, the Maccabees and Bar Kochba, who fought against all odds to save their people and their country.
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, two in 1973 and the PLO and Syria in 1982 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to an evil terrorist, who delights in killing Jewish babies. The Brave Heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to passive civil disobedience. Freedom sometimes needs to be secured through the barrel of a gun. If it is considered patriotic to die fighting Arabs for Israel's survival, then it is just as patriotic to fight against Jews who would lead Israel to destruction. While such internal Jewish fighting would be dreadful, it is a consequence of the government's disregard for the security and well being of its citizens. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.
MAY THE ALMIGHTY WATCHMAN OF ISRAEL PROTECT HIS PEOPLE FROM THE DANGEROUS POLICIES OF SHARON. MAY HE LIBERATE HIS PEOPLE FROM CRUEL TYRANNY AND RESTORE ZIONIST RULE TO JERUSALEM.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor its monthly Internet magazine, The Maccabean Online and its daily email broadcast, The Freemanlist.
SHARON THREATENS GAZA PIONEER SETTLERS WITH CIVIL WAR
by Emanuel A. Winston, a Middle East analyst & commentator and member of the Board of Directors of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and one of its research associates.
and Bernard J. Shapiro, Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and Editor of its monthly Internet magazine, The Maccabean Online and its daily email broadcast, The Freemanlist.
As predicted, Gaza has become the launching pad for rockets as they were launched against the town of Sderot, killing four year old Afik Zahavi and a 49 year old Russian grandfather immigrant who were walking to kindergarten. Sderot has endured over 70 Kassam rocket attacks in the past three years, but until Monday June 28th no one had died. On Tuesday after the funeral, another six rockets hit Sderot. While Prime Minister Sharon was visiting Sderot at 4 PM he said "Kassam rocket will not return to Sderot again, when we're through with our current IDF actions." Two minutes later 3 Kassam rockets were fired and fell very close to the PM with his mouth open in dismay. The Shabak and secret service ran him out of there like a bat out of hell. Too bad Sharon's bodyguards couldn't have protected and saved the life of Afiki Zahavi, the 4 year old and the grandfather who were murdered yesterday.
Sharon said he will withdraw regardless and added the personal threat that those who resist his orders of evacuation should realize "There is a price to pay!". That threat has several meanings.
One: He will confiscate all properties and not pay their owners anything and give them to the Arab Muslim incoming refugees kicked out by their current Arab hosts from all Arab nations.
Two: He will use the threat often employed by Yitzhak Rabin to order the secret police to create false grounds for political arrests and harass all those who dare to defy his will. (Regrettably, the once admired Secret Services have been political contaminated and used by Prime Ministers, both Left and Right, to enforce their own political agenda.)
Three: "He will build detention camps for settlers in case of mass resistance. The Army and Police are training special forces to carry out the evacuation". (1) These are purposely selected thugs without conscience.
As President George W. Bush attempts to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East, Sharon (with the encouragement of Bush and the U.S. Arabist State Department) are erasing democracy from Israel - knowingly starting a Civil War in Israel.
Israel has seen her Prime Ministers make terrible decisions while ignoring any advise from Cabinet Ministers, Members of Knesset (Parliament) and the will of the people by their votes. Whenever necessary, they utilize the Israeli Supreme Court to give a thin covering of legality to their politics - as in the recent decisions to realign the Security Fence to protect the Arab Muslims and leave the Jews at greater risk.
These would-be dictators truly believe that, whatever comes into their minds and leaves by way of their mouths is always an infallible decision and not to be questioned. Those who have known Sharon as close friends understand that Sharon always believes his own thoughts and ideas are infallibly correct and not ever to be questioned. Those who question or oppose are quickly pushed far away as punishment for speaking their minds.
I remind the reader that all through the Oslo debacle, since 1993, October, each time there was a massive suicide bombing - continually demonstrating that there was no peace - Rabin and Peres claimed that this would not stop their "Peace Process" which, of course, was non-existent. Now Sharon echoes the Leftist mantra that, he too will disengage from the hostile Arab Muslims as a lesson in "peace making" and whoever is opposed to losing their homes, farms, synagogues, businesses, schools - or being threatened by moving hostile Arab Muslims with sophisticated weapons closer to their borders within a shrunken Israel is wrong and doesn't want peace.
From the scrambled connections in Sharon's mind, augmented by Bush and the State Department, he has issued a proclamation of abandonment of the Land, Gaza and Gush Katif (with the rest of Judea and Samaria soon to follow, then half of Jerusalem and probably the Golan Heights as pushed by the U.S. State Department). Paralleling this insanity is a push by French President Jacques Chirac and Shimon Peres to resurrect Yassir Arafat yet again. (More on this in another article.)
Do the Pioneering Settlers who were urged to turn barren desert into productive farm land by all the past Israeli governments now have to listen to a self-proclaimed Herod/Sharon of 2004/5 to leave because he alone says so?
NO, THEY DO NOT, nor must anyone else follow docilely while this befuddled old man plays with the lives of thousands. By thousands, I mean not only the 8000 Jewish men, women and children of Gaza/Gush Katif but ALL the cities and towns in the South, including Beersheva and even the centers of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who will be placed in harm's way.
The rockets and missiles which were at first crude and inaccurate are gaining sophistication in terms of accuracy, distance and explosive power. Once Gaza/Gush Katif is 'Judenrein' (free of Jews), including IDF patrols, checkpoints and forays to keep the Terrorists off balance, Islamic Terrorists from all over will consolidate. They will be provided with high quality missiles from Iran, Syria, North Korea and China - among others.
Gaza will very soon become the greatest terrorist enclave in the world with the ability to project Terror across most of Israel and the region. The so-called 'foreign fighters' ('Mujahadin') who came from all the Arab/Muslim countries to fight Americans in Iraq will flow into Gaza with no restrictions.
Once consolidated, the level of sophisticated attacks on Israel proper with far better missiles, explosives and rockets 'et al', most coming through Egypt, will make Sharon crawl into his 'hidey-hole' as did Saddam Hussein. Sharon's farm near Sderot will be in easy firing range of the Gaza International Muslim Terrorists.
The laws being used by Sharon are not holy writ conferring upon government the right to put the Jewish nation or any segment of her people at deadly risk because a self-anointed dictatorial Prime Minister thought it was a good idea - or (for his spot in the history books?).
Think of the history of the Jewish people from Biblical times through today where we can clearly see the disasters caused by ego-driven decisions made by Kings or Prime Ministers who 'knew' that only they were right.
Assimilationist Jews have always been with us. Jews who loved the Land and accepted their birthright always fought them throughout the centuries. There are hundreds of examples of such battles between good and evil, between Jew and Jew. Some examples:
JEW FIGHTING JEWS
1. The prophet Samuel railed against King Saul and established the principle that Kings of Israel were not absolute monarchs (or dictators). They were subject to the will of G-d and the people of Israel. They could not violate Torah principles and not receive punishment. Often the whole people of Israel were punished. Today, Sharon is acting like an absolute dictator in violation of Judaic traditions and may certainly bring down the wraith of G-d on Israel and the Jewish people as well as himself.
2. During Chanukah we should recall the legacy of the Maccabees. Remember how two "Hellenized Jews," Jason and Menelaus tried to destroy Judaism and force assimilation on the Jewish population? Today we call them Leftists, Peace Now, assimilationist, post-Zionist Jews. For generations we have taught our children about the evil Antiochus and his attempt to suppress the Jews. In reality, there were traitors among our own people who led the way for Antiochus.
Let us be Maccabees again! Let us go into battle with the Maccabee cry, "All who are with G-d, follow me!" With the words: "Who is like unto Thee O G-d" (the acronym of which spells out the word: "Maccabee" in Hebrew) inscribed on their flags, the G-d inspired Jewish army swept the much larger enemy from the field in a great victory. It is this victory (and the freedom for Jews in Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael) for which we celebrate Chanukah and not just the miracle of the oil burning eight days.
There is a simple but crucial lesson for us all in the above events. If we as Jews turn our backs on our religion and our G-d, we can expect disaster. The current government of Israel has brought down the wrath of G-d on the Israeli people for turning its back on our heritage. Like Judah Maccabee, angered by the treason of Jason and Menelaus, and outraged by Antiochus, we must revolt against Sharon. The nationalist opposition in Israel must unite behind one Zionist banner. They must fill the streets and jails with protesters. City after city must be shut down.
We must respond to the Civil War which he has mounted against his own people, with the strongest Civil Disobedience we can muster. Victory will not fall into our lap. It must be fought for and won. We must demonstrate that the strength of our will and the power of our belief can not be defeated. Only then will victory come.
3. During WWII the Nazis forced the Jews in their control into ghettos. In order to control the huge numbers of Jews, it was necessary to establish a 'Judenrat' made up of Jewish leaders. As the Holocaust unfolded, the 'Judenrats' were told to select Jews for "re-settlement" (extermination). In order to maintain their status and privileges, of course they complied. They basically led the Jews, like sheep, to their slaughter.
Some Jews, like those in Warsaw, wanted to rebel against the Nazis. The Jewish leadership forbade it and refused to cooperate in self defense measures. In fact, they betrayed many brave Jews who were organizing the resistance.
After The Warsaw ghetto's original population of 500,000 had been reduced to barely 50,000, the revolt began. Many lives could have been saved had the revolt begun much sooner with the cooperation of the Jewish leadership. Today in Israel, Sharon and his followers and supporters on the Left are acting like the 'Judenrats', taking orders from Bush, the UN, the EU and even Mubarak of Egypt. The result will be another disaster upon the people of Israel.
The Pioneering Settlers followed the recommendations of all prior governments which was both 'de facto' and 'de jure' - law intended for them to settle the Land. Having done so, with their own sweat and money, it is not up to an old fool who will soon be gone to proclaim dictatorial rule under a thin veneer of so-called democracy to abandon the Land. The Jewish Nation has specifically urged, under law and common practice, that the Pioneering Settlers to go forth to the furthest borders to create a safety net against the numerous Arab Muslim invaders and Terrorists. This they have done for more than three generations and the contract to the nation has been fulfilled.
The Inner City dwellers benefitted from this line of protection as well as the agricultural produce and manufactured goods the Settlers created. But, they have forgotten what the Pioneers have done for them. This is especially true for those called assimilated Leftists who wish to open the flood-gates to Arab Muslims in massive numbers.
I use the term: "Arab Muslims" advisedly because wherever there were Arab Christians before Yassir Arafat was brought back in with his Palestinian Authority from Tunis, the Arab Muslims have repressed the Christians who have emigrated out. For example, Bethlehem was 80% Christian before Arafat took control, now there is only a minor percentage of Christian Arabs in Bethlehem.
We all recall the Biblical statement: "Now comes a new ruler who knew not Joseph". Which means that the Pioneers have done their best for Israel but, now it's time to forget them and send them away on the off chance it will appease a non-people who have called themselves Palestinians since 1967. The new Pharaohs forgot that Joseph saved the Land and her people from seven years of famine and decided to enslave them. Sharon, too, as the new dictator wishes, demands obedience or, as he threatens, he will get even.
We are all familiar with George Santayana's homily: "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.". We are indeed repeating it as Israel's enemies close in with the assistance of assimilated Jewish rulers.
We Jews have indeed been at war with each other for centuries. There were always the assimilated pacifists who sought to appease the Greeks (Hellenists) or those who invited in the Romans like King Herod in order to preserve their own rule.
Today, we have the Peresites and Sharon, who seeks to solidify his power by appeasing the Bush Dynasty and the Arabist State Department all making promises to an old fool who does not understand that few of those promises will be kept.
As Herod was hated, so too will Sharon be hated. As Sharon surrounds himself with thicker layers of security, knowing the same people who once loved him are beginning to hate him. Herod was hated as a tyrant who, according to an Israeli archeologist I have spoken to, had a certain egomaniacal mind-set about his legacy after death. He wanted the women in his funeral entourage to weep in a heart-broken parade. He left instructions that husbands of the women in court were to be slain so their wives' weeping would be quite real. He also funded guards at the entrance to his tomb for 60 years, lest the people in their hatred invade his tomb and scatter his bones in the desert or into a cesspool.
One can understand why Sharon no longer visits the towns of YESHA (Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza), given his tyrannical ways and the hatred he has engendered. But, Sharon has nothing to fear from the Pioneers of YESHA - other than perhaps being ridiculed as their failed hero. As for the thugs being trained to attack the settlers with force, that is another story.
Know this: Sharon has initiated and engineered a War Against the Jews of Gaza/Gush Katif and everywhere else. He cannot claim he is an innocent victim of a war he brought against the peaceful Pioneers of Gaza and YESHA.
Sharon is initiating Civil War but, wishes it to appear as if the Pioneering Settlers are the provocateurs.
The eminent psychologist Carl Jung recognized this syndrome of a false attack. The aggressor would first blame his intended victim that is was him/them who intended to attack. So, whatever the aggressor did to his victim was seem to be acceptable and the victim's fault. Therefore, Sharon has demonized the Pioneering Settlers of Gaza/Gush Katif and made them human sacrifices to appease the Arab Muslims, their International Terrorist Organizations and their Arab and/or Muslim countries as well as the Bush Dynasty and cronies, led by the Arabist U.S. State Department. Jung had it right!
1. "Army Bracing for Worst as Settlers Threaten to Resist Withdrawal Plan" by Leslie Susser JTA Daily Briefing, June 29, 2004 [from Crisis-in-Israel@yahoogroups.com]
A DIALOGUE ON REVOLUTION
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
American: You Israelis never cease to amaze me. Since Oslo you have suffered more than 10,000 casualties -- Jewish men, women, and children killed, wounded and maimed for life. Yet you do nothing. If this were not bad enough, your government plans to uproot countless Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and turn this land over to your enemies! Why haven't you people rebelled and thrown the rascals out?
Israeli: Just a minute. We like to believe that Israel is a democracy; so if the public is not happy with the government's policies, we need only wait for the next election and change the prime minister or party in power.
American: But don't you see it makes no difference which party or party leader is in power: you are still retreating toward your indefensible 1949 borders. Americans would never tolerate this state of affairs. Certain Mexican nationalists are now making territorial claims on Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California -- once Mexican territory. If the American government yielded any part of this land to Mexico, rest assured there'd be a revolution.
Israeli: But you forget that we are Jews, and for a Jew to shed the life of another Jew -- inevitable in a revolution -- is simply out of the question. Look at what happened after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. This was a national trauma from which we are still suffering.
American: Well, let me tell you there are still Americans in the South who have not gotten over the Civil War, which saw families divided and involved in fratricidal conflict. But let me pursue my Mexican example. Suppose year after year a few hundred square kilometers of the increasingly Hispanic southwest were returned to Mexico, and that thousands of Anglo-Saxon Americans were expelled from their homes each month. We Americans would be up in arms, animated by the revolutionary zeal of those who signed our Declaration of Independence. Let me quote a few passages from that document:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed -- That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security.
American (continued): Perhaps some will say that these immortal words do not justify a revolution in Israel. It seems to me, however, that your government's almost four-year failure to put an end to the murder of Jews by Arab terrorists may well be deemed a "long train of abuses." And the same may be said if your government uproots hundreds and perhaps thousands of Jews from their homes every month in pursuance of the Sharon disengagement plan. Besides, your prime minister's firing of cabinet ministers who oppose withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and his ordering all cabinet ministers to be present in Israel to vote in support of his plan smacks of dictatorship. All his talk about democracy and peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians deceives only children. What do you say to this?
Israeli: Look, all that you say about revolution may be true when applied to America and perhaps other countries. As concerns Israel, however, you have to bear one obvious and one less obvious thing in mind. Since the government obviously controls the army, the police, and of course the intelligence services, your proposed revolution would be nipped in the bud. Less obvious is this: even if ten thousand or more Jews were to march on the Knesset and had the wherewithal to withstand water-canons and tear gas, this would only lead to a civil war. So all your talk about revolution is futile. We Jews are a long-suffering people. Indeed, to endure suffering is part of our nature. We have had inept and wicked rulers before. Nevertheless, we have survived, and we shall survive those who now betray us in the deceitful names of "peace" and "democracy."
American: But how many Jews must perish before you cease being long-suffering and take your future into your own hands instead of behaving like sheep led to the slaughter? Don't you realize that, sooner or later, the Palestinians will obtain biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction? Don't you see that your government's policy of self-restraint vis-à-vis Arab terrorists means that your political leaders are willing to tolerate the loss of considerable number of Jews, and that this cheapening of Jewish life can only make the Arabs more determined to annihilate you?
Israeli: You speak as if we are threatened by another Holocaust!
American: That's right, but this time you will have no one but yourselves to blame for such a catastrophe.
The Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2004
ELIMINATE THE MENACE (SHARON)
by Michael Freund
This past Monday yet another Jewish family was destroyed, joining the dreaded list of those who have fallen victim to our enemy's thirst for blood and our leadership's indifference.
Mordechai Yosefov, 49, and three-year-old, Afik Zahavi, were killed outside a kindergarten when Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launched Kassam rockets into the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Zahavi's mother, Miriam, was seriously injured in the attack, and is struggling to recover in a local hospital.
She and her husband made aliya from the former Soviet Union, undoubtedly seeking a better life, one free of anti-Semitism and full of opportunity. In an instant that dream was shattered.
Instead of watching her beloved child participate in his end-of-the year celebration, Miriam saw what no parent should ever have to see: her young son die before her eyes.
And little Afik's classmates, who heard the rocket's explosion outside their school, are now confronting issues no four- or five-year old should ever have to tackle, such as why someone they have never met would possibly want to do them harm.
The state has dispatched specially trained psychologists to tend to the children, and I don't envy their task. Try explaining to a group of 20 kindergarten children how and why such a thing could happen.
But those kids, like the rest of us, deserve an answer, and it is time we stopped pretending that we don't know what it is.
Afik and Yosefov and the more than 1,000 other innocent Israelis who have been killed in terror attacks in the past four years, all died because Palestinians bent on our destruction have tossed aside diplomacy, preferring to use violence as the means of achieving their goals.
We must never, ever forget that this conflict was imposed upon us against our will, and that Israel did everything it possibly could to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Middle East dispute.
But there is another reason why so many Jewish men, women and children have been ruthlessly slaughtered, and why the killing has not come to an end. That answer has a name, and it is Ariel Sharon.
For all his talk and bluster about fighting terror, the fact is that Sharon failed to take a strategic decision to eliminate the menace of Palestinian terror once and for all, essentially subjecting the Israeli populace to a protracted, and needless war of attrition.
Monday's attack was hardly the first time Palestinian terrorists have fired rockets at Israeli communities. Indeed, over 4,160 missiles and mortar shells have been launched by Palestinians against Jews in Gush Katif in the 45 months since the violence began in September 2000.
That averages out to the Palestinians firing three rockets per day, every day, for a three-and-a-half year period against Gaza's Jews.
THAT PALESTINIAN terrorists can still carry out such assaults, in broad daylight no less, demonstrates the extent to which Sharon's tactics and strategy have proven to be a clear and unequivocal failure.
For, rather than reasserting complete military control over the territories, dismantling the Palestinian Authority and uprooting the terrorist infrastructure, Sharon has chosen to project weakness, signaling his intention to withdraw, as though hiding from the problem will somehow make it go away.
In so doing, Sharon has abdicated his primary responsibility as prime minister, which is to protect and defend the safety and well-being of Israel and its citizens.
Simply put, by failing to crush the terror, Sharon has allowed it to fester. And by choosing to reward it with withdrawal, he is seemingly encouraging the terrorists to intensify their attacks.
In recent years Sharon had ample opportunity, and justification, for reversing the disaster brought on by the Oslo Accords. He could easily have made a convincing case to the public about the need to retain Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and to stand firm in the local manifestation of the global war on terror.
Sure, there would have been protests, and even outrage, but had Sharon deployed the IDF to wage a long-term and relentless battle against terror, had he quelled the rocket attacks and suicide bombings with an unyielding counter-terror campaign, he could at least have claimed that he had done all in his power to protect Jewish life and limb from those who seek to destroy it.
Instead, guided by complacency and shortsightedness, Sharon has brought Israel to a new low. Three years after he assumed power, even Jewish children attending kindergarten can no longer feel safe.
For that alone Sharon should be toppled, using all the legal and democratic tools at our disposal. His disastrous handling of Israel's security cannot, and should not, be forgotten.
Now, more than ever, Ariel Sharon has got to go.
The writer served as deputy director of communications & policy planning under former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
ISRAEL'S WAYWARD PRIME MINISTERS
by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
June 29, 2004
Two patterns have shaped Israel's history since 1992 and go far to explain Israel's predicament today. First, every elected prime minister has broken his word on how he would deal with the Arabs. Second, each one of them has adopted a unexpectedly concessionary approach.
Here is one example of deception from each of the four prime ministers:
Yitzhak Rabin promised the Israeli public immediately after winning office in June 1992 that "with the PLO as an organization, I will not negotiate." A year later, however, he did precisely that. Rabin defended dealing with Yasir Arafat by saying he had found no other Palestinians to do business with, so to "advance peace and find a solution," he had to turn to the PLO.
Benjamin Netanyahu promised before his election in 1996 that under his leadership, Israel "will never descend from the Golan." In 1998, however, as I established in The New Republic and Bill Clinton just confirmed in his memoirs, Netanyahu changed his mind and planned to offer Damascus the entire Golan in return for a peace treaty.
Ehud Barak flat-out promised during his May 1999 campaign a "Jerusalem, united and under our rule forever, period." In July 2000, however, at the Camp David II summit, he offered much of eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.
Ariel Sharon won a landslide victory in January 2003 over his Labor opponent, Amram Mitzna, who called for "evacuating the settlements from Gaza." Mr. Sharon ridiculed this approach, saying that it "would bring the terrorism centers closer to [Israel's] population centers." In December 2003, however, Mr. Sharon adopted Mitzna's unilateral withdrawal idea.
Prime ministers sometimes complain about other ones breaking their word. Mr. Netanyahu, for example, pointed out in August 1995 that Rabin had "promised in his election campaign not to talk with the PLO, not to give up territory during this term of office, and not to establish a Palestinian state. He is breaking all these promises one by one." Of course, when he got to office, Mr. Netanyahu also broke his promises "one by one."
What prompts each of Israel's recent prime ministers to renege on his resolute intentions and instead adopt a policy of unilateral concessions?
In some cases, it is a matter of expediency, notably for Mr. Netanyahu, who believed his reelection chances improved via a deal with the Syrian government. In other cases, there are elements of duplicity -- specifically, hiding planned concessions knowing their unpopularity with the voters. Yossi Beilin, one of Mr. Barak's ministers, admitted during the Camp David II summit that he and others in the government had earlier concealed their willingness to divide Jerusalem. "We didn't speak about this in the election campaign, because we knew that the public would not like it."
But expediency and duplicity are just part of the story. In addition, sincere aspirations inspire Israeli prime ministers to abandon strong policies for weak ones. Here we leave the political domain and enter the psychological one. Being prime minister of Israel, a country surrounded by enemies, is a weighty one. It is only too easy for the officeholder, having been elected leader of his people, immodestly to believe that he has a special talent to resolve his country's great, abiding, and potentially fatal problem, that of Arab hostility.
Not for this great man is it enough to plug away at the dull, slow, expensive, and passive policy of deterrence, hoping some distant day to win Arab acceptance. His impatience invariably leads in the same direction -- to move things faster, to develop solutions, and to "take chances for peace."
If the prime minister's initiative succeeds, he wins international acclaim and enters the Jewish history books. If it fails -- well, it was worth the try and his successors can clean up the mess.
Grandiosity and egoism, ultimately, explain the prime ministerial pattern of going soft. This brings to mind how, for centuries, French kings and presidents have bequeathed grand construction projects in Paris as their personal mark on history. In like spirit, Israeli prime ministers have since 1992 dreamed of bequeathing a grand diplomatic project.
The problem is, these are undemocratic impulses that betray the electorate, undermine faith in government, and erode Israel's position. These negative trends will continue until Israelis elect a modest prime minister.
 The Jerusalem
Post, 25 June 1992.
 The Jerusalem Post, 31 August 1993.
 The Jerusalem Post, , 25 May 1995.
 The Jerusalem Post, 11 May 1999.
 The Jerusalem Post, 19 December 2002.
 The Jerusalem Post, 15 August 1995.
 Israeli Army Radio, 23 July 2000.
The Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2004
Another Tack: THE NAKED TRUTH
by Sarah Honig
In our absurd existence it's perfectly bon ton to gush over the splendid sartorial sophistication of the emperor's birthday suit, but it's a grievous faux pas to tell it like it is.
Thus Shimon Peres, the couturier who designed and stitched the fantastic Oslo finery, was never brought to account for his roguery. Yet the very same Peres now demands an exhaustive official inquiry into the audacious candor of former Military Intelligence Research Division chief Amos Gilad.
Back in the days when everyone in the establishment's inner sanctum sang the new fashion's obligatory praises, Gilad dared suggest that His Royal Highness "has nothing on at all." He anticipated Yasser Arafat's intifada and had the nerve to warn that there's no Palestinian partner for peace. For that he must now pay.
It wasn't the original deception that proved detrimental to the safety of ordinary Israelis and to the cause of genuine peace, but its exposure. And so Peres unhesitatingly brands Gilad's prognostications "stupid exaggerated theories" and claims they undermined further powwows with Arafat. After a four-year search, the Left has finally identified the culprit and knows whom to blame for its fiasco.
Gilad's belatedly revealed transgression was calling it as he saw it, thereby predisposing us to regard Arafat as a hindrance to peace. Arafat apparently possessed no free will to resist the role Gilad arbitrarily imposed on him. If Gilad pronounced him villainous, then Arafat had no choice but to prove Gilad right.
Gilad had the awesome power to determine how Arafat would conduct his affairs. In other words, we could have been luxuriating in blissful peace today if Gilad had only extolled Arafat as Mother Theresa's saintly twin.
But Arafat actually did get every break in the book. Though his hands were indelibly bloodstained, he was imported from Tunis and was trusted irrationally with our security, while we armed his henchmen, paved his way to the White House, and all but conferred the Nobel Peace Prize on this wily and unrepentant proponent of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Nevertheless, none of this motivated him to live up to Peres's peace dreams or give the lie to Gilad's evaluations.
IF ANYTHING, Gilad deserves plaudits for seeing through the sham. The fault isn't in his prescience. The fact that recidivist hoaxers escape censure, refuse to acknowledge reality (even after it was violently stripped of their adornments), persist in hawking illusion, and continue to dominate our political discourse is no less than mind-blowing.
One would expect agonizing remorse after the slaying of 1,000 Israelis in less than four years had laid bare Oslo's folly and deceit, after jihad's monstrous face was unmistakably unmasked, and after widespread sympathy for Islamic barbarism was sanctioned and expressed in Arafatland.
We know that the Saudi butchers - the ones who photographed pro-Arab American engineer Paul Johnson with his decapitated head deposited on the back of his corpse and a knife thrust through a lifeless eye - have numerous kindred cannibals next door to us.
They're the ones who danced when Saddam scudded us, when the Twin Towers collapsed, when they sadistically slaughtered and battered beyond recognition two unfortunate Israeli reservists who took a wrong turn, when they kicked around an Israeli soldier's severed head.
This savagery predates current events and even the pretext of Israeli occupation. The world preferred to turn a blind eye to it, and we preferred not to remember or remind the world. The IDF has for decades refused to release its hoard of 1947-48 photos of Arab atrocities.
Most of these were snapped proudly by the perpetrators themselves as pictorial evidence of their gruesome handiwork, as keepsakes to brag about.
The grisly album includes stills from Majdal (Ashkelon) showing the heads of five Nitzanim defenders, impaled on bayonets, as they're triumphantly paraded through town.
The torturers, mutilators, and their progeny later paraded as angry Gaza refugees and sought terrible vengeance for their defeat in the Holy War they launched.
Their bloodlust runs as deep as our delusion that reasonable fairness can impress, persuade, and reform those who are out to conquer, not compromise.
But the unscrupulous Oslo clothiers don't want us to realize this truth. It's bad for business.
Skepticism about Palestinian goodwill must be delegitimized and the PA rehabilitated and restored to its lost peace-partner status. That's the next item on the Left's agenda, now that Gush Katif's fate seems sealed. That's what the Gilad hullabaloo is all about. It's calculated to reedit our memories and cause us to doubt our perception.
The charlatans won't admit they conned the emperor to strut about in the altogether. Instead, they'll shut up the candid kid, discredit, mock, slander, impeach, implicate, and intimidate him. But none of this can cover up the ugly naked truth.
TRANSCRIPT OF 21.6.04 BRIEFING WITH PROF. RAPHAEL ISRAELI ON:
"THE WAR IN IRAQ AND
ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE MIDDLE EAST"
(Communicated by the GPO - Israel Government Press Office)
Hebrew University (Institute of African and Asian Studies, Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, <http://tinyurl.com/34ejf>) Professor Raphael Israeli, on Monday, 21.6.04, at Beit Agron in Jerusalem, held a briefing for foreign correspondents on the war in Iraq and its consequences for the Middle East.
Following is a transcript of his remarks:
The situation warrants a seminar of a couple of days to talk about the major aspects of the war in Iraq. So what I can do here within the framework of this short presentation of the main points, is to tell you something about the four or five major chapters of the book (<http://tinyurl.com/2cr59>), so that you know what it is all about and I'll leave the pinpointing of any particular subjects you are interested in for the Q&A stage because if I concentrate on one of these four or five topics it will take too long and I may miss the main thing that may be of particular interest to you. So please bear with me while I present the main topics, what I consider to be the main topics, and then we will open it to discussion.
The major thrust of the book is first to centre on the very complicated historical but also demographic and ethnic situation in the three major areas of Iraq that you all know. First there is a major chapter on the Shiites, when I say chapter, there are forty or fifty pages each. The Shiites - who are the Shiites? What are the factions among them? What are they fighting about? What are their aspirations and so on? And they happen to coincide also chronologically with the first thrust of the American's during the war. They started in the south, that is to say the Shiites.
The third chapter deals with the north, the Kurds, again, who are the Kurds? What are the problems between them? How they participated in the war and unlike all the others in Iraq who were either neutral or inimical to the Americans from the beginning, the Kurds took an active part but then they have a good reason for that.
Thirdly, is Baghdad, the capital which is also in the middle, plus what is called the Sunnite triangle, that is the third major element of the population in Iraq, is the Sunnis, what the course teaches you there in terms of political elite in Iraq, how they dominated Iraq in the last 70, 80 years and so on, since the beginning of the Iraqi modern state.
Now after those three, there are two other major chapters, one, which is topical, and the other, which I would say is more analytical. The topical chapter is called the hidden agendas, because it is not only the military campaign, which is interesting, I deal with it in the book as a general survey. The steps of the fighting and so on, I don't concentrate on that because there have been a lot of military reports on different aspects of the war, that's not the interesting thing. So in the hidden agendas I concentrate on three things: one - the oil problem, how the oil was part of the American strategy when they planned for the war. Secondly, I discuss weapons of mass destruction, which is a big issue. To this day you can hear debates about whether there were weapons of mass destruction and so on, what they called the smoking gun and with all the attending problems and I'm ready to expand on that if you like. And the third issue in that chapter is the question of the linkage to terrorism. Because as you know when America declared war, they started to plan for war, they started, or they took it as being part of the world combat against terrorism, and again you have all sorts problems including that American commission to find out about America' s implication as a result of September 11th and so on, there is a public debate not only in America over the war and I can expand on that.
The other chapter which is more conceptual if you like, or the aftermath of the war is also divided into two parts. One which is most important for me, I gave the title ruling from horseback. Here I'm using a metaphor taken from Chinese history, which is my other academic field. You know that in the 12th century China was occupied by the Mongols. The Mongols were a very good Yuan dynasty. Now the Yuan dynasty ruled China for about 70/75 years in the 12th century and the Mongols were very good horse riders and the Chinese were not great fighters. They concentrated more on culture and so forth. So it was very easy for the grandson of Genghis Khan whose name you know, Kublai, to occupy China very swiftly because they were horse riders and the Chinese were pretty much helpless. But after the conquest was achieved, a Chinese Confucian sage told them, you can conquer China from horseback but you cannot rule it from horseback and indeed he was right because after several decades they were ejected back to Mongolia and China went back and established another one of those great dynasty's, the Ming dynasty, the one before the last. And of course I use that metaphor because telling the Americans they can conquer Iraq from tank back in their case, they cannot rule it from tank back. That's what they tried to do and you know that it's ending in failure. That's a chapter that explains why American rule in Iraq cannot really succeed.
The second part of this conceptual issue, as I said, at the end of each war, for a book of this sort, you ask yourself the obvious question; who gained and who lost. You have a war and what did you achieve there? There are so many people who died but that's obviously not the purpose of the war, that's only the result. And you know wars have never determined who's right, wars determine who's left. If we look at that equation today then you can see for yourself who is left from the war. You can speculate a little bit on the role of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, the big neighbours of Iraq, and what remains of them and their position in the Middle East. Then of course you can sum that up and say, well, did American win anything from the war, so far? So these are in a nutshell the big issues that I wanted to tackle in this book, successfully or unsuccessfully, the readers may judge. But I'm here to answer any questions you may have within that framework. That's what I addressed. There are of course many collateral situations in Iraq - like the tribal situation, the conflicts between those three ethnic groups I pointed out before. There are many conflicts within each ethnic group among the Kurds the Shiites and so on. The Shiite's situation alone I could spend a whole morning on the factions within them.
Q. What are the inferences of this war for major Arab countries especially after the West encourages them to move towards democratic regimes.
This is a very key issue and I respond to it in two parts. First of all, what is the influence on Arab countries in general, and in one word, negative, because all of them and this is the main reason, all of them are on record as stating, apart from Kuwait which served as the base for the American attack especially after Turkey reneged on its position and instead of letting them opening a second front on northern Iraq and the Americans had to go back via the Suez Canal around Arabia and land in Kuwait as some kind of reinforcement instead of opening at the same time a northern front. Another front was opened with the collaboration of the Kurds, but not the way the Americans had planned it and therefore it slowed down the whole progress of the war and I think that's another issue. So I think the Syrians first of all regard themselves, and rightly so as besieged by the Americans because before the Americans were in the area there was no other power that could intervene against the Syrians. And the Americans in order to assemble their forces needed six months, like the picture we saw in the previous gulf war, where it took the Americans six months in order to assemble the forces who opened the attack on Iraq. And secondly the Syrians have in their back so many American/three or four American divisions concentrated right there and ready to act. This is very uncomfortable and therefore the Syrians feel they are directly threatened.
Turkey threatened its relations with Americans because once the new Islamic government reneged in practice although not in declarations on its alliance with America the way it was with the government 10 years ago during the previous gulf war, so there is some tension there. Not only that they reneged on their alliance with America but they are scared stiff that the Kurds in northern Iraq might declare autonomy, independence and so on, something that may reflect immediately on the Kurdish population of Turkey which constitutes about 20% of the population, some 15 out of 70 million. And that's a big problem.
Saudi Arabia, knew always that it was a centre of American interests not because of democracy or anything of that sort but because of the oil and it was a base for American forces. From the previous gulf war the Americans had kept in Saudi Arabia although they evacuated the mass of the troops they kept some of air force bases that during the war they were not supposed even to announce that any airplane could take off from Saudi Arabia in order to bombard Iraq or anything of that sort. So in other words, all the Arab countries unlike the previous gulf war did want to be seen as collaborators of the United States in an attack against a sister Arab state. That's what I said in general it was negative. And when you read the newspapers of all the Arab countries from that period of time you see that there is not only negative attitude towards America, full of hatred etc but there is also a real scare by all Arab leaders that they might not be able to control their crowds because at the same time that people like Mubarak halfheartedly understand America but in fact he condemned the American intervention in Iraq, you find the crowds in campuses in the streets of Cairo are most certainly against America and if it turns out of hand then the regimes themselves find in a very bad shape. This is in a nutshell.
The question of Iraq, everyone new that when the war started that Iran was, and will play a very crucial role in the post war era. And principally because of the fact that the southern part of Iraq and Baghdad included are inhabited mainly by Shiites. Shiites constitute approximately 60% of the population of Iraq, 14 or 15 million out of a population of 24 million, and of course Shiites used to have and continue to have very close links with the Shiite state of Iran, many of the leaders of Iraq who were banned or ran away from the Saddam regime and spent years, some of them 20 years, some of them more in the holy cities of Qom and other cities in Iran and they were cultivated by the Iranians for many years. And so the Americans were rightly afraid of the backlash, what would happen if that Shiite majority of Iraq was still under the influence of the Iranians. Something that might drive postwar Iraq into the hands of the Iranians, that is to say to establish another kind of theocratic Shiite state that by definition cannot be to the benefit of America. And the fact that America placed itself strategically in the heart of that world surrounded by all those countries that I have just mentioned is a great problem for them. It's a very great problem, it's not for nothing that Bush, even as he tried to say, yes we are advancing the dates of transfer of power, it used to be the end of the year now it's June 30th, in about 8 days from now. Even with that he says that they will stay there militarily. Now of course they want to reduce their profile, in order not to be occupiers, they will concentrate their military barracks outside the big cities so as to lower their profile, but they will remain there, because if they withdraw, all the achievements of the war from their point of view of course, will collapse. At this point, they want to at least maintain that. So exactly because of that determination for now, which may change due to election year and so on, all those countries that surround Iraq are very worried. They see all the rhetoric about transfer of power, and free elections and so forth. They see that America is staying there. The three or four military divisions who fought the war in Iraq are still there, even if somewhat behind the scenes they are continuing to rule Iraq from the tank. So that's one major question.
You asked about democracy, and how far this helped democratize Iraq. I think we should forget about this democracy business. The US rhetoric and Bush is talking about democracy, but my friends, to look for democracy in those countries is like sending a blind man into a dark room to look for a black cat, which is not there. So look and look, there will not be democracy because there is no tradition of democracy. So although it's good rhetoric to talk about democracy I don't think that anyone is taking it seriously, and even the countries, which had promised that after the war they would begin reforms as part of the fight against terrorism, I don't think that they take it seriously because it threatens the regimes in place. And the regimes in place, please remember what happened after the previous gulf war in 1991. Before the war all the people of the gulf promised that after the war, after they are liberated or rescued by America, they would all reform and democratize. And after the war they forgot about it. The sheiks of the gulf area continued to support each other rather than reform, and they know that only by supporting each other's autocratic regimes can they survive. In that regard you can say that the sheiks of the gulf continued to dance sheik to sheik realizing that was the only way to survive.
Q. You have described various levels of discomfort in the region, so what can these countries (Syria, Saudi Arabia) do?
A. They do two things, one active and one passive. The active one, countries like Syria, do lend their support to groups that destabilize Iraq because they want to make sure that America gains nothing from the war, that it leaves Iraq strategically defeated. And many are talking about it even in America today, so that's the active thing and we have all kinds of groups either supportive of Saddam Hussein and his regime, or al Qaeda who have other reasons for collaborating. You have al-Sadr and all of them, plus the Saddam Hussein regime remnants lead apparently by Izat Ibrahim the vice president who was not caught, he was one of the nine on the deck of cards who was not caught, and he apparently is leading the resistance and so on and so forth. That's the active part. The passive part is a waiting game, they are sitting on the sidelines and waiting for America to be torn to pieces and defeated, either domestically by the internal debate or outwardly by what they call the resistance groups. And they see so far a year later, that if you give Americans enough rope they will hang themselves, in their reactions to terrorist attacks. This revival of the Shiites for example who were taken for granted as passive players who will sit on the sidelines and they did in the beginning, realizing, and they are very happy about the fact that America released them from Saddam Hussein. They were crushed for so many years, and they had no chance so at least that obstacle is gone. From now on they are saying, thank you very much, you saved us, now go, we are the majority and we want to rule the country. So that is the issue and if they wait long enough they see America defeating itself.
Q. Someone has said that they should divide Iraq into three parts to have control of it. What's your opinion?
That is my conclusion in the book. Of course I mention it. To my mind the religious aspect can be overcome, but the ethnic aspect can't be overcome, that's the real division. In other words what I'm suggesting, instead of dividing the country into three constituent parts, I think it will be no solution if the country is not divided into the ethnic parts. In other words you can have an Arab country, both Shiites and Sunnites are Arabs, and on that basis they can be in the same country but the Shiites will be of course the majority for a change and the rule will be in their hands for a change. And the Sunnites, who are Arabs, can share the same country because they are Arabs, will be in the minority again for a change. While the Kurds will not agree to be in an Arab state because they were, they have been, and we know that for more than 100 years, right after WWI when they were promised many times, a Kurdish state, instead Kurdistan was divided between the five countries and they never got their independence. And they ask the question, we are 35 million, while the Palestinians are 7 or 8 million, why can the Palestinians have autonomy, they are going to have a state, a second state perhaps and we are still lingering behind. No one takes care of us or cares about us. And therefore they are saying, now is the occasion, if we don't do it now when we are allied with America, we helped, we are the only Iraqis that helped America actively during the war, to open another front, after the Turks reneged. Why shouldn't we do it? And I think that if you do these two separate parts, both of which have a very solid economic base for their growth, because the north, the Kurds want to expand north to Kirkuk, because in Kirkuk there are oilfields and in the south, as we now the Rumaila and the Basla oilfields can give a very strong economic base for the Shiite majority state. There is the Arab and Kurds and I think that kind of division is practical. Perhaps it needs to be enforced, as long as the Americans are there and they can enforce it but not any other division to my mind.
Q. First, can you explain why the American's turned against Ahmed Chalabi and second, can you elaborate or expand upon the report that Israelis are actively involved now in Kurdistan or Iraqi Kurdistan?
I think the Kurds rightly from their point of view are playing the role of the dentist, that's what it is. There was a boxing match in America between a white and black boxer. During the first round the black boxer had the upper hand, and he was encouraged by someone in the audience who said, beat him, break his head, break his teeth. In the second round it was the white boxer who was better but the same person from the audience who encouraged him and said break his head break his teeth. Some other viewer in the audience was puzzled said make up your mind, you are for the black for the white, he said I'm for neither, I'm a dentist!
So I think the Kurds understood very well who may be able to support them and they can do contradictory things supporting this and that one the same time and I think that in that regard they are doing perhaps some under the table deal with the Israelis. No one can hide the fact that the Israelis have been their supporters for many years. There were Israelis, including former chief of staff Raphael Eitan who was there personally and helped them organize military, to plan forays against the Iraqis. There were even some arms shipments back in the 70s and 80s when Saddam Hussein was in charge and of course Israel was interested in destabilizing him. So we are back to the same game, because if you hand over the rule as the Americans are going to do in 8 days, at least formally, the rule to the Iraqis, the Iraqis will be facing the exact same problem with the Kurds. What do we do with them, the Kurds what autonomy, or cessation if possible. The Iraqis say no way, we have to keep you to keep the force and then you have all the elements of new insurgency and again the battle will start. The only difference is that while Saddam Hussein could fight against that, including with gas and you remember in 1998 when 8,000 Kurds were eliminated, this time under a so called democratic government, they will not dare to do that, and certainly not if the Americans are there. So the news of the battle will be softer but the battle will continue under a difference force.
The question of Dr. Chalabi is mainly a question of the in fighting between the pentagon and the state department, and when the state department did whatever it did, so the pentagon of course responded because it had other candidates and I think Chalabi who is controversial, I mean, he's not either a saint or a devil. So if you want to support him for this or that reason then you say he's saint. I think that because of the infighting, I don't think there is anything crucial to say for or against him beyond the fact that he's fell victim to that infighting.
It is said that he gave information to the Iranians. We know that he was something in the service of the Iranians, because he is a Shiite. Perhaps he calculated, that's my understanding that when Iraq regains its sovereignty, and starts ruling itself, it might start to edge towards the Iranian model of regime and he said that it's good to have a good, close relationship with the Iranians. That's speculation, no one really knows, well I don't know, but maybe the CIA knows more. This is what has been published so far.
Q. Thirty years ago, where you're standing there were a group of German human rights people who came and learned that the people who are building up the WMD capacity of Iraq was the German government through 82 firms. That story has completely disappeared, and I'd like to know if there's any firm that continues to supply the WMDs, the German involvement.
Obviously Germany and France, the two countries in Europe who helped Saddam more than anyone else, the Germans with the weapons of mass destructions, the French more specifically with the nuclear program, Chirac personally was involved in that, are also the countries that opposed the intervention of America in the war, and therefore rather than letting America make this revelation and I think the revelations were being made ultimately, because the documents were already there, and in order not to worsen the situation between America and its so called European allies they are not releasing the documents. It would be a terrible embarrassment, both for the Germans and the French. So these things are kept to the side for the time being, but when the rift comes and it will come, when America has to withdraw, and you'll see a lot of recriminations on both sides.
What I'm saying is that they found a lot of documentation attesting to the aid given by Germany and France and others to the Iraqis. The weapons of mass destruction that were there, there is no doubt that they were there, they were either hidden, or they were shipped to other countries. We have lots of bits and pieces about Syria, about Sudan and even as far away as Malaysia, there were some ships a few months before the war started. But the main point here is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and the fact that we cannot find, does not mean that they were not there. This is the issue. They were very much able to hide whatever they had in terms of evidence and all those people who say the war was done for nothing and all these statements of weapons of mass destruction had no leg to stand on, I think that's false, because there is a smoking gun, and in a court of law there is enough circumstantial evidence to convict anybody. You find a corpse, the corpse was there, and you find bits and pieces, but you cannot find the gun itself so what, if you have a corpse and you can't find the gun that means there was no murder. The murder occurred; we just can't find the gun so continue to look for it. The gun was shipped outside, or hidden in the desert. You see, two or three months after the end of the war, of the official war, the war continues to this day, they found hidden in the sands of the desert a MIG 29, it's a pretty big imprint, much bigger than any missile, it was buried under the ground and in the desert, so if you can bury a MIG 29, you can bury many other things in the desert and there is no way to find it. Radioactive things can be found by satellite, but chemical and biological stuff that is buried cannot be detected from the air or by satellite. And then go and look for it, it's a country almost as large as France or California, so go and look for it. I suppose the most indicting stuff was shipped out, and that enough remains, if you read the relevant chapter, there are at least 10 or 12 different indications of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in various forms. So they are not just for nothing, if you put everything together they will lead you to some conclusions.
Q. Iraq was one of the two remaining countries to still be in active state of war with Israel. Iraq and Saudi Arabia never signed anything with Israel. After June 30th can Israel expect renewed hostilities from Iraq in one way or another?
No, look, renewed hostilities, the last time they participated was the Yom Kippur war. They are so busy with their internal problems and licking their wounds in the aftermath of the war. I don't think they will occupy themselves with a renewed rift with Israel, especially while the Americans are there. And they cannot predict when the American's will leave. In my mind, they are not going to leave anytime soon otherwise, anything they gained from the war will collapse. I don't think they will leave before the November elections. If they leave before it will be an admission on his part that his policy has failed and I think this cannot help him in the elections, quite the contrary.
Q. Immediately after the assassination of Sheik Yassin there was a recrudescence of terrorist actions in Iraq, is there a link between the two?
Not necessarily. It's like here, when Sheik Yassin or someone is assassinated they say now we will launch a very large raid against Israel in retribution for that. And without the elimination of Sheik Yassin they did not launch such activities? So you use it as some kind of trigger or teaser in order to justify so to speak what you do. So they think that the Shiites the care necessarily about Sheik Yassin. In the time of Saddam Hussein they paid $25,000 to each family who sent someone to be blown up. And that served Saddam not because he was a pious Moslem but because he wanted to play his role in the inter Arab arena. And here, they said oh yes, because of that, because they want support, also among the rest of the Arabs, especially the Palestinians, and anyway they can hurt American interests, be it in Palestine, or other places, but we know Palestinians who are committed to act against America wherever it is, because they blame America for the situation and so on and so forth. And so the use of that rhetoric I don't think is the result between any link between action here or action there. This is part of the dynamics of the insurrection in Iraq, and I think it will take place with or without Israel in the picture.
Q. Does VP Cheney know something that other people don't know when he said that there is no doubt in his mind that there was cooperation between Saddam and Osama bin laden, and secondly, what rating would you give the US for its past year in Iraq, in its high marks and low marks?
For the first question, I don't know if Cheney knows what others don't know. He certainly knows many things that I don't know. He has CIA reports at his disposal which I don't have and what I think happened is that, I have no doubt whatsoever, that there was a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein or at least Saddam's regime. And one thing which is clear on the ground that nobody can deny, and this is only one of many, that Ansar Islam, you know on the Kurdish border, Kurdistan with Iran, there was a little enclave of Ansar Islam which is literally the supporters of Islam. And that group was composed only of a few hundred fighters, several villages in that enclave, of course they placed themselves on the border with Iran where they could run away in case of trouble and Iran consented to accept in case they ran away. And they did, when the war started, one of the first major operations launched by Kurds with American air support, was to disturb that enclave and in that enclave they found a lot of documents including all kinds of experiments that they did with chemical and biological weapons on animals, dogs and other things. And also documents about plans that they had against America and other places. And it was also known that the Ansar Islam took their instructions and some for their money from al Qaeda, that is established. That enclave could not exist in Iraqi territory without at least the consent if not the actual participation of the Iraqi regime at the head of which was Saddam Hussein and as you know, it was a highly central regime and therefore nothing could take place in Iraq without that consent. There was another base just south of Iraq where they found a jumbo jet, only the caucus of it, where people were trained and there were hundreds of depositions by people who were caught related to al Qaeda who were trained to hijack the plain and there is even an assumption which I cannot confirm that even Muhammad Abdur and some of the September 11th group were trained on that same caucus south of Baghdad. So there are many other implications, which I'm not going to burden you with, but in my mind point to the verity of what Cheney said.
The military action was brilliant, fast, and swift, with minimum casualties and they achieved their goals much faster than the Americans themselves had envisaged. But thinking about the post war planning, the chapter I called ruling from a horseback, there I think there was abysmal failure. Because I think they did not understand the Iraqis, they made all mistakes possible, and I think it's a crisis of expectations. Because people get disappointed when they are told we will achieve one, two, three, and then we don't achieve anything. You can say we will go there, we have limited goals, we will do our best to achieve it and then people don't expect anything. And then you become an [unintelligible] almost when you say things that don't stand on their feet, when you claim this one two three and nothing happens, for example, this interim government or interim constitution or free elections, what free elections? What are you, you are not in the Midwest you are in the Middle East, which is a different world. So in that regards I think they put up so many false expectations due to ill understanding of the foundations of Middle Eastern societies, the complication of so many ethnic groups who live in contradiction themselves. Some of the Shiites will be on the American side, which Shiites, there is Al Sistani, who is neutral, then there is Muqtata Sadr, there are two ayatollah's one Chowi who came from Lebanon and was assassinated and one of the Sadrs, the big family of the ayatollah's, another one who was assassinated and he was supported by Iran, and now Iran goes to Muqtata Sadr's young man who is an insurgence from the point of view of the Americans, but from the point of view of the Iranians, is a good political tool although in terms of learning he cannot be an ayatollah, he is not an ayatollah. He's not a religious leader, he doesn't have the charisma of Sistani. So all those things the Americans did not understand. They thought that everything can be sorted out, by this brilliant diplomat called Bremer. Now Paul Bremer came and tried to impose his understanding of it that he tried to rule from horseback and this is exactly the root of the failure.
Q. Could you elaborate a little bit about the latest developments of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, maybe it was triggered by the Afghanistan and the Iraqi war?
I don't believe so. Look, Al-Qaeda when it was constituted back in the 90s had two stated goals. One to get rid of the domestic regimes which are subservient to America, they say in order to Islamize the Moslem world, to return it to Sharia law you must first of all get rid of the regimes that are blocking that purpose because they are serving the purposes of America. The Saudi regime is one of them, and therefore there is nothing new here. There is a certain sequence, after the war they were ejected from Afghanistan, although they are still there, lets say they lost the first battle in Afghanistan, but their leaders were not killed, we know that bin laden is still there somewhere on the border in the mountains. America and the Pakistan leader announced a million times that they were just about to catch them, but they haven't and the people are still there. Therefore, the Saudi's decided that now it is time that now it is time to blow up the domestic front, meaning Jordan, Egypt, and in Saudi Arabia and they have tremendous success. To my mind, we can have no doubt that some elements of the royal house didn't want to be regarded as complete enemies of the fundamentalist Muslims who are trying to take over and therefore there is suspicion that these so called terrorists are aided by elements of the royal family like Nayef who is the minister of the interior, very powerful, in charge of the security forces and so on and so forth. There are all kinds of strange things that happen like last week this group of 8 or 10 people, that we call terrorists, they call terrorists took control of an entire government compound for more than 24 hours. During those 24 hours, they went to a restaurant to eat, and they slept and they went to play and all that, and all the Saudi armies are helpless, and so no one understand how that works exactly. And then they ran away, there was no siege, and there was patience, and then you seize them, they escaped according to Saudi accounts, through six rings of defense.
Q. Is that like reports claiming that the explosion in Damascus one month ago was staged by the President?
Well no it's a different thing, because there, they blew up, if not al-Qaeda, very strong cells of the Muslim brotherhood. Since they were wiped out in Hama in 1982, or 40,000 of them, it has been a dormant thing, it was not eliminated. They are waiting for the opportunity. To my mind, that was the... young Bashar, he's inexperienced, they are still around, and they will take every opportunity and Bashar of course does not have any interest to announce to the world that his regime is threatened, oh no, this was some individuals who did this on their own volition and initiative, so I don't believe that's the case.
Q. Can you remark a little on the Kurdish situation in northern Syria?
Well what happened is that about a month ago there was a soccer game in the city of Qameshli in northern Syria which is populated by not only but also by Kurds and after the game a row broke out, which can happen between fans of different teams, it happens in Europe to, but then it grew into some kind of inter ethnic controversy where some six people were killed. So of course people realized the sensitivity, the Syrians turned to the world and said that Syria is a country of peace and have no problems with the Kurds. The problems with the Kurds are addressed, but there is no doubt that part of the success of the Kurds in northern Iraq, were that they established their own enclaves and those enclaves have existed for the past 12 or 13 years since the end of previous gulf war and they were protected by the fact that they were in the no flight zone, and there were no Iraqi air forces that could bother them. Under that protection of the American and British air force from the Turkish airbase, they could protect the freedom and independence of the Kurds. The Kurds indeed in spite of the fact that they have their own problems, because they have two separate enclaves, they have practically established free autonomous or almost independent states. They have their own parliament, and the regime itself and a prosperity that is untold in that part of the world. This is from all the accounts we have from Kurdistan. And Kurds in other places, not only Syria, but turkey, Iran, are saying, if things are so promising across the border, then maybe we can have some of that here too. The result is little eruptions in turkey, in Iran and also in Syria. This might be an indication that the Kurdish question is on the agenda again, not only in Iraq but in the entire surrounding Kurdistan.
Q. Do you think that the United States is presenting the issue or their case properly? Have you been consulted, are you going to meet with people in the United States? How will the developments in Iraq impact events in Israel?
With a self incriminating name like mine, who will consult with me. Seriously, many people know that I've written the book, but no officials have approached me. They don't need my advice, as you know Bremer knows everything and does everything.
About the impact on Israel, there are wide-ranging impacts, because Israel is one of the only countries that gained something from the war. The most immediate strategic threat on Israel was removed. They say never say never, I don't know for how many years, not only because of the Shiites, but because a year ago we had a briefing here about the gulf war, where we said that due to the geostrategic situation, and it doesn't really matter who rules Iraq, but because of the geostrategic situation will have to be more aggressive and so on. Any regime that emerges now as a result of the war will be more cautious and more passive and turning inwards to resolve the internal controversies. But I think at some point in a decade or two decades, especially in the obscurity of the Iranian nuclear program, Iraq will say that they need to build their capacities in order to deter their neighbours etc. you will have plenty of justification to revive the military buildup.
Jerusalem Cloakroom #162
MUBARAK'S EGYPT -
UNDERMINING US INTERESTS
by Yoram Ettinger
June 14, 2004
|According to Israel's military intelligence, a large
quantity of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles is
awaiting in Sinai -- compliment of Egypt -- to be
smuggled into Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists. However,
rather than punish Egypt for its destructive role, the
proposed Disengagement Plan would boost Egypt's stature,
ignoring Egypt's anti-US track record, as detailed in the
162nd issue of Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom,
Forwarded by Emanuel A.
Middle East analyst & commentator
This speech by the former President of Weizmann Institute of Science, Haim Harari is a lesson that the politicians and the Media would do well to learn. I doubt that they will either read or absorb the lessons in this insightful analysis of Terror and what it means towhat we call civilization. This is not a trite 'sound byte' for the Media to toss of with a a one liner. Harari is not the average person speaking his mind but, rather like listening to the thoughts of an Einstein. Most journalists and politicians do not have time for deep thinkers who have matured over the years into wise men with vision. In fact, they simply do not want to know and pursue ignorance as the safest course. Well, perhaps a few will take the time to read and absorb. This is a very insightful speech given by Haim Harari, the former International Advisory Board of a large multi-national corporation, April, 2004. It's very well worth reading.
By Haim Harari
"As you know, I usually provide the scientific and technological "entertainment" in our meetings, but, on this occasion, our Chairman suggested that I present my own personal view on events in the part of the world from which I come. I have never been and I will never be a Government official and I have no privileged information. My perspective is entirely based on what I see, on what I read and on the fact that my family has lived in this region for almost 200 years. You may regard my views as those of the proverbial taxi driver, which you are supposed to question, when you visit a country.
I could have shared with you some fascinating facts and some personal thoughts about the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, I will touch upon it only in passing. I prefer to devote most of my remarks to the broader picture of the region and its place in world events. I refer to the entire area between Pakistan and Morocco, which is predominantly Arab, predominantly Moslem, but includes many non-Arab and also significant non-Moslem minorities.
Why do I put aside Israel and its own immediate neighborhood? Because Israel and any problems related to it, in spite of what you might read or hear in the world media, is not the central issue, and has never been the central issue in the upheaval in the region. Yes, there is a 100 year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main show is. The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel. The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime is massacring its black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel. The frequent reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilian in one village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel. Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butchered his own people because of Israel. Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the 60's because of Israel. Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of his own citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel. The Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with Israel. The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do with Israel, and I could go on and on and on.
The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally dysfunctional, by any standard of the word, and would have been so even if Israel would have joined the Arab league and an independent Palestine would have existed for 100 years. The 22 member countries of the Arab league, from Mauritania to the Gulf States, have a total population of 300 millions, larger than the US and almost as large as the EU before its expansion. They have a land area larger than either the US or all of Europe. These 22 countries, with all their oil and natural resources, have a combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal to half of the GDP of California alone. Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor are beyond belief and too many of the rich made their money not by succeeding in business, but by being corrupt rulers. The social status of women is far below what it was in the Western World 150 years ago. Human rights are below any reasonable standard, in spite of the grotesque fact that Libya was elected Chair of the UN Human Rights commission. According to a report prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals and published under the auspices of the U.N., the number of books translated by the entire Arab world is much smaller than what little Greece alone translates. The total number of scientific publications of 300 million Arabs is less than that of 6 million Israelis. Birth rates in the region are very high, increasing the poverty, the social gaps and the cultural decline. And all of this is happening in a region, which only 30 years ago, was believed to be the next wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed, at some point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the world.
It is fair to say that this creates an unprecedented breeding ground for cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement, suicide murders and general decline. It is also a fact that almost everybody in the region blames this situation on the United States, on Israel, on Western Civilization, on Judaism and Christianity, on anyone and anything, except themselves.
Do I say all of this with the satisfaction of someone discussing the failings of his enemies? On the contrary, I firmly believe that the world would have been a much better place and my own neighborhood would have been much more pleasant and peaceful, if things were different.
I should also say a word about the millions of decent, honest, good people who are either devout Moslems or are not very religious but grew up in Moslem families. They are double victims of an outside world, which now develops Islamophobia and of their own environment, which breaks their heart by being totally dysfunctional. The problem is that the vast silent majority of these Moslems are not part of the terror and of the incitement but they also do not stand up against it. They become accomplices, by omission, and this applies to political leaders, intellectuals, business people and many others. Many of them can certainly tell right from wrong, but are afraid to express their views.
The events of the last few years have amplified four issues, which have always existed, but have never been as rampant as in the present upheaval in the region. These are the four main pillars of the current World Conflict, or perhaps we should already refer to it as "the undeclared World War III". I have no better name for the present situation. A few more years may pass before everybody acknowledges that it is a World War, but we are already well into it. The first element is the suicide murder. Suicide murders are not new invention but they have been made popular, if I may use this __expression, only lately. Even after September 11, it seems that most of the Western World does not yet understand this weapon. It is a very potent psychological weapon. Its real direct impact is relatively minor. The total number of casualties from hundreds of suicide murders within Israel in the last three years is much smaller than those due to car accidents. September 11 was quantitatively much less lethal than many earthquakes. More people die from AIDS in one day in Africa than all the Russians who died in the hands of Chechnya-based Moslem suicide murderers since that conflict started. Saddam killed every month more people than all those who died from suicide murders since the Coalition occupation of Iraq.
So what is all the fuss about suicide killings? It creates headlines. It is spectacular. It is frightening. It is a very cruel death with bodies dismembered and horrible severe lifelong injuries to many of the wounded. It is always shown on television in great detail. One such murder, with the help of hysterical media coverage, can destroy the tourism industry of a country for quite a while, as it did in Bali and in Turkey.
But the real fear comes from the undisputed fact that no defense and no preventive measures can succeed against a determined suicide murderer. This has not yet penetrated the thinking of the Western World. The U.S. and Europe are constantly improving their defense against the last murder, not the next one. We may arrange for the best airport security in the world. But if you want to murder by suicide, you do not have to board a plane in order to explode yourself and kill many people. Who could stop a suicide murder in the midst of the crowded line waiting to be checked by the airport metal detector? How about the lines to the check-in counters in a busy travel period? Put a metal detector in front of every train station in Spain and the terrorists will get the buses. Protect the buses and they will explode in movie theaters, concert halls, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and hospitals. Put guards in front of every concert hall and there will always be a line of people to be checked by the guards and this line will be the target, not to speak of killing the guards themselves. You can somewhat reduce your vulnerability by preventive and defensive measures and by strict border controls but not eliminate it and definitely not in the war in a defensive way. And it is a war!
What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true fanatic religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up. No son of an Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown himself. No relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn't you expect some of the religious leaders to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if this is truly a supreme act of religious fervor? Aren't they interested in the benefits of going to Heaven? Instead, they send outcast women, naive children, retarded people and young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual, of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme act is performed and enough innocent people are dead.
Suicide murders also have nothing to do with poverty and despair. The poorest region in the world, by far, is Africa. It never happens there. There are numerous desperate people in the world, in different cultures, countries and continents. Desperation does not provide anyone with explosives, reconnaissance and transportation. There was certainly more despair in Saddam's Iraq then in Paul Bremmer's Iraq, and no one exploded himself. A suicide murder is simply a horrible, vicious weapon of cruel, inhuman, cynical, well-funded terrorists, with no regard to human life, including the life of their fellow countrymen, but with very high regard to their own affluent well-being and their hunger for power.
The only way to fight this new "popular" weapon is identical to the only way in which you fight organized crime or pirates on the high seas: the offensive way. Like in the case of organized crime, it is crucial that the forces on the offensive be united and it is crucial to reach the top of the crime pyramid. You cannot eliminate organized crime by arresting the little drug dealer in the street corner. You must go after the head of the "Family".
If part of the public supports it, others tolerate it, many are afraid of it and some try to explain it away by poverty or by a miserable childhood, organized crime will thrive and so will terrorism. The United States understands this now, after September 11. Russia is beginning to understand it. Turkey nderstands it well. I am very much afraid that most of Europe still does not understand it. Unfortunately, it seems that Europe will understand it only after suicide murders will arrive in Europe in a big way. In my humble opinion, this will definitely happen. The Spanish trains and the Istanbul bombings are only the beginning. The unity of the Civilized World in fighting this horror is absolutely indispensable. Until Europe wakes up, this unity will not be achieved.
The second ingredient is words, more precisely lies. Words can be lethal. They kill people. It is often said that politicians, diplomats and perhaps also lawyers and business people must sometimes lie, as part of their professional life. But the norms of politics and diplomacy are childish, in comparison with the level of incitement and total absolute deliberate fabrications, which have reached new heights in the region we are talking about. An incredible number of people in the Arab world believe that September 11 never happened, or was an American provocation or, even better, a Jewish plot.
You all remember the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mr. Mouhamad Said al-Sahaf and his press conferences when the US forces were already inside Baghdad. Disinformation at time of war is an accepted tactic. But to stand, day after day, and to make such preposterous statements, known to everybody to be lies, without even being ridiculed in your newspapers from giving him equal time. It also does not prevent the Western press from giving credence, every day, even now, to similar liars. After all, if you want to be an anti-Semite, there are subtle ways of doing it. You do not have to claim that the holocaust never happened and that the Jewish temple in Jerusalem never existed. But millions of Moslems are told by their leaders that this is the case. When these same leaders make other statements, the Western media report them as if they could be true. It is a daily occurrence that the same people, who finance, arm and dispatch suicide murderers, condemn the act in English in front of western TV cameras, talking to a world audience, which even partly believes them. It is a daily routine to hear the same leader making opposite statements in Arabic to his people and in English to the rest of the world. Incitement by Arab TV, accompanied by horror pictures of mutilated bodies, has become a powerful weapon of those who lie, distort and want to destroy. World does not notice it because its own TV sets are mostly tuned to soap operas and game shows. I recommend to you, even though most of you do not understand Arabic, to watch Al Jazeera, from time to time. You will not believe your own eyes.
But words also work in other ways, more subtle. A demonstration in Berlin, carrying banners supporting Saddam's regime and featuring three-year old babies dressed as suicide murderers, is defined by the press and by political leaders as a "peace demonstration". You may support or oppose the Iraq war, but to refer to fans of Saddam, Arafat or Bin Laden as peace activists is a bit too much. A woman walks into an Israeli restaurant in mid-day, eats, observes families with old people and children eating their lunch in the adjacent tables and pays the bill. She then blows herself up, killing 20 people, including many children, with heads and arms rolling around in the restaurant. She is called "martyr" by several Arab leaders and "activist" by the European press. Dignitaries condemn the act but visit her bereaved family and the money flows.
There is a new game in town: The actual murderer is called "the military wing", the one who pays him, equips him and sends him is now called "the political wing" and the head of the operation is called the "spiritual leader". There are numerous other examples of such Orwellian nomenclature, used every day not only by terror chiefs but also by Western media. These words are much more dangerous than many people realize. They provide an emotional infrastructure for atrocities. It was Joseph Goebbels who said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. He is now being outperformed by his successors.
The third aspect is money. Huge amounts of money, which could have solved many social problems in this dysfunctional part of the world, are channeled into three concentric spheres supporting death and murder. In the inner circle are the terrorists themselves. The money funds their travel, explosives, ideouts and permanent search for soft vulnerable targets. They are surrounded by a second wider circle of direct supporters, planners, commanders, preachers, all of whom make a living, usually a very comfortable living, by serving as terror infrastructure. Finally, we find the third circle of so-called religious, educational and welfare organizations, which actually do some good, feed the hungry and provide some schooling, but brainwash a new generation with hatred, lies and ignorance. This circle operates mostly through mosques, madrassas and other religious establishments but also through inciting electronic and printed media. It is this circle that makes sure that women remain inferior, that democracy is unthinkable and that exposure to the outside world is minimal. It is also that circle that leads the way in blaming everybody outside the Moslem world, for the miseries of the region.
Figuratively speaking, this outer circle is the guardian, which makes sure that the people look and listen inwards to the inner circle of terror and incitement, rather than to the world outside. Some parts of this same outer circle actually operate as a result of fear from, or blackmail by, the inner circles. The horrifying added factor is the high birth rate. Half of the population of the Arab world is under the age of 20, the most receptive age to incitement, guaranteeing two more generations of blind hatred.
Of the three circles described above, the inner circles are primarily financed by terrorist states like Iran and Syria, until recently also by Iraq and Libya and earlier also by some of the Communist regimes. These states, as well as the Palestinian Authority, are the safe havens of the wholesale murder vendors. The outer circle is largely financed by Saudi Arabia, but also by donations from certain Moslem communities in the United States and Europe and, to a smaller extent, by donations of European Governments to various NGO's and by certain United Nations organizations, whose goals may be noble, but they are infested and exploited by agents of the outer circle. The Saudi regime, of course, will be the next victim of major terror, when the inner circle will explode into the outer circle. The Saudis are beginning to understand it, but they fight the inner circles, while still financing the infrastructure at the outer circle.
Some of the leaders of these various circles live very comfortably on their loot. You meet their children in the best private schools in Europe, not in the training camps of suicide murderers. The Jihad "soldiers" join packaged death tours to Iraq and other hot spots, while some of their leaders ski in Switzerland. Mrs. Arafat, who lives in Paris with her daughter, receives tens of thousands Dollars per month from the allegedly bankrupt Palestinian Authority while a typical local ringleader of the Al-Aksa brigade, reporting to Arafat, receives only a cash payment of a couple of hundred dollars, for performing murders at the retail level.
The fourth element of the current world conflict is the total breaking of all laws. The civilized world believes in democracy, the rule of law, including international law, human rights, free speech and free press, among other liberties. There are naive old-fashioned habits such as respecting religious sites and symbols, not using ambulances and hospitals for acts of war, avoiding the mutilation of dead bodies and not using children as human shields or human bombs. Never in history, not even in the Nazi period, was there such total disregard of all of the above as we observe now. Every student of political science debates how you prevent an anti-democratic force from winning a democratic election and abolishing democracy. Other aspects of a civilized society must also have limitations. Can a policeman open fire on someone trying to kill him? Can a government listen to phone conversations of terrorists and drug dealers? Does free speech protects you when you shout "fire" in a crowded theater? Should there be death penalty, for deliberate multiple murders? These are the old-fashioned dilemmas. But now we have an entire new set.
Do you raid a mosque, which serves as a terrorist ammunition storage? Do you return fire, if you are attacked from a hospital? Do you storm a church taken over by terrorists who took the priests hostages? Do you search every ambulance after a few suicide murderers use ambulances to reach their targets? Do you strip every woman because one pretended to be pregnant and carried a suicide bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back at someone trying to kill you, standing deliberately behind a group of children? Do you raid terrorist headquarters, hidden in a mental hospital? Do you shoot an arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one location to another, always surrounded by children? All of these happen daily in Iraq and in the Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do not want to face the dilemma. But it cannot be avoided.
Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that someone would openly stay in a well-known address in Teheran, hosted by the Iranian Government and financed by it, executing one atrocity after another in Spain or in France, killing hundreds of innocent people, accepting responsibility for the crimes, promising in public TV interviews to do more of the same, while the Government of Iran issues public condemnations of his acts but continues to host him, invite him to official functions and treat him as a great dignitary. I leave it to you as homework to figure out what Spain or France would have done, in such a situation.
The problem is that the civilized world is still having illusions about the rule of law in a totally lawless environment. It is trying to play ice hockey by sending a ballerina ice-skater into the rink or to knock out a heavyweight boxer by a chess player. In the same way that no country has a law against cannibals eating its prime minister, because such an act is unthinkable, international law does not address killers shooting from hospitals, mosques and ambulances, while being protected by their Government or society. International law does not know how to handle someone who sends children to throw stones, stands behind them and shoots with immunity and cannot be arrested because he is sheltered by a Government.
International law does not know how to deal with a leader of murderers who is royally and comfortably hosted by a country, which pretends to condemn his acts or just claims to be too weak to arrest him. The amazing thing is that all of these crooks demand protection under international law and define all those who attack them as war criminals, with some Western media repeating the allegations. The good news is that all of this is temporary, because the evolution of international law has always adapted itself to reality. The punishment for suicide murder should be death or arrest before the murder, not during and not after. After every world war, the rules of international law have changed and the same will happen after the present one. But during the twilight zone, a lot of harm can be done.
The picture I described here is not pretty. What can we do about it? In the short run, only fight and win. In the long run - only educate the next generation and open it to the world. The inner circles can and must be destroyed by force. The outer circle cannot be eliminated by force. Here we need financial starvation of the organizing elite, more power to women, more education, counter propaganda, boycott whenever feasible and access to Western media, internet and the international scene. Above all, we need a total absolute unity and determination of the civilized world against all three circles of evil.
Allow me, for a moment, to depart from my alleged role as a taxi driver and return to science. When you have a malignant tumor, you may remove the tumor itself surgically. You may also starve it by preventing new blood from reaching it from other parts of the body, thereby preventing new "supplies" from expanding the tumor. If you want to be sure, it is best to do both. But before you fight and win, by force or otherwise, you have to realize that you are in a war, and this may take Europe a few more years. In order to win, it is necessary to first eliminate the terrorist regimes, so that no Government in the world will serve as a safe haven for these people. I do not want to comment here on whether the American-led attack on Iraq was justified from the point of view of weapons of mass destruction or any other pre-war argument, but I can look at the post-war map of Western Asia. Now that Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are out, two and a half terrorist states remain: Iran, Syria and Lebanon, the latter being a Syrian colony. Perhaps Sudan should be added to the list. As a result of the conquest of Afghanistan and Iraq, both Iran and Syria are now totally surrounded by territories unfriendly to them. Iran is encircled by Afghanistan, by the Gulf States, Iraq and the Moslem republics of the former Soviet Union. Syria is surrounded by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel. This is a significant strategic change and it applies strong pressure on the terrorist countries. It is not surprising that Iran is so active in trying to incite a Shiite uprising in Iraq.
I do not know if the American plan was actually to encircle both Iran and Syria, but that is the resulting situation.
In my humble opinion, the number one danger to the world today is Iran and its regime. It definitely has ambitions to rule vast areas and to expand in all directions. It has an ideology, which claims supremacy over Western culture. It is ruthless. It has proven that it can execute elaborate terrorist acts without leaving too many traces, using Iranian Embassies. It is clearly trying to develop Nuclear Weapons. Its so-called moderates and conservatives play their own virtuoso version of the "good-cop versus bad-cop" game. Iran sponsors Syrian terrorism, it is certainly behind much of the action in Iraq, it is fully funding the Hezb'Allah and, through it, the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, it performed acts of terror at least in Europe and in South America and probably also in Uzbekhistan and Saudi Arabia and it truly leads a multi-national terror consortium, which includes, as minor players, Syria, Lebanon and certain Shiite elements in Iraq. Nevertheless, most European countries still trade with Iran, try to appease it and refuse to read the clear signals.
In order to win the war it is also necessary to dry the financial resources of the terror conglomerate. It is pointless to try to understand the subtle differences between the Sunni terror of Al Qaeda and Hamas and the Shiite terror of Hezb'Allah, Sadr and other Iranian inspired enterprises. When it serves their business needs, all of them collaborate beautifully.
It is crucial to stop Saudi and other financial support of the outer circle, which is the fertile breeding ground of terror. It is important to monitor all donations from the Western World to Islamic organizations, to monitor the finances of international relief organizations and to react with forceful economic measures to any small sign of financial aid to any of the three circles of terrorism. It is also important to act decisively against the campaign of lies and fabrications and to monitor those Western media who collaborate with it out of naivety, financial interests or ignorance.
Above all, never surrender to terror. No one will ever know whether the recent elections in Spain would have yielded a different result, if not for the train bombings a few days earlier. But it really does not matter. What matters is that the terrorists believe that they caused the result and that they won by driving Spain out of Iraq. The Spanish story will surely end up being extremely costly to other European countries, including France, who is now expelling inciting preachers and forbidding veils and including others who sent troops to Iraq. In the long run, Spain itself will pay even more.
Is the solution a democratic Arab world? If by democracy we mean free elections but also free press, free speech, a functioning judicial system, civil liberties, equality to women, free international travel, exposure to international media and ideas, laws against racial incitement and against defamation, and avoidance of lawless behavior regarding hospitals, places of worship and children, then yes, democracy is the solution. If democracy is just free elections, it is likely that the most fanatic regime will be elected, the one whose incitement and fabrications are the most inflammatory. We have seen it already in Algeria and, to a certain extent, in Turkey. It will happen again, if the ground is not prepared very carefully. On the other hand, a certain transition democracy, as in Jordan, may be a better temporary solution, paving the way for the real thing, perhaps in the same way that an immediate sudden democracy did not work in Russia and would not have worked in China.
I have no doubt that the civilized world will prevail. But the longer it takes us to understand the new landscape of this war, the more costly and painful the victory will be. Europe, more than any other region, is the key. Its understandable recoil from wars, following the horrors of World War II, may cost thousands of additional innocent lives, before the tide will turn."
Haim Harari is the former President of the Weizmann Institute.
WorldNetDaily.com, June 25, 2004
SAUDI ARABIA -
BEHEADING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
By Mike Evans
The execution-style murder of Paul Johnson has been condemned by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The OIC chief, Abd al-Wahid Bilqaziz, labeled Mr. Johnson's death as a "barbaric act," and went on to reassure the world in general and the American public in particular that "Islam recommends the protection of foreigners... and prohibits the killing of innocent people." How magnanimous of Mr. Bilqaziz!
Apparently in an attempt to assuage world outrage, Saudi security launched a search for the body of the beheaded American. Why has that outrage not extended to the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who have been beheaded and tossed into unmarked graves over the past 30 years?
According to Amnesty International, more than half of those beheaded between 1990 and 1999 were foreign nationals, and some were Christian missionaries. Why has the Saudi government not returned those bodies to their loved ones for proper burial?
In Saudi Arabia, heads roll for sodomy, armed robbery, murder, and for being a Christian. Some Christians were beheaded after having been falsely accused of drugs or other crimes reportedly as benign as leading a Bible study or offering prayers. Saudis that convert to Christianity, or "desert Islam," are subject to the death penalty, as well.
Those condemned to death are taken to a public square blindfolded after midday prayers, hands tied behind their backs and forced to kneel facing Mecca. The police clear the square of all traffic and lay a blue plastic sheet 16-feet square on the ground. The executioner swings the sword two or three times before jabbing the poor soul in the back to force him to raise his head. More than 100 people have been beheaded in Saudi since 9-11, and the vast majority were not members of al-Qaida!
We are told that the militants and extremists who committed the horrendous murder of Paul Johnson have been killed. Why are murderers, who have no regard for the sanctity of human life, called "militants"? Why not label them exactly as what they are: terrorists? And, if these so-called militants and extremists are going to be hunted down and killed or arrested, what awaits the entire House of Saud?
I, too, am outraged, not only by the beheading of Paul Johnson, but by the Saudi PR-machine that has hypocritically expressed its disgust over this barbarism. It is, indeed, the theater of the absurd and a festival of hypocrisy.
In 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, I preached the gospel in the center of Dhahran. U.S. military police grabbed me and screamed, "Are you nuts? They will cut your head off, you fool!" Days later, I shared Christ with Gen. Khalid. He looked at me and asked, "Are you trying to convert me? We cut off heads for that."
Any thinking person knows that the House of Saud is the principal financier of the terrorists on whom President Bush has declared war. They export more than oil. About 25 percent of all those in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are Saudi nationals. No country in the world has spent more to export bigotry and hatred than Saudi Arabia.
Islam is portrayed as a religion of tolerance. How ignorant can we be? Women cannot drive cars in Saudi Arabia, girls are still circumcised, political parties and trade unions are outlawed, the church and state are one in Saudi Arabia. Do not hold your breath while searching for a Christian church or Jewish synagogue in that country; you will suffocate. Television is censored to the degree that if Mickey Mouse gives Minnie Mouse a peck on the cheek, poor Mickey will be banished from the kingdom!
Several years ago, I interviewed a U.S. Aramco employee. He told me he was tortured for having a video of "The Love Boat" in his suitcase. He was accused of possessing pornography. While in jail, he feared he might be beheaded.
The Holy Grail of understanding is that there is nothing tolerant about Saudi Arabia. Shariah (Islamic law) shows no tolerance. No, it is no coincidence that 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked America on 9-11 were Saudi Arabian. All were Wahhabists, as is the Taliban, and the majority of the population of Saudi. If democracy were to come to tolerant Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden would be elected in a landslide.
We have been assured that Saddam Hussein was not involved in 9-11; on the other hand, we know with certainty that Saudi nationals were. For the House of Saud to try to distance itself from Islamic fundamentalism would be tantamount to Osama trying to distance himself from terrorism.
The same can be said of al-Qaida. The general Muslim population thinks the evil empire of communism was not defeated by Ronald Reagan and the crusaders, but rather, it was Osama bin Laden and Islam that caused the Soviet house of cards to crumble in Afghanistan. They also believe there is just one "evil empire" in the world, and that Iraq will be to America what Afghanistan was to the Soviets.
Michael D. Evans is the author of "Beyond Iraq: The Next Move," an Amazon No. 2 and a New York Times best-seller, and founder of America's largest Christian coalition praying for the peace of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Prayer Team.org. Evans' "The American Prophecies" will be released by Time Warner in early August.
The Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2004
by Alan Dershowitz
It's no wonder the Saudis are having trouble finding the terrorists beheading, shooting, bombing and kidnapping people throughout their country. They're looking in the wrong place, and for the wrong people.
Listen to whom Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia -- its de
facto monarch -- attributes the terrorism that has plagued his
country. "We can be certain that Zionism is behind
everything," Abdullah assured a group of leading government
officials and academics in Jeddah, specifically referring to the
attack on oil workers, which killed six people, including two
"I don't say 100 percent, but 95 percent."
In addition to the Zionists Abdullah blamed "the followers of Satan," meaning Jews and Christians, Israelis and Americans. But the main fault lies squarely with the Zionists: "Our country is targeted," Abdullah said. "You know who is behind all of this. It is Zionism. This is clear now."
Lest anyone think these are the crackpot views of a single leader, listen to Saudi foreign minister Saudi al Faisal: "It is no secret that extremist Zionist elements which are spread throughout the world are keenly involved in a vicious campaign against the Kingdom. What the awful terrorist group is doing in a desperate attempt to destabilize security and national unity feeds into the interests of these extremist Zionist elements."
Nor is this bigoted claptrap limited to Saudi Arabia. Government-controlled Syrian media issued a report that was eagerly picked up by the Teheran Times alleging "from reliable sources" that "Israel's Mossad had commissioned five Yemeni Jews to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
"Disguised as Muslims, they entered the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus to attend a ceremony commemorating the slain Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Mashaal's bodyguards captured them and handed the five over to Syrian security forces. No names were released."
If the Zionists and the Mossad are behind al-Qaida and terrorism in general, it makes no sense to conduct searches in Saudi Arabia, where almost everyone is anti-Zionist.
Why bother to look at the funding sources for terrorism inside the kingdom, including several members of the royal family itself? Why focus on the hatred of non-Muslims that is being taught in so many Saudi schools? Why bemoan the polls that show widespread support for the philosophy of Osama bin Laden among Saudi citizens? It is much easier to look for the traditional scapegoat -- the Jews.
I'M REMINDED of the old joke about the drunk who was looking for his car keys under the lamp-post. When someone asked him why he was looking there, rather than near his car, where he dropped them, he replied: "The light is better here."
The light is always better in Saudi Arabia when you're looking for Jews than when you're looking in the mirror.
The kidnapping and beheading of American civilian worker Paul Johnson, Jr. may stimulate Saudi officials temporarily to shift their focus from Zionists to Islamic extremists, but unless the Saudi rulers are prepared to focus on their own extremism, this will be a short-term solution.
Saudi Arabia is a major breeding ground for Wahabi hatred of all infidels.
Much of the funding for Islamic terrorism originates in Saudi Arabia, as does much of the ideological and religious justification for killing those who have been dehumanized.
Simply arresting and beheading an occasional killer will solve nothing. A complete reassessment of Saudi policy toward terrorism is needed. Such a reassessment will require a hard look at the schools, mosques, charitable institutions, media, police and other institutions.
Most important, it will require the royal family to look at itself. It is an important part of the problem.
When the ruler engages in public blood libels against Jews and Christians and blames his nation's self-inflicted problems on the Zionists, why is anyone surprised that so many of his subjects are willing to kill these and other "messengers of Satan"?
Saudi Arabia will never become a real nation -- as distinguished from a large family run gas-station -- as long as King Abdullah is in charge. The problem is that if he were to be replaced, his successor could be worse.
What a place.
The writer is a professor or law at Harvard. His latest book is America on Trial.
The Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2004
TIME TO GET MOVING ON IRAN
By Caroline Glick
Thursday morning it was announced that the eight British servicemen who were nabbed by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Shatt al-Arab waterway on the Iraq-Iran border earlier in the week had been released to the custody of the British Embassy in Teheran.
Remarking on the transfer of the British sailors and marines who had been pictured blindfolded and forced to apologize for trespassing into Iranian territorial waters on Iranian state television, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw expressed his gratitude to the Iranian government for its cooperation in settling the matter. "I'd like to express my thanks to my colleague, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, for his assistance," Straw said.
This is all very diplomatic and pleasant. In an earlier day, when diplomacy was used as an arm of a nation's interest, Straw would not have been thanking the Iranians for backing down after having committed an act of war, indeed of piracy, against Great Britain. He would have been issuing an ultimatum backed by a massing of British troops, already conveniently nestled along the border in Basra. But such are not our times.
Last week a Jordanian military court convicted and sentenced 15 al-Qaida terrorists to prison terms for their roles in planning attacks against American, Israeli, and Jordanian intelligence targets in the kingdom. Of the 15, only one terrorist was actually in Jordanian custody for the trial. The rest, 12 Jordanians and two Iraqis, are happily sheltering in Iran, awaiting their next opportunity to strike.
This week, as Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was congratulating himself and the security services for bringing levels of terrorist attacks down 75 percent over last year, IDF and Shin Bet units were preventing yet another suicide bombing in the capital. Two Fatah terrorists, the dispatcher and the bomber, were arrested in a-Ram, north of the capital. Their arrest led to the seizure of a 10-kilogram bomb, hidden in a child's school bag that was being transported in a taxi from Nablus. Interrogation of the would-be mass murderers uncovered that Hizbullah, Iran's terrorist proxy, had ordered the bombing.
As we know, Shi'ite terrorist Moqtada el-Sadr, who launched a guerrilla war against coalition forces and moderate Shi'ites in southern Iraq this past spring, takes his orders from the ayatollahs in Iran. US intelligence services have also pointed a finger at Iran for sponsoring al-Qaida forces in Saudi Arabia and for sheltering senior al-Qaida commanders in the Islamic Republic.
Commenting on the interdiction of the British patrol boats and their crews this week in National Review Online, Iran expert Michael Ledeen raised the possibility that the boats and their crews had been interdicted by the Iranians because they were laying ship-detection sensors in the waterway.
This, he explained, is necessary to protect the Iraqi oil terminals in Basra from further sabotage, which has rendered the Iraqi oil industry a virtual hostage to terrorist forces that have repeatedly attacked pipelines and terminals over the past year.
Much of the sabotage, according to Ledeen, has been sponsored by Iran, which has an interest in seeing not only the destabilization of Iraq but a precipitous rise in oil prices before the US presidential elections, in the hopes that such an event will bring about the defeat of President George W. Bush at the polls.
To a certain degree, Straw can be forgiven for his obsequious prattle about the cooperation Britain received from the Iranian government after the same government committed an act of war against Straw's country. After all, Britain wanted to make sure its men were released unmolested. But how does one explain France?
At the same time as the British servicemen were being humiliated on Iranian television (the Arabic channel, to ensure the widest possible regional audience no doubt), a high-level official French delegation was visiting the Iranian capital to celebrate the reinstatement of Air France's flight service between Teheran and Paris.
According to The Teheran Times, Serge Degallaix, political adviser to French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin, told his Iranian hosts that France "believes that Iran has the right to acquire nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes." So, at least under Jacques Chirac, France, which was behind the Iraqi nuclear weapons program in the 1970s and 1980s, is consistent in its approach. It believes that oil rich rogue states have the right to pursue nuclear capabilities.
And France is also consistent it its wish to appease these dictatorships. Last June, dovetailing the conclusion of a number of lucrative business deals between French companies and Iran, the French police launched a crackdown on members of an Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. They arrested 164 members and launched investigations against 17 on terrorism-related charges. Yet one year later, French human rights officials noted this week in a demonstration against the crackdown, not one indictment has been filed.
Iranian officials continued to press the French to crackdown on the group during the delegation's visit to Teheran. Degallaix assured his hosts that France considers the group a terrorist organization and would not allow it to operate in the country.
All of this Anglo-French brown-nosed wrangling and Iranian aggression directly follows the latest resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the status of Iran's nuclear weapons program. The resolution, which is considered "harsh," was drafted by France, Britain, and Germany, the three nations whose foreign ministers interceded on Teheran's behalf last year to ensure that the mullocracy was given a stay of undetermined length before it would face UN Security Council sanctions for violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by advancing its nuclear weapons program.
The resolution, issued last week stated that the IAEA members "deplored" the fact that "Iran's cooperation has not been as full, timely, and proactive as it should have been." The resolution is a detailed list of the finding of highly enriched uranium at Iranian nuclear facilities that has not been adequately explained. The IAEA will meet again to discuss the Iranian nuclear program in September.
The fact is that everyone knows that the Iranians are actively pursuing their nuclear weapons program and that this program may already be producing bombs. Estimates last year were that Iran will have the nuclear fuel cycle down and be capable of producing several atomic bombs per year by next year. For no apparent reason, as Iran moves full speed ahead on its uranium enrichment programs and insists that the international community "accept Iran as a member of the nuclear club," the estimated timeline of Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons capabilities has been moved to 2006.
Remarking on the IAEA resolution, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Monday that, at the next IAEA meeting in September, "judgments can be made as to what action might be appropriate." A veiled threat perhaps? Perhaps. Yet it is hard to escape the fact that this statement parrots those made a year ago after the IAEA's first inspection of Iranian nuclear facilities in Nantanz showed evidence of uranium enrichment activities. And the IAEA is still issuing resolutions.
When we look at Iran's brazen defiance of all international norms of behavior -- with its support of terrorists, acts of aggression on the high seas, and confrontational advancement of its nuclear weapons program -- we must ask the question, what is the US waiting for?
In a statement on the Iranian nuclear program last April, Bush said, "It is intolerable for the peace and the stability in the Middle East if they [the Iranians] get a nuclear weapon, especially when their stated objective is the destruction of Israel." Yet, according to The Wall Street Journal, there have been "a disturbing number of quiet remarks in Washington and other Western capitals recently to the effect that the world will just have to 'get used to' the idea of the Iranians having nukes." Indeed, when we look at British and French appeasement of the mullahs and we see Powell talking about maybe taking some action (perhaps economic sanctions that will take years to implement and still will be ineffective as oil prices rise to $60 a barrel) in September, we see that when the international community speaks, it doesn't have much to say about the single largest threat to the survival of the State of Israel today.
And in the meantime, here in Israel, the first target for the Iranian bombs, we obsess over whether and when and how Jews will be thrown out of their homes and communities in the territories and get flustered over remarks by US Ambassador Dan Kurtzer about the need to speed up the demolition of the so-called outpost communities of mobile homes on hilltops in Judea. We pontificate endlessly and vacuously about whether or not it is a good idea for Egypt to train a 30,000 man Palestinian army that will be deployed on the outskirts of Ashkelon.
In light of the failure of any outside power to take a concerted stand on Iran, we must ask the question: Are our leaders, like their Western counterparts, quietly resigned to our nuclear annihilation as we quibble over strategic irrelevancies and lesser orders of threats?
Because if there is the slightest chance that the answer is yes, we had better set about replacing them with others who are not, as quickly as possible.
The Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2004
ISRAEL READY TO HELP IN NATO SECURITY
by Arieh O'Sullivan
Israel is ready to participate in NATO security and counter-terrorism missions on a limited and short-term basis, according to a senior IDF officer.
The IDF is also offering to help NATO with missile defense based on the Arrow system technology as well as sharing its experience with erecting formidable security fences and border barriers, the senior officer said.
"NATO understands that we are an address for counter terrorism and we want to boost our profile in the war against terror," said the officer who could not be named but was intimately involved in the matter.
In particular, the IDF is offering to dispatch to NATO experts on counter-terrorism as well as bomb disposal units. According to the senior IDF officer, NATO is open to the idea of Israeli participation on a professional basis.
The cooperation could be part of NATO's decision to train Iraq's new army since it would not likely be in Iraq and most probably in Germany.
"We won't be able to say no to serious requests," the senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post. "Beating (Palestinian) terror here is not enough for us. We have to contribute to the world fight against terror."
When the heads of the enormously expanded NATO countries gather in Istanbul Monday they may be setting their sights on us.
Not us in particular, but Israel as part of the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.
With 26 nations now members of the North American Treaty Organization, the Istanbul summit marks the first time leaders of the expanded alliance have meet since seven new members - Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - were formally added in March.
Some believe their future is south, to the Mediterranean basin nations made up of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. Last week, NATO head Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he wants the summit build up defense cooperation with Middle Eastern and North African countries.
"In Istanbul, I am confident that we will also open up,
for the first time, a security dialogue with the broader region
of the Middle East," said de Hoop Scheffer on the eve of the
summit. "This dialogue must be, and will be, a two-way
While some lip service has been given to the idea of expanding the alliance's decade-old "Mediterranean dialogue" program, few believe it to seriously move forward.
First of all, Arab countries have reacted coolly to Western initiatives to build closer ties based on promoting reform in their nations. Second of all, Israel would be hesitant to be tied down by formal military alliances with an organization of 25 European nations.
Still neither Israel nor any of the seven other Mediterranean basin member countries were invited to attend the summit; not even on an observer status.
Last month, Gen. Harald Kujat, chairman of NATO's military committee and its top military officer, paid a quiet visit to Israel. Top IDF brass briefed him and he was taken to the security fence being erected in the West Bank. Upon seeing it, Kujat exclaimed: "It should have been done long ago," a senior IDF officer quoted him as saying.
Still, at least one senior official in the Defense Ministry is skeptical of NATO's interest in Israel. The official dismissed Kujat's visit as a "punching the ticket so he could go to Istanbul and say he was here."
"NATO is floundering and doesn't know what to do with itself," the senior defense official said.
The sentiment he represents in the defense establishment is one that believes NATO has played out its role by expanding beyond effectiveness. Europe has taken a collective decision to ignore Islamic terrorism with the hopes that it will leave them alone and it seems the only thing they'll be able to agree upon is how to put that Jewish country in its place.
"We have to beware of NATO because I see it one day being directed toward us," said the senior defense official.
However this sentiment is not popular in the IDF or the Foreign Ministry or most strategic think tanks.
"NATO, in contrast to other international organizations, has the Americans playing a leading role so we get a fair hearing there," said Efraim Inbar, head of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University.
He warned that as NATO expands its role Israel should be cautious not to have them put into situations counter-productive to Israel's interests, such as deployed in the Gaza Strip.
"This would not be a good idea," Inbar said.
According to Inbar, Israel sought membership in NATO in the 1950s but was rejected. Full membership today is not on the agenda.
"Israel doesn't want to be a member. No one is going to fight for us. We don't expect it. But it is beneficial to have close links for such an important organization and make them aware of our concerns."
U.S. ARMY TOLD NOT TO
ISRAELI BULLETS IN IRAQ
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2004 (Reuters) - Israeli-made bullets bought by the U.S. Army to plug a shortfall should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. lawmakers told Army generals on Thursday.
Since the Army has other stockpiled ammunition, "by no means, under any circumstances should a round (from Israel) be utilized," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, the top Democrat on a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee with jurisdiction over land forces.
The Army contracted with Israel Military Industries Ltd. in December for $70 million in small-caliber ammunition.
The Israeli firm was one of only two worldwide that could meet U.S. technical specifications and delivery needs, said Brig. Gen. Paul Izzo, the Army's program executive officer for ammunition. The other was East Alton, Illinois-based Winchester Ammunition, which also received a $70 million contract.
Although the Army should not have to worry about "political correctness," Abercrombie was making a valid point about the propaganda pitfalls of using Israeli rounds in the U.S.-declared war on terror, said Rep. Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces.
"There's a sensitivity that I think all of us recognize," Weldon told the Army witnesses, including Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, who led the U.S. Third Infantry Division that captured Baghdad in April 2003.
Blount, now the Army's assistant deputy chief of staff, said the Army had sufficient small caliber ammunition -- 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50 caliber -- to conduct current operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
But taken together with training needs, the United States had strained its production facilities, he testified.
"To fight a major combat operation in another theater will require the Army to impose restrictions on training expenditures and to focus current inventory and new production on combat operations," Blount said.
As a result, he said the Army hoped to stretch U.S. supplies to supplement the capacity of the government-owned Lake City plant in Independence, Missouri, that currently makes more than 90 percent of U.S. small caliber ammunition.
The Lake City factory, operated by Alliant Techsystems Inc., has nearly quadrupled its production in the past four years. This year, it will produce more than 1.2 billion rounds, Karen Davies, president of the ATK arm that runs it, told the panel. Lake City provided more than 2 billion rounds a year during World War II and Vietnam, she said.
The Army's needs will grow to about 1.5 billion to 1.7 billion rounds a year in coming years, Blount said.
"In the near-term, balancing training requirements with current operational needs is a manageable risk-mitigation strategy," he said.
The Army does not want to repeat its history of building capacity during wartime "only to dismantle it in peacetime," Blount added.
The Jerusalem Post, Jun. 24, 2004
IAF BREAKS GROUND ON NEW AIRBASE
by Arieh O'Sullivan
The Air Force laid the cornerstone Thursday in the Negev for what will become the largest air base in the country.
The ceremony, attended by top IDF brass and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, was held at the Nevatim air base east of Beersheba. It is here that the Air Force is expanding to absorb squadrons from the center of the country as the IAF implements its long-range vision to move to the nation's periphery.
The construction will be part of the greater Nevatim air base, currently home to three F-16 fighter jet squadrons. The new expansion is to house the entire transport fleet of the IAF, currently based at Lod adjacent to Ben-Gurion Airport. These include the C-130 squadrons as well as the Boeing 707 refueling aircraft and the Gulfstream radar planes.
"We are going to absorb all of the transport squadrons, and this means building a totally new base," base commander Col. Erez Ron told The Jerusalem Post. "This means new runways, new air crew quarters, roads, hangars and garages."
"This is going to be the largest construction endeavor by the Air Force in the past 25 years," Ron added. "It will make our base larger and newer with an infrastructure we envision lasting for 100 years."
The cost of the new base is estimated to be about NIS 1.5 billion and is planned for completion in 2008. Ron said that the expansion is to be on the dunes south of the existing base, and it would not harm the continuous operation of Nevatim.
The IAF sees the move southward as fulfillment of David Ben-Gurion's vision to settle the Negev. But it is also an expedient measure to cash in on the rising value of its lands in the center of the country. According to an agreement reached with the government, the IAF will be generously compensated for land it gives up as it moves.
Another reason the Air Force is moving south is to reduce the friction between the noisy aircraft and the increasingly dense central regions of the country where bases, like the one in Lod, have existed since the country's birth.
"That is one of the reasons we are leaving the center and headed to the periphery. We are trying not to bother the local residents," Ron said.
He also noted that the new base was to be "environment friendly", and this included the construction of a sewage purification plant.
The Nevatim air base is one of three bases that was built to replace the airfields in the Sinai vacated by the IAF as a result of the 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt, which required Israel to withdraw from the peninsula. Uvda and Ramon were built by the Americans with US funding, but Nevatim was a wholly Israeli affair and was opened in 1983.
Ron said that there may be an opportunity for US firms to be involved with the expansion of the base, but it was up to the Defense Ministry. Using American firms could allow Israel to utilize some of its $2 billion in annual military grant for the project.
From the IAF's perspective, the expanded presence in the Negev will provide a source of employment to the region and actually draw highly trained people southwards.
"The construction phase will provide jobs for at least the next five years," Ron said. He added that after the base opens, some functions would be outsourced to civilians with about 700 to 1,000 working on the base. These included maintenance of the transport fleets as well as food and medical services. The maintenance of fighter aircraft would remain solely in military hands, he said.
The current Nevatim air base encompasses a large swath of country between Beersheba and Arad.
A large number of Bedouins have also settled around the base, but Ron said they did not pose a threat to operations. "We try to keep good neighborly relations and hold meetings with them and include them in our public outreach programs," Ron said.
Ron said one of the main challenges of the new base once it opens would be to integrate between fighter jets and transport squadrons.
"While other countries have this mix, this will be the first time the IAF will experience both types of aircraft operating from the same base," Ron said. "It will present us with certain difficulties, particularly regarding aircraft approaches and such."
Still, it is not a challenge that will concern Col. Ron, since he will likely have moved on when the ribbon is cut in four more years.
The future could also see the role of transport aircraft undergoing a radical change as advance weaponry could turn them into "bombers" loaded with a lot of the same precision-guided missiles carried by the fighters.
The cornerstone laying ceremony came as the IDF marked the annual "Air Force Day." This year's theme was its links to the community.
This is the first year in the Air Force's history that the traditional pilots graduation ceremony will not be held, due to the transition from a two-year course to a three-year academic course.
The Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2004
IDF PLANS FOR NIS 1 BILLION DISENGAGEMENT
by Arieh O'Sullivan
The IDF has estimated the cost of pulling out of the Gaza Strip at NIS 1 billion and the timetable for its disengagement plan is to be finalized by the end of August.
This was the conclusion of Thursday's meeting between IDF brass and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, defense sources said.
Mofaz convened in his office in Tel Aviv the first meeting with the IDF on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. Further meetings are expected as Mofaz instructed the army commanders to prepare detailed plans regarding the deployment of the divison-strength forces currently in the coastal strip. He also said he wanted to review how the IDF planned to continue fighting Palestinian terrorists after the withdrawal as well as the forces needed for implementing the plan.
Attending the meeting were IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel and other senior officers involved in the planning of the military aspects of the disengagement plan, which is dubbed "Radiant Sky."
"The name doesn't mean anything. It's just a collection of words," said one official in the defense ministry.
The forum also discussed the Philadelphia corridor but no decisions were made on the matter. Mofaz instructed the IDF to prepare a number of possible solutions to defend the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, including digging a moat there. For the moment, there was no decision to set up any obstacles, defense officials said.
According to the officials, Mofaz, a former IDF chief of general staff, said he would personally oversee the implementation of the plan on the ground. Mofaz also informed the IDF that the war on Palestinian terror in the Gaza Strip was not contingent on the planned disengagement. He said there was no question that the IDF had a free hand to fight terror, the defense officials said.
On Wednesday, Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met Mofaz for a meeting that was scheduled to last an hour, but instead went on for three hours.
Jerusalem Issue Brief
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Institute for Contemporary Affairs founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
Vol. 3, No. 27 -- July 1, 2004
THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY AND ISRAEL: A REALISTIC AGENDA
by Gerald M. Steinberg
* There is no foundation for a change in Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity under present circumstances, and the topic is not on the agenda.
* Under the terms of a 1969 agreement with the U.S. government, Israel has refrained from making any declarations about its nuclear weapons capability, or from testing devices.
* The threat to Israel has not diminished much in the past five decades and hatred of Israel in the Arab and Moslem worlds remains intense. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenai has emphasized that "the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region" and that "the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel."
* As long as Jewish sovereignty and Israel's right to equality as a state among the nations is denied, the need for a credible deterrent will not end.
* The goal of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone will become essentially unfeasible if Iran crosses the point of no return in its development of nuclear weapons.
The upcoming visit to Israel (July 6-8) of Dr. Mohammed el-Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will receive a great deal of media attention but is unlikely to produce much hard news. Israeli analysts will repeat that there is no foundation for a change in the country's policy of nuclear ambiguity under present circumstances, and the topic is not on the agenda. The other focus of headlines -- the IAEA's efforts to stop Iran's accelerating pursuit of nuclear weapons -- is not merely an Israeli concern but rather a global threat. While both issues are important, neither will come closer to a resolution as a result of this visit.
Instead, discussions will include more mundane and long-term issues -- possible confidence-building measures toward a realistic Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction; new Israeli technology export regulations in line with the Nuclear Suppliers Group; cooperation in the area of radiation safety and research in the medical field; and cooperation to safeguard and prevent terrorist use of radioactive materials ("dirty bombs"). Israel, as a member of the IAEA since its founding in 1957, has a great deal to contribute and also to gain from collaboration in these areas.
Universal Goals vs. Middle East Realities
For Dr. el-Baradei, who made an official visit to Israel in 1998, shortly after being elected to head the IAEA, the "universality of nuclear non-proliferation norms" is high on the agenda. Indeed, the Director General's mandate includes continuing discussions with the three important non-signatories to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- India, Pakistan, and Israel. Most Israeli officials will agree that the goal is noble: a world free from the threat of nuclear and other kinds of arms, and without the need for such weapons of "last resort."
But when the subject is raised, Israeli officials will explain once again that a "universal" treaty such as the NPT is incompatible with a region that remains far from peaceful and secure. They might quote officials from other countries, such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Minister Jack Straw, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and many others who have publicly recognized the uniqueness of the threat to Israel's national survival. These threats have not changed fundamentally from those perceived by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who began to develop a nuclear option after the 1948 Arab invasion in order to deter further attacks. As public opinion polls demonstrate, the vast majority of Israelis are convinced that the Dimona reactor and the other elements of this virtual capability remain necessary to convince neighboring states that any attempt to destroy Israel will result in a parallel destruction on the other side. For this reason, Mordechai Vanunu's self-delegated and anti-democratic efforts to tear down Israeli deterrence policy have received miniscule support from Israeli citizens.1
At the same time, Israeli nuclear policy during this long period has been particularly careful and responsible. In sharp contrast to Pakistan, whose chief nuclear scientist, A. Q. Khan, ran what the IAEA referred to as a "nuclear supermarket" for states such as Libya, Iran, North Korea, and perhaps Syria and Saudi Arabia, Israel has avoided any contribution to nuclear proliferation. Recent changes in Israeli export regulations have brought these into line with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia Group (with respect to preventing proliferation of chemical and biological weapons), opening the way for greater cooperation in these frameworks.
Furthermore, under the terms of a 1969 agreement with the U.S. government, and in order to avoid accelerating the rate of proliferation in the region, Israel has refrained from making any declarations about its nuclear weapons capability, or from testing devices. In 1998, India and Pakistan became the sixth and seventh nations to test atomic weapons, while Israel has continued to demonstrate self-restraint, and maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity in this area.
The Threat to Israel Has Not Diminished
The threat to Israel has not diminished much in the past five decades -- the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan have helped set important precedents, but the hatred in the Arab and Moslem worlds remains intense. During this visit, Dr. el-Baradei and his staff will be reminded that officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran continue to declare their rejection of "the Zionist entity," while supporting and working closely with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizballah.
In December 2001, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani called the establishment of the Jewish state the "worst event in history," and declared, "In due time the Islamic world will have a military nuclear device, and then the strategy of the West would reach a dead end, since one bomb is enough to destroy all Israel."2
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenai told the Syrian premier during his visit to Tehran in November 2000 that "the destruction of Israel will certainly occur."3 Khamenai further emphasized in a Friday sermon "that the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region."4 In January 2001, he noted: "The foundation of the Islamic regime is opposition to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region."5
Hard-core Arab anti-Semitism is widespread, and although Libyan leader Muamar Ghaddafi has decided to repair his shattered relations with the West, he continues to call for the replacement of Israel with a binational (meaning Palestinian-dominated) state. As long as Jewish sovereignty and Israel's right to equality as a state among the nations is denied, the need for a credible deterrent will not end.
It is true that Israel's security environment has improved in the past few years, particularly after Saddam Hussein's arsenal of Scud missiles and other weapons were destroyed as a result of the U.S.- and UK-led war. In addition, after the Libyan government was caught attempting to import components for the production of enriched uranium, it relinquished major WMD-related components, including chemical weapons materials. This is another direct benefit of the Iraq War. The threat of massive conventional attacks against Israel has also diminished with the end of the Cold War and the parallel decline of Syrian and other forces that had been aligned with the Soviet Union.
However, the fundamental asymmetry that has always characterized Israel's strategic position in the Middle East remains unchanged. In the regional turbulence which has increased as a result of the war in Iraq, Israel's miniscule territorial size and small population could present an irresistible target of opportunity for yet another Arab leader seeking to divert attention from internal pressures. From this perspective, Israel's nuclear deterrent option is given credit for preventing catastrophic miscalculation, even in the case of Saddam Hussein. As Egypt's leaders understood after paying the huge costs of the 1973 War, Israel is not going to be destroyed, and the only rational alternative is mutual acceptance.
Under these circumstances, if Israel were suddenly to give up its nuclear "insurance policy," it would actually make the region more unstable. Thus, scenarios that include an Israeli decision to sign the NPT and close the Dimona reactor complex are unrealistic in the foreseeable future.
Even if the IAEA, under the leadership of Dr. el-Baradei, and with the backing of Washington and the hesitant Europeans, were able to halt Iran's march to nuclear weapons before it crosses the point of no return, this would reduce but certainly not end the threat to Israel's survival. As a result, there is no basis for considering a tradeoff linking Iran's illegal nuclear program with pressure on Israel to abandon its deterrent. The IAEA leadership would be ill-advised to try to link these two complex issues into a simple but unrealistic "package deal."
Moving Toward a Middle East Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction
The realistic path to gaining Israel's agreement to relinquish its deterrent and accept the NPT is to radically change the Middle East threat environment. The establishment of a network of regional peace agreements, extending from North Africa through Saudi Arabia and Iran, would provide the necessary foundation for far-reaching changes in Israel's threat perception, making a "last resort deterrent" unnecessary.
The nature and conditions for a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (MENWFZ), or, in some versions, a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, have been subjects for discussion in the United Nations and other frameworks for almost thirty years. Israel has joined the other countries in the region in endorsing this concept, although there are wide differences in approach and details, such as regarding the inspection provisions. Nevertheless, a MENWFZ remains the only consensus-based framework within which negotiations on this issue can proceed. Efforts to short-cut the process, and to use threats of isolation to try to gain Israeli entry into the NPT framework in the absence of peace and regional stability, are counter-productive. When the subject comes up in talks with Dr. el-Baradei, this is the response he is likely to hear from his Israeli interlocutors.
In order to pave the way toward this goal, a series of confidence-building measures (CBMs) can be considered that would not impinge on Israel's policy of deliberate ambiguity. One important measure in this direction was taken a few years ago, when Israel signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and established a station near the Dead Sea as part of the international network to monitor compliance.
Additional CBMs and measures to reduce instability, increase regional security cooperation, and reduce threats of war extend into the area of conventional weapons. United Nations reports highlight the importance of negotiations to decrease the arsenals of tanks, missiles, and other offensive weapons in the region, as well as agreements to prevent possible surprise attacks in the prelude to a MENWFZ. Discussions of the implementation of these and other preliminary steps in the region are important to create conditions necessary for more ambitious objectives.
Within the IAEA structure itself, the discrimination against Israel by virtue of its being excluded from the system of regional groupings (as was the case in the UN until recently) is being addressed, but slowly. An effort by the Director General to accelerate ratification of the proposed changes allowing Israel to be elected to the Board of Governors and hold other positions would mark an important change in the relationship and contribute to mutual acceptance in the region.
The IAEA and Iran's Drive for Nuclear Weapons
At the same time, it is also clear that a MENWFZ, however distant, will become essentially unfeasible if Iran crosses the point of no return in its development of nuclear weapons. The Iranian leadership's repeated statements of hostility and demonization toward Israel, including declarations of intent to destroy the "Zionist entity," and its support for terrorist groups such as Hizballah and Hamas, make the prospects of a nuclear-armed Iran particularly dangerous.
However, the impact of Iranian nuclear weapons is certainly not confined to Israel, and the response to Iran's violations of its commitments under the NPT is a global responsibility. Following earlier attempts to cover up and downplay the clear evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons development efforts, the IAEA's latest report, issued on June 1, 2004, demonstrates the professionalism with which the agency's verification and safeguards teams are approaching this challenge.6
After having ignored the evidence of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program in the late 1970s (leading the Begin government to act unilaterally to destroy the Osiraq reactor in 1981), and failing to detect Libya's illegal technological imports, including centrifuges for uranium enrichment, the IAEA under Dr. el-Baradei has apparently realized that a failure in the case of Iran will destroy the organization's credibility.
The IAEA reports of March and June 2004 include many "smoking guns." These include blatant inconsistencies in Iranian explanations for traces of fissile materials used in making bombs that were detected by the inspectors, long delays in granting access to key sites, violating assurances under the recently signed Additional Protocol; failure to report advanced enrichment equipment such as thousands of advanced P-2 centrifuges; and construction of plants to prepare large amounts of uranium for enrichment. A recent satellite image of the Lavizan-Shiyan Technical Research Center (taken by the GlobalDigital satellite on request from the Institute for Science and International Security) shows that this site has been totally demolished and "scraped clean," apparently reflecting major efforts to hide traces of nuclear weapons activity from the inspectors. At the same time, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rohani, declared that "the world must accept that Iran has [nuclear] fuel cycle [capabilities], and has enriched uranium within Iran's [territory]."7
While Iran is likely to be included in discussions between Dr. el-Baradei and Israeli officials, the focus of efforts to halt Teheran's race to a nuclear capability is now in Vienna, where the IAEA will hold its most critical meeting in September, and in Washington and Europe. The Bush Administration is committed to act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and Europe -- led by Britain, France, and Germany -- has threatened to impose massive economic sanctions on Iran if the weapons production program continues. Whether they are able to act effectively remains to be seen, but if they do not, Israel could be forced to convert its ambiguous minimal nuclear deterrent option into an open second-strike capability in order to deter Iranian threats. Such a development would not enhance regional stability, to understate the case. Thus, although measures to address these concerns may not be at the center of the Israeli-IAEA bilateral discussions, their presence in the background will shape discussions on other issues.
Other Agenda Items: Safety and Research Cooperation
While of lesser interest to the general public than these core security issues, the discussions between the IAEA delegation and Israeli officials will include an effort to expand technical cooperation with the agency. Under the long-standing safeguards agreement with Israel, IAEA inspectors regularly visit and report on the status of the Nahal Sorek research reactor and related scientific facilities and activities. (The Dimona reactor complex is not included in this framework.) Israeli experts also participate in IAEA technical assistance programs in other parts of the world.
Health care applications of radiation constitute another important area of IAEA activities, and will be a major item on the agenda during this visit. Although Israel is a world leader in medical research, including nuclear applications, local hospital practices, including calibration of instruments, can be improved through cooperative programs between the Israeli Ministry of Health and the IAEA.
Returning to the security dimension, the IAEA has become centrally involved in the effort to prevent terrorists from obtaining radioactive materials in order to produce "dirty bombs," and Israel is an active participant in this effort. This is another area in which Israeli technical assistance to the IAEA can be expanded, with world-wide benefits.
Thus, although media attention during Dr. el-Baradei's visit will focus on areas of contention and disagreement -- such as the uniqueness of Israel's status and Iran's quest for nuclear weapons -- the discussions themselves are likely to be characterized by a cooperative atmosphere.
* * *
1. See Gerald M. Steinberg, "The Vanunu Myths and Israeli Deterrence Policy," Jerusalem Issue Brief 3:22, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, April 2004; http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief3-22.htm.
2. Douglas Frantz, "Iran Closes In on Ability to Build a Nuclear Bomb," Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2003.
3. Iranian TV in Persian, November 23, 2000, as quoted in "Iran Calls for the Destruction of Israel," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S),
Special Information Bulletin, November 2003; http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/bu/iran/shihab_11_03.htm.
4. Iranian TV, December 15, 2000, C.S.S.
5. Meeting with the organizers of the International Conference for Support of the Intifada, Iranian TV, January 15, 2001, C.S.S.
6. "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Director General's Report to the IAEA Board of Governors, June 1, 2004; http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/iaea0604.pdf.
7. "Iranian Leader: The World Must Accept Iran's Membership in World Nuclear Club," MEMRI No. 678 Special Dispatch -- Iran, March 11, 2004; http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD67804.
Gerald M. Steinberg is a Fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and director of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University.
VARIOUS ARTICLES ON ISRAELI SECURITY
WorldNetDaily, June 25, 2004
ISRAEL: NO INTENTION OF
CHANGING NUCLEAR POLICY
by Herb Keinon and Agencies
Israel needs to seriously begin discussing ways of ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons even if it is unwilling to acknowledge that it possesses such weapons, Mohamed El-Baradei - director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- said Sunday.
A senior Israeli diplomatic official responded to El-Baradei's statement by saying that Israel "has no intention of changing its policy."
Israel's nuclear policy over the last half-century has been one of ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying nuclear capability. The country has consistently said only that it will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the region.
One government official said that when El-Baradei visits, he will be told politely that while Iran is continuing in its attempts to gain a nuclear capability, and soon after Libya developed a weapons of mass destruction capability under the nose of the international community, "it is not exactly the time to play around with your deterrence."
Speaking in Moscow ahead of his planned visit to Israel this week, El-Baradei said that Israel should sign onto the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Though Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - which gives the IAEA powers to inspect nuclear programs - it is a member of the agency.
"We need ... to rid the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction," he said.
"Israel agrees with that, but they say it has to be ... after peace agreements," Reuters quoted ElBaradei as saying. "My proposal is maybe we need to start to have a parallel dialogue on security at the same time when we're working on the peace process." El-Baradei said this issue would be on the top of his agenda when he meets Israeli officials this week.
He said that a dialogue would help reduce widespread frustration in the Middle East "about what is seen to be a security imbalance."
El-Baradei said it was a "given" that Israel has a nuclear capability, if not nuclear weapons. "So whether they would like to come in the open, whether they maintain ... ambiguity, it's for them to decide," El-Baradei said.
"As long as you continue to have countries dangling a cigarette from their mouth, you cannot tell everybody not to smoke with a high degree of credibility," El-Baradei said.
El-Baradei has visited Israel in 1998, and before that in 1996 and 1992.
Israel neither confirms nor denies it has nuclear weapons, and refuses to discuss such allegations. International experts estimate the country holds 200 or more weapons.
In April, El- Baradei said "Nuclear deterrence or nuclear weapons [are] deeply ingrained in the Israeli psychology. They think... that as long as many people, individuals [and] groups continue to talk about the destruction of Israel, they just simply cannot afford to give up the nuclear option in the absence of a comprehensive peace accepted by the people of the region."
Monday, June 28, 2004
IDF SOLDIER KILLED & 5 IDF SOLDIERS INJURED IN LAST NIGHT ATTACK
An IDF soldier was killed and five IDF soldiers were injured as a result of an explosion in an IDF post in Gush Katif last night.
An IDF soldier was killed, an IDF soldier was seriously injured, an IDF soldier was moderately injured and three IDF soldiers were lightly injured as a result of an explosion activated by the use of an underground tunnel dug under an IDF post near the Gush- Katif junction, in the central Gaza strip, yesterday evening June 27, 2004.
The families of the soldiers have been notified.
An initial inquiry points to the fact that the explosion occurred as a result of an underground tunnel; dug by Palestinian terrorists. The tunnel was than filled with a large amount of explosives which were used to target the IDF soldiers inside the post.
Rescue teams arriving at the scene quickly evacuated the Soldiers to a nearby hospital.
During the entire rescue efforts and the attempted evacuation of the soldiers the rescue forces came under heavy Palestinian fire.
Friday, June 25, 2004
IAF COMMANDER CONCERNED BY
DEPLOYED WITHIN EASY STRIKING DISTANCE OF ISRAEL
[IMRA: The unilateral decision to reward the Saudis for their cooperation by breaking a promise to Israel and endangering the Jewish State's security (see below) is a clear warning against trading security for "security arrangements"]
The new commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkeidi, was asked: "The Saudis deployed F-15 aircraft at the Tabuq airfield, minutes from the Israeli border, contrary to agreements. Does this disturb you?"
Shkeidi: "I am very disturbed. They were moved to Tabuq in violation of all agreements and decisions taken when they bought the F-15s....Again, this returns us to the distance between capabilities and intentions. And intentions in our region can change quickly."
"U.S. concessions to Saudi Arabia in return for its cooperation over Iraq were fairly modest, officials said. The most significant military concession was ending a 25-year-old restriction barring the Saudi air force from using the Tabuk airfield as a base for F-15 fighter planes purchased from the United States. The Israeli government had long objected to Saudi F-15s flying in and out of Tabuk, from which Israel would be within easy striking distance. "
The Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2004
TERROR GROUPS TO RESTRUCTURE FOLLOWING IDF SUCCESS - OFFICER
by Arieh O'Sullivan
Palestinian terror groups will make an effort in the near future to rebuild their operational basis following recent successful IDF operations in Nablus and elsewhere in the West Bank, a senior officer of the IDF's General Staff said Sunday.
The officer added that the planned disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and four isolated settlements in the northern West Bank would increase the groups' efforts to reorganize their structures, Army Radio reported.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned Sunday against Israeli over-confidence. "Saturday's killing of terror leaders in Nablus was another factor in lowering the level of terror. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to continue applying harsh pressure on the terrorists," Mofaz said.
The Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades vowed to avenge the killing on Saturday of its Nablus military wing head Nayef Abu Sharkh, who was shot along with five other Palestinians -- all senior members of the Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The terror group, with close links to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, declared a three-day mourning period in Nablus for Sharkh and his companions. It also promised an "earthquake" of vengeance on Israel.
Sharkh was reportedly appointed to the post just two months ago. He was behind the suicide attack in Nave Sha'anan that killed 23 people and has been on the most wanted list since the beginning of the latest conflict almost four years ago.
IDF troops, operating in Nablus since Thursday, arrived at the terrorists hiding place, in which the five were holed up, following intelligence gained from an armed Palestinian captured earlier.
Paratroopers in determined operations against terrorist infrastructure in the Nablus Casbah killed nine Palestinian gunmen.
There were no serious IDF casualties, but seven soldiers were treated for smoke inhalation after a storeroom with explosives they found caught fire, the army said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised the raid as an "impressive success" in Israel's war on terror.
Qurei calls operation 'barbaric'
Speaking in Ramallah, PA Prime Minister Ahemd Qurei called the raid a "criminal, barbaric act."
Abu Mahmoud, an al-Aksa spokesman, said his group would retaliate.
"This crime shows that Israel is continuing its strategy of killings and assassinations against all the Palestinians," he said.
"The revenge will come like an earthquake for the state of Israel, maybe hitting the citizens, maybe the soldiers, maybe the government. But at the right time and the right place they will be hit," he said.
During the operation, IDF troops swept through the Casbah, blowing open doors or using sledgehammers to knock them down. Palestinian reports said soldier sealed some alleys with cement blocks and barbed wire to trap the fugitives inside. The army's curfew on the city, in place since the operation began early Thursday, was lifted on Sunday.
The terrorists killed include Jafer al-Massari, the commander of Hamas' military wing (Izzadin al-Kassam) and Fadi Bagit, the commander of the Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Platoons.
The three were in a secret tunnel behind a bathroom wall, military sources said. One wounded survivor was captured and taken in for medical treatment and interrogation. Paratroopers came upon the hidden room as a result of an earlier clash with two gunmen in the Casbah. The troops shot dead one of the gunmen. The other escaped but was observed fleeing into what he thought was a hideaway.
When the troops approached they discovered a secret room and called on those hiding inside to surrender. When they refused soldiers tossed inside hand grenades and opened fire with machine guns. It was not clear if the Palestinians fired back.
Military sources said that besides the five bodies and the wounded Palestinian, soldiers found inside the hidden room a number of bombs and weapons. A fire began and some soldiers suffered from the smoke and were treated.
Nablus -- the Palestinian terror capital
"Nablus continues to be the 'Palestinian terror capital' that knows how to produce attacks daily," said Lt.-Col Itzik, commander of the 101st paratrooper battalion.
Haruv battalion commander Lt.-Col. Nochi said operating very slowly to prevent any casualties.
"The Casbah is a very central focus point from which terror attacks are launched against Israel," Lt.-Col. Nochi told reporters.
The IDF distributed leaflets to the city's residents. "These terrorists are only a source of suffering and trouble for the people of Nablus who want to live their lives in dignity," the leaflet said.
According to Lt.-Col. Nochi, they have witnessed local residents and merchants confronting the fugitives not to seek sanctuary with them and disrupt their lives.
Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2004
BLACK MARKET NUCLEAR PROBE FOCUSES ON SYRIA
By Douglas Frantz, Times Staff Writer
[With thanks to www.mideastweb.org/mewnews1.htm ]
ISTANBUL - International investigators are examining whether Syria acquired nuclear technology and expertise through the black market network operated by rogue Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, according to a U.S. official and Western diplomats.
Intelligence reports found that Khan and some associates visited Syria in the late 1990s and later held clandestine meetings with Syrian nuclear officials in Iran, said Western diplomats from a U.S. ally. Concerns were heightened after an experimental U.S. electronic eavesdropping device recently picked up signals indicating that Syria was operating centrifuges, which enrich uranium for possible use in nuclear weapons.
Khan, who helped Pakistan develop its nuclear arsenal, has admitted selling advanced centrifuge technology and expertise to Iran, Libya and North Korea over two decades. The extent of his ring's operations remains unknown, but diplomats said that if Syria has centrifuges they would undoubtedly have come from Khan's network.
Inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, are investigating whether sales were made to other countries as they reconstruct what officials consider the worst nuclear proliferation network in history.
A senior European diplomat familiar with the IAEA inquiry said Syria was on the list of suspected customers, but he said the agency has not found evidence that Khan visited Syria or sold technology to it.
The Syrian representative to the IAEA in Vienna did not respond to written questions submitted on Tuesday. In the past, Syrian officials have dismissed accusations that the country is pursuing nuclear weapons. The IAEA declined to comment and a spokeswoman for the State Department said, "We are unable to comment on any of these questions, because they are all of an intelligence nature."
Other Western diplomats and some U.S. officials cautioned that the information linking Syria to Khan's network is not conclusive. Even if Khan had contact with Syria, they said there is no evidence that Damascus bought centrifuges or other nuclear technology from him.
Since admitting his dealings with some countries earlier this year, Khan has been cooperating with Pakistani authorities, who are sharing some information with the IAEA and U.S.
A senior U.S. official said Khan has not denied contacts with other governments, though the official said the Pakistani scientist said sales were made only to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Khan's network involved middlemen and suppliers in Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The network offered advanced centrifuge machines, components and designs as well as training for operating the machines. Libya also acquired blueprints for a nuclear bomb.
The ring operated for more than a decade before it was exposed earlier this year when Libya turned over Pakistani-supplied centrifuge components and related documents as part of an agreement to abandon its nuclear weapons program brokered by the U.S. and Britain.
Even before the scope of Khan's operations became public, the Central Intelligence Agency had raised alarms about Syria's interest in nuclear weapons and hinted at its possible efforts to acquire technology on the black market.
"Broader access to foreign expertise provides opportunities to expand its indigenous capabilities and we are looking at Syrian nuclear intentions with growing concern," said an unclassified report submitted to Congress by the CIA in mid-2003.
Syria maintains one of the Middle East's largest arsenals of ballistic missiles, developed in cooperation with North Korea and other countries. Analysts also believe Syria possesses chemical and biological weapons.
The information about its possible nuclear ambitions is more vague. The Western diplomats who described the links between Syria and Khan's network said the Pakistani scientist gave several lectures on nuclear materials in late 1997 and early 1998 in Damascus.
Beginning in 2001, they said, Khan's meetings with the Syrians were held inIran because of Syria's concerns that its contacts with the Pakistani scientist would be exposed. They said three scientists from Khan's research laboratory in Pakistan accompanied him.
The diplomats said the meetings were part of a program intended to help Syria develop nuclear weapons.
The diplomats spoke on the condition that neither they nor their country of origin be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information and the means used to gather it. Centrifuges spin at enormous speeds to transform uranium gas into enriched uranium for reactors or bombs.
Thousands of machines are necessary to produce large amounts of enriched uranium, but even a small number would give off a distinct signal, experts said.
The senior U.S. official, who also insisted on anonymity because of the nature of the information, said an experimental electronic monitoring device had picked up the distinctive pattern of centrifuges operating in Syria in recent months. The official declined to provide any details and said the U.S. has only suspicions that the technology came from Khan's network.
Reuters news agency reported in early May that the U.S. had information that Syria was operating centrifuges. But the report said there was a division within the Bush administration over the accuracy of the information.
Some administration officials have pushed for tough action against Syria because of its ties to extremists and likely pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Other officials have argued for a softer course because Damascus has cooperated on terrorism issues.
Under pressure from Congress, President Bush applied economic sanctions on Syria on May 11 because of what he said was its support of terrorism and interference in U.S. efforts to create stability in Iraq.
Saturday, June 26, 2004
CIA: SYRIA MAINTAINS INSURGENCY OPERATIONS
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The CIA has determined that Syria has maintained the operational arms of leading Islamic insurgency groups based in Damascus.
Officials said the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the regime of President Bashar Assad has stopped the propaganda arms of Islamic and Palestinian insurgency groups from operating in Damascus. They includeHamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
But the CIA has determined that groups deemed by the State Department as terrorists continue to plan and carry out operations from Damascus. Officials said much of the funding for attacks by Hamas, Jihad and Hizbullah either stemmed or were transferred through Syria.
In 2003, the FBI disrupted several Hizbullah cells in the United States, including operations in Charlotte, N.C. and Detroit. In all, 12 people admitted to working for Hizbullah and raising money for the organization through bank fraud, cigarette smuggling and other offenses.
A DEBKA Report
ARABS PLAN MASSIVE ATTACK ON RETREATING GAZA JEWS
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
The following is abstracted from DEBKA-Net-Weekly report. DEBKA's intelligence and military sources report that Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz and army chief Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon have compiled and presented an updated intelligence evaluation of the security situation in the Gaza Strip and within the Palestinian terrorist organizations.
According to the Mofaz-Yaalon report, radical Palestinian groups operating in the Egyptian border district of Rafah, Khan Younis and Deir al-Balakh, and financed by Iran and Saudi Arabia, have been purchasing fresh supplies of weapons and explosives and establishing new terrorist networks for their next major objective: an operational master-plan for subjecting the September 2005 evacuation of Israeli settlements and positions to heavy Palestinian fire at a high cost in blood.
They are preparing massive Katyusha rocket barrages to slam into the settlements as squads of suicide bombers crowd in and blow themselves up alongside settler families packed and ready to leave. Palestinian snipers are being trained to rain down fire on the settlements. Roads along the evacuation route will be lined with explosive charges. Gunmen armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades will wait in ambush as Gush Katif's 8,000 settlers pile into cars with their belongings and head out of Gaza.
Mofaz and Yaalon have described the Palestinian plan in detail to prime minister Ariel Sharon and evaluated the consequences of evacuation under this offensive: large numbers of homes will be destroyed instead of being dismantled and reassembled in the new communities awaiting the evacuees in the Negev and, worst of all, heavy casualties will be inflicted on the settlers and the soldiers called in to remove them. The cost could be hundreds of dead and wounded, they warned.
The two security chiefs also envisage the destruction of at least 100 of the estimated 2,500 trucks plying the roads in Gaza with people and their possessions by continuous mortar and RPG barrages. This will bring the Israeli pullout to a grinding halt. The army will be forced to abandon the evacuation and launch a major cleansing operation to reestablish control over Gaza's main arteries.
The scenes will be reminiscent of the nightmarish situation on Iraq's main roads in April, when Iraqi guerrilla forces, by daily attacks, halted the movement of US military and supply convoys between Baghdad and other cities, including flashpoint Fallujah, and between Amman, Jordan and Iraq. As the trucks went up in smoke, US troops escorting the convoys suffered heavy casualties and the insurgents took civilian drivers hostage.
Mofaz and Yaalon proposed a hard-hitting plan to avoid this unacceptable prospect. About two to three months before the evacuation, the army will occupy the three main Palestinian towns neighboring Gush Katif -- Rafah, Khan Younis and Deir al-Balakh, which represent about 40 percent of Gaza Strip territory.
DEBKA sources reveal that on June 21, Sharon briefed a group from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy led by former US peace envoy Dennis Ross on the Palestinian plan for turning the Gaza evacuation into a bloodbath and Egypt's refusal to help derail it. Sharon had hoped that Egypt would agree to [train a 30,000-man Palestinian army] in Gaza to prevent the anticipated blood bath. [DEBKA does not mention the fact that this Arab army would be deployed on the outskirts of Ashkelon!] Egypt responded by insisting on Israel's immediate cessation of all its military operations in the territory. Obviously this would undo any plans to pre-empt a Palestinian onslaught by taking control of the three Gazan towns. Evacuation under massive Palestinian fire would then become inevitable.
Egypt is not only against Israeli pre-emptive action in Gaza to make the evacuation safe; it also has no intention of preventing the tunnel-smuggling of weapons to Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. This aspect of the Mofaz-Yaalon intelligence briefing was aired during their presentation to the prime minister.
* * *
The present writer can only conclude that it behooves the Jews in Gaza to be fully cognizant of the mortal dangers to which they will be exposed as a result of Sharon's disengagement plan.
FrontPageMagazine.com, June 29, 2004
TAKING ORDERS FROM ARAFAT
By Steven Plaut
In recent days, the pro-terror far-leftists and self-proclaimed "anarchists" from the ISM, or International Solidarity Movement, have been making both increased trouble and headlines here in Israel. They have repeatedly attacked Israeli police and soldiers, using violence as part of their campaign to show their support for the violent Palestinian terrorists. They attempt to vandalize and sabotage Israel's security fence, to show their opposition to all attempts by Israel to protect its children from mass murderers and suicide bombers.
Israelis have long been at a loss to explain the reluctance of their government to send these Western pro-terror "peace activists" packing or to imprison them. In the past, some pro-terror "activists" have gone so far as to hide wanted terrorists in their offices and to hide arms used by them.
This week, in an uncharacteristic decision but hopefully one showing a new direction, the Tel Aviv District Court ordered American leftist activist Ken O'Keefe deported for trying to enter the Gaza Strip illegally.
O'Keefe was caught trying to cross the separation fence into the Gaza Strip near the settlement of Dugit after arriving in Israel three weeks ago, and after having signed a statement pledging not to enter the Gaza Strip. District Court Judge Sarah Gadot determined, based on intelligence reports, that O'Keefe was a security risk and had violated military orders by infiltrating an area controlled by the army, after he had been warned against it and stated his intention to retry. The judge also determined that O'Keefe had ignored a sign in English indicating the location of the border. O'Keefe claimed that the border was not a recognized international frontier and the sign was misleading. In other words, he was of the rather common opinion that leftists should be exempt from obeying the law.
O'Keefe claims he had organized hundreds of Americans and citizens of other Western countries to act as "human shields" in Iraq. O'Keefe said he had come to Israel at the beginning of the 2003 Iraq war to advance "peace" (or at least the leftist interpretation of the term) between Israelis and Palestinians. His attorney, Yael Barda from the Far-Left anti-Zionist organization Gush Shalom, claimed that although her client was eccentric, he was not a security risk.
But the true face of these "caring peace lovers" in the Middle East who support the terrorists, was unmasked this week in a different development. According to a news story in the Israeli leftist daily Haaretz this week, it was revealed that the "international solidarity protesters" and the rest of the Far-Leftist demonstrators in town trying to sabotage Israel's security fence, are taking their orders and directions directly from Yassir Arafat. They met with Arafat this week in his terrorist headquarters in Ramallah to hear his orders and instructions for them regarding how they should run their "peace" protests against Israel's security fence. Arafat ordered them to escalate the violence of their demonstrations, especially at two locations, near Jerusalem and near the Jewish town of Ariel, and to escalate the level of the protests just before the "World Court" in the Hague meets to discuss Israel's fence. In sum, the terrorist Arafat is dictating tactics and timing to the Western peace poseurs and solidarity-meisters for the Islamic revolution.
On the other hand, this week witnessed one of the most successful anti-terror actions by Israel to date, and it was one that will have a greater impact on the terror and on the pro-terror leftists than the construction of the security wall itself. Israel carried out a sort of Godfather-movie set of hits on the number-one leaders of all three major terrorist organizations in Nablus. Not only were the three terrorist dons all killed in a single day, but so were seven other terrorists with them; several were also in leadership positions.
The peace-loving and caring Left of course will be outraged and will escalate its violent protests against Israeli self-defense. After all, how dare Israel assassinate the Palestinian terrorists instead of capitulating to them?