Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE


POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"

VOLUME 10       B"H MAY-JUNE 2002       NUMBER 5-6

TABLE OF CONTENTS
MAY-JUNE 2002

 

EDITORIALS
IT'S TOO EARLY FOR A PALESTINIAN STATE....AVI DAVIS
THE JEWISH PEOPLE'S FIFTH COLUMN....Avi Davis
THE DEADLY 'POLITICAL HORIZON'...Guest Editorial....Evelyn Gordon

MORE ON OSLO, ARAFAT AND TERRORISM
IGNORE HATE TODAY, DIE TOMORROW....A.M. ROSENTHAL
DEBUNKING MIDDLE EAST CONVENTIONAL WISDOM....Shawn Pine
THE STILLBORN PALESTINIAN STATE (or why a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is nonviable)...Parts 1 and 2....Boris Shusteff
AN INTELLIGENCE ABYSS....Shawn Pine
WITH HONOR AND WISDOM....Boris Shusteff
A PALESTINIAN STATE AND REGIONAL NUCLEAR WAR.....Louis Rene Beres
THE RISKS TO ISRAEL OF A PALESTINIAN STATE.....Louis Rene Beres
LAND WITHOUT A NAME.....Rabbi Dov B. Fischer

 

THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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IT'S TOO EARLY FOR A
PALESTINIAN STATE

By Avi Davis

The decision of the Likud Party's Central Committee in Israel on Sunday to reject the concept of a Palestinian state came as little surprise. It reflects the prevailing mood of the Israeli right and a growing acceptance on the left that the Palestinians have forfeited a right to statehood.

In fact, with the vote the Likud Party is challenging a central canon of international relations: the automatic right to self-determination. It has good reason to do so. Many of the same Arab nations that fought for their freedom after World War II and claimed the right of self-determination have transformed themselves into entrenched enemies of progress, brutally repressing their people and projecting a threat to their neighbors and to the maintenance of international order. Instead of a comity of nations dedicated to the advancement of their people, countries such as Libya, Syria, Sudan and Iraq have devolved into dictatorships, unconcerned with human rights or individual liberties.

That pattern would doubtlessly repeat itself with the creation of a Palestinian state. For anyone observing the development of the Palestinian Authority over the past nine years and the Palestine Liberation Organization over the past 40 years, the view is grim. Instead of freedom the people of Palestine could expect only further repression; instead of peace they would be urged to constant aggression against neighboring countries; instead of prosperity they would see more corruption and nepotism.

In reviewing the failures of the past century, shouldn't we be reassessing the standard for statehood? Rather than becoming an automatic right, statehood should be qualified by the following test:

Are the people capable of governing themselves by building solid institutions that promote freedom, peace and prosperity? Would the creation of a state engender less danger for neighboring states? How much better off would the subject population be with a native government? If the would-be nation cannot meet these basic standards, statehood is not the answer.

There is a better solution. After World War I, the Paris Peace Conference recognized that the populations of certain regions were not ready, by reason of internal discord or an absence of leadership, for statehood. Thus Palestine (incorporating Trans-Jordan) and Lebanon became wards of the British Empire and the Third French Republic, respectively.

The mandates these nations were awarded carried specific instructions to nurture the regions into political maturity. Although neither Britain nor France always acted responsibly in carrying out its directives, there were some promising results. General prosperity, the development of representative institutions and the institution of secular law set a tone that left a lasting memory.

The Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza could benefit from a similar mandatory system. Supervised by the United States under a plan negotiated in advance with Israel and Jordan, Palestinian towns and villages could be nurtured with representative institutions, allowing Palestinians a say in their own administration, even if short of sovereignty. The U.S. mandate would facilitate the development of an educational system and an economy focused on peaceful coexistence with neighboring states. Security would be jointly in the hands of Israel, Jordan and the United States.

The imposition of such a mandate, however, requires one vital preliminary step: The Palestinian terrorist infrastructure must be crushed and expelled. The Palestinian Authority, as constituted, represents the greatest threat to peace in the region and the welfare of the Palestinian people.

Once freed of the Palestinian Authority's control, there eventually would rise a tier of middle-class merchants and intellectuals who appreciate the viability of a state founded on the principles of democracy and a respect for human rights. No one should pretend that such a concept will obtain immediate acceptance. But as the Bush administration prepares to dismantle another self-determined terrorist state in the same region, it is certainly an appropriate time to consider alternatives.

==============
Avi Davis is the senior fellow of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

 


 

THE JEWISH PEOPLE'S FIFTH COLUMN

By Avi Davis

The panel discussion in the Los Angeles auditorium was so weightless it could have been held on the moon. There was, I'll admit, a certain otherworldly atmosphere to the gathering, a disconnect that made me feel as if I had stepped through a time warp. Antiquated slogans, such as " give peace a chance" "no war is morally justifiable" and " compromises for peace" reverberated through the hall making me eerily uncertain whether I was sitting at a forum for peace in the Middle East or at an anti-Vietnam War rally circa 1968.

While the speakers and attendees at the town hall meeting, a joint program of the Hillel Council at UCLA and the Progressive Jewish Alliance, gave the outward appearance of objectivity, I was unconvinced. As I listened closer I began to recognize a disturbing undertone. Among the proposals for peace, were few words of condemnation for Palestinian terrorists but plenty of accusatory reproaches to Israel. Little effort was made to pass moral judgment on Palestinian rejection of the Barak proposals in the summer of 2000, while Israeli intransigence was carefully chronicled. Within the standard peace rhetoric there appeared to be a presumption that Israel's battle for survival could and should be detached from the United States' global war on terror.

I walked away from the event certain that I had just witnessed the demonstration of a phenomenon. Only sixty years after the Holocaust, there are, apparently, Jews who see Israel as a liability in their lives and are unwilling to defend it at a time of its greatest peril. How to explain it? Many pass it off it as emblematic of the diversity that is proclaimed the great hallmark of Jewish tradition. But that is a cheap excuse. More persuasive is the notion that adopting far left-wing positions places one firmly in the intellectual, academic and celebrity mainstream. To be a contrarian is a badge of honor in our politically correct world and a ticket to social acceptance.

Chaim Seidler-Feller may be the exemplar par excellence of the art of social climbing masquerading as ideological purity. Although possessing rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University, the UCLA Hillel Director today describes himself as " post- denominational" - a meaningless but convenient designation that allows him to float ideologically between causes. But any accusations of intellectual fuzziness seems not to have not tainted his mystique. He has, in fact, become the cynosure for Los Angeles liberal-left causes, an organizer of conferences involving groups who spew the most venomous anti-Semitic and anti- Zionist rhetoric and an adamantine critic of all right wing governments – whether Israeli or American. For taking such popular leftist stances he has been rewarded with the elan of social recognition. But such self-absorption carries a heavy price. How do UCLA's Jewish students, assaulted daily with a previously unknown rash of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, understand a supposed mentor who is so equivocal in his support for the Jewish state? The answer is that they either spurn him as unreliable or , as is more common, sink into confusion about their own levels of commitment to both Israel and Judaism.

Seidler-Feller, however, is a tiny fish in a big pond when compared to the piranha of Jewish liberal avatars, Michael Lerner. The editor of a far left wing magazine Tikkun, Lerner has been an icon in the Berkeley/San Francisco milieu for decades, presiding as a latter day saint to thousands of disaffected radicals. He obtained a brief moment of fame in 1993 when Bill and Hillary Clinton lent his political manifesto, the Politics of Compassion their imprimatur, opening doors to the media. Although he soon lost favor with the Clintons (who were ridiculed for embracing such an intellectual light weight), he has since parlayed his national celebrity into campaigns to lambaste Israel anywhere he can find an audience, while doing almost nothing to decry continuing Palestinian terrorism.

When I hear these men and women justify their condemnation of Israel as an outgrowth of their Jewish humanism, I am reminded of the infamous Judenraten of the Holocaust. The Judenrat was a council appointed by the Nazis to execute their orders in Jewish towns and villages in the Russian hinterland. This usually involved selections and deportations to death camps. There were many who refused to obey the Nazi orders and chose suicide rather than obedience. Others fled. But there were some, either by convincing themselves that their actions would save Jews, inflated by a sense of self-importance or seeking to ingratiate themselves with their oppressors for personal benefit, who complied. They became both witting and unwitting accomplices to murder. Ironically, these Judenrat members rarely survived those they deported. Within months they would follow on the same trains.

But the reign of these apostles of liberalism may soon be coming to a close. Other wannabes now shake their perch. Stanley Cohen, a tousle- haired American attorney in a turtleneck who bears a striking resemblance to a young Abe Hoffman was interviewed last week on CNN sitting next to his client, a Hamas terrorist. Watching this troubling reenactment of a Woody Allen sketch, I couldn't help wondering whether this same man would have felt just as comfortable representing Heinrich Himmler 60 years ago. Adam Shapiro, a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, won his 15 minutes of fame when he was interviewed as a Jewish survivor from the raid on Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah. His condemnations of his own people lent credence to the belief that Jews are sometimes their own worst enemies.

As I left the hall I thought I heard the rumble of those trains. In a plaintive voice Seidler-Feller dissembled – " suicide bombings have only appeared in the last two years," ignoring the fact that they have, in fact, plagued Israel for the entire nine years of the Oslo Process. My heart sank. Cognitive dissonance, political immaturity or just plain old narcissism; call it what you want. It all amounts to the same thing - a desperate desire for attention and a need to be loved that is pooled into a justification for the murder of Jews.

==============
Avi Davis is the senior fellow of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies and a senior editorial columnist for Jewsweek.com

 


 

The Jerusalem Post, May. 27, 2002

THE DEADLY 'POLITICAL HORIZON'

by Evelyn Gordon

If there is one thing that almost everybody in the world agrees on today, it is that Israel will never enjoy security unless it gives the Palestinians "a political horizon" and ends "the occupation." You cannot open a newspaper anywhere, including in Israel, without seeing this mantra. You cannot listen to statements by politicians, even in Israel, without hearing it.

There is only one problem with this accepted wisdom. Empirically speaking, it is demonstrably false.

The truth is that Israel enjoyed a very tolerable level of security while it controlled the West Bank and Gaza. It was only following the Oslo Accords, when Israel began withdrawing from these areas, that terrorism rose to levels unprecedented in Israel's history.

Within two and a half years after Oslo was signed in 1993, Palestinian terror had claimed as many victims as it had during the entire preceding decade, which included the period of the first intifada. By five years after the accords were signed, the terrorist death toll had surpassed that of the 12 worst years of the pre-Oslo period the years of Yasser Arafat's mini-state in Lebanon (1970-82), which included such spectacular attacks as the Munich and Ma'alot massacres and the Entebbe hijacking. And all this is before we even get to the 500 Israelis killed in the last 20 months. In total, almost 800 Israelis have been slain by Palestinian terror since September 1993 nearly five times the 162 deaths of the 1970-82 period.

Furthermore, the worst terrorism occurred precisely during those periods when the "political horizon" i.e. movement toward a Palestinian state was most in evidence. In the heady days of Yitzhak Rabin's government, which included recognition of the PLO, withdrawal from Gaza and large chunks of the West Bank and an almost total freeze on settlement construction, the terrorist death toll was more than five times what it was under Benjamin Netanyahu, who resumed settlement construction and virtually halted the withdrawals. And of course, the worst violence of all broke out after Ehud Barak offered a Palestinian state on more than 90% of the West Bank, including evacuation of settlements and east Jerusalem as its capital.

IT IS not difficult to explain this seeming paradox. Should a people so desire, greater independence facilitates terror in several ways. And the Palestinians, quite clearly, so desired.

To start with, it is much easier to stockpile weapons when they can be imported legally than when they have to be smuggled. Under Oslo, the Palestinian Authority brought in 50,000 Kalashnikov rifles with Israel's consent, creating the only "police force" in the world armed with assault weaponry. These rifles have since been used with deadly effect against Israelis. An independent Palestinian state would have even greater freedom to acquire arms.

Second, a state-in-the-making and even more so an independent state can raise money for arms and terrorist operations far more easily than a terrorist organization. While certain Arab states always financed Palestinian terrorists, the Palestinian Authority has access to additional funding sources that the PLO could never dream of: the European Union ($300 million last year), and even, until 20 months ago, Israel (roughly $400 million a year). This money helped pay for items such as the $15 million worth of arms seized aboard the Karine A. Even today, as the German weekly Die Welt reported recently, the PA has no qualms about openly asking the EU for $20 million with which to purchase arms a request it prioritized higher than money for health and education and $15.5 million for the families of "martyrs" a Palestinian euphemism for suicide bombers.

Finally, it is much easier for terrorist organizations to perpetrate attacks when they do not have to waste time and energy on eluding capture. When Israel controlled the territories, its security services pursued such organizations relentlessly. But the PA has left them undisturbed except when faced with momentary international pressure, at which point it typically rounds up some low-level activists and then releases them once the pressure dies down. Even the IDF's new tactic of periodic lightning raids begun after years in which PA territory was completely off-limits is a poor substitute for full-time presence; these raids disrupt the terrorists for no more than hours at a stretch. But with full independence, even this would be impossible.

The dismal experience of the last nine years proves irrefutably that Israel's security would be far better served by restoring "the occupation" than by ending it. Right now, nobody in Israel really wants that. But if the only alternative is to continue letting their parents and spouses and children be slaughtered at discos and cafes and bar-mitzvahs and seders, most Israelis will inevitably come to see it as the lesser of two evils.

And so far, the Palestinians have not offered any other alternative.

The writer is a veteran journalist and commentator.

 


 

New York Daily News

IGNORE HATE TODAY, DIE TOMORROW

BY A.M. Rosenthal

Jews, listen and you will hear the sound of breaking glass.

Even if you squeeze your hands over your ears, you will still hear it. Breaking glass, burning synagogues and diplomats making filthy anti-Semitic remarks mean that a sickening number of people around the world, many in high office, would have no great objections if the concentration camps arrived again, and would even take pleasure in speeding their coming.

Jews and Christians have been deceiving themselves that the most violent and virulent anti-Semitism campaign since Hitler has involved only Muslim states. That languor of eye, ear and brain could become our eternal sleep. The noise and stench of hatred are soiling us again, now not just from Muslim countries but from lands we consider our friends.

The American press is generally doing a miserable job of reporting this outbreak. But when the information does trickle in, we sit around saying, "Well, what can we do about it?"

German Jews asked themselves the same question while the Nazis were slithering to power. Then they couldn't even ask the question, because they were being strangled.

When it was all over -- or supposed to be -- those still alive said, "Never again." It meant never again would anti-Jewish hate be allowed to become slaughter.

But it was supposed to mean something else, too. Never again would those whose fate was to be hung by the neck pretend that they did not see the nooses. And yet, here we are. Staring at the gallows

This year, a French ambassador to England described Israel as feces. A Saudi newspaper -- controlled, of course, by the government -- wrote that Jews make holiday pastry with human blood.

It is the old blood libel, and if you don't know what that means, be ashamed of yourself. It means the blueprints for the new camps are probably already drawn.

But what can we do? We hear that whine again and again -- sometimes from ourselves.

We can use our political, ethical and financial resources against the Jew-haters now crawling out from the moldings of fancy English homes and Belgian and French political offices. We can look them squarely in the eye.

Most important, we can turn to our own leaders of government, industry and commerce. Americans cannot rely only upon foreigners to fight anti-Jewishness abroad.

The first thing we can do is decide to do something. President Bush has so far shown the bravest and clearest mind among the world's "leaders." He does not try to define the killers by nationality or religion but by their belief that the only important weapon of their warfare is terrorist murder.

Dissemination of Jew-hate is a prelude to suicide terror just as certainly as making the bomb is the prelude to exploding it.

In Israel today, America tomorrow.

Bush can speak that truth and make sure his administration does the same. His administration should make it clear to the murderers that they will be judged in Washington by their incitement to murder, before the new bombs of the suicide killers go off in American cities.

Americans and their government should boycott any country or international organization that allows any official to tolerate the growing international anti-Jew movement.

Yes, movement. These are not isolated incidents -- not when the same hatred is being thrown around by propagandists in Paris as well as Baghdad.

We have already been told that boycotts for the benefit of humanity and survival have no great impact. Tell that to the former apartheid leaders in South Africa now scrounging for jobs. We have been told we have a lot of money tied up in foreign trade in countries that permit or encourage anti-Jewish campaigns.

If some American entrepreneurs insist on bolstering the Jew-hating countries with American money and trade, the rest of us must turn our assets and banks against them and remove any respect and social acceptance.

These Americans will become our opponents -- people we fight, not woo. Most important, our souls will be made stronger and cleaner if we show ourselves and the world that we indeed mean it when we say "never again."

 

ADDENDUM:

In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

-Martin Niemoller

 


 

DEBUNKING MIDDLE EAST
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Major Shawn Pine

Since the beginning of the Oslo Process there has risen a Middle East conventional wisdom (CW) based upon a perverse political correctness. This phenomena has permeated the rhetoric of both the Palestinians, and the U.S. media. This CW propagates a number of tenets that are widely accepted as facts. The most disturbing aspect of this phenomena is that it has entered the vernacular of the Bush Administration and is being used as a basis for formulating strategic policy in the region. The main problem of this phenomena is that it essentially negates the possibility of achieving a lasting resolution of the conflict. Consequently, it is time to debunk many of the fallacies that have hindered the development of a coherent US strategic policy that will resolve the Arab - Israeli conflict. The most egregious fallacies include:

The Root of the Conflict is over the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 War: This was the fundamental assumption upon which the Oslo Process was borne. However, Arafat's categorical rejection of Barak's July 2000 offer of some 97% of the territories, including de facto Palestinian control over East Jerusalem, removed the facade that the core of the conflict is over the territories captured in the 1967 Arab - Israeli war. This is reinforced by scores of polls taken among the Palestinians. These polls have consistently shown that some 75% of the Palestinians view the "right of return" as a nonnegotiable core tenet in any peace process. Nor is this position merely a theoretical concession that they demand. Those same polls have shown that Palestinians believe that if given the "right of return" between 2 - 5 million Palestinians would exercise the "right," thereby effectively destroying the Jewish State.

End the Occupation and you end the violence and homicidal bombers: This has become the mantra of the Palestinians and their supporters. They argue that it is the "brutal" occupation of Israel over the Palestinians are responsible for the violence. However, acceptance of this premise requires ignoring two critical facts. First, under the Oslo Accords Israel was in the process of withdrawing from the territories. During the process, Israel had withdrawn from some 40% of the territories and was in negotiations to withdraw from most of the territories captured in the 1967 War. Moreover, this argument is further negated by the fact that when Israel fully occupied the territories, Palestinian terrorism against Israel was minimal. Second, Israeli withdrawal from those territories resulted in some 98 percent of the Palestinian population within the territories coming under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Consequently, with the exception of having to pass through checkpoints, the vast majority of the Palestinians were not under Israeli occupation. They were under Arafat's occupation. What is clear, is that it is not the occupation of the Palestinian people that is the crux of the problem. It is the occupation of the land that is the problem. In this respect, it is important to understand that in the jargon of the Palestinians, occupation of the land refers to all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Sharon isn't a real partner for peace: Proponents of this argument fail to realize that Sharon was not elected to negotiate a peace settlement with the Palestinians. He was elected to bring security to Israel. It was the Rabin/Peres government that was elected to bring peace with security to Israel. By 1996 it became painfully obvious to the majority of Israelis that the policy of the Rabin/Peres government, of accelerating the peace process in response to Palestinian terrorism, led Arafat to conclude that he could support terrorism with impunity. In the aftermath of the March 1996, terrorist attacks the Israelis elected Netanyahu to bring security with peace. For the most part, Netanyahu was successful in restoring relative security but failed to make progress in the peace process. Unfortunately, the memories of the March 1996, terrorist attacks faded in the memories of too many Israelis and they elected Barak to bring peace. When he failed, following what has been described by American negotiations as a substantial and generous offer, and Arafat launched his intifada, the Israeli electorate turned to their embattled general to bring security. Sharon's mandate by the Israeli electorate was not to bring peace to Israel but to restore a modicum of the security that existed before the Oslo Process. Unfortunately, it took Sharon more than a year, and hundreds of Israeli lives, to realize this.

Arafat does want peace: The Palestinian Authority, and its supporters, have repeatedly pointed out that, unlike Sharon, Arafat is a signatory of the Oslo Accords and scores of other agreements and cease-fires. They argue that this proves that Arafat wants peace. Unfortunately, these people have never been challenged to actually prove that Arafat has fulfilled any of the obligations he undertook when he signed these agreements. When Arafat signed the Oslo Accords he undertook a number of commitments. These included: that the Palestinian police act to prevent violence and cooperate with Israeli security forces (Annex I, Article II); that the PA disarm and disband all militias operating in the autonomous areas and to confiscate all unlicensed weapons (Article XIV; and Annex I, Articles II (1) and XI); that the PA turn over for trial all suspects whose extradition is requested by Israel (Annex IV, Article II(7)); that the PA refrain from incitement to violence (Article XXII). The record speaks for itself, and It is clear that Arafat's vision of peace does not include Israel.

Arafat is the elected leader of the Palestinian people and no one has a right to decide for the Palestinians who their leader will be: According to this premise, Israel has to deal with Arafat if it wishes to reach a peace agreement. This argument has been propagated by both Palestinian spokesmen and U.S. leaders. However, to accept this premise requires accepting a surreal Orwellian logic. Agreed, only the Palestinians have a right to chose who their leader will be. Consequently, If the Palestinians wish to be led by a terrorist, and commit national suicide, that is their right. However, the West should not encourage such a decision by lending it legitimacy. The fundamental question that faces the Bush Administration is whether or not they believe that Arafat is indeed the "elected" leader of the Palestinian people. If the conclusion is yes, then the administration has no obligation to alleviate the plight of the Palestinians because they suffer this plight by choice. If the answer is no, then the United States would be helping the Palestinian people by supporting the removal of Arafat, in much the same way it helped the Afghan people by deposing of the Taliban.

The United States needs to mollify the moderate Arab States if it wishes to take its war against terrorism to Saddam Hussein: This is the linkage argument that is being proliferated by supporters of the Palestinians. They hope that by linking the issues the United States will exert pressure on Israel to make political concessions while allowing the Palestinian Authority to continue its efforts to destroy the Jewish State. The reality is that militarily Iraq poses a negligible threat to U.S. power. Iraqi conventional forces are a shadow of what they were prior to the Persian Gulf War. Moreover, a decade technological advances have greatly increased the lethality of U.S. weapons. Should the Arab States refuse to support US-led operations, the United States can base its operations out of Israel, Turkey, or sea-based platforms. The US can use airborne forces to capture any number of Iraqi air fields and use them as a base for the introduction of armor forces. In any respect, the United States could effectively destroy the Iraqi military with just a fraction of the force it deployed in 1991. The real dangers that the Iraqi regime presents to the United States is in its development of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. In this respect, the United States is in a race to depose of Hussein before he fully develops his weapons of mass destruction. Consequently, the United States can ill afford to wait until the peace process is back on track before destroying the regime of Saddam Hussein. Moreover, such a precondition only invites Hussein to perpetuate the conflict.

In the final analysis, the West has formulated a very ephemeral strategic policy by attempting to restart a political process before eradicating terrorism. The reality is that Sharon's maximum concessions will not even come close to what Arafat and his supporters will demand. In any political process, Israel will come under pressure to negotiate tangible concessions for abstract promises similar to the of ones given by Arafat since 1993. Moreover, Arafat and his supporters have made it clear that they view the 2001 Taba negotiations as the starting point for any continuation of the political process. Undoubtedly, this view will be supported by the US State Department, the European Union, and the Arab States. The net result is that Israel will be branded as the intransigent party should they balk at such an idea. This will have a negative impact on US - Israeli relations.

In the final analysis, the United States envisions a two-state solution in which Israel withdrawals from the majority of the West Bank in return for a final resolution of the conflict. A solution that will bring Israel peace and security and the Palestinians an independent state. The Administration knows that is not the vision of Yasser Arafat, his people and the Arab States. Nothing that Arafat has said or done should have disabused any observer of the region that the goal of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians is the destruction of the Jewish State. In this respect, any divergence between Arafat, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are tactical in nature. Consequently, any agreement will only be another temporary respite in the continuation of the struggle. Only when the Arab States in the region become democratic will it be possible to achieve a real and lasting peace. In this respect, US strategic policy should be centered on removing despotic regimes, not creating another. It is clear that any Palestinian State headed by Yasser Arafat will be debilitating to U.S. geo-strategic interests in the region. While Israel maintains the military power to defend itself, Jordan will find itself in a much more precarious situation. In this regard it would behoove King Abdullah to remember Arafat's attempt, in the early 1970's, to overthrow his father's regime. It is doubtful that Arafat has deviated from his belief that the road to Jerusalem goes through Amman.

 


 

The STILLBORN PALESTINIAN STATE
(or why a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is nonviable)

Part 1 of 2

by Boris Shusteff

It is not an exaggeration to say that all of "progressive mankind" is now completely crazy about the idea of establishing a new Palestinian state in the lands called Yehuda, Shomron and Aza (collectively known as YESHA, and nowadays referred to as "the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,").

Israel liberated these lands from Jordan and Egypt, (as a result of two defensive wars in 1967 and 1973), who unlawfully occupied them in 1948. Although there is no substance whatsoever to their declarations, the supporters of this idea desperately try to convince everyone (themselves first of all) that as soon as a viable Palestinian state is established on the lands of YESHA, peace will descend upon the Middle East.

This idea has existed for more than twenty years, but for some reason no one has been able to see that a state built this way will be stillborn. It will be nonviable, unable to exist. It will be a ticking time-bomb, the unavoidable explosion of which will lead not only to the disappearance of this corpse-state itself, but could also cause Israel's destruction and potentially even lead to the nuclear apocalypse of World War Three.

All those who so stubbornly demand the creation of this corpse-state never stop to ask themselves what will happen after it is proclaimed. However, it is precisely the answer to this question that unequivocally demonstrates not only the hopelessly utopian nature of the idea, but more importantly the almost criminally ill-advised nature of any attempts to establish this state.

Before discussing the objective reasons of the non-viability of a separate Arab state in YESHA, let us look at some subjective issues. Let us assume that, since we are talking about a sovereign Palestinian state, it will have certain characteristics common to all other sovereign countries. It will have sovereignty over its air and sea space, have an army, independently decide with which countries to sign treaties, be completely responsible for the defense of its borders, etc. Put another way, it will have the same unlimited rights and responsibilities that America, Russia, Egypt, Israel and any other sovereign state. Even the poorest and most bedraggled of nations make their own independent decisions on all important issues, which is what is meant by the term "sovereign state."

It does not require much explanation why Israel is categorically against such unlimited sovereignty for any Palestinian state in YESHA. Even the most ardent proponents of Arab rights, like Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres, only talk about a demilitarized Palestinian state. They also mention several other restrictions that would be required, thus a priori curtailing the sovereignty of this state. Slightly rephrasing Orwell, we must admit that, in this particular case, the stalwarts of democracy and liberalism are unable to explain why, if all states are equal, some of them should be less equal.

Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let us assume that Israel agrees to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state in YESHA. Israel does not care that this state might arm itself to the teeth with the most advanced weaponry, that it can sign military pacts with the fiercest of Israel's enemies, like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and that it may place tens of thousands of missiles on its borders with Israel as Hizballah has done on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

So, for the sake of an argument, a sovereign Palestinian state is created in YESHA. Since the main goal of the supporters of such a state is Peace, it make sense to inquire into Arab expectations regarding this state.

An abundance of polls taken during the last two years will give clear answers to many questions. For instance, a poll taken in mid-February 2002 by Bir-Zeit University revealed that "of 1,198 Palestinians polled in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 49.5% said that a future Palestinian state and Israel could not coexist peacefully." This is very consistent with many similar polls taken since November 2000, according to which 50 to 60 percent of Palestinian Arabs are convinced that "there is no chance for peaceful coexistence between the two peoples after an independent Palestinian state had been established next to the Israeli state."

When respondents of a December 2001 survey were asked "if a future Palestinian state should adopt a school curriculum that recognizes Israel and teach schoolchildren not to demand the return of all Palestine to the Palestinians," 90.7 percent of the respondents "opposed or strongly opposed such a change in curriculum." In a November 2000 poll, 74.3 percent of those surveyed answered that "even if East Jerusalem were to come under Palestinian sovereignty, they still would not accept Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem." When asked in the same poll about "refugees," 91.5 percent answered that they believe that "peace is not possible if Israel does not recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return."

Taking into account this very "friendly" attitude of the proposed Palestinian country towards Israel, and keeping in mind other previous "good will gestures" made by the Palestinians, such as murderous terrorist activity against Israelis, it is safe to assume that Israel will try to have as little contact as possible with this new country.

Now, again for the sake of argument, let us assume that Israel builds absolutely impregnable border installations and the Israelis do not concern themselves at all with the activities of their newly independent neighbors. The Arabs wanted complete independence -- fine, they can have it, but Israel is no longer obliged to provide for their employment.

Now it is time to take a look at this corpse-state in order to understand the objective reasons that make it stillborn. First, it consists of two disconnected segments: 138 sq. miles in the Gaza strip and 2,129 sq. miles in the West Bank, or a total of_ 2,268 sq. miles.

According to data from July 2001, the population of Gaza consisted of 1,180,000 people and the West Bank of 2,100,000 people. 49.6% of the population in Gaza and 44.6% of inhabitants of the West Bank are children under the age of 15.

This means that this population doubles every 15-16 years, and, by 2050, Gaza will be home to 8-10 million Arabs and the West Bank to 11-14 million Arabs (population growth rate in Gaza is 4.01%, and in the West Bank 3.48%). This is without taking into account ANY increase in population due to the influx of so-called "refugees," at least part of whom will theoretically move into this newly established state.

Already today the average population density in the Gaza strip is one of the highest (if not the highest) in the world with 3,277 people per sq. kilometer. This is 1000% higher than in Japan, which is one of the world's most densely populated nations (338 people per sq. kilometer). In the West Bank the population density is 372 people per sq. kilometer.

We will not even attempt to solve the problems of this corpse-state related to the necessity of maintaining a minimum subsistence level for people stuffed like herring into a barrel. We shall only mention that thus far the Arabs have been mainly able to survive through being employed in Israel and YESHA. Even if the leadership of the corpse-state were to attempt to resolve these problems, it is doubtful that it can succeed for a number of reasons. It is enough to mention the complete lack of infrastructure (especially if Israel stops supplying power and water), the lack of any valuable natural resources, and the complete lack of industry (today there exist only small family businesses).

However, let us assume an absolutely impossible thing -- that the Arabs become as hardworking as the Japanese, and that the other Arab countries, after the creation of this corpse-state immediately start to provide it with all sorts of aid. And that all this aid and monetary donations is funneled towards improving the wellbeing of the people, and not towards purchasing military equipment, which is what all the other Arab countries do without exception.

Even in this science-fiction scenario the two-segment entity will be unable to survive.

End of Part 1 of 2.

THE STILLBORN PALESTINIAN STATE
(or why a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is nonviable)

Part 2 of 2

by Boris Shusteff

(In this Part, all non-referenced quotations and data are taken from Kelly and Dixon: See Ref. 1 below.)

The reason why the Palestinian state in YESHA will be unable to survive is one short word - WATER. In order to simplify the explanation we shall look only into water problems in the Gaza strip. If the non-viability of Gaza can be demonstrated, it will be enough to substantiate the bankruptcy of the whole idea of the Palestinian state.

In the Middle East the water resources are plummeting. If Israel and the West Bank are water-scarce areas, the situation in Gaza is already absolutely catastrophic today. Gaza's aquifer is relatively self-contained, so its water inventory can be considered independently. For its freshwater supply, Gaza relies almost entirely on groundwater drawn from its "aquifer, with minimal amounts obtained from other sources, such as rooftop rainwater catchments. Gaza's aquifer is often only a few meters from the surface. It is also shallow, ranging in thickness from 120 meters near the coast to 10 meters in the east."

This limited water supply has been severely overused since the time when the territory was under Egyptian control. After Israel liberated this land, in order to prevent the deterioration of the situation, Israel categorically prohibited the unauthorized digging of wells. However, after the transfer of water distribution to Palestinian Authority (PA) control the situation has gravely deteriorated. According to 1995 data "of the 3,000 wells thought to exist in Gaza, some 500 to 700 have been illegally drilled." Since a complete inventory does not exist, one can only guess at how bad the situation has become during the last seven years.

Let us compare the Gaza strip with the adjacent Israeli coast. "The top of the Israeli coastal aquifer, which is analogous to the neighboring Gaza aquifer, is 3 to 5 meters above sea level." At the same time, overpumping has reduced the Gaza aquifer to well below sea level and continues "to draw it down by 15 to 20 centimeters per year.

This decline reduces the aquifer's hydrostatic pressure, allowing the infiltration of saltwater from the Mediterranean and from saline aquifers below and to the east." Already by 1995 "the saltwater intrusion had been detected as far as 1.5 kilometers inland." Gaza's groundwater is generally classified as very saline, ranging "from 750 to 3,700 parts per million (ppm). Salinity increases an average of 15 to 20 ppm per year. The US standard for drinking water is 500 ppm, and water over 1,000 ppm is considered saline." This level is also based on the assumption that the individual also has access to sufficient fresh water required to flush excess salts from the system.

The rapid salinity increase of Gaza's groundwater threatens the total salinization of the aquifer. This will lead to total disaster since most groundwater there is already only suitable for use on highly salt-tolerant crops. Yet Gaza's main agricultural export crop - citrus fruits - in addition to being water intensive cannot tolerate high salinity. It is not surprising that many orchards lie abandoned because the water salinity is too high.

Gaza's outdated agricultural activity also adds chemical groundwater contamination to the problems of salinity. Since the aquifer is so close to the surface, unrestricted use of pesticides, herbicides, DDT, and other dangerous chemicals has contributed to severe pollution and made the situation even more catastrophic. This is exacerbated by the fact that at least 10% of Gaza's population is not served by any wastewater management system, and it simply dumps raw sewage onto sand dunes.

According to one very optimistic analysis, "50% of Gaza's drinking-water supply is murky, and 23% is not potable at all." The Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem is far more pessimistic, considering "Gaza's groundwater simply not fit for human consumption. A water survey conducted by this Institute in 1992 identified concentrations of several key substances far exceeding what are generally regarded as acceptable levels for potability." A similar study by UNRWA and the Palestinian Health Authority (between 1987 and 1994) determined that "every one of Gaza's 60 drinking water wells exceeded acceptable levels for at least two tested contaminants." Gaza's drinking water is not spared from nitrate contamination either. If in1987, "84% of Gaza's drinking water wells were considered suitable for drinking in terms of nitrate levels, already by 1994, not a single safe well remained."

Not surprisingly, the contaminated water is a major source of various illnesses. While high nitrate levels and fluoride concentrations in the groundwater lead to increases in infant mortality, cancer, spontaneous abortion, ulcers, kidney failure, etc., the most prevalent and serious health problem in Gaza is infectious disease. According to a 1994 article published in the Journal of Palestine Studies (vol. 23, no. 2), "75% of all clinic patients in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank suffered from infectious diseases, which were responsible for 74% of all childhood deaths."

If the absolutely disastrous picture described above is insufficient, the dispassionate language of numbers unequivocally proves that the world community's maniacal desire to establish a Palestinian state in YESHA will lead to the creation of nothing but a corpse-state. After substantial research, the Swedish hydrologist Malin Falkenmark identified one thousand cubic meters per person per year as the minimal "water barrier" for agricultural and industrial development. She defined this barrier as "the level of water availability below which serious constraints to development will arise." This number in Gaza at the current population level is less than 50 cubic meters per person per year and will reach the single digits in two decades.

There is no need to spend additional time discussing the only slightly better water situation in the West Bank. It is enough to mention just a few key numbers. In accordance with the unofficial agreement developed in 1953-1956 by American Ambassador Eric Johnston, Israel and Jordan accepted the quotas worked out by him as a basis for dividing the waters of the Jordan River. Per the agreement, Jordan was to supply 70 to 150 million cubic meters (mcm) annually to the West Bank. However, Jordan reneged on the unofficial obligation and, not only has not supplied water there for over 40 years, but itself began to receive water from Israel. Under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty the Jewish state agreed to annually supply to Jordan with 55 mcm. According to a 1998 Israeli government report the total amount of Israeli water being supplied to Jordan amounted to 75 mcm annually. This all means that Jordan can't be expected to help the West Bank with water at a time when it desperately needs it for itself.

In summary, it becomes clear that, using the slogan of a Palestinian state in YESHA as a fig leaf, the world community is preparing a genocide. Planning to establish the corpse-state, mankind washes its hands of the problem, while shoving several million people into two disconnected tiny parcels of land totaling 2,268 sq. miles. With the current reproduction rates, by 2050 this area will turn into a human ant-hill, populated by 20,000,000 people. The lands envisioned for this corpse-state are not only lacking in any natural resources, but also characterized by catastrophically intolerable water scarcity. Among other things, this makes the development of agriculture and industry impossible, and guaranteeing flourishing diseases, epidemics and an exponential death rate increase.

The wretched people condemned to live in these terrible conditions will have only two options: either to keep dragging out a miserable existence in poverty disease, dying from thirst, or, before this happens, trying to expand their "lebensraum" by invading Israel, the envy of which already drives the whole Arab world crazy. The latter option will not only doom the corpse-state to destruction but could also lead to the disappearance of the Jewish state.

All of this means that the plan of "two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace with each other," which is obsessively promoted at all levels by the world community, not only will NOT bring peace and prosperity to the region, but on the contrary will undoubtedly end up in a terrible conflagration of war, causing the deaths of so many people that previous Arab-Israeli wars will seem as a childish game.

If the world community believes that the Palestinian Arabs are so special that they need a second sovereign state, in addition to the one they already have in Jordan, it must completely forget about the lands of YESHA, and search for a much more suitable place for this state. Considering the current geopolitical situation, nothing appears as promising as granting them autonomy on part of the Iraqi lands after the dismantling of Saddam Hussein's regime. The relocation there of the Palestinian Arabs will be much more sustainable, and economically viable than other options and most importantly this solution will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

In the meantime Israel must IMMEDIATELY annex the lands of YESHA. They constitute an inseparable entity together with Israel proper. To steal them from the Jewish people is tantamount to the amputation of a person's arm and foot. A person will perhaps survive the surgery, but the severed extremities will definitely not survive on their own. Though in the long run, this maimed person will perish too. When attacked by her enemies, Israel will be unable to protect herself.

-----------------------------

1. Kimberley Kelly, Thomas Homer-Dixon. Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Gaza. 1995 paper. http://www.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/eps/gaza/gaza1.htm

05/19/02

Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

 


 

AN INTELLIGENCE ABYSS

By Major Shawn Pine

On May 16, 2002, three significant news stories circulated throughout the U.S. media. While seemingly unrelated, these three news stories exemplify the malaise affecting the U.S. intelligence community.

The first story concerned the U.S. State Department's confirmation to Congress, as part of their mandate to insure PA compliance of the 1993 Oslo Accords, that there was "no clear evidence" that senior officials of the PA had planned or approved terrorist attacks. This is not a surprising development. Since being tasked with such a responsibility, the State Department has consistently validated PA compliance with the Accords. Presumably the State Department is relying on information provided by the intelligence services to make their determination.

Unfortunately, the public record is replete with literally hundreds of violations of the Accords by Yasser Arafat and the PA including: that the Palestinian police act to prevent violence and cooperate with Israeli security forces (Annex I, Article II); that the PA disarm and disband all militias operating in the autonomous areas and to confiscate all unlicensed weapons (Article XIV; and Annex I, Articles II (1) and XI); that the PA turn over for trial all suspects whose extradition is requested by Israel (Annex IV, Article II(7)); that the PA refrain from incitement to violence (Article XXII). Subsequently, if the State Department truly believes that Arafat and the PA are fulfilling their obligations under Oslo, then the intelligence services are in far more disarray than anyone can imagine. Consequently, one can only conclude from the State Department's confirmation of PA compliance is that either the intelligence they are receiving and the analysis being applied, is extraordinarily faulty, or that the analysis is being manipulated so that the State Department can pursue its political agenda.

The Second report was a Department of Defense analysis which reached the remarkable conclusion that the IDF could not militarily defeat the Palestinians. The story reported that the conclusion was in part based upon the slow pace of Israel's offensive and failure to deliver a strategic blow to the Palestinian forces. What makes this analysis incredible is that it totally ignores the political realities under which the Israelis were operating. From the beginning of the offensive, the Israeli government came under pressure to cease operations. The Bush Administration's vacillation in its support of Israeli operations against Palestinian terrorism created a constrained environment in which the IDF operated. It is hard, if not impossible, to think that anyone within the DoD does not believe that Israel could annihilate Palestinian forces in a matter of days.

Israeli military operations were slow and methodical by design and were mainly a function of the political decision to try minimize Palestinian civilian casualties in hopes of muting international criticisms. The fact that Israel did not bring the full brunt of its military forces was a political, not a military, decision. It is important to note that pressures on the Sharon government began even before the operations began and accelerated as the operations continued. To put the Defense Departments analysis in perspective we only need to listen to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz when he remarked that the Israeli - Palestinian conflict was "not a problem that is going to get solved militarily."

Clearly, the reports are designed to give political cover for a renewed U.S. political initiative on the Israeli - Palestinian front. These reports will provide the Administration with justification for pressuring Israel to pursue a political solution with the Palestinians without appearing hypocritical as it pursues its war against Al-Qaida. By the issuance of these reports, the Administration can obfuscate Arafat's terrorist background and minimize the strength of the 100 page detailed report that Israel recently provided the United States regarding Arafat's participation in terrorism. The importance of both of these news reports is that they reflect the inherent politicization of the nation's intelligence services to produce analysis that will facilitate political objectives rather than accurately report the truth.

These two news stories are interrelated to the third piece of news and goes to the crux of the malaise that effects our intelligence services and strategic foreign policy in the Middle East. This is the recent revelation that last summer the Bush Administration had received very ambiguous information that Osama Bin Laden was planning attacks against the United States and failed to act upon them. Throughout the last decade there were undoubtedly hundreds of reports that were submitted from field agents regarding the threat Islamic terrorist groups posed to the United States. Unfortunately, these reports were probably ignored or "filed" by an intelligence apparatus mired in a bureaucratic morass and reporting to a political apparatus that would have viewed such information as politically incorrect.

The ultimate irony of the posturing by many Congressional leaders regarding the potential intelligence lapse, is that they are responsible for the morass in which the intelligence communities find themselves. Since the mid-1970's, Congress has increasingly, under the guise of reform, politicized, bureaucratized, and emasculated the intelligence organizations of the United States. The problems affecting our intelligence services began some two decades ago when, in the aftermath of the abuses of the intelligence services by the Nixon Administration, Congress began passing a number of intelligence reforms that increasingly curtailed the operational capabilities of our intelligence agencies.

The reality is that the U.S. possess the best intelligence collection apparatus in the world. Unfortunately, this collection capability came at the expense of the nation's human Intelligence capabilities. Consequently, the U.S. intelligence services are capable of collecting vast amounts of raw data but lack the resources to effectively analyze that data. Moreover, it is frequently lacks the ability to verify raw data through human collection resources. This problem will only be rectified with the debureaucratization of the agencies and by replacing the mid-level bureaucrats with new leadership that recognizes we are in a war. Unfortunately, the most troubling aspect of these recent reports is that they indicate the intelligence services are still mired in a bureaucratic and political abyss. Until the intelligence services are given the mandate to collect, analyze and produce intelligence unfettered by politics we will continue to have intelligence lapses similar to that experienced last year.

 


 

WITH HONOR AND WISDOM

by Boris Shusteff

_May 2, 2002 should be written in the book of the Israeli-Arab conflict with golden letters._ After nearly half a century of futile attempts by the world community to make work the delusional idea of creating a second state for the Palestinian Arabs on a meager 2,268 sq. miles of territory, a prominent American political leader has finally offered the only sane approach to solving the conflict.

In an interview with MSNBC, House Majority leader Dick Armey, a Texas Republican, said that he supports the idea that Israel should expand her sovereignty to the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and that the Palestinian Arabs should be resettled in the Arab countries. He said, "There are many Arab nations that have many hundreds of thousands of acres of land and soil and property and opportunity to create a Palestinian state."

_Armey's statement is of utmost importance._ While it is a great pity that he is only a Senator, with this statement he guarantees himself a place next to the great American Presidents who advocated the idea of the relocation of the Arabs from Palestine to the Arab countries, even before the creation of Israel._ This idea is grounded in the understanding that the Jews should be able to reestablish their national home unimpeded by Arab terror.

_Let us recall history._ On October 25, 1938 Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a long meeting with the British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Ronald Lindsay._ The main topic of the conversation was Palestine._ Adolf Berle, the Assistant Secretary of State wrote of this meeting, "The President was full of Palestine._ He had suggested to Ronald Lindsay that they call a conference of Arab princes; that they lay down, say $200,000,000 buying a farm for every Arab who wishes to leave Palestine, the money chiefly to be used in digging wells, which is perfectly possible in the Hedjaz" (1).

_Roosevelt had another meeting to continue the discussion of the issue with Lindsay during the first half of November._ At this meeting, the President said that he thought that "the British should call in some of the Arab leaders from Palestine and some of the leaders from the adjoining Arab countries._ The British should explain to them that they, the Arabs, had within their control large territories ample to sustain their people"(1)._ Roosevelt said, "Some of the Arabs on poor land in Palestine could be given much better land in adjoining Arab countries"(1).

_The British Government, for obvious political reasons, was against the idea and tried to dissuade the American President, preparing at the end of December a memorandum stating that it did not "believe that any considerable quantity of water could be obtained in Transjordan," therefore making the idea of resettling the Arabs unviable. However, Roosevelt was skeptical about this kind of argument._ Sharing the memorandum with Louis D. Brandeis, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, he wrote, "the British ought to explore for water to the south and to the north." He added that he had heard from the French that "the land in Arabia across the Red Sea from Djibouti and back of the coastal range of mountains, has all kinds of possibility for settlement - and also that the Iraqi people are entirely willing to take a large Arab population for settlement on their newly irrigated lands" (1).

_By 1942 Roosevelt had become even more convinced of the advantages of moving the Arabs out of Palestine in order to allow the Jewish settlement there._ In a letter to Brandeis, he put forward his plan for the transfer of a large number of Arabs from Palestine to Iraq._ And in December 1942 he told Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, "I actually would put a barbed wire around Palestine, and I would begin to move the Arabs out of Palestine.... I would provide land for the Arabs in some other part of the Middle East.... Each time we move out an Arab we would bring in another Jewish family.... There are lots of places to which you could move the Arabs._ All you have to do is drill a well because there is a large underground water supply, and we can move the Arabs to places where they can really live" (1).

_In November 1944, several days after he was reelected President for his fourth term, Roosevelt discussed the Palestine situation with the Under-Secretary of State, Edward Stettinius._ Stettinius wrote in his diary, that Roosevelt felt confident that he would be able to "iron out" the whole Arab-Jewish issue. "He thinks Palestine should be for the Jews and no Arabs should be in it... and he has definite ideas on the subject._ It should be exclusive Jewish territory" (1).

_The idea of moving the Arabs from Palestine to Iraq was even more feverishly championed by Herbert Hoover, the thirty-first President of the United States. The famous "Hoover Plan" was born on November 19, 1945 and published in the "New York World-Telegram" under the headline "Hoover Urges Resettling Arabs to solve Palestine Problem."

_Hoover approached the issue as an engineer, stating that as a result of his solution, the "emotional, racial and political aspects of the problem would be subordinated in a process by which both Jews and Arabs would benefit materially" (1)._ Proposing to move the Arabs from Palestine to Iraq he wrote, "My own suggestion is that Iraq might be financed to complete [the]... great land development on the consideration that it be made the scene of resettlement of the Arabs from Palestine. This would clear Palestine completely for a large Jewish emigration and colonization" (1). His statement continued, "A suggestion of transfer of the Arab people of Palestine was made by the British Labour Party in December 1944 but no adequate plan was proposed as to where or how they were to go" (1).

_He indicated that "the Arab population of Palestine would be the gainer from better lands in exchange for their present holdings._ Iraq would be the gainer for it badly needs agricultural population" (1)._ Hoover wrote,_ "I realize that the plan offers a challenge both to thestatesmanship of the Great Powers as well as to the good-will of all parties concerned._ However, I submit it and it does offer a method of settlement with both honor and wisdom" (1).

_It is this method of settlement with both honor and wisdom that was reawakened by Dick Armey when he suggested the relocation of the Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Arab countries._ Armey's suggestion is the only pragmatic approach to the solution of a seemingly irreconcilable problem._ The point is that a heavily populated Arab state is non-viable on 2,268 sq. miles of territory (this is the total area of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza strip).__ It is easy to demand the creation of a new "Palestinian state" but for some reason, no one pauses to consider that it is a crime to try to cram over 10 million people (expected population there by 2025 at the current population growth rate) into two tiny, disconnected parcels of land._ Especially since these territories are both water-scarce areas, with the Gaza strip being "the most horrifying case of all."

_On April 25, Keith Marsden, an economist from Geneva, wrote an article in the "Wall Street Journal," in which he said that "a sustainable Mideast peace can only be built on two firm foundations._ First, Israel's right to exist behind_ secure borders must be recognized._ Second, a viable Palestinian state should be created._ Though all these achievements appear unreachable right now, it's the viability part that looks the hardest at this point."

_Marsden hits the nail directly on the head._ Viability is completely ignored by all those who advocate the creation of an Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza._ Marsden notes that real development in this area started only after Israel took it over in 1967._ This was in great measure due to integration with Israel's economy._ According to the UN in 1999_ (prior to Arafat's decision to go to war)_ "27% of Palestinian workers were employed in Israel." Marsden wrote that more than 60% of total Palestinian Authority (PA)_ revenue from 1995 to 1998 constituted money transferred to it by Israel through "direct taxes levied on Palestinian workers in Israel and indirect taxes on Palestinian imports through Israeli ports._ Net transfers from the Israeli Treasury to the PA amounted to $542 million in 1998." Another significant factor in thedevelopment of the West Bank and Gaza was the flow of official aid from Western donors. "Net assistance to the territories averaged $580 million annually from 1996-2000."

_If an Arab state is created in this 2,268 sq. miles of land, in order to become self-sustainable (which is what_ is meant by the concept of "sovereignty") the Arabs will have to forget about these aforementioned sources of revenue._ They will stop being applicable._ First, Israel will not employ the Palestinian Arabs_ (nobody can force a sovereign country to employ citizens of another sovereign state, especially a hostile one)._ Second, as Marsden notes "Western aid donors may begin to question whether it is just or equitable that Palestinians receive nine times more aid per head than people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their average incomes are little more than a quarter of Palestinians'."

_It is nave to expect that help for the Palestinian Arabs will come from their Arab brethren._ Trading arrangements among the Arabs exist only on paper._ Marsden reveals an absolutely astounding fact._ He writes that, "Exports within the Arab Common Market, which groups together Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, amounted to only 1.6% of their total exports in 1999._ It's surprising that Arab countries, which share a common language, religion, culture, ethnic heritage and geographical proximity, should trade so little among themselves."

_All of this means that an overpopulated Arab state on the two tiny, non-contiguous parcels of water-scarce land, lacking all natural resources, and deprived of "free" money, needing somehow to sustain its population, will be absolutely unviable._ The Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will be still-born from the moment of its declaration._

Thus, in this option, a "sustainable Middle East peace" is a mirage._ Only Armey's suggestion of relocating the Palestinian Arabs to some Arab state is worthy of consideration if one really wants to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict._

1. Chaim Simmons. A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895 - 1947.
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7854/index.html

05/03/02

===========

Boris Shusteff is an engineer._ He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

 


 

A PALESTINIAN STATE AND
REGIONAL NUCLEAR WAR

Louis Rene Beres

Israel's Lukud Party has now formally resolved that "No Palestinian state will be established west of the Jordan River." This posture, of course, is clearly at odds with U.S. President George Bush's open support for a Palestinian state. Although it would be convenient for Israel to oblige the President on this matter, the American vision fails to understand an especially ominous consequence of another dictatorial Arab state: A Palestinian state - flanking the areas that contain 70% of Israel's population - would greatly heighten the prospect of catastrophic nuclear war in the Middle East.

A Palestinian state would utterly eliminate Israel's remaining strategic depth, giving the Israelis virtually no viable capacity to defend an already fragile land. Faced with a new enemy state resolutely committed to Israel's annihilation, Israel's leaders would have to undertake even more stringent methods of counterterrorism and self-defense against aggression. Various new forms of premption, known under international law as anticipatory self-defense, would be unavoidable.

Because the creation of a state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel would raise the risk of regional nuclear war considerably, this newest enemy state should be viewed with real apprehension. Indeed, its creation could likely be a final step to bring an Islamic "Final Solution" to the region. After all, every Arab map of the Middle East already excludes Israel. Cartographically, Israel has already been expunged.

Architects of the Oslo Agreements had suggested all along that a "two-state solution" to the Palestinian problem would substantially reduce the risk of another major war in the Middle East. After all, we had always been told, the problem of stateless Palestinians is the source of all other problems between Israel and the Arabs. Once we have "justice" for Palestinians, the argument proceeded, Arab governments and Iran will begin to create area-wide stability and comprehensive peace settlements. Harmony shall then reign, more or less triumphantly, from the Mediterranean and Red Seas to the Persian Gulf.

But as we should have learned by now, especially from recurring Arab violations of the "peace process," the conventional Oslo wisdom was always unwise. For the most part, Iranian and Arab state inclinations to war against Israel have had absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinians. Even if Israel had continued to make all unilateral Oslo concessions, and had continued to adhere to unreciprocated agreements, these belligerent inclinations would have endured, especially from Syria, Iraq and Libya as well as from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

If Israel soon faces a new state of Palestine, the Jewish state's vulnerability to armed attack by hostile neighbors will increase markedly. If this diminished safety is accompanied by the spread of unconventional weapons to hostile states, which now seems certain, Israel could find itself confronting not only war, but genocide. It is also clear that Israel's own nuclear infrastructures will become increasingly vulnerable to surprise attack from Palestinian territories.

A new state of Palestine would preoccupy Israeli military forces to a much greater extent - much, much greater - than does the current "intifada". Even if it were able to resist takeover by one of the other Islamic states in the region, a takeover accomplished either directly or by insurgent surrogates, Palestine would surely become a favored launching-point for unconventional terrorism against Israel. Various promises notwithstanding, Islamic insurgents would continue to celebrate frenzied violence against Israel's women and children as the essence of "national liberation."

Recognizing an "improved" configuration of forces vis-a-vis Israel, a larger number of Islamic enemy states would calculate that they now confront a smaller, more beleaguered adversary. Further, they would understand that a coordinated effort by certain countries that possess or are in the process of acquiring pertinent ballistic missiles could possibly endanger Israel's very survival. Taken together with the fact that global support for Israel is always fickle, especially in perilous times like these, and that individual or combined chemical/biological/nuclear warfare capabilities could bring enormous harm to Israel, the creation of Palestine would tip the balance of power in the Middle East decisively. It is unlikely that Israel could physically survive next to a Palestinian state, a state that always defines itself as extending "from the Sea to the River."

The full strategic implications for Israel of an independent Palestine should now be carefully appraised. If, in the end, such independence becomes the cause of a nuclear war in the region, everyone, Palestinians as well as Jews, would lose. But how, exactly, would a nuclear war begin in the reconfigured Middle East? One possibility would be by Arab or Iranian first strikes against Israel. These strikes could be nuclear (although this would likely be several years away) or nonnuclear. In either scenario, Israel - especially if it feels dangerously close to defeat - might resort to nuclear retaliation.

Alternatively, Israel, believing that substantial enemy attack - chemical, biological, conventional, or nuclear - is imminent, could decide to preempt. If, as we might expect, this preemption were entirely nonnuclear, it could still fail to prevent the anticipated attack against Israel. Here, Israeli nuclear weapons, having failed in their mission to support conventional preemption by deterring enemy retaliation, might have to be used for purposes of nuclear warfighting. It is also plausible that certain Islamic states might transfer unconventional weapons assets to selected terror groups, leading to WMD terror attacks by Israel's nonstate enemies.

Israel has much to fear, more than any other state on the face of the earth. The people of Israel, not the people of "Palestine," are the only ones who must soon contemplate complete eradication from this strange and destructive planet. Threatened by a growing number of adversaries with ballistic missiles and with a corollary interest in nuclear warheads, Jerusalem should know that full and codified transformation of Judea/Samaria and Gaza into Palestine would provide its enemies with the means and the incentives to destroy the Jewish State once and for all.

Deprived of essential territorial integrity, and beset internally by hostile Arab citizens loyal only to "Palestine," Israel would become seriously vulnerable to total defeat. Anguished by a possible end to the Third Temple Commonwealth, the nation's leaders would begin to think seriously about nuclear weapons as a last resort (the so-called "Samson Option").

The Likud Party Resolution on a Palestinian state must be heeded. Otherwise, such a state, looking first very much like Lebanon, could wind up as Armageddon.

------------

LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D. Princeton) is the author of SECURITY OR ARMAGEDDON: ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR STRATEGY (Lexington Books, 1986) and many other major books and articles on nuclear weapons and nuclear war. His work on strategic matters is well-known to Israel's military and intelligence communities, to the Prime Minister and to the IDF General Staff.

 


 

THE RISKS TO ISRAEL
OF A PALESTINIAN STATE

Louis Rene Beres

There is now an air of inevitability surrounding the Palestinian state.

Because of years of post-Oslo mistakes by successive Israeli governments, it would appear that little can still be done to prevent the creation of yet another hostile Arab state - one implacably committed to the annihilation of the existing Jewish State.

The Government of the United States, for a variety of established geopolitical reasons, has increasingly endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state and has pretty much assured this idea's administrative implementation.

All that remains, it would seem, is the taking of appropriate jurisprudential steps by the Palestinian Authority and by its many backers. (These steps would likely be grounded in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STATES; also known as the Montevedeo Convention).

-----------

Should Israel now do everything in its power to prevent the Palestinian state, even though the odds of successs are very remote?

Or should it take the Palestinian state as a fait accompli, and focus instead on coexistence; in other words, should Israel's intellectual energies be directed to the admittedly hideous question of "Living With Palestine?"

How shall Israel proceed?

--------

To answer these critical questions, Israel must first determine if there is any possibility of coexistence with a new state of Palestine. If the answer is "no," it follows that all energies must now focus on prevention. Such a focus will be rational even if the expected prospect of succesful prevention is very low and even if the expected costs of prevention are very high.

If, on the other hand, there is reason to presume more or less successful coexistence, and the expected prospect of preventing Palestine is very low, then Israel's energies should focus on limiting the various existential dangers posed by a Palestinian state.

Can Israel live with Palestine? On this question the available evidence is persuasively negative. The Palestinian Authority's persistent identification of Israel proper as "Occupied Palestine," its unrevised Charter calling for Israel's destruction and its excision of Israel from all of its official maps do not bode well for coexistence. Moreover, a number of other Islamic terror organizations functioning under Palestinian leadership remain committed, in word and in deed, to "slaughtering the Jews." There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in their policies and public utterances that would now suggest a will to live together with a Jewish State.

Strategic analysts are always trained to look both at capabilities and intentions. And here the problem becomes even more ominous. The recent visit of American generals and admirals to Israel and the territories, supervised by JINSA, produced yet another authoritative document on the essential security imperative for Israel to maintain Judea and Samaria (and the Golan Heights).

Without these lands, Israel's strategic depth would vanish, and its susceptibility to physical conquest would be enlarged greatly.

Without these lands, Israel's capacity to prevent terror strikes upon its cities would be diminished substantially, and such strikes - in the future -could even involve chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Without these lands, the overall probability of regional unconventional war - even nuclear war - would heighten considerably.

 

Why nuclear war?

A Palestinian state will preoccupy IDF forces to a far greater extent than even the current (and monstrous) intifada.

Even if it were able to resist takeover by another Islamic state - a takeover accomplished either directly or by insurgent surrogates -Palestine would become a favored launching point for unconventional terrorism against Israel.

Various promises notwithstanding, Palestinian terrorists would continue to celebrate frenzied violence against Israeli women and children as the essence of "national liberation."

Recognizing an improved correlation of forces vis-a-vis Israel, a larger number of Islamic enemy states will calculate that they now confront a smaller, more beleaguered adversary.

They will further understand that a coordinated efort by certain Islamic countries that possess or are in process of acquiring pertinent ballistic missiles could endanger Israel's physical survival. Taken together with the fact that global support for Israel is always low, and that individual or combined chemical/biological/nuclear warfare capabilities could bring enormous harm to Israel, the creation of a Palestinian state will tip the balance of power in the Middle East decisively.

It is thus unlikely that Israel could physically survive next to a Palestinian state that defined itself as extending "from the Sea to the River."

The full strategic implications for Israel of a Palestinian state should be carefully appraised.

If, in the end, such a state became the cause of a nuclear war in the region, everyone - Arabs as well as Jews - would lose.

But how, exactly, would a nuclear war begin in the reconfigured Middle East?

One possibility would be via Arab or Iranian first strikes against Israel.

These strikes could be nuclear (although this would still be several years away) or nonnuclear.

In either scenario, Israel - especially if it feels dangerously close to defeat - might have to resort to nuclear retaliation.

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Alternatively, Israel - believing that substantial enemy attack were imminent, could decide to strike first; that is, to preempt.

If, as we might expect, this preemption were entirely nonnuclear, it could still fail to prevent the anticipated attack against Israel.

Here, Israeli nuclear weapons, having failed in their mission to support conventional preemption by deterring enemy retaliation, might have to be used for purposes of nuclear warfighting.

It is also plausible that certain Islamic states might transfer unconventional weapons assets to selected terror groups, leading to WMD terror attacks by Israel's nonstate enemies.

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Israel has much to fear from Palestine. The people of Israel, not of any nascent Palestine, are the only ones who would need to contemplate complete eradication from this strange and destructive planet.

Threatened by a growing number of adversaries with ballistic missiles and with a corollary interest in nuclear warheads, Jerusalem should know that a full and codified transformation of Judea/Samaria and Gaza into Palestine will provide its many enemies with the means and the incentives to destroy the tiny Jewish State once and for all.

Deprived of essential territorial integrity, and beset internally by hostile Arab citizens loyal only to "Palestine," Israel will become seriously vulnerable to total defeat.

Anguished by a possible end to the Third Temple Commonwealth, the nation's leaders will begin to think seriously about nuclear weapons as a last resort to another "Final Solution."

I refer to the so-called "Samson Option."

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Now, it has been suggested, by many in authority, that a Palestinian state could be agreeable to Israel if only it were demilitarized.

Is this really true?

First, let us note that international law will not necessarily require Palestinian compliance with pre-State agreements concerning the use of force.

From the standpoint of international law, enforcing demilitarization upon a sovereign state of Palestine would be enormously difficult.

Because treaties can be binding only upon states, any agreement between a nonstate Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel would have little real effectiveness.

What if a government of Palestine were willing to consider itself bound by a prestate, nontreaty agreement?

Even in these relatively favorable circumstances, the new Palestinian government would have ample pretext to identify various grounds for lawful agreement termination.

It could, for example, withdraw from the agreement because of what it would regard as a "material breach," that is, an alleged violation by Israel.

Or it could point toward what international law calls a "fundamental change of circumstances" (Rebus sic stantibus).

In this connection, if a Palestinian state declared itself vulnerable to previously unforseen dangers, it could lawfully end its codified commitment to remain demilitarized.

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There is another method by which an agreement obligating a new Palestinian state to accept demilitarization could quickly and legally be invalidated after independence.

The usual grounds that may be invoked under domestic law to invalidate contracts also apply to international legal agreements.

This means that a new state of Palestine could point to errors of fact or to duress as perfectly appropriate grounds for terminating the agreement with Israel.

Moreover, any international legal agreement is void, if - at the time in which it was created - it conflicts with a "peremptory" rule of general international law (jus cogens - a rule accepted and recognized by the international community of states as absolutely and irrevocably binding).

Because the right of sovereign states to maintain military forces essential to "self defense" is certainly such a peremptory rule, Palestine - depending upon its particular form of authority - could be entirely within its legal right to abrogate an agreement that had compelled its demilitarization. --------------It follows from all this that Israel can draw no comfort from the allegedly legal promise of Palestinian demilitarization.

Indeed, should the government of a new state of Palestine choose to invite foreign armies and/or terrorists on to its territory, it could do so without practical difficulties and without violating international law.

The latest official map of "Palestine" shows the State of Palestine comprising all of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria), all of Gaza, and all of the State of Israel. Additionally, it excludes any reference to a Jewish population, and lists holy sites of Christians and Muslims only. The official cartographer, Khalil Tufakji, has now been commissioned by the Palestine National Authority to design a Capitol Building, which he has drawn to be located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, on top of an ancient Jewish cemetery.

 

On September 1, 1993, Yasir Arafat reaffirmed that the Oslo Accords were an intrinsic part of the PLO's 1974 Phased Plan for Israel's liquidation: "The agreement will be a basis for an independent Palestinian State in accordance with the Palestinian National Council Resolution issued in 1974....The PNC Resolution issued in 1974 calls for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated."

Speaking of maps, those of us who are concerned with a possible Palestinian state and Israeli survival should consider the following: The Arab world is presently comprised of 22 states of nearly five million square miles and 144,000,000 people. The greater islamic world contains 44 states with one billion people. The Islamic states comprise an area 672 times the size of Israel. Israel, with a population of around 5 million Jews, is - together with Judea/Samaria and Gaza - less than half the size of San Bernardino County in California. The Sinai Desert, which Israel transfered to Egypt in the 1979 treaty (in exchange for vague and tenuous promises of Egyptian nonaggression) is itself 3 times larger than the entire state of Israel.

We have seen that a fully-sovereign Palestinian state could lawfully abrogate preindependence commitments to demilitarize.

It should also be noted that the Palestine National Authority is guilty of multiple material breaches of Oslo and that it remains altogether unwilling to rescind explicitly genocidal clauses of the PLO Covenant calling for Israel's total annihilation.

This means that any Israeli plan to accept Palestinian demilitarization would be built upon sand, and that Israel should never, ever, base its strategic assesments of a Palestinian state upon such an illusion.

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There exists, in the Palestinian Authority, an irreversible voluptuousness of violence against Israel.

Directed by hatred of all Jews and Judaism, Israel's Palestinian enemies now bent upon their own state do not read Clausewitz (ON WAR).

They are generally moved by more primal needs and expectations, ones based on very grotesque and uncompromising visions of divine submission and "jihad."

In these visions, Israelis are not hated because they are "occupiers."

They are despised because they are Jews. Period.

In the words of a recent article in AL-AHRAM (Egypt): "The first thing that we have to make clear is that no distinction must be made between the Jew and the Israeli....The Jew is a Jew, through the millennia...in spurning all moral values, devouring the living and drinking his blood for the sake of a few coins. The Jew, the merchant of Venice...is always an example of human degradation. Let us therefore put aside such distinctions (Jews and Israelis) and talk only about JEWS."

A current Egyptian textbook of "Arab Islamic History" (a country "at peace" with Israel) informs new teachers as follows: "The Jews are always the same, every time and everywhere. They will not live save in darkness. They contrive their evils clandestinely. They fight only when they are hidden, because they are cowards....The Prophet enlightened us about the right way to treat them, and succeeded finally in crushing their plots they had planned. We today must follow this way and purify Palestine from their filth."

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To "purify Palestine from their filth." This does not suggest a particularly promising orientation to Israel of a new Palestinian state. Rather, it suggests an attitude of uncompromising hatred and endless war.

Ayatollah Khomeini (remember him?) remarks in the Foreword to his book on Islamic Government: "The Islamic Movement was afflicted by the Jews from its very beginnings, when they began their hostile activity...."

Discussing "The Zionist Problem" in AL-AHRAM, a prominent Islamic scholar, Dr. Yahya al-Rakhawi, writes: "We are all, once again, face to face with the Jewish Problem, not just the Zionist Problem; and we must reassess all those studies which make a distinction between `The Jew' and `The Israeli.' And we must redefine the meaning of the word `Jew' so that we do not imagine that we are speaking of a divinely revealed religion or a minority persecuted by mankind." The scholar continues: "We cannot help but see before us the figure of the great man Hitler, may God have mercy on him, who was the wisest of those who confronted this problem...and who, out of compassion for humanity, tried to exterminate every Jew, but despaired of curing this cancerous growth on the body of mankind."

So it is with such views in the Arab/Islamic world that Israel must now confront a Palestinian State.

And this confrontation must take account of Arab and Islamic "sacrificers" at two levels.

Israel must continue to deal with the danger of individual Muslims who choose "martyrdom" through the path of terrorism.

Israel must also prepare to deal with entire states that choose "martyrdom;" that is, individual human self-sacrificers in macrocosm.

Such a state - perhaps a Palestinian state - could choose collective self-sacrifice through initiation of chemical, biological or nuclear war against the Jewish State.

Such a war would not be fought for traditional military objectives. but only for "liquidation" of "The Jews."


Jurisprudentially, it would represent the unholiest of marriages, between war and genocide as crimes under international law.

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The dangers to Israel of a Palestinian state must also take account of Israel's Arab citizens.

Today almost one million Arabs are full citizens of Israel.

For the most part, they are thoroughly disloyal to the Jewish State, and -in most cases - actually despise it.

In the event of any major regional war, many Israeli Arabs will certainly interfere with essential Israeli mobilization and more or less actively engage in hostile activities against Israel.

In the event of a major regional war after the establishment of a Palestinian state, these Israeli Arabs would constitute an even more serious Fifth Column, now aiding not a bloody insurgency, but a new state enemy engaged in more traditional forms of extermination warfare.

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It can also be anticipated that the creation of a Palestinian state will embolden the Israeli Arabs to increase violence against Israel generally, not only in the event of a major regional war.

So, what have we learned?

The terrible Trojan Horse called Oslo has now made a Palestinian state almost inevitable.

Yet, a Palestinian state - carved out of the still-breathing body of Israel - will almost assuredly give rise to chemical, biological or nuclear war.

It does not appear that Israel can live with Palestine, but it also does not appear that Israel can prevent the creation of Palestine.

What, then, is to be done?

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First, I think it is essential to understand that we are dealing here only in subjective probabilities; never certainties.

It follows that we can never say with any reasonable degree of assurance that a Palestinian state is inevitable.

There are many conceivable scenarios in which, for a variety of forseen and unforseen reasons, a Palestinian state would not come into existence.

Some of these scenarios could have more to do with intra-Palestinian and intra-Arab differences than with any conscious Israeli actions. Others could have to do with the consequences of yet another Middle Eastern war begun either by Arab state aggressions or by escalations from essential Israeli efforts at self-defense.

So, let us not give up altogether on the prevention of a Palestinian state.

It is, as I mentioned at the outset, ALMOST inevitable.

And Israel would assuredly do better in a world without yet another life-threatening Arab state as a neighbor.

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But, let us be candid, we are speaking here of probabilities, and the odds now surely favor creation of a Palestinian state.

Indeed, from the standpoint of international law, the Palestinian Authority could declare statehood at any time, and without any regard for recognition by other existing states (even though an overwhelming proportion of states in the world would more or less enthusiastically recognize the new state of Palestine).

The governing document on statehood under international law is the Montevideo Convention, also known as The Convention on the Rights and Duties of States.

According to this document, a state must possess only the following qualifications: (1) a permanent population; (2) a defined territory; (3) a government; and (4) the capacity to enter into relations with other states.

We could quibble among ourselves if an emergent "Palestine" does or does not meet these particular criteria, but the fact is that the PA and its allies could argue, without difficulty or viable opposition, that it does.

According to the Montevideo Convention and corollary international law, all states are legally equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise.

The moment that the PA declares a state of Palestine, the new country will be the full juridical equal of the State of Israel.

When Israelis begin to object passionately to claims for more territory by the new state of Palestine - this time territory within the Green Line (still "Occupied Palestine") - the world will listen even more intently to the Palestinians.

They will, after all, now be fully equal to Israelis under international law.

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So how might Israel live with Palestine? Even before answering this question, I should note that preventing a Palestinian state does not necessarily mean improved peace and security for Israel.

This should be fairly obvious, given current circumstances.

If, for example, another major war produces an Israeli "reoccupation" of Judea/Samaria/Gaza, Israel's terror nightmare could become endless.

Here, too, such a "reoccupation" could elicit far-reaching cries of Israeli "aggression," charges that make no legal sense today, when there is - as yet - no state of Palestine.

Alternatively, if a new state of Palestine is brought into existence, the IDF may, ironically, have certain new tactical advantages.

One of these advantages could be a more readily identifiable Palestinian armed force (rather than a ragtag collection of militants integrated with civilian populations).

Another related advantage would be a capacity to strike militarily from greater distances, using air power and artillery where formerly only infantry would have been permissible.

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The relatively small military advantages to Israel of a Palestinian state could become very substantial if there were a willing emigration of Israeli Arabs to the new country.

Indeed, in the best of all possible worlds for Israel, a newly-declared State of Palestine would open its arms to all Palestinians in Israel, and these Israeli Palestinians would leave - on their own volition - to Palestine.


But this is not the best of all posisble worlds for Israel, and this will not happen.

Moreover, for better or for worse, the Israeli Arabs will not be forced to leave Israel for Palestine.

So the new Arab state will have a Fifth Column of approximately 1,000,000 bretheren in Israel, in "Occupied Palestine."

It follows that in "living with Palestine," Israel will have to take a variety of measures to ensure that this Fifth Column does not pose intolerable security costs to the Jewish State.

What this means is that after a state of Palestine is declared, Israeli efforts at security and survival will have to focus not only on the new enemy country, but also - more vigorously than ever before - on a significant fraction of Israel's own population.

This issue may in fact pose the single most serious aspect of a Palestinian state to Israel, as it could likely involve substantial infringements of Israeli Arab civil liberties and a resultant backlash of Israeli Arab terrorism.

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The term "correlation of forces" is a useful concept of military strategy -and one that will become increasingly important to Israel if it must coexist with a Palestinian state.

Widely used by the former Soviet Union, it is applied as a measure of armed forces, from the subunit level to major formations.

Additionally, it has been used to compare resources and capabilities on both the levels of military strategy and of so-called "grand strategy."

This meaning is closely related to the idea of "force ratios" used in the West.

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Creation of a Palestinian state - as we have seen - will greatly increase the chances of Arab attacks, not only from the new state of Palestine (which would surely do very little on its own) but from combinations with other Arab states.

This could even happen after Palestinian forces joined with Palestinian Arab residents of Jordan (where they constitute a majority) to overthrow King Abdullah and create a single super-Palestinian state (one that would extend all the way to Jordan's border with Iraq).

 

IDF commanders will need to know more than ever before in order to establish Israeli force superiority at decisive places and times.

What, exactly, should be the IDF concept of "correlation of forces" after creation of Palestine?

First, it would need to take careful account of enemy leaders' intentions as well as capabilities.

Such an accounting is inherently more subjective than assessments of personnel; weapons and basic logistic data.

Second, the IDF correlation of forces concepts would have to take account of enemy leaders' rationality. Any Arab adversary that does not conform to the rules of rational behavior in world politics might not be deterred by ANY Israeli threats, military or otherwise.

Here, the logic of deterrence would be immobilized and all bets would be off regarding expected enemy postures.

Third, IDF assessments would need to consider with special care the organization of enemy state units; their training standards; their morale; their reconnaissance capabilities; their battle experience; and their suitability and adaptability to the prospective battlefield.


Fourth, IDF assessments would have to consider the capabilities and intentions of Israel's remaining nonstate enemies; that is, the entire configuration of anti-Israel terrorist groups.

This configuration could look very different after Palestine; hence, its close examination must be a high priority for IDF planners in the new world of Palestinian statehood.

In all of these examinations, IDF planners must search for and consider "force multipliers."

A force multiplier is a collection of related characteristics, other than weapons and force size, that make a military organization more effective in combat.

A force multiplier may be generalship; tactical surprise; tactical mobility; command and control systems, etc.

The presence of a force multiplier creates synergy; the unit will be more effective than the mere sum of its weapons.

IDF planning responsibility in this area would concern: (1) recognizing Arab enemy force multipliers; (2) challenging and undermining enemy force multipliers; and (3) developing and refining its own force multipliers.

Regarding Number (3), this means a heavy IDF emphasis on air superiority; communications; intelligence and surprise.

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Correlation of forces could well determine the outcome of war following the creation of a Palestinian state.

But there are no guarantees that the outcome of such a war would necessarily be favorable or even tolerable to Israel. It would be best to reduce the probability of unwanted regional war in the Middle East by reducing the probability of a Palestinian state.

If a Palestinian state can be prevented by virtue of a number of previously identified scenarios, Israel will still suffer myriad problems of terror and violence, but will be less likely to disappear in a war designed by enemy states.

If a Palestinian state cannot be prevented by any reasonable measures, Israel will have to steel itself for seemingly interminable or protracted war with an enlarged Arab/Islamic world - a war characterized by intermittent terror and periodic interstate aggressions.

It follows that not a single one of these options holds out a promise of real "peace," especially if Israel's enemies should act irrationally in strategic matters (the suicide bomber in macrocosm), but it is also true that unforseen happenings and events could grant Israel an unforseen advantage.

For now, Israel must acknowledge the existential risks of a Palestinian state, but simultaneously prepare to coexist with such a state by preparing to prevail in any consequent war.

This means not allowing itself to be blinded once again by the sort of illusory promises offered at Oslo.

It means remaining open at all times to promising diplomacy, but it also means preparing to destroy enemy forces and assets rather than surrender to velvet-gloved diplomatic aggressions.

It is easy to understand that all Israelis yearn for peace - a genuine peace that would liberate the bloodied land from both terror and war.

But it would be most dangerous of all if this yearning were to lead Israel again in the very opposite direction.

All of Israel must now willingly understand that a genuine peace is still many years away, and that a realistic view of the Arab/Islamic world reveals only preparations for war and genocide.

Only with such an understanding can Israel now prepare itself to deal with the risks of a Palestinian state.

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LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with Israeli security matters, terrorism, war and international law. His work is well-known to the military and intelligence communities in Israel, to the Prime Minister and to the IDF General Staff. Profesor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for THE JEWISH PRESS in New York City

Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com


 

LAND WITHOUT A NAME

by Rabbi Dov B. Fischer

May 26, 2002

The recent landslide vote of the Israeli Likud party, completely rejecting an Arab country west of the Jordan River, reflects the mindset of the largest political party in Israel today. There is good reason for that position - the land of Judea and Samaria, birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, does not necessarily belong to the Arab Islamic world.

It is instructive that the Arab world does not even have a name for the land. Think about it. "Palestine" is a name that the ancient Romans gave the Land of Israel after that now-vanished empire destroyed the last breaths of Jewish freedom in the Holy Land in 135. The Romans renamed the cities and the land to excise all memory of the stubborn Jewish patriots who had defied the empire from within the Holy Land. So, Jerusalem became Aelonia Capitolina, Shechem became Naples (Naples later became Nablus), and the country itself was renamed "Palestine" for the Biblical people who preceded the Jews - the Philistines.

For all the centuries of the Jewish Diaspora, long after Arabs invaded the area to conquer at the point of a sword, the land of Judea and Samaria never became an Arab territorial entity. By the 20th century, with the rise of political Zionism and the establishment by the League of Nations of a "Palestine Mandate," administered by Britain, the Jews still were the "Palestinians." Thus, the predecessor of the Jerusalem Post was called the Palestine Post, the predecessor of the United Jewish Appeal was the United Palestine Appeal and even the American support group for Menachem Begin's nationalist Irgun underground called itself the American League for a Free Palestine. It sounded right to 1960s film viewers when Ari ben Canaan, Paul Newman's character in Exodus, spoke of a Jewish yearning for "Palestine." That's not ancient history; it was still that way during the Kennedy years.

The Arabs have names for countries like Syria, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Libya and Kuwait. They even have two countries named Yemen. Yet through all of recorded time they never have had a name for the lands of Judea and Samaria. "The West Bank"? Such a name describes Jersey City, lying on that bank of the Hudson. Santa Monica, perhaps, is a more elegant bank, east of the Pacific. And we may note Louisville, reposing on the south bank of the majestic Ohio River. These are cities, not countries. "The West Bank"?

In 1964, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded, it was eponymously created to liberate "Palestine" - namely, the country of Israel - from Haifa to Tel Aviv to the Negev. The Palestine Liberation Organization had no interest in the occupied part of the Kingdom of Jordan that lay west of the Jordan River. PLO terrorists did not murder Jordanian children, as they did Israelis. They did not hijack Jordanian airplanes. They did not murder Jordanian Olympians. They had no interest in the land without a name. To this day, the logo of each and every Palestinian "activist" group, groups ranging from Hamas to Islamic Jihad to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine to Fatah, all depict the map of a "Palestine" that is identical to Israel - not the "West Bank."

For many of the places that Yasser Arafat covets in Samaria and Judea, he uses the names of the Hebrew Bible. He claims Hebron (Genesis 23). He claims Bethlehem (Genesis 35). He claims Jericho (Joshua 5). His people burned down the Tomb of Joseph (Joshua 24). Yet he cannot use the Hebrew Bible's names for the land that the Christian Scriptures (Matthew 1), no less than the Torah, calls Judea - because it would sound ridiculous complaining that "the Jews have stolen Judea from the Arabs." Almost as silly as suicide bombers in Hamas calling themselves "good Samaritans."

There never - ever - has been an Arab Palestine west of the Jordan River. From 1948-1967, while Jordan's King Hussein illegally occupied the region in a temporary land grab that both the Arab and the non-Arab world rejected, no "Palestinian Arab" nation was created there. The city of Jerusalem was not elevated to any status or import. Rather, the land became desirable only after Israel liberated East Jerusalem and established itself in Judea and Samaria, while fighting for its life in 1967. Indeed, as the Samaria-based Jenin refugee camp illustrates, Arabs encamped in the heart of Judea and Samaria still regard themselves as "refugees." Judea and Samaria is not their home and their UNRWA refugee camp proclaims it. They do not want the "West Bank" for a homeland - they want a different "Palestine": Tel Aviv and Haifa.

There are now 200,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and another 200,000 Jews living in "Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem." They are not leaving any sooner than will the descendants of the Americanos who squatted on the Californios' land during the era of the 1849 Gold Rush. The Treaty of Guadaloupe-Hidalgo helped make the squatting in California irreversible. The Battle of the Alamo helped make the squatting in Texas irreversible. Both California and Texas came into being because brave and hearty American settlers created "illegal settlements" on "occupied land." Eventually, those illegal settlements became states in the American Union. In the same way, the Likud Party Central Committee has reaffirmed that Judea and Samaria constitute the patrimonial heartland of a people that has no less right to be there than did the settlers hailing from Europe who planted themselves in Crawford, Texas.

The Likud Central Committee vote is a harbinger of a Jewish nation that is taking its patrimony off the chopping block. Perhaps Chairman Arafat should look to the Kingdom of Jordan for the land of his "Palestine." That country, itself an historically recent creation, is built on 78 percent of the "Palestine Mandate." At least 1,700,000 Palestinian Arabs live in Jordan, more than in any other country. The queen is a Palestinian Arab. And the majority of all Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs. Why shouldn't King Abdullah offer territorial compromise, taking a risk for peace and making a gesture towards the queen? Yasser Arafat told US President Bill Clinton in September 1999 that he has proof there never was a Jewish Temple on the Jerusalem Temple Mount. Maybe it is time to apprise Arafat that, when he tells Americans there never were Jews at the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, he is denying not one but both prongs of the American nation's Judeo-Christian heritage.

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Rabbi Dov Fischer, a senior civil-litigation attorney and public-affairs commentator in Los Angeles, is author of General Sharon's War Against Time Magazine. Rabbi Fischer also is National Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America and scholar-in-residence at Congregation Kol Simcha of Calabasas, California.

This article originally appeared on May 23, 2002 in National Review Online.



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