TABLE OF CONTENTS
LETTER TO ISRAELI CONSULAR OFFICIALS - MY DREAM....Bernard J.
JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN YESHA....Bernard J. Shapiro
TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF SHARON AND PERES...DAYENU -- IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH....Bernard J. Shapiro
URGENT CALL BY PROMINENT RABBIS TO WORLD JEWRY....Guest Editorial
THE SHARANSKY MOMENT?...Guest Editorial....Caroline Glick
"JEWISH HOPES DASHED"...Guest Editorial....David Basch
INCITEMENT AND SUPPRESSION OF DISSENT
A CHILLING EFFECT ON LEGITIMATE DISSENT....Evelyn Gordon
INTELLECTUAL TERRORISM STRIKES ISRAEL....Paul Eidelberg
ISRAEL SUCCUMBS TO DICTATORSHIP....Prof. Paul Eidelberg
IS ISRAEL BECOMING A FASCIST STATE?....Prof. Paul Eidelberg
A LESSON IN DEMOCRACY....Yehuda Poch
THE RIGHT TO AFFECT YOUR NEIGHBOR....Emanuel A. Winston
A POLICE STATE IN FORMATION....Emanuel A. Winston
THE GOLAN IS IN DANGER AGAIN
SHARON TO SURRENDER THE GOLAN Has Israel Fallen For The "Mubarak Gambit" Again?....Bernard J. Shapiro
WHO SAYS THE GOLAN IS SYRIAN?....Prof. Yoav Gelber
DISENGAGEMENT - TRACK RECORD EXAMINED....Yoram Ettinger
ISRAEL FREEING TERRORISTS AND SURRENDERING JEWISH LAND...Living Precariously In The Delirium Of Expectation....Louis Rene Beres
DEJA VU AND INNOVATION....Moshe Feiglin
CAN SHARON'S ISRAEL BE TRUSTED?....Joseph Puder
HOW ISRAEL CAN IMPROVE ITS HASBARA (PUBLIC RELATIONS)...Why It Needs To....Bernard J. Shapiro
ORWELL MEETS ALICE - LINGUISTIC DISTORTIONS: Through The Mid-East Looking Glass....Bernard J. Shapiro
ISRAELIS, UNITE! IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!....Boris Celser
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN
1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
TO MAKE A TAX EXEMPT DONATION VISIT:
TO ISRAELI CONSULAR OFFICIALS
By Bernard J. Shapiro
I feel at the present time that I can not visit you at the consulates and embassies of Israel. This because I feel in my heart and soul that the Government of Israel no longer represents either the Jewish or Israeli people. I do however have a recurrent dream about Israel's future (taken a bit from Martin Luther King). I have written about it in several articles - usually as a Rosh Hashana prayer.
This dream keeps me faithful to Eretz Yisrael despite the current crisis. I want to share it with you. See below.
Your friend and Lover of Zion,
As I survey the fragile planet we call home, my mind makes note of the chaos, blood, and tears. The cries of a million lost souls shatter the night in a million corners of the earth. The sensitive, compassionate among them try to feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked. One by one their energies dissipate. They try to hold back the tide with a teaspoon and then see the impossibility of the task. The Jewish people are but a cosmic speck in this universe. To many Jews who feel deeply about their own people, that speck becomes the whole world. Other Jews are irrevocably tied to non-Jewish pursuits.
May we as a people open our eyes and begin to see the world as it really is. Without becoming depressed and morose, we must realize that there are powerful forces in the world that wish us ill. May we mobilize our strength to fight our enemies until they are defeated. May we not succumb to false prophets of peace. We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution, expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls. It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly cautious not to fall for a pseudo-peace. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. Why do some Jews believe that Peres and Rabin really negotiated "peace" with Arafat, one of today's Hitlers? The Jewish people must learn the value of unity in the face of so many enemies who wish them ill.
I pray that Israelis who have fought in countless wars will understand that there is no magic cure, though they crave to be free of constant conflict. As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle.
Immediately following the Six Day War, I prayed at the Wall for the first time. I had expected the stones to be rough and weathered after all this time, but they were smooth from 2000 years of touching and kissing. The gentle caresses of Jews over the ages had worn soft finger grooves in the hard rock. As I placed my hands on this magnificent relic of our forefathers, I felt a surge of light and energy the likes of which I had never known. In what had to have been but the flash of a second, I felt at one with Jews from all periods of history.
In an instant I saw the continuity of Jewish history and its unbreakable connection with Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). I understood how modern Israel is the beginning of the Third Temple Period and the spiritual heir to Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba. I frequently write about the security reasons for incorporating Judea, Samaria, and Gaza into the body of Israel. There is another side to this issue and that is the spiritual-religious side. The truth, which many find inconvenient, is that the Land of Israel was promised by G-d to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. The Land of Israel is not speculative real estate to be bartered away for seductive promises of peace. The hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria contain the collective memory of the Jewish people. It was here that the Israelites first entered the Holy Land. And it was here they fought the battles, built the towns, elected their kings and were preached to by their prophets and judges. And it was on this soil that they wrote the Holy Scriptures we call our Bible.
In my blinding flash of insight at the Wall, I also understood that Israel on its own soil was more powerful than the sum of its weapons and men. Jews who had wandered the earth powerless for two millenniums attained great power when re-united with the soil of Israel.
One thing is clear to me: the Lord has blessed Israel by re-uniting Jerusalem and bringing Judea, Samaria, and Gaza back under its control. It would be a horrendous sin against G-d and common sense for Israel to renounce this inheritance to which it is entitled. Israel holds these lands as a sacred trust for the Jewish people in perpetuity. It would not only be sinful, but also criminal, to abuse that trust by denying future generations of Jews their Holy Land -- the Land of their Fathers -- the one tiny spot on planet earth given to them by G-d.
I say to the suffering people of Israel. We are an ancient people with a glorious history. Though we suffer from weak leadership, we are greater than our leaders. Our souls are greater than the terrorists and their allies in the Palestinian Authority. We will never be defeated by their bullets and bombs. We have never submitted. We have never renounced our claim to Eretz Yisrael. We are a Holy People, despite our pain. We have vision where our leaders sometime are blind. Our courage is greater than the mean and cruel world which has oppressed us.
BEWARE THE RISEN PEOPLE
I have a vision and a dream that I must reveal as we approach these Days of Awe: In the name of G-d, the Almighty, Defender of His People, Israel, I say to my people's enemies: Beware of the thing that is coming, that will take what you would not give. That will free the people of Israel from your atrocities. I say to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: Be aware of the Risen People who will sweep the Arab scourge into the dustbin of history. Know that the Jewish soul will be set free. The spectacular victories of the Israeli army and the return to Zion demonstrated that power. But it wasn't a miracle. It was just the soul of the Jew coming to its own. It was just the Jewish soul freed at last to be itself.
And I see it coming, the Jewish soul released to be itself. I see a new proud Jewish government coming to power in Israel. A government that reclaims the Jewish Holy Places and restores Jewish sovereignty in all of Eretz Yisrael. I see Moslem control and Islamic sites removed from the Temple Mount to make it ready for Moshiach. I see the enemies of Israel, who raise up their hands to murder or injure Jews, driven from our Holy Land. I see the secular Jews of Israel and the world becoming more observant and returning to the Torah. I see religious Jews becoming more tolerant of diversity in Jewish practice.
I see a new Israeli foreign policy that grovels before no nation, no matter how powerful. I see Israel's Foreign Minister informing every nation that their embassies must be in Jerusalem. If they don't respect Israel's capital, then may have a consulate in Tel Aviv. I see the government demanding that the Vatican return all the property it has stolen from the Jewish people during the last 2000 years. Maybe they will refuse and we could always hold their property in Israel as a down payment. The Vatican has been used to dealing with obsequious groveling Jews, but now they would see proud fearless Jews. I see an Israeli government that would change its relationship with America from one of subservience to one of equal alliance.
Yes, I have a dream (apologies to MLK) that Jews will no longer debate the obvious: like whether to hold onto what is theirs or trade it away; whether to struggle for survival or to give up from fatigue. I have a dream that the Jews of the kibbutz and the Jews of YESHA will be reborn as brothers and patriots. From the Galilee to Eilat, all the people of Israel will share the same dream of a powerful independent Zionist nation. I have a dream that this strong, proud independent Israel will win the respect of all the nations of the world, including the Arabs. Instead of the contempt it has earned in recent years, Israel will again be a light unto the nations. And finally, I have a dream that this new Israel will find the peace it so dearly deserves. A peace with strength and self-respect. As I look back at 4000 years of Jewish history, I have but one urgent hope and prayer: We must make this dream a reality. There is no alternative.
May the Lord, bless the leaders of Israel with the courage to pursue peace, and the wisdom to know when it is not attainable. May the Lord bless the Jews who return to Zion and give them jobs and new friends to ease their transition into Israeli life. May the Lord bless the war-weary Israeli people with the stamina to bear up under the strain, if peace not just around the corner. May they understand that their fate may be that of endless struggle to survive in a hostile world and may they have the strength to understand that there is still no alternative (ein brera). May the people of Israel prosper and go from success to success never forgetting that their destiny lies in their might, their righteousness and their faith in HaShem.
JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN YESHA
By Bernard J. Shapiro
I plan to discuss the Right of the Jewish People to Eretz Yisrael including Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- Yesha for short. I also will discuss the strategic importance of Yesha and how the Jewish communities there contribute to Israel's security, prevent the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state next door and fulfil Biblical commandments.
And it came to pass, That day the L-RD made a covenant with Abraham saying:
"UNTO THY SEED HAVE I GIVEN THIS LAND IN PERPETUITY ."
DAVID BEN GURION, founding father and first Prime Minister of Israel, had this to say about territorial concessions:
"No Jew has the right to relinquish the right of the Jewish people over the whole Land of Israel. No Jewish body has such authority, not even the whole Jewish people has the authority to waive the right (to the Land of Israel) for future generations for all time." [Zionist Conference, Basle, Switzerland, 1937]
THE JEWISH RIGHT TO ERETZ YISRAEL was expressed in a letter from the Jewish leader Simon, the only survivor of the five Maccabee brothers to king Antiochus, whom they had just defeated. Antiochus demanded the return of the 'occupied territories' -- that is territories the Maccabees liberated during their recent war.
Simon writes: "We have neither taken foreign land nor seized foreign property, but only the inheritance of our fathers, which at one time had been unjustly taken by our enemies. Now that we have the opportunity, we are firmly holding the inheritance of our fathers."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his book A PLACE AMONG THE NATIONS writes the following when told that Judea and Samaria are foreign "occupied" lands:
"This land, where every swing of a spade unearths remnants of the Jewish past and where every village carries the barely altered Hebrew names of old; this land, in which the Jews became a nation and over which they shed more tears than have been shed by any other people in history; this land, the loss of which resulted in an exile of the Jews such as has been suffered by no other people and the spilling of a sea of blood such as has been spilled by no other nation; this land, which never ceased to live as a distant but tangible home in the minds of Jewish children from Toledo in medieval Spain to the Warsaw ghetto in our own century; this land, for which the Jews fought with unsurpassed courage and tenacity in ancient as in modern times -- this is the "foreign land" that world leaders now demand be barred to Jews and that Israel (should) unilaterally forsake."
The answer to such absurd demands must be a resounding NO!
The modern Jewish return to Eretz Yisrael began in 1882. Between 1882 and 1914 there were dozens of Jewish "settlements" ( I prefer the term Jewish communities both then and now). Some of the more important ones were Tel Aviv, Hadera, and Rischon Letzion,Hayelet Hashacher, Rosh Pina, Metula, Kfar Saba and Petah Tikva. Between 1921 and 1925 Jews settled throughout the Jezereel Valley. In fact, the return of Jews to Eretz Yisrael was the raison etre of the Zionist Movement and a commandment to Jews everywhere to return to Zion. This process continues today 120 years after it began.
Unfortunately, Jews throughout history have deluded themselves about their position in society. They pursue utopian solutions (like Oslo) to complex political problems and disputes. Jews rejoiced as the enlightenment spread across Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many were eager to give up their Jewishness and become German, French, Italian, and English. In the final analysis those societies viewed them as Jews. Self-delusion came into collision with reality and left us with the stench of burning flesh in the ovens of Auschwitz. Many Russian Jews eagerly supported the communist idea of a worker's utopia with no nationalities and no religion. Reality taught them that their neighbors still considered them Jews.
The left-wing in Israel believes in a common humanity of shared values with the Arabs. In the face of all empirical evidence to the contrary they believe peace is possible. In the book Self Portrait Of A Hero: The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976), Jonathan Netanyahu, the fallen hero of Entebbe and brother of Benjamin, said it best: "I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs. Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, if it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
In 1967 I traveled to Israel a few days after the Western Wall fell into Israeli hands. As I placed my hands on this magnificent relic of our forefathers, I felt a surge of light and energy the likes of which I had never known. In what had to have been but the flash of a second, I felt at one with Jews from all periods of history. At the Passover Seder we are told to thank G-d for delivering us from Egypt as though we ourselves had been brought out of bondage. At that moment in Jerusalem, this Seder message was very real for me.
In an instant I saw the continuity of Jewish history and its unbreakable connection with Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). I understood how modern Israel is the beginning of the Third Temple Period and the spiritual heir to Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba. I frequently write about the security reasons for incorporating Judea, Samaria, and Gaza into the body of Israel. There is another side to this issue and that is the spiritual-religious side. The truth, which many find inconvenient, is that the Land of Israel was promised by G-d to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. The Land of Israel is not speculative real estate to be bartered away for some high sounding (but false) promises of peace. The hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria contain the collective memory of the Jewish people. It was here that the Israelites first entered the Holy Land. And it was here they fought the battles, built the towns, elected their kings and were preached to by their prophets and judges. And it was on this soil that they wrote the Holy Scriptures we call our Bible.
In my blinding flash of insight at the Wall, I also understood that Israel on its own soil was more powerful than the sum of its weapons and men. Jews who had wandered the earth powerless for two millenniums attained great power when re-united with the soil of Israel. Anyone who has followed the Arab-Israeli conflict must be aware of the rising cost paid for Jewish blood. Before Israel was established, nations of the world took Jewish lives with impunity. Today, Arabs have discovered that the iron fist of Zahal (Israel Defense Forces) exacts a high price for even one Jewish life. Unfortunately, following the signing of the Oslo Agreements, Jewish blood has become cheaper.
One thing is clear to me: the L-rd has blessed Israel by re-uniting Jerusalem and bringing Judea, Samaria, and Gaza back under its control. It would be a horrendous sin against G-d and common sense for Israel to renounce this inheritance to which it is entitled. Israel holds these lands as a sacred trust for the Jewish people in perpetuity.
It would not only be sinful, but also criminal, to abuse that trust by denying future generations of Jews their Holy Land -- Land of their Fathers; the one tiny spot on planet earth given to them by G-d.
A LETTER FROM SHILOH, by Yisrael Medad
"The faith of these "settlers" who should properly be termed "revenants," people who have returned to a place after a long absence", their commitment and their determination, are intangibles that some Diaspora Jews still find difficult to grasp. To some Diaspora Jews, especially those who have traditionally championed a more liberal or leftwing approach to Zionism, the Oslo process is still strong after nine years of abject failure. For them, it seems, my community is an impediment to fulfillment of the Oslo vision of two states, one Jewish, the other devoid of Jewish communities.
To those who still champion the Oslo/Road Map/ Expulsion process, peace requires that Jews be banned from the heart of the Jewish people's historic homeland, Judea and Samaria, as they were for 19 years after Israel's 1948 War of Independence. To them, the quarter-million Jews who reside there are always "the settlers." Their communities constitute "human rights violations," they are an "illegal occupation" and must be dismantled for their vision of peace to be fulfilled.
My home in Shiloh was never occupied, to use a phrase too liberally applied, by Arabs, though there are Arab villages nearby. Calling Shiloh a "settlement" implies something foreign, intrusive and temporary, something that is purposefully and maliciously imposed. To us, however, "settling" is the most natural thing for a Jew to do: to reside where his forefathers dwelled, where his kings ruled and his prophets spoke.
No, we are not violators of justice and international law. If there is any substance to the charges of ethnic cleansing and human rights violations so frequently tossed about, it relates to what the Arab leadership and its supporters have done and continue to do. We have done our best to avoid hindering Arabs as they continue to live here and in Israel, and have founded our communities almost exclusively on unused and unpopulated hilltops. Arab terrorists and their supporters justify killing our children and women just because we live here. "
The letter ends.
As I write these words to you today, I must emphatically declare that the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is NO different from ethnic cleansing anywhere in the world.
The Arabs who wish to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors are welcome. They can even manage their own civil and municipal affairs.
THOSE, HOWEVER, WHO WISH TO TAKE UP THEIR BOMBS,GUNS AND KNIVES TO KILL JEWS OR THROW ROCKS TO CRUSH JEWISH SKULLS, MUST BE DESTROYED OR DRIVEN FROM ERETZ YISRAEL. Rabbinical authorities have long recognized the ultimate religious priority of saving Jewish lives. For example, the Israeli army is permitted to operate fully on Shabbat because it is necessary to save Jewish lives.
Too many Jews are obsessed with what will satisfy the Arabs. I doubt if there is a single Palestinian or Moslem anywhere that worries about what is good for Israel or the Jewish People. We must remember the words of Hillel when he said, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am for myself alone, what am I?" Hillel's message is clear: First take care of yourself, your family and your people and then try to help others.
Remember it took the Christian world two thousand years to accept us as human beings, and this only after the mass murder of a third of our people.
It may take the Arabs a while, maybe decades or even hundreds of years -- but we have no choice but to be patient. The fact that we want peace badly does not mean that it is attainable. To strip Israel of strategic territory like Czechoslovakia before WWII in the pursuit of a phantom illusory peace will only lead to disaster.
In our Holy Scriptures we read about the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah, who anguished over the fact that his people believed in false prophets of peace and didn't see the dangers facing Israel, cries out in despair, "Peace, peace but there is no peace."
Midge Decter writes"For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostile cannot do so. To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long a go, is not the expression of hope, not even superstition but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth."
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, and two in 1973 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to evil terrorists and their Jewish collaborators, who delight in the murder of Jews, especially "settlers." The Brave Heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to fruitless negotiations. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.
SERIOUS FLAWS IN THE OSLO/ROAD MAP/ EXPULSION PLANS AND SERIOUS REASONS TO MAINTAIN JEWISH SETTLEMENT AND CONTROL IN JUDEA, SAMARIA AND GAZA
(1) The most fundamental flaw is the renunciation of Jewish claims to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is God-given and cannot be renounced by a transitory Israeli government. The present government has no right to deprive future generations of Jews and Israelis of their legal patrimony.
(2) PLO and other terrorist gangs are incapable of providing Israelis with the cessation of violence they so dearly crave. There are ten rejectionist PLO factions plus Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalist factions, including Mohammed Abbas's own terrorists gangs, that will continue to kill Jews.
(3) Without the presence of Israel's internal security force (Shin Bet) inside Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it will be impossible to halt terrorism or even keep it within present levels. The Israel Defense Forces maintain tremendous power but are of little importance in day-to-day terrorism, unless they are able to project their power into Yesha as Sharon has done.
(4) Arab signatures on the agreement and the PLO acceptance is of no consequence as Arabs are documented liars. Muslims are permitted to lie to to non-Muslims and break agreements with them under the Koranic law of HUDAIBIYA. Treaties and contracts with them are worthless.
(5) By virtue of these agreements, the Israeli government has validated Arab claims to the Land of Israel. Decades of fighting Arab propaganda and distortions of history are trivialized and discounted.
(6.) This agreement puts the status of Jerusalem on the negotiating table as a final status issue. Every previous government of Israel steadfastly stood by the principle of Jerusalem being non-negotiable.
(7) All of Israel's military and civilian communications could be easily monitored from the hills of Judea and Samaria. The quick mobilization of the IDF could be rendered impossible by Palestinian attacks.
(8) Israel would lose control of the Judean-Samarian mountain ridge which protects it from attack from the east. The steep slope from the Jordan River to the crest of the rige is difficult to travers and can be blocked by a relatively small force of the IDF Should a Palestine State arise the Arab population will force the Israelis out.
(9) Whether they admit it publicly or not, Israeli leaders know that this is the first step to a Palestinian terrorist state.
(10) The "Palestinian right of return" has been acknowledged for the first time by the Israelis and could result in a flood of Arabs to Judea and Samaria.
(11) The inevitable increase in Arab population will result in tremendous pressure on Israel's water supply. As Arab wells are dug in the Judean and Samarian hills, the natural mountain aquifer that supplies much of Tel Aviv and the coastal plain with water will be serious depleted. Such depletion will cause the salt water of the Mediterranean Sea to penetrate Israel's coastal strip, thus destroying all water supplies. This process can be witnessed in California, where sea water has already penetrated five miles into the coast.
(12) Some 70% of Israel's population and industry is concentrated in a small strip of coast and greater Tel Aviv. That population will be immediately threatened by morters and Kaytusha rockets. Fired singly from the hills of Judea and Samaria, and set with timers they will be virtually impossible to stop. The Israeli government plan to coordinate with the Palestinian police is akin to working with the fox to guard the henhouse. The Palestinian police are being recruited from among the terrorists who delight especially in murder and mutilation of Jewish bodies. Will they arrest and turn over a terrorist who kills Israelis and then escapes to Gaza?
(13) The Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza will no doubt be victims of ethnic cleansing. The Arabs will insist on a Jew-free country like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
(14) The air and seaports planned for Gaza will facilitate the entry of weapons and terrorists, threatening the security of Israel. The air space above Israel including Ben Gurion Airport would easily threatened. A Palestinian State could NOT be demilitarized. Look at the PA today.
(15) The proposed "safe passages" for the PA will facilitate the movement of terrorists and weapons from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.
(16) HITLER AND THE ARABS
"Hitler, Goebbels and Goering were pathological and pragmatic liars. Arafat also lied at Oslo as he fully intended to carry out his staged plan of 1974. Under this plan he would accept any part of Palestine until he could conquer the remainder. The Nazis lied so convincingly and so hugely that most statesmen from other countries could not believe that what they were hearing was a lie... One of Hitler's biggest lies was constantly to assure the world of peaceful intentions while obviously planning war. Abbas has done the same.
The only reason that the Arabs have not yet done to the Israeli Jews what Hitler did to their forefathers in Europe is that they have thus far lacked the military means and weapons of mass destruction which were at Hitler's disposal, to do so.
That the Arabs have not done so to date has not been due to any reluctance on their part, but because, this time, there has been this difference: The Jews in Europe had no army to defend them. Thank G-d, the Jews in Israel have!
May Israel be wiser in relation to this death wish of her neighbours, than the Jews in Europe were. They belittled the writings and speeches of Hitler and the Nazis and were massacred as a result. May it not happen again with Abbas!
I am sorry that I can not offer you more encouraging words. What I present is:
A HARSH REALITY
We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution, expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls.
It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly cautious not to fall for a psuedo-peace that is really the wolf of war wrapped in sheep's clothing. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. Why do some Jews believe that Peres, Rabin and Sharon really negotiated PEACE with Arafat, one of today's Hitlers?
Israelis my age have fought in six wars and I understand their desire to be free of constant conflict. Unfortunately there is no magic cure. I wish I could write more optimistic words. Beyond the neighboring states that Israel is negotiating with now lies another ring of unmitigated hostility led by Islamic fundamentalists like those in Iran.
As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.
In blood and fire was Israel born and on a hot anvil was she forged. The brave young soldiers of Israel must take a quick glance back to the crematoria of Auschwitz and then go forth to face the enemy knowing that there is still no alternative (ein briera).
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and is editor of The Maccabean Online and the Freemanlist.
TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF
SHARON AND PERES
DAYENU -- IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH
by Bernard J. Shapiro
February 16, 2005
Dear Friends of Israel:
Like most of you, I am frustrated, angry and depressed over the actions of the Israeli government. We must, however, get over the depression and then use our anger to spur ourselves to greater action on behalf of Israel. EIN BRERA. In that spirit I offer the following chant or song to sing at demonstrations (slightly abridged from the popular song sung at Passover). Please distribute as widely as possible:
..........With Love of Israel
If you had collaborated with enemy to get elected to office,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy and not given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy, given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; and not divided the People of Israel setting brother against brother,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; and not beaten and abused women and children,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places, divided the People of Israel; beaten and abused women and children; and not suppressed our freedom of speech,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech and not endangered our water supply,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply and not released terrorist murderers into our midst,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply, released terrorist murderers into our midst and not surrendered our strategic mountains that protect us from attack,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; and not created a Palestinian State dedicated to the destruction of Israel,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State and not broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State, broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham and not defamed religious Jews and their TORAH,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State, broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham, defamed religious Jews and their TORAH and not jeopardized Jewish rule in Jerusalem,
Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF SHARON AND PERES:
You have done all of these things. You have collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murders into our midst: surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State; broken G-D's Covenant with Abraham; defamed religious Jews and their TORAH and even jeopardized Jewish rule in Jerusalem.
DAYENU! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR RULE! BY YOUR ACTIONS YOU HAVE FORFEITED ANY CLAIM TO LEGITIMACY. DAYENU!
"FOR ZION'S SAKE I WILL NOT HOLD MY PEACE,
AND FOR JERUSALEM'S SAKE I WILL NOT REST"
URGENT CALL BY PROMINENT
JEWISH LEADERS TO WORLD JEWRY
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace
By the Grace of G-d Adar I, 5765
URGENT CALL BY MOST PROMINENT JEWISH LEADERS TO WORLD JEWRY TO DO EVERYTHING IN THEIR MEANS TO STOP THE MADNESS
An Urgent Call to All Rabbis, Jewish Communal Leaders, and Friends of Israel Throughout the World,
"For the sounding of wailing is coming from Zion: 'How have we been plundered? We have been shamed tremendously, for we have abandoned the land; our own dwellings have cast us out'" (Jeremiah 9:18)
Open your eyes and see what the government of Israel is planning to do:
Jewish communities that are more than three decades old will
Torah centers and yeshivos will be torn down;
Cemeteries where terror victims lie will be given over to the very hands who slew them;
Parents and grandparents, young children and flowering youth, will be driven from their homes; and
Businesses and corporations employing thousands will be closed.
A victory will be granted to terror.
Our enemies will celebrate in the streets and be encouraged to further acts of violence.
Jews throughout the land of Israel will be endangered when the bases of terror will be brought closer to their homes and thousands of terrorists will be set free. Success that our foes could never dream to achieve will be granted to them.
For what? What is being given in return? There are still terror alerts throughout Israel. Rockets and mortars are still falling on Jewish homes. Suicide bombers are still blowing themselves up in the heart of Israel murdering innocent Jews.
"Do not stand idle while the blood of your brother is endangered" (Leviticus 19:16). We must object by raising an outcry, fasting and giving charity. As in all times of difficulty an extra measure of Psalms including Chapters: 20, 83, 103 should be recited daily.
The emperor has no clothes. But the media in Israel are so slanted that they celebrate his parade through the streets while exposed.
You can help! Raise an objective voice. Speak in the name of our Torah and our Jewish tradition.
Tell the government to stop. Speak to your congressmen and senators. Let the media throughout the world know. Let an outcry be heard so that the heroes risking their lives and fortunes in Israel will take heart.
"They will contrive a scheme, but it will be foiled; conspire a plot, but it will not be realized, for G-d is with us" (Isaiah 8:10).
Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, Rebbe of Sadigura and Member of Council of Torah Sages
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Horowitz, Bostoner Rebbe and member of Council of Torah Sages
Hagaon Rabbi Binyomin Yehoshua Zilber, Member of Council of Torah Sages
Hagaon Rabbi Meir Mazuz, Rosh Yeshivas Kise Rachamim
Former Chief Rabbi and noted Kabbalist, Hagaon Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu
THE JERUSALEM POST - Mar. 3, 2005
THE SHARANSKY MOMENT?
By Caroline Glick
In the history of Israel's relations with the US, there has been no precedent for the influence that Minister-without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky has had on US foreign policy. While in the past Israeli leaders have worked closely with their American counterparts, no one other than Sharansky has managed to actually influence the way that American policymakers think about foreign affairs or perceive the role of the US in the world.
Today it is beyond debate that Sharansky has deeply influenced US President George W. Bush's thinking on international affairs. After reading Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy, Bush told The New York Times that Sharansky's worldview "is part of my presidential DNA." This Sharansky-inspired "presidential DNA" posits that the Arab world's conflict with Israel, like its support for global jihad, will end when the Arab world democratizes. In Sharansky's view, once Arabs are governed democratically, they will not wish to sustain the conflict.
If Sharansky and Bush are correct, then the past week has been one of the greatest weeks in the history of the Middle East. Syria's puppet government in Beirut has resigned and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is being squeezed from all directions. He has declared that he will end Syria's occupation of Lebanon and has turned over Iraqi Ba'athists to American forces in Iraq in the hope of stemming the seemingly inexorable demise of his regime. Egypt's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, under attack from Washington and from his democratic opposition -- that for once is being supported by the Western media -- has announced that he will enable other candidates to run against him in the upcoming presidential elections.
Empowered by the support they are receiving from the US, rather than declaring victory and quietly going home, democracy advocates in these countries are ratcheting up their pressure and demands. Damascus's announcement that it would withdraw its forces from Lebanon was met by a Lebanese demand that Hizbullah be dismantled.
In an interview Wednesday with Al-Jazeera, Druse opposition leader Walid Jumblatt said of Hizbullah and its claim that Israel is wrongfully controlling the so-called Shaba Farms on the Israeli-Lebanese border, "What are these [Hizbullah] fighters doing for us? They want the Shaba Farms. Let the Syrians present documentation that the farms are even part of Lebanon. The Israelis say that they were taken from Syria and we have no proof of anything. And what will happen after the Shaba situation? Will Hizbullah's people continue to walk around armed in Lebanon and serve the Syrians?"
What is happening in our neighboring lands is nothing short of a revolution. There has never before been a situation in the Arab world where so many people have been willing to stand up to their regimes and demand their freedom. Although the Arab revolution is only in its earliest phases -- and it is impossible to foresee what will transpire in the coming days, months and years -- the very fact that the Arab world has responded so dramatically to the Iraqi elections at the end of January and to Bush's call for democracy seems to be a full vindication of both Sharansky's political theory and of Bush's decision to graft it onto his genetic code.
But other events from this past week would seem to cast a pall on the excitement. On Tuesday, Israeli Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Muhammad Barakei, while participating in an Arab League conference in Abu Dhabi, told their colleagues not to normalize their relations with Israel. According to a report in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, confirmed by the Ynet Web site, at the conference, held under the aegis of the Abu Dhabi Center for Strategic Research, the two told their audience that Israel was manipulating the world into believing that it was advancing the cause for peace by withdrawing from Gaza, but it was actually entrenching its control over Judea and Samaria and abandoning the cause of peace.
Tibi told Ynet, "The Sharon government is not worthy at this point of any diplomatic prize. The depth of the peace will determine the depth of normalization. And at this point there is no peace and therefore normalization can wait."
Barakei said, "I said these things in reaction to signs of normalization [between Israel and the Arab world] that is totally unjustified."
The fact that these politicians -- who owe their positions to the fact that they live in a democracy -- have called for the Arab world to continue its rejection of their own country would seem to put a damper on the notion that democracy can bring an end to Arab rejection of Israel. Indeed, as an Arab colleague remarked recently,
"The reformers in the Arab world hate Israel just as much as their leaders whom they are trying to overthrow."
It is more than likely that the anti-Semitism with which the Arab world has been inculcated for the past 100 years will not disappear even if the Arab world becomes democratically governed.
But that is not the main issue.
Sixty years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is still a potent force in Europe and yet Europeans, whose countries are now entrenched democracies, are not planning to go to war against Israel. Their national identities are not defined by their hatred of Jews or of the Jewish state.
The reason Arab anti-Semitism is so powerful a political force today is because the Arab world is ruled by dictators. These men need an external bogeyman to excuse their failure to bring freedom and prosperity to their people. If Arabs are afforded the freedom to determine how they wish to live their lives, it is likely that social anti-Semitism will not be sufficiently powerful to provoke them into going to war against Israel.
Aside from anti-Semitism's apparent incurability, the fact of the matter is that in Israel's immediate vicinity, the democratic revolution now sweeping neighboring states has been smothered. Tibi and Barakei's statements may seem out of place during this revolutionary moment, but what they represent more than anything else is the failure to apply the Bush-Sharansky Doctrine to the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinians today, four months after Yasser Arafat's death, perceive Israel as weak. In a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 74 percent of Palestinians said that they see Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to destroy the Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria as a vindication of terrorism as a national strategy. The Palestinians stated that they do not believe that Sharon would have ever presented the plan if it hadn't been for the Palestinian terror war against Israel.
It is this perception of Israeli weakness and terrorist strength that undoubtedly prompts the opportunistic likes of Tibi and Barakei to side with them against Israel. Just as every time Israel opens negotiations with the Ba'athists in Damascus, the Druse on the Golan Heights hold parades in honor of the Assads, so today, when Israel looks weak, Israeli Arabs want to make sure that the PA sees them as loyal to the cause. While they can rest assured that a democratic but weak Israel will do nothing to punish them for their treachery, they cannot risk supporting Israel as it strengthens and legitimizes the terror-supporting, quasi-tyranny next door in the PA.
Ironically,it is Israel's democratically elected leadership that has been most opposed to the notion of Arab democracy. Sharon and Vice Premier Shimon Peres have passively and actively colluded with those who reject the Bush-Sharansky Doctrine in the US State Department to ensure it remains unapplied among the Palestinians.
Sharansky wrote in his book that when he presented his ideas to Sharon, the prime minister told him that they "have no place in the Middle East." One of Sharon's advisers reportedly said that Sharon "views Sharansky's ideas with scorn." Peres, the father of the idea of replacing Israel's Civil Administration in the territories with a PLO dictatorship imported from Tunis, has spoken vacuously of the need to build an "economic democracy" -- rather than a political democracy -- among the Palestinians.
And the result of Israel's rejection of Palestinian democracy and its consequent effective abandonment by the Bush administration is the continuation of Arafat's dictatorial and terror-supporting regime in the territories. On Thursday, Yemen's news agency reported that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with Hamas kingpin Khaled Mashal in the coming weeks.
Abbas's decision to engage rather than fight terrorists has enabled a precipitous rise in the terror threat to Israel's population centers around Judea and Samaria. During his election campaign, Abbas embraced Fatah terrorists in Jenin led by Zakariya Zubeidi. Two months ago, the IDF arrested Zubeidi's brother, Jibril, who is a member of Islamic Jihad. The arrest led to the uncovering of a Hamas factory in the Jenin area for the manufacture of Kassam rockets that Jibril and his associates had planned to fire on Afula. And Abbas plans to enlist these men into his "reformed" security services that are set to be trained and equipped by the US, Jordan, Egypt, Russia and the EU.
Israel's decision to prefer the rule of Arafat's deputy to genuine democratic transformation in the PA has paved the way for the international community's embrace of Abbas. Rather than demand an accounting for the billions of dollars in international aid that were stolen by Arafat (and by Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and their associates), in London this week the international community pledged to transfer more than a billion additional dollars to the PA.
Buoyed by this unqualified support, Abbas is now demanding that the international community drop the demand that he fight terrorists and enable the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state immediately. The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has already accepted this position.
So in the space of one week, we see the consequences of both the Bush-Sharansky Doctrine and the appeasement-based status quo in action. While the region's war-torn, radical and terror-engendering history tells us what the ultimate consequences of the status quo will be, we have yet to harvest the fruits of the Bush-Sharansky-inspired revolution.
The main question we should be concerning ourselves with now is whether the revolution will be extended to the Palestinians or whether -- once Sharon-Peres-style appeasement is grafted onto its genetic code -- the revolution will fade away and be forgotten.
"JEWISH HOPES DASHED"
by David Basch
"JEWISH HOPES DASHED." That is the headline I saw on The Jerusalem Post web this afternoon (2/28/05) and I thought the story would be all about Sharon's surrenders to the terrorists and the betrayal of the Jewish people. Instead the article was about some silly Academy awards for motion pictures in the U.S. Israel has really changed.
Supporters of Israel will have to feel differently about her now that Sharon is really transforming Israel into Birobidzhan West, a Mediterranean version of the Russian province of Birobidzhan, designed to have been the Yiddish homeland of the Jews. In the latter, though the official language is Yiddish, it is virtually empty of Jews and its one synagogue carries Christian worship services, its Yiddish culture being only street sign deep. Will the fate of the Israeli version be similar, written up in Hebrew signs in Tel Aviv, annoucing, "pork chops for sale." When Sharon gets through, no more will be heard on the hills of Judea the sound of the Jewish groom and his bride since it will be all Arab in population and terrorist in vocation.
And don't doubt that, before Sharon is done, the Jews will go back to yearning for Jerusalem. Sure, Sharon says that he will preserve a united Jerusalem. But who is he kidding? The Arabs have not made a single compromise in their war against Israel and they won't begin deing this with giving up Jerusalem. (Jews may abandon their Judaism, but Muslims, it appears, hold fast to their Islam that forbids non Muslim rule over lands once ruled by Islam.) And the Arabs will also not start compromising on their demand to bring in 5,000,000 Arabs to downtown Israel that they call refugees. So if Sharon has undertaken his surrenders for peace, he is buying war since the Arabs will continue to fight for killer demands that spell the end of Israel, if not in an all out war, then through continuing their slow process of attrition through acts of terrorism tht has been so successful.
Sharon will have accomplished nothing for Israel. All he will have to show the weakened and divided shrinking Israeli nation he is creating is a continuing future life of blood, sweat, and tears. So why won't Israelis get wise and learn from the Arabs of Lebanon to stand up to their government? The Labanese are tired of tyranny of Syrian rule through a puppet government. Israelis should also be tired of their tyranny -- the tyranny of an elected leader and parliament that are not responsible to the people after election day and undertake programs, opposite to their promises, to surrender forever to the terrorist enemy the nation's rights, lands, history, ideals, and security. In a democracy, government should be by the consent of the governed, not the kind of government that Sharon operates in which he becomes a law unto himself in MAKING WAR ON A MAJOR SECTOR OF HIS OWN PEOPLE, illegally ethnically cleansing them from their homes, creating irreversible facts on the ground and forever plunging his nation into the shallows and miseries of defenselessness against the terrorist enemy he empowers. It is the wrong war against the wrong enemy.
With such a bill of particulars against Sharon, you ought to be able to inspire ten revolutions. It only awaits for Israel's Jews to wake up to what Sharon the tyrant is doing and take to the streets in a general strike that paralyzes the country, letting Sharon know that Israel is not his private farm and he cannot take the people's wishes for granted and reduce the future of the nation to the size of his narrow, technocratic vision.
Even the Lebanese have gotten wise to their tyrant. Why not Israelis?
The Jerusalem Post
I think the JP editorialist kids himself ("Due Process" - 2/27/05) when he calls Sharon's policy of surrender and ethnic cleansing of Jews in Gaza an example of "due process" and democracy in action.
Sharon treacherously took his supporters for a ride through lies, manipulations, and downright bribery in order to confiscate the lands and property of others and to cede the rights and history of the Jewish people to terrorists -- a modern day King Ahab. He will have irreparably harmed the security of Israel and the unity of the Jewish people, all to prove that fire burns and terrorists murder and that the insanity of the Oslo process is endemic to the country.
Many leaders in history have wilfuly and grievously blundered, with their people paying a very heavy price, sometimes their very existence. Sharon is a crude, heavy handed, short-sighted sickening example of these.
What is to be done? Forget a referendum. The only proper response is what the Lebanese are doing to their tyrants, a general strike to paralyze the country and demonstrate the power of the opposition. If that cannot be done, then Arafat in death has won and is the Arab George Washington.
West Hartford, CT
David Basch is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and the world's authority on William Shakespeare's Jewish roots. (To see his reasearch on Shakespeare visit http://www.ziplink.net/~entropy/ .)
THE JERUSALEM POST - March 1, 2005
A CHILLING EFFECT ON LEGITIMATE DISSENT
by Evelyn Gordon
As the disengagement plan progresses, I am increasingly starting to wonder where Israel stands in Natan Sharansky's famous distinction between "free societies" and "fear societies."
Clearly, the government should not tolerate criminal behavior under the guise of political protest. But many of its initiatives seem intended not to combat genuine criminal activity but to intimidate legitimate opposition to the plan.
On Sunday, for instance, the cabinet approved Justice Minister Tzipi Livni's proposal to establish a new ministry unit, with 15 full-time lawyers, devoted solely to combating incitement and violence by disengagement opponents. Yet the Justice Ministry already deals extensively with crimes of incitement and violence; a special unit would add nothing to its existing law-enforcement capabilities. All it does is exercise a chilling effect on legitimate dissent.
First, it sends the message that anti-disengagement protests will be scrutinized far more carefully than other protests: Fifteen lawyers will do nothing else. Second, it proclaims that "borderline cases," which the ministry would usually ignore, are liable to be prosecuted where disengagement is involved, as the unit will need indictments to justify its existence.
For the average citizen, ignorant of the exact boundaries between legal and illegal dissent, both of these constitute strong incentives to simply avoid protest activity altogether.
Thirdly, however, a special unit sends the message that opposition to the disengagement is inherently less legitimate than opposition to anything else -- otherwise, why would it deserve special treatment? And indeed, Livni did not even pretend that disengagement opponents would be treated with the tolerance accorded to other protesters.
For instance, she said, one of the unit's key tasks would be prosecuting people who block roads to protest the disengagement. Yet in summer 2003, when pensioners organized by the Histadrut blocked roads almost daily for weeks to protest the Knesset's enactment of a pension reform, the ministry never even considered issuing indictments.
Another disturbing development was Prison Service Commissioner Yaakov Ganot's revelation to the Knesset last Tuesday that he has been allocated NIS 19 million to prepare 900 prison spaces for people who disrupt the disengagement. One does not build jail cells unless one expects to use them; thus the state evidently intends to jail substantial numbers of disengagement opponents.
For ordinary citizens, who prefer to avoid events where arrests are likely, that is reason enough to shun anti-disengagement activity.
Even worse, however, this decision brands disengagement opponents as a particularly violent group, for whom extra jail cells must be built: If they were mainly law-abiding citizens with only the usual lunatic fringe, existing cells would suffice. And what ordinary citizen wants to be mixed up with a violent crowd like that?
The enabling legislation for the disengagement, which proposed draconian penalties (some of which the Knesset later softened or eliminated) for actions that might hinder the plan's implementation, was similarly troubling.
NONE OF the proposed penalties were actually needed, since all the actions listed (such as interfering with a policeman in the line of duty, or entering a closed military area) were already criminal offenses. The only purpose of these articles was to send a message: Obstructing the disengagement -- illegally, but by implication also legally -- is worse than obstructing other governmental activities, and therefore merits special penalties.
Finally, there are the government's persistent efforts to paint disengagement opponents as violent lunatics with whom no normal person would want to associate. Particularly egregious are MKs' repeated complaints about "threats" (mainly from Likud Central Committee members) not to vote for them again if they support disengagement.
Since when, in a democracy, is it illegitimate for a citizen to refuse to reelect a parliamentarian with whom he disagrees on a major policy issue? Yet Prime Minister Ariel Sharon publicly declared this month that threatening an MK's livelihood -- i.e., reelection -- is no different from sending him death threats: Both are "a grave threat to democracy"!
The government has also frequently inflated minor incidents in order to brand disengagement opponents as violent, as in the much-publicized "assaults" on Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu and Limor Livnat. These actually boiled down to nothing more than a few catcalls by protesters. In neither case was there physical contact; in Netanyahu's case the protesters were so far away that he could not even hear them. And since when -- especially in Israel's political culture -- have catcalls against politicians been beyond the pale?
Still another tactic is the use of incidents unrelated to the disengagement to tar disengagement opponents. Last week, for instance, police discovered that death threats against Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi -- which the government had decried as examples of anti-disengagement violence -- were actually written by a Bat Yam woman who has been sending similar letters to public figures every day for 14 years.
This is hardly atypical: Politicians often receive threatening letters from lunatics and, usually, simply ignore them. Recently, however, all such letters are being publicized and blamed, without evidence, on disengagement opponents in order to characterize them as violent and fanatical.
None of this will stop the serial hecklers or the lunatic letter writers. But it will deter law-abiding citizens from engaging in legitimate protest against the disengagement -- because law-abiding citizens do not like being associated with violent lunatics.
Genuine incitement or violence obviously must not be ignored: In fact, the legal system needs to treat such acts more severely than it often does. But neither the creation of special tools for use solely against disengagement opponents nor the hysterical exaggeration of "threats" against government officials in any way improves the state's ability to deal with genuine criminals.
Measures such as these serve only to discourage legitimate dissent against the disengagement -- and that is something no government in a democracy should be allowed to get away with.
INTELLECTUAL TERRORISM STRIKES ISRAEL
by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
On February 13, 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his cabinet, "Anyone who speaks or writes against the Disengagement Plan is guilty of incitement." Mr. Sharon thus went on record saying that the expression of even the slightest opposition to his highly controversial plan is a criminal offense.
The next day Likud Minister of Internal Security Gideon Ezra, in a live interview on Israel Radio, said that people who yell at ministers should be placed under administrative detention -- which means incarceration of up to six months without trial.
Also, Likud Transportation Minister Meir Shitreet (a former justice minister) told Israel Radio that Likud party members are guilty of incitement when they write letters to Likud MKs informing them that future political support for these politicians is dependent on their voting against the withdrawal / expulsion plan.
Finally, acting on a proposal of Likud Justice Minister Tsipi Livni, the cabinet approved the establishment of a special Justice Ministry unit to combat incitement and perceived disruptions to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement//expulsion plan.
The Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) Council criticized the establishment of the new unit, calling it the "thought police." The Council said that the purpose of the new body is to "shut the mouths of those who are opposed to the expulsion plan, and to brand them inciters. [Its purpose is to] forbid us to think differently than the government. The democratic right to protest is slowly disappearing in face of the 'sanctified' disengagement plan."
The new unit will combat anti-disengagement protests and demonstrations, and will work in coordination with the General Security Services to deter activists from engaging in mass civil disobedience. Nor is this all.
Police Chief Moshe Karadi announced the opening of an official inquiry into the activities of the speakers and participants in an anti-disengagement gathering of thousands of people at Jerusalem's International Convention Center on February 25. The protest was organized by Chabad. One of the speakers was attorney Elyakim Haetzni, a former member of the Knesset and an outspoken critic of disengagement.
It should be evident from the preceding that "intellectual terrorism" is descending on Israel -- the "only democracy" in the Middle East. Why? Why is Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan transforming Israel into a police state? Why this reign of intimidation, this suppression of freedom of expression?
The reason is this: There is simply no rational justification for Sharon's disengagement plan. Both IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon and Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter have testified before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that disengagement will lead to an increase of terrorism -- which testimony or attitude is why both of these men have been sacked. It should also be noted that Chief of IDF Intelligence Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, who is retiring this summer, also testified against disengagement.
No wonder ex-Deputy IDF Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, has said: "The Israeli government has not succeeded in producing a single serious argument that can refute objections [to disengagement] and justify the grave step that it is taking."
Since the Sharon government has not and cannot justify disengagement on rational grounds, which is to say, since this government cannot persuade the public by means of logical argument and solid evidence that withdrawing from Gaza and northern Samaria and turning this land over to Arab terrorists will contribute to Israel's overall security, it must resort to intimidation and the suppression of freedom of expression and individual liberty to implement Sharon's plan.
But now let us probe a little deeper. First, notice that the intellectual terrorism descending on Israel is the work of secularists. This secular coercion -- which will be imposed primarily on religious Jews -- reveals the hypocrisy of those who declaim against religious coercion.
Second, with disengagement and its necessary accompaniment, intellectual terrorism, Israel is approaching its denouement. The veneer of democracy is being stripped away. The idol of peace is being shattered. Thanks to the Arabs, Israel will have to redefine itself. It will be Jewish or it will be nothing.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg is a member of the Board of Directors of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
ISRAEL SUCCUMBS TO DICTATORSHIP
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
President, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, Jerusalem
Below are various statements issued by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his cabinet ministers, as well as certain actions taken by his government, which indicate that Israel, far from being a democracy, is a democratically elected dictatorship. Let the following facts be submitted to a candid world.
(1) The central issue of the January 2003 national election in Israel was "unilateral disengagement," which involves the evacuation of some 10,000 Jews from their homes and farms in Gaza and northern Samaria and rewarding Arab terrorists with this Jewish and now flourishing land. The Labor Party campaigned for disengagement. The Likud Party, led by Mr. Sharon, campaigned against disengagement.
(2) An overwhelming majority of the public voted for parties that opposed disengagement. Indeed, the Likud won twice as many Knesset seats as Labor -- something unprecedented in Israel's history.
(3) Nevertheless, before the year ended, Prime Minister Sharon adopted Labor's pro-disengagement position!
(4) To gain cabinet approval of disengagement, Mr. Sharon fired two cabinet ministers who opposed his virtual nullification of the January 2003 national election.
(5) When the parties represented by those ministers resigned from his government, Mr. Sharon formed a new government with the Labor Party, a government that was approved by less than a majority of the Knesset.
(6) These unethical acts on the part of Mr. Sharon -- and I have mentioned only a few -- have raised the specter of civil war in Israel. It is widely feared -- and Likud Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has stoked this fear -- that disengagement will be extended to the "West Bank," hence that 200,000 more Jews will be expelled to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state.
(7) No less than Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, IDF Chief of Staff as well as Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, head of IDF Intelligence, and Avi Dichter, director of the Shin Bet (General Security Service), have warned that disengagement will increase Arab terrorism.
(8) Ex-Deputy IDF Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror has publicly declared: "The Israeli government has not succeeded in producing a single serious argument that can refute objections [to "disengagement"] and justify the grave steps that it is taking."
(9) Nevertheless, on February 13, Prime Minister Sharon told his cabinet, "Anyone who speaks or writes against the Disengagement Plan is guilty of incitement."
(10) The next day, Likud Minister of Internal Security, Gideon Ezra, in a live interview on Israel Radio, said that people who shout at ministers should be placed under administrative detention -- which means incarceration up to six months without trial.
(11) Likud Transportation Minister Meir Shitreet told Israel Radio that Likud party members are guilty of incitement when they write letters to Likud MKs informing them that future political support for these politicians is dependent on their voting against the withdrawal/expulsion plan.
(12) MK Effi Eitam said in the Knesset: "I must tell you, Mr. Prime Minister -- and though you are not honoring us with your presence, the words will certainly reach you -- that I have served the country for many years on the battlefield, and during difficult and tense moments, but I have never heard from government elements in the State of Israel such unrestrained incitement as that which was heard from your confidantes and coalition partners... 'Break their bones!' your confidantes whispered, and the headlines blared it. Whose bones precisely do you intend to break, Mr. Prime Minister? Those of little children? Pregnant women? Civilian protestors?"
(13) Undeterred, the cabinet, on February 27, approved Likud Justice Minister Tsipi Livni's proposal to establish a new ministry unit, with 15 full-time lawyers, devoted solely to combating "incitement" and "violence" by disengagement opponents, even though such a unit would add nothing to the ministry's existing law-enforcement capabilities. All it does is discourage legitimate dissent.
(14) Henceforth anti-disengagement protests will be scrutinized far more carefully than other protests, and "borderline cases," which the ministry usually ignores, are liable to be prosecuted where disengagement is involved. This will stifle freedom of expression.
(15) Moreover, the Prison Service Commission has been allocated 19 million shekels to prepare 900 prison spaces for people who disrupt the disengagement. Such otherwise law-abiding citizens will be incarcerated as outright criminals.
(16) The Sharon government has portrayed opponents of disengagement as lunatics and fanatics with whom no normal person would want to be associated -- even though many of the opponents are lawyers, former military officers, professors, rabbis, and former cabinet ministers.
The above evidence clearly indicates that Israel is becoming a police state. There is a way to stop this fascist development. Prime Minister Sharon and his underlings fear only one thing: the loss of their democratic reputation in the United States.
Therefore, convey the above information to American congressmen and to the media. Let them express horror at what is happening in Israel and it will be immediately conveyed throughout this country. If a peaceful protest of 50,000 Lebanese citizens can force Lebanon's pro-Syrian government to resign, surely a protest of 100,000 Jews can force the Sharon government to resign, once it has been exposed both in the United States and in Israel, as a dictatorship.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg is a member of the Board of Directors of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
IS ISRAEL BECOMING A FASCIST STATE?
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
February 5, 2005
What is to be done to stop Prime Minister Sharon's suppression of freedom of expression and the individual liberty of those who oppose his Disengagement/Expulsion Plan? Consider how the ugly head of fascism appeared in Israel last week.
On February 13 Sharon told his cabinet, "Anyone who speaks or writes against the Disengagement Plan is guilty of incitement." The prime minister of Israel thus went on record saying that the expression of even the slightest opposition to his highly controversial plan is a criminal offense.
The next day Likud Minister of Internal Security Gideon Ezra, in a live interview on Israel Radio, said that people like Kach activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who yell at ministers should be placed under administrative detention -- which means imprisoned without trial. Yet the same Ezra supports releasing Arab terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis.
Moreover, Knesset member Effi Eitam was expelled from the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee by its Likud chairman, Yuval Shteinitz, when Eitam argued with Sharon for accusing parliamentarians of incitement because they opposed his disengagement/expulsion plan.
Also last week, Likud Transportation Minister Meir Shitreet (a former justice minister) told Israel Radio that Likud party members are guilty of incitement when they write letters to Likud MKs informing them that future political support for these politicians is dependent on their voting against the withdrawal/ expulsion plan.
The gifted Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick remarked that in Shitreet's view it's incitement for constituents to base their support for politicians on the extent to which those politicians advance their interests while in office!
Unfortunately, Ms. Glick failed to point out that, under Israel's parliamentary system, Knesset members -- and that means cabinet ministers -- are not individually elected by, or accountable to, any constituency. They are candidates on a party slate, and they do not owe their position to the voters in a constituency election. Which means that Israel, unlike almost all countries having democratic elections for the lower or only branch of the legislature, is not, and never has been, a truly representative democracy.
This "incitement craze" and all this talk about assassins are simply intended to intimidate and silence the national-religious camp, as the Left did before and after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin -- the truth about which has been hidden from the public.
In any event, Sharon is so obsessed with his disengagement plan, that he denied Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon a one-year extension of his appointment, contrary to precedent and to the utter surprise of the Knesset. Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter is also being replaced. The reason? Both men testified before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the disengagement plan would lead to an increase of terrorism.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg is a member of the Board of Directors of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Arutz Sheva-IsraelNationalNews.com - February 27, 2005
A LESSON IN DEMOCRACY
by Yehuda Poch
Professor Arik Carmon is the president of the Israel Democracy Institute, ostensibly a non-partisan think-tank tasked with research into democracy and the democratic practices of Israel. This week, he co-signed an Open Letter to the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, in which he called on them not to "disengage" themselves from the democratic process.
The tone and content of this letter, as discussed on Israel Radio yesterday evening (February 26), closely mirrors one of the lead arguments of the supporters of Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, which is that opponents of the plan are acting against a decision reached in a democratic fashion.
This argument is an exercise in political poison. Its sole aim is to delegitimize the Israeli Right as anti-democratic - something the Left has been trying to do, in one form or another, for many years, and something that could not be further from the truth. So, it's time for a reality check.
In January 2003, Israelis re-elected Ariel Sharon in the largest electoral landslide ever seen in Israeli history. The Likud, under his leadership, received twice as many votes as its nearest rival, the Labor party under Amram Mitzna. Mitzna had run a campaign based almost exclusively on his idea that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from the entire Gaza Strip. Sharon ran his campaign opposing that idea.
The 2003 election was not an election of personalities. Voters did not choose Mitzna or Sharon. They chose Labor or Likud. They voted for party platforms and legislative programs. There was no direct election of the prime minister, as there had been in 1996, 1999 and 2001. This was a single-ballot election for a party, and the leader of the largest party would become prime minister. Labor's platform, under Mitzna's leadership, championed disengagement. Likud's platform, under Sharon's leadership, opposed it. When Sharon won his landslide, he formed a cabinet based upon the principles of the Likud platform, including opposition to a unilateral withdrawal.
Yet, 10 short months after the election, Sharon had announced his intention to follow Labor's electoral platform, and to unilaterally withdraw Israeli presence from the Gaza strip and four communities in northern Samaria. In May 2004, in a referendum of Likud party members, the Likud reaffirmed its platform of the 2003 election, by rejecting the "Disengagement Plan" and demanding that its ministers and members of Knesset vote against it.
In June 2004, Ariel Sharon had to fire two cabinet ministers who were opposed to the Disengagement Plan in order to enable it to pass the cabinet vote. The vote was 14-7 in the end, but had Avigdor Liberman and Benny Elon remained in the cabinet for the vote, at least three Likud ministers would have changed their yes votes to no, defeating the plan. One Likud minister was later fired for continuing to oppose the plan, but he was acting in line with the Likud party membership decision of May.
Since the original cabinet vote, opponents of the plan - and even a third of its supporters - have been demanding a national referendum on the issue, whose results all have pledged to honor. This demand has been raised because the current government cannot implement the plan and continue to claim democratic legitimacy. If the electorate had wanted this plan to be implemented, they would have voted for Labor in 2003.
The supporters of the plan claim that a majority of the country's voters support the plan, and this may be true. But without a referendum, the only vote that matters is the most recent election, in which a minority of voters supported parties that were in favor of the plan.
There is nothing democratic about the Disengagement Plan. It is being implemented by a government that was elected to oppose it, in full contravention of the will of the electorate as expressed in the last election. The issue has succeeded in dividing the nation along a very dangerous fault line, and the dangers that it has exposed can only be defeated in two ways: through the full suspension of democracy, including the use of military force against large groups of the population and the assumption by the current government of dictatorial powers, or through a democratic confirmation of this government's mandate to execute its stated policy.
The letter co-signed by Professor Carmon is hypocritical, and destroys any assumption that the Israel Democracy Institute is in any way non-partisan, or that it actually understands what democracy is all about. It is solely the target of that letter, the Israeli right-wing, that has shown any interest in preserving democracy, by calling for a national referendum to enable the democratic confirmation of the government's mandate.
There has been no official determination that the electorate has changed its mind on this issue, and until there is, there is no democratic justification for the Disengagement Plan. If the Israel Democracy Institute were really interested in the preservation and development of democracy in Israel, it would be front and center championing a national referendum. By calling on the Israeli Right to abandon the idea of a referendum, the IDI is instead increasing the possibility that democracy will be short-circuited in the interests of power. And that is the definition of tyranny.
THE RIGHT TO AFFECT YOUR NEIGHBOR
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East analyst & commentator
The idea that the majority rules simply because there are more of them, may not be the way to decide some problems. When the majority has a prejudiced or vested interest in what it considers its own well-being, while putting the minority in danger, that's not a fair or equitable way to decide problems.
The minority does not exist, nor should it - at the pleasure of the so-called majority. The majority in Israel lives along the Mediterranean coast. These are city people mostly who generally think of themselves as Politically Left and highly Liberal. They feel insulated from hostile Arab Muslim Palestinians on Israel's borders, even though the majority of Terror attacks have occurred in the cities.
Whenever there is a Terrorist attack in downtown Tel Aviv, they think of it as an anomaly. Once the blood and body parts are mopped up and the flesh scraped off the buildings, the shock is quickly forgotten. Generally, instead of being angry at the Arab Muslim Palestinians, the source of their pain, they quickly drift over into the idea that "somehow" the mere existence of the 'settlers' provoked the killings. That, if the minority of Settlers now on the East side of the 1967 Green Line (Armistice Line) were not there, the Arab Muslim Palestinians would have no reason to attack. Ergo, they, the majority, must be right and the settlers must be 'wrong' - which is artful denial at its peak.
In an atmosphere of self-delusion, they ignore the steady hate mantra of the Muslims all over the world, be they Terrorists or the supportive civilian population, generally saying: "We will cleanse the land of Jews from the Jordan (River) to the (Mediterranean) Sea for the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as the capital only of the new State of Palestine."
So, the majority tell all those Jews who choose to live their lives on the 'liberated' side of that irrelevant Armistice Line that Abba Eban nicknamed the Auschwitz Borders, that you must leave. You must abandon homes, farms, factories and gift them to a veritable flood of hostile Arab Muslim Palestinians as a peace gesture.
To fulfill his new idea, Sharon had to enlist that part of the nation who did not live in the 'territories' nor had any investment in remaining there. That was not difficult because Sharon appealed to those called the Political Left who long ago were taught to dislike, if not hate, those Pioneers pejoratively called "Settlers".
In the earliest days of the State, the Left encouraged 'settlement' of the Land. The Arabs made one war after another, with Terror attacks in between, gambling the Land away, on the off-chance, they could themselves occupy and remove the Jews.
The Left, from the first nation builder Prime Minister David Ben Gurion onward, used the rightfully captured Land out of self-defense to create settlements (kibbutzim and moshavim) that turned into cities. They, the Left, soon forgot that a great deal of the Land that they settled on was Land rightfully owned by Jews originally and rightfully re-captured from the Arab Muslims after the various wars - all of which were started by the Arabs - not the Jews.
The Left soon became the radical Left and began to bond with their Arab Muslim aggressors on the theory that hostile Muslims could be appeased and would accept them as neighbors. The Leftist Jews started to offer Jewish owned Land (once occupied by Arab Muslims) back to their aggressors but the Land was not ever theirs to give. Thus started the demonization of Jews who live in the Territories. That dislike was compounded when it became clear that Settlers believed the Land was always theirs as promised by G-d.
This was a multiple affront to the city dwellers since most didn't believe in G-d or his Covenant gifting the Land of Israel to the Jews in perpetuity. The radical Leftists really hated the idea of G-d's Covenant. They also hated the fact that Jews could successfully work the Land as was originally planned by the Labor Zionists. While Ben Gurion believed that Labor Zionism was the way to get to a secular Israel, they soon drifted off into secular nothingness.
The questions arise:
Can the majority, to suit their self-serving needs, mandate that a large minority must leave their homes, farms, factories, schools, synagogues, businesses, infrastructure and even their cemeteries?
Can the majority do this on the theory that the Arab Muslim Palestinians will be appeased with this sacrifice?
Where in the civilized and so-called democratic nations of the world does one part of a nation gift the other part of their own nation to an adversary?
We did see it once when a catastrophic decision by the French and British authorized the gift of the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia) to Adolph Hitler on the promise that he would then be pacified and leave them alone. As we know now, it only whetted Hitler's appetite and confirmed that the gifting nations were weak and would be easy conquests.
Regrettably, we are seeing a similar replay of nations gathering in what they see as their own self-interest and gifting parts of Israel to a hateful adversary, hoping the 'gift/sacrifice' will appease the Arab Muslims and their Terrorists. Here we find the Bush Administration, the E.U., the U.N., and Russia (the Quartet collectively) are willing to repeat the Sudetenland Betrayal because they are the majority.
The Leftist Jews who now support Sharon, even though they believe that the Sharon family has behaved dishonestly regarding money, wish to gift a great deal of Jewish territory to Arab Muslim Palestinians. They accept the 'diktats' of a single person, Sharon, whose aberrant personality demands obedience in all matters.
The coastal Jews of Western Israel believe that the mountain Jews of the East must be sacrificed "for the good of the majority". As non-observant or irreligious Jews, they ignore the idea that G-d put each of us here on earth as a single person and not as chattel or pawns to some larger group to move about as in a chess game.
We cannot make a minority expendable so the majority can live better.
If I, in the minority, choose of my own free will to risk my life to save yours, that is my choice - not yours to make for me. Observant Jews believe that one life is the whole world - referendums and dictators' wishes notwithstanding.
If a majority wishes to impose its own self-serving will on a minority in a life-and-death struggle, I would feel it only proper that the minority has every right to defend itself by every means possible - and I do mean every means!
Emanuel A. Winston is a member of the Board of Directors and a Research Associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
A POLICE STATE IN FORMATION
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East analyst & commentator
I have seen several reports wherein they state that Sharon has employed non-Jewish Russians as shock troops against the Jews of Gaza/Gush Katif. That includes housing, training, and supplying them with rolling stock (trucks) to haul off the Jewish resistors. Anyone with specific information, I would appreciate your response.
I do recall publishing on what I believed the Labor Left was planning with the non-Jewish Arabs of Arafat's Terrorists in the early 1980s. The objective of meetings with Arafat was to similarly eject the Jews of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and half of Jerusalem.
The plan was to move in phases such as making it difficult to get building permits, slowing down installation of water pipes, electricity grids, sewage lines, roads, etc. Then there was the bribery phase where Settlers were to be seduced with payments to move out. There was a period of what was to be the use of military force.
Finally, there were the "shock troops" stage, wherein the Settlers would be faced with Arafat's PLO who could make the roads so dangerous that the Settlers would be forced out. While Yitzhak Rabin is not around to testify, Shimon Peres - among others - could be called upon to testify but, of course, such investigations do not usually take place in Israel.
Whether Sharon is gathering gentile Shock Troops in advance of the Police and Army is something to be revealed. If anyone has accurate and provable information on employing Russian Gentiles living in Israel as Shock Troops to terrify the Jews of Gaza/Gush Katif, it should be made known. Using mercenaries is not unique to such Jewish tyrants as Herod was in his days.
Sharon has already poisoned much of the Police Force with orders to beat protestors, releasing all their normal inhibitions. We have reports already of beatings where ribs were broken, heads cracked, with eye and hearing disability. With disappearing files on the injured. This is the stuff that Jews were to have escaped from in Russia, Germany, France, Poland, etc. Once a KGB style Police Force takes hold, then the entire nation will suffer brutality - which Sharon, no doubt, means to be merely a brief period of a Police State tactics.
Have you ever noticed that Jews only discover they have been taken only after they have been taken? We have lost a lot of Jews because we seem to avoid seeing the problem, let alone acting in time to save ourselves. What's worse is that we feel guilty when we think to question anyone who rises to the top. Just hang on with bleeding fingers until one day you get the job. The Title doesn't make you a good person or an angel. Unless you really are but, then again you wouldn't be a problem.
Emanuel A. Winston is a member of the Board of Directors and a Research Associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
SHARON TO SURRENDER THE GOLAN
Has Israel Fallen For The "Mubarak Gambit" Again?
By Bernard J. Shapiro
The word has gone forth from Jerusalem. Now there is no doubt, despite a multitude of denials. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has already agreed to surrender the whole Golan Heights to Syrian dictator Bashir Assad. It took months of couching, but finally Syrian dictator has learned to say the word "peace." Does he mean it? The United State's State Department has announced that once peace is made with Syria, then 18 other Arab countries will make peace with Israel. The pressure to accept a withdrawal will be immense. Golan residents are beginning massive resistance, including hunger strikes and demonstrations. In 1994 Labor MK Avigdor Kahalani is organizED a faction in the Knesset to resist withdrawal from the Golan. He has tabled a bill to raise the vote necessary for approval of territorial change from a simple majority (61) to 70 Knesset members.
The time has come to clear the smoke and mirrors. There is a significant Israeli dilemma in the negotiating framework with Syria. I call this dilemma: the "Mubarak gambit." After Egyptian dictator Anwar Sadat's death, his successor Hosni Mubarak discovered that Egypt could ignore its peace treaty obligations to Israel with impunity. Sadat had signed over 50 agreements and amendments to the Camp David Accords, which spelled out in great detail normalization of relations with Israel. These included trade, tourism, science, cultural and other attributes of peaceful relations. The late Menachem Begin, of blessed memory, fully believed that his sacrifice of Sinai, with its air bases and oil, was worth the inauguration of peaceful relations with the most important country in the Arab world.
With every passing year, it became clearer to Mubarak that the Israelis were too timid to protest Egyptian violations. It also became clear that America would continue to supply aid in the billions of dollars to Egypt, despite Egypt's obvious violations of their most solemn commitments to both President Jimmy Carter and Begin.
From this experience Mubarak devised the "Mubarak gambit," which sets out the principle that an Arab country can promise Israel peace and full normalization as a negotiating tactic in order to force an Israeli withdrawal from territory. Then after the territory is recovered, the Arab country can ignore the normalization part of any agreement.
It is such a painless gambit, one would have thought that all of Israel's neighbors would have rushed to use it. In the Arab world, however, symbolism is very important and it took many years before they were ready to use this tactic. Mubarak, first convinced terrorist leader, Yassir Arafat, to try out the "Mubarak gambit." We all know what has happened, including the famous handshake on September 13, 1993. We also know that all of Arafat's promises to the Israelis, including revising the PLO Charter and stopping violence, have not been honored.
Now, after much tutoring, Assad has learned the principle. It has been with great difficulty that he even speaks about peace with Israel. While he is never very clear about his meaning of peace, one thing was clear: he has learned to use the "Mubarak gambit." We will be hearing a lot from him and State Department officials about how he has changed and now "really" wants peace. Don't believe it.
Most of you understand the strategic significance of the Golan Heights so I will concentrate on the other side of the equation. If Syria wants Israel to exchange the Golan for peace, we must ask ourselves the following: (1) Is Syria capable of giving Israel peace? (2) Is peace really possible? (3) Does Syria deserve to get the Golan Heights ? (4) Is the Golan really Israeli territory? (5) What are Syria's true intentions toward Israel?
Syrian dictators while very intelligent, are sociopaths with extreme paranoid delusions. Their brutal record of killing everyone who disagrees with them or poses even the slightest political threat bears out this analysis. In my opinion, they are incapable of living up to any peace agreement with Israel. Whether peace is possible depends upon your relative propensity to believe in fairy tales. If you believe in the real possibility of achieving utopia or nirvana; and if you believe in the tooth fairy, then peace with Syria is not only possible but desirable.
Any review of Israel's relations with Syria would indicate that the Syrians do not deserve to get the Golan. This point is rarely mentioned but is important. The bloodthirsty behavior of the Syrians, when they controlled the Golan (1948-67), makes me comfortable with depriving them of its return. When the Israeli Defense Forces conquered the Golan, we all vowed never to give it back. Nothing has changed.
Is the Golan really Israeli territory? The Golan was a part of the original League of Nations Mandate at the San Remo Conference in 1920 to Great Britain, for the purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home. In 1921, The British gave Eastern Palestine to Emir Abdullah, who named it Transjordan. Then in 1923, they gave the Golan to the French to become part of the French Mandate of Syria. In both cases, the intent of the League of Nations was violated and the area of the future Jewish state was diminished. Going back even farther, one finds reference to the Golan as an Israelite territory in the Holy Scriptures (Deut. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; I Chron. 5:56). Israeli archaeologists have also found numerous ancient synagogues on the Golan.
My final question is: What is Syria's true intention? The answer can be found in a recent meeting of ten rejectionist Palestinian terrorists groups held in Damascus . They swore with Assad's backing to prevent peace with Israel and to work for its total destruction. Syria is also involved in an unholy alliance with Iran and the Hezbollah, whose aim is to make the Middle East Judenrein (Jew-free). Does Sharon really want to help them make Eretz Yisrael to be Judenrein????
In conclusion we find Syria incapable of making peace; that peace is not possible now anyway; that the Syrians do not deserve the Golan; that the Golan really belongs to Israel; and that war, not peace, is Syria's true intention. Assad maybe whispering sweet nothings in Sharon's ear about peace, but we must tell Sharon not to be seduced.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies <www.freeman.org> and editor of THE MACCABEAN ONLINE and the Freemanlist.
[Obviously this article needed an update, February 28, 2005. This article was originally written for the benefit of then Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin and published by The Jewish Press (NY) on September 23, 1994, the October 1994 issue of The Caucus Current, and the October 1994 issue of THE MACCABEAN].
WHO SAYS THE GOLAN IS SYRIAN?
By Prof. Yoav Gelber
[Originally appeared in Yediot Ahronot [January 16, 2004]. Translation thanks to Moshe Kohn.]
Before we proclaim that "the Golan is Syrian," it is worthwhile doing a quick review of its history. Ever since the establishment of the Syrian state, that country has lost more significant segments of its land than the Golan. In 1920 Mosul was given to Iraq and Tripoli to Lebanon, and in 1937 the Turks took Alexandretta. Yet Syria has maintained correct relations with all three of those annexing neighbors. It would seem that her insistence on getting the Golan back in its entirety stems solely from her desire to weaken Israel.
In the original division between French Syria and British [Mandatory] Palestine [after World War I], most of the Golan Heights was within the borders of Palestine. In the course of the demarcation of the boundary, local landowners applied heavy pressure, and as a result - and due to the absence of Zionist counter-pressure - the line was moved [somewhat] westward. Upon gaining independence, Syrian refused to recognize that line, and ever since they have been demanding that the border run down the middle of the Jordan River and Lake Kinneret [the "Sea of Galilee"]. During the [1947-1948] War of Independence [Arab-Israel War], the Syrians gained control of areas west of the Jordan and afterwards demanded that the border coincide with the water line. The response of Israel's foreign minister at that time, Moshe Sharett, was that it was unthinkable that Israel should hand her Syrian enemy what the British had refused to give their French ally.
Under the 1949 armistice, the Syrian Army retreated across the border, and the area they vacated was declared a demilitarized zone. The struggle for the control of that area reached its peak when Israel started to drain the Huleh Valley swampland. In the spring of 1951 violence broke out throughout the demilitarized zone, leading to the expulsion of the Arab residents of the area to Galilee and across the border, and Israeli sovereignty over the area was ensured. There was a de facto partition of the demilitarized areas: Israel controlled the central section and the Syrians had el-Hamma on the Kinneret's northeastern shore and two tels on the fringes of the Galilee "panhandle." This partition is the basis of the difference between the two concepts, "the international border" and "the June 4  lines."
What did not obligate the Syrians then should not obligate Israel [today]. There is no need today to hand the Syrians a border that they rejected in the1940s and 1950s. The Golan has been under Israeli rule longer than under the rule of independent Syria (36 years as against 21 years). [The Golan town of] Katzrin is no more Syrian than Jaffa, Lod, Ramleh, or Acco [Acre] are Palestinian (under the 1947 United Nations partition proposal), and we ought to think of the consequences of setting a precedent by giving up the Golan.
The weight of the historical arguments might have been different if Syria held Israel by the throat. But the only real Syrian threat against Israel is the threat of missiles aimed at Israel's center. Security arrangements in the Golan might be a partial solution regarding the security of the Israeli settlements situated along the pre-1967 line, but is no answer to the threat of missiles fired from points far from the demilitarized zone and from far Israel's warning systems. The sole constraint on the implementation of this threat is the Israel Defense Forces' proximity to Damascus, Israel's withdrawal from which would abandon the Dan region, the Coastal Plain, and Haifa to Syrian missiles.
The argument that a peace agreement is the best defense against missiles is delusive. There has never been a war that was not preceded by peace. And the risks of war in our case are not symmetrical: we cannot afford a single loss, whereas our neighbors have survived several debacles. That is why Israel stubbornly insists on security arrangements in any pace pact with any of her neighbors.
Syria has far more serious problems than we in the military sphere, in the economic sphere, and in the political sphere. She needs peace in order to solve some of them, and it is she - not Israel - that has to pay the main part of the price to achieve it: first and foremost by ceasing to support Palestinian and Lebanese terror, and also by waiving her claim to most of the Golan.
DISENGAGEMENT - TRACK RECORD EXAMINED
by Yoram Ettinger
The late President Reagan stated that "History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."
Reaganism and the proposed Disengagement Plan (cut & run from Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and northern Samaria, while uprooting Jews) constitute an oxymoron.
Enclosed you'll find the 174th issue of Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom, which highlights the damage - caused by disengagement - to vital US interests.
Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom #174, February 26, 2005
DISENGAGEMENT - TRACK RECORD EXAMINED
by Yoram Ettinger
1. Israel's 1993/6 disengagement from Gaza and 40% of Judea and Samaria established the pro-Saddam/Taliban PA, coinciding with the dramatic rise in anti-US Islamic terrorism, leading to the Twin Towers terrorism. Palestinian terrorists fought the US in Afghanistan and Iraq. Islamic terrorists compare Israel's disengagement to the US retreat from Beirut (1983) and Somali (1993).
2. IDF re-engagement with, and control of, Palestinian towns has sharply cut terrorism in 2004. Palestinian terrorism has targeted, mostly, Israel's pre-1967 area. IDF presence in/around Gaza protects, primarily, pre-1967 Israel.
3. In 1994 Israel disengaged from 85% of Gaza (and 100% of its population). By 1998 Israel disengaged from 40% of Judea & Samaria (and 95% of its population). It yielded unprecedented terrorism, facilitated anti-US and anti-Israel hate-education, smuggling and manufacturing of terror hardware, recruitment and training of terrorists.
4. 250 Israelis were murdered, by Palestinian terrorists, during 1988-1993. 1,700 Israelis have been murdered, by Palestinian terrorists, since the launching of the Oslo-driven disengagements (85,000 in US terms; 28 Twin Towers).
5. The 1994 disengagement created the largest terrorist base in the world, led/harbored by PLO graduates of terrorist camps in Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon and Tunisia. It is interpreted, by terrorists, as a retreat by the role-model of countering terrorism (Israel), and a reward to the role-model of terrorism (PLO/PA). It has inspired Islamic terrorism, which threatens pro-US Arab regimes (Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.).
6. The 1995 disengagement from Bethlehem and Beit Jallah facilitated a takeover by Moslem terrorists, which has accelerated the flight of Christians.
7. The July 2000 disengagement from Southern Lebanon - following the loss of 21 soldiers in 17 months - propelled Hizballah to regional prominence (including in Iraq and Afghanistan), expanded Hizballah's role in Gaza and J&S, injured Israel's posture of deterrence and adrenalized Palestinian terrorism.
8. Egypt has inspired Palestinian hate-education and has encouraged the smuggling of terrorist hardware to Gaza. Its re-engagement with Gaza could unintentionally produce Israel-Egypt military confrontations (e.g. during hot pursuit of terrorists), dragging the US into unnecessary conflicts with both.
9. President Reagan: "History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap." Reaganism and the proposed Disengagement Plan (cut & run from Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and northern Samaria, while uprooting Jews) constitute an oxymoron.
The Jewish Press - 2/23/2005
ISRAEL FREEING ARAB
AND SURRENDERING JEWISH LANDS:
Living Precariously In The Delirium Of Expectation
By Louis Rene Beres
Writing of the Jews as a "people of solitaries," E.M. Cioran, the most dazzling French philosophical voice since Paul Valery, observes of the Jewish "nation" that this people, "...unsuited to the complacencies of despair, bypassing its age-old fatigue and the conclusions imposed by fate, lives in the delirium of expectation, determined not to learn a lesson from its humiliations...."
Cioran's observation is astute. With the current Sharon plan for releasing Palestinian terrorists and surrendering Jewish lands, Israel has given new meaning to such "determination." Rejecting both Zionism and Judaism in the codified madness of "disengagement," the Prime Minister is openly comfortable with a policy that is indefensible by any reasonable standard of judgment. Withering every authentically Jewish heart and mind with his policy of "Land For Nothing," the Prime Minister proudly shows off an infinite forbearance for Israel's mortal enemies, past and future; foreign and domestic. Small wonder, then, that Sharon has now brazenly brought Israel to its final phase of unwitting self-parody.
What, after all, is being offered by the Arab side? Peace? Surely everyone must know that a "ceasefire" is strongly in the interest of the Palestinians, giving them needed time to reorganize unrepentant terrorist forces and to replenish terrorist materials. They are, after all, quickly running short of nails, screws, razor blades and rat poison for the vests of their "freedom fighters."
Newly freed by Israel from worry about targeted killings of their lead murderers, Palestinian terrorists are already being reborn as Palestinian "police" and "security services." Here, with the incomprehensible blessings of the United States -- and with an additional $350 million of our tax monies -- the meticulously sanitized and media-transformed killers can spearhead a new momentum for "Palestine."
Of course, the Palestinian state, torn from the still-living body of a Jewish state, will immediately become a base for terrorist operations against both Israel and the United States. Why, why - we must inquire: Why do our own intelligence services maintain absolute public silence about expanding cooperation between several interpenetrating Palestinian "authorities" and al-Qaeda? Common links in this cooperation are such fiery preachers as Sheikh Mudeiris, who receive their salaries and their appointments from the Palestinian National Authority.
Prime Minister Sharon shows no evident reluctance to fawn before Israel's intended executioners. Shall Israel survive under such leadership? Perhaps. Yet, by agreeing to live comfortably on its knees, by forgetting its utterly sacred obligations to those legions of honored and heroic Jews who now sleep in the dust, the nation has arguably lost all right to do so.
Who are Israel's intended executioners? Enemies who are irrevocably and doctrinally committed to destruction of the Third Temple Commonwealth, it makes no difference at all if they are Hamas, or Islamic Jihad or Fatah. None. Not a single Palestinian group accepts the idea of a "Two-State Solution" -- the delusionary mantra animating Secretary of State Rice as well as Prime Minister Sharon. On the official PA map of the Middle East there is no Israel. Only "Palestine."
The wider Arab plan is still to remove Israel not only from the maps, but also to expunge it from the physical world amidst rivers of blood and whole oceans of religious poetry. Hence the cartographic genocide is blueprint -- a premeditated design for the next "phase." The language here is precise and meaningful.
The "Phased Plan" was adopted formally by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on June 9, 1974. In its 12th session, the PLO's highest body, the Palestinian National Council, reiterated the PLO aim: "...to achieve their rights to return and to self-determination on the whole of their homeland." However, departing from a previous strategy then calling for immediate annihilation of "The Zionist Entity," and for the establishment of a 23rd Arab state covering "all of Palestine," the Phased Plan adopted the following unambiguous goals: "FIRST, to establish a combatant national authority over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated" (Art. 2); SECOND, to use that territory to continue the fight against Israel (Art. 4); and THIRD, to start "a pan-Arab War to complete the liberation of all Palestinian territory; that is, to annihilate Israel" (Art. 8).
"To annihilate Israel" has never been a hidden element of Arab strategy. Since June 9, 1974, nothing has changed. In Muslim parlance, all war dictated by the shari'a is necessarily "holy." Yet, the Arabic word jihad, which has the literal meaning of "effort," "striving," or "struggle," ought not to be taken lightly. A basic commandment of Islam, jihad -- still a favorite term of Israel's "partners in peace" -- is an obligation imposed on all Muslims by Allah, and is patently military in intent.
Derived from the universality of Muslim revelation, jihad calls upon those who have accepted Allah's message and Allah's word to strive (jahada) relentlessly to convert, or, at a minimum, to subjugate those who have not been converted. Regarding the State of Israel, this obligation is not bounded by any ascertainable limits of time or space. Indeed, this obligation must continue until the whole world has accepted Islam or has submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
What is the prevailing Islamic worldview for the interim? It is that the world remains divided in two: the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the House of War (dar al-Harb). In the House of Islam, Muslims rule and the law of Islam already prevails. In the House of War, which comprises the rest of the world, a constant struggle against the unbeliever is morally, legally and religiously obligatory. No authentic political compromises are possible. No conclusion to the struggle is acceptable short of a final and total military triumph. Significantly, the law books permit the state of war to be interrupted, when expedient, by an armistice or truce or "ceasefire" or treaty of limited duration. This state of belligerency can never be properly terminated by a peace that is not founded upon a final victory.
Could anything be clearer? Throughout the Islamic world, Sharon's humiliating and futile pleas for "peace" will be exploited eagerly by Israel's intended executioners. Today, with Sharon's "disengagement," these soldiers of jihad, including even the Egyptians (who negotiated a markedly self-serving "interruption" in their own 1979 treaty with Israel), can hardly believe their good fortune. Can the "Jews" (significantly, it is always the Jews in Arab/Islamic parlance, never the Israelis) really be fooled this easily?
For Islam, the unsubjugated unbeliever -- in our present concerns, the Jew -- is by definition the enemy. A part of the dar-al-Harb, the House of War, he is differentiated sharply from the dhimmi, the unbeliever who submits to Muslim rule. As for a presumably Jewish State, one that rules over Muslims and that "occupies" Muslim lands, it is nothing less than the very incarnation of unbelief, an intolerable source of contamination and a codified inversion of Allah's will. Such a state can be fit only for extermination. It is, in the language of today's Arab textbooks, a language drawn from revered Nazi mentors, "filth."
When Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, spoke together with Hitler on Berlin Radio, in 1942, he cried out: "Kill the Jews -- kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah." Today, the infamous PLO call for annihilation of Israel STILL remains at certain official PA websites and publications, and the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) STILL calls for the "realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: 'The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, killing them.'"
Only a few years ago, the Palestine Authority (PA) radio station (Voice of Palestine) broadcast the following sermon at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque. It instructed all Muslims to recall that Israel is a transient part of Palestine and that Israel's survival is strongly "forbidden by religious law:"
The land of Muslim Palestine is a single unit which cannot be divided. There is no difference between Haifa and Nablus, between Lod and Ramallah, between Jerusalem and Nazareth. The division of the land of Palestine into cantons and the recognition of the occupation is forbidden by religious law, since the land of Palestine is sacred Wakf land for the benefit of all Muslims, east and west. No one has the right to divide it or give up any of it. The liberation of Palestine is obligatory for all the Islamic nations and not only for our Palestinian nation.... All Israeli politicians across their entire political spectrum, regardless of their labels, they all have a single Zionist view embodied in the occupation of the land and the establishment of the Zionist entity at the expense of the Muslim Palestinian land... Allah shall free the captives and the prisoners, Allah shall grant victory to our jihad warriors.
Sharon's Israel -- however much it may lack the "single Zionist view" alleged by its intended executioners and however much it is willing to sacrifice for "peace" -- will remain despised in the Arab/Islamic Middle East. It will be loathed exactly as Israel was loathed in Barak's Middle East, as it was loathed in Netanyahu's Middle East, as it was loathed in Begin's Middle East, and as it was loathed originally in Ben-Gurion's Middle East.
It will remain hated in the Arab/Islamic world because it is a Jewish State. To its enemies. that is Israel's irremediable and unforgivable sin. It will cease to be hated only on the day that it would finally offer politely to disappear, and even on that cursed day there would be posthumous loathing among Israel's current "partners for peace." This loathing would extend even to all those Jews and Christians who might remain to mourn over the battered corpse of Israel.
To be sure, Israel's intended executioners -- within and outside the Green Line -- have now found the Sharon "disengagement" plan for surrender yet another good cause for revulsion. Under this unprecedented formula for incremental Jewish disappearance, Israel will continue to hope too much, to wallow in engineered delusion, to waste critical strength in vain concessions, to elicit still-growing enmity by its weary capitulations and -- above all -- to learn nothing, absolutely nothing, from its inexcusable humiliations.
To be sure, we must never allow this to happen.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Jewish Press. All rights reserved.
LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism, nuclear strategy, nuclear war and international law. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.
DEJA VU AND INNOVATION
By Moshe Feiglin
The voices of peace have returned to our country... We're now seeing a replay of despicable murderers such as Abu Mazen and Dahlan being turned into media idols as they perhaps give us a few moments of peace and quiet in return for the rehabilitation of the terrorist organizations. Once again, commentators are referring to the terrorist leaders as "colleagues" of IDF officers. Once again, armed terrorists are walking around unhindered, not fearing anything.
In total contrast, but also as in the past, good people are coming from all over the country to participate in a demonstration, thus indicating the basic obedience of the organizers and participants.What difference does it make if there were 100,000 or 500,000 participants in the demonstration? General Sharon doesn't bother to count them.
This is the real question: Of those who came to the demonstration, will there be tens of thousands who will stand up at the critical moment and say in a loud voice: "We shall defend our brothers with our bodies and not permit Jews to be expelled from their homes"? Will tens of thousands of regular and reserve soldiers say to their officers: "We shall not raise our hands against Jews -- we shall not expel our brothers from their homes"?
The answer to this question will determine the fate of the struggle. The tens of thousands of new Manhigut Yehudit booklets about the obligation to refuse to obey that were rapidly grabbed by the crowds, the thousands of signatories to the Homat Magen (defensive shield) petition who undertake not to obey the expulsion order, are a refreshing innovation in the process we are currently undergoing. Does Gush Katif stand a chance? Is there a chance that Israel will extricate itself from the vicious circle of disintegration and internal destruction in which it finds itself? The chance lies with disobedience.
We are witnessing the end of an era. The social elites who led this country until now have ended their role, but are not willing to step down from positions of power. Power is their only concern -- not security or peace, not democracy or the economy, not even civil war. "We'll show the settlers that we can overcome them and expel them from their homes." It is war for the sake of war as a first stage in creating a secular state, as some of them have already declared. All the means available have been recruited in their support -- the media, the courts, the army, the Police, the GSS, senior economists who know that Israel has no money for this tremendously expensive act that will be borne by the Israeli taxpayer. Everyone has been recruited.
Their strength comes from those who, with perverted morality, have declared that the State of Israel is the foundation of the A-mighty's throne in the world and that all its decisions must be carried out. It comes from those who have declared that they will volunteer to assist in the expulsion because it is an act of kiddush Hashem for Jews to expel other Jews from their homes, that they will then hand over to their enemies and murderers. There is no worry, no concern, that the evacuation plan is just another caprice of the dictator who ignores and tramples underfoot the wishes of the nation, as expressed in every proper democratic process.
In today's Israel, disobedience is true liberty! It means freedom fromthe general brainwashing, and having the capability to listen to the internal Jewish conscience. Those who have G-d in their hearts will not raise their hands against their brothers, will not expel them from their homes, nor destroy all their life's work. Those who have a free spirit will be ready to go to jail and will not be a partner to this evil deed of handing over the homes of murdered people in Kfar Darom to Dahlan, their murderer.
There is a price to this freedom. Many people have asked if it was worth it to publish the booklet, "The Obligation to Refuse Orders", if it would perhaps cause the heads of Manhigut Yehudit to be expelled from the Likud. The answer is -- Yes! There is a price to freedom in a country in which the wishes of the people have become ludicrously distorted and democracy has turned into despotism. We, personally, are prepared to pay this price, just as we expect that every soldier and civilian who does not obey orders will be prepared to pay the price of being sent to jail.
They can imprison our bodies but not our spirit. It is possible to expel two or three of our members from the Likud, but it is impossible to remove our spirit from the hearts of the Likud members. We shall always put forward a belief-based candidate for leadership of the Likud. The more our spirit is Jewish and free, and the more they use dictatorial methods such as attempting to silence us and threatening to expel members from the party, the more our influence will increase...whereas those who will fear to speak out will become slaves, guided by the rules prescribed by the Left until now, and they will disappear from the stage of history.
CAN SHARON'S ISRAEL BE TRUSTED?
By Joseph Puder
Where is the Israel of the past? What happened to the country that knew how to defend its national interests and protect its friends?
Under Prime Minister David Ben Gurion Egyptian sponsored Fedayeen (terrorists) incursions into Israel in the 1950's was met with retaliatory raids that killed 10 Egyptians or Jordanians for every Israeli murdered by terrorists. Ariel Sharon was, in fact, one of those commanding many of the raids.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin understood the threat to Israel from a nuclear Iraq under Saddam Hussein. He ordered the destruction of the Osirak Nuclear facilitynear Baghdad in 1981.
Earlier, Prime Minister Golda Meir responded to the Egyptian War of Attrition against Israel, between 1967-1970, by ordering massive aerial retaliation that ultimately ended that war.
Menachem Begin, as a Holocaust survivor and a man of heart and soul and strong Jewish pride, could not ignore the Syrian and Palestinian butchery of the Christians in Lebanon, and came to their rescue in 1976 and massively in 1982.
These three prime ministers of Israel had vision and heart, and they were more than mere politicians - they were statesmen/women. Ben Gurion possessed the courage to declare a State (of Israel) in the midst of Arab threats. Golda Meir was not intimidated by Soviet threats, and Menachem Begin was not afraid of possible US embargo or Soviet intimidation, to fight for Israel's national interests.
Since the 1990's Israel has had calculating politicians who have lacked the principled leadership of Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Menachem Begin. All subsequent prime ministers: Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, and Sharon have been major failures because they lacked vision and integrity. Unlike their Diaspora-born predecessors, they failed to bring unity, pride, and purpose to the people of Israel.
The Hezbollah is a looming threat, and Israel's failure to deal them a blow and remove them from Southern Lebanon, will result in greater sacrifices of Israeli lives in the future. Barak's unilateral withdrawal signaled Israeli weakness and lack of resolve. Sharon's restraint in spite of repeated Hezbollah provocations empowered the Hezbollah and emboldened it to fund, train, and support Palestinian terrorist groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, among others.
Hezbollah's aim is to wreck the US sponsored Road Map. Its ultimate strategy is to eliminate US presence and influence in the Arab Middle East, and to destroy the Jewish State. The US administration's hasty withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983 under Ronald Reagan,served as a catalyst in propelling Hezbollah to its current prominence and power in Lebanon.
The failure of prime ministers Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak and now Sharon to dislodge the Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon by destroying its military arm (its forces have grown to 60,000 strong) which are supported by Syria and Iran, will also undermine the emergence of a democratic Lebanon.
Sharon is too busy trying to dislodge Jews from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip to be focused on the threats to Israel from Hezbollah. Moreover, the Sharon government has been silent in the face of the impending execution of 15 Palestinian "collaborators" accused of aiding Israel in its fight against Palestinian terrorists. It would be both morally and ethically proper for Sharon to communicate to Palestinian President Abbas, that protecting terrorists by sentencing "collaborators" to death is against the spirit of fighting the terrorist infra-structure and the Road Map.
Instead of demanding that the "collaborators" be freed or turned over to Israel in exchange for convicted Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands, Sharon has chosen to ignore the issue. Where is the courage of conviction? Aside from the moral issue of putting Palestinian civilians who warned Israeli authorities of an impending terrorist action or pointed out the whereabouts of terrorists to death, where is the outcry against the death penalty for those people? And where are the voices of the "ethicists" of B'zelem, Peace Now, the Israeli High Court of Justice, and the political left in Israel?
Who would want to rescue Jews if we look the other way when Israel's Arab friends face death? What happened to our strong moral code, to the belief that we must rescue our friends? Witness, for example, the Lebanese-Christian militiamen who fought side by side with Israel against the Hezbollah only to be abandoned by Ehud Barak or the "collaborators?
Ariel Sharon is making sure that no Palestinian Arab or Lebanese ever stake his or her life to defend Israel. Thanks to Barak and Sharon, Israel will beseen as cowardly and untrustworthy. This is hardly a way to build deterrence against Israel's enemies or to forge trust among potential Arab friends, who seek a safer and a more democratic Middle East.
HOW ISRAEL CAN IMPROVE ITS
Why It Needs To
Virtually every news commentator compares Israel's temporary removal back in 1996 of 400 terrorists to Lebanon with the heinous crimes of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The United Nations was being asked not to have a double standard for Iraq and Israel. In fact, the Palestine Liberation Organization, having been recognized as the world's highest moral arbiter, has been asked by the then United Nation's Secretary General Boutros-Ghali to draft a resolution condemning Israel and calling for sanctions. Something is obviously wrong with this picture. It is time for Israelis and their supporters to recognize that Israel has a public relations problem.
The actions Israel took to defend its security were quite moderate by Middle East standards. Its ability to explain what and why it took such action was inadequate. Along with most of the pro-Israel community, I'm a frequent critic of Israeli information policies. I had a pleasant lunch last week with an Israeli official and we discussed this very issue. As a result of our conversation, I am not convinced that the Israeli government is doing everything in its power to communicate its message to the media, political leaders, and general public. Its just not working.
What is needed is a whole new approach to Israeli public relations. Let's call it: THE MARKETING OF ISRAEL, and look at the problem from an advertizing perspective. About nine months ago, I discussed with an executive of a major advertising company the possibility of producing television spots supporting Israel's positions on various political issues. I became discouraged upon learning that the major stations do not permit "advocacy" commercials. Fortunately, this has changed.
I think it is time to take a second look at my concept but expand it to include radio, magazines, cable television (cable will accept this type of commercial) and newspapers. The ads should range from the very soft evocative travel type to some hard hitting but subtle political messages. Pretend that Israel is a corporation with a vast market in the United States. Receipts from that market top $9 Billion Dollars (including US economic and military aid, UJA, Israel Bonds, JNF, Hadassah plus all the other campaigns from Yeshivas to the Technion). What would you spend to protect a market of that magnitude? Two percent would equal $180 million. You can run for president with that kind of money. In a wild fantasy, lets say we have that much money. And let's say we hire a talented creative ad man to develop a multi-faceted, multi-media, and multi-year campaign to win the hearts and minds of the American people.
This should not be an impossible task. Israel is a good product, lots of virtues, few vices. Can you imagine convincing the American people to love Osama Bin Ladin? We could do nothing, but the consequences are not so good. Public opinion polls are beginning to show the Arabs winning more and more sympathy. Yes, Arabs who keep their women in bondage and cut off their clitorises to deny them sexual pleasure; Palestinians who disembowel pregnant teachers in front of their classes; Syrians who peddle narcotics to American inner city youth and commit mass murder if provoked; Saudis who threaten to behead a man for practicing Christianity; all of these and more are almost as popular as Israel. The terrorists Arabs delight in the mass murder of Israel and Jewish civilians. They especially blowing arms and legs off women and children.
The Arabs are good at smearing the good name of Israel. Just listen to Hanan Ashrawi some time. No matter what the question, she manages to fit in a lie about Israel in her answer. Israel has already lost the college campus, half of the Afro-Americans, a good portion of the Protestants except for the some Baptists and the Evangelicals and some in the Jewish community. Unfortunately many American Jew or eight ignorant or apathetic about the fate of Israel.
The Israel government needs to realize that we are living in a new world where telecommunications brings us closer that ever before to each other. In the fifties when Israel was criticized, Ben Gurion used to say, "Its not what the world thinks, but what the Jews do that is important." It is a different world now and for every Israeli policy, the public relations aspect must be examined. I am definitely not calling on Israel to submit to public opinion but instead to organize and mold it for their benefit. I don't want Israel immobilized by fear of bad public relations. I want Israel to plan, with the help of experts, a strategy to counteract the negative effects of any public policy move. Would Sharon send his soldiers into battle without a detailed plan and strategy to win. The time has come for Israel to develop a strategy the win the public relations battle. The Jewish community in this country is more than willing to lend its money and advertizing talent to aid in this task. Let's do it!
HASBARA AND REALITY
THE JERUSALEM POST reported several years ago on plans at the Israeli Foreign Ministry to abolish its "hasbara" or information efforts. It reported, "The decision to abolish hasbara is in keeping with the then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres' view that 'if you have good policy, you do not need hasbara. And if you have bad policy, hasbara will not help.'" Those of us who have been in the trenches, fighting Arab propaganda for years, were stunned by this policy change. Most of all, we were stunned by this apparently incorrect perception of reality.
The propaganda battlefield, from which the Foreign Ministry seems eager to withdraw, is a surreal Kafkaesque landscape filled with the evil utterances of that unholy alliance of Arabs and anti-Semites. Their propaganda targets the Jewish community in America as well as Israel for a one simple reason: Anything that weakens the Jewish community and reduces their status in America ultimately limits the ability of Jews to aid Israel politically and financially. George Orwell would be quite at home with the "newspeak" of the "politically correct" bigots. Language, history, and religion become a twisted mass of bizarre concepts such as Zionism = racism.
CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) regularly reports on the most glaring examples of media bias to its members. Over the past few months, we have been shocked to discover that Encyclopedia Britannica has joined in the distortion of Israeli history to conform to what's "politically correct." In its description of the Six Day War of 1967 there is no mention of the Egyptian removal of UN troops, the closing of the Straits of Tiran (an act of War by international law), the movement of 100,000 troops into Sinai or the huge mobs in Cairo whipped to a frenzy by Gamal Abdul Nasser with cries of "DEATH TO THE JEWS" The Britannica account of the '67 war reads, "The Arab-Israeli War of 1967 devastated the Arab nations. In six days in June, Israel not only dispatched the combined forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, but also overran vast tracts of Arab territory...which formally had been parts of mandated Palestine." For the average reader of the supposedly authoritative Britannica, Israel launched an aggressive war to seize land and devastated innocent Arabs. PRECISELY THE VERSION OF HISTORY THE ARABS WANT!
A quick scan of recent CAMERA literature reveals that the New York Times' correspondents for Israel, have a decidedly ant-Israel viewpoint. Harper's Magazine has published 22 viciously anti-Israel articles in the last five years. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) shows one biased report after another on the Middle East. National Public Radio (NPR) has become a hotbed of the most anti-Israel and anti-Semitic programs in the nation. And it is taxpayer supported! The American Library Association (ALA) has begun taking official anti-Israel positions and its 18,000 members are urged to carry books on the Middle East supporting the Arab version of history. The ALA's annual meeting several years included a panel discussion entitled, "Israeli Censorship: There and Here." Israel has a free press ( though 90 % leftist) and censors only for security reasons. On the other hand the Arab world is the most censored and restricted in the world, with death penalties for authors who go against the law of Islam. Why is the ALA discussing Israel and no other country? The answer: attacking Israel is politically correct.
What we are witnessing is the success of Arab propaganda in America. The following excerpt from ARAB PROPAGANDISTS JOIN FORCES WITH ANTI-SEMITES (my first published article in 1965 and still true today) should warn us of the consequence of abandoning the information field to the Arabs. "What do the Arabs hope to gain by this great effort and expense? Bluntly speaking -- to bring about conditions that would facilitate the destruction of the State of Israel. They concentrate most of their propaganda in the United States, because they feel that this country was the greatest single influence that contributed to the creation of Israel and that it still is the major force standing in the way of Israel's destruction."
It is my hope that the Israel Foreign Ministry will heed this warning and reassess their policy on hasbara before any more damage is done to the reputation of Israel and the Jewish community in this country.
ARAB PROPAGANDA AND ITS GOALS
"It is time that Americans realize that these teeming masses of Zionists who infest their cities and sit astride the arteries of their commerce are, in every sense of the word, aliens."
The above quotation, in passion and paranoiac ring could have come from the pen of anyone of our local hate mongers, whose rhetoric we have come to know well over the past half century. Yet, these words are neither the work of a professional rabble-rouser, nor of a right-wing extremist; rather they come from a presumably scholarly work written by an Arab college professor.
This points up two rather disturbing realities: That Arab propaganda has broadened its area of attack against Jewish populations out-side of Israel; it has, in effect, joined forces with local anti-Semites. Secondly, this propaganda apparatus, sanctioned, as it is, by duly recognized governments which together form an influential political power bloc, has lent these local anti-Semitic efforts the aura of respectability.
The Arabs, therefore, aim to neutralize the impact of America on the Middle East and, if possible, to draw her over to their side. This requires that the propaganda apparatus achieve the following effects: To drive a wedge between Israel and the American Jewish community; to alienate the Jew from the rest of America, and destroy his political and economic strength; and to convince the American people, and through them the American government, that it must adopt a pro-Arab, anti-Israel foreign policy.
Arab propaganda constitutes a formidable threat to the Jewish People and Israel. It must be counter-balanced by a strong and vigorous defense of Israel and the Jewish People. Recent efforts, like that of the Israel Project will fail as will the Israeli Foreign ministry effort. The reason for that failure is their attempt to disavow Zionist ideology and pursue a delusional "peace" with those who wish to destroy us.
What do the Arabs hope to gain by their propaganda against Israel Bluntly speaking they plan to bring about the conditions that would facilitate the destruction of the Jewish State.
The Arabs, there for aim to neutralize the impact the impact of America on the Middle East. In many ways they have turned the United States into their ally in the process of dismemberment of Israel.Let us briefly examine these three conditions and understand why their achievement is absolutely necessary before an Arab policy of eliminating Israel can hope to succeed. The Arabs have always looked at the Jews of America as allies of Israel, and it is against this alliance that the bulk of the Arab propaganda is directed. During the past fifteen years, the Jews of America have given invaluable material and political support to the State of Israel. American Jewish aid has helped make possible the absorption of over 1,000,000 immigrants in Israel, and has given impetus to her economy. The Arabs, therefore, believe that they must destroy this relationship as a precondition to destroying the state. Recognizing that such a campaign might not succeed, the Arabs have devised other means of limiting the effectiveness of the American Jew. If Israel can not be made alien to the American Jew, then the Jew can be made alien to his non-Jewish neighbor. Isolate the Jew, and you isolate Israel; destroy Jewish prestige in America, and you destroy Israel's; weaken Jewish economic and political strength and you weaken Israel's potential to survive.
And finally, they believe that a long-range program to win wide-spread support of their policies from the American people is essential. If they can do this they will be able to prevail upon the American government to take a pro-Arab. anti-Israel position in its foreign policy. These ideas and projected goals are certainly plausible and, to a great degree, necessary, if Israel is to be destroyed with impunity.
To achieve these goals, the Arab Information Centers and the funding of Islamic studies at most major American Universities has turned a whole generation of scholars and students against Israel. School and public libraries regularly receive large amounts of unsolicited propaganda; civic, church and political clubs are treated to a host of polished Arab speakers who are able to lecture on a wide variety of subjects but always manage to direct the discussion to the Arab-Israeli conflict; hundreds of anti-Israel letters are kept flowing to large and small papers across the country.
The themes and techniques exploited in the letters, books, pamphlets and speeches follow a pattern. Virtually all Arab propaganda is based on the following postulates:
* The establishment of Israel represents a great "imperialistic" injustice to the Arabs.
* The Arabs of Palestine were expelled from their homes by "alien" invaders who seized their country.
Muhanimad T. Mehdi spells this out explicitly in his pamphlet The Question of Palestine:
"The question of Palestine is basically a problem of intrusion of a group of foreigners, largely Europeans, into the Arab land of Palestine, against the will of the Arab people, but with British and later American and Western support."
A wide variety of proposals, arguments, themes and accusations based on these postulates appear periodically in Arab propaganda. In all of their efforts the distinction between Zionist and Jew is blurred, although the Arabs frequently claim to have no quarrel with the Jews, but only with the Zionists. We will deal with this lack of precise distinction, when we discuss the use of anti-Semitic themes in its propaganda.
Here, then, are some examples of recurrent themes:
An 'international" Zionist (often Zionist-Jewish or Zionist-Jewish-Communist depending on the audience) conspiracy was able to take aver Palestine because:
(a) It controls the mass media in this county.
(b) It controls the wealth of this country.
(c) It controls both political parties
Israel is guilty of stealing land and property that belongs to Arabs; of military aggression; of creating tension to help it pleas for aid.
The UJA. is not a chanty; therefore contributions should not be tax-exempt.
Highly Organized, well financed "minority groups" pressure the American government to adopt programs that are supposedly in their respective private interest, but are, in fact, detrimental to the United States.
The Zionists (Jews) are, in reality, loyal to Israel, and, therefore, aliens to America.
Israel benefits from anti-Semitism in the sense that it uses it as an excuse to increase immigration and ask for more aid
Israel preaches peace, but is guilty of aggression; it desires territorial expansion.
There would be peace if Israel accepted U.N. Resolutions
American prestige in the Middle East is damaged, end Arab-American friendship is inhibited by American supporters of Zionism.
Desecration Christian and Moslem holy places.
Charges of atrocity.
Israel persecutes the Arab minority
The Jews have been worse than even the Nazis in their relations to the Arabs.
ORWELL MEETS ALICE - LINGUISTIC DISTORTIONS
Through The Mid-East Looking Glass
Since the unfortunate reprisal against Arabs in Hebron ten years ago, there has been a dramatic decline in the accuracy of the media. We have been treated to the modern equivalent of Orwellian newspeak, not to mention a harrowing trip through Alice's looking glass. One could not help but notice how pure and innocent the Arabs were being portrayed. A casual observer would certainly think that all violence in Middle East was a product of bloodthirsty Jewish settlers roaming the Judean hills looking for Arab prey.
The PLO leadership, its hands dripping with Jewish and Arab blood, demanded protection from the vicious Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (YESHA). It refused to return to the negotiations until its demands were met. The gullible international media took this whole charade seriously. The United Nations began debating a resolution to give protection to the poor vulnerable Palestinians. The PLO demanded that all Jewish communities of YESHA be ethnically cleansed of those rotten murderous Jews. At the very least they should be disarmed.
The high and the mighty beseeched Arafat to return to the talks with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, obviously anxious to please his PLO friends, began a crackdown on Kach and Kahane Chai and other so-called Israeli extremists. Consider this: Rabin determined that Baruch Goldstein acted alone in his reprisal act. He then decides to outlaw the organizations associated with him. Guilt by association is what made McCarthy big in the 50's. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.
Reality Check: Now Kach and Kahane Chai have been labeled as terrorist organizations although they never have committed a single act of terror as a body. The PLO, which is guilty of thousands of murders of Arabs and Jews, continuing still, is labeled a "partner for peace" and will be given arms to kill some more (as policemen).
Reality Check: Are Arabs in danger from armed Israelis in YESHA? Some research reveals the following figures since the famous handshake on September 13, 1993:
Israelis killed by Arabs = 1400+
Arabs killed by Arabs = 200+
Arab attacks on Israeli targets = 15,000+
Israeli attacks on Arabs = 1
(Goldstein killed 29)
It is clear that except for the attack by Goldstein, the Arabs have not been threatened by Jews and certainly need no special protection. If you travel to YESHA you will notice that every Jewish village needs a security fence, while every Arab village is open. Doesn't this tell you who is threatened and who isn't? All the talk about disarming the Jews is a cover for the Arab desire to murder them. And if you desire murder, wouldn't it be nice to disarm your victim first?
The media has begun to adopt another tactic which we should protest. In the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, CNN and most of the other media opponents of the suicidal Oslo, Roadmap, Jewish Expulsion Plan are being referred to as right wing extreme Arab-hating and anti-peace groups. Do you ever remember the PLO or Hamas ever being referred to as Jew-hating groups, although their covenants and speeches are filled with hatred of Jews? Arafat, who has been quoted on many occasions as referring to Jews as, "filthy, sons of monkeys and pigs," is never referred to in the media as a Jew-hater.
Reality Check: To the best of my knowledge there is a distinct difference between Jewish feelings about Arabs and Arab feelings about Jews. Arabs are taught from the earliest grades to despise Jews and their clerics preach hatred (Itbach El Yahoud - slaughter the Jews) in every service. Jews, on the other hand do not preach hatred, but those that are not brain dead recognize, after 100 years of being attacked, that Arabs mean them harm. The media is totally obfuscating the truth about the conflict by the use of such terms as Arab-hating Jews.
Another problem with media coverage of the Israel-PLO deal is the way its opponents are described. Arabs opposed to the deal because they want to kill or expel all Jews from "Palestine" immediately are equated with Jews and Israelis who want Israel to survive in secure borders. Opponents of the deal are called anti-peace as opposed to supporters being pro-peace.
Reality Check: Most opponents of the deal with Arafat oppose it because it is suicidal for many strategic, historical and objective reasons. None of us are anti-peace. We just recognize that the path chosen by the Rabin/ Peres government will lead not to the hoped for and advertised peace, but to Israel's destruction.
In another bizarre twist of logic the Los Angeles Times reports that Israel's leading peace group, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), has urged Sharon to remove 500,000 Jewish inhabitants of YESHA(including Jerusalem) to avert widespread bloodshed under Palestinian self-government, and to forcibly evict all Jews within five years. They said that their continued presence, "fostering violence and bloodshed endanger peace prospects."
Reality Check: The facts demonstrate that it is the Palestinians and not the Jews that are the cause of 99.9% of the violence. Why not remove the Palestinians? What Peace Now is really admitting is that there is NO PEACE or any prospect of PEACE.
The liberal Jewish establishment and most of the media were appalled when Rabbi Meir Kahane first began talking about transferring the Arabs from Eretz Yisrael. Most are still appalled at this idea. A new idea has come into fashion, though, among these same righteous Jews: transferring the Jews from YESHA (heartland of Eretz Yisrael). Former Secretary of State James Baker recently said it would be a good idea to use the $10 Billion in US loan guarantees to buy out and transfer the Jews from YESHA. US President Bill Clinton seemed to like the idea and so did Rabin's coalition partner Meretz.
Reality Check: There is no moral difference between transferring either Jews or Arabs from YESHA. What Kahane said years ago about the inability of Jews and Arabs to live together is being validated today by the same people who condemned him.
The 100-year war of extermination launched against the Jews of Israel by the Arabs has had many twists and turns. Sadly it seems headed for Alice's looking glass and the world of 1984, where black is white, war is peace and good is evil.
FREEMAN CENTER'S FAVORITE QUOTE:
"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 was a Protestant. Then they came for me -- and by that time no one was left to speak up."
----------- Pastor Martin Niemoller (A Righteous Gentile)
WHO WILL SPEAK FOR ERETZ YISRAEL AND ZIONISM?
ISRAELIS, UNITE! IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!
by Boris Celser
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
Who will guard the guards?
(From "Satires of Juvenal")
"... As concerns an end to settlements and the release of prisoners, our stance is clear. It will prompt us to move forward in the road map framework to attain a permanent accord in order to reach the 1967 borders including a solution to the problems of Jerusalem, the refugees, and the settlements..."
-- Excerpted from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's statement at the Sharm e-Sheikh summit, Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2005.
In early 2004, I published an article called "The Root Cause" (see http://www.think-israel.org/celser.rootcause.html). It was a criticism of the present system of government in Israel based on comparisons, historical facts, and my own perceptions. It called for a Constitution and a redesign of its governmental structure. It provided the rationale as to why Israel would be better off with an American-style system, with a President with executive powers elected by the people and a Congress whose members would represent Congressional districts and be elected directly by their constituents. It would lead to checks and balances and stop undemocratic decisions from being made in secrecy and under pressure.
The four benefits to Israel would be:
Strengthening of Israeli democratic institutions;
Enhancing the independence of the State;
Improving the well being of the people of Israel;
Protecting the nation's leaders from unfair and hostile pressure.
This new article provides an overview of the latest (mis) adventures of Israel's leaders, followed by new ideas on how to start the pursuit of the type of government proposed in "The Root Cause". It offers a challenge to Israel's Intelligentsia, and an innovative way to handle international pressure by proving to the misinformed world citizens why a peaceful solution is unlikely, and who is at fault
The Latest Follies, While People Die
The road map fiasco, which flips between being poised in a holding pattern while we wait for a "peace partner" to emerge, and being put in spin by a new 'peace initiative" has been followed by the projected disengagement farce - the ethnic cleansing of Jews from areas where they were forcibly expelled by Arabs starting in the 1920s.
Under the allegation that a political vacuum should not occur, the Sharon government will "vacuum clean" thousands of Jews from their homes, "sucking" their "aspirations", "sucking up" to the Americans, treating the electorate as "suckers", and doing on behalf of the Arabs what their armies could not do.
In the meantime, the world applauds.
While risking their lives serving in the IDF, some are unceremoniously told by their own government to abandon their houses and communities. It is a very interesting concept to reflect upon. Is it Sharon's fault? Yes and no. The main fault lies with the archaic Israeli system of democratic government, something that would be unacceptable to any other democracy. However, in Israel, such a monster is allowed to continue and fester. It can - and often does - turns any leader into a bulldozer. Even the mild Ehud Barak recklessly ran from from Lebanon in the middle of the night, and tried hard to give the farm away to Arafat at Camp David.
Furthermore, these bulldozers can be - and are - remote-controlled from overseas.
The disengagement policy means more than a concession to terror. It represents, beyond any reasonable doubt, the almost certainty that the next generation of Israelis will be faced with the unenviable task of fighting relentless terrorists everywhere on the land, in order to hold on to whatever is left of it, while the world continues to appease their Arab enemies.
This is the best case option. Any other scenario is downhill all the way. Thanks to proportional representation, everything the Jews fought for over a century is being destroyed in less than a decade. Furthermore, besides expelling the Jews from Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, this government, through these actions, legitimizes the massacres of Jews by Arabs from these very same places some 80 years ago. It validates the "wisdom" of those actions. It is a truism that an American administration - whenever it is in trouble with some failed action or policy - pushes on Israel for a quick and cheap foreign policy victory. Currently, it seems that in the near future, America will declare victory in Iraq and leave in defeat. America's leaders must have some "success" to show to the voters, and if they can't do it militarily, well, there is always Israel.
Perhaps USA and Britain don't want to destroy Israel but their actions will certainly make her more vulnerable. In addition, both put unrelenting pressure on Sharon to make concessions, which may be suicidal.
Moral equivalency suits almost everyone fine. The selection of Abbas as the PA President in anything but free elections represents the start of a whole series of new attempts to destroy Israel over time. Physical terror will always be there, side by side with new strategies designed to weaken the nation with support from abroad. The amount of power the Prime Minister holds makes him a puppeteer, with every citizen a puppet. However, it also makes him vulnerable to external pressure. Whoever controls the PM controls Israel. So it is easy to guess who the real master puppeteers are.
Sharon not only breaks promises, refuses to abide by his party's vote on how to proceed or not with disengagement, but also seems to enjoy a macabre dance of building and rebuilding coalitions in order to keep power. And damn the nation! We hear about how Likud rebels may torpedo his initiatives, but they never actually do so. Moderately applied behavioral modification techniques including reward and punishment suffice to turn them from renegades into well-behaved "rebels". The PM, by waving money for pet projects, is able to buy support from anti-disengagement religious parties. What a way of running a country and "representing" the citizens! Voting in support of a certain position has become meaningless. It reminds me of an election in military-run Uruguay some three decades ago. The generals lost, but didn't honor the will of the people. They claimed that the citizens had made the wrong choice.
As Sharon keeps shuffling his cabinet in order to keep power, has anyone considered whether some ministers are even remotely qualified for their jobs, based on competence?
Another bizarre method of control is to use Deputy PM Ehud Olmert as a springboard to measure the level of support for new initiatives. This also has the benefit of giving Sharon plausible deniability. Nobody really knows what is going on, so newspapers publish one thing today, quoting a government source, and a retraction tomorrow, quoting another. Speculations are rampant in the press. The level of secrecy and paranoia is astounding, at least for people who live outside Israel and are not used to this form of governance. The amount of energy wasted on party infighting is stupefying. Self-preservation, not real long-term strategies, rules the day. Everybody looks out for number one.
"Twilight Zone", I salute thee.
Of course, there is no point relying on highly regarded foreign intellectuals, either. After statements by Tutu, Saramago, Peres and others, I'm starting to believe there must be an IQ ceiling below which one can be considered for the Nobel Peace and Literature Prizes. Yes, Shimon Peres is Israeli, but he's also the darling of every anti-Semite worldwide. The eternal Peres, Co-Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is now Double Deputy Prime Minister, Co-Vice Prime Minister, Associate Prime Minister. He is already the country's de facto Foreign Minister, although officially this time the title was not bestowed upon him. The nation was at a standstill, as the Knesset busied itself trying to change the Basic Law in order to accommodate his demands for power once again. His "modesty", given his present demands, goes hand in hand with his denial to having campaigned for the Nobel Peace Prize. As a perennial second place finish, he was not even able to win it on his own. Most winners have managed to do so, but not he.
Not too long ago, it was widely reported that Peres and Sharon agreed, at a conversation, that they are the only ones capable and responsible for solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Of course there can not be anyone else. The system hardly allows for it. (That's what I call the Israeli people's nakba!) Taking this at face value, despite the fact that Olmert is the Likud deputy PM, this should mean Olmert should not be the one taking over the reins of power in case something happens to Sharon. After all, the interests of the nation should come before the interests of any party. Therefore, according to Peres and Sharon, Olmert should bow out and allow Peres to be the PM in case of need. If the reader is confused, so am I.
The authorization given to the IDF to crack down after the recent suicide bombing at a Gaza crossing was at once put on hold after the new Security Cabinet convened. The decision to cut security ties with the PA was immediately reversed. Welcome back, Shimon Peres. What a way of running a country, in such a "consistent" way! In comparison to Peres, Olmert must be telling himself: "Ich bin ein beginner"! Rightly so!
Peres has repeatedly said he wants Israel to be a socialist state. Jewish values are secondary, if not irrelevant. The fact that he has been systematically defeated in all elections is of no consequence to him. When Israel is no more, he won't be the one living with the consequences of his actions.
The world pretends to love him, and he believes it.
In a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post, Ra'anan Gissin, the prime minister's spokesman, stated that when Sharon looks right and left, he doesn't see any real candidates to replace him. Is anyone really surprised? The system is so undemocratic, the way of choosing the candidates internally so flawed, that honest, decent, and bright people are always marginalized, and likely to move on to better things in private life. Consequently, Israel is left with Peres and Sharon, and in the likely future, once again Barak versus Bibi, Bibi versus Barak, or something similar for the next two decades. This is all the next generation has to look forward to. Eventually, it may rip the fabric of the country apart, because the lack of alternatives and flexibility in the present political system already results in extreme positions, unheard of in any other democracy, taken not just by politicians but also by the Israeli media and other intellectuals.
The end result is the polarization of the society to such a point that any discharge of pent up emotions and frustrations is veered to the destructive, not to the constructive. Why? Because, although in principle the country is democratic, her citizens, who keep well informed but don't really choose their leaders, are unable to do much in practice. At least not in a polite, 'civilized' fashion.
They can debate, they can create organizations such as Women in Green, Women in Black, and many others, but even those always have an uphill battle in their hands, with no real representatives in the Knesset to approach for support. Politicians, whether in power or in opposition, not only treat voters as pesky people, but also subject them to untoward daily dangers.
Furthermore, the Prime minister acts as if there is a secret covenant between God and any Prime Minister of Israel, in which the latter is given deed to the (holy) land, to dispose of it as he sees fit.
Has anyone ever seen George Bush or Colin Powell standing next to Canadian PM Paul Martin, British PM Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, or other leaders, and reminding the media and the public that Canada, the UK, and France are democracies? I haven't. How come they often do just that with Israeli leaders? Who are they trying to educate or fool? The world? The Israelis? Readers can draw their own conclusions. I've drawn my own when I thought of puppets and puppeteers. The American administration is trying to persuade everyone that any PM has a democratic mandate from the people to make whatever concessions the world wants. Did the Israelis give America such a mandate?
Colin Powell, Kofi Anan, and most leaders in Europe received Yossi Beilin, a nobody, whose notoriety was achieved through mischief. How much more proof of the world's intentions and lack of respect towards Israel and her leaders do Israelis need?
A system of government that curtails certain rights of its citizens, while allowing its own legitimacy to be ridiculed by the likes of Yossi Beilin and his foreign partners, is not something that deserves to be preserved. A system of government that allows its leaders to trifle with the lives of the citizenry and lead them in directions they always reject when given the opportunity is not democratic.
This week in Jerusalem, Condi Rice kept repeating that Israel is a democracy. She is not opposed to Israel releasing thousands of Palestinian prisoners, as long as the PA arrests those who killed three Americans in Gaza. The Palestinian prisoners should each be given a loaded gun and told to line up. If Sharon and Peres can safely walk along the line without being shot and killed, then it's fine to release them. Furthermore, Israel's ambassador to the US has just stated that in his view "anything that will postpone, or interfere, with the timetable or orderly manner of carrying out disengagement would not be viewed favorably in Washington.. That's Democracy 101, courtesy of the State Department. Rice keeps adding insult to injury. Israelis had better follow Reagan's advice: don't inhale.
Bush, Cheney, and Powell are millionaires. The latter reputedly made US30M writing a book about the first Iraqi war. Rice is not so rich. Since the second Iraqi war was hardly a success, her chance to become really wealthy lies in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no matter what. Her book is likely to come out in 2009. Prominent and affluent American Jews have recently written to Bush, asking him to solve the conflict. So did some prominent Soviet Jews around 1950, pleading to Stalin to deport all Jews to "settlements" in the east, for their own protection.
Jerusalem has already been offered, traded, given, returned, and shared so many times lately that if the city were female, she would be considered a lady of highly dubious repute.
If the attack against Israel by the State Department continues unimpeded, it is possible that no Holocaust will occur. Israel, small and demoralized, might simply become a part of the US, in the form of a territory or commonwealth, like Guam, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico. Safe but chained to the master, like a pet. Does North Korea know something we don't as far as defending her interests?
In the meantime, Israel's Mickey Mouse President (my opinion of the office, not of the man), suggests the set up of a Diaspora Parliament. As if the present system of government were not bad enough as it is. Does Israel need another loophole for even more US and EU interference? Others have even suggested that Diaspora Jews be given the right to vote in the Israeli elections. As if we were up to speed on all issues besides terrorism, such as education, transportation, law and order, economic policies, and many others. Perhaps these are not important, after all. Everything is proposed - except system change in any meaningful way.
Israel's Supreme Court is the most supreme in existence. The fence's construction continues to be subject to delays in spite of the always-present danger of attacks and suicide bombers. The Court claims its construction disrupts the lives of Palestinians. Contrariwise, forcefully evacuating Jews from Gaza is not considered disruptive. Since there is no Constitution in Israel, uniformity in behavior and actions does not apply. Without constitutional brakes, the Attorney General can make his own rules.
Are Israelis masochists, do they suffer on purpose? No, they are an abused lot. Even the Iraqis will have a new Constitution soon.
So many have speculated so much about Sharon changing his positions abruptly. Detectives say that the most logical explanation is generally the right one. Can there be two? Probably. First, there is external pressure. The US has tightened the noose since Oslo. Netanyahu got squeezed. So did Barak. All Prime Ministers have so much power, think they know it all, and act so independently, that they become sitting ducks for manipulation from abroad. The US, the EU, and the Arabs want Israel out, and a Palestinian state in.
This is much easier to accomplish when one only has to deal with one man, as oppose to squeezing a whole government. No Israeli PM is brave enough to call this bluff, even though Israel could on her own wreak havoc in the area, if it suited her. Instead, they go after their fellow citizens, who are now called settlers because the previous Jews were expelled or killed. The "quasi" settlers of Sderot may be destined to the same fate for daring to "settle" so close to the border, since Sharon has said that disengagement will proceed no matter what. Settlers and "quasi" settlers are not important, and must resign themselves to being attacked by the Palestinians, the international community, and their own government. When Sderot residents become the "official settlers", the next door community will take their place as "quasi" settlers. Never mind that it is not going to work. In the future, others will pick up the pieces.
In his book The Secret History of the Iraq War, page 328, Yossef Bodansky writes:
"Israel's national security adviser, Efraim Halevi, defined the Road Map process as an 'experiment fraught with dangers to Israel', but the Americans would not listen. Instead, senior Israeli officials complained, Rice devoted her meetings with Sharon and key Israeli ministers to advocating a return to a national unity government in which the dovish Shimon Peres would serve as foreign minister. Rice's proposals were a flagrant intervention into Israel's internal affairs..."
Second, there is also the strong possibility that Sharon is being blackmailed because of his family's legal troubles. If so, this is icing on the cake. Peres and Left control the Judiary in Israel, which could embarrass Sharon. Operationally, the Left favors Arabs over Jews. Peres is the darling of the Americans and Europeans.
In his book Preachers of Hate, author Kenneth Timmerman presents several passages on Shimon Peres, including the involvement of the Peres Center for Peace in dubious business dealings with the Palestinian Authority (page 176) and in presenting cash awards to Terje Roed-Larsen, the anti-Israel former UN representative in Jerusalem (page 247). Is the US so powerful that Peres and the Labor Party are just innocent pawns thrown into the game?
When one considers the above two paragraphs, one is entitled to ask: is Sharon between a (US) rock and a (Labor Party) hard place? If even one of the two possibilities were correct, it would make Sharon and Peres criminals.
Israel's governments have spent the years since Oslo frittering the time on a fantasy of peace, while ignoring some extremely serious problems. For example, it has waited too long on Iran. It watched while the Americans retreated from Lebanon in the 1980s after the Iranian-sponsored suicide bombings against the US embassy and the marines' barracks. She then watched when, in the 1990s, the Iranians followed suit in Argentina, destroying a community center and a consulate. She did nothing major to thwart Iranian help to Hizballah over the years. In the 2000s the answer to the Iranian threat seems to be unilateral disengagement, so that Hizbullah can expand to the south. As far as the nuclear threat goes, Israel in this case is the world's tsunami warning system. Will she use the option of preventing the tsunami from happening in the first place?
Unfortunately, the Israel of my younger days does not exist anymore. People who, although helped by the Cold War, knew better than anyone else how to deal with their Arab neighbors led that Israel. They knew their enemies' minds. An Arab leader like Nasser, for example, would boast how he would destroy Israel. Those Israelis knew that if Nasser had the means to do so, then it would get done, and they were always several steps ahead of him. Failure had a price. Incompetence an even higher one. Today, this no longer holds true. It has become far more comfortable for the post-Cold War Israeli leadership to defer critical decisions to the US and to a large extent the international community. Suddenly they no longer understand their enemies' motives and motivations. Apparently the US knows better, even though hardly a day goes by when this is not proven false. The system is so sick that the ability to learn from past mistakes is no longer there. Furthermore, the mistakes are not even recognized. After all, these were so grave that not even an "eternal" politician could survive an admission of guilt. It is far easier, therefore, to persist than to rectify. Or to take a short leave of absence, make money abroad, and then return for another kick at the cat.
And that's why the system of government must change. It stinks; it is no longer breathable. It's not funny anymore. It has become a zoo. No wonder the anti-Semites are on the loose. They smell blood.
Israeli leaders, you have systematically failed to protect from danger the citizens who elected you. You were obliged to do it to the best of your abilities, but you have not done so. You have sold out to other interests. You could not provide to your people in land what El-Al offers daily to their customers in the air. Safety! Your limitations have completely offset the enormous resources at your disposal. When all is said and done, the country will be smaller and the present military advantage versus the neighboring states reduced to parity at best.
You have also allowed those who did so much harm to us barely half a century ago, the Europeans, to turn around and falsely accuse you of doing the very same to others, the Arabs, who, aligning themselves with the former and with their help, are bent to destroy your country once and for all, in a vicious circle of madness. They need to told that Israel is not a laboratory for their experiments.
And with few exceptions, the free Israeli media, whether from the right, left, or center, together with institutions of higher learning, have also let the people down. As so-called "experts" and intellectuals, they have largely failed to point the way to constructive change. They have let society down.
Can Israel Do Better?
Professor Paul Eidelberg, President of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, has spelled out the requirements for a better system of government for Israel (http://netzahyisrael.org/govt_in_exile.htm). The main purpose of the present article, in support of these long-term goals, is to emphasize short-term actions that must be pursued at once, before it is too late; provide some ideas on how to accomplish them; and suggest a way to engage the world, while the system is revamped.
It may be useful to point out three of the most common concerns raised by people who are aware of this proposal in support of an American-style government system in Israel. Those include a few Israeli journalists and academicians.
1) Israel can change the system, but it still needs a strongman in power to make the life and death critical decisions.
Answer: A large part of "The Root Cause" article is dedicated to putting this argument to rest. Please see: http://www.think-israel.org/celser.rootcause.html
2) Just like in the US, where the same Congressmen are always reelected, the same thing will happen in Israel, if she is divided into Congressional districts.
Answer: Very doubtful. Israel is a tiny country, the people well informed, and are all facing the very same threat to their existence. Because the country is so small, it is not like comparing a district in Florida with a district in Iowa. Constituents in a California district do not share the exactly same issues and dangers with an Alaska constituency. There is no safe place to hide. Besides, in order to get it right, why not have term limits?
3) The same eternal politicians would still be elected, since some districts will always be strongholds of certain parties (this assumes no term limits).
Answer: I disagree. Let us hypothetically assume the new system is in place. Let us also assume, for example, that East Haifa is a Labor stronghold and that Shimon Peres is running for Labor in East Haifa. Peres should win, since East Haifa always votes Labor. Fair enough, but what gives? What gives is a beautiful thing called primaries, where other Laborites with new ideas are free to challenge Peres for the nomination, way before Peres faces the voters in the general election. Peres will have to contend with new ideas and new blood to even win the right to be a contender in the finals.
It has been reported that Knesset Members work fewer days per week than their counterparts in other countries. Furthermore, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said he does not believe MKs work as hard as they could during the days when they do work. To this I would add that on the weekends or during their vacations they don't go home to address their constituents, since the latter do not exist.
Engaging the Intelligentsia to Change the System
Permanently changing Israel's system of government is a complex task. I estimate it can take anywhere from three to four years. The details are beyond the scope of this article, and beyond the author's expertise. At a minimum I envisage a pro-change party in power, with a PM who will delegate the legal and political issues to experts. These individuals would draft a Constitution. Getting agreement on what to propose would take time. If all goes well, it could be submitted to the people for approval via a referendum, and, if passed, the implementation part could start, new parties formed, districts created, and much more. Here, I just want to kick start things.
It is interesting to note the many interviews conducted with several would-be Prime Ministers, like the recent one with Effi Eitan, National Religious Party leader, at the Jerusalem Post. The questions were pertinent, however, the answers always focused on the man in charge, the PM. If Sharon's policies are at best dubious, so were Barak's. Focusing only on the man of the hour will not save Israel. It is the existing system that allows leaders to behave the way they do, and for as long as they possibly can. When he was the Secretary General of East Germany's Communist Party, Walter Ulbricht stated to unhappy factory workers that they, as citizens of the dictatorship of the proletariat, could not go on strike, because they would be striking against themselves. Left unsaid were the consequences of striking. It is the same general idea.
One of the most recurring themes of late is the tendency of some Israeli journalists and commentators to state that in spite of the current wave of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings the country's continuing existence is not threatened. Indeed! There are, of course, many cities in the world where the level of violence and the death toll are a lot worse than in Israel. Driving in some of these towns is more dangerous than driving in Gaza or the West Bank. Their citizens are scared. However, those countries are not under an existential threat. Accepting terrorism and suicide bombings as a fact of life must be halted, no matter what! It is another trap set up to destroy Israel through suicidal concessions! A very low cost and low risk strategy supported by the Arab countries. The existential threat can come in many flavors besides terrorism or defeat in a war. For instance, in the form of a bi-national state, something the world at large is this close to proposing, or the surrender of the Temple Mount by the government, which is tantamount to recognizing that the Jews have no right to be on the land of Israel, or going forward with the creation of a terrorist state. In Israel's case, it is necessary to alter the mindset of the media regarding the above. What is happening is very, very serious, with unique psychological, political and military repercussions that go way beyond terrorist attacks. Therefore, we must help the local media help themselves.
It is understandable that the people of Israel try to rationalize the existential threat. Nobody likes to feel rejected, marginalized, and attacked. One wonders if one is really so bad. The world thinks so, and applies just enough pressure to ensure the gradual capitulation of the nation through more and more dangerous concessions. The politicians ensure the society is split and undermined. The local media pick up on these trends, but, being Israelis, they are subject to the same denial of reality affecting the average citizen. There are a few exceptions, those that understand the long-term tragic consequences. Those that understand the psychology, fanaticism, and hate of the enemy, and what the world at large is up to in its collective "wisdom". Their insights are badly needed to counter the long-term denial of the Israelis.
One example is all that is necessary to demonstrate the horror stories and blind nonsense being published in Israel. At a time when some Muslims and non-Muslims, including journalists and academicians in many Western countries write articles or make speeches calling for the killing of Israelis and Jews everywhere, leading in many cases to attacks, prosecution, apologies, and even deportation and prison, an interesting article was published by the Jerusalem Post in late 2004. In it the columnist, a political scientist professor at an Israeli university, recommends that Israel release Barghouti, a man serving a life sentence for multiple murders, under the hypothesis that he could be "the" Palestinian leader to make peace with Israel. What message does it send to law enforcement authorities abroad that are fighting terrorism and incitement? What message does it send to all terrorists in the area?
Others have suggested that Israel destroy her nuclear weapons as a goodwill gesture to the Iranians and the Arab world. What are Israelis supposed to make out of it? Where and who can they turn to for sanity? It is an important question, with so many Israeli intellectuals hating themselves for being Jewish and using their positions to undermine the existence of the state. Jewish Israeli university professors openly call for foreigners to boycott and divest from Israel, while having no problems collecting their salaries from the government, at taxpayers' expense. This type of existential hate is virtually impossible to find anywhere else.
What will this bright professor suggest next? A marriage between Chemical Ali and Dr. Germ in order to ensure there is a next generation of scientists for a peaceful future Iraqi WMD program?
Although it is hard for a people to come to terms with the facts that they are under the gun and almost alone, there is a bright side that needs to be remembered. The "Palestinians" have been the darlings of the world for quite some time. In spite of all the attention and the phenomenal amounts of money and resources thrown at them, by and large they all live in misery anywhere in the region other than in Israel proper. Therefore, before falling into the trap and start feeling guilty, Israelis must be aware that the grass is a lot greener between the sea and the river. Who made it green, and who wants to take it all away and why? Still feeling guilty, anyone? Only those who hate themselves?
Lately there has been a plethora of articles written by columnists, political analysts, free-lance writers, and political science professors, tentatively hinting that some changes in the form of government are necessary. Unfortunately, the changes suggested are generally mild. Furthermore, articles are written, read, and quickly forgotten. The need to publish or perish, the pressure of meeting deadlines, and the apparent inability of these intellectuals to work together instead of competing with each other undermine their good intentions. Therefore, we must help these individuals to pool their resources and collaborate.
The Province of Quebec: A Precedent to Consider
The province of Quebec, in Canada, is largely French, with an English-speaking minority. In 1968, a Quebec provincial party, the "Parti Quebecois", was founded. It is committed to the independence of Quebec from Canada. It took power on several occasions, although today it seats in opposition. Since 1976, when it was first elected, it held two referenda, in 1980 and 1995, asking the population for permission to negotiate sovereignty for Quebec with the Canadian federal government. It lost on both occasions, the last time by less than 1%, thanks to the Montreal vote. It may succeed and secede someday, but it did not try to use its general elections' victories as a mandate for outright disengagement from Canada.
In 1993 a national party, entirely from Quebec, was also founded. It is called the "Bloc Quebecois". It is a federal political party in Canada that is primarily devoted to promoting sovereignty for the province of Quebec. It also holds the goals of "defending the interests of all Quebecers in Ottawa". Ideologically, members of the BQ come from across the political spectrum, united by a belief in Quebec independence. It works hand in hand with its sister provincial party. Of course, this federal party can only field candidates in Quebec, the second most populous province, after Ontario. Nevertheless, in 1993, it won so many Quebec seats in that year's federal election that it became the official opposition to the Liberals in Parliament. It seems totally incoherent; the official opposition's main agenda was to break up Canada. Although in 2005 the BQ is no longer the largest opposition party, it remains a force to be reckoned with. It has enormous popular support, still winning the majority of Quebec ridings (Congressional districts).
So what? After all, Quebec, like Canada, is already divided into ridings, so things are much easier there! What has it got to do with Israel? A lot, actually! What matters is not the end goal of Quebec politics, but the means to achieve this end. The BQ is a bright organization. Neither its members in Ottawa nor others behind the scene are all "professional" politicians. They are a diversified lot. Furthermore, they were able to enlist among their active supporters those who together provide them with a highly desired set of critical skills to ensure the BQ can continue to make a difference. Lawyers, journalists, academicians, businessmen, public relation specialists, and many others devotedly support the overall organization. Whether one agrees with their aims or not, they have been able to win important political and economic victories for Quebec from the federal government. They pool their resources, because they know no single individual has the means or the skills to go it alone. They are good. They are very good.
If Quebec becomes independent, the Bloc Quebecois will cease to exist, and its members will join new federal Quebec parties according to their own political views.
Treating the Cause, Not Just the Symptoms
The patient, Israel, is getting progressively weaker. It is no longer enough to keep fighting the symptoms as they occur. This doesn't mean that we should all drop what we're doing because it is wrong. It is not wrong, but it is not enough. One must also deal with the cause before it is too late. This section shows how to do it, and who should lead the effort.
The following is a series of ideas to get the ball rolling, in no special order. It is not an exhaustive list. It is designed to stimulate those reading this article to get together with friends, and do additional brainstorming. The intent would be to have some strong momentum going forward in order to change the system. Considering the people who are concerned with Israel's future as a network, ideas can flow freely and be shared by all.
No one is an expert in every area. What is needed at the very beginning is a core group of activists in favor of changing the system of government, such as political scientists, media representatives, lawyers with constitutional expertise, businessmen, labor union representatives, social psychologists, marketers, PR specialists, as well as representatives of major groups (more about it below) in the country. Politicians in favor are also welcome. Everyone must build on each other's strengths. Public awareness as early as possible is of paramount importance, to ensure the movement's continuity, speed, and growth.
Let us add to the list prominent Israeli Americans, familiar with both systems of government. Let us also include people with strong leadership and organizational skills, motivators, and conflict-resolution specialists.
Nobody needs to stop earning a living. Some individuals could work on the project for a while, and pass their activities on to replacements having the same required skill set. Media representatives from the right, center, or left could push this agenda not only through isolated pieces, but also by holding Q&A over the Internet, inviting other group members or outside experts to join in, organizing discussion panels on TV, or starting a weekly pro-change newspaper and a web site. University professors could set up class debates bringing guests to expose their thoughts. Regardless of specific political views, the idea is collaboration, not competition. At the end of the day, when a new system of government is in place, they can then go their different political ways.
The present chaos is an opportunity. How hard can it be to score points against a government that wants Egyptian troops in Gaza, when that country doesn't even bother to send an ambassador to Israel? How difficult is it to expose the political scandals, the subterfuges to bypass democracy, the lies, and the external interference in the country's affairs? That's why the representatives of the major outside groups must also be brought in. They have a lot to offer. Take the settlers everywhere, for example. Whether in Gaza, Judea, Samaria, or Golan, their representatives would explain this platform to the residents of those areas, and bring guests to also do so. The settlers' ongoing dispute with the government would not need to be halted. Things would run in parallel.
What about inside Israel proper? A good starting place, in my view, would be to hold a few town hall meetings. I am convinced that the good and hard working citizens of Sderot and surrounding towns would be very interested in listening to these proposals, for reasons easy to understand. They need to be treated as constituents as much as anyone else, just like the settlers do. The Sderot mayor will then exchange views with other mayors. The residents will share what they've learned with friends and relatives in other parts of Israel. In this case, the fact that the country is small is beneficial. It's as productive for the long term as marching to Gaza
The Histadrut and other labor organizations can also play an important role in bringing about political change. This is exactly what happened with the BQ in Quebec.
In the spirit and letter of the ideas presented so far, an important milestone would take place when Yesha councils start working together with opposing organizations only for system change. Wouldn't it make the nightly news? What about the "Women in Green" working hand in hand with the "Women in Black"? Media representatives and scholars should join in, understanding that the proposed outcome is beneficial to all.
Certainly a political party within the existing system could be formed, along the lines of the "Bloc Quebecois", to impart change from within. It would run in the next elections. Its leaders may persuade existing Knesset Members to switch their allegiances. People like Natan Sharansky would be an asset, because he could also influence the large Russian community.
Average Israelis are undoubtedly well informed, and enjoy a good political argument. But like anywhere else, they must go to work, go to the university, go to the army, therefore, they can not be expected to pick up the slack and make it all happen on their own by the time they get home at night. Those who earn a living doing the sort of things described above must engage them first.
I won't discuss the issue of financing the project, other than saying that funding could come from several sources, both inside and outside Israel. There are many Jewish millionaires and a few billionaires as well. Very wealthy Americans from New York to Hollywood could contribute, and make it possible that a detailed information package be sent to each household in Israel and a lot more. Yossi Beilin did it with European Union money. Are we less bright than he is?
Given the turmoil surrounding disengagement and the accompanying Palestinian terror attacks and shelling, what a great opportunity to move forward quickly with this initiative. How would the present government and the eternal politicians react? Let us extrapolate a little bit. It has been said that some of the controversial steps Sharon has taken were the result of his fear that the Geneva Agreement might come to pass. If this was the case then the government might start listening to the people a little bit more, in order to defeat this pro-change movement. We should then take what we can get while continuing to press the case forward.
The Mother of All Conferences to Keep the World Busy
For system change as described above to be successful, it must occur in parallel with a major diplomatic initiative. Why? Because a dilemma is at hand. Until the new form of government is in place democratically, future positions on sensitive international issues affecting Israel can not be arbitrarily determined. Therefore, it is necessary for the last leader of the existing political system to circumvent the dangerous concessions and agreements in order to buy time, so that eventually the foreign policy of Israel can again originate in Israel. Why not do so in a legitimate and fair way? Here is an idea, maybe a silly one, but hardly the only one possibly available. It may initially only appeal to those who oppose the concessions of Oslo, the road map and its fourteen fairy-tale reservations, and those who understand that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river free of Jews is a mistake of catastrophic proportions.
Three of the several irritants to many people including the author are: the number of lies thrown against Israel; the denial of the Jews' history by their enemies; and the total disregard by the world community in forcing an unjust solution by ignoring the first two points. That is why no fair solution to the problem can be found. There is no solid foundation, and no sincerity. The past does not count. So, the British want an international conference in February 2005 to move things forward, don't they? Israel should use the event to surprise the world by launching a new initiative, designed not only to repudiate the road map and gain time, but also as a way of actually either moving things forward, or once and for all proving that a solution is nowhere to be found for a very long time.
Israel should make an appearance in the UK simply to inform that she is prepared to participate, together with all Muslim states and any other countries with grievances against her, in a large conference to take place anywhere in the world, and with no time limits. Each and every issue can be brought up for discussion. Nothing is out of the question. The scope of the conference will be such that each delegation, including Israel's, will be represented not only by politicians and diplomats, but also by expert witnesses from anywhere, such as historians, archaeologists, theologians, who can be called to participate as each topic is addressed.
There will be two conditions, though.
The first condition is that the procedures take place with live TV coverage to the world. Everything will be openly discussed. Let us give the world not only a lesson in openness, but also full information. Since we all live on the same planet and since decades of secrecy did not solve anything, let us get the whole of humanity involved. Didn't the British PM say that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the most important problem right now? We should all be given the chance to participate then, at least as observers. We should all be able to draw our conclusions without listening so much to the media and the spinners. It will be the most popular live event ever, and the most important. TV stations all over the world can poll their viewers whatever way they see fit. New TV channels are temporarily created especially for the Olympics. The same thing can happen again.
The second condition is that only one topic can be discussed at any given time. All issues brought up by the participants will be on the agenda. However, the order of discussion will be chronological; until an issue is resolved in a satisfactory manner by all parties, nothing else gets addressed. No exceptions, no breaking up into different groups. C-H-R-O-N-O-L-O-G-I-C-A-L.
Here are some, but not all, of the issues Israel should present chronologically. There are many others to be added, before the agenda can be completed.
We start at the beginning, in biblical times. Issues such as: the Palestinians being the descendants of the Cannaanites; Moses and Jesus being Muslim prophets; the Jews not being a people and a nation; whether or not the Temples existed on the Temple Mount, and anything else of relevance to all participants. Once again, all issues must be tackled in chronological order, and must be satisfactorily resolved before the next one is dealt with.
The Palestinians have also declared they are the descendants of the Philistines. Israel should, therefore, call a few etymology experts. Italian historians, who descend from the ancient Romans, may want to add their expertise as to whom the Romans had in mind when they came up with the word Palestine.
Since there was no Israel for 2,000 years, the treatment of Jews under European Christians and under the Muslims should also be on the agenda. In other words, let us understand why 20 centuries of anti-Semitism, explore the Koran's views on Jews, and whether they should be allowed to return to Mecca and Medina. As a matter of fact, Medina was a Jewish city once, well before it became a sacred city for Islam.
Eventually we arrive at modern history, where the real action takes place: the League of Nations' Mandate to the British for the creation of a homeland for the Jews; the British betrayal in stealing most of the land to create Jordan; giving the Golan to the French; the British role in stopping European Jews from escaping the Holocaust by going to Palestine and the tragic consequences; their stopping more European Jews after the war, placing them in British concentration camps in Cyprus. What has the "empire" got to say?
In tandem with the above is the role of the newly created Arab states prior to WWII, in particular Saudi Arabia, in opposing, with British connivance, the creation of any Jewish state whatsoever in the area; the Saudi's role in supporting Hitler's final solution; the role of the British-imposed mufti of Jerusalem in support of the Nazis.
Finally we arrive at the creation of Israel and investigate: the Arab invasion the day after; the expulsion of several hundred thousand Jews from the Arab countries; all the wars; what the Jordanians did to several Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem before 1967; the status of Gaza and the West Bank and their inhabitants prior to the 1967 war; the magical discovery of a "Palestinian" nation the day after.
Lastly, Israel can also talk about her treatment by the world community, the suicide bombings, the "Palestinians" genocide allegations, Jenin, the IDF allegedly using gas, uranium-coated bullets, stealing organs of dead Palestinian children, Holocaust denial, and more, much more.
So the British want to host a conference! Let's give them one! And let the chips fall where they may!
If the world doesn't accept it, the status quo will continue until the system of government is changed in Israel. Perhaps with the Palestinian leadership sent back to Tunisia. This conference is designed to allow for the participation, albeit in a passive form, of humanity, something that has never been done before.
It goes without saying that a televised conference equals the playing field as far as any PR effort is concerned. PR, something that Israel is terrible at, will actually not be necessary any more, because everything will be freely available. It saves Israel the trouble of trying to offset the enormous amount of Arab propaganda against her.
The policies of the Israeli leadership from Oslo on can be compared to a naïve investor's, who buys a company stock based on hearsay, without doing the due diligence needed, and without even a stop-loss mark. When the stock takes a dive, he panics and does nothing. As things get worse, he still refuses to cut his losses in the vain hope that the company will recover and he will get his money back, even though better opportunities may be available elsewhere. As thousands of Israelis are being killed and maimed by terrorists with the help of her pseudo friends, Israel still refuses to cut its losses and fight back.
Bush's push for democracy in the area is unlikely to succeed, because he only has four years to go. In two years he will be considered a lame duck. Any Arab dictator with half a brain will pay lip service to his ideas and bide his time. Besides, democracies can come and go, are not perfect, and a Muslim democracy can still be fundamentally opposed to Israel's existence. Just as Western democracies are opposed to an independent Kurdistan. In Egypt, Mubarak is not Israel's partner, and doesn't even disguise this fact by at least stopping the inflow of terrorists and weapons into Gaza from Egypt. In Jordan, peace with Israel means the assurance that the Palestinian refugees will not be sent to Jordan. Since Jordan has an Arab majority "Palestinian" population, and it is a state created on stolen Jewish land, it should be part of a comprehensive solution. Jordan's peace with Israel will be over if the present king is killed or overthrown, or if Israel pushes the Palestinian issue onto it. If the Israeli leaders create a Palestinian terror state in the West Bank or Gaza, it might in time lead to a coup in Jordan, and a bigger Palestinian enemy against Israel. And then what?
Even when so many people call for a national referendum on disengagement, what would the question be? What is the meaning of voting for or against leaving Gaza in such absolute terms? In exchange for what? If it is unilateral disengagement, then it is in exchange for nothing. The only "certainty" ahead is the road map, with the world putting pressure on Israel to accept the return of an Arab majority and the surrender of Jerusalem. If the issue is freely debated along these lines before a referendum, most people might vote against disengagement because there is nothing to be gained, principally after the latest warnings by military and security experts on the consequences of this action. No wonder Sharon and his two deputy "Abus" PMs won't go to the people on this issue. They have no vision to sell and not even empty words. In order not to jeopardize his disengagement plan, Sharon will ignore any "minor" attacks from Gaza and return security control of many towns in the West Bank to the PA, so that all terrorist groups can prepare to fight another day... soon after disengagement, perhaps. Anywhere else these actions would represent political suicide, but not in Israel.
This situation is starting to look more and more like the reverse of "The Concept", laid down in 1973 by Eli Zeira, Chief of Military Intelligence. According to him, the Arabs were not ready for an all-out war with Israel. His doctrine convinced the entire Israel political establishment, and nearly caused the State's destruction. Now the armed forces are conveying all the danger signs, but Sharon knows it all, so...
In addition, why should anyone negotiate with any elected PM, if they can get a better deal with a future one? In Barak's case, one already knows what the deal is and that the US supported it. In Israel there are enough inflated egos to fill up the whole Middle East. Natan Sharansky's opinion that democracy exists when anyone can go to the Town Square to express their views without fear of arrest is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for real democracy. The ability to question and replace politicians is missing. So is the will to allow the IDF to win the war on terror. So far the entire set of half measures and good intentions have cost lives and gained Israel scorn abroad. Therefore, in addition to the casualties at home, anti-Semitism in Europe flourishes against those Jews unfortunate enough to be born in that hellish continent and stupid enough not to leave it before those devils lock them in again.
It is too late for this leadership to realize all that. The best hope is a new system and leaders who understand that after 12 years the only option left is victory. The world never picks a fight with a winner. Israel was envied, if not admired, until Oslo came about. It's been downhill since then. What right do Israeli leaders have to expect a change of heart by the world, when they themselves are unable to change their attitude, or at least their behavior?
To those intellectuals everywhere who suggest that Iran is ripe for change and the mullahs are on the way out, I point out that Israelis have been waiting much longer and their need for change is a lot more urgent.
No new Moses is needed to lead this project. Simply a few good people with the right skills and intentions. Journalists, professors, other public figures, the people will get involved if you act less like thinkers and more like doers. That's what your counterparts in Europe have done over the last four years, successfully spreading their negative views on Israel and Jews to the citizens. Yours will be a good cause. It doesn't have to be such a tall order. Quite the opposite, perhaps.
Unlike in Biblical times, we can't afford 40 years to wander in the wilderness, as we have been doing. Not even 40 months. It is time for the ordinary Israeli to act as statesman and organizer and expert, in his own interest.
The author has an MBA and is a lifelong traveler and avid reader. He lives in Canada. He invites comments to this article - please address them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For love of Hashem and His Eretz Yisrael,
Eva, Founder, International Wall of Prayer
You've given your word.
Yet, we're standing alone and you're not even disturbed.
You've remained silent, not declaring our cause
Against dividing our land and trampling G-D's laws.
Do you feel safe in the graves where you lie?
Are your ears deaf to your people's loud cry?
How cold is your heart? How dry are your bones,
Knowing your brethren are being forced from their homes?
What are you doing? You've said, "Never again!"
Our question to you is, will you lend us a hand?
Will you open your heart to all that is true?
Will you stand in defense of your fellow Jews?
Will you break the silence and come out of your graves?
Will you come out of "Egypt" and be courageous and brave?
Will you return to the old ways from which you were taught,
Remembering how your forefathers for you had fought?
They fought for your freedom and led you to the land,
While holding tightly to G-D's powerful hand!
"Never again!" Let your actions ring clear
For love of Hashem and all that is dear!
O LAND OF ZION
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Look to the east to a land far away but near
To a land where prophets roam and warriors do battle
Where the river Jordan flows in mystic splendor
Where hopes are born and dreams are realized
I look to a land of struggle, blood and tears
The Land is my people, the mother of the Jew
O Land of Zion, my heart longs for you.
* * * * * *
The soil of Zion is good beyond measure
It rewards those who care enough
To see its beauty and its grace
Past the sand and stones of neglect
The valleys blossom with the fruit of Eden
And the mountains are ablaze with color, they sparkle with the dew
O Land of Zion, my heart belongs to you.
* * * * * *
I wandered far and searched the earth for
But only in Zion was my heart at rest
And only in Jerusalem was my soul free at last
To seek the meaning of the universe and all its mysteries
To ponder the rebirth of my people and our destiny
Here in the hills and valleys of Israel, my understanding grew
O Land of Zion, my true love is with you.
* * * * * *
Written in Jerusalem in June of 1967 and
first published in the
Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston) on December 13, 1973
ODE TO SHARON: A DEMENTED MONSTER
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Oh Land of my Fathers, lovely land of
Where has thou gone?
To a New Middle East of retreat and appeasement, across a sea of fog.
Deep into the fantasy world of Beilin, Peres goes Sharon.
Oh love of my fathers, hope of my people,
What has become of your promise of Zion?
Why do you wander drunk and sick?
What has become of thee?
I see no more a land of freedom, love and
I see no more the hope and prayer of the Jew.
I see a monster, a demented monster.
Tell me oh beast, oh mighty beast of prey,
How many dirty deals did you make with our enemies today?
How many Jewish villages did you put in harms way?
How many Jewish homes and families will you bulldoze?
How many Jewish prayers for Eretz Yisrael did you wreck and bury?
And tell me, how many children will die at the
Hands of the murderers you appease and have set free today?
Tell me the truth, oh beast, oh mighty beast of prey.
Oh demented monster, why did you come?
When will you go?
You'll go when the settlers are all gone.
You'll go when religious Jews are no longer in your way.
You'll go when all Zionists have forsaken Zion.
You will go when Israel is Judenrein.
You'll go when They are all dead.
Oh beast, oh mighty beast of prey.
It is We, the people of Israel, who are They.
THE SILENT KILLERS
By Bernard J. Shapiro
When did the blood begin to flow?
The left-wing Jews watch in silence.
When did they start the killing?
The left-wing Jews do not make a sound.
Why do they make so many die?
The left-wing Jews are happy and do not want trouble.
When every Israeli is dead there, where will the Arabs go to kill more Jews?
The left-wing Jews are sleeping and do not see the blood.
How will they get rid of the bodies so no one will know?
We need to censor the news; shut down Arutz Sheva,
Deceive the people for the good of Israel.
It's all right for the settlers to die.
Rabin said they are not real Israelis. "They can spin like propellers"
Let the Arabs burn those damn right-wing villages.
Mofaz said that it costs to much to protect them.
You'd better stop protesting and calling Beilin and Peres traitors.
You damn settlers are dirty Jewish rats.
Go ahead, crack their skulls, show them who is boss.
We don't need these people, Let them go back where they came from.
Imprison the settler, beat up the demonstrator, its for good of Israel.
If you don't like what we are doing,
Leave and let the Arabs kill whom we want.
Murder, mutilate, maul, decimate, the Arabs will solve our problem.
Blast, burn, bomb, torture, kill, kill, kill, Our Arab friends will solve the problem.
The left-wing Jews demand silence.
The left-wing Jews want you to shut up, be
quiet, go away
The left-wing Jews don't see any blood on their hands.
The left-wing Jews just can't be bothered with such matters.
The left-wing Jews don't want to listen to the cries of the dead.
The left-wing Jews believe in Beilin, Peres, Sarid and Burg.
They are killers, silent killers.