Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies



"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"



MAY 2001


THE OSLO RAT-PACK RETURNS....Emanuel A Winston 5

TRAIL OF TERROR Bin Laden Said To Have Nukes...Report: Extent of Fugitive Leader's Arsenal No Longer a Doubt'....Jon Dougherty 8
TROUBLE IN THE HOLY LAND Bin Laden Joins Arafat...Saudi Master of Terror Ready to Strike Israel? 10

PEACE THROUGH FEAR....Emanuel A. Winston 14
DECIPHERING SHARON'S PLAN (an attempt to read between the lines)....Boris Shusteff 16


THINK AGAIN: A Textbook Example of How Not to Eat Crow....Jonathan Rosenblum 32

DISDAIN FOR REALITY....Evelyn Gordon 37

THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro,

Published Monthly by the
P. O. Box 35661, Houston, TX 77235-5661

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Copyright (c) 2001 Bernard J. Shapiro * Contributions are fully tax deductible (501 (c) 3).


An Editorial for the May 2001 issue of THE MACCABEAN ONLINE


By Bernard J. Shapiro

The American people when properly polled come out consistently in support of Israel. There are at least 50 million Evangelical Christians who are friends and dedicated supporters of Israel. Many of America's presidents have bucked the US State Department to help Israel with arms and money. The US Congress and Senate have consistently been friends of Israel. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed his love of Israel many times. My own grandfather, for whom the Freeman Center was named, expressed his love of America upon his arrival on our shores:

"But what a change in life upon arriving in America - Free America. Here I suddenly found myself unbridled, the air free, no stifling, atmosphere - I could give free expression to the cravings of my soul! Life began to have a different meaning. What a blessing to have free assemblage, free speech free press! Can an American who has always enjoyed these blessings appreciate what it means to one who was deprived of them until manhood.?"

Unfortunately there are institutions in America that don't love Israel as much as most of us do. Israel's relations with America go back even before statehood in 1948. During the critical years of WWII, the Zionist community of both America and Israel appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt to take action to stop the Holocaust. They were rebuffed at every turn. It was apparent that neither America nor any of its allies were very interested in saving Jewish lives. England was the most persuasive when arguing that the Jews saved would want to go to Palestine. This would anger the Arabs and should be avoided at all cost. It is true that European Jewry would have been a vast reservoir of new citizens for the emerging State of Israel. Their sheer numbers would have eliminated the Arab demographic problem in the new State. American policy came down solidly on the side of dead Jews as opposed to live Jews.

When Israel declared its independence in 1948, we were all pleased that the American president, Harry S. Truman, made America the first nation in the world to recognize the Jewish State. Yet even here there was a dark side to American Foreign Policy. The State Department had argued in vain against the recognition of Israel. When they didn't succeed at that they successfully placed an embargo of arms to Middle Eastern States. Seemingly neutral it only affected Israel since the British and French were arming the Arabs. So we have the spectacle of American recognition of Israel's independence while at the same time refusing the arms it needed to survive, to defend their lives.

Following Israel's Sinai Campaign in 1956, Eisenhower and Dulles forced Israel to withdraw with little political gain. Two "benefits" appeared to be: a UN Force in Sinai to guarantee free passage for Israel in the Gulf of Eilat; and an American promise to guarantee such free passage. In 1967 the UN Force disappeared as did the American promise, which the State Department claimed they could not verify.

In the period since 1967, the US State Department has devoted an excessive amount of time developing and promoting plans to force Israeli withdrawal to the ‘suicide' borders of pre-1967. With amazing regularity, the State Department has failed to be honest about violations of the agreements it has negotiated between the Arabs and Israelis. The US has been blind to Arab violations from the failure to see missile movements in Egypt (1970-76) to the failure to see Palestinian violations of the Oslo and Wye Agreements. This US blindness has always been one way. The Israelis are subjected to constant misinterpretations of agreements. For example, never having agreed to a freeze in Jewish building, US spy satellites are active daily counting houses in YESHA. And then publicly rebuking Israel for a normal activity of a sovereign country.

In order to pressure Israel, stories appear on a regular basis claiming that Israel is transferring American technology to third parties. In every case they are proven false, but the constant repetition is meant to weaken Israel diplomatically. The State Department has orchestrated a media campaign to damage Israel's reputation in general and Israeli Prime Ministers in particular. A few examples:

1. Sharon is the "hardline" PM of Israel while other world leaders are Statesman. Arafat is a ‘leader'

2. Ethnic cleansing is bad in Kosovo but the ethnic cleansing of Jews from YESHA is good

3. All disputed land in YESHA ‘belongs' to Arabs even when Israel has clear title

4. All foreign capitals are recognized ‘except Jerusalem'

5. Israeli soldiers defending themselves from attack have been treated by the media as the ‘bad guy'

6. Rock throwers who can crush you skull have been treated as ‘demonstrators or protesters' by the media

7. Jewish villages are ‘settlements' and ‘illegitimate' while Arab villages are all considered legitimate

The list could on but now we must say something that should have been said a few years ago. All the mediators like Dennis Ross and all the shuttles of the Secretary of State to help secure a peace between terrorists and Israel following Oslo are fruitless. They serve only one function and that is to strip Israel of its strategic and water resources for the benefit of Arab plans to destroy her in stages. America benefits by a presumed gratitude (which will not exist) from the Arab states and Arafat.

It is very important for Israel to disengage from its close embrace with American diplomacy. It should be obvious to all that American and Israeli interests differ markedly in relation to the negotiations with the Palestinians. America has by its own admission ceased to be either pro-Israel or a neutral mediator (the Americans claim to be ‘even-handed'). American policy in the final analysis will leave Israel with indefensible borders and an irredentist Palestinian neighbor yearning for all the land "from the river to the sea.." Then, of course, they will also want Jordan.

Moshe Arens has confirmed recently that Israel's strong ties to American military aid has stifled the growth of Israel's domestic production and R & D. It has also prevented the export of Israel's military equipment to other countries making domestic production very costly. This is due to the fact that products need a large market to justify development costs.

Much more can be gained for Israel by negotiating directly with the Arabs. This used to be Israeli policy. In reality, Arafat has ceased negotiating with Israel and now is negotiating only with Washington.. It may be necessary to give up American aid dollars and possibly weapons to break out of the current US embrace. It will certainly be difficult, but in the end, there will exist a truly free and sovereign Israel. Now Israel is somewhere between a friend and a banana republic, beholden to the whims of America.

This is my message for Independence Day. The alternative is to learn nothing from history: placing Israel's destiny in America's hands as was done during WWII. America won the war, but 90% of Europe's Jews were already dead. I would prefer Israel to survive.



Special Dispatch From Egypt

April 27, 2001

MEMRI Dispacth No. 212

"Thanks to Hitler" Again!

In his short daily column in the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar, entitled "Half a Word," columnist Ahmad Ragab reiterates his thanks to Hitler. MEMRI first reported this sentiment in Special Dispatch No. 208, "Thanks to Hitler," April 20, 2001. Now, in a defiant manner, Al-Akhbar publishes:

"[Insistently] for the second time, thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians, revenged in advance, against the most vile criminals on the face of the earth. Although we do have a complaint against him for his revenge on them was not enough."1

1 Al-Akhbar (Egypt), April 25, 2001.



The Jerusalem Post April 25, 2001


By Daniel Pipes

What do you do when everything you predicted fails to happen?

This is the quandary of the Left and its Diaspora allies. They were sure that if only Israel made extensive compromises, Palestinians would respond by accepting the permanent existence of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East. This certainty inspired the seven-year-long Oslo effort from September 1993 until September 2000 (yes, also during Binyamin Netanyahu's three years), when Israeli governments pursued a policy of niceness.

But instead of winning Palestinian acceptance, Oslo's painful concessions had the reverse effect. The more Israel showed flexibility, the more Palestinians smelled blood and became enraged at the very existence of the Jewish state. This culminated in the violence of the past seven months.

Explaining what went so terribly wrong with their plans, the extreme elements of the Israeli and Jewish Left blame only Ehud Barak; in a full-page Ha'aretz advertisement, Uri Avnery's Gush Shalom faults him for a "total ignorance of the Palestinian narrative and with disrespect to its importance" - whatever all that means.

Slightly less extreme leftists blame politicians on both sides: "The government ambassadors have failed," announces a coalition of American Jewish groups in a full-page New York Times advertisement.

The moderate Left blames Arafat, though it cannot quite agree on the reasons for his misbehavior: either he is too set in his violent ways; or he is a bad character ("either stupid, evil or both"); or he engages in "terrible foolishness and recklessness."

Despite these differences, the entire Left shares one key belief: that Oslo failed due to the personality and actions of leaders - and not because of its inherent faults. The Left still thinks that Israel making concessions will resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And so it hopes that the Oslo process will soon be resumed, with just some minor adjustments: emphasizing the role of confidence-building measures; treating Palestinian violations of promises with greater seriousness; inviting international monitors; withdrawing settlers; replacing Arafat (the Jerusalem Report urges "would-be Palestinian leaders of vision and guts to stand up and be counted"); waiting until Arafat dies; ignoring politicians and initiating people-to-people exchanges.

My favorite is the "Olive Trees For Peace" initiative which calls on Jews to purchase olive trees and replant them in Palestinian villages.

These suggestions reveal how astonishingly little the Left learned from the collapse of the Oslo process. Instead of advocating a change in course, it wants Israel to revert to the discredited policy of niceness. If a mistake is worth making once, the Left seems to think, it is worth making again and again.

The Oslo process did not fail because of poor implementation. Rather, its basic assumption - that a policy of niceness would seduce Palestinians into accepting Israel - proved profoundly wrong.

If Israel truly wants to end its problem with the Palestinians, it must adopt the opposite approach: convince Palestinians not of its niceness but its toughness. This means not replanting Arab olive trees but punishing violence so hard that its enemies will eventually feel so deep a sense of futility that they will despair of further conflict.

A historical analogy comes to mind: when World War I ended, German armies remained intact and their capital city unoccupied. Not convinced they had really lost the war, Germans harbored a deep discontent that led to the rise of Hitler. In contrast, Germans emerged from World War II utterly defeated and without any illusions to confuse them. This time, understanding the need for a fresh start, they turned to Konrad Adenauer and built a peaceful, successful country.

The Palestinian Authority is hardly Germany, but the analogy does hold: Palestinians will not give up on their aggressive ambitions vis-a-vis Israel until fully convinced that these cannot succeed. Only then can they build a polity and an economy commensurate with their dignity and talent.

Ironically, then, Palestinians need almost as much to be defeated by Israel as Israel needs to defeat them.

It's time for the Left to recognize the vastness of its error in the Oslo process and adopt the tough-minded policies that will finally liberate Israelis and Palestinians from their mutual conflict.


The writer is director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, and can be reached via




By Emanuel A Winston

Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Rats dig dark tunnels which undermine structures. Similarly, the Rat-Pack of Oslo dug in the dark where the sunlight of truth could not reach their secret agreements.

When Ariel (Arik) Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel February 8, 2001, it was primarily because the people recognized the failure of the delusional pact made with the king of all rats: Yassir Arafat. The Oslo Accords, spawned in the dark tunnels, undermine the security of Israel. Therefore, the Oslo Accords of 1993 led to the Oslo war - which the Palestinians began Rosh Hashanah 2000.

Shimon Peres and other members of the Pack were kicked out of the government after accomplishing a record death count of more than 600 dead Jews, with thousands wounded - some maimed for life.

Arik Sharon knew that, in the short term , he needed the abortive thing called ‘Unity Government'. So, he invited back those of the Oslo Rat-Pack who the people had wisely resoundingly defeated. He thought that he could control Shimon Peres, although he was repeatedly warned he could not. Peres was deeply experienced at undercutting governments and Prime Minister.

Sharon, although clever, was still an honest surface warrior where he met his opponents on the fields of battle. Peres, however, knew how to bore tunnels and conspire with others like himself.

So, the Olso Rat-Pack is back in full force as Peres gathers around himself all those who were ready to betray Israel at Taba and Camp David 2. Those unholy creatures never lost touch with each other even as the word "Oslo" became synonymous with death talk.

Now, they are back in linkage with James Baker's Jewish Arabists and Arafat's diplomatic terrorists. They are chewing away at Sharon's ankles as they chewed at Prime Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu and Menachem Begin, z'l. Professor Louis Rene Beres has often made the analogy with Franz Kafka's story of the Vulture and the Liberal.

These radical Left Liberals, Peres, Beilin, Sarid, in collaboration with Washington's Arabists et al will allow Sharon to engage in some remedial battle activities against Arafat's canon fodder. Even today (although he has absolutely no standing, or legal right, Yossi Beilin (called the former Israeli Justice Minister) met with "Chairman" Yassir Arafat, and (on Israel Radio) (1) and calls himself the representative of the "Peace Camp" as opposed to the right wing which never believed that we could make peace in this part of the world, implying they are irrational. He claims the Palestinians are ready to resume ‘Peace Talks' toward an interim agreement and on to a permanent agreement - despite the ongoing firing by Palestinians of mortar bombs at Israeli civilians. Beilin dismissed Israel's complaints about the Palestinian 70 mortar attacks as "bickering". "Nobody can assure whether extremists will shoot."...according to Beilin. Alan Ben Ami asks: "How does he explain the increasing, not decreasing mortar attacks?" Beilin doesn't answer but merely blah-blahs about the Peace Camp and how Chairman Arafat is willing to return to peace talks.

As a personal aside, I taped Yossi Beilin at an International Conference I sponsored for the Winston Institute for the Study of Prejudice at a premier Israeli University. He was invited as a keynote speaker against my strenuous objections. However, what he said so openly was worth gold. When asked why didn't he tell the Knesset and the Israeli people about the fact and the terms of the secret Oslo negotiations, he admitted quite frankly, even with pride that: "If we had told the Israeli people that we were negotiating with Yassir Arafat, they would have stopped us." The will of the people and their Parliament meant absolutely nothing to this devious little pipsqueak and even less to the leader of the Oslo Rat-Pack.

Then, at their right time, they will demand that the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) mount a concerted political attack against Israel's Prime Minister Sharon. They will have to come up with a new slogan since "Peace Now" and "Land for Peace" now carries the smell of a cesspool.

We will see those special Institutes go into action - such as the James Baker Institute at Rice University and the Peres ‘Peace' Institute. Suddenly Arabist demands will start to flood into world bodies, demanding that Israel give up more of her land to buy the good will of the Arabs. They will again demand the stationing of U.N. troops and attempt to force Israel to accept re-partitioned borders.

It will all sound very diplomatic and negotiable - except, as in Oslo, it will be designed to truncate Israel to the point where she will have no critical mass left to defend.

At the moment, Sharon is being allowed to play warrior and silence the Israeli complaints of vulnerability. That could continue for a month or two. Then, there will be an arranged slowdown in conflict and Egypt will host a ‘Peace driven' get together. All the Europeans, as well as the Bush-Baker Arabists who will emerge from their closet, will cheer the new peace attempts.

Arik will be invited down, as Yitzhak Shamir was invited to Madrid. (Isn't this were the well-known saying is injected: "Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.")

Of course, Arik will go because he thinks he can control things and he will have been massaged for months prior with promises - especially by the Bush government in American which is loaded with personnel from his father's administration.

That snow job was applied judiciously to Yitzhak Rabin, who was a much duller mind. But, Rabin was promised by the Americans that Israel would be allowed a place at the round table with the Big Nations, if only he would give a little - and a little more for peace.

Arik will, of course, be seduced and suckered with promises of new weapons, new technology, access to U.S. satellite security information and all of the trinkets used to assiduously seduce military men. He will not be able to believe that a decision was made long ago at the U.S. State Department that Israel was and is an impediment to their plans and must go.

The oil maggots so deeply entrenched at State and the Arab oil nations had long ago held their ‘Waunsee' Conference on the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem - deciding the fate of the Jewish State.

But, Jews are generally not educable when it comes to their ultimate survival. That goes double for the Jewish political leaders of Israel (and the self-appointed Jewish leaders of the Diaspora, especially America).

Of course, there is always the Oslo Rat-Pack working diligently within the current (and past) governments for the demise of the Jewish State. Their thoughts are that, if Israel is successfully de-Judaized by her radical Liberal Left, the Arabs and the anti-Jewish Europeans would shed their centuries of well-taught and nurtured hatred. Then they would accept a neutered Jewish State.

P.T. Barnum, the great circus impresario and observer of humankind, dryly commented that "There is a sucker born every minute." I wonder what he would have said about Israel?

I have the utmost respect for Prime Minister General Ariel Sharon and have known him personally since we met at the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. But, now he is on a different battlefield and needs all the ‘etzis' and help he can get.

In the end, Israel will probably give up more of her land (including the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley, despite Arik's explicit denials today), most of her water and many of her most precious Holy Sites. Once reduced to absolutely nothing, even America will abandon her because she will no longer be a valued asset for defense of the Middle East but a liability. She will be left alone to fend for herself. Having armed the Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority with high tech weapons in quantity, the West will have assured Israel's demise and then they think they will have a level playing field.

Be assured that the Oslo Pack-Rats will be first to leave the sinking ship, if any nation will even allow them entry. It is doubtful Arik will see this or that he will listen but, send him it to him anyway.

1. Yossi Beilin interviewed in English by Alan Ben Ami on Israel Radio April 11, 2001 10 PM




Aaron Lerner, 1 April 2001

Israel Radio reported this afternoon that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that the Israeli information system should not launch a personal attack against Yasser Arafat and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Peres said at a meeting of the Foreign Ministry "Information Forum" today that the Authority leadership is the elected body of the Palestinian People and future negotiating partner for Israel and thus should receive treatment that reflects that. This position was opposed at the meeting by the director of the Foreign Ministry.

Prime Minister Sharon also holds the position that material against Arafat and the rest of the PA leadership should be included in the information campaign. [Editor's Note: The Freeman Center agrees with Sharon on this.]



Bin Laden Said To Have Nukes

Report: Extent of Fugitive Leader's Arsenal No Longer a Doubt'

By Jon Dougherty

Fugitive Saudi terrorist-sponsor Osama bin Laden is now known to have nuclear weapons, putting to rest previous speculation that left the possibility open, according to a weekly intelligence newsletter.

A report published in this week's newsletter, edited in part by Washington Times staffers Bill Gertz and Robert Morton, indicated that bin Laden's possession of nuclear devices "is no longer a doubt."

"Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama bin Laden has nuclear weapons. The question is how many," the report said. Gertz told WND he didn't write the assessment, but that the newsletter's primary editor, Morton, had a stringer in the Mideast who verified the information. Morton was out of his office and could not be reached for comment.

"Russian intelligence sources who are fighting bin Laden members in Chechnya believe [he] has a handful of tactical nuclear weapons," said the report. "Arab intelligence sources say the Al Qaida head has as many as 20 weapons."

Al Qaida is the name of the terrorist group bin Laden leads.

The report says "both sides agree" that the Saudi terrorist managed to acquire his weapons by supporting the Chechen cause with money and volunteers, in exchange for nuclear materials and technology.

Bin Laden "received [it] from Chechen insurgents who raided [Russian] nuclear installations for fuel and components around the former Soviet Union," the report said.

"With that came the recruits from among scientists from the former Soviet Union. The rest was easy," said

The report said the actual location of the weapons is unknown, but "the assessment by both Arab and Russian sources is that bin Laden has managed to sneak at least some of the components to his lair in Afghanistan."

Bin Laden is one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. He is wanted in connection with the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa -- one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the other in Nairobi, Kenya. Over 200 were killed in the attacks.

He is believed to have a connection to the Oct. 12 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole as it refueled in Yemen, WND reported Oct. 26.

The State Department had no comment on the report, but other intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND that any reports dealing with bin Laden are taken seriously.

"Reports regarding bin Laden are always taken seriously and investigated," the official said. "He clearly poses a threat to U.S. interests around the world, so you can't dismiss every rumor out of hand. It wouldn't be prudent to do that."

In January, the New York Times -- quoting U.S. officials -- said bin Laden's organization was making attempts to manufacture chemical weapons and "buy enriched uranium," one of the main components of a nuclear device.

But as far back as August 1999, counter-terrorism experts said bin Laden may have acquired "up to 20 nuclear devices."

"Yosef Bodansky, a researcher of the House Task Force for Counter-terrorism and author of a new book on bin Laden, told a news conference on Friday that bin Laden has been seeking to follow up on his bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa one year ago. Echoing U.S. officials, Bodansky said bin Laden was thwarted in plans to blow up the U.S. embassy and two consulates in India last December and January," reported.

"It was also reported that bin Laden has biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and has received technical help from Iraq, Bodansky said. The nuclear weapons include suitcase bombs acquired through Chechen rebels," the paper said.

"The Russians believe that he has a handful [of nuclear weapons]. The Saudi intelligence services are very conservative. ... They are friendly to the United States [and] believe that he has in the neighborhood of 20," Bodansky said, as quoted by the Internet paper.

Bin Laden reportedly obtained and purchased the suitcase bombs from multiple sources, he said. He has a "collection of individuals knowledgeable in activating the bombs" and "is recruiting former Soviet special forces [to learn] how to operate the bombs behind enemy lines," Bodansky said.

He noted that, according to his research, most of the weapons had been transferred through Pakistan.

(c) 2001



TROUBLE IN THE HOLY LAND: Bin Laden Joins Arafat

Saudi Master of Terror Ready to Strike Israel?

Saudi master of terror Osama bin Laden is set to join Yasser Arafat's uprising against Israel, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly's counter-terrorism sources.

According to the intelligence report, the U.S. tipped off Israel last week that bin Laden's al Qaeda cells and networks in Lebanon were complete and ready to launch strikes in Israel. They operate under the command of Imad Mughniyeh, terrorism and intelligence consultant to Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the report. As former head of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah's security apparatus in the 1980s, Mughniyeh was responsible for the 1993 bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and the blasting of Israeli locations in Argentina.

The Bin Laden-Mughniyeh alliance for terrorizing the West is long-standing, according to the DEBKA-Net-Weekly report. It was forged in the early 1990s by the Egyptian-born former U.S. army sergeant Ali Mohamed, who, on Oct. 20, 2000, became the first of bin Laden's associates to plead guilty in a U.S. court to conspiring with the Saudi terrorist.

Mohamed's confession is the key to convicting the five suspects (of a list of 22) who are currently on trial before the Manhattan federal court for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 223 people including 12 Americans. The U.S. indictment against him cites Mohamed as revealing that bin Laden and Mughniyeh carried out joint operations in the past with direct support from Iran.

Next week, Arafat has plans to attend an international conference in support of the intifada in Tehran. It is his first trip to Iran in many years. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Iranian intelligence decided recently that Arafat has "resumed the path of the people" by launching the 5-month-old intifada and by breaking off peace talks with Israel.

Arafat plans to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a trip that has been kept quiet throughout the Middle East.

The stated goal of the conference is to seek "ways to establish an independent Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea" – which, of course, means the elimination of the state of Israel.

Attendees at the conference include a veritable who's who of Islamic terrorism -– representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah.

The Palestinian Authority is reportedly keeping the Iran trip quiet because of Arafat's official renunciation of terrorism, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize and gained recognition as a negotiating partner with Israel and the U.S.

Editor's note: DEBKA-Net-Weekly is a weekly electronic intelligence report available in the WorldNetDaily online store.

(c) 2001



The Jerusalem Post, April 11, 2001


By Daniel Pipes

Last Friday, a 33-year-old Algerian Islamist (or fundamentalist Moslem) named Ahmed Ressam achieved the possibly unique distinction of being sentenced on the same day in two courtrooms in two countries for roughly the same crime.

Early in the day, a court in Paris convicted Ressam in absentia for belonging to a network of Islamist terrorists and sentenced him to five years in prison. Hours later, a court in Los Angeles convicted him for an act of terror for which he could be sentenced to 130 years in prison.

Ressam is hardly the only Islamist in trouble with the law. Some other prominent cases, all of which had major developments last week, include the following:

The Yemen government announced the arrest of three Islamists in Aden in connection with last October's bombing of the destroyer USS Cole that left 17 American sailors dead and 39 wounded. These arrests brought the total charged with that crime to 15.

The Jordanian military prosecutor named two Islamist suspects in a foiled plot to attack US and Israeli installations; 22 other persons had already been sentenced for this attempt, six of them to death.

A Turkish court sentenced an Islamist to death on charges of "attempting to change the constitutional order by use of arms" - i.e., overthrowing the government.

The Italian police arrested five Islamists from North Africa, all suspected of links to Osama bin Laden, and announced that it had thereby smashed the "nerve center" of an Islamist terrorist group intent on carrying out operations across Europe.

An Islamist of Algerian origin was detained by police in Berlin following raids across Germany that led to the discovery of firearms and bomb materials.

In New York, the prosecution rested its case against the four alleged perpetrators of the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings.

THE NEWS last week also reported on actual terrorism. In Algeria, on one day, Islamist rebels killed 12 people, including six government soldiers and five shepherds (the latter killed by having their throats slashed). The next day, the Islamists fired on a military convoy and over 30 of them were killed.

In Kashmir, the Indian police announced seven deaths on one day and 10 more two days later - just an average week in this Islamist insurgency.

In Bangladesh, the local Islamist party killed two men from another faction during a gun battle.

In the southern Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group threatened to kill an American hostage (and send his head to the Filipino president) but let the deadline slip, hoping the hostage's American mother would pressure the government to call off military attacks against Abu Sayyaf. The ploy failed; instead, government troops killed three Islamists in its declared "all-out war" on the rebels.

Islamic extremists last week also resorted to violence in Nigeria, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Indonesia.

Islamist terrorism has a worldwide reach. Eleven of the 29 groups deemed by the US Department of State to be "foreign terrorist organizations" are Islamist. Likewise, 14 of 21 groups outlawed by the British Home Office for links to terrorist activity abroad are Islamist.

Moreover, what once was the tool of rogue states is now a deeply rooted phenomenon, drawing most of its funding from ordinary Moslems. Stefano Dambruoso, an Italian magistrate who uncovered Islamist networks in his country, notes that "It may seem strange, but apart from proceeds from illegal activity such as drug trafficking, one of the main sources of income for the groups is contributions."

This means, Dambruoso explains, that "Islamic terrorism in Europe is a deeply rooted phenomenon that regenerates itself continuously." This far-reaching sponsorship adds greatly to the reach of Islamist violence.

A danger exists that Islamists will acquire weapons of mass destruction, with incalculably dangerous results. Indeed, Osama bin Laden may already possess enriched uranium, a vital component for exploding nuclear bombs.

IRONICALLY, Moslem governments are far ahead of their non-Moslem counterparts in understanding the profound menace of radical action in the name of Islam. Leaders in Tunisia, Turkey, and elsewhere have taken serious steps to combat this latter-day totalitarianism.

The time has come for Westerners also to understand that Islamism presents a truly global threat, and to devote the mental energy and material resources required to fight it.


Daniel Pipes is director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, and can be reached via



Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of April 27, 2001


By Daniel Doron

There must be meaning to the proximity of Independence Day to Holocaust Remembrance Day, beyond the obvious fact that the Holocaust diminished, for a while, resistance to Jewish independence, enabling it to receive international sanction.

Only for a while. The world quickly recovered its composure, so that even 60 years after the Holocaust, few of the murderers were punished, and the multitudes that were implicated in its atrocities, and benefitted from them, were not held accountable. Only a small fraction of the vast property looted from Jews was restituted.

That, in a century in which sensitivity to justice and human rights seem paramount.

Israel, a state designed to protect Jews from genocide, remains the only state threatened with extinction by enemies armed by the Europeans, the Russians and the Chinese with weapons of mass destruction. Yet the world is unperturbed. European states, past Nazi collaborators, still give aid and comfort to Israel's sworn enemies, supporting a Palestinian "moral right" to independence that implies Israel's destruction.

Even Germany, the chief Holocaust perpetrator, is ambivalent towards Israel. Despite its important (appreciated) support for Israel, it does not unequivocally fight those who would endanger Jewish survival. It fails to act against German firms supplying rogue states with weapons of mass destruction. Its intellectuals and media often attack Israel for alleged violations of Palestinian rights, but keep mum about the Arabs' deadly designs against Israel and the dictatorial, repressive and corrupt regime with which they would replace it.

German money subsidizes vile Palestinian antisemitic campaigns and an "authority" that promotes the killing of Jews for ideological reasons.

Shocking as it is, this is not really surprising. Barely three years after the Holocaust, in 1948, with the memory of the huge carnage still fresh and survivors waiting in DP camps in Germany, yearning for a safe haven in Israel, European countries headed by Britain tried to undermine a UN resolution calling for the establishment of a tiny Jewish state in partitioned Palestine. They armed Arab states to the teeth, knowing full well that they were planning to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. They then imposed a "Middle East" arms embargo depriving the nascent Jewish state of defense against attack by seven Arab armies. Even the great friend, the US, joined this embargo.

If three years after the Holocaust, Western governments were willing to countenance another mass butchery of imperiled Jews, why would they, 50 years later, be terribly upset by deadly threats against a strong Israel?

So the first lesson of the proximity of Independence Day to Holocaust remembrance is that responsibility for Jewish survival depends, in the last resort, on the Jews themselves. The second lesson may be even more upsetting because it raises doubt whether Jews realize this responsibility and are capable of acting on it.

In his heart-rending Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist, Yossi Klein Halevy quotes his Holocaust survivor father - who as a youth refused to board the Auschwitz-bound cattle cars with most Hungarian Jews, hid in a forest pit and survived - asking in anguish why American Jewish leaders (and public) who "É knew what was happening; why did they not chain themselves to the White House, sit down in the streets of Washington, lose their minds with grief?"

Indeed, the question must be finally asked why no Jewish or Zionist leader, not Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, Stephen Wise or anyone else, declare a limitless hunger strike and sit in sackcloth and ashes; why were there no massive Jewish demonstrations in America or Palestine to protest Allied inaction? Why was there no Jewish kamikaze operation organized to attack the concentration camps? Why did Jews react so lamely when their next of kin, first-degree relatives were being brutally butchered?

And why, Yossi's father asked (which we dare not), "Why were Hungarian Jews, for example, taken by surprise even in 1944, five years after Polish Jewry was being destroyed? Why did they refuse to heed warnings and prepare for the worst? Why this paralysis?

Who knows. Perhaps Jews, who have survived for centuries by rejecting despair and refusing to go mad when subjected to unspeakable horrors, have made themselves immune to reality by embracing a reckless optimism and refusing to even contemplate what turned out to be so horrendous.

"Humankind cannot bear very much reality," T.S. Elliot observed. Otherwise no one could live on the slopes of Mount Etna, remain a Jew in Christian Europe, or keep a messianic faith in Oslo.

Jews must stop deluding themselves; they must acknowledge the bitter fact that nuclear-armed, crazed radical Islamicists and various other folk would still like to see them dead, and that it is their responsibility to prevent this.




By Emanuel A. Winston

For reasons that baffle, the Arab culture is only at peace when it fears. The fear may come from one of their own cruel dictators or when existing under the firm rule of another culture.

Arabs were never more peaceful than when the Turks ruled over them for 400 years. However, the moment a dictator is overthrown or displaced by a benevolent rule, they erupt into violence.

While their murderous riots are usually given a noble covering title, their apologists always have twisty words to explain their killing nature. The people at large seem to simply enjoy the thrill of pouring into the streets to burn and kill. They shoot into the air at any excuse in an expression of joy mixed with rage. When their leaders are cruel and oppressive, there is peace through respect. In other parts of the world, such as Europe, America, Japan the culture of self-imposed law generally keeps the peace but, not among radical Arab Islamists.

Perhaps it is only the Islamic injunction to maintain the wars of conquest for Islam. This is called the world of peace: "Dar Islam" which mandates that the whole world must be brought under the Islamic mantle - preferably with force. Those parts of the world not under Islam are considered "Dar al Harb" or the world of War - "Jihad" - which means Holy War. Confusing? If you are not with me (Islam), then you are against me (Islam) and, therefore, at war. I, as an observant Muslim, must conquer you in war and bring you peace. The Palestinians chant: "In Blood I will redeem you, O Jerusalem!" They really mean the ‘blood' part.

So, why is it that uprising and war is most likely to happen among the Arab/Muslim cultures? If one describes the Muslim cultures around the world, they seem to always be either in conflict with other religions (even factions within Islam) or preparing for that conflict- all according to Mohammed's Koran.

In the Middle East the Arab nations have set their sights first, on the elimination of Israel. Should Israel not be present, there is little doubt they would be at each other's throats. When the Israelis defeated Arab armies in six wars, there was always a brief moment of peace. Where Israeli troops patrolled, there was a quiet or what passed for peace. Israel and the Jews may be first on the Arab list but, the Christian nations (Europe and America) are next.

Winston Churchill once dryly made a comment about the tendency of the Germans to rise up every so often and ravage its surrounding nations. He said: "The Hun is either at your feet or at your throat." It is not a great deal different for the Arab tribes - now nations. Yes, they are still desert tribes raiding, raping and stealing.

Yes, they do it now in the name of Allah and their clerics deliberately misuse and misinterpret the ‘Suras' of the Koran. They relieve the tedium of their miserable lives by finding cause to explode in rage. They lead these miserable lives because their leaders keep them in poverty and festering misery. Just as Yassir Arafat conspired with all the dictators of the world to keep the mixture of Arabs ‘falsely' named Palestinians in refugee camps. When their misery properly ripened into rage, Arafat pointed them toward the Jews to vent their anger.

They were easily manipulated to attack Jews instead of overthrowing their false leaders. Arafat and his lieutenants have confiscated all the monies coming into the ‘new' Palestinian Authority's coffers, never allowing it to reach the street people. The poor Palestinians were always showcased as being the hostages of the Jews and not of their true jailers.

Between the need to demonstrate their macho feelings of superiority over the hated infidel (which, of course, includes both Jews and Christians) and their goals of world domination through Islam, there will be no peace.

Israel has the choice of becoming their victim which will please the nations of Europe who enthusiastically assisted Hitler in his "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem". Israel can listen to the Arabists in Washington, including especially the U.S. State Department who never wanted the Jewish State to be born.

One of the Jews' major problems is that they are not comfortable as winners (or conquerors) - even when the land has been given to them by G-d. They quaver before world opinion which does not wish them well.

Israel has one choice. She must show her deterrent capability, circle the wagons and hunker down, awaiting the inevitable attacks. It cannot placate, appease or pacify an enemy who enjoys being the enemy.

The Arabs who fear Israel will remain peaceful. The Israeli Arabs will go about their business in some semblance of peace as long as they fear Israel ‘s reprisals, should they continue to act as a fifth column. They have shown themselves to be the untrustworthy Arabs as they always have been and will remain so.

Israel will have to defy her friends bad advise and her enemies evil intentions. If Israel does not put down Arafat's ‘Intifada' (War) in quick consistent manner, her friends and enemies will join the Arabs against Israel. Further, like bacteria-treated inadequate with antibiotics, they will grow resistant and stronger. Similarly, when Israel hits the mortar shooters and the snipers, rocket launchers and bomb throwers with short assault that is incomplete, i.e., they don't fight to win, then the enemy feels stronger. Then, they confidently attack again and again.

Fear and Respect combine into one word in the Arab part of the Middle East. Granted the Leftists will whine, wring their hands and howl but, the nation of Israel has been left with a choice: Live or Die!

The Jews have always wanted to live in Peace but the world would not allow that. The World has not evolved sufficiently for the privilege of Peace so it must continue to suffer the ravages of war. The Arabs are a primitive culture that remains locked in the 7th century. The Europeans have similarly remained a low and hateful people despite their superficial veneer of culture. Each paraded their conquests, demanding G-d's recognition.

Well, they have finally caught His Attention "And for the shedding of Jewish blood, I will not forgive the Nations."


Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East Analyst & Commentator and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.




(An Attempt to Read between the Lines)

By Boris Shusteff

In an interview published on April 13 in "Haaretz Magazine" Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "The one thing that has changed is my view of Jordan as Palestine - and that only because there is a reality [on the ground] here. I never believed there should be two Palestinian states. That is the sole change that has taken place in my position."

While Sharon is definitely right in believing that there cannot be "two Palestinian states," it appears that he is saying that Jordan has ceased to be Palestine anymore due to the "reality on the ground." In other words, it looks as though he is ready to acquiesce to the establishment of another Palestinian state on some lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) due to the presence there of the Palestinian Arabs.

However, is it possible that he is not saying everything, and his statement must be taken with a large grain of salt? Undoubtedly he knows that the whole history of the Jewish-Arab conflict in Eretz Yisrael consists of the ceaseless establishment of facts on the ground, and that the five Arab-Israeli wars were nothing else than military attempts to change reality. In 1914 there were only 60,000 Jews and 340,000 Arabs in Western Palestine which now comprises Israel and Yesha. By 1948 the Jews had bought only 7% of the lands of Western Palestine, and the British, in violation of the Mandate, withheld from them majority of the land where they were told to "encourage the close settlement by Jews." Compare this to a prosperous Israel with almost 5,000,000 Jews. Obviously Sharon knows all of this; he even says in the "Haaretz" interview that he still gets excited about the "idea of 'another dunam and another dunam' [of land]."

More than 100 years of the Jewish-Arab struggle for Palestine have convincingly demonstrated that the "reality on the ground" can be changed. To resign to reality now, by allowing the creation of another Palestinian state would be an unforgivable blunder that could lead to Israel's destruction. Is this really what Sharon proposes or it is simply a political statement?

Let us carefully examine his words and try to read between the lines. On April 13 in an interview with the Israeli daily "Maariv," Sharon listed many limitations as the conditions for the creation of the Palestinian Arab state. He said that it should be created "by agreement, through negotiations, ...such a state would be limited, disarmed. Israel [would] supervise the borders for years. Such a state would not sign alliances with nations hostile to Israel. Israel retains its rights to overfly the territory. Israel's security is not harmed."

One need not be an Arab nationalist to understand that Sharon's conditions are absolutely unacceptable to Arafat, who rejected the sacrifices offered by Ehud Barak, which were incomparable in their generosity. Why, then, does Sharon offer to the Palestinian Arabs a "gift" that they will undoubtedly reject? This author believes that it is a purely political move and in reality has nothing to do with Sharon's beliefs. Sharon is simply sending a signal to the Jordanian leaders that he is not planning to expel Arafat and his cronies into Jordan.

The secret that lies behind this, which Sharon did not mention, is the concern that if Israel pushes the Palestinian Arabs into Jordan, the Hashemite regime will fall, and instead of a relatively moderate Jordan,

Israel will have an extremely aggressive Palestinian Arab state, which by establishing links with Iraq will form a huge anti-Zionist coalition of Arab countries. It is this fear of losing the Jordanian "buffer" that has caused Sharon to change his position on the issue of Jordan being Palestine.

In essence Sharon is saying that Jordan under Hashemite rule is less dangerous than if it were a Palestinian Arab state. Therefore he is ready for the theoretical option of the creation of a hostile Arab state that can be called Palestine. He is ready to allow it on 42% of the lands of Yesha in the hope of containing this enemy and fighting it as long as is needed.

Sharon must certainly also know that this scenario is fraught with extremely dangerous implications. There is absolutely no guarantee that one day the Jordanian regime will not become much more aggressive towards Israel and will not establish close links with Iraq. The example of a friendly Iran under a Shah that was replaced overnight by a fiercely anti-Zionist Ayatollah must never escape from the strategic calculations of the Israeli leaders. A united front of anti-Zionist Arab countries is a very real danger.

And it is not the only danger. Explaining why Israel cannot give the Golan to Syria, Sharon said in the "Haaretz" interview that "Israel suffers from permanent inferiority in that it is possible to confront it with serious dilemmas without firing a shot." One of the reasons for this is the small size of the country. By allowing the creation of another Palestinian state, Israel will suffer from this "permanent inferiority" on its borders with this state. Just consider a scenario in which there is a Jordanian Moslem fundamentalist regime as well as a new hostile Palestinian Arab state in parts of Yesha. Clearly this situation is much less preferable to the situation without an extra Arab state.

Israel's legitimate concern of Jordan being transformed into an aggressive Palestinian Arab state if Arafat's thugs move there must be solved not through the establishment of another Arab state, but through the defeat of Arafat and the PLO. Sharon knows better than anyone else that the Palestine Liberation Organization was established in order to destroy Israel. He is well aware of the fact that the PLO's Charter,

calling for the death of the Jewish state, has not been changed. He himself suspects that the 42% that he is ready to allow for the new Arab entity will not solve the problem, and he knows that he cannot give more. As he said in the "Ha'aretz" interview, "The question is what the alternative is. The other possibility is to give more, but that will not end the conflict either. In that case we will remain without our historic and strategic assets, and without an end to the conflict."

The Gordian knot of the conflict cannot be untangled, it must be cut. Sharon named several elements of his "cutting" plan when he said that there is "no reason for evacuating any settlement," that there cannot be separation and "it is possible to live with the Arabs," that he proposes "bringing a million Jews" to Israel within 12 years, while "renewing education according to Zionist principles, which will restore the sense of the justice of the struggle and the feeling that we have a full right to this land, ideas which have been very much eroded in recent years."

Examining Sharon's plan one inevitably comes to the conclusion that if the settlements stay put, the Arabs must live among the Jews, and as the number of Jews in Israel increases dramatically, and "the feeling that we have a full right to this land" is instilled in the Israeli Jews, then another Arab state in Palestine is not a real option. That means that Sharon did not say everything, that he did not reveal several elements of the plan that will be required in order to have a viable Zionist Jewish state in Palestine and to extinguish the fire of Palestinian Arab nationalism.

It is possible to guess at least two of them. Firstly, all militant Palestinian Arab groups such as Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzim etc. must be eradicated. Secondly, a clear division should be established between loyal and disloyal citizens through introducing for all its citizens a pledge of allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. Only those who are loyal to Israel and recognize it first and foremost as a Jewish and a Zionist state will have the right to elect and be elected. Those who do not make such a pledge will receive the status of "alien residents" with the right to live and work in Israel for only a certain period of time (e.g. 5 years).

As for Palestinian nationalism, why should Israel satisfy it? The only nationalism that is welcome in a Jewish state is Jewish nationalism. Arabs who disagree with it should move to Arab countries. The Palestinian Arabs would be well advised to go to Jordan, where the majority of the citizens are Palestinian Arabs. One should recall what Joseph Tekoah, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, said on November 13, 1974, in an address to the UN General Assembly:

Certain Palestinians [in Jordan] may be unhappy with their system of government... This, however, can in no way substantiate a claim that the Palestinian Arabs have been shorn of their rights as a people. Like all other branches of the Arab nation, the Palestinians too possess the political entity within which they exercise their national, political and cultural rights.

It is very doubtful that Sharon's view on Jordan has changed, since the reality on the ground in Jordan has not. Jordan is Palestine. The other reality - the presence of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha - can be challenged by the annexation of Yesha, through aliyah, and through settlement activity. Or, putting it differently, through Zionism. There should not be two Palestinian states.04/15/01


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



Jerusalem Post, April 19, 2001


By Gerald M. Steinberg

By any standards, the successes of political Zionism have been extraordinary. A century ago, Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel was little more than a messianic dream. After the Arabs invaded Israel, most diplomats and military experts predicted its quick demise. The victories in the War of Independence (a better name would be the War of Survival) and later battles reflected superior motivation based on desperation and commitment, rather than technology or tactics.

Between the wars, these energies were turned to absorbing immigrants, building the economy, and on this basis, reviving Jewish civilization. However, along the way, the secular Zionist elite that led the struggle for independence grew tired and cynical. The next generation became a self-styled group of "new historians," who surrendered and adopted the Arab version of history. In this "narrative," 600,000 Israelis, including many Holocaust survivors who went from the refugee ships to the battlefield, were stronger and better equipped (despite the one-sided arms embargo) than the combined Arab armies. The Jews were cast as invaders (in the Land of Israel!), and the Arabs were the passive victims.

In their obsession to become "normal" and to emulate their Western counterparts (a form of collective assimilation), many members of this group invented "post-Zionism," reflecting the Arab demand for "a state of all its citizens." While the authors of the Declaration of Independence sought to establish a Jewish State based on democratic principles, post-Zionists seek to create another Western liberal democracy where many of the citizens are, for now, Jews.

In a region dominated by Islamic nations where minorities are persecuted, this is a recipe for collective self-destruction. The dangers do not come from intellectuals seeking attention, but rather from the penetration of these false prophecies into core political and legal institutions. In a critical case involving property rights, Justice Aharon Barak, president of the High Court, issued an opinion (Ka'adan vs. Katzir) based primarily on American civil rights law and citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (a document largely ignored except in democratic countries). On this basis, he ruled that Arab citizens of Israel had the same rights as Jews to buy land and live in the special look-out settlements in the area of Nahal Iron (Wadi Ara).

IN AMERICA, where surviving native peoples live on "reservations," and everyone has a distinct cultural background, an ideology emphasizing individual equality makes sense. However, the Israeli reality is totally different, particularly in critical parts of the country where the vast majority of the population is Arab and in which radical forces have become dominant.

This is clearly the case near the community of Katzir, which is surrounded by exclusively Arab villages and the city of Umm el-Fahm. In this area, Jews have been systematically excluded, and the neighboring areas are under Palestinian control. To prevent a situation in which, during a future conflict, the Arab population would join with Palestinians and other armies to cut Israel in half (as happened in 1948), a program to build small Jewish communities was initiated in this area. Yet none of these issues were discussed by Barak in his ruling. Like the post-Zionists, the ideal of America or Europe was more compelling than the Israeli and Jewish reality.

More disturbingly, the many lawyers who were charged with defending the policy of discrimination in favor of Jewish applicants also failed to argue in terms of the Zionist goals of Jewish sovereignty and survival. They based their case on narrow technical issues, and did not discuss history, geography, or security. While the Arab population is a minority, they are still a potentially very powerful and disruptive force, as demonstrated during the violence in support of the Palestinians during Rosh Hashana. In this environment, the principles of liberal democracy and individual equality must be tempered by collective rights and political reality.

In the Middle Eastern reality, Jews are a very vulnerable minority, and what appears simplistically to be discrimination is more accurately described in terms of affirmative action. For two thousand years, we have been forcibly excluded from our homeland and persecuted around the world. As Herzl and the founders of Zionism so clearly recognized, Jewish continuity is dependent on the survival of the world's only Jewish State.

In the Jewish tradition, affirmative action is based on the principle that in distributing charity, the poor of one's own city have priority. Translated into modern political terms, before we can provide Israel's Arab citizens with complete equal rights in all spheres, we must first ensure that this equality does not become the basis for depriving us of our own rights to survival, both individual and collective.

As the Palestinian violence and threats of war from the rest of the region have so tragically reminded us, this fundamental goal of the Zionist movement has still not been fully realized.


The writer heads the Program on Conflict Resolution and Diplomacy at Bar-Ilan University.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



Houston Chronicle April 19, 2001


By Charles Krauthammer

Not many secretaries of state are immortalized with an eponymous doctrine even before they become secretary of state. But when Colin Powell was Gen. Powell he enunciated the rule that the key to success in any military conflict was the use of overwhelming force.

The Powell Doctrine found its ultimate expression in the Gulf War. The idea was not to match Iraqi power but to entirely overwhelm it in planes, tanks, technology, manpower and will. That would make the war short and make victory certain.

It did. Today, the Powell Doctrine seems obvious, but it was not at the time. For decades the United States had followed a policy of proportionality: restraint because of fear of escalation. It was under this theory that Maj. Powell watched his men bleed and die purposelessly in Vietnam.

Powell understood the problem. If you respond proportionately, you allow the enemy to set the parameters and level of the fighting. You grant him the initiative. In Vietnam, proportionality brought us endless losses and painful retreat.

Powell learned a lesson for his generation. There would be no more self-restraining, self-defeating proportionality. "First we're going to cut it off," said Powell memorably of the Iraqi army. "Then we're going to kill it."

That was then. A decade later, Powell seems to have carved out an exception to his rule.

In the past few weeks, the Palestinians have ominously escalated their six-month guerrilla war of riots, shootings and terrorist bombings. Their new tactic is launching mortar rounds from Palestinian territory into Israel. We're not talking about attacks on settlers, or settlements, or soldiers, or outposts, or crossroads. We're talking about attacks on towns within Israel proper, such as the peaceful desert town of Sederot, attacked this week.

Israel responded to this alarming escalation not with a proportional tit for tat, which would only regularize and institutionalize -- and legitimize -- such cross-border Palestinian aggression. Instead Israel delivered a sharper deterrent blow: occupying a piece of Gaza from which the attacks were launched.

In other words, Israel applied the Powell Doctrine. And what did it get? The sharpest rebuke from an American secretary of state in years. On Tuesday, Powell denounced the attack as "excessive and disproportionate" and demanded Israel's retreat.

Israel docilely complied. It will regret that decision, as will the United States.

Powell's policy is understandable but shortsighted. He wants to keep the violence down. And every call for Yasser Arafat to stop his war has been met with contemptuous rebuff.

In his March 29 press conference, President Bush had said "the signal I'm sending to the Palestinians is stop the violence. ... And I hope that Chairman Arafat hears it loud and clear. ... This is not the first time the message has been delivered."

Yet since March 29, Arafat has escalated the violence with the cross-border mortar attacks. Taking the most limited view, Powell's policy is: If Arafat will not be restrained, restrain Israel and hope that this round won't blow up. But it is a losing proposition. As long as Arafat controls the tempo of violence -- as he does whenever Israel is forced into a futile Vietnam-like "proportionate" response -- he will keep the fires burning.

And those fires are the real problem. They threaten to undermine the single most important American objective in the Middle East: prevention of a regional war. The spark for such a war would be the intifada that Arafat started six months ago. It is his fondest wish to bring Syria and Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, Egypt and Jordan into his war with Israel.

He might yet succeed. Hezbollah, in support of the Palestinians, is opening a second front, launching its own cross-border attacks from Lebanon. On Saturday (April 14) it killed an Israeli soldier on patrol on his side of the internationally recognized border. That was meant to provoke -- it did provoke -- Israeli retaliation against Syrian positions in Lebanon.

The constant violence Arafat began six months ago has created an intolerable and unstable situation. It can end in one of only two ways: Arafat calls it off, or it explodes in the kind of Middle East war we have not seen since 1973.

Arafat's only incentive to call it off is if his war exacts from him a higher price than he can bear. Losing some of the territory he gained from Israel in the Oslo peace accords is a serious price.

Israel is trying to make him pay it. It is precisely the kind of deterrent policy Powell had been preaching for years. Until Tuesday.


Charles Krauthammer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.




By Boris Shusteff

"America loves a winner."

(General Patton)

After Secretary of State Colin Powell reprimanded Israel for daring to drive her tanks into Arafat-controlled territory, declaring that Israel's response to mortar shelling of areas inside Israel proper was "excessive and disproportionate," it became absolutely clear that there is only one road that Israel can choose. What Israel must do was explained by Jay Nordlinger, the managing editor of the "National Review." He wrote on April 18, "We should remember the fundamental and horrible fact that Israel is engaged in a war. The objective of the Israeli government should not be to respond 'proportionately'; it should be to win the war, and the sooner the better."

How strange it is that Powell was frightened by Israel's tanks and, through State Department spokesmen Richard Boucher announced, that "there can be no military solution to this conflict." Not long ago, during his Senate confirmation hearing, America's future Secretary of State described the "Powell Doctrine" the following way: "Let's apply decisive force because that tends to get it over with quickly, and it tends to save casualties in the long run." The "Chicago Sun Times," which reminded us about this episode on April 19, asked a very legitimate question, "If it's a good idea for the United States, why shouldn't it be sound policy for Israel as well?"

Powell's new position strangely coincides with a tendency that crystallized among the Israeli leaders during Ehud Barak's tenure. They continually declared that Israel was either unable or simply must not defeat the Palestinian Arabs. One of the leading defeatists, Former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who cannot become used to being an ordinary citizen, appalled by Sharon's decision to send tanks into Gaza said on April 18: "I see the conquering of part of Gaza as a big mistake. It is a deterioration of the situation. It deepens the hatred. The last thing we need to do is win the war. We would be back in all the places we wanted to leave"(1).

Why is Beilin so afraid of Israel's victory? We can find an answer in the theories of various leftist Israeli professors, according to which the Arabs are severely lacking in self-esteem, which is apparently all Israel's fault. Israel is guilty of winning six wars, and by doing this she has deprived the Arabs of their self-esteem. According to the theory, in order for the Arabs to be able to force themselves to sign a peace treaty with Israel, they must feel themselves to be the winners. Let us recall that the same logic was championed by former American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who dreamt that the Arabs should "punish" Israel a bit during the Yom Kippur War. It is well-known how that almost ended.

The fact that this screwed up logic does not hold up to any criticism can be easily seen from the results of Israel's hasty departure from Lebanon. Today very few people can be found, who will not admit that it is this departure that boosted the morale of the Arabs in the streets. It is because of it that the Palestinian Arabs decided to create another "Lebanon" for Israel in the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). At the same time, what is happening on the Israeli-Lebanese border does not help the arguments of those who are dreaming of "at least a small Arab victory." Hizballah was not only unsatisfied with its "victory" (as it is called by the media in the Arab world), but became even more aggressive. The capture of the three Israeli soldiers, who became hostages, and the constant border provocation that has already claimed lives of three more Israeli soldiers speak for themselves. Hizballah does not make it a secret that, in order to gain complete self-esteem, it needs to "expel the Israeli occupiers from all of Palestine" and, first and foremost, to "liberate Jerusalem."

The astounding gaps in the logic of the supporters of an "immediate peace" with the Arabs are frightening. On April 19 Amnon Rubinshtein wrote an article in the Israeli daily "Ha'aretz," in which he stated that "no Israeli government could put up with Palestinian air control." He explained further that since Austria, Germany and Japan accepted a lot of militarily concessions according to the treaties signed as a result of World War II, the Palestinian Arabs should also accept concessions of this issue. He does not see why "Palestine cannot develop without full military control over its air space."

The esteemed professor somehow misses an extremely simple explanation. The truth is that Austria, Germany and Japan lay in ruins, completely defeated during the war. Therefore, they were forced to accept the conditions set for them by the victorious Allies. If the Allies had decided that the populations of the defeated countries could move about only on horseback and automobiles would be forbidden for use, then it would have been so. Beggars cannot be choosers, they must be satisfied with what they are given.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote on April 19 that Colin Powell, when he was a General, explained how he would defeat the Iraqi army. He said: "First we're going to cut it off. Then we're going to kill it." In order to defeat the very second-class Iraqi army Powell assembled "540,000 troops, 4,000 tanks, 1,800 airplanes, 1,700 helicopters, 6 aircraft carriers, submarines, etc." (2). Notably, at that time not a single mortar shell fired by the Iraqis reached the American soil. Americans visited cafeterias and supermarkets, and rode buses without being afraid of becoming the victims of a suicide terrorist attack. Their schoolchildren were not blown up, nobody was training the telescopic sights of a weapon onto their babies, and American drivers were not obsessed with the thought that they could be killed by a sniper driving along American highways.

A statement by a high ranking Israeli army officer was recently published in the Israeli press, stating that "Israel cannot use her aviation and tanks since it has not declared war on Arafat." Well, there is a very simple solution to this dilemma. The time is long overdue to declare war on Arafat and his cohorts. They should be cut off and all of them should be destroyed. At the end we are talking about the survival of a sovereign state, a member-nation of the UN, which has all of the rights to self-defense according to Article 51 of the UN Charter.

When, on December 20, 1989, a 25,000-strong American offensive force unleashed all of its might in Panama City in an operation to eliminate narcotics dealers, the Americans were not concerned that the Israeli government might condemn them for their use of the excessive and disproportionate force. "Several hundreds of Panama City civilians were killed in the first few hours of the attack"(2). The Americans did not have pangs of conscience about this "collateral damage." Attorney General Thornburgh stated on December 20, 1989 that the US was acting in accordance with article 51 of the UN Charter.

And it is doubtful that the civilian Panamanians hated the Americans to the extent that the Palestinian Arabs hate the Israelis. A recently published April 2001 Jerusalem Media and Communication Center Opinion Poll showed that 80% of the Arabs living in Judea Samaria and Gaza support "the continuation of the current Intifada;" 78% support a "military resistance Intifada;" and almost 74% support "suicide bombings against Israeli civilians."

Israel is a sovereign state, and nobody - no other country in the world nor any international body - has any right to tell her what sort of measures Israel should or should not undertake for its self-defense. Moreover, only Israel can determine the degree of danger. Having allowed Arafat to come to Yesha, and given weapons to the Palestinian Arabs, Israel has created a monster that threatens her survival. When dealing with Arafat and his gangs Israel would be well-advised to use as her motto the words of Taras Bulba, one of the heroes of the great Ukranian writer Gogol, who told his traitorous son, "I begot you, and I will kill you." 04/23/01


1. Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor. "Sharon's breach of Oslo was step too far." The Guardian. April 18, 2001.

2. 104th issue of Straight From The Jerusalem.


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




By Louis Rene Beres

[16 April 2001] The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas makes an interesting point: Although power is powerful and weakness is weak, power can weaken itself and weakness can become a source of power. This point is extremely pertinent to Israel and to the still-emergent state of "Palestine." Over the years, especially since Oslo, Israel's power has sabotaged itself in so many ways, undermining its capacity to endure. After Oslo, however, Israel's Palestinian "partners" have skillfully transformed their relative weakness into a purposeful means of commanding world attention and eliciting global sympathies. Not suprisingly, the "weak" Palestinians have repeatedly overpowered the "powerful" Israelis.

What, exactly, does all of this mean? At one level, it suggests that the ordinarily assumed bases of power in world affairs are greatly exaggerated and misunderstood. There is irony here, as well as paradox. For almost two thousand years, Jews were stateless and vulnerable - yet, in a number of important spheres of human activity, they were enormously important. Today, when there exists a Jewish State armed with nuclear weapons, the Jewish citizens of Israel are the most vulnerable Jews on the face of the Earth. No where else on this planet are Jews, as Jews, subject to prompt and concentrated extermination.

For their part, the Palestinians, aptly fond of their alleged weakness relative to Israel, have displayed remarkable power in their pre-state incarnation. Indeed, their weakness has been the prime source of this power. Reminding the world, again and again and again, how unfortunate and mistreated thay have been, the Palestinians manage - again and again and again - to get their way. Soon they, too, will have a state. Will this state enlarge their power, or will it - like Israel - evolve into a condition of genuine weakness? Perhaps, with a Jewish state existing next to a Palestinian state, there will develop - paradoxically - a mutuality of weakness.

There are some lessons here for Israel. First, Israelis must finally begin to understand that inventories of missiles, planes, bombs and warships do not constitute real power. Rather, the ingredients of real power remain subtle and often intangible. Moreover, these ingredients include the presumed opposite of power, which is weakness. As for leadership, this has proven to be far less consequential for Israeli power than anyone could ever have imagined. For the forseeable future, any leader of Israel will be incapable of serious vision - of a vision that understands the paradox of power and weakness. Among other things, this Israeli incapacity is rooted in a distorted image of "democracy," which elevates the uninformed judgments of The Many above the essential insights of The Few.

There are other lessons here for the Jewish State. One of the most obvious is the overwhelming weakness spawned by "post-Zionism." Retreating, daily, from the underlying religious and spiritual foundations of Judaism, Israel is being incrementally deprived of its most critical source of power. Eagerly seeking to become "normal," a good portion of Israel's anxious Jewish population - in contrast to Israel's Arabs - is STILL willing to blame itself for most of the problems with the Palestinians. Accepting the neediness of the Palestinians, and cowering before the PA's murderous judgments, these Israeli Jews STILL fail to understand that they, themselves, have transformed power into weakness. Rejecting, shamelessly, their own history and their own uniqueness, they have conspired, however unwittingly, in a condition wherein power has become weakness and weakness has become power.

A Hasidic tale instructs that we shall only be able to determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins, when we can look into the face of another human being and have enough light to recognize in him a brother, a real brother. Until that moment, night and darkness shall still be with us. Understood in terms of Israel, "Palestine," and the paradox of power, this tale reminds us that, in the best of all possible worlds, we humans, all of us - will finally be able to go beyond the most primordial forms of tribalism and acknowledge our essential Oneness. Although such acknowledgment must not cause us to dilute our particular forms of uniqueness - in Israel, for example, our uniqueness as Jews - it will allow us - using the terms of Martin Buber - to rediscover the "I' in the "Thou."

Sadly, the world is not yet prepared for radical altruism - for circumstances wherein the Other can become the center of the Self. No, for the forseeable future, the Other is still a reminder that tribes circumscribe every realm of human relations and that, for the forseeable future, Self empowerment is still imperative. It follows that until we are ready, as a People and as a species, to place the ego outside itself, in the Other, we must understand and accept the power of weakness and the weakness of power.


LOUIS RENE BERES, Professor Department of Political Science Purdue University, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and publishes widely on international relations and international law. His work on strategic matters is well-known in Israeli academic, military and intelligence circles.





By Dr. Irving Kett

The distinguished U.S. naval strategist, Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, originated the term Middle East in 1902. It designates the vast region between the western border of Pakistan to the western border of Egypt and the countries south of the former Soviet Union. Admiral Thayer used the term to designate a strategic concept for the land bridge connecting the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The area includes all of the Arab world with the exception of the Mahgreb, that is the northern part of Africa, save Egypt. The region is the cradle of the three major religions of the Western World namely, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Three of its cities, Bethlehem, Mecca, and Jerusalem, are respectively the spiritual centers for each of the three faiths. The northern tier states of the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, while devoutly Moslem, are not populated by Arabs. Although only a small part of the billion or so Moslems live in the Middle East, Mecca is the focus of their intense beliefs.

Geography and an essential natural resource, namely petroleum, constitute the strategic importance of the Middle East. The struggle for key geostrategic elements of the Middle East is recorded in the history of the region from the time of the Trojan War for control of the Dardanelles down to the present day conflict between nations within the region and those from outside. This was also the situation during the cold war between the United States and Russia. Under the parched, arid lands of the Middle East are located the largest single known oil reserves in the world. The focus of the United States strategic interests in that area stems from these basic factors, oil and the critically important waterways of the region. Petroleum is today the single most valuable commodity in world commerce; an indispensable item in time of peace and of critical strategic importance in time of war.

Energy: A Vital Commodity

The universal demand for energy is expected to double each decade to satisfy economic expansion and burgeoning populations. The single largest source of energy is derived from petroleum. The principle consumers for the foreseeable future will be the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. The United States with six percent of the world's population consumes approximately thirty percent of the annual output of the world's natural resources. As its domestic production of petroleum continues to decline, the demand in the United States continues to rise.

The U.S. still supplies almost fifty percent of its petroleum requirements of 19.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) from domestic production, although that percentage is constantly decreasing. Western Europe and especially Japan, are almost totally dependent upon imported oil, principally from the Middle East. The politically strong environmental movement in the U.S. is preventing the exploitation of other large potential domestic oil resources situated on the California Coast and the northern slope of Alaska. At the same time it has also prevented any shift toward the more extensive utilization of nuclear power for the generation of electricity as is being done in some of the other advanced industrial nations. For example, France produces close to 90% of its electrical energy from nuclear reactors. That source of power is less than 10% in the United States, despite its having been a pioneer in nuclear technology.

The emergence of the Middle East as the world's leading oil producing region has only occurred during the last half century. The first significant discovery of petroleum took place in Iran in 1908. Of the proven crude oil reserves in the world today about two-thirds are in the Middle East. Despite the daily pro- duction of about 23 million barrels a day, the quantity of known reserves in the Middle East continues to rise because of active exploration. It is estimated that one-third of the known natural gas reserves are also located in the Gulf Coast States.

The present and future dependence of the United States, Western Europe, and Japan upon imports is a matter of paramount significance. Oil from the Middle East also supplies United States military forces throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. The disruption of petroleum supplies from the Middle East in 1973, as a result of the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was attacked by Syria and Egypt, caused serious economic problems for the industrial nations of the world.

Aside from strategic considerations, the United States has a huge economic investment in the Middle East petroleum industry. In 1960 the major oil producing countries, led by the Middle East producers, formed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which wields tremendous economic and political power. Another Middle East factor that must be considered is the strident nationalism that pervades the region. This is characterized by extreme hostility to the United States as well as Western culture and presence in general. In the last few decades Islam has become a powerful and very aggressive expansionist force throughout much of the world.

With regards to the rising demand for energy, the low priority currently placed upon developing alternate energy sources is a matter of great concern. Not only is there an element of unreliability with respect to the unrestricted flow of Middle East oil, but it is a non-replenishing commodity. There is only a finite amount available in the world. Each day mankind is burning up this resource, which has taken nature millions of years to produce. Probably no nation has acted with greater irresponsibility in this matter than the United States. Consider the production of electricity. In the United States most of it is generated from fossil fuels such as petroleum. While France and other nations, particularly Japan, are increasingly turning to nuclear energy, the United States has not built a nuclear generating plant in over twenty years and there is none contemplated. This would appear to be a very short-sighted approach to a critical problem. An assured supply of energy is of vital interest to the United States not only in time of war, but also in time of peace.

Petroleum is a fungible commodity. Since the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. imports from the Persian Gulf region have decreased. The reverse is true with respect to Western Europe and the Far East. As the demand for petroleum increases, the two most promising sources for further production are both located in the same region of the world, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Basin. Of these two, the Persian Gulf is the most important. It is estimated that within ten years the Persian Gulf States will supply one half of the total world oil requirement, exporting about 45 mb/d. Since most of the increased production must undoubtedly come from the Persian Gulf region, the percentage of United States imports from the Middle East will also rise. In other words there is no visible alternative to greater dependency upon Persian Gulf oil in the foreseeable future. Petroleum and natural gas there are plentiful and easily extracted at relatively low cost. This reality has a powerful impact on political decisions affecting the Middle East by all of the major democracies, including the United States.

It is ironic that the most likely competitor of the Persian Gulf oil exporting nations is the Moslem region right next door, the Caspian Basin. While the latter may possess huge reserves, estimated as high as 200 billion barrels of petroleum and 279 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the problems attendant to the development of these fields and the distribution of the products are presently still far from solution. The increasing dependence upon petroleum from the Persian Gulf entails serious geopolitical risks. The paramount consideration, however, remains the rising demand for energy. As the sole superpower, the burden of these risks falls upon the United States.

The Middle East and Strategic Waterways

The Mediterranean Sea together with the Turkish Straits and the Suez Canal have for many years been among the most important waterways in the world. The latter entrances and exits in the Eastern Mediterranean have been focal points of conflict throughout history. In the 19th Century the European powers struggled with Turkey for control over the Straits which are actually three distinct but connected bodies of water, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. In 1915 Great Britain suffered a crushing defeat in the Gallipoli Campaign for control over the vital Straits between the Black and the Mediterranean Seas.

The Suez Canal was completed in 1869 and it immediately became a target for international diplomacy. When Gamal Abdul Nasser, the dictator of Egypt, seized the Suez Canal in 1956, it precipitated a crisis that brought the major powers to the brink of another world war. As a result of the Six Day War between Israel and the Arabs, the Canal was closed for over seven years.

Even though the Suez is again open for shipping, the Canal has not regained its former prominence because of the development of supertankers for the transport of petroleum products that are too large to transit the Suez Canal. They navigate instead around the Cape of Good Hope.

In World War II the Mediterranean Sea was a fierce battleground whose outcome greatly influenced the course of the conflict. During the Cold War years after WW II, both the United States and Russia invested large naval forces in that Sea. The powerful U.S. Sixth Fleet is still in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Despite the continued importance of the Middle East waterways discussed in the above paragraphs, by far the most critical Middle East waterways today are the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. Through these waterways pass the vast petroleum exports of the Middle East. For that reason the United States has kept a significant naval force on station in the Persian Gulf since the Gulf War and will probably maintain that presence for the foreseeable future. The Persian Gulf has serious potential for conflict that could threaten Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf oil supply. For some years Iraq and Iran have posed a significant military threat to each other, to the entire Gulf Region, and coincidentally both are very hostile to the United States as well as to Israel.

The Middle East Battleground

Conflict in this strategic area continuously poses a danger to world peace and to U.S. interests. While the region is criss-crossed with intense internecine strife, the most continuous danger of war is the Arab/Israel dispute that has been festering for over fifty years and between Jews and Arabs for a hundred years. Since 1948 these two contestants have fought five major wars, each at a heightened level of intensity and sophistication. Actually the Middle East conflict that resulted in the greatest loss of life and destruction was between two Moslem countries, Iraq and Iran, which lasted from 1980 to 1988. An objective analysis of the needs of the nations directly involved, as well as that of the United States, clearly indicates the urgent need for a lasting peace.

Aside from those between Israel and the Arabs, the Middle East remains embroiled in intense intraregional rivalries, where direct threats to vital United States interests are involved. In the 1990/91 Gulf War, the U.S. was forced to mobilize an expeditionary force of over half a million troops in order to protect the uninterrupted supply of petroleum from the Gulf region from Iraqi aggression. At the present time the situation is further exacerbated by the introduction of non-conventional weaponry, i.e., atomic, bacteriological, and chemical. A looming crisis which may soon erupt concerns the development of these weapons by Iraq and Iran which poses a direct challenge to the United States.

The strategic importance, coupled with a history of almost continuous crisis, requires the United States to consider the Middle East as a crucial factor in formulating worldwide economic and military strategy. After the Six Day War of 1967, the seeming U.S. support for Israel was a major consideration in the Arab turn to Russia for military support. To cope with the Middle East dilemma, several conflicting alternatives have been postulated by U.S. foreign policy makers. These have ranged from maximum support for Israel to counterbalance the combined power of the hostile Arab/Moslem states to the virtual abandonment of Israel in order to curry favor with the Moslem world and assure the vital supply of oil. While U.S. policy over the years has vacillated between these two extremes, neither one ever gained sufficient currency to completely dominate the other.

The abandonment of Israel may become a more imperative option, however, if the latter permits itself to be further weakened by the process of appeasement. In such an event only direct U.S. military involvement could possibly save a truncated Israel from destruction. It is realistic to imagine that such a move, involving loss of American lives, would be very unpopular with the U.S. public. The continued pressure upon Israel by successive U.S. administrations to satisfy Arab territorial demands would appear to be a gambit fraught with danger for the Jews of Israel as well as for the frequently espoused U.S. moral commitment to Israel's survival. The destruction of Israel stemming from such long standing U.S. policy and the lack of an adequate military response at time of crisis would seriously undermine the credibility of the United States in the international arena.

It would, however, be quixotic to deny the obvious truism that the United States has vital interests in the world and even in the Middle East that far transcend not only the security of Israel but the very survival of Israel. Since the demise of the USSR, it is questionable whether Israel is still the important strategic asset of the United States in the Middle East. Prior to the Camp David Accords in 1978, Israel was a significant regional power. Shorn of the Sinai Peninsula and further reduced by the Oslo Accords of 1993 and threatened with the additional loss of the Golan Heights, the continued viability of Israel as a defensible nation is in question. In the past twenty years, therefore, the United States has begun focusing upon Egypt rather than Israel as its most important strategic asset in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Armed Conflict in the New Middle East

Two approaches exist today concerning tactics that need to be employed in the battlefield. One emphasizes high-tech weapons, including high performance manned aircraft and drones, missiles, c3 communication, electronic sensors, and instantaneous computerized battle information; the other places greater importance upon well trained, highly motivated troops, operating in small, mobile units, and prepared to engage the enemy at close quarters with appropriate light infantry weapons. Indications are that determined enemy forces of the latter type, employing deadly and protracted terrorist and guerilla tactics, are what the U.S. would probably face if it permits itself again to become involved in Middle East conflicts.

Examples of the apparent effective use of high performance weaponry that avoids the risk of significant casualties were the Gulf War and the recent conflict in Kosovo, where the latest technology in weaponry was employed to overcome enemy resistance. One may well point out, however, that Saddam Hussein is still in power in Iraq, and that little damage was inflicted on Serbian military assets in the 1999 Kosovo conflict. Had the Serbs persevered a bit longer, the United States would probably have been forced to employ substantial ground forces. The overall efficacy of high performance weaponry as a single dimension tool is still very much open to question.

The obvious failure of high-tech weaponry to impose one's will upon a determined enemy was certainly the U.S. experience in the traumatic defeat suffered in Viet-Nam. More recently the evidence was reinforced by the humiliating withdrawal of the supposedly powewrful Israeli Army from Lebanon in the face of only a few hundred determined guerrillas, to say nothing of the manner in which U.S. forces turned tail, after licking its wounds in Lebanon and Somalia.

No foreseeable enemy in the Middle East will attempt to engage U.S. forces on the basis of matching tank for tank, aircraft for aircraft, artillery piece for artillery piece, or even soldiers trained in the hubris of the most modern weaponry.

This does not mean that a dedicated force as we have seen to exist in this region, willing to take casualties, fighting a cunning guerilla/terrorist type of war and able to blend in with the local population may not in the end prevail. That enemy will probably consist of highly dispersed, mobile forces, well equipped for its harassing mission, supported by large civilian populations, and again one must emphasize, not afraid to accept death in order to gain its objectives. In such an environment, infantry will again regain its historic role as the queen of battle.


The strategic importance of the vast petroleum reserves in the Middle East, along with its vital sea lanes, requires the United States to consider this region carefully in formulating its foreign policy decisions. These considerations must be coupled with an awareness of the continuous proclivity for violence and fierce hatred of Western culture that is endemic among the people living in the Middle East.

Probably the most visible and persistent flash point will continue to be the Arab/Israel dispute, despite repeated attempts to paper over the deep-seated conflict with agreements and peace treaties. The enmity that exists combines the most explosive mix of extreme nationalism and religious fundamentalism. As opposed to Israel, all of the Arab states are governed by dictatorships, manifesting varying degrees of repression and brutality toward their own people. The United States must eschew permitting itself to become too deeply involved in this intractable dilemma. Possibly the best policy for the United States to follow in the 21st Century Middle East, except where its direct vital interests are immediately concerned, would be one of gradual disengagement and benign neglect. If a solution to the problems is to be found, it will have to be formulated and implemented solely by the indigenous population and governments.

With respect to wars in the 21st Century, the major task of all U.S. governments should be to avoid involvement in the terrible destruction inherent in modern weaponry and tactics, and to protect their nation from international terrorism emanating from the Middle East. Terrorism, together with widespread unconventional guerilla-type warfare, may become the hallmark for future conflict. This is in contradiction to the notion that since high-technology weapons exist, that the wars in the 21st Century will necessarily be waged with them. While the history of the present century will probably record many bloody conflicts, possibly very few outcomes, if any, will be determined by the massive utilization of the most advanced weaponry. One of the greatest challenges facing U.S. military professionals in the 21st Century will be to refute the myth that the United States can wage successful push-button wars that will make combat effective, quick, clean, and bloodless, at least insofar as American forces are concerned.



1. "Area Handbook for Israel", U.S. Dept. of the Army, 1970.

2. "Area Handbook for Saudi Arabia", U.S. Dept. of the Army, 1970.

3. "API Reports", American Petroleum Institute, Fall 2000.

4. "A Proposed Solution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict", Kett, Irving, LTC, U.S. Army War College, 1974.

5. "Command Decisions", Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S. Army, 1960.

6. "Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East", Kemp, Geoffrey, Harkavy, Robert E., Brookings Institution Press, 1997.

7. "The Middle East in World Affairs", Lenczowski, George, 3rd Edition, Cornell University Press, 1962

8. "United States Military Posture", Moorer, Thomas H. Admiral, USN, Testimony before U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 1975.


Irving Kett
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired



Jerusalem Post, April 29, 2001


By Janine Zacharia

WASHINGTON - The establishment of a Palestinian state over the entire West Bank and Gaza would destabilize the whole Middle East, Education Minister Limor Livnat said on Friday, adding that Israel will never let such a state be born.

In a toughly-worded speech filled with vitriol for post-Zionism, the Palestinians, and the Israeli left wing, Livnat said 40 percent of the territories are already under Palestinian Authority control and "giving Arafat a sovereign, territorially contiguous state, with internationally recognized borders over the rest of the West Bank and Gaza as well, is out of the question."

"There is no rational explanation conceivable for doing something that would destabilize not only Israel, but certainly Jordan and probably the entire region as well," Livnat said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Livnat, who was the keynote speaker at a conference held by the institute, said Israel must pursue a "functional and operational peace" rather than a formal one with the Palestinians and Syria. To achieve such a"functional" peace, she said, Israel needs to "control the high ground of the Golan, Judea, and Samaria."

Her remarks seemed to suggest that Israel will not be willing to hand over any more territory in negotiations. Dividing Jerusalem, she said, would lead to more aggression against Israel and cause the "creation of a new Belfast or Beirut" - two cities that have been plagued by religious strife.

Her comments came as Foreign Minister Shimon Peres prepared to leave for Cairo, Amman, and Washington on a trip aimed at finding a formula for ending the violence and reviving dormant peace talks on the basis of the Egyptian-Jordanian ceasefire proposal.

Livnat set low goals for peace in the region, saying peace between Israel and her neighbors "must be based on deterrence, not détente," and that Israel should not sign agreements with autocracies since they "do not honor paper commitments."

In her role as education minister, Livnat said, she will strive to rid the Israeli school curricula of the post-

Zionism that "has crept into Israel's educational thinking," and "reinstate Jewish values and reinvigorate Zionist idealism." "Israeli post-Zionism denigrates Jewish rights to the Land of Israel, disparages Jewish values, and trivializes the historic justice inherent in Israel's rebirth," she said.

She likened the post-Zionist movement, which in recent years has advocated a more critical look at the events surrounding Israel's birth 53 years ago, to "the battered-wife syndrome."

"How could we have gone on blaming ourselves - like in the battered-wife syndrome - while constantly showing understanding for the unconscionable behavior of the Palestinians? See post-Zionism and understand why," Livnat said.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



The Jerusalem Post April, 25 2001

A Textbook Example of How Not to Eat Crow

By Jonathan Rosenblum

Yoram Hazony, head of the Shalem Center, possesses a near-fanatical belief in the power of ideas. How else can one describe someone who hopes to transform Israeli society by translating Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France into Hebrew?

His The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul attributed almost every ill besetting Israeli society today to Martin Buber and the small circle around him at the Hebrew University.

Yet Hazony has now provided impressive proof that ideas do count. A year ago, he sallied forth alone against the Education Ministry's new 9th grade world history text, A World of Changes. In Hazony's view, the textbook provided a classic example of curricular changes taking place in Israel whose effect is to lessen the identification of students with the idea of a Jewish state.

The reaction was furious to his New Republic article, "Who Took the Zionism Out of Israeli Textbooks?" The Education Ministry launched a campaign to delegitimize Hazony. Their chosen tack: portraying Hazony as a hater of Israel.

Professor Israel Bartal,chairman of the Education Ministry's high school curriculum committee, posted a 24-page response in Hebrew and English on the Education Ministry's Web site, in which he characterized Hazony's article as part of a "broad anti-Israel propaganda campaign... of a strength and scope hitherto not encountered by supporters of Israel in America."

Of the 20 substantive charges leveled by Hazony against A World of Changes, Bartal did not find even one with any merit. (His response studiously ignored 14 of those charges altogether.) He accused Hazony of "fantasies," "falsity for its own sake," and "defamation of character of the Education Ministry."

Education Ministry spokeswoman Rivka Shraga asserted, "All the claims... against the book have been checked into thoroughly by the finest scholars in the country, and each and every one of them has been proven to consist of half-truths and distortions."

Ha'aretz predictably leapt into the assault against Hazony, tarring him as a McCarthyite, as well as devoting pages to verbatim quotations from Bartal.

BUT THEN a funny thing happened. As a consequence of the brouhaha stirred by Hazony, many began to take a closer look at A World of Changes. In November, the Knesset Education Committee voted unanimously to condemn the textbook for ignoring important events in the history of the Holocaust, Zionism and the State of Israel. Committee members noted the absence of pictures of Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion and of the War of Independence, as well as the failure to mention prewar resistance to the British, Egypt's closing of the Straits of Tiran as the prelude to the Six Day War, or PLO terrorist massacres in the '70s.

Education Ministry director-general Shlomit Amichai was forced to appoint a committee of academic experts to examine the book and make recommendations. The findings of that committee, headed by Professor Yosef Gorny of Tel Aviv University, were even more damning.

The committee found "profound inadequacies in relation to Jewish history." In an interview, Gorny asked: "Where was the academic supervision of our history colleagues during the writing of this book? How is it possible to write history without empathy? How can a textbook, in a chapter on the Holocaust, not mention the Warsaw Ghetto uprising?"

The committee scored the text for failing to mention the willingness of the pre-state Zionist leadership to divide Palestine, and for portraying opposition to Oslo as limited to "a small, violent minority."

In the wake of the Knesset committee's denunciation of A World of Changes, Professor Michel Abutul, chairman of the Education Ministry's pedagogical secretariat, protested the Knesset's involvement in pedagogical issues that should be "left to professionals and academics."

Yet after the Gorny committee entered its findings, he conceded that the textbook is "an appalling failure professionally and pedagogically."

So much for the Education Ministry's earlier claim that all of Hazony's charges had been examined by leading academics and found to be without basis.

Bartal now admits that no academic had read the textbook prior to publication. Bartal, who is listed as an academic adviser to A World of Changes, did not say whether the book's defenders had read it after publication either.

Bartal debated Hazony over the textbook's merits at least five times in America and Israel, as well as in print, dismissing all of Hazony's criticisms out of hand. On Miyom Lemachar, he even denied that the book lacked a picture of Weizmann, holding up a completely different textbook to the cameras to prove his point.

Now, however, he has disassociated himself from the textbook he once so ardently defended.

It did not occur to Bartal, however, to apologize to Hazony for the ad hominem tactics employed against him. Hazony had, for instance, criticized A World of Changes for removal of photographs from older texts showing the historic meaning for the Jewish people of the recapture of Jerusalem - e.g., those of Uzi Narkiss, Moshe Dayan, and Yitzhak Rabin entering the Old City, or Israeli paratroopers looking up in awe at the Western Wall. Those photos were replaced by one of a lone Israeli tank at East Jerusalem's Kalandia Airport.

Based on Hazony's criticism of the photos omitted and those added, Bartal made the preposterous claim that Hazony advocated altering the Arabic sign at Kalandia Airport to Hebrew, and sniffed self-righteously that Zionism did not require the falsification of photos.

But the issue is not Bartal's manners or debating style. The larger question is: Why has the media studiously avoided any comparison of what defenders of A World of Changes used to say to what they are saying today? Are the intellectual follies of one segment of opinion consistently ignored?

Even more important, does the present attempt of the Education Ministry professionals to disassociate themselves from A World of Changes represent sincere regret for the textbook's demonstrated lack of identification with the Jewish people?

Or is it momentary sail trimming prior to the next assault?



Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of February, 20 2001


By Evelyn Gordon

If I could pose one question to a group of senior American and European government officials, it would be the following: Is there any action at all that you would deem legitimate for Israel to take to defend its population against Palestinian attacks - and if so, what?

The answer to the first half of the question would probably be yes, because in principle, both America and Europe agree that countries have the right to defend their citizens. But the second half would be a poser - because both the Europeans and the Americans have proven over the last four months that when it comes to Israel, they oppose translating this principle into practice.

During this period, Israel has tried a wide variety of tactics in response to the war of attrition that has been the Palestinians' answer to unprecedented Israeli concessions at the negotiating table. Yet every one of these tactics has been unequivocally denounced by the US and the European Union.

Initially, Prime Minister Ehud Barak opted for the simplest tactic of all: telling soldiers to just shoot back when fired upon. But since Palestinian gunmen made a practice of stationing themselves in the midst of crowds of civilians, and since even the most sophisticated weapons are rarely perfectly aimed in the heat of battle, this tactic resulted in the deaths of many civilians as well as gunmen. The result was universal excoriation of Israeli brutality, and the implicit message that it would be preferable for IDF soldiers to simply let themselves be used for target practice.

Barak then decided to try targeting property rather than people. In response to Palestinian attacks, he began ordering the IDF to destroy buildings belonging to the organizations responsible, after first warning the people inside to leave and giving them several hours to do so. Highly sophisticated weapons were used to ensure, as far as possible, that no innocent bystanders were hurt. And the result? Israel was again universally condemned, this time for having used heavy weaponry such as combat helicopters - even though the main purpose of this hi-tech weaponry was to prevent civilian casualties.

Israel has also made extensive use of economic pressure. This has included barring Palestinians from working in Israel, in order to keep potential terrorists out, and not transferring money to the Palestinian Authority, to deprive it of cash with which to buy weapons to use against Israel (according to IDF intelligence, the PA has been engaged in massive arms smuggling for the past several months).

Keeping enemy aliens out and freezing enemy assets are both completely standard wartime measures, even though they undoubtedly hurt the innocent as well as the guilty. Nevertheless, Israel has been universally assailed for taking these actions.

Then, finally, Barak came up with one tactic that hurts only the guilty: the targeted killing of known terrorists. These killings have produced almost no civilian casualties, because the IDF can choose the time and place of the attack, and it tries to choose times and places when no innocents are nearby.

This usually necessitates picking a time when the terrorist is not actually engaged in military activity. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this: The rules of warfare permit taking an enemy by surprise; they do not state that you can open fire only when the enemy is actually shooting at you. But again, the normal rules apparently do not apply to Israel: Rather than applauding a tactic that prevents civilian casualties, both America and Europe have objected vociferously to the targeted killings, with the European Union even terming them "executions without trial" and declaring them a violation of international law.

But if all of the above tactics are completely unacceptable, just what tactics would America and Europe consider legitimate - other than for Israel to let its citizens be sitting ducks, without lifting a finger to protect them?

If America and Europe want to exert an influence on Israel's actions, they owe the government a straightforward answer to this question. There has never been an Israeli government that would not prefer to use tactics acceptable to the West, if such tactics exist.

But the evidence to date seems to indicate that there are no such tactics - that in practice, Europe and America are unwilling for Israel to take any measures in its own defense. And if this is the case, then the government has no choice but to simply ignore world opinion and do what it thinks best. For no Israeli government - and indeed, no self-respecting government in any country - could agree to sit by and do nothing while its citizens are subjected to daily shooting attacks.




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Herbert Zweibon, Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, asserts, "The United Nations, that expends so much energy and time condemning Israel, has once again shown its hand. The U.N. Human Rights Commission, presently touring Israel, "has been dogged by persistent accusations of pro-Palestinian bias," according to a report in the Feb. 15 Jerusalem Post."

Zweibon continues, "There is no wonder that the accusations fly, since Prof. Richard Falk, one of the three men on the delegation, is notorious for his anti-Israel writings." As a member of "The Jewish Committee on the Middle East," he advocated U.N. sanctions against Israel for the various "massacres" Israel has perpetrated. Furthermore, in a release dated 9/26/96 he called for the suspension of U.S. aid to Israel because of Israel's "policies of repression and occupation."

In Prof. Falk's article, ‘International Law and the al-Aqsa Intifada' printed in ‘Middle East Report- Winter 2000', written after the Commission was formed, he writes, "in international law, Palestinian resistance to occupation is a legally protected right... In essence, we argued that the first intifada was a valid expression of this right of resistance—not illegal or criminal behavior on the part of the Palestinians." He continues in that same report, "Equally importantly, the flagrant violation of international law daily accentuates the injustice to the Palestinian people, intensifies their suffering and cannot be ignored in any approach to conflict resolution. The severity of these violations and their persistence and frequency, also establishes the foundation for an inquiry into whether an abusive structure of illegal prolonged belligerent occupation does not itself amount to the commission of crimes against humanity, beyond the specific wrongs alleged in relation to Geneva IV and international humanitarian law."

"It is clear," affirms Zweibon, " that Prof. Falk was chosen to be on the U.N. delegation especially because of his pro-Arab bias. We further believe the Israelis are right to refuse assistance to the Commission. With its mandate to "gather and compile information on the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force committed by the Israeli occupying power against innocent and unarmed Palestinian citizens," with the possible recommendation that Israel be indicted for war crimes, a conclusion reached even before the commission began its work, it is clear that the findings of the Commission will be invalid. We suggest that, in light of the above, the Senate Foreign Relations committee take another look at the United Nations and its position regarding U.S. allies before releasing money to the U.N."




By Evelyn Gordon

Several leading Palestinians last week urged an international commission not to confine its inquiry into events in the territories to recommendations for ending the violence. It is important, they said, that the Mitchell Committee also establish blame.

An observer could reasonably conclude from this that the Palestinians are confident an unbiased inquiry would deem Israel the guilty party. And he would probably find support for this conclusion in the fact that Israeli officials have repeatedly asked the committee not to get into the issue of responsibility, but rather to stick to proposals for ending the violence. The obvious implication is that Israel believes it has something to hide.

Yet the truth is exactly the opposite: An honest inquiry into the causes of the current violence could only be to Israel's benefit, and the Palestinians' detriment.

Following are just a few of the facts that an honest appraisal would have to take into account:

* Not only did the Palestinians begin the fighting, but they did so in response to the most generous Israeli diplomatic proposal on record. Ehud Barak's offer of a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank and Gaza - including large parts of east Jerusalem - did not meet 100 percent of the Palestinians' demands, but it did meet over 90 percent of them. Yet not only were the Palestinians unwilling to accept anything less than 100 percent, they were even unwilling to try to negotiate peacefully over those final few percentage points. Instead, they launched the worst violence Israel has experienced in years - breaking every agreement they have ever signed with Israel in the process.

* Contrary to the popular perception the Palestinians have so successfully cultivated, this was not a spontaneous uprising by ordinary Palestinian citizens. Rather, as Palestinian Telecommunications Minister Imad Falouji publicly admitted recently, the intifada was carefully planned by the Palestinian Authority leadership after the Camp David summit in July, for the explicit purpose of trying to achieve additional diplomatic gains through violence. Israel has submitted a tape of Falouji's statement - which he later tried to deny - to the Mitchell Committee.

* Again contrary to popular perception, the 67 Israelis killed in the intifada to date are not the victims of Palestinian mavericks over whom the PA has no control. Fully 40 percent of these Israeli victims were killed by members of the official Palestinian security services - men who take their paychecks, and their orders, directly from the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, the security service that holds the record for the number of attacks carried out against Israelis is Yasser Arafat's very own presidential guard, Force 17.

* The official Palestinian pretext for the intifada was that Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in late September "desecrated" the mosques there, thus inflaming good Moslems. The international community has largely been sympathetic to this explanation.

The truth, however, is that the only desecration of religious sites - of which there has unfortunately been a great deal during this intifada - has been carried out by the Palestinians. Sharon never came near the mosques during his visit to Judaism's holiest site.

But the Palestinians did burn Joseph's Tomb to the ground in October - a mere day after Israel withdrew from the area in exchange for a solemn promise that the PA would protect the site. And the Palestinian Wakf has been systematically destroying antiquities on the Temple Mount for the last six months, while Israel has refrained from intervening for fear of offending Moslem sensibilities.

Given this record, the uninformed observer might wonder why it is Israel rather than the Palestinians that fears the assignment of blame. Unfortunately, both Israel's fears and the Palestinians' confidence are rooted in experience: Most international forums have proven to be more interested in condemning Israel than in the objective facts.

The draft report submitted by a UN Human Rights Commission team last week is a classic example. This draft, according to an AP report, claims that while hundreds of Palestinians were killed by the IDF without justification, the Israeli casualties "mostly resulted from direct confrontations between the two sides in areas around Israeli settlements."

It requires a truly magnificent disdain for reality to describe the bombing of a schoolbus full of children, numerous drive-by shootings of civilians, and car bombs in the heart of Israel's cities as "direct confrontations between the two sides."

When this is the level of objectivity displayed by leading international organizations, Israel's apprehensions about the Mitchell Committee are quite understandable. Yet precisely because of this prevailing bias, it is Israel that stands in greatest need of an honest inquiry into the roots of the violence.

It is therefore to be hoped that the Mitchell Committee will have the courage and decency to provide one.




By Melissa Radler

(April 1) NEW YORK - As Israel came under international fire for Wednesday's retaliatory strikes against Force 17 targets, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani called a press conference to express his solidarity with Israel and decry anti-Israel bias in the media.

Flanked by Jewish leaders representing a broad range of religious and political views, Giuliani was applauded for calling Israel's military action "necessary" and "justified," and for calling on Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to end terrorist attacks.

Giuliani said he sent a picture of 10-month old Shalhevet Pass, who was killed on Monday in Hebron by a Palestinian sniper, to President George W. Bush, and mayoral aides circulated letters of solidarity Giuliani wrote yesterday to Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Giuliani also called for an end to the US government's policy - evident during the Clinton administration - of moral equivalency between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and pressuring Israel to negotiate under fire with the Palestinians. "You can't ask people to agree to a process in which more of their children are likely to be killed," he said.

The media's extensive coverage of Israel's retaliatory strikes on Wednesday and it's corresponding lack of coverage of Pass's murder "demonstrates disparity in coverage," said Giuliani. "The coverage of Israel is extremely distorted," he said.

Giuliani said he has been aware of Arafat's involvement in terrorism since his days as a federal prosecutor, and that in 1995, expelled Arafat from the United Nations' 50th anniversary celebrations, held in New York, because he felt, in part, that "our government and our media had been romanticizing Arafat as a man you can sit down at a table with like a business meeting and conduct negotiations."

While he advocated travel to Israel for all New Yorkers, Giuliani said he is prohibited from traveling to the Middle East due to treatment he is receiving for prostate cancer, but that he may make a trip within the next few months.

Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered Thursday in front of the PLO mission at the United Nations for a vigil commemorating more than 70 Israelis who have been killed in terrorist attacks since September.

Holding brightly colored photos of Pass, passing around photographs and bios of other victims, and waving Israeli flags, demonstrators alternated between singing Jewish prayers, reading out names of terror victims and chanting "Arafat's a war criminal." Speakers decried violence against Jewish targets and calling on the United States government to exclude Arafat from the White House.

The demonstration was cosponsored by the Coalition for Jewish Concerns-Amcha, and Americans for a Safe Israel.




Editor's Note: Israel should take a tough stance against the anti-Semites of Europe. We suggest the following:

1. Temporary break or downgrading of relations with hostile Europeans

2. Allow Embassies only in Jerusalem (Consulates OK in Tel Aviv)

3. Restrict tourism of Israelis to hostile European countries

4. Israel's trade imbalance with Europe is definitely in Europe's favor. Israel could restrict imports of say French wine and German cars

5. All discussion with Europeans related to Arab-Israeli issues should be terminated until the Europeans cease to be anti-Semites. Perhaps a long wait.

6. A long list of European atrocities against Israel and the Jewish People over the last 2000 years. On a daily basis the Foreign Minister should read from the book and ask for an apology and reparations. For example, why not ask Spain for the property and compensation for the pain of the expelled Jews. Or demand restitution from Italy for the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Excessive force against a peaceful and productive people should be condemned. (Not to be confused with self defense against a blood thirsty gang of Jew murderers.)...Bernard J. Shapiro

Haaretz April 25, 2001


Israel is facing the possibility of punitive measures from the European Union because of hardening and widening opposition to its policies towards the Palestinians, diplomats said on Monday night.

EU member states are now actively debating a change in their approach to Israel, the British daily The Guardian reported yesterday, with decisions expected at two key foreign ministers' meetings next month.

France is leading a campaign to suspend the prized association agreement with the EU, which gives Israel preferential trade terms worth millions of dollars.

A more likely result will be a crackdown on illegal duty-free access to the EU for Israeli goods produced in the territories.

The EU is also likely to cold-shoulder Israeli attempts to secure enhanced cooperation in science and technology.

In the latest in a series of signals that the EU will not conduct business as usual with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Brussels last week issued an angry condemnation of Israeli attacks on both Syria and Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel has insisted that the statement was one-sided, and warned that the EU is in danger of losing what little influence it has with Israel.

Romano Prodi, the president of the European Commission, and Chris Patten, the external relations commissioner, are being targeted by Israel to persuade them to adopt a softer line.

In the past, Israel has been defended in the EU by traditional friends such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain, but it now has few defenders left, even in Germany, where public opinion wants to see action.

The Belgian foreign minister, Louis Michel, yesterday met the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah. Mr. Michel, whose government is next in line for the European presidency, angered the Israeli government two months ago by threatening EU sanctions.

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