Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"
VOLUME 8 B"H NOVEMBER 2000 NUMBER 11
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SEPARATION & SECURITY FENCES...The Primary Fallacy...Bernard J. Shapiro 2
TEN REASONS THE FREEMAN CENTER SHOULD DEAL WITH THE CURRENT CRISIS INSTEAD OF BARAK...An Editorial....Bernard J. Shapiro 3
ARAFAT'S WAR OF ATTRITION
STREET CLASHES NOW DELIBERATE WARFARE....Jack Kelley 4
REALITIES OF WAR....Charles Krauthammer 7
PALESTINIAN CHILD SACRIFICE....Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg 9
LYNCHING (A play in three acts with an epilogue)....Boris Shusteff 11
THE SLEEPWALKERS ....Charles Krauthammer 13
THE PIECEMEAL DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL ....George Will 14
ARAFAT TORCHES PEACE....Mortimer B. Zuckerman 16
THE GREAT CIRCLE OF ENMITY....Fouad Ajami 18
IDF FEARS ARAFAT IS PUSHING FOR A FULL-SCALE REGIONAL WAR....Amos Harel 20
The Jerusalem Post - Editorial: AN IMMODERATE PROPOSAL 21
THE ONLY HONORABLE CHOICE?....Evelyn Gordon 22
MEDIA FRENZY - BIASED REPORTING....Emanuel A. Winston 24
ISRAEL AT THE CROSSROADS
THE AWAKENING AT SHARM e-SHEIKH....MOSHE ZAK 29
NO PARTNERS FOR PEACE....George F. Will 30
ARAFAT CALLS FOR WITHDRAWAL TO PARTITION LINES AND RETURN OF REFUGEES TO ISRAEL....Aaron Lerner 31
OSLO'S NINE LIVES....Daniel Pipes 32
THE TEMPLE MOUNT....Elyakim Haetzni 34
ARABS READ PRUDENCE AS WEAKNESS....Yossi Olmert 35
ITAMAR RESIDENTS ARRESTED....Arutz Sheva 36
Parody: ISRAEL OFFERS TO HELP USA WITH YEMEN DEMONSTRATORS....Yaacov David Shulman 37
THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
Published Monthly by the
FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
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THE MACCABEAN ONLINE: URL: http://www.freeman.org/online.htm
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Copyright (c) 2000 Bernard J. Shapiro
The Freeman Center receives no public funds and exists solely on private contributions which are fully tax deductible.
Barak has raised the idea of a separation between the PA and Israel. It is not a new idea and as far back as 1995 I explained why it won't work. Here is that article.
SEPARATION & SECURITY FENCES
The Primary Fallacy
By Bernard J. Shapiro
The idea of separation has much appeal to an Israeli population feeling threat0ened daily by hostile Arabs. The Israeli government recently advanced an elaborate plan to construct hi-tech fences and new military checkpoints between Israel and the Palestinian West Bank in an effort to reduce the risk of militant violence. Israeli security officials brought the plan before the Knesset a day after Islamic extremists opened fire on an Israeli bus near the West Bank town of Hebron, killing two Jewish settlers and wounding five. The separation plan involves building extensive fences, other barriers and restricting Palestinian access into Israel through eight to ten crossings points. The border would be heavily patrolled by Israeli soldiers and police. Cost estimates range from $300 million to $500 million. An economic report on the draft plan said the cost would be too high and separation would lead to political and economic instability in the PLO areas, perhaps intensifying the danger of attacks from opponents of the Israeli-PLO peace process. Analysts such as Dore Gold, Emanuel Winston and Ze'ev Schiff have discussed many of the reasons why it simply won't work.
For another reason why it is the wrong approach to security, it is worth repeating a story I wrote, which appeared in an article entitled, DETERRENCE OR DHIMMIZATION (THE MACCABEAN, January 1995): Back in 1965, in a small meeting room in Tel Aviv, former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan gave a pep talk to a group of RAFI (Rishimat Poalai Israel) volunteers, myself included. At that time, RAFI, a breakaway faction of the Mapai Party, included such notables as former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and former Defense Minister Shimon Peres. Peres and Dayan had been considered the "hawks" of Mapai and it was no accident that in the 1965 election they supported a strong defense and security policy.
Dayan was always interesting to listen to, but this talk was something special and we paid attention to every word. "The essence of Israel's security in this region (Middle East) is deterrence," he said. "When we formed the State in 1948-9, we were very weak. The Arab States had planes, tanks, heavy artillery and many more soldiers than us. We had very little heavy military equipment. In the period 1949-55, we absorbed almost a million immigrants. Tent cities sprung up all over the country. We were totally disorganized. Had the Arabs mounted another major invasion, we could have lost. We devised a solution to this problem. It was deterrence. Think about being lost in a forest and surrounded by hostile animals. If you light a torch, boldly approach them showing no fear -- they will retreat. But, if you show fear -- they will attack and you are lost. We used this principle to save Israel during those early years. Every time we were attacked, we retaliated ten fold. We showed daring and penetrated deep within their borders to attack our targets. We were fearless, brave, and even a bit bloodthirsty. You know the result. The Arabs were afraid and never attacked. Deterrence worked. By 1956 when we invaded Sinai, the Israel Defense Force was not just strong, it was invincible."
The story above was not told just for nostalgia. The lesson is extremely important for the survival of Israel today. Unfortunately Israelis are daily witnessing the consequences of seven years of declining deterrence vis a vis its Arab population. In 1987, the intifada presented Israel with a new challenge. It was a new kind of war, but with the same aim of driving the Israelis out of their country. The Israelis fought the intifada with many handicaps, not the least of which were their own rules of conduct. Israeli soldiers failed to cope with attacks by teenage Arab boys. In the course of several years, the Arabs learned that the soldiers would not aggressively retaliate for their attacks. They became emboldened. The Jews living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza showed great fortitude, enduring thousands of attacks and still tripling their numbers. The serious security failure developed as Arabs became accustomed to attacking Jews and Israeli soldiers. By trying to remain humane in the face of massive attacks, Israel emboldened the Arabs to more and more attacks. Throwing concrete boulders, Molotov cocktails, and then using firearms at Israelis became the norm of behavior among the Arabs. The Israeli government allowed its citizens to be attacked solely because they were Jews. In no other country of the world would such a policy be tolerated. Several weeks ago a reserve officer of the Israel Defense Forces made a wrong turn and ended up in the center of Ramallah, a Arab city. He was immediately attacked by a vicious mob of Arabs, murder in their eyes, who almost beat him to death. Deterrence had vanished.
While the Jews may not have been afraid like the man in the forest, the affect of multiple restrictions on the Israeli right of self defense had the same result. That result was to increase the bloodlust of the Arab population and to multiply the Jewish casualties. For Israelis to seek security behind as security fence is a total reversal of the traditional policy of deterrence. From the days of Orde Wingate during the Arab riots of 1936-9, Israeli military strategists have always emphasized the doctrine of striking the enemy deep within his territory. Retaliation, deep penetration raids were the hallmark of the IDF. To return to a siege mentality hiding behind electrified ghetto walls would be the beginning of the end of Israeli independence. No barrier whether the Bar Lev Line or the Maginot Line can resist a determined enemy willing to risk money and lives to breach it.
In conclusion, I believe that the only way for Israel and her beleaguered citizens to achieve security, both personal and national, is by reasserting those traditional methods of combat that will re-establish deterrence in the minds of the Arab enemy.
[This article was published in the Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston) on April 5, 1995 and in the April 1995 issue of THE MACCABEAN.]
TEN REASONS THE FREEMAN CENTER SHOULD DEAL WITH THE CURRENT CRISIS INSTEAD OF BARAK
10. We would not allow Kofi Anan of any UN representative to come to Israel after their recent biased resolution condemning Israel.
9. We would not talk to Albright every five minutes and let her get involved in our foreign policy.
8. Same as #9 but for Clinton.
7. We would tell the Europeans and the Security Council to go to hell (in nice diplomatic language) for their bias towards the Arabs.
6. We would use our attack helicopters to knock out PA buildings including Orient House as well as all sources of live fire.
5. We would use our attack helicopters to knock out Arafat's three headquarters.
4. We would bring up tanks and shell Arab communities whose residents are attacking Jews and and IDF soldiers.
3. In Lebanon we would destroy major infrastructures and then set the Syrian poppy fields in the Beka Valley on fire with napalm. No attempt should be made to protect Syrian soldiers.
2.Arab attackers should be rounded up and shipped to prison camps in the Negev.
1. We will not be wimps like Barak, we will keep deadlines, we will use maximum force and minimum restraint to crush this Arab POGROM.
Reprinted from USA TODAY of October 20, 2000
STREET CLASHES NOW
By Jack Kelley
RAMALLAH, West Bank The cackle of laughter and singing coming across the Israeli Army radio is suddenly interrupted. "Snipers! Snipers!" an Israeli scout screams from atop a nearby building. A second later, a barrage of bullets shatters the windows of an Israeli Army Jeep, inches from the head of Lt. Erez Winner, 31, who controls the Israeli ground forces in Ramallah. More bullets ricochet off the side of the vehicle, the street and a nearby building. Simultaneously, 200 Palestinian youths yelling "Allah Akbar," or "God is great," charge down the street throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
One of the explosives lands under the hood of a Jeep and appears to set it on fire. The Israeli soldier reverses the Jeep so fast that a soldier leaning against the side of the Jeep for protection is knocked to the ground. About 60 Palestinians, who are within 25 yards, pelt him with rocks. He is hit in the forehead and starts to bleed. Another soldier jumps from the Jeep to help him, but he is shot in the right hip by one of the Palestinian snipers. He limps into the back of the Jeep. The crowd of Palestinians cheer.
Similar clashes took place over the weekend in other West Bank and Gaza towns, but none was as intense as what happened here Saturday. And the firefight in Ramallah might have marked a turning point in the three weeks of violence that has claimed more than 120 lives. A USA TODAY reporter and photographer were on patrol with an Israeli unit when the firefight broke out. This is what they saw:
"This intifada is no longer just Palestinian kids throwing rocks," Winner yells as he dodges for cover. "These are professionally organized attacks using kids as a cover."
And, warns Maj. Gen. Amos Malka, head of military intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), this "is only the beginning." Other Israeli intelligence officials say that satellite photos reveal that heavy artillery is being moved around the Palestinian-controlled territories in the West Bank and Gaza.
They say that leaders of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's government, and leaders of the militant Muslim group Hamas have begun taking over the attacks in several West Bank towns. "The intifada is increasing in intensity and firepower," Malka says. "And it's going to get worse. Israel could face a new wave of terror."
The intifada, or Palestinian uprising, began in 1987 as a protest by rock-throwing youths to Israel's occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967.
But Palestinian leaders deny that, with rare exceptions, anything but rocks is being used or that Palestinian officials are involved. "Israelis are shooting mercilessly at Palestinians, mostly innocent children, who are armed with only rocks," says Abu Mohamed Batsh, political leader of the militant Muslim group Islamic Jihad. Any other reports, Fatah leader Marwan Bargouti says, are "Israeli propaganda." "Look at the figures: More than 100 dead, almost all of them Palestinians," he says. "Now tell me who is the brutal aggressor here? It's Israel. They are massacring us. You won't see us with tanks, rocket or missiles in our hands. You'll see only innocent children."
The attack in Ramallah comes as Israel is receiving widespread criticism for using what its critics say is excessive force against Palestinians in stopping the clashes. The U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva condemned Israel during the weekend for "crimes against humanity," and leaders at the Arab Summit in Cairo on Sunday blasted the Jewish state for "mass killing and barbarian bombing." Several Arab leaders repeatedly questioned why Israeli forces were using live ammunition against boys armed only with rocks. As the leaders spoke, clashes continued to erupt throughout the West Bank and Gaza. But none was as intense as here at the Ayosh Junction, which separates the Palestinian-controlled town of Ramallah from the Israeli-controlled town and military base of Beit El.
Shoot at the knees
It was supposed to have been a quiet day in Ramallah. An undercover Israeli Army scout, mingling among the 200 Palestinian youths, had just reported that most were drinking Pepsi Colas, singing songs and "simply walking" around the litter-filled streets. So, Winner says, it should come as no surprise that the 12 Israeli Army soldiers also were drinking Pepsis, eating pretzels and using their cell phones to call their wives and girlfriends. Even the Israeli snipers, scouts and videographers on the rooftops above seemed at ease: One sang a chorus of an Israeli pop song over the radio to the laughter of his fellow soldiers.
"Maybe we will be lucky today and it will be quiet," says Winner, who has been here since Sept. 29, overseeing the IDF forces. As he eats his lunch a pastry filled with dates he adamantly denies international claims that IDF troops are being too aggressive. His rules of engagement are straightforward, he says in English: Soldiers on the front lines are to shoot only tear gas canisters, stun grenades and, if they feel their lives are in danger, rubber-coated steel bullets. And they are always to aim below the waist, preferably at the knees, he says.
Only the Israeli snipers on the rooftop of the nearby City Hotel can shoot live ammunition and their shoot-to-kill orders must come from Winner, a 13-year IDF veteran. "Since the first day, every time we shoot a person, it is because they deserved it, because they shot at us first," Winner says. "You don't want to shoot civilians and kids. On the other hand, you don't want your soldiers on the front lines to be killed. If I could, I'd shoot the kids with the Molotov cocktails. I'd give my soldiers a 'shoot-to-kill' order. But instead, we hit them in the knee."
Winner disputes reports that Palestinians are throwing only rocks by pointing out bullet holes on the hood of his green Jeep that he says were shot by Palestinian snipers last week. "These weren't made with BB guns," Winner says. "The Palestinians are starting to engage us in full-scale war. That's why we're firing back."
As 200 Palestinian youths rush toward the two Israeli Army Jeeps, Winner calls in reinforcements. "Go with the gas! Go with the gas!" he radios to two Jeeps standing nearby. "Go with the stun, too."A soldier from inside the one of the Israeli Army Jeeps fires six tear gas canisters in the direction of the youths. Another fires at least three stun grenades that explode with a loud noise but do little else. But the youths pick up the tear gas canisters and lob them back at the soldiers. They also continue to throw more Molotov cocktails and rocks. There are so many rocks hitting the Jeeps that one nearly disappears from view. Also, the Palestinian snipers are firing with such intensity that bullets can be seen bouncing off the street. Three more Israeli Jeeps race to the front lines. At Winner's direction, the soldiers jump out and begin shooting rubber-coated steel bullets at the youths. Palestinian boys appear to be falling at the rate of one a minute.
Palestinian ambulances, their horns blaring and lights flashing, begin racing toward the front lines to pick up the wounded. But before picking up an injured youth, one ambulance can be seen dropping off two buckets of rocks and a crate of bottles to be used as Molotov cocktails.
Seconds later, another ambulance races onto a nearby hill, its horn blaring and lights flashing. But there are no youths on the hill. The driver gets out and fires two shots at the tank in a vain effort to hit the Israeli soldiers before jumping back in and driving off. "Restrain your fire! Restrain your fire!" Winner yells. "You don't know if there is anyone else in there." Israeli soldiers have long claimed, and Palestinian officials have long denied, that ambulance drivers were being used to shuttle ammunition in the intifada.
An Israeli sniper, atop a nearby hotel, interrupts Winner. "Erez, Erez, they are shooting from atop four different buildings. One of them is the PA building," the sniper says. PA stands for Palestinian Authority building. "He is a policeman. I recognize him.""Take them out," Winner barks back to the sniper. "Take them out." "Erez, I can't. I can't see them. They shoot and disappear," the sniper says. He adds that several of the snipers have mobile phones attached to their ears as if they are taking orders from someone else. Last week, several Palestinian policemen in the West Bank and Gaza said they would be joining in the intifada to defend their people.
Then the Israeli military video cameraman and a sniper, both on different rooftops, radio in at the same time that a Palestinian man in his 20s appears to be carrying "a missile." Through binoculars, the man can be seen removing what appears to be a handheld rocket launcher from the truck of a car and, with the help of some youths, hiding it behind a rock. Just then, automatic gunfire erupts from four buildings to the right as if to distract the Israelis. Soon after, six car tires and a Dumpster are set afire in an effort, Winner says, to block the view of the Israeli soldiers with the smoke. As the smoke builds , an Israeli scout atop one of the buildings reports that Palestinian cars are driving to the right of the front lines to unload semi-automatic weapons. The claim could not be independently verified. Then a pickup flying the Hamas flag races toward the front lines pulling the first of several abandoned car frames. Palestinian youths untie the frames and stand them up to use as shields against the bullets.
"This is a coordinated attack," Winner says. "First the snipers, then the kids, then the fires, then the cars. The kids and smoke provide cover for the gunmen." Winner calls his commander on a cell phone for permission to use "bigger firepower. We need the tank to take out the snipers." The permission is granted, and minutes later, a tank at the military base about 200 yards behind the Jeep unleashes a barrage of large-caliber fire at one of the abandoned apartment buildings. The noise is nearly deafening. Some of the youths begin withdrawing and running for cover. The attack has evolved into a big gun battle. Palestinian snipers are now shooting from 10 different locations, an Israeli scout says. Bullets are hitting the Jeeps, street signs, trees and road. The shots are so powerful they are blowing apart stone fences. Journalists, who have been filming the action, abandon their cameras and run.
"This is one of the worst I've seen," Winner says as bullets hit the hood of his Jeep. He orders Jeeps to resupply those on the front lines with ammunition. He also calls in more reinforcements. He now has 12 Jeeps, 36 soldiers and a tank at his disposal. Still, his troops have stopped only one Palestinian sniper, who had been shooting from behind a rock in the middle of a field. "These (snipers) are professionals. They know what they're doing," he says. "Forget the boys; these men are out to kill us."
No TV, kids leave
The gun battle continues for four hours, during which there are several lulls in the shooting. As darkness moves in, many of the television journalists, who had been filming on the Palestinian side of the Ayosh Junction, pack up their gear and leave. So do the youths. "The kids only want to die when the TV cameras are on so they can get the sympathy of the world," Winner says. "They'll be back tomorrow, as soon as the media arrive ." Later, Palestinian doctors at Ramallah Hospital report that at least 60 youths are hospitalized with gunshots to the head, chest, groin and legs. At least one died. An IDF spokesman refutes the figures.
Senior Hamas activist Salah Tilahme, reached by telephone Sunday in the West Bank city of Hebron, warned that an escalation of the intifada in Ramallah was "now inevitable. "We have weapons, resources and people we haven't yet used," Tilahme said. "What you're seeing is just the beginning. What the boys have begun, we are now going to finish."
Reprinted from The Washington Post - October 27, 2000
REALITIES OF WAR
By Charles Krauthammer
As Israel awakens from the mirage of the past seven years and to the nightmare of the murderous ethnic war it has invited into its very heart, it searches for a way out. Yasser Arafat has now scorned the Sharm el-Sheikh agreements brokered by President Clinton and refused to order a cease-fire. He repeats his demands for Jerusalem and the "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees, which means the demographic extinction of Israel.
What to do?
First, self-defense. The Palestinians have armed gunmen shooting into Israeli neighborhoods all over the country. USA Today reporter Jack Kelley witnessed Palestinian ambulance drivers shooting at Israelis and bringing buckets of stones and Molotov cocktails to the rioters. Keith Richburg of The Post reports that Islamic terrorist leaders meet daily with Arafat's lieutenants to plan and coordinate violence.
This is no spontaneous uprising. This is war. In war you fight back, or you die.
The tragedy is that fighting back means that yet more Palestinians will die. But that is hardly Israel's military objective. When Palestinian civilians got their hands on two Israeli reservists who had made a wrong turn into Ramallah, they tore them limb from limb. However, when Israel retaliated with helicopter attacks that blew up half a dozen buildings in densely populated areas, not one person was killed. Why? Because Ehud Barak gave Arafat three hours' warning, precisely so that he could evacuate the buildings.
The last thing Israel wanted was this war. The last thing Israel wants is casualties. Israelis know how Arafat uses "martyrdom," especially children's deaths, to advance his aims. But when a mob attacks Israeli checkpoints, the soldiers know exactly what awaits them if it is overrun--lynching, and mutilation, as the world saw in Ramallah. They have to fight back.
The danger, of course, is that tit-for-tat is simply going to turn Israel into Lebanon. Or Vietnam. That hardly seems a rational plan.
Indeed, it isn't, although it does seem to be the plan of Israel's hapless Prime Minister Barak. He is allowing Arafat to determine the level of escalation. Which is why Israel's second objective, beyond self-defense, should be to make Arafat pay a penalty for starting this war.
Arafat knows he started it. Israel knows he started it. The United States knows he started it. And we all know why: to be able to dictate terms whenever the fighting stops. There is no downside for him.
Making him pay does not mean mowing down demonstrators--although some telegenic massacre to rally the world to his side would be Arafat's fondest wish. No. Israel's response must be calibrated but powerful: Retake some of the territory--the sparsely inhabited so-called "Area B"--that Israel gave Arafat under the Oslo agreements.
Not reoccupy his cities. Not attack his population centers. But let him know that when he chooses war, Israeli territorial concessions become as null and void as Palestinian promises of nonviolence.
Before the fighting, Arafat had 40 percent of the West Bank, and Barak promised him 92 percent at Camp David. If Israel were now to cut his little Palestine in half, he might think twice about continuing this war--or starting another one when it suits his negotiating needs.
Israel would have no more intention of keeping these barren hillsides than it did the recently evacuated wastelands of southern Lebanon. The objective of such a strategy is not territory but deterrence. Advance and sit. Arafat will have no economy, no transportation, no normal life until he stops the killing. Then he and Israel can talk again.
But is that not conceding the doves' point that in the end peace talks are the only way?
Well, yes. For 52 years, Israelis have been ready to talk peace. But the idea of a final peace is for dreamers. We've just been there. Barak offered Arafat a generous final peace--and Arafat told him to go to hell. Right now, the best one can aspire to is an armistice.
This is not a counsel of despair. It is a return to realism. There was an armistice in 1949. In 1956. In 1967. In 1973. And Israel survived.
Of course everyone wants that final peace, but that will happen only when the Arabs decide that Israelis are not weak, are not temporary (like the Crusaders: a century or two is temporary in that neighborhood) and have a right to be there. One day's exposure to Palestinian media calling for death to the Jews tells you how far we are from that day.
And until that day dawns, Israel's only alternatives are counterstrike and deterrence to force an armistice--or start building boats for the sail back to Europe.
(c) 2000 The Washington Post
PALESTINIAN CHILD SACRIFICE
by Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
Director, Program on Conflict
Resolution and Negotiation
Political Studies, Bar Ilan University
October 25, 2000
According to the Palestinians, over 40 children have been killed in the waves of violence and confrontations that began at the end of September. They have been killed in the front lines, providing cover for the armed Palestinian militias with machine guns and other weapons seeking to overwhelm isolated Israeli guard posts. The outnumbered Israeli soldiers, defending the civilians behind these outposts, cannot see the children through the small slits and openings (as was clearly the case at the Netzarim crossing in Gaza). The tragic images of these young victims provide first-rate propaganda to use against Israel.
Interviewed by journalists after these tragedies, some parents of these young victims refer to their children as "shaheeds" (martyrs), whose lives were given willingly and proudly to the Palestinian cause in fighting the hated Zionist enemy. In a scene that was unbelievably shocking, one mother boasted that she bore her son precisely for this purpose, and the father proudly claimed credit for providing the training. (The parents will also receive a sizeable financial "reward" from the Palestinian Authority.)
For a people who count Abraham (or Ibrahim) among their ancestors, this willful child sacrifice violates the fundamental tenets of morality and ethics. The message of Abraham's non-sacrifice of Isaac was and remains first and foremost the absolute rejection of such practices. This prohibition, for the children of Abraham -- Jews, and later Christians, and Moslems -- stands in sharp contrast to the paganism and idolatry that existed at that time, and apparently still exists in some cultures. Child sacrifice was the most fundamental expression of idolatry, and forms the basis for the central Biblical message, prohibiting any contact with or tolerance for such practices. That the Palestinian leadership could encourage such behavior as part of their political and military campaign against Israel, or for any other purpose, is beyond belief or explanation.
After first buying into the Palestinian propaganda, the forces of morality in the world are beginning to confront this horrible reality. Sweden's Queen Silvia was among the first voices of conscience outside of Israel to raise this issue. In a meeting of the World Childhood Foundation that took place at the United Nations, she strongly criticized Palestinian parents for abusing their children in this way. "As a mother I'm very worried about this. I'd like to tell them to quit. This is very dangerous. The children should not take part." While the Palestinian leaders were cynically pursuing their political efforts to isolate Israel in a special meeting of the UN General Assembly, the Swedish Queen placing the responsibility precisely where it belongs, declaring, "The Palestinian leaders are exploiting them and risking their lives in a political fight."
Queen Silvia's is not the only voice to be raised against this practice. A few journalists have begun to ask difficult questions to the Palestinian spokesmen whose presence on interview programs in newspaper reports is so ubiquitous. There are, of course, no good answers, and the questions themselves, as well as the very visible discomfort of the Palestinians, speak for themselves. The dispatch of children to the front lines, in a brutal war that has no purpose or justification, will haunt Palestinian society for generations. Indeed, there are also an increasing number of Palestinians who are upset by the high price of Arafat's adventures, and, in particular, the cynical exploitation of their children. As these young victims are buried, and the war produces only more suffering, primarily for the Palestinians themselves, the promise of martyrdom seems less appealing. Suddenly, the game of provoking the Israeli soldiers and playing before the news cameras, while Palestinian gunmen fire from behind, has become deadly.
Eventually, enough of these parents, and the children themselves, will bring the sacrifices for Arafat's war to a stop. They will need the support from many other parents and voices of morality around the world. Instead of investigating politically based charges of Israeli human rights violations, Mary Robinson, the commissioner responsible for human rights for the UN can save the lives of Palestinian children by following the lead of Queen Silvia. The committee for the Defense of Children International (DCI), based in Geneva, has an important role to play as well. The Palestinian branch of DCI, which is supported by donations designed for protecting children, uses these funds for propaganda attacks against Israel, while ignoring the abuses of children by the Palestinian leadership. In a recent conference on the dangers of landmines that took place In Geneva, the Palestinian members of DCI were too busy circulating denunciations of Israel to discuss means for cooperation in protecting children from these dangers.
When Yassir Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was not for sending children to be sacrificed as part of a wider war of terrorism and brutality against Israel. By revoking this award, the Norwegian prize committee would reverse some of the damage it caused in the first place, and send a powerful message in support of basic human morality. It would also help to save Palestinian children.
(A play in three acts with an epilogue)
by Boris Shusteff
Fourteen diplomats dressed in suits and ties with smiles on their faces happily raised their hands in a vote that condemned Israel for using "excessive force" in its attempts to stop the Arab violence. The United
States timidly abstained during the vote. The reason for US abstention was very prosaic. The world's only superpower was simply scared. As U.S. envoy to the UN Richard Holbrooke said:
"Had this resolution been vetoed we would have, gravely endangered American citizens throughout the Mideast, there would have been attacks on Americans, and the American role in the process to bring it under control would have been eroded because our relationships would have been torn apart with key Arab states" (1).
There is no necessity to explain that this shameful abandonment of Israel by her most "reliable friend" was the lowest American diplomatic move in many decades. Obviously one cannot expect America to care more about Israel than about the welfare of her own citizens. However, the question begs itself: if America, apparently the strongest military power in the world, is aware of the Arab response to an act that the Arabs will not like, how dare it force Israel to embrace the Palestinian Arabs?
Perhaps the other countries that voted for the resolution were afraid of the Arabs as well? Or maybe they recalled their antisemitic habits? However, it does not matter. The fact remains that these gentlemen, representing the "conscience" of the world community, during the debates on the issue transformed into a diplomatic lynch mob and lynched the Jewish state.
We will never know if there were three or four Israeli soldiers that drove into Ramallah by mistake. They cannot tell us. They are dead. We know only that one of them "Vadim Novesche, 35, from Or Akiva was married only 5 days ago. We know the name of the second soldier Yosef Avrahami, 38 from Petach Tikvah. His wife learned about his death when she called his cellular telephone and was told by an Arab 'we are murdering your husband.'" (2).
The Israeli soldiers were brutally murdered. The whole world saw the exultant Arab lynch mob filmed by Italy's Mediaset TV. It showed one of the soldiers, dangling upside down, apparently attached to a rope. The lynching crowd stood below waving fists and cheering. The body was dropped down into the compound, where the mob stomped on the corpse and beat it with the broken bars of a window grille. One of the men was dragged out of the police compound and through the streets. The soldiers had been terribly mutilated. One of the bodies was beaten beyond recognition.
The jubilant lynch mob danced in the streets. These were the people who, according to the architects of the Oslo "peace" agreement, were supposed to learn how to coexist with the Jews when the time came for the second Palestinian state to be proclaimed. How did Ehud Barak manage to say about these murderers later on the same day: "We will never lose the hope of having peace with our Palestinian neighbor, the same people who are innocently pushed or incited1/4" (3). Since when has lynching been associated with innocence? Or maybe Barak is unaware of the 24-hour-a-day 365-day-a-year antisemitic and anti-Israeli propaganda so "innocently" sown among the Arabs?
The "innocent" Palestinian Arabs are lynching not only Israeli soldiers, they are lynching the soul of the Jewish people too. What is the difference between what happened in Ramallah and the terrible act of destruction that was performed by the Arabs in Sh'chem? Isn't the destruction of Joseph's Tomb tantamount to a lynching of the soul of the Jewish people? A mob of Arabs ransacked the holy site, completely destroyed it using iron bars, pickaxes and hammers, and even took apart the stone dome marking the grave of the Biblical patriarch Joseph. The mob set fires in the compound, razed walls, and looted whatever was left behind by the IDF soldiers.
The destruction of Joseph's Tomb is not a unique act of vandalism for the Arabs. They started the lynching of the Jewish soul long ago. Fifty-eight synagogues were destroyed in Jerusalem when the Arabs took control of it fifty years ago. The new generations of Palestinian Arabs accepted the baton of hatred and burnt the ancient Shalom Al Israel Synagogue in Jericho to the ground. One should not forget about the recent despicable destruction on the Temple Mount where the Arabs trashed archeological artifacts from the Second temple period. The construction of the underground mosque there is another example of lynching of the Jewish soul.
No dear reader. You are not living at the turn of the twentieth century. The lynching we are witnessing is happening in the year 2000. The world pretends that it does not notice the preparation of the Iraqis to take part in the lynching of the Jewish state. Saddam Hussein's declaration that he knows how to eradicate Zionism is not taken seriously. Somehow the world community does not pay much attention to an Iraqi armored division that has been moved to Jordan's border. Nobody is listening to the declarations of Iranian leaders that Israel and Zionism must cease to exist. American armor supplies keep pouring into Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the same rate as antisemitic propaganda pours out onto the pages of newspapers in these countries.
The Arab world is completing its preparations for an all out war against the Jewish state. Key Hamas terrorists have been released from Arafat's prisons, such as Mohammed Deif, the No. 1 Hamas fugitive; Mahmoud Rajeb Zatma, a "master bombmaker who made the two bombs used at Beit Lid in 1995, killing 22 soldiers; Adnan Jaber Ghul, who put together the bombs used by suicide bombers on two No. 18 buses in Jerusalem in 1996, killing 56 people" (4). However, this goes virtually unnoticed by the world press. The world is ignoring the Arab threat to Israel. Natan Sharansky summarized all this very precisely, when he wrote: "the world can summon sufficient courage only to condemn a democratic Israel for defending itself against enemies within and without who seek its destruction" (5).
The world was blind and deaf when Hitler was preparing the massacre of European Jewry, though the Nazi leader did not hide his intentions. The world is blind and deaf today, too, though the Arabs are just as openly telling everyone that they want to "Slaughter the Jews." The indifferent witnesses are in their places. The lynch mob is ready. But there is something wrong with this picture. Isn't one who is lynched always helpless and unarmed? So how is it that Israel arrived at this situation while having one of the best armies in the world? 10/12/00
1. Middle East Newsline. 10/11/00
2. IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) news 10/12/00.
3. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak talks with CNN's Senior
International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, October 12, 2000. IMRA10/12/00.
4. "PA releases key terrorists." By Arieh O'Sullivan. The Jerusalem Post. 10/13/00.
5. "Afraid of the Truth." By Nathan Shartansky. Washington Post. 10/12/00.
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
Reprinted from The Washington Post of October 13, 2000
By Charles Krauthammer
What does it take to make the dreamers admit, if only to themselves, that the Oslo peace process was a mirage? The lynching of Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah, their bloodied bodies thrown onto the street from a second-story window?
Half a million Moroccans, for 50 years the friendliest of all Arab peoples to Jews, taking to the streets to vilify Israel, burn Israeli flags, and wave Palestinian and even Iraqi flags? Palestinians desecrating, burning and destroying brick by brick the Jewish shrine at Joseph's Tomb? (Jews are now barred from it. There are reports that a mosque is to be built on the site.)
Yasser Arafat contemptuously rejecting every entreaty of a "frustrated" President Clinton to utter a word to his people to stop the rioting, the shooting, the firebombing? Indeed, throughout the little war he started, his state-controlled TV, radio and newspapers have urged his people to ever greater frenzies of blood and martyrdom.
There were people who remained loyal to Stalin and the Communist idea through the show trials of the 1930s, the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Prague spring of 1968, even the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago." Nothing could shake them. They died as they lived--bankrupt, bereft and with blood on their hands.
Today there remain people--indeed, the people running the foreign policies of the United States and Israel--equally reluctant to give up their dream, in this case of Palestinian peacefulness and acceptance of Israel. No reality can shake them. "Administration officials, who acknowledge that they have had trouble really understanding Mr. Arafat, say that in the last several months, they have been unable to read him at all," reports the New York Times.
Good God. What does it take? The man is an open book. Within months of the great White House Handshake of 1993, Arafat gave a speech in South Africa promising jihad for Jerusalem. Back home, he repeatedly threatened to abandon "peace" and return to intifada. His state-controlled media not only denied Israel's legitimacy but conducted a seven-year campaign of incitement and vilification. Then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres, architect of the Oslo peace process, dismissed this rather compelling evidence that he might have misjudged the intentions of his "peace partner" as mere words.
Now the words have turned to rocks and bullets and Molotov cocktails. These are harder to ignore.
What does it take? At Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians an astonishingly generous peace with dignity and statehood. Arafat not only turned it down, he refused even to make a counter offer!
Instead, he went around the world trying to get international support for a unilateral declaration of independence and a complete abolition of the Oslo peace process. When he didn't get it, he decided to abolish Oslo and get his state his way--through blood. Why, days before Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, the pretext for this war, Arafat met with the tanzim, the armed militia, and told them to "be ready."
President Clinton finds all this puzzling. After all, he has invested much in Arafat. Arafat, the man who in 1973 authorized the cold-blooded execution of the American ambassador in Khartoum, has been invited by the president to the White House more times than any other leader in the world.
Clinton's reward? First, Arafat humiliated him at Camp David. Then he started a war which has brought out anti-American mobs in a dozen capitals, undoubtedly inspired the suicide attack on an American destroyer at port in Yemen, and threatens to bury American interests in a wider Middle East war.
The president's aides are not just surprised but confused. "In Paris last week, Mr. Arafat was opaque and then angry, storming out of a meeting and forcing Dr. Albright to run after him," writes the New York Times. Opaque? Only to those laboring under the illusion that Arafat has the slightest commitment to the nonviolence he pledged in the 1993 Oslo accords. And the image of the secretary of state of the world's superpower running "awkwardly in heels" after the leader of a squalid police state to plead for peace would be comical were it not so appalling.
What does it take? At what point does one realize that Israel's concessions and withdrawals, far from satisfying its enemies, have, as in every appeasement, emboldened them?
For some dreamers, Arafat's starting a war when peace was offered him broke the spell. "If they can call their children to fight, there is no peace process," reasoned one disillusioned Israeli peace activist. "Maybe we're really at war and it's only us stupid jerks on the left who don't know it."
Lenin called them "useful idiots."
(c) 2000 The Washington Post
From the Jewish World Review - October 10, 2000
THE PIECEMEAL DESTRUCTION
by George Will
THE LATEST of many upheavals in and bordering on Israel was planned by Yasser Arafat and his friends in the Arab world. That is what Palestinian political analyst Khalil Shikaki told the Oct. 4 Jordan Times as he observed the Palestine Liberation Organization's Fatah participation in the violence. How many more examples of intransigence are necessary before apologists in Israel and enablers in Washington understand that the enemies of Israel want nothing less than the complete destruction of the Jewish state?
This has been a piecemeal process, and not one that will lead to peace. Israel has given up land it seized for its own protection following wars started by its enemies. Still, Arabists in the State Department and leftists in Israel proceed with the fiction that peace can be achieved between peoples whose outlooks are irreconcilable.
It was a mistake to give up land without reciprocity. It was a mistake to release terrorists from Israeli prisons so they could rejoin their armed comrades. It was a mistake to allow for the creation of a Palestinian "police force,'' which has been turned into an army. The vandalizing of Joseph's Tomb on the eve of Yom Kippur, while the "police'' did nothing is proof that the "police'' won't control a mob determined to carry out Arafat's orders. And the abandonment of that tomb can only encourage Israel's enemies that the Jewish people's strong resolve may be crumbling.
The late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir saw what the current Israeli "leadership'' refuses to see. In her book, "My Life,'' she wrote: "I have never doubted for an instant that the true aim of the Arab states has always been, and still is, the total destruction of the State of Israel or that even if we had gone back far beyond the 1967 lines to some miniature enclave, they would not still have tried to eradicate it and us.''
Rioting for the benefit of American and world TV cameras has long been an Arafat ploy. He has orchestrated terrorism and unrest to force concessions out of Israeli leaders that could not be won through war. The visit of Ariel Sharon to the Western Wall was merely a convenient excuse for the rioting to begin. It had been preceded with roadside bombs that killed an Israeli soldier guarding a civilian convoy. Later a Palestinian policeman (terrorist?) killed his Israeli partner in cold blood while they were on a joint patrol. Arafat explained that the Palestinian was "unstable.''
There's more violence coming. Iraq, which has not been heard from lately, has been taking a ferocious stand against Israel, unmatched by any state in the region. Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammad al-Sahhaf referred to Israel as a "midget entity, a usurper and a claw of colonialism .... Iraq does not, and will not, recognize this usurper entity.'' On Oct. 3, Iraqi TV broadcast remarks by Saddam Hussein: "An end must be put to Zionism. If they cannot, then Iraq alone is able to do so. Let them give us a small adjacent piece of land and let them support us from afar only. They will see how we put an end to Zionism in a short time.'' What piece of land might he have in mind? Some analysts believe he has his eye on Jordan.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Congress has appropriated $900 million in foreign aid for the PLO. The speaker of the Palestine National Council says the United States has promised $30 billion to help resettle Palestinian "refugees,'' meaning they'll be settled in Israel from which, as we are seeing, they will be used by Arafat to undermine the Israeli government.
There is no evidence that Israel's enemies wish to live at peace. Anti-Jewish incitement in PLO school textbooks continues. The PLO Teacher's Guides read: "The student should learn (that) racist superiority is the heart of Zionism, Fascism and Nazism.'' Among the "important values'' that follow is: "Wrath unto the alien thief (Israel) who obliterated the Homeland and dispersed its people.''
Amnesty International says Arafat's Palestinian Authority routinely arrests those who oppose its policies, creating an atmosphere hostile to free expression.
New leadership is needed in Israel, as is a new policy by both Israel and the United States. The current one is an obvious failure. If war comes, Israel had better win this one, too, grabbing as much land as it can and never again letting go of it. There will be no peace between Israel and her enemies. The best she can hope for is to maintain order.
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - Editorial 10/23/00
ARAFAT TORCHES PEACE
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman editor-in-chief
The terrorist attack on an American ship in Yemen and the mob barbarism that saw Israeli soldiers beaten and stabbed to death in a modern-day lynching only compound the ongoing tragedy in the Middle East. It is a double outrage. The first outrage is Yasser Arafat's crass betrayal of the hopes of peace. He had the chance to move toward an agreement, or toward a confrontation. Sadly, he chose the latter. The second outrage is the way the media misrepresented the crisis, which encouraged Arafat in his despicable power play.
The riots have been presented as a spontaneous popular uprising to protest the visit to the Jewish shrine at Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon and a group of Israeli members of Parliament. In fact, the Arab violence was premeditated. Sharon's visit had been approved the day before by Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security service. Rajoub stated there would be no reaction. There wasn't-at least at first. Sharon's visit went without incident, but the next day the Arabs seized on it as a pretext for massive waves of rock-throwing attacks on Jews at prayer at the Western Wall plaza, which is adjacent to and below the Temple Mount. It was organized violence, carried out by a mob abetted by Tanzim militiamen, the shock troops of Arafat's Fatah faction, who had kicked off the violence several days before with a roadside bomb attack. The Arafat-controlled media exhorted the Palestinians to come defend the al-Aqsa Mosque as if it were under attack.
Orchestrated attack. The Muslim mullah at the mosque on Temple Mount called for Muslims to "eradicate the Jews from Palestine." Schools were closed; students and others were bused to the Temple Mount to participate in rioting. After hurling rocks at the Jewish worshipers, the mob then attempted to break through the western gate of the Mount in order to descend to the Wailing Wall, menacing a throng of Jewish worshipers celebrating the Jewish New Year. The threat to the worshipers prompted a forcible defensive reaction by Israeli forces.
The Arab leadership did nothing to calm the rioting and its spread. On the contrary. Their police forces joined the Tanzim in opening fire on Israelis while putting Palestinian children forward at points of confrontation, hoping to create television images that would provoke worldwide sympathy. A European film crew managed to get footage of Arafat's Tanzim militia handing out Molotov cocktails to Palestinian teens. The journalists were arrested, their film confiscated.
The Washington Post did report, correctly, that "there is evidence to support the claim by Israelis that the Palestinian leadership has orchestrated the militia, as well as civilians and armed Palestinian police, in the rioting." But the media generally reinforced the impression that the powerful Israelis were using excessive force to suppress the underdog Palestinians. This impression was false. Take, for example, the picture of a young man, bleeding heavily, being approached by an angry, baton-wielding police officer, which carried this caption in the New York Times: "An Israeli policeman and a wounded Palestinian."
It was nothing of the kind. The wounded man was a young American Jew. With two of his friends, he had been trapped in an Arab taxi, riding through an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem. They were dragged out of the car and beaten with rocks, and the victim in the picture was thrown to the ground and stabbed twice. He was able to break away but was pursued by his assailants and was in danger until he encountered an Israeli policeman-who was wielding a club protectively, thus saving the life of an innocent Jewish bystander. Yet the Israeli policeman was pilloried in the press as a brutal attacker. This goes right to the top in the long history of distortion in the reporting from the Middle East.
Arafat's motives are transparent. He hoped that "spontaneous" rioting might be read as popular frustration and swing public support back in his favor since he was thrown on the diplomatic defensive by Ehud Barak's unprecedented concessions to reach peace. It is a familiar ploy of Arafat's, and it seemed to be working. But Arafat overplayed his hand.
Barak, after a meeting with Arafat in Paris convened by the United States, relied on Palestinian promises that their security would keep the peace on the Temple Mount. But once again, provoked by calls for jihad against Israel, a mob raced to the edge of the compound, throwing huge stones down to the plaza at the side of the Western Wall that the Jews revere. They then attacked an Israeli police post, set it ablaze, and hoisted the Palestinian flag atop the Dome of the Rock, until Israeli reinforcements were able to re-establish security.
An even worse incident took place at Joseph's Tomb, which Arafat had personally promised to make secure if the Israelis pulled back their forces. As soon as the Israelis withdrew, Arab youths desecrated and destroyed the tomb. Joseph, you may recall, was the son of Jacob who received the coat of many colors and was ultimately sold to the Egyptians. His bones were actually returned to this resting place, at the request of Moses.
But the most powerful evidence that we are witnessing a modern-day pogrom came when an Arab mob at Ramallah pushed aside police guards in a prison where two Israeli soldiers had been incarcerated. They beat and stabbed the Israelis, then threw them out the window where they were brutally beaten to death with pipes, while the police did nothing.
It is all of a piece. Just as the Arabs deny the Holocaust, they now deny the existence of the First and Second Temples on the Temple Mount. Arafat said, "That is not the Western Wall at all, but a Muslim shrine." Arafat's minister of information said, "Jerusalem is not a Jewish city, despite the biblical myth implanted in some minds." He added: "The location of the Temple Mount is in question. . . . It might be in Jericho or somewhere else." This despite the fact that the Temple Mount had been the geographic heart and spiritual soul of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years. On the Jewish New Year, the Jews read the account of Abraham's test of faith when he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. That took place on the same holy site, the Temple Mount.
Even doves are skeptical. The idea broached at Camp David to leave Palestinians in control of security at Temple Mount is a dead letter. Such an act would make it impossible for the Jews praying at the Western Wall ever to feel safe from attack on their sacred grounds. Since the rioting began, Arafat has done nothing of substance to contain it. Instead, he blames it all on what he described as the excessive reaction of the Israeli soldiers. Yet the Israelis were under instructions not to fire unless fired upon, not to initiate but just to react to restore order. Responding to mobs attacking them with rocks, Molotov cocktails, and live ammunition, the Israelis had to show firmness, sometimes even disproportionately, for if they were to appear weak to their attackers, they would create an invitation for more violence. No wonder even the doves in Israel now doubt that the Palestinians want peace. If anyone questions Arafat's complicity, consider the communiqué, issued this month, by the Supreme Committee of his Fatah faction: "The Fatah movement . . . calls upon its courageous sons . . . to continue their struggle and escalate it even more . . . . It calls for suspending security coordination with Israel . . . . The movement blesses our people on the liberation of Joseph's Tomb by the fighting arms of the Fatah, on the way toward the liberation of all sites of the homeland."
President Clinton tried bravely at Camp David to bring about peace. No wonder he is furious with Arafat. But has the administration acted wisely? American officials are reluctant to go public with their frustration on the grounds that it would end their role as peace brokers and reduce the leverage they may have on the Palestinians. That is their rationale for abstaining from the one-sided U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel. But this was too tactical a response. Such a failure to speak the truth dishonored U.S. integrity. It was craven. It did not win respect in an Arab world that respects power above all and despises conciliation, which the Arabs see as appeasement. No wonder Arafat was willing to continue to extend the violence.
A world that wants peace will have to understand that it will have to be tough, really tough, with Arafat and his cohorts. When they get tolerance or sympathy, they use it as a license to pursue diplomatic goals by violence.
Israel, which took unprecedented risks for peace, deserved better from the world and especially from the United States. It's time for Clinton to follow through on comments he made after Camp David: to decide by the end of the year to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and to help Israel enhance its military superiority in the region.
Barak can no longer justify to Israelis how his far-reaching concessions on Jerusalem and on the West Bank will accomplish peace with the Palestinian population, whose deep-seated hostility against Israelis became so menacing that it could not be masked any longer. The Palestinians have not built a foundation for peace but one for hatred and rage. The most powerful argument for the peace process has always been, "There is no alternative." But the peace process is no longer an alternative because Arafat, as Barak said last week, is not a partner for peace.
Israel can hardly be expected to put itself into a position of increasing danger by further concessions to the Palestinians. The burden will now be on the Palestinians to show they are genuinely willing to compromise for peace, to educate their people, in Arabic, about their commitment to peace, and to recognize that what was on the table in Camp David is no longer on the table. Peace is very much in the interests of the Palestinian people, but not for the first time they have chosen to wound themselves.
Fouad Ajami on Arafat's Perfidy and Clinton's Ignorance.
U.S. News & World Report Cover Story 10/23/00
THE GREAT CIRCLE OF ENMITY
By Fouad Ajami
The great circle of enmity. American diplomacy never understood Yasser Arafat's double game. In the legend of the Palestinians, the riots on the West Bank and Gaza are their second intifada. And there can be no mistaking the verdict of the great spectacle that has played out in the Palestinian territories and beyond: In the charred ruins lies the "peace process" of the past decade. In a flash of lightning, the great truths of the region were laid bare. The circle of enmity surrounding Israel has not been breached - the young boys in the West Bank displayed their great refusal to come to terms with Israel's statehood; so did the demonstrators in Arab lands, from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, whose rulers had staked a claim to moderation. Diplomacy was shown to be a pretense and a veneer.
The custodians of Pax Americana, the "peace processors" at the State Department and the National Security Council who are in charge of the care and feeding of Yasser Arafat, were in for the surprise of their lives. Spin the truth as they have to now, these handlers hadn't really understood Arafat or the deeper currents of his Middle Eastern world. The word was passed that President Clinton believes that his investment in Arafat has been in vain. Arafat had been folded into the American design in the region; his West Bank and Gaza regime had been granted American treasure and indulgence. He had been received at the White House over a dozen times - more than any other foreign leader. An American president given to a belief in personal diplomacy and bonding had come to think that he had "broken through" to Arafat. But Clinton hadn't really understood his Palestinian interlocutor, nor had he mastered the psychological terrain of that volatile region.
Chaos and fury. Clinton came close, he believed, to closing a deal between Israel and the Palestinians at Camp David only to be rebuffed by Arafat, who preferred the terrible status quo to a diplomatic accord that he would have to defend at home. On the table, Arafat was offered the best that could be had in a messy world - a recognized state with sovereignty and borders and legitimacy. He walked away, we are told, by asking Clinton if the American president had the intention of attending his funeral. This time, there was another disappointment for a president eager to leave his fingerprints on Middle Eastern history. The master of the Palestinian realm let the chaos and the fury do its destructive work. He commanded a large armed presence on the ground, but his forces either took part in the riots or averted their gaze. He let his Washington handlers know that they were owed no deference for the support he had been given since the 1993 Oslo peace accord. Arafat was playing in a different world, and a different arena. Arabs who had disdained him for his support of Saddam Hussein a decade ago had rehabilitated him. And those who had opposed his peace with Israel and seen it as a deed of surrender had given him a second chance. American diplomacy had never understood Arafat's double game.
The shadow of American power lies across these Middle Eastern lands, it is true. But that is a world that remains difficult to read and to shape. The traffic with rulers gives the United States precious little insight into the popular sensibilities of Arab-Muslim societies. The "Arab street" that exploded in resentment had not been prepared for an accommodation with peace and the concessions it takes. The case of Egypt goes to the heart of this impasse. For all the American treasure and hopes invested in Egypt, American diplomacy could secure no help from Egypt's ruler. Hosni Mubarak had no use for American entreaties. He played to his street and to a political class at home that has never really taken to peace with Israel.
Deep down those rulers understand their lands. They play a sly game: They rule with an iron fist, monopolize the political world, but wink at the displays of animus toward Israel. The Arab rage we were treated to in recent days is the permissible fury allowed populations otherwise shut out of political life. The crowds rail against Israel, it is true. But there is more to the overflowing wrath. There is the unease with modernity, the envy of Israel's economic success at a time of growing Arab poverty, the recognition of the ruled that their rulers never let them in on the accommodations and deals they make with strangers.
There is an inescapable asymmetry here: Israel yearned for a way out of the siege that has defined its history and its reality since statehood. The world around it has altogether different needs and realities. In their fashion, the diplomats picking up the pieces will say the usual things about the need to pull back from the precipice. But their work will fail and will deceive if it doesn't name and acknowledge all that has played out in this cruel, disillusioning fortnight.
Reprinted from Ha'aretz of 20 October 2000.
IDF FEARS ARAFAT IS PUSHING
FULL-SCALE REGIONAL WAR
By Amos Harel
The defense establishment is becoming increasingly convinced that Yasser Arafat does not intend to return to the Oslo process. This leaves him with two choices: The first, and the one he apparently prefers at the minute, is controlled violence that will lead in the end to new diplomatic initiatives, but with increased international involvement. The second, which Arafat has not ruled out, is a full-scale regional war.
The hope that Arafat would act forcefully to stop the violence has been revealed as delusional. The populace is pushing him to continue the "Al Aqsa Intifada." He has not yet sent a clear message of commitment to the Sharm understandings, contenting himself with anonymous and nonbinding statements through the Palestinian media. And serious incidents continue to occur.
Furthermore, some of the most dangerous Hamas activists are still not back in Palestinian Authority prisons. IDF officers say that "lifting the closure on the territories at this point would be tantamount to madness," given the intelligence information regarding plans to carry out bomb attacks in major urban centers. Nor is it only Islamic radicals who pose a concern. According to the IDF, many of the latest incidents involved members of Mohammed Dahlan's preventive security apparatus, and both Dahlan and his counterpart in the West Bank, Jibril Rajoub, are still refusing to meet with Shin Bet security service chief Avi Dichter.
In Arafat's preferred scenario, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would resemble Kosovo: increasing international involvement, foreign observers and troops, and finally an imposed settlement - which would be better for the Palestinians than what the Americans offered at Camp David. The minute parties other than the Americans are involved, Arafat profits. An Israeli mistake (bombing civilians, a massacre by settlers) or a new, more hesitant American administration would also help.
And if Plan A does not achieve its goals, Arafat would still have the option of a regional conflict. His hope is that once the smoke clears, a Palestinian state will emerge, perhaps with better borders than Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton have offered him.
In the meantime, there are several tactical junctures to be maneuvered. The first is this afternoon, when in Israel's view, the 48 hours allotted for implementing a cease-fire expire (in the Palestinian view, this deadline expired yesterday). Then comes the Arab League summit tomorrow. But the most important will come in the middle of next week, when Israel, finally convinced that Oslo, like Sharm, is a dead letter, will have to decide what to do. For the first time, it will have to consider taking the initiative, rather than merely responding to events.
Despite differences of opinion within the general staff, most of the generals still favor restraint. But continued escalation by Arafat would change their mind. "We cannot become reconciled to a reality of daily attacks," said one. "A war of attrition is the worst scenario ... it would be better to sharpen [the conflict]."
Against this background, a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state - probably sometime between the end of the Arab summit and November 15, which is Palestinian Independence Day - becomes more likely. Ironically, this would also have advantages for Israel: Israel would be seen as justified in taking steps to guarantee its own interests, such as separating more decisively from the Palestinians, seizing key positions, and even annexing part of Area C (that part of the territories still under full Israeli control).
The most worrying scenario is a regional conflict. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been working for restraint, but Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah are working for war. Iraq has already moved a division toward the Jordan border and put its air force on higher alert - exhibitionist steps, but not meaningless - and Hezbollah will do its best to drag Syria into the conflict.
The Jerusalem Post - EDITORIAL
AN IMMODERATE PROPOSAL
(October 23) - It must be great to be an Arab leader. With straight faces, Arab heads of state gathered in Cairo to label Israeli actions as "barbaric," when Israel acted with more restraint than most democracies would have, let alone how most of them have acted against lesser threats to their security. At the same time, being against launching an all-out war against Israel is enough to qualify an Arab leader with full membership in the "moderate" camp.
The "moderate" outcome of this weekend's Arab summit was to call for a halt to the molasses-like process of normalization with Israel, repeating the conclusion of the last such summit four years ago. That summit was called after the election of Binyamin Netanyahu, which ostensibly meant the end of Israel's implementation of the Oslo agreements. In fact, Netanyahu implemented more painful territorial withdrawals than his predecessors - from Hebron and from 13 percent of the West Bank outside the seven main cities that were already in Palestinian hands.
Next comes Prime Minister Ehud Barak and surprises even the United States and Palestinian negotiators with his willingness to consider deep Israeli concessions on Jerusalem, borders, and other final-status issues. It is impossible, even with considerable imagination, to paint such a government as "against peace," and yet it, too, befalls the same fate at the hands of "moderate" Arab states.
In its final communique, the Arab leaders stated, "The summit welcomes the intifada of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, which has expressed clearly the bitterness and frustration after long years of waiting and anticipation... The Arab leaders consider the blood [of Palestinian martyrs] a valuable asset for the sake of liberating the land, establishing the state, and realizing peace..." Again, we are to understand these sentiments as a victory for moderation and as support for the peace process.
War and peace, it seems, have become indistinguishable. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has a long record of breaking cease-fires (he reportedly agreed to 70 in Lebanon alone), but the Sharm cease-fire was never implemented long enough to be broken. As the Arab League excoriated Israel for "searching for war" (in the words of Syrian President Bashar Assad), Palestinians were firing on Israelis who "provocatively" decided to hike within shooting range, killing a father of eight children. Last night, shooting continued against the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo from the neighboring Arab village of Beit Jala.
We are to understand that this "peace intifada," as Arafat calls it, will continue until all Palestinian demands are met. What are these demands?
Arafat told the Arab summit that the Palestinian goal is the "establishment of our independent state on the blessed land of Palestine with holy Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees based on international legitimacy resolutions, especially Resolutions 181 and 194." These two UN resolutions, passed in November 1947 and December 1948, respectively, provide for an Israel even more truncated than the pre-1967 lines, and for the "right of return" of millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. These demands are in marked contrast to the 1967 and 1973 UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which require that all states have "secure and recognized borders" and which have been the basis of all subsequent peace agreements.
The message to Israel is simple: The more you come toward us, the more extreme our demands will become, the more we will attempt to turn the clock back, and the more our demands will be backed by violence.
The Arab summit, we are told, reaffirmed the Arab states' strategic decision for peace. In practice, however, the summit backed Arafat's collapsing of the cycle of violence and the cycle of peace into a single process, a "peace intifada" fought not with stones but machine guns and lynchings.
In this context, both Barak's call for a "time-out" in the peace process and the negative reactions from his own ministers miss the point. The issue is not whether and when to negotiate peace, but how should Israel organize itself to contend with the simultaneous escalation of Palestinian demands and the violence employed to achieve them.
Israel desperately needs to forge a new strategy that clearly keeps the desire for peace open and clear, while defending itself against naked aggression in the name of peace. This strategy cannot be formed by Barak alone, particularly a Barak who routinely refuses to include his cabinet in basic decisions, such as the "time-out" announcement. It is now in Barak's hands to convince the Likud that he is not just seeking to wrap a larger cabinet around an unchanged policy, but is seeking to jointly decide the national response toward the current crisis.
Excerpts reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 19, 2000
THE ONLY HONORABLE CHOICE?
By Evelyn Gordon
The world has had no trouble determining who the villain of the past two weeks is: Israel has been almost universally condemned for its use of "excessive force." And at first glance, the truth of this assertion seems self-evident. The vast majority of the casualties have been Palestinian, the argument goes, so the IDF must have been overreacting.
Yet a closer look reveals a puzzling inconsistency in Israel's behavior: Sometimes it has used force; at other times it has exercised an almost unnatural restraint. And it is only through analyzing the pattern of Israel's choices that the question of whether its use of force was in fact "excessive" can be answered. To start, let us consider a few examples of restraint: On October 1, an Israeli border policeman bled to death at Joseph's Tomb because the Palestinian Authority refused to let him be evacuated to a hospital. In response Israel did nothing.
On the night of October 4-5, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated in Paris. At the last minute, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat refused to sign, signaling that the violence would continue. In response Israel nevertheless withdrew its forces from the areas specified in the agreement, just as if it had been signed.
On October 6, in an effort to defuse tensions, Israel agreed to withdraw all its forces from the Temple Mount and let the PA handle security for Friday prayers at the mosques there. The PA responded to this gesture by allowing Moslem "worshipers" first to stone the Jews praying at the Western Wall below, forcing Israel to evacuate all Jews from the site, and then to storm the Israeli police station on the Mount and to firebomb and torch a second police post by the Old City walls. Israel had to retake control of the holy site by force, leaving two dead. In retaliation Israel did nothing.
On October 7, still trying to reduce the friction, Israel agreed to withdraw its forces from Joseph's Tomb - a site over which Israel was granted control in the Oslo accords - in exchange for the PA's promise to protect it. It took the PA all of a few hours to violate its promise and let a mob completely destroy the ancient site. In response Israel did nothing.
Also on October 7, Hizbullah kidnaped three soldiers. In response Israel did nothing.
On October 12, two reservists took a wrong turn and wound up in Ramallah, where a mob led by Palestinian policemen brutally murdered them and mutilated the bodies. Israeli security experts warned that the country could not afford to do nothing again if it wanted to have any deterrent capability left. Prime Minister Ehud Barak therefore agreed to let the IDF bomb five Palestinian targets - after it first warned everyone in the area to leave and gave them several hours to do so. Total number of Palestinians killed in the attacks, according to Palestinian sources? Zero.
IN FACT, there has been one thing, and one thing only, to which Barak has permitted the IDF to respond with lethal force: a direct threat to the lives of Israeli civilians or soldiers. In the case of such a threat, the IDF has been permitted to use whatever force it deems necessary to protect Israeli lives. And it has carried out this mandate successfully - hence the uneven body count.
But does it truly constitute "excessive force" for an army to protect its own citizens, even at the expense of the deaths of some of the attackers? Would it be more moral for Barak to let his own people, whom he is sworn to protect, be killed instead, so that the world would like Israel better?
This, in fact, is exactly the choice that Yasser Arafat has made. By permitting and even urging teens and children to join attacking mobs alongside men with automatic rifles, he has virtually guaranteed that some will be killed in the crossfire - but the Palestinians will thereby score points in the public relations arena. Barak has chosen instead to order the army to defend civilians, even at the price of losing points in the PR battle. One leader has sacrificed his people's lives for PR gains; the other has sacrificed public opinion to protect his people's lives......
....All of which leaves us with only one unanswerable question: Why is the world insisting on playing Arafat's game?
(c) Jerusalem Post 2000
Evelyn Gordon comments on public affairs.
MEDIA FRENZY - BIASED REPORTING
By Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East analyst & commentator
The international media, including journalists, film crews, editors and publishers have spiraled down - down - down, in the opinion of the general public. The recent coverage of the eruption of conflict between Arafat's Palestinians and Israel was so slanted that , even the Left-leaning Hebrew Press was shocked. Those who report without bias will know who they are while those who doctor there reportage have become a dangerous element in stirring the emotions with deadly results.
What has happened to the working press that they can no longer report on a story without their personal bias controlling the reportage? Instead of being viewed as non-involved observers, they are wooed by both sides to tilt towards one or the other - and then they do.
Ethical professionals would take an objective, centrist position and report with an even hand. This, regrettably, did not happen during the recent start-up of what the Palestinian spokesmen now call the Al Aksa Intifada' separating it from the first 5 year Intifada'. Clearly, journalists have decided to no longer report the news but rather to interpret or make the news. Some nations take a dim view of this slanted view of intelligence clearly intended to provoke and affect their national and/or internal politics. This is especially true when journalists and their home base of operations seems to be an extension of their governments foreign policy.
While relatively safe in democratic countries, journalists who make the news are being targeted in non-democratic countries - with rising casualties. However, if one travels with bands of revolutionaries, terrorists and rioters anywhere, there is no way to distinguish them, the reporters or photographers, from the mob. While reporters have always faced the risks of being there in reporting wars, something has drastically changed. Now, they either take sides and become known for their bias or they slant their reportage because they fear the terrorists about whom they should be reporting.
The media - even the most shallow and uninformed did know one thing. Namely, that twisted propaganda against the Jews had preceded the savage butchery of six million Jews. That preparing the minds of Germans and most Europeans had made normal people willing to act as bestial executioners. Although it was planned by evil minds, it was the Press who carried the message to the people. Now, knowing that their media industry was an operational part of Genocide, individual journalists and their corporations have with malice once again decided to incite the mobs. This has once more started the burning of synagogues in America, France, Russia, et al. Yes...the Media is, in large part, to blame although they will haughtily deny it and claim freedom to say whatever they want! They are sure to claim their hostility to Jews is neither passive nor aggressive - merely objective.
Then, terrorists are not terrorists but are called guerillas or freedom fighters. This is a form of media manipulation by semantics. In this period of globalization, such reports feed back into a larger constituency in their home country and can dramatically affect not only the people, but also the decisions by governments and other influentials. Voting an issue up or down can be affected -either intentionally or unintentionally . Sending arms or even troops can be affected by inaccurate or biased reportage which can be intentional.
When the media become part of the equation, they are no longer a protected neutral but a player. Players can become targets along with the terrorists and rioters. They cannot claim sanctuary and neutrality because they have chosen to act as an advocate for one side or the other.
Perhaps over the years the media industry has allowed this slippage so that journalists and TV news commentators can claim they are honestly reporting events as they see them - or at least for the sensationalism demanded by their home offices. The operative word is "They". If "They" allow their personal or company bias to creep into the story in a way that substantively submerges the true picture, then they have become an organic extension of one of the combatants. While this may advance their careers and sell more advertising space for their companies, they become what used to be called "Yellow Journalists".
Perhaps that is why the U.S. government gathered the Media into one area during the Gulf War and provided them with official' press briefings. The Media was furious at being forced to report this pre-chewed news. But, experience with sensationalized stories or exposing troop locations (even inadvertently) caused casualties which, of course, brings up the question of judgement vs. the Scoop!
In a smaller way we can recall Arafat's War of Terrorism in Lebanon when the Media chose to corral themselves in the Commodore Hotel in Beirut and meekly accepted the Media handouts from Arafat's brother who was in charge of information. Yes, they were scared to death of being killed (10 news people were killed during that period) or snatched up and held hostage in some urine-filled basement, chained to a radiator. (Remember the hostages held in Lebanon?) The reportage according to Arafat was a scandal of propaganda and the collaboration of the belly-up-to-the-bar reporters.
More recently (October 19th), an Italian reporter released a film of 2 Jewish reserve soldiers who took a wrong turn into Ramallah and were savagely murdered, thrown out the window and mutilated by the mob with the Palestinian Police looking on. The reporter was threatened by Arafat's terror threats so he wrote a letter of apology to Arafat, disclaiming credit and blaming others. Film shot by other film crews were confiscated at the point of a gun by Arafat's media wise terrorists who were on the spot to insure such footage did not reach the public.
Regrettably, the media has developed a smoothly engineered operational coordination and understanding with Arafat and the mobs. They receive pre-notification of spontaneous' riots and the media provide film crews, still and video, who report the event with the agreed slant.
One revealing example of this can be found by downloading a very provocative picture that exemplifies the problem. It shows a stone-throwing young man (who looks like he could have had a good career as a baseball pitcher). Behind him is about a dozen photographers and videographers. It is as slick a pre-arranged and staged photo-op as possible.(1)
A very complete set of professional photographs appears on the Website: <http:://www.rotter.net/israel>. They show every area of the current media manipulations from staged photos to Palestinian children being taught to shoot, hate and kill. (2)
The journalists feed back tilted stuff' to their Editors who wanted tilted stuff' and who play it for their network audience as manipulated news. Israeli information outlets, as usual, were late in their response, preferring deep, thorough and long investigations for the sake of accuracy. This is an admirable goal, however, in the Media War of Manipulation, Israel loses every time. When they finally get the truth' out, the audience has left the theater, i.e., forgotten the original distortion although they have absorbed the message that Israel is at fault. This is because, in the meantime, the media was soaking up and spitting out commentary by Palestinian spokesmen who exercised little or no restraint in their interpretation of events.
Please note an essay by Jack Kelley in USA TODAY regarding the Voice of Palestine Radio reporting: Israeli jets just bombed Bethlehem. "Israeli criminals have fired missiles into the homes of innocent Palestinians...Palestinian blood is flowing in the streets! Oh God, God how can the criminals kill our innocent children?" On site checking immediately after found no evidence of an attack." ...And "Hebron was under siege' by armed Jewish settlers who were shooting Palestinian women and children." A visit to Hebron found calm and quiet there, too. And: Nablus - the Palestinian correspondent reported that Israeli troops were "burning homes." No such thing, residents there said. "Jerusalem will be our capital. We will fight until the end," a Voice of Palestine commentator said earlier this week. "No more negotiations. Just give us our guns." (3) Was Jack Kelley of USA TODAY the only journalist with access to Palestinian radio newscasts? I doubt it. But, the working press simply ignored the incitement preferring to film the kids rushing to the streets as a direct result of their wild announcements (and perhaps financial inducements?)
We interviewed the IDF military media staff as to why their response was invariably late. They indicated, with some pride, that they made every effort to confirm the facts which took considerable time - even though they knew the Palestinians and the Media were crucifying them in the international media. For example, the underlying formative story put forth by Arafat's media propagandists was that: Arik Sharon didn't walk around the Jewish Temple Mount; he charged up there with 1500 policemen.
Except for the CHICAGO TRIBUNE none of the lead journals pointed out that 3 Arab Members of the Israeli Knesset incited the mobs after the Sharon visit or that the radical Iman (religious cleric) gave a fiery sermon in the Mosque on the Temple Mount Friday resulting in a presumed spontaneous' riot. The problem was that these youths, with the Waqf (Muslim caretakers) had prepared piles of stones, one pile fist-sized for throwing and others smaller for a sling shots.
According to Julie Stahl, the CNS Jerusalem Bureau Chief, the PA Media started provoking Palestinian riots weeks ago (4) Palestinian Authority TV and newspapers carried inciting messages some time before Sharon's visit on the Temple Mount.
Jibril Rajoub, head of the PA Preventive Security promised Israeli Minister of Internal Security and Acting Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami that there would be no reaction to the Likud Party's visit to the Temple Mount, as long as Sharon did not attempt to enter the mosque itself. This story was broadcast only once on Israeli radio and then buried until it appeared in the JERUSALEM POST October 4th. (5) The riots which came a day later were positioned by the media as NOT staged or triggered by a Green Light' from Yassir Arafat but were spontaneous' and based upon the sacrilegious' assault on Al Aksa Mosque and the third holiest site in all of Islam. The gathering of food and medical supplies by the Palestinian population for several months prior (and ignored by the Media) had nothing to do with preparing for a curfew which usually followed pre-planned riots. Most of the accommodating media said nothing about the 3,OOO year old Jewish claim to the Temple Mount and that it is the most Holy Site for the Jewish people, pre-dating Arafat's claims by several thousand years. (Arafat's actual propaganda claim occurred only in 1967 gaining steam and credibility as the Media repeated the claim and no questions asked.)
The story of the Arab boy and father hit by Israeli and Palestinian crossfire has been emblazoned across all media outlets. But, the media seldom prints that the Israelis couldn't have seen them from their positions. Later videotapes revealed that the boy had been part of the stone-throwing mob and his father came to pull him away. It was not an accident that he was in the middle of a firefight with Palestinian Police firing at the Israelis who fired back. The picture became the news with no attempt by the Media to explain the actual circumstance in real time. And why didn't the French photographer who filmed the evolving horror story for 45 minutes could have notified the Israeli soldiers instead of getting his scoop. Here again, youngsters were incited by Arafat's PA school and summer camp curriculum that included training with real guns, even given time off to participate in the riots but this was NOT reported by the media.
However, hardly anyone noted the true story of the Israeli medical team who risked their lives to enter an Arab town and rescue the Jihad Aloul, the critically injured son of Nablus' governor to a hospital in Israel. This occurred less than 24 hours before Israeli Border Police Cpl. Yusef Mudhat, an Israeli Druse, bled to death because the Palestinians refused to allow his evacuation from Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. (6)
The cynical use of women and children as Human Shields was NOT cited by the Media as a typical Arafat policy but, instead was spun by Arafat's Spin Doctors nurtured by past successful events staged for the media to show that Israeli troops deliberately targeted women and children. Clearly, the so-called children were often teens with good throwing arms and slingshots, lobbing rocks and gasoline bombs. Now, just behind them, firing from cover, were Arafat's shooters, now called Tanzeem - trained in far flung terrorist training camps from Afghanistan through the Soviet Union to the deserts of North Africa including Libya. Does the media know this and do they have collected data in their archives confirming this? Absolutely!
This tactic created a field of fire between the Palestinian shooters, including Arafat's rogue Policemen/Para-military forces and Israeli troops manning a static position at a check-points on Israeli territory. When a child got shot or one of the teens was injured, the ever-present TV crews carried the scene live. There was no real time explanation as to why the shooting occurred but, merely the sympathetic film of the injured being carried away from Israeli fire or the ever present follow-on hysterical funeral processions with Arab women screaming and automatic weapons being fired into the air. (Does anyone notice that the bullets fall to earth they kill or injure whatever innocent bystanders happen to catch it?)
It seems time for some laws to be passed called "Truth in Reporting". Since many of the TV crews carry back-up links to satellites and can feed their home base without Israeli review, then something else must be done to insure accurate reporting without the biased "spin".
Perhaps simply revoking the visas of journalists and film crews if they do not offer a follow-on report from the point of view of the other side. Allow them full Freedom of the Press to say what they please BUT with the opportunity of a real time' response of the other side. If the news journal or TV network refuses to offer this balanced review in the interests of "Fair Journalism" then simply and politely send that journalist and his company back to their homes in other countries.
In the case of Israel, granted the Government Press Office and Foreign Ministry's Hasbara Departments are too slow to react and they do not use designer propaganda as do the Arabs, Muslims and many other countries. But, they do study each event and seem to frankly admit when they are at fault. They have open lines which any reporter with a cell phone can access from the field. Checking your facts is Journalism 101. If reporters and TV newsmakers wish to tell their stories and claim credibility, then let them contact Israel's Government Press Office and get their facts right.
Good night, Gerald Kessel. Think sweet thoughts, Walter Rogers. Think Pink, Peter Jennings. Mind Meld, Tommy Friedman with anyone except James Carville and, whatever you do, don't read the Life and Times of Goebbels. Even Phil Donahue was frothing at the mouth over children killed without a clue as to what he was babbling about. (7)
There is no reason for the Media pundits to rank with used car salesmen, ambulance-chasing lawyers and politicians. Climb out of those low places and start reporting as you wanted to once when you were ethically ideological and thought about entering the news industry as fresh cub reporters wanting to tell the truth. Why should the public regard the media industry of today as manned for publicity seeking journalists who will lie or slant stories merely to advance their careers or sell advertising space. The media was once looked upon as the watch dogs against crooked politicians, dictators or terrorists, but not any more.
How did the media slide into the business of massaging the news and jimmying up the stories as if they worked for the terrorists or the crooked politicians?
Yes, we know through mathematical and statistical studies that most journalists, like university professors are Left Liberal but that should not be the prejudiced viewpoint. Write opinion pieces if you must, but don't lie to the people and yourselves to call it reporting the news'. Reach back and find that time when you knew you were honest and had journalistic ethics. Start again, unless the money and your career is so gripped by the short hairs that you are helpless to break away.
AS FOR THE READERS: Don't let the bastards get away with it. Don't just write letters but visit the media sources en masse in the editors' offices and protest loudly with facts and pictures in hand. Start a campaign to boycott their newspapers or any other way to affect their pocketbooks. Find those journalists - in person or by phone, cell phone, fax - and raise hell about their lies. Don't let the bastards have a quiet moment.
SEND THIS TO YOUR LEAST FAVORITE JOURNALIST, NEWSPAPER AND TV NETWORK.
1. Photo of Arab stone thrower with dozen photographers behind 10/25/00
3 "Palestinian radio: All the news that fits the cause; Israel says the broadcasts are nothing but lies and propaganda. Listeners say the station is the only information source they can trust." By Jack Kelley USA TODAY 10/25/2000
4. "PA Media Started Provoking Palestinian Riots Weeks Ago" by Julie Stahl CNS Jerusalem Bureau Chief 10/2/00
5. "Ben-Ami: Rajoub said Sharon Temple Mount Visit Would Pose No Problem" by Nina Gilbert & Lamia Lahoud JERUSALEM POST 10/4/00
6. "Israelis Helped Nablus Governor's Son to Hospital" by Margot Dudkevitch JERUSALEM POST 10/4/00
7. IBA NEWS Channel 1 10/28/00
Emanuel A. Winston is research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 20, 2000
THE AWAKENING AT SHARM e-SHEIKH
By Moshe Zak
They didn't shake hands. They didn't even sign a cease-fire agreement. This isn't the first time that Yasser Arafat has wriggled out of signing an agreement, even when he apparently agreed to its contents. It was an improved version of the Paris maneuver.
At Sharm e-Sheikh, Arafat came to the ceremony, listened to President Bill Clinton's announcement of an agreement to end violence between the two sides, and said nothing, with a smile on his lips. Meanwhile, outside the conference center Arafat was commencing three diplomatic fronts against Israel.
He hoped to fill in the missing link of the Sharm summit - a severe condemnation of Israel - at the emergency session of the UN Assembly, which convened in New York, and at the UN conference for human rights, which opened this week in Geneva and at the world parliamentary union in Jakarta yesterday. What he didn't want to say explicitly in Sharm was said openly by his representatives in the territories, who used bullets to get their point across.
Clinton's declaration mentioned the redeployment of forces, but Arafat stuck to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's interpretation which prefaced the declaration with "a withdrawal of forces from Arab lands."
At the end of the summit, Clinton thanked Egypt for its efforts to achieve a cease-fire, but Prime Minister Ehud Barak couldn't ignore Mubarak's remarks in his opening speech to the summit: "The aggressions to which the Palestinian people were subjected during the last two weeks persuaded me to convene this meeting. We have to put an end to the military aggression of the Israelis against the Palestinians."
It's possible that Clinton's statement will eventually bring about a few days' quiet in Judea and Samaria, and every day that goes by without bloodshed is welcome. However, we must not forget the precedent of August, 1970. Then, we enthusiastically welcomed the cease-fire that was supposed to end the War of Attrition on the banks of the Suez Canal.
Then, too, there were no handshakes or signed agreements, but only a statement by the US that the cease-fire was intended to permit the opening of negotiations through a UN representative. As it turned out, this allowed Egypt to advance its ground-to-air missiles to the banks of the canal, which provided a cover for the Egyptian army crossing the canal on October 6, 1973. The present cease-fire, if it lasts, is liable to provide a cover for the Palestinians' preparations for unilateral moves. We must keep our eyes open.
THE SHARM summit wasn't a failure. On the contrary: it indirectly led to the destruction of some dangerous illusions. We finally began to question Arafat's suitability as a partner. Until now, we were unable to imagine that the other side would fail to understand the benefits of the fair compromise we were prepared to offer, and had begun to exaggerate the importance of casual conversations. But when we reached the moment of truth, it turned out the Palestinian leadership wanted the whole cake.
We assumed that the dollars the US is going to contribute to the Palestinian Authority would persuade the Palestinians to modify their diplomatic positions. We were wrong. The Palestinians acted insolently towards the US and tried to erode America's status by bringing in the UN and the European Union.
We were sure that Israel's economic plan for reducing the Palestinians' hardship could dry up the marshes in which the mosquitoes of terrorism were breeding. But when the riots broke out, the Palestinians torched the industrial park opposite Tulkarm, which was intended to provide jobs for the unemployed in PA territory.
We believed that joint patrols by Israeli and Palestinian police in border areas would forge understanding between the two sides, but on the first day of the riots, a Palestinian policeman shot dead an Israeli colleague on a joint patrol near Kalkilya.
At Sharm, we woke up from dreams which reflected inaccurate assumptions. But we still have one dream left: the dream of peace. It will come. Not within the 48 hours or two weeks, as dictated by the timetable of the heads of state, it deserves patience. It will come when the countries of the world realize that the anti-Israeli resolutions adopted by the UN block the way to stability in the region and provide an incentive for a war of attrition between Israel and the Palestinians.
Reprinted from The Washington Post of October 22, 2000
NO PARTNERS FOR PEACE
By George F. Will
JERUSALEM Since 1948, when Israel was founded on one-sixth of one percent of the land carelessly called "the Arab world," the conflict has been not about what land Israel should occupy but whether it should occupy any land. The conflict has been constantly violent, but now, in today's world climate of appeasement, the Palestinians' violence is self-legitimizing: The assumption always is that they must have been provoked. Today, and as usual, the problem is not that Israel is being provocative, but that Israel's being is provocative. And now the potentially lethal asymmetry in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is this: Israel's government desperately wants to end the conflict; the Palestinian Authority fiercely wants to win it.
Israel has more dimensions of interlocking and overlapping divisions--religious, political, ethnic, social--than any other democracy. However, right now it is more united than it has been in years. United, but not enjoying it. The left's peace movement is morose, feeling refuted by events. The right is gloomy, as conservatives everywhere usually are when their bleak realism is confirmed by events.
At Camp David in July, Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat concessions (regarding land, Jerusalem and the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees) so sweeping they shattered public support for his government, which means he must now have early elections or cobble together a "national emergency" government. But Barak, gifted at looking on the bright side, says, "I made it possible for our people . . . at least to be united by the sense of no choice." That counts as the bright side here.
Barak's discovery, if indeed he has made it, that Arafat wants nothing less than the liquidation of Israel, is akin to Jimmy Carter's discovery, rather late in the 20th century (the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan), of Moscow's evil. Never mind Arafat's decades-long career of terrorism and genocidal rhetoric. In 1993, on the day he signed the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo peace process, Jordanian television broadcast an Arafat speech vowing that the Palestinian flag "will fly over the walls of Jerusalem, the churches of Jerusalem, the mosques of Jerusalem." And immediately after Barak's reckless offer to Arafat at Camp David, Arafat vowed to a Gaza audience that "Jerusalem is ours, ours, ours."
Here is another belated discovery: Israel's principal enemies are antisemitic. They always have been.
In 1921, in a memorandum to Britain's colonial secretary, Winston Churchill, Palestine's most prominent families argued against a Jewish settlement: "If Russia and Poland, with their spacious countries, were unable to tolerate them, how could Europe expect Palestine to welcome them. . . . Will the Jew, on coming to Palestine, change his skin and lose all those qualities which have hitherto made him an object of dislike to the nations?"
Eight decades later, 5 1/2 decades after the Holocaust (which Palestinian Authority propaganda denies happened) and five years after agreeing at Oslo to stop antisemitic propaganda, the Palestinian Authority's newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Nov. 7, 1998) said: "Corruption is a Jewish trait worldwide . . . one can seldom find corruption that was not masterminded by the Jews or that Jews are not responsible for .. . they would use the most basic despicable ways to realize their aim, so long as those who might be affected were non-Jews. A Jew would cross any line if it were in his interest."
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, warns that "as the rejection of Israel has taken on a less secular and more Islamic complexion, it has also gained a deeper resonance among ordinary Arabs, with Israel's existence now cast as an affront to God's will." Even Egypt's government, which is formally at peace with Israel, not only permits but, Pipes says, sponsors "the crudest forms of antisemitism," which in effect communicates this to Egyptians: "We have to be in contact with Israelis and sign certain pieces of paper, but we still hate them, and you should, too."
Unlike Egypt's Anwar Sadat or Jordan's King Hussein, who prepared their publics for acceptance of Israel, the Palestinian Authority is tutoring another generation in "rejectionism." But, then, Palestinians have long been execrably led. In World War I their leaders sided with Turkey, which ruled Palestine and was on the war's losing side. Palestinian leaders sided with Hitler in World War II, with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. Today, sad to say but necessary to say, there are no Palestinian leaders who can be Israel's "partners for peace."
(c) 2000 The Washington Post
Arafat Calls for Withdrawal
to Partition lines
and Return of Refugees to Israel
By Aaron Lerner Date: 22 October, 2000
In his speech yesterday at the Arab summit in Cairo, Yasser Arafat presented the following demand:
"Israel should lift the siege on our cities and people and withdraw from all the Palestinian and Arab territories, including holy Jerusalem, the capital of our independent Palestinian state. I reiterate that our goals are the liberation of our land, the establishment of our independent state on the blessed land of
Palestine with holy Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees based on international legitimacy resolutions, especially Resolutions 181 and 194."
U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 from November 29, 1947 - before the creation of the State of Israel, calls for the partition of Palestine into an Israeli and Arab state with the Israeli state divided into three small segments. Ashdod, Jaffa (part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa), Nazareth, Acre, Naharia and other areas part of a Palestinian state and Jerusalem internationalized.
U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 from December 11, 1948, calls for Holy Places to be under U.N. supervision; a special status and "international regime" for the Jerusalem area - stretching as far as Ein Kerem and Motza; and the return to within Israel of "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors. . .at the earliest practical date."
The Oslo process was based on 242, a resolution that calls for withdraw to "secure and recognized borders" rather to a specific border. The Americans, British and even Russians involved in the preparation of this U.N. resolution made it clear that it provided Israel with considerable latitude.
While the above Palestinian demand is a position that is not acceptable to any Israeli Jew - even the members of the extremist Gush Shalom - for some reason there has been very little coverage of these demands in the Israeli media and the morning news/interview programs have completely ignored it.
Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent
Media Review & Analysis)
Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava
INTERNET ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
OSLO'S NINE LIVES
By Daniel Pipes
(October 25) - At first glance, it appears that the recent Palestinian violence has had a profound impact on the Israeli psyche.
The Left has acknowledged its disarray, shocked by the actions of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians. Amos Oz, the famed author, spoke for many when he admitted being "somewhat shaken" in his old assumption that the Palestinians "are as eager as we are to reach" a solution to the conflict .
Others put it more strongly. "Complete failure" is how Sarah Ozacky-Lazar, co-director of the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva, dismisses her own multi-year efforts at Palestinian-Israeli conciliation.
Along similar lines, the Barak government has engaged in some unusually public soul-searching. Rarely does an official so candidly - and promptly - confess the error of his government's ways as did Nahman Shai, the government spokesman. Speaking about Arafat in the aftermath of the Arab summit in Cairo, Shai said: "For the past seven years he was the partner for peace. We were absolutely sure and convinced he was going to make peace with us. But in a few weeks everything collapsed, everything was brought down by him."
But what does this all amount to? The logical implication of this grand mea culpa would be a turnabout in policy, interpreting the past month's violence as part of a long-term effort to eliminate Israel. It would mean giving up on Arafat and the Palestinians as Israel's "partner for peace," at least for this generation.
There are some signs of this: Prime Minister Ehud Barak has said "you have to be blind, both in diplomacy and security, in order to continue the negotiations as if nothing happened."
But the true meaning of October's violence appears, in fact, not to have sunk in. Israeli leaders and voters are not yet willing to draw the necessary conclusions.
Read the fine print: Barak has by no means given up on negotiation with Arafat, only called for a "time-out... to reassess the peace process in response to the events of recent weeks." Translation: once the Palestinians stop the violence, the prime minister is still ready to resume bargaining with them. Confirming that the "time-out" is intended to assuage Israeli anger, not to signal a serious change in policy, the prime minister is continuing to permit the transfer of about $10 million a month in tax payments to the Palestinian Authority, as well as millions of cubic meters of water and all of its electricity.
Other Labor Party leaders are indignant at even this symbolic "time-out." Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami retorted that "life does not take a time-out," and wants to resume negotiations where they left off in July at Camp David. Regional Cooperation Minister Shimon Peres, Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, and other ministers also joined in the opposition.
Nor is it only the political class that clutches at the illusion that more concessions will win Palestinian cooperation. A poll of Israelis published on October 13 found that 63 percent of the electorate still wants negotiations with the Palestinians to go on - a number not much lower than at the height of the peace process euphoria.
Israel suffers from a wide array of assaults - stone-throwing kids, gun-shooting "policemen," lynched and abducted soldiers, vicious antisemitic rhetoric, and Jewish institutions under siege on four continents - and responds with a mock ultimatum accompanied by pleas that everyone return to the bargaining table.
The errors begun at Oslo live on. Like a cat, Oslo has nine lives, with several of them still remaining. The Israeli fatalities of the past month have not been enough to wake the country from its stupor. How many more deaths, will it take?
The bad news is that Oslo actively harms Israel, eroding its deterrence capabilities, and making it ever-more difficult for its government to defend the country's interests. Unprovoked violence, political disrespect, and surging ambitions among its enemies will continue, perhaps increase, as long as the illusion endures that the goodwill of the Palestinians can be bought.
The good news is that Israel's mood of accommodation and weakness cannot endure. As things continue to get worse, even the most thick-headed politician will see that fortitude, as opposed to begging for the chance to make more unilateral concessions, is the country's only sensible strategy. Democratic states are notoriously slow to stand up for themselves, but when they do, watch out.
THE TEMPLE MOUNT
By Elyakim Haetzni
According to the Hebrew poet Uri Zvi Greenberg "whoever controls the Temple Mount controls the entire Land of Israel." When he uttered this prophecy he could not foresee that in the future an Israeli Prime Minister would invite the United Nations to exercise sovereign control over the Temple Mount.
Ostensibly, the idea should prove appealing to Arafat. Here the Jews themselves are threading the needle of internationalizing Jerusalem, and internationalization is the cornerstone of UN Security Council Resolution 181 the decision concerning the 1947 boundaries, (an Israel without Nahariya, Acre, Nazareth, Jaffa, Ramle, Lydda, Ahsdod, Ashkelon, Beer Sheba, Kiryat Gat), the next station in Arafat's "Strategy of Stages" for liquidating Israel.
Nevertheless, it is still possible that Arafat will not agree to put UN Security Council troops on the Temple Mount, lest he be accused of restoring imperialism to the Middle East via American control to El Quds.
The United States' proposal to internationalize the Temple Mount is predicated on the Bosnian Doctrine. This doctrine essentially seeks to turn explosive areas populated by immature natives, stuck in antiquated ethnic disputes (and therefore afflicted with a retarded globalization co-efficient) into great power protectorates. Economic and military pressure is applied to secure an imposed solution. In Bosnia it was called Dayton, Ohio; here it is called Camp David. There the guardianship was entrusted to N.A.T.O., in the Middle East which lies outside of N.A.T.O., the Security Council is to assume the guardian's role. But both N.A.T.O. and the United Nations merely constitute the outer shell; the inner core is provided by American military presence. Without the 30,000 American troops on Bosnia, this artificial Moslem state would collapse. For the West, the maintenance of this army is a small price to pay for quiet in the Balkans, which has already ignited quite a few wars, including the First World War.
The dispute in the Middle East resembles the Balkans in every respect. It is an ethnic war and a clash between religions, in a sensitive and dangerous area, where the natives play with matches on powder kegs. They therefore need protection from themselves, i.e. they need a guardian.
Israel, a state which has lost its way and its self-confidence, is ripe for the status of a U.N. protectorate. Already during the discussions about abandoning the Golan, the question arose how Israel could protect itself, given the memory of the Yom Kippur War, when without the Golan, the Syrians would have easily reached Safad. Already then the Israelis proposed an American "defense pact", backed up with a military presence. Now, after our withdrawal in the north, the U.N.- an organization which Israel always regarded with suspicion - serves us as artificial limbs, as a substitute for our own legs, which we left behind in Lebanon. This new development acclimatized our public opinion for a U.N. solution in the heart of the country, as well.
The retreat from the central mountain backbone in Samaria and Judea is entering the practical stages. The army is making preparations for evacuating the vital air force base on Mt. Baal Hatzor. The Judea-Samaria police district is being dismantled. The Jordan Valley is being abandoned. Soon the Port of Gaza will be opened and nothing will prevent the introduction of armor and other arms through it. Hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees are to return within the Green Line. The country will be severed by two extra-territorial Corridors, connecting the two parts of Arafat's Palestine. The threat from Arab Palestinians who are citizens of Israel is intensifying, as the latest riots prove. Keeping all these facts, and others, in mind, it will come as no surprise that the Israeli Defense Force's High Command has internalized the natural consequence that Israel will no longer be able to protect itself through its own power. This is the source of the seemingly paradoxical phenomenon, that Israeli officers who are supposed to provide the country with military solutions as an expression of its independence, are the first to press the politicians for a "political solution" and together with it the "default solution" of stationing a foreign army in our boundaries. Ehud Barak is the prime example of this Israeli Army, model 2000, and he believes that in the same manner the Jewish people, model 2000, is prepared to forego political and military independence in return for foreign security and political protection, readily hosting American soldiers who bring in dollars, stimulate the entertainment industries and enrich contractors, a fair price for relinquishing sovereignty an antiquated concept in the age of globalism, for "forsaking Jerusalem" an archaic and primitive infatuation.
And if from somewhere low-key, subdued, questions would come forth - why therefore did we have to expel the British from here, for what purpose did we bury 20,000 in wars for independence, in battles for Jerusalem - who will hear them?
This explains, how Clinton easily encountered Barak's enthusiastic agreement when he proposed the stationing of a Security Council Army on the Temple Mount. Thus, those Jews who still cling to the "Land coveted by our forefathers", to the "Dream of generations", to "Zion, the world's delight" see their hope hanging by a slender thread, which is the opposition of the Palestinian side, their resistance to accept an equivalent role of protectorate status.
"Shall I forget thee Oh Jerusalem"? The Israel of Barak, Beilin and Ben Ami has forgotten and forsaken. How tragic, that from the "Hope of two thousand years" recited in our national anthem, all that is left is the hope for Arafat's stubbornness.
Elyakim Haetzni is an attorney and Jewish activist from Kiryat Arba.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 19, 2000
ARABS READ PRUDENCE AS WEAKNESS
By Yossi Olmert
The latest Hizbullah outrage is yet another reminder of the close connection between the Lebanese situation and the Palestinian troubles. To understand this we have to turn back to the Israeli pull-out, or, more realistically, the run-away from Lebanon in May.
The unilateral pull-out from was justified: Israel lost its way in Lebanon and its scope of maneuverability and options became narrow, to the extent that we had to cut our losses, minimize our casualties, and try to restore our credibility and power of deterrence. All this was right in theory, however it simply did not happen. Prime Minister Ehud Barak solemnly pledged to withdraw unilaterally and we left, but not under the circumstances envisaged by the prime minister.
Israel was forced out, rather than leaving in an orderly fashion. The SLA disintegrated and Israeli soldiers were subjected to Hizbullah harassment. In the eyes of most Israelis it was, at most, unpleasant, and yet the Lebanese pull-out seemed to be Barak's only major success, since coming to power in May 1999.
For the Lebanese, however, it was a totally different story: Israel was humiliated, defeated and forced to leave. It was Hasan Nasrallah, the brilliant leader of Hizbullah, who made it so painfully clear in his victory speech.
As usual, Israelis did not pay too much attention to Nasrallah's speech. We were engaged in typical, petty debates about who said what and when, and neglected the need to listen carefully to Nasrallah. What was so significant in Nasrallah's remarks was his call to the Palestinians to follow in Hizbullah's footsteps and start an armed struggle against Israel, which he claimed was a paper tiger, being unable to sustain casualties and without a determined political leadership.
The bottom line in Nasrallah's speech was "we, the Hizbullah, called Israel's bluff," and now it is the turn of the Palestinians to put the pressure on Israel. We did not pay attention, but the Palestinians did. There is a direct connection between the circumstances of our departure from Lebanon and the beginning of Palestinian hostilities three weeks ago.
On 25 November 1987, one Palestinian terrorist single- handedly killed six Israeli soldiers in what became known as the "hang glider" incident. Just three weeks later, the Intifada started in Gaza. Then, too, there was a connection between Lebanon and Palestinian violence. When Israel is seen as weak and vulnerable, we can be sure that the Palestinians will try to take advantage. The lesson is clear: even when Israel takes a decision to concede politically to the Arabs, be they Lebanese or Palestinians, we can do it only from a position of military strength and superiority.
It is not too late to do it with regard to Lebanon, and surely not in regard to the Palestinian situation. In Lebanon we are locked in a strange situation: our pull-out was in conformity with UN Security Council Resolution 425 and with international support. Our counterparts, supposedly, are the legitimate Lebanese and Syrian governments. This is all in theory. In reality, the Hizbullah are in virtual control of the border zone with Israel, and our government keeps referring to the responsibility of the Lebanese and Syrians, but does nothing.
What we believe is a manifestation of responsibility and prudence is taken by the other side to be a sign of continued weakness. Henceforth, their readiness to continue their anti- Israel activities. If people think that we have seen enough, they are wrong: more troubles are ahead of us, and in the near future. The unilateral pullout was supposed to lead to another reality along the Israeli-Lebanese border. As yet, Barak's gamble has not produced the desired results. Our weakness is too much of a temptation for the Hizbullah.
AND what about the Palestinians? Unfortunately, it is not much different. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat believed some weeks ago that Israel is vulnerable to riots with casualties, and even today he still feels that he could extract concessions from Israel through the use of terrorism committed by his hidden allies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We may not be able to prevent every terrorist outrage, but we can surely prevent the victory of terrorism by refusing to resume negotiations before we achieve a clear and decisive military victory over Arafat's gang.
(c) Jerusalem Post 2000
Yossi Olmert is a Middle East expert and former director of the Goverment Press Office.
From Arutz Sheva
ITAMAR RESIDENTS ARRESTED
More facts about yesterday's attack upon the Shomron town of Itamar continue to be revealed. A mob of between 70 and 80 Arabs, armed with axes, hatchets, and knives began to march on the town, and did not turn back even when the guards fired in the air. The guards then reportedly opened direct fire, killing one and injuring five. The two guards, residents of Itamar, were arrested, and today a Petach Tikvah court ordered their custody extended for five days. Shomron Regional Council head Bentzy Lieberman warned that "their arrest is scandalous. They deserve a medal, and not arrest!" The arrests may cause Jewish lives to be lost, according to Lieberman, as other Israelis will be deterred from opening fire when necessary. "The army is on our side," he told Arutz-7 today. "An IDF investigation found that the shooting was carried out legitimately in the framework of self-defense, and the army insisted that they not be tried, and at the very least that their custody not be extended - but the police still acted as they did."
Kedumim Mayor Daniella Weiss was even more vehement: "According to instructions that we have received from the army, and even from the Chief of Staff himself, if Arabs come to kill us, such as with hatchets and axes as they came yesterday, then we are to shoot to kill.. We don't exactly carry out these 'orders' very often, such that if it happens once every few years, it is clearly a case of danger to life. It is a disgrace that Jews who defend their lives and those of their neighbors be placed under arrest even for one hour! There should be no trial or anything else; they must simply be released!"
Israeli offers to negotiate
between US and
Yemenite demonstrators to end cycle of violence
October 12, 2000
Dear President Clinton,
Madeline Albright has spoken of taking appropriate action against the "terrorists" responsible for the attack on the destroyer in Yemen. I would like to take exception to the description of those responsible for this action as "terrorists." Please describe them, rather, as "demonstrators." In addition, I hope that you will take a moment to feel the anguish of the people who carried out the attack and, rather than retaliating in kind, declare an immediate end to violence on both sides. Peace with Yemenite demonstrators cannot be brought about through violence, but only when America and the demonstrators meet at the negotiating table. You must be willing to show your flexibility and ability to make difficult, even painful, choices for the sake of peace. A good first step would be to hand over 93% of your fleet in the Middle East to the Yemenite demonstrators.
If you wish, I am available to act as a good faith broker to these peace talks.
Yaacov David Shulman