Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies



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









FUNDING WYE IS NOT IN THE "Strategic Interest" OF THE U.S.....Ruth and Nadia Matar




A PRECEDENT....Boris Shusteff






YESHA--The Next Generation....Judy Lash Balint

"Gentlemen cry Peace, Peace, but there is no Peace".... Gary M. Cooperberg

UNSAFE PASSAGE ....Nadav Shragai


THE AVISHAI RAVIV CASE Crime d'etat....Uri Dan




WELCOMING THE POPE?... David Weinberg


Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro * Published Monthly by the

FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, P. O. Box 35661, Houston, TX 77235-5661,


Phone/Fax: 713-723-6016, E-Mail: ** URL:

(c) 1999 Bernard J. Shapiro

The Freeman Center receives no public funds and exists solely on
private contributions which are fully tax deductible.





Today's (October 26th) Jerusalem Post has an opinion piece which attacks all opponents of the Wye Aid Package as wild and crazy right-wing extremists bent on doing great harm to Israel's security. It mentions by name two of Israel's most intelligent advocates, Yossi Ben-Aharon and Yoram Ettinger. Let me make something perfectly clear, Ettinger and Ben-Aharon know exactly what they are doing and saying. Israel, unfortunately, has become like an alcoholic drug crazed relative. It is our love for Israel that makes good Zionists like Ettinger want to intervene to save her. The addiction to Oslo and the American aid deemed necessary to make it work must be stopped. The Israelis must learn that they can't continue to behave in a self destructive manner and then expect American dollars to rush in and save them from disaster. To continue aid to Israel under these circumstances make us an ENABLER to Israel's dysfunctional policies. As I have said before, Americans should NOT pay for the rope so Israel can hang herself......Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor



The Freeman Center strongly condemns Israeli Prime Minister' Ehud Barak's plans to ethnically cleanse Jews from YESHA. Bernard J. Shapiro, Freeman Center director, noted that throughout history there have been evil men who have sought to eradicate the presence of Jews in their territories. Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Persians, Catholics, Germans, Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis, and Palestinian Arabs all tried but failed to destroy the Jews.

Now a new Chamberlain-like ruler, Barak, has joined the ranks of ethnic cleansers. Though democratically elected in Israel, he rules without Zionism, Judaism or morality. He should be reminded of the fate all those before him who have tried to destroy the Jewish people and remove them from their Holy Land. Whether Barak intends to destroy the Jewish people or not can be argued but his actions will certainly lead to that unfortunate end.

I do not believe that my words are incitement. Rather the whole Oslo appeasement process is an incitement against the Jewish people and their right to Eretz Yisrael.....Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor

[Editor's Note: Barak just released 151 more veteran terrorists being help in Israeli prisons. These are the men who murdered and maimed not only Jews but also Arabs and Americans. They will no doubt be of service to Arafat as trainers of a new generation of terrorists. Imagine, if you are able, how the victims of these men must feel as they are released as heroes to the cheers of their fellow Arabs.]


The soothsayer told Caesar to "beware the Ides of March," but he was too wrapped up in his own glory to imagine the possibility of his own demise. The best military/political/strategic analysts of the Freeman Center have estimated Israel's life expectancy to be 30 months. In order to prevent the inevitable destruction of the Jewish state, policy changes must be made within the next 12 months. This is today's Harsh Reality. Averting your eyes and refusing to hear the truth will not prevent this from happening.....Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor




A Response to AIPAC's pro-funding Talking Points

By Helen Freedman, Executive Director, AFSI

The mistaken argument that the U.S. "must live up to its commitments" in funding the $1.9 billion Wye aid package is fundamentally flawed because the U.S. never made such a commitment. In our democratic country, a promise from President Clinton, without prior consultation with the Congress, is not a U.S. commitment. As Congressman Sonny Callahan said, "The President has an insatiable desire to give away American money every time Mr. Clinton raises his glass of wine to some king with a turban."

The argument that "Israel is already incurring the high costs and security burdens of Wye," points out precisely where the poison lies in the Wye agreement. If this were truly a "peace" agreement to which Israel grudgingly acquiesced, there would be no need for the "security burdens." These "burdens" include the financing of by-pass roads, by-pass tunnels, electronic surveillance equipment, and fences that would turn Jewish communities into mini-ghetto armed fortresses. The "separation" that Barak calls for, in effect another Berlin Wall, has proven itself unworkable.

The fallacious claim that "there is an unprecedented opportunity to move the peace process forward" belies the fact that there has been NO reciprocity on the part of the Arabs as spelled out from the very first 1993 Oslo accord. True peace progress would not have to contend with the 40,00-50,000 illegal weapons owned by any Arab who wishes to have one, although every accord between Israel and Arafat calls for confiscation.

The so-called "peace" has brought nothing but terror and economic warfare to Israel. The hate-filled rhetoric of the Arabs, and the deliberate programming of educating Arab children to hate Jews and Israel, is a formula for war, not peace.

Finally, the Wye funding is only a prelude to the $20 billion tab for transfer of Jews from the Golan. This money was also promised, without Congressional authorization, by President Clinton. We maintain that if Israel chooses to take perilous "risks for peace," American taxpayers should not foot the bill, and certainly not at the expense of Social Security trust funds.

Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI), the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies, the Christian Israel Public Affairs Committee (CIPAC) and millions of pro-Israel Jews and Christians nationwide oppose President Bill Clinton's plan to provide U.S. taxpayer dollars to implement the Wye Agreement. If he succeeds here he will attempt to get $20 billion to pay for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Golan Heights. None of this has the slightest chance of helping Israel or making her more secure. It is the path of appeasement and self-destruction.




"It takes a crooked man to walk a crooked mile"


by Emanuel A. Winston

After Congress voted down the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, President Clinton, as expected, lashed out wildly and vetoed the Foreign Aid bill in retribution. Clinton has shown a familiar vindictive mean streak (long known in Washington) which is well in sync with his lack of moral character. What Clinton wanted in both bills was a boost to his now embarrassingly low place in history.

Regrettably, the Republicans, although they knew this Treaty's defects, were not able to explain in plain terms why they voted down the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty nor why they reduced the Foreign Aid package by $2 Billion dollars.

What was NOT released, although it was well known by Clinton, was the fact that a series of prior treaties such as SALT I and II and later agreements with the Chinese were similarly deeply flawed allowing a dangerous and unilateral advancement in weapons' development and deployment. When the Soviets and later the Chinese broke these agreements, for political purposes the U.S. remained silent. Then, as now, the political fallout in the U.S. for this failure was too great to admit. The US, as the high profile partner, had to allow its hands to remain tied while one so-called partner broke the rules with impunity.

Clinton's Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was a tangle of unverifiable mandates which made Clinton look good in the media while U.S. security was eroded. Hopefully, the Republicans will issue a 'White Paper' detailing the flaws of this Treaty. This 'White Paper' should also show that the failures in past a greements have, until now, remained hidden behind a smoke cloud of various Presidents' political self-interest. This President had the advantage of hind sight but, instead, chose to advance a poorly drafted Treaty to benefit his personal political stature while again tying America's hands.

In October 1998, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy clearly pointed out that President Clinton had already launched a program to politicize and dumb down the CIA so whatever intelligence emerged aligned itself with the position of Clinton's foreign policy. Clinton's position that Ballistic Missiles would not threaten the U.S. for at least fifteen years is consistent with his demand for a an unenforceable flawed Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of today. While Clinton was emasculating America's Intelligence capability, he did the same with Israel. Presently, Clinton, pressured Israel who also dumbed down its own intelligence and virtually destroyed her network of agents relying instead upon Palestinian Intelligence.

The Foreign Aid Bill had certain exclusions mandated by Congress - and rightly so. Here too, Clinton played fast and loose with public funds to erase or at least obscure 8 years of scandal. Clinton has not spoken about the $400 million he promised to Arafat in this present bill - despite the fact that previous payments of $500 million in American taxpayers' dollars to Arafat's corrupt dictatorship have purchased nothing more than virtual non-compliance with Arafat's treaty commitments. Clinton simply didn't care that the money was wasted and agreements were broken.

Even Arafat own people have attacked the total corruption of his reign, knowing that he has put most of the donors' funds into his own private bank accounts. Very little of this money reached the Palestinian people and Clinton knew this but he still insisted that Congress approve what amounted to an outright bribe to his close friend, Arafat. Congress was correct in excising these dollars from the Foreign Aid bill despite the phony cries of the Democrats that peace was in jeopardy. (I cannot help but wonder if any of this money will ever be found back in America as were the billions that were given to Russia that also floated back into the U.S.A.)

Congress believes that Clinton's plan to pay for an Israeli withdrawal was not a good idea. It would leave a power vacuum and result in a huge security risk for Israel. So, like the funds slated for Arafat, Congress voted to exclude those funds the Prime Minister wanted to dismantle and rebuild security positions after Israel surrenders vital land, water, holy sites, homes and farms. This entire infrastructure, now to be dismantled, provided an invaluable barrier to what is already evolving into another radical Islamist State which, in linkage with Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Libya will destabilize the entire region, and put the Middle East oil reserves under the control of regimes hostile to the West.

Clinton can devise a disastrous foreign policy for our ally, Israel, in the name of dubious peace, but Congress must agree to provide the funds and has so far refused. Congress, wisely, read the dangerous situation developing on the ground and properly voted against those funds in order to halt Israel's withdrawal which Clinton promised Arafat.

In a typical vindictive swing, Clinton vetoed the entire Foreign Aid package, but not without a backup plan. Bill Clinton is now expected to pull a fast trick just before Congress is to break for a recess October 28. Clinton will try to ram through a last minute Bill or deal to restore the cuts. To do this he must offer the Bill (probably through a Democratic Senator) by means of some subterfuge and avoid any discussion or floor debate by Congress. Part of this process was to attack the Republicans trying to make them the spoilers and force them to swallow a compromise and restore the cut.

Clinton must add $400 million more American tax-payers' dollars for Arafat and $1.2 Billion for Wye but without time for Congressional review and simply allow it to slide through as if unnoticed if the Republicans agree to be stepped on and look beaten. Clinton has already requested that Ehud Barak send a four man team from Israel to lobby Congress and the Jewish organizations to pressure Congress into restoring the reduced aid package. Clinton/Carville are preparing a misleading media package, blaming the Republican Congress for defying his will on what is deceptively called his "Peace Plan"...unless the Republicans capitulate.

Behind what will be a vicious and misleading attack will be a vintage Bill Clinton, smiling and presenting the good fellow image with his crooked little chin crinkled up in his "Aw, Shucks!" pose. Al Gore will be forced to tail along behind, babbling about the ultimate good of peace and peace treaties (no matter if it destroys a fellow democracy, Israel).

Check out Tommy Friedman's article in the October 20th NEW YORK TIMES. He turns truth on its head - as usual. Although it was Clinton who vetoed the Foreign Aid Bill which included a generous foreign aid package for Israel but eliminated $300 Million for Russia because of her misuse and embezzlement of prior funds, Friedman cast the blame on a Republican Congress.

All these Machiavellian machinations are reminiscent of the children's poem:

"It takes a crooked man to walk a crooked mile...."

Congress must remain alert and prepared for the last minute trick and simply reject the "Crooked Offer from a Crooked Man who walked that Crooked Mile!."


Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst & commentator and also a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.



"Strategic Interest" OF THE U.S.

By Ruth and Nadia Matar

As a Member of Congress, the primary consideration on how to vote on Wye funding must be what is in the best interest of the United States of America, and not what is in the best interest of Israel. By that sole criterion, voting for Wye funding in any amount is a cardinal sin.

The United States has strategic interests in the Middle East where 80% of the world's oil supply is presently located. Both the United States, and many leading industrial nations are vitally concerned that an uninterrupted flow of oil at a reasonable price be obtained from that region. The ideal, of course, is that the region not be involved in any conflict which would disrupt this vital oil supply. The Clinton Administration is guided by the above evaluation.

They argue that funding for Wye is essential in order to bring peace to the region. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Wye funding will promote conflict and bring war to the Middle East.

The basic flaw in President Clinton's thinking is that it is based on hope and wishful thinking and ignores the realities. America does not possess the ability to control or change the nature of slick Arafat, and wily Hafez Assad of Syria. These are the individuals on whom the United States must rely for the success of their "huge investment." Both these tyrants, in their respective dictatorships, have a track record of complete disregard for democracy, ruthless acts of barbarity, immorality and a long and sordid record of broken promises and commitments, irrespective of any agreement they may have signed. Add to this Arafat's little concealed adulation and continued support of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Gadaffi of Libya. Everyone is aware that at the "appropriate" time Arafat will join forces with them against America, as he has done in the past, notwithstanding the aid and assistance America will provide him with.

Accordingly, voting on monies that will not bring peace to the area, but rather war and turmoil, is counterproductive and harmful. It will help arm Arafat, whose duplicity Congress is unable to control. All who have any expertise in the area know that Arafat will inevitably, and at the first strategic opportunity, join with the other enemies of stability in the Middle East to destroy Israel, the only reliable ally America has in the region. In forging a relationship with someone like Arafat, America is going against all the hopes and ideals that America has long stood for, and which have set standards for the world. It cannot be stressed too emphatically: Clinton's present foreign policy on Wye is against America's own self-interest. No Senator or Congressman can, in good conscience, vote the huge amount of the funds necessary to implement Wye, when it will only result in strengthening an unreliable Arafat to subsequently destabilize the entire Middle East.


Ruth and Nadia Matar are co-presidents of Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green).

JERUSALEM, October 27, 1999



By Richard A. Hellman, President
Christian Israel Public Affairs Committee

Now you have a unique opportunity to help preserve Israel's security and biblical heritage, while helping the Congress stay within the budget caps and preserve Social Security, by taking the following action:

*Come to Washington next week to help us lobby or, if you can't, call or email your Senators and Representative, and others, especially Appropriations Committee members, to urge they NOT include the $1.9 Billion Wye Agreement funds in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill coming up soon to replace the bill Pres. Clinton vetoed. We will need a Gideon's Army of 300 from across the country to defend Israel on Capitol Hill.

The Wye money is simply a slush fund to mask a sellout of Israel which Clinton coerced Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu into signing last year. There is no detailed list or plan for what the money will buy. Unlike the regular annual Israel defense aid which we support, Israel really doesn't need this, and the Palestinian Authority will misuse or waste it as with our prior aid ( Jordan, which is supposed to get a big chunk of the money, is not even a party with any obligations under the Wye accords! ). Voting against this is the best way Congress can show support for Israel's security and protect our biblical heritage, while helping the Congress stay within the budget caps and protect Social Security. Let's stop throwing good money after bad! This is sound foreign policy, not isolationism.





By David Bedein

Next week, while the US Congress deliberates over whether or not to comply with the request of President Clinton and to indeed grant an additional $400 Million to the Palestinian Authority, a team of Palestinian and Israeli journalists have prepared a comprehensive report concerning Palestinian Authority fiscal accountability. Our news agency will present that report to Congressional staffers next week.

This carefully researched Palestinian-Israeli analysis reports severe issues of financial mismanagement of the PA which cast doubts on the ability of the PA to be at all responsive to the health, education, welfare or even the business needs of the Palestinian Arab population. The principle problems documented by the report:

* At least two private bank accounts of the Palestinian Authority operate under the exclusive control of Arafat, and the monies that go through those accounts are by no means invested in any concerns of the Palestinian Arab people. Half a billion dollars remains in these private accounts.

* The Palestinian Authority recklessly and brutally domineers the business affairs of the Palestinian Arab population through monopolies in industries such as cement-mixing and gasoline, which kick back all profits to private coffers of PA officials. The US state department estimates that there are 27 PA-controlled monopolies.

* Fourteen PA security services collect taxes from the Palestinian Arab population, with little coordination by the PA treasury. These militias all claim loyalty to Arafat under the aegis of the various arms of the

Palestinian Liberation Army

* Assets of the PLO abroad not simply being transferred to the Palestinian Authority.

* Laxity of supervision from donor-nations has given Arafat the free and arbitrary control over the 2.75 billion dollars received so far from donor nations.

* Proliferation of thousands of unnecessary employees in public service of the Palestinian Authority

Meanwhile, however, the report notes that agreements signed between Arafat and all donor nations to the PA require total supervision of the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY's bank accounts along with knowledge and certification of exactly what money was used for. For that reason, the International Monetary Fund was brought in as a "consultant" to the Palestinian staff to prepare the Authority's annual budget.

Well, the report points out, the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY gladly accepts foreign donations but its is less than happy about the supervision that comes with it. Instead, two budgetary systems actually operate within the PA ; one ruled by Arafat with the little or no accountability to the World Bank, the IMF, and the contributing countries. The other, which is under the total supervision of the contributing countries and which serves wholly for development of PA infrastructure.

The World Bank and the IMF which represent the contributing countries have repeatedly demanded that the Authority close the secret set of accounts that remain under Arafat's personal control, and whose assets run in excess of half a billion dollars. Yet Arafat has simply ignored those requests - and gotten away with it.

At the conference of donor nations to the PA that was held this past week in Japan, the Palestinian Authority made promises to clean up the arbitrary accounts and to make various economic reforms. In private discussions, however, Palestinian Authority representatives joked in the corridors of conference that they will continue to do whatever they like with the money that they receive.

A theory propagated by Oslo peace architect and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres was that the flow of capital to the Palestinian Arab community would foster peace and a "new middle east". Instead, the billions of dollars of cash-flow in Palestinian society has led to rampant corruption and a seething population that may turn to violence - not only against Arafat's PA, but also against Israel and the US, whom the Palestinian people blame for imposing a corrupt PA upon them.


David Bedein is a Media Research Analyst and Bureau Chief ISRAEL RESOURCE NEWS AGENCY

BEIT AGRON INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTER Jerusalem, Israel. Full Report posted at:




By Boris Shusteff

Immediately after this attack upon officers of Antiochus, Mattathias cried out: "Whosoever is zealous for the Law, and whosoever wishes to support the Covenant, follow me"(1).

On October 14, 1999 Arutz -7 Radio reported that "a compromise was reached. between the Yesha Council and Prime Minister Barak on the dismantling of civilian outposts in Judea and Samaria." This decision of the Israeli leaders to "evacuate 12 outposts" could become the last straw that breaks the back of Jewish passive resistance to the suicidal and submissive policy that has been exercised by successive Israeli governments since the beginning of the Oslo process.

The great Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz wrote about the beginning of the Maccabean uprising: "When the bloody persecution of the Judean people had reached such a height that either the destruction of the whole nation, or their submission from exhaustion and despair seemed imminent, an open rebellion took the place of passive resistance." (1)

It is true, today the number of the "victims of peace" cannot be compared to the number of the Jews tortured and murdered in Antiochus' time. However, the anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish onslaught inside and outside of Israel has reached such a height that either the destruction of the whole nation, or their submission from exhaustion and despair is imminent.

The Jewish leaders' betrayal of the settlements - the soul of the Jewish state - tells us that the last red line has been crossed. It does not matter whether the settlements in question were established legally or not. It does not matter whether they are big or small. It does not matter where they are located. What is important is the fact that the Jewish state decided to uproot the Jews from the Jewish land.

The shameful word "evacuation" used in lieu of the more honest words "destruction," "dismantling," uprooting" cannot hide the terrible truth that "following the removal of persons and equipment from an encampment, tractors will be brought in to destroy the approach roads to the areas and soldiers will remain on site as necessary to prevent the reestablishment of any of the encampments" (2).

It appears that the Israeli leaders are absolutely incapable of learning from their previous blunders in their relations with the Arabs. What can be a better example then the issue of the interpretation of UN Resolution 242? The Arabs insist that the Jews must return "all the territories" gained as the result of the Six Day War. The Jews argue that the Resolution means "some territories," and that the word "the" was intentionally omitted from the text of the Resolution.

This "academic" dispute immediately lost all sense after the Jews surrendered to Egypt ALL the territory that they conquered during the war. The peace agreement with Jordan, when Israel returned ALL the Jordanian lands, just exacerbated the situation. Now, with a precedent established, both the Syrians and the Palestinian Arabs demand that Israel return to the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, since Israel did this in order to sign treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

The same situation will follow the uprooting even of a single settlement in Yesha. The precedent will be set and no force in the world will be able to change this fact. As MK Michael Kleiner said, "those who agree to the evacuation of one Jewish settlement in the end will find themselves losing all the settlements.. They will always be asked: If you agreed on settlement 'X' why can't you agree on settlement 'Y'" (3).

What is especially incomprehensible is that the leaders of the settlers themselves are taking part in this catastrophe. As Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin told Israel Radio, "This is the first time that settlements will be removed by agreement with the settlers, not in a confrontation with them" (7).

The attempt of long-time Yesha veteran Ze'ev Chever, known as Zambish, who represented the settlers in the negotiations, to justify this "compromise" from a "legal" standpoint is unacceptable. His statement that the "neighborhoods that will be uprooted must not be seen, neither by the right-wing nor the left, as a precedent for the uprooting of communities, because the issue was only their legality"(4) is good only for complacency.

The Meretz MK Naomi Hazan, while well aware of the legal aspect of the issue nevertheless stressed the importance of the precedent that it sets. She wrote that "Barak's. decision to dismantle. outposts .set a significant precedent for dismantling settlements in the future"(5). The danger of this precedent was also immediately stressed by MK Rechavam Ze'evi of the National Union, who said that "if we're compromising, we might as well compromise on all of Eretz Yisrael. This new agreement is a precedent for the evacuation of other places." (4)

One should not have even the shadow of a doubt that, even more than before, the Arabs will undoubtedly see the dismantling of the settlements as a precedent that they can use for the dismantling of the Jewish state itself. Uri Dan wrote in a brilliant article in The Jerusalem Post that "for the Palestinians, everything is 'illegal.' Everything is 'stolen land.' .Even if Ramon and Sarid uproot all the settlements, the Palestinians will not waive any of their rights, neither to the borders of 1967 or to those of the 1947 Partition Plan"(6).

The moral gap between the settler leaders "compromise" and Naomi Hazan's suggestion to "come to terms with necessity of abandoning the settlement enterprise" (5) is almost nonexistent. In both cases whether it is an outpost, a single settlement, or a block of settlements, the essence of the issue is the separation of the Jew from the Jewish land. This is a violation of the Covenant between God and the Jewish people, and an attempt to abandon Judaism.

Heinrich Graetz described similar precedents in Jewish history.

"When Appeles, one of the Syrian overseers reached Modin, to summon the inhabitants to abandon the Law [and commanded] Mattathias to set an example of submission, the former answered: "If all the people in the kingdom obey the order of the monarch to depart from the faith of their fathers, I and my sons will abide by the Covenant of our forefathers." When one of the Judeans approached the altar to sacrifice to Jupiter, Mattathias could no longer restrain his wrath, but rushed upon the apostate, killing him at the altar. His sons. fell upon Apelles and his troops, killed them, and destroyed the altar. This act proved the turning-point; it set an example of courageous resistance as against inactive despair."(1)

 The precedent of a courageous resistance versus inactive despair encouraged the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto. It was in the core of the Jewish victory in the War of Independence. All those who hold Judaism and the soul of the Jewish people in contempt should know that not only the settlers of Yesha but millions of Jews in Israel and all over the world believe in Eretz Yisrael. They should remember that the patience of the Jews is not eternal.[10/16/99]


1.. Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews.

2.. Israel Wire News Service, 10/14/99.

3.. IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis), 10/14/99.

4.. Arutz 7, 10/14/99.

5.. "A settlement by any other name," by Naomi Hazan, The Jerusalem Post, 10/15/99

6.. "The real thing" by Uri Dan, The Jerusalem Post 10/14/99.

7.. Associate Press News 10/15/99.


Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman center for Strategic Studies.



Reprinted from Ha'aretz, October 28, 1999


By Israel Harel

Israelis rarely see a rain cloud nowadays, yet our skies are darkened by clouds - related to issues of national security and the peace process. While Egyptian generals are engaging in saber-rattling, the Syrians have come out with the threat, highly useful in any internal crisis (such as the one presently developing in that country), that they will call a halt to all the preliminary contacts designed to resuscitate the talks with Israel. In the meantime, a mini-Intifada is transpiring in Bethlehem. Day after day, Palestinian youths attack the Israeli security forces guarding Rachel's Tomb. It has been reported that the attacks are by no means an expression of spontaneity. Furthermore, the conflagration, which has led one of the attackers to get within stabbing distance of one of our soldiers, was started by official Palestinian elements. However, the average Israeli, who is so preoccupied with much juicier issues, has no time to deal with such petty matters.

The same, apparently, can be said for those whose job it is to listen, to understand and to react while those of us who are caught up with the latest scandal refuse to hear or know anything. "Ehud Barak is not listening to us," Yedioth Ahronoth quotes Israeli experts who specialize in assessing Palestinian affairs. In this report, the unhappy experts complain that, in addition to refusing to look at the concrete evidence, the prime minister is keeping them in the dark regarding developments in the official negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and, of course, in the secret talks. According to these specialists, this state of affairs is undermining our national security. The reason for their being kept in the dark, they believe, is their pessimistic forecasts. Apparently, rulers never like to hear opinions that run counter to their ambitions.

One thing worrying the heads of our military intelligence community is related to the practical implications of the extreme statements being made by Palestinian leaders. According to these military intelligence chiefs, such statements should not be regarded simply as threats uttered to fill tactical needs. Instead, these are expressions of authentic feelings that are sincerely grounded in the knowledge that Israelis are so captivated by their own understanding of Israeli-Palestinian relations that they are willing to tolerate almost any utterance, even the kind that generates acts of violence, such as what is happening today in Bethlehem.

A few weeks ago, Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg invited Abu Ala'a, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, to visit our parliament building. In his speech at the official reception held in his honor, this guest of the Knesset spat in the face of his hosts, declaring that Jerusalem is an Arab city. The lands on which the Knesset, the Supreme Court building and the adjacent government ministry buildings are built, he taunted his tongue-tied hosts, are the site of the Arab village of Sheikh Bader.

Declarations of this nature, our intelligence experts now admit, accurately reflect the thoughts - and thus the political and operative intentions - of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. In addition, such statements prove that these leaders are interested in conducting the negotiations with Israel in an atmosphere of incitement intended to enflame the passions of the Palestinian populace.

What is happening, however, is that these war-mongering declarations are not only creating turmoil in the Palestinian street. They are also arousing the passions of both the opponents of peace in the Arab states, and - as was demonstrated a few weeks ago in Tiberias and Haifa - part of the Israeli Arab population.

The refusal to see reality - just as in the period immediately preceding the Yom Kippur War - has nothing to do with rational thought. The decision by some cabinet members to ignore the air-raid sirens now being sounded stems from blind dedication - one that cannot be refuted even by the facts - to a single goal, and that goal is a Palestinian state. Those who are ready to give up (almost) anything and to receive nothing in return are even prepared to deny the significance of the declarations made by Abu Ala'a, just as yesterday they denied the significance of the declaration made by Arafat on the ultimate goal of the Arabs in this land and just as they denied the declaration of Nabil Sha'ath (who has said that, if the Palestinians' demands are not met at the negotiating table, they will be met through armed struggle).

The peace cult, Israel's leading messianic movement, claims - as we can see, the religion of peace is no different from any other religion - that the journey to the messianic era is an arduous one and filled with pain. Nonetheless, the messiah - that is, peace - will come, in the wake of all the compromises and concessions, and will console us after we have suffered so much in the past.

It cannot be assumed that a rational, pragmatic and suspicious individual like Barak has recently joined this cult because of all the difficulties he must weather. It is therefore incomprehensible why he is not responding to the warnings he is being given. The concept of separation, which he has introduced in recent weeks, is not enough. A much more comprehensive revision of our thinking is needed, especially with regard to the Palestinians

(c) Copyright 1999 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved



By Ruth and Nadia Matar

[Jerusalem, October 26, 1999] The Barak government has no shame. Barak has completely abandoned the long held Zionist orientation of the majority of his People and has chosen instead as his criterion: "acceptance by the Goyim". By acting in this manner, Barak indeed may win Carville and Clinton's favor; however, he will be taking a course of action opposed to the beliefs and faith of his forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in their and our Promised Land.

Barak has cleverly maneuvered Yesha to do his dirty work through the facade of a so-called "compromise agreement" with them. To make him appear as one who is intent on moving the "peace process" forward, he has arbitrarily determined that certain "settlements" have to be dismantled. Among those to be removed is the small community of MITZPEH KRAMIM, located to the north of Jerusalem. Yossi Sarid, Barak's "Jewish" Education Minister, correctly points out that it isn't the size of the removal that is important, rather it is the establishment of the principle of removal. So it is that the eight families of MITZPEH KRAMIM, including their eighteen small children, are scheduled by Barak to be forcibly evacuated from their homes.

MITZPEH KRAMIM is not a camp of makeshift buildings. It is an established community whose members by their blood, sweat and tears have made a previously unoccupied barren area flourish. They acted in the finest Zionist tradition of upbuilding our homeland. Never mind that these homes were built with the full cognizance and consent of the Israel Defense Forces, the Ministry of Defense, the Jewish Agency and the Civil Administration. Barak has ruled otherwise. They must go.

The same Education Minister, Yossie Sarid, has previously hypocritically told us that an order of transfer is "illegal" and should not be obeyed. He wrote that in an article several years ago in Yediot Achronot. He was referring to the transfer of Arabs, but the principle involved is exactly the same. Barak's Minister of Education educates our children that transfer of Arabs is illegal yet transfer of Jews is permissible. Barak has apparently adopted this intolerable and prejudiced view of Sarid.



By Yisrael Medad

According to an item published in the Makor Rishon weekly, Aryeh Stav, editor of the bi-monthly Nativ Magazine, is planning a February 2000 issue devoted to the acceptance of Israel in the Arab World.

He wrote to 120 researchers and academics, all of them identified as holding leftist opinions, and presented them with his own pessimistic outlook that Israel, despite all its peace efforts, has not been accepted within the Arab Middle East. He requested that they contribute to the issue articles proving the opposing thesis, that Israel is being accepted. Stav also asked Shimon Peres to contribute an article in this vein.

The Nativ editorial board also wrote to such leftwing institutions such as the Jaffe Center, the Van Leer Institute, Beit Berl and Givat Chaviva. They were asked to contribute papers proving a moderation towards Israel in the Arab World.

Not one of the above has replied nor has any research paper been received.

Stav claims that indeed no one can prove the thesis of moderation and acceptance. Since the Oslo Process began the Arab World has adopted more extreme positions vis-a-vis Israel, including classic antisemitic stands such as the appearance as a best seller in Ramallah of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'.

Makor Rishon, October 15, 1999, Weekly Roundup



By Louis Rene Beres

Military analysts customarily distinguish between wars of attrition and wars of annihilation. Yet, such wars need not be mutually exclusive; they can be complementary parts of a single belligerent strategy. So it is today with respect to present and future aggression against the Jewish State by Israel's multiple Islamic enemies.

Consider Iran and Syria. While these enemy states prepare patiently for an eventual unconventional assault upon Israel, they first weaken the Zionist "cancer" incrementally, bit-by-bit, by sustaining the Hizbullah in south Lebanon. As for the PLO, soon to become the full-fledged enemy state of Palestine, it works hand-in-hand with Hamas and other terrorists, (including Hizbullah), assisting in breaking down Israeli will and preoccupying Israel Defense Force (IDF) attention. Once the Peace Process has "succeeded," Palestine - in concert with Iran, Iraq and Syria among others - will assuredly prepare to shift military orientation from a strategy of attrition to one of annihilation.

What about Egypt and the Gulf States? Because these Islamic countries are not generally considered authentic enemies of Israel, certainly not by the United States, they are now poised to buy a great deal of new weapons from Washington. All of these states are currently aiding, to a greater or lesser extent, one or more of the several different Islamic terror groups now operating against Israel. When these groups have done with their attrition work on Israeli targets, such "peaceful" sponsor states can be expected to join enthusiastically in the Final Battle.

Israel does not face a random set of discrete and wholly separate military threats. Rather, there now exists a general threat environment within which discrete threat components fit. Presently, these components are comprised of surrogate war and direct war, of ongoing low-intensity conflict fought by proxy, and future high-intensity warfare - possibly chemical, biological or nuclear - to be fought by enemy states. Recognizing the synergies between these components, Israel's state and nonstate adversaries have learned that attrition is the optimal staging ground for eventual annihilation of the Jewish State.

In all world politics, but especially in the Middle East, we are present at the gradual unveiling of a secret, but the nucleus of meaning, the essential truth of what is taking place, is what is not said. For the remaining future, the enemies of Israel will continue their preparations for unconventional war, and will regard as an integral part of such preparations the support and sustenance of pertinent guerrilla/terrorist operations. Altogether unaffected by parallel public commitments to a so-called "Peace Process," these preparations will proceed on their own track, culminating, if not suitably obstructed, in a fully existential assault upon the Third Temple Commonwealth. It follows that Israel cannot afford to close its eyes to such enemy plans, or to the associated and interactive dangers of attrition warfare. To survive into the Third Millennium, it will be necessary for Jerusalem first of all to recognize the calculated interactions between attrition and annihilation and then to hit hard against both threat dimensions simultaneously. At a minimum, this implies a readiness to undertake life-saving forms of preemption (most plausibly against selected hard targets in Iraq and/or Iran) and to cease immediately the devastating territorial concessions still being codified by the Oslo Agreements.

There is one last point. Israel must continue to maintain its own nuclear force capabilities at all costs, and must now begin to articulate a more explicit and coherent doctrine of nuclear strategy. For now, the policy of nuclear ambiguity, of keeping the bomb in the "basement," seems still to work. But in the future, especially if Israel's enemies calculate that Jerusalem's nuclear weapons are substantially vulnerable to first-strike attacks (a calculation that would become more plausible with the development of Arab/Islamic nuclear forces), nuclear ambiguity could fail. What this means is that preventing Israel's annihilation requires not only an awareness of preparatory attrition warfare by various enemies, but also observable Israeli preparations for the annihilation of Israel's enemies. Such preparations, if conducted correctly, could greatly enhance deterrence, thereby reducing the risk of regional nuclear war. These preparations, therefore, could circumscribe - finally - a really meaningful "peace process."


LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) Professor of International Law, Purdue University is the author of many books and articles dealing with strategy and conflict in the Middle East. His work is well-known to Israel's political, academic, military and intelligence communities. To E-MAIL Professor Beres: BERES@POLSCI.PURDUE.EDU



By Louis Rene Beres

[October 18, 1999] As the Prime Minister prepares for further Jewish withdrawals from Judea and Samaria - and possibly also from the Golan Heights and South Lebanon - tens of thousands of Israelis now correctly recognize Barak's ill-considered policies as a Final Solution to the Israel Question. Not surprisingly, these citizens of a rapidly disappearing Jewish State are joining together in necessary and sustained opposition to these policies. Whatever its particular expression, this opposition will soon take the form of what is generally known as civil disobedience.

Although Prime Minister Barak can be expected to denounce such forms of opposition, civil disobedience does have a long and distinguished tradition in both law and democratic theory. Moreover, the roots of this tradition lie plainly in Jewish Law. It follows that before Israeli public authorities and the Israeli Left combine to denounce "lawlessness," some informed understanding of civil disobedience must be disseminated. It is with this in mind that I offer the following information:

From its very beginnings, Jewish law has been viewed as an expression of God's will. Biblically, the law is referred to as the "word of God," never of humankind. God is the sole authentic legislator, and righteousness lies in observance of His law. Moreover, the absence of righteousness places at risk the lives and well-being of both the individual and the entire community.

For ancient Israel, law was always the revealed will of God. All transgressions of the law were consequently offenses against God. The idea that human legislators might make law independently of God's will would have been incomprehensible. Indeed, as God was the only legislator, the sole function of human authorities was to discover the law and to ensure its proper application. According to Talmud: "Whatever a competent scholar will yet derive from the Law, that was already given to Moses on Mount Sinai."

In the Jewish tradition, the principle of a Higher Law is not only well-established; it is the very foundation of all legal order. Where the law of the state stands in marked contrast to this principle, it is altogether null and void. In certain circumstances, such contrast positively mandates opposition to the law of the state. Here, what is generally known as "civil disobedience" is not only lawful, but genuinely law-enforcing.

What sorts of circumstances are we describing? Above all others, they are circumstances that place at existential risk the very survival of the state. In such circumstances, which have in fact already been identified in an Halachic Opinion issued by Prominent Rabbis in Eretz Yisroel Concerning Territorial Compromise, the matter is one of Pikuach Nefesh and it demands apt forms of resistance. Israel cannot endure strategically without the heartlands of Judea and Samaria. As the Torah is a "Toras Chaim," a Torah of life, Jewish authorities in the State of Israel are "forbidden, under any circumstance," to transfer Jewish land to Arab authorities.

The writer Hillel Halkin, fearing that the state of the Jews might one day be ruled by "Hebrew-speaking Gentiles" (a fear already widespread among American Zionist thinkers like Maurice Samuel and Ludwig Lewisohn) once wrote: "I do not believe that a polity of Israelis who are not culturally Jews, whose roots in this land go no deeper than thirty years and no wider than the boundaries of an arid nation-state, has a future in the Middle East for very long. In one way or will be blown away like chaff as though it never were, leaving neither Jews nor Israelis behind it." And in a more recent essay the same writer observed that the actual hatred for Judaism of a very large portion of Israeli intellectuals, including those who now create a theoretical legitimacy for Barak government policies, has become a hatred of Zionism.

Halkin's fears were and remain well-founded. Under the Rabin and Peres governments, Israel began its transformation not only into a polity that was more and more detached from cultural Judaism, but into one that positively undermined both Judaism and Zionism. With the election of Ehud Barak, this transformation has essentially been completed. With the election of Barak, hundreds of thousands of Israelis are delighted that Israel has now become a "normal" nation and that being Jewish need no longer be a source of personal embarrassment. With Barak, Jews will soon begin a return to the Diaspora.

For so many Israelis, the Jewish future lies in Los Angeles. Why care about Jerusalem? We always have the internet.

The right of sovereignty, in all states, rests upon the assurance of protection. Where a state can no longer offer such assurance - indeed, where it deliberately surrenders such assurance - the critical basis of citizen obligation must disappear. "The obligation of subjects to the sovereign," said the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in the seventeenth century, "is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them."

Can the Barak government protect Israel's citizens? Clearly, Oslo is the mother of "Palestine," and with Barak's plan for additional surrenders of land, Oslo will soon become the mother of all Middle Eastern wars. About to be deprived of its remaining strategic depth, Israel will become an irresistibly tempting object for aggression by certain enemy states. These temptations will be enlarged if Israeli forces leave South Lebanon. In view of what is already known about enemy state nuclearization, and about ballistic missile developments in these states - especially Iraq, Iran and Syria - aggression might even come to Israel as unconventional war.

Barak also endangers Israel's survival by his planned acquiescence to Syria on the Golan Heights. Recalling the words of four distinguished Israeli (res.) generals: "Israel's presence on the Golan Heights constitutes the optimal strategic balance with Syria and insurance against a massive Syrian attack. The IDF's proximity to Damascus is also a guarantee against a Syrian missile launch into Israel's rear. Any change in this balance would lessen Israel's deterrent against potential Syrian aggression and jeopardize the quiet and stability that have characterized the Golan since 1974."

It is with these grave dangers in mind that Israeli opponents of Barak's planned surrenders will soon engage in massive civil disobedience. Recognizing that victimization by words can set the stage for subsequent victimization by force, they shall soon seek, perhaps desperately, to "stop the machine" while there is still time. Will they be acting correctly?

To "stop the machine!" The phrase is directly out of Thoreau's classical explorations of civil disobedience. In his famous essay on the subject, the American transcendentalist spoke persuasively of such opposition as an act of "counter friction." Confronted with dreadful harms of the sort now suffered and anticipated by so many Israelis, harms generated by the Oslo/Wye Peace Process and soon-to-be magnified by Barak, he would urge, as he once did about policy deformations in this country: "Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn."

This is precisely what Israel's protestors MUST now seek, not to lend themselves to the insupportable risks of the Rabin/Peres/Netanyahu/Barak agreements with the PLO. Among these wrongs are the Israeli government's sustained legitimization of a terrorist organization and its corollary unwillingness or incapacity to punish terrorist crimes. Indeed, not only have Israel and the Palestinian authority effectively abandoned all pertinent jurisprudential obligations to seek out and prosecute Arab terrorists, they are still both releasing known terrorists from their respective jails. Certainly Barak will not be willing or able to put an end to such barbarism.

Israel's agreements with the PLO contravene the binding obligation to punish acts that are crimes under international law. Known formally as Nullum crimen sine poena, "No crime without a punishment," this requirement points unambiguously to the multiple acts of killing and torture ordered directly by Yasir Arafat and his lieutenants over these many years. To not only ignore this requirement, but to actually legitimize the criminality by making Arafat a "partner" in the Oslo/Wye agreements, is a violation of Principle I of the Nuremberg Principles. This means that Israel's citizens who now support and sustain the Oslo/Wye agreements are actually in violation of international law (and therefore of Israel's national law as well, which necessarily incorporates international law), while those who oppose this agreement within the proper bounds of civil disobedience are actually in support of both forms of law.

These informed views of law and civil disobedience in Israel, however disturbing they may seem, warrant a much broader public understanding. Now embarked upon policies that threaten Israel's very existence while they simultaneously undermine authoritative expectations of justice, the Barak government should fully expect to be confronted with mounting protests. Were it not so confronted, citizens of that beleaguered state would have already consented to their own national dismemberment.

International law, which is based upon a variety of higher law foundations, including Jewish Law, forms part of the law of all nations. This is the case whether or not the incorporation of international law into national law is codified, explicitly, as it is in the Supremacy Clause (Article VI) of the United States Constitution. The government of Israel is bound by settled norms of international law concerning punishment of terrorist crimes and physical survival of the state. Where this government fails to abide by these rules, as is very much the case today, civil disobedience is not only permissible, it is required.

We began with a look at the Jewish Law bases of higher law and civil disobedience. Jewish law rests always upon two principles: the overriding sovereignty of God and the derivative sacredness of the individual person. Both principles, intertwined and interdependent, underlie the reasoned argument for civil disobedience in Israel. From the sacredness of the person, which stems from each individual's resemblance to divinity, flows the freedom to choose. The failure to exercise this freedom, which is evident wherever a response to political authority is merely automatic, represents a betrayal of individual legal responsibility.

Finally, we must be reminded that Jewish law is democratic in the sense that it belongs to all of the people, a principle reflected in the Talmudic position that each individual can approach God in prayer without priestly intercessions. Hence, a fundamental goal of law must always be to encourage initiative, to act purposefully on behalf of improving both state and society. When this criterion is applied to impending instances of civil disobedience in Israel, it should be apparent that the protesting opponents of Barak's Final Solution, more than any other citizens of Israel, will be acting according to law.


LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) Professor of International Law, Department of Political Science, Purdue University is the author of many books and articles dealing with Israel's security. His writings on international law appear regularly in more than two dozen major law journals, and are well-known in Israel's academic, political, military and intelligence communities. Professor Beres's next book is titled FORCE, ORDER AND JUSTICE: INTERNATIONAL LAW IN AN AGE OF ATROCITY. E-mail Prof. Beres at: BERES@POLSCI.PURDUE.EDU


YESHA--The Next Generation

By Judy Lash Balint

Jerusalem--Generally, the passing of the baton from one generation to the next in a political or social movement takes place gradually. The older generation of activists take on lessening responsibilities, while a few younger members are brought into the fold and groomed for leadership. In Israel this week, however, we witnessed the abrupt shift of power of the "settlement" movement from the old guard, the founders of the communities in YESHA, to their children--the twenty-thirty year olds, born and bred in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan.

In the wake of the compromise agreement between the YESHA Council and Ehud Barak's government over the removal of certain small outposts, the younger generation has sought to mobilize those who feel that the dismantling of any Jewish settlement is a betrayal of the bond between the people of Israel and the land, and a precursor to evacuations of larger, more established communities across the Green Line.

Last night, outside the Prime Minister's residence, more than 5,000 people showed up to annoint the new leaders. Under the banner of Dor Hemshech (Next Generation) they came to the podium, one after another, to vow to peacefully protest the government's decision. The old-timers stood off to the side, whispering amongst themselves, and looking on with pride at their ideological offspring.

Former MK Geula Cohen was behind the stage. MK Hanan Porat (who resigned his Knesset seat the day after the rally) looked on wistfully, and MK Rehavam Zeevi and his wife accepted the chairs offered to them slightly away from the fray.

Signs waved by the crowd were in Hebrew, English, French and Russian. A few black hats and uncovered heads could be seen, but the preponderance of the throng were the knitted kippa, national religious chevra. Busloads of young people arrived from the Golan and Gush Katif, as well as points in between, but there were also many Jerusalemites in the crowd.

The pleasant-natured Shimon Rikhlin served as MC, setting the tone by encouraging singing and dancing and waving down the few who tried to shout intolerant slogans. One by one, energetic representatives of each of the communities slated for evacuation came forward. A group of four friends from Erez, three of the four standing bare-headed and one sporting a pony-tail, played a rousing rhythm on their drums before telling those assembled before them of their commitment to the land, and its preservation.

Dor Hemshekh leader Hevron Shilo addressed his remarks to Prime Minister Barak: "If you continue along this path of destruction, Honorable Prime Minister, we will be forced to begin a struggle - a just struggle, but responsible; tolerant, but determined. People ask us how we will struggle. I call upon everyone, every outpost that is to be evacuated, to come with musical instruments. We will sit on the roads and sing, we will stand next to the tractors and we'll dance. No one can promise us victory here and now. But a Jew who knows how to sing his faith, a Jew who can sing for his Land and who can sing for his G-d, can rest assured that in the end, his faith will emerge victorious."

Fire burned in the eyes of Yehoshophat Tor of the Judean Hills outpost of Maon. Tor, injured a little more than a year ago in an attack which took the life of his 28 year old friend, Dov Dribben, spoke of his strong conviction that Jews belong in the place where King David wandered and which had remained barren until the Jews returned to settle the land thousands of years later. Tor pledged never to move from the place he had chosen to express his commitment to the God of Israel in the most tangible way--by cultivating the land and raising his family there.

Fiery passion was evident in the words of two women veterans of the YESHA movement, but you could almost sense their weariness as well their relief that the next generation was taking their place at the barricades. Daniella Weiss and a representative of the Golan residents spoke of how they established the settlements, " with our children in our hands." Now those children, "who were raised as free Jews in a free land, imbibing the spirit of Zionism" are ready to take the next steps to protect their parent's investment.




A Voice from Hebron -- October 14, 1999

"Gentlemen cry Peace, Peace,
but there is no Peace"

By Gary M. Cooperberg

That Prime Minister Barak has indicated his intentions to uproot Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, including the Hebron area, is no surprise. What is most bitterly upsetting and disappointing is the willingness of alleged religious and nationalistic Members of Knesset to accept any form of territorial concessions. It is bad enough that we have foolish secularists who deceive themselves into believing that peace will result from appeasing the likes of Arafat. But when observant Jews can lend legitimacy to the surrender of Jewish land to our enemies by suggesting that such treason might, in some unexplained manner, promote peace, it is time for all of us to tear our clothing and cry out to the heavens that our people open their eyes.

Read my lips: THERE IS NO PEACE PROCESS!!! All that is happening is that the Israeli government is surrendering to the PLO in stages. There is no enmity between the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Egypt, Syria or even Jordan. All of them seek the destruction of the Jewish State. Some have gotten smart enough to pretend to love us, and most do not even pretend. We Jews, on the other hand, do nothing but pretend. We pretend that by surrendering to and strengthening our enemies, they will cease their plans to destroy us. We all know that this is nothing but fantasy, but we prefer pleasant fantasy to bitter truth.

What is the alternative? The alternative to self destruction is self preservation. The only country in world history which has succeeded in suppressing the most basic instinct to survive has been the Jewish State. There is no choice between war or peace. The choice is either we will fight a war on our enemies' terms, after we have greatly weakened ourselves; or we will fight to defend ourselves from a position of strength. There is no general in the world (outside of Israel) that would advise a strategy of surrender from a position of strength. Yet this is exactly what we have been doing and continue to do.

To date there really is no such thing as peace on earth. It amazes me that so many people actually think that Israel will achieve this utopian goal by trying to appease terror. The United States has peace only because it is a strong military and economic entity. Would one as much as consider that the United States would embark upon a peace process with Mexico by offering territory in Texas for peace? Hebron is not "territory". Hebron is the basis for which we have claim to the Land of Israel. It was in Hebron that G-d Promised our Father, Abraham, that the Land of Israel would be our eternal inheritance. How dare any Jew, for any reason and at any price, for one second consider spitting in the face of our G-d and give our inheritance to strangers, even were they not murderous enemies?

There is no such thing as an "illegal settlement" in the Land of Israel unless it was established by Arabs. There is not one shred of hope to achieve peace by rejecting our birthright. It is Barak and his government, including Shas, who are guilty of precipitating the biggest war this country ever faced should they agree to dismantle even one Jewish home or army base in any part of the Land of Israel.

This is not a battle between the government and the alleged "right wing extremists". This is a challenge to the safety and security of the Jewish People all over the world. It is a challenge to all G-d fearing people. The miracle of the rebirth of the Jewish State after two thousand years of exile is no accident. It is the beginning of redemption. Redemption is a G-dly process which cannot be stopped. But all who participate in efforts to thwart it, or refrain from actively trying to stop those efforts, are guilty of bringing tragedy upon themselves and their nation.

By any measure, be it religious or even simple logic, it is a grave error to surrender to terror. To give away one grain of Jewish soil to even nice people, not only will not bring peace, rather will hasten the war being planned by all of our "peace partners" to wipe the Jewish State off the map. It is bad enough that such plans are being made. But it is more than criminal that Jews can allow themselves to be duped into thinking that they will achieve peace by holding a knife to their own throats.

Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 24, 1999



Ha'aretz, Sunday, October 10, 1999


By Nadav Shragai

On the last day of May this year, Amichai Filber and his wife, Orit, were driving from the West Bank settlement of Beit El to Jerusalem. Suddenly, on the Ramallah bypass road, a Palestinian vehicle traveling at high speed lurched toward them in their lane and collided with their car. Orit, the mother of three children, was killed instantly. Tamar Weissrosen, a passenger in the car and the mother of two children, was also killed. Filber, who suffered serious injuries, was only recently discharged from the hospital.The driver of the vehicle that hit them, Ma'atan Fahd Za'al Falah, was taken to a hospital in Ramallah and discharged a few days later. The Israeli police were unable to detain him for questioning, since his family rented him an apartment in Ramallah, which effectively became a safe haven for him. Only recently did he appear, with an armed Palestinian police escort, at the office of the Joint Liaison Committee in Ramallah (on the Palestinian side), where he gave his account of the event and left without being arrested or tried.

In this case, the Palestinian police deviated from their usual practice and permitted him to be interrogated, but no more than that. In tens of thousands of other cases, however, the Israeli police don't have a clue about Palestinian traffic offenders. Chief Superintendent Yossi Peled, from the Public Security Ministry, reported that in the first eight months of 1997, "The police wrote about 60,000 tickets against locals [i.e., Palestinians], which were conveyed to the Palestinian police through the Joint Liaison Committee." He added, however, that the Israeli police have no idea what became of these tickets. Since then, an additional 100,000 traffic tickets have been forwarded to the Palestinian Authority, and their fate is similarly unknown.

Two weeks ago, when it appeared that the southern part of the "safe passage" route linking the West Bank and Gaza was about to be opened, Dalia Makeiton, another officer of the traffic police in the Samaria and Judea district, said that there was no cooperation between Israel and the PA in monitoring and enforcing traffic laws against offenders. She confirmed that many Palestinian drivers have no licenses, often drive wildly and do not carry valid insurance. The former director-general of the Transport Ministry, Nahum Langental, also said a few days ago that the PA does not cooperate with the ministry and does not report offending drivers or vehicles that have been ordered off the road.

The situation in Jordan also leaves much to be desired. A few months after the peace treaty with Jordan was signed in 1994, Israeli police detained Jordanian trucks at the Allenby Bridge border station on the Jordan River because their drivers were pulling on ropes in order to activate their brakes. At first the Jordanians were furious and claimed that the Israeli authorities' refusal to permit the trucks to proceed was undermining the peace between the nations. However, they soon came around to the Israeli point of view on the subject.

With the Palestinians, things are a lot less smooth, as Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein noted last week "with deep disappointment" in connection with other judicial matters. Israeli drivers who become involved in accidents with Palestinian vehicles bang their heads against a wall in attempts to collect insurance claims. Some time ago, the Civil Administration transferred NIS 7 million to the PA as basic capital for establishing a fund that would compensate Israeli drivers who were injured by vehicles driven by Palestinians in accidents. The money faded away, like the Palestinians' commitment to transfer to Israel 30 percent of the insurance fees they collect on every vehicle, with the money to be used for compensating Israelis injured in accidents with Palestinian drivers.

Israel is incapable of forcing the Palestinians to implement their commitments to compensate Israelis for body and property damage caused in road accidents. Nor can Israel examine the Palestinian drivers and vehicles that travel without a license or without taking a yearly car test, in faulty vehicles and without valid, original insurance documents. Israel cannot prevent these people from entering Israeli territory or from using the "safe passage."

Driving without a license is almost a norm among the Palestinians. The chief of the Negev division of the National Traffic Police, David Azulai, testified recently that 40 percent of the Bedouin drivers and drivers from the territories who use the roads in the south of Israel violate traffic laws in one form or another. Azulai did not relate that in some Palestinian villages, all the residents hold the same insurance papers, after photocopying them.

The absence of Israeli enforcement and the gross neglect of the PA regarding its commitments only perpetuate the norms with which Yesha (Judea-Samaria and Gaza) drivers are all too familiar. The chance of being injured in a road accident there is far higher than the chance of being hurt in a terrorist attack. Long before the first suicide bomber will blow himself up in his car at one of the junctions of the safe passage, the first victims of traffic accidents on the route will be recorded. Israel today lacks the tools with which to deal with accidents in which Palestinians are involved. The new passage will be safe for Palestinians but highly dangerous for Israelis.

(c) copyright 1999 Ha'aretz.



By Yedidya Atlas


While the arguments go back and forth whether or not Israel's security is threatened by unilateral territorial withdrawal from the administered territories and the Golan Heights, one issue has been studiously glossed over by advocates for territorial concessions: water.

Israel has a water problem. No country can physically exist without sufficient supply of this most vital liquid, and Israel is no exception. Located on the fringe of a desert, Israel is almost wholly dependent on seasonal rainfall for her water supply. Rarely do Israelis experience rainfall outside of a five-month winter season from November through March.

Moreover, Israel has a growing population that maintains a modest level of western standard of living, where water (for bathing regularly, drinking freely, etc. ) is not considered a luxury. Nonetheless, it shouldn't be assumed that Israeli water consumption is extravagant; by Western standards, it is low. Recent figures show that Israeli average annual per capita municipal consumption is less than half of that of domestic consumption in southern California, for example - a region with similar climatic conditions.


Israel's water supply is stored in three main sources, which together comprise the National Water System: Lake Kinneret, the Coastal Aquifer, and the Mountain (Yarkon-Taninim) Aquifer.

A series of extensive studies conducted by geologist Martin Sherman, author of "The Politics of Water in the Middle East," indicate that the permissible output of these sources varies from year to year, according to the annual rainfall. This varies from 600 to 800 million cubic meters per year. Current non-agricultural demand (e.g., showers, coffee, chicken soup, etc.) has reached the level of 600 to 700 million cubic meters. In other words, Israel's current population needs virtually the entire permissible annual output of both the surface and underground water reservoirs that make up the National Water System. We see, then, that the necessary quantities of water required by the agricultural sector can only be supplied by over-exploiting the system and reaching the danger levels.

As a result, Israeli agriculture has become increasingly dependent on recycled sewage and other types of low-grade waters which are unsuitable for drinking. Hence, the oft-repeated argument that Israel's water crisis can be resolved by reallocating water used by the agricultural sector to the non-agricultural sector sounds good, but is simply untrue - unless we are to drink these low-grade waters.


Moreover, while the population increases, the water supply is actually shrinking. This is due to a deterioration of both the quantity and quality of the country's water resources. As Sherman's study logically stipulates, "the diminishing quantities and deteriorating quality in one water source inevitably increases the importance of other sources in the system."

Specifically, there is deterioration in the Coastal Aquifer, where "the level of salting and other pollutants has reduced the quality in numerous sites to below that permissible for drinking water. " A similar pattern has begun in Lake Kinneret as well, albeit to a lesser extent. What this means, however, is that the importance of the Mountain Aquifer has increased. As Israel's State Comptroller's Annual Report already reported by the early 1990's:

"The Mountain Aquifer, extending eastward of the Coastal Aquifer, from the slopes of Mt. Carmel to Beersheba, and from the crests of mountain ridges in Judea and Samaria to the coastal plain, serves as the principle reservoir of drinking water to the Dan region, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba. Today, it is the most important long term source in the [National] Water System. "


Now comes the political problem. This "most important long-term source"physically straddles the pre-1967 cease fire lines, alias "the Green Line", into Judea and Samaria. The Principle of Connecting Vessels tells us that any activity affecting the water on one side will affect that on the other side as well. So if pumping operations, or uncontrolled flow of sewage or industrial waste, etc., occur on the western slopes of Judea and Samaria, it would cause serious, and most probably irreversible, damage to the key source of drinking water for Israel's major urban centers and environs.

The political and strategic significance for Israel is clear. Withdrawing from Judea and Samaria - i.e., the Mountain Aquifer - or from the Golan Heights would create a situation in which the fate of Israel's water supply would be determined by Mr. Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the Syrians, respectively.

Can Israel really afford to trust her most valuable and irreplaceable national resource in the hands of those who have had a long history of trying to destroy the Jewish State? In the case of the Syrians, this includes diverting and/or poisoning Israel's water supply.


Even if we completely ignore Arafat & Co. 's consistent and deliberate record of gross noncompliance with the Oslo accords - the Palestinian Authority's municipal mismanagement, poor planning, insufficient knowledge or policing, and just plain neglect would still cause the irreparable damage to Israel's main supply of drinking water. The present predicament of the Gaza Aquifer is proof enough.

When Gaza was turned over to the sole ruling authority of Arafat's PA, it received total control of the Gaza aquifer - which at the time was still functioning and producing potable water. Within less than two years under Palestinian Arab management, the Gaza Aquifer was ruined, contaminated beyond repair. If the PA is incapable of taking care of its own aquifer to supply water to its residents, how can Israel place its trust in the same Authority to care and conserve water sources that supply Israeli taps?

On the Syrian front, let's even assume that the Syrians are genuinely interested in keeping the peace. Nevertheless, a few years down the road, with the increase in Syria's own population, and continued Turkish diversion of water from the Euphrates River on the other side of Syria, Damascus may decide to divert water from the Golan for peaceful means, and not just to dry out Israel. Yet for Israel, the effect would be the same.


Although Israel's national survival would be at stake, at what point could Jerusalem re-invade the Golan or Judea and Samaria? When the water supply goes down to the danger levels, or when its irreversibly damaged? What justification would be acceptable to the United States and/or the UN who may feel there are more pressing problems to deal with besides Palestinian municipal mismanagement or terrorist well-digging, or Damascus' diverting the Jordan River's headwaters to irrigate Syrian fields?

True, peace talks sub-committees continue to discuss the water issue. But what is there to talk about? Either Israel has sole control of her national water sources or her very survival is threatened. If everything works out, fine. But if it doesn't, well, then what? As an economics professor of mine once said, "All things being equal, such and such is the case - but in real life things are never equal." How much more so in the Middle East.


Yedidya Atlas is a senior correspondent and commentator for Arutz-7 Israel National Radio. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.


Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 7, 1999


Crime d'etat

By Uri Dan

Four years after the worst political assassination in the history of Israel, the case against GSS agent Avishai Raviv is finally being brought to trial. Raviv is accused of not preventing the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Let's assume for one moment that a whole year was required to investigate the involvement of agent-provocateur Raviv in this shocking crime. If so, why have three more precious years elapsed before opening the case against a person so central to the incident. The ramifications of the assassination continue to tear Israeli society apart and have been cynically exploited for the purpose of left-wing political propaganda, in an effort to stain the nationalist camp at all costs.

Let it immediately be stated, to the credit of GSS Director Ami Ayalon, that were it not for his willingness to clear the GSS stables, it is doubtful if Raviv would be standing trial today. Opposition to bringing Raviv to trial has come first and foremost from the ranks of the secret service itself, on the ridiculous grounds that the trial will expose the methods it uses to penetrate and operate agents in general, and among extreme right-wing Jewish organizations in particular.

These methods are merely pure garbage. At least now, after the murder, it is clear that placing agent Raviv so close to Yigal Amir did not prevent the murder, and on this count the agent is accused. More serious still, and this will apparently become clear during the trial, Raviv operated not only as an agent but also as an agent provocateur.

Clear evidence of this has been supplied by pupils from Kedumim - now girls in their late teens - who at the time gave evidence in camera to the Shamgar Commission, and later on to the police. They related how, during a sit-in against the redeployment (in Judea and Samaria) organized by settlers, they had witnessed and heard Yigal Amir openly threaten to assassinate Rabin and that Avishai Raviv had egged him on, saying: "You're all talk, let's see you be a man."

Naturally, the GSS has claimed that it knew nothing of this, that agent Raviv made no report of this. However, the GSS did know that its agent, who was paid a salary and expenses from the public purse, was a provocateur. The actual charge sheet states that Raviv, who was recruited as an agent in 1987, founded the Eyal organization (Irgun Yehudi Leumi - National Jewish Organization) as early as 1992 "without the permission of the GSS."

Raviv made every effort to publicize the organization through a variety of provocations: attacking Arabs; taking responsibility for the murder of an Arab who had in fact been killed by other Arabs; and a staged swearing-in ceremony of minors - "Jewish extremists" who on TV praised the massacre in the Machpela Cave. At least some of these incidents served as the basis for the government, including Rabin himself, making wild attacks against the nationalist camp and even comparing it with the Hamas, after and as a result of the Oslo Accords.

In this way, the Secret Service's agent provocateur, who was supposed to have been apolitical, became a political tool exploited by the ruling authorities as a way of attacking the legitimate opposition. This is reminiscent of the murkiest regimes of our century, and proves the extent to which dangerous rot had penetrated the GSS.

And now, according to the same charge sheet, it is clear that despite the fact that Raviv founded his organization in 1992 "without permission", the GSS continued to employ him until that terrible night in November 1995, and even afterwards, under the terms of service of a GSS agent. One wonders if he will also be paid a pension.

Furthermore, as an authorized agent, it was none other than Raviv who, according to the testimony of a TV reporter, directed the cameras to the banner on the sidelines of the Jerusalem demonstration which portrayed Rabin in an SS uniform. It is therefore no wonder that Raviv's GSS operators did not press to bring charges against him, using a variety of excuses. They face a range of serious questions which may be raised during the trial, and above all the question of why they continued to employ Raviv as an agent, despite the fact that, as early as 1992, he had established Eyal and continued to "organize" it until Rabin's assassination. Did the GSS leaders report to their most senior commanding officer - Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin himself, concerning the nature of Eyal during the period from 1992, when he was elected to office?

And what was known about Raviv's activities in the offices of the Attorney General and State Attorney? When the GSS asks for permission to carry out an unlawful operation, in order to assist one of its agents, it must receive the authorization of the State Attorney. What information did senior police officers receive from the GSS, when they kept silent after being ordered not to investigate the agent provocateur.

In short, after being uncovered as a secret agent by Amnon Abramowitz, Avishai Raviv held his GSS operators in a most sensitive spot. Abramowitz deserves the Sokolov prize for journalism for his impressive scoop, for without him certain interested parties in the GSS and beyond, who wish first and foremost to protect themselves, would have buried the devious actions of the agent provocateur for many years.

The truth is that they have successfully prevented exposure of the chilling truth for the last four years. They are concerned that the shortcomings of the GSS in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin will become clear to the extent that it will be renamed a "crime d'etat."

(c) Jerusalem Post 1999



By Elyakim Haetzni

The Final Settlement talks between Israel and the terrorist authority opened with great fanfare. Included among the subjects to be discussed are two items upon which agreement will be rapidly reached since Israel has already waived its rights. These are the creation of a Palestinian state and the fate of the Jewish settlements. Barak and his ministers have already declared their willingness to uproot Jewish communities and their agreement to the creation of a terrorist state.

There is a close relationship between these two items since a Palestinian state can neither come into existence nor maintain itself if the Jewish settlements remain in their present locations. The State of Palestine and the Jewish settlements are mutually exclusive. Barak must uproot most, if not all, of the Jewish communities in order to pave the way for the new state which will come into existence upon the ruins of the settlements. Maybe this is what Barak meant by his recent statement that we must "separate" from cherished parts of our homeland.

But, this separation is a historic watershed, the likes of which have not occurred since the days of Abraham, the founder of the Jewish People, to whom the"Promised Land" was promised. It is sometimes overlooked that as long as there is no Final Settlement, this "separation" from parts of our homeland has not yet taken place. Under the interim agreements, even Area A which was turned over completely to Arafat, is still formally under Israeli military rule. Arafat was granted "powers and authority" but it was explicitly stated in the Oslo agreement that, until a final agreement, each side reserved its rights and claims. Formally, we can still claim Gaza. The final step in which Israel waives rights to its own land, has still not happened. The wise men of Oslo left this crucial step for Barak.

The situation from the view point of international law is extraordinary. On the entire surface of the globe there is not one area left which is not ruled by some form of sovereignty - except Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza district. It is as though there were a heavenly plan to enable the Jewish People to claim its historic homeland. How did this unusual situation come about?

Since the Jews were driven out of Eretz Yisrael by the Romans almost 2000 years ago, no nation or people have claimed this land as their homeland. Eretz Israel was always part of some empire - Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader, Mameluke, Turkish, until in this century the world solemnly recognized "Palestine" to belong to the Jews in the same way that France belongs to the French. The League of Nations gave Great Britain a mandate to prepare the way for the realization of "the historic connection between the Jewish People and Palestine and the right to re-establish the Jewish national home." The mandate required Great Britain to enable Jewish immigration and close settlement on the land. In 1948, the British abandoned Eretz Yisrael, leaving a vacuum. This vacuum was filled by the establishment of a Jewish state within what is called the Green Line and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was established by the Arabs east of the Jordan River. The Egyptians captured the Gaza District but exercised a military regime there rather than claiming sovereignty. Jordan professed to include Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem, within its realm but this was not recognized by our Supreme Court nor by the world community. In any event, in 1988 Jordan renounced all claims to the area.

Thus, for all practical purposes, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were left in an international legal vacuum which beckoned to the authentic historic owner to come and consumate its claim. But the owner continued to hesitate and, since Oslo, he is relinquish his home, room by room. Worse, according to the timetable of Wye and Sharm, he will abandon the entire edifice by next year. And so, for the first time since the days of Joshua, this land will become the home of a foreign people.

There is a method in this folly, because none of the empires who were here, including the most recent Turkish and British, had any true authorization to bequeath ownership on this land. Only the Jewish People, the real owners, can do so. Thus we have arrived at the frightening absurdity which has been disturbing me for many years: In the diaspora, the Jewish People albeit weak and helpless, never purported to give away their right to the ownership of Eretz Israel. I have asked rabbis and religious sages, whether ever anyone of any stature - Moses, Maimonides or any other great Jews or a Rabbinical court or any Jewish Congregation - were authorized in the name of the Jewish People to transfer our land to others. And the consistent answer was always negative. It seems, therefore, that the Jews found no other way how to get rid of the inheritance of their forefathers but to achieve international recognition of their rights, to shed much blood to create a state and consequently establish an internationally recognized entity, duly authorized to give away their land.

It is a historical fact that although the Jewish People were exiled from their land, they never separated themselves from it. "Separation" was left for Barak to carry out. Jews over the centuries, even when they could not live here, at least tried to be buried in this land. We did not abandon the land in our dreams and prayers. Our religious and cultural lives were dominated by our relationship to our land. Now the time has come, sincerely to ask ourselves - can the State of Israel waive the rights of the People of Israel to its homeland? Even from a religious viewpoint: Are observant Jews in the Knesset, in the Government, in the public service, in the army, allowed to participate in the relinquishment of our ownership of this land to a foreign nation, violate the ancient covenant between the Creator and our father Abraham?

Or perhaps this "separation" has neither authority nor legal sanction nor can it be recognized as binding by the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael and in the Diaspora?

If so, what are the results and consequences? What will be the fate of a state that abandons its land, tears itself away from its past and its roots?


Elyakim Haetzni is an attorney and Israeli activist who lives in Kirat Arba. [22.9.1999]


Excerpts from ISRAEL WATCH, the New York Post OPINION - October 17, 1999


By David Bar-Illan

...And today the only regimes that officially and openly promote and propagate anti-Semitism are not in Europe but in the Middle East. In Syria, Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass prides himself on a book he wrote about how Jews use the blood of Christian children in Passover matzahs. Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and the anti-Semitic Czarist forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are the best sellers there, as they are in the rest of the Arab world.

In Egypt's official press, Jews are caricatured the way they were in Hitler's Der Sturmer: as slimy, hook-nosed, greedy, malevolent monsters whose blood-drenched tentacles control the world's power centers. And all the sickening anti-Semitic canards - from holocaust denial to equating Jews with Nazis and charging Israeli scientists with spreading AIDS among Arabs - are featured regularly in the mainstream press.

Egypt's anti-Semitic themes are faithfully parroted in the controlled Palestinian media. . . The Palestinian media also consistently deny the historic connection between the Jews and Jerusalem and the right of the Jews to nationhood. Even more troubling is the anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian schoolbooks. A recent study of 140 Palestinian textbooks . . . shows that anti-Semitism is all-pervasive in Palestinian texts. Jews are invariably depicted as robbers, aggressors, wild animals, locusts and treacherous cheats who have faked their history and stole Palestinian land. Nowhere in the Palestinian texts is there a single mention of the State of Israel or the peace agreements. The list of the world's countries in the standard Palestinian geography book omits Israel, but a state named Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem is included. No Palestinian maps ever mention Israel. All the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is "occupied Palestine," to be liberated in holy war.

. . . This kind of brainwashing in the media and the classroom cannot be viewed merely as a gross violation of all Arab-Israel agreements. It is a calculated, all-encompassing indoctrination campaign, in preparation for war.


AFSI suggests that you distribute this article as widely as possible - to friends in the U.S., Israel, Congressmen, Senators, Members of the Knesset, President Clinton, P.M. Barak.



By David Weinberg

Recompense, repentance and reconciliation - not threats - is the ideological package with which the Catholic Church should land here.

Because of the plan to build a small mosque in proximity to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, some senior clergymen in Rome are threatening to cancel the pope's planned millennial visit to Israel next March. They warn that the pontiff may contain his visit to Bethlehem, which is under Palestinian Authority control. Without intending any disrespect, Vatican policy-makers should understand that some of us here in the sovereign state of the Jewish people are not overly devastated by the church's threat to pass us by. We politely welcome John Paul II's pilgrimage, but no threats, please.

This entire paper would not suffice to recap the anti-Jewish doctrines promulgated by church fathers which guided Catholic theology and practice down to the middle of this century. For centuries, Jews were rejecters of Christ, "perfidious" objects of contempt to be isolated and humiliated until they "saw the light," a non-people shorn of their covenantal heritage, including the right to the Land of Israel. The Crusaders wiped out entire Jewish communities, and Church Councils through the 19th century endorsed ghettoization and persecution of Jews.

Pope Pius XII was silent throughout the Holocaust, and if you follow John Cornwall's recent account (Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, Viking Press, 1999) - this was the result of criminal, knowing indifference. The Vatican's official 1998 "We Remember: Reflections on the Shoah" document actually praises Pius XII. It fails to adequately acknowledge the direct connection between 2000 years of theologically-encouraged Christian antisemitism and the poisoned climate which made the Holocaust possible.

Vatican representatives lobbied heavily against the establishment of the State of Israel. The pope warmly embraced Yasser Arafat way back in 1982, when no one else would go near the terrorist chieftain. It took until 1993 for the Vatican to accord diplomatic recognition to the State of Israel - and only then largely because it didn't want to be excluded from regional peace developments. Still, the ancient Christian antisemitism that fueled the Nazi program has since been roundly repudiated by the Church, beginning with Nostra Aetate in 1965 and expanded upon by the current, far more honest and honorable pope.

John Paul II has significantly changed for the better the way in which Christians view, and teach about, Jews. He has reaffirmed that God's covenant with the Jewish people retains eternal validity; termed antisemitism a "sin against God" and called on the faithful to do "teshuva" for misdeeds against the Jews (using the Hebrew word for repentance); respectfully attended synagogue services and spoken of Jews as "elder brothers"; acknowledged Israel's right to exist and its right to security; and established diplomatic relations with the state that embodies Jewish continuity.

"John Paul II is the best pope we've ever had," say Jewish leaders active in inter-religious dialogue. "The measure of how much things have changed," says the ADL's Rabbi David Rosen (chairman of the International Council of Christians and Jews), "is that no Roman Catholic priest who expresses antisemitic sentiments could ever become a cardinal or a primate in today's church."

Consequently, I'm prepared to welcome John Paul II and his flock of millions to our country next spring, if they come. Despite my suspicions and residual resentment of the church, John Paul II could use the visit as an opportunity to bring about real change in our fraught relationship. While visiting Yad Vashem, I would expect the pontiff to come clean on the Catholic Church's Holocaust record (time to really open the archives); and to make an unambiguous declaration of repentance for ignoring (at best) the fate of us "elder brothers." And I would expect the pope to formally disassociate himself from the ghastly suggestion to make a saint out of Pius XII.

At a formal state ceremony in Jerusalem, John Paul II ought to acknowledge the Jewish people's historical, religious and national roots in the holy city (without denying the political and cultural claims of others). Such an address would do more for Christian-Jewish rapprochement than another 100 synagogue visits or warmly-worded encyclicals.

At the moment, the pope wants to avoid an official state reception in Jerusalem. He prefers to be received by Israeli leaders somewhere diplomatically nondescript and theologically noncommittal, like Ben-Gurion International Airport. I don't think that ministers Haim Ramon and Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, responsible for coordinating the pontiff's visit, should let him get away with that.

Recompense, repentance and reconciliation - not threats - is the ideological package with which the Catholic Church should land here. Only then might John Paul II's "millennial pilgrimage" indeed be a voyage of historic proportions.

(c) Jerusalem Post 1999