TABLE OF CONTENTS
ATTEMPTED GENOCIDE FROM THE START....Louis Rene Beres
THANK YOU, SEC. RUMSFELD....Gabriel Danzig
"JACKIE MASON & A PALESTINIAN WALK INTO A COMEDY CLUB..."....John Podhoretz
MOUNTING IRRESPONSIBILITY....Jerusalem Post Editorial
OSLO, ISRAEL AND THE ARABS
THE ENEMY WITHIN - Interview with IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon....Ari Shavit
THE FOLLY OF WAITING....By David M. Weinberg
GUN EDEN....Yehoshua Mizrachi
80,000 PALESTINIANS EMIGRATED FROM THE TERRITORIES SINCE BEGINNING OF YEAR....Khaled Abu Toameh
THEY HATE CHRISTIANS, TOO....Michael Freund
PALESTINIAN GOAL IS DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL IN STAGES....Itamar Marcus
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Arutz Sheva, August 11, 2002
ATTEMPTED GENOCIDE FROM THE START
By Louis Rene Beres
To fully understand current conflicts in the Middle East, history must be recalled. Acknowledged by the United Nations and the civilized community of nations, Israel became a recognized and sovereign state on May 14, 1948. Immediately, the five armies of Egypt, Syria, Transjordan (which was renamed Jordan one year later, in 1949), Lebanon and Iraq invaded the fledgling country. Their combined intention, celebrated enthusiastically all over the Arab world, was expressed plainly and publicly by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." Hence, scarcely a few years after the Holocaust and resultant codification of Crimes Against Humanity, the intent of these Arab states toward the tiny new State of Israel was openly genocidal.
On May 15, 1967, Israelīs nineteenth Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving aggressively into the Sinai, massing purposefully near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops, too, were preparing for battle along the Golan Heights, almost 3000 feet above the Galilee, from which they had been shelling Israelīs farms and villages for several years. Egyptīs Nasser ordered the U.N. Emergency Force (UNEF), stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw. After the withdrawal of UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs radio proclaimed, on May 18, 1967: "As of today there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the U.N. about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is Total War, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence." Two days later, a jubilant echo came from Hafez Assad, then the Syrian Defense Minister: "Our forces are now entirely ready... to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland.... The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined the chorus of genocidal threats: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map."
Today, in late summer 2002, this goal remains fixed and unchanged. Significantly, the goal remains nothing less than another Jewish genocide. Arab terrorism, as a complementary strategy of attrition, is consciously directed at the very same goal. With particular reference to the Palestinians, the Charter of Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement - exclaims proudly: "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad... In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad.... We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one to be dealt with on this premise.... 'I swear by that (sic.) who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad: I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I promise to assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.'"
Arab/Islamic plans for genocidal extermination of Israel have never been kept secret, perhaps because these plans donīt really disturb the rest of the world. With rampant anti-Semitism again in fashion, especially (and ironically) in Europe, few seem to recall that, prior to 1967 - when all Arabs were already screaming for Israelīs "annihilation" and "liquidation" - there were no "Palestinian territories" under Israeli control. Exactly what was the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Arab world in general seeking to "liberate" between 1948 and 1967, when Gaza was held illegally by Egypt and Judea/Samaria (West Bank) by Jordan?
There is no "peace process" with Arab states or authorities today, nor has there ever been such a process. The formal treaties extant between Israel and Egypt and Israel and Jordan are little more than a temporary expedient by the Arab parties to buy time for critical rearmament and doctrinal refinement. Even before Israelīs declaration of statehood in 1948, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, on November 28, 1941, met in Berlin with Adolph Hitler (still a great hero in the Arab world). The subject of Haj Aminīs meeting with Hitler was "...the final solution of the Jewish Question." Further, this meeting, which followed Haj Aminīs active organization of Muslim SS troops in Bosnia, included the Muftiīs promise to aid Nazi Germany in the War. Haj Amin did everything possible to ensure Hitlerīs success with the Final Solution. He even urged the foreign ministers of the Lesser Axis Powers (Italy; Rumania; Bulgaria) not to permit Jews to leave for Palestine. It was essential, Haj Amin asserted, that Jews be sent to countries "...where they would find themselves under active control, for example, in Poland, in order to protect oneself from their menace and avoid consequent damage." The Haj, who was in regular contact with both Himmler and Eichmann, knew exactly what "active control" in Poland meant during the summer of 1943.
Now the Arab world seeks "active control" in Israel itself. Preparing for genocidal war against Israel with weapons of mass destruction, the Arab states - together with the Palestinians - argue repeatedly that the post-Holocaust concentration of Jews in "the Zionist entity" is proof of Allahīs plan to make Jewish annihilation more practicable. Hence, the state created by the Jews to prevent another Holocaust is described by Israelīs genocidal enemies as the literal means to create another Holocaust. Moreover, unless all people of good will begin to recognize and understand this inversion of Israelīs purpose, Israel could indeed become the Arab/Islamic worldīs Final Solution to the Jewish Question. This bitter irony is so overwhelming and terrible that it is almost unutterable, but it cannot be disregarded.
Let us all listen to the following: For all believing Muslims, according to both Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority, "...peace with Israel was and still remains nothing less than a poison threatening the life-blood of Islam.... The Prophet is said to have predicted a final war to annihilate the Jews. Muhammad had stated: 'The hour (i.e., salvation) will not come until you fight against the Jews; and the stone would say, "O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him."'"
History must be recalled.
Louis Rene Beres is the author of twelve books and many articles dealing with international law. His work is well-known to the Prime Minister of Israel, to senior government and military officials, and to the Israeli and American intelligence communities.
The Jerusalem Post
THANK YOU, SEC. RUMSFELD
By Gabriel Danzig
Last week, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a very reasonable statement. He said that it was clear that the Palestinian Authority was involved with terrorism and that therefore it would be extremely foolish for Israel to concede territory to this organization.
His statement was logical, measured, non-inflammatory, and simply drew an obvious conclusion from well-known facts. It is hard to see how anyone could object, least of all Israelis.
Of course in the present circumstances, Palestinians will object to almost anything.
They are compelled to create a smoke screen of strong emotion in order to cover up the flagrant abuses of Israeli hope and trust which they have committed in the past two years, ever since prime minister Ehud Barak's astounding offer. So it is understandable, although still reprehensible, that they would attack Rumsfeld for making this statement.
It is presumably because of his concern that his words might be treated this way that Rumsfeld has not spoken out more frequently and that when he did, he tried to put it in such clear and logical terms that no one could reasonably object.
At the very least, he might have expected that Israel would welcome his statement. After all, his advice was not intended to offer any particular benefit to American interests. If anything, it may have weakened US President George W. Bush's efforts to keep things cool in Israel while he prepares for whatever it is he is preparing to do in Iraq.
Rumsfeld's words were clearly made for the sake of Israel's security. They were reasonable, well-intentioned to my mind obviously correct and no one has suggested that he had any ulterior motive.
In short, Rumsfeld has expressed himself in a courageous manner as a true friend of Israeli interests and has helped to deflect any blame that might be placed on Israel for not proving more "flexible" than we should be in our negotiations with the Palestinians.
Israel had good reason to rejoice.
HOW DID Israel actually react? It boggles the mind.
Unable to find an Israeli to object to his statement, the popular Army Radio station Galei Zahal found an Arab spokesman who condemned Rumsfeld as a right-wing extremist.
Even he could not pretend that there was anything actually wrong with Rumsfeld's analysis, so he resorted to the usual tactic of those who wish to perpetrate fraud: he attacked the character and association of the speaker.
That is his right. But why did Galei Zahal find this to be a worthy statement to broadcast? And why was this the only reaction that they felt appropriate to offer us? Was there no one in Israel who was relieved to see that an important American figure had found the courage to tell the truth?
Hilik Gutman, the host of the Israel Radio talk show Hafuch al Hafuch (loosely translated as "thinking backwards") was not much better.
There appear to be no persuasive rational grounds for disagreeing with Rumsfeld's assessment, since he also was unable to find any. But disagree we must, particularly if the statement was reasonable and in our interest.
So, demonstrating that the title of his program refers especially to his own manner of thinking, Gutman commented that Rumsfeld has joined Moledet. This is the small Knesset faction, headed by Benny Elon, which advocates the transfer of the Palestinians to neighboring Arab countries.
Gutman compared Rumsfeld to Moledet in an irresponsible effort to stigmatize Rumsfeld. But in truth, the comparison might work better the other way around. In today's atmosphere, some of Moledet's ideas do not seem so crazy after all, and the fact that prominent American leaders are saying things not so different should make us think twice.
Tom Daschle, the Democratic Senate majority leader, went even further than Rumsfeld, suggesting that the Palestinians should consider setting up their state somewhere else. Not a bad idea at all.
But many of us are still stuck in a mind-set which was never right and which has long since been clearly refuted by reality. People like Gutman will never learn.
Rather than taking Rumsfeld's assessment seriously or rejoicing over one of the few beacons of good sense and one of the few signs of hope for Israel's future, this particular opinion-maker seems to be bending over backwards to spit in his own face. That is truly "hafuch al hafuch", thinking backwards."
What would Rumsfeld think if he understood Hebrew and had happened to be listening to these disgraceful and ungrateful comments? We can only hope that he would have been aware that these so-called opinion-makers represent a very small and non-representative portion of the population and not the most perceptive element, either.
I think that I speak for the many of us when I say thank you Donald Rumsfeld, thank you Tom Daschle. Thank you for your perceptive assessment. Thank you for discovering the truth. Thank you for the courage to speak out.
And please accept our apologies for the pea-brains in our midst.
The writer is a classicist at Bar-Ilan University, specializing in political thought.
(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post
JUST WHAT I WANTED TO SAY, BUT DIDN'T YET. RAY HANANIA IS A KNOWN PROPAGANDIST HERE IN CHICAGO. HOW COULD THE MEDIA FALL FOR THIS?
ALL THE BEST. GAIL WINSTON
NY Post, Aug. 30, 2002
"JACKIE MASON & A
WALK INTO A COMEDY CLUB..."
By John Podhoretz
SOME people are feeling scandalized that big bad Jewish comic Jackie Mason fired a poor struggling comedian solely because of his Palestinian background. They've been had.
Mason did nothing wrong. The comic in question is no innocent victim. But this nonscandal scandal says something important about the way the race-and-ethnic card is played today.
Mason is appearing at a Chicago club called Zanies, honing material for his new Broadway show, "Much Ado About Everything." Club manager Linda Moses thought it would be amusing to book local opening acts on Mason's flip side.
Mason and his wife-manager, Jyll Rosenfeld, approved - but said they didn't want the openers to do political material, out of respect for Mason's core audience.
But the opener was to be Ray Hanania.
Mason is appearing at a Chicago club called Zanies, honing material for his new Broadway show, "Much Ado About Everything." Club manager Linda Moses thought it would be amusing to book local opening acts on Mason's flip side.
Hanania worked as a reporter for years before becoming a p.r. expert. He also writes a political column for the Daily Herald (a suburban Chicago paper), puts political observations on his Web site and is past president of the Palestinian American Congress.
In Hanania's opinion, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may be worse than Hitler and Stalin [see Murray's posting of Hanania's article in Lebanon's Daily Star, below]. Jews have bought control of the U.S. Congress. And President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are little more than paid agents of Israel.
Ha ha ho ha hee. Stop it, Hanania, you're killing me.
Some choice Hanania morsels:
* Sharon and Hitler "both share that same megalomania that set Hitler apart on a level of unparalleled cruelty."
* Rumsfeld "is subservien[t] to the powerful pro-Israel lobby, which may not occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in his view, but certainly does occupy the U.S. Congress. It now seems the Israeli lobby also controls Rumsfeld."
* "Bush will no longer hold impromptu press conferences. His staff says the president needs at least three days to translate the documents from Hebrew into English before he will read them to the press."
That last line is supposed to be a joke. With material like that, he'll knock 'em dead at the next David Duke convention.
The folks who run Zanies didn't know about Hanania's political writing. But some Jewish folk in the Chicago area went ballistic when they heard he'd appear with Jackie Mason.
The club was barraged with calls from potential audience members saying they'd boycott the gig and tell others to do so. Zanies even got violent threats by e-mail.
So the club decided that, in the interest of prudence, Hanania shouldn't open for Mason. It was the club's decision, not Mason's. Hanania was paid for his time, and his gig rescheduled. No big deal.
But then Hanania went to work. Claiming he was fired for "being Palestinian," he got himself on national TV and in newspapers across the country.
In fact, Hanania has got himself a promising comedy career exclusively because he is of Arab descent. His material is entirely of the "I got racially profiled at the airport" variety, with some detours into his marriage to a Jewish woman.
Here's Hanania's bit about that: "Three words about the wedding: Oy and vey."
With material like that, you need affirmative action and reverse racism to get you anywhere near a stage.
Hanania is after bigger fish than a mere comedy career. He wants to make repulsive views like his palatable by sugarcoating them. And he's using this non-event the same way. He's cast himself as the martyred Palestinian and Jackie Mason as Ariel Sharon.
On his Web site, Hanania offers this counsel to those who would speak for the Arab cause: "Identify the audience you need to speak to. When you do that, you then craft the message that most impacts that audience." He's proved his point by playing the American media for suckers.
The Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2002
Editorial: MOUNTING IRRESPONSIBILITY
Anyone wondering just how dangerous governmental indifference can be need only take a look at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, for the evidence to be found there is simply overwhelming.
After years of blithely ignoring the Muslim Wakf's illegal and unsupervised construction on the Jewish people's holiest site, the government now finds itself in a quandary. A 10-meter-wide bulge in the wall has emerged, and archeologists are warning that it could disintegrate into a heap of rubble at any moment.
Warning of imminent danger both to public safety as well as to the Mount's unparalleled archeological heritage, the apolitical Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities sent a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this week noting that there exists "a clear and present danger that the southern part of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount might collapse."
Speaking to Israel Radio yesterday, Dr. Eilat Mazar, a leading committee member, was even more blunt, saying that the question now is not if the wall will cave in, but "whether the wall will collapse on thousands of worshipers or if it will happen in a controlled manner." As this paper reported yesterday, this dire assessment of the situation was seconded by the Antiquities Authority, which has been prevented by the Wakf from visiting the site to survey the damage or repair it. The head of the authority, Shuka Dorfman, said on Monday, "I cannot tell you when it will happen, and I do not know what section will fall, but I can tell you that the southern wall is indeed in danger of collapse." Efforts to negotiate with the Wakf have proven fruitless, Dorfman said, noting, "The necessary cooperation needed with the Wakf is nonexistent. We cannot get in to carry out the tests."
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert rightly emphasized the critical nature of the situation yesterday, when he said in a radio interview that, "There are serious grounds for the concern that it could collapse. In my view we have reached the moment of truth." With such an alarm being sounded, it is time for the government to wake up and take notice. The damage to the Temple Mount would be inestimable should such a collapse be allowed to occur. It would constitute a grave desecration of the holy site, one that would almost certainly fuel further religious tensions in a region already awash in them.
For its part, the Wakf asserts that the bulge in the Mount has been there for three decades, and that in any event it will not allow anyone to oversee its work on the site. Nevertheless, as archeologists have noted, the bulge has grown both in size and scope.
It is therefore nothing less than scandalous that Sharon and Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau, who oversees the police, would allow the Wakf to continue to thumb its nose at the law in open defiance of the state and its institutions. Though this studied indifference has typified successive Israeli governments of both the Left and the Right, that is hardly a convincing excuse to permit such lawlessness to continue.
The Wakf needs to be held accountable for its actions on the Temple Mount, and it is time for Israel to finally assert its full sovereignty over the area. It can start doing so by putting an immediate end to all Wakf construction on the site. Teams of engineers and archeologists should be dispatched immediately to determine how best to prevent a catastrophic total collapse of the southern wall of the Mount, and all measures necessary to repair and refurbish it should be undertaken forthwith. Failure to do so will not only send a message of Israeli weakness to the Palestinian Authority, which controls the Muslim Wakf, but could very well imperil the structural integrity of the site itself. Israel has thus far refrained from taking action for fear of how the Muslim world would react. But should the southern wall indeed collapse, it is not too difficult to imagine just who the Arab states would decide to blame. The time to act, therefore, is now, before it is too late.
(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post
(Extremely Important): HA'ARETZ INTERVIEW WITH IDF CHIEF OF STAFF MOSHE YA'ALON
[IMRA: If one only has time to read one item this week - or perhaps month - this is the one. COS Ya'alon spells out Israel's battle for survival against Palestinians committed to the destruction of Israel in stages and warns of the consequences of signaling national weakness.]
HA'ARETZ Friday Magazine, 30 Aug. '02
THE ENEMY WITHIN
By Ari Shavit
"The confrontation with the Palestinians is an existential, cancerous threat to Israel, according to IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon. In his first interview since assuming his post last month, Ya'alon attacks the Israeli pathology of self-blame, criticizes the media and accuses various elements of undermining him in the Shehadeh affair. No, he's not right-wing, just the same old kibbutznik at heart"
"In my eyes he is an iconic Israeli," says the former platoon commander and current Speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg. "A person of purity without an iota of arrogance. Like a precious metal. A nature reserve of Israeliness."
Lieutenant General Yarom,: of all the threats surrounding the State of Israel, which disturbs you the most? Are any of the threats of an existential nature?
"When I look at the overall map, what disturbs me especially is the Palestinian threat and the possibility that a hostile state will acquire nuclear capability. Those are the most worrisome focal points, because both of them have the potential of being an existential threat to Israel. We have good answers for all the other threats. We have a good answer for what Hezbollah can do and for what the Syrians can do. We also have a good answer for what the Iraqis are liable to do."
There is something surprising in the fact that you see the Palestinian threat as an existential threat.
"The characteristics of that threat are invisible, like cancer. When you are attacked externally, you see the attack, you are wounded. Cancer, on the other hand, is something internal. Therefore, I find it more disturbing, because here the diagnosis is critical. If the diagnosis is wrong and people say it's not cancer but a headache, then the response is irrelevant. But I maintain that it is cancer. My professional diagnosis is that there is a phenomenon here that constitutes an existential threat."
Does that mean that what you are doing now, as chief of staff, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, is applying chemotherapy?
"There are all kinds of solutions to cancerous manifestations. Some will say it is necessary to amputate organs. But at the moment, I am applying chemotherapy, yes."
Describe for me the present campaign between the Palestinians and us: Who is against whom, and for what, in this campaign?
"The campaign is between two societies that are competing for territory and, to a certain degree, for existence. I don't think that there is an existential threat to the Palestinian society. There is an existential threat to us. In other words, there is asymmetry here, but it is reversed: Everyone thinks we are Goliath and they are David, but I maintain that it is the opposite."
Are you saying that despite what appears to be a war of the oppressed against the oppressors, of the occupied against the occupiers, the Palestinians actually have a sense of strength and power?
"Of course. They feel that they have the backing of a quarter-of-a-billion Arabs and they believe that time is on their side and that, with a combination of terrorism and demography, they will tire us out and wear us down. There is also an additional reverse asymmetry here: We do not have intentions to annihilate them and we have also expressed readiness to grant them a state, whereas they are unwilling to recognize our right to exist here as a Jewish state."
Do you not see the war of the Palestinians against us as a campaign to end the occupation?
"If the term `occupation' had any relevance at all, it lost it, as far as I am concerned, in the year 2000, when the State of Israel put a certain proposal on the table that was supposed to resolve the problem. That proposal was supposed to get the Palestinians off our back, but instead they started to stab us. They stayed on our back, attached to us and stabbing us. That is the reality. Therefore, without getting into a political discussion of what the solution should be, I maintain that the story is not occupation. The story is non-recognition of the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state."
Are you saying unequivocally that the Palestinian struggle is not aimed at liberating the territories that were conquered in 1967?
"Of course not. Of course not. The Palestinians have three stories. Their narrative in Arabic is one of mobilization for a war of jihad and non-recognition of Israel's right to exist. That narrative rejects any attachment between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it mobilizes the Palestinian people for a war with the goal of bringing about Israel's collapse. In English, the story is different: occupation, colonialism, apartheid. Those are completely irrelevant terms, which are intended to furnish the Western world with familiar terminology that clarifies who the good guys are here and who the bad guys are.
"In Hebrew, they have a third story: the peace of the brave. But I know the details and I say that [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat is taking the name of Yitzhak Rabin, of blessed memory, in vain. He saw Oslo as a Trojan horse that would enable the Palestinians to enter Israel, and September 2000 as the moment of emerging from the belly of the horse. Today, too, the ideology of Fatah is to bring about Israel's disintegration from within. What they are after is not to arrive at the end of the conflict, but to turn Israel into a Palestinian state."
In other words, the goal of Arafat and of Fatah is to liquidate Israel by stages?
"Of course. Not to reach an agreement and not to arrive at the end of their claims, in order to preserve the conflict and to let time run its course according to the phased theory."
If so, you would say that the Oslo agreement was a mistake?
"We can't talk in terms of a mistake or not a mistake. If you ask me personally, in terms of the rightness of our way, I find the situation far more convenient today. When I move, in the end, to fight against what the Palestinians are creating, I think that after what we went through in the past nine years, I have fewer question marks and more exclamation marks. For me, moral clarity has emerged here."
The spider-web theory
Do you see Arafat himself as a strategic threat to the State of Israel?
"Today he is greatly weakened. He has lost much of his strength and his legitimacy. But the answer is yes: Arafat does not recognize Israel's right of existence as a Jewish state and his game plan is to bring about Israel's disintegration by means of a combination of strategy and demography. Even today, in his weakened state, he believes in the spider-web theory. That is why he persists in using terrorism.
What is the theory of the spider web?
"It is a theory that is attributed to [Hezbollah secretary-general] Hassan Nasrallah, which holds that Israel is a military power, but that its civil society is a pampered consumer society that is no longer willing to fight and struggle. The Israeli army is strong, Israel has technological superiority and is said to have strategic capabilities, but its citizens are unwilling any longer to sacrifice lives in order to defend their national interests and national goals. Therefore, Israel is a spider-web society: It looks strong from the outside, but touch it and it will fall apart.
"Yasser Arafat maintains that he and not [Hezbollah secretary-general Sheik Hassan] Nasrallah is the father of this perception of Israel. He is right. That's why he does not want to put a stop to the terrorist pressure. Even at low points, he is constantly looking for the cracks in the Israeli wall. Time after time, he promises his people that Israeli society is about to break."
Does he really see himself as Saladin?
"Yes. But his strategy is complex, a strategy of entanglement. He believes that the more he entangles the situation, the more he will be needed. He is trying to be both the problem and the person to solve the problem: both the pyromaniac and the firefighter, both the person who lights the fire and the fireman. Even now Arafat is trying to achieve escalation. Even though he could stop the confrontation, he is not doing so."
Do you consider him an illegitimate leader?
"[U.S. President George] Bush's speech [on the Middle East on June 24] was strategically decisive and normatively decisive. He defined things very clearly: Anyone who is tainted by terrorism is not legitimate. Therefore, Arafat can no longer be the decision-maker on the Palestinian side. There is nowhere to go with him. The Americans made it clear that they are not going to liquidate him, but that if the Palestinians want to see light at the end of the tunnel, they themselves should neutralize him. That is an unequivocal statement: Arafat will not be the decision-maker. He will not be."
What will happen if he is reelected in democratic elections?
"The alternative Palestinian leadership has to be elected democratically on the model of Germany after World War II. Anyone who was a member of the Nazi Party was not allowed to be a candidate in the elections there, and anyone who is tainted by terrorism cannot be a candidate here."
Is it your assessment that Israel is approaching victory in the struggle against the Palestinians?
"Since Operation Defensive Shield [the Israeli army's operation in the West Bank last April following the suicide bombing of the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover eve], and in the past two months especially, signs of cracking have appeared on the Palestinian side. The situation is completely different from what it was in March. But caution is needed. It's like in judo: Sometimes you think you're throwing your opponent, but in the end, you're the one who's thrown. And with the person in the Muqata [Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah], extra caution is needed. He has been eulogized and eulogized all his life, and he returns like the phoenix.
"The key point here is the staying power of the Israeli society. That is the most important factor that is being put to the test at this time and will continue to be put to the test in the near future. That is what the campaign is about. When the Palestinians initiated the confrontation, their evaluation was that Israel would not be able to withstand even a few dozen casualties. They were surprised. Operation Defensive Shield showed them that they were dealing not with a spider web, but with a tiger. But if they see cracks and a chance of [Israel's] disintegration, a prospect of Israeli capitulation, that achievement will be erased."
Do you have a definition of victory? Is it clear to you what Israel's goal in this war is?
"I defined it from the beginning of the confrontation: the very deep internalization by the Palestinians that terrorism and violence will not defeat us, will not make us fold. If that deep internalization does not exist at the end of the confrontation, we will have a strategic problem with an existential threat to Israel. If that [lesson] is not burned into the Palestinian and Arab consciousness, there will be no end to their demands of us. Despite our military might, the region will perceive us as being even weaker. That will have an impact not only on those who are engaged in the violent struggle, but also on those who have signed agreements with us and on extremists among the Arabs in Israel. That's why this confrontation is so important. There has not been a more important confrontation since the War of Independence."
It's that critical?
"Yes. I have no doubt that when this period is viewed historically, the conclusion will be that the War of Independence was the most important event in our history and this war was the second most important event."
Even more important than the Six-Day War or the Yom Kippur War?
"Of course, of course. Because we are dealing with an existential threat. There was an Israeli attempt to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by means of a territorial compromise, and the Palestinian reply was war. So this brings us back to the confrontation of the pre-state period, the partition proposal and the War of Independence. The facts that are being determined in this confrontation - in terms of what will be burned into the Palestinian consciousness - are fateful. If we end the confrontation in a way that makes it clear to every Palestinian that terrorism does not lead to agreements, that will improve our strategic position. On the other hand, if their feeling at the end of the confrontation is that they can defeat us by means of terrorism, our situation will become more and more difficult. Therefore, I say that we must not blur the weighty meaning of this confrontation. When you grasp the essence, it's clear to you what you have to do. You have to fight for your life."
Does that mean that any move involving unilateral withdrawal before the confrontation is resolved and before the violence ends is dangerous?
"Of course. That would give a push to the struggle against us. Even if tactically it appears right to withdraw from here or from there, from the strategic perspective, it is different. That was my argument when the question arose of withdrawing from Joseph's Tomb [in Nablus]. It was clear to me that leaving the tomb would be an incentive for the Palestinians, whereas others thought that leaving the site would neutralize a point of friction. But those who thought in those terms were thinking like Israelis, not like Palestinians."
So that means that in the present situation, leaving settlements would be a mistake with potentially catastrophic implications?
"Of course. I'm not talking about the political solution. I am not saying what will be right and what will not be right after the violence ends. That's not my affair. When asked, I will give my security recommendation. But today, any such departure under terrorism and violence will strengthen the path of terrorism and violence. It will endanger us."
In other words, as chief of staff, you are saying that even if you need a battalion to hold an isolated settlement, if we leave it we will need a great deal more?
Back to 1948
What are the implications of the separation fence that is being built? Will it, too, not be interpreted in the same way?
"It is liable to be interpreted like that. But the route that was chosen may offset the strategic threat it entails. There is also a tactical improvement in that you succeed in preventing infiltrations. But I don't think the fence will solve all the problems."
So you are not an admirer of the separation fence?
"It's complex and it's in the political arena, so I am very careful here. If I were given that money, I would invest it elsewhere."
Can we sum up by saying, without getting into the political question, that your professional opinion is that concessions that are made under fire are dangerous? Is it your view that any possible Israeli concession can be made only after the confrontation is decided and the violence ends?
If so, and if the position of the Palestinians is as you say, where is all this leading? What will the end be? How long are we to live by the sword?
"I would refer people who ask what the end will be to a well-known quotation of Moshe Dayan. When he was asked, in 1969, what the end will be, his reply was, `Do not fear, servants of Abraham.' Dayan said that the emphasis should be on the path and not on the final goal, on the process of the struggle and not on the final destination. As human beings, we want a solution now. Now. But in the situation of Israel, nowism is false messianism. Nowism is the mother of all sins. And it makes no difference whether to the word `now' is added `messiah' [thus, `messiah now'] or something else now.
"We live in a very complex neighborhood, in which our right to exist has not yet been recognized. We have been living for a hundred years in crisis management. Therefore, we have to maneuver it into directions that strengthen us. And we have to win in this confrontation. Otherwise, the next war will not be far off."
Are you saying that we are entering a basic, existential situation again, that we have to understand that the confrontation is an inseparable part of our lives, but that if we are strong, we will reduce and control it?
"Do we have a choice? We must understand: The Palestinians have returned us to the War of Independence. Today it is clear that the State of Israel as a Jewish state is still an alien element in the region. It will take generations until various elements in the region accept its existence. Therefore, we have to go back to the ethos of standing fast, not because I am enamored of that ethos, but because there is no choice. It is an ethos of no choice.
"At the same time, there is no reason for gloom. We are a power. Even though we are only 6 million, we are a power: a military, economic, cultural and scientific power. Nor do I think that there is any sort of decree from heaven here. In Islam, there are waves that rise and fall, sometimes in the direction of extremism and sometimes in the direction of moderation. The Muslim world is not monolithic. It is possible that over time, the region will see processes of Westernization, democratization, a joining of the global village. But as long as we are under attack, Israeli society must show staying power. True, it is difficult, but when I was a boy, it was more difficult. And true, people are sad. But we should look at things in perspective: After 54 years, we are truly a power. Therefore, at bottom, I am truly optimistic."
No sleepless nights over Iraq
You said that the second existential threat to Israel was the nuclearization of the Middle East.
"If a hostile state acquires nuclear weapons, that will have three implications. First, it will be able to use them against Israel. Second, it will be able to make use of biological and chemical weapons without fear, in spheres where we have so far achieved deterrence. Third, under a nuclear umbrella, a hostile state will certainly also dare to act in additional - conventional - areas. The appearance of hostile nuclear weapons will also violate the balance that exists today in the region between moderates and radicals."
Is your conclusion that Israel should adopt the Begin doctrine of using operational force in order to prevent hostile states from going nuclear?
"I will not go into that."
Let me put it another way: Is it in Israel's supreme interest to prevent hostile nuclearization in any way?
"Yes. Unequivocally. All efforts have to be made so that no hostile state will achieve nuclear capability."
Are you not concerned about the possibility that in the event of an American attack on Iraq, Saddam Hussein will attack Israel with nonconventional weapons?
"If Iraq feels its survival is under threat, it may definitely want to demonstrate force against Israel along the lines of `Let me die with the Philistines.' However, Iraq's capabilities are shallow compared to what they were in the Gulf War. They are not capabilities that give me sleepless nights."
Iraq today does not constitute an existential threat to Israel?
"No. Obviously, we have to prepare for the possibility that they will launch a missile or a plane. But we have good answers to that threat, and the threat itself is limited. It might be unpleasant, but not terrible."
And the situation on the northern border, where Hezbollah has deployed thousands of rockets, doesn't disturb you either?
"The situation in the north cannot not be disturbing. But Israel will never say die. The problem there is less severe than in the Palestinian arena."
Is the threat from the north more serious or less serious than it was before the withdrawal from southern Lebanon?
"The potential that exists today in Lebanon is far graver than it was in the period when we were in the security zone [an Israeli-controlled strip on the Lebanese side of the border]. Hezbollah, together with the Syrians and the Iranians, has created a strategic threat to the north of the country, which consists of a combination of rockets of various types and various ranges that are threatening Israeli population centers in the north."
How tangible is that threat?
"If the Hezbollah potential is unleashed against us and we meet it with an appropriate response, it is possible that the response will, in fact, have the effect of strengthening Israel's deterrent capability. If it is unleashed and our response is inadequate, it will hurt us. So, if the threat materialized, we will have to exact a heavy price from those who are responsible for its development."
Who are they?
"First of all Syria, then Lebanon, Hezbollah and the Iranians in Lebanon." What you are saying, then, is that if there is a significant rocket and Katyusha rocket attack from Lebanon, we will have to react against all those parties?
"We have to confront them with a price that will make the realization of the potential not worthwhile: not for them and not for anyone who is thinking about using similar weapons against Israel in the future."
But isn't it the case that a reaction of that kind could bring about a general deterioration in the north?
"What is a general deterioration? There will be a certain period - not very long - in which we will have to learn to be on the receiving end, but then immediately to set a price that will make them understand that it is not worthwhile. All told, we have a crushing answer to Hezbollah. And if the Syrians try to take us on in the field of army versus army, we have a crushing answer to that, too - they know it and that's what deters them. Therefore, I do not think that a confrontation in the north is inevitable. But if they decide to escalate, we will be obliged to exact a very heavy price from all the bodies I mentioned."
Is Bashar Assad really more adventurous than his father was?
"As the Arabs wrestled with the problem between agreements and the armed struggle, Hafez Assad sat on the fence with both his legs and both his hands in the direction of a settlement. Bashar Assad is sitting on the same fence with both his legs and both his hands on the side of the armed struggle. There is a dramatic difference between the father and his son."
Does that mean that Syria is turning toward confrontation with Israel?
"Syria is turning toward support for terrorism. It is not interested in an army versus army clash - under no circumstances. Part of the difference between Bashar Assad and his father is due to the fact that Bashar's formative experience is not the military defeats of 1967 and 1973, which his father experienced personally. Bashar's formative experience is the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, which occurred shortly after he assumed power. His conclusion from that was that terrorism is victorious."
"Bashar Assad understands our advantage in the face of his army, but he sees a possibility of vanquishing Israel by means of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. As a result, he is daring to do things that his father never dared: He is arming Hezbollah and directly supporting Palestinian terrorist organizations. Recently, as a result of Operation Defensive Shield and the effects of September 11, he is showing signs of restraint, but the element of risk he embodies is far higher than it was in Hafez Assad."
Strategic Achilles heel Do you think the withdrawal from Lebanon was a mistake?
"Leaving Lebanon was a matter of time. The question was when and how to leave. We have to investigate this: Was the timing of the departure correct when we knew that the process with the Palestinians would be completed in September 2000, or should we have restrained ourselves for another half a year? It is also right to ask whether there was a way to execute the withdrawal in a manner that would not strengthen Hezbollah and the Iranians. Today the withdrawal from Lebanon is perceived in the region as the major success of the export of the Islamic revolution. That is why it has a strategic price. It had implications for the Palestinian arena and in the long run, it also has implications with regard to the Syrians. It greatly reinforces the theory of the spider web."
Why do you attribute such a decisive weight to this perception?
"After the Six-Day War, we succeeded in burning into the regional consciousness the fact that it is impossible to destroy Israel by military means. Our ability to withstand the harsh opening conditions of the Yom Kippur War only reinforced that regional impression. That was the root of the tendency toward settlements with Israel - the peace with Egypt and the peace with Jordan.
"However, since our first withdrawals from Lebanon after Operation Peace for Galilee [the official name of the 1982 Lebanon War], that accomplishment was increasingly eroded. For nearly 20 years, the feeling developed in the Middle East that even though the Israeli army is strong, the unwillingness of the Israeli society to make sacrifices is creating a strategic Achilles' heel.
"That perception affected all the process of armament and the military and terrorist thinking in the region. The conclusion was that because it is impossible to cope with the Israel Defense Forces, ways have to be found to get around its might in order to strike directly at Israeli society, which is incapable of absorbing casualties. Hence the emphasis on surface-to-surface missiles and hence also the emphasis on terrorism. The assumption was that a direct strike at Israeli society would set processes in motion. And it worked.
"That is what happened, first in 1983-1984, and then in the Jibril deal [the exchange, in May 1985 - following negotiations with Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command - of three Israelis taken prisoner in the Lebanon War, for 1,150 terrorists who were imprisoned in Israel], and then in what was interpreted as Israel's bending in the face of the stones and terrorism of the intifada. It continued after Oslo and South Lebanon, when it appeared that Israel was unable to bear a situation of 20 to 30 [army] deaths a year.
"Therefore, in terms of the person who is supposed to provide security, I can say that whereas in the sphere of army versus army, and in the nonconventional sphere, we created effective deterrence, we did not succeed in creating that kind of deterrence in the face of the surface-to-surface rockets or terrorism. Israeli society was marked by many in the region as a target which, if struck at, could bring about Israel's capitulation."
Blaming the media
Some people say that you have become right-wing.
"One of the problems that is making our public debate shallow is the tendency to label people and not listen to them. Personally, I see myself as a Jew, an Israeli, a humanist, a liberal, a democrat and a seeker of peace and security. But I know that I am facing a cruel reality and that I have to defend myself. In the face of cancer, one has to defend oneself. It worries me that when it comes to the Palestinian question, people here are constantly going back to the argument about the narrative and the diagnosis. Despite everything that has happened, people are still arguing about the diagnosis. And without agreeing on the diagnosis, there is no chance that the prognosis will be correct."
Do you see in Israel, over the past decade, that people are locking themselves into a conception the way they were on the eve of the Yom Kippur War 29 years ago?
"I think the problem of the conception is far more severe today. There is a deep psychological problem here: Because it is difficult for people to apprehend a reality that they do not control, it is more convenient to blame the Israeli side. Or the army. Or the chief of staff. Or whoever is reporting to them that the reality is not exactly the way they would like it to be. In addition, there are people for whom the conception has become their whole world, so they entrench themselves in it and refuse to let it go.
"I have to say that I am concerned about the part played by the media in creating this conception. Before the Yom Kippur War, the media were less investigative and more engaged. Today, the media seem to be investigative, open and safeguarding democracy, yet they are nevertheless part of the conception. Even though they are seemingly not engaged, the media had a major part in building the conception. They led the process."
Were there years in which you felt alone because of the gap between your perception of reality and the perception of the media, the political echelon and a large part of the public in Israel?
"I don't want to praise myself unduly. I only punctuated Arafat's intentions with an exclamation mark a month after the Sharm el-Sheikh conference - a month after the outbreak of the present confrontation. Before that, since August 1995, I had thought only in terms of question marks. But I remember that when I appeared before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the beginning of October 2000, people asked me whether the peak of the confrontation was already behind us. Suddenly, I understood the gap that exists between the world I live in and the world they live in. Because, since November 1999, I saw the confrontation taking on flesh and bones and I tried to prepare for it.
"I also remember a meeting with a group of American researchers in July 2000, in which I said that we are headed for war, and I saw from the look in their eyes that my interlocutors thought I had gone out of my mind. They looked at me and listened to me and thought I was a warmongering general who doesn't know what he's talking about. But it's not just a matter of being alone. Sometimes it's worse. You stand and try to contain [the other side], but they are shooting at you from all directions, and people from your side come and undermine you. Absolutely undermine you. That is frustrating. Very frustrating. Sometimes it drives me crazy."
Can you give me an example of some particular thing that drives you crazy?
"The incident of Salah Shehadeh was a tragic event in the context of harming innocent people [referring to the death of 15 civilians, many of them children, when a one-ton bomb was dropped on a building in Gaza in order to kill Shehadeh, a top Hamas activist]. There is no question of that. There was a hitch here, a serious hitch, and that is something that must not be allowed to happen to us. But to come and say that the attack on Shehadeh torpedoed a cease-fire that was supposed to come into effect is to take half-truths and build a lying narrative out of them. Simply lying.
"There was a discussion about a cease-fire, I don't deny that. But it was decided in the negative by Hamas on July 15, a week before the bombing. It was decided in the negative by the Tanzim four days before the bombing. The decision of the Palestinians was not to embark on a cease-fire, because they understood that Arafat didn't want it. Whereas here, a story was built up to the effect that the army torpedoed a cease-fire, and those who built up the story were not Palestinians. It was Israelis who conceived the idea of accusing us of `torpedoing' a cease-fire. That is an Israeli idea that the Palestinians took a ride on afterward."
Is there an Israeli pathology at work here?
"Of course there is a pathology. You have to understand that we are in a combined campaign - military, political, civilian, media, economic. In order to build a defensive wall, all those elements have to work in synergy. You have to understand that if you build a military wall but there is no political wall, then there is no wall. If you build a wall of the Shin Bet [security service] but there is no publicity wall, then there is no wall. And it is absolutely clear that there is no wall if Israelis come along and break it or undermine it."
A happy childhood
Lieutenant General Ya'alon, where do you come from? What are the sources of your Israeliness?
"I suppose it begins with my parents. My father fled Bolshevism in 1925. One of his brothers was murdered because he was a Jew and another brother was arrested for Zionist activity, and then their father decided to pack up the property and the factory in Ukraine and come to this country. My mother is a Holocaust survivor. She fled the Nazis and survived. She joined the Partisans and, in the end, reached Italy and from there came here after the war and was imprisoned [by the British] at Atlit, but she managed to get away from there, too.
"Our home was a typical one in Kiryat Haim [a Haifa suburb]: an Israeli-Zionist-workers' home with all that Kiryat Haim of the 1950s and `60s reflects. My father was a worker in the Shemen factory [which manufactures cooking oil and soap] and we lived a very modest life. At the time, I didn't understand that we were poor, but today I understand that we were poor. But I didn't feel any lack; I had no idea that there was any other kind of life. [There was] no bicycle, no car, not even a telephone in the house. Once every few months, we had felafel. Most of the time, we drank water and ate black bread because it was cheaper. Everything was on a modest scale. Our good time was the beach. Still, for me, it was a happy childhood."
Was there a sense of the Holocaust in the background?
"It wasn't talked about. But there was no [extended] family. Nearly the whole family on my mother's side was murdered. Finally, you understand that even though no one talked about it, it was a formative experience. You understand that you imbibed it."
You are a person who is constantly demanding of yourself, with a deep feeling of being engaged and committed - is that right?
"Yes, absolutely. I was active in the Noar Ha'oved [left-leaning youth] movement. It was clear that one had to go on to self-realization: to settle the Arava [desert] was part of Zionism as far as I was concerned. I took the whole thing about equality and humanism very seriously. And also making the desert bloom. The hold on the land. I take all that seriously today, too."
Do you still feel yourself to be a kibbutznik?
"It is not only a feeling. I am a kibbutznik. And I am very proud of it. If you ask me where I am from, I am from Kibbutz Grofit [north of Eilat]."
A military life
Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon was born in 1950 in Kiryat Haim, a suburb of Haifa. He was drafted in 1968, serving in the airborne unit of the paramilitary Nahal brigade. Within the framework of the "self-fulfillment" doctrine of his youth movement, he joined Kibbutz Grofit, north of Eilat, of which he is a member to this day.
In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, he fought as a reservist in the Paratroops and took part in the conquest of the Suez Canal. Returning to active service after the war, he completed an officers' training course and served in command posts in the Paratroops. Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and others who served under Ya'alon remember especially that company commander Ya'alon's wife, Ada, would come to the base on the weekend and stay with him in a pup tent.
In 1978, Ya'alon was the commanding officer of the Paratroops' sayeret (reconnaissance unit), taking part with it in Operation Litani in southern Lebanon. He spent the next three years in the elite Sayeret Matkal reconnaissance unit and then was appointed commander of a battalion in the Paratroops. He was sent to England for advanced studies in 1986 and, on his return, was named commander of Sayeret Matkal. He rehabilitated the unit in the wake of a series of crises it had experienced and, among other operations, led it in the liquidation of Abu Jihad. His next appointments were as commander of the Paratroops Brigade (1990), commander of the West Bank Division (1992) and commander of an armored division (1993).
In June 1995, Ya'alon was appointed director of Military Intelligence and already then began to have doubts about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, arousing the wrath of Shimon Peres. In May 1998, he became head of Central Command, where he prepared the command's units for the violent confrontation with the Palestinians that he foresaw. He was appointed deputy chief of staff in September 2000, and on July 9, 2002, took over as chief of staff.
For the past few years he and his wife have lived in a small community in the center of the country, even though they are both still kibbutz members. They have three children.
Was the Shehadeh affair hard for you?
"The dead children are hard for me."
Explain to me what happened.
"We went to attack a person who was unprecedented in that he was the commander of the terrorist arm of Hamas both in Gaza and in Judea-Samaria. This is a person who is responsible for the killing of hundreds of people. He systematically clung to the civilian population because he understood our sensitivities. In quite a few cases, we avoided attacking him because his wife was with him, or his daughters. Shehadeh had six daughters. More recently, we made things easier for ourselves and said that even if his wife is with him, we will attack him. Moreover, a discussion began about whether it would not be right to attack him even if his daughters were with him. But we made a decision against that. We decided that we would not harm his daughters.
"On the Saturday evening before the attack, we held a discussion. It was clear to us that in order to knock down the building, we would need a ton [of explosives], and the question was whether we would use one bomb of a ton or two of half a ton. Our experience was of dropping 160 bombs in the Palestinian arena without a single innocent civilian being killed, but the concern was that two bombs raised the statistical risk of a miss.
"So I sent the air force to do its homework and they came back to me with the answer that a one-ton bomb was more certain. The assessment was that the result would be the destruction of Shehadeh's house and damage to the empty neighboring building, and shattered windows in the area and tin siding that would be sent flying from the tin shacks. People wounded, not killed. In retrospect, though, it turned out that the neighboring house was not empty. The execution of the air force was perfect, but the intelligence gap in regard to the neighboring house caused a hitch. Six children were killed in that house."
And how did you feel?
"This is not my first day in the arena. I have been in the profession for 34 years - not by choice, but by necessity. I work constantly with the resolution of a surgeon's scalpel so as not to hurt innocent people. So what do you imagine I feel? I feel that something very heavy fell on my head. It is not pleasant. It is extremely unpleasant."
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
The Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2002
THE FOLLY OF WAITING
By David M. Weinberg
Israel's laggard battle against Palestinian terrorism reminds me of geriatric care. By the time a senior citizen or his family accepts the fact that he needs help, the situation usually has deteriorated to the point at which the patient needs twice as much treatment.
The Sharon government is afflicted with the same syndrome. Whatever action it takes against the terrorists almost always is pitifully insufficient and comes much too late.
Israel is continuously a year or two behind in taking adequate action against the terrorists. Had action been taken a year ago against Yasser Arafat's henchmen with the force now being applied, we would never have reached today's distressing lows.
Consider this absurdity: After last Sunday's bus bombing in Meron, the cabinet convened an emergency marathon session to debate and decide what "new" steps could be taken to ratchet-up Israel's counter-terror war.
In fact, the cabinet has held over 100 such sessions since September 2000 meeting after each terror attack as if it were surprised by the newest terrorist escalation; as if, this time it was going order the IDF to take sufficient action to "win" or "end" the war.
Alas, each time, the cabinet disappoints. It resolves, as if by rote, to take yet another tiny step or two forward in responding to the terrorist threat; much-too-carefully modulated strides that ever-so-slightly expand the use of IDF force against terrorists.
The latest mini-steps are the decisions to expel family members of terrorists and to annul the citizenship of some Israeli Arab terrorist collaborators. However, such Lilliputian measures are unlikely to deter the determined Palestinian terrorist machine.
The terrorists, you see, are way ahead of us. They're busy planning
mega-escalations in the violence. When we're hit by the mega-terror, we'll undoubtedly express surprise; and sadly, we'll respond once again with too little force, too late.
I ASK: Wouldn't it be wiser to do now what we'll inevitably have to do six months down the road knock the PA out of existence and Arafat out of the Mideast and thus save many Israeli lives? Do we always have to play a costly game of catch-up with the terrorists? Only after more than 500 Israelis were killed by Palestinian attackers over an eight-year period and another 100 were killed in one month (March) including 25 Jews at a seder in Netanya did the government draft some army reserves and invade the six major Palestinian cities to search for terrorists and arms. Then it pulled our forces back.
Only when the suicide bombings continued into the early summer did we move to impose an indefinite and complete curfew on the entire West Bank, encircling every major town with troops. We began to launch nightly raids on suspected terrorist hideouts, and resumed the demolition of homes belonging to terrorists.
Now it appears that only when the next, really big bomb goes off killing, say, 100 Israelis at once and injuring hundreds more will the government take the long-overdue decision to permanently expel Arafat and company from the territories.
I'm afraid that only when Palestinian terrorism reaches mega proportions with an attack that kills hundreds of Israelis will the government really get serious about winning this war by declaring the Palestinian Authority kaput; calling-up 100,000 reservists to re-impose military Israeli rule in all of Judea and Samaria; and expelling large numbers of the terrorist rank and file. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held a special session in his office last week, planning for just such a ghastly eventuality.
And only when a Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Tanzim bomber obliterates the Pi Glilot gas- and fuel-storage depot or another major installation, killing thousands of Israelis only then would Jerusalem decision-makers belatedly be ready to change the Mideast landscape for the better with dramatic, resolute action.
Jerusalem would announce a general conscription; move to transfer tens of thousands of Palestinians out of areas important to our security; raze neighborhoods harboring terrorists; annex the Jordan Valley, the Ariel bloc and Greater Jerusalem; seal off Gaza, with no more food, water or electricity supplies from Israel; and hand it over to the UN, lock, stock, and barrel.
Now, since all this is so terribly predictable, why wait until it happens? Shouldn't we take sufficiently forceful action to win this war now, given that we're going to be dragged into taking such action very soon anyway?
Does not the government have a responsibility to look ahead and forestall the loss of many, many Israeli lives? Israel's paradigm for defeating the scourge of a run-amok Palestinian terrorist state ought to be laser surgery quick, piercing and definitive not geriatric medicine. The time is long overdue for the government to take the initiative and act to force an ultimate outcome to this horrible, needless and very costly war of attrition.
The writer is director of public affairs at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
by Yehoshua Mizrachi
"4277800". This number represents a new milestone along my path of integration into Israeli life. No it's not my tuedat zehut (identity card) number, or my kupat cholim (health insurance) number. It's the registration number. Stamped on the Uzi submachine gun I was just issued.
Getting the gun came as no surprise; I've spent time on a firing range recently with other Israeli citizens who, for one reason or another, didn't serve in the IDF and therefore didn't receive army weapons training. We learned to disassemble it, clean it, re-assemble it; shoot it standing, kneeling and lying down. We learned the proper stance for effective shooting; you know, kind of like golf. We learned the rules of gun safety and the protocols of the firing range. We learned how to load the guns, how to release jams. But mainly, we learned how to shoot - how to neutralize someone coming at you with deadly intent. After all this training, the Security Coordinator of our community took me back out to the firing range to observe me handle and shoot the weapon. I passed the test, so now I have the Uzi.
The license permits me to carry the gun anywhere in the country, and those so licensed are encouraged to carry their weapon at all times. Many suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks have been either pre-empted or shortened by a quick thinking citizen with a gun on his back. So this I shall do, although I admit it's still a bit awkward. But I'll get used to carrying it soon enough: to the mall, food shopping, to shul, even on Shabbos - yes, we have a heter (religious dispensation) to carry guns on Shabbos.
There is purpose to all this. Thus trained and equipped, I can begin standing shmirah, sentry duty for the community. Every man must do shmirah, but as an oleh chadash I have been exempted from these responsibilities. Now I can take my place, do my part, and take some of the burden off my neighbors in helping to protect my family and theirs. After all, that is the reason I came - to share the burden of protecting our common future on this Land.
Carrying a gun demands something more - a change of consciousness. You have to walk differently, constantly scan your surroundings, look at everyone who approaches as a possible assailant. There is no letting down your guard. The gun never lets you forget your name and address. Like the kippah on my head, it is a constant companion and physical reminder of where my priorities lie.
Jews and guns - a funny mix, from the American perspective. Even in the face of rising anti-semitism, American Jews are squeamish about Jewish self-defense. The terminally misguided American Jewish establishment has always parroted the arguments of the gun control lobby. Guns, not people, are evil. Eliminate guns, and you eliminate crime. It's easy to debate pros and cons of gun control from the comfortable salons of Boston and New York, where the only people actually killed with guns are pushers and prostitutes, nobody you'd ever invite home for dinner. But in Israel we don't have that luxury. Here, they kill the people you do invite over for dinner - your neighbors, and innocent five-year old girls cowering under beds, and infants right in their mothers' arms; every Jew has an invisible target painted on his back.
Many people, upon reading this, might wonder if living in Israel is worth it. After all, Jews in the States don't need to sling guns on their back as a condition of life. No bullet-proof vests are necessary for the ride in to work. Why bother to live in Israel, when you can be a perfectly good Jew in Monsey or Baltimore?
We Jews are fond of ascribing every minor setback to Divine Providence. It's bashert that the lasagna burnt; it's bashert that I missed my connecting flight. But to quote my friend and neighbor Rav Yitchak Rubinstein: how is it conceivable that the same Gcd who is invested in a ripped fingernail or a fallen hem is not involved in the most significant event in 2,000 years of Jewish history - the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel?
As Baltimore Rabbi Moshe Hauer has reiterated, the future of the Jewish people is being decided here, in Israel, and not in America. To live oblivious to this truth is to live as one asleep. Zionism - Jewish nationalism - can no longer be dismissed with pious suspicion or outright contempt; it is the beginnings of the ultimate geulah (redemption).
It's all about raising your consciousness. It's about being aware, not only of the things going on around you, but of their portent. Like me with the gun, none of us can afford to slumber. Yet so many people go through life in a trance, studiously ignoring Elijah's gentle tug on our shoulder. For those fortunate few who get it, Zionism is the wake up call to Jewish Identity.
And the beginnings of Jewish Nationalism is Jewish Self-Defense. So I will carry my gun, not to kill, but to be allowed to build. I will do everything in my power to contribute to the great and holy enterprise of strengthening our hold upon this Land. I will carry my Uzi. I will do shmirah. And I will cover your shmirot until you get here.
Good Shabbos from the Gush Etzion, where we are living your dreams,
The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 26, 2002
80,000 PALESTINIANS EMIGRATED
FROM THE TERRITORIES SINCE BEGINNING OF YEAR
By Khaled Abu Toameh
Approximately 80,000 Palestinians have left the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year, a rise of 50 percent compared to last year, a senior Palestinian Authority official said Monday.
The official, who asked not to be named, told The Jerusalem Post another 50,000 Palestinians are now trying to leave through the Jordan River bridges and the Rafah border crossing.
"We are seriously talking about transfer," the official added. "We are holding urgent deliberations with the brothers in Jordan and Egypt to try to stop the influx."
He estimated that at least half of those who have already left would eventually decide to settle in another country.
The figures, which do not include Palestinian residents of Jerusalem who have Israeli-issued ID cards, are based on data provided by several PA ministries, which issue various travel documents for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Last week Bethlehem Mayor Hanna Nasser revealed in an interview with the Post that about 1,000 Palestinians from his town had left the country over the past few months.
Thousands of Palestinians have been camping in the open air outside Jericho, waiting for their turn to cross the Allenby and Adam bridges into Jordan. Hundreds others are waiting near the Rafah border crossing.
According to the PA official, at one stage more than 40,000 would-be entrants were gathered near Jericho. Many of them have been waiting for weeks after Jordan decided to limit the number of West Bank Palestinians entering the Hashemite Kingdom.
The Jordanian authorities say they do not want to help Palestinians leave their homes for fear Israel will not allow them back. But Palestinians say they believe the Jordanians are afraid a large number of Palestinians want to live permanently in Jordan.
Under pressure from the PA and humanitarian organizations, some of which have supplied the stranded Palestinian travelers with tents and food, the Jordanian government earlier this month agreed to allow 1,000 people a day to enter Jordan.
The move came after the Palestinians complained that Israel was preventing them from returning to their homes in the West Bank.
A PA cabinet minister, who visited Jordan last month for talks with Jordanian officials on the restrictions, said he could understand the Jordanians' fears. "They fear that [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon wants to expel the Palestinians to Jordan, where they would be able to establish a substitute state," he told the Post yesterday. "This is understandable."
The minister added that top Jordanian government officials told him Israel could seize the opportunity during an American military strike on Iraq "to try and get rid of as many Palestinians as possible."
One of the measures currently being applied by the Jordanian authorities requires each Palestinian to deposit a sum of 1,000 Jordanian dinars ($1,400) to ensure that they do not settle in the kingdom.
Khaled Khatib, a leader of the Palestinian Democratic Union, an offshoot the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, warned that tens of thousands of Palestinians could be driven out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip when the US launches a military offensive against Iraq.
"Israel might exploit the situation to mount a wide-scale military operation to destroy the PA and expel tens of thousands of desperate Palestinians," he said. "But this plot will not succeed because our people have learned from previous mistakes."
In 1991 Jordan opened its borders to tens of thousands of Palestinians expelled from Kuwait and other Gulf states in retaliation for PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's support for Saddam Hussein.
"No one is opposed to Palestinians visiting Jordan," said Jordanian writer and columnist Fahed Fanek. "But the fear is that many visitors do not want to go back and are seeking a refuge, be it in Jordan, the United States, Canada, Australia, or elsewhere."
"One cannot blame them as individuals, because life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is intolerable for both economic and security reasons," he added. "But we have a national duty to Jordan, first, and to Palestine, second, to block gradual transfer and prevent the Palestinian state from being relocated outside Palestine, specifically to Jordan."
Copyright 1995-2002 The Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com/
The Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2002
THEY HATE CHRISTIANS, TOO
by Michael Freund
The fact that America's Arab allies often express their hatred for Jews in ways that would make even the most stolid of State Department bureaucrats blush no longer seems to qualify as earth-shattering news.
Calls for waging holy war against Israel, combined with anti-Semitic rantings reminiscent of the Middle Ages, have sadly become all too common in so-called moderate Arab countries ranging from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
But just in case you thought that America's ostensible Arab partners in the war on terror reserved their nastiest vitriol exclusively for the Children of Israel, consider some of the following recent observations they have made about Christians.
This past Friday, on August 23, Yemen's government-run television station broadcast a prayer sermon delivered at the Grand Mosque in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. Here is what the preacher had to say, "O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters and the Christians and their supporters and followers. O Allah, destroy the ground under their feet, instill fear in their hearts, and freeze the blood in their veins."
This marked the third week in a row that official Yemeni TV had broadcast a sermon in which the preacher issued a chilling, and decidedly unpleasant, call for the destruction of both Jews and Christians.
Needless to say, America has gone to great lengths to assist Yemen's government in combating Islamic terror groups operating in their territory. Isn't it nice to see just how much the Yemeni government appreciates all that help?
Arab states in the Gulf region, which stand to gain the most from America's impending removal of Saddam, are likewise just as grateful as their Yemeni associates. Take, for instance, the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, where a massive American military base is being built in preparation for the war on Iraq, as the New York Times reported on August 19.
Earlier this month, in a Friday prayer sermon broadcast live on official Qatari TV from the Omar Bin-Khattab Mosque in Doha, the preacher denounced what he termed the "vile Christians" and pleaded with Allah to annihilate them: "O Allah, destroy the usurper Jews and the vile Christians. O Allah, pour out Your anger on them. O Allah, destroy them."
And so, just a few weeks shy of the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Qatar's government apparently sees nothing wrong with televising a call to destroy Jews and Christians.
Nor, it seems, does Qatar hesitate to invoke the most abhorrent of anti-Semitic imagery in its denunciations of Jews. On August 16, Qatari television's dose of religious inspiration for its viewers included a sermon delivered by one Sheikh Dr. Anwar al-Badawi, in which he referred to Jews as "grandsons of monkeys and pigs" and said they were "filthy".
In nearby Saudi Arabia, the same government-run hate machine that produced 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers continues to spew out similar venom. A recent homily screened on the official Saudi TV1 network included the following: "O Allah, destroy the tyrant Jews for they are within your power."
Bear in mind that the stations broadcasting this bile are owned, funded and administered by their respective governments. Hence, the hateful messages they propagate are the full and undeniable responsibility of their leaders, the very same leaders now being courted by the US State Department in the hopes they will participate in the war on terror.
And, even though these Arab leaders know quite well that the US Government, through the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), carefully monitors what their media says and how they say it, they do not seem to fear any political or diplomatic backlash over their calls for mass murder. And why should they? After all, rather than confronting Arab leaders about these issues, America's diplomats prefer to look the other way, ignoring the problem in the hopes that perhaps no one will notice.
It is therefore time for the US Congress to step in and take notice. America 's legislators should require the State Department to compile and issue a quarterly report on anti-American and anti-Israel invective in the Arab press, one that documents the phenomenon in a comprehensive and systematic manner.
Such a report would serve two essential purposes: it would raise public awareness about what the Arab states really think of America and Israel, and it would also mark an important first step in highlighting and countering the official hatemongering that takes place so brazenly throughout the Arab world.
Congress should also hold hearings to examine why countries that profess their friendship for America when speaking in English proceed to call for the extermination of Jews and Christians when praying in Arabic. This contradiction can no longer be ignored.
For, as the events of the past year have made abundantly clear, the danger of rabid anti-Western rhetoric in the Arab world is neither latent nor feeble. When they say they are out to kill Christians and Jews, policymakers need to start taking them at their word.
The writer served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.
Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin
August 28, 2002
PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH
phone: 972- 2- 625-4140
fax: 972-2- 624-2803
Visit our website, click here: http://www.pmw.org.il
For further information, contact PMW Director, Itamar Marcus
Material may be quoted, citing PMW as the source
PALESTINIAN GOAL IS
OF ISRAEL IN STAGES
By Itamar Marcus
Israeli Chief of Staff Ayalon caused a political stir this week by announcing that the Palestinian Authority plan is to destroy Israel in stages, through the implementation of the Oslo Accords.
His professional assessment based on military intelligence analysis confirms the findings in a PMW report published last year which documents some of the numerous statements made by Palestinian political leaders in Arabic, including Faisal Husseini, which lead to the same conclusion. These include explicit statements in Arabic that the purpose of Oslo is to destroy Israel.
As a service to our readers we are redistributing this report.
PMW Special Report No. 31 [updated - May 2002]
Is the Palestinian Goal A Peace Agreement or "Hudna" [cease fire]?
Written by Itamar Marcus, Director
Israeli Arab Knesset Member Abd-Al Malek Dahamshe was interviewed on Palestinian Television. A viewer called in to the studio and commented that, "Our problem with Israel is not a border problem, but one of existence". Dahamshe responded: "We exaggerate when we say 'peace'... what we are [really] speaking about is 'Hudna'".
[Israeli Arab Knesset Member Abd-Al Malek Dahamshe, PATV, 1 September 2000]
"Hudna" is an Islamic term meaning cease fire. MK Dahamshe accepted the position expressed by the caller, by referring to the agreements with Israel not as "Peace" but rather as a cease fire.
This report investigates to what extent this position of Dahamshe reflects the position of the Palestinian Authority. When Palestinian officials speak to their own people in Arabic, do they anticipate that a permanent agreement with Israel will be peace agreement ending the conflict with Israel, or that it is just a "Hudna" a temporary cease fire?
The research demonstrates a clear and unified world-view within the Palestinian leadership, in speeches to the nation, in educational programs, and through school textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority. Consistently Israel is defined as a colony that stole the land of "Palestine" having no right to exist. Therefore within the framework of the "justice", there is no room for Israel's permanent existence. The Arabic Palestinian lexicon contains many expressions to describe the negotiations with Israel in this context: "The permanent agreement is a stage"; "The Oslo accord is to gain a foothold"; "All the agreements are temporary". In this context the Oslo process is part of the process of liberating "Palestine". The recurrent justification given for the need for a temporary agreement with Israel is "because of current balance of power". From the positions expressed within the Palestinian Authority it is evident that Dahamshe's position whereby the permanent status agreement with Israel is to be viewed as "Hudna", is the rule and not the exception.
The following are a few examples where PA leaders have stated this explicitly.
1. Faisal Husseini, Palestinian Authority Representative for Jerusalem Affairs:
Oslo accords are a Trojan Horse:
"Had the U.S. and Israel realized, before Oslo, that all that was left of the Palestinian National movement and the Pan-Arab movement was a wooden horse called Arafat or the PLO, they would never have opened their fortified gates and let it inside their walls. This effort [the Intifada] could have been much better, broader, and more significant had we made it clearer to ourselves that the Oslo agreement, or any other agreement, is just a temporary procedure, or just a step towards something bigger... We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure. . [Palestine] according to the higher strategy [is]: 'from the river to the sea.' Palestine in its entirety is an Arab land, the land of the Arab nation."
[Al-Arabi' -Egypt, 24 June 2001]
2. Abd El Aziz Shahian, Palestinian Authority Minister of Supplies:
Oslo is just the first step in the destruction of Israel:
"The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo agreements as a first step and not as a permanent settlement, based on the premise that the war and struggle in the land is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land [i.e. Tunisia, where the PLO was based before Oslo -Ed] ... the Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the '65 revolution...".
[P.A. Minister of Supply Abd El Aziz Shahian, Al Ayyam, 30 May 2000]
[The "'65 Revolution" is the founding of the P.L.O.
and the publication of the Palestinian charter that calls for the
destruction of Israel via an armed struggle.]
3. Othman Abu Arbiah, Arafat's Deputy:
The Palestinian state is just the first stage:
"... At this stage we'll prevail in our struggle [toward] the goals of the stages [plan]. The goal of this stage is the establishment of the independent Palestinian State, with its capital in Jerusalem. When we achieve this, it will be a positive [step] and it will advance us to the next stage via other ways and means... 'Every Palestinian must know clearly and unequivocally that the independent Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital is not the end of the road'. The [rise of] the Palestinian State is a stage after which there will be another stage and that is the democratic state in all of Palestine [i.e. in place of Israel]."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 25 November 1999]
[Othman Abu Arbiah is Arafat's aide for Political Guidance and
national affairs, and the Director-General for National Affairs,
a senior position in the Palestinian national educational
4. Sheikh Yousuf Abu Sneina, the preacher of the Al-Aqza Mosque:
All of Israel is "Palestine" forever:
"The Islamic land of Palestine is one and can not be divided. There is no difference between Haifa and Nablus, between Lod and Ramallah, between Jerusalem and Nazareth, between Gaza and Ashkelon. The land of Palestine is Waqf land that belongs to Moslems throughout the world and no one has the right to act freely or the right to make concessions or to abandon her. Whoever does this betrays a [trust] and is nothing more than a loathsome criminal whose abode is in Hell!"
[The Preacher of Al Aqza Mosque, Sheikh Yousuf Abu Sneina,
PATV, 8 September 2000]
5. Abdullah Al-Hourani, Chairman, Palestinian National Council Political Committee:
The conflict remains eternal - all of Israel is Palestine:
Interviewer: "How do read the future of the peace process.?"
Al-Hourani: "Whether they return to negotiations or not, and whether they fulfill the agreements or not - the political plan is a temporary agreement, and the conflict remains eternal, will not be locked, and the agreements being talked about are regarding the current balance of power. As to the struggle, it will continue. It may pause at times, but in the final analysis, Palestine is ours from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River."
[Al Hayat Al Jadida, 14 April 2000]
6. Imad Alfalugi, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Communication:
Israel "the Occupation State" will cease to exist:
"Our people have hope for the future, that the Occupation State ceases to exist, and that it makes no difference [how great] its power and arrogance...".
[Minister of Communications, Imad Alfalugi, Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida, 18 November 1999]
7. Salim Alo'adia, Abu Salam, Supervisor of Political Affairs:
The goal has not changed - the "liberation of Palestine"
"When we picked up the gun in '65 and the modern Palestinian Revolution began, it had a goal. This goal has not changed and it is the liberation of Palestine."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 20 January 2000]
8. Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, Palestinian Authority appointed Mufti of Jerusalem & Palestine:
We have not forgotten about Jaffa or about Acre
"We are discussing the current problems and when we speak about Jerusalem it doesn't mean that we have forgotten about Hebron or about Jaffa or about Acre..we are speaking about the current problems that have priority at a certain time. It doesn't mean that we have given up... We have announced a number of times that from a religious point of view Palestine from the sea to the river is Islamic."
[PATV, 11 January 2001]
[Note: Jaffa and Acre are Israeli cities. The "sea to the
river" is all of Israel.]
9. Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halbiah, a Palestinian Authority Religious leader, a member of the Palestinian Sharianic (Islamic religious law) Rulings Council, and Rector Advanced Studies, the Islamic University:
"All the agreements are temporary"
"We the nation of Palestine, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the Prophet Mohammed said: The resurrection of the dead will not come until you do battle with the Jews and kill them. We the Palestinians, are the vanguard in this issue, in this battle, whether we want to or whether we refuse. All the agreements being made are temporary."
[Preacher Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halbiah, PATV, 28 July 2000]
10. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, a Palestinian Authority religious leader:
"We will enter Jaffa, Ramle and Lod and all of Palestine, as conquerors."
"We are positive that Allah will help us triumph. Our belief is firm that one day we will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, enter Jaffa as conquerors, Ramle and Lod. and all of Palestine, as conquerors. [ed. note: Jaffa, Ramle, and Lod are Israeli cities.]
"If He [Allah] asks them [Arab leaders], on Judgment Day: 'the majority of Palestine was lost in '48 and what did you do? And the remainder was lost in '67, and now it is being vanquished again.' How shall we respond to our Lord?.
"Palestine shall be the burial grounds of the invaders just as it was for the Tartars, and the Crusaders and for modern colonialism. The Tradition relates to us that Allah's cherished one [Muhammad] said: 'The Jews will battle against you but you shall emerge masters over them."
[Preacher Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PATV, 12 April 2002]
11. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, a Palestinian Authority religious leader: "We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv"
"We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya... We will fight against them and rule over them until the Jew will hide behind the trees and stones and the tree and stone will say: 'Moslem! Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him'. We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and Jaffa as conquerors, and Haifa as conquerors and Ashkelon as conquerors...."
[Preacher Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PATV, 3 August 2001]
12. Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halbiah, a Palestinian Authority Religious leader:
"We will not forget Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, the Galilee Triangle, and the Negev"
"Even if agreements were signed [regarding] Gaza and the West Bank, we will not forget Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, the Galilee Triangle, and the Negev. It is only a question of time."
[Preacher Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halbiah, PATV, 13 October 2000]
[Ed note: All are Israeli cities or regions.]
13. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PA religious leader:
Palestine shall return to its former days. Israel shall pass.
"Who is responsible for the loss of Palestine, the good land that the passages of the dear Koran bless many times, and [for] deceitfully labeling it Israel? Who is responsible for the loss of Jerusalem... The Prophet [Muhammad] soothes us with many Hadiths that Palestine shall return to its former days.... We must prepare a foothold, for the coming army of Allah, by divine predetermination. May it be Allah's will, this oppressing state shall pass, Israel shall pass..."
[Preacher Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, PATV, 8 June 2001]
What is clear from the Palestinians is that their goal of destroying Israel has never been abandoned. Indeed, the message from the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to their respective people are direct opposites of one another:
Israel leaders are saying:
The permanent status agreement will be painful, but we will accept it because it will mark the end of the conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab world in general.
The Palestinian leaders are saying:
The permanent status agreement will be painful, but we will accept it because it is not the end of the conflict. This is one stage leading to Israel's destruction.
The words of MK Abd-Al Malek Dahamshe constitute the conceptual basis for the Palestinian Authority's policies:
"We exaggerate when we say 'peace'... what we are [really] speaking about is 'Hudna'".