STRATEGIC DEPTH IS STILL A MUST (Limor Livnat)
RETURN THE GAS MASKS (Efraim Inbar)
THERE IS DANCING, AND THEN THERE IS DANCING (Yossi Olmert)
77.2% OF PALESTINIANS WANT IRAQI RETALIATION AGAINST ISRAEL (Aaron Lerner)
'CRAZY ISRAEL' (Yosef Goell)
EVACUATION or DETERRENCE? (Emanuel A. Winston)
THEY HAVE NOT CHANGED (Shmuel Shnitzer)
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of February 6, 1998
As threats of Saddam Hussein's Scuds and memories of sealed rooms become palpable once again, it is important that we remember the lessons of the Gulf War, specifically to how they relate to any further withdrawals from Judea and Samaria.
In its obsessive drive to create a sovereign Palestinian Arab state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, the Left uses the Gulf War to invalidate claims that the hilltops of Judea and Samaria are of strategic importance to Israel's security. Its argument is that in an age of unconventional weaponry, strategic depth is unimportant. The war against Iraq proved this, they claim, because the disputed mountain range lying to the east of pre-1967 Israel, could not keep the Scuds out.
In fact the war proved just the opposite. The 39 missiles which fell on our cities and terrorized our population did not compromise our sovereignty. If they had, we would have had no choice but to respond. We did not. Kuwait, on the other hand, was conquered, occupied, and rendered a nonentity in a mere six hours, with tanks and infantry, not with Scuds.
To extricate Kuwait from Saddam's stranglehold, the most modern weaponry in the world was insufficient. The US, along with 38 allies, flew 120,000 sorties, dropping over a million bombs in 40 days of high-tech warfare, and yet Saddam was not brought to his knees. He did not surrender until American troops occupied 40 miles of Iraqi territory. It is ironic, but true, that Israel's entire width, including Judea and Samaria, is 40 miles. A second instructive irony is that Kuwait and pre-1967 Israel are equal in square miles. Kuwait, though, is round, while Israel is long and narrow, making it much more vulnerable to attack.
The continued importance of territorial depth is not lost on much larger countries with much less to lose than Israel. We know of no superpowers which have disbanded their armies because they have nuclear capability. Similarly, NATO defense strategy is still (even after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact) based on strategic depth.
The reason is simple, little has changed. Territory is needed to defend a country, and if too much territory is lost, the war is lost. The Left then points to the US. It is our ally and will never let it happen, it says. The US is a dear friend and does not want Israel to be destroyed. But as Golda Meir once told Richard Nixon when the latter suggested the same, "By the time you get here, we won't be here."
Does anyone really believe that there are 38 countries, or even a quarter of that number, who would join together to liberate us, if our fate were that of the Kuwaitis? Would there be any of us left to liberate?
Further substantive withdrawal in Judea and Samaria means greater territorial contiguity for the Palestinian Authority. That was Labor's strategy from the outset of Oslo: the creation of a de facto PLO state through the creation of a contiguous land mass running from Jenin to Gaza via east Jerusalem and three safe passages from Hebron to Gaza. A sovereign Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza means that Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, will be in range not of Scuds, but Katyushas. This indicates just how irresponsibly delusive the Left's argument that Israel is strong enough to deal with a hostile Palestinian state on its longest border is.
What are we going to do if Arafat, or a successor, fires Katyushas at us? Turn Hebron into Hiroshima? Obviously we will have no choice but to re-enter the areas at a great cost in life. Some say we must take a calculated risk. But the calculation is wrong and the risk way too big. The government's insistence on a smaller percentage, totally linked with compliance, should be intended to prevent contiguity in order to prevent statehood.
Because sovereignty is a function of contiguity, Arafat is holding out for a larger percentage so that he can connect the areas under his control. If Arafat declared a state tomorrow, it would have little meaning. But if the territory under his control was connected, a proclamation of statehood would not even be necessary.
It is therefore imperative that any further withdrawal, even if implemented only after full compliance, must not allow for territorial contiguity.
What was done, was done. The autonomy granted to the large Palestinian Arab population centers is something the Right is going to have to get used to. But what was not done, must not be done. No contiguity was given and no statehood granted. And that is something the Left is going to have to get used to. Blowing the dust off the gas masks and trying them on for size should make that a bit easier to understand.
Limor Livnat is Minister of Communications in the current Israeli government.
Forwarded from The Jerusalem Post of February 16, 1998
Once again, Israel faces the prospect of being attacked by Iraqi missiles armed with non-conventional warheads. We know with near-certainty that Iraq succeeded in maintaining such a capability despite the continuous efforts on the part of the UN inspection teams to dismantle the Iraqi biological and chemical weapons program. In all probability, Iraq still has also a few missile launchers and Scud-C missiles with the necessary range to hit Israel if deployed in western Iraq.
In light of this predicament, Israel is spending millions of dollars on providing a modicum of safety to all its citizens by equipping them with gas masks and by instructing them to create sealed havens in their homes. This is the only country in the world taking such comprehensive measures. The rationale of 1991 was simple - the state has a responsibility to defend its citizens.
But this is the wrong policy. It was primarily the result of the weakness of Israeli leaders who gave in to populist demands. The expensive defensive efforts are strategically dangerous. The overall nonchalant deja vu attitude toward threats of mass destruction directed at the Jewish people at the end of the 20th century is appalling. With our own hands we are eroding the threshold between conventional and non-conventional weapons; our defensive measures signal to the Arab rivals that a non-conventional attack on Israel is not unthinkable and that it is even acceptable, provided that casualties are limited in number.
Moreover, we enter an extremely costly race of continuously having to prepare suitable defensive equipment in response to the development of new warheads carrying chemical or biological agents. Today's protective gear could become obsolete in a short time. In addition, the recurring pictures of hysterical Israelis standing in line to get their gas masks project an image of a weak society incapable of withstanding the rigors of protracted conflict.
The policy of defending the civilian population by passive measures, such as gas masks and masking tape, is a strategic folly and should be discontinued. ISRAEL must make clear to all its regional rivals that crossing the non-conventional threshold is totally unacceptable, and would trigger disproportionate Israeli retaliation.
Declarations are not enough. They must be reinforced by demonstrations of capability and determination to exact a high price from those who challenge Israel by force. As Israel's deterrent power is being eroded by a series of military enterprises of questionable record, such as the Lebanon war and the intifada, the IDF and other security organs must reestablish a reputation for ruthless efficacy in dealing with foes.
In contrast to popular image, Arab leaders are not irrational. Even Saddam calculates his actions, though we might bemoan his tendency for taking risks. He also ponders the question of what he can gain from launching missiles armed with non-conventional warheads against Israel.
The problem Israel faces in deterring aggression is not the rationality of the Arab leaders, but their low sensitivity to cost. They do not care if their goals are achieved at the price of thousands of casualties. Simply destroying many targets from the air will not create deterrence. The Saddams and the Assads are definitely better-equipped than the democratic countries to survive a CNN-televised carnage.
Therefore, Israel has to develop the intelligence ability to identify the targets that are dear to Saddam and his ilk, and the capability of hitting and destroying them. Examples of such targets in Iraq are the hiding places of the chiefs of the security services and the senior officers in charge of the Republican Guards. These organizations are the mainstay of the regime, and their leaders and those close to them should become the appropriate target.
Precision attacks from the air or by commandos are necessary to eliminate these important targets. If we or others in the free world want to be secure from non-conventional blackmail, there may be no choice but to revert to threats and/or actual political assassinations. This is no less moral than butchering soldiers and civilians from the air.
At present, Israel's options for exacting a cost which is meaningful for Saddam are limited. Israel's punitive tools seem to be just as blunt as those of the Americans. They must be honed. Investing in intelligence and in offensive capabilities is wiser than buying gas masks. It is not too late to revert to a sounder strategic policy. Hopefully, our political leaders will have the courage to lead and convince the hysterical mobs of the futility of hiding behind gas masks.
(c) Jerusalem Post 1998
Efraim Inbar is associate professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, and director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies]
Reprinted from Yediot Ahronot of Feb 16, 1998
The lesson which the Palestinians learned from the damage caused by dancing on the roofs during the Gulf War is not to dance on the roofs, but to "dance at both weddings": the Iraqi and the American.
Our Palestinian neighbors long ago developed the use of double-talk for their political purposes, and even elevated it into an art: there are things which are said in Israel and the West, and there are things which are said internally. In more picturesque language, one might speak of "the politics of the head," employed for external consumption, and the "politics of the gut," used internally. The current crisis offers a rich opportunity to examine, once more, how the system works.
To the outside world, the Palestinian Authority speaks of its opposition to Saddam's actions, of the necessity of preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction, and of the need to comply with decisions taken by the international community. Saddam has been punished, and is being punished, for non-compliance, while Israel comes out clean, because of its alliance with the United States. In general, this is a balanced, moderate and reasonable stance, unlike that taken during the previous Gulf crisis. Then, the politics of the head and of the gut blended into enthusiastic support for Saddam, a position which caused them tremendous political damage.
Now, after the lesson has been learned and circumstances have changed, the Palestinians have returned to their original ways, and to ambiguous politics. Now, only the "street" expresses enthusiastic support for Saddam. In Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and elsewhere, thousands of Palestinians march, carrying inflammatory leaflets, shouting cries of victory to Saddam and calling for the use of chemical weapons to destroy Israel.
On the face of it, these are spontaneous demonstrations. In practice, the secretary general of Fatah in the West Bank took part in one of the demonstrations and even flaunted his role in organizing it. Palestinian police appear to be dispersing the demonstrations, but the "street" knows that all this is one big show. The leadership is interested in demonstrations, and the leadership will get its wish. It is possible to wink in the direction of the United States, and signal support to it, and on the other hand to signal to Saddam: we are "okay," and actually support you.
There are also those among us who dismiss all this with a nod and a wink, and speak of the need for the Palestinians to "vent their frustrations" and "let off steam." It appears that in order to let off steam, thousands of Palestinians are calling for the destruction of Israel and welcoming the use of chemical weapons against it, and that all this is being done under the supervision and direction of the Palestinian Authority, which, according to the Oslo Agreements, is required to prevent expressions of hatred toward Israel.
Those who would try to defend the Palestinian Authority over the question of its behavior during the current Gulf crisis, must answer this simple question: If the Palestinian Authority really opposes Saddam, why are repeated demonstrations in his favor being held, as opposed to neighboring Jordan -- where there are no double politics and demonstrations in favor of Saddam have simply been prohibited, or are dispersed.
The answer, it would appear, is also simple: the PA has an interest in these demonstrations, which send a signal to Palestinian and Arab public opinion that, despite the peace process with Israel, they are continuing to to fan the flames of hatred for Israel, that it is business as usual,and that the peace option is only one of several.
Aaron Lerner Date: 17 February, 1998
The following are the results of a poll [Key questions only] of a representative sample of 1,188 Palestinian adults [over 18] in the West Bank [including eastern Jerusalem] and Gaza Strip carried out by The Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) on February 14, 1998:
1. Do you expect a US attack on Iraq?
Yes 62.% No 33.2% No opinion 4.5%
2. If war breaks out between Iraq and the US, do you expect Iraq will launch missiles against Israel like the last time?
Yes 52.2% No 42.9% No opinion 4.9%
3. If Iraq launched missiles against Israel, are you concerned that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will be injured?
Yes 48.5% No 46.9% No opinion 4.6%
4. Do you support Iraq and sympathize with it in this crisis?
Yes 94.1% No 4.8% No opinion 1.1%
7. Do you think the US implements a double-standard in dealing with crises in the region?
Yes 80.5% No 13.1% No opinion 6.4%
8. If the US launches a strike against Iraq, do you support Iraq launching a strike against Israel?
Yes 77.2% No 15.7% No opinion 7.1%
9. The Palestinian Police issued an order banning demonstrations and marches that might lead to acts of violence and disturbances, such as burning flags. Do you support or disagree with the order? Support 32.7% Oppose 57.6% No opinion 9.7%
Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re-printed from The Jerusalem Post of February 2, 1998
Yosef Goell, long a staff member of, but now only a frequent contributor to, THE JERUSALEM POST, basically supported the Israel-PLO Agreements. Hence no one would classify Dr. Goell a "hawk" or "right-winger." Nevertheless, in an article published in THE JERUSALEM POST DAILY INTERNET EDITION (February 2, 1998), Goell boldly declared:
We should broadcast 'crazy'
messages of cataclysmic retaliation
for any attack on our civilian population.
The renewed threat of an Iraqi biological and chemical missile attack against Israel's civilian population has so far focused commentators' minds on how we can best prepare for such an attack and minimize our casualties. Do we have enough anti-anthrax inoculations and how fast can we get more from the US? How effective are they, if at all? Are we ready to speedily distribute such antidotes in the midst of an attack? Are our gas masks effective against anything, or are they and the recommended plastic-wrapped and Scotch-taped safe rooms merely a modern form of voodoo medicine, comparable to the American Patriot anti-missile missiles which didn't succeed in shooting down even one Iraqi Scud in the 1991?
These are important questions but even they are secondary to the paramount issue of deterrence. Is there really no way to deter a Saddam Hussein from resorting to the use of weapons of mass destruction, not only against us in Israel, but against Turkey, Iran or his own Kurdish population.
I want to argue that Saddam Hussein, as bloodthirsty as he may be, is no madman; and because he is rational in his own way, there are deterrents we have not tried that could prove effective; and that the present situation is the long overdue time to begin.
Some years ago Prof. Yehezkel Dror of the Hebrew University published a book called Crazy States, in which he addressed the difficult strategic problems entailed in Israel's confronting enemy states headed by irrational "crazy" leaders, such as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi or Iraq's Saddam. One of his recommendations was that in certain situations, the best deterrent for Israel against such "crazy states" would be for Israel herself to project an image of crazy irrationality in regard to the disproportionate retaliation to which she would resort in case of attack.
This is exactly the image we should be projecting today. Yes, the cooly rational arguments our political and military leaders use when talking to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright certainly have their place. We should clearly not seek to interfere with America's determination to launch a major punitive strike against Saddam Hussein if he does not agree to full international inspection of his weapons programs.
But it is even more important that we also broadcast "crazy" messages of cataclysmic retaliation for any attack on our civilian population. One of the evil legacies of the Gulf War is that Saddam's Scud attacks on Tel Aviv were accorded a certain legitimacy in the eyes of the world. It is essential that we broadcast to the world, to our Arab enemies - and to ourselves - that we are fully determined to retaliate in astronomically disproportionate "crazy" fashion for any attack on our cities. That, we should make clear, is one of our main lessons from the Holocaust.
FOR such an message to be credible we do not have to detail the nature of our weapons, of which the Iraqis and the other Arabs are quite aware; but we must be very specific in regard to the potential targets of such massive retaliation. Our immediate problem at this stage is less the threat of nerve gas and more that of the war of nerves. We have so far been totally remiss in not bringing home to every Iraqi the catastrophe that Saddam is bringing down on the heads of his family by messing with a "crazy" Israel.
It is especially crucial that we send the message of totally destructive retaliation to the residents of the region of Saddam's clan - the Takritis. Saddam may not care about Iraq, but he does care about his clan. Publicly targeting our retaliatory threat on the Takritis would also send an important message to Syria's Hafez Assad. The poison gas arsenal Assad is building up against us is much more dangerous than is Saddam's threat. It is essential that Assad be aware that should he resort to such weapons against our cities, Israeli retaliation would be targeted on annihilating his own Alawi clan.
The main address for such messages must, however, be Yasser Arafat. In 1991 Arafat warmly supported Saddam Hussein against the American coalition and many of the Palestinians in the territories were besides themselves with hysteria in cheering the Scud attacks on Tel Aviv. That was before Oslo. The Palestinians never were in a position to match major Israeli territorial concessions with their own. The entire deal was predicated on the assumption that the Israeli concessions to the Palestinians were buying an effective peace with the Arab world.
We must drive home the message to Arafat that if he and his colleagues do not make a major effort to deter Saddam Hussein, Israeli retaliation for Iraqi attacks would also include massive expulsions of Palestinian population from problematic parts of the territories and just as massive punitive military strikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad cells, and the towns and villages which harbor them.
(c) Jerusalem Post 1998
The LONDON TIMES reported: A senior Israeli official announced that plans for a mass evacuation of Tel Aviv had already been drawn up in the event of a chemical or biological attack by Saddam Hussein. "We are prepared for an evacuation of thousands of residents" said Meir Doron, the director-general of Tel Aviv. Res. Brig.-Gen. Shuki Shemer (former army surgeon-general) said that if biological weapons did fall on Tel Aviv, the masses of casualties could be treated. "Anthrax has a 5 day incubation period and can be treated with antibiotics."(1)
However, a team of public health experts has urged PM Netanyahu to ensure a national anthrax emergency response policy to cope with such a biological attack. Dr. Eli Richter of the occupational and environmental medicine unit at Hadassah, note 100,000 US armed forces in the Persian Gulf area are being vaccinated against anthrax. "The hazard of bioterrorism could remain [even] after Saddam Hussein." Some 30,000 could die under a worst-case scenario." Adults can be treated with massive antibiotics after exposure to anthrax. However, children cannot and need vaccination. American has not yet responded to Israel's requests for vaccines.(2)
Why should Saddam strike Israel if the US bombs Iraq? He did in 1991 for no greater reason. Why did Richard Butler, Chief UN inspector for Iraq say on January 26th, "If Saddam uses his weapons of mass destruction, Tel Aviv could be 'blown away'" ? Plans to evacuate Tel Aviv reminds me of the time during the Cold War with its atom bomb threat when similar scenarios were planned by the US government to evacuate major cities. Even then I knew that this was merely a pressure relief trick to calm the public's fears and quiet them down. But, both the Soviet Union and America maintained their M.A.D. deterrence policy (Mutual Assured Destruction). As for evacuations, think about this:
First of all, most people in Tel Aviv do not have cars. Next, the number of buses available would be immediately swamped with only a few percent of the population able to board those buses. Those with cars may or may not have sufficient fuel to make it out of the city, let alone to another city - and what of other cities under the same threat of an unrestrained Saddam Hussein. Cars would pile up on the roads with delays of days. On a normal day at rush hour the highways and inner city arteries are impossibly clogged. Add to that, panicky drivers, desperately fleeing the city with no plan and nowhere to go. The gas stations would be swamped and their fuel supply rapidly drained down to zero. Those who broke down or ran out of gas would likely attack other drivers in panic, demanding to be picked up.
In brief, it is not possible to evacuate a large city in any realistic amount of time. However, if one had a week to accomplish the evacuation, perhaps then. But, what would you do with several million people who required shelter, water, food, bedding, toilets - all wandering the country. Again, it is practically impossible to evacuate Tel Aviv, which really necessitates evacuating the entire western coastal plain where 70% of Israelis live (about the size of metropolitan Chicago). But, the government can promise to evacuate to sooth the war of nerves - just as was done with gas masks which could only protect for a short time against a few of the gases Saddam had but could not protect against chemical and biological agents.
Regrettably, the Government of Israel has always been reticent to deal with the difficult problems in real time. The government watched and knew that Iraq, Syria and Iran were accumulating catastrophic weapons of mass destruction and the missile technology to deliver them onto Israeli civilians. Israelis relied upon the vague and usually unfulfilled promises of America who had deep interests in the rich Arab oil markets. Yet, with history and reality in deadly conflict, Israel's leaders have always engaged in the wishful thinking that someone else (America?) would come to her rescue.
Sadly, Israel has become a virtual "banana republic" that relies upon one ally who sometimes assisted but double-crossed at other times. Not by the American people who were always genuine friends of Israel but, by certain Presidents and our always anti-Semitic American State Department who called the shots. At this point in history the US President and State Department are not so much worried about what Iraq, Syria, and Iran will do to Israel but, the reverse.
If Israel is attacked, will she use her vaunted nuclear deterrence to take out Bagdad, Damascus and Teheran and the oil fields? Will Israel use the "Samson" option to take out all of her enemies IF there is a chance that Iraq (or any combination of Arab coalition confrontation states) could make Israel (or even one city) disappear ? The issue is clear for America. President Clinton has secretly signed Presidential Directive #60 (uncovered by NEWSDAY) allowing US military to drop "small" (tactical nukes) atomic bombs IF Saddam launches "chemical or biological weapons". (3)
For the State Department and its multinational oil cronies, it's not Iraq with its biological weapons nor Syria with its growing repositories of VX nerve gas or even Iran with its nuclear capability, it's Israel at fault for Mideast unrest. Israel is the State Department's avowed enemy, in practice, because Israel makes the Arabs mad. When the Arabs get angry, regardless of cause, the State Department swings into action to please them. That's called appeasement. Israel's enemies do not want her to have either conventional or nuclear deterrence. Perhaps that is why Dennis Ross was so easily able to guide Hosni Mubarak of Egypt during the Madrid Conference to demand that Israel eliminate their nuclear deterrence.
The solution to a catastrophic threat does not lie in evacuation of cities but rather in credible deterrence. That means that Israel must not only have the means but must demonstrate that she has the will to use the means. Who will be prepared to counterstrike or strike pre-emptively? Certainly not the Leftist General Yitzhak Mordecai, Minister of Defense and low vision. Certainly not Bibi Netanyahu who would prefer to talk his way out of danger with evasive eloquence.
There are only one or two men in all of Israel who the Arabs respect and fear. Arik Sharon is one. He has defeated the Arabs decisively in the field and they know he will fight to the death to defend Israel's lives and sovereignty. He has long been known as the Patton of Israel - a General who does not know defeat except for those suffered at the hands of terrified politicians. Let us remember that it is Generals like Sharon who win wars and not the weak politicians who lose the peace.
Perhaps some will remember when, in 1973 the Syrians and Egyptians closed in during their surprise attack, the people, in desperation, began to call for Arik! Arik!. Arik came and Israel won, much to the consternation of inept leaders and arrogant generals who had disregarded Sharon's warnings. With Arik Sharon in charge of pre-emption or second strike retaliation perhaps, Saddam, Assad or the Iranian Ayatollahs will not be so quick to drop NBC, Nuclear, Biological or Chemical weapons on Tel Aviv. Even those hate-filled Arab leaders dedicated to destroying Israel will pause. One can see a great objection of Sharon by Madame Albright and her motley State Department crew. The French and Russians will scream bloody murder at the posting of Sharon. They all wish Zahal (the IDF) to continue its downward spiral, taught by Leftist politicians and followers in the Army command which has been politicized to the point of no longer being worthy of their officer rank.
At this moment the Arabs view the Israeli government as a flock of plump squawking chickens, running around hysterically waiting for the butcher to slit their throats. Regrettably, even as the Butcher of Bagdad opens his gates to make his selection of targets, these chickens are only concerned with pecking each other to pieces over politics. The equations is quite clear. If the Arabs think they can get away with eliminating Israel, they will try. If they have strong doubts that they will survive Israel's pre-emption or retaliatory counter-strike, they may not even try. There is always a 'maybe' when you have pathological murderers who run countries. Saddam would push the button if he thought he was going down. Assad, with his bad heart, prostrate cancer, could push the button from his death bed. It's going to be an unpleasant business which will need a country ready to follow a leader who is prepared to be extremely unpleasant to Israel's enemies - IF Israel is to survive.
We also need the old corps of Israeli fighters or, at least, their fighting spirit to be taught to a military trained by the Rabin/Peres Government to be pacifistic since the intifada in 1987 and then Oslo in 1993. The Oslo plan called for pleasing the violent Arabs without winning the low intensity warfare they waged. In addition to the threat from Iraq and the other Arab states, the IDF must also prepare to deal with subversive hostile Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, who have been given (or smuggled in) tens of thousands of arms, including Kalachnikov rifles, anti-tank and shoulder-fired missiles, explosives, mines, bombs and Katyusha rockets whose range can reach from Ramallah to Tel Aviv.(4)
Sorry, General Mordecai - you and your pacifistic, leftist officers will simply have to retire. The Labor Government under Rabin and Peres politicized and emasculated the IDF's officer corps, even making her foot soldiers run from Arab mobs.
It's time to bring the IDF back to its former proud, efficient self if Israel is to survive. Arik may be the only man in Israel to instill some pride and make the Arabs start to sweat.
[Please note that this effectively follows WHAT WILL AN AMERICAN ATTACK ON IRAQ MEAN TO ISRAEL? by Emanuel A. Winston, 1/27/98 ]
1."Tel Aviv Prepared for Mass Evacuation If SCUDS Attack" by Christopher Walker (from Jerusalem) LONDON TIMES 1/31/98 (reported in ISRAELI &
GLOBAL NEWS, Ed. Murray Kahl of 1/31/98)
2."Experts Urge PM to Formulate Anthrax Emergency Response Policy" by Judy Siegel JERUSALEM POST 2/2/98
3."President Clinton Secretly Signs "Directive #60" to Drop Tactical Nukes on Iraq" NEWSDAY 2/1/98
4. TIME MAGAZINE 2/2/98
Emanuel A. Winston is a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Reprinted from "Ma'ariv", February 10, 1998
While Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held her persuasion mission to the Gulf states, which apparently has not brought about any genuine expressions of support, but rather empty expressions of weak enthusiasm, in Bethlehem, the Palestinians held their large demonstration of support for Saddam Hussein, in order to show everyone that anyone who is perceived in Washington as a thug is a national hero in our region.
The Americans have a special ability in choosing their dependents: They always afford their patronage and defense to those whose preferred form of public amusement is the gleeful burning of American flags. There is simply no doubt that the new-found regard in confused American hearts for the poor Palestinians is of the same kind of sorry love that the US is experienced with and does not learn from. Here is therefore, a love triangle, where the Americans express their willingness to do anything the Palestinians ask, while the Palestinians fall in love with precisely the man who bitterly hates America.
It is enough to march down the streets and burn American flags, and the American administration will go to the wall for you to promise more territory and greater sovereignty. Those who have not identified a particular American quality at work here, have apparently forgotten, in the not-so-distant past, America's love for a particular dictator, who also planned to build weapons of mass destruction. As true Christians, the Americans cannot but love those who hate them.
Maybe they are unwilling to turn the other cheek to Saddam Hussein, but without a shadow of doubt, they will do so to Yasser Arafat.
But there is a hidden lesson here, and not just for the Americans. We too have something to learn from the large demonstration in which the Palestinians expressed their admiration for someone who does not love either freedom or democracy and who is ready to dare to challenge American hegemony in the world.
We have been brainwashed so thoroughly with the fairy tale of the New Middle East, that we have come to believe that the Palestinians have also changed into a new nation, moderate and reasonable, ready to forget the thirst for blood that characterized them for years and to behave like a cultured people. Then comes the mass demonstration near Bethlehem to remind us that the New Middle East is an illusion that has not yet been realized, and the same Palestinians who danced on the rooftops with joy as Scuds destroyed our homes seven years ago, again think that Saddam Hussein is a man worthy of admiration and emulation.
As yet, there is no good reason to dance for joy at the vaporization of Ramat Gan, but it is already possible to send to the Iraqi dictator messages of support and to promise him that the Palestinians will stand beside him in a war in the Gulf. Again, they are willing to send him congratulations from the Holy Land.
Maybe this time he cannot burn half of the State of Israel, but his desire to do so cannot be doubted; and the noble Palestinian people knows to admire an unrequited intention as well.