A BLACK DAY FOR ISRAEL
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Yesterday was a BLACK DAY FOR ISRAEL. The consequences of the Knesset vote on the expulsion of Jews will be horrendous and is not fully understood.
The Jews have faced expulsions many times throughout their history - the largest from Spain in 1492. Today we witness the first time Jews have been expelled by a Jewish government from their own nation.
The immediate consequence of this vile act by the Sharon government is the total fracture of the national consensus. It is a rupture of the historical roots of Israel in Zionism. The ruling Likud Party will be split and there is a possibility that the anti-Zionist left will emerge as the most significant influence on Israeli politics after being defeated in the last election by a landslide.
Democratic principles are being undermined and critics of Sharon's policies are being threatened with imprisonment.
What can we expect in the future following the surrender to terrorism. For one, Gaza will be come a haven and training base for terrorists from all over the world. New weapons will be introduced in large number including rockets capable of reaching Israel's major cities. Just like the days before the Six Day War, terrorists will infiltrate into Israel from Gaza bringing death and destruction in their wake.
The most significant damage will be to Israeli morale. While the Arabs will feel elated at this victory over Israel, Jews will become depressed and their feelings of national pride will be greatly diminished. Many Jews will seek to avoid joining the IDF and its elite units. Many more will emigrate to other countries, disgusted with Israeli anti-Jewish policies.
The goal of improving Israel's demographic balance by leaving Gaza will fail as fewer Jews will immigrate to Israel as the security situation deteriorates. As increasing numbers of Jews emigrate and the Arab birthrate continues to grow Israel will find itself in the same difficult position. There are other answers to the problem like transfer, but the leftist government will refuse to even discuss it.
HOW CAN WE SAVE ISRAEL AND PREVENT EXPULSION OF JEWS
[Writer's Note: This editorial is conceptually based on the history of both the American Revolution and Martin Luther King Jr's struggle to emancipate the black population of the United States. Of course it is modern and on the struggle for Israel, but the voices of George Washington, Patrick Henry and Dr. King ring loudly in my heart and soul.]
It is clear to all of us that the present Likud government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leading Israel to disaster. It is also clear that nothing external is compelling this self-destruction. The only thing that will save Israel is new elections.
THAT COULD BE TOO LATE! ISRAEL WILL BE LOST!
The only way to speed up elections and thus save Israel is by destabilizing the current government and causing it to fall. This would force new elections and stop the insane Oslo/Road Map process.
Over the last one hundred years, many governments have been destabilized by the action of a determined group of its citizens, not necessarily a majority. Two recent cases in this country are the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-War in Viet-Nam Movement. There is no doubt that Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for a second term because of the anti-war movement. There is also no doubt the Afro-American population would not have been able to throw off the yoke of discrimination without non-violent protest. In Israel it is obvious that the intifada succeeded, no doubt because of the Israeli government's reticence in crushing it.
It is this reticence by democratic regimes to crush popular uprisings that is the biggest weapon in the hands of groups wishing to destabilize their government. This principle does not work under autocratic governments as witness Syria (Hama) and China (Tiananmen Square).
1. Demonstrations -- the larger the better. Demonstrations will not in and of themselves bring down a government. Good media coverage is essential to give the population a feeling that the tide of history is turning against the regime.
2. Civil disobedience -- the key to success. There is one essential requirement for destabilizing a government and that is for a determined group of people to be willing to go to jail, be beaten by police, and possibly be killed in the pursuit of their political aims. More will follow later on organizing civil disobedience.
3. The Wrench In The Machinery Of Government
A Physical -- roads and bridges can be blocked by slow or stalled cars.
B. Electronic -- computer networks, telecommunications can be adversely affected [10,000 people calling government offices at the same time can paralyze the system].
C. Psychological -- photos can be taken of police and military personnel who become involved in violent action against peaceful demonstrators. Available now are miniature video cameras that can be worn inconspicuously and send live feed to distant computers. At a time and place of your choosing their names can be revealed - you can compromise those security officers involved in non-democratic violence against demonstrators. Their names and photos can be publicized, leading to fear and a sense of insecurity.
4. Violence - ONLY TO DEFEND ONE'S LIFE
A. Armed resistence to non-democratic police and military actions is not the best course of action since the military, police and security services will always be stronger and better equipped.
B. Open revolt against authority - Democracies are primarily based on voluntary compliance with the legal system. When that democracy ceases to govern in the best interests of its citizenry, with its security and survival, then it is lawful and justified to resist authority. This includes refusing to pay taxes, following illegal orders of the non-democratic army, traffic regulations etc.
C. Mass demonstrations, including the right of self-defense, are meant to intimidate the police and the government. The horrible vision of civil war will restrain the government. Knowing that the Zionist/Right will not physically resist, gives the government strength to pursue suicidal policies. The policy of not striking back at the Left (as experienced during the "season") begun in the pre-state days by Menachem Begin has had the effect of emasculating the Right in its relations with the Left.
While it is preferable to wage a non-violent campaign, there are certain lessons one can learn from the Israel Defense Forces.
1. Most important: Do not give the enemy time to rest and re-group. The IDF always advances in one massive push to victory, never allowing the enemy a respite. The same must be true of the demonstrations against Sharon. It is a mistake to agree to a truce. This time will be used to organize special police units including female police officers to handle demonstrators. The government has already learned that reservists do not like this heartrending undemocratic task.
2. Attack in many places at once, causing physical and psychological stress on the enemy. Demonstrators should not just take over hills in YESHA, but should take over government offices from Eilat to Metulla. Roads should be blocked all over the country. In Jerusalem, with its many government offices and a supportive religious population, you should be able to create and sustain chaos.
Half measures will not work. Either we want to bring down this government or we don't. You can not be both meat and milk. It was the IDF's failure to destroy the intifada that led to much of our trouble. Remember the principle of vaccinations: a tiny doze of the disease that allows the body to build its immune system. Half-measures allow Sharon to develop a resistance to the demonstrations. We must take the momentum and build continuously to the day of victory. The decision is ours.
A TIME FOR PEACE, AND A TIME FOR WAR
We find all the expressions of horror at the recent Rabbi's ruling concerning a soldier's obligation to avoid abandoning army bases and settlements to terrorists, to be hypocritical, self-serving, and unfortunate. The Israeli government is in rebellion against everything that Israel, Zionism, and Judaism are all about. They are the ones causing the rift in the body politic and they will be totally responsible for any resulting violence.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with a PLO supported government that rules Israel? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? Why don't members of the Nationalist Camp understand that FORCE is being used by only ONE side and that is the government. The monopoly on power must be broken or there is no hope.
Under the Nazis, the Jews of Warsaw numbered over 500,000. They were depleted with regular deportations aided by Judenrats (Jewish leaders). The Revolt in Warsaw began when the Jewish population was down to 50,000 (or 90% murdered). At what point is it OK to rebel? When is civil disobedience OK? When is civil war a better course than suicide? All throughout history there have been rebels and loyalists. History is usually written by the victors but truly there is seldom a universally accepted moral standard as to what is a proper rebellion and what is not. We can say with absolute certainty, however, that the Jewish return to Zion and our struggle today for Eretz Yisrael are more righteous than any other struggle for national liberation in the history of the world.
The Jews of YESHA must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. They must fight the Arabs, where necessary, to maintain their travel, water, and land rights. When the Israeli government retreats, leaving them behind PLO battle lines, they must be prepared to go on the offensive militarily to secure safe contiguous areas of Jewish control. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who have surrendered our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in YESHA who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham nor their right of self-defense.
Exercising one's right to self-defense is a moral imperative. There is a lot of hypocritical talk coming from the government about the danger of Jew fighting Jew. These warnings came from the likes of Yitzhak Rabin who delighted in shooting Zionist (Betar) teenagers swimming to shore after his forces sank the Altalena in 1948. New more dangerous hypocrites are putting the Jews of YESHA and all of Israel in life threatening peril. They care nothing about Jewish lives!
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, and two in 1973 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to an evil terrorist, who delights in killing Jewish women, children, husbands, sons and daughters. The Brave Heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to passive civil disobedience but must on the offensive.
While such internal Jewish fighting would be DREADFUL, it is a consequence of the government's disregard for the security and well being of its citizens. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.
AND THE DECISION MUST BE FOR VICTORY,
ZIONISM AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
ALL IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH
IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly Internet magazine, THE MACCABEAN ONLINE and its email broadcast, freemanlist.