181 - A Declaration of War
session in Gaza on Tuesday, April 29, l999, the Palestinian National
Council (PNC) discussed the postponement of the declaration of
Palestinian statehood, scheduled for May 4. The debate centered
primarily on the demand to establish a Palestinian state which will
include all territories designated as Arab land in UN Resolution 181.
For about a half a year now, the Palestinian Authority has vigorously
pushed forward a political initiative calling for the implementation of
UN Resolutions 181 (November 1947) and 194 (December 1948). In other
words, fulfilling those resolutions which call for the State of Israel
to return to the partition borders and for millions of Arabs to overrun
the emasculated stump which will remain of the Jewish state.
series of meetings with personalities in Europe in which this matter was
raised, Arafat met with Kofi Anan, the Secretary-General of the UN, on
March 21, 1999 and received his blessing. Anan claimed that Arafat's
demand was firmly anchored in the General Assembly's resolutions.
receiving the green light from the UN Secretary-General on March 25, the
PLO, now operating in its role as the Palestine Liberation Organization,
submitted an official request for a General Assembly session in which
Israel be called upon to explain its violations of the UN Resolutions.
The PLO demand is supported by all of the Arab states - led by Egypt.
the insistent urging of Germany, the dominant force on the continent and
the nation currently presiding over the European Union, supports the
Arab demand. It was Germany which raised the demand for the
internationalization of Jerusalem by transforming it into a separate
entity (corpus seperatum) based on the partition borders.
Human Rights Commission (a body which enjoys great prestige and
influence), in its annual meeting in Geneva on April 28, l999, adopted a
resolution calling for self-determination for the Palestinian nation on
the basis of Resolution 181 from November 1947, and demanding that
Israel fulfill Resolution 194 from December 1948. Of the committee's 53
member nations (Israel's candidacy was rejected due to the claim that
Israel violates human rights), 44 voted in favor of the resolution,
including all the European nations, and 8 abstained. Though the United
States voted against, it adamantly refused to accede to the Israeli
request to expend efforts to prevent the resolution's adoption. As a
result, within a short time, the residents of Jerusalem, Nahariya, Lod,
Ramle, Jaffa and Beersheba, to name but a few, can anticipate their
cities being labeled "illegal settlements and obstacles to peace" by the
precedent for the new Arab demand is a direct result of the strategic
abuse to which Israel has been subjected since 1990 (better known by its
sarcastic euphemism: "peace process"). From the moment that Israel
waived its basic right as an attacked nation to maintain territories
which served the aggressor as a springboard for war, the return to the
partition borders and the liquidation of Israel have become merely a
function of time.
all pretenses have been eliminated and the malicious Arab intentions to
annihilate the Jewish state have been exposed, the critical mass which
demands courageous action required of any sane nation standing on the
verge of a national catastrophe has crystallized. The minimal response
required to upset the Arab strategy would be to immediately announce
suspension of the "peace process", annexation of those parts of Judea
and Samaria which have not yet been relinquished to the Palestinian
Authority, expulsion of the PLO from Jerusalem and disarming the
"Palestinian police force". This step will almost certainly lead to the
severing of diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan, riots in Judea
and Samaria and possibly economic sanctions by the European Union.
Taking all factors into account, it is a reasonable price to pay. The
probability of a comprehensive war is low, as the Arabs are unprepared
at this point. On the other hand, if the Arabs decide to wage a war,
there is a reasonable chance that they would be routed, as Israel has
not yet squandered its strategic holdings in Judea and Samaria and the
Golan Heights. If Israel does not take the above actions and chooses
"disgrace instead of war", ultimately, to paraphrase Churchill ("You
chose disgrace in fear of war, you got disgrace and war as well."),
Israel will get both "disgrace and war". However, one major distinction
exists: Disgrace was the worst that Churchill feared as he never
considered the possibility that Britain might be destroyed. The Jewish
state does not have that sort of British luxury at its disposal.
A Palestinian State
and the State Department
British Royal Committee in 1937 (Peel Committee) and the Anglo-American
Committee in 1947 both advised to divide Mandatory Western Palestine
into two states, Jewish and Arab. The plenary session of the UN opted
for this solution on November 29, 1947. The world accepted the
Jordanian occupation of the so called "West Bank" as the equivalent of a
Palestinian state. Ever since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967,
the United States has put heavy pressure on Israel to withdraw from the
West Bank. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was
established in 1964 by Abdul Nasser in Egypt and taken over by Yassir
Arafat in 1969. By becoming an international terror organization it
forced the Arab League to recognize it as the authentic representatives
of the Palestinian people. After Jordan waived its interest in the West
Bank, the PLO was openly recognized by the European Union. The United
States promised Israel in writing in 1975 not to talk to the PLO, but
conducted secret talks with them all the time. Since 1989 the dialogue
was a strategic ally of the USA during the Cold War. After the
disintegration of the Soviet Union, the USA reverted to the attitude of
the State Department during the Fifties, and is jeopardizing the
manifold advantages of the alliance with Israel for shortsighted
appeasement of despots in the Arab world. The ISA forced Israel to
agree first to the so called "legitimate rights" of the Palestinians and
then to negotiate with the PLO in Madrid. The dwarfing of Israel and
the now almost open support for a full fledged Palestinian state is a
heavy blow to Israel. It is being inflicted by the USA on its faithful
and only ally in the Middle East, thereby endangering its very
Post-Oslo "Peace and Prosperity": Fantasy in the Guise of Vision
The article presents a gloomy analysis of the economic
prospects for the Middle East in general and for Israel in particular, as a
result of the implementation of the Oslo "peace process". It points out that
unless one is willing largely to "de-Arabize" a Palestinian state there is no
reason to believe that its economic performance will be significantly better
than the dismal economic performance of other oil-devoid Arab states.
Furthermore, the essay exposes the basic contradiction in the position of Oslo
advocates, who insist that even after the implementation of the peace process,
Israel will still require a "strong army to maintain the peace". Unless one is
willing to discount totally military threats from the co-signatories of peace
agreements with the Jewish state, the new borders to which Israel will be
obliged to withdraw will impose a huge escalation in the defense spending needed
to deal with such threats. Thus, contrary to the claims of the Oslo adherents,
this increased expenditure on conventional defense will not only reduce the
amount of resources available for the civilian sector, but is also most likely
to diminish the resources available for spending on defense systems against
non-conventional threats from the "outer ring" countries such as Iraq and Iran.
Likewise, the vision of an economically prosperous "New Middle East" is
dismissed as dangerous fantasy. For there is little chance of establishing a new
economic order on the basis of the prevailing political order in the
region, where most of the regimes are military dictatorships which cannot permit
the freedoms required for the promotion of pan-regional development. For Israel,
the most prudent way to economic prosperity would be to adhere to the tried and
tested method embodied in the classic Zionist formula of "one more acre, one
more goat", that of gradual and doggedly determined progress which brought the
country its considerable economic accomplishments up until the Oslo era.
This paper was published as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 87 in the book
ISRAEL AND A PALESTINIAN STATE: ZERO
SUM GAME?, 2001
Difficulties in Defining Terrorism
of definition and conceptualization are usually theoretical matters,
designed to allow scholars to agree on the appropriate set of
parameters for the research they intend to undertake. Unlike the
case in other topics, however, the implications of defining
terrorism and guerrilla warfare tend to exceed the confines of
theoretical discussions. In the struggle against terrorism,
definition problems are a crucial element in the attempts to
organize international cooperation.
issues related to the definition of terrorism include:
boundary between terrorism and other forms of political violence.
Whether government terrorism and resistance terrorism are part of
the same phenomenon.
Separating "terrorism" from simple criminal acts, from open war
between "consenting" groups, and from acts that arise out of clear
terrorism a sub-category of coercion? Violence? Power? Influence?
terrorism be legitimate? What gains justify its use?
relationship between guerilla warfare and terrorism.
relationship between crime and terrorism.
prevalent definitions of terrorism entail conceptual difficulties
and many problems of wording. It is thus not surprising that
alternative concepts with more positive connotations - guerrilla
movements, underground movements, national liberation movements,
commandos, etc. - are often used to describe and analyze the
activity of terrorist organizations. Generally, these concepts are
used without undue attention to the implications of the definition,
but at times, the use of these definitions is tendentious and
originates in a particular political viewpoint. By resorting to
tendentious definitions of terrorism, terrorist organizations and
their supporters seek to blur the uniqueness of terrorism,
establishing their activities on more positive and legitimate
foundations (relying on terms reflecting basic values of liberal
democracies, such as "revolutionary violence", "national
article tries to inform the reader about the latest developments in
To a Sliver of Land Without Oil
Thebes, Carthage are archaeology. Modern Athens is a travesty of an
unredeemable past. The laws, the epigraphy of Imperial Rome turn up in
the desert. Israel relives; the Diaspora, notably in North America, is
animate with creative force and a lust for renewal...Jews insist on
existing contra the norm and logic of history, which, even
barring genocide, are those of gradual melting, assimilation,
cross-breeding and the effacement of original identity...The Jew has
been chosen and branded for eternity. If he was to perish from this
earth, God's truth and declared intent, the revelation of monotheism and
of morality on Sinai, would be falsified.
survival of the Jew been worth the appalling cost? Would it not be
preferable, on the balance sheet of human mercies, if he was to ebb into
assimilation and the common seas? Every Jewish father is, at some point
in his life and paternity, an Abraham to an Isaac on the unspeakable
three-day journey to Mount Moriah. When he begets a child, a Jew knows
that he may be bestowing on that child the inheritance of terror, of a
It may be
that the Jew in the Diaspora survives in order to be a guest – so
terribly unwelcome still at so many shut doors. Intrusion may be our
calling, so as to suggest to our fellow men and women at large that all
human beings must learn how to live as each other's "guests-in-life".
Morality must always have its bags packed. This has been the
universalist precept of the prophets, of Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah and
Jeremiah in their ancient quarrel with the kings and priests of the
fixed nation, of the fortress-state. Today this polemic underlies the
tensions between Israel and the Diaspora. Though the thought must, like
the ritual name of God, be unspeakable, the greater verity is that
Judaism would survive the ruin of the State of Israel. It would do so
if its "election" is indeed one of wandering, of the teaching of welcome
It is not
the "slaying of God in the person of his son", whatever that macabre
phantasm is taken to signify – which is fundamental to the detestation
of the Jew. It is the narrative "creation", "invention", "definition",
"revaluation" of God in Jewish monotheism and its ethics. It is not as
killer but as "begetter" of God that the Jew is unforgiven.
times, in Western history, the Jew has striven to confront human
consciousness with the concept of the one God and the moral-normative
consequences of that concept.
dictates which emanate from Sinaitic and prophetic monotheism are
uncompromising...They entail the mutation of the common man. We are to
discipline soul and flesh into perfection.
comes with the Sermon on the Mount. Nearly inconceivably against the
human grain is Jesus' bidding that we offer the other cheek, that we
forgive our enemy and persecutor – no, that we learn to love him.
is that of utopian socialism, notably in its Marxist guise. Marxism is
Judaism's other principal heresy. Marxism demands a complete inversion
of the priorities of privacy, of acquisition, of egoism. We are to
abstain from superfluity, to share and share alike, to invest the
resources, the ambitions of the self in the anonymity of the collective.
A Scenario for the Jewish
State in 2020
fiction, utopia and futurology have a legitimate function in politics
and in the writing of History, Did not Herzl's Judenstaat
and Altneuland serve as blueprints for the Jewish state?
Giniewski predicts at what horrid cost Israel survived the establishment
of an Arab state of "Palestine", which triggered off the most
destructive of its wars, in the year 2005: 600,000 Jewish victims,
Haifa razed to the ground by an Iranian nuclear bomb and even much more
severe destruction in the Arab world.
2020, the former foes are reconciled. They have rejected Islamism and
the European selfish mercantile yoke which had fanned the flames of hate
in order to sell arms of mass destruction to Israel's enemies. Instead
of pursuing the path of mutual destruction, Israel and her neighbors
have united in a viable and prosperous Confederation. The Arab
dictatorships have become democracies.
evolution had deep historical roots. As early as 1919, Zionists and
Arabs had concluded an ephemeral peace.
East could have been spared decades of wars and bloodshed, had not the
disastrous Oslo agreement and the ensuing "peace process" impeded and
prevented real Peace.
Technological Changes, Strategy and IDF Force Structure
conventional warfare enables killing at distance by precision and
non-precision fire. In the frontline, war killing at distance
capability will lead to fire dominance and to the decline of mobility.
In the rear, ballistic missiles attacks will cause substantial damage
and casualties, leading to considerable delays in reserves call-up,
despite all active and passive defenses.
critical first stage of a surprise frontline war will have to be fought
with regular units in place. Simultaneously, the campaign depth fire
battle will weaken and fragment enemy forces. These combined frontline
and in depth fire battles will be followed by a mobile ground maneuver,
intended to force a political decision to end the war.
Unfortunately, the opportunities for open area warfare are decreasing.
Urbanization around Israel is increasing rapidly; at the same time, the
range and lethality of anti-tank weapons are also increasing.
Consequently, the Arabs may adopt a defense strategy based on infantry
anchored on built up areas. Hence, a direct reduction of some built up
areas by infantry attacks may be unavoidable. Consequently,
high-quality volunteer close-combat infantry will be indispensable.
of large scale conventional war and the IDF force structure will be
influenced by three factors: The increasing dominance of fire over
maneuver, the war on the rear and its effect on reserves call-up and the
growing urbanization around Israel. All of these changes and the
increasing population have reached the point where Israel may have to
and can defend itself in a full scale war with a professional volunteer
army, aided perhaps by some reserves. This would apply both for the
fire heavy technological force component and the elite infantry
rear a large scale civil defense system is required. Also, the
Palestinian threat must be contained. Hence, considerable manpower would
be required to handle the war in the rear. Paradoxically, the external
technological war against enemy forces may perhaps be carried out mostly
by professional volunteers; on the other hand, it may be necessary to
call up a lot of reserves to deal with the intensive and extensive
internal war. This is a paradigm change from the present IDF.
paper also discusses some other types of war. The increasing threat of
weapons of mass destruction requires specific technological force
components for defense and credible deterrence. The availability of
various types of weapons of mass destruction raises the problem of cross
deterrence. In South Lebanon our soldiers in the wide security zone
suffer painful casualties both by killing at distance means and by close
combat. These casualties may be reduced by changing our strategy to one
of static defense using a narrow, sophisticated blocking strip on the
The Palestinians - A Useful Past for a
People that Never Existed in History
literature has sprouted in recent decades to propound the notion of a
"Palestinian people" and its real or imagined anguish, agonies, and
grievances. Eliyahu Green examines a specimen of the genre, a book by B.
Kimmerling and J. Migdal. Green finds the book marred by conceptual
confusion, as well as significant omissions and evasions, plus serious
falsehoods, which provide a tableau of a useful past for this "people",
a somewhat romanticized view of a distinct "Palestinian people", related
to the Arabs yet somehow separate. Conceptually, the authors do not
clearly or reasonably explain that this is indeed a distinct people or
nation, nor precisely how the notion of a distinct "Palestinian people"
developed, nor do they explain what they mean by people or nation in
authors do show that in the nineteenth century and up to the First World
War, the Arab-Muslim upper class in the country was integrated into the
Ottoman political system. Yet Kimmerling and Migdal insinuate that this
integration was limited to Eretz-Israel itself, avoiding the rise to
high Ottoman imperial posts of certain local Arabs, chiefly of the
Husseini and Khalidi clans. It seems that it simply would not do to show
that some "Palestinians" were imperialists. That might spoil the useful
tableau of the past. For the same reason, they severely minimize the
Holocaust participation of Arabs in general and the Palestinian Arab
leadership in particular. On this issue the Hebrew edition of the book
is a slight improvement over the English one. Further, the authors
disregard considerable evidence showing a consistent - though often
surreptitious - British anti-Zionist, pro-Arab policy, although Britain
had accepted an international obligation to foster development of the
Jewish National Home. They also misrepresent British policy towards Amin
Husseini and conceal George Antonius' British loyalties. Yet the Hebrew
edition omits the silly claim in the English one that the British left
Eretz-Israel out of fear of a renewed Arab revolt.
in its superficiality does not ask why the Palestinian Arab refugee
problem was preserved and perpetuated by the international community
while much larger refugee problems from the same period were solved long
helps to provide the "Palestinian people" with a useful past.
Hamas and the "Peace Process"
Hamas is a branch of the Islamic movement. It was
formed in Gaza in 1987 by the Moslem Brotherhood with the goal of
establishing an Islamic state in “Palestine”. Its leader was Shaykh
Ahmad Yasin, who together with other Shaykhs, drafted the Islamic
Charter. The articles of this charter are very extreme – stating that
Palestine in its entirety is sacred to Islam in perpetuity and that no
Moslem has the right to relinquish even the slightest part of it.
During the years of the intifada, Hamas
committed extremely cruel acts of terror, including suicide bombings
perpetrated in the wake of the killing at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and
the elimination of Yahya Ayyash. Hamas vehemently opposed the peace
process, criticized it, battled against it and believed that it would
fall. After ‘Arafat’s entry into Gaza in July 1994 and the consolidation
of his power in the autonomous territories, Israel urged him to arrest
members of Hamas in order to prevent them from carrying out further acts
of terror. ‘Arafat partially acceded to Israeli demands in order to
acquire additional areas in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The leaders of Hamas saw that the Peace Process was
successfully progressing and the Palestinian Authority was securely
established in the autonomous territories, while their own policies were
suffering repeated failures and they decided, for the time being, to toe
the line and “bend in the face of the storm”. In the course of 1996,
they began to issue relatively moderate declarations and the head of the
Hamas political office – Musa abu-Marzuq – presented a new plan.
According to the plan, Hamas expressed willingness to sign a cease-fire
agreement with Israel and stop all terror attacks in exchange for a
complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Judea, Samaria and East
Jerusalem and the dismantling of all settlements.
In their declarations, the leaders of Hamas added
that they would support ‘Arafat’s policies in order to attain as much as
possible of Palestine in this generation and leave the liberation of the
remainder to future generations. Hence, Hamas, for all intents and
purposes, adopted the “step-by-step policy”, which had been the policy
of the PLO for some time.
During the years 1996-1997, ‘Arafat continued to
“eat away” at Hamas. In those years, three major factions developed
within Hamas: One, a relatively small faction, abandoned the jihad
and returned exclusively to cultural and philanthropic activities; the
second, central faction, supported suspending the jihad, for the
time being, and focusing on political activity as opposition within the
Palestinian Authority; and the third, smallest faction, continues to
advocate the path of jihad. The central faction, which is the
predominant one, established, in 1996, a party named the “Islamic
National Salvation Party”. This party is, so to speak, a political arm
of Hamas and functions as a legal, political opposition party in the
context of the Palestinian Authority.
addition, the Islamic movement has, to a certain degree, split, and
other small Islamic parties which function within the Palestinian
Authority have been established. The central faction in Hamas attempts,
as far as possible, to avoid a confrontation with the Palestinian
Authority which would lead to a situation similar to the one encountered
by the fundamentalist Islamic movements in Egypt and Algeria – a bloody
war with the current regime.
This paper was published as the ACPR's Policy Paper
No. 127, 2001