Ariel Center for Policy Research


NATIV  ■ Volume Nineteen  ■ No. 2 (109)  ■ March 2006 ■ Adar  5766 ■ Ariel Center for Policy Research


Islamonazism – or Poor Muhammad. The Editor and His Guests:  Rachel Ehrenfeld – The Caliphate is Coming • Jan Willem van der Hoeven – What Awaits Us All? • Joseph Farah Intifada and Iraqifada • David Bukay – Victory for Hamas: Why? What’s Next? • Jeff JacobyHamas Victory is Good News • Nadia Matar – Saison: What Has Changed from 1944 to 2006?Raya Epstein – Back to Ourselves • Some Comments on Caricature

Current Affairs Digest

The State of the Jews: A Decree Which the Community Cannot Live Up To


Jamie Glazov

Symposium: The Death of France


Raphael Israeli

The Smoking Gun Did Not Go Up in Smoke


Reuven Pedatzur

The Iranian Nuclear Potential Is it Really So Threatening?

The Strategic Threat

David Shiek

Naval Strategy: Naval Deterrence as Part of the New Strategic Perception

Aharon Yaffe

Targeted Killing Prospect and Risk

Paul Eidelberg and Will Morrisey

Tocqueville And American Foreign Policy: With A Glance At Israel (2)


Raya Epstein

Religion of the State


David Bukay on Yasser Arafat – A Political Biography by Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin • Ephraim Karsh on A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples by Ilan Pappe

Book Reviews


Literature and Art Supplement - Dror Eydar, Editor

Omer Lachmanowitz

Viewpoint of the Lonely Artist: On Radicalism, Realism and Neo-Conservatism in the Art of Israel Hershberg


Dan Gurevitz and
Dan Arav

Excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Culture: Essays on Culture, Communications, Art and Everyday Life


Avant Garde



Shimon Marmelshtein Anna Arkhipov Hava Bracha Korzakova
Hart Crane


Yoram Cohen


Prof. Edward Alexander ■ Dr. Yoram Beck ■ Dr. Aharon Ben-Ami ■ Ephraim Ben-Haim ■ Prof. Yosef Ben-Shlomo ■ Prof. Louis René Beres ■ Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover ■ Dr. David Bukay ■ Dr. Netta Kohn Dor-Shav ■ Prof. Paul Eidelberg ■ Dr. Raya Epstein ■ Naomi Frenkl ■ Dr. Giora Goldberg ■ Prof. Raphael Israeli ■ Shmuel Katz ■ Dr. Mordechai Nisan ■ Aron Pappo ■ Prof. Shlomo Sharan ■ Dr. Martin Sherman ■ Prof. Eliav Shochetman ■ Prof. Ezra Sohar ■ Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto ■ Dr. Laurence Weinbaum ■ Prof. Hillel Weiss

Editorial Board

NATIV Website in Hebrew:

Editor: Arieh Stav Associate Editor: Michael Or Managing Editor: Itta Horol
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The Smoking Gun Did Not Go Up in Smoke

Raphael Israeli

Much to the delight of the opponents of the war in Iraq, and to the consternation of Bush and Blair and their respective administrations, commission of inquiry after commission of inquiry and commentator upon commentator have wrongly concluded that there was no smoking gun in the war, since no weapons of mass destruction were found, therefore the entire rationale and justification of the war went up in smoke.

However, this essay will show that those commentators, and committees, who had nothing more than political calculations behind their minds, had falsely concluded that the absence of evidence amounted to evidence of absence. For there is much circumstantial proof that Saddam did have WMD, hid some of it before the war, transferred other parts to fellow-dictators like him in the Muslim world and destroyed some of it. But there is no better proof that he had it as the death by chemical warfare of thousands of Kurds and Iranians at the hands of Iraqis.

In short, there was a corpse of the victim, fingerprints of Saddam, blood stains and a blood trail. Only the pistol which was thrown into the river was not found. But any fair-minded court of law would have convicted the culprit nevertheless.


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The Iranian Nuclear Potential
Is it Really so Threatening?

Reuven Pedatzur

After the developments in Iraq and the liquidation of the development of weapons of mass destruction in Libya and considering the fact that the Syrian Army has weakened considerably, there remains, for all intents and purposes, one potential strategic threat against Israel – the Iranian nuclear program. A nuclear Iran will lead to a shift in the strategic balance in the Middle East and, as a result, will also lead to necessary changes in Israel's national security concept in general and in its nuclear policy in particular.

There is no doubt, in the opinions of experts dealing with this topic that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. Its attempts and courses of action in this area are extremely diverse, beginning with the reactor in Bushahar through the facilities containing the centrifuges for the enriching of uranium.

The attempts by the international community to lead Iran to a decision to willingly end its nuclear program have, to this point, been futile. Although in February 2006, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided to transfer the Iranian matter to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions against Iran, however at this stage, it is not yet clear if that will indeed take place and if sanctions are imposed, how effective they will be.

More than a few policy makers in Israel consider a nuclear Iran an immediate, existential threat against Israel. According to the approach of those elements, among them senior officials in the defense hierarchy, Israel must prevent Iran from deploying nuclear weapons at all costs.

Israel has seven policy alternatives in case Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons:

1.  Military action.

2.  Maintaining the existing policy (ambiguity)

3.  Relying on the defense provided by the American nuclear umbrella

4.  Negotiations with Iran on disarmament and supervision arrangements

5.  Passive defense

6.  Active defense

7.  Open nuclear deterrence

An analysis of these alternatives leads to the conclusion that the first six are ineffective or are not dependent upon Israel (the American nuclear umbrella). Military action will not accomplish the objective of destroying the Iranian nuclear program, but will exact an extremely high price; the ambiguity policy is unreliable because it leaves "gray areas" that are too great when dealing with a nuclear threat; negotiations with Iran are not an option in the foreseeable future; passive defense (bomb shelters) is ineffective and its cost is astronomical; active defense (Arrow) is not only ineffective but it compromises Israel's deterrent capability. Thus, the only option remaining is the option of open nuclear deterrence as a course of action that Israel will be forced to take if Iran becomes nuclear.

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Naval Strategy: Naval Deterrence as
Part of the New Strategic Perception

David Shiek

In this essay, I will attempt to explain that it is not possible to effectively protect the State of Israel today against the strategic threats confronting it without sea expanses along with a mobile, multi-purpose, aggressive (and nuclear) durable navy.

The State of Israel is like a “strategic platform”, upon which, in situations of emergency, crisis and war, a strategic surprise could take place – a surprise attack employing conventional, chemical or biological missiles and in the future, even nuclear missiles or bombs. This platform must deter, prevent, absorb and neutralize the other “strategic platforms” (Arab countries) from which the missiles were launched. The platform is narrow, densely populated in its center, where all of the recruitment, logistic, medical and industrial centers are also concentrated. Therefore, as technology progresses, threats grow more ominous and distance (even thousands of kilometers) loses its significance, the need arises to enlarge the platform, otherwise it will “collapse” (while Israel’s land expanses are gradually diminishing).

Technology allows expansion into space and to sea. Israel has “dabbled” at space and its accomplishments are tremendous, however the required budgets are as astronomical as the distances involved. Expanding the country’s borders (primarily to the east) creates an inconsequential security belt (as the strike at the center is what counts).

In contrast to all that, sea expanses create natural strategic depth with strategic advantages for sea vessels like those provided by land vehicles: Mobility, quick movement from sector to sector, sea-based deterrent and defense capability against planes attacking the country’s skies and the ability to participate in the decisive battle. In terms of the underwater realm, the submarine has advantages in firing conventional and non-conventional (ballistic and cruise) missiles due to its survivability.

The requisite funds should be provided after a reorganization of the defense components as a whole in the face of the threats.

In addition, other forms of cooperation are possible such as the use of ports and infrastructure, mutual use of intelligence, “reciprocal coverage and protection”.

As a result of the above, in the nuclear era that is liable to become a reality in the near future (no surprise), the primary strategic threat facing Israel will be a surprise nuclear attack. Deterrence by means of submarines armed with cruise missiles with nuclear warheads or surface vessels armed with appropriate discovery and warning systems are the optimal operational response at Israel’s disposal at present.

Today, the navy must move from the stage of operating strategic vessels – the Saar 5 and the Dolphin strategic submarine, to a stage of operating synergistically as a strategic branch of the armed forces, employing tactical nuclear attack capabilities.

The Navy’s budget should be upgraded in accordance with those needs.

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Targeted Killing – Prospect and Risk

Aharon Yaffe

Wikipedia, the computerized encyclopedia for security, defines “targeted killing” as a military action which (the IDF) operates in order to eliminate [Palestinian] terrorists who are involved in deadly attacks against Israelis. This definition tries to avoid entailing innocent civilians to the violence cycle and also to anticipate the day Israel will finally sit with uninfected-by-terror Palestinians around the negotiation table.

The targeted killing became the most dangerous threat to the terrorist organizations. The Israeli security forces developed a variety of means which this paper tries to describe. With these methods, Israel killed more than 400 terrorists, mostly with blood on their hands, who were eliminated from the air, from ground and in some cases, even from the sea. In 2005 itself, more than 50 deadly attacks were made from Apache helicopters – with only few failures.

Palestinian terror is probably one of the most stubborn of all. Although it knows it doesn’t have the capability to win in a face-to-face confrontation with the Israeli security forces, it chooses to act behind the civilian population’s back. From this hiding place it sends one of the most deadly weapons – suicide bombers.

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Tocqueville and American Foreign Policy:
With a Glance at Israel

Paul Eidelberg & Will Morrisey

One customarily refers all important questions concerning American politics and society to Alexis de Tocqueville. For only the obtuse regard Democracy in America as a mere historical document, a portrait of a simpler time and place. Americans recognize themselves in Tocqueville’s Americans, despite the industrial revolution, high-tech, and the global village.

It may well be, moreover, that Democracy in America can teach us much about Israel and about many Israelis. Even though Israel (as the first author has shown) is not a democracy from a political perspective, this does not diminish Tocqueville’s potential relevance to this country because by democracy he does not mean a form of government so much as a way of life. In other words, Tocqueville is primarily concerned about the sociological characteristics of American democracy, which characteristics may also be found among many assimilated Israelis.

Still, one does not usually refer questions of foreign policy to Tocqueville. Nevertheless, that extraordinary philosopher saw that “a democracy can only with difficulty regulate the details of an important undertaking, persevere in a fixed design, and work out its execution in spite of serious obstacles. It cannot combine its measures with secrecy or await their consequences with patience.”

Tocqueville would not have been surprised by the mistakes the U.S. made before 9/11. He saw that, given the democratic love of physical gratification, “There are two things that a democratic people will always find very difficult, to begin a war and to end it.”

How indeed can the President of the United States arouse his fellow-citizens to engage and persevere in a war against Islam, when Americans are bombarded daily by media steeped in moral relativism, which saps the will to win? And how does this President maintain moral consistency when his country’s economy depends on Saudi oil, and when his people, habituated to ease and comfort, will not long endure the material sacrifices demanded by a protracted (and amorphous) war? 

As for Israel, how can it win a war against its enemies when Israel’s political elites are forever intoning the mantra of peace, and when its military, emasculated by the doctrine of “self-restraint”, lack cardia, “heart”, and dynamis, “the will to fight”.

Americans and Israelis can learn much from Tocqueville.

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The State Religion

Raya Epstein

In 1917 – the year of the Russian Revolution and the Balfour Declaration – Rahel Yanait, an activist in the “Hashomer” movement, declared: “National redemption is the harbinger of social redemption.” Ben-Gurion also espoused that messianic approach and he, too, ascribed it clear-cut universal significance. The socialist founding fathers considered the State of Israel an indivisible component of their Marxist-internationalist vision of constructing the new communist world in which there is no separation between peoples and nations, races and religions.


The totalitarian state religion, which was conceived in Platonic philosophy and whose modern beginnings lie in the anti-Semitic French Enlightenment movement, led, in our time, to the nightmare of the transfer of Jews from their land by their State; the handing over of Jewish synagogues for incineration by their murderers, the desecration of Jewish graves by the Military Rabbinate of the Jewish State; the cruel violence exercised against the victims of the expulsion by the soldiers and policemen of the regime, which came into being as the “harbinger of socialist redemption”. The State of Israel would not have succeeded in perpetrating these crimes without the cooperation of the victim, which was first and foremost spiritual and religious cooperation – and only consequently actual cooperation.

How is it possible that good, religious Jews found themselves in a situation of that sort? The answer lies in the fact that Religious Zionism considers the priests and adherents of the universal, messianic religion of the Left as almost sacred brethren and it is incumbent upon the religious-Zionists to facilitate their repentance. However, an even more significant factor is that the ideology of this community states that viewing the State of Israel as the “harbinger of redemption” is based on the Torah. The State of Israel succeeded in perpetrating ethnic cleansing of the Jews thanks to those two facts, which are interdependent.

The monster has risen up against its maker.


The expulsion of the Katif Bloc Jews succeeded. However, many are unaware of the fact that in the course of its implementation, an unusual event transpired involving a meeting between the new Jew and the old Jews whom he came to expel. Here there were no embraces between the expellers and the expelled. Here the victims of state political terrorism did not weep on the shoulders of the emissaries of the despotic regime. Here there were no joint prayers for the well-being of the State at the conclusion of the action. Here, the violent policemen were not given the opportunity to embrace and kiss the Torah. Here, there was a clear and absolute separation between good and evil, between light and darkness, between sanctity and impurity.

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