Ariel Center for Policy Research


NATIV  ■ Volume Twenty  ■ No. 3 (116)  ■ May-June 2007 ■ Sivan 5767 ■ Ariel Center for Policy Research


Susan Urban

Millions of Index Cards – Millions of Fates and Personal Stories: The ITS (International Tracing Service) in Arolsen has Finally Opened Its Archives


Dov Levin

IBZ: Irgun Berit Zion (United Zion Organization)

Justyna Fruzińska

The Cross, the Sickle and the Swastika: Aleksander Wat, A Jewish Poet Who Begged with all His Soul to Die

John Lewis

No Substitute for Victory: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism


Mordechai Nisan

Saudi Arabia’s Jihad in the Middle East and the World: Implications for the United States and Thoughts for American Policy

Raphael Israeli

As Muslims Rise, Jews Eclipse

Uri Milstein

The IDF’s March of Folly

Military and Security

Shlomo Perla

Dancing with Giants – The Roots of European Integration

The European Community

Yosef Oren

Family Gossip and the Canaan Manifesto – Abraham B. Yehoshua shoots a Friendly Fire


The Saudi Initiative – The Next Strategic Failure


“Anti-Semitism of Liberals” – Edward Alexander on The Resurgence of Antisemitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion by Bernard Harrison 
Eviathar H. Ben-Zedeff on The Battle of the 21st Century: Democracy Fighting Terror by Dan Meridor

Book Reviews

Literature and Art Supplement - Dror Eydar, Editor

Special Supplement Dedicated to Poetry

Shoshana Idel Yoav Elstein Yair Asulin Chana Bdolach Rachel Heller Avishar Harshefi ? Sivan Harshefi Asher Zano Bacol Serlui-Ulman Nizza Peled Chen Kleinman Itamar Shahar Dror Eydar


Ronen Amrani and Miri Tzachi


Prof. Edward Alexander ■ Dr. Yoram Beck ■ Dr. Aharon Ben-Ami ■ Ephraim Ben-Haim ■ 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

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Editor: Arieh Stav Associate Editor: Moshe Shourin Managing Editor: Itta Horol
Publishing Director and Subscription Manager: Leah Kochanowitz ■ Production: E. Oren, Ltd.

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Millions of Index Cards - Millions of Fates and Personal Stories: The ITS (International Tracing Service) in Arolsen Has Finally Opened Its Archives

Dr. Susanne Urban

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in the German town of Arolsen was set up after WWII, and is administered by the International Red Cross in Geneva. The archive in the ITS, which contains indexes from Concentration Camps, Gestapo files, files about DPs, testimonies etc., holds information about approximately 17 million victims of Nazi Germany and DPs. Ninety-eight percent of the material in the archive contains individual information about former victims of Nazi Germany. Two percent of the approximately 25 kilometres of files do not contain individual data. Only these two percent were opened for research in 1996. For decades it was nearly impossible for historians to access the files, or to get any information about groups or individuals. The restrictions were very severe and even survivors and descendants of victims of Nazi persecution had to wait for years to acquire detailed information. In 2005, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum started a campaign protesting the ITS policies and demanding public access to the archive in Arolsen, through the Internet. Since March 2006 an agreement to open the archive was reached, despite many continuing objections, mainly from German historians.

This article deals with the former and current ITS policies, the history of the debate and the German objections. On various levels the archive contains delicate information – and last but not least, it explains why the archive provides a huge opportunity for historical research.

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IBZ: Irgun Berit Zion (United Zion Organization)

Dov Levin

IBZ (Irgun Berit Zion – United Zion Organization) was a secret Zionist organization founded in Kovno, Lithuania at the end of 1940. Its goal, at the time, was to foster Jewish national culture and Zionism, which was jeopardized after the incorporation of Lithuania into the Soviet Union earlier that year. The emphasis was on “general” Zionism, as the founders of IBZ, disapproved of the proliferation of organizations in the Jewish community at the time.

The activists in the organization, including its founder and first leader, Shimon Grazh, came from among the older, former students of the Hebrew secondary schools, which had been closed down by order of the Communist authorities. Some of the pupils, but not all, had belonged to Zionist youth movements, mainly to Ha-No’ar ha-Tsiyyoni (The Zionist Youth), Maccabi ha-Tsa’ir (The Young Maccabees) and Benei Akiva. Under Soviet rule, during 1940 and 1941, the organization operated on the basis of underground cells and never had more than 100 members. Its main activities were the publication of a Hebrew magazine, Nitsots (Spark), at regular intervals, and the operation of study groups. Later, when Lithuania was under German occupation and the Jews of Kovno were ghettoized, IBZ also sought to recover the Hebrew books that the Soviet authorities had confiscated.

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The Cross, the Sickle and the Swastika:
Aleksander Wat, A Jewish Poet Who Begged with all His Soul to Die

Justyna Fruzińska

The article presents the Polish-Jewish 20th century writer Aleksander Wat, his biography and works, particularly his Diary without Vowels.

Wat was born to a Jewish family with a long religious tradition but, being a child prodigy, he very soon became fascinated with secular ideologies. At the beginning of his literary career, Wat was deeply committed to communism, until his imprisonment in the USSR during World War II. Then he converted to Christianity, only to return to Judaism at the end of his life. In post-war Stalinist Poland, Wat was frowned upon by the regime, as he started to overtly criticize communism, whose full implications he was beginning to understand. This fact and his deteriorating health condition prompted him to emigrate to France and then to the USA where he could freely analyze the ideology he had known from within, and where he became one of the most outstanding intellectuals commenting on communism. His major work, My Century, written in the form of an interview by Czeslaw Milosz and narration of Wat’s biography, with particular interest in his path through eleven Russian prisons, has often been compared to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.

Wat’s entire life’s work focused on the problem of how communism, as a secular ideology, may have been a trap for people possessing a religious nature, something of which he had first-hand knowledge. At the same time his life is a fascinating illustration of one’s quest for identity, so typical of assimilated European Jews in the 20th century.

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No Substitute for Victory:
The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism

John Lewis

Published with permission of The Objective Standard, 1.4, Winter, 2006-2007, pp. 39-63.

In the face of rising threats to their freedom and rights, Americans today are uncertain about what a proper foreign policy should be. This uncertainty arises from the philosophical influences of pragmatism and altruism, which have misguided American leaders for 50 years, and have made it difficult for Americans to evaluate their leaders and to evaluate their actions. As a result, Americans have failed to forthrightly confront rising threats, and have not properly supported allies – in particular, Israel. We have, as a result, emboldened and empowered the worst threat to the West in centuries.

This article uses the historical example of American policy towards Shintoism in post-1945 Japan, in order to show that a proper policy today would first identify Islamic Totalitarianism as the political threat facing the West, and would then direct American resources towards ending the political imposition of Islamic Law, beginning with the Islamic State of Iran. By identifying the advocates of political Islam – those who would impose Islamic Law by force – as the true enemy, Americans could destroy its state manifestation wherever it appears, and then offer an intellectual alternative to jihad. This is the only way to end the threat posed by Islamic Totalitarianism, and to re-establish a proper basis for freedom across the globe.

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Saudi Arabias Jihad in the Middle East
and the World
Implications for the United States
and Thoughts for American Policy

Mordechai Nisan

It is Saudi Arabia, more so than Iran or al-Qai`dah, which is the primary promoter of global jihad in our times.

Based on religion, petro-dollars, and a firm state apparatus, the Saudis enjoy international legitimacy to pursue their campaign rooted in the Wahhabi doctrine to Islamicize Egypt and Lebanon in the Middle East at the expense of their indigenous and ancient Christian communities. Israel, too, confronted by Palestinian warfare against the Jewish state’s existence, is a target of relentless Saudi ambitions. Meanwhile, as the United States has engaged the Saudis in the “oil-for-weapons” equation for many decades, Riyadh pursues policies often inimical to American interests in the Middle East and beyond. For, ultimately, considering the Saudi role as financial sponsor and religious inspiration, America itself is targeted by the Islamic Dawah to succumb to the global triumph of Islam in history. Thus, a revision of Washington’s traditional policy toward Saudi Arabia is the urgent issue to be considered.

“9/11”, in which 15 of the 19 terrorist operatives were Saudis, signaled the lethal reach of the Saudi Kingdom in piercing the heart of America.  

To see the complete article (in English), go to:

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As Muslims Rise, Jews Eclipse

Raphael Israeli

Based on an interview I gave to an Australian Jewish journal, detailing the findings of my research on the rise of Islam in Europe, a huge public debate broke out in that country which dubbed my positions “racist” because I dared to predict that if Australia followed in the footsteps of Europe and did not put a lid on Muslim immigration there, then the same riots and unrest that are unfolding in Europe might recur in Australia too.

Large parts of the Jewish community and of the general readership took my side in the debate and were rather grateful for the debate I triggered, because political correctness had precluded such public pronouncements before. I left Australia as the arguments were at their highest point and there is no telling where they might direct public attention in this new-found awareness.

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The IDF’s March of Folly

Uri Milstein

The Second Lebanon War exposed the lack of professionalism among active, reserve and retired IDF commanders. The primary reason for this lack of professionalism lies in the anti-intellectual nature of the military organization in general, in the low level of IDF officer training in particular and in Israel’s myth-based military culture. The military organization is anti-intellectual because, as opposed to all other areas of life it does not constitute an object of independent empirical research. In contrast to all other Western armies, the process of officer training in the IDF throughout the chain of command is brief and therefore very superficial. The functioning of IDF officers is based on their logical mind and personal experience and not on intellectual depth. As they climb the ladder of command very quickly, relative to officers in Western armies, their personal experience is also very limited. Most Israelis, including members of the academic elite are not interested in military topics and uncritically believe official publications.

The result: The IDF does not carry out genuine processes of investigating battles and drawing conclusions. The shortcomings of previous wars are repeated and are joined by new, unsolved shortcomings. The IDF has no doctrine for the implementation of force and in no war has it been successful in staging coordinated battles – infantry, armored divisions, engineering corps, air force and Special Forces. No productive dialogue among senior army officials takes place nor does a dialogue take place between those officials and the heads of the political establishment; they don't understand each other and to a large extent contribute to each other’s failure.

It is incumbent upon Israel to carry out a Copernican revolution in the realm of security, to abandon the existing security paradigm, which has reached a dead end, and to develop a new security paradigm. To that end, the IDF monopoly on military knowledge must cease and a national center for Israeli security should be established, which will be independent of the security establishment and independent of the academic establishment and the Council for Higher Education, as the academic establishment has undergone a process of betrayal by the intellectuals and moral corruption. The center must have at its disposal all security information, in order to develop military concepts and doctrines, which will be compatible with reality. The center will investigate battles in order to draw conclusions from the actions taken by the IDF – in order not to repeat mistakes and in order to provide the army with superior combat methods as a proper response to the enemy's actions, weapons that it acquired and combat methods.

The center will not only deal with the military security realm in its narrow sense, but in every area that contributes to the national security of the State of Israel and to its continued survival: Education, energy, international relations, economy, culture, communications etc. It will develop interdisciplinary models for the understanding of the comprehensive system and improvement of its performance.


  • The Israeli military culture is myth-based and anti-intellectual.

  • We must quickly abandon the existing security paradigm and develop a new paradigm.

  • Exchanging paradigms is an almost impossible mission; however failure to do so will render nil the chances of survival for the State of Israel. 

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Dancing with Giants
The Roots of European Integration
On the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Establishment of the
European Common Market

Shlomo Perla

This article, published on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the European Common Market, points to the roots of the formation of European integration from a historical perspective, and also relates to the problem of the European Union’s attitude towards the State of Israel.

The decrease in the power of the European powers, resulting from the rise of the two superpowers, the United States and Russia, which reached its nadir as a result of WWII, is, from a realistic perspective, the central motive for the process of European integration. Although the Western European nations understood that there would be no restoration of their past glory and that two imperial superpowers, after the sound of whose flute and the beat of whose drums the entire world danced, were established in their place; nevertheless they too desired to play a significant role in the global dance and to avoid being trampled by the giants. Unification of economic and political functions was accepted as a necessary condition for preserving part of the past might. The declared idea was an integration of powers, creation of supranational frameworks while limiting the sovereignty of the individual nation-states.

The European idea already appeared in different formulations and contexts, some utopian, prior to WWII, (this article is not dealing with that), but the act of integration was the result of a realistic vision, which became a priority in the days following WWII. An analysis of the politics of integration leads to the assessment that it was not the glorification of the European collective that motivated the political elites of these countries towards integration, but rather the creation of a basis for the realization of the individual interests of the member nations. The relinquishing of sovereign rights in specific areas, such as the economic realm, are exceptions. It stopped on the threshold of “higher politics”, foreign and defense policy, the most obvious symbol of national sovereignty. This was surrendered for the purpose of the survival and enhancement of the individual European nation-state in a world dominated by two superpowers and not an indication of intent to abandon national particularism.

Anyone who got carried away in his enthusiasm and envisioned the appearance of a “United States of Europe” was mistaken. Europe remained “Europe of Nations”.

Despite the signing of agreements establishing relations with Israel, Europe adopted a pro-Arab approach in the chronic Middle Eastern conflict. Academic research suggests varied, reasoned explanations for this approach, in the realm of international relations. However, in the background of the academic-rational sphere, lies the 2,000-year-old metaphysical sense that Rome, Europe, has difficulty viewing Jerusalem reconstructed.

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