Ariel Center for Policy Research


NATIV  ■ Volume Nineteen  ■ No. 1 (108)  ■ January 2006 ■ Tevet  5766 ■ Ariel Center for Policy Research


Yitzchak Bam

Human Rights Violations in Yesh”A


Elyakim Ha`etzni

From Winning the Heart to Winning the Land

Eretz Israel

Mark Silverberg

From Tehran to the Twin Towers and the Consequences of Appeasement

American Foreign Policy

Krzysztof Bojko

Washington’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Paul Eidelberg and Will Morrisey

Tocqueville And American Foreign Policy: With A Glance At Israel (1)


Tony Blankley

The Nightmare Scenario: London, England, March 15, 2007


James Turner Johnson

Jihad and Just War

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Ahmadinejad’s Call for Israel’s Elimination: A Case Study of Incitement to Genocide


Kenneth Mischel

On Metaphors and Current Affairs

Joseph Barnea on In the Name of the Nation: Studies in Nationalism and Zionism by Hedva Ben-Israel and Dilemmas in Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel by Yitzhak Reiter (ed.) • David Bedein on The Case for Peace by Alan Dershowitz

Book Reviews

Ilan Berman

Hearing Before the US Congress on Iran


Literature and Art Supplement - Dror Eydar, Editor

Dana Arieli-Horowitz

Beyond the Orange Line: A Conversation with Avner Bar-Hama


Dalia Goory

Interpretation as an Existential Principle – Explanation, Understanding and Appropriation in Paul Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics

Avidov Lipsker

Golden Combs: On the Literary Enterprise of Dalia Rabikowitz in Hebrew Poetry

Rachel Heller • Geula Hodes-Palchan • Yoav Elstein • Haya Esther


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

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human rights violations in yesh”a

Yitzchak Bam

A democratic government that respects civil rights finds it uneasy to deal with massive actions of protest and civil disobedience. Citizens have real power to influence the government, as governmental power to control them and to preserve the public order is limited and monitored by independent courts. According to these “rules of the game” 10,000 determined protesters can make difference.

In the summer of 2005, tens of thousands of Israelis tried to prevent the eviction from Gush Katif and North Samaria by means of civil protest and civil disobedience; youth blocked roads and families made their best efforts to reach Gush Katif, despite police and army blockades. Had the government played according to democratic rules, eviction from Gush Katif would have been difficult and painful. However, it took less than a week to pull the settlers and their supporters out. The ease of the process can be explained by the fact that the government, the police, the prosecutors and courts systematically abused their powers and authority in order to suppress the protest movement.

The police abused its power using widespread brutality against the protesters. The participants of non-violent (even though illegal) protest actions were systematically beaten by police forces. The yardstick of the brutality, which spread all over the country, from Safed in the north, to Be`ersheva in the south, proved that these were not singular and isolated cases of misuse of power by law-breaking policemen, but a systematic abuse calculated to suppress and deter the protesters.

The prosecution abused its power to press charges for these crimes and imposed pre-trial detention and others restrictions of liberty in cases that didn’t justify such means. The prosecution and courts covertly, and sometimes overtly, used the pre-trial liberty restrictions in order to deter the general public and in order to convey a message of deterrence to those planning to take part in protest. Such use of arrests and pre-trial restrictions of liberty is illegal under Israeli Law.

The Israeli law regulating assemblies and public order almost have not changed from the times of the British Mandate. On the other hand, Israeli law regulating pre-trial arrest and detention powers is liberal and progressive. According to the law, pre-trial detention or other restrictions of liberty may be used if the accused is a threat to public safety and security. Violent crimes, crimes against the State’s security and drug dealing invoke presumption that the threat to public safety exists. In cases pertaining to protesters against the disengagement, the prosecution claimed, and the courts ruled, that in “such difficult times” even non-violent offences against public order show that the offender poses a threat to public safety (as if s/he used violence or was a drug dealer), because of the “ideological motivation” of the offender. Ruling so, the courts abandoned their role as an impartial arbiter between the government and citizens and mobilized to protest-suppression machinery.

All in all, a massive abuse of police power and legal process, which was not restrained by the courts, made it possible to suppress massive civil protest and to evict Jewish settlers from their homes without significant civil resistance.


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From Winning the Heart to Winning the Land

Elyakim Ha`etzni

There is much argument among the deported settlers, whether the methods chosen by their leadership – restrained, passive and noble, hugging their tormenters, sometimes weeping on their shoulders, displaying Chagall-style scenes of Diaspora-Jews, going praying and weeping into exile – whether this stance bore any fruits in the public opinion of Israelis. The answer is in the negative. The net result, as reflected in the pre-election polls, shows enhanced admiration for Sharon and the army for a clean and efficient execution of the deportation. Sharon is the winner, although all prognoses of the settlers proved correct: The “disengagement” produced a hail of missiles on the Negev and Ashkelon; the Hamas became the sole ruler of Gaza; weapons and terrorists flow freely into the Gaza Strip; terror is now perceived by the Arabs as the only proven means to chase the Jews out.

The settler leadership was neither ready to exact a political price from Sharon’s establishment, nor to pay the necessary price – in police brutality, mass arrests, in tarnishing their public image. Therefore, the first lesson to be learned is: Don’t ask what the people want, ask what they need. And be ready to pay the price. The settlers relinquished radical, offensive options also because they felt having a mission to “conquer the hearts” of the nation for their ideals. It was a mistake. They should have done the exact opposite: We have no intention to be “nice”. You need not love us. Just respect us. The Arabs are not “nice”, and yet nobody would dream to do to them what Sharon did to the Jews of Gaza and No. Samaria, for fear of severe repercussions.

Therefore, when the next wave of deportation approaches, some questions must be asked. Is the existence of Jewish settlements on the Judean-Samarian plateau, the struggle against “cleansing territory of Jews”, and above all the Jewish birthright to each and every part of Eretz Israel – in the center of our life?

Sharon pledges that there will be no more unilateral “disengagements”. From now on, he will travel only by the “Roadmap”. The next station on this Roadmap is the establishment of a “Palestinian state with provisional borders”. Meanwhile, Israel will be forced, in accordance with the Roadmap – to make place for the “provisory-borders state” by withdrawing from the whole central Judea-Samaria plateau. True, even the Roadmap does not demand the destruction of the Jewish settlements. Apparently, the UN, US, EU and Russia were reluctant to put their signature on such racist, “cleansing” doctrine. Sharon voluntarily took upon himself this dirty job, and having completed the first stage of Jewish-“transfer”, it is now a forgone conclusion that any further progress on the Roadmap also entails total evacuation of the Jews and destruction of their civilization.

The dimensions of the next wave of destruction are estimated at approximately ten times that of the first deportation: 80-100,000 Jewish settlers, in 80-100 communities and outposts. This will be accompanied by much fanfare around the so-called “Settlements Blocks”, to be spared in the meantime.

We are approaching national elections. The deportation caused a severe national trauma. But lo and behold, the next ethnic cleansing, spelling the utter destruction of the whole settlement enterprise, is not even a topic in the election campaign. Even the threatened communities themselves are keeping an eerie silence in the face of the frightening clouds hanging over their heads. This uncanny quiet reminds us of the imperiled Jewish communities in the Diaspora and the strange fatalism with which they met their fate. But we always thought that the whole raison d’être of Jewish sovereignty on their ancestral soil was – “never again!” Therefore, the time has come to sound the tocsin in all the settlements, and prepare the “Orange Camp” for the next, decisive, battle. First and foremost: uncover the mask called “Settlement Blocks” from the ugly face of destroying Zionism in the Jewish heartland, and break the conspiracy of silence shrouding Sharon’s next evil designs.

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From Tehran to the Twin Towers
and the consequences of appeasement

Mark Silverberg

In the Middle East as elsewhere, only resolve in the face of terrorism is respected. Anything less is perceived by the enemies of freedom as weakness and vulnerability - both of which are fatal. Unfortunately, for more than two decades, American foreign policy in the region continually demonstrated an overwhelming lack of resolve in the face of terrorist provocations. From the Carter to the Clinton administration, American foreign policy was riddled with indecisiveness, false post-Cold War security paradigms, a callous disregard for the plight of the oppressed (favoring instead the "stability" provided by Arab dictatorships), unprecedented faith in multilateralism, and a dangerous post-Vietnam loathing of American power.

As a consequence, America protested, apologized, entered into ludicrous written agreements with dictators, shied away from aggressive action, and accommodated its enemies wherever possible, and, when all else failed, it sought legal remedies for what were fundamentally acts of war. It perceived acts of terrorism as separate and distinct incidents rather than as a concerted attempt to expel America and American influence from the region. Thus, when Americans were kidnapped, held hostage and/or executed or when American interests were attacked, it sent in its prosecutors rather than it's marines.

In such an atmosphere, America's enemies in the region concluded that the U.S. was a "paper tiger" that neither could nor would defend its people or it's national interests. It saw a nation that spoke in principled terms, but was adverse to spending the blood and treasure necessary to fight for them. This perception became provocative. The monsters of the Middle East came to believe that America was weak and could be defeated if it was constantly humiliated. Only with the events of 9/11 would the sleeping giant begin to understand the true nature of the culture that confronted it.

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Washington’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Krzysztof Bojko

American policy vis-à-vis the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems from clearly defined political objectives. First and foremost, there is a desire to perpetuate its status as the primary political and economic factor in the region, which manifests itself in ensuring the uninterrupted flow of oil and disseminating democracy and human rights. In the past, Washington took action to stabilize the situation in the Middle East primarily by halting Soviet expansionism, providing aid to Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, by means of the 1978 Camp David initiative and the Israeli-Egyptian peace and in building the coalition against Iraq in 1991.

In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, it is worth noting the 1991 Madrid Conference, which was based on the principle of “land for peace”. That was also the basis for the 2000 Camp David summit, sponsored by President Clinton. The outbreak of the intifada in the immediate aftermath of the failure in Camp David, at first had no impact on Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the conflict. During President George W. Bush’s first term in office, his administration refrained from any profound involvement in the conflict. The President’s envoy, CIA Director, George Tenet sought to achieve a cease fire between the parties and a return to the negotiating table, without much success. The real change took place in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the United States and the significant increase in the influence of the neo-conservatives in the administration. Washington’s embarking on a global war on terrorism, including a wide-ranging war in Afghanistan and Iraq, brought Washington and Jerusalem closer together. The strengthening of the ties between President Bush and the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon contributed to a chill in relations between the United States and the Palestinian Authority, with the Americans openly accusing Yasir Arafat of supporting terrorism. Beginning in 2004, the Americans embarked on a broad initiative designed to promote democratization in the region, with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein the first step in a process meant to include the Palestinian Authority. The political course of action in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was already proposed by Washington, along with the Quartet, in 2003 in the form of the “road map”, which centered on the concept of two states between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River - Israel and Palestine. Israel initiated the evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria. Arafat’s death on the one hand and the Palestinian Authority elections scheduled for January 2006 on the other, provide hope and the chance for a continuation of the peace process in the Middle East.

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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 Nightmare Scenario:
London, England, March 15, 2007

Tony Blankley

The West, says author Tony Blankley in his new book, is down to its last chance. Within our lifetimes, Europe could become Eurabia: a continent overwhelmed by militant Islam that poses a greater threat to the United States than even Nazi Germany did. In The West’s Last Chance, you’ll learn: * What really happens if Islamist terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction – it’s worse, and more likely than you think. * How Europe is already well on its way to being a launching pad for Islamist terrorism. * Why Europe’s plummeting birthrates could wreak huge upheavals on the Continent – and how the United States could face a similar fate. * What’s holding the US government back from fighting the Islamist threat to the best of its ability. * Why the US has ignored the lessons of WWII – lessons that could hold the secret to winning the War on Terror. * How liberalism degenerated from the war-winning policies of FDR to an ideology of Western suicide.

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Ahmadinejad’s Call for Israel’s Elimination
A Case Study of Incitement to Genocide

Manfred Gerstenfeld

In the last quarter of 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made several genocidal calls for the elimination of Israel. Ahmadinejad also threatened the West. These statements were followed up by a number of others denying the Holocaust. His views were supported by several senior Iranian personalities. In the past, other senior Iranian leaders such as the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Ali Khamenei and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have made similar calls. Many lower level Iranian officials have repeated these words over the years.

Ahmadinejad’s call for the elimination of Israel led to many condemnations, including from the UN Security Council and the European Union. This reaction differed from Western silence regarding previous genocidal declarations of Iranian leaders. This can be partly understood against the background of strong American and European opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. Ahmadinejad’s incitement enhanced Western awareness of how potentially dangerous Iran is to their own societies. 

Several condemnations linked Iran’s threat to the lessons of the Holocaust. Most Muslim countries remained silent, though Turkey expressed disapproval. Few voices outside Iran supported Ahmadinejad’s expressions. Among them the Aksa Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian Fatah party, which affirmed its support for the elimination of Israel. Also some Muslim extremists in Europe supported Ahmadinejad’s remarks. 

Israel undertook diplomatic action which led to a Security Council resolution. It also proposed the exclusion of Iran from the United Nations. Iran’s threat of Israel’s extinction serves as a warning of the country’s intentions toward the international community. Only time will tell whether the Western reactions reflect a changing attitude on their behalf, or whether the condemnations of Ahmadinejad’s words were the result of a temporary combination of circumstances.

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On Metaphors and Current Affairs

Kenneth Mischel

It’s fashionable now to characterize the protean Jew-hatred sweeping across the globe as a misguided reaction to tensions in the Middle East. As people receive a steady diet of images of Israeli helicopters, tanks, fences and checkpoints, these images disturb them so that some cross the line separating anger at Israel to hatred of the Jewish people.

Fashionable as this common wisdom may be, it is patently false, because it relies upon a false theory of cognition: the human mind is not a tabula rosa, its thoughts passively formed by the imprinting of images. The viewers of “disturbing” Israeli images surely bring numerous thoughts to the viewing, many of them barely articulated, many only partially formed. These thoughts are crucial in forming their reactions.

What are these thoughts? This essay explores what was said and written about Jews and Israel in non-political contexts during the 1990s, a time in which anti-Semitism appeared to be on the wane and acceptance of Israel into the “community of nations” appeared to be moving forward. Specifically, the piece examines the cheering rituals of Dutch soccer fans, a Caldecott Award-winning children’s book, Golem, and a prominent French philosopher’s meditation, Heidegger and “the Jews.”

Unconnected as these three may seem, a common thread unites them. Each uses the metaphoric style as cover while disparaging Jews or Israel not for what they do, but for what they are. Such disparagement could not have been directly delivered (until very recently), because it would have exceeded the bounds of respectable discourse. Accordingly, each of these sources disparages Jews or Israel indirectly, using metaphors to do so. In a word: the metaphoric style made it possible for the most recalcitrant of deceits to openly reemerge in civilized society.

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