Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)




A Journal of Politics and the Arts Volume 12 Number 1 (66) ■  January 1999

Table of Contents

Current Affairs Digest

Clinton in Gaza – From a State of Terror to a Terror State The Editor and his Guests:  Jim Saxton – How I Almost Joined our President on His Trip to the Holy Land Mordechai Nisan – Freeing Lebanon as an Alternative for Israel  Elliot Green – Europeans Pretend to Want Peace Michael Kelly – Investing in Yasser Arafat  Elyakim Ha’etzni – Assaf Miara, the Soldier of Peace and the “Ethical Code” According to the IDF Zalman Shoval To Play (Wagner) or Not to Play?… That is the Question


Turkey and Israel:  An Evolving Partnership

Meltem Müftüler-Bac

Anti-Semitism Fifty Years After the Establishment of the State of Israel

Abraham Foxman

Israel's Alternative Policy in Lebanon (I)

Walid Phares

The EU View of a Palestinian State

Christopher Barder

Myopic Vision: Israeli Withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the Prospects for War with Syria

Shawn Pine

Anti-Ballistic Multi-Layer Defense for Israel: The Threat by Rogue Regimes to the World Order

Uzi Landau

The Geographic Aspect of a Palestinian State

Arnon Soffer

Palestinian Expectancy in the Image of Zionism

Aharon Ben-Ami

Israel and the Jews in the Schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority

Shlomo Sharan


The Israeli Death Wish (I)

The Arts ■ Editor: Moshe Shamir


Julian Tuwim Yaffa Zinss Esther Silber Vitkon Miriam Godal Lois Ungar


Yehezkel Brown – Boyhood in Little Tel Aviv Eliaz Cohen – Four Little Stories Tamar Nesher - Voices

Essays and Reviews

Arieh Stav – Julian Tuwim Herzl and Balfour Hakkak An Interview with the late poet Michael Deshe


Selected Summaries


Turkey and Israel:  An Evolving Partnership

Meltem Müftüler-Bac

The end of the Cold War has led to a global restructuring, which has had a real impact on the Middle East. This paper suggests that in the post-Cold War era, Turkey and Israel have engaged in extensive cooperative ties, which are stimulated by the uncertain environment and the precarious security circumstances surrounding them. Turkey has relatively more abundant water resources when compared to other countries in the region and water enables Turkey to fulfill its aspirations as an emerging regional power. This paper analyzes these new co-operation patterns, the strategic alliance between Turkey and Israel, and the politics of water in this strategic alliance.

Turkey's Rapprochement with Israel

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey has responded to global and regional changes by reformulating its foreign policy. Faced with uncertainty regarding its borders and its identity, Turkey has forged new alliances, one of which includes the Turkish-Israeli axis. Water is becoming an essential component of political power in the Middle East. Turkey is one of the few states in the Middle East which enjoys abundant ground-water resources. Since natural resources are an important element of a country's power in its dealings with other states, Turkey's water resources give it power vis-a-vis other countries in the region. Turkey, by providing cheap water on a reliable basis, may be able to decrease the tension in the region surrounding the allocation of this scarce resource in the region.

Suleyman Demirel, Turkish President since June 1993, has summarized the motives behind the Turkish-Israeli axis as follows: "Turkey and Israel have decided on a regional co-operation for increasing the economic welfare of the region and curbing terrorism".

Turkey's Motivations

This paper proposes that the Turkish rapprochement with Israel is a result of the interplay of a number of factors: the end of the Cold War, the 1990-91 Gulf War, Turkey's Kurdish problem, and the Israeli-Arab peace process. Turkey has always toyed with the idea of closer ties with Israel and there was always a political will to associate with Israel, yet the favorable environment for this endeavour emerged only in the 1990s. From 1945 to 1989, Turkey held an integral position within the Western security systems because of its role as a buffer state against the Soviet Union. This position enabled acceptance of Turkey as part of the European system of states. On the other hand, Turkey is isolated in the Arab Middle East because of its imperial past, i.e., the legacy of the Ottoman Empire, and because of its perceived break with Islam, i.e., the secular form of government in Turkey since 1924. It moved further away from its Muslim, Arab neighbors during the Cold War era and allied itself with the West, the United States in particular. Since 1989, Turkey's reluctantly acknowledged incorporation into the West has been challenged.

In the post-Cold War era, Turkey finds itself in a turbulent security environment marked by volatility and instability. Such regional destabilizers as Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran have alerted Turkey to the dangers of isolation in the region. The possibility of isolation and marginality within the global and regional security order presses Turkey to find new allies; Israel is the most likely candidate. Thus, the first factor that triggered Turkey's rapprochement with Israel was this awareness of its increased seclusion in the post-Cold War era. The second factor, the Gulf War, confirmed that the Middle East region continues to be a major source of instability with the potential to threaten global security. It demonstrated that Turkey is still important for Western security despite the fact that its role as a buffer against the Soviet Union has ended. It accentuated the similarities between Turkey and Israel, two states which are not Arab yet exist in a predominantly Arab region in which neither is welcome and both susceptible to common dangers.

The second factor that enables Turkey to pursue a pro-Israeli foreign policy more freely is the evolving Arab-Israeli peace process, though stagnant right now. Turkey recognized Israel in 1949, the first Muslim state to do so, but until the 1990s, the Turkish government was reluctant to move towards closer cooperation with Israel because of the Arab countries' sensitivities. Lastly, the emerging alliance can be viewed placed in a broader framework with the USA as the power behind its formation.

The emerging Turkish-Israeli alliance has the capacity to serve the Americans’ interests in the Middle East for a number of reasons. First, the Middle East ranks very high on the American foreign policy agenda due to its economic and strategic importance. Second, the demise of the Soviet Union has increased the strategic importance of the Middle East by shifting the American administration's attention to the well-armed rogue states that represent the new threats to Western security. The Turkish-Israeli alliance might act as a counterbalance against these rogue states as part of the American ‘dual containment policy’. The United States needs regional allies to take upon themselves such tasks as regional crisis management and peace-keeping, which would then leave the US free to focus on problems of larger magnitude.

Turkey's Security Interests

Turkey is surrounded by hostile, "rogue" states against which it is caught in a struggle for power and influence for regional mastery. It has serious conflicts of interest with these states, the most visible ones concerning Kurdish separatist terrorism, the distribution of water, and Islamic fundamentalism. The question of support given to Kurdish separatist terrorism constitutes the core issue in the Turkish-Syrian relations. The Kurdish problem lies at the core of Turkish-Iraqi relations as well.

Further causes of dispute between Turkey and Syria include the question of Hatay province, the distribution of waters from the Euphrates, Tigris, and Asi rivers, and the 1995 Syria-Greece agreement granting Greece in which the Syrian government granted the use of its air bases to Greece. Disputes with for Iraq include the question of Northern Iraq, the protection of the Turkoman minority in Iraq, and the politics of water. The politics of water is a major source of conflict in the Middle East and one which has direct implications for the Kurdish problem. Turkey is faced with a conflict of interest with Syria and Iraq over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, which originate in Turkish territory and then flow into Syria and Iraq, the downstream countries. The Syrian government perceives a trade-off between its support for the PKK and the politics of water.

As for Iran, Turkey is also suspicious of Iran’s designs over Turkey's internal affairs and its support for Islamic movements in Turkey. In addition, Turkey and Iran compete for influence in the former Soviet Union's Central Asian republics and in the transport of oil and natural gas. Such countries are regarded as heavily armed regional destabilisers by both Turkey and Israel. In short, Turkey has serious conflicts of interests with its neighbors Syria, Iraq, and Iran over the Kurdish problem, the politics of water, the role of Islam, and the ir respective political influences in the region.

Israel faces threats to its security from the same countries in the region which threaten Turkey's national security. Iran finds in Israel its arch-enemy and has now acquired missile technology and nuclear capabilities with Russian help. Iraq, during the Gulf War, opened a second front by sending its Scud missiles into Israeli territory. To top it all, Syria threatens Israel's territorial integrity and the peace process. The Israeli-Syrian conflict revolves around such issues as the Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and Southern Lebanon, and the Syrian support of Hamas and Hizbullah terrorists opposed to Israel. In the uncertain, volatile post-Cold War environment of the Middle East, faced with hostility from Iran and the Arab states sworn to its destruction, Israel requires a reliable partner and the most likely candidate is Turkey. There is, then, a convergence of interests between Turkey and Israel for deterring Syria, Iran, and Iraq for similar security reasons.

Turkey and Israel do not only share security concerns, but there are other similarities between them that makes their cooperation likely. Turkey and Israel are the only secular democracies in the region, both have market economies, and both are integrated into the European economic order. Their major export and import partners indicate an integration with the states of the Western states.

Turkey shares a vested interest with Israel in promoting stability in the highly volatile region in which it is located; they are also the only two countries in the region with the capacity to do so. Furthermore, they are also similar in the problems they face: religious fundamentalist movements, economic difficulties, hostile behavior from their neighbors, and separatist movements that threaten their territorial integrity. Turkey and Israel are among the strongest military powers in the region, in terms of capabilities, military expenditures, standing army, and weapons technology. Turkey had the second largest army in NATO (prior to the German reunification) and Israel has superior military technology from which Turkey would undoubtedly benefit. In addition, Israel has strong, sound American backing and the Jewish lobby in Washington has the freedom to try to harness power to influence American foreign policy. The indirect benefits of a pro-Israeli policy for Turkey may be a change in the attitudes of the American Congress, which has not been very friendly towards Turkey.

An alliance with Israel has the capacity to counterbalance the threats to Turkey's national security and to shift the power equation to Turkey's advantage. For Turkish strategic interests, the "friendship" with Israel would help strengthen Turkey's position in the Middle East, curb terrorism, and deter such hostile states from destabilizing Turkey. A long-term benefit would be to increase Turkey's perceived power in the region by expanding Turkey's military capabilities through the transfer of Israeli military technology and sale of weapons. Thus, pushed out and threatened by the Arab states, and not fully accepted in the Western camp, Turkey's rapprochement with Israel, the only country in the region perceived to be “like Turkey”, is understandable.

There is, however, one obstacle to cooperation between Turkey and Israel: Turkey's internal politics. Turkey's position towards Israel reflects the internal dynamics and divisions in Turkish society. The fundamentalist religious groups oppose Turkey's ties with Israel, condemning Israel as a hostile enemy power which has occupied the Holy Places. In contrast, the secular military and bureaucratic elite favor ties with Israel in the post-Cold War era as a rational and realistic foreign policy decision. Relations with Israel, therefore, are a good barometer in measuring both Turkey's new stance in the Middle East as well as the relative power of Turkish domestic groups.

The Formation of the Turkish-Israeli Axis

An analysis of developments that have unfolded since 1991 sheds some light on what kind of a strategic alliance that is emerging between Turkey and Israel. Even though mostly the military aspects of the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement are most often discussed, its economic dimensions are also of importance. The economic aspects of the Turkish-Israeli alliance seem to prosper quietly as a result of the vested economic interests of both sides. A range of agreements and the official state level visits point to the evolution of a Turkish-Israeli axis in the Middle East. Turkey also became one of the most popular destinations for Israeli tourists.

A range of military pacts was put into operation in 1997. The agenda of the meetings were not made totally public, but they probably also included agreements on intelligence sharing, joint naval operations, regional balance of power concerns, and mutual threats to security. It may even be that the role of Israel in the sale of weapons serves to indicate that the American administration does not object to an influx of such weapons to Turkey, and that this may be a device developed to circumvent the Congress.

Thus, the expansion of ties between Turkey and Israel on a number of levels seems to answer the question, whether Turkey and Israel are moving towards a strategic cooperation scheme, in an affirmative manner.

Turkey, Israel, and the Regional Destabilizers

The Turkish-Israeli alliance is condemned by all the Arab states which see the alliance as a direct threat to their own national securities. But the Turkish and Israeli officials emphasize that the alliance is not directed against any particular state. In the words of David Ivri, the adviser to the Israeli Defense Minister, "the security pact signed is not aimed at any state, but it seeks to build confidence in the Middle East and to contribute to peace and stability in the region". Yet, despite all the statements confirming from the Turkish government that the military pact is not directed against any state, the Turkish-Israeli alliance seems to be a clever move against Syria. Seen in such terms, the alliance is an encirclement of Syria and a challenge to Damascus which Syria is quick to realize. Syrian government officials have declared that the alliance is “an act of aggression against the Arabs and an act of hostility to pan-Arab existence”. Assad claims that the Turkish-Israeli axis aims at the destruction of the Arab world and what is happening to Iraq is an example. He even claims that the axis aims at evacuating northern Iraq and settling the Palestinians there.

Assad may be wary of the consequences of the Turkish-Israeli axis for two reasons: first, increased Turkish power in the region will prevent the resolution of the water conflict to Syria's advantage, and second, increased Israeli power may erode Syria's power to block effectively the peace process. Faced with the combined power of Turkey and Israel, Syria may have a harder time promoting its own interests in the region. Such possibilities push Syria to devise strategies to counter the Turkish-Israeli alliance. In response to the Turkish-Israeli axis, there seems to be a rapprochement between Syria and Iran. Although the Iranian government denies that a Syrian-Iranian axis is forming in response to the Turkish-Israeli military pacts, it may very well have been triggered by the Turkish-Israeli axis. On the other hand, Iran's acquisition of nuclear technology from Russia shows the timeliness of the Turkish-Israeli alliance.

Russian involvement in Iran's quest for missile technology, if true, violates the “Missile Technology Control Regime”. Russian motives for such involvement may include an attempt to regain a foothold in the Middle East through Iran. In response to the rumors of Russian involvement, the Israeli government has suspended a natural gas deal with the Russians. Even though there were always some reports that the Iranians were developing nuclear weapons and missile technology, it is only recently that the issue has received attention from the USA. Furthermore, the missile issue indicates that the Middle East is still a battleground in the struggle for power between the USA and Russia.

In terms of American interests in the region, the Turkish-Israeli strategic realignment should rank high on the American foreign policy agenda. Both of these countries are pro-American and their alliance would promote America’s dual containment policy against rogue regimes such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria, all of which are engaged in military build-ups, especially with weapons of mass destruction, and which pose a major threat to American interests. The military build-up in these regimes partly explains the American push for the alliance as a strong barrier against these rogue states. Given the strategic importance of the Middle East and the desire for an uninterrupted flow of oil, the Turkish-Israeli alliance with its stabilizing and balancing capabilities might be the blessing the United States has been looking for in its post-Cold War Middle Eastern foreign policy.

To sum up, Turkish-Israeli security cooperation seems to be the dominant event of post-Cold War Middle Eastern politics. Turkish concerns over the threats that Syria, Iran, and Iraq pose to Turkish national unity and territorial integrity are the factors that led to Turkish rapprochement with Israel. The end of the Cold War, the Gulf War and its impact on Turkey's Kurdish problem, and the Israel-Arab peace process prepared the fertile ground for Turkey openly to follow a pro-Israeli foreign policy. The alliance serves a number of Turkish security interests.

Water acts as another policy tool for Turkish-Israeli rapprochement by creating a common interest between the two parties.

The Turkish-Israeli axis indicates an evolving polarization in the Middle East. One pole consists of the Turkish-Israeli alliance backed by American power, and the other pole is the Iranian-Syrian axis which seems to be supported by the Russians. Such regional polarization coupled with high levels of militarization is not a good sign. What may have begun on Turkey's behalf as an initiative to find a reliable ally may degenerate into an ugly conflict. Thus, whether the alliance will ultimately help to preserve stability in the region remains to be seen.

This article was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 47, 1998


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The EU View of a Palestinian State

Christopher Barder

The "Oslo" process, with its pressure on Israel to surrender crucial strategic assets and defensibility, closely reflects ideas advanced by the European Union in the Venice Declaration of 1980, which remains the cornerstone of EU Middle East policy. Before Madrid and Oslo, Israel suspected conferences, negotiating directly with the Arabs where possible; recognizing there was a war to be fought against terrorist enemies. Oslo altered these norms. Consequently, Israel faces Europe, the USA and the Arabs focused upon the "Palestinian issue", as the Arabs always demanded, with Israel denied legitimacy for any alternative to territorial surrender, with a murderous entity on its doorstep and in its heartland.

For the US, the growth in European involvement means support for eroding Israel's administrative and military capabilities in the territories, even if rivalry for influence in the region. The collapse of the Soviet Union has helped advance European ambitions which Oslo has legitimized. Europe seeks political weight commensurate with its economic investment in the region, primarily in the Palestinian entity, whose future statehood it supports economically and diplomatically, regardless of the dangers to Israel. This is part of a wider agenda redefining regional structures and the EU's place inside and outside NATO - and in the world.

Room for Israeli maneuver has greatly diminished: instigation of alternatives to Oslo could now involve EU sanctions, NATO strikes, as well as Arab military attack. Before Oslo, Israel had not advertised a willingness to appease and surrender; after, she fell into line as the Europeans had long demanded. The Cold War to some extent made Israel strategically useful; Oslo has dramatically opened the door to others' purposes.

The EU intends a regional transformation which may involve undoing 1967 and perhaps 1948 too, through its support for a Palestinian state.

This article was published as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 69 in the book


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Myopic Vision: Israeli Withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the Prospects for War with Syria

Shawn Pine

This essay analyzes the prospects for a Syrian-Israeli war in light of Syrian strategic objectives and their historical attitudes and perspectives towards Israel.  This essay challenges the position of those favoring full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and Syria’s interest in achieving a lasting comprehensive peace.  Indeed, this essay argues that such a peace would have a deleterious effect on Syria’s ability to achieve its regional strategic objectives which would prove threatening to Hafez Assad’s domestic power base. Moreover, such a peace would lead to the collapse of the de facto Syrian-Iranian alliance and would likely lead Iranian supported forces in Lebanon to target Syrian forces.  This would create an untenable position for continued Syrian presence in that country.  However, while Assad has a vested interest in continuing the Arab-Israeli conflict, geo-strategic realities compel him to participate in the peace process. Consequently, this essay argues that while Assad is interested in participating in the peace process he is unwilling to make any of the requisite security, economic, or political concessions necessary to achieve "real" peace.

Rather, Assad is relying on the "stick" to secure Israeli concessions. By supporting Hizbullah actions in Lebanon, and by threatening a broader war if Israel does not withdraw from the Golan Heights, Assad hopes to facilitate an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights on Syrian terms. However, notwithstanding its enormous efforts to improve its military, Syrian conventional forces are no match for Israel.  Indeed, the Syrian military is plagued by a myriad of logistical and operational problems.  Moreover, the collapse of the Soviet Union has left Syria bereft of the political and economic support needed to sustain a conventional war. Should Syria initiate hostilities under these conditions, Israel would be free to unleash the full brunt of it's military unencumbered by superpower restraints. For these reasons, while a Syrian-Israeli war cannot be completely ruled out, it is highly unlikely, given the cost of such a conflict to Syrian regional strategic objectives.  Consequently, Assad is far more likely to pursue a strategy of "no war and no peace", rather than emulate Sadat's 1973 strategy of initiating a limited strategic war.

The analysis of this essay is quantitatively buttressed by the results of four decision matrices concerning the utility of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in both the short and long terms.  For the Syrians, both their optimal short-term and long-term strategic interest is to secure a full Israel withdrawal from the Golan Heights.  This explains the adamancy of the Syrian position in obtaining a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and suggests that Assad will continue to make any peace agreement contingent upon a full Israel withdrawal.

From an Israeli perspective, the utility of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights is dependent upon the perspective of Israeli decision makers.  The Israeli short-term matrix demonstrates that the optimal Israeli strategy is a partial withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Moreover, this strategy was only narrowly better than a full Israeli withdrawal and was sensitive to changes in terrorism and casualties.  Consequently, as Israeli casualties increased, the former Israeli government was willing to seriously consider full Israeli withdraw from the Golan Heights.  However, the results of the medium/long-term decision matrix illustrates that a partial or no Israeli withdrawal is favored by a full withdrawal by a ratio of more than 4:1.   This suggests that it would be detrimental to Israel’s long-term strategic interest to agree to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.  However, the matrices also suggest that a partial Israeli withdrawal is significantly more beneficial to Syria than no Israeli withdrawal and may present an opportunity for progress in the peace process.  Be that as it may, Until Assad truly inculcates the notion of achieving a "real and lasting peace", Israel would be prudent to give precedence to its security concerns

This article was published as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 75, 1998


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Anti-Ballistic Multi-Layer Defense for Israel:
The Threat by Rogue Regimes to the World Order

Uzi Landau

With the end of the Cold War, following the collapse of the USSR and the falling of the Berlin wall, many people have become hopeful for a “new world order” of peace, democracy, and economic plenty, which will gradually become the norm for a world headed by the US, the sole superpower. In his famous article, Fukuyama called this "the end of history". Ten years have gone by and the new world is characterized by increasing disorder, in which the “New Middle East”, an unstable region at the best of times, is generating an increasing threat to the countries and peoples of the region. This is true both for the immediate region and for countries far beyond its boundaries.

Israel faces dangers which increasingly threaten its very existence in this New Middle East. This is not Central Europe, and Israel's neighbors are not the Swiss. The situation is one which is unfamiliar to the West. Israel must live with neighbors such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and the like. These are rogue regimes, which are acquiring and developing various kinds of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – nuclear, biological, and chemical – with the capability of delivering them via ballistic missiles. These regimes are all hostile to the democratic Western world and its culture, values, and lifestyle. Some of them, such as Iran, are motivated by extremist fundamentalist ideologies, that view the West as a cultural enemy, the struggle against whom is a long-term affair. Western civilization must be overcome and replaced by that of Islam. The regimes do not trouble themselves with human rights and freedom, with the rule of law, or with honoring signed agreements. They all lack cultural inhibitions regarding the use of violence to advance their political aims, including the use of WMD. 

This article was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 51, in the book


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The Geographic Aspect of a Palestinian State

Arnon Soffer

Geography that Does Not Allow a Routine Solution

The purpose of this article is to examine the geographic obstacles in the way of the negotiators on all issues of the permanent agreement; the hypothesis is that the geographic reality of Palestine, physically and in terms of settlement, does not permit routine solutions such as separation between these two peoples. Major factors are the small area of all Palestine and the number of population living in this small area. All northern Palestine will be covered in the next two decades, by concrete blocks, with asphalt over considerable spaces. Any discussion about physical separation of this urban area is impractical.

The reality of population distribution all across western Palestine creates a need for many corridor connections of the main Jewish and Palestinian areas to isolated settlements and some main corridors for connections between the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria. As far as Jerusalem it is impossible to cut a border through this built-up area of the city, without sowing economic and municipal chaos. Jerusalem will remain an open city in any political agreement.

In addition, other factors exist that connect the Palestinians to Israel in a way that does not allow separation: Palestine is one economic unit, one water regime, one united transport network, one holy land, and the relations between Israeli Arabs and those in Gaza, Judea and Samaria cannot be separated again. With such data there can be no separation between the peoples of the two states. The Swiss canton model may offer a solution for an appropriate kind of integration.

This article was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 63, in the book


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Palestinian Expectancy in the Image of Zionism

Aharon Ben-Ami

This article examines the crucial problems which were left for negotiation at the time of the permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This leads to an analysis of the manifest and latent results of such an agreement if and when it might be signed.

The problems discussed are as follows:

  1. The final size of the area supposed to be handed over to the Palestinians, after some changes in the Israeli borderline of 1949 (which already extends to 75% of western Eretz Israel). Israel demands at least an additional 5% to its present area for security reasons as well as some other rights and necessities. It follows that the Palestinians will have to be content with only 20% of western Eretz Israel. But will they?

  2. As for the issue of Jerusalem. There is a diametrical contrast between the parties' positions. Israel considers the existing undivided Jerusalem as its eternal capital, while the Palestinians demand a partition of the city into two capitals. Both sides are determined and uncompromising on this issue.

  3. Israel demands a full demilitarization of the Palestinian area as concerns heavy arms, as well as a prohibition of any military alliances between the Palestinian entity and other states. These conditions, let alone the need for an effective Israeli control of arms held by the Palestinians, seem to the Palestinians to be diminishing their right to self-determination.. In case such a condition would be violated, it might be considered a casus belli. The answer to this problem also seems hard to agree upon and a solution is doubtful with regard to control.

  4. The issue of free immigration into the Palestinian entity is still harder to settle, since the Palestinians will most probably demand equality with Israel in this regard. Namely, just as Israel has a "law of return" for the Jews, so must the Palestinians have such a law. But this would create a demographic explosion across the border with Israel, with perhaps a renewed Palestinian demand to change the status quo.

  5. Finally, the future of the Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is far from any forthcoming agreement. It might be partly solved by the annexation of some areas close to the Israeli border. But what about the rest? Would they constitute "islands" of Israeli sovereignty within the Palestinian entity or would they be evacuated as the Palestinians demand? This problem in itself is quite loaded with conflicting interests.

In conclusion, what Israel is willing to concede is the creation of a small Palestinian entity, with no part in Jerusalem, demilitarized under conditions hard to control, deprived of the right of unlimited immigration and including some Jewish settlements.

All of these, in the eyes of the Palestinians, stand in contrast to their declared expectations to form an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem. There seems to be no reasonable bridge between these contrasting expectations.

The analysis goes on to predict a harsh American intervention in the negotiations. A hypothetical model is developed in detail as to the probable American plan to impose a solution, with a view to American interests in the Middle East, namely an appeasement of the Arabs.

In its last part, the article summarizes the attitudes and visions of the so-called "Peace Camp" in Israel. Its positions, as formulated by the left-wing opposition to the previous government, seem to allow for a wide breach in Israeli security, that will enable the PLO to go on with its declared plan of "revolution by stages".

Finally, this article presents certain options for replacing the partition of western Eretz Israel by creating an alternative confederation with Jordan and/or some other Arab countries in the region, together with Israel.

This paper was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 72 in the book


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Israel and the Jews in the Schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority

Shlomo Sharan

A group of specialists in the Arabic language examined 140 textbooks currently in use and authorized by the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority. The textbooks cover all grades of public education (1 to 12), and are directed at the teaching of Civics, Grammar, Literature, History, Geography and Islamic Studies. Examiners selected statements reflecting attitudes or evaluations of Israel, Jews, Judaism and Zionism, but selections were made only if these were recurrent statements that could be considered typical themes expressed in the book. The main question asked here is: Can the general orientation toward Israel and the Jews taught to the schoolchildren of the Palestinian Authority serve as a basis for a genuine rapprochement between Palestinian Arabs and the Jews? Isn't such a relationship expected on the basis of the Oslo and Wye River accords? Do the schoolbooks of the PA reflect a different orientation than the hostile behavior and propaganda directed by the Arabs toward Israel and the Jews over most of the 20th century, or is education in the Palestinian Authority a continuation of the old policies?

The message of the PA's schoolbooks is expressed loud and clear, and incessantly, needing no sophisticated interpretation. Israel and the Jews are the enemy of the Palestinians, of the Arabs, of Islam, and, for that matter, of humanity. Every Moslem is duty bound to engage in Jihad (Holy War) against the conqueror of Arab soil, and against the enemy of Islam. Jihad means that each one must be ready to kill and be killed, to sacrifice life and limb, as well as one's property, for the sake of Allah, knowing that anyone who dies in battle for Islam will be rewarded in Paradise. This reward promises fame and endless orgiastic indulgence with droves of virgin maidens, drowned in limitless quantities of alcoholic beverages forbidden to Moslems on earth. These lessons learned from teachers and books are impressed on the minds and feelings of the Palestinian children by the incessant repetition of public rituals surrounding the funerals of slain terrorists, as well as by the blood-drenched scenes of Jews driving their cars in the territory of the PA who are frequently accosted and stoned (with large boulders) by gangs of juveniles and young men.

A profound change in policy and in the behavior of the PA and its educators, at all levels of education, are prerequisite for establishing any kind of conciliatory atmosphere that could serve as a basis for co-existence between Arabs and Jews living in proximity to one another without perpetual warfare.

This paper was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 58, 1999
and was included in the book, ISRAEL AND A PALESTINIAN STATE: ZERO SUM GAME?,  2001


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