Indo-Israeli Strategic Cooperation as a US National Interest
Martin Sherman and M.L. Sondhi
After decades of political alienation and economic estrangement between India and Israel, there has been a growing convergence of Indo-Israeli interests in recent years. This strengthening rapprochement culminated in the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and New Delhi in 1992. Likewise, India's new policy of economic liberalization instituted in 1991 opened up many opportunities for the Israeli business sector in the Indian market, which is becoming a coveted target for many of the world's largest corporations. Both India and Israel can derive considerable mutual benefits by purposefully and systematically strengthening the bilateral bonds between themselves, and by prudently exploiting their respective comparative advantages in human and natural resources. Such a strategic partnership would embrace numerous fields on the national agenda of both nations; and with a judicious mixture of political will on the one hand, and political wisdom on the other, would allow them to achieve goals that would be beyond the reach of the separate individual capacities of either of them.
Indo-Israeli collaboration should be based on more than a perception of common interests prevailing at any given moment, but rather on a common perception of interests, which is rooted in basic shared values between the two countries, such as a deep commitment to democratic values and a strong attachment to their respective rich and ancient civilizations. Although the bilateral pay-offs for two countries seem almost immediately obvious, in both the military and economic fields, the tri-lateral (i.e. the Indo-Israeli-American) aspects of the relationship have not always been fully understood – particularly, the reasons why close Indo-Israeli strategic collaboration would not only be compatible with, but conducive to, long-term US interests. The regions of the world spanned by India and Israel include several foci which are liable to threaten the very core of liberal values that the US seeks to propagate among the community of nations. A strong Indo-Israeli alliance would create a formidable force for stability against the potential epicenters of radical fundamentalism and other hegemonic threats in Central Asia and the Middle East. It therefore appears no more than a dictate of logic that the US should actively seek to cultivate such Indo-Israeli collaboration. By so doing it would help insure that powers committed to individual liberties, freedom of expression, the right of dissent and moderation, dominate the theater of the Indian Ocean and the eastern approaches to Europe, rather than powers committed to fundamentalism and fanaticism, and which would impose on their surrounding states values that are the very antithesis of those that the American people cherish. Spheres which, prima facie, appear particularly amenable for initial bilateral collaboration between India and Israel and worthy of decisive US support, include activities such as: Indo-Israeli naval activity, (primarily in the field of joint logistic facilities), joint R&D projects, (both military and civilian) and cooperative efforts in solving problems of infrastructure (particularly with regard to energy and water). On a social front, India could derive considerable benefits from Israel's experience in "managing diversity" and forging a productive and cohesive society out of an extremely heterogeneous population.
In summary, it appears that the time is right for Israel to establish a special relationship with the world's largest democracy, similar to the relationship that it has developed with the world's strongest democracy. Such a "consortium" of democratic states, committed to non-violent evolution rather than violent revolution as the preferred method of global change, is likely to have a vital role in advancing the principles of liberty and pluralism, and insuring regional stability in an extensive and important portion of the world where such principles are under continual siege.
This paper was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 89, 1999
Palestinian State and American Interests
Morally, strategically and economically, an American-Palestinian entente is a disaster for American interests. American support for a Palestinian state would be a mistake of enormous proportions. It would undermine our ally Israel and reward violence, demagoguery and treachery.
Such an entente is morally wrong because Yasser Arafat consistently sides with tyrants and America-haters. His closest allies are Iran and Iraq. He has warm relations with North Korea, Syria, and Cuba. His own regime suppresses and tortures political dissidents, brutally persecutes Christian Arabs, and provides a haven for terrorists who have murdered American citizens. Nothing in the formative years of the Palestinian Authority gives us reason to believe that a Palestinian state would have standards of justice, freedom, the rule of law and personal liberty that in any way mirror the operative principles of the United States or our ally Israel.
Economically, an American-Palestinian alliance would also be a disaster for the United States. Foreign donations, earmarked for social services and education, have more often than not ended up lining the coffers of Arafat's ministers and government officials. The $500 million already sunk into Gaza by the United States has joined billions of dollars of foreign aid that have disappeared into a black hole of Palestinian Authority graft and mismanagement.
Supporting Palestinian independence is a strategic mistake as well. America's security interests in the Middle East require stability and moderation. Arafat represents exactly the opposite. He coddles and collaborates with radical terrorists who wage war on Israel, and has made the West Bank and Gaza Strip internationally recognized as havens for terrorists. He has made no bones about future expansionist desires, coveting Jordan, which he considers part of "Greater Palestine". If there is a Palestinian state, it will be a launching pad for military adventures that will drown the Middle East in bloodshed.
If this is the opinion of a former American Senator from the other side of the planet, what should Israeli policy be?
This paper was published in English as ACPR's Policy Paper No. 74 in the book
ISRAEL AND A PALESTINIAN STATE: ZERO SUM GAME?, 2001
*Reprinted with permission from
A Palestinian State: Implications for
Security and American Policy,
Palestinian Children in the Post Oslo Era
In view of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and the obligations that the parties undertook to eliminate incitement and hatred, one would expect that the media and textbooks written for children in the Palestinian school system would be free of all hostile statements and prejudices against Jews, Zionism and Israel. Moreover, exactly as Israel has promoted in its schools since Oslo the values of peace, coexistence, sharing and partnership, it was hoped that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would act likewise.
The reality has shown quite the reverse. In the textbooks produced, sponsored or adopted by the PA in the years 1996-1998, anti-Jewish stereotypes, anti-Israeli and anti-Western statements of hatred seem as prevalent when compared with the textbooks obtained among Palestinian children during the years of Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza. But while prior to Oslo the Palestinians could claim that they had inherited those books from the Jordanian and Egyptian school systems, the new textbooks are all of Palestinian origin and they all date from the post-Oslo period.
This paper examines the official Palestinian attitudes and positions in three domains, all relevant to the perpetuation of hatred and hostility on the part of the Palestinian Authority towards Israel, and to the indoctrination of Palestinian youth and media in such an ominous way as to minimize the chance that these attitudes might be reversed in the future.
- Israel is systematically demonized, delegitimized and dehumanized, and the texts selected to educate the children leave no doubt as to the total rejection of the Jews and of Israel, now and in the future.
- As a measure of self-defense, and in an attempt to escape the painful reality of the success of the West and Israel in the real world, contrary to their derogation in the textbooks, the Palestinians embark on a campaign of self-aggrandizement that often mixes fantasy with reality.
- The Palestinian Authority not only negates its rivals but also positively imparts to its children the notions of
Jihad (Holy War) and Istishhad (Martyrdom) in order to instigate them to sacrifice their lives on the altar of Palestinian convictions and ambitions.
This paper was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 64
(together with paper no. 58), 1999 (Also published in the book
Israel and a Palestinian State: Zero Sum Game?), 2001
The Pogrom of 1929 and The Protected Jews Now
Seventy years ago, on August 24, 1929, the Arabs of Hebron committed a
pogrom in the small Jewish community of Hebron, murdering 67 men, women
trauma of this carnage is still with us. Two main components of the
Jewish society were completely taken by surprise.
The Zionist camp did not
envisage a Diaspora-type pogrom in Eretz Israel, and a typical
Eastern-Europe style pogrom it was. This did not fit into the
self-image of the "New Jew" the Zionists wanted to create. To be
involved as a warring party in a national struggle was one thing, to be
the passive victim of a massacre, was a different thing altogether.
The other segment of our
society, the so-called "Old Yishuv", the Jewish community in Eretz
Israel which preceded Zionism - some of them anti-Zionists, others
merely non-Zionists, were appalled to learn that they, not "the others",
had been chosen as targets. Did not they, who wanted to live as a
congregation rather than a sovereign state, do everything to demarcate
clearly this distinguishing line? Did not they even reject offers made
by the Zionists to protect their lives?
The brutal attacks mainly on
those congregations – in Hebron, Jerusalem and Safed – the slaughter of
Arab-speaking Jews, some of them friends and even business partners of
Arabs for hundreds of years, came as a stunning surprise.
Such was the impact, that
after the liberation of Hebron by the IDF, almost none of them returned
to the town.
It seems that all segments of
our society – Zionists on one hand and on the other hand ultra-religious
proto-Zionists, together with secularist post-Zionist "peaceniks" - did
not get the real message of Hebron -1929: For the Arabs all various
political, religious, cultural, shadings amongst us have no meaning at
all, they know only of Jews. Very often, these days, young Arab women
and men are caught, carrying long, sharp knives. In their confessions
they invariably admit to having set out "to kill Jews". Not soldiers,
settlers, Zionists or "extremist": Jews.
* * *
A most striking feature was
the unbelievable cruelty shown by the attackers, revealing a deep seated
hatred, without bounds. This raises a question, which unfortunately is
relevant even to day. Why? Why this consuming lust for our blood?
The Hebron pogromists killed
Ashkenazim and Sephardim, old-timers and newcomers, religious and
secular. No quarter was given even to those who sought protection with
friends and neighbors.
70 years later, a new
generation of would be "integrationists in the Orient" has come up among
us. They deride any attempt to learn from the past, as a paranoid
"Auschwitz Complex". Under their watchword "Peace is our Security" they
close both eyes to the ever recurring, ever resurgent urge to spill
Jewish blood. Learning the lessons of Kishinev-type pogroms, of Hebron
-1929, of the Holocaust, has become old fashioned, bothersome,
extremist, "politically incorrect".
Which brings us to the
conclusion, that it was a certain Jewish mentality which brought the
catastrophe upon the small Hebron community. This very same mentality
now threatens the existence of 5 million Jews in Eretz Israel. Not all
the Arab missiles, bombs and daggers constitute the main danger to our
existence, but our suicidal Jewish genetics. This is the cause of all
the destruction that ever befell us.
Tyranny in the Guise of Democracy (II)
In the period of what is sarcastically called a "peace process", Israel finds itself a society divided and torn between the Left and the so-called "Right"; between those who claim to be enlightened liberals and those who are "nationalist", religious or "ultra-orthodox" (Haredi).
The first side speaks in the name of democracy and sees the purpose of its existence in defending democracy from the "Rightist fascists" and the religious clerical "fundamentalists", who endanger democracy's existence by virtue of their being defined as such. The opposing side tries, in the best case, to defend and justify itself and in the worst case, it internalizes the allegation of its own undemocratic nature. The Left links the undemocratic nature of the "Right" to its attachment to Judaism. The "Right" tries to prove that there is no structural contradiction between Judaism and democracy or failing that, accepts an absolute distinction between the two. Thus it is forced to choose between continuing to attach itself to Judaism while giving up democracy, or giving up Judaism in order to be acceptable from the democratic viewpoint.
The inevitable result of this division is that the "Right" can only be doomed to sweeping defeat in their powerless attempt to struggle against the constant, unceasing, brutal aggression on the part of those who hold the ministerial portfolio of Democracy. The first defeat took place with the victory of the Oslo Process which is leading to the establishment of a terrorist state in the heart of the Land of Israel. The next defeat appearing on the horizon -- and it will definitely take place if there is not a change of direction -- is abolition of the Zionist and Jewish character of the State of Israel. That is, transformation of Israel into "a state of all its citizens".
Recently, the trend, both in academic literature and in practice, towards portraying democracy as a comprehensive alternative to the Jewish and Zionist character of the State of Israel is becoming more and more apparent. Thus, anti-Zionist and, essentially anti-democratic circles use the concept "democracy" in order to destroy the character of the Jewish state which was established through an arduous and bitter struggle in the wake of the Holocaust. In contrast to other historical instances in which the manipulation of democratic tools led to the destruction of democracy, in the present Israeli circumstance, anti-democratic forces which portray themselves as the personification of democracy, employ democracy in a manner which not only brings on its own destruction but the destruction of the State of Israel as well. Thus, in an extremely consistent manner, the flight of Jews from Judaism in the Land of Israel, in direct, overt cooperation with the declared enemies of the Jewish People, finds its cruel expression.
* This paper was written prior to the 1999 Israeli elections
and was published in English as the
ACPR's Policy Paper No. 84, 1999.
Israeli Revolution in Security Affairs
Elliot Cohen et al
The main problem the IDF
faced in planning to fight the Syrians was that conditions in the Golan
were not conducive to implementing Israel's traditional operational
concept, with its emphasis on early offensive action and the indirect
approach. The narrow front, the density of Syrian forces there, and the
depth of the Syrian fortifications built since the 1973 war limited
opportunities for maneuver and raised the possibility that a
breakthrough battle would be won only at the cost of unacceptable high
Israel devoted itself in the
1980s to developing equipment and methods to address what Israeli
military experts proclaimed to be a crisis created by a saturated
battlefield. The particular operational problems of a war on the Golan,
combined with the apparent potential of emerging military technologies,
spurred a debate about the continued efficacy of Israel's traditional
commitment to the offense versus the defense in war. The participants
in the debate fell into two camps: Traditionalists and reformers.
According to the traditionalists, as expressed by General Israel Tal,
Israel's singular adherence to offensive action was dictated by its
strategic circumstance and had stood the test of time. There was,
accordingly, no need for change.
On the other hand, the
reformers questioned the efficacy of offensive action and maneuver
warfare under conditions obtaining on the Golan. Under such conditions,
offensive operations focusing on a breakthrough battle could well result
in enormous casualties for Israel. The reformers thus offered and
alternative to the breakthrough battle. They proposed that the IDF
exploit new and emerging technologies - precision munitions, automated
command-and-control systems, and day/night target acquisition
capabilities - to create new war-fighting options for Israel.
Although the IDF could
continue to emphasize preemption, implementation of the latter approach
would entail a shift in emphasis from maneuver to fire, and from
offensive action to an active defense on the ground - at least during
the initial phase of a war.
FDR and the Jews – The Vision and the Reality
politician that the Jews of America adored above all others was
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose inauguration in 1933 occurred at
about the same time as the accession of Hitler and whose 12-year
administration coincided with the final agony of European Jewry as
ordered by the Fuhrer. Despite his many impressive accomplishments, not
the least being the indispensable support he extended to the British
during their "Finest Hour", Roosevelt, the darling of American Jewry,
steadfastly refused to lift a finger to save the Jews of Europe until he
was compelled to establish the (wholly inadequate and hobbled) War
Refugee Board late in the war. Presented with numerous opportunities to
throw a lifeline to the desperate Jews of Europe, as a practical matter
he availed himself of none. He would not rebuke Hitler by a diplomatic
and economic boycott or by forbidding American participation in the
Berlin Olympics. He would not admit Jewish children on an emergency
basis or utilize more than a fraction of the immigration quotas to save
Jewish lives once the war had begun. He refused admission to the United
States of escaping Jews who had reached American waters, some within
sight of the shore. He would not exercise his prerogatives under the
American-British Convention of 1924 or, simply, as the dominant partner
in the alliance with Britain to secure a safe-haven in the "Jewish
National Home" for Jews in imminent danger of annihilation. With one
paltry and grudging exception, he would not provide temporary shelters
to Jews in the United States or its possessions, nor would he oblige the
British to do so in their far-flung empire. He would not order the
bombing of Auschwitz, the gassing of Germans, or air-drops to Jews
revolting in Warsaw or elsewhere. In short, instead of demonstrating in
some tangible way, a concern for the lives of Jews, he sent an
altogether different message to Hitler and the rest of the world,
namely, that the Jews were, indeed, expendable.
Peninsula – A Theatre of War
times during the last 50 years, the Sinai Peninsula has been a war
front between Israel and Egypt. During this period many military
lessons had been learned, particularly in logistics, air power and
ground operations. Maintaining an armed force in the desert had always
been a difficult task. The distance between the armies, the natural
physical conditions and the demands of armored warfare complicated the
military moves of both sides.
need to find and destroy the enemy in the large empty spaces of the
desert, while controlling the main junctures, passes and airfields, had
an additional effect on air force and ground troops movements.
This article examines the
lessons drawn from the Sinai experience and will review the build-up of
the two armies.
The Israeli army transformed
from an infantry army to a modern, fast and powerful army, based on
well-trained and experienced units and air force.
In 1955, the Egyptian army
changed its British equipment and was supplied by Eastern European
countries. In the late 1970s, it switched yet again to western arms,
this time elaborate new American weapons along with some French
During the 1956 and 1967
wars, the Egyptians occupied the Sinai and had a military infrastructure
to assist them. After the Six Day War in 1967 the Israelis occupied the
Sinai, had access to the military infrastructure and improved it, using
it also in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
For the past 20 years,
following the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt there has existed
no military infrastructure in most of the Sinai.
The last part of the article
examines the main factors which may influence the next war in the Sinai
– should it occur.
These factors include the
control of airfields and important roads and routes, as well as
deployment of ground troops, operations in the Red Sea and the Suez
Canal and identification of the various armed vehicles traveling in the
Yitzhak Rabin: "Palestine Will Rise Upon the Ruins of Israel"
The political process transpiring in the Middle East since the Madrid Conference (November 1991), and with greater intensity since the signing of the Oslo Accords (September 1993), is referred to by many as "the peace process". Its essential characteristic, as defined by American Presidents Bush and Clinton, is the principle of "territory for peace". In other words, it is incumbent upon Israel, the sole democracy in the Semitic domain, which occupies 1/500 of the area occupied by the Arab countries, to relinquish the one commodity which it is lacking
- territory. The Arab tyrannies, on the other hand, are being asked to deliver in return the sole commodity of which they have none
- peace. Consequently, from the State of Israel's perspective, a radical step is being recommended; one which is liable to bring Israel to the threshold of peril, as the withdrawal to the l967 borders or to their proximity, will restore Israel to the situation from which it was forced to launch a preemptive strike in order to free itself from the "Auschwitz borders" (as Abba Eban characterized them at the time).
Thus, Israel is the first country in history defeated by terrorism which was transformed from being a tactical nuisance to a strategic threat. The establishment of a Palestinian state on the outskirts of Tel Aviv is designed to serve as a springboard for the destruction of the Jewish state. This is the open, declared intention of the Arab world as it manifests itself in the "phased plan" adopted by the Palestinian National Council in its session in Cairo in June l974. The plan was ratified by the Arab League (at the initiative of the then President of Egypt, Anwar el-Sadat), and consequently it obligates all league members.
In Oslo, the Israeli government signed an agreement with a "criminal organization" - as defined then and now by Israeli law - which was, at the time of the signing and remains today, committed to the destruction of the State of Israel as defined by its name: the "Palestine Liberation Organization"; by its constitution, "The Palestinian Charter"; by its political platform, "the phased plan" which portrays the state as a springboard for the destruction of Israel by the Arab countries; by the constitution of Fateh which is the dominant element in the nascent Palestinian state and its anticipated ruling party; and also by its emblem, which is a map of the entire western Land of Israel with no trace of Israel.
Therefore, immediately upon its establishment, the Palestinian state will act according to its constitutional, political and religious commitments. The first four steps which will be taken by "Palestine" upon its establishment will be to:
- Set its borders to correspond with the 1949 cease fire lines (the June 4, 1967 borders).
- Sign military cooperation agreements with the Arab countries in order to facilitate the "phased plan" and to draft a regular army.
- Execute a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
- Take steps towards the implementation of UN resolutions 181 (partition borders) and 194 which obligates Israel to repatriate the 1948 war refugees.
It is worth noting that the Palestinian state will be the beneficiary of massive support from the international community for sections 1, 3 and 4 as the "partition borders" are the only borders recognized by the UN. Furthermore, the UN declared that the Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, therefore defining the settlers as "war criminals" and, repeatedly sanctions the 1948 refugees' "right of return". As for section 2, the Israeli contention that Israel will demand the demilitarization of the Palestinian state is not only without foundation in international law, but, practically, even if it so desired, Israel lacks the capability to enforce it.
The return to the 1967 borders will effect a series of failures, among them: The loss of 70 percent of the water supply in a semi-arid state; loss of strategic assets in Judea, Samaria and the Golan resulting in the concurrent loss of its nuclear deterrence; loss of American support; Israel has already been transformed from a strategic asset to a "political liability"; loss of the national
raison d'état since the willingness to relinquish Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria the cradle of the Hebrew nation and the very foundation of Zionism will empty Zionism of its content; loss of an opportunity to establish an Israel-India-Turkey axis which might have rendered impotent the most dangerous development in the geo-strategic alignment: Muslim hegemony in the Middle East. Each of the above failures, standing alone, poses a serious threat, in tandem they will position Israel on the threshold of oblivion.
This article was published in English as the ACPR's Policy Paper No. 73, 2000
(Also included in the book ISRAEL AND A PALESTINIAN STATE: ZERO SUM GAME?, 2001)
Destruction of the Soul
Jewish self-hatred takes
many forms. One of its most fascinating manifestations is
"anti-Semitism motivated by love". This primarily typified various
Zionist authors and philosophers such as Yehuda Leib Gordon, Avraham
Schwadron, David Frishman, Chaim Brenner, Micha Yossef Berdichevsky and
many others. Their intentions were good, that is, the portrayal of the
Diaspora as Judaism’s greatest tragedy. Frishman: A Jew’s life "is a
dog’s life…arousing revulsion"; Berdichevsky: "A non-nation, a
non-people, non-human"; Brenner: "Gypsies, dogs, filth, mire and
repulsiveness, rotten egg, non-human, wounded dogs…" etc., etc. A.D.
Gordon: "Parasites, inherently defective people", etc.; citations from
Avraham Schwardron’s recent articles: "Helots, slaves, the lowest form
of impurity, worms. Rubbish and filth, muck, parasitic detachedness,
slave and dog", etc., etc. Marking the Histadrut Labor Union’s holiday,
the newspaper of the workers’ movement, Davar, published a
headline in large letters with vowels: "Renaissance of the Nation,
Renewal of the Parasite Nation…" This repetition of the classic
anti-Semitic stigmas is, as mentioned above, an expression of profound
self-hatred which even poisons the soul of the Jew in his own land, and
constutes what Yehezkel Kaufman refers to in the title of this article,
"The Destruction of the Soul".