Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)




A Journal of Politics and the Arts Volume 15 Number 2 (85) ■  March 2002

Table of Contents

Current Affairs Digest

The Editor and His Guests: "That Shitty Little Country Called Israel" – Anti-Semitism by Default Yoram Ettinger – What Motivates President Bush Shlomo Sharan – What is a Jewish-Democratic State? Raya Epstein – A Jewish Democratic State and the Kinneret Convention David Bukay – "The Little Foxes that Spoiled the Vineyard" Shmuel Katz – Spread the Word ■ Fuad Ajami – Arabs Have Nobody to Blame But Themselves ■ Joseph Farah – Bin Laden Has Won ■ Yitzhak Segal – The Politics of the Supreme Court's Decisions ■ Netta Kohn Dor-Shav – Shahid: A Ritual of Sex and Death


There is Life Without a Solution

Elyakim Ha'etzni

Israel: The Jew Among Nations

Alan M. Dershowitz

"Hudna" and "Sulh" Do Not Mean "Peace"

Moshe Sharon

Israeli Arabs: To Whom Do They Pledge Allegiance?

Atalia Ben-Meir

Teach Them to Hate: The Use of Palestinian Children - A Legal and Political Analysis (II)

 Justus Reid Weiner

The Palestinian Security Forces: Capabilities and Effects on the Arab-Israeli Military Balance (II)

Gal Luft


Four Remarks on Strategy


The Murder of the Diplomats in Khartoum by Order of Arafat

Ideological Debate: The Ariel Center and The Israeli Left - Edited by Yona Hadari (Part VI)

The Tireless Negotiation and Search for Co-Existence is a Must

Anita Shapira

Chamberlain: "If Only Hitler had Kept His Promises..."

Ezra Sohar

Peace is Peace is Peace

Anita Shapira

Response to Anita Shapira

Yona Hadari

The Arts


Yoram Beck Yosef Brodsky Rami Ditzany Elisheva Gal Oded Mizrahi
Sergey Yesenin

Book Reviews

Haim Misgav on A Guide to the Wounded Dove by Yossi Beilin Moshe Yegar on Israeli-Romanian Relations in the Era of Ceaucescu by Yosef Govrin


Homage to Moshe Shamir

Subscribers of Nativ Speak to the Editor: Invitation to a Forum

Letters to the Editor: Ro’i Moran Hillel Weiss


Selected Summaries


There is Life Without a Solution

Elyakim Ha'etzni

The political outcome to which we should aspire is the dismemberment of the Palestinian Authority because this body personifies two terminal demands upon the very existence of the Jewish state: The “right of return” for all the Arab refugees and the demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Western Eretz Israel. Negotiations are possible solely with local bodies and can only refer to the search for a modus vivendi, neither “peace” nor a “solution”.

Those who support the establishment of a Palestinian state condition their agreement upon:

a.  Demilitarization.
b.   A prohibition on signing military treaties.
c.  Supervision over the exploitation of the mountain aquifer.
d.  Supervision over the border crossings.
e.   Control over the air space above the Palestinian state.

No Palestinian government will ever honor these restrictions, but without them life in Israel will become a nightmare.

The Arabs are unable to conclude a European peace, aside from “Hudaibiya”-style agreements, which they are commanded to violate at the first opportunity. Therefore we have to return to a life without agreement and without “solution”, life in the midst of a conflict.

Paradoxically, the internalization of the absence of peace may produce psychological alleviation, and realization that the Jewish state was not created to spare the need to fight, but to provide the capability to do so.

The sole possible model for a modus vivendi is autonomy.

Autonomy will not arise under an agreement. It will emerge de facto, not de jure, but gradually and in a modular fashion. Those who would take part in its implementation need not assume political responsibility.

It is the Israeli Knesset that will legislate autonomy for the Arab residents, retaining security (aside from internal policing), foreign affairs, basic infrastructure and supervision over entry and departure at international boundaries.

The residents of the Autonomy will elect for their home rule, not vote for the Knesset. Their national voting will be in the country of their citizenship which is Trans-Jordan – the Hashemite Kingdom or a Palestinian Republic.

The boundaries of the Autonomy will be fixed to encompass the majority of the Arab population, not according to the “Green Line” or the Oslo A-C areas. Arabs detached from the Autonomy will have the option of receiving Israeli citizenship, according to the east Jerusalem model.

To solve the problems of the Arab refugees and the problem of the increasing population density, resources in land and finance located outside the area of western Eretz Israel are essential. The Gaza strip is overcrowded, whereas the areas of northern Sinai are empty. The empty expanses of Jordan belong organically to the political and economic context of the Palestinians.

And yet, a realistic response to the question “What is your solution?” is the continuation of Zionist praxis by unilateral action.

Zeev Jabotinsky, in his famous article “The Iron Wall”, saw this 68 years ago:

One cannot dream of a voluntary agreement between us and the Arabs over the Land of Israel... When every crack in the iron wall will be sealed, then will influence pass to more moderate groups...the only way to attain an agreement in the future is to totally abandon any attempt to reach an agreement in the present.


Published in English as ACPR's Policy Paper No. 135, 2002


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Israel: The Jew Among Nations

Alan M. Dershowitz

In order to assess the status of Israel in the international community, it may be useful to look at the Middle East’s only democracy as “the Jew” among nations. Privately admired for its pioneering spirit, intelligence, aggressiveness and tenacity, the State of Israel has been publicly condemned as racist, militant, xenophobic, uncompromising, authoritarian and stiff-necked. During its century-long struggle for nationhood and survival – following millenia of forced dispersion and exile – the modern pre-state (yishuv) and state (medina) of Israel has been far from perfect in its adherence to its own professed elevated values and those of international law, human rights and civil liberties (hereinafter described collectively as “the rule of law”). But it is the thesis of this essay that no nation in the history of the world which has faced comparable threats to its survival – both external and internal – has ever made greater efforts at, and has ever come closer to, achieving the high norms of the rule of law. Yet no civilized nation in the history of the world – including totalitarian and authoritarian regimes – has ever been as repeatedly, unfairly and hypocritically condemned and criticized by the international community as Israel has been over the years. The net result is that the gulf between Israel’s actual record of compliance with the rule of law and its perceived record of compliance with the rule of law is greater than for any other nation. The underlying reason for this misleading gulf is that Israel’s imperfections – and there are many – have been greatly exaggerated by large segments of the international community, the media, the academic world and public opinion, while the comparative imperfections of other countries – indeed sometimes their absolute perfections in the destruction of the rule of law – have been minimized.


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"Hudna" and "Sulh" Do Not Mean "Peace"

Moshe Sharon

The war of terror, which has been waged against Israel since October 2000, has brought again to the fore simple facts, which the government of Israel, as well as most of the media, refuse to understand and face boldly. The facts are derived from one truth which should be presented in the clearest words possible: the Arab-Moslem strategic decision has always been, and will always remain, the destruction of the State of Israel, and the annihilation of its Jewish population. The Palestinians are the spearhead of this Arab-Moslem long-term strategy, and terror has been chosen as the method to weaken Israel by spreading in it defeatist feelings, and loss of self confidence.

One of the tactical weapons in the overall plan of the materialization of this strategy is also the exploitation of the general sincere hope and yearning for peace in the Israeli public. The Arabs have long ago discovered that it is enough to use this word “peace” in English or its equivalents in Hebrew and other European languages (but not in Arabic) in order to win to their side almost any public. Nobody has asked them to explain what they mean or compelled them to act according to the simple message of the word among civilized people. The Arabs have learned to make good use of the term “peace” – they would sign any document and distribute any promise knowing that in return for meaningless words they would achieve real territorial and other strategic gains and improve their positions on the ground from which an attack on Israel can be carried out with more deadly success.

To make things look “genuine” and to impress the fools of Israel and Europe, three words are used by the Arabs who use three Arabic words for their war and peace, and these three words sum up their aim and policy: jihad, hudnah, and sulh. Any one who knows anything about Islam understands their true meaning.

Jihad is a holy war against the infidels – namely the Jews (later against the Christian too). It is war, and killing, and nothing else; but the Moslem propagandists speaking to the delicate European ear sells the story that it is not a real war but a metaphorical expression. This is a lie. Jihad is a holy war and the Islamic Jihad is nothing less than an organization of murder. The person killed in the jihad is a martyr – shahid, who goes directly to heaven to enjoy food, drink, and sex. The killing of a Jew, any Jew – man, woman or child, is regarded as holy war.

The second word is sulh. Sulh is not peace. It is an agreement, which Islam bestows upon the vanquished enemy. The Moslem side decides the terms of the sulh, and it can be reached only after the enemy has capitulated, and raised the white flag

The third word is hudnah. Hudnah is concluded only between the Moslems and non-Moslems, when the Moslem side feels itself, at a certain point, too weak to carry on the jihad. The aim of the hudnah – cessation of hostilities for a limited period – is to gain time in order to strengthen the Moslem military capability, and restart the war from a better condition. Hudnah also aims at tranquilizing the enemy to believe that it has achieved peace, and catch him off guard. The Islamic side can abolish the hudnah at will even before the time of expiry, if it feels strong enough to resume the war. Yet hudnah is the only possible relation of no-war with the non-Moslems. But for this, the enemy must be very strong. Only its strength justifies the postponement of its destruction through jihad.

The Arabs, as Moslems, and of course Arafat, build on the ignorance of the Israelis, on the one hand and on their dreams of peace on the other in order to sell them the poison of death in the wrapping of “peaceful jihad”, “sulh peace” and “hudnah ceasefire”. Sulh is not peace and hudnah is no unconditional armistice. The only condition which compels the Muslims to keep the hudnah is the their conviction that the enemy is too strong to allow the renewal of war. Weakness of the enemy encourages the resumption of jihad.


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Israeli Arabs: To Whom Do They Pledge Allegiance?

Atalia Ben-Meir

After the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the world looked at the Arab-Israel conflict through the prism of the David versus Goliath paradigm, Israel as David and the Arabs as Goliath. Since the Six Day War the world has continued to regard the conflict through the prism of the David versus Goliath paradigm, but has reversed the roles. This paper argues that viewing the Israeli-Arab conflict through this paradigm obscures the facts, distorts the true picture and leads to faulty conclusions.

For decades, Israeli leadership was convinced that Israeli Arabs had undergone an Israelization process, characterized by intensified involvement with the State of Israel and a diminishing Palestinian identity. Reality has upset their whole frame of reference. A survey conducted in the year 2000 demonstrated the steep decline in the identification with Israel, plummeting from 38.4% in 1996 to 11% while identification as Palestinians soared to 74% from 46.4%. In tandem with this process, the demarcation between realization of civil rights for Arabs within Israel and the national struggle of the Palestinians in the territories has gradually blurred. The ultimate result has been the adoption of an agenda that is incompatible with Israeli citizenship but congruent with the Palestinian Authority’s political and territorial goals. This agenda is reflected in the following processes, where each one and all together imperil the continued existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish-Zionist state:

  1. The accelerated growth of Islamic fundamentalism in general and in Israel in particular

  2. The Palestinization of Israeli-Arabs’ civic identity and the Arabization of their political identity

  3. Demographic trends that indicate a growing preponderance of Palestinians between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, driving Palestinian territorial expansion and contiguity

  4. The concerted efforts of Israeli-Arab leadership to abolish the Jewish-Zionist character of Israel

  5. The unequivocal demand to be recognized as a national minority with national rights, such as cultural and institutional autonomy

  6. The unqualified support Israeli Arabs, citizens of the State of Israel, grant the Palestinian Authority and its territorial goals, irrespective of the jeopardy to the existence of Israel.

Islamic fundamentalism regards the very existence of Israel within the Islamic world, as an existential battle between Islam and Judaism. This problem has been compounded in modern times by the investment of holiness to Palestine and to Jerusalem. Within this worldview there is no room for accommodation; therefore, territorial concessions, regardless of their generosity, do not have the capacity to resolve this conflict.

In the 1990s the predominant political trend within the Arab community was to establish “pure” Arab political parties that propound the establishment of a Palestinian state. To this effect, Israeli Arabs formulated the ideology of “two nations two states”. Their attitude to the State of Israel resonates in the statement made by MK Ahmed Tibi: “I believe that the Palestinian people have to struggle against the occupation and it is the obligation of each Israeli Arab to say "yes’ to the Palestinian struggle.”

Another linchpin in their policy is the transformation of Israel into a “state of all its citizens” and the granting of autonomy to Israeli Arabs. These demands create a zero sum game, whereby Israel recognizes Palestinians as a national entity with the right to self-determination in a Palestinian state and autonomy in Israel, while Jews, who do not constitute a nation, have no national rights, including the right for self-determination in a Jewish state. Capitulation would disenfranchise Jews and precipitate a train of events that could lead to the fragmentation of Israel, sow the seeds of a bi-national state and encourage irredentist aspirations.

The accelerated growth of the Palestinian population constitutes both a demographic and a geographic threat. The implementation of the “right of return” will further exacerbate the situation, as repatriation of millions of refugees will demographically overwhelm Israel. This demographic dimension translates into widespread non-Jewish territorial expansion and the creation of Palestinian trans-border territorial contiguity, giving momentum to the demand for autonomy, initially cultural and institutional, and ultimately territorial and national.

Although one of the primary socio-economic disparities does indeed exist between Jews and Arabs, neither poverty nor inequality is exclusive to Arabs. Inequality and polarization are endemic to Israeli society at large, the rich-poor gap growing from year to year. The great divide is not Jew-Arab but rather ethnic and geographical. Nonetheless, Israeli governments have expended substantial efforts in the past years to bridge the gaps between the Jewish and Arab sectors, increasing budget allocations in all spheres.

The al-Aqsa Intifada within the “Green Line” has forced the Jewish citizens of Israel to make a reevaluation of the future of their relationship with the Arabs. They have begun to realize that the Israel-Arab conflict transcends territorial and equalization issues, but rather relates to the core existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, Western and modern state in the heart of the Arab world.


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Teach Them to Hate:
The Use of Palestinian Children - A Legal and Political Analysis (II)

Justus Reid Weiner

Watching the television coverage of the daily Palestinian riots, known as the Al-Aqsa intifada, one is immediately struck by the near total absence of adults. Indeed, most of those hurling Molotov cocktails and stones are teenagers; many are even younger. Intoxicated by the challenge of becoming a hero, lacking the maturity to calculate the dangers they are assuming, these young people are easily motivated to place themselves in harm’s way.

Media reports highlighting the instances in which Palestinian children have been killed or injured by Israeli troops or policemen have generated much criticism of Israeli policies. The Palestinian leadership has attempted to convince the international community of the need to dispatch a contingent of international observers to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, ostensibly to protect the Palestinians from the depredations of the IDF.

The presence of rioting Palestinian children is not accidental. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has intentionally mobilized Palestinian children to man the front line in its struggle against Israel, frequently using them as shields to protect Palestinian gunmen. This mobilization of Palestinian youth has, moreover, been facilitated by the long-term impact of PA curricula, government-controlled media, and summer camp programs, which indoctrinated the youth for armed confrontation with Israel even prior to the current crisis.

The utilization of children in armed conflicts has been increasingly condemned by the international community. It is barred by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recent UN Security Council Resolution 1261, which specifically described the use of children as soldiers as a “violation of international law”. International law broadly attempts to protect children from the horrors of armed conflict. Jean Pictet, in the official Red Cross commentary on article 28, notes that the use of civilians (of any age) as shields has been condemned as cruel and barbaric.

Moreover, the Palestinian leadership, in a classic case of bad faith, accuses Israel of committing human rights violations for the fatalities, while evading its own responsibility for the orchestrated appearance of children in the front lines of the conflict. This constitutes a cynical exploitation of human rights concerns. While the PA is not formally bound by international human rights conventions, it nonetheless is required by the Oslo agreements, which PA Chairman Yasser Arafat signed, to honor “internationally accepted norms of human rights and the rule of law”.

The new Palestinian violence undermines not only the spirit of the Oslo peace process but its raison d’ętre – to resolve differences through negotiation rather than violence. The problem of incitement to violence has been repeatedly addressed in the interim peace agreements. However, none of the anti-incitement provisions in the interim peace agreements, each one signed by Arafat, has been honored in practice.

The message from the top, from PA Chairman Arafat, is unequivocal. Arafat ruthlessly encourages the involvement of Palestinian children in violence, referring to them as “the generals of the rocks” and boasting after the IDF attack on Fateh offices, “[the attack] cannot shake one eyelash of a Palestinian child holding a stone to defend holy Jerusalem.” Arafat plays to their pride; he would have them believe they are “generals” and heroes when they function as cannon-fodder in the media campaign to discredit Israel.

According to international law, in particular Article 43 of the Hague Regulations of 1907, Israel is obliged to ensure public order and safety in the areas it occupied in self-defense in the Six-Day War of 1967. This means that Israel must carry out necessary security measures in response to the widespread shooting and stoning that has characterized the Al-Aqsa intifada. The force employed by the IDF in response to these complex and dangerous confrontations is not indiscriminate. Nor is it intended to harm the Palestinian youths. Rather the goal is to restore safety on the highways and other locations where violence has been instigated. IDF regulations make every effort to avoid incurring unnecessary casualties. Any soldiers who violate the rules of engagement are subject to investigation, disciplinary trial and, in serious cases, court-martial, as well they should be.

It is unquestionably a tragedy when children fall victim to the Al-Aqsa intifada, but the blame does not rest with the IDF. The tragic reality is that children, often of primary school age, man the intifada’s first line of offense. Thus, it is not the IDF, but rather the Palestinian leadership, which should ultimately be held responsible for the injury and death among their rioting children.


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The Palestinian Security Forces:
Capabilities and Effects on the Arab-Israeli Military Balance (II)

Gal Luft

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, under the guise of an innocent police force, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has created a military organization with noteworthy fighting capabilities which could pose a significant military challenge to Israel in the event of a full-scale military confrontation. The army of the PA is presently a complex, multifaceted apparatus consisting of at least a dozen different branches with overlapping responsibilities. The proliferation of security apparatuses was a manifestation of Yasser Arafat’s style of leadership during the peace process period, but with the outbreak of the second intifada, the PA has confronted many problems in the application of military force due to the cumbersome nature of its security apparatus.

The intifada has also created a false perception in Israel and the world about the PA’s real military capabilities, since the forefront units of the Palestinian military, the National Security Forces have, so far, been excluded from the fighting. These units, the most capable part of the PA’s military apparatus, should be counted on to confront Israel if the conflict escalates.

This paper examines the milestones in the buildup of the Palestinian armed forces, their structure and organization, weapons, capabilities and tactics. It describes the peculiar nature of the relations between Arafat and his lieutenants and the complex relations between the Palestinian security services and the plethora of paramilitary forces that have emerged during the second intifada such as Tanzim, the Popular Resistance Committees and the al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has met the Palestinian security services in battle in at least three major rounds of violence since 1994. In all of these engagements, the PA’s security services, despite their rudimentary image, proved that they have sufficient capacity to become one of Israel’s most challenging adversaries. What remains unclear is what would be their role in the context of a wider regional conflict between Israel and an Arab coalition. The paper concludes that in such an event, the presence of a Palestinian army west of the Jordan River would change the existing Arab-Israeli military balance and introduce new operational as well as psychological challenges which deserve serious care.

Published in English as ACPR's Policy Paper No. 131, 2001


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