There is Life
Without a Solution
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
Those who support the
establishment of a Palestinian state condition their agreement upon:
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
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
Israel: The Jew
Alan M. Dershowitz
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.
"Sulh" Do Not Mean "Peace"
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
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.
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.
Israeli Arabs: To
Whom Do They Pledge Allegiance?
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
The accelerated growth of Islamic
fundamentalism in general and in Israel in particular
The Palestinization of Israeli-Arabs’ civic
identity and the Arabization of their political identity
Demographic trends that indicate a growing
preponderance of Palestinians between the Mediterranean Sea and the
Jordan River, driving Palestinian territorial expansion and
The concerted efforts of Israeli-Arab
leadership to abolish the Jewish-Zionist character of Israel
The unequivocal demand to be recognized as a
national minority with national rights, such as cultural and
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
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
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.
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
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
The Palestinian Security Forces:
Capabilities and Effects on the Arab-Israeli Military Balance (II)
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.
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