The Contribution of Marine Power to Israeli Deterrence in the Future
Reuven Pedatzur and David Shiek
The totality of sea-based (fire from beyond
the horizon) and land-based (surface-to-surface missiles) threats
confronting Israel combined with its lack of strategic territorial depth,
enhance the significance of strategic maritime depth, as the navy provides
the dual advantages of mobility (especially with missile boats) and
durability (especially with submarines). However, at present, Israeli
naval superiority (its domination of the seas and the technological gap in
its favor) in the eastern Mediterranean Basin is in danger as a result of
the augmentation of the Arab navies, endangering Israel’s plans to utilize
its strategic marine depth for a “second strike” capacity which would
upgrade Israel’s deterrence capability.
The strategic infrastructure of the navy
today, based on the Sa’ar 5 missile boats and the Dolphin submarines,
enables the navy to carry out its traditional missions of protecting the
country’s shores and standard sailing routes, along with attack and
intimidation capabilities on our enemies’ navies and docks, and on the
other hand, to develop a strategy in which the navy would constitute the
“long arm” of the IDF in the era of surface-to-surface missiles, in
support or in place of air and ground forces.
The 2002 budget allotment to the navy did
not increase, indicating that the decision to integrate the navy into the
strategic deterrence alignment has not yet been taken by the defense
establishment. The need to find deterrent solutions stems from the
assessment that over the coming decade, Iran and perhaps Iraq, will
acquire the ballistic nuclear capability to strike targets in Israel,
forcing the country’s leaders to make decisive determinations which will
bring about a reversal in the IDF battle philosophy and the place and the
role of the naval force within that philosophy.
In this article, we will attempt to analyze
the relative strength of the navy vis-à-vis the Arab navies, the
structure of the Israeli naval force, the capabilities necessary in the
naval battlefield of the future and the strategic threats confronting the
State of Israel which mandate the full integration of the navy in the
context of a new strategic approach in response to these threats.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
On August 4, 1998, Iran launched the Shihab-3, a
17-ton medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), capable of carrying a
1.2-ton payload an estimated 1,300 kilometers. Only eighteen months
before, a senior US intelligence official had told Congress that Iran
might take as long as ten years to acquire a missile with such a long
range. After the test launch, the US government recognized that “the
Shihab-3 significantly alters the military equation in the Middle East by
giving Tehran the capability to strike targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia,
and most of Turkey.”
The Shihab-3 became operational in early 2000. Iran’s
development of the Shihab-3 is significant for two reasons. First, it
gives Iran a delivery system capable of striking every important US ally
in the region, including Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. Second, the system was
clearly designed to deliver weapons of mass destruction. Iran currently
has active programs to develop nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC)
weapons. Although many of these programs began in the early 1980s, during
Iran’s long war with Iraq, the pace of development significantly
accelerated in the early 1990s.
Iran’s efforts to develop these weapons are having a
significant impact on the strategic environment in the entire Middle East.
In addition to undermining international nonproliferation norms, these
programs pose a direct military threat to US friends and allies in the
region and to US military forces deployed there. Significantly, the
Iranians appear to have accelerated their work on NBC weapons and
associated delivery systems in recent years. Some analysts appear to
believe that Iran would use its NBC weapons and missiles only if the
survival of the regime were in question. Unfortunately, the limited
available evidence calls into question that thesis. Iran’s storage of
chemical weapons on Abu Musa, an island in the Persian Gulf off the coast
of Dubai, suggests that Tehran would use such weapons long before the
regime’s security was in doubt.
The development of NBC weapons and associated
delivery systems has significant support in Iran. George Tenet, director
of Central Intelligence, noted this in testimony to Congress earlier this
year: “[Iran’s] reformists and conservatives agree on at least one thing:
weapons of mass destruction are a necessary component of defense and a
NBC Weapons Programs
Iran’s progress in developing NBC capabilities varies
considerably from program to program. Lack of money, difficulties in
integrating complex programs, and constraints imposed by Western
technology-transfer controls have slowed the programs. The chemical
weapons program appears considerably more advanced than the nuclear and
biological programs. Although Iran has made considerable progress in
developing ballistic missiles, it is less clear that it has developed
missile delivery systems for its existing chemical or biological agents.
Nevertheless, unless significant changes occur in Iran, it is only a
matter of time before Iran has an effective arsenal with deliverable
nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capable of reaching Israel and
other US allies in the region.
Peace Mirage: Legal Perspectives
The Oslo Agreements signed between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority in 1993 were made with a view to enhance “a just,
lasting and comprehensive peace”. Yet, since their coming into effect, the
Middle East has witnessed not peace, but violence of the worst kind in
This article focuses on the rule of law
which must be observed within the legal regime of parties to peace
agreements, as a pre-condition to peaceful co-existence among them. In the
absence of the necessary legal framework, all efforts to achieve peace
will, at best, buy a temporary armistice, but be rendered futile in the
This article first analyzes the Arab-Israeli conflict
from the international law perspective. It shows that public international
law does not, and indeed cannot, offer a solution. This does not mean that
there is no peaceful solution that both Israelis and Arabs would find
a solution requires political will as well as a serious law reform, some
main aspects of which are analyzed in the article.
The Qa`Adan Verdict and the Question of Civil National Equality in the
The verdict regarding the settlement of Qatsir is
perhaps the most important of the verdicts ever handed down by the Supreme
Court in recent years. It considered the clash between the policy of
Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel and the demand of a member of the
Arab minority to be accepted into a settlement that was founded by the
Jewish Agency. This clash was not considered directly in the judgment.
The majority opinion, voiced by the President of the Israeli Supreme
Court, Aharon Barak, does not decide the issue directly. The majority
opinion determined two principles: First, separate allocation of plots of
land for Jewish and Arab settlement is necessarily discriminatory and
illegal. Second, the principle of equality and the prohibition of
“discrimination” flows entirely from the principles of the State of Israel
as a Jewish state.
In this article, the author attempts to formulate a
critique of the judgment from several points of view:
President Barak’s disregarding of the specific
purposes of the Law of the Israel Lands Administration.
How does a man who has not served in the IDF bear
the burden of protecting the settlement of Qatsir?
Why do members of the majority group not have the
right to reside separately, for the sake of cultivating their way of
life and their culture? This question is sharpened in view of Israel’s
self-definition as “a Jewish and democratic state”. This is said,
presumably, to make it possible for Jews to live a full Jewish life in
Further on in the article, it is shown that President
Barak’s judgment deviates sharply from previous rulings that were
determined by the Supreme Court, which tried to strike a balance between
the principle of equality and other principles or interests. The principal
criticism is directed toward the determination that the principle of
equality flows from the Jewish character of the State. This position
derives from President Barak’s conception of “the Jewish State” as meant
to express only the universal values embodied in Judaism and Zionism. It
is argued that this position distorts the balance made by the Legislator,
by his anchoring particularistic Jewish-Zionist values to
democratic-universal values. The most profound argument is that the
recognition by the Court of the supremacy of Basic Laws, which anchor
Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state, means that every law
must be interpreted in light of the Basic Laws, and the Basic Laws must be
interpreted on the basis of themselves and in light of the values that
they are meant to support, rather than on the basis of values external to
The most important argument of all is that the
judgment constitutes a dangerous shift toward the model of “a state of
all its citizens”, in which the national interests of the Jewish people
are not considered legitimate goals, so that the State may use force to
promote them. Even if on the rhetorical level, the decision-maker denies
the change after all, qualitatively the judgment involved a significant
order, which indicates a dangerous future trend.
In conclusion, the argument is considered that the
model of ethnic democracy, in which there is equality among all the
State’s citizens, but not between all its ethnic groups, is the model that
presents an alternative worthy of the new tendency of the Supreme Court.
This model is the best synthesis which combines the values of Israel as a
Jewish state and its values as a democratic state.
France, Zionism and
Despite some favorable periods, throughout much of
the history of modern Zionism, France has acted in an unsympathetic and
even hostile manner towards the Jewish state and Zionism. Some of the more
flagrant examples of this are when the popular French daily Liberation
called the brillant and life-saving Entebbe rescue mission in 1976
“Israeli terrorism”. In the same period the then Prime Minister of France,
Jacques Chirac made provisions to supply Saadam-Hussein’s Iraq a nuclear
reactor which was destroyed in 1981 by the IDF.
Little has changed as the French media and
politicians frequently berate the beseiged Jewish democracy. While the
French Jewish community produced – and continues to do so – some laudable
Jewish nationalists, it has, as well, contributed individual Jews and
organizations that have led the way in attacks on Israel and Zionism. This
tendancy was noted early by Theodore Herzl who polemicized against the “Alliance
Israelite” and other elements of French Jewry. More recently a good
number of French Jewish intellectuals have lambasted Israel and the
Zionist ideology, which only encourages non-Jews to follow in their path.
Genocide in Sudan and the World’s Silence
Prolonged civil war and systematic persecution of the
Christian and Animist minorities in Muslim-majority Sudan have been
largely ignored by the global community. Yet the hostilities still
continue. The term genocide is used freely in reference to Rwanda or
Bosnia, but although it is estimated that 2 million non-Muslims have been
killed in Sudan, the world hesitates to call this genocide.
This paper discusses the background to the conflict
and how the minorities in Sudan have become victims of genocide, while the
world remains ignorant of their plight. It will also analyze how the
country has changed through a process of Islamization and introduction of
Sharia or Islamic law, which gives non-Muslims a subjugated
“protected” status of dhimmi. It is the imposition of Sharia
law which triggered the second outbreak of civil war in 1983. This
implementation of Sharia means that it is legal to execute
apostates from Islam and to impose the severe hadd punishments, for
example, the amputation of a hand for stealing. In practice, the
non-Muslims suffer more from these Islamic punishments, partly because the
Christians are so poor that they are driven to theft, and partly because
Muslims usually have influential relatives who can exert pressure to
prevent severe punishments.
The 1973 Constitution was suspended in 1989 after the
military coup which brought Omar al Bashir to power. The government is
effectively controlled by a small group of men of the National Islamic
Front who rule by military force and political decree. Until 1999, the
main architect of the regime’s Islamist policy was Hassan Turabi. His aim
was to make Sudan an Islamic center to rival Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the
“cleansing” of Sudan of non-Muslim influence was a priority of
A new constitution was implemented in 1999 which
provides for freedom of religion, but Islamic law and custom remain
sources of legislation, and in practice, the government continues to
severely restrict freedom of religion.
no respect for the rule of law which could ensure the enforcement of a
just order, and therefore, sectarian violence, persecution, slavery and
genocide persist in this war-torn country.
Islamic Extremism and Subversion in South Asia
Ajai Sahni and K.P.S. Gill
The idea that there has been a “shift” in the “locus
of terrorism” towards South Asia is currently being vigorously propounded.
This paper analyzes trends in terrorism and sectarian violence in this
region in the context of the hypothesis that it is more accurate to speak
of the spread or expansion of the sphere of terrorism, rather than
any “shift”. Indeed, as terrorists secure even limited successes in one
region, their methods are adopted in others, threatening an ever-widening
spectrum of nations and cultures.
Extremist Islam is at the heart of this malignant
expansion and, while terrorist activities and safe havens may manifest
apparent and transient shifts as a result of tactical and strategic
exigencies, the locus of the ideologies that inspire this brand of Islam
has remained firmly fixed.
South Asia comprises the largest concentration of
Muslims in the world, and has a long history, both of communal
confrontation and violence on the one hand, and of co-existence within an
eclectic culture that has accepted differences on the other. This duality
is ingrained in the unique and diverse set of practices and beliefs that
comprise Indian Islam. But Indian Islam is, today, under a deep and
penetrating attack, a “hardening” of beliefs that may lend itself to the
extremist jihad in an uncertain future. This is compounded by a
process of “encirclement” and massive demographic shifts that deepen the
danger, particularly along India’s eastern borders.
This paper assesses the threat of Islamic terrorism
within the context of these broad parameters. Specifically, it focuses on
The geopolitical context of the Islamic
Extremist threat to South Asia.
Islam in South Asia – demographics,
politicization, schools and overview of sectarian conflicts.
Extremist Islamic terror in South Asia,
including the role of Afghanistan/Pakistan; the conflict in Kashmir; and
the growth of militant Islam in other parts of the subcontinent, including
The strategies of subversion, including patterns
of demographic shift, the systematic establishment of mosques and
madarsas, and the “hardening” of Islam throughout the region.
International support and linkages of Islamic
Extremism in South Asia.
Van Paassen: The
H. David Kirk
All good history is revisionist: it revises, adds to,
and clarifies our understanding of the past. However, not all revisionist
history is good history. Such bad revisionist history is found in David
Irving’s Hitler’s War. Amazingly, there is also bad revisionist
history written by Jews in Israel. Israel’s “new historians” like Tom
Segev, who also call themselves “Post-Zionists”, have been questioning the
justice of Zionist claims to the land, and they generally denigrate
Israel’s achievements in war and in peace.
Lately, a new but very different Israeli revisionist
writer has made a debut with The Jewish State, The Struggle for
Israel’s Soul. Yoram Hazony returns to the ideas that led to the
creation of the state and to the troubles that had to be faced and
overcome in its creation. There we discover an early “Post-Zionist”
philosopher in Martin Buber and even a somewhat revised picture of David
Ben-Gurion, the state’s founder.
Hazony’s indictment of post-Zionist ideology has been
well received. Reading his book is a bit like taking an advanced course
with a spell-binding lecturer with whose subject you are only
superficially acquainted. It leaves you breathless, trying to keep up, but
also troubled, especially at the end. How to put it all together? Hazony’s
dismal analysis of Israel’s troubles ends on this strangely hopeful note:
It seems to me that (writers and thinkers) could even now return
to...establishing the idea of the Jewish state on solid foundations, that
it might actually become the guardian of the Jews and a strength to them.
The contradiction between the dark theme and the
hopeful ending reminded me of Orwell’s essay, “Good Bad Books”, in which
he says “...one can be...excited or even moved by a book that one’s
intellect simply refuses to take seriously...” The truth is, I had been
excited about Hazony’s book and taken it seriously, but something seemed
wrong. Could I have been reading a good book from which something
essential was missing?
Where was David Ben-Gurion’s nemesis Vladimir
Jabotinsky and the latter’s struggle for a Jewish army? Where were Hillel
Kook (alias Peter Bergson) and Pierre van Paassen, principal activists in
America for a Jewish army? It is disconcerting that Hazony left out the
story of the remarkable activities of the young Irgunists from Palestine.
Did he do so because of Ben-Gurion’s hatred of the Irgun?
Whatever the reason, for this reader that omission
made an otherwise admirable book seriously flawed.
has important implications for today. While Israel lacks strong voices of
approval abroad, her enemies make ever greater propaganda strides against
her. Hillel Kook’s publicity campaign of the 1940s, undertaken against
great odds, could serve as a paradigm for Israel’s hasbara today.
The Path to Zion: Reflections of a Russian Jewess on the Israeli Native
The basic assumption upon which this article is based
is that Zionism is not one, singular truth. Two opposing directions are
discernible within it, like two rivers flowing towards different
objectives, or two wishes which have nothing in common. The one river is
realistic and deeply rooted in the historic and spiritual life of the
Jewish people; the second, utopian, unrealistic and impracticable, with
absolutely no connection to anything authentic. The one expresses our
return to ourselves, undertaken of free choice – while the
second constitutes a conscious (or unconscious) escape from Judaism, an
escape that is depicted as a deterministic step “for which there is no
alternative at all”.
The implication of one course of action is the return
to Zion, which is not restricted by the strictures of time; the other
course of action is the Zionism of immediate gratification, which can
manifest itself in both secularism and religiosity, which are only
seemingly anomalous. The first rests on the Jewish people’s eternal ties
to its land, and therefore does not need any ideological confirmation or
corroboration based on deterministic faith (secular or pseudo-religious)
contrary to the spirit of Judaism; while the second is forever seeking
artificial and unrelated justifications, in order to prevent the State,
gradually contracting through the renunciation of the Land of Israel, from
These two courses of action or interpretations of
Zionism, do not necessarily correspond with the well known, defined
distinction between, movements, sectors, communities and parties, but each
can be found in every movement, every sector, even within every individual
Jew. These two versions of Zionism came together and interlocked in the
state which was established in the Land of Israel after the Holocaust –
both the unrealistic, utopian version and the version linked to the Jewish
The prevalent version, whose proponents are
predominantly members of the moral, rational camp, are incapable of
deducing a simple logical doctrine stemming from the basic assumption in
which they believe, and acting in accordance with its corresponding moral
dictates: If our settlement in Hebron is occupation, then their settlement
is occupation sevenfold. If it is immoral on our part to live in Bet-El,
then residing in Ashkelon and Haifa is the height of immorality.
The problem is that our enemies know how to utilize
our lack of rationality or moral inconsistency. And thus we find ourselves
bewildered and impotent in the face of their cruel accusations and
attacks, lacking both the ability and the means to defend ourselves. It
seems to this writer that the source of this inability is not in any
operational details, not in the lack of strong leadership and not even in
the weakness of our international information efforts. The source of this
inability is in our continued adherence to the utopian, unrealistic
version of Zionism, Zionism which remains afraid to connect with the
existential roots of the Jewish people. This Zionism was characterized
here as “Escapist Zionism”.
If the State of Israel, by its very existence, is the
realization of escapist Zionism – then the Left is right, and its utopian
peace is indeed its consistent extension – Utopian Zionism which was
established with the intention of constructing a new, remarkable world for
However, it is specifically the utopian peace, which
brought us to the final boundary of choice between life and death, that
underscores the need to abandon escapist Zionism and return to realistic
Zionism – Zionism, which is a continuation of Jewish history, based on
Jewish memory, resting upon Jewish culture and manifesting Jewish