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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 16 Number 2 (91) March 2003Adar II 5763

Table of Contents

Current Affairs Digest

The Editor and his Guests: David Bukay ■ Steven Plaut ■ Raya Epstein ■ Paul Eidelberg ■ Yohanan Ramati ■ Tom DeLay


Ariel Sharon – The Scapegoat of Jewish Self-Hatred: The Case of Gerald Kaufman (M.P.)


Weighing the Risk to the IDF Soldiers in Their Efforts to Protect the Enemy’s Civilians

Eliav Shochetman

The Palestinian Authority – A Study in Corruption: Where’s the Money?

Rachel Ehrenfeld

Euthanasia for the Demarcation of a Residence Zone

Itzhak Bam

The Shaping of Jerusalem’s Landscape – The Hills and the Desert – by the Israelites in Biblical Times

Menashe Har-El

Ancient Brigandage, Jewish-Pagan Relations, and the Contest over the Land of Israel

David Rokéah

Amos Oz: A Story of Love and Darkness

Yosef Oren


Bush’s “Road Map” for the Middle East Notes on the Document by Elyakim Ha’Etzni
Survey on the Issue of a Palestinian State by the Geocartography Knowledge Group

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

Yechiam Weitz vs. the Editor

"The Wise Men of Chelm"

Scoop! Jesus Christ Arrested by Belgian Prosecutors!

Steven Plaut


Reuven Ben Yosef ■ Moshe Ganan ■ Miriam Godall ■ Stanley Mann ■ Paul Verlaine

Book Reviews

“The Integrated Jews” – Mira Jungman on Assimilation in Pride by Ofer Schiff ■ “The Formation of a Jewish Diaspora” – Yosef Govrin on The Jewish Nation of the Caribbean by Mordechai Arbell ■ “Permissiveness – The Raison D’être of the Liberal Outlook” – Ezra Sohar on The Struggle Against Childrens’ Violence by Chaim Omer


Selected Summaries


The Palestinian Authority – A Study in Corruption: Where’s the Money?

Rachel Ehrenfeld

The PLO was classified as a terrorist organization from its inception in 1964 until the Oslo Accords in 1993. Yet, throughout this entire time, it continued to receive financial and political support from the Soviet Union and its satellites in Europe, Latin America and Africa, and from members of the Arab League, as well as other Third World countries. This legitimization, and the accompanying financial backing, allowed the PLO not only to continue its terrorism and criminal activities with impunity, but also allowed the organization to fund a world-wide propaganda campaign, win great popularity and increase its influence.

The PLO used drug trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering and counterfeiting to amass a fortune estimated by the British National Criminal Intelligence Services (in 1993 and 1994) at about $10 billion. Its connections with international criminal organizations, drug cartels, other terrorists groups and every rogue state, from Libya, Iran and Iraq, to North Korea and the Sudan, set the pattern for others to follow. The PLO’s transformation into the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1993, as a result of the Oslo Accords, did not impede the organization’s illegal activities. On the contrary, it enhanced them. As the whole world gave the PA legitimacy, it abused this status to expand its illegal activities.

With the current intifada, the PA has undergone another change, incorporating religion into its political rhetoric and adding jihad to its agenda. As a result, the PA gained even more support financially and politically within the Arab/Muslim world, much as al Qa`idah did later. According to a soon to be published report, in 2001, the first year of the current intifada, the amount of money officially donated to the PA jumped 80%, from US $555 million to US $1,002 billion.

The following is an examination of how the PA, led by Yasser Arafat, has systemically and systematically used corruption and crime, and diverted funds donated for the development of the Palestinian state, to fund terrorism and to enrich its leadership.  


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Euthanasia for the Demarcation of a Residence Zone

Itzhak Bam

Not a few times did the Israeli High Court of Justice frustrate government policy and openly annul its decisions. When the decision to demarcate the residence zone (to deport to Gaza) two family members of a terrorist was approved, the public was relieved, and it seemed the Supreme Court put a kosher seal on the government’s new policy in its fight against terrorism, and that deportation to Gaza of terrorists’ family members as a deterrent action would be made possible. But a more thorough reading of the decision of the High Court of Justice in the Ajuri case (that was made unanimously by a seat of nine judges) reveals a completely different picture.

The High Court of Justice, through President Barak, decided to approve the decision of deportation but affixed to it restrictions and preventive measures. The main restriction is that this measure can be taken only if future danger from the person is foreseen. That is, it is not enough that this person was involved in or aided terrorist action in the past, but it has to be proved that he or she might continue helping terrorism if not deported. This restriction practically frustrates the demarcation of residence zone as a deterrent action, since most of the terrorist’s family members, who knew about his or her intent and even helped him, are not up to the strict criterion set by President Barak.

In my view, President Barak’s opinion is erroneous in two respects. Firstly, it is based on an erroneous interpretation of article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that regulates the means a military force can use regarding a civilian population. Secondly, there was no reason to apply article 78 of the Convention to the facts of the case (actual help of family members to terrorists), but because of the real  involvement of family members in terrorist activity, article 5 of the Geneva Convention could have been applied to them, which enables an administration to deny  people engaged in terrorism part of the privileges and protection granted by the Convention to the civilian population as a whole. Moreover, the demand to establish a future danger from the candidate for deportation falls in  line with his interpretation of article 5, not with his interpretation of article 78 of the Convention. That is, President Barak was mistaken in granting the protections of the Convention to people involved in terrorist activities.

In my humble opinion, article 78 of the Geneva Convention, which regulates the demarcation of residence zone of a civilian in an area under military rule, does not necessarily require the existence of future danger, but finds sufficient the existence of “a need for reasons of security necessity.” Though this measure has to be interpreted in such a way as to minimize damage to the civilian population, it will also fit the security needs of the involved state. In relation to demarcation of residence zone (which is a lighter measure than administrative detention that is regulated in the same article), it seems this measure may be activated against family members who knew about the activity of their relative  but did nothing to prevent it.

The interpretation of President Barak of the Geneva Convention is not anchored in the terms and purpose of the Convention; it might reduce the incentive of the combating sides to obey the Convention. Moreover, such an interpretation of the Convention would demand a dear price from the civilian population in Israel, since according to it, those who associate with  terrorism receive similar protection to those relatives of innocent Arab civilians. Actually, by his interpretive tools, President Barak ties the hands of  Israeli democracy in its war against terrorism.


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The Shaping of Jerusalem’s Landscape – The Hills and the Desert
– by the Israelites in Biblical Times

Menashe Har-El

The Jewish people living in Eretz Israel were the first in the history of this land and in the ancient Near East to determine the shape and use of the mountainous and desert landscapes and embark on an intensive settlement in these regions. This accomplishment, on an international scale, brought about construction in the heart of the Judean mountains and in Jerusalem, the capital city, the Temple of worship, and an array of fortifications, all being the most magnificent in the ancient world.

Since the mountainous and desert regions took up almost two thirds of the land area, the Israelites developed ingenious and pioneering technologies that were handed down to other nations:

1.   the culture of terrace agriculture,

2.   the storage and transportation of water,

3.   wood, stone and metal industries,

4.   the architecture of grand buildings,

5.   road engineering.

In this way, the mountain and desert regions turned from isolated and sparsely settled areas in the time of the Caananites, into preferred and populated areas in the times of the Israelites, as stated in the prophecy of Isaiah: “...And I will bring forth a seed of Yaakov, and out of Yehuda an inheritor of my mountains, and my chosen ones shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.” (Isaiah 65:9)


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Ancient Brigandage, Jewish-Pagan Relations, and the Contest over the Land of Israel

David Rokéah

Brigandage was rife in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. There were notorious gangs of pirates based in Cilicia, who not only stole merchandise but also kidnapped people in the Mediterranean and then sold them into slavery or held them for ransom. This situation was reflected in Talmudic sources, which described the Ishmaelites as following in the footsteps of their robber-ancestors.

The Sages first adopted the hostile attitude of the Torah, formed in the wake of the religious-ethnic conflict of the Israelites with the peoples that inhabited the “Land of Canaan”. Therefore, they permitted discriminating against the Gentiles, defined as the Canaanites. However, following Roman intervention, and because of their fear of possible retaliation and abuse of the name of the God of Israel, the Sages prohibited anti-Gentile discrimination. Daily contact with non-Jews, especially in the cities having mixed populations, brought the Sages to foster friendly behavior towards the Gentiles, even to providing them with economic aid directly – with the condition that this did not involve recognition or support of idolatry. The same policies and practices are exhibited by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Just as the Sages modified their stand, so we – in this age of globalization – must act so as to ensure the well-being of our fellow Jews abroad, remembering that “all Jews are responsible for one another.” 

* * * 

The rebellion of the Maccabees against the Seleucid kingdom in the 2nd century BCE, following which the Maccabees conquered many Greco-Syrian cities on the sea coast, in Samaria, in Galilee, and elsewhere, increased the hostility of the native population. This hostility was expressed in libellous and anti-Semitic treatises (see my “Tacitus and Ancient Anti-Semitism”, Revue des etudes juives 154 [1995]: 281-294).

When confronted by Antiochus VII Sidetes’ demand that he evacuate the coastal areas, Shimeon the Maccabee retorted that this land was inherited from the Jews’ forefathers, and that its enemies occupied it unlawfully. Echoes of this dispute are found in the writings of John of Antioch and of Procopius, two Christian historians of the 5th and 6th centuries respectively. Their writings state that, after leaving Egypt, the brigand, Joshua son of Nun, led the Hebrews into Palestine, conquering the land of the Girgashites, the Jebusites, and the Canaanites. As a result, they said, these inhabitants had to flee to Africa.

This tradition is corroborated by several midrashim, in which “sons of Africa”, Canaanites, and Ishmaelites, claim that the Land of Israel was theirs and that the Israelite robbers had stolen it. These Gentiles’ claim, based on Biblical verses, was refuted by other Biblical verses cited in the midrashim.

Nowadays, the Palestinians – dissatisfied with their identification with Ishmael the son of Abraham – assert that they are the descendants of the Canaanites and the Jebusites, who preceded the Israelites in the Holy Land. Thus, they fabricate a “history” for themselves, while obliterating all evidence of the continuous Jewish historical bonds with the Land.


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Amos Oz: A Story of Love and Darkness

Yosef Oren

Only after 50 years of silence on the subject, did Amos Oz begin to face his life’s pain: being orphaned from his mother, Fania, who committed suicide when he was 12 1/2 years old. At first he wrote about it in an implied manner in “That Sea” (1999) and now openly at length in the autobiography Story about Love and Darkness. The name of the book promised a composition built as a diptych, whose first part talks about the love he received from his mother during her life and the second part talks about the darkness that prevailed in his life after her suicide. But instead of being satisfied with the moving, intimate story of the promised diptych, with the description of the way as a child he perceived the relationship between his parents and how he dealt with his mother’s suicide, soon after the tragedy and during the course of the following years, Oz included in the volume five other compositions:

  1. A family tree that amply explores the history of the Klauzner and Mussman families, his parents’ families, with details and descriptions he gathered from relatives and other people’s memoirs. 

  2. A satirical composition on his father’s uncle, Prof. Joseph Klauzner, and the family circle, academic and literary, which clustered around him and worshiped him and his nationalistic opinions. 

  3. A compilation of independent stories that, had they been assembled from their distribution throughout the autobiography, could have made another volume of fiction. Most outstanding among them are the stories about his experiences as a boy in mandatory Jerusalem and during the War of Independence, the story about Grandma Shulamit’s zealousness for cleanliness and the story about his first sexual experience with a promiscuous woman who was engaged by Kibbutz Hulda as a hired kindergarten teacher. 

  4. A volume somewhat slimmer than the former ones with chapters designated to educate readers, especially literary critics among them, how to read literature in general and his works in particular. 

  5. Another slim yet clearly political volume, in which Amos Oz relates how he turned from being “a nationalistic boy” in the captivity of the fanatics in his family (Prof. Klauzner, his grandfather Alexander and his father) into one of the distinguished thinkers of the Left in Israeli society. In it, Oz delineated his well-known doctrine, in which Israel is defined as the occupier of Palestinian territories and is exhorted to withdraw to the borders it had until 1967, borders that, as we know, were not respected by Arab countries even before the Six Day War.

In fact, Oz combined in the autobiography five additional books that weakened the intensity of the chapters of the promised central story and eventually produced a volume that contains 600 pages instead of a modest, compact volume of about 200 pages of the story about love and darkness.


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Jesus Christ Arrested by Belgian Prosecutors!

Dow Jones News Service (Feb 13, 2003)

Steven Plaut

Incredible as it may sound, we have just learned that Jesus Christ himself was just arrested by Belgium for his role in the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla in 1982. It seems Jesus had returned to earth a few years back and was quietly checking out the situation of Christendom, especially in Europe. When he came for a fact-finding visit to Brussels, he was arrested at the train station by the Belgian gendarmes and thrown into jail.

When asked about this, the Justice Minister of Belgium explained that Jesus was arrested because – as a Jewish colonist and occupier of Palestinian lands – he clearly had a role in the Sabra and Shatilla affair that was at least as serious as that of Ariel Sharon, whom the Belgians are also seeking to prosecute. Besides, at Sabra and Shatilla, Lebanese Christians killed Palestinians, the Minister pointed out. Belgium believes Ariel Sharon should have had the prescience to know the massacres would take place before they actually did, even though no one in Belgium foresaw them coming. They also claim Jesus himself should have been even more capable of foreseeing the consequences of the entrance of the Lebanese Falangist forces into those camps. Besides, those Falangists were without exception followers of the teachings of Jesus, and so Belgium believes this makes Jesus far more culpable than Ariel Sharon.

The Belgians also insist that Jesus is guilty of oppressing Palestinians. After all, he was born in Bethlehem, when it was illegally occupied by Jewish settlers. Then his parents took him to Nazareth, where Jews do not belong because it is an Arab city. Jesus’ family were part of the racist campaign to “Judaize” the Galilee.

When arrested, Jesus refused even to dignify the Belgian charges against him and turned the other cheek. All he said was that Brussels looked like the ugliest capital in all of Europe, and he had seen mangers nicer than it. Once in his cell, he requested a hot kosher meal.

The trial is expected to commence in a Belgian court within 4 months.


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