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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 16 Number 3 (92)  May 2003 Iyar 5763

Table of Contents


The Land of Israel and
International Law

Our Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty to the Land of Israel under International Law

Howard Grief

The Status of Palestine/the Land of Israel and its Settlements under Public International Law

Talia Einhorn


The Case of Avishai Raviv – The Troublemaker of the GSS

Haim Misgav


The Limited Conflict Trap

Yehuda Wegman

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

Eliav Shochetman


Our World-Historical Gamble

Lee Harris

Islam and Nazism

Paul Eidelberg and
Will Morrissey


The Destruction of the Jews of Jedwabne

Laurence Weinbaum


A Few Notes on the Theory of Relativity


The Franco-British [Boundary] Convention – December 23, 1920 ■ The San Remo Resolution – April 25, 1920 ■
The Mandate for Palestine – July 24, 1922

Essays and Reviewt

The Wonder of the Temple Mount in the Poetry of U.Z. Greenberg

Hillel Weiss


Moshe Ganan – “The Land of the Rising Sun”


Chana Bedolach ■ Paul Celane ■ Oded Mizrahi ■ Leah Neventhal

Book Reviews

Islamicization and Arabization - A Story of Dhimmitude and Usurpation” – Christopher Barder on Minorities in the Middle East, A History of Struggle and Self-Expression by Mordechai Nisan ■ “The Obscure Identity of an Israeli” - Ahuva Feldman on The Liberating Bride by A.B. Yehoshua ■


Selected Summaries


Our Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty to the Land of Israel
under International Law

Howard Grief

This paper is the introduction of a forthcoming book on the legal rights and title of sovereignty of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and Palestine under international law. These rights were recognized as inhering in the Jewish people when the highest representatives of the Great Powers that had defeated Germany and Turkey in World War I met at the Paris and San Remo Peace Conferences in 1919 and 1920. Their purpose was to design a global political and legal settlement to dispose of the conquered territories that formerly belonged to the dissolved German and Turkish Empires. Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved, if not exclusively, for the Jewish people as the Jewish national home, in recognition of their historical connection with thatarea, dating from the Patriarchal period. Its boundaries were to be delineated in accordance with the historical and Biblical formula “from Dan to Beersheba” which denoted the entire Land of Israel. The Arabs were accorded national rights in Syria, Mesopotamia and Arabia, but not in Palestine. The British government as Mandatory, Trustee and Tutor was charged with the obligation to create an eventual independent Jewish state in Palestine, and for this purpose only it could exercise the attributes of sovereignty vested in the Jewish people.

The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920, combining the Balfour Declaration with the general provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations; the Mandate for Palestine confirmed on July 24, 1922 and the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, supplemented by the Anglo-American Convention of December 3, 1924 respecting the Mandate for Palestine.

The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. This began with the Churchill White Paper of June 3, 1922, and culminated with the MacDonald White Paper of May 17, 1939. The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish people by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. Astonishingly, the State of Israel has contributed to the denial of Jewish legal rights to the entire country by illegally transferring substantial areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the PLO, representing a mythical Arabic-speaking Gentile nation called “Palestinians” who falsely pretend to hold the real title of sovereignty over the country.

Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the Doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.


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The Status of Palestine/the Land of Israel and Its Settlements
under Public International Law

Talia Einhorn

This paper discusses the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, and the rights of Jews to settle Palestine/the Land of Israel under public international law. It explains why the Arab claim that there is a legal right to a separate Arab state to be established in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (“Yesha”), and the further claim that Jewish settlement of Yesha is forbidden, have no basis in international law.

Nonetheless, Israel has come under incessant international pressure to recognize the “rights” of the Arab people and to uproot the Jewish settlements in Yesha by deporting hundreds of thousands of Jews and transferring them to tiny, pre-1967 Israel. The international pressure has been supplemented by internal pressure, exerted by Israeli Jewish citizens brought up to prefer the comradeship among nations and universal values – even when those were shattered by reality – to the basic needs of Jewish national existence. The pressures from within and without made a part of Israel’s Jewish population lose heart and start doubting the justifiability of the Zionist endeavor itself. The Oslo agreements and the Arab violence which has become part and parcel of the so-called “peace process” since its inception, bear ample testimony to that.

It is submitted, however, that international law does not compel Israel to agree to the establishment of a sovereign Arab state west of the Jordan river. Neither is Israel obliged to undo nor freeze the Jewish settlement of Yesha. Indeed, the dangers emanating from an Arab terrorist state should make all lovers and pursuers of true peace – not just a “peace process” – wary of such a “solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict.


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The Limited Conflict Trap

Yehuda Wegman

The security doctrine of the State of Israel, which is derived from its geo-strategic situation, has always emphasized a short war and a rapid victory over the enemy. In contrast, according to the doctrine of the “limited conflict”, which was promulgated in the IDF as soon as the “peace process” began, terror dictates ongoing warfare for the State of Israel. At the time when “peace” was chosen as an alternative strategy to security and it was proclaimed that “in the age of missiles, strategic depth no longer has any value,” the IDF, too, adopted as its new combat doctrine the US army’s rules of “operation other than war” (OOTW), which was translated into Hebrew as “limited conflict” in which the “weak” defeats the “strong” by attrition.

In the process of “attrition”, the “strong” absorbs intensifying blows from terror and guerrilla acts that are mainly directed at its unprotected civilian interior. The accumulation of such blows over time is aimed at fostering a social – not military – turnabout in the “strong” party, which becomes convinced that it is not really “strong”. The inability to defend itself leads the “strong” party to surrender its principles in return for an end to the attacks. The “limited conflict” doctrine portrays the IDF as the “strong” side, which absorbs and reacts, and the Palestinians as the “weak” side, which initiates and attacks. Amazingly, the “limited conflict” doctrine, which, as mentioned, was accepted by the IDF, has no answer to the question of how in the Israeli-Palestinian reality the “strong”, attacked side is supposed to prevail over the “weak” one.

The glaring flaw of the new “doctrine” is that it is based on a reality and on modes of thought that were derived from other arenas, which bear no similarity to the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Analysis of the “limited conflicts” that other peoples have dealt with shows that in contrast to the Israeli case, there is not a single civilian in France, Britain, and the United States whose daily life was impaired by the “limited conflict” that his country’s army waged overseas.

After an extended period of fighting according to the rules of the “limited conflict” and at a heavy price in blood, both the political echelon and the IDF were forced to give up on the “attrition” and undergo a conceptual revolution, which brought them to the notion of “high intensiveness” and aggressiveness that proved – again – to be the only answer to terror.


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

Eliav Shochetman

In the course of the IDF’s activity in Jenin, which was conducted in the framework of the Defensive Shield operation (Spring 2002), warnings were received that if a ground operation was carried out, it would entail a heavy price in dead and wounded. Yet then-Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer rejected the proposal to bomb the area in question from the air so as to avoid casualties, and ordered that the ground operation be carried out.

In this operation, thirteen IDF soldiers were killed and many were wounded. The defense minister’s justification for his order was that harming Palestinian civilians had to be avoided at all costs, even if it meant harm to IDF soldiers. In fact, all the civilian residents of the Jenin refugee camp were given an advance warning to evacuate the camp, which many of them indeed did.

This article aims to show that under the circumstances, the order that was given to the IDF, despite the warnings, did not accord with the common rules of morality, the rules of international law, the rules of Israeli law, or the tradition of Jewish law.

The IDF’s supreme obligation is to protect the lives of its soldiers, and any military operation that is capable of preventing such losses must be carried out, even if enemy civilians are likely to be harmed (unintentionally) as a result. The responsibility for any such harm lies with the terror organizations that force Israel to fight and defend itself in the first place, and in this case the IDF had discharged its obligation with its advance warning to all the civilians to evacuate as quickly as possible.

The first part of the article (which appeared in the previous issue, No. 91) deals with the aspect of the Jewish legal tradition, and the second part (appearing in the present issue) focuses on the common rules of law, the international rules of law, and the stipulations of Israeli law.


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Our World-Historical Gamble

Lee Harris

Used with the permission of

The war with Iraq will constitute one of those momentous turning points of history in which one nation under the guidance of a strong-willed, self-confident leader undertakes to alter the fundamental state of the world. It is, to use the language of Hegel, an event that is world-historical in its significance and scope. And it will be world-historical, no matter what the outcome may be.

Such world-historical innovations transcend the conceptual categories of the old world, and call into existence an entirely novel set of categories. Each one of them, by its very nature, is a crossing of the Rubicon, from which there is no turning back, but only a going forward – and a going forward into the unknown. This means that we must take a hard look at even our most basic vocabulary – and think twice before we rush to apply words like “empire” or “national self-interest” or “multi-lateralism” or “sovereignty” to a world in which they are no longer relevant.

Since the events of 9/11 the policy debate in the United States has been primarily focused on a set of problems – radical Islam and the War on Terrorism, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

The liberal world system has collapsed internally: there is no longer a set of rules that govern all the players. Such rules are trans-cultural. They constitute the precondition of any politically stable system, for without them there is the danger of cognitive anarchy – a situation in which no one can any longer predict with confidence what the others will do. This collapse of the well-ordered liberal system has come about exclusively from the side of the Islamic world. And the cause of this disruption is the lack of a sense of the realistic on the part of certain elements in the Islamic world. Indeed, this is the common thread that unites Iraq, Al Qaeda, and Palestinian terrorism.

The threat that currently faces us comes from groups who have utterly failed to create the material and objective conditions within their own societies sufficient to permit them to construct, out of their own resources, the kind of military organization and weaponry that has constituted every previous kind of threat.

If we look at the source of the Arab wealth we find it is nothing they created for themselves. It has come to them by magic, much like a story of the Arabian nights, and it allows them to live in a feudal fantasyland.

What Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have in common is that their power derives entirely from the fact that the West had committed itself, in the aftermath of World War II, to a policy of not robbing other societies of their natural resources simply because it possessed the military might to do so. The quite unintended consequence of the West’s conduct is: the prodigious funding of fantasists who are thereby enabled to pursue their demented agendas unencumbered by any realistic calculation of the risks or costs of their action.

Nothing but force can break these from their illusion. Not because there is something wrong with them as a race, but simply because they are acting like any other individual who has been permitted to live in a dream world – they continue to fantasize.

The greatest threat facing us – and one of the greatest ever to threaten mankindis the collision of this collective fantasy world of Islam with the horrendous reality of weapons of mass destruction.

We now live in a world in which a state so marginal that it would be utterly incapable of mounting any kind of credible conventional threat to its neighbors or to anyone elsesuch a state could still make a devastating use of a nuclear weapon that literally chanced to come into its hands.

The act of violence need possess only a magical or fantasy significance to the perpetrator in order to motivate him to perform it. It need not bring him any other goal than the sense of achievement in having brought it off.

And beyond this, there is even a danger of rogue states, unable to maintain their domestic viability, degenerating into being merely front organizations for the social force of radical Islam, much as occurred in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

The motivations of those who want to murder us are not complicated: To watch an American city go up into a fireball is its own reward.

The fantasy ideology of radical Islam does not want the West to fulfill its will, but to cease to exist. And to achieve this end, any historical catastrophe will do.

This is the lesson that 9/11 should teach us in dealing with the fantasists of the Islamic world. A fantasy does not need to make any sensethat is the whole point of having one.

They are not playing by the same rules of realism that we are. And it is this that renders so much public debate so historically dated.

The US must be willing to discard the Clausewitzian goal of making another nation state merely fulfill its political will. It must in fact be prepared to dismantle and reconstruct the other state, if, like Iraq, its behavior poses a threat to the general international system.

There is only one solution, and that is for the United States consciously to adopt a policy of what might be tentatively called neo-sovereignty.

At the heart of the dialectically emergent concept of neo-sovereignty is a double standard imposed by the US on the rest of the world, whereby the US can unilaterally decide to act, if need be, to override and even to cancel the existence of any state or regime that proposes to develop WMD, especially in those cases where the state or regime in question has demonstrated its dangerous lack of a sense of the realistic.

If any social order is to achieve stability there must be, at the heart of it, a double standard governing the use of violence and force. There must be one agent who is permitted to use force against other agents who are not permitted to use force.

In its role as neo-sovereign the United States, in pursuing its selfish policy, is also forced to increase the general level of security throughout the world.

If we are to teach others a sense of the realistic, it is imperative that we not lose our own. We must not let our noble ideals betray us into betraying our very ideals. The only way that these ideals will find a place in the world of tomorrow is if we are prepared to defend them todayand to defend them at whatever cost is required.


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Islam and Nazism

Paul Eidelberg and Will Morrissey

What links Islam to Nazism is the ethos of jihad. For both Islam and Nazism, war is not merely a means to an end: mere conquest. War for both is a moral imperative: for the Nazi, to purge the world of racial impurity, for the Muslim, to purge the world of religious impurity.

Both have or require an enemy: for the Muslim the “infidel”, for the Nazi the “Jew”, The genocide perpetrated by Muslims against the Armenians preceded the genocide the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews.

Although literary Islam and Nazism have profound differences, these are of little significance to the victims of these militant doctrines. The one reduces human beings to dhimmis, the other to slaves.

Although Islam forbids what may be termed “personal” suicide, it exalts suicide (i.e., martyrdom) in the context and ethos of holy war. That Arab parents can exult in their children being sacrificed as human bombs is surely a throwback to paganism. But this paganism indicates that the sanctity of human life is not a normative Islamic doctrine. Indeed, on page after page of the Qur`an¸ unbelievers are consigned to Hell – Islam’s crematoria.

Some scholars contend that what is here imputed to Islam should in truth be imputed to “Islamism”. They allege that Islamism, as distinct from Islam, twists Qur`anic teachings to un- Qur`anic uses. The candid scholar will admit, however, that the Qur`an lends itself to such twists, and much more clearly so when viewed from the Shari`ah, Islamic law.

The only way to eliminate what is misleadingly called Islamism is to change the political regimes that now rule the Islamic world. The existing Islamic regimes are highly unlikely to change (except for the worse) by means of internal forces – “inside-out”. Only a comprehensive geopolitical strategy will transform these regimes, “outside-in”.


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The Destruction of the Jews of Jedwabne

Laurence Weinbaum

At the beginning of the new millenium, an unprecedented national debate raged in Polish society. The controversy was precipitated by the publication of the book Neighbors by Jan Tomasz Gross that chronicled the destruction of the Jews of Jedwabne at the hands of local Poles in July 1941. A Polish government commission ultimately confirmed that locals were indeed responsible for the slaughter at Jedwabne (and two dozen other hamlets in the same area of Poland). The chilling description of what happened to Jews in Jedwabne (which has since become a synonym for killings by locals) is in some sense a vindication of Jabotinsky’s grim prophecy about a looming catastrophe about to befall the Jews of East Central Europe. The deep-rooted hostility of the autochthonous population among whom the Jews had lived for generations, and who saw Jews hindering their own national development, posed a mortal threat to Jews, warned Jabotinsky. In his work The Jewish War Front, penned shortly before his death in 1940, Jabotinsky made clear, that even if Jews who have been displaced from their homes and places of work do survive, one could not expect that the people who have replaced them will acquiesce to their return. Governments may be persuaded to uphold the concept of civil equality – however, in practice this notion is doomed to ruin. This scenario was played out after the war in Poland and the rest of East Central Europe – where returning Jews were met with antipathy, and often murderous violence. Jabotinsky’s detractors focused on his undeniable failure to predict the outbreak of the war. They also emphasize that at the end of the day it was the Nazis (not “Germans”) who carried out the murders, not the autochthonous populations. At worst, the “neighbors” were accomplices – not prime perpetrators. But in the last decade, after the collapse of Communism and with newfound access to archives buried beyond the now-rusted Iron Curtain, we find that people of many nationalities were more than mere accessories to the destruction of age-old Jewish communities. The author takes pains to explain that the revelations about Jedwabne notwithstanding, history is obviously more nuanced than many of us would like to believe and the question of how Poles behaved during the Holocaust resists simple explanations and sweeping generalizations.


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