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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 16 Number 2 (97) March 2004 Nisan 5764

Table of Contents

Current Affairs Digest

The Gravedigger II

The Editor and His Guests: Hillel Weiss: The Eve of the Third Exile ▪ Eviathar Ben-Zedeff: Tennenbaum – A New Version of “Rewarding the Betrayer” ▪ Louis René Beres: Releasing Arab Terrorists Violates International Law ▪ Rand Fishbein: The Folly of Snubbing Israel ▪ Morris Amitay: International Hypocrisy on the Topic of the Security Fence ▪ Arieh Eldad: The Crisis of Zionism: A Speech ▪ Bernard Shapiro: On Israeli Policy and Government ▪ Irving Kett: Israel’s Existential Threat in the Middle East in the 21st Century ▪ Steven Plaut: I am Ashamed to be an Israeli



The Palestinian Authority: Terror Organizations in the Guise of a Security Apparatus

Avraham Gur

The World

France – The First Western-European Islamic State

Martin Sobier

The Bush Strategy at War

Ilan Berman

Denial of History

Palestine: The Original Sin

Meir Abelson

In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage

Jamie Glazov

The Law

To Where Should the Disgrace be Assigned

Haim Misgav


Tom Paulin: Poetaster of Murder

Edward Alexander


The Elon Peace Initiative

Benny Elon

Comments on Elon’s Peace Initiative

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

The Economic Plans in Elon’s Initiative Do Not Deal With the Political Repercussions

Yitzchak Klein

Comments on Elon’s Peace Initiative

Ezra Sohar

Response to the Criticism

Benny Elon


The Ransom and The Qur`an ▪ Saudi Arabia’s Entrance Requirements


Safed: Gateway to Heaven

Chanan Sever


A Tribute to Moshe Shafrir ▪ Elisheva Gal ▪ Yoav Haik ▪ Pablo Neruda

Book Reviews

Naftali Hertz Tucker on Otot by Moshe Shafrir ▪ Hillel Weiss on Preida by Naomi Frankel ▪ Eviathar Ben-Zedeff on Lightning on a Clear Day ▪ Eli Maislish and Michal Or on Zion Shall be Redeemed with Judgment by Elon Jarden


Selected Summaries


The Palestinian Authority:
Terror Organizations in the Guise of a Security Apparatus

Avraham Gur

This article will present the outline of a research paper on the topic of the development of the Palestinian security apparatuses into terrorist organizations, over the course of the existence of the Palestinian Authority, 1993-2004.

The Thesis

The PLO has never abandoned the “step-by-step” theory, which ultimately leads to the liquidation of the State of Israel.

Signing the Oslo Agreement was a significant step in gaining a foothold in Israel and a significant first step towards realization of the step-by-step theory.

The PA’s security philosophy was constructed on the basis of this theory. The PLO has never abandoned terrorism as a strategic instrument to achieve its national aspirations, which are: Establishment of a Palestinian state upon the ruins of the State of Israel, while liquidating the State of Israel. The Palestinian security apparatuses were established as a central building block of this Weltanschauung. The PA’s rational thinking was to acquire as much as possible from the Israelis by means of negotiation, and in the future, when the talks reach an impasse, the “doomsday” weapon – terrorism – will be deployed.

The Study’s Conclusion

The study answered the question: Was the transformation of the Palestinian security apparatuses into terrorism apparatuses an evolutionary process or was it premeditated in order to achieve political objectives unattainable by means of a political process?

The question was examined in the context of the totality of the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and an analysis of its long-term strategic objectives: The establishment of a single Palestinian state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River upon the ruins of the State of Israel.

In order to reinforce this thesis, three phases in the administration of the Palestinian security apparatuses were examined.

Phase One – Establishment of the Palestinian Security Apparatuses 1993-1994

This phase is the most significant because it attests to long-term planning and true intentions. The Oslo Accords dictated precisely the size and composition of the Palestinian security apparatuses, their armaments and their training. This was the initial stage in which there was a blatant violation in all of the areas mentioned above, with no significant reaction by the Israeli government, which could have brought an end to the continued process.

  • Scope of the Forces: The agreement called for seven different apparatuses; in practice, 12 different apparatuses were established, most of them intelligence or preventive security apparatuses, whose advantage is that they do not wear uniforms, thus their number was concealed and their participation in terrorist activity was simplified and made more difficult to track. 

  • Armament: The agreement called for light arms, some armored vehicles, a limited number of machine guns and a total ban on weapons production or the establishment of a weapons industry. In practice, there was a massive deviation from the agreements. The weapons were both quantitatively and qualitatively beyond agreed levels. In addition, as far as types of weapons were concerned, they acquired machine guns, mortars, Low missiles and Sagger missiles. An entire weapons industry was established, which included production of explosives, mortars, mortar shells and Qasam missiles. 

  • Training: The agreement called for police training, and anti-terrorist training for regular and undercover police forces. In practice, in addition to police training, military training, combat against military forces and training of an army command in the neighboring Arab countries and Pakistan were also carried out.

Phase Two – Support for the Activity of the Islamic Terrorist Organizations and Clandestine Participation in that Activity through 2000

Of the three phases examined in this study, this is the most difficult phase to substantiate. Proof of this thesis requires an in-depth examination of intelligence reports on the one hand, and an analysis of the open media on the other. Below is a detailing of the primary points presented in the study, which aided the reinforcement of the thesis:

  • The declarations of the senior members of the Palestinian Authority regarding the use of a dual strategy: Negotiations and terrorism

  • The development of the “Tanzim” as the military arm of Fatah, and its arming with the weapons of the security forces. 

  • The development of the “cities of refuge” phenomenon, under the auspices and protection of the Palestinian security apparatuses. 

  • The “revolving door” policy – the arrest and immediate release of terrorists by the security forces. 

  • Attacking IDF soldiers while carrying out joint patrols. 

  • Staffing the Palestinian security apparatuses with former and current terrorists. 

  • Failure of the intelligence apparatuses to foil terrorist attacks despite information provided to them by the GSS. 

  • Desperate pursuit of Israeli intelligence sources in the territories, despite the fact that the information was intended to assist the Palestinian Authority in its purported battle against the Islamic opposition organizations. 

  • Initiating combat against the IDF in the “Western Wall Tunnel” incidents in 1996 and in the “Naqba” incidents in May 2000.

Phase Three – Open Terrorist Activity of the Palestinian Security Apparatuses since September 2000

The research project relied on four sources of information in this phase of the study:

The media: Written – newspapers, Electronic – radio and television.

Captured documents, which fell into the hands of Israeli security forces during combat beginning with the “Defensive Shield” Operation.

Interrogation of terrorists and fugitives who were apprehended.

Declarations by senior Palestinian Authority officials regarding assistance provided by the Palestinian security apparatuses to the Islamic terrorist organizations, emphasizing Palestinian unity.

After examining the evidence in the aforementioned three phases, we are able to provide a positive answer to the question raised by the study.

The Palestinian security apparatuses were originally constructed to be terrorist organizations when the time was ripe and in that sense they did not disappoint those who established them, headed by the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat.


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France - The First Western-European Islamic State

Martin Sobier

Muslims in France make up 7-11% of the population (about 4-7 million out of 60 million citizens). Various research has shown that more and more of them are moving towards closer identification with Islam. Forty-five percent of voters in the last national elections to the Muslim Council voted for UOIF (Union of the Islamic Organizations of France), an umbrella organization of more than 200 Muslim institutions, which is closed to the Muslim Brothers. It is important to remember that the Muslim Brothers’ goals are clear: political and juridical domination of Islam throughout the whole world. The will to implement these goals finds its expression through many declarations and activities. The Muslim Brothers bred al Qai`dah, Hamas and many other terrorist organizations all over the world. Among the spiritual leaders of the UOIF, is Sheikh Qaradawi, who is thought to be one of the spiritual leaders of Hamas, and who wholeheartedly supports suicide attacks, and hopes Europe will come under Muslim domination. The UOIF is the one and unique organization authorized to issue ‘tazkia’, recommendation letters necessary to receive money from the Gulf countries to build mosques or any other projects.

The other main Muslim organizations are under foreign influence: The “Mosquée de Paris” which is under Algerian influence, the FNMF, under Moroccan influence and “Faith and Practice” under Pakistani influence.

Anti-Semitic acts in France are on the increase, instigated mainly by those from Islamic backgrounds. A continuous Islamic effort of de-legitimatizing the Jewish intelligentsia and of the demonization of the Israeli state is being conducted. The usual public reactions, as well as the government ones, are perplexity and surprise as their attempts at halting the expansion of the Islamic movements systematically fail. For example, worried by the Muslim Brothers’ successes among the Muslim population, the French government tried to create a national Muslim organization to curb this expansion. As a matter of fact, the organizations closed to the Muslim Brothers now dominate this organization, and have managed to receive their official recognition.

France, in its efforts to lead the Third World, is forced to maintain a positive attitude towards Islam, and, despite some reactions such as passing a law banning the veil in public schools, is held back from open struggle against Islamization.

In a UOIF convention in the late 1980s, France was declared a part of “Dar al Islam”, “Abode of Islam”.

Will France become the first Islamic State in Western Europe?


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The Bush Strategy at War

Ilan Berman

A profound transformation has quietly begun in American strategy. Long dominated by multilateral institutions and international crisis management, US policy was fundamentally reordered by the events of September 11, 2001, which ushered in sweeping changes to American defense planning, force deployment and security priorities.

This transformation, found in large part in the National Security Strategy unveiled by the White House in September 2002, amounts to a radical departure from the traditional post-Cold War status quo in foreign affairs. The emerging Bush strategy is based on an understanding of the fundamental changes that have taken place in the pace, scope and nature of threats confronting the United States. And while its parameters are still not well understood, its ultimate outcome will have an enormous impact on the international system, and America's place in it.

This article explores the three strategic revolutions encapsulated within the Bush administration's security strategy -- concerning how the United States uses force, how it defines defense, and how it approaches proliferation. It assesses how these efforts have already started to reshape world affairs, and examines the challenges now confronting the “Bush Doctrine”.


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Tom Paulin: Poetaster of Murder

Edward Alexander

The growing influence of Anglo-Irish poet Tom Paulin in British progressive circles helps to explain why they are in the forefront of European efforts to demonize Israel. In Spring 2002, Paulin gained international renown by urging that American-born Jewish settlers “should be shot dead”, that Tony Blair presides over “a Zionist government”, and that Israel had no right to exist. Although his incitement to murder was in clear violation of British law, he was never prosecuted. His employer, Oxford University, launched an “investigation” into his comments which came to nothing. Endless foolish debates ensued about whether Paulin was an anti-Semite or just “a critic of Israeli policy”, and whether he should be invited to lecture at Harvard or continue to teach at Columbia. The deeper meaning of the Paulin affair was revealed (unwittingly) by Professor James Shapiro of Columbia, who declared that Paulin’s exhortations to shoot Jews dead and to destroy their country “did not step over the line”. Such remarks showed how public discourse about Jews and Israel had sunk to new depths among the learned. In the months following the Paulin affair, writers and publications that had long been hostile to Israel did, in more “civilized” and literate form, what Paulin had already done in his cruder style: they moved from strident criticism of Israel to apologias for anti-Semitic violence and calls for dissolution of the country.


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Minister Benny Elon's Peace Initiative: A Discussion

The “Regional Program for Peace”, which was proposed by Minister Benny Elon as the “Program of the Right” in June 2003, was suggested in the wake of the Iraq War and as an alternative to the “road map”. With the rapid pace in which “peace proposals” are proffered, Elon’s plan seems to have been forgotten. However, since it is likely to constitute the framework for a future political program, it was brought before three scholars: Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto, Yitzchak Klein and Ezra Sohar, in order to elicit their expert opinions.

  1. Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto agreed with Benny Elon that the establishment of a Palestinian state will not end the turmoil, and that only an arrangement of cooperation exclusively between two countries – such as Jordan and Israel – on economic, social and security issues is conceivable. Generally, he supports the program whose guidelines are similar to Tsiddon’s program as presented in his 1998 policy paper (Policy Paper 48, ACPR Publishers). At the same time Tsiddon notes the absence of transition stages, such as the preparation of national and international conditions and a timetable.

    Minister Elon responded that indeed, the idea of Jordan as the Palestinian state is not original, however it is important to raise it again.

    Elon said:

    We must return to the peace partner, with whom we never made a genuine effort – the Hashemite Kingdom... The Hashemite Kingdom is an asset, which should be “upgraded” and not overthrown. The categorization of Jordan as the Palestinian state is likely to contribute to the alleviation of the internal tension in that country, as the Palestinians will feel that they are in their own country.

  2. Yitzchak Klein addressed the economic aspects of the plan and found that it leaves many unresolved questions. The plan offers economic aid (international and Israeli) to Jordan for its development as a Palestinian state, however in Klein’s opinion, the political objective, which would be promoted by this assistance, is unclear. Far-reaching economic changes always have political and social consequences, which alter the balance of power, and it is not clear that those changes will in fact be welcome in Jordan or Israel. Similarly, granting official Jordanian citizenship to residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza does not guarantee their practical integration within it, while on the other hand there is the possibility that they will be reintegrated into the Israeli economy. Integration of that sort, especially if movement between Jordan and Judea, Samaria and Gaza develops – will cause increased Arab immigration to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and not in the opposite direction. All in all, Klein claims, the political interests of Israel and Jordan, as far as economic arrangements with the Palestinians, are at loggerheads. They are a “thorn in the side” of both countries, and granting a Jordanian passport to a million people, even to those who today are called refugees, will not cause the bona fide problems involved with them to disappear in one fell swoop. Klein sees the distinction between the residents of the refugee camps and the residents of the cities as artificial, as they both constitute a hornet’s nests of terrorism. Elon’s proposal to absorb the refugees into other Arab countries – not necessarily in the Middle East – raises the question of how do we know that those countries will agree? And what astronomical sums will they demand?

    Klein suggests a different model for resolution of the refugee problem – “direct immigration” poviding a uniform and defined “aid package” to all who want it, so that they might integrate and organize themselves anywhere they choose in the world.

    Klein concludes his comments by saying that before formulating programs on paper of one sort or another, we must make certain to win the present war, which we have yet to win and only then to shape the political environment, in accordance with its results.

    Minister Elon responded to all of the above that the aid to Jordan is a type of regional “Marshall Plan” to rehabilitate the Middle East, and is not in order to “bribe” Jordan. He agreed that direct immigration is practical and mass Arab immigration to the West and to other countries is at present a reality, which should be encouraged. Regarding the undermining of the stability of the Jordanian regime, Elon responds that a generous and well-planned aid package to Jordan could “buttress its power and strengthen its regime”. As to the economic integration with Israel and the Palestinians – Elon agrees with Yitzchak Klein that those economic ties should be severed.

  3. Ezra Sohar addressed the fact that although Elon and his supporters propose Jordan as the Palestinian state, they have not detailed the ways to realize their objective. The present situation is that the Palestinians have not accepted any peace proposal submitted to them since 1993. Similarly, in Sohar’s opinion, Elon’s proposal that a million Arabs will live west of the Jordan, work, be educated and pay taxes to Israel but vote in elections for the Jordanian Parliament – a country in which they have no influence – is unrealistic.

    Minister Elon disagreed and said that “the autonomy powers can include collecting taxes in the cities and villages...”, because the educational, health and welfare systems of the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza will be affiliated with the autonomous authority under Jordanian auspices. In that context, Prof. Sohar also raised the issue of dual loyalty, to which Elon responded that none of these citizens would be required to serve in the army. On the contrary, “the Arabs will be citizens of the Jordano-Palestinian state and will be required to be loyal only to it. Anyone of them involved in terrorism will be punished, as in any other country in the world.”

    The central problem in Elon’s proposal, Sohar claims, is the inability to implement it in the existing reality. The West considers Jordan a protectorate and will not allow an energetic Palestinian majority to threaten the Hashemite regime. Therefore, the implementation of Elon’s program will require annexation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to Israel and the expulsion of the PLO members – something which cannot be implemented and would not meet with the approval of America and Europe. Why, then, would Jordan agree to the proposed framework? Sohar asks.

    Minister Elon responded, “Jordan has always relied upon the support of the Western powers (Britain and subsequently the United States) and on Israeli backing.” Therefore Elon proposed a broad, intense information campaign in the United States and Israel which would generate the pressure of public opinion, which Jordan will be unable to ignore.

  4. In summary, the conclusion of the three participants was that even if the program does have some substance, it is not acceptable in the present reality and it lacks practical detail. Minister Elon responded to those assertions that the program constitutes “general guidelines, and does not enter into detail on the questions of economic aid, the precise nature of the administration, etc.”


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Safed - The Gateway to Heaven
The Conquest of Safed in the War of Independence

Hanan Sever

The Conquest of Safed on May 28-29, 1948 by the Yiftah Brigade is one of the significant successful climaxes of the War of Independence. The city’s strategic significance in terms of its control of the entire northern Galilee was extremely pivotal, and the two warring parties, the Jews and the Arabs, knew that the fate of Safed would determine the fate of the entire Galilee. The Jews’ military inferiority vis-a-vis the Arabs was conspicuous. The British, on the verge of evacuation, were certain that the Arabs would emerge victorious, and were astounded when informed that the Israeli flag was flying above a hotel in the city.

In an article by Dr. Mustafa Abassi, published in the “Katedra” periodical (volume 109, April 2003), the author attempts to debunk the unforgettable heroic myth of the conquest of Safed, the victory of the few over the many, and to transform it into the story of a routine victory, in which the Jews were the powerful and the many, while the Arabs were the few, the weak, the besieged and ultimately those who were, forcibly, unjustly and through no fault of their own, expelled from their city and their homes.

Hanan Sever, a member of Kibbutz Yiftah and who himself was a member of the Yiftah Brigade, responds to Abassi’s attempts to distort the Jewish testimonies and sources and portray them as “exaggerated and inaccurate”. The new element in Abassi’s article is the presentation of the Arab side of the story, based on documents, which were unavailable to the Jewish researchers, for example the statement by Olmaz to Adiv Shishakli, who wrote about the Arab morale at the time: “Morale is very high, the youth is inflamed, we will slaughter them!” and other similar quotes.

How did the Arabs attain such high morale? That’s simple. Because they were numerous and well equipped, fighting against those who were few in number and weapons, and because they were openly supported by the British, who were certain of the Arab victory and who delivered to them all of the strategic, dominant points in the city: the main headquarters on Mount Canaan, the Taggart fortress, the Canaan police, the municipal police, Shalva House and the city entrance.

Dr. Abassi’s article is another one of the persistent attempts by both Jews and Arabs to rewrite history and recast it to portray the Arabs as the victims and the Jews as heartless imperialist conquerors, rather than an exiled, battered people which returned to its homeland and defended itself with courage and determination against the Arab attacks and riots, and emerged victorious – against all odds and despite an openly hostile mandatory government.

Hanan Sever’s historical article is interwoven with two touching stories – the story of Avinoam, the battle commander himself, called “The Question Which Remained Unanswered: Who Fired at the Fiat?” and the story of a Safed resident about the betrayal by an Arab of a Jewish family which nurtured him, called “Thank You” (in Arabic).


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