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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 17 Number 5 (100) September 2004Tishrei 5765

Table of Contents


Nativ Celebrates 100 Issues



Israel's Strategic Future: Project Daniel

Louis René Beres, Chair, Naaman Belkind,
Isaac Ben-Israel,
Rand H. Fishbein,
Adir Pridor and
Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

Israel: The Existential Threat and the Strategic Response

David Bukay

Beyond Munich: The Spirit of Eurabia

Bat Yeor

Arafat's Grand Strategy

Efraim Karsh

The Mideast Following the War in Iraq

Raphael Israeli


Ultralight as an Anti-Terror Platform

Ran Ichay

How Solid is "Defensive Shield"?

Eviathar Ben-Zedeff

Prime Minister

A Machiavellian Analysis of Ariel Sharon

Paul Eidelberg


Israel's Supreme Court: Judicial Oligarchy

Haim Misgav


What Happened to the Newspaper, Ha'aretz?

Arnon Soffer


Rabin's Murder in Hebrew Prose

Yosef Oren


For the Sake of Education, I Will Not be Silent

Dov Landau


One Small Step - Is the UN Finally Ready to Get Serious about Anti-Semitism?

Anne Bayefsky


Choosing to Be a Jew: Was it Worthwhile? (Part I):

The Editor and His Guests: Who is a Jew, and Primarily, Why?

Eliav ShochetmanElyakim Ha'etzniDaniel Shalit Megi AdamMoshe Shamir, z"l

In Memoriam

Moshe Shamir, z"l

Hillel Weiss

Literature and Arts Supplement ■ Editor: Dror Eydar


Music and


The Closing of the Centuries’ Sick Children: An Alternative Look at the Hebrew Literature in Eretz Israel


A Great Sadness – Introduction to Emuna Elon’s new book, Heaven Rejoices

Hillel Weiss

From the Turbin Family by Bulgakov to Russian Aliya – Thoughts on the Russian, Israeli and Jewish Intellectual Elite

Liza Chudnovsky

Israeli Music on the Path of Imitation

Assaf Shelleg

Quentin Tarantino vs. Clint Eastwood – Justice and Violence in Hollywood

Amnon Lord

The Melodies of Naomi Shemer – in Memoriam

Avidov Lipsker


Ronen Amrani


Eliaz Cohen • Chava Pinchas-Cohen • Esti Kamai • Zur Ehrlich • Cheli Avraham-Eitan • Cheslow Milosz


Selected Summaries


NATIV Celebrates 100 Issues


Dear Reader,

The 100th edition of Nativ is before you. Seventeen years have passed since we began the long expedition to confront the fundamental problems on the national agenda in an attempt to consolidate rational thinking for the Jewish state (the undersigned is aware of the note of arrogance implicit in that statement). Unfortunately, we have not been successful. It was Binyamin Netanyahu who commented to the undersigned: “You sit behind a desk and write whatever comes to mind. Let’s see you do it with David Levy and Arik Sharon on your back.”

Did he hope in that way to explain the ideological transformation, which the standard politician undergoes at the moment that his foot crosses the threshold of the Prime Minister’s office?

Israel is a society subject to an existential threat. A midget state extending on a stretch of sand along the Mediterranean coast surrounded by a sea of Arab and Moslem hatred on the one side and by Europe, in which the head of the monster of anti-Semitism is rearing its head as in days of old, on the other. In a situation of that sort, it is only natural that a critical mass is formed, beneath which the individual and the collective collapse and defense mechanisms, which repress reality and raise virtual worlds designed to grant wishes, rise to the surface and develop. The willingness to confront the enemy, who openly announces his intention to destroy the Jewish state is replaced by defeatism, which first and foremost afflicts the leadership echelon in accordance with the adage that a fish begins to stink at the head. Thus an Orwellian language begins to develop in the mouth of a prime minister who characterizes a terrorism campaign unprecedented in the history of Israel as: A “peace process”; a prime minister who grants legitimacy to the most prolific murderer of Jews since Hitler and who is responsible for the massacre of 1,500 of his countrymen, is the object of hero worship and idolatry, and a central square in the first Hebrew city is named after him; his successor, who just now submitted to the public his Weltanschauung in an articulate book in which he vowed to battle to the end against the gang of murderers rising up against his people and his land, and he just took office and he betrayed everything in which he believed, without batting an eyelid. It goes on and on: one seeks to relinquish the Golan, and the other comes and turns over the holy places in Jerusalem and yet another seeks to abandon Judea and Samaria – the cradle of the Hebrew nation and the very essence of Zionism. So it has been until now, until the days of the current “Rais”, an unprecedented combination of corruption, nepotism and defeatism. After stealing the votes of his voters, shattering the very foundation of his party and introducing a proto-fascist regime, he now vows to evict Jews from their homes by force and establish an Arab terrorist state on the outskirts of Greater Tel Aviv. And so on and so forth. The depressing list is long and the patient reader who leafs through the pages of Nativ is well aware of this.

It is well known that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, and that the role of preacher at the gate is thankless. So it was always and so it will continue to be. There is nothing easier (or more seductive...) than to sail on the pages of Nativ to the sublime worlds of abstract ideas or to sell your soul to political correctness in exchange for a fistful of shekels and to trudge through the swamp of mediocrity and routine. This we shall not do, because we cannot.

We will, therefore, continue in the spirit of Ezekiel the Prophet and the “watchman unto the house of Israel”.

   ...Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman. If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people.

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

(Ezekiel 33: 2,3,6)


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Israel's Strategic Future: Project Daniel

Louis René Beres, Chair,
Naaman Belkind, Isaac Ben-Israel, Rand H. Fishbein,
Adir Pridor and Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

Israel’s Strategic Future: The Final Report of Project Daniel was completed in mid-January 2003 – several months befoe the start of the current Iraq War – and transmitted directly to Prime Minister Sharon. The rationale of this unique Project was the incontestable presumption that Israel urgently needs a carefully constructed and coherent plan for dealing with authentically existential threats, and that we (“The Group”) were well-positioned intellectually and professionally to help design such a plan. Although we began with an overriding concern for the possible fusion of WMD-capacity with irrational adversaries, Project Daniel concluded that the primary threats to Israel’s physical survival were more likely to arise among enemies that were not irrational. With this in mind, we proceeded to consider a broad variety of issues concerning deterrence, defense, preemption and warfighting.

Combining jurisprudential with strategic analyses, The Group linked the legal concept of “anticipatory self-defense” to various preemption scenarios and to The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 20, 2002). We also examined closely the prospects for expanded strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, with particular reference to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative edge” and to associated issues of necessary funding. Project Daniel looked very closely at a recommended “paradigm shift” to deal with various “low intensity” and long-range WMD threats to Israel, and also considered the circumstances under which Israel should purposefully end its current posture of “nuclear ambiguity”. Overall, The Group urged continuing constructive support to the United States-led War Against Terror (WAT) and stipulated that Israel combine a strengthening of multilayered active defenses with a credible, secure and decisive nuclear deterrent. This recognizable retaliatory (second-strike) force should be fashioned with the capacity to destroy some 10-20 high-value targets scattered widely over pertinent enemy states in the Middle East – an objective entirely consistent with our explicit assumption that the main goal of Israel’s nuclear forces must always be deterrence ex ante, not revenge ex post.

The Group recognized a very basic asymmetry between Israel and the Arab/Iranian world concerning, inter alia, the desirability of peace; the absence of democracy; the acceptability of terror as a legitimate weapon and the overwhelming demogic advantage of the Arab/Iranian world. With this in mind, Israel’s Strategic Future concluded that non-conventional exchanges between Israel and adversary states must always be scrupulously avoided and that Israel do whatever is needed to maintain its conventional supremacy in the region. Facing a growing anarchy in world affairs and an increasing isolation in the world community, Israel is strongly encouraged by Project Daniel to incorporate The Group’s considered recommendations into codified IDF doctrine, and to systematically expand Israeli strategic studies into a more disciplined field of inquiry. In the end, Israel’s survival will depend largely upon policies of its own making, and these policies will be best-informed by The Group’s proposed steps regarding deterrence; defense; warfighting and preemption options.

The complete text of this paper is available in English in print form. Contact us for more information.


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The Mideast Following the War in Iraq

Raphael Israeli

One is tempted to judge the Iraq war in the light (or rather obscurity) of its aftermath, and many question marks are put on its worth in view of what seems to be a total failure of the US to achieve its goals. However, if assessed in terms of its hidden agendas, one is amazed to realize how much it has accomplished: first of all in terms of creating a viable alternative to the Saudi oil in the long run. True, for now the oil prices have been driven up and Iraq has not raised its production as yet to such levels as to provide a substitute to the Saudi oil, but the base is being laid to achieve just that. Secondly, in terms of weapons of mass destruction, there is no doubt that the smoking gun is there, it was just hidden or destroyed, but the evidence for its existence is being pieced together and the realization is there that absence of evidence for now is not evidence of absence for ever. Thirdly, though a definite link was not found between Iraq and September 11, much proof is there for the operations of al Qai`dah from Iraqi territory, before and after the War, and for Saddam's assistance to Palestinian terrorism.

Above all, one should not forget the crucial geo-strategic achievements of the US in not only removing the tyrant, but in also altering permanently the balance of power, by placing its forces in the heart of the Middle East, adjoining Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Turkey and Syria. All those, some of whom were singled out as terroristic countries, are served notice that they might be next unless they mend their ways.


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Ultralight as an Anti-Terror Platform

Ran Ichay

With the anticipated change, some of which has already begun to materialize, in the threats of Palestinian terrorism against Israel – chief among them the inevitable passage from perpetrating “contact attacks” to perpetrating “long distance attacks”, due to construction of the fence and preparations for the evacuation of IDF forces from various areas and reduction of the direct friction – the security system must adopt new, different and more appropriate methods in executing the war on terrorism. The anticipated nature of the struggle in the next stage will require extended, continuous aerial patrols, supervision and control over broad areas – for example, in order to prevent launching of Qasam rockets, or, at least, locating and liquidating the squads, which launched them before they manage to assimilate into the population, which provides them with cover – and will demand the availability of aerial platforms, which will be capable of carrying out these ever increasing tasks while keeping up the tempo, the ability to execute the mission, with minimal risk and no less important – at a reasonable cost, which will facilitate optimal implementation.

Today, some of these missions are executed, in accordance with the current IDF combat theory, by helicopters, pilotless drones or light planes whose operating costs range from hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour of flight time, not to mention the planes themselves, which cost a minimum of $100,000 for a light plane, through several million for a helicopter and not much less for the pilotless drones.

On the other hand, in Israel there is an entire system, civilian at this stage, of planes and pilots (most of them former Air Force personnel and therefore with operational experience and great skill), capable of executing those missions at a level no lower – and perhaps even higher – than the present system. The light planes (or as they are more commonly known – Ultralights) offer a non-expensive, appropriate and available solution to the security problems arising from the present situation in which, for example, the threat from the Gaza Strip is being transformed more and more into a threat of long distance launching than explosive devices, and this trend is even likely to intensify.

The cost of an Ultralight is $25,000 per plane, upon which the photography and surveillance equipment must be installed (today they are installed in the more expensive planes), and an hour of flight time costs no more than $500 and in many cases even much less. There are hundreds of available pilots and it will be possible to organize them in a volunteer police type of framework, in the form of the Civilian Guard or similar to it, and thereby minimize cost even further. The impressive flight package of the “standard” Ultralight model P-92, for example (seven consecutive hours in the air, potential altitude of 20,000 feet, speed of 120 knots), in addition to its uncommon flexibility, makes its capability closer to that of a helicopter than a light plane, as far as take-offs and landings in the field and landing-fields and storage in terms of the logistics – make this simple and effective platform the unmatched contender to execute aerial missions in the war on terrorism. This would also free the more complex, designated instruments, like the storm and attack helicopters and like the pilotless drones, for their primary missions in the area of preparation for a comprehensive conventional war on the borders, rather than dealing in an almost exclusive manner with internal security.


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How Solid is "Defensive Shield"?

Eviathar Ben-Zedeff

Since the War of Independence, Israel has been combating, not altogether successfully, infiltrators and perpetrators of terrorist attacks, but it has been able to provide periods of relative calm to the civilian rear – especially, when it is removed from the areas of conflict. In the War of Attrition, after the Six-Day War, combating terrorism became the central sphere of IDF activity. Nevertheless, there has been virtually no progress in terms of Israeli combat theory in that area.

Intensification of the focused interception of terrorists during the riots, which erupted in September 2000, significantly altered the nature of the Israeli reaction, especially after the change in government in February 2001, climaxing in the hesitant entry of army units into Areas A and B, which eroded the PA’s authority – until Operation Defensive Shield.

The operation consisted of a series of incursions into a built-up area, which were conducted in densely populated built-up areas, under the watchful eye of world opinion. As was the case in previous IDF incursions into PA territories, stories of atrocities began circulating with the onset of battle, with which the alignment of the Israeli media and the IDF spokesperson were unable to deal.

Retaliatory raids have limited influence and do not act as deterrents for very long. Operation Defensive shield succeeded not only on the operational plane but also in its projection on Israel’s deterrent capability. However, in order to maintain that deterrent, one isolated operation is insufficient. Constant pressure must be brought to bear on the enemy. The success of Operation Defensive Shield will also not provide deterrence forever, and similar operations, regional and local, should be repeated in order to maintain the pressure on the terrorist organizations and in order to thwart their reorganization and their renewed activity.

Defensive Shield was just a stage in the liquidation of the PA, climaxing in the partial quarantine of the terrorist leader in the Mukata building in Ramallah. This diplomatic accomplishment was thwarted due to international pressure and internal Israeli politics. The operation created a new dimension in Israeli deterrence as it was conducted despite intense international pressure - including from the White House – contrary to the expectations of the world and the PA. At the same time it was clear once again that its implementation disregarded the political clock.

Defensive Shield was not a war, but rather a detail in a comprehensive battle against Palestinian terrorism, and it was incapable of totally stopping terrorism or overcoming it. The military history of the State of Israel proves that an isolated operation can establish a deterrent for just a brief time, and it should be repeated – until the power of retaliatory operations is crushed – if that is the sole means being implemented. Israel must not fail in its war on terrorism, and must not be perceived as failing either – just as it must not fail in a comprehensive war – and in order to enhance the accomplishments in the operations against terrorism, psychological operations should be frequently undertaken.


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A Machiavellian Analysis of Ariel Sharon

Paul Eidelberg

The late professor Y. Harkabi, former head of Israel Military Intelligence and the reputed mentor of Shimon Peres, referred to himself as a “Machiavellian dove”. Whatever Harkabi’s intention, a Machiavellian dove is one who pursues peace to attain power. Therein is the key to understanding the policy of “territory for peace” as well as the political reversals of Ariel Sharon.

To be a true Machiavellian, one’s mind must be so “constructed” as to be virtually devoid of all emotion, save the desire for power. To harbor emotions is to be susceptible to habits, and it is precisely habits that prevent a ruler from being a Machiavellian, meaning a perfect opportunist (who knows when and how to zig-zag). To be a perfect opportunist, a ruler must change his “nature” with the times and circumstances, which means he must have no emotional predispositions (other than the desire to maintain and increase his power). Under yesterday’s circumstances it was expedient for Sharon to be a Zionist, to build up settlements, and to oppose a Palestinian state. Under today’s circumstances, it is expedient for Sharon to be a post-Zionist, to uproot settlements, and to favor a Palestinian state. 

Which means he must not think in terms of “black and white.” He must not have any binding emotional attachment to Judea and Samaria. He must think of this land not as Jewish land but as “occupied territory”. The quest for power trumps truth.

Accordingly, Machiavelli teaches would-be rulers to practice deceit and dissimulation constantly. May not deceit and dissimulation underlie Sharon’s political reversals? Is it not evident that prior to any political reversal, Sharon must have appeared to believe what his position at the time necessitated if he was to obtain or maintain power? Did he not campaign in the January 2003 election against Labor’s left-wing policy of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza only to reverse himself the following year? Must we not regard his violating his pledge to abide by the outcome of the Likud referendum as indicative of a Machiavellian contempt for truthfulness and faithfulness?

To be sure, it is not uncommon for politicians not to mean what they say. But here we are discussing not a health bill or a proposal to lower taxes, but issues affecting the lives of an untold number of Jews and even the survival of the Jewish state. One must not confuse diluted and undiluted Machiavellians. We are speaking of a man who now wants to be the co-author of a Palestinian state, which logically necessitates the truncation not only of the Jewish state, but also the historical consciousness of the Jewish people.


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Israel's Supreme Court: Judicial Oligarchy

Haim Misgav

The judicial imperialism practiced in the State of Israel, is unparalleled anywhere in the world. The principle of checks and balances between the various branches of government is a significant component in the configuration of rights of every civilian, and therefore when the Supreme Court unilaterally pronounced itself as the one authorized to abrogate laws of the legislative authority, or as the one permitted to review any action taken by elected governmental authorities, it, first and foremost, undermined the democratic fundamentals customary in every liberal regime.

In the absence of a constitution, which only the Knesset is authorized to adopt in its role as founding assembly, as established in the Proclamation of Independence, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court decided, about 10 years ago, that, in actuality, there is only one sovereign in the State of Israel, the Supreme Court, and everyone is supposed to be subordinate to its caprices.

However, in order to guarantee the oligarchic rule of the ruling group, its members gained control of the Committee for the Selection of Judges, through which they determine, who will join their ranks – and in actuality, who will succeed them. This system of “friend brings a friend”, which takes care of cronies, family members or friends in a perverse, inappropriate and loathsome manner, for all intents and purposes cause many to view the systems charged with the rule of law in the State of Israel with contempt.

The state attorney has conducted itself in a similar fashion over the course of many years. Dorit Beinish was elected/appointed to the Supreme Court as the heir apparent to Aharon Barak as Chief Justice, after introducing into the State Attorney’s office offensive operational methods, which they approved, for example, the deployment of the inciting agent, Avishai Raviv. Her successor in that position, Edna Arbel, refined her predecessor’s methods and produced a series of baseless indictments in an almost immoral manner. Anywhere else in the world, her “recommendations” would have distanced her from public action forever, however, only here could she receive as “reward” a promotion to the Supreme Court. Only here could they forgive, with Edna Arbel’s blessing, the head of the Interrogations Branch, for illegal wiretaps over the course of several years, or initiate investigations against public figures with the objective of disqualifying them from positions in government or as a means of silencing them.

Only here could the Supreme Court intervene in every action taken by the executive or legislative branches, to substitute its discretion for that of elected authorities and to act, for all intents and purposes, with imperial methods, interwoven with objectionable components.


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For the Sake of Education, I Will Not be Silent

Dov Landau

The letter of appointment for the National Task Force for the Advancement of Education should be rejected a priori, because like previous reforms in education, it focuses on buildings and frameworks, and considers their replacement a cure for all of the maladies of education. Therefore, the committee fails to deal with the substantive shortcomings of education: Values, curriculum, education for thinking, teaching methods and discipline problems. In accordance with that objective, the members of the committee consist of people from the field of hi-tech, economists, lawyers and businessmen, but not writers, artists, philosophers and only a small measure of people associated with education and not even one active teacher. Thus, it is no wonder that the committee’s recommendations focus on the areas of buildings and frameworks.

Most of the committee’s recommendations are faulty. Transfer of authority to principals will destroy their pedagogical relationship with the teachers, will undermine the motivation to teach and will not correct deficiencies like lack of discipline, lack of values and lack of a didactic approach. Teacher training in the universities is known to be a failure both in terms of information and in terms of didactics, and the closing of teachers’ colleges will prevent the periphery from studying. The knowledge of yeshiva alumni in the area of Judaic studies is far superior to the knowledge of the university graduates. Thus, the universities are incapable of providing for the needs of the religious education system, regardless of whether the reason is due to lack of knowledge, lack of desire or ideological opposition.

A separate Testing Authority will create uniformity in teaching, and constant pressure due to tests will prevent creative learning. Extending the hours in which school is functioning will prevent the teacher from grading tests and preparing lessons. School is a beehive, and the students generate intolerable noise, which penetrates everywhere and the teacher has no possibility of concentrating on his work. There is never a quiet, comfortable work area (the work spaces are but an illusion) and a library for the teacher’s needs is non-existent. Shortening the workweek at the expense of extending the work day will prevent the teacher from taking courses at the university and advance, and the children will be left with much time for loitering.

Establishing clear responsibilities for the students in addition to his rights can solve the discipline problems. These responsibilities should be anchored in a powerful law, directed against both violent students and parents. Schools for reeducation should also be established for the students who run wild in the schools. The law will determine in what matters the teacher has the right to intervene and in what matters he may not intervene. In addition, the intervention of bureaucrats, reporters and other non-educators should be prevented.

Emphasis on the arts, humanism and Judaism should counterbalance technology’s domination of education. School is not a factory and students are not raw materials. Education is not merely the development of skills, but also the transmission of the values of culture, nation, religion, respect for parents, teachers and elders, and the student must accept them without compromise. Teaching the student how to think is especially important, teaching them the patterns of logical thought like induction, deduction, definition, analysis and inference, etc. The student should learn how to answer questions, which force him to think and to seek full, complete and profound answers by himself. This should be transmitted by means of questions pointing to the hidden meaning of the text and encourage thinking, which will lead to the solution in the hidden meaning of the text and thereby to the hidden meaning of the world.


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