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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 19 Number 3 (110)  May 2006Iyar 5766

Table of Contents



Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism in the Baltic States

Dov Levin

The Autumn 2005 Riots in France: Their Possible Impact on Israel and the Jews

Manfred Gerstenfeld

The Righteous Gentiles – What is Their Fear?

Pawel Reszka

Germany – Furio Teutonics

Dan Doulard

IDF and Security

Naval Strategy: Naval Deterrence as Part of the New Strategic Perception

David Shiek


“Tenured Radicals” in Israel: From New Zionism to Political Activism

Ofira Seliktar

Review and Interpretation in the Ha’aretz Supplement: Deliberate Diversion or Journalistic Objectivity

Avraham Gur


Democracy in Service of the Global Caliphate of Muslim Brotherhood

Rachel Ehrenfeld

The Political Horizon is Green – Suggestions to End the Conflict

Arieh Eldad

Eretz Israel

Israeli Settlement in the Mountains and Desert in Ancient Times

Menashe Harel

Identity and Place – What Settlement Means

Daniel Shalit


Shalom Yetzt” – Warsaw Ghetto, April 13, 1943

Steven Plaut

Book Reviews

Paul Eidelberg on the Writings of Oriana Falacci Ziva Feldman on Mum Stitched Stars by Esther Eisen


Azriel Lorber Reuven Pedatzur

Eitan Sharon The Editor

Literature and Arts Supplement ■ Editor: Dror Eydar


“The Mouse that Roared” – A Look at Steven Spielberg’s Jewish World

Yuval Rivlin

“At the Edge of the Track”Selected Portions (Translation: Amos Rubin)

Cornelia Turner

“Signs of Life Exposed” – Holocaust Memorial Day (Introduction: Yehuda Etzion)

Shabtai Ben-Dov


Yoav Elstein Meiron Issacson Herzl Hakak Shor Entebbe Tali Cohen-Shabtai


Yoram Cohen Donna Arieli-Horowitz


Selected Summaries


Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism in the Baltic States

Dov Levin

Although this article presumes to focus on all three of the important phenomena expressed in its title, in the post-Holocaust reality they often commingle and cannot always be differentiated properly. In the main, this is said about the problem of distinguishing between general denial of the Holocaust2 and partial denial, which includes components of disinformation and distortion. All of them frequently interrelate with the new forms of anti-Semitism. Be this as it may, this article will attempt to present several facts that represent our knowledge of these phenomena in respect to the Holocaust in the three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

1    See Dov Levin, “On the Relations between the Baltic Peoples and Their Jewish Neighbours Before, During, and After World War II”, in Remembering for the Future, Theme I—Jews and Christians During and After the Holocaust, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1988, pp. 171-181.

2    Amidst the proliferation of views about this phenomenon, one view seems the most appropriate and relevant for the contents of this article: that “the real purpose of the denial is to clear the Nazism that clings to it; to achieve for it the rehabilitation that will pave the way for those radical movements that are experiencing difficulty in gaining a broad foothold in the public and political arenas.” Yisrael Gutman, Denying the Holocaust, Jerusalem: Shazar Library, 1985, p. 13.


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The Autumn 2005 Riots in France:
Their Possible Impact on Israel and the Jews

Manfred Gerstenfeld

The French 2005 autumn riots were a classic example of “first the Jews are attacked then others follow.” What France experienced in 2005, was similar to what thousands of Jews who live close to Muslim communities had already gone through since late 2000.

The rioters were almost exclusively North and West Africans, the great majority of them Muslim. They had three major motivations. The first was socioeconomic. The second was that many rioters were hooligans or criminals. The third motivation for the riots was racist-ethnic. Some of the rioters publicly said that they are anti-French and anti-white.

The Jewish community kept a low profile during the riots and was not specifically targeted this time. However, several anti-Semitic incidents took place in the months after the riots. The main one was the cruel murder of a young Jew, Ilan Halimi. After the riots, the question arose, what would have happened if the French government had protected the Jews more forcefully when they were attacked so often in the past few years. Would it have prevented the 2005 riots? For years the rioters had seen that only a small number of those attacking Jews and Jewish institutions were caught and brought to justice.

The disparate issues to be analyzed when trying to identify the disturbances’ relevance for French Jewry include subjects such as whether there was a specific impact of the disorders on the French-Jewish community, what specific conclusions the Jewish community should draw from them, what changes in societal attitudes and governmental measures may affect the French-Jewish community, and whether the French government will make specific demands on the Jewish community.

Since the riots, it has become evident that there are some similar motifs in the problems of France and Israel. One is unlikely to be proved wrong when forecasting that the ongoing Muslim incitement propaganda will create substantial new problems in Europe as well. The recent decline in self-assuredness and increased confusion in Europe, however, opens new possibilities for Israel in its interaction with France and Europe.


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The Righteous Gentiles – What is Their Fear?

Pawel Reszka

Among the 20,757 people who have received the Righteous Gentile medal, the largest group is Polish: 5,874. Truly impressive. However, when, last autumn, a festive reception was held on behalf of the Israeli embassy in Poland for the recipients of the righteous Gentile medals in the Lublin district, only three representatives of their relatives attended. Just before the reception, relatives of two other families called and made their attendance contingent on the lack of media coverage of the event. A planned reception in the Spring in Bialystock was canceled as family members claimed that even if there would be no media coverage of the event, it will be impossible to keep it a secret and it will ultimately become known. As a result, the medals and the certificates were sent in the mail. The reception in the village of Podolska Biala was described by a local journalist who was present: “None of those in attendance agreed to give his name to the media representatives. Righteous Gentiles are very apprehensive. The Israeli embassy resolutely refuses to give the media any identifying details regarding the identities of those receiving medals or their relatives.” A reporter who sought to interview one of the families had a door slammed in his face. And if someone relented and agreed to talk, the standard response was: Sir, please leave me alone. What will be accomplished by immediately publicizing the family name? Who knows what the neighbors will say, how the children will react? And after all, so much time has passed since then, who needs this…?


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Naval Strategy:
Naval Deterrence as Part of the New Strategic Perception

David Shiek

In this essay, I will attempt to explain that it is not possible to effectively protect the State of Israel today against the strategic threats confronting it without sea expanses along with a mobile, multi-purpose, aggressive (and nuclear) durable navy.

The State of Israel is like a “strategic platform”, upon which, in situations of emergency, crisis and war, a strategic surprise could take place – a surprise attack employing conventional, chemical or biological missiles and in the future, even nuclear missiles or bombs. This platform must deter, prevent, absorb and neutralize the other “strategic platforms” (Arab countries) from which the missiles were launched. The platform is narrow, densely populated in its center, where all of the recruitment, logistic, medical and industrial centers are also concentrated. Therefore, as technology progresses, threats grow more ominous and distance (even thousands of kilometers) loses its significance, the need arises to enlarge the platform, otherwise it will “collapse” (while Israel’s land expanses are gradually diminishing).

Technology allows expansion into space and to sea. Israel has “dabbled” at space and its accomplishments are tremendous, however the required budgets are as astronomical as the distances involved. Expanding the country’s borders (primarily to the east) creates an inconsequential security belt (as the strike at the center is what counts).

In contrast to all that, sea expanses create natural strategic depth with strategic advantages for sea vessels like those provided by land vehicles: Mobility, quick movement from sector to sector, sea-based deterrent and defense capability against planes attacking the country’s skies and the ability to participate in the decisive battle. In terms of the underwater realm, the submarine has advantages in firing conventional and non-conventional (ballistic and cruise) missiles due to its survivability.

The requisite funds should be provided after a reorganization of the defense components as a whole in the face of the threats.

In addition, other forms of cooperation are possible such as the use of ports and infrastructure, mutual use of intelligence, “reciprocal coverage and protection”.

As a result of the above, in the nuclear era that is liable to become a reality in the near future (no surprise), the primary strategic threat facing Israel will be a surprise nuclear attack. Deterrence by means of submarines armed with cruise missiles with nuclear warheads or surface vessels armed with appropriate discovery and warning systems are the optimal operational response at Israel’s disposal at present.

Today, the navy must move from the stage of operating strategic vessels – the Saar 5 and the Dolphin strategic submarine, to a stage of operating synergistically as a strategic branch of the armed forces, employing tactical nuclear attack capabilities.

The Navy’s budget should be upgraded in accordance with those needs.


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“Tenured Radicals” in Israel:
From New Zionism to Political Activism

Ofira Seliktar

The decision of the British Association of University Teachers to call for an academic boycott of Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University aroused waves of protest in Israel and abroad. Most of the rage was directed towards a group of Israeli academics who supported the boycott. The fact that Israeli academics are pawns in the hands of those interested in implementing an action of this sort against Israel moved many to issue a call for the dismissal of those “radicals with tenure”. Others, including much of the media, wondered how was it that senior academics, whose salary is funded by the Israeli taxpayer, could utilize their position in order to harm the national interest of the State.

These reactions are insufficient to deal with the complex issue and the relationship between academic endeavor in the social sciences, academic activism and academic freedom. It is appropriate that a discussion of this sort, which became extremely contentious in the United States over recent decades, should take place in Israel as well. At its foundation, stands the need to confront the challenge posed by the critical theory widely accepted in Western academia to the traditional configuration of knowledge in the social sciences and liberal arts.

The article sees the “post-Zionism” of that group of academics as the Israeli version of “post-modernism”, a trendy critical theory among Western academics over the last 50 years.

There are different approaches in post modernism, among them the interpretive approach as propounded by Michel Foucalt, Jacques Deride, Jean LeCan and the German philosopher, Jurgen Habermas who claimed that the accepted “social narratives” reflect the power structure in a given society. The neo-Marxist approach, among whose central scholars are Andre Gunder Frank, Henrik Cardozo and Samir Amin, criticized free-market democracy and introduced the “dependencia” movement to the world. Researchers from the Dependencia School claimed that socialism and not free-market democracy is the ultimate destiny of mankind. Edward Said, who adopted the fundamentally economic critique of Samir Amin, developed his highly influential cultural criticism known as “Orientalism”. In a book of the same name published by Said, he claims that the West misrepresented the Arab societies and described them as a backward, threatening “other”, in order to justify colonial conquest.

Critical approaches to international relations developed and became “constructivism”, which claimed that a state is shaped in accordance with its identity needs and profound fears, including the view of the “other”. During the Cold War, the constructivist school propounded the theory that the Soviet Union is nothing more than a ghost, a product of the American military-industrial complex, and that it, in reality, poses no threat to the West.

Through adoption of this “revolution by method” as it was characterized by a famous radical critical humanist, the critical scholars were liberated from the shackles of empirical social scholarship practiced by their colleagues who conduct themselves in accordance with behaviorist scholarship concepts and methods. A leading Israeli scholar phrased it thus: “Post-Zionism is a semi-analytical, semi-normative approach, which challenges the traditional Zionist way of thinking.” Equipped with the tools of the sort provided them by the critical theory, the critical scholars or Israeli post-Zionists have succeeded in producing mounds of theories and interpretations. For example, the attempt of the “new historians” to deconstruct the traditional “Zionist narrative” that was constructed around the period of the establishment of the State of Israel and the fate of the Palestinian people is well known. Benny Morris started it, and it was continued and elaborated upon by Ilan Pappe, Avi Schleim and others; “new historians” who deal with the “myths” that became part of the traditional database including the “myth” of the balance of power, the “myth” that the Palestinians left of their own volition and the “myth” of the intransigence of the Palestinians.

Beyond their rejection of the founding narrative of the Jewish state, critical scholars, like Uri Ram, reject the notion that the Jews have a legitimate right to the Land of Israel. Basing himself on Said, Ram claims that the “Zionist project” is a colonialist enterprise, which does not grant the Jews any more rights to Palestine than the British had to India.

 A School of Thought in Service of Political Activism:
De-Legitimatization of Israel as a Means towards the Liberation of the Palestinian People

True to the mandate that they assumed to change society, the scholars of the critical school turn to political activity with the objective of underscoring the illegitimacy of the occupation. As Ophir put it, they are motivated by the fear that “rule over the Palestinians” led to “the adoption of political patterns of an ethnocentric, racist nation-state”. Many of the scholars are involved in the “Campus is Not Silent” organization, a group that has branches in Tel Aviv University and in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The group was founded in 1996, as a continuation of “Ad Kan”, a movement that was established during the first intifada in the late 1980s. Others are active outside the group, which numbers 150 faculty members. About 20 of them serve as the spearhead, others participate in the organization and there are those who exploit their academic research projects to promote its primary objective – the de-legitimatization of Israel.

Attempts to mobilize international pressure involve a range of strategies – awareness raising through the use of media outlets in the United States and in Europe; turning to sympathetic organizations like the UN Human Rights Committee and NGOs involved in human rights, groups affiliated with international churches; support of sanctions like the boycott of universities, institutions and companies that encourage the “occupation” and others.

Since agreement has not been reached as to the optimal manner in which to duplicate the success enjoyed by the activists in South Africa, the scholars adopted different strategies. For example, Pappe, Reinhart, Giora, Yablonka and Ram support an academic boycott and other forms of pressure; Gordon and Greenberg supported petitioning the International Court for War Crimes against IDF officers in the territories and the Commander of the Air Force whom they want to put on trial for the targeted killings. Kimmerling, who believes that “academic institutions are an indivisible part of the oppressive State of Israel, which among the other contemptible and foolish acts that it has perpetrated, has committed unforgivable crimes against the Palestinian people”, opposes an academic boycott unless it is part of a comprehensive boycott modeled after the South African one. Ophir is angry that the “shadow of anti-Semitism” prevents Europe from adopting a more severe approach vis-à-vis Israel and says that “if things continue as they are” it is possible that there will be room for the intervention of NATO, which will bomb Israel.

Despite their limited number, the critical scholars have wielded significant influence both in Israel and abroad and the boycott imposed by the British Association of University Teachers is the most conspicuous example. In order to understand how such a relatively small group of academics can achieve such impressive results, a more profound understanding of their methods of operation is necessary.


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Democracy in Service of the Global Caliphate
of Muslim Brotherhood

Rachel Ehrenfeld

On October 28, 2005, President George W. Bush denounced Islamo-Fascist movements that call for a “violent and political vision: the establishment, by terrorism, subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom”.

The Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun) also known as the Ikhwan is a good example of what the President described and what he must protect us against.

Founded in 1928, in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna, The Muslim Brotherhood spawned and encouraged many Islamist proxies dedicated to the spread of Shari’a law around the world and the establishment of the Caliphate. In many countries it has also been linked to terrorist groups and activities, such as Hamas and al Qaeda in the US it calls for a form of government that would deprive Americans of their First Amendment rights.

In the interest of preserving freedom in the US while advancing it globally, it is time for the US government to thoroughly investigate the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and consider designating it and them as terrorist organizations.


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Identity and Place – What Settlement Means

Daniel Shalit

Post-modernism (and post-Zionism as a component thereof) erodes the Israeli-Jewish existence and brings about loss in three significant dimensions:

  1. Loss of the Value of Time. Time, in the spiritual-internal experience, is existence; it contains the memory of the past and proceeds towards the future. The Jewish consciousness is totally historical, built upon memory from the beginning of recorded history and proceeds towards the future, towards redemption. The post-modern condition negates the value of time, the value of history and lacks any vision towards the future.

  2. Loss of the Value of Place. In the post-modern condition, we are citizens of the world, residents of the “global village” and we are not necessarily tied to a specific country or place. This perception erodes the Jewish consciousness, which is tied to one place, one of a kind and extraordinary, the Land of Israel.

  3. Loss of Identity. If there is no identity, no “I” – then there is nothing to connect the past to the present and there is nothing to provide place with meaning. This is true of collective identities, like a nation. The national identity is progressively eroding under the pressure of global standardization. Erosion of the individual and national identity runs counter to the Israeli Jewish identity, which always demanded choice, purpose and will.

What do the settlements express regarding these three aspects? The settling of the entire land, and specifically of the settlements, constitutes a statement, actions that speak louder than words. However, in accordance with the three above points, one may phrase the statement in this manner:

Identity is possible, even under the corrosive conditions of post-modernism. Jewish identity is historical, in other words: It was constructed over time in a manner where on the one hand it is dynamic and on the other hand is static. In terms of change, it is composed of at least five disparate historical eras: A. The forefathers and the tribes; B. The First Temple; C. The Second Temple; D. The Diaspora; E. The modern-day return to Zion. That is the extent of the dynamic aspect; however, in terms of identity, all five eras participate in one process and construct it from different perspectives. Each one of the stages constituted a renewal and the identity appeared transformed in each stage, while at the same time true to its distinctive essence. And now too, in the midst of the current crisis, a similar renewal is impending.

This identity manifests itself in place. However, living in the Land of Israel is not something that “exists” but rather something that ought to be, conditional upon the Jewish people being worthy to inherit the Land; Abraham was born in Ur Kasdim and sets out for the Land; the Children of Israel come together as a nation in Egypt and Sinai in order to enter the Land; when Israel is unworthy they are exiled from the Land, and in exile they maintain their identity all the while aspiring to return and express themselves in the Land. In other words: Israeli identity does not grow in Israel, but rather from the exile-redemption proportion. Thus, Jewish identity is not merely assertiveness, but rather an ethical identity, which exists only when it is worthy. However, the identity is worthy only when it realizes its transcendental, divine potential.

The Jewish people have the “patent” on the Land of Israel as there, and in the surrounding areas, the Jewish people established ethical values that became part of world culture, and they have not yet had their say completely: The unity of the universe, the unity of humanity, the unity of history, personal responsibility and fraternity that encompasses all of humanity. But it is not simply about the “right” to the Land. It is about what we are obligated to do in the Land, our obligation to a destiny beyond ourselves; one that if we ourselves heed, the world, which is on the brink of oblivion will listen to as well. The residence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel is a fundamental need of the world.

We do not have an iron-clad or absolute right or ownership vis-à-vis the Land, but rather a provisional right contingent upon an obligation. Therefore, the right to the Land is weakened by those parts of the nation that do not accept the Jewish ethical-religious mission upon themselves. (Just as it is weakened by those Jews, who identify as Jews and observe the commandments of the Torah, who do not move to Israel although they pray five times daily to return to Israel).

One who rejects the Jewish settlement in the country’s central regions – in the mountains – as unethical, for all intents and purposes, also denies his ethical right to the “consensus” territories. He exposes himself to the claim that there too he is a colonialist, a foreign occupier. There is no such thing as partial morality.

It is difficult to identify with the Jewish, Israeli, settlement matter? “Difficult is beautiful.” Let us draw strength from the place that bestows strength, life and existence.


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