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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 19 Number 6 (113)  November 2006Cheshvan 5767

Table of Contents


The Fifth Column

The Great Land Theft in the Negev

Ze`ev Wolfson

A View from Outside

What is the Problem with the Israeli Ruling Elite? Is it Stupidity? Or is it Something Else?

Francesco Gil-White


The Cost of the Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza and Northern Shomron

Nachum Gutentag

The Settlers: A Presentation of Anti-Semitic Abuse

Shmuel Fischer


Behind the Scenes of Arab Politics During the War of Independence

Yitzhak Ronen

The Crusaders Kingdom of Jerusalem and Israel

Moshe Yegar

Foreign Affairs

Understanding the “Official Mind” of Whitehall and the State Department on the Necessity for Israel

Christopher Barder


Machiavelli and the Decay of Western Civilization

Paul Eidelberg

Literature and Arts Supplement ■ Editor: Dror Eydar


Images, Context and Meanings: Hazal Stories in Light of the Hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur

Ido Hevroni

Original Poetry

Smadar Falk-Peretz Gital Simkovitz Yehudit Hazani Dalia Hoshen

Translated Poetry

Marie de France: “Lanval”

Translation: Arieh Stav

Short Story

Savage Glitter

Dany Shoham


Baruch Greenberg


Selected Summaries


The Great Land Theft in the Negev

Ze`ev Wolfson

The Bedouin problem in the Negev has become a part of the wider Arab demographic, security and political threat to Israel.

The Bedouin population in the Negev, which was estimated to be 15-17,000 in the mid-1950s has grown to over 170,000 in 2005. Today a huge area, sparsely covered with clusters of houses and sheds covers the area. These clusters are not suburbs, not a metropolis, certainly not agricultural areas, and only a few percent of Bedouin families today engage in herding flocks.

No doubt the Bedouins deserve to enjoy the same living conditions as the rest of the Israelis. However, with such dispersal inherent to their style of life and at the current rate of their population growth, no budget can provide a modern physical and social infrastructure for such a vast territory. It has become a source of poverty, unemployment and crime. Illegal Palestinian residents in large numbers find refuge there. The Hamas movement has been enforcing its position there.

Following the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza, the US supports the Palestinians’ demand for a corridor of free passage from Gaza to Hebron. This is just another catalyst to the merging of all the Muslim masses in one: Gaza-Negev-Hebron.

Still there are ways to improve the situation:

  • Completely prevent the infiltration of illegal aliens from Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Negev.

  • Stop the practice of polygamy;

  • Enforce payment of Social Security dues and the rightfulness of its claims.

  • Encourage the participation of Bedouins in extensive programs for family planning.


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What is the Problem with the Israeli Ruling Elite?
Is it Stupidity? Or is it Something Else?

Francesco Gil-White

 This article argues that the policies of the Israeli government with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict have severely weakened the ability of the Israelis to defend themselves and have put the Jewish people in great peril. It examines evidence relevant to helping the reader decide between two hypotheses. The first says that Israeli leaders have energetically carried out these entirely disadvantageous policies because they are radically incompetent. The second says that Israeli leaders are committing treason. I argue that an examination of the most relevant evidence forces us to reject the hypothesis that Israeli leaders are incompetent.

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The Cost of the Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza and Northern Shomron

Nachum Gutentag

According to Israeli Government policy, the “disengagement” included the displacement of approximately 10,000 residents in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria and their expulsions from their homes, in which they had resided for 38 years. The policy was determined by one person – the Prime Minister. This policy was not preceded by the type of preparation and planning required in a democratic country. That explains the difficulty in examining its financial cost.

The law referred to as “evacuation-compensation” deals exclusively with the economic aspects of the reparations that will be paid to the displaced persons for their personal belongings and the personal damages caused to them and compensation for the economic enterprises that existed in those settlements. The law contains no compensation for the damages caused by the communal aspect of the displacement. This cost was allocated by creating a deficit in the present annual government budget and the budget of the coming years. The deficit also includes other expenditures like security and the cost of training the expulsion forces.

What is the total cost? In order to answer the question in the absence of official documents, it is necessary to gather information from various publications. This information is inconsistent and lacks a common denominator. Some of the expenditures are from open (unlimited) accounts so that at the end of the process it will turn out that the final outlay will be much larger; more than twice as high as the original estimate.

It is possible to calculate the components of the cost of the expulsion according to the objective of the allocated funds (the estimates are generally based on calculations of the Treasury Ministry’s Budget Branch).

Civilian Compensation: For assets, personal compensation, economic compensation, intangible damages – 4.5 billion NIS.

Civilian Expenditures: Training the expulsion force, government actions and the Sela Authority, the transfer and evacuation of all personal belongings, evacuation camps, hotels and rent for temporary housing, permanent solutions and communal agreements – 1.74 billion NIS.

Civilian Security Expenditures: Establishing new passageways, fences and protection – 1.2 billion NIS.

Security Expenditures: Training the army for the mission, transferring existing army camps from the Gaza strip to a new location, purchase of new equipment to maintain the area’s security – 5.5 billion NIS.

Total Budgetary Cost: Approximately 12.9 billion NIS. However it is clear that including the additions to that sum the total cost will be approximately 27.4 billion NIS.

According to this precedent, one can conclude that the next ethnic cleansing plan, in whose context all of the Jews residing beyond the cease fire line that was in effect until June 5, 1967, in other words, 512,000 people, will reach the fantastic cost of close to three-hundred billion dollars.

This sum – almost three times the entire annual product of the State of Israel – if it were to be paid, would bring the Israeli economy crashing down.  


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The Settlers: A Presentation of Anti-Semitic Abuse

Shmuel Fischer

This article is a collection of anti-Semitic slanderous publications, the minority of which appeared in the Israeli media over the past 20 years; however most of them appeared in the period preceding the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, in the course of its implementation and thereafter (January-August 2005).

The slanderous publications appeared in the framework of news surveys and reports, in articles and commentary pieces and as quotes from politicians, artists and intellectuals, academics, senior officers, journalists and others. The article also documents the testimonies of opponents of the “disengagement” regarding manifestations of violence, humiliation, arbitrary detention, false arrests, abuse and blatant violations of human and civil rights. These actions performed by the governmental authorities in Israel (police, army, justice system) vis-à-vis citizens seeking to democratically and legitimately express opinions contrary to the official policy of their government would have fit in very well in the harshest dictatorships in Third World countries.

The article proves that these actions are the result of a deliberate policy, supported by the media, whose objective was to bring about the de-legitimization of the entire settler community in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip and of their supporters within the “Green Line”.

The government seeks to achieve this objective by means of mobilizing the media to a campaign of provocation, hatred and incitement against an entire community of citizens of the State of Israel who maintain and fulfill in practice the values of genuine Zionism. Most even “add insult to injury” and are national-religious Zionists who maintain and fulfill a Jewish way of life and believe that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.

To demonstrate the hatred and incitement, below are several quotes:

“Only one who is willing to attack Ofra with tanks, will be able to stem the tide of fascism threatening to drown Israeli democracy”.

Professor Zev Sternhal, Davar, April 5, 1988

“A gang of armed gangsters, criminals against humanity, sadists, perpetrators of pogroms and murderers.”

Amos Oz, “In the Name of Life and Peace”, Yediot Aharonot, June 8, 1989

“The knitted skullcaps for me are like the swastika on the sleeves of the Nazi soldiers.”

General (res.) Shlomo Gazit, Yediot Aharonot, March 8, 1998

“We will break the settlers’ bones. Clearly, we are on the brink of an insurrection”, Sharon's confidants said to Maariv commentator Ben Caspit. “There is no alternative...we will have to implement force...Yes, break their bones.”

Confidants of the Prime Minister, Maariv, January 7, 2005

Give them a beating, let them burn...You know that I am an expert regarding these ultra-orthodox...Therefore I tell you, arrests...I will screw their mother, now tell your people...don't just beat them...I said these things to save you the trouble of getting permits!”

Deputy Commissioner Niso Shaham, Yediot Aharonot, July 22, 2005 


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Behind the Scenes of Arab Politics
During the War of Independence

Yitzhak Ronen

On November 24, 1947, the UN Security Council adopted the Partition Resolution calling for the establishment of two independent states in the Land of Israel: One Arab and one Jewish. King Abdullah of Jordan, more than any of the other Arab leaders, wanted to go to war in the Land of Israel, because he viewed the Partition Resolution as his first opportunity to realize the “Greater Syria” plan, in other words, annexation of the Land of Israel, Lebanon and Syria to Jordan under his rule. Out of concern lest the plan be realized, the Arab League decided in 1947 to establish an irregular Arab army known as the Arab Liberation Army for Palestine under the command of Fawzi al-Qawuqji. The Arab leaders hoped that the irregular army would defeat the Jews and they would thereby avoid the necessity of sending their own regular armies to war. They knew that if the Arab Legion – known as the best Arab army – was to take part in the war, Abdullah would be able to actualize his plan quite easily.

However, the Liberation Army failed in its attacks against Jewish settlements, and in its terrorist attacks against Jews. And the pressure from the Arab public on the Arab leaders to invade the Land of Israel increased. The only matter upon which they agreed in early May 1948, was to concentrate their troops on the border of the Land of Israel. That step seemed more designed as a threat to the Jews and the UN than an expression of their serious intentions to go to war in the Land of Israel. King Abdullah was the only Arab leader who continued to declare his intention to fight and also make preparations to do so. Abdullah’s declarations and actions frightened the Arab leaders until ultimately, it led them to make the decision to invade the Land of Israel. It appears that the leaders’ intention was more to prevent Abdullah from realizing his plan than to assist the Arabs in the Land of Israel in their war against the Jews.


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The Crusaders Kingdom of Jerusalem and Israel

Moshe Yegar

One of the most often used lines of Arab anti-Israel propaganda is the comparison they like to make between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the modern State of Israel. The Crusader Kingdom existed less than 200 years before it was destroyed by the Muslims; so, too, will be the end of Israel, claim Arab spokesmen.

Official Israeli spokesmen, as well as historians and Zionist academicians, used to dismiss the Arab claims as irrelevant and devoid of any historical substance. “There is no room to compare,” so they said,

between the Crusaders, who were a religious-Christian movement, whose main purpose was the claiming of the “Holy Sepulcher” from the heretic Muslims, and Zionism, which is the national liberation movement of the Jews who returned to their original and natural homeland. Zionism is a completely different historical phenomenon.

Yet, 100 years after the beginning of modern Zionist resettlement of the Land of Israel, one might distinguish a few disturbing points of comparison. The first, is the failure of the Crusaders to establish their rule on the mountainous regions of Judea and Samaria. Their territorial conquests were concentrated, with some exceptions, mainly along the coastal region. Israel is facing a similar situation which is the result of her own doing. Israel handed over the Sinai, abandoned South Lebanon and Gaza and refused to incorporate Judea and Samaria.

The Muslims never accepted the presence of the Christians in the Holy Land; neither do they recognize Israel’s existence today. Many Israeli politicians, especially those of the left, prefer to ignore it.

The Muslims maintained a constant war against the Crusaders, in spite of sporadic periods of ceasefire or peace. So do the Arabs against Israel.

There are historians who believe that the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem collapsed more because of internal malaise: ideological weakness, corruption and lack of integrity among the ruling elite, political intrigues, disloyalty, absence of unity, and defeatism. Israel must stand guard not to suffer from the same inflictions.


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Understanding the “Official Mind” of Whitehall
and the State Department on the Necessity for Israel

Christopher Barder

For the complete text of this article (in English), click here.

So-called intellectual history is often perceived to be a discipline somewhat isolated from the realities behind diplomacy. However, very frequently, it provides essential keys by which to interpret and explain the prevalent thought-worlds of diplomatic and intelligence personnel. The mind-set of officials creates the advice given to governments. It is these ways of thinking which I would seek to fathom and expose. The intrinsic purpose is to show and demonstrate how Israel’s experts are truly up against a wall of incomprehension with deep roots and whose foundations they must understand in order to be effective. They will otherwise never quite comprehend the degree of inculcated antipathy towards Israel’s case and right to defend itself – and so, ultimately, its right to exist.

The mood that stalks the corridors of power, Lord Chalfont’s “Laurentian Arabism” for example, needs effective and serious think-tank and university level argument against it, a shattering of the monopoly of Middle East Studies by Muslims and, very sadly, rational and determined assertion from Israeli and similarly understanding academics, explaining the centrality of Islamic attitudes and the core issues of the conflict the Muslim world has with Israel and with the West. It is clear that for Israel to have interlocutors, there must be a grasp of why a dialogue of the deaf prevails and has been so pronounced. Israel and its supporters need a very sophisticated grasp of what training and intellectual baggage informs the advisers in Whitehall and the State Department, if they are to engage with these people successfully.

What creates the thinking in the corridors of Whitehall and behind State Department power and their collective history of ideas? What the forces are matters and in spite of past failures, Israel and its friends now have to undo the prejudice and antipathy by understanding afresh their deep roots and educational causes.


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Machiavelli and the Decay of Western Civilization

Paul Eidelberg

For the complete text of this article (in English), click here.

Machiavelli is the father of Modernity and Democracy and the creator of Secular Man par excellence. His deceptively simple book, The Prince, so often trivialized, marks the Copernican revolution in politics. In that sibylline work, Machiavelli undertook the world-historical task of destroying nothing less than the two pillars of Western civilization, classical Greek philosophy and Christianity, whose ethics, whether derived from Nature or nature’s God, derogate from the complete autonomy of human will and desire.

The key to modernity will be found in Chapter 15 of The Prince. There Machiavelli lists ten pairs of qualities for which men, especially rulers, are praised or blamed – qualities which a ruler, “if he wishes to maintain himself”, must be able to “use” and “not use” “according to necessity.” Some rulers, he declares, “are held liberal, some miserly … [and/or] rapacious; some cruel, others full of pity; the one faithless, the other faithful; the one effeminate and pusillanimous, the other fierce and spirited; the one human, the other proud; the one lascivious, the other chaste; the one open, the other cunning; the one hard, the other easy; the one grave, the other light; the one religious, the other skeptical, and the like.”

Conspicuous by their absence are the four cardinal virtues of Greek philosophy: wisdom, justice, moderation, and courage. Further, to complete his Copernican revolution, Machiavelli reverses the Decalogue by placing religion last in the list of qualities for which rulers are praised.

In developing his new political science, Machiavelli, in direct opposition to the biblical tradition, which exalts truth and truthfulness, teaches would-be rulers to practice deceit and dissimulation constantly: “A prince ought to take great care...that he appears to be, when one sees and hears him, all pity, all faith, all integrity, all humanity, and all religion... For men, universally, judge more by the eyes than by the hands... Everyone sees what you seem to be, but few touch what you are.”

We have here a politics keyed to the sense of touch, the most dynamic and erotic of the senses. For unlike sight and hearing – passive receptors of the written and spoken word – the sense of touch, especially in the hands, connects to the will – the will to power.

Finally, in opposition to all previous philosophers, Machiavelli posits democracy as the best regime. As Machiavelli well knew, however, the idea that democracy is the best regime is simply a manifestation of his own will to power, his creating a new dispensation for mankind. The great Florentine well understood that democracy, the seedbed of Secular Man, would dissolve the moral foundations of Christianity and classical Greek philosophy and thereby fulfill his world-historical project.


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