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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 20 Number 1 (114)  January 2007Tevet 5767

Table of Contents

Current Affairs Digest

Mark Silverberg The American Realpolitik and Its Cost to Israel
Raphael Israeli
The Day of Reckoning Has Come: Israeli Arabs Want Out



Tired of Winning: How True and Why? The Second Lebanon War and Its Failure

Aharon Levran

Deter a War – Or Win It

Bernard Smith

The Return of the Ground Offensive

Ran Baratz


The Security and Defense Policy of the EU – A Foundation of Rhetorical Inertia

Shlomo Perla

Germany – Good Old Anti-Semitism

William E. Grim


Reason, Science and Progress: Modern Pretexts for Judeophobia, Left and Right

Eliyahu Green


Sixty Years Since the Bombing of the King David Hotel and a Reassessment of the Propaganda and the Counter-Propaganda

Shaul Avishai


Modification of Definitions – The First Step Toward a New Reality in Israel

Nissim Amzallag

Vintage Wine

The One and Only Need

Joseph Klausner

Book Reviews

Dina Levine – “Because This is Their Home” – on Chotzeh Shomron, by Esther Vitkon Hillel Weiss – “Collective Suicide” – On Jewish Self-Hatred in Hebrew Contemporary Literature by Ahuva Feldman


The Israeli Left – From Cognitive Dissonance toward Moral Deterioration, or Vice-Versa

Jewish Pathology

Literature and Arts Supplement ■ Editor: Dror Eydar


The “Gottdamerung”

Nahum Weiman

Sinking and Surviving – The Intellectual and the Enfolding Reality

Leor Alperovitz


Rena Lee Geula Hamilevsky Moshe Gannan Shimon Mermelstein


Baruch Greenberg


Selected Summaries


The American Realpolitik and Its Cost to Israel

Mark Silverberg

As Hamas gains political ascendancy in Gaza, Iran exports Islamic radicalism throughout the Middle East, the Moslem Brotherhood threatens the balance of power in Egypt, Lebanon faces the possibility of a Syrian-backed, Iranian-funded Hizbullah coup-d’etat and Iraq explodes into sectarian violence, it is clear that American hegemony in the Middle East is under attack. As a consequence, the era of actively promoting democratic change in “friendly” authoritarian states is nearing its end, at least for the foreseeable future. With reformist forces in retreat, in fear, in prison or in exile, the Bush Administration has made a calculated, tactical foreign policy shift back to supporting “moderate” secular dictators and despots over “aggressive” Islamic dictators who represent a greater threat to American interests. In so doing, it has chosen what it considers to be the lesser of the two evils...none of this will work in Israel’s favor.


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The Day of Reckoning Has Come:
Israeli Arabs Want Out

Raphael Israeli

The Arab minority in Israel, which amounts to over one million souls (20% of the total population), has been undergoing a process of Islamization and Palestinization in the past few years which has brought it much closer to the Palestinian and Hamas positions in their conflict with Israel.

Lately, the leadership of the Arabs in Israel has submitted a list of demands that if adopted, would put an end to the Jewish nature of the state and invite its inundation by Arab refugees who would take over the country. These suicidal measures are therefore to be rejected by Israel, who can offer some much better steps to avert its demolition from within.


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Tired of Winning: How True and Why?
The Second Lebanon War and Its Failure

Aharon Levran

The question of victory or lack thereof in the Second Lebanon War is extremely disturbing. Even though we were not routed in the war – neither did we achieve a clear, decisive victory. Despite the fact that the Chief of the General Staff claims that we won on points, a draw would be a more appropriate characterization. Furthermore, considering its significant superiority in every military parameter, a draw is not a flattering result for Israel.

The primary reason for the non-victory lies in the spirit of “tiredness of winning”, in the belief that “the disengagement will bring more security and prosperity and much joy and pleasure to all of the nations of the Middle East” (as Olmert claimed in 2005). The spirit of those statements and the delusional belief in “peace” and the “New Middle East” since Oslo, have trickled down to significant segments of the Israeli population (which voted it into power), including the upper echelons of the army. This spirit led to the lack of preparation of the IDF for a possible war and the failure to undertake, certainly not in a timely manner, the proper, necessary military steps. The severe cuts in the military budget and striking decreases in troops and weapons, which brought about the deterioration of the ground forces and the reserves – are a practical manifestation of the quixotic spirit that has enveloped the leaders of the country and the army and most of the nation in general.

An additional central strategic reason for the non-victory was the assessment that air power alone would bring about the victory. While that assessment was not totally baseless, it was mistaken. That is because of the old, well-known principle that the Air Force alone does not win wars, although it does have the ability to contribute significantly to achieving victory and to enhancing deterrence. The mistake was also in military strategy – over-reliance on firepower at the expense of ground movement and maneuvers. And worst of all – once they became aware of the fact that the Air Force was not “delivering the goods”, it was still possible to change tactics and introduce ground forces to occupy territory and destroy enemy units.

Additional central reasons for the non-victory are tied to the severe deviation from defense theory and the principles of war. An intolerable level of terrorism and guerilla activity against Israel has always been an extremely just casus belli, and Hizbullah frequently provides it. Nevertheless, and despite the fact that it was a confrontation between rogue Iran and the United States and the West, Israel did not exploit the great opportunity to rout Hizbullah.

Despite the fact that the ultimate objective of any war is victory or clear decision, it does not appear that Israel sought a clear victory over Hizbullah and certainly not its defeat. Although Hizbullah absorbed quite a bit – by refraining from occupying the territory (at least) to the Litani River, the IDF missed the opportunity for a demonstrative victory. That is primarily because the term “occupation”, which is an elementary component of military strategy, has (totally unjustifiably) become abominable in the eyes of many in Israel.

Since Israel was “tired of winning”, not to mention that it didn't want and didn't take action to achieve a decisive victory, it formulated the objectives of the war in a nebulous, unquantifiable manner. Routing Hizbullah was not set as a clear objective of the war, and even worse, removal of the threat posed by rockets to northern Israel was not included as an objective. This was a colossal mistake as the ballistic threat is not a secondary threat but rather an intolerable strategic threat. That threat could have been neutralized had the IDF acted in accordance with the basic principle of military strategy – speedily transferring the war to enemy territory, in other words, conquering its territory by means of firepower and movement (a flanking maneuver from north to south). A course of action of that type is likely to minimize casualties and certainly to realize a clear victory.

Regarding deterrence, whose enhancement was a component of the “strategic objective” of the war – it is difficult to arrive at an unequivocally determination - only time will tell. On the one hand, the destructive power of the Air Force was displayed; Hizbullah was moved away from its extreme proximity to the border and the Lebanese Army, supplemented by an enhanced UNIFIL force, deployed in southern Lebanon. On the other hand, there were also clear IDF failures, especially on the ground and in achieving its objectives and it seems that these intensified the radicalism among the Arab public and the Palestinians vis-à-vis Israel.


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Deter a War – Or Win It

Bernard Smith

The Arabs have not given up the dream of a Jewish state disappearing following a defeat, or turning it into a bi-national state. For many in the Arab street, Israel is a deadly tumor that must be excised. Arab countries and Iran are building conventional weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction capabilities. If Israel grows weak militarily, economically and its societal morale continues to weaken while the Arabs grow stronger militarily, an inducement will exist for an Arab/Muslim coalition to attack.

Israel should be preparing to deter such an eventuality. And, if deterrence fails – to win on the battlefield. Instead, under the influence of, to borrow a phrase from American history, an “Era of Good Feeling”, Israelis dreamed that peace was at hand. Egypt signed a peace treaty, followed by Mauritania and Jordan. Some years later, the PLO and Israel signed the Oslo Accords. Relations with Gulf and North African countries looked promising. It appeared that Israel could start shifting its heavy defense investment into social expenditures. Or, whenever a problem exists balancing the national budget, Treasury officials sought to cut the defense budget.

The effects of the cuts damaged important segments of Israel’s defense preparations. Planning was harmed by loss of the five-year plan. Compulsory service was shortened (the more complex the weaponry, tactics and operational concepts, the less time required to master them?). Downsizing of personnel and platforms were thought of as necessities as were delays or suspension of essential weapons and projects.

The Palestinian war, allowed to continue for six years under a policy of containment, turned the IDF into experts in urban warfare. However, this resulted in a shameful curtailment of regular Army and reserve training year after year.

For some, there was a fear that the IDF was losing its primacy in the Middle East. Others assuaged that worry with the notion that the IDF was becoming a “smaller and smarter” military force. In fact, Israel was in the process of taking “risks for [keeping the] peace”, as well as giving up strategic land for the promise of peace. It was entering into a very dangerous experiment.

To eliminate the experiment and the risk, it will be necessary to enlarge Israel’s gross national product, necessitating structural changes in the economy and government.


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The Return of the Ground Offensive

Ran Baratz

The present article analyzes Israel’s new strategic status quo in the immediate aftermath of the recent war in Lebanon. For years, Israel’s international borders were quiet because the Arab states had lost all hope of reaping any military gains against Israel, even via a small-scale campaign. However, as a result of the war, Israel has lost two major components in its strategic deterrence: the latest models of the Merkava tank have proven to be vulnerable; and the Israeli Air Force failed to live up to expectations. Consequently, the option of a Syrian ground offensive, accompanied by a Palestinian attack on three fronts (Judea and Samaria, Gaza, and inside Israel), is once again a distinct possibility.

The only strategic deterrent that remains is Israel’s nuclear capacity. However, barring a military initiative, the Islamic theocracy of Iran will soon possess a nuclear weapon. Therefore, the question that begs asking is, ‘How will Israel’s enemies view the new nuclear balance?’ Until now, the Arab world knew that if faced with imminent defeat, Israel would resort to a nuclear strike; but a mutual nuclear deterrence would force Israel to choose between defeat on the battlefield or annihilation at the hands of a reciprocal Iranian nuclear bombing. In this lose-lose scenario, a conventional defeat might seem preferable. Consequently, this state of affairs is liable to rekindle — and rationally so — the aspirations of conquering Israel by means of a conventional Arab attack, under the aegis of the Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Since the conventional war option might materialize rather soon, the author has conducted an in-depth comparison of the Arab world’s military preparations vis à vis the state of the Israeli military, with the grim conclusion that the IDF is on the decline on all fronts and fields – including military power and strategic expertise – while its foes are bolstering their military prowess.


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The Security and Defense Policy of the EU –
A Foundation of Rhetorical Inertia

Shlomo Perla

Ever since the early 1990s, the European Union, which was established and has developed as a joint economic framework, has attempted to develop a mechanism of joint security activity as part of a broader framework of CFSP – Common Foreign and Security Policy. This is an integral component of the European Union Charter (the Maastricht Charter) that was formally signed in February 1992 and went into effect in November 1993.

The objective of the Common Foreign and Security Policy is the creation of a unified European voice on important international issues, with the declared assumption that Europe cannot function as a giant economic bloc in the world arena if it does not function as a political monolith. The point of the Common Foreign and Security Policy is that Europe cannot guarantee its international status as a political player without the support of joint military capability that will enable it to intervene in crisis regions, as a unified body, to guarantee stability in its periphery and to implement humanitarian aid programs.

The crises in the Balkans during the nineties proved that in order to achieve that level of intervention in crisis regions, the members of the European Union must achieve a high level of political coordination and to radically improve their military capability. That would enable them to act as a united factor even outside the framework of NATO, that is, when the United States is not interested in intervening in a specific crisis. The tendency to create joint European military capabilities also expressed European independence from the American hegemony extant during the Cold War.

This article seeks to point out that despite the rhetoric of its leaders, the countries which make up the European Union have not achieved significant consolidation of their foreign and security policy, even on a theoretical level. At the same time, the integrative dynamic creates appropriate rhetoric, just like the establishment of institutions that create the illusion of consolidation of a common foreign and security policy. This illusion in and of itself is important for the continued existence of the European Union.

The article focuses on the political aspects and does not deal with military capabilities, which themselves are insufficient to facilitate Europe assuming the role of a military superpower with global pretensions.

Five years of activity to consolidate a unified security framework in Europe, from the Saint-Malo Agreement (1998) until the convening of the Inter-Governmental Conference for the drafting of the European Constitution (2003), did not bring about any significant change that could indicate an erosion of the level of sovereignty of the European Union member nations in favor of pan-European sovereignty in that area.

The process of European integration since the early fifties is characterized by fierce rhetorical inertia and in the creation of institutions and apparatuses that were supposed to assume pan-European roles. This process is self-sustaining; however it is shaped by developments in the international community and by internal political and economic interests as well as by separate social and national traditions. Manifestations of this development led to the situation that in those areas where the European partnership provides added value to a separate state-society, as in different matters in the realm of economics and finance, the unification process is indeed successful in transferring authority from national institutions to pan-European institutions. This is not the case in areas reflecting symbols of sovereignty perceived as more significant from a national-emotional perspective and constitute a guarantee of national existence and of separate national establishments. It is easier to formulate a strategic position than to establish an autonomous, pan-European military headquarters. This is true not only because of United States opposition on this matter, but also because of the stated and unstated apprehension of several member nations - especially the new members - regarding German and French domination of the pan-European military system, if it in fact is established.

The primary problem in the establishment of a European defense framework is, of course, the lack of uniformity in matters of foreign and security issues. The instance of Iraq proved this. Fifteen-nation Europe does not have a single voice on international issues. Twenty-five to thirty-nation Europe will be exposed as even less in harmony. Not only does the unilateral United States policy cause differences of opinion among the European nations, but also additional issues that will place significant geopolitical challenges before Europe. In Russia, for example, the trend, which sharply disagrees with Eastern Europe’s integration into Europe, is on the rise. This will cause additional disharmony among the members of the Union on the issue of relations with Russia.

Is the conclusion that the European countries should halt the trend towards integration in the area of security and defense? The answer is absolutely not. Even a rhetorical dynamic is important in international relations as it can influence the maintenance of the status-quo, or its modification. In this case, it is better for Europe to maintain the status-quo of production of programs and establishment of institutions, as the lack of this process is liable to lead them down the slippery slope of disintegration to the point of undermining the basis for unity and to transform it into a focal point of international tension.


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Germany – Good Old Anti-Semitism

William E. Grim

More than 60 years have passed since Nazi Germany was defeated in World War II and anti-Semitism ceased to be its official policy. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism was not eradicated. It is alive and kicking beneath the surface and is prevalent among all strata of society and all ages. Anti-Semitism ostensibly reveals itself in the “small things”, however the cumulative effect is evil and bodes ill. The author of the article, an American of German descent, in his contacts with different groups in supposedly democratic, enlightened German society, was exposed to manifestations of clear anti-Semitism typical of German society such as expressions of hostility towards Jews, adherence to the Jewish stereotype of “controlling the American media”, driven by greed, Israel as a Jewish state worse than the Nazis, etc. The conclusion drawn by the author is that anti-Semitism has been part of the fabric of German life and culture for hundreds of years, and that Germans are “instinctively” anti-Semitic. Furthermore, a strong European Union led by anti-Semitic Germany, judenrein and supporting the Arabs, is the greatest threat to Jewish existence as well as to the United States. The author calls upon the United States to prevent Germany form completing what it began during the Nazi era.


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Reason, Science and Progress:
Modern Pretexts for Judeophobia, Left and Right

Eliyahu Green

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

Today, throughout the world, the left is generally hostile to Israel, and often hostile to Jews and Judaism. Some commonly held themes, views and attitudes which reflect this – including the Israeli left – go back to the Middle Ages or even to the Christian Church Fathers in late antiquity. It may surprise some that the Church Fathers generally viewed the Jews in a paradoxical way. They saw the Jews as pioneers of civilization and rational thought, while simultaneously hating the Jews as alleged conspirators against Jesus (punished by loss of their Temple, their city, Jerusalem, and their homeland, Judea). The favorable view was held throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance by Jean Gerson, Marsilio Ficino, and others. In the late 1600s, Bossuet articulated both the favorable and hostile sides of the paradox. Meanwhile, medieval Christian theologians and philosophers believed that they had proven Christian dogmas, such as the virgin birth, the trinity, angels, purgatory, etc., by means of reason. Therefore, whoever did not accept these dogmas was unreasonable, incapable of or opposed to reason. This conclusion was applied to the Jews first of all.

Luther, who rebelled against the Catholic Church, expounded views of the Jews more hostile even than those of Catholic tradition. Subsequently, German Protestant theologians following Luther proved to their own satisfaction, that ancient Greek testimony as to Jewish influence on classical Greek philosophers was incorrect. This negative conclusion, canceling the favorable part of the Church Fathers’ paradox, was adopted by Kant and Hegel, who were in turn major influences on shaping the views on Jews and Judaism held by modern Leftist and Liberal ideologies, such as Marxism. Further, Kant and Hegel saw the Orient as incapable of progress. Therefore, since Judaism was Oriental, it was incapable of progress. Indeed, they viewed Judaism as inferior, even within the Oriental sphere.

Voltaire viewed Jews much as did the two German philosophers. The view of these three and others, that ancient civilization did not have any roots in Judaism and had not undergone Jewish influence, paralleled the claim of the Church Father Marcion that Christianity had no roots in Judaism. Marcion was considered heretical by the bulk of Church Fathers. However, he was studied by Luther, Voltaire, etc. Kant, Voltaire and Hegel’s denial of any ancient Jewish contribution to civilization supplied a paradigm followed not only by Marxists but by students of classical culture, archeologists, anthropologists, historians of antiquity, Nordic racists, German nationalists, and so on.

Utterances of certain Israeli leftists demonstrate that the values of reason, progress, and science – at least as abstractions – continue to be revered by the Israeli left, who believe Judaism and religious Jews are defective in these areas.

The Israeli left perpetrated the disastrous Oslo accords on the people, demonstrating that the left is far from rational or scientific itself. It made these accords paying no heed to Clausewitz’ teachings about war and diplomacy, while it refused and refuses to realize that Israel’s Arab-Muslim adversaries have their own unique culture and character which must be understood. Likewise the West – which often reproaches Israel for alleged moral breaches, while overlooking Arab and Muslim crimes – must be understood.


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Sixty Years Since the Bombing of the King David Hotel
and a Reassessment of the Propaganda and the Counter-Propaganda

Shaul Avishai

In Palestine, the “Etzel” (National Military Organization) attacked approximately 20 British targets between February 1, 1944 and November 1, 1945, issued approximately 40 proclamations and operated an underground radio station.

In the British elections, the Labor Party declared that if they were to win they would revoke the White Paper, will allow the surviving European Jews to immigrate to Palestine and to establish a national home for the Jews. In the summer of 1945 the Labor Government won the elections and formed the government, which declared that there would be no changes in its policy as far as Palestine is concerned.

Moshe Sneh, head of the Haganah National Staff, sent a telegram to David Ben-Gurion in London on September 23, 1945 and recommended to clash with the British. Ben-Gurion supported unification of the combat forces. In late October 1945, the agreement on the establishment of a unified force was officially signed. On November 1, 1945 the Haganah, the Irgun and the Stern Gang established a joint administration of the Hebrew rebellion movement.

On Saturday, June 29, 1946, the British raided the institutions of the Jewish Yishuv and the Hebrew cities in the framework of Operation Broadside. The leaders of the Yishuv were dragged in disgrace from their homes. On July 1, 1946, Moshe Sneh sent a written order to the Irgun to carry out the operation against the King David Hotel as soon as possible. On July 22, 1946, the Irgun attacked the British government centers. Conspicuous warning signs were posted and three warnings calling for an immediate evacuation were delivered. The British paid no heed to the warnings and 91 men and women were killed.

Yisrael Galili asked Menachem Begin to assume exclusive responsibility for the attack. The Irgun’s willingness to do so was exploited by the Jewish Agency and the Haganah to unleash a harsh attack on them. The media confrontationally attacked with the Haaretz newspaper was at the head of those leading the condemnation.

The attack received great resonance in the world press, with the exception of the British press, where the criticism was relatively benign. The American radio stations broadcast the two Irgun announcements regarding the early warnings.

The Irgun was discomfited by the severe attack and the harsh condemnations of the press and the Yishuv institutions, which inflated the magnitude of the casualties. The polemic continued for a long time. The Irgun acted with restraint. It did not react harshly, did not mention the disasters that the Haganah brought upon the Yishuv and the deaths of hundreds of Jews.


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Modification of Definitions –
The First Step Toward a New Reality in Israel

Nissim Amzallag

Zionist ideology has two primary motives. The first motive, which began with the “Hovevei Zion” movement, is the renaissance of the Hebrew nation in its historic land. The second motive, that of Herzl and his supporters, is the search for a solution to the problem of anti-Semitism by means of the establishment of a country of refuge for the endangered Jews. These two motives are so different one from the other that they gave birth to conflicting political objectives. This article is designed to show how the influence of inconsistency on all of the political movements in Israel, from left to right, is the result of attempts to synthesize these contradictory tendencies into a single ideology.

This logical failure is considered the primary source of the ineffectiveness of Israeli policy over the course of the last 60 years. The creation of the State of Israel did not resolve the problem of anti-Semitism. This enables the elimination of the Herzlian component in order to resolve the internal contradiction in Zionism. Only in that way will Zionism succeed in restoring its original purpose (a liberation movement of the Hebrew nation in its land).

This new perspective immediately led to significant geopolitical changes. For example, it is now possible to confirm that most of the Arabic speakers in Israel actually belong to the ancient Jewish people. Zionism rejected this evidence as according to Herzl’s agenda, it was an ideology limited to the Hebrews of the Jewish religion. Zionism, from this new perspective, must assist both the Jewish segment scattered in the Diaspora to return to Israel and the segment permanently residing in Israel to return to its original identity. This perception comes in place of the civil war (mistakenly called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) by means of a struggle between partisans of the renaissance of the Hebrew nation and those taking action to complete its dismantling, in the wake of the Arab-Islamic conquest.


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