Javascript Menu by Ariel Center for Policy Research

Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 20 Number 6 (119)  November 2007Kislev 5768

Table of Contents



"Just War Theory" vs. American Self-Defense

Yaron Brook and
Alex Epstein

IDF and Security

Big Sea-Small Mind

Dudu Shiek


The Threat from Iran

Yonatan Silverman


Ten Years of Palestinian Terror

Aharon Yaffe


The US and Israel – Are We Really Allies?

Ezra Sohar


The Hasmonean Way

Ran Ichay

David Ben-Gurion's Forgotten 1948 Land of Israel Proclamation for the Annexation of Judea and Samaria

Howard Grief


The British Academic Boycott of Israel and Some of Its Deeper Meanings

Christopher Barder


The Tribe of Menasheh – First Steps as an Organized Immigration to Israel: Absorption or Rejection?

Efrat Tahar-Kedem

The Eternal Jew

The Wandering Jew's Staff of Might and Glory: A Dialogue with the Works of Avigdor Shahan

Ziva Feldman


There is a Peace "Partner"! ■ This is Not the Way, Professor Weiss

Book Reviews

"The Women Behind the Crown" – Shlomo Sharan on Four Biblical Heroines and the Case for Female Authorship: An Analysis of the Women of Ruth, Esther and Genesis 38 by Hillel Milgram ■ Raphael Israeli on Le Contentieux Israelo-Arabe (The Israeli-Arab Conflict) by Paul Giniewski

In Memoriam

Mordechai Kreiner, z"l

Haim Hacham

Literature and Arts Supplement ■ Editor: Dror Eydar

Special Supplement Dedicated to Poetry


Honi the Circle-Drawer in King of Flesh and Blood (Marking three years since the passing of Moshe Shamir)

Hillel Weiss

Semiotic as a Religious Question:
An Analysis of a Midrash and an Aggada

Dalia Hoshen


Yehudit Mossel-Eliezrov ■ Esther Zilber-Vitkon ■ Ronit Dekel


Rachel Glick


Selected Summaries


Big Sea-Small Mind

Dudu Shiek

The security concept that Ben-Gurion directed and according to which the security apparatus functioned beginning in the early 1950s,1 helped the IDF rout its enemies in the wars that took place in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On the other hand, it also led to a continuing intellectual paralysis and brought about a misconception of the IDF’s enormous power beginning in the 1990s. This is especially true when the emphasis on missiles and “special weapons” altered fundamental concepts in the perception of modern warfare.

The variety of weapons, their sophistication and the massive firepower that they can produce, changed the infantry battlefield, but also changed the naval and air force battlefields, with the key being the implementation of synergy between the three dimensions capable of deciding the battle. However, the IDF today acts hesitatingly, guided by a confused security concept.

Israel, which constantly feels threatened and pressured under massive conventional threats (hundreds of missiles with warheads capable of carrying payloads totaling hundreds of tons), is about to enter a new nuclear age in the Middle East. (The reference is to Iran. Pakistan is also nuclear and as a Moslem state constitutes a certain threat and aspires to a “nuclear umbrella” for additional security.)

Israel’s nuclear arsenal, according to foreign publications, is similar to those maintained by Western powers and includes missile capabilities (tactical and strategic) – naval, ground and air as well as special capabilities. The Navy is supposed to implement the strategic naval capabilities by means of surface vessels and submarines. The tasks and challenges facing the Navy in the near future are numerous and decisive, especially in terms of Israel’s strategic offensive and deterrent capabilities.

The Navy is supposed to take action if war breaks out, at sea and in battles off the coast against offensive and defensive weapon systems no less sophisticated than the ones with which it is equipped.

Therefore, the questions relating to the creation and development of the power of the navy and the warfare concept supporting that objective are interesting:

What type of ship should the Navy rely upon in the coming 20 years (especially in light of the incident when the Saar 5 Missile Boat was damaged in the last war) and what will be the structure of the Navy’s force and the method of its implementation?

In the confrontation with the powerful air force lobby, will the status of the Navy – in the realm of Israel’s strategic deterrence and consequently the funds that will be invested in it – change?

The internal dilemmas and arguments in the Navy over the years including opposition from the leadership causes the Navy to appear to the security establishment as a confused military branch that does not itself know what it wants.

The Navy, today, is wallowing in the margins of the IDF budget with 5%, is crying out for development and trying to convince the State leadership of its necessity as a significant force in Israel’s strategic deterrence.2

The problem today is that the Navy does not have an independent concept. The Navy has difficulty defining how it wants to see itself.

There is no doubt that the accurate tactical, battle and strategic weapons revolution must have significant influence on the relative value of the platforms carrying them at sea and on the allocation of resources for their development and production and consequently on the nature and development of the Navy.

1   “Summaries” (of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister), October 18, 1953, IDF Archive, Protocol of the Government Meeting, November 15, 1953, p. 48, State Archive, Jerusalem.

2   General (res.) Didi Yaari, “The Sea Simply Does Not Exist”, Haaretz, April 20, 2007.


back to top

The Threat from Iran

Yonatan Silverman

The Yom Kippur ritual of the scapegoat carrying the sins of the nation to “Azazel” has not been observed since the destruction of the Great Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. Rambam explained that Azazel symbolized a place of evil. We must recognize and repel the hostile forces that surround and tempt us. Thus the scapegoat is a reminder that God wants us to guard against the threats of our enemies by recognizing their existence and appeasing them.

But is appeasement really the way?

The president of Iran frequently calls for wiping the country of Israel off the map. And he is standing on the broad anti-Semitic shoulders of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. President Ahmadinejad is merely the present mouthpiece for venomous anti-Israel psychology in Iran.

But the problem isn't only psychological. Iran is actively working to manufacture nuclear weapons. And they are doing this by accelerating their operation of gas centrifuges.

Iran is concealing its nuclear weapons ambitions, and deceiving the world, just as it says in the Qur`an, “and Allah is the best of deceivers”.

Moreover, President Ahmadinejad is a world leader who also casts doubt on the veracity of the Nazi annihilation of European Jewry.

This is not the only way in which Iran, Ahmadinejad and company have turned history and reality on their heads.

Consider how Ayatollah Khomeini sent children as young as 12 to the front lines in the Iran-Iraq War. There they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies. They were known as Basiji.

Ahmadinejad’s ascendance to the presidency on the shoulders of the Basiji means that a younger generation of Iranians has come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors.

The survival of Israel depends on more than biblical rituals and prayer. 


back to top

Ten Years of Palestinian Terror

Aharon Yaffe

The decade between 1968-1978 was a decade of a peak in international Palestinian terror – a peak in choice of targets (in terms of operational imagination) and a peak in the terrorist leadership’s involvement in international attacks.

It took this organization almost three decades to initiate the first terrorist attack against Israeli and Jewish targets. The summary of the motivations for terrorist attacks were:

  1. To introduce the Palestinian agenda in every international forum around the world;

  2. To disrupt aviation and naval transportation to and from Israel;

  3. To cultivate fear and embarrassment in Israeli and Jewish offices around the world;

  4. To hurt Israel’s incoming tourism, its economy and its victorious self-image as a strong fearless country following the 1967 war;

  5. To undermine Israel's image and the image of its institutions throughout the world.

This article summarizes international Palestinian terror during the years 1968-1978. We analyze this terrorist operation by its quantitative indicators, specifically, the numbers of casualties and not according to its psychological and political influence on public opinion and its decisions makers.

This article also deals with the ways and means with which Israel fought and overcame the wave of international Palestinian terror attacks. Israel succeeded in defeating this fierce, full-fledged attack by making wise use of its intelligence services and their cooperation with European secret services. This war was waged by means of violent pursuit of the terrorist commanders and their soldiers – a pursuit which engendered the anticipated results.


back to top

The US and Israel – Are We Really Allies?

Ezra Sohar

There have been three periods in United States-Israel relations.

The first began at the end of World War II and lasted until the Six Day War. The attitude of the US towards the establishment of the State of Israel was negative. In April 1948, the US recommended not to declare the establishment of the Jewish state but rather to establish a UN government (Eliyahu Eilat: “The real threat to the Zionist enterprise was in the senior echelons of the American Government.”). Washington did not raise the fact that the Land of Israel was already promised to the Jewish people by the League of Nations in 1922 for discussion. Non-Jews would have civil and religious but not national rights.

The second period began with the Six Day War and lasted until the liquidation of the Soviet Union. The third began then and continues into the present. During the War of Independence, the US exerted influence to limit or cancel Israeli military operations. Before the Six Day War, it informed Israel that it would have to wage the war alone. At the request of President Johnson, the American General Staff drew up the “Pentagon Map”, which marked those areas beyond the Green Line that Israel would be allowed to keep.

After the war, arms shipments from the US to Israel increased and greater use was made of Israel in the Cold War. In 1970, a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt on the Suez Canal was reached under American pressure. In violation of its promise regarding restriction of the movement of weapons, the US allowed the Egyptians to deploy SAM missiles in the direction of the Canal and thereby enabled the Egyptians to initiate the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Dayan told The New York Times:

In order to enhance its standing among the Arabs, the United States presented us with an ultimatum that we would find ourselves in a conflict with them if we do not allow the surrounded Third Army to receive food and water. The United States prevented us from reaping the fruits of victory.

That is one of the cases in which the US used an Israeli victory exclusively for its own benefit. At the conclusion of the first war in Iraq, after it saved Saudi Arabia from an Iraqi invasion, the US promised to return Israel to the 1967 borders. In 1991, the US forced Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir to attend the Madrid Conference in which the US advocated “land for peace”. In 1993, under heavy pressure from President Clinton, the “Oslo Accords”, which proved to be an Arab deception, were signed.

President Bush declared a hard line in the struggle against terrorism; however in the Middle East and especially in the Land of Israel, that hard line was not implemented. On the one hand, Israel is an ally, however, that does not prevent the theft of the fruits of Israeli victories for the benefit of the US going as far as support for the demands of the Arab countries, commonly referred to as “oil interests”. In order to clarify the situation, it is worthwhile to cite the statement of Dr. Patrick Hardoin, a senior NATO official, who said: “The ups and downs in the Israeli-Arab conflict need not minimize Israeli cooperation with NATO.” In other words: You are allies, but only regarding those matters that interest us.

The connection, or the treaty with the US provides us with many advantages, however, the price that we have paid and continue to pay for those advantages is extremely high. What the Arabs (and many of the Arab countries), sought to do to us after the Six Day War – to restore us to the Green Line, is unlivable, but is gradually being accomplished by the US. Political ties of this sort are rare. It is no wonder, therefore, that the US speaks of “special relations”. The aid that we received and continue to receive from them is important, though its scope is more limited than what many Israeli citizens assume. However, we must not forget that the US also utilizes it as a means to exert political pressure.

On the other hand it is little known that Israel provides the United States with extensive aid in many areas, beginning with delivering captured Russian weaponry, continuing with quality intelligence, through the many weapons systems developed here or in partnership with the US. It is crucial to note that the many, expensive American attempts to gain Arab allies have proven futile. Thus, it is incumbent upon the US to take our needs into consideration and not only the advantages that it gains from the “special relations” with us, as in the Middle East, it is not only a mediator, but also our ally. The situation, where Israel must look out for American interests but need not look out for Israeli interests, can not and must not continue. The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister presents his program as an ultimatum. Israel is faced with demands to accept the program as a single entity. The impression is that it is more a declaration of war than a peace plan. It is surprising and unacceptable that America accepted the program as a basis for negotiations.


back to top

The Hasmonean Way

Ran Ichay

Several great empires dominated the world through the ages. Different periods in history had their own superpowers, such as Persia, Greece and Rome in the ancient world, and the Soviet Union and the United States in the 20th century.

It is not too early to tell now, that the cultural dominance of those countries that ruled the world thousands of years ago disappeared as if they had never existed. The Hellenic and Latin dominance made room for the Christian Anglo-Saxons and the others are mostly forgotten. All that, despite their mighty military power and their ability to enforce through it not only their political rule, but also their religion, culture and values in such a way, that most of the ancient world accepted without remarkable reservations. Virtually all of that world, with the exception of one small and relatively weak people, who refused under all circumstances, including the actual elimination of its self-rule and its existence and presence in its own homeland – to change any of its beliefs and lifestyle.

Many other peoples were absorbed and integrated, into the Greco-Roman world. Their clerics integrated the principles of the Hellenic religious faith into their own religions, their sons joined the Roman army as if it were their own – they were even transformed into Romans, as declared by Julius Caesar. From this enormous power and dominance nothing is left, save some impressive remains of buildings and art.

On the other hand, the Jewish People, who generally refused to take part in this Hellenization process – fought for its values more often than for its life: History proved that the Jews took arms against their oppressors when their faith, not their lives, was at stake . One can see the difference between the reaction to the death threat by the Persians and even by the Pharaohs, and the threat to the Jewish faith made by the Greeks and the Romans. We prevailed militarily once – against the Greeks, and failed three times, against the Romans. The first of those defeats led to the destruction of the Temple and the end of Hebrew sovereignty in the Land of Israel. The third marked the end of a dominant Jewish presence here. But these rebellions were the best guarantee of the perpetuation of the Jewish faith centuries after its oppressors are gone.

We lost our Temple as an architectural monument, but we preserved its spirit, and the others managed to retain their architecture, but their spirit was gone long ago.


back to top

David Ben-Gurion's Forgotten 1948 Land of Israel Proclamation
for the Annexation of Judea and Samaria

Howard Grief

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181(II), generally called the Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947, recommended specific boundaries for the fledgling Jewish state that excluded Jerusalem, Jaffa, Beersheba, Nazareth, Ramle, Lod, Ashdod, Ashkelon and other places, all of which, except for Jerusalem, were included in a proposed Arab state. Jerusalem was to be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime, administered by the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The Jewish Agency for Palestine, anxious to see a Jewish state come into being – whatever the size; and acting under necessity in the wake of the Holocaust that left hundreds of thousands of Jews stranded in Displaced Persons camps in Europe, reluctantly accepted these diminished boundaries of the Jewish National Home. However, after the local Arabs, represented by the Arab Higher Committee and the Arab League states, categorically rejected the Partition Resolution and initiated total war against the resurrected State of Israel, the recommended boundaries were cast aside by the Government of Israel. The areas of the Land of Israel captured by the Israel Defense Forces beyond the UN lines were incorporated into the state through the application of Israeli law to those areas. This was achieved by the enactment of a law called the Area of Jurisdiction and Power Ordinance (Ben-Gurion’s Law) and two proclamations validated by this law, one issued for Jerusalem that effectively annexed the western part of the city to the state and the other issued for the rest of the areas of the Land of Israel not included in the state under the Partition Resolution which were re-captured by the IDF during the War of Independence. What was highly significant about the Land of Israel Proclamation was that it applied not only to all acquisitions of areas of the Land of Israel up to the date of issue of the Proclamation, i.e. on September 2, 1948, but to all future acquisitions of such land without limit, which is absolutely clear from articles 1 and 5 of the Proclamation. Hence, when Israel liberated Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as the Golan and Sinai Peninsula in the Six Day War, this proclamation should have been immediately enforced to extend the law of the state to the liberated Jewish territories, on the assumption that all or most of these territories constituted integral areas of the Land of Israel. Instead of that being done, as required by existing constitutional legislation, the Government, acting on the advice of then Military Advocate-General, Meir Shamgar, the future President of the Supreme Court, chose to apply the laws of war to the liberated Jewish territories. This monumental violation of Israeli law created the false perception worldwide that the liberated territories were “occupied territories” under international law that did not belong to the Jewish people but to foreign Arab states. Had the Land of Israel Proclamation been duly enforced as it should have been in June 1967, this false perception which has now become an article of faith would never have happened.


back to top

The British Academic Boycott of Israel
and Some of Its Deeper Meanings

Christopher Barder


“When I arrived in London, I was not fully prepared for the anti-Israeli hatred existing in Europe. My meetings with the British Left were a rude awakening. During my ambassadorship a number of major anti-Semitic events occurred, both inside and outside Great Britain, that cumulatively served as repeated warning signs.”

Zvi Shtauber in an interview
by Manfred Gerstenfeld, 2005,

The current “boycott mania” is part of a long history of boycotts aimed at demeaning and undermining the existence of a Jewish state in the supposed Dar al Islam and so turning the region into a Dar al Harb. Therein lies its first point of significance. This academic one, although perhaps inspired in response to no small extent by the loud voice of Muslims in Britain and a widespread desire to please, appease and placate them, nonetheless represents “considered” Left-wing academic opinion rather than the Arab states’ refusal to accept Israel’s existence and their support for, at the least, the destruction of it by stages and in many instances, its immediate destruction, by direct confrontation and violence.

Of the three features identified by Melanie Phillips in her book Londonistan to explain how the British public has been “captured by the jihad”, America, Israel and the war in Iraq, it is Israel which is the main focus, the Palestinians having “replaced the IRA as the terrorist fashion accessory du jour and have become the cause of choice for every heart that bleeds... When it is not marching against Israel or writing newspaper articles or making TV programs against it, the left is busy organizing academic and economic boycotts to bring it to its knees.”

The purpose of this article is to inform, to warn and to demonstrate, perhaps above all, that there is a range of deeper issues than might immediately be apparent and however much anti-Semitism may play a role, intellectual and contemporary history are essential ingredients for understanding and effectively combating this evil, somewhat rabid and dangerously contagious phenomenon. 


back to top

The Tribe of Menasheh –
First Steps as an Organized Immigration to Israel:
Absorption or Rejection?

Efrat Tahar-Kedem

The first section of the article will describe the Tribe of Menashe’s path of wandering. The wandering began after they were exiled by the kings of Assyria in the year 722 BCE. A series of forced exiles impelled them to undergo a religious conversion. Their wandering took them eastward. At one stage they lost their Torah scroll and the Jewish tradition was orally transmitted by their priests. In the 18th century some immigrated to the Manipur and Misuram regions in northeastern India. With the appearance of missionaries in Manipur in 1910 and the establishment of churches there, the influence of the High Priest ceased and a Christian influence began.

I will discuss the switch to Judaism that began in the 1940s in the wake of a vision that was revealed to one of the tribal leaders. Attempts to contact the Zionist leadership and the heads of the State of Israel were unsuccessful. Beginning approximately in 1970, a movement of return to Judaism began, in the understanding that the path to the land of Israel requires an absolute abandonment of Christianity and a return to Jewish life. The members of the community were sent to study in the Jewish “ORT” school in Bombay.

The second and central section of the article will deal with the fundamental assumption that contends:

The first wave of immigration from Misuram (which underwent a pro forma conversion prior to its immigration) is now in the midst of establishing its identity – establishing/shaping both its personal and collective identity.

At the same time, relative to the Bnei Menashe who immigrated as individuals over the last 17 years and was forced to make its own way without any assistance from the establishment, the present wave is undergoing an orderly and recognized immigration process.

In light of the unique history of the Bnei Menashe, the central question posed is, under what circumstances will they, concomitant with the immigration process, be able to continue and intensify the establishment of their Jewish identity? Why can’t the two be separated? Are the shapers of the absorption policy on the one hand and the absorbing Israeli society (once they leave the absorption centers) on the other capable of sustaining one another? Has a unique policy of absorption been conceived for them?

Is the State of Israel in 2007 capable of dealing with 449 new immigrants whose entire dream is to realize their Judaism in the land of their forefathers? These are immigrants, some of whom arrived with a rudimentary education, however, for the most part, without marketable professions, but with unlimited gratitude. Is it possible to preserve this uniqueness? How?

A chapter will be devoted to the changes in the status of women. The radical changes that the community’s women underwent in the course of the inter-cultural shift will be described. Models guiding the education of the community’s children will also be described.


back to top

There is a Peace "Partner"!


In his book, The Secret Relations between Nazism and Zionism, one of the best-sellers in the Arab world, based on the man’s doctoral thesis, the partner presents his credo on the Jewish issue. Although he agrees that “several hundred thousand Jews indeed met their deaths during World War II as a result of typhoid and the bombing of cities...”, however, all that was for no purpose other than to conceal the profound connection and the identity of interests between Nazism and Zionism.

The murder of the Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics was perpetrated by Fatah under the name of “Black September”. Abu Mazen’s role was financing the operation and logistical planning. In that sense he was the central person in planning the massacre. In his book, From Jerusalem to Munich (1999), Abu Daud, one of the participants in the massacre, describes the senior role played by his commander, Abu Mazen, in the episode in detail and with great precision. It is worth noting that the book was awarded the Palestinian Authority’s “Cultural Prize” for the year 2000 and became a best-seller among the Arabs in the Land of Israel. To this day, no one – including Abu Mazen – has taken the trouble to challenge or contradict what was written in the book.

The Fatah Constitution,1 signed by its commander, Abu Mazen, deals with defining the fundamental, tactical and strategic foundations of the Fatah movement, i.e.: The raison d’étre of the terrorist organization. The Constitution blatantly and declaratively determines that the supreme destiny of the organization is the destruction of the Jewish state. After a series of paragraphs that characterizes the State of Israel as a criminal, colonialist and exploitative Zionist entity, Paragraph 12 establishes that the destiny of Fatah, i.e. Abu Mazen, is: “Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

Abu Mazen was the deputy of Arafat, the greatest murderer of Jews since Hitler. Since Arafat’s death, Abu Mazen inherited the standing of his predecessor as the supreme commander of all of the terrorist organizations affiliated with Fatah, including, among others, the “al-Aqsa Brigades”, among the most fanatical of Abu Mazen’s murderous gangs, even according to the generous Islamo-fascist criteria. Among the 1,640 “victims of peace” since the Oslo Accords, more than half were murdered at the direct order of Arafat and Abu Mazen.

In any normal country, the criminal would be placed on trial, sentenced to death and part with his impure soul on the hangman’s noose.

However, there is an even more embarrassing phenomenon than that one, and that is the man shaking his hand.

     1  <>.


back to top



Ariel Center for Policy Research / NATIV

POB 99, Shaarei Tikva 44810, Israel



Tel: +972-3-906-3920