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Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


A Journal of Politics and the Arts
Volume 21 Number 3 (122)  May 2008Sivan 5768


Israel in Its
60th Year

Failure of the Strategy of Peace and Security

Aharon Levran

The System of Government is National Defense

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

A Policy Prescription for a Neo-Zionist Regime

Martin Sherman

Israeli Literature – A Deviation from the Straight Path

Yosef Oren

The Education and Culture Crisis in Israel’s 60th Year

Zalman Shoval

The Jewish State – Is it Really a “Magnificent Madness”?


Europe and Israel: Self-Examination After 60 Years

Shlomo Perla

IDF and Security

Looking Back at “Project Daniel”: A Five-Year Retrospective

Louis René Beres

Israeli Arabs

The Arabs in Israel – From Alienation to National Liquidation: The Advent of the Al-Naqba Intifada

David Bukay


“The Democratic Constitution” “The Haifa Declaration”


Islamic Anti-Semitism and Its Nazi Roots

Matthias Kuentzel


Jewish Anti-Zionism Unravelled: The Morality of Vanity

Anthony Julius

Israel and the UN

Security Council Resolution 242: A Violation of Law and a Pathway to Disaster

Howard Grief


The Last Poet in the World

Chayym Zeldis

Book Review

“The Power of Globalization – When the Periphery is Pushed to the Center” – on the book, A Short History of Southeast Asia in Modern Times by Moshe Yegar

Raphael Israeli

Translated Poetry

The Song of Prince Igor, two fragments

Book Review

The Golden Word of Russian Literature

Dmitri Likhachev


A Time Clock with Azure Clouds Above the Town

Asiya Levin-Hait

Selected Summaries


Failure of the Strategy of Peace and Security

Aharon Levran

Israeli conduct in the two areas fundamental to its existence – peace and security – has suffered for a long time now from blindness, groundlessness and chronic stupidity. The failure stems from most politicians’ lack of understanding and internalization of the three fundamental conditions of the conflict, which are: A. It is not similar to a conflict in terms of its depth and scope and it is not about territory leading to the insurmountable difficulty to resolve it; B. The enormous differences in approach that exist between the parties regarding the conflict and the nature of national life that ultimately lead to a resolute and principled refusal to come to terms with Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East expanse on the one hand, and a failure to establish common ground in terms of language, values and culture on the other; C. The basic strategic situation – the few versus the hostile many, which instills an almost deterministic hope that ultimately the many will overcome the few.

And indeed, multi-year experience proves that true peace will not be established in the foreseeable future. Peace is not exactly a “commodity” current in the Arab world – so do you suppose that they will provide it to a “foreign implant that invaded their expanse”? A critical proof of this is that even today the Palestinians are unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Thus, talk about the “conclusion and finality of the conflict” is without basis.

One of the most conspicuous Israeli political mistakes is its hesitation to implement force and the loss of its will to win. This was manifest in the descending IDF victory curve since the Six Day War in general and in particular, in the struggle against Palestinian terrorism since 1987, in the conflict with Hizbullah and the disgraceful withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, climaxing with the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The “fatigue from winning” (Olmert) has dominated the masses and the predominant mantra is “terrorism cannot be vanquished” and a political solution is essential as if the few against the many always have an option of that sort. The security philosophy has always been that the few must vanquish the many in every battle with their enemies, including conquering territory.

The agreement to establish a Palestinian state stems from another grave error. It would be a catastrophe, as described in the title of Marquez’ book, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. They could have received the state on a silver platter from Ehud Barak; however, they refused, because they wanted to subordinate Israel and expel it, just as Hizbullah did in 2000. A Palestinian state would not only constitute a reward for terrorism but would also ensure that we will never have a secure future. The hopes placed in the “moderate”, but impotent Abu Mazen as a partner are an act of foolishness.

An additional colossal error in Israeli policy was the “disengagement” and dismantling of the Gaza settlements in 2005. It was an empty and strategically futile course of action bordering on historic crime. All of the rationales offered by Sharon, Olmert and company were completely rebuffed in the face of the dreadful security reality.

In order to justify the policy, various easily refutable reasons were raised. One of those was - “one makes peace with enemies”. Well, they did not make peace with Hitler or Saddam and Khomeini. They did make peace with enemies that were defeated or changed their ways and character like Germany and Japan after World War II. Violence and terrorism are second nature to the PLO and they will therefore never be a fitting peace partner.

Another reason is to give peace a chance or “shall the sword devour forever”? However, if peace is illusory and the “partner” will not change - what is the relevance of giving peace a chance? And what is the value of that chance if we already know that “even in peace, terrorism will not cease”. Therefore, in the surrounding jungle the sword will not soon return to its sheath.

They also say: “The powerful should take risks and concede”. If we are indeed so powerful, why are they incessantly threatening us with war (if we fail to speedily make peace), why have we not eliminated terrorism and violence and why did we emerge bruised and battered from Lebanon in 2006? The truth is that we have grown significantly weaker in terms of faith in the justice of our path and in terms of spirit and therefore, an arsenal of weaponry and technology against a “primitive” though resolute and persistent struggle is of limited relevance. The few, even with a powerful attack force will never be strong enough to overcome the many, who have extensive staying power.

And, of course, the ultimate reason – “there is peace with Egypt and Jordan”. However, the peace with Egypt is cold, sterile and conditional and its comportment in every area against us proves this. The formal peace with Jordan proves nothing as it should celebrate Israel’s existence, otherwise it would be swallowed alive by its “sisters”.

In conclusion, two quotes: One from Dr. Rafi Kishon, a doctor and a veterinarian – “A grave illness is threatening our country and it is caused by the bite of an anopheles mosquito that causes peace fever”. And one from the immortal Natan Alterman – “Then Satan said: How can I overcome this creature? And he said: I will not take his strength nor will I instill him with cowardice. I will do just this: I will dull his mind and he will forget that justice is on his side (and Satan arose to carry out his mission)”.


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The System of Government is National Defense

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

During the years 1957-1959, while in charge of the development and service introduction of the new “Vautour” heavy jet strike fighter/all weather interceptor in France, YTC was exposed to his French peers’ unfavorable opinions on the totally inefficient system of government of their 3rd Republic of WWII ill-repute and the 4th , post WWII Republic on the verge of total collapse.

“Ours is a corrupt system of government,” they said, “that lacks stability, decision making capacity, credibility – hence, authority, respect, accountability, transparency and all the other attributes vital to the functioning of a viable democracy.”

The metamorphosis from the 4th to the 5th Republic was pretty traumatic, with the use of force in the background, but from 1961-1962, when YTC returned to study in France, he realized that the 5th Republic has already pulled France up from the “bottom of the pit”, politically, morally, materially and in international standing.

There is an unfortunate close similarity between the structure of the Israeli system of government and the French 3rd or 4th Republics. Their negative manifestations are pretty much identical.

Israel cannot continue to be ruled by a British type parliamentary system based upon legal precedents substituting for a constitution, with “patches” of Hebrew and Ottoman laws. Israel is an agglomeration of Jewish refugees coming from over 100 countries, only a few of which are democratic, to which a large Arab element is to be added. It is a complex mixture of cultures, ethical and normative notions, with little in common except the wish to rebuild a life as free Jews or enjoy the privileges of democracy as Arabs.

YTC advocates a 5th French Republic, an inspired, but by no means copied, presidential system for Israel.

However, given the acute ME threat environment, Israel cannot afford a borderline-democratic change of the system like the 1958 French upheaval, hence a step by step move should be anticipated, starting with a change of the electoral system, along the lines of the half-regional, half-national law proposal recently introduced in the Knesset.

Without a smooth and efficient democratic government, Israel’s future is in doubt.

Peace is defined as the natural state resulting from harmony between the parties (US-Canada) or the non-violence resulting from uncontested deterrence (US-USSR or even US-Mexico).

In Israel’s case, deterrence is the only realistic option; the other side of the coin of peace.

Given the Israeli deterrence requirements, educational, moral, material, management, military and geopolitical, the present system which disables deterrence endangers the country’s very security.


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A Policy Prescription for a Neo-Zionist Regime

Martin Sherman

The article sets out some major elements of strategic policy essential for rejuvenation of Zionist governance of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

It identifies the Palestinian issue as the overriding obstacle to the formulation of rationale long-term national strategy for the country.  Such formulation is not possible within the framework of the prevailing conventional-wisdom paradigm which basically accepts the Palestinian narrative and advocates the establishment of Palestinian state, both of which are incompatible with the survival of Israel. An alternative paradigm is suggested in which the emphasis is placed on alleviating the genuine humanitarian distress of the Palestinians, rather than acquiescing to their spurious political aspirations, and on approaching them as aggregate of individuals rather than a political collective.

As a country totally devoid of any natural resources Israel is entirely dependent for its future development, prosperity and survival on its human resources. This has ramifications for the formulation of national strategy in general and for the approach to the national budget in particular.  In Israel, budgetary items such as education and health care, previously considered unproductive welfare expenses, must considered productive investments in human capital – for a healthy, skilled and educated population is a national imperative. 

Israel still faces mortal threats to its existence.  Thus maintenance of effective second- strike capability is essential to its capacity to deter adversaries – especially in the age of WMD.  Given Israel's miniscule territorial dimensions, sea-borne capability – including nuclear powered vessels – must be taken up as an operational option. Significant investments necessary for the development and maintenance of deterrence should not be avoided, as past experience has shown that such military expenditures have generated hinge "spin off" benefits for the private sector.

Diplomacy (particularly public diplomacy) must be accorded the strategic importance its deserves– and which hitherto has been denied it. The role of diplomacy must be assigned a role similar to the air force - which is to create the freedom of movement for policy-makers to achieve the goals of nation – and must be allocated the resources to fulfill this function. 


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The Education and Culture Crisis in the State's 60th Year

Zalman Shoval


What has transpired in education is well-known: Deterioration in the study of most disciplines, a drop in the level of pedagogy, a decline in the transmission of the fundamental values of the Hebrew culture, Zionism, citizenship, knowledge of the Land and love of the Land – and as an almost automatic byproduct of such – an increase in violence, both within and beyond the confines of school. The phenomenon of emigration from the Land is, to a large extent, a function of deficient education.

The appointment of the left-wing Prof. Yuli Tamir as Minister of Education and of Mr. Raleb Majadleh (of Arab extraction), as Minister of Culture in the Jewish state, says it all. With all due respect to Mr. Majadleh, it has not yet become clear what he has in common with Israeli culture, all the more so, Jewish culture. Ms. Tamir eliminated “nationalist” content from the curriculum; including, Hannah Senesh and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. The IDF wars and operations and the Law of Return have been expunged. In their place, the aforementioned matron introduced Naqba studies, presumably to ensure that Israeli students in the Jewish state will learn the “facts”; that the Arabs were unable to successfully liquidate this state in 1948 and thereby complete the work of the Nazis, is the reason for the profound mourning which descends upon the “Palestinian Israeli citizens” on Israel’s Independence Day.

The out-of-control teachers’ strike, which left students out on the streets for weeks on end, was unprecedented in civilized countries. Although there is no doubt that teachers’ salaries should be raised, by the same token, there is no doubt that the level of the teachers themselves should be raised as well. Similarly, a far-reaching drop in the number of students per class should be facilitated in order to engender more personal contact between the teacher and the student.

Deficient education harms the central structures of society. This is especially evident in the quality of soldiers, who, in the absence of identity with the state to the point of alienation, is manifest in the comprehensive phenomenon of shirking military service.


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The Jewish State – Is it Really a “Magnificent Madness”?


An observer of the Jewish state from the perspective of its 60 years, without taking notice of the undercurrents undermining its foundations from within, cannot help but be impressed.

Indeed, the container is comely. With a per capita GNP of $33,000,1 Israel is one of the 22 wealthiest countries in the world. This is an anomalous phenomenon if we consider the objective factors preventing Israel from taking its place in the top 10 along with the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway.

Alongside the impressive economic achievement accomplished – in the absence of natural resources – primarily by means of the strength of its talent, its initiative and its technological might, Israel has every right to be proud of a long series of additional successes that are also unprecedented by conventional standards. An example of this is the demographic phenomenon of aliya – immigration. It is important to remember that immigration to the Jewish state – in contrast to immigration to the United States, for example – entails mortal danger. After all, Israel is the most dangerous place in the world for Jews. The number of people killed there because they are Jews, is many times greater than the number of Jews killed worldwide since the Holocaust. And, nevertheless, the Jewish population of the state has multiplied almost tenfold, from 600,000 to 5.5 million, and the Land of Israel today, for the first time in 2,000 years, contains the greatest concentration of Jews in the universe. This is a phenomenon unparalleled in the history of demography and it is doubtful whether any of the founders of Zionism (i.e. "A Magnificent Madness" as described by Orde Wingate) dared to dream of it.

The renaissance of the Hebrew language that had until then, been relegated to prayer books; the salvation of the Land of Israel from the destruction that the Arabs brought upon it after they turned it into a desolate desert; the establishment of an army that routs its more populous enemies; self-production of some of the most sophisticated weapons systems in the world, all that and more, when considering the limitations of the existential rationale of Israel – that is forced to fight for its survival with one hand tied behind its back – indeed fit the unity of the dialectic dissonance that is manifest in the second part of the remarkable saying of our rabbis:

The Jewish people have been compared to dust and compared to stars – when they fall – they fall to the dust. And when they rise – they rise to the stars. (Megillah, 16)

However, at the conclusion of this encouraging preface in the style of the Jewish Agency information booklets, we can, without difficulty, discern two trends that exemplify the Jewish state in a lethal combination that endangers its very existence: Fatigue, on the one hand and moral turpitude on the other. Sixty years of standing up to those seeking its demise has exacted a steep price of fatigue that generates defense mechanisms of denial of reality, creating virtual worlds of “peace process” and extreme defeatism that manifests itself in the willingness to hand the Golan over to the Syrians and Jerusalem over to the enemy that openly and explicitly seeks to destroy it (and look at the Fatah Constitution signed by Abu Mazen).

This fatigue is exploited by the Israeli Left, the decisive link in Arab and European anti-Semitism that places the blame for the occupation upon Israel. The Israeli leftist deals indefatigably with the de-legitimization of his country as a prelude to its destruction. This is accomplished by drawing parallels between Israel and Nazism – a perception that is taking root in Hebrew academia, especially in the departments of social sciences and liberal arts. The “New Historians” present the history of Zionism as evil colonialism, intended to expel the legal owners of the land, i.e., the Palestinians. “New”Archeologists present the Old Testament as propaganda lacking any connection to the Land of Israel. Just recently, a professor at Tel Aviv University published a “study that proves” that Judaism in its entirety is nothing more than a concoction that began somewhere in the eighth century CE and that there is no connection between the ancient residents of Canaan and the Jewish people.

The editor suggests to one reading this column and asking “from whence cometh my help” to re-examine the Book of Psalms, Chapter 121.

 1  GNP – Gross National Product per capita. The data is based on the publications of the International Monetary Fund from 2007.


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Europe and Israel: Self-Examination

Shlomo Perla

The State of Israel has emerged from the historical whirlwind that swept through Europe, starting with the rise of romantic nationalism in the 19th century and culminating in the Shoah. Tossing the Jewish people so vigorously, this whirlwind compelled it to declare its national sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

Indeed, the establishment of the State of Israel was a turning point in the two millennia era of tragic European-Jewish dialogue but, alas, it seems that this was a turning point in form and style rather than of essence. The historical image of the Jewish people in the eyes of the Europeans was projected onto the State of Israel.

This article suggests that, although not all criticism and condemnation of Israeli policy should be interpreted as a manifestation of anti-Semitism, a synoptic study of the European policy towards the State of Israel during the six decades of the latter’s statehood, would reveal that the traditional European perceptions of the Jewish nation that characterized the historical European-Jewish dialogue underlie Europe’s mindset in its relations to Israel.

Europe, indeed, supported the establishment of the State of Israel, yet, though subconsciously, it found it difficult to wholeheartedly resign itself to the transfiguration of the Jewish people from a mere historical entity to a political one. By achieving statehood, and in particular by ruling the city of Jerusalem, the Jewish people defied the normal course of history.

Europe’s Israeli policy may be perceived from different angles: from a metaphysical angle to a historicist one to a real politics. Yet these different angles are not exclusive but include and reflect each other. Sometime it seems that one particular angle is predominant, sometimes another one, but they are interwoven with each other forming a pattern that reads: The legitimacy of the State of Israel is conditional, the specifics of which change over time. 


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Looking Back at “Project Daniel”
A Five-Year Retrospective

Louis René Beres

Five years can pass very quickly in the strategic life of a nation. For Israel, these past five years have been characterized by a steady deterioration of pertinent strategic doctrine and by a persistent decline in tangible military power. Although, regionally, Israel certainly still maintains a viable and protected repository of superior weaponry, it is increasingly doubtful that the Jewish state will be able to adequately secure itself from proliferating existential harms.

More than five years ago, on January 16, 2003, the private “Project Daniel Group” delivered an unprecedented report to then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Reflecting on the close and informed collaboration of four Israelis and two Americans, “Israel’s Strategic Future” tackled a variety of very complex strategic challenges, including deterrence, defense, preemption and war fighting. From the start, we focused especially on the growing nuclear threat from Iran. Accordingly, our final report made it altogether clear, inter alia, that under no circumstances should Israel expect peaceful coexistence with a nuclear Iran. Now, it seems that our critical advice may have gone unheeded.

“Israel’s Strategic Future” was originally conceived as an urgent report exclusively for Prime Minister Sharon. But a little more than a year after its transmittal to the Prime Minister, The Group agreed to make it available as an open publication. Thus appeared, in May 2004, ACPR Policy Paper No. 155, “Israel’s Strategic Future: Project Daniel”.

In the “Retrospective” that follows, I (Professor Louis René Beres, Chair of “Project Daniel”) – speaking only for myself – offer a detailed look inside the authoritative strategic universe of The “Project Daniel” Group. Recalling “Daniel’s” several overriding and interrelated concerns, this article looks back at our particular recommendations concerning preemption (anticipatory self-defense); needed paradigm shifts (to deal more effectively with both “low intensity” and long-range WMD threats); expanded strategic cooperation with Washington; constructive support of the United States in the War Against Terror; ballistic missile defense; and the problematic continuance of deliberate nuclear ambiguity (the “bomb in the basement”). Here, also, the reader will find a straightforward discussion of counter-value strategic targeting, and an unequivocal rejection of nuclear war-fighting as a rational Israeli option:

The Group advised emphatically that Israel should avoid non-conventional exchanges with enemy states wherever possible. It is still not in Israel’s interest to engage these states in WMD warfare if other options exist. “Israel’s Strategic Future” did not instruct how to “win” a war in a WMD Middle-East environment. Rather, it described what we, the members of “Project Daniel”, considered the necessary, realistic and optimal conditions for non-belligerence toward Israel in the region. These conditions still include a coherent and comprehensive Israeli doctrine for preemption, war fighting, deterrence and defense.

The US-led war in Iraq has now revealed how even the most powerful military force on earth can be immobilized by inadequate or inappropriate doctrine. Strategic theory is a net; only those who cast, will catch. For Israel, this surely means many things, but one important implication is this: Five years after “Israel’s Strategic Future: Project Daniel”, this meticulously-crafted report remains an available and coherent theory from which decidedly purposeful military and defense policies can be suitably derived. 


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The Arabs in Israel – From Alienation to National Liquidation:
The Advent of the Al-Naqba Intifada

David Bukay

The phenomenon that typifies the Israeli Arabs as a national-religious minority in the State of Israel is unparalleled worldwide and it very powerfully manifests the dimensions of the existential threats faced by the State of Israel – perhaps in the domestic realm even more than the various spheres of the regional one. The Israeli Arabs are the only ones among all the minorities worldwide that possess superior civil rights and freedoms, certainly relative to the Arab residents of all of the Arab and Islamic countries, while at the same time they are almost absolutely free of any civil obligations – and nevertheless they still continue to exploit their country of residence with cries of discrimination and prejudice. Furthermore, the Israeli Arabs represent a unique reality on the international scene: They are the only minority in the world that fails to recognize its country of residence and its national symbols and above all seeks to liquidate it and completely take its place, throughout its entire territory.

The parties established by the Israeli Arabs, and which are even represented in the Israeli Knesset, express the ideology and the practical policy of the Palestinian Authority; of the messianic Nasserism in the Arab world; of the international Moslem Brotherhood movement; and of the communism-Bolshevism of the former Soviet Union. In addition, a wide range of legal associations and political organizations were established, whose objective is to serve as special interest and pressure groups in order to receive additional resources from Israel; to take the place of Israel’s institutional-governmental system in all areas; to work in close partnership with the Jewish, anti-Zionist Left in order to deceive Israeli public opinion and to shape international public opinion.

The most outstanding manifestation of their activity is the “Exploit and Cry Syndrome – he hit me and cried, he caught me and complained”. This is an aggressive strategy, which can be analogized to the saying of our sages – “One indicts others for his own faults”. In Arab culture it can be said “one attacks others for his own faults”. The phenomenon is to always attack and never apologize. And they externalize the accusation precisely on their inadequacy, on their basic values. This is a cultural phenomenon, in which they are always the victim; it is the classic case of the “robbed Cossack”.

Their chief collaborators in achieving their liquidation objective are the Jewish anti-Zionists. Their activity stems more from their self-hatred and hatred of their country than from support of the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs. It is opposition to Jewish nationalism and support for Bolshevik internationalism that motivates them. These are people still stuck in the Diaspora past. They constitute the force, the catalyst and the motivator of the Palestinians and they take action to weaken Israel and to shatter its morale domestically, but its primary threat is manifest in the shaping of a demonized image of Israel and facilitating its de-legitimization internationally.

Two primary means are employed in achieving the liquidation objective and they both manifest the classic Moslem position - Jihad and dawa:. Jihad - violence and terrorism and dawa - propaganda employing various methods of obfuscation (takiya)2 and sweet-talk. The words that are constantly repeated with the frequency of normal breathing are: Discrimination, apartheid, bigotry, fascism, ethnic cleansing. And this is done unabashedly, through an unprecedented distortion of reality with a clear anti-Semitic objective.

The study examined the phenomenon in an analysis of two reports: First, the report of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, published in December 2007, through which he focused on the discrimination and loyalty syndrome; second, the “Orr Commission” report to investigate the riots perpetrated by the Israeli Arabs in October 2000 and through which he focused on the violence and terrorism syndrome.

The most outstanding manifestation of Israeli Arab activity is the publication of the four racist documents calling for the liquidation of nation and state, transformation of Israel into a bi-national state and the Jews into a protected minority as a first stage in the establishment of one great Palestinian state, from the sea to the desert (yes, Jordan too). In these documents, above and beyond all else, the victory of the BaLaD Movement and the viewpoint of Azmi Bishara, which are in no way different from the “Palestinian National Charter” and the “Hamas Charter”. 

                       2  Sura 3 verses 28-29


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Islamic Anti-Semitism and Its Nazi Roots

Matthias Kuentzel

The accused, Mounir el Motassadeq, had been a close friend of Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 perpetrators. One witness, Shahid Nickels, a member of Mohammed Atta’s core group said the following:

Atta’s weltanschauung was based on a National Socialist way of thinking. He was convinced that “the Jews” are determined to achieve world domination. He considered New York City to be the center of world Jewry which was, in his opinion, “Enemy Number One”.

Sharid Nickels further testified about the perpetrator’s core group:

They were convinced that Jews control the American government as well as the media and the economy of the United States. ...Motassadeq shared Atta’s attitude in believing that a world-wide conspiracy of Jews exists. According to him, Americans want to dominate the world so that Jews can pile up capital.

Recognizing this obsessive hatred of Jews enables us to draw a preliminary conclusion: The concept of Americans as enemies which motivated the 9/11 perpetrators is clearly not based on sound or even a partially reasonable perception of reality but is an obvious phantasmagoria and reveals an anti-Semitism which strikingly parallels several central concepts of Nazi ideology.

Probing the minds and motives of Islamist perpetrators requires that we avoid using our Western understanding of the world. If we stick exclusively to our Western modes of reasoning – such as the law of cause-and-effect or the importance we place on the survival instinct – this may lead to the mistaken belief that hopelessness and deep desperation are at the root of murder-suicide. Under close inspection, however, this reasoning does not hold up. By studying the testamentary videos which so-called “Palestinian martyrs” produce before setting off on their deadly missions, we will find no evidence of desperation or hopelessness but will instead find an enormous amount of pride and even joy, a joy close to rapture. Thus, the motives of the perpetrators can be explained neither by applying our theories of cause-and-effect, nor can the motives be attributed to “evil-doers”. These men do not consider themselves as evil, but see themselves instead as being courageous liberators and as the God-fearing avant-garde of the best.  


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Jewish Anti-Zionism Unravelled - The Morality of Vanity

Anthony Julius

Contemporary Jewish anti-Zionism can be interpreted as occupying a position, or a set of positions, within a new Jewish politics. Modern Jewish politics was a response to, and an attempt to address, the “Jewish Question”; contemporary Jewish politics is a response to, and an attempt to address, the “Israel Question”. Modern Jewish politics emerged out of ideological divisions within Jewish communities in the mid-to-late-19th century. The Holocaust brought this politics to an end. Ideological differences within Jewish communities following the Six Day War then caused a re-emergence of Jewish politics, which had been dormant for about 40 years.

Intra-communal conflict reached maximum intensity in the inter-war period of the 20th century. It was, for example, the Jewish sections of the Communist party in revolutionary Russia that led the fight against Zionism; if it were not for these sections, the liquidation of the Zionist movement would have been a slower process.

The Nazis destroyed the Yiddish-speaking Jewish nation that inhabited parts of Central and Eastern Europe, and many of the ideological positions taken by those Jews perished with them. The very possibility of Jewish politics suffered an immense blow.

Leftists of Jewish origin surrendered their Jewish identity in favor of their Leftist politics; other Jews merely abandoned their Jewish politics and either chose or had forced upon them the consolations of private life, the apolitics of quietism. In the decades immediately following the War, the Jews in the Soviet bloc were prisoners; the Jews of Muslim lands were expelled; the Jews of Israel built their state; the Jews of Western Europe and America reconciled themselves to their good fortune. And then came the Six Day War, and with it, the emergence of a new Jewish politics – a contemporary Jewish politics.

There have always been distinct strands in the Jewish objection to Zionism. It has been regarded as inconsistent with Jewish teaching (the “religious objection”), with Jews’ obligations to their countries of citizenship (“the patriotic objection”), and with projects of universal emancipation both / either from capitalism (“the leftist objection”) and / or ethnic or religious particularism (“the liberal objection”).

The reformulation of the religious objection has two aspects. First, it is framed in terms of “justice”, understood to be a distinctly Jewish concept. The Palestinian cause is “just”; Israel’s cause is “unjust”. Second, it is framed in terms of universalist allegiances, similarly understood to be Jewish in character. The anti-Zionist is not just a Jew like other Jews; his dissent from normative Zionist loyalties makes him a better Jew. He restores Judaism’s good name; to be a good Jew one has to be an anti-Zionist.  


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Security Council Resolution 242:
A Violation of Law and a Pathway to Disaster

Howard Grief

Ever since its adoption by the United Nations on November 22, 1967, Resolution 242 has been and still is the basis for all peace negotiations to end the conflict not only between Israel and the Arab states but also with the Palestine Liberation Organization, even though the resolution does not apply to non-state entities.

The Government of Israel originally accepted Resolution 242 because it is premised on the idea that every state in the Middle East has the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force. This meant that all the Arab states that accepted this resolution thereby recognized Israel’s existence and political independence and also required them to terminate their state of belligerency towards the Jewish state.

The Arab states of Jordan and Egypt originally accepted Resolution 242 as the best means in their eyes to compel Israel to withdraw to the armistice borders that existed prior to the Six Day War. The American position as enunciated by successive administrations has always been much closer to the Arab view, for the United States has said time and again that to achieve peace, Israel must withdraw from all territories “occupied” in the Six Day War with only insubstantial alterations, a prescription that was followed to the letter in the case of Sinai, but even there, without any territorial adjustments as envisaged for the region of Judea and Samaria.

Israel’s expected withdrawal under Resolution 242 is based on the premise found in the preamble of the resolution that the acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible. Aside from the fact that the United States and many other states have expanded their own borders through the process of war, an idea they now hypocritically invoke against Israel, the latter’s rights to Judea, Samaria and Gaza pre-dated the Six Day War and were derived, not from war, but from several acts of international law whose provenance is to be found in the decisions taken by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in 1919 and 1920 at the Paris Peace Conference and San Remo Peace Conference. It is an undeniable fact that the whole of Palestine was created and allocated to the Jewish people by the Allied Powers for the exclusive purpose of establishing a Jewish National Home that included all of the so-called “occupied territories” that Resolution 242 speaks about. By accepting this resolution, Israel negated the national and political rights to Palestine and the Land of Israel it inherited from the Jewish people, as set out in the San Remo Resolution, the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920 and the Mandate for Palestine. Resolution 242 violates the aforementioned rights that still exist in international law and are protected from alteration under Article 80 of the UN Charter.

In addition, Israel violated its own constitutional law when it accepted the stipulation of Resolution 242; that its armed forces must withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” even though the resolution did not require a complete withdrawal from all the territories allegedly “occupied” by it during the Six Day War. The twin concepts of “occupation” and “withdrawal” which are firmly embedded in Resolution 242 mean in effect that so long as Israel continues to abide by this resolution it forfeits its legal rights to its own national patrimony. This can only result in a future disaster for Israel unless it categorically renounces the deleterious “land for peace” formula as embodied in Resolution 242 that, in essence, is an updated UN Partition Plan contrary to Israel’s best interests.


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