THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
VOLUME 16             B"H   April 2008             NUMBER 4


POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"


TABLE OF CONTENTS
April 2008

 

EDITORIALS

  • DAYENU -- IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH ..............Bernard J. Shapiro
  • PASSOVER AND JEWISH LIBERATION ..............Bernard J. Shapiro

    ISRAEL POLITICS/MILITARY STRATEGIC

  • COLUMN ONE: FEAR OF DEMOCRACY ..............Caroline Glick
  • OUR WORLD: COVERING FOR THE ENEMY ..............Caroline Glick
  • OUR WORLD: WHAT IS A SUFFICIENT VICTORY? ..............Caroline Glick
  • COLUMN ONE: AHMADINEJAD'S SMILE ..............Caroline Glick
  • SAVING HAMAS ..............P. David Hornik

    JEWISH HISTORY

  • UNITY, SEKHEL TOV, & LOVE ..............Prof. Eugene Narrett

    WORLD / ISRAEL POLITICS

  • CONDI AND OTHER FOGGY FULMINATIONS… ..............Gerald A. Honigman
  • ROAD MAP to the ARAB FEDERATION: the AARONSOHN SAGA in CONTEXT ..............Prof. Eugene Narrett

     

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    Caroline Glick The West stands by idly as its foundations are rent asunder.Last Friday the UN's Human Rights Council took a direct swipe at freedom of expression. In a 32-0 vote, the council instructed its "expert on freedom of expression" to report to the council on all instances in which individuals "abuse" their freedom of speech by giving expression to racial or religious bias.
     
    The measure was proposed by paragons of freedom Egypt and Pakistan. It was supported by all Arab, Muslim and African countries - founts of liberty one and all. European states abstained.
    The US, which is not a member of the Human Rights Council, tried to oppose the measure. In a speech before the council, US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Warren Tichenor warned that the resolution's purpose is to undermine freedom of expression because it imposes "restrictions on individuals rather than emphasiz[ing] the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect human rights."
    By seeking to criminalize free speech, the resolution stands in breach of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of that document states explicitly: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
     
    The Europeans' decision to abstain rather than oppose the measure seems, at first glance, rather surprising. Given that the EU member states are among the UN's most emphatic champions, it would have seemed normal for them to have opposed a resolution that undermines one of the UN's foundational documents, and indeed, one of the most basic tenets of Western civilization.
    But then again, given the EU's stands in recent years against freedom of expression, there really is nothing to be surprised about. The EU's current bow to intellectual thuggery is of course found in its response to the Internet release of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders' film Fitna.
     
    The EU has gone out of its way to attack Wilders for daring to exercise his freedom of expression. The EU's presidency released a statement condemning the film for "inflaming hatred." Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende issued statements claiming that the film "serves no other purpose than to cause offense."
     
    Then, too, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon blasted the film as "offensively anti-Islamic."
    These statements follow the EU's quest to restrict freedom of speech following the 2005 publication of cartoons of Muhammed in Denmark's Jyllands Posten newspaper. They also come against the backdrop of the systematic silencing of anti-jihadist intellectuals throughout the continent. These intellectuals, such as Peter Redeker in France and Paul Cliteur in the Netherlands, are threatened into silence by European jihadists. And the governments of Europe either do nothing to defend the threatened thinkers or justify the intellectual blackmailers by sympathizing with their anger.
     
    IT IS axiomatic that freedom of expression is the foundation of human freedom and progress. When people are not allowed to express themselves freely, there can be no debate or inquiry. It is only due to free debate and inquiry that humanity has progressed from the Dark Age to the Digital Age. This is why the first act of every would-be tyrant is to take control of the marketplace of ideas.
     
    Yet today, the nations of Europe and indeed much of the Western world, either sit idly by and do nothing to defend that freedom or collaborate with unfree and often tyrannical Islamic states and terrorists in silencing debate and stifling dissent.
     
    There are two reasons why this is the case.
     
    First, the political Left, which rules supreme in the EU's bureaucracy as well as in most of the intellectual centers of the free world, has shown through its actions that it has no real commitment to democratic values. Rather than embrace democratic values, the Left increasingly adopts the parlance of democracy cynically, with the aim of undermining free discourse in the public sphere in the name of "democracy."
     
    Writing of the leftist uproar against Wilders' film in Europe in Der Speigel, Henryk Broder noted that almost across the board, the European media has castigated Wilders as "a right-wing populist." As Broder notes, on its face this assertion is absurd, for Wilders is a radical liberal.
     
    In Fitna, the outspoken legislator shows how verses of the Koran are used by jihadists to justify the most heinous acts of mass murder and hatred. His film superimposes verses from the Koran calling for the murder of non-Muslims with actual scenes of jihadist carnage. It also superimposes verses from the Koran vilifying Jews with footage of Islamic clerics repeating the verses and with a three-year-old girl saying that she learned that Jews are monkeys and pigs from her Koran classes. Fitna concludes with a challenge to Muslims to expunge these hateful, murderous religious tenets from their belief system.
    While arguably, but not necessarily, inflammatory, Wilders' film serves as an invitation to Europe and to the Islamic world to hold an open debate. His film challenges viewers - both Muslim and non-Muslim - to think and to discuss whether Islam accords with the notions of human freedom and what can be done to stop jihadists from exploiting the Koran to justify their acts of murder, tyranny and hate.
     
    As Broder notes, by calling Wilders a "right-wing populist," the Left seeks to silence both him and his call for an open discourse. The underlying message of such labeling is that Wilders is somehow beyond the pale of polite company and therefore his message should be ignored by all right thinking people. If you don't want to be intellectually isolated and socially ostracized like Wilders, then you mustn't watch his film or take it seriously. Doing so would be an act of "right-wing populism" - and everyone knows what that means.
     
    Like all anti-democratic movements, today's political Left seeks to silence debate and so undermine democracy, first, by demonizing anyone who doesn't agree with it and then by passing laws that criminalize speech or override the people's right to decide how they wish to live.
     
    In the EU, the Lisbon Treaty effectively regurgitated by bureaucratic fiat the constitution that was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands and was set to be defeated by the British. In Britain, Parliament has labored for years to pass a law that would criminalize insulting Islam. Then, too, one of the first actions the Brown government took after entering office last summer was to prohibit its members from talking about "Islamic terrorism."
    AS IN Europe, so too in Israel, the Left goes to extraordinary lengths to undermine democracy in the name of democracy.
     
    In just one recent example, this week leftist law professor Mordechai Kremnitzer warned the Knesset not to pass a law enabling a referendum on any future partition of Jerusalem or surrender of the Golan Heights. As Kremnitzer sees it, "If the verdict of a referendum is determined by a small majority that includes Arab voters, then a certain sector whose view was not accepted is liable to attempt to reject the legitimacy of the referendum and may fight against it violently."
     
    That "certain sector" Kremnitzer was referring to, of course, are the Jews who oppose the partition of Jerusalem and the surrender of the Golan Heights, by a large majority.
    Kremnitzer's argument is both ridiculous and self-serving. It is ridiculous because he knows that in 2004, Likud members held a referendum on the government's planned withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria. Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon pledged to abide by the results of his party's vote. But when 65 percent of Likud members rejected his plan, he ignored them. And the public's reaction, while strong, was completely nonviolent.
    The only force that used sustained force and intimidation in the run-up to the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria was the government. It deployed tens of thousands of policemen to break up protests and bar protesters from travelling to lawful demonstrations, and jailed protesters without trial for months. In its overtly anti-democratic and legally dubious actions, the government was ably defended by Kremnitzer and his colleagues, who either stood by as the civil liberties of the protesters were trampled or enthusiastically defended the government's abandonment of democratic values by calling the protesters "anti-democratic."
     
    Indeed, in his testimony Wednesday, Kremnitzer parroted that argument by claiming that referendums "are a recipe for harming democracy."
    Aside from being factually and theoretically wrong, Kremnitzer's argument - like the arguments of the EU bureaucracy that sidelined Europe's citizenry by passing the Lisbon Treaty - is transparently self-serving. Like his EU counterparts, he knows full well that his support for an Israeli surrender of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is a minority view. So his actual concern is not the health of Israeli democracy, but the power of the political Left to determine policy against the interests and wishes of the public.
     
    THE SECOND reason that the Left acquiesces to the silencing of speech is because its members are just as concerned about the threat of Islamic supremacy as their political opponents. But unlike their opponents, they are too cowardly to do anything about it. This point was made clear, too, in the wake of the release of Wilders' film.
    This week a delegation of Dutch Christian and Muslim religious leaders travelled to Cairo to speak to religious Islamic leaders. Speaking to Radio Netherlands, Bas Plaisier, who heads the Dutch Protestant Church, said the delegation's mission was to "limit the possible consequences" of Wilders' film. The consequences he was referring to, of course, are the prospects of violent Muslim rioting and attacks against the Dutch and against Christians worldwide.
     
    Radio Netherlands reported that Plaisier "has been receiving disturbing reports from Dutch nationals all over the world, including ones about fear of repercussions among Christians in Sudan, the Middle East and Indonesia."
    So the real reason the Dutch Protestant Church decries the film is not because it thinks Wilders is wrong, but because its leaders believe that Wilders is absolutely right. It's just that unlike Wilders, who has placed his life in danger to express his views, they are too cowardly to defend themselves, and so, they travel to Cairo to genuflect to religious leaders who daily oversee the preaching of hate and Islamic supremacy in Egyptian mosques. They go on bended knee to coo before those who coerced the institutionalization of Egypt's religious persecution of its Christian Coptic minority and its silencing of liberal critics of the Mubarak regime and the Muslim Brotherhood.
     
    And that is the rub. By squelching debate - out of loathing for its non-leftist political opponents and out of fear of jihadists and the regimes that promote them - the West as a whole undermines not only its own values and foundational creeds. It also undermines the non-jihadists of the Islamic world, who, if ever empowered, would work to promote a form of Islam that does not respond to challenge with violence but rather with the discourse of reason and mutual respect for differences of opinion.

     


      

    Unity, Sekhel Tov, & Love


    Prof. Eugene Narrett

    Rav Chama bar Chanina said, ‘the son of David will not come until the petty government has ceased from Israel, as it is stated, ‘He will cut off the shoots with shears.’ After that it is written, ‘at that time a gift will be brought to Hashem of Hosts, a people pulled and torn.’ And Rav Yehoshua said, upon the cessation of the power of the holy people”…when you see a generation upon whom disasters surge like a river” [1]


    When will redemption come to the Jewish people especially in the Land of Israel, made for each other as the Eternal terms each of them His morasha (“heritage”)? Commenting on the discussion cited above, Rashi and HaRav Shlomo Eidels state that as redemption proceeds along its bumpy track, “riding on a donkey” [2] “the Jewish people will not have “even the most petty vestige of autonomy.” Eidels (1560-1630) interpreted “the petty kingdom” as a reference to “the corrupt and debased” dominion of Rome - Edom who have lorded it over Israel for two millennia as it does now through surrogates. His further comment that “He will cut off the debased ones [Rome] with songs” evokes a literal translation of la m’natzeach b’neginot, mizmor shir” “to Him Who grants victory through the power of music, a glory of song” [3].


    We have observed that redemption is delayed “until the arrogant [government and judges] are removed from Israel “and leave in your midst a humble and forbearing people” (Zephaniah 3:10-12). Previous essays have explained that this is a clear reference to the “sorcerers” or spin-masters and “idolatrous judges” who betray Jews to gentile powers, more evidence that the sages of the Mishna and Talmudic Midrash saw our own day through the oppressions of theirs [4]. The fashioners and sellers of today’s diplomatic processes and media ‘interpretation’ or conditioning, of confounding truth with lies and debasing language exemplify the “stealing of eyes” and stealing of minds (gonev da’at) that is a form of idol worship and the reduction of human freedom to fatalism and inability to perceive clearly and think [5]. Primary 20th century expressions of this idolatry and official lying, this teaching of falsehood is the notion that there is a “Palestinian people” that this non-nation should have a “Palestinian State” carved from the center of ancient Israel and its holiest sites, and that Israel thus will receive “peace,” that is, the peace of the grave as the Pax Romana often has been termed by the victims of its protection racket. As the Jewish people, having been delivered by a series of autocratic governments (Avot 2:3) suffer expulsions, rocket barrages, and the steady loss of their autonomy, the modern Roman solution to its Jewish problem appears: the Promised Land with Jewish sovereignty reduced to “Holy Land Theme Park” administered by the UN, policed by NATO and the EU, including its subservient local contractors, the IDF all for the benefit of a Vatican-“Palestinian” bilateral accord to be followed, after the inevitable escalating violence, by the last Crusade [6].


    Israel again is being dispossessed of its dearly regained heritage, -- and so is the Creator. The answer inheres in the nature of the Eternal One and has been articulated and is being urged by hundreds of Israel’s best, -- students from yeshivas demanding that all those who care for Jewish survival and sovereignty unite. Unity and love is the essence of Israel’s internal relations and stance to the world; the fullness and perfection of mitzvah yichud called figuratively, “the Kingdom of Heaven” fulfilled in an intact Israel, Yisrael shleimah [7]. Because Israel is the heritage of the Eternal, there is no forgiveness for dividing it or scattering the Children of Israel for that is denying the Unity of God.


    Rav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal made this a central theme of his amazing work, “Em HaBanim Smeichah (“A Glad Mother of Children”) written and printed as he fled the Nazis in Hungary [8]. The fourth and last chapter of this masterwork of scholarship and focused compassion is titled, “Unity and Peace: Israel’s Restoration.” The gist of this unique work is captured by a sub-title heading, “a plea to the survivors [of the shoah]: return to your motherland” (3.6) and of abundant proofs brought to support “the importance of settling the land,” “our obligation to support and build the land” and at the thematic core, “the Unification of Israel through the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael (“settling the Land of Israel”) [9].


    In regard to the Mishna cited in the epigraph and discussed in paragraph one, above, Rav Teichtal wrote that “Redemption will come only at a time of extreme poverty and hardship” (I.5). It would have pained but not shocked him that the disunity and mutual recriminations he saw, though he spoke little of the hatred of the secular Jews for the observant, and, ultimately for Judaism and the central focus on settlement which in his days they led were leading to the disintegration of the state under the relentless hammer blow pincers of diplomacy and attrition orchestrated and equipped by Edom. Rav Teichtal cites the very passage from Mishna, “I will leave in your midst a humble and forbearing people” and notes that “it is a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved from it” (Jeremiah 30:7). Commenting on the crying of the infant Moshe (Exodus 2:6) he quotes the sages of the Zohar in linking this to the adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter (“and she had compassion on him”) to explain that “the era of ‘in its time’ (b’ita) will arrive at a time to weep, as Kohelet said [10].


    Millennia of abuse by the nations have turned Israel’s might and self-respect into fear, bickering and even hatred of each other, and more. Perhaps this is why Rav Teichtal so repeatedly and thematically related unity to love among Jews. One notable occasion is when he quotes the Rabbi of Belz telling another senior Rabbi that until Mashiach comes “it is of the utmost importance that the Jews love one another. One must love even the lowliest Jew as himself. One must engender unity and keep far away from anything that causes disunity; the salvation of Israel during times of trouble depends on this” [11]. In this context, Rav Teichtal quoted the verse, “indeed they are my people” (Isaiah 63:8) adding, “even when they sin it is a mitzvah (commandment) to love them, to bring them near [to you] and treat them affectionately. In this way we will achieve salvation” [12]; for Hashem’s portion is His people: Jacob is the measure of His inheritance” (Deut 32:8).


    It is ironic and terrible that in recent years, so notably at the expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif, it was the observant who followed this council, showering love and sweet reason on soldiers, government officials, and the nation and in return being treated, at the orders of American diplomats and the joy of the sinners – or the Erev Rav – among Israel as if they and not the Arabs were the enemy. Of that part of the ruling class that is Jewish it is written, “all of his evil deeds are the result of the strengthening [in this world] of the evil forces and are due to the hardships and suffering which have caused him to lose his understanding. I swear by the Eternal God, that all of the wicked Jews in this country are like infants kidnapped by gentiles. They act under [internalized] duress and speak out of ignorance” [13]. It is for this reason that Maimonides commented extensively on the terrible damage done by “time deciders” and “conjurors” as noted above, and for this reason that he enumerates so explicitly the commandments against studying, thinking about or gazing at the practices and idols of the star worshippers or idol makers and their philosophies [14]. The love that pours from the brilliant and afflicted Rav Teichtal as he cites Rav Komarno recalls the wise teaching that time, place, community, and forebears all shape a person’s capabilities and judgment [15]. Yet in this context too, as the times seem designed to teach us, the words of the Rambam are very timely that those who give the lives or property of fellow Jews to gentiles are themselves like gentiles. These recall the Mishnaot and Talmudic teachings on the sorcerers and arrogant, idolatrous judges discussed above and this is the saving lesson of these days.


    In simplest terms, and to a degree that might shock Rav Teichtal writing from the midst of terrible affliction (and that shocks millions of Jews today) it is the Jews who took the lead in building, planting, and settling large parts of the land who most often forget his and the Torah’s essential points of unity, love and brotherhood encapsulated in the commandment “to love your fellow Jew as yourself” (Vayikra 19:18). The hatred by these for other Jews proves the stringencies of Rambam’s comments on “those who worship other gods” whether these are pride, money, the power of NATO or the ability that the latter gives to afflict their fellows and serve as their alien taskmasters.


    Nevertheless, Rav Teichtal wrote, “not a single Jew will be cast aside [at the time of the redemption], not even the greatest and most rebellious of sinners.” Here again one sees his conflation of love, unity and sovereignty, following the views of Rav Shmuel and Rambam that the main change in the era of Mashiach is Israel’s liberation from rule by foreign nations [16]. “Unity,” the Rav stresses, “is the only remedy for widespread adversity. Disunity is worse than idolatry [supra, on fragmenting Israel vs. mitzvah yichud]. Those who unify belong to Ya’akov’s camp and those who divide belong to Lavan’s” (Genesis 28-31). Support for this comes from the practical problems addressed by the students and their call for unity among those who support Yisrael Shleimah, and thus the integrity of the Creator, and from Rambam who explains that there are warnings, negative exhortations against factionalism and “schisms in the nation” contained within the prohibition against lacerating oneself when mourning (Sefer HaMitzvoth II. 45).


    An pertinent aspect of achieving unity and redemption is explained by Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook in commenting on the influence of Amalek, the eternal enemy of Israel, its election and mission of exemplifying godliness; an enemy who has never been more fiercely intent than today when the hills of Israel have once again put forth their fruit and the Children of Israel in large numbers have fulfilled the mitzvah of Yishuv Ha’Aretz, settling the Land. He notes the verses, “God told Moses, ‘write this as a reminder in he Book and repeat it in Joshua’s ears: I will totally obliterate the memory of Amalek…the Eternal shall be at war with Amalek for all generations” (Exodus 17:14, 16). There is no pointless repetition in the Torah so what is the point of the apparent redundancy,” asks Rav Kook. He explains that it in part refers to the written (“write it in the Book”) and the Oral Torah (“and repeat it in Joshua’s ears”). In fact implicit evidence for the beginnings of teaching Torah orally had begun in Exodus 12:2 and were clearly referenced by Yithro a few verses later in chapter 18. Rav Kook explains that this passage refers not only to the singular enmity of Amalek and the obligation of Israel to remember their hatred and destroy them “for all generations” but to the integration of the written and oral Torah. To the extent that Amalek is destroyed, Torah achieves some of its original unity and the complementarity of the written and oral teachings is affirmed, as will be the unification of all factions and degrees of observance among the Children of Israel as they embrace the mitzvah of settling the land [17].


    Rav Teichtal quotes the Rambam on an issue critically important in these times as it has been, as Rambam notes, since the exile of Edom and Ishmael, with all their shmadot (“destructions,” assimilation and forced conversions) began. “We must not rely on miracles alone,” Rav Teichtal writes, speaking of settlement, unity, and love. As tradition says, “man must begin and the Eternal will complete.” More formally this is stated, “it is not your duty to complete the work, neither are you free to desist from it” (Pirke Avot 2:21). The Rav cites two letters from Rambam to prove his point that metaphysical and spiritual perfection are one with physical and earthly redemption. Rambam tells the Jews of Marseilles that astrology books “are absolutely foolish,” distract and steal the mind, as he explains in many mitzvoth we have noted. And Rambam added strong admonitory words to this caution: “this [focus on esoteric wisdom] is what abolished our kingdom, destroyed our Beit HaMikdash [“Holy Temple”], prolonged our exile and brought us to our present predicament…our fathers imagined that these wisdoms, vanities that cannot avail, were glorious and they did not study warfare and land conquest; instead they imagined that these wisdoms would help them...but they are vain” [18]. This is the good sense and practical wisdom that is part of Jewish holiness and it is apt that it focuses on sovereignty, the Temple and, implicitly, its service. This harks to the opening of the famous Mishna, “on three things the world is based: Torah, Temple Service, and deeds of kindness” (Avot 1:2). In the absence of the entire Torah and Temple service and all the loving kindness and blessing it sustains, “the sword comes into the land for the delay of justice and the perversion of justice” (Avot 5:11). It is just such perversion that the youth of the land and all those who fulfill mitzvah Yishuv strive to halt and prevent, and to fulfill the mitzvah of not standing idly by while your brother’s blood is shed (Vayikra 19:16). Moreover, Em HaBanim Smeichah was directed mainly at observant Jews who had refrained from the practical study of war, leaving it to the secular who now use it against them, degrading their own military capabilities in the process. “The sun will not rise before dawn,” he notes citing many sources. The first faint glimpse of the morning star, its strengthening and then the dawn are the pattern for human effort to initiate great changes. “The gedolim and ‘shepherds’ of Israel must lovingly accept any opportunity for redemption and strive to bring it to completion. They are responsible for using their wisdom for the mitzvah of gathering and uniting [Israel] as one” [19].


    Neither the Rav nor Rav Kook would have guessed the degree to which the original HaShomrim (“guardians” of the rural Jewish settlements) would evolve from lack of observance or faith to the hatred of Jews and a Jewish Israel that characterizes post-Zionist Israel. Thus Rav Kook wrote in 1913 that “though there are many souls who are on a very low level with regard to their willed-holiness [and] are afflicted with immoral behavior and dreadful beliefs, their innate segula [Jewish potential for glowing holiness] shines brightly. That is why they so dearly love the Jewish people and the Land of Israel” [20].


    All the more reason to emphasize Jewish unity, love and good sense; politics, factions and power-brokering are Greek imports; Israel is enjoined against them as noted. All of the Jewish people are tzaddikim, saintly, a “branch of My planting” says the Holy One, “for me to glory in” as they rejoice in My land, bringing redemption close and increasing to “a mighty nation” (Isaiah 60:21-2). Unity, good sense, and love among Jews; remembering and warring against Amalek; achieving the integrity of the land as an essential basis of unity and the dominion of the Highest Wisdom. As Amalek tramples and demands, thrusting their mockery world into the place of the Creator’s these principles blaze more and more clearly to the Nation of Israel: “they will attain joy and gladness; sadness and sighing will flee” from the dominion of Israel, “a holy nation.”



    1. Isaiah 18:5 cited in Sanhedrin 98a2 Talmud Bavli, Tractate Sanhedrin III (Mesorah 1995; 2004, Daf Yomi edition), Rabbis Dicker, Katz and team. Sekhel Tov is “good sense,” common sense informed by Torah study.

    2. The phrase is in Zechariah 9:9 and describes the Mashiach when redemption is “in its time” (b’ita, Isaiah 60:22) in due course and much anguish, pain and confusion. The comments by Rishonim and Achronim are discussed by Rabbis Dicker & Katz, supra. They note the etymology linking zalzalim, “shoots” and zalah (“petty”).

    3. For example psalm 67, etc. Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, Hirsch Psalms (1882; English translation, Feldheim 1960; 1997, Gertrude Hirschler); cf. Genesis 43:11, “take of the Land’s glory” (mizimrat Ha’Aretz); on Edom and the nations that covet Israel and would preempt its flourishing see Ezekiel 36:4-12

    4. Sanhedrin 98a3 with comments.

    5. Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvoth II.32 (Moznaim 1993)

    6. Vatican-Palestinian Accord for “Protection of Holy Sites,” February 2000; cf. all prophecies on Edom.

    7. Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvoth I.2, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 1.7-12; on the initiative of the students, see www.israelnationalnews.com 4-01-8 item #10

    8. Em HaBanim Smeichah, printed December 1943, English translation Moshe Lichtman (Kol Mevaser 2000), distributed in America by Lambda Publishers, Brooklyn, NY

    9. ibid. III.5, 12, 9 in order quoted.

    10. ibid. 123-5 with notes, Kohelet (“Ecclesiastes”) 3:4, “a time to weep and a time to laugh,” hence, “a glad mother of children” in the title, quoting psalm 113:9, this being an ultimate analogy for “lifting the destitute” such as Israel was during the shoah and has become, diplomatically, for many of them now with the institutions of state indoctrinating students and soldiers into seeing their brethren and heritage as obstacles to joy, much as the major media have taught the world to see Israel’s restoration. Thus we live in a world of war processes called peace, a world of lies and shadow wars, of sterile virtual reality cloaking more and more of life. See www.Israelnationalnews.com item #6, 4-01-08 and archives

    11. Ibid. 111-12; the exhortation was addressed to Rav Moshe David Teitelbaum.

    12. ibid. 112-13

    13. Rav Teichtal quotes Rav Isaac of Kamarno, ibid. 105-06 and passim

    14. Hilchot Avodat Kokhavim 2:1-4; Sefer HaMitzvoth II.10: “even to gaze at the form of the external image and to consider its construction is forbidden…or giving thought to idolatry” (cf. Deut. 11:16); and “do not contemplate them with the eye of intellect” (Deut. 12:30). The practical aspect of this is “people have limited powers of understanding” and “might destroy the whole world” even by intellectual meddling with these principles that pervert creation and Creator (Avodat Kokhavim 2:3, cf. Sefer HaMitzvoth II.32

    15. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal), Derekh Hashem 2.3.7 (Feldheim 1997 revised translation)

    16. Rav Shmuel in Sanhedrin cited by Rambam in Hilchot Melachim 11:1-3, 12:1

    17. Rav Abraham Yitzhak Kuk, Igrot Ha’Reiyah, III, pages 86-7 (1917) cited and elaborated in Gold from the Land of Israel: a New Light on the Weekly Torah portion from the writings of Rav Kuk, Rav Chanan Morrison (Urim, Jerusalem, 2006), 127-9; On Amalek, Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvoth I.187-90; II. 48-51, 59

    18. Teichtal, op. cit. 272-3 quoting Rambam, Igrot U’Teshuvot, Igrot Shonot, p. 21; Rambam Hilchot Melachim 1:1-2, 5:1,4,5 passim

    19. Teichtal, 267-74, passim; “our redemption depends upon redemption of the land.” And adds (267) “we must not disregard or ignore any redemptive event” like the building of outposts or marches to Homesh. A main source for the reference to the morning star and dawn is Rav Chiya cited in Brachot 1:1 of Jerusalem Talmud.

    20. Rav Kook, Igrot HaReiyah, II.555 cited in Morrison, op cit, 126

     


     

    TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF OLMERT,
    BARAK, LIVNI AND PERES

    DAYENU -- IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH
    by Bernard J. Shapiro
     
    Dear Friends of Israel:
    Like most of you, I am frustrated, angry and depressed over the actions of the Israeli government. We must, however, get over the depression and then use our anger to spur ourselves to greater action on behalf of Israel. EIN BREIRA. In that spirit I offer the following chant or song to sing at demonstrations (slightly abridged from the popular song sung at Passover). Sing the traditional Dayanu, and then the new resistence against the deportation of Jews from Eretz Yisrael Dayanu. Please distribute to your friends for their family Seder this year as widely as possible:........
    ............With Love of Israel


     
    If you had collaborated with enemy to get elected to office,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy and not given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy, given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; and not divided the People of Israel setting brother against brother,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; and not beaten and abused women and children,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places, divided the People of Israel; beaten and abused women and children; and not suppressed our freedom of speech,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech and not endangered our water supply,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply and not released terrorist murderers into our midst,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply, released terrorist murderers into our midst and not surrendered our strategic mountains that protect us from attack,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; and not created a Palestinian State dedicated to the destruction of Israel,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State and not broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State, broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham and not defamed religious Jews and their TORAH,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    If you had collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murderers into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State, broken G-d's Covenant with Abraham, defamed religious Jews and their TORAH and not jeopardized Jewish rule in Jerusalem,
    Dayenu -- It would have been enough to rebel against your rule
     
    TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF OLMERT, BARAK,
    LIVNI AND PERES:
     
    You have done all of these things. You have collaborated with the enemy; given away our Sacred Land and Holy Places; divided the People of Israel; beaten women and children; suppressed our freedom of speech; endangered our water supply; released terrorist murders into our midst; surrendered our strategic mountains; created a Palestinian State; broken G-D's Covenant with Abraham; defamed religious Jews and their TORAH and even jeopardized Jewish rule in Jerusalem.
     
    DAYENU! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR RULE! BY YOUR ACTIONS YOU HAVE FORFEITED ANY CLAIM TO LEGITIMACY. DAYENU!
     
    "FOR ZION'S SAKE I WILL NOT HOLD MY PEACE,
    AND FOR JERUSALEM'S SAKE I WILL NOT REST"

     


     

    Condi And Other Foggy Fulminations
    by Gerald A. Honigman
     

         As we approach the 60th anniversary of Israel’s resurrection, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice--true to State Department form--seems intent on reliving the fight Foggy Bottom had with President Harry S. Truman over his supporting that rebirth in the first place. She has had plenty of company over the decades. The Arab oil spigot nourishes well.
     
         While already having an oil tanker named after her is indeed special, a list of American Foggy Folks (not to mention Presidents and other officials) tied to the Arab petrobuck over the years rivals the name Smith in the phone book. But, “of course,” waving the flag, they did this just for American interests only…so says the Passover Bunny.
     
         Many have written about James Baker--Bush the 1st’s Secretary of State.
     
         Among the many gems ( i.e. “f_ _ k the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway,” etc.) spewing from his mouth, the following is typical of his mindset…
     
         "Don't worry, Jews remember the Holocaust, but they forget insults as soon as they smell cash."
     
         Recall that this is from the same gentile zillionaire whose law firm represents Saudi ($$$) Arabia against American 9/11 victims (talk about an insult…), whose partner is American Ambassador to the medieval oil monarchy, whose law firm gets rich off of other Arabs who delight in insulting America and beheading Americans, and so forth.
     
         Now, what’s that about money and insults?
     
         Back to Condi…
     
         While Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was still of this world, reliable reports told of Rice screaming demands at his ranch that Jews must provide Arabs with weapons (her “good cop” latter-day Arafatians of Abbas and Fatah, of course), ease up on checkpoints, engage in additional withdrawals, further expose the necks of their innocents, and so forth.
     
         So, a weakened Sharon and his pathetic successors prostrated themselves and said Amen.
     
         Israelis were soon murdered because of Rice’s demands…including those recently slaughtered while studying at a Yeshiva. No surprise here.
     
         And we all know what Israel got as a result of its compete unilateral withdrawal from Gaza…thousands of mortars and rockets causing death and destruction in Israel proper, especially in Sderot. Condi now demands that Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion International Airport, the Knesset, Jerusalem, Haifa, and so forth be exposed similarly.
     
         Rice and a President (whom I voted for) whose family is already also tied to Arab oil big time (with the promise of who knows what afterwards--just ask Bush Sr., Carter, and Clinton ) are looking to leave office with Mideast “peace” feathers in their caps…even if they’re ones that Chamberlain would be proud of when he sold out the Czechs at Munich in 1938. The world got massive war anyway.
     
         And does one really believe that if the Foggy Folks had their way and Israel was never reborn that Arabs and militant Islam would still not have dreams and plans to further the Dar ul-Islam (them) at the expense of the Dar al-Harb (us)? Just ask the Serbs and India for starters…
     
         Israel thus faces a series of additional demands from Condi (where’s the Israeli leader with his private parts still intact these days?) to soften it up further for President Bush’s scheduled visit in May.
     
         Despite millions of dollars in American aid already falling into Hamas hands and that, when it comes to the acceptance of Israel as a permanent Jewish neighbor, there is no difference between the Foggy Folks’ alleged Arab good cops and bad cops, here’s a partial list, from DEBKA (a very reliable source) of Condi’s latest dictates…
     
         “…Israel must lift restrictions on Arab travel from the northern West Bank terrorist stronghold of Jenin--all the way through Jerusalem's outskirts to the southern West Bank Tarkumiyeh terminal, the Palestinian Arab entry point from the Gaza Strip.
     
         Israel's top military commanders warned government leaders in the strongest possible terms that the US secretary's demands if met would spell the end of their war on terror and expose Jerusalem and other Israeli cities to the waves of suicide killers their systematic efforts had been holding back. The checkpoints were a vital element of this effort. The Jenin-Tarkumiyeh route, they said, was already targeted by terrorists led by Hamas for two-way smuggling between Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Removing all existing controls would give them a direct link.
     
         The same applied to her second demand for free Arab travel between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
     
         Rice's third demand was for Israel to let 12,000 Palestinian security officers train in Jordan for duty in all the West Bank's towns. This is twenty times the number Israel proposed to allow….”
     
         Perhaps Baker was correct.
     
         Perhaps the Jews running Israel’s current show will accept insults, loss of Israeli sovereignty and willingness to do the mere basics which leaders of any nation are supposed to do--defend their citizens as best as possible--in exchange for American aid.
     
         David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Menachem Begin, of blessed memory, must all be turning in their graves.
     
         What other reason could there be for not throwing Rice out of the country on her derriere?
     
         Insulting, you say? How dare I speak this way!
     
         I say, that’s far better than what she deserves for what she and her Department have constantly been up to...
     
        Thousands of innocent Jews have lost their lives and have been maimed because of Foggy schemes shoved down Israel’s throat over the years...especially since the Oslo fiasco. The more Israel caved in, the more it has constantly bled in return. Arabs only interpreted forced Israeli concessions as weakness and learned that they themselves had assorted “protection” against similar American pressure.
     
         One who demands suicide from another should not be treated gently…and the demands Rice brings to Jews indeed fall into that category given the rejectionist nature of the merely game-playing beast Israel faces. At least Hamas doesn't play Fatah's games.
     
         An America, which is 3,000 miles wide and fights wars and has acquired territories and bases thousands of miles away from home in the name of its own national interest, has no right to dictate and demand what a miniscule Israel (which fits 34 times into Bush’s home state of Texas) needs in its own backyard to defend itself against enemies still sworn to its destruction--despite all of the Foggy whitewashing (done frequently for Arafat, by the way) which occurs.
     
         While America pours hundreds of billions (trillions over time) of dollars and much blood into a venture in Arab democracy in Iraq which will most likely be futile over time (and I supported Saddam‘s overthrow), the Foggy idiots still continue to try to undermine the biggest success story over there--and which it fought Truman about. They’re still fighting Give ‘Em Hell, Harry’s ghost.
     
         Where are Condi’s demands on her Arab buddies?
     
         Where’s the demand that daily incitement to kill Jews and destroy the Jewish State in “moderate” Abbas’s school textbooks, mosques, assorted media, and so forth come to a halt before anything else is expected of Israel? That was supposed to happen long ago, but never has and State has never “demanded “ it. Rice warned that she would be monitoring Israel’s acquiescence to her latest demands upon it very closely. Where’s her warnings to her Arab butcher friends?
     
         Where’s her demand that if Abbas does not take a more active stand to fight terror, American support will be withdrawn? Without Arab terror, Condi won’t have to threaten Israel about checkpoints it needs to protect itself. What’s wrong with this picture…a bit reversed, no?
     
         Where’s the Foggy Folks demand that Abbas and his Arafatians, Israel’s alleged “peace (of the grave) partners--state loudly and clearly in Arabic that they accept a Jewish Israel as their permanent neighbor before Israel consents to a second, not first, Arab state emerging in 1920’s original Mandatory Palestine…before a newly created (Trans-)Jordan got handed some 80% of that territory?
     
         Where’s the demand that Abbas’s Fatah finally remove--which it hasn’t--the clauses in its charter calling for Israel’s destruction? Not to mention Hamas--which will probably wind up with all that Israel consents to Fatah anyway.
     
         Where’s Rice’s demand that Israel receive a fair compromise over disputed territories which UNSC Resolution 242 promised it in the wake of the ‘67 War (which it was forced to fight for its very life), so that it would not be forced to return its 9-mile wide, ’49 armistice line-imposed, rump state, microscopic existence again?
     
         Where’s the demand that Arabs deal with other Arabs killing Jews not as heroes but as criminals, and that jail time becomes something other than a cruel joke?
     
         Many other of such demands should be here as well…but don’t hold your breath.
     
         Is it reasonable for any nation, faced with what Israel daily faces, to cave in to such insulting, condescending, and unreasonable dictates…even if they do, unfortunately, come from a bullying, powerful representative of America?
     
         In case one needs further convincing, check out some typical findings discovered amongst those whom Condi demands Israel further expose itself to…
     
        A recent Palestinian Authority--Abbas not Hamas--poll showed that 84 percent of PA Arabs approve of the recent massacre at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where eight students were deliberately gunned down and ten wounded.
     
         Conducted by Ramallah-based Khalil Shikaki, of 1,270 Arabs interviewed, 64 percent supported rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns launched from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
     
         In February of 2007, a Near East Consulting (NEC) poll found that 75 percent of PA Arabs (the “moderates”) did not think that Israel has a right to exist.
     
         While much more could be said about all of this, there’s already enough in this essay to expose the all-too-typical nasty, unreasonable nature of Rice’s State Department expectations placed upon America’s vulnerable friend on the front lines of the battle with both militant Islam--of either the Shi’a or Sunni stripe--and a renascent, imperial Arab mindset which sees virtually the whole region as merely purely Arab patrimony…the Arab-Jew, Arab-Kurd, Arab/Amazigh (Berber), Arab-black African Sudanese, Arab-Copt, Arab/pre-Arab native Lebanese, and other such conflicts summed up in a nutshell. Consent to a state of subjugation and dhimmitude or die.
     
         Now, before ending, I have a demand…
     
         I demand that Rice, the Foggy Folks, and my current President read the quotes below from just a few of many other truly great American leaders commenting on what all of the former are now demanding that Israel forfeit its right to…
     
         President Lyndon Johnson, June 19, 1967, soon after conclusion of the Six Day War:
     
         A return to the situation on June 4 (the day before outbreak of war) was not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities." He then called for new recognized boundaries that would provide security against terror, destruction, and war.
          
         President Reagan, September 1, 1982:
     
         In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10-miles wide...the bulk of Israel's population within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.
     
         Secretary of State George Shultz , 1988:
     
         Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.
     
         The problems and “inconveniences” of everyday life Condi complains about which Arabs face vis-à-vis Israel are of their own making. Again--no terror, no fence, no checkpoints, and so forth.
     
         Arabs rant and rave because Jews resist marching into the slaughterhouse they have planned for them…a scenario both Condi and Dubya now seem to be a party to. As Harry Truman said, the buck stops here.
     
         The demands of any such 22nd Arab state must not come at the expense of the security of the sole, miniscule state of the Jews in a land in which they have 4,000 years of history. 
     
         Most Americans--non-Jews as well as Jews--oppose such lop-sided, anti-Israel American pressure.
     
         Israel must resist Washington’s current unreasonable demands for it to act insanely--at least until America’s own upcoming Presidential election--and hope that more reasonable voices will once again gain ascendancy.
     

     


     

    Our World: Covering for the enemy


    Caroline Glick
    It has taken seven months, but it appears that the Bush administration has finally buckled under Congressional pressure and is ready to give US lawmakers a full briefing on the September 6 IDF bombing raid against the North Korean-built nuclear installation in Syria. Sunday it was reported that Congress has forced the administration's hand on the issue by making its approval of the administration's intelligence budget contingent on receiving a full briefing on the raid.
     
    Israel, which initially was upset with the administration's insistence on silencing all discussion of the Sept. 6 operation, is now reportedly unhappy with the administration's decision to release its details. The administration is expected to provide the information at Congressional hearings later in the month and Israeli Defense Ministry officials are beside themselves.
    Defense officials fear that the revelation of Syria's rogue activities will push Syrian dictator Bashar Assad over the edge. They caution that today, in the aftermath of terror-master Imad Mughniyeh's assassination in Syria in February, and with heightened tensions along Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria, Assad may view the exposure of his nuclear proliferation activities as an invitation to throw caution to the wind. He may embrace his exposure as a full-fledged member in the North Korean-Iranian-Syrian axis of nuclear proliferating, terror-sponsoring states and take actions commensurate with his status.
     
    Both the Defense Ministry's concerns about the consequences of exposing the Israeli operation and Congress's demand that the details of the raid be revealed demonstrate important lessons about the constraints and imperatives that fighting long, complicated wars place on policymakers in democratic societies.
     
    ISRAEL'S POSITION reflects a conflict between immediate and long-term interests. Israel has an immediate interest in dissuading Syria from attacking either directly or through any of Syria's multiple terror proxies. It also has an interest in protecting intelligence sources and methods which may be compromised by a disclosure of the operation.
     
    Israeli politicians have no need to inform the Israeli public of the nature of the raid because among the Israeli public, there is a consensus regarding the nature of the threat that Syria poses to the country. Israelis understand that Syria cannot be permitted to acquire certain arsenals and they understand that some things are better left unreported. The Israeli public's relative sophistication on the issue did not spring from nowhere. Syria has been in a declared state of war against Israel for 60 years. And every time that Israelis have permitted ourselves to believe that Syria might be interested in ending that state of war, through their own actions the Syrians have been quick to dispel the notion.
     
    While Israel's immediate interests are understandable, in the medium and long terms, given the rogue nature of the Syrian regime, its strategic alliance with Iran and its strategic collaboration with North Korea, Israel has its own strategic interest in exposing Syria and building an operational alliance with the US to defeat Syria and Iran in the war that they wage with North Korean assistance against Israel and the US. That medium- and long-term interest ought to outweigh immediate concerns. And the outcry in the Defense Ministry should simply be understood as an expression of dismay at the inevitable cost of building alliances.
     
    The standoff between the administration and Congress on the nature of the Sept. 6 raid is illustrative of the second lesson for policymakers that the Syrian operation manifests. It goes to the heart of the need for policymakers in democratic societies to be open with their publics about the identity of their adversaries and of the nature of the war being waged against them in order to form a consensus about the nature of those adversaries and the need to combat them like the consensus that already exists in Israel about Syria.
     
    SINCE SEPTEMBER, Congressional leaders have given three main justifications for their need to understand what happened on Sept. 6. First, they have argued that lawmakers and the American public have a right to understand the significance of the target in light of what it says about North Korean nuclear proliferation activities.
     
    Last year, the US signed an agreement with North Korea. North Korea pledged to disable its nuclear installation at Yongbyon and to give a full accounting of its other nuclear installations, its nuclear arsenal and materials and its nuclear proliferation activities. The US in exchange agreed to lift financial sanctions against Pyongyang, normalize relations between Washington and Pyongyang, remove North Korea from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, and provide economic assistance to North Korea. The US is still awaiting North Korean compliance. A disclosure of the nature of the target of Israel's Sept. 6 operation in Syria, Congress argues, is essential for assessing the reasonableness of the US's current North Korean policy.
     
    Moreover, Congressional leaders - and most prominently among them, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Peter Hokstra - have argued that by failing to give a full accounting of the IDF raid, the administration is preventing lawmakers and the US public from making an educated assessment of the nature of the threat that Syria poses to US national security interests. Syria actively promotes war in Iraq by training Iraq-bound fighters on its soil and acting as the major transit point to Iraq for jihadists. Syria is the headquarters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and several other Islamic terror groups. It is Hizbullah's logistical backbone. While all of these actions are sufficient to place Syria squarely in the camp of US enemies, its apparent nuclear proliferation with Iran and North Korea requires a reclassification of the threat posed by Syria from nuisance to strategic threat.
     
    Finally, American lawmakers have argued that understanding the Israeli operation is essential for understanding the nature of the Iranian-Syrian-North Korean alliance. By preventing the release of details on the raid, the administration is denying Congress and the American public the ability to understand the rationale and the modes of operation of arguably the greatest threat to US national security. How can Congress support an ally like Israel if it doesn't understand why what Israel does promotes US national security interests? And how can Congress support US actions in the war if it isn't aware of the nature of the axis fighting the US?
     
    WHAT IS most striking about the Bush administration's unwillingness to reveal the nature of the Israeli raid to Congress is how it seems to upset the administration's own war efforts in Iraq. Working together, under Iranian control, for the past five years Syria and Iran have been the major forces behind the war in Iraq. Jihadists of both the Sunni and Shiite variety enter Iraq from Syria and Iran. They receive training in both countries. They receive direction and orders from Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
     
    And yet, rather than make clear to Congress and to the US public that the war in Iraq is not an Iraqi war per se but a key battleground in a regional war in which Iran and Syria have combined forces on multiple fronts in a bid to defeat the US and its allies, the Bush administration obfuscates that central truth. For the past five years, key administration officials have repeated the bizarre claim that Iran and Syria share the US's interest in bringing stability to Iraq and that responsibility for ending the war rests solely on the shoulders of Iraq's government rather than on the shoulders of the foreign governments who are waging the war.
     
    The administration itself then holds a major portion of responsibility for the fact that five years after US-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, the majority of Americans believes that the US doesn't have an interest in what happens in post-Saddam Iraq and should simply remove its forces from the country at the first opportunity. If the administration was less concerned about obfuscating Syrian and Iranian centrality in the war, there can be little doubt that more Americans would understand why it is essential that the US not allow Iraq to fall into their hands. Indeed, a larger number of Americans would understand that Iran and Syria are waging this proxy war against coalition forces and Iraqis in a bid to advance their goal of regional dominance.
     
    Notably the US official who has been most consistent in highlighting Iran's central role in Iraq is US Commander in Iraq General David Petreaus. Petreaus and his officers, whose job it is to win the war in Iraq, apparently understand what the administration has spent the past five years ignoring. They understand that to secure the public support necessary to fight a long war, they need to tell the American public what the war is about, who the US is fighting and what is at stake.
     
    Last week the Iranians rejected yet another European-American offer to appease them in a North Korean-styled deal in exchange for a pause in their uranium-enrichment activities. The Iranians also introduced a new set of advanced centrifuges to their Natanz nuclear installation which are apparently better equipped to enrich uranium to weapons grade than the current 3,000 centrifuges now operating at the facility. The Iranians also promised that on Tuesday April 8 - a day they have designated their celebration of nuclear power day - they will provide more "good news" about their atomic program.
    So as it wages war against the US in Iraq and against Israel in Lebanon and Gaza, supported by its Syrian and North Korean allies, Iran moves brazenly and swiftly forward in its bid to acquire nuclear weapons. And as it moves, it drags the US and Israel ever closer to a great war. The question is how can the US be expected to handle the coming conflagration when it demurs from explaining its eminently more manageable current situation either to itself or to its public?

     


     

    Our World: What is a sufficient victory?


    Caroline Glick
    Speaking to IDF commanders in Judea and Samaria last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exhorted the officers tasked with preventing Palestinians from attacking Israel while operating under civilian cover to have sympathy for them. Olmert said "Take all the Palestinians who have been stripped at the roadblocks just because of fear that there may be terrorists and terror operatives among them. Take all those who wait at roadblocks because of fear that a car bomb may drive through the same roadblock. This could be a boiling cauldron, liable to explode and cause horrible burns, and it could be something else, dependent only on your ability to act wisely and forcefully."
     
    Since Olmert knows that IDF soldiers are as courteous as possible to Palestinians at roadblocks, his statement will have two major consequences. First it will cause a loosening of regulations at roadblocks and so impair IDF counterterror capabilities. Second, by insultingly insinuating that IDF forces are cruel, Olmert demoralized his own soldiers and reduced their willingness to accomplish their mission by hinting that they cannot expect the government to back them.
     
    Olmert's message is just the latest action his government has taken in recent weeks that undermine the IDF's ability to maintain its military success since 2002 in defeating Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria and preventing them from reorganizing.
     
    The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's decision to take down roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria; provide immunity from arrest to wanted terror fugitives; and permit the deployment of US-backed Fatah militias in Jenin all serve to directly undermine the IDF's remarkable achievements in defeating and preventing the reconstitution of the Palestinian terror war machine in Judea and Samaria since Operation Defensive Shield was carried out in 2002. Even more disturbingly, its reported willingness to cede the Jordan Valley to Fatah in the negotiations it is now conducting with Fatah leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei indicate that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is ready to transform Judea and Samaria into a base for global jihadist forces just as occurred when Israel surrendered Gaza's border with Egypt in 2005.
     
    That the government is squandering the IDF's hard-won achievements in Judea and Samaria is made clear in a paper on counterinsurgency warfare authored by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror released this week by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Amidror's paper, "Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience," focuses on Israel's military defeat of Palestinian terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defensive Shield.
     
    AMIDROR IDENTIFIES six components of counterinsurgency warfare which he deems essential for effecting military victory over irregular forces. These components are: a political decision by the government to defeat terrorism; winning and maintaining control of the territory from which terrorists operate; acquiring relevant intelligence; isolating the terror enclaves from outside supporters; multidimensional cooperation between intelligence gatherers and fighting forces; and separating civilians from terrorists. Through its actions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government it is undermining four of these components.
     
    After identifying what he views as the essential components of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, Amidror identifies and defines three forms of military victory. First, there is "total victory" which involves both a military defeat of insurgent or terror forces and the political reorganization of their societies from terror-supporting societies into terror-combating societies. Second, there is "temporary victory" which involves a one-off military defeat of enemy forces which is not combined with any political transformation of their societies. Finally, Amidror considers what he refers to as "sufficient victory." As he defines it, a sufficient victory involves defeating an irreconcilable foe and then preventing him from rebuilding his capacity to wage war.
     
    Like a temporary victory, a sufficient victory doesn't entail any political transformation of enemy society, and indeed it takes for granted that such a transformation is impossible to enact. But as opposed to a temporary victory, Amidror argues that the effect of a sufficient victory can be longstanding if the victorious side is willing and able to consistently prevent enemy forces from reconstituting themselves. That is, a sufficient victory requires a continuous rather than one-off campaign.
     
    Amidror's definition of sufficient victory leads him to conclude that contrary to the approach of the Israeli and Western Left, there is a military option for victory in counterinsurgency wars devoid of political transformation. From an Israeli perspective, Amidror's vision of counterinsurgency warfare view is reasonable and understandable.
     
    Israel's options for transforming Palestinian society from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society are limited. Influenced by domestic, pan-Arab and pan-Islamic jihadist indoctrination; supported militarily, financially and politically by Arab states, Iran, terror groups and the West, the Palestinians have little reason to transform.
    .
    MOREOVER, ISRAEL's strategic and national interests in maintaining control over Judea and Samaria could render sustainable a military strategy with no withdrawal element. This is not the case in other battlefields such as the US counterinsurgency in Iraq.
     
    To a degree, Amidror's view that sufficient victory is possible is echoed in recent statements by US military commanders in Iraq. In a dispatch from Iraq published last month in National Review, Richard Lowry reported, "For all the security gains over the last year, American commanders believe they have hit a plateau." Absent coherent, competent action by the Iraqi government to secure and maintain the loyalty of Iraqis to the Iraqi state, like the IDF in Judea and Samaria, all US forces in Iraq can do is keep violence down to sufferable levels.
     
    Yet in contrast to Israel's success in Judea and Samaria, the success of US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq is the consequence first and foremost of their politically-transformative guiding principles. As Lowry noted, the 80,000 Iraqi security volunteers who now openly collaborate with US forces in counter-terror operations, "represent more or less a direct transfer of forces from the enemy's side to ours."
     
    In Israel, the basic assumption that guided both the decision by the Rabin-Peres government to embrace the PLO and form the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and the decisions by subsequent governments to leave the PA in place and maintain allegiance to the PLO as a negotiating partner was that like the Iraqi security volunteers, and like the South Lebanese Army which supported IDF operations in South Lebanon from 1985 through 2000, PLO and Fatah forces would act as transformative agents in Palestinian society moving it from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society.
     
    This view, always controversial, has been proven wrong again and again. Just last week, the PLO ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki restated the PLO's aim of destroying Israel in an interview with Lebanese television.
    In Zaki's words, "The PLO... has not changed its platform even one iota." That platform, to destroy Israel in stages, remains the objective of the PLO. He continued, "In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."
     
    Israel's willingness to maintain its support for the PLO in spite of the PLO and Fatah's obvious rejection of Israel's right to exist and their continuous support and involvement in terror attacks against Israel exposes two flaws inherent in Amidror's view that it is possible to maintain a sufficient victory in counterinsurgency wars over the long term without inducing political transformation of enemy societies.
     
    The first flaw is that it takes as a given that the will of the victorious army's government to maintain counterinsurgency operations will remain constant. The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's maintenance of the inherently adversarial Fatah terror group as a legitimate negotiating partner shows that this is not the case. The government's commitment to Fatah necessarily induces it to undermine IDF achievements in Judea and Samaria. Those achievements are inimical to the interests of Fatah and so, from the government's current perspective, they must be cancelled to please Fatah.
    Since 2002, the IDF's military control over Judea and Samaria has not involved any serious efforts to transform Palestinian society on the grassroots level. It has not enhanced security for Palestinian civilians who are terrorized by terror operatives operating in their villages and towns. As Amidror notes, Israel's actions to separate civilians from terrorists in Judea and Samaria are limited to crafting operations that minimize collateral damage. But while Israel does not target Palestinian civilians, it has done nothing to prevent them from being targeted by Palestinian terrorists. And so, it has given them no option to fight those terrorists. As a consequence although militarily the situation in Judea and Samaria has been transformed over the past six years, politically, the only change among Palestinians is that they have become more radicalized.
     
    And here lies the second flaw in his analysis. To be successful, a counterinsurgency war must have a political component that reaches out to enemy populations. While it is true that Israel has limited capacity to change the way that Palestinians think about Israel and the form their society ought to take, Israel does have some capacity. For instance, Israel could launch a hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs who are both politically and demographically linked to the Palestinians.
     
    Such a campaign would be two-pronged. First it would involve a concentrated law and order campaign whose aim would be to reassert Israel's sovereign authority in Israeli Arab areas. Second, it would secure law-abiding Israeli Arabs while delegitimizing the current anti-Israel, pro-terror leadership now in charge of Israeli Arab society and so cultivate the conditions necessary to replace that leadership with Israeli Arabs who embrace their identity as Israelis and oppose terrorism. The impact of such a campaign on the Palestinians in both Judea and Samaria would no doubt be dramatic.
     
    Amidror makes the important point that there is no empirical data that proves the oft-repeated contention that terror-supporting societies are more willing to sacrifice for victory than terror-combating societies. As the Israeli public has shown since the Palestinians began their terror war in 2000, Israelis are just as willing, if not more willing, to make sacrifices for victory as the Palestinians. But for victory to be accomplished and secured, a military campaign needs to be complimented by a political campaign led by a political leadership that explains reality to its own public and is able to give terror-supporting societies another option.

     


     

    Column One: Ahmadinejad's smile

    Caroline Glick
    The regime-affiliated Iranian Fars news agency published a sensational story this week. According to the Fars report, Saudi Arabia and Israel collaborated in killing Iranian terror-master Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February. The story is important regardless of whether it is true. It is important because it says something important about the nature of Iran's relationship with Syria. Specifically, it says that Iran views Syria as a vassal state.
     
    If Teheran were not convinced of its control of the Syrian regime, it would never have dared to publish a story that places the Assad regime in an open confrontation with Saudi Arabia. An even partially independent Syria would never go along with such an open challenge to Saudi Arabia.
     
    Syria, of course, is not Iran's only proxy in the Arab world. There is the Hamas regime in Gaza as well. On Thursday the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center released an in-depth report on Hamas's military buildup since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in September 2005. The report notes that Hamas receives arms and funding from Iran and Syria and sends its fighters for extending training at camps in Iran and Syria.
     
    By directly supporting Hamas and by supporting Hamas indirectly through Syria and Hizbullah, Teheran has transformed Gaza into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran. While Hamas may have independent interests, the fact is that any independent will Hamas may have had at one time has become entirely subservient to Teheran. This is so because Teheran has rendered itself Hamas's indispensable ally and protector. Without Iran, Hamas would have no staying power.
     
    Then there is Lebanon. The weak Saniora government, which was brought to power by the anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian March 14 Democracy Movement three years ago, is clearly no match for Iran and its proxies. Presidential elections have been held up for five months due to Hizbullah's Syrian- and Iranian-ordered refusal to agree on a compromise candidate. The Saniora government needs Hizbullah's agreement because Iran's proxies have murdered a sufficient number of cabinet ministers and members of parliament to take away Saniora's parliamentary capacity to elect a successor to the Syrian-puppet, former president Emile Lahoud.
    The assassination of political opponents in Lebanon, of course, began in earnest with the March 2005 assassination of pro-Western and pro-Saudi former prime minister Rafik Hariri. This week in Washington, Sen. Arlen Specter asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to comment on an interesting Syrian offer. According to Specter, during Jordanian King Abdullah's visit to Washington last month, he suggested that Syria might be willing to rein in Hizbullah and Hamas in exchange for an offer of immunity for President Bashar Assad in the UN's probe of Hariri's murder. Rice rejected the offer, but that is not what is interesting.
     
    What is interesting is that Syria would feel comfortable making what amounts to a confession of control over Hizbullah and Hamas. While at first glance the Syrian offer seems to contradict the assertion that Syria is an Iranian proxy, it actually does no such thing. It shows that Iran is willing to shuffle some proxies around to protect other ones. To protect Assad, for instance, Iran may be willing to have Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal temporarily decamp to Teheran or Qatar or Bahrain. While such a move would have absolutely no impact on Iran's continued control over its proxies, it could neutralize the UN tribunal's threat to the Syrian regime.
     
    To sum up, through its proxy strategy, Iran has taken control of Syria, has paralyzed and is increasingly calling the shots in Lebanon, and has effective control over Gaza, from which it can attack Israel and Egypt at will. And of course, it is the primary sponsor of the insurgency in Iraq.
    LED BY Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Sunni Arab states are well aware of Iran's proxy strategy for attaining regional dominance, and they are not pleased. The partial boycott of the Arab League summit in Damascus last month was the Sunni Arab states' way of showing their displeasure with Iran's domination of Syria and Lebanon.
     
    On a more operational level, this week the Syrian media reported that the Syrian oppositionist National Salvation Front run by the Muslim Brotherhood and former Syrian vice president Abd al Halim Khaddam will launch an anti-regime satellite television channel in a few months. Presumably wealthy Gulf kingdoms are bankrolling the project.
    Strategically, the Sunni Arab states have voiced varying degrees of interest in building their own nuclear programs to compete with the Iranian nuclear program But diplomatic snubs, jihadist television stations with anti-regime bents, and loud plans to build nuclear reactors will not suffice to defeat Iran or even to slow down its bid for regional domination. And the fact is that the Sunni states are aligned with most of Iran's policies. They keep Iraq at arm's length and loudly criticize US operations in the country. They continue to back Hamas and ostracize Israel. And they have taken no substantive stands against Hizbullah's subversion of the Saniora government since the end of the Second Lebanon War.
     
    The main reason that the Sunni Arab countries cannot contend with Iran is that their publics share Iran's jihadist ideology. And their publics share Iran's general jihadist ideology because the Sunni states have indoctrinated their publics to believe in jihad through their state-controlled media.
    Egypt, Saudi Arabia and their Sunni Arab brothers are in no position to argue with Iran publicly or to confront Iran's Arab proxies because they can't explain to their own people why Iran's bid to destroy Israel and to dominate the world in the name of Islam is a bad thing.
     
    The attraction of Iran's jihadist ideology for so many Muslims has also helped Teheran expand its army of proxies. Acting as the avant guard of global jihad, Iran has collected otherwise adversarial terror groups in their hours of need and has transformed them into Iranian proxies over time. After the al-Qaida leadership fled Afghanistan in late 2001, for instance, many of its leaders received sanctuary in Iran from which they continued to operate.
    The late al-Qaida in Iraq commander Abu Musab Zarkawi received medical care in Iran and entered Iraq from Iran. He received his operational orders from the al Qaida leadership in Iran.
     
    In a recent interview with the Qatari Al-Arab newspaper translated by MEMRI, Ahmad Salah al-Din, who serves as the spokesman for the Iraqi Sunni jihadist group Hamas-Iraq, alleged that al-Qaida in Iraq today is wholly subservient to Iran. Salah al-Din claimed, "We found Iranian toman [currency] at an al-Qaida headquarters that we uncovered. We have also captured Iranian weapons, not to mention audio and video recordings containing announcements by al-Qaida fighters that they had received training in Iranian military camps and that al-Qaida wounded were being transported to Iran for medical treatment."
     
    So too, Iran has a long history of collaboration with Fatah dating back to the early 1970s, when Ayatollah Khomeini's future revolutionary leaders received training in PLO camps in Lebanon. In 1999, as Yasser Arafat geared up his terror armies ahead of the launch of his terror war against Israel in 2000, Iran began funding Fatah terror cells. Today, after sponsoring Hamas's rout of Fatah in Gaza last June, Iran no longer needs to deal with the Fatah leadership. Through Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah it controls Fatah terror cells directly.
     
    IRAN'S POLICY of combining a proxy war strategy with a popular revolutionary ideology is almost an exact reenactment of the Soviet Union's Cold War strategy for fighting the US. Two things, however, distinguish Iran's war against the West today from the Soviets' war against the West in the 20th century. First, Iran is much less powerful than the Soviet Union was. Second, the Iranian regime is far less open to deterrence than the Soviets were.
     
    As David Wurmser, US Vice President Richard Cheney's former Middle East adviser noted recently at an address before the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, the Iranian regime is motivated by a messianic ideology with a strong apocalyptic component. This renders useless the threat of mutually assured destruction.
     
    The other main distinction between the Soviet war against the West and the Iranian war against the West is that the US-led West embraced a dual strategy of confrontation and containment against the Soviets. Today, the same US-led West follows no coherent strategy for contending with Iran.
    The only battleground where Iranian proxies are directly confronted today is in Iraq. After the 2006 Iranian proxy war against Israel, the US largely abandoned its support for the Saniora government. Hizbullah has been permitted to rebuild its forces and its arsenal and to reassert control over much of south Lebanon and to extend its control north of the Litani River. Rather than confront Hamas, at the US's insistence, Israel has done nothing to prevent Hamas's military buildup in Gaza or even to prevent it from continuing its rocket campaign against the western Negev.
     
    Then too, by supporting the defeated Fatah leadership, the US and Israel are indirectly strengthening Hamas. During the Arab League summit, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas announced that he spends some 58 percent of his US, Israeli and European supplied budget on paying the salaries of 77,000 officials who serve under the Hamas regime in Gaza. So by funding Fatah, which supports Hamas, Israel and the US are strengthening Iran's control of Gaza through its Hamas proxy. They are also facilitating the weaker Fatah's incremental absorption into the Iranian axis.
     
    As for Syria, both Israel and the US consistently ignore the fact that Syria is no longer an independent actor. By effectively adopting the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group's recommendations from 2006, the Bush administration and Israel give credence to the notion that Syria will moderate its behavior if Israel surrenders the Golan Heights, and so encourage Iran to continue its aggression by seeming to reward it.
     
    Then too, while allowing Sunni states to support the Muslim Brotherhood as a presumed counterweight to Iran, Israel and the US ignore the repeated pleas of Syrian Kurds for assistance in their campaign to overthrow the Syrian regime in favor of a federal, anti-Iranian democratic state. The Syrian Kurds receive no assistance from either the US or Israel in their own bid to set up a pro-democracy satellite television station to broadcast into Syria, even as they are violently repressed by the regime.
     
    In the absence of a strategy of confronting Iran either directly or through its proxies, the only coherent course that remains is one of containment. But this option is raft with danger. With Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement this week that Iran is introducing 3,000 upgraded centrifuges to its Natanz nuclear installation, it is clear that international sanctions have had no impact on Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. It is also clear that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will be impossible to confront its proxies, who will operate under Iran's nuclear umbrella.
     
    So as Iran progresses forward with its grand strategy for regional hegemony, the West dithers and so assists it. No wonder Ahmadinejad is always smiling.

     


     

    PASSOVER AND JEWISH LIBERATION
    by Bernard J. Shapiro
     
     
    On this Passover (2008) I have many thoughts and reflections. Some might be of interest to you. There are three special Holy Days in Judaism that deal with the salvation and liberation of the Jewish People. We just celebrated Purim and read how Esther was able to save our people from the evil Hamen. Rabbis for thousands of years have foretold that Hamens will arise in every generation to destroy us. Unfortunately they have been correct.
     
    At Passover we re-live the most decisive moment in Jewish history. We were not only liberated from bondage in Egypt, saw G-d's miracles, received the Ten Commandments, but were given Eretz Yisrael as a our sacred inheritance.Like many gifts from HaShem, we had to earn it by hard work and many battles against our enemies.
     
    There are three more Israeli National Holidays we celebrate at this time of year, Yom ha-Sho'ah (Holocaust Remembrance Memorial), Yom ha-Zikkaron (Remembrance Day  for fallen soldiers and terrorist victims) and finally Yom ha-Azma'ut (Israel Independence Day). They are all related. The Holocaust, though it came half a century after the beginning of modern Zionism, forced the Jewish People to act to fulfill its mission. Unfortunately the Jewish people then went to sleep and is not preparing to prevent the Second Holocaust that is being planned for us by 1.5 billion Muslims. So much for all the Holocaust Museums and the the slogan NEVER AGAIN
     
    The intense anguish and knowledge that without a sovereign Jewish State protected by a Jewish Army, we had NO future in this World. The Hamens like Hitler would rise against us in every country until we were gone. Perhaps some future society would keep a few Jews in a protected ZOO so that the world could study this ancient people and their lost civilization.
     
    Yom ha-Zikkaron is a day we remember the brave IDF soldiers who defended our beloved Israel. And on Israel Independence day we rejoice on the miracle of the Jewish people's re-birth in its Holy Land. I am not sure it is fair to ask young Israelis to fight terrorism and capture our enemies only to have them released by successive Israeli governments.
     
    Sadly, it is getting increasingly harder for me to rejoice on Yom ha-Azma'ut with each passing year. Since 1992, successive Israeli governments have been slowly destroying the foundation of Israeli Independence. The so called "peace process," which we all know is a surrender process to terrorism, is tearing the heart out of Zionism.
     
    I have been criticized for calling Israeli leaders traitors for selling out Israel to its enemies. I not only stand by my statements, but have taken the opportunity to look the definition of treason in the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Here it is: "Betrayal of a trust."
     
    Ehud Olmert and Israel's previous governments (since 1992) have factually betrayed the Jewish Peoples trust by denying their covenant with G-d. HaShem gave them Eretz Yisrael in perpetuity. He did not give it to Olmert or any coalition of Israeli politicians to dispose of as if it were their own real estate.
     
    DAVID BEN GURION, founding father and first Prime Minister of Israel, had this to say about territorial concessions at the Zionist conference in Basel (Switzerland) in 1939:
     
    "I say from the point of view of realizing Zionism it is better to have immediately a Jewish state, even if it would only be in a part of the western Land of Israel. I prefer this to a continuation of the British Mandate...in the whole of the western Land of Israel. But before clarifying my reasoning, I have to make a remark about principle. If we were offered a Jewish state in the western Land of Israel in return for our relinquishing our historical right over the whole Land of Israel, then I would postpone the state. No Jew has the right to relinquish the right of the Jewish people over the whole Land of Israel. No Jewish body has such authority, not even the whole Jewish people has the authority to waive the right (to the Land of Israel) for future generations for all time."
     
    And now the Olmert and his left wing elites are actively giving away Jerusalem. Is there no end to this treason (no apologies for telling the truth). Friends I have always tried to call things by there correct names. The Freemanlist does not call war- peace, black- white, tyranny -democracy, and certainly not our enemies by the false name of "peace partner."
     
    The bottom line, I will celebrate all the Holy and Holidays, but some with a heavy heart and trepidation about the future.
     
    ===
    Bernard J. Shapiro is the Chairman of the Freeman Center Strategic Studies www.freeman.org and editor of its publications.

     


      

    Road Map to the Arab Federation: the Aaronsohn Saga in Context

    Prof. Eugene Narrett


    The diplomatic initiative, the Road Map which is the ostensible contribution of the Bush Administration to settling the problem the nations have with a Jewish state is simply bad old wine in new bottles, cutting shards covered in “smooth words.” The entire Jewish land for Arab promises of peace processes are an extension of British policy for “Palestine” dating at least to 1915. These policies have been methodically, often brutally pursued even when the results include genocide and ceaseless attrition.


    The modern aspects of this war on Judaism (a war on the Jewish people sovereign in their land) are readily accessed; I will not repeat them here beyond noting that from the Rogers Plan to Camp David, Madrid, Oslo, Oslo II, Wye River and the Road Map that they have been relentless. The following remarks focus on how the intertwined NATO-Quartet-EU-UN axis of our day is an extension of British policy nine decades old, one replete with exploitation and betrayal of Jews who labored, counseled, dared, fought and died to help England win World Wars I and II.


    In the summer of 1915, Aaron Aaronsohn, a botanist of international standing and driving force in the founding of the American Agricultural Experimental Station at Athlit, a dozen miles south of Haifa, sailed with his sister Rivka from the Land of Israel, then still part of the Ottoman Empire, to Egypt, a British protectorate. Aaronsohn brought with him maps and his vast and unique knowledge of the terrain, geology and demography of what the British then (and increasingly now) call “Palestine.” First hand evidence of Turkish slaughter of Armenians and the beginnings of decrees against the Jews in Eretz Israel convinced him that Jews there must assist the British in order to liberate themselves and restore their ancient nation.


    Aaronsohn discovered at Cairo an astonishing degree of arrogant ignorance by British officers and diplomats about Turkish capabilities. He demonstrated the weakness of the Turkish-German coastal defenses and urged a sea borne flanking attack to dislodge the main axis forces from Gaza. After months of explaining and insults, during which the British nevertheless used his invaluable information and that of his group, NILI, and after the British were defeated twice in frontal assaults on the Gaza line, Aaronsohn persuaded them to pursue the flanking attack around Beersheba which made General Allenby famous and enabled the British to lay claim to creating the modern Middle East, its artificial borders and wars of attrition meant to produce the scripted outcome of an Arab Federation [1].


    When Aaronsohn first presented his information, Katz writes, “he was treated with open distrust” as well as abundant anti-Jewish contempt and stereotypes. He met, for example, with Colonel S. F. Newcombe, “one of a group of British Intelligence officers who were busy setting up what would be named the Arab Bureau. Its master plan was to promote a comprehensive Arab federation under British tutelage throughout the whole area” of the Ottoman Empire. “The idea of a Jewish Palestine could be given no part in this grandiose scheme” [2].


    With his eloquence, dignity, strength of character, unique knowledge and maps, Aaronsohn eventually won the respect of the major British officers on site, including the initially anti-Semitic Col. Mark Sykes (of the Sykes-Picot agreement). Those won over included even Col. Reginald Wingate who, though a strong supporter of Aaronsohn and eventually of NILI shared the vision of Newcombe, “to build a confederation of Arab States under the tutelage of Great Britain.” So Wingate supported Aaronsohn for imperial as well as personal reasons for without defeating the Turks Britain would have no Arab Federation for a protectorate and without Aaronsohn’s and NILI’s data, daring and skills, it would not defeat the Turks [3].


    The early British preference for an Arab Federation also was urged vigorously by John Dove, editor (1921-34) of the Round Table, the publication of the Rhodes-Milner policy group and initial source of the Royal Institute for International Affairs and its American cousin, the CFR. “Dove declared that the whole Arab world should be one state and it should have Syria and Palestine for its front door.” In 1919 he wrote, citing the authority of T. E. Lawrence (see below) for what should have been his embarrassing a-historicism, “the Arab belongs to the Mediterranean…I suggest that partition [of the Ottoman Empire] not be permanent, but this should not mean that a stage of friendly tutelage is necessarily a bad things for the Arabs” he added with the manipulative and patronizing ‘respect’ that characterizes Western use of Arab volatility to this day. Dove wrote with more menacing condescension that he “didn’t see the slightest bit of harm in Jews coming to Palestine, under reasonable conditions [as he would define them] so long as they bring capital and labor that will bring industries to start.” In this comment Dove also shows ignorance, like that of the Cairo Office about Turkish defenses during the war of the Jewish settlement and development of the Promised Land that already had initiated its astonishing rebirth and renewed flourishing. The Jews, Dove concluded with equal parts malice and insincerity, “need have no fear of this unit or absorption, for they have everything to gain from an Arab Federation” [4]. This is the geopolitical version of the assimilation pressed by New Age Aquarian theosophist as “a solution to the Jewish problem…by racial absorption” [5].


    While Lords Milner, Balfour and Amery, among others dissented, sometimes vigorously from this view, it was the proponents of an Arab Federation into which the Jews would have to absorb and whose prosperity they would have to generate that prevailed as policy. While Milner planned an Jewish majority entity west of the Jordan, so long as “it never become a Jewish state, and Balfour as late as 1929 publicly insisted that the entire area of the original Mandate was intended for a Jewish state, by 1937 the Peel Commission urged the “partition of the area west of the Jordan into a Jewish State, an Arab State and a neutral enclave containing the holy places” [Jerusalem west to the sea]. By 1939 and the White Paper severely restricting Jewish immigration, the main basis of the League of Nations granting Britain the mandate in the first place, the dominant policy clearly emerged as “a partitioned Palestine within a federation of Arab states. The round Table offered this as its program [officially] in its issues of March and June 1939” [6]. This, as Amery noted, was “the final step in the scaling down of Jewish hopes that began in 1922 [with the separation of the lands east of the Jordan river from the Jewish National Home] and a yielding of principle to Arab terrorism,” that the British themselves provoked and armed. The policy continued through and after WW II, and was picked up by America in the aftermath of Israel’s victory on the battlefields of 1967.


    Actually, American diplomats at the highest levels joined this effort half a century earlier when Secretary of State Robert Lansing refused to endorse the pending release of the Balfour Declaration. “Many Christians,” Lansing told President Wilson “would resent their holy places being handed over to the race responsible for the death of our lord” [sic]. Among the general public, anti-Zionist sentiment was promoted by the Red Cross in the guise of critiquing “British imperialism” which was briefly prepared to end 18 centuries of imperial occupation of Judea and Israel [7]. The Evian Conference over which President Roosevelt presided in 1938 made clear that the upper echelons of American policy-making had no room for Jews in America and little interest in their survival in the post-War world. The State Department’s response to President Truman’s brief support for even a truncated Jewish National Home showed that this sentiment was dominant in the shadows of the holocaust.


    Even in the immediate aftermath of the Declaration, and with Britain completing the conquest of the Turks assisted by invaluable Jewish military and intelligence assistance (H. W. Gribbon stated Allenby’s opinion that this saved at least 40,000 British casualties) the British military administration in Palestine ignored the Declaration completely and continued a high-level of incitement of Arabs against Jews. They appointed an Arab mayor of Jerusalem, that long had had a Jewish majority, and seven Arabs dominated two Jews on the Jaffo (“Tel Aviv”) city council even as many thousands of Jewish residents expelled by the Turks wandered the Land. “Jews who had experience of the pogroms and anti-Semitism of Tsarist Russia claimed that British anti-Semitism in Palestine was very similar.” Weizmann, Jabotinsky (many times) and Richard Meinertzhagen detailed these ugly realities [8]. Perhaps most bitterly, even as the supporters of the Jewish National Home presented the case for its viable, historical boundaries to “the Council of Ten” in Versailles, the occasionally pro-Jewish David Lloyd George had secretly traded away the headwaters of the Jordan and its eastern watershed to Clemenceau and the French in exchange for British dominance throughout Mesopotamia which remains the keystone of Anglo-American dominance in the region to this day [9]. Already the Jewish State had been truncated by the ‘ally’ for which it had given so much.


    As for “the Arab Revolt” against the Turks, of which the British, led by Lawrence puffed up to justify granting the Arabs a congeries of states (to be subsumed into a Federation-Protectorate), “they found they could achieve the same result from the pretense of a revolt[10, emphasis added]. And thus it continues in the form of the ceaseless war of attrition, a war process (“the peace process”) that Western powers enable and encourage Arabs to maintain against Israel; indeed Esau (the West) inflames and exploits the hate of Jews sprinkled through Islam to use the Arabs to whittle down ISrael. There is no greater continuity of policy in the world during the past ninety years, -- or century if one includes Russia’s dissemination of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and the enthusiastic regurgitation of this genocidal slander by Henry Ford in a myriad of widely distributed magazines and books.


    Since slander, hatred, despoliation, expulsion and murder of Jews remains the default option of the West, its metaphysical and ontological center of gravity it is fitting that this essay conclude with a few notes Aaronsohn made on his occasional meetings with T. E. Lawrence. A busy and serious man, after the first meeting in 1916, Aaronsohn described the actor “in one word: ‘arrogant.’” After a subsequent experience he left a slightly fuller view: “Lawrence has a high opinion of himself. He gives me a lesson on our settlements and the spirit of our people and says we shall be doing the right thing if we assimilate among the Arabs, etc. Listening to his words, I felt that I was at a lecture by a Prussian ‘scientific’ anti-Semite who expresses himself in the English language…He hates us openly. Fundamentally, he is of the missionary breed” [11].


    This most recent study of Shmuel Katz completes his in depth and indispensable research on the struggle to renew Israel which also provides in depth glimpses of British imperial policy from 1914 onward, the personalities and factions within Zionism and now this engrossing view of Aaron Aaronsohn, Nili, and the British ability to defeat the Turks and then shape the nightmare of the 20th century middle east. We learn about the international fascination with and support for Aaronsohn’s botanical and geological studies beginning in the 1890s and see, though Katz does not stress it, the real extent of the Promised Land in its physical features and great pioneering spirits that did so much to bring the vision of the prophets and Promise of the Creator into view. As HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal demonstrates, the merit of the patriarchs is rooted in the Land and its covenant [12]. And we see a type of the suspicion and undermining that afflicted daring and brilliant efforts at national restoration as diverse as those of David Reubeni and Ze’ev Jabotinsky.


    Readers also learn that the maneuvers, confidence-building measures, compromises, and other charades of the “peace process” are as much a sham as the adventures of T.E. Lawrence and have from the first been directed toward the same purpose. So the book is not only a fascinating historical study and biography, it illuminates geopolitics and a keystone of the world state projected by people like Julian Huxley and H.G. Wells [13]. A great and good man like Aaronsohn could not be permitted a place in their world [14]. And so they made their deals with the Ben Gurions and others that repeatedly ‘sank the Altalena.’


    An ironic undertone of tragic dimensions surrounds these matters. Brilliant, courageous and active men of accomplishment like Aaronsohn, Jabotinsky and Weizmann decided that Britain was the great power whose tradition of civil liberties would support Jewish restoration (a movement popular in 19th -20th century America and England, viz. the Blackstone Memorial). Judge Louis Brandeis remained a staunch believer in “British Justice” even when Weizmann and Aaronsohn pressed upon him evidence to the contrary [15]. Certainly the various brutalities of Russia and the Turks argued looking to Britain, -- though some held out hopes for Germany. Yet, time proved the attitudes that Aaronsohn encountered in Cairo were deeply entrenched in Britain at all levels from the military and diplomatic corps, to the Universities, to New Age theosophists and internationalists (see note six). So relentless has British betrayal and vilification of the Jews been that one today can hardly imagine groups of English university students fighting with Jews in the streets of Jerusalem to fend off Arab attacks, as happened in August 1929 [16]. So sustained, fierce and lethal was the British betrayal, even before the holocaust geared up that Colonel John Henry Patterson, who had been involved in the events in the Mandate for years wrote bitingly about “the isolationists and fifth column men” in the British cabinet that would not permit formation of an American Jewish army to fight with England when it was alone. “Lord Lloyd and his pro-Nazi minions in the Colonial Office have had their way,” Patterson wrote, but they have also brought England another step nearer her doom. You may rest assured that if England continues her anti-Jewish policy it will be destroyed…I loved England and have hated to see her betrayed by a gang of pro-Nazi, neo-pagan permanent officials…one Jewish mechanized division would be worth more than all the Arabs in the Near East” [17].


    Patterson was right in every particular though he couldn’t know that the desire of England’s ruling class for a “new world order” and a “solution of the Jewish problem” through “wider fusions and synthesis” would continue to this day, or that England indeed would be destroyed by its encouragement of “pan-Islamic nationalism” and later by a revanchist Germany dominating a European Union, a mirror of the policy pursued by that same British ruling clique that had betrayed its promise to the Jews. These tragic ironies were not within the power of Aaronsohn or other great men to control though they did heroic work in shifting them. Only “the Highest Wisdom” knows how their sacrifice and the loss of so many has been part of a providence leading to the best possible outcome [18]. As a European-initiated “Mediterranean Peace & Prosperity Zone” plans to swallow Israel (2010 is the target date), Israel still has nominal sovereignty in Jerusalem, Hebron and more, a strong economy and armed forces. Aaronsohn, Nili and the other greats of Israel’s restoration could provide only in part the spirit and inspiration to redeem, settle and be sovereign over the Land. Their remarkable story remains entwined with the global drama of Britain’s and the West’s suicidal brutality and treachery in regard to its “Jewish problem.”



    1. Shmuel Katz, The Aaronsohn Saga (Gefen, Jerusalem 2000 [Hebrew], English edition 2007); NILI was an acronym for Netzach Yisrael lo Yishakeir, “the eternity of Israel does not lie,” the name of the group of Jewish farmers and professionals who risked their lives to gather and transmit information to the British. Many of them were caught, tortured and hanged a few weeks before the British long delayed assault at the end of October 1917, followed, a few days later by the Balfour Declaration.

    2. Ibid. 79-80; in all his great works, Katz tends to use the Roman and British term “Palestine” as used by them, unfortunate given the fictions that have been created under this imperial nomenclature, the creation of a non-nation and fictional people to serve the purpose of the pan-Arab federation: negating a Jewish state and the providence of the Hebrew Scriptures. See for example, Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine (1975; 1983 third edition, expanded). The geology, ecology and expeditions of Aaronsohn, and of Oliphant and others before him made clear, as was indicated in the original borders of the “Jewish National Home” included all of what became “Transjordan” as well as much of the Lebanon, a state created in 1945 out of a mountain range as a residue of British and French jousting for imperial sway.

    3. ibid. 210-13; Col. Reginald Wingate should not be confused with Captain Orde Wingate the committed Zionist and friend of the Jewish people who assisted their pre-state military training in the 1930s. See Katz, Lone Wolf, a Biography of Ze’ev Jabotinsky (NY 1996), volume II; an example of the pervasive anti-Jewish bigotry was Sykes’ initial tendency to believe that a conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons dominated the world, etc. a position initially held as well by William G. A. [Lord Harlech] Ormsby-Gore.

    4. Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment (NY 1981), 171

    5. Alice A. Bailey, “The Hidden Source of the Outer Turmoil,” January 1939 in the volume, “the General World Picture: the Cause of the World Difficulty” collected in The Externalization of the Hierarchy (Lucis 1957: 2001) 75-77. Bailey associated the Jews with “the Forces of Darkness… separateness, criticism and cruelty.” She added “their influence is potent and widespread,” the remnants of “a previous solar system [who] failed to make the grade” and evolve as had the Aryans. Castigating Jewish desire to return to and settle Zion as “Zionist lies” and insisted that Jerusalem was an international city (May 1947, “the Return of the Christ”). Her ideas track closely with the shifting policies of Britain’s diplomatic elite. In “the Coming World Order” (April 1940) she argued for “a new world order” and “new economic order that will end the age of separateness” (typified by Jews and Judaism) whose “governmental methods” will bring “wider fusions and synthesis” first to “a Federated States of Europe along the lines of the British Commonwealth of Nations…or the Soviet Socialist Republics.” Still, “the major racial problem for many centuries,” she stressed, “has been the Jewish problem which is capable of solution if coupled with an effort by the Jews themselves to solve and be cooperative in the world efforts to adjust their problem… the Jew is separative.” The solution to this problem is his “fusion with other peoples” (ibid. 174-200). “The Wandering Jew must learn the lesson of absorption,” she wrote. “When humanity has solved the Jewish problem…racial fusion will then be possible” (“Source of the Outer Turmoil,” op cit). This is the Aquarian version of the Shaw White Paper of 1935 (restricting Jewish immigration and purchase of land) and the better known one of 1939.severely limiting immigration on the eve of WW II, and enforcing the ban.

    6. Quigley 172-5

    7. Katz, Aaronsohn Saga, 308-09, cf. Frank Manuel, The Realities of American Palestine Relations (1949) and Katz, 317

    8. Aaronsohn Saga, 318-19, 328; shortly before his death, Mark Sykes, who had become an enthusiast for Jewish restoration, returned from Israel to confirm the reports of Jabotinsky that “the British officers in the administration are opposed to the Jews.” See also Katz, Lone Wolf, 510-51; 688-95 passim

    9. Aaronsohn Saga, 326-7

    10. ibid. 130

    11. ibid. 210; Katz refers readers to Richard Aldington’s study, Lawrence of Arabia: a Biographical Inquiry (London 1955) which demonstrates that Lawrence and his Arab exploits both were faked and that the British diplomatic establishment and an American publicity man created his legend to enhance their plans for an Arab Federation.

    12. Rav Teichtal, Em HaBanim Smeichah (Budapest 1943; “A Glad Mother of Children,” English translation by Rabbi Moshe Lichtman, Moznaim 2000); it is a further irony that Rav Teichtal stressed love among Jews, citing innumerable sources in oral and written Torah, as essential for activating and bonding with “the merit of the land.” Shocked by the holocaust into recognizing and explaining the bond between “Zionism” and Judaism, who would have been pained and sought to redress the hostility, ostracism and at length, the betrayal that socialist and other members of the Jewish community directed at Aaronsohn, his family and Nili. Katz details how it was through these doubts, resentments and fears that Nili was exposed to the Turks, broken up and many of its members tortured and hanged. Sarah Aaronsohn spoke of this in her last letter, when she called for “revenge, both upon our Jews [who betrayed us] and especially against the rulers under whom we are living.” Katz, Aaronsohn, 334; under whom do Jews in Israel live today?

    13. See Wells, the Shape of Things to Come (1933) and Julian Huxley, the Purpose of UNESCO (1947)

    14. Katz offers only an understated, just-the-facts, two-page appendix (Saga 340-1) on the curious plane crash that killed Aaronsohn as he shuttled between the Versailles Conference and London. The plane landed in the channel only fifty yards from a fishing boat but he was already dead. British records are skimpy. But when one owes someone very much and one already has decided that this person is not to receive what he earned, and this person has enormous strength of character and international support it is inconvenient for him to be around to critique your perfidy.

    15. the Aaronsohn Saga 327-8 and Lone Wolf, 510-14

    16. Katz, Lone Wolf, volume II, 1126

    17. ibid. 1762-3

    18. Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal), Derekh Hashem (“the Way of the Eternal One”), 2.3.7 (Feldheim 1977; 1998 revised, p. 111-19): “when an individual is judged, Providence takes account of what precedes and follows him…in relation to his forebears, his descendants and the people of his generation, city and community who are associated with him. After all this is taken into account, he is given his particular service assignment and challenge as well as his specific responsibility in serving God…the manner in which this is accomplished [for the good] is beyond our intellect’s ability to grasp,” at least until after the fact (see Exodus 33:20-23).

     


     

    Saving Hamas
      By P. David Hornik
    FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/30/2008

     Hamas, under pressure from Israel's partial blockade of Gaza, Israel's military activities, and Egypt's clampdown on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai, is pulling a trusty weapon from its sheath that will probably get it out of this jam: a ceasefire. 
      
      According to a deal being discussed by Hamas and Egyptian intelligence minister Omar Suleiman, Hamas is talking about a stoppage of rocket fire and other terrorist attacks on Israel for six months. Israel is saying in return that the deal would have to apply not only to Hamas but also to the smaller terrorist factions in Gaza, and would have to include a total halt to weapons smuggling into the Strip.
      
      The Olmert government has good reason to try and sound stringent this time. During a previous almost-six-month "ceasefire" with Hamas that lasted from November 26, 2006, to May 15, 2007, various Gazan terror groups never ceased to fire, launching a total of 315 rockets at Israel without a single Israeli response.
      
      But even if Hamas et al. were to genuinely hold their fire this time, senior Israel Defense Forces officers are against such a deal and Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, head of Southern Command, has reportedly "expressed fierce opposition" to it.
      
      It's not hard to see why: Israel's chances of enforcing a no-smuggling clause would be nil; Hamas would use the time, as Galant warned, to "rebuild its damaged infrastructure and increase its arms smuggling under the Philadelphi Corridor from Sinai"; Egypt has reportedly already assured Hamas that the Rafah crossing, used in the past to smuggle terrorist personnel and funds, would be reopened.
      
      Nor is that all: reportedly Hamas, in cooperation with its parent Egyptian Islamist organization the Muslim Brotherhood, has already acquired and transferred to Gaza know-how and equipment to make bomb-carrying drones; reportedly Iran is already succeeding to smuggle rockets and other advanced weapons into Gaza by sea.
      
      Against these rational military and strategic considerations, however, stands the Olmert government, led by Israel's most superficial, incompetent, sound-bite prime minister of all time and easily enticed by short-term promises of respite or, as Hamas calls it, tadhiyyeh.
      
      It's hard to imagine Olmert resisting the chance to declare a ceasefire as Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations in May approach; it's much nicer to have a party when the only aerial explosions are fireworks instead of rockets bursting in air beside terrified citizens. Olmert would also like to claim he's making progress toward freeing captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit even though a ceasefire wouldn't change the fact that the chances of Hamas proposing terms for a prisoner exchange that even Olmert can live with are small.
      
      And still another factor likely to dispose Olmert toward a ceasefire is that the Bush administration is now also, reportedly, pushing for it.
      
      Bush's plans to visit Israel on May 14, its 60th Independence Day, don't seem to have affected the usual disdain for Israel's independent decision-making as pressure grows to accept a deal with Hamas. Quiet in Gaza, the U.S. believes, will increase the likelihood of Israel and the Palestinian Authority signing a peace settlement by the end of 2008.
      
      Bush's perseverance toward that goal is especially striking given that PA president Mahmoud Abbas didn't share Bush's enthusiasm after their meeting in the White House last Thursday.
      Bush, in his upbeat report on their parley, said that he "assured the president that a Palestinian state is a high priority for me and my administration. A viable state, a state that doesn't look like Swiss cheese, a state that provides hope.. I am confident that we can achieve the definition of a state."
      Abbas, though, in an interview to a decidedly un-Israel-friendly Associated Press reporter, said that "Frankly, so far nothing has been achieved." He complained especially bitterly about Israeli building in places he demands to be Judenrein and about Bush's, and Rice's, refusal to commit to driving Israel back to the 1967 borders. He didn't mention any problems on the PA side like persistent terrorism and inculcating anti-Israel hatred in a whole generation.
      
      Despite, though, the Israeli military's well-founded objections to a ceasefire and the stark irrationality of subordinating all other concerns to creating a Palestinian jihad-state by the end of this year, Hamas knows the weaknesses of its Israeli and American opposite numbers and knows it has a good chance of being saved by them once again.
      The U.S., after all, initially pushed to allow Hamas to run in the 2006 PA elections and, almost two months ago, put a quick stop to what finally looked like a larger-scale Israeli campaign to hit Hamas hard. Why change now?
     
    ---------------------------------
      P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at
    http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com