THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
VOLUME 16             B"H   August 2008             NUMBER 8


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
August 2008

 

EDITORIALS
  • THE NATURE OF PEACE AND PEACE TREATIES ..............Bernard J. Shapiro
  • QUICK NOTE ON GEORGIA/RUSSIA WAR & ISRAEL ..............Bernard J. Shapiro
  • BEWARE THE RISEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL ..............Bernard J. Shapiro

    ISRAELI POLITICS
  • KADIMA'S LEGACY OF NOTHINGNESS ..............Caroline Glick
  • OBAMA and ISRAEL 'S RULING ELITES ..............Prof. Paul Eidelberg
  • A BRIEF POLITICAL GLOSSARY for ISRAELIS and IMMIGRANTS ..............Prof. Paul Eidelberg
  • ISRAEL: FROM WAR AND SERVITUDE TO FREEDOM ..............Prof. Paul Eidelberg
  • A LESSON FROM KOSOVARS AND PALESTINIANS FOR ATLASIANS ..............Gerald A. Honigman
  • THE DISEASE OF BLIND STATE WORSHIP ..............Nadia Matar

    JUSTICE
  • CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for CAPITAL CRIMES ..............Caroline Glick

    FOREIGN & STRATEGIC POLICY
  • WHILE DIPLOMATS DITHER, IRAN BUILDS NUKES .............JOHN R. BOLTON
  • IGNORING FAILURE IN GAZA .............Caroline Glick

    TERRORISM
  • THE TERRORISM "EXODUS SHIP" .............Steven Plaut
  • RELEASING TERRORISTS: NEW VICTIMS PAY THE PRICE .............Nadav Shragai

    MEDIA BIAS
  • OF KURDS AND ARABS: BEYOND IGNORANCE…THE ALLEGEDLY FREE PRESS ..............Gerald A. Honigman
  • NEW YORK TIMES NATIONAL SUICIDE NOTE FOR ISRAEL ..............Emanuel A. Winston

    JERUSALEM ISSUE BRIEF
  • THE RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN WAR: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST ..............Ariel Cohen

    INTERNATIONAL LAW
  • THE RAMIFICATIONS OF A PALESTINIAN STATE ..............Louis Rene' Beres

    MILITARY STRATEGY
  • GEORGIA, ISRAEL AND THE NATURE OF MAN ..............Caroline Glick
  • IRAN'S AMERICAN PROTECTOR ..............Caroline Glick
  • DOMINOES ANYONE? ..............Caroline Glick
  • THREE GUYS, A TRAILER AND ISRAEL'S SURVIVAL ..............Caroline Glick

    HISTORY/STRATEGY
  • WHEN HISTORY IS NOT REPEATED ..............Caroline Glick

     

    THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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    Column One: Kadima's legacy of nothingness
    Jul. 31, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    After the dust settled on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's surprise announcement Wednesday evening that he will resign from office after Kadima's leadership primary on September 17, the main question is, What possessed him to act as he did?
     
    Olmert did not actually resign from office in the normal sense of the term. That is, he's not planning to leave office any time soon. What Olmert did was force Israel into a long period of governmental instability.
    According to the elections law, when a prime minister announces his resignation, his government is immediately transformed into a transition government that will remain in power until either Olmert's successor forms a governing coalition or until the winner of the next general election forms a governing coalition. If Olmert's successor forms a new governing coalition after the September 17 primary, Israelis won't go to the polls until March 2010. But if Olmert's replacement as Kadima head is unable to form a coalition, Israel will have a general election by March 2009 at the latest. In the latter scenario, Olmert's transition government will remain in power until the winners of that election form a governing coalition. And that could take up to three more months.
     
    So far from leaving office anytime soon, Olmert will remain in power at least three more months, and perhaps for as long as 10 months.
    Olmert's non-resignation resignation speech was filled with protestations of patriotism. But it is hard to see how his announcement served the national interest. If Olmert had wanted to do what is best for the country, then he would have announced that his resignation was effective immediately. This would have set the course for a general election in November.
     
    In the interim, and in light of the intensifying security crisis with Iran, a caretaker government could have been formed that would have encompassed all willing Zionist parties represented in the Knesset. If such a government were formed, Israel could have attacked Iran's nuclear installations with the full backing of the Knesset and the people. The political cost of such a vital operation would have been borne equally by all of Israel's political leaders and so, in a sense, it would have been borne by no one. Under such circumstances, Israel's political leaders would have been able to concern themselves only with Israel's survival as they made their best decisions on how to prevent the ayatollahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.
    But rather than enable Israel to unite in the face of a threat to its existence, Olmert opted for continued instability, continued uncertainly and a continuation of the polarized status quo that leaves him in office and leaves Israel strategically hamstrung at the hands of a governing coalition that the nation does not want and does not trust. And this situation could easily last for nearly a year.
     
    There are two possible explanations for Olmert's behavior. First, it is possible, as some commentators have noted, that by announcing his decision not to seek reelection in Kadima's leadership primary - and lose overwhelmingly by all accounts - Olmert may be trying to convince the police investigators to allow him to leave office in his own car and not in the back of a paddy wagon.
     
    There is a precedent for such a move. The late president Ezer Weizman resigned from office in 2000 in exchange for an end to the criminal probe against him. And the probe against Weizman - which centered on cash transfers in excess of $540,000 that he received over an extended period from Edward Sarousi, a French businessman - was similar to the sixth of seven ongoing probes against Olmert, where he is being investigated for cash transfers he received from US businessman Morris Talansky.
     
    The other possibility is that Olmert is playing his familiar game of buying time. Buying time has been the enduring theme of his tenure in office.
    After Olmert led Israel to defeat in the Second Lebanon War two years ago, he staved off calls for his resignation by appointing the Winograd Committee to study his failures. Eight months later, the Winograd Committee issued its interim report where it concluded that Olmert had failed in his stewardship of the country during the war. In the face of the public outcry that followed, Olmert bought himself another eight months by insisting on waiting until the committee issued its final report.
     
    As the criminal probes against him rose to the top of the national agenda in late April with the revelation that Olmert had accepted cash-stuffed envelops from Talansky for a decade, Olmert bought himself another four months by pledging to resign if indicted. And now, of course, he has bought himself at least three more months, and perhaps up to 11 months more in power. And who knows what unanticipated crisis or windfall may intervene in the meantime and add another few months to his lifespan as prime minister?
    In his handling of all of these crises, the good of the country has not been Olmert's primary concern. Indeed, it is far from clear that he ever considered the impact his actions would have on Israel at all. Rather, from crisis to crisis, from one stalling tactic to the next, Olmert has been guided by his single-minded desire to remain in office. And this is not surprising.
     
    OLMERT'S PATENT lack of shame is not the only reason that Israel's best interests haven't factored into Olmert's calculations. By placing his personal interests above the national interest, Olmert was loyally reflecting the character of his party. Winning and maintaining power for power's sake, irrespective of the national interest and ideological principles, were the purposes for which Kadima was founded by Ariel Sharon.
    Sharon founded Kadima as a self-consciously post-ideological party. And as Kadima's first elected prime minister, Olmert is Israel's first post-ideological premier.
     
    Olmert and Kadima are the direct consequences of Sharon's decision to turn his back on his party, and on the ideology that brought him into office in 2003 in favor of clinging to power for power's sake. To remain in office amidst two serious criminal probes, Sharon betrayed his ideological camp and Israel's national security interests. This he did by implementing the discredited radical leftist policy championed by Israel's media and legal fraternity of withdrawing all Israeli military personnel and civilians from the Gaza Strip and transferring control of the area to Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror control.
     
    Sharon, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and their political consultants presented Kadima's rejection of ideology as its chief selling point. By not being committed to either left-wing or right-wing ideals, they assured us that Kadima would always do the right thing for the country.
    But the opposite occurred. Without the benefit of ideology to guide them, Kadima's leaders have been led by nothing more than their personal interests. And their primary interest is not to do what is best for the country irrespective of ideology. Their primary interest is to maintain and expand their power for as long as possible.
     
    To maintain and expand their power, Kadima's leaders from Olmert to the party's last backbencher have sought to align their policies with the nation's shifting moods. The nation's mood swings from left to right are always followed by sharp changes in Kadima's policies.
    With the nation in a left leaning mood in the run-up to the last election, Kadima announced its plan to give Judea and Samaria to terrorists from Fatah and Hamas. Distinguishing their party from the radical left, which shares their plan, Kadima's leaders explained that they sought to place Israel's major urban centers in Palestinian rocket range not in the interest of peace - as the leftist ideologues would have it - but in the interest of the hardnosed "demographic" aim of putting all the country's Jews in one concentrated area.
     
    Before the nation had an opportunity to fully understand what Kadima's "convergence" plan entailed, Israel's body politic shifted to the right in June 2006 after the Palestinians attacked an IDF post near Gaza and kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit. Two weeks later it shifted further to the right when Hizbullah carried out a nearly identical attack along the border with Lebanon and supposedly abducted reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
    Noticing the public's rightward shift, Olmert and his colleagues followed immediately. When Olmert launched the Second Lebanon War, he sounded downright Churchillian as he promised the nation nothing less than the total defeat of Hizbullah and the return of our hostage servicemen.
    But then, when Olmert's bombast was confronted with the hard reality of war, he lost interest in being a right-winger. And so he fought the war like a radical leftist and accepted humiliating defeat. Ever since then, Kadima has tacked to the right and then to the left with no guiding rationale other than the morning's headlines, the weekend's opinion polls, and the threats of its right-wing and left-wing coalition partners.
     
    In the meantime, the actual threats arrayed against Israel as a whole have become more acute and more fateful. But Olmert and his colleagues can't be bothered to deal with them. They are too busy. Deciding who you are each day anew on the basis of the morning radio broadcasts is a time-consuming venture. And their solitary aim remains constant throughout. They just want to stay in power for another day, another week or with a little luck, for a few more months.
     
    THIS IS the sad and desperate face of post-ideological politics. While as prime ministers, left-wing leaders such as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres could only make mistakes in one direction, post-ideological leaders like Olmert and his colleagues in Kadima can and do make mistakes in all directions.
     
    From 1977 when Likud first rose to power until 2006 when Kadima formed the government, all of Israel's elections revolved around contrasting ideologies. For 29 years, voters were required to choose which side of the ideological divide they preferred. And making choices isn't easy. Both sides seem to have something to offer.
    Then Kadima entered the political stage dead on center and offered voters a way to avoid making a decision. It professed to be all things to all people.
    But of course, no one and no political party can be all things to all people. And since Kadima's leaders won't choose whose side they are on for longer than opinion polls stay constant, their party has been nothing to all people.
    Here it bears noting that Olmert's slow, meandering exit from office against the backdrop of growing dangers is a fitting end to this sad chapter in Israel's history. For when a government of nothings is running the show, nothing takes precedent over all things - even the most important things.
     
    It can only be hoped that when the next election takes place, voters will have learned the lesson of Kadima. Whether we choose the right ideological camp or the wrong one to lead us, we cannot evade our responsibility to make a choice.

     


     

    Our World: Capital punishment for capital crimes
    Aug. 4, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    Six years ago last week, a bomb went off in the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus. Seven students were murdered. The attack was the work of a Hamas cell from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
     
    The Silwan cell was one of the most prolific and murderous cells Israel has seen. In addition to the massacre at Hebrew University, its four members carried out the massacre at Moment Café in Jerusalem in which 12 were murdered; the Sheffield billiards club bombing in Rishon Lezion, which left 16 dead; and the bombing of railroad tracks in Lod. The cell's most horrendous attack, however, is generally downplayed.
     
    In May 2002, the group planted a bomb in a fuel tanker and detonated it as the tanker stood on line to refuel at the Pi Glilot fuel depot. Miraculously, the cell had attached their bomb to a diesel tanker. Since diesel fuel is not as flammable as regular gasoline, the blast was insufficiently strong to blow up the fuel depot as they had planned. Had they managed to attach their bomb to a gasoline tanker, the blast would likely have resulted in a fireball that could have killed thousands.
     
    Pi Glilot fuel depot is located in one of the most densely populated areas of the country. It is adjacent to North Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon and the Glilot junction which, when the bomb went off, was filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Given the magnitude of its foreseeable and sought for carnage, the attack on Pi Glilot constituted an act of genocide.
     
    For their activities, three members of the cell were convicted of 35 counts of murder and several counts of attempted murder (210 people were wounded in their attacks). They received 35 consecutive life sentences and additional decades for their non-lethal attacks. The fourth member was convicted of assisting murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
     
    THE CRIMES of the Silwan cell bear recalling today as the lame duck Olmert-Livni-Barak government continues its negotiations with Hamas toward the release of IDF Sgt. Gilad Schalit, whom the terror regime and its terror partners have held hostage since June 2006. Hamas is demanding that in a three-stage swap, Israel release a thousand terrorists for Schalit. Hamas has made clear that it demands senior terrorists and convicted murderers, including Fatah terror master Marwan Barghouti, PFLP commander Ahmed Sa'adat and an unknown number of additional murderers.
     
    In late June, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's hostage negotiator Ofer Dekel provided Hamas the names of 450 terrorists that Israel is willing to release in the first stage of the deal. Although their identities were not revealed to the public, it can be assumed that among them are convicted murderers. Olmert recently told the government that Israel will have to redefine what it means by terrorists "with blood on their hands" in order to relax the criteria for releasing murderers and attempted murderers in exchange for Schalit. Moreover, several ministers are actively lobbying for Barghouti's release.
     
    To date, no one has publicly raised the prospect of releasing murderers like the Silwan cell members. But this is no cause for relief. Even if they are not released in a deal to free Schalit, there is no reason to assume that they will die in prison.
     
    In 2004, Israel refused to release baby-murdering Samir Kuntar in exchange for the bodies of soldiers Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Sawayid, and for drug dealer and Hizbullah agent Elhanan Tannenbaum. Instead, Israel released Hizbullah commanders Mustafa Dirani and Abdul Karim Obeid - men who were supposed to only be released in exchange for IAF navigator Ron Arad who was kidnapped in 1986. Once Dirani and Obeid were released, Israel had no one left except Kuntar to release in exchange for the mutilated corpses of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser last month. So too, if Israel releases a thousand mid-level terrorist murderers as well as Barghouti and Sa'adat for Schalit, it will have set the stage for the release of mass murderers in the next go-round.
     
    ALL OF this raises the issue that polite Israeli society insists on sweeping under the rug: Israel's repeated willingness to release terrorists for live and dead hostages makes clear the need to implement the death penalty against terrorist murderers.
     
    The criminal code permits the death penalty to be used in cases of treason, murder, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against the Jewish people. The problem is not the laws on the books; the problem is the state prosecution's refusal to use them. Regardless of the nature of their crimes, the State Attorney's Office refuses to request that judges sentence terrorists to death.
     
    After the members of the Silwan cell were arrested in the fall of 2002 and the enormity of their crimes was made known, there was a relatively concerted public campaign to lobby then attorney-general and current Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein to request the death penalty for the cell members. But he never considered it.
     
    The fact that another irresponsible government would be liable to one day release them in exchange for hostages seems not to have bothered him. Then, too, Rubinstein seems not to have been bothered by the fact that these men, and thousands like them continue to constitute a grave danger. In prison they are free to plot and order the carrying out of still more attacks. Several murderous attacks have been ordered by prisoners who communicate their orders through their lawyers, their family members and even on the telephone. MOreover, while in prison they are free to draft their fellow prisoners into their genocidal ranks. Since many of these fellow prisoners were convicted of lesser crimes, they will be released to kill still more Israelis after being radicalized in prison by the likes of the Silwan gang.
     
    IT IS not surprising that none of these facts played into Rubinstein's calculations when he opted not to ask the judges to sentence the Silwan gang to death. Quite simply, the rarified intellectual and moral universe that he, his successor Menahem Mazuz and their fellow prosecutors inhabit is not the intellectual and moral universe that most Israelis live in. The prosecutors live in a world in which morality is an abstract issue, best adjudicated by professors, judges and themselves in the name of enlightened humanism.
    The country's professoriate, which enjoys an intimate relationship with its legal fraternity, long ago dropped any semblance of propriety in its enthusiastic embrace of anti-Zionist causes. Their top-to-bottom moral derangement was clearly on display last week when a day before the sixth anniversary of the Hebrew University massacre, the university's president, Menahem Magidor, joined his fellow university presidents in signing a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak demanding that the Defense Ministry stop barring Palestinian students who constitute security risks from studying in Israeli universities.
     
    The university presidents wrote the letter in support of a petition to the High Court of Justice by the anti-Zionist NGO Gisha which is demanding the court bar the security services from preventing Palestinian students from studying in Israeli universities or prevent them from studying subjects like nuclear physics that could facilitate the pan-Islamic war effort against the Jewish state. Gisha's petition was signed by some 450 senior and junior faculty members from all Israeli universities.
     
    Ironically, the university presidents issued their missive 10 days after the Shin Beit (Israel Security Agency) announced it had arrested six Israeli Arabs suspected of membership in al-Qaida. Two of them were students at Hebrew University. One of the students is accused of planning to assassinate US President George W. Bush by downing his helicopter during his visit in May.
    In light of the legal and intellectual elites' pathological refusal to recognize the murderous character of Palestinian terrorists and Israel's duty to defend its citizens from murder, it would make sense for the Knesset to circumscribe their authority to adjudicate morality from the bench and the lectern. The Knesset could amend the criminal code to require the death penalty in cases of terrorist murder.
     
    Unfortunately, such an effort by the Knesset would likely not suffice to force their hand. Either the prosecutors would indict the terrorists on lesser charges or the judges would declare the amendments unconstitutional, or both.
    The Supreme Court's refusal to simply acknowledge Israel's duty to defend its citizens was made clear by its handling of the anti-Zionist Left's 2001 petition to bar the IDF from conducting targeted killings of terrorists. Although the measure is perfectly legal, the court took five and a half years to issue its ruling that the IDF is in fact legally entitled by customary international law to target terrorists. Why there was even a question that the IDF has the right to target illegal combatants engaged in an illegal terror war is unclear. Yet even in its self-evident ruling, the Court invented limitations on the tactic to demonstrate its concern for the well-being of terrorist mass-murderers.
     
    The recidivism rates of terrorists released in hostage swaps alone make clear that hostages-for-terrorists swaps endanger Israeli citizens. And in light of the moral depravity of our intellectual and legal elites, it is clear that legislative action alone cannot remedy the current situation in which even the most monstrous terrorists can safely assume that they will one day be released. The public must involve itself in the issue.
     
    THE FIRST step in a campaign calling for a mandatory death penalty for terrorist murderers would be to conduct a poll on the issue. To date, no major polling institution has conducted a poll of public opinion on the death penalty.
    Beyond that, student activists should band together to oppose their professors' call for the Defense Ministry to stop conducting security checks of potential students. A new student organization, "Im Tirtzu," was formed last year to combat the anti-Zionist claptrap disguised as academic research being propagated by their professors. It is already organizing such a campaign and its efforts should be supported.
     
    Finally, the public must make clear, through demonstrations and e-mail campaigns to political leaders and to the mass media, that it demands both an end to the hostages for terrorists swaps and the death penalty for convicted terrorist murderers. It is now, as our politicians gear up for elections, that they are most prone to listen to us.
     
    It is hard for private citizens to take a public stand. But between our governmental instability, the weakness of our political leaders and the perfidy of our elites, it has fallen to us to make our demand for security and responsible leadership clear. Until we can be certain that murderers like Kuntar and the Silwan gang will never harm us again, we will not be able to sleep soundly in our beds.
     

     


     

    While Diplomats Dither, Iran Builds Nukes

    By JOHN R. BOLTON
    August 5, 2008
    This weekend, yet another "deadline" passed for Iran to indicate it was seriously ready to discuss ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Like so many other deadlines during these five years of European-led negotiations, this one died quietly, with Brussels diplomats saying that no one seriously expected any real work on a Saturday.
     
    The fact that the Europeans are right -- this latest deadline is not fundamentally big news -- is precisely the problem with their negotiations, and the Bush administration's acquiescence in that effort.
     
    The rationality of continued Western negotiations with Iran depends critically on two assumptions: that Iran is far enough away from having deliverable nuclear weapons that we don't incur excessive risks by talking; and that by talking we don't materially impede the option to use military force. Implicit in the latter case is the further assumption that the military option is static -- that it remains equally viable a year from now as it is today.
     
    Neither assumption is correct. Can we believe that if diplomacy fails we can still take military action "in time" to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons? "Just in time" nonproliferation assumes a level of intelligence certainty concerning Iran's nuclear program that recent history should manifestly caution us against.
     
    Every day that goes by allows Iran to increase the threat it poses, and the viability of the military option steadily declines over time. There are a number of reasons why this is so.
     
    First, while the European-led negotiations proceed, Iran continues both to convert uranium from a solid (uranium oxide, U3O8, also called yellowcake) to a gas (uranium hexafluoride, UF6) at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although it is a purely chemical procedure, conversion is technologically complex and poses health and safety risks.
     
    As Isfahan's continuing operations increase both Iran's UF6 inventory and its technical expertise, however, the impact of destroying the facility diminishes. Iran is building a stockpile of UF6 that it can subsequently enrich even while it reconstructs Isfahan after an attack, or builds a new conversion facility elsewhere.
     
    Second, delay permits Iran to increase its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) -- that is, UF6 gas in which the U235 isotope concentration (the form of uranium critical to nuclear reactions either in reactors or weapons) is raised from its natural level of 0.7% to between 3% and 5%.
     
    As its LEU stockpile increases, so too does Tehran's capacity to take the next step, and enrich it to weapons-grade concentrations of over 90% U235 (highly-enriched uranium, or HEU). Some unfamiliar with nuclear matters characterize the difference in LEU-HEU concentration levels as huge. The truth is far different. Enriching natural uranium by centrifuges to LEU consumes approximately 70% of the work and time required to enrich it to HEU.
     
    Accordingly, destroying Iran's enrichment facility at Natanz does not eliminate its existing enriched uranium (LEU), which the IAEA estimated in May 2008 to be approximately half what is needed for one nuclear weapon. Iran is thus more than two-thirds of the way to weapons-grade uranium with each kilogram of uranium it enriches to LEU levels. Moreover, as the LEU inventory grows, so too does the risk of a military strike hitting one or more UF6 storage tanks, releasing potentially substantial amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere.
     
    Third, although we cannot know for sure, every indication is that Iran is dispersing its nuclear facilities to unknown locations, "hardening" against air strikes the ones we already know about, and preparing more deeply buried facilities in known locations for future operations. That means that the prospects for success against, say, the enrichment facilities at Natanz are being reduced.
     
    Fourth, Iran is clearly increasing its defensive capabilities by purchasing Russian S-300 antiaircraft systems (also known as the SA-20) directly or through Belarus. In late July, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and his spokesman contradicted Israeli contentions that the new antiaircraft systems would be operational this year. Assuming the Pentagon is correct, its own assessment on timing simply enhances the argument for Israel striking sooner rather than later.
     
    Fifth, Iran continues to increase the offensive capabilities of surrogates like Syria and Hezbollah, both of which now have missile capabilities that can reach across Israel, as well as threaten U.S. troops and other U.S. friends and allies in the region. It may well be Syria and Hezbollah that retaliate initially after an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, thus making further strikes against Iran more problematic, at least in the short run.
     
    Iran is pursuing two goals simultaneously, both of which it is comfortably close to achieving. The first -- to possess all the capabilities necessary for a deliverable nuclear weapon -- is now almost certainly impossible to stop diplomatically. Thus, Iran's second objective becomes critical: to make the risks of a military strike against its program too high, and to make the likelihood of success in fracturing the program too low. Time favors Iran in achieving these goals. U.S. and European diplomats should consider this while waiting by the telephone for Iran to call.
    ==========
    Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations" (Simon & Schuster, 2007).

     


     

    The Terrorism "Exodus Ship"
    by Steven Plaut

     You probably have heard that a group of Israel haters, including
    several members of the Jews for a Second Holocaust, are planning to
    outfit a boat to crash through the blockade of the Gaza Strip, to show their
    solidarity with the Hamas and their opposition to Israel defending
    itself.

    It is sort of a Bizarro world version of the ship "Exodus," which
    smuggled refugees from Europe into the Land of Israel and challenged the British blockade.  A similar pro-terror Bizarro Exodus was outfitted about 25
    years ago by Peace Now types to bring Palestinian "refugees" into
    Israel as part of their support for the Palestinian "right of return."  Singer

    Hava Alberstein was one of the organizers back then.  In the current
    project, the idea would be to embarrass Israel into ending the blockade
    of the Gaza Hamastan, and so allowing Hamas to import weapons and rockets more freely.

     In the current pro-Hamas publicity stunt, the ship and its mission
    are  funded by Jimmy Carter, the very worst ex-President in American
    history, and a gaggle of other anti-Semites.

        In today's Maariv, deputy editor Ben Dror Yemini, himself left of
    center, demolishes the cretins organizing the terror ship, in one of
    his best columns ever.  It can be seen in Hebrew here:

    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/769/147.html

        Here are my translations of some portions of the column:

    "The Hate Ship that will Rescue the Hamas" 
    by Ben Dror Yemini - Aug 5, 08

    The Hamas regime in Gaza decided to show the world last weekend what it
    is capable of doing.  Not  that we did not already know, but the timing
    was impeccable.  The tied down on the floor a group of "prisoners,"
    Palestinians (from the Fat'h and the PLO --- SP), and massacred them.

      The leading media did not show the photos.  I wonder why...   The Hamas
    knew how to take care of them.  They did so with gas.  They pumped it into
    the private body parts of their victims until they died.  Nine unarmed
    people, killed in cold blood.  No doubt there were many more, but the nine wereconfirmed by "human rights organizations."  ...

    This murderous regime is now the favorite of the "forces of progress,"
    the same people who supported Stalin while he murdered 20 million of his
    own compatriots. ...

    And now the alliance of "progressive forces" with mass murderers has to
    a new expression....  They are with the Hamas.  And they are partners in
    the Hate Ship that is supposed to leave Cyprus today or tomorrow for the
    Hamas-regime in Gaza.  They want to "break the blockade."   Sure they
    do.

    So that the Murder-ocracy will not be contained only in Gaza.  We need
    to take care of them.  Once again we see the axis of the international
    Left with the Kingdom of Evil. The same people who pump gas into the rectums of their own countrymen, while the Leftists prepare a support ship to help them.

    It would be one thing if we were talking only about the lunatic fringe. But the Jimmy Carter Center is behind this ship of support for the
    murderous terrorists.  And not just him, some Nobel Prize winners,
    Desmond Tutu from South Africa, an ex-British cabinet minister, Tony Blair's
    sister-in-law, and even Hedi Epstein, an anti-Israel radical who claims
    to be a Holocaust survivor, even though she left Germany in 1939.   You
    see, she was rescued from the gas chambers, which is why she is now acting  to support those who use gas to murder people....

    These people do not really care about human rights for Palestinians.
    They are driven by hatred of Israel, not compassion for Palestinians, desire
     for human rights or for peace.   They prefer an alliance with Satan....

     


      A Brief Political Glossary for Israelis and Immigrants
      
      Prof . Paul Eidelberg
      
      A . Democracy:  Two Types
      
                  1 .   "Normative" or classical democracy:  based on the idea of man's creation in the holy image of God .   This provides democracy's basic principles, freedom and equality, with rational and moral constraints .   (Freedom is not "living as you like," and equality is not a leveling but and elevating principle .   The holy nation is a "kingdom of noblemen . ") 
      
                  2 . "Normless" or contemporary democracy .   No ethical standards .   Freedom is living as you please, and equality leads to vulgarity via the equivalence of all lifestyles .   (Moral equivalence: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter . "  Arafat is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize . )
      
      B . Jewish values (derived from the Torah)
      
                  1 . Emphasis on justice, kindness, modesty, creativity, reason, and due process of law .   Deference to wisdom .    Relating the present to the past without sacrificing creativity .
      
                  2 . Love of God, of the Jewish people, of the Land of Israel .
      
      C . Constitution
      
                  1 . Narrow meaning: a framework of basic institutions and laws governing society .   Usually involves a division and powers between legislative, executive, and judicial branches . Places limits on the powers of rulers and secures basic human rights .
      
                  2 . Broad meaning:  teaches citizens their rights and duties .   Fosters civility and rationality in public life .   Enables people to reconcile permanence and change .   (In Judaism this is accomplished by the Written and Oral Law .   The Written Law is fixed, permanent .   The Oral Law applies the Written Law to changing social, economic, and technological conditions . )
      
                  3 .   Israel has no constitution .   It has a variety of "Basic Laws," some of which have been enacted even without majority of the Knesset voting .
      
      D . Human Dignity
      
                  1 .   Related to the difference between the human and sub-human .    Man is the only creature that blushes, meaning he has a sense of shame .   He can distinguish between what is noble and base .   He possesses theoretical as well as practical reason .   He has free will .   He can be creative . He can be virtuous or vicious .   He can be concerned about the common good .   He can be dedicated to more than mere comfort and self-preservation .
      
                  2 .   Human dignity ultimately derived from man's creation in the holy image of God .
      E .   Human Rights
      
                  1 .   There are no rights without corresponding duties .   (Animals have no rights and no duties; but in Jewish law, man has a duty to feed his animals before he feeds himself . )  All rights and duties are derived either from the nature of man or from laws enacted by lawfully elected government-which laws must be comprehensible to the citizen and enacted for the common good .
      
                  2 . Sometimes, the term "rights" is used to dignify what are nothing more than the arbitrary demands of this or that individual or group .   "Rights" must be based on what is indeed right and conducive to human perfection .
      
       F .   The Knesset
      
                  1 .   Israel 's parliament consists of 120 members holding office for four years, unless dissolved .   Basic Law: The Knesset prohibits any party that negates the Jewish character of the state .   (This law has not been enforced by the Supreme Court against Arab parties . )
      
                  2 .   How chosen:  the entire country constitutes a single district and political parties compete for Knesset seats on the basis of proportional representation .   A party must win 2% of the votes cast in a national election to obtain seats in the Knesset .   Israel does not have regional or constituency elections . Citizens are compelled to vote for a party list, not for an individual candidate, contrary to the practice of 85 countries classified as democracies, 48 of which are smaller in population than Israel and 26 are smaller in size .
      
                  3 .   The party lists are fixed, which means the voter has no say over the order or ranking of a party's candidates .   He enters a small cubical where he sees a variety of slips of paper, each bearing a different symbol for each party .
      
                  4 .   In theory, the Knesset can topple the government by what is now called a "constructive vote of no confidence . "  An alternative prime minister must be designated and he must win 61 at least Knesset votes .   (No prime minister has ever been toppled by a Knesset vote of no confidence . ) 
      
      G . The "Government"
      
                  1 .   The Government is the cabinet .   The cabinet consists of 20 to 30 ministers who, with rare exceptions, are members of the Knesset .    The cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister (PM) who appoints the ministers of his cabinet .   However, since no party has ever won a majority of seats in the Knesset, the PM must form a coalition of two or more parties-five to seven is the rule-to gain the approval of a Knesset majority .   The presence of several rival parties in the cabinet renders it virtually impossible to pursue coherent and resolute national policies .   
      
      2.      The average duration of an Israeli government is a bit less than two years, making it virtually impossible to pursue a long-range national strategy .
      
      H . The Supreme Court
      
      1.   Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by a nine-member judicial selection committee consisting of three sitting members of the court (including its president), two representatives of the Israel Bar Association, and four members of the two leading parties, including the justice minister and a member of the Knesset Law Committee .
      
      2.    The Court has assumed the power of "judicial review," which means it can nullify legislation and substitute its own judgment for that of the government on various security measures .
      
      I . Concepts
      
      1.       The terms "Right" and "Left" in modern politics have replaced the traditional distinction between "good" and "bad . "
      
      2.       "Zionism" and Its Aims
      
      a.       Political Zionism: to establish a homeland for the Jewish people, overcome the scourge of anti-Semitism, restore Jewish national dignity .
      b.      Cultural Zionism: to preserve Jewish cultural identity while maintaining separation of religion and state or public law .
      c.       Religious Zionism: to merge public law and the Torah .
      d.      Post-Zionism: to erase Jewish national identity by (1) substituting "multiculturalism" for the Jewish content of the public school curriculum; (2) transform Israel into "a state of its citizens"; and (3) withdrawing from almost all land gained or regained in the Six-Day War of June 1967, including eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount; (4) erasing the collective memory of the Jewish people.
      
      3.       Three Basic Principles of an Authentic Jewish Party
      
      a.       Torah Yisrael
      b.      Ahm Yisrael
      c.       Eretz Yisrael

     


      
      Obama and Israel 's Ruling Elites*
      
      Prof. Paul Eidelberg
      Part I: Obama
      
      1. Senator Barack Obama uttered the dumbest statement of the century: "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."  
      
      2.  Obama recently said in Berlin that he speaks not only as an American citizen, but as a "citizen of the world."  Is Obama in truth a patriotic American?  After all, he refrained from putting his hand on his heart when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in public.
      
      3. In Dreams of My Father, he wrote: "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."  This suggests that Obama is an anti-Caucasian "citizen of the world."
     
    4. In the same book Obama said: "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."  Further evidence that this "citizen of the world" may be a closet racist.  For 20 years he attended the "God-damn-America" sermons of Jeremiah Wright.
      
      5. In Audacity of Hope Obama wrote:   "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."  It seems Obama never learned that Muslims-to say nothing of blacks-were preeminent in the African slave trade.
      
      6. In his whirlwind visit to Israel , Obama revealed abysmal ignorance of the region.  Alluding to the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel , in a war of self-defense, gained or regained Judea, Samaria , and the Golan Heights . Obama admitted to Jerusalem Post editor David Horowitz that Israel might justify retaining parts of this land as a security buffer, but, he added, "[the Israelis] got to consider whether getting that buffer is worth the antagonism of the other party."
      
      7. In these words Obama revealed his fallacious assumption that the core of the Israel-Arab conflict is territorial, not ideological.  He dismisses stark evidence that a large majority of the Arab Palestinians refuse to accept Israel 's existence in any borders.  A majority of these Arabs supports suicide attacks against the Jews.  They believe that to die when killing Jews is the greatest good!  The Quran exalts the Muslim who "slays and is slain" for Allah (Sura 9:111) .
      
      8.  What shall we say of Arabs who use their children as human bombs?  Daniel Pipes said it would take at least two generations to overcome the murderous hatred of these Arabs.  Is Obama unaware of former Muslims like Syrian-born Dr. Wafa Sultan, Sudanese-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish who denounced Islam as uncivilized?
      
      9. Obama has chosen Middle East advisers like Zbigniev Brzezinski and Lee Hamilton who trivialize the theological nature of the Islamic threat confronting the United States .  Like any see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, and speak-no-evil pundit, he is incapable addressing, realistically, the dangerous consequences of a precipitous American retreat from Iraq and the threat of a nuclear Iran .  Despite five years of futile negotiations with Iran , he advocates a Chamberlain approach to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Hitler of Tehran.
      
      10. Posing as a "realist," however, he would have the U.S. refocus on Afghanistan rather than on Iraq .  Hs preoccupation with imagery has trivialized his mentality.  Unlike Afghanistan , a poor, landlocked nation, Iraq has enormous oil resources and overlooks the sea lanes of the Persian Gulf .  If Iraq were to fall apart by a premature US withdrawal, Iran would step in, and an axis of evil would be formed encompassing Iran , Iraq , Syria , and a Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon . 
      
      11. Does this would-be president understand that a nuclear-armed Iran would dominate the Middle East as well as pacifist Europe on which the economy and way of life of the United States ultimately depend?  But what is to be expected of a neophyte who has been in the Senate only since 2005, and has spent most of 2007 and 2008 running for president?  His lack of experience in national and in international affairs makes him unfit to be President of the United States , the most complex decision-making office on planet earth.
      
      12. What takes the place of experience in Obama is his fluency or glibness.  Infatuated with his own oratory, his demagogic slogan CHANGE, like his stupefying chant YES WE CAN, appeals to youth, to people lacking knowledge of the adamant and harsh realities of international politics, people mindless of history and the enormity of evil confronting civilization,
      
      13. An Obama presidency would be a disaster for America and Israel .
      
      Part II: Israel 's Ruling Elites
      
      1.  In June 2005, Ehud Olmert told a New York audience:  "We, we are tired of being courageous . we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want . them to be our friends ."  No wonder Israel suffered a fiasco a year later in the Second Lebanon War!
      
      2. Olmert's folly reminds us of Shimon Peres, who once said that by withdrawing from Judea and Samaria , Israel will have more Ph.D.s per square kilometer-yes, and more idiots per square kilometer.  Proof: Mr. Peres applied for Israel 's membership in the Arab League! 
      
      3. That Olmert is Israel 's prime minister and that Peres is Israel 's president is indicative of a country suffering from a terminal disease, as I will now show in another way.
      
      4. According to sections 97, 99 and 100 of Israel Penal Law, any official that surrenders or expresses the intention to surrender Jewish land is prima facie guilty of treason.  This implicates Israel 's last six prime ministers and dozens of cabinet minister.  Yet no Knesset member has formally petitioned the Attorney General to have any of these officials indicted for treason.  A commentary on the intellectual integrity of MKs who pose as "Zionists."
      
      5. Surely, these politicians could at least demand the abrogation of the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement.  They know the PLO has violated this agreement countless times.  What proof is needed after PLO chief Yasser Arafat openly waged war against Israel in September 2000-a war that has resulted in the murder and maiming of thousands of Jews by PLO terrorists.  Yet Israel 's reputedly rightwing politicians have not called for the abrogation of Oslo !
      
      6. Unless reputedly Zionist parties like the Likud, Mafdal (the National Religious Party), National Union, Israel Beiteinu publicly demand the abrogation of Oslo and reject an Arab Palestinian state, it is futile to call for their forming a united bloc to liberate Israel from the tyranny of the Left.
      7. These same parties signed the coalition agreement of the 2003 Sharon Government, which bound them to Oslo .  None has displayed the courage of their Zionist convictions, else they would not support the idea of submitting the fate of the Golan Heights and of Judea and Samaria to a national referendum.  Besides, since when does a majority-even if it amounted to more than 80 percent have the right to violate the unalienable rights of a minority? 
      
      8.  How can any Zionist with a stitch of integrity support a referendum that might result in the loss of Jewish land?  If Jews dedicated to Eretz Israel lose in that referendum, the government will have a democratic license to order soldiers to expel men, women, and children from their homes, and the timid and heartless among these soldiers will obey.  
      
      9.  The (incremental) exodus of 100,000 to 200,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria will demoralize the country.  How many Jews will want to remain in this country?  How many Jews will make aliya to a country now more than ever exposed to missile attacks like Sderot? 
      
      10. As Jews leave, the percentage of Israel 's Arab citizens will increase.  The democratic principle of one adult-one vote will bring more subversive Arabs into the Knesset.  A national referendum, therefore, could be the coffin of the Jewish state.  How ironic that this may happen under the façade of democracy!
      _______________________
      * Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 11, 2008.

     


     

    Of Kurds And Arabs: Beyond Ignorance…The Allegedly Free Press

    by Gerald A. Honigman

         If it was just another State Department travesty, I could accept it.

        After all, I’m used to the Foggy Folks doing such things as fighting President Truman over his supporting Israel’s very rebirth; concocting latter day Arafatian Fatah “good cops” to force down Israel’s throat (knowing that on the issue of a permanent Jewish Israel, Abbas’s boys totally agree with the Hamas “bad cops”); demanding that Israel itself supply weapons to Fatah--which has as much, if not more, Jewish blood on its hands than Hamas--only to see such things as yeshiva students later massacred as a result; setting up equivalency standards whereby murderer and those in pursuit are placed on the same moral plane; and so forth.

         The Arabists who wield too much say at Foggy Bottom have played such games for well over a half century now.

         Demanding a second, not first, state for Arabs within the original 1920 borders of the Mandate of Palestine (Jordan, sitting on the lion’s share of the land, carved out in 1922), the State Department has no problem pressuring Israel to make one suicidal concession after another so that Arab state # 22 may arise.

         One of the latest issues involved Arab students (“Gaza Fulbright Scholars”) Secretary Rice wanted Israel to allow to come to America to study. Reports stated she was fuming over Israel’s reluctance to grant this request for these particular students.

         Guess what…? Turns out State has now also “seen the light” on this matter (connections to terror groups, etc.). Don’t expect any apologies, however.

         What’s worse, in all the decades I’ve closely followed the Middle East, I can’t recall any Foggy Folk “fuming” over anything Arabs did--be it blowing up Jewish teens in nightclubs, students on buses, mothers and babies in pizzerias, gassing and massacring Kurds, Assyrians, Copts, black Africans in the Sudan, or Berbers in the rest of North Africa, and so forth. Nonetheless, Baker, Rice, Dulles, etc. fume/fumed a lot over Jews, however.

         No doubt, America needed oil, and--like many other nations--did what it could to make nice to those who would one day be controlling the spigots. Many of the latter are Arabs. Not to mention that long before former Secretaries of State James Baker made $$$ millions and Condoleezza Rice had a Chevron oil tanker named for her, other Foggy Folks, under cover of the flag, also prospered via that oil spigot.

         So, that brings me to the real problem of this current article…the press.

         As with the Foggy Folks, I’m sure there are bright people in the print and other media. So, the problem cannot simply be due to ignorance…which makes it much worse.

         Furthermore, far too few of us have written of this problem--as glaring as it is--and far too many  academics have shamed themselves by indulging in such hypocrisy as well.

         The problem I’m speaking of is the double standards the press constantly uses when covering the Arabs’ quest for state # 22 versus the plight of some thirty-five million stateless Kurds.

         A free press is one of the cornerstones of a true democracy…yet ours routinely acts like it takes its cue from the State Department when it comes to the Middle East. State has the same animus and set of Arab-colored glasses when it comes to Kurds as it has with Hebrews. As just one of numerous examples, when--as National Security Advisor--Dr. Rice spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace on August 19, 2004, here's some of what she said about the birth of Arab state # 22:

         The President believes that the Palestinian people (Arabs) deserve not merely their own state, but a just and democratic state that serves their interests and fulfills their decent aspiration.

         She later went on to say something to the effect that there would be no greater cause than the birth of Palestine.

         Now contrast this with how, on this same occasion, she simply brushed off a question regarding a Kurdish referendum on independence (which showed that at least 80% of Kurds wanted this) with the following disdain:

         …It's the role of leadership to convince people that they really ought to stay in the same body.

         Sucking the Arab oil teat quite well since leaving office, James Baker led the Baker-Hamilton Commission (Iraq Study Group) for President Bush not long ago and proposed similar shaft the Kurds ideas. The list, unfortunately, goes on and on.

         We’re supposed to expect better of our press, but it has mostly behaved as if the Foggy Folks are its mentors.

         Countless editorials and op-eds have been written on behalf of the birth of Arab state # 22--knowing full well that Arabs of either stripe have no intention of living peacefully with a Jewish neighbor--regardless of its size. A visit to either good or bad cops’ maps, textbooks, websites, and so forth soon reveals this.

         Yet I still have not  seen the press editorial calling for the birth of Kurdish State # 1...or even for meaningful Kurdish autonomy. The same papers who call Arabs who blow up buses “militants” have no problem calling the PKK in Turkey “terrorists.” Why the double standards? Where’s the courage of a free press to confront such injustice?

         Are there problems associated with addressing the aspirations of tens of millions of repeatedly used and abused native, stateless Kurds?

         Sure, but no more--indeed less--than with those associated with the creation of Arab state # 22.

         I have written of this many times before, such as in State Department Math... 
    http://www.krg.org/articles/detail.asp?rnr=77&lngnr=12&anr=6589&smap=. Keep in mind that Kurds were indeed  promised such a state in the north of Mesopotamia after World War I but were shafted by…guess what?

         British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism.

         A united, Arab-controlled Iraq was created instead in all of the former Mandate of Mesopotamia.

         Among other places, you can find my work on this (while a doctoral student) on Paris’s acclaimed Institut d’Etudes Politique (Science Po) recommended reference list:
     
       
    http://bibliotheque.sciences-po.fr/produits/bibliographies/question_kurde.htm 

         Keep in mind that all the Kurds are asking for is meaningful autonomy within a federated Iraq--far less than what they truly deserve. But to have the former, they must secure their finances as well. And that brings me to the press again…

         Recently, just days apart, my local paper carried photos and articles supplied by the Associated Press (July 29th and August 3rd).

         One showed a “Palestinian” (Arab) boy with “The Dome Of The Rock Mosque” in the background.

         The overwhelmingly vast majority of the time, what’s missing from such reporting to mostly unaware readers is that that mosque was deliberately built--after the Arabs’ own imperial conquest of Israel in the 7th century C.E.--on the Temple Mount of the Jews. Using this case as an example, the most you’ll read is that the place is holy to three faiths and such.

         The second piece, by the AP’s Robert Reid, was entitled, “Kurdish Demands Over Kirkuk Spur Protest.”

         The Kirkuk and Mosul region is where the second half of Iraq’s major oil deposits are located. After the Brits got a favorable decision on the Mosul Question from the League of Nations in 1925, the abortion of promises of independence to the Kurds became complete.

         Now, if Israel captured Arab oil fields, Judaized the area, and so forth, the whole world would have a hissy fit. Actually, it did develop the Abu Rodeis oil fields in the Sinai, captured as a result of the ‘67 War started when Egypt blockaded Israel at the Straits of Tiran. Subsequently, in return for a very cold peace (the arms and explosives coming into Gaza to kill Jews are entering largely via Egypt), Israel gave up its chance at energy independence by returning the whole shebang to Egypt.

         Now, apply this to Iraq.

         Why is it okay for Arabs and Iranians to control 'their' oil, but not so for Kurds?

         And please don't respond--as that second article did--that Kirkuk is composed of mixed nationalities (largely due to Saddam's forced Arabization of the area).

         Kirkuk is as Kurdish as Londonistan--er, I mean London-- is British…despite all of those other nationalities now living there. Iran's major oil fields are in its western province of Khuzestan…but that area has been known as Arabistan for centuries…Guess why?

         There is no doubt that Kurds lived in the area of the Mosul and Kirkuk oil fields for millennia before a Turk or Arab even knew it existed. As Hurrians, Kassites, Medes, Guti, and so forth, they were neighbors of the Jews. As for the presence of some Turkmen as well, recall that, besides Turkey, there are a half dozen other Asiatic Turkic states as well. It’s the Kurds who are still lacking a national liberation…

         We Americans take pride in our sense of fair play.

         We can’t do much about the State Department’s shameful shenanigans--except elect strong  Presidents (as with Truman )--while making sure that both the latter and Congress also strongly receive our messages.

         But we can demand that our press lives up to the source of pride it should be for any free nation--let alone America--which calls itself a true democracy. It should not simply become anyone’s virtual mouthpiece.

         Sadly, when it comes to the Middle East, reading the news today is like reading a State Department press release…like those we’ve seen above.

         That’s not what a free press is supposed to be about.

     


     

    Column One: Ignoring failure in Gaza
    Aug. 7, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    Monday will mark the third anniversary of the forcible expulsion of the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria from their homes. Those expulsion were followed weeks later by the withdrawal of IDF personnel from the Gaza Strip.
    Unlike the Rabin-Peres government's decision to embark on the Oslo peace process with the PLO in 1993, Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza did not take years to be discredited. It took moments.
    As the last IDF personnel left Gaza, the Palestinians began torching the synagogues Israel abandoned. Within minutes of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza's border with Egypt, the Palestinians blew up the border wall. They immediately began transferring unprecedented quantities of heavy weaponry into Gaza - a practice that has continued to this day.
    Another important distinction between the Oslo policy and the withdrawal policy is that at least Oslo asked the Palestinians to give Israel something in exchange for the land, money, arms and political legitimacy Israel lavished on them. As events would show, Israel asked the Palestinians for too little. But at least Israel asked them for something. The withdrawal policy, in contrast, demanded nothing from the Palestinians. It was simply an unconditional surrender of land. As a result, Hamas, the terror group which has distinguished itself from Fatah by refusing to even pay lip service to peace, was the chief beneficiary of Israel's retreat.
    The first harbingers of Hamas's ascendance to power came the day after Israel completed its withdrawal. Tens of thousands of armed Hamas terrorists, clad in spanking new uniforms, goose-stepped through the streets of Gaza in their victory parade. The then-ruling Fatah government's own parade was dingy and poorly attended in comparison.
    Hamas's pageantry was followed with the jihadist group's decisive electoral victory over Fatah in January 2006. This led to the further weakening of Fatah in March 2007 with the signing of the Mecca accord that rendered Fatah a junior member of Hamas's ruling coalition. The Mecca accord also signaled a shift in the Arab world's sympathies from Fatah to Hamas. That agreement then paved the way for Hamas's violent ouster of Fatah forces from Gaza in June 2007 and its rising challenge to Fatah's leadership in Judea and Samaria.
    It should be pointed out that Hamas's victory over Fatah was not a victory of extremists over moderates in any real sense of the terms. Both Hamas and Fatah share the aim of destroying Israel. This was made clear most recently in the lead-up to the Annapolis conference last November. As US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the coming of peace, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to recognize Israel's right to exist.
    Moreover, there is little to distinguish between the groups' embrace of terrorism as a means of achieving their aim of destroying Israel. Fatah forces have carried out more attacks against Israel than Hamas has.
    Hamas's refusal to even pretend that it is willing to live at peace with Israel is what distinguishes it from Fatah. And the Palestinians' embrace of Hamas after Israel withdrew from Gaza demonstrated that the withdrawal increased the popularity of the prospect of continuous war against Israel among the Palestinians.
    Hamas's rise to power has changed the nature of the Palestinian conflict with Israel in a fundamental way. It is not simply that Hamas has abandoned the rhetoric of Arab nationalism for the rhetoric of Islamic jihad and so changed the nature of the Palestinian war from a limited struggle to an unlimited war for Islamic domination.
    Unlike Fatah, which was beholden to several Islamic countries at once, Hamas is a wholly-owned Iranian proxy. Consequently Gaza, like Lebanon, has become an Iranian colony. And as Hamas's star rises in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and within the Israeli Arab community, Iran's influence over events in those quarters rises. This was made clear this week with the revelation that Khaled Kashkoush, an Israeli Arab from Kalansuwa, last month became the latest Israeli Arab arrested for spying for Hizbullah.
    GIVEN THE absolute, obvious failure of the Gaza withdrawal, what is most distressing about the initiative is that three years on, Israeli society has managed not to discuss why it failed or to learn the lessons stemming from its failure. There has been no chastening of the political leaders involved. No heads have rolled. There has been no official inquiry into how decisions regarding the withdrawal were made. Indeed, many of the plan's chief proponents have prospered.
    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert succeeded Sharon to power due in large part to his support for the plan. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni built her entire political career on her role as one of the architects of the expulsion of Israeli civilians from their homes. And today she is the frontrunner to succeed Olmert as head of Kadima and replace him as prime minister until the next elections are held. Her chief opponent, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, was defense minister during the operation and an active participant in implementing the ill-conceived initiative.
    In contrast, those who opposed the withdrawal remain in the opposition. They are never recognized for their attempts to divert their country from this disastrous course. Indeed, they continue to be castigated as somehow extremist for the fact that they oppose basing Israel's national strategies on capitulation and faith in other people's willingness to defend us.
    There are three main reasons that there has never been an accounting for the failure of the withdrawal from Gaza. The first reason is luck. Sharon got "lucky." He was felled by a debilitating stroke and slipped into a coma before the dimensions of the failure of his most significant policy became widely understood.
    Since Sharon pushed the withdrawal plan through against the wishes of his government colleagues, his voters and his party by turning the plan into a popularity contest that pit himself against his opponents, once he was gone, there was no way to hold him to account. And his incapacitation itself made discussing the failure of the withdrawal somehow unseemly. After all, it was said, the poor man can no longer defend himself, how dare you add insult to injury by noting that his most significant action while in power imperiled the country? In this manner, not only Sharon, but all his supporters in his government, were immunized from criticism and the need to account for their strategic imbecility.
    Israel is presented with a similar situation today with Olmert. Like Sharon, Olmert has not had to face the voters to account for his failures in the Second Lebanon War; for his refusal to act against Hamas's Iranian-backed regime in Gaza; or for his apparent willingness to expand on those failures by seeking to withdraw from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and so enable Iranian proxies to surround Israel on all sides.
    And now, with his announcement that he will leave office not for his substantive incompetence but for his suspected criminal activities, Olmert has removed the substantive causes of his failure in office from the national agenda. In so doing, he has immunized his cohorts, and particularly Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, from the need to account for their continued strategic imbecility.
    IT IS the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's serial incompetence that ironically serves as the second reason that there has been no accounting for the failure of the Gaza withdrawal plan. Quite simply, the government has moved from failure to failure so quickly that there has been no opportunity to confront the results of the last failure before the next one is spun out of the government's policy chop-shop.
    The most recent example of this high-speed bungling is the government's penchant for releasing terrorists from prison. The public has scarcely had a chance to digest the colossal stupidity and inherent danger of the government's terrorists-for-dead-hostages swap with Hizbullah last month. No serious review of that policy - which enhanced Hizbullah's popularity sufficiently to compel the Lebanese government to formally accept its right to attack Israel at will - has been conducted. And already on Wednesday, fresh from that failure, Olmert announced his intention to expand it by releasing another 150 terrorists from prison by the end of the month.
    THE FINAL reason that the failed Gaza withdrawal has not led to any change in either the public discourse or in the general tenor and direction of government policy is because of the debilitating impact the withdrawal had on Israeli democracy. In order to build the public's support for his inhumane and strategically irredeemable decision to expel 10,000 Jews from their homes and destroy their communities in Gaza and northern Samaria in exchange for nothing, Sharon and his colleagues worked systematically to demoralize, disenfranchise and criminalize his political opponents.
    He demoralized them by castigating them as criminals, extremists and enemies of the people in general. He disenfranchised them by ignoring the results of the Likud's referendum on his plan that he himself initiated.
    In all his activities, Sharon received crucial assistance from the law enforcement system and the media which were themselves corrupted by his plan. As Ha'aretz's left-wing military commentator Amir Oren noted five months after the plan was carried out, Sharon was given a free ride by Israel's elites due to their common "hatred of the settlers."
    To enable Sharon to carry out the expulsions they so desired, the state prosecution, backed by the Supreme Court, was willing to close corruption probes of Sharon. As retired Supreme Court justice Michel Cheshin explained, "If Sharon had stood trial, there would have been no disengagement."
    More egregiously, as public protests against the withdrawal gained force, Israel's law enforcement system became a tool of political repression, and the media became apologists for that repression. The police conducted mass arrests of law-abiding demonstrators, used brutal force against them and suspended the civil rights of opponents of the plan. The state prosecution and the courts sent thousands of protesters - including children - to jail for weeks and months without filing charges against them.
    Then too, Sharon's personalization of the withdrawal distorted the country's public discourse by moving it from substantive discussions of government policies to superficial discussions of personalities. And this transformation has remained in effect until today. It was most recently in evidence in the media's rendering of the debate over the terrorists-for-dead-hostages swap as the personal struggle of the Goldwasser and Regev families against the government.
    Sharon's successful repression and castigation of his opponents, and Olmert's successful repetition of Sharon's behavior both in the brutal repression of demonstrators at Amona in February 2006 and in his dismissive attitude towards the protest movement in the wake of the Second Lebanon War, have imbued the public as a whole with a sense of powerlessness. This sense manifested itself with the historically low voter turnout in the 2006 elections.
    Israel's prolonged failure to reckon with the disastrous outcome of the Gaza withdrawal bodes ill for the country's prospects. Until the country reckons with the mistakes that led to that withdrawal, and forces those responsible to account for their failings, we will be doomed to repeat those mistakes with those same incompetents leading us over and over and over.

     


     

    Jerusalem Issue Brief
    Institute for Contemporary Affairs
    founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
     
    Vol. 8, No. 6    15 August 2008
     
     
     
    The Russian-Georgian War: Implications for the Middle East
     
    Ariel Cohen
     
     
    • Moscow formulated far-reaching goals when it carefully prepared - over a period of at least two and a half years - for a land invasion of Georgia . These goals included: expelling Georgian troops and effectively terminating Georgian sovereignty in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; bringing down President Mikheil Saakashvili and installing a more pro-Russian leadership in Tbilisi ; and preventing Georgia from joining NATO.
    • Russia's long-term strategic goals include increasing its control of the Caucasus , especially over strategic energy pipelines. If a pro-Russian regime is established in Georgia , it will bring the strategic Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Erzurum ( Turkey ) gas pipeline under Moscow 's control.
    • In recent years, Moscow granted the majority of Abkhazs and South Ossetians Russian citizenship. Use of Russian citizenship to create a "protected" population residing in a neighboring state to undermine its sovereignty is a slippery slope which is now leading to a redrawing of the former Soviet borders.
    • Russian continental power is on the rise. Israel should understand it and not provoke Moscow unnecessarily, while defending its own national security interests staunchly. Small states need to treat nuclear armed great powers with respect.       
    •   U.S. intelligence-gathering and analysis on the Russian threat to Georgia failed. So did U.S. military assistance to Georgia , worth around $2 billion over the last 15 years. This is something to remember when looking at recent American intelligence assessments of the Iranian nuclear threat or the unsuccessful training of Palestinian Authority security forces against Hamas.   
     
    The long-term outcomes of the current Russian-Georgian war will be felt far and wide, from Afghanistan to Iran , and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean . The war is a mid-sized earthquake which indicates that the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting, and nations in the Middle East, including Israel , need to take notice.
     
     
    Russia's Goals
     
    Moscow formulated far-reaching goals when it carefully prepared - over a period of at least two and a half years - for a land invasion of Georgia , as this author warned.1 These goals included:
     
    • Expelling Georgian troops and effectively terminating Georgian sovereignty in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia is preparing the ground for independence and eventual annexation of these separatist territories. Thus, these goals seem to be on track to be successfully achieved.  
    • "Regime change" - bringing down President Mikheil Saakashvili and installing a more pro-Russian leadership in Tbilisi . Russia seems to have given up on the immediate toppling of Saakashvili, and is likely counting on the Georgian people to do the job once the dust settles. Russia , for its part, will pursue a criminal case against him for genocide and war crimes in South Ossetia , trying to turn him into another Slobodan Milosevic/Radovan Karadzic. This is part of psychological operations against the Georgian leader, of which more later.  
    • Preventing Georgia from joining NATO and sending a strong message to Ukraine that its insistence on NATO membership may lead to war and/or its dismemberment. Russia succeeded in attacking a state that has been regarded as a potential candidate for NATO membership since April 2008. The Russian assault undoubtedly erodes the NATO umbrella in the international community, even though Georgia is not yet formally a member, especially if it emerges that Moscow can use force against its neighbors with impunity. While it remains to be seen whether Georgia ultimately is fully accepted into NATO, some voices in Europe, especially in Germany, will see in the war a vindication of their opposition to such membership. Georgia's chances will decrease further if the next U.S. president is noncommittal on the conflict. Ukraine is standing tall in solidarity with Georgia for the time being, and has taken a strong step to limit the movements of Russia's Black Sea fleet, but has little domestic support for NATO membership. 
     
    Russia's long-term strategic goals include:
     
    • Increasing its control of the Caucasus, especially over strategic energy pipelines.2 If a pro-Russian regime is established in Georgia , it will bring the strategic Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Erzurum ( Turkey ) gas pipeline under Moscow 's control. Israel receives some of its oil from Ceyhan, and has a stake in the smooth flow of oil from the Caspian.
     
    Russian control over Georgia would outflank Azerbaijan , denying the U.S. any basing and intelligence options there in case of a confrontation with Iran . This kind of control would also undermine any options for pro-Western orientations in Azerbaijan and Armenia , along with any chance of resolving their conflict based on diplomacy and Western-style cooperation.
     
    • Recreating a nineteenth-century-style sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union and beyond, if necessary by use of force. Here, the intended addressees included all former Soviet republics, including the Baltic States . The message may have backfired as the presidents of Poland , Ukraine , Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania came to Tbilisi and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Saakashvili. However, without Western European and U.S. support, "New Europe" alone cannot stand up to Moscow .
     
     
    Russian Proxies Inside Georgia
     
    Russian relations with Georgia were the worst among the post-Soviet states. In addition to fanning the flames of separatism in South Ossetia since 1990, Russia militarily supported separatists in Abkhazia (1992-1993), which is also a part of Georgian territory, to undermine Georgia 's independence and assert its control over the strategically important South Caucasus.3
     
    Despite claims about oppressed minority status, the separatist South Ossetian leadership is mostly ethnic Russians, many of whom served in the KGB, the Soviet secret police; the Russian military; or in the Soviet communist party. Abkhazia and South Ossetia have become Russia 's wholly-owned subsidiaries, their population largely militarized and subsisting on smuggling operations.
     
    This use of small, ethnically-based proxies is similar to Iran 's use of Hizbullah and Hamas to continuously attack Israel . Tbilisi tried for years to deal with these militias by offering a negotiated solution, including full autonomy within Georgia .
     
    In recent years, Moscow granted the majority of Abkhazs and South Ossetians Russian citizenship and moved to establish close economic and bureaucratic ties with the two separatist republics, effectively enacting a creeping annexation of both territories. Use of Russian citizenship to create a "protected" population residing in a neighboring state to undermine its sovereignty is a slippery slope which is now leading to a redrawing of the former Soviet borders.
     
    On August 7, after yet another Russian-backed South Ossetian military provocation, Saakashvili attacked South Ossetian targets with artillery and armor. Yet, Tbilisi was stunned by the ferocity of the Russian response. It shouldn't have been, nor should Americans be surprised. The writing was on the wall, but Washington failed to read it, despite repeated warning from allied intelligence services and a massive presence of diplomats and military trainers on the ground. The results for Georgia are much more disastrous than for Israel in summer 2006.
     
     
    "Kill the Chicken to Scare the Monkey"
     
    Aggression against Georgia also sends a strong signal to Ukraine and to Europe . Russia is playing a chess game of offense and intimidation. Former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke last spring about Russia "dismembering" Ukraine, another NATO candidate, and detaching the Crimea, a peninsula which was transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, when both were integral parts of the Soviet Union.
     
    Today, up to 50 percent of Ukrainian citizens speak Russian as their first language and ethnic Russians comprise around one-fifth of Ukraine 's population. With encouragement from Moscow , these people may be induced to follow South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Mother Russia's bosom. Yet, Ukraine 's pro-Western leaders, such as President Victor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, have expressed a desire to join NATO, while the pro-Moscow Ukrainian Party of Regions effectively opposes membership. NATO opponents in Ukraine are greatly encouraged by Russia 's action against Georgia .
     
    In the near future, Russia is likely to beef up the Black Sea Fleet, which has bases in Tartus and Latakia in Syria , and used to have an anchorage in Libya . For over two hundred years the navy has been the principal tool of Russian power projection in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean .
     
    Beyond this, Russia is demonstrating that it can sabotage American and EU declarations about integrating the Commonwealth of Independent States members into Western structures such as NATO.
     
    By attempting to accomplish regime change in Georgia , Moscow is also trying to gain control of the energy and transportation corridor which connects Central Asia and Azerbaijan with the Black Sea and ocean routes overseas - for oil, gas and other commodities. Back in 1999, Western companies reached an agreement with Central Asian states to create the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. So far, this has allowed Azerbaijan to bypass Russia completely and transport its oil from the Caspian Sea basin straight through Georgia and Turkey, without crossing Russian territory. The growing output of the newly independent Central Asian states has been increasingly competing with Russian oil. By 2018, the Caspian basin, including Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan , is supposed to export up to 4 million barrels of oil a day, as well as a significant amount of natural gas. Russia would clearly like to restore its hegemony over hydrocarbon export routes that would considerably diminish sovereignty and diplomatic freedom of maneuver in these new independent states.
     
     
    A Russian S-300 Anti-Aircraft Shield for Iran ?
     
    Russia's Georgian adventure also emboldens Iran by securing its northern tier through denial of bases, airfields, electronic facilities and other cooperation in Georgia and Azerbaijan to the U.S. and possibly Israel . At the same time, in March 2009, Russia is likely to deploy modern S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missiles in Iran . By June 2009 they will become fully operational, as Iranian teams finish training provided by their Russian instructors, according to a high-level Russian source who requested anonymity.4
     
    The deployment of the anti-aircraft shield next spring, if it occurs, effectively limits the window in which Israel or the United States could conduct an effective aerial campaign aimed at destroying, delaying or crippling the Iranian nuclear program.
     
    The Islamic Republic will use the long-range anti-aircraft system, in addition to the point-defense TOR M-1 short-range Russian-made system, to protect its nuclear infrastructure, including suspected nuclear weapons facilities, from a potential U.S. or Israeli preventive strike.
     
    The S-300 system, which has a radius of over 90 miles and effective altitudes of about 90,000 feet, is capable of tracking up to 100 targets simultaneously. It is considered one of the best in the world and is amazingly versatile. It is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missile warheads.5 The S-300 complements the Tor-M1 air defense missile system, also supplied by Russia . In 2007 Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1s to Iran worth $700 million.
     
     
    Israel has been very effective in electronic warfare (EW) against Soviet- and Russian-built technologies, including anti-aircraft batteries. In 1982, Israeli Air Force F-16s smashed the Syrian anti-aircraft missiles in the Beka'a Valley and within Syria, allowing Israel full air superiority over Syria and Lebanon. As a result, Syria lost over 80 planes, one-third of its air force, in two days, while Israel lost one obsolete ground support A-4 Skyhawk to ground fire.
     
    In 1981, Israeli F-15s and F-16s flew undetected over Jordan and Saudi Arabia on their mission to destroy Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor. More recently, the Israeli Air Force surprised the Syrians when they destroyed an alleged nuclear facility in the northeast of the country in September 2007, apparently flying undetected to and from the mission.
     
     
    However, a mission over Iran , if and when decided upon, is very different than operations over neighboring Syria . First, if Israel waits until March 2009, there may be a president in the White House who emphasizes diplomacy over military operations. Even if the George W. Bush Administration allows Israel over-flight of Iraqi air space and aerial refueling, a future administration might not, opting for an "aggressive diplomacy" approach instead - especially with an emboldened and truculent Russia as a geopolitical counter-balance.
     
    Second, Israel , military experts say, does not have long-range bomber capacity, such as the Cold War-era U.S. B-1 heavy supersonic bomber, or the B-2 stealth bomber. Israel , a Russian source estimated, can hit 20 targets simultaneously, while the Iranian nuclear program may have as many as 100. Many of the Iranian targets are fortified, and will require bunker busters.
     
    Operational challenges abound. Israel 's EW planes, needed to suppress anti-aircraft batteries, are slow and unarmed, and could become a target for Iranian anti-aircraft missiles or even fighter sorties. But the most important question analysts are asking is whether the current Israeli leadership has the knowledge and the gumption to pull it off. After all, the results of the 2006 mini-war against Hizbullah were disastrous for Israel , and the Israel Defense Forces have exposed numerous flaws in its preparedness, supply chain, and command, control, communications and intelligence.
     
     
     
    The Need to Defang Tehran
     
    Nevertheless, the need to preemptively defang Tehran may prove decisive in view of Tehran 's hatred and intransigence.
     
    As noted by Professor Stephen Blank of the U.S. Army War College:
     
    When one is dealing with a national leadership which is motivated by ethnic and religious hatred, one needs to remember that such a leadership becomes obsessed and loses its ability to calculate things. They may risk war rather than seek accommodation. This was not only the case with Nazi Germany, but also with the antebellum American South of the 1840s and 1850s, where racial hatred of the slave owners cause them to lose sight of what was at stake.
     
    Blank goes on to conclude that the Iranian leadership believes that Russia and China will provide them with protection, of which the S-300 is an important component, and that the sanctions are not effective.
     
    Under the circumstances, an Israel-only preventive bombing campaign - without the United States - might be too risky to pull off. If the United States sits this crisis out, Israel could possibly settle for deterring Iran by taking its cities and main oil facilities hostage.
     
    This was known during the Cold War as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), brought to you courtesy of Iran 's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad. Going MAD would make the Middle East even more fragile than it already is, and would make the life of its inhabitants ever more difficult and tragic.
     
    Clearly, with the renewal of East-West tensions as a result of Russia 's moves against Georgia , it will be much more difficult to obtain Moscow 's agreement to enhance sanctions and international pressures on Iran . The struggle to diplomatically halt its nuclear program will become far more difficult.
     
     
    Lessons from the War
     
    Lessons for the Middle East and Israel from the Russian-Georgian War abound, and apply both to military operations, cyber-warfare, and strategic information operations. The most important of these are:
     
    ·        Watch Out for the Bear - and Other Beasts! Russian continental power is on the rise. Israel should understand it and not provoke Moscow unnecessarily, while defending its own national security interests staunchly. Small states need to treat nuclear armed great powers with respect. Provoking a militarily strong adversary, such as Iran , is worthwhile only if you are confident of victory, and even then there may be bitter surprises. Just ask Saakashvili.
    ·        Strategic Self-Reliance. U.S. expressions of support of the kind provided to Georgia - short of an explicit mutual defense pact - may or may not result in military assistance if/when Israel is under attack, especially when the attacker has an effective deterrent, such as nuclear arms deliverable against U.S. targets. In the future, such an attacker could be Iran or an Arab country armed with atomic weapons. Israel can and should rely on its own deterrent - a massive survivable second-strike capability. 
    ·        Intelligence Failure. U.S. intelligence-gathering and analysis on the Russian threat to Georgia failed. So did U.S. military assistance to Georgia , worth around $2 billion over the last 15 years. This is something to remember when looking at recent American intelligence assessments of the Iranian nuclear threat or the unsuccessful training of Palestinian Authority security forces against Hamas. Both are deeply flawed. There is no substitute for high-quality human intelligence.
    ·        Air Power Is Not Sufficient. Russia used air, armor, the Black Sea Fleet, special forces, and allied militias. Clausewitzian lessons still apply: the use of overwhelming force in the war's center of gravity by implementing a combined air-land-sea operation may be twentieth century, but it does work.6 Israel should have been taught this lesson after the last war with Hizbullah.
    ·        Surprise and Speed of Operations Still Matter - as they have for the four thousand years of the recorded history of warfare. To be successful, wars have to have limited and achievable goals. Russia achieved most of its goals between Friday and Monday, while the world, including President George W. Bush, was busy watching the Olympics and parliaments were on vacation.
    ·        Do Not Cringe - within reason - from taking military casualties and inflicting overwhelming military and civilian casualties at a level unacceptable to the enemy. Georgia lost some 100-200 soldiers and effectively capitulated. A tougher enemy, like the Japanese or the Germans, or even Hizbullah, could well  suffer a proportionally higher rate of casualties and keep on fighting.
    ·        Information and Psychological Warfare Is Paramount. So is cyber-security. It looks like the Russians conducted repeated denial of service attacks against Georgia (and in 2007 against Estonia ), shutting down key websites. Russia was ready with accusations and footage of alleged Georgian atrocities in South Ossetia , shifting the information operation playing field from "aggressor-victim" to "saving Ossetian civilians from barbaric Georgians." These operations also matter domestically, to shore up support and boost morale at home.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    The Russian-Georgian war indicates that the balance of power in western Eurasia has shifted, and that U.S. power may be deteriorating in the face of its lengthy and open-ended commitments in Iraq , Afghanistan , and the Global War on Terror, which are leading to a global overstretch.
     
    While the Middle East, and especially the Persian Gulf, will remain a top priority in U.S. foreign policy regardless of who wins the White House, Israel is heading towards a strategic environment in which Russia may play a more important role, especially in its southern tier, from the Black Sea to Afghanistan and western China . Twenty-first century geopolitics is presenting significant survival challenges to the Jewish state and the region.
     
    *     *     *
     
    Notes
     
    1. Ariel Cohen, "Springtime Is for War?" The Heritage Foundation press commentary, originally published by TechCentralStation (TCSDaily), March 31, 2006, http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed033106a.cfm, August 13, 2008.
    2. Melik Kaylan, "Welcome Back to the Great Game: Failing to Stand Up to Russia Would Jeopardize Every International Gain Since the Cold War," Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2008.
    3. Simon Sebag Montfiore, "Another Battle in the 1,000-Year Russia-Georgia Grudge Match," The Times of London , August 12, 2008.
    4. Personal interview with the author, Washington , D.C. , August 2008.
    5. Dave Majumdar, "Israel's Red Line: The S-300 Missile System," Aviation.com, http://www.aviation.com/technology/080807-iran-and-s-300-missile.html, August 13, 2008.
    6. Martin Sieff, "Defense Focus: Underestimating Russia . Russian Army Shocks West in Georgia Ops," United Press International 20080812-002422-8913, August 12, 2008.
     
    *     *     *
     
    Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at The Heritage Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Advisers of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
     
     
     
     

     


     

    Column one: Georgia, Israel and the nature of man
    Aug. 14, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    In their statements Wednesday on Russia's invasion of Georgia, both US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice openly acknowledged that Russia is the aggressor in the war and that the US stands by Georgia.
     
    This is all very nice and well. But what does the fact that it took the US a full five days to issue a clear statement against Russian aggression tell us about the US? What does it say about Georgia and, in a larger sense, about the nature of world affairs?
     
    Russia's blitzkrieg in Georgia this week was not simply an act of aggression against a small, weak democracy. It was an assault on vital Western security interests. Since it achieved independence in 1990, Georgia has been the only obstacle in Russia's path to exerting full control over oil supplies from Central Asia to the West. And now, in the aftermath of Russia's conquest of Georgia, that obstacle has been set aside.
     
    Georgia has several oil and gas pipelines that traverse its territory from Azerbaijan to Turkey, the main one being the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Together they transport more than 1 percent of global oil supplies from east to west. In response to the Russian invasion, British Petroleum, which owns the pipelines, announced that it will close them.
     
    This means that Russia has won. In the future that same oil and gas will either be shipped through Russia, or it will be shipped through Georgia under the benevolent control of Russian "peacekeeping" forces permanently stationed in Gori. The West now has no option other than appeasing Russia if it wishes to receive its oil from the Caucasus.
     
    Russian control of these oil arteries represents as significant a threat to Western strategic interests as Saddam Hussein's conquest of Kuwait and his threat to invade Saudi Arabia in 1990. Like Saddam's aggression then, Russia's takeover of Georgia threatens the stability of the international economy.
     
    While Russia's invasion of Georgia is substantively the same as Saddam's attempt to assert control over Persian Gulf oil producers 18 years ago, what is different is the world's response. Eighteen years ago, the US led a UN-mandated international coalition to defeat Iraq and roll back Saddam's aggression. Today, the West is encouraging Georgia to surrender.
     
    Whether due to exhaustion over the domestic fights about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, dependence on Russian oil supplies, a residual and unjustified belief that Russia will side with the West in a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, or the absence of an easy option for defending Georgia, it is manifestly clear that today the West is fully willing to accept complete Russian control of oil supplies from Central Asia.
     
    Notwithstanding the strong statements issued Wednesday
    by Bush and Rice, the West has taken two steps to make its willingness to accept Russia's moves clear. First, there was French President Nicolas Sarkozy's photogenic mediation-tour to Moscow and Tbilisi on Tuesday. And second there was the US's response to Sarkozy's shuttle diplomacy on Wednesday.
     
    Sarkozy's mediation efforts signaled nothing less than Europe's abandonment of Georgia. During his visit to Moscow, where he met with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Putin's Charlie McCarthy doll, "President" Dmitry Medvedev, Sarkozy agreed to a six-point document setting out the terms of the cease-fire and the basis for "peace" talks to follow.
     
    The document's six points included the following principles: The non-use of force; a cease-fire; a guarantee of access to humanitarian aid; the garrisoning of Georgian military forces; the continued deployment of Russian forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and anywhere else they wish to go; and an international discussion of the political status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
     
    As a reporter for France's Liberation noted, by agreeing to the document France abandoned the basic premise that Georgia's territorial integrity should be respected by Russia. Moreover, by leaving Russian forces in the country and giving them the right to deploy wherever they deem necessary, Sarkozy accepted Russian control of Georgia. By grounding Georgian forces in their garrisons, (or what is left of them after most of Georgia's major military bases were either destroyed or occupied by Russian forces), Sarkozy's document denies Georgia the right to defend itself from future Russian aggression.
     
    In their appearances on Wednesday, both Bush and Rice praised Sarkozy's efforts and Rice explained that the US wants France to continue its efforts to mediate between Russia and Georgia. Although both American leaders insisted that Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected, neither offered any sense of how that is to be accomplished. Neither explained how that aim aligns with the French-mediated cease-fire agreement that gives international backing to Russia's occupation of the country.
    The West's response tells us three basic things about the nature of world affairs. First, it teaches us that "international legitimacy" is determined neither by a state's adherence to international law nor by a state's alliances with great powers. Rather, international legitimacy is determined by the number of divisions a state possesses.
     
    After Russia illegally invaded Georgia, European and American officials as well as Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama hinted that Russia had a legitimate right to invade, when they wrongly referred to South Ossetia as "disputed territory."
    While South Ossetia and Abkhazia are separatist provinces, their sovereignty is not in dispute. They are part of Georgia. Georgia acted legally when it tried to protect its territory from separatist violence last Friday. Russia acted illegally when it invaded. Yet aside from the Georgian government itself, no one has noticed this basic distinction.
    "We don't have time now to get into long discussions on blame," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday.
     
    "We shouldn't make any moral judgments on this war. Stopping the war, that's what we're interested in," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner explained, adding, "Don't ask us who's good and who's bad here."
    Then there is the fact that Georgia has gone out of its way to liberalize and democratize its society and political system and to be a loyal ally to the US. It sent significant forces to Iraq and Kosovo. Far from returning the favor, in Georgia's hour of need, all the US agreed to do was give Georgian forces a free plane ride home from Iraq. That the administration has no intention of defending its loyal ally was made clear Wednesday afternoon when the Pentagon sharply denied Georgian claims that the US would defend Georgian airports and seaports from Russian aggression.
    The Pentagon's blunt denial of any plan to restore Georgian sovereignty was one of the first truly credible statements issued by the US Defense Department on the conflict. It took the US four days to acknowledge Russian aggression beyond South Ossetia. Even as convoys of journalists were shelled, civilian's homes were bombed, and Georgian military bases were destroyed by Russian forces in Gori, a Defense Department official said, "We don't see anything that supports [the Russians] are in Gori. I don't know why the Georgians are saying that."
     
    The general lesson that emerges from Washington's claims of ignorance is that reality itself is of no concern to policy-makers bent on ignoring it. Through its obvious lies, Washington was able to justify taking no action of any sort against Russia and not speaking out in defense of Georgia until after Russia forced Georgia to surrender its sovereignty through the French mediators.
    The US and European willingness to let Georgia fall despite its strategic importance, despite the fact that it has operated strictly within the bounds of international law, and despite its obvious ideological affinity and loyalty to them will have enormous repercussions for the West's relations with Ukraine, the Baltic States, Poland and the Czech Republic. But its aftershocks will not be limited to Europe. They will reverberate in the Middle East as well. And Israel, for one, should take note of what has transpired.
     
    In Israel's early years, with the memory of the Holocaust still fresh in its leaders' minds, Israel founded its strategic posture on an acceptance of the fact that the soft power of international legitimacy, peace treaties, alliances and common interests only matters in the presence of the hard power of military force. People such as David Ben-Gurion realized that what was unique about the Holocaust was not the Allies' willingness to sit by and watch an atrocity unfold but the magnitude of the atrocity they did nothing to stop. Doing nothing to prevent an innocent nation from being destroyed has always been the normal practice of nations.
     
    Yet over time, and particularly after Israel's victory in the Six Day War, that fundamental acceptance of the world as it is was lost. It was first mitigated by Israel's own shock in discovering its power. And it was further obfuscated in the aftermath of the war when the Soviets and the Arabs began promulgating the myth of Israeli aggression. In recent years, the understanding that the only guarantor of Israel's survival is Israel's ability to defeat all of its enemies decisively has been forgotten altogether by most of the country's leaders and members of its intellectual classes.
     
    Since 1979 and with increasing intensity since 1993, Israeli leaders bent on appeasing everyone from the Egyptians to the Palestinians to the Syrians to the Lebanese have called for Israel's inclusion in NATO, or the deployment of Western forces to its borders or lobbied Washington for a formal strategic alliance. They have claimed that such forces and such treaties will unburden the country of the need to protect itself in the event that our neighbors attack us after we give them the territories necessary to wage war against us.
    It has never made any difference to any of these leaders that none of the myriad international forces deployed along our borders has ever protected us. The fact that instead of protecting Israel, they have served as shields behind which our enemies rebuild their forces and then attack us has made no impression. Instead, our leaders have argued that once we figure out the proper form of appeasement everyone will rise to defend us.
     
    If nothing else comes of it, the West's response to the rape of Georgia should end that delusion. Georgia did almost everything right. And like Israel was, for its actions Georgia was celebrated in the West with platitudes of enduring friendship and empty promises of alliances that were discarded the moment Russia invaded.
     
    Georgia only made one mistake, and for that mistake it will pay an enormous price. As it steadily built alliances, it forgot to build an army. Israel has an army. It has just forgotten why its survival depends on our willingness to use it.
     
    If we are unwilling to use our military to defeat our enemies, we will lose everything. This is the basic, enduring truth of international affairs that we have ignored at our peril. No matter what we do, it will always be the case. For this is the nature of world affairs, and the nature of man.

     


     

    Israel: From War and Servitude to Freedom
       
      Prof. Paul Eidelberg
       
    Fools aside, everyone knows that Israel is at war with the Palestinian Authority. Whatever the machinations of Fatah-leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas-leader Ismail Haniyah, both villains are committed to Israel 's annihilation.  
       
    That many of Israel's own Arab citizens have long been participating in this war against the Jews has been ignored by various Israeli governments, Left and Right-if I may use these obsolete terms.  Arabs freely traverse the roads assaulting Jewish vehicles; they brazenly fly the flag of PLO; and the Olmert-Livni-Mofaz government blinks.
       
    Sderot has been depopulated, Iranian weapons flow into Gaza and are smuggled thence to Judea and Samaria .  Soon every city in Israel may become another Sderot, and the Olmert-Livni-Mofaz government blinks.  
       
    This cockamamie government is just a collection of political liars and crooks-Likud turncoats and other hacks paid by the overtaxed citizens of Israel .  Under this corrupt and craven government, the IDF behaves more like the police on horses than as a war machine.  It's primary mission, it seems, is to expel Jews from their homes rather than destroy Israel 's enemies.  
       
    Meanwhile, the so-called opposition parties twiddle their thumbs, more cretins paid for political correctness or impotence.  That's democracy, Israeli style, where all parties jockey for place, perks, and power, lusting for the control of various ministries-thiefdoms by which, under color of law, they rob Jews of their money.   David Ben-Gurion said this many years ago, when the Left was the Left, and the Right was the Right.  Today the Left is devoid of any ideology-just a bunch of paltry power-seekers.  As for the Right, it's an embarrassment: the less said about it the better. 
       
    Such is the shoddiness and fragmentation of politics in Israel that one begins to wonder whether Israel is a state.  Perhaps the "State of Israel" is an illusion?  Perhaps the Proclamation of the State of Israel of 1948 is a travesty?
       
    What, indeed, is a "state"?  My dictionary tells me that a state is "a politically independent entity representing a people and occupying a definite territory."  This definition of a state contains three elements.  (1) A state must be a politically independent entity; (2) this entity must represent a people; and (3) this people must occupy a definite territory.  Let's apply this definition to Israel .
       
    (1)  Far from being a politically independent entity, the State of Israel-judging from the behavior of its ruling elites-seems tied by an umbilical cord to the United States .  Israeli prime ministers slavishly imitate the lifestyle and diplomacy of that great democracy.  They lie to us about peace while they lick the boots of Arab despots.  Yesterday it was Yasser Arafat, today it's Mahmoud Abbas.  And notice how pathetically concerned Israeli prime ministers are about "world opinion."   Do you really believe that this reputed state is a "politically independent entity"?  
       
       
    (2)  As for its representing the people-that too is a lie, to endow the government with legitimacy and its ruling elites with respectability, especially in the United States, where Zionist organizations are so fond of purveying and profiting from the Myth of Israeli Democracy.  How can this so-called state represent the people when the so-called people are divided into a dozen and more parties?
       
    Besides, what is a "people"?  In defining a people, the Torah makes a distinction between an Ahm and a Goy.  Whereas an Ahm signifies a collectivity united by a religious heritage, Goy signifies a collectivity united only on the basis of a common territory or homeland.  
       
    Let us therefore define a people as a monocultural entity united not only by language, but by shared beliefs and values rooted in a common and immemorial past.   Have you bumped into such a people lately in the Land of Israel ?   
       
    Okay, let's confine things to Jews and Arabs.  Inasmuch as the Jews and Arabs inhabiting this land have antagonistic beliefs and values, the State represents not an Ahm but a Goy.  This reminds me of a remarks attributed to Senator Barack Obama, that America is not a Christian nation but a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and what have you-which makes America a Goyishe state.
       
    Any way, those who control the political and judicial institutions of the Goyishe State of Israel represent only themselves or their party factions.  Consider the Knesset:  Many MKs hop from one party to another and thus betray those who originally voted for their parties.  Since they are not individually elected by, or accountable to, the voters in constituency elections, these MKs - including cabinet ministers - can ignore the voters with impunity.  Thus, when Meretz MK Yossi Beilin was a member of the Labor Party, he brazenly said at a meeting of Labor's Central Committee:  "When have we ever listened to the people?"  Did Ariel Sharon listen to the people when he nullified the January 2003 election by adopting Labor's policy of "unilateral disengagement"?  Just think: Sharon ended up as a disciple of Yossi Beilin!
       
    Beilin does not regard himself as a member of the Jewish people; he's too enlightened for such tribalism.  Beilin reminds me of the Illuminati ensconced in Israel 's Supreme Court, whose former court president, Aharon Barak, brazenly admitted that the court represents Israel 's "enlightened population."  These "enlightened" ones are ultra-secularists, a small minority of the population-the geniuses responsible for the Oslo disaster.  These geniuses are indeed represented by the priests of Israel 's Supreme Court.
       
    This priesthood substitutes its own neo-pagan predilections for the beliefs and values of the Jewish sages of old, beliefs and values still cherished by a number of Jews far surpassing in number what Judge Barak calls the "Enlightened population."  But the Court regards this population as multicultural.  For the ruling elites, Israel has no distinctive Jewish character; it is merely a collection of discordant ethnic and religious groups.  It's not an Ahm but a Goy!
       
    (3)  Finally, contrary to the above definition of a state, which requires the people to occupy "a definite territory," Israel 's borders are not at all definite.  The 250,000 Israelis residing in Judea and Samaria may soon be under the control of the Palestinian terrorist Authority.  Virtually all parties in the Knesset support the castrating policy of "territory for peace." It logically follows that these parties will surrender territory whenever Arabs threaten war!
      The conclusion is inescapable:  What is called the "State of Israel" does not contain any of the elements of a genuine state.   The State of Israel is a fiction-a fiction exploited by its political elites, especially those connected to tycoons hither and yon.
       
    But don't be alarmed or alienated by my cynicism.  Since Israel is for the taking, it presents a marvelous opportunity to people with intellectual venture capital and ambition!  A full-scale, unambiguous war is going to break out as Hamas and Fatah acquire more and deadlier weapons.  Hence, let me address some stouthearted Jews: Prepare a shadow government for that revolutionary moment.  You can replace Israel 's decadent leadership and its equally decrepit opposition parties.  You can liberate Israel from the illusion of making peace with Arab thugs.  You can rejuvenate the IDF and destroy Israel 's enemies, who have so long afflicted the Jewish people.  Employ overwhelming and even disproportionate force so that these disciples of Muhammad will never again raise their scornful heads.
       
    You can establish a new form of government.  Terminate Israel 's multiparty thiefdom.  Empower the people, so that their sacred beliefs and values may again provide the foundation for pubic law and foreign policy.  
       
    With the enemy vanquished, and the government cleansed of its political cesspool, no longer will Israel be enthralled by the United States .  At last, Israel , the God-bearing nation, will come into its own-free! 
       
    To the young and bold of heart:  Prepare for this revolution NOW and say TO HELL WITH THE POLITICS THAT HAS STUPEFIED AND CORRUPTED OUR COUNTRY!
      
      _________________________
      *Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, 18 August 2008.

     


     

    Our World: Iran's American protector
    Aug. 18, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the darling of Bush administration foes. Gushing about Gates in a recent column, Washington Post writer David Ignatius crooned, "Gates is an anomaly in this lame-duck administration. He is still firing on all cylinders, working to repair the damage done at the Pentagon by his arrogant and aloof predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld." Ignatius called on the next administration to give Gates a major role leading its foreign and defense policy.
     
    It can only be hoped that Ignatius's advice will be ignored.
    Today the US strategic posture lies in tatters in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of US ally Georgia. The fact that aside from issuing strong reprimands the administration has no policy for contending with Russia's aggression shows clearly that the move caught Washington completely by surprise.
     
    That Russia was apparently able to invade Georgia without US foreknowledge is a stinging indictment of all US intelligence agencies. As was the case before the September 11, 2001 attacks, again US intelligence agencies have failed their country.
     
    But America's intelligence agencies' failure to comprehend the significance of Russia's intentions was not theirs alone. It was shared as well by Gates and by his State Department counterpart Condoleezza Rice. Both senior cabinet secretaries simply failed to notice what Russia was doing, or how its actions would influence US interests.
     
    GATES'S DENIAL of Moscow's strategic hostility to the US was made clear as late as last month. As Russia built up its forces along Georgia's borders, Gates released his new National Defense Strategy which he presented as "a blueprint for success" for the next administration.
     
    Gates's strategy paper, which foresees asymmetric campaigns against non-state actors comprising the bulk of US military operations in the coming decades, raised the hackles of US military commanders when he turned his attention to Russia and China. In Gates's view, the best way to confront these authoritarian rising powers is to deny that they constitute a threat to US interests. Rather than building US forces to confront them, Gates advocates building "collaborative and cooperative relationships" with them.
    Gates's penchant for collaborating and cooperating with US rivals and enemies is no doubt the reason that the Left supports him so enthusiastically. Since he assumed office after the November 2006 elections, betraying allies as part of a strategy of appeasing US enemies and rivals has been the focus of his efforts.
     
    Ahead of his appointment to the Pentagon, Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. The thrust of the ISG report, issued on December 6, 2006 - the day he was sworn into office - was that for the US to maintain its credibility in the Middle East and generally, it was necessary to appease its enemies by betraying its allies.
    While the ISG report was ostensibly focused on Iraq, its real focus was Israel. Although the report advocated removing all US combat brigades from Iraq by the beginning of 2008, it wasn't wedded to the notion. It allowed the possibility of a temporary surge of US forces to secure Baghdad and so enable the Iraqi government to assert control over the country and build its military.
     
    But while ambivalent on Iraq, the Baker-Hamilton report was unyielding in its insistence that the US distance itself from Israel. The report argued that to gain regional - and indeed international - support for the project of stabilizing Iraq, it was necessary for the US to appease the Syrians, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Egyptians and the Jordanians. And the best way to do that, they claimed, was to disembowel Israel. The report recommended that Israel be forced to give Syria the Golan Heights and coerced into accepting a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem which would be run by a Hamas-Fatah "national unity government."
     
    Like Baker and Hamilton, Gates was also not wed to the idea of a speedy withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq. Instead he supported the surge and for that he has gained great acclaim in Washington. But also like Baker and Hamilton, Gates has been unyielding in his push to distance the US from Israel. Indeed, in his National Defense Strategy, Israel is not listed as a US ally.
     
    GATES'S PUSH to abandon the US's alliance with Israel in favor of embracing Iraq's Iranian and Arab neighbors is nowhere more apparent than in his actions regarding Iran's nuclear weapons program. And those actions are simply a continuation of his efforts before entering office. In 2004, Gates co-authored a study for the Council on Foreign Relations with Israel foe Zbigniew Brzezinski calling for the US to draw closer to Iran at Israel's expense.
     
    Over the past nine months, largely due to Gates's advocacy, this has been the essential thrust of US policy toward Iran and Israel. The policy involves downplaying the urgency of the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, understating the progress Iran has made toward nuclear capabilities and openly working to appease Iran through US support and involvement with EU negotiations with Teheran.
     
    The first US assault on what had until then been a more or less united public front with Israel on the issue of Iran's nuclear program came with the publication of the US's National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapons program last November. In the face of Iran's open calls to destroy Israel and the US, its rapid progress in its uranium enrichment activities, its command of the insurgency in Iraq, of Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian Authority, and its ballistic missile buildup, the NIE claimed that Iran had ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
     
    The publication of the NIE was a body blow not only to Israel's efforts to isolate Iran and forge an international consensus about the need to confront Teheran. It was also a precision strike against the US's own stated objective of building a consensus for sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. Gates was responsible for the report's public dissemination.
     
    IN RECENT months, as Iran has ratcheted up its genocidal rhetoric, taken over the Lebanese government, strengthened its alliance with Syria, built up its offensive forces, doubled the scale of its uranium enrichment, and strengthened its attachment to Russia, Gates has moved out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Assisted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, Gates has made defending Iran's nuclear installations against the prospect of any Israeli or US attack his primary concern.
     
    Gates has been a constant proponent of "engaging" Iran. In May for instance, he told a group of retired US diplomats, "We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage... and then sit down and talk with them. If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."
     
    Following Gates's clear lead, the US not only stopped being "the demander," it has become Iran's supplicant. And it has been repaid with increased Iranian extremism. Iran met the US's decision to openly join the Europeans in offering it everything from nuclear reactors to World Trade Organization membership last month with intensified military action directed most recently against the US's allies in the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened international oil shipments through the Straits of Hormuz, has launched a satellite and tested still more missiles and again and again called for Israel's destruction.
    BUT THIS hasn't thwarted Gates. Since Iran itself demonstrated the falsity of the National Intelligence Estimate, Gates moved from subtle to open opposition to US military strikes against its nuclear installations. Together with Mullen, in recent months he has stated repeatedly that attacking Iran would be a disaster for the US. And he has not stopped there. Gates has used his authority as defense secretary to also block any possibility that Israel will attack Iran.
     
    In June the Pentagon leaked information about the IAF's massive exercise in the Mediterranean which it claimed was a rehearsal of an attack against Iran. The same month, McConnell and Mullen visited Israel and rejected requests for military equipment and other support that would improve its ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
     
    Asserting that as far as the obviously infallible US intelligence estimates are concerned, Iran's nuclear program is not nearing completion, Mullen and McConnell also told their interlocutors that the US opposes an Israeli strike against Iran. As a consequence the US will deny the IDF the right to fly over Iraqi airspace.
     
    Alarmed by the administration's swift slide toward Iran in recent months, senior IDF commanders and cabinet ministers have streamed into Washington. Last month Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi spent a week in Washington trying to convince the US to change course. After Ashkenazi failed to deliver the goods, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz all converged on Washington. They too failed.
     
    To hide the US's now openly pro-Iranian position from the public, Mullen gave Ashkenazi an unrequested Legion of Merit decoration. Gates agreed to supply Israel with advanced anti-missile defense systems that could be deployed as early as 2011 if funding is steady. If deployed successfully, these anti-missile systems should be able to intercept up to 90 percent of incoming Iranian nuclear warheads.
     
    SPEAKING OF Russia's invasion of Georgia over the weekend, Gates claimed that Russia's actions would harm its relations with the US and the West "for years to come." But at the same time, he demurred from mentioning even one concrete step that the administration is considering adopting against Russia, arguing that "there is no need to rush into everything."
     
    The administration has been accused by its critics of ignoring the strategic alliance among Russia, Iran and Syria. That alliance has been made most apparent by Russia's assistance to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and its provision of sophisticated air-defense systems to both countries. Yet it is more likely that the administration is acutely aware of that alliance. Bush has simply decided to follow Gates's recommendation of appeasing all three.
     
    Gates's position presents a daunting challenge to Israel and indeed to the US. If Iran is to be prevented from carrying out genocide, and if Bush hopes to leave office with even a shred of international credibility, Gates must be shunted firmly to the side.

     


     

      NEW YORK TIMES NATIONAL SUICIDE NOTE FOR ISRAEL
      by Emanuel A. Winston,
      Freeman Center  Middle East Analyst & Commentator
       

       
    Once again, the New York Times demonstrates its anti-Israel pro-Arab bias. 
       
    As radical Islamic "Jihadists" (holy warriors for Islam) rage across the globe, the New York Times offers a national suicide note, drafted for the Israeli Leftists to leave behind if and when she takes their advice to become a corpse. The August 18th NYT editorial "Perils of Israeli Transition" is a 'spin', telling us how PM Ehud Olmert is on the right track in dividing the Jewish nation to accommodate a non-people called 'Palestinians' who support Terror and the elimination of the Jewish State.
       
    So, let's go over the NYT suicide note: First, we are told that history is unlikely to be kind to Ehud Olmert, implying that he will be unfairly treated for what most consider the most corrupt and incompetent government Israel has ever had.
       
    In the next paragraph, editorial spin tell us that, according to the NYT, Olmert understood that a two-state solution was vital for Israel's security. That this scurrilous, anti-Semitic journal expresses concern about Israel's security is laughable, considering their unbroken track record of anti-Jewish bias going back as far as WW2, when they either refused to cover the Nazi Holocaust or when they spun the information by saying 'unconfirmed reports suggest casualties'.
       
    The NYT slips forward, saying "Without jeopardizing its security, Israel could take important steps to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinians and give them a real state in peace". Watch carefully how a propagandist newspaper packs a series of lies into a brief paragraph:
       
    First, they position themselves as being concerned about Israel's security with a leading statement: "Without jeopardizing its security"... The NYT already knows that the so-called ordinary 'Palestinians' have already voted overwhelmingly for Hamas who have pledged to never recognize Israel and will destroy her when stronger. Israel's security has already been jeopardized, both by the Muslim Arabs and by Leftist apologetic Jews - like Olmert and his collaborators.
       
    The editors of the NYT already know that Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, with the assistance of the Europeans, greased through their secret, abortive agreement with Yassir Arafat, called the Oslo Accords. Without prior approval by the Knesset or the people, they turned over 7 important cities to control of Arafat - all of which became a safe haven for Muslim Arab Terrorists of all factions.

    As a relevant aside, the only reason that Arafat's partner of 40 years, Mahmoud Abbas, current President of the Palestinian Authority, can maintain the fiction of controlling these cities are the Israeli patrols and constantly ferreting out Terrorists in such cities as Jenin, Nablus (Schehem), Ram'Allah, Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Jericho. Without Israeli soldiers supervision and control, all would have passed over to Hamas - like Gaza City has since Israel's precipitous surrender in 2005, as orchestrated by Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.
       
    The NYT then recommends that Olmert could "burnish his legacy" and the prospects for an agreement if he announced a full freeze on an expansion of Jewish settlements and reduces the number of roadblocks in the 'West Bank', which the NYT claims is strangling the Palestinian economy which subsists on massive donor funding from America and the European Union.
       
    Examine the next set of NYT lies and spin in this paragraph: First, Olmert could indeed burnish his legacy - with the Arabs, Rice and Leftists generally - by pushing hard for the re-partitioning of Israel as he did in Gaza. This would include driving the Jews out of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and dividing of the Jewish capital of Jerusalem. Surely, Israel would then enjoy the same peace which the Muslim "Jihadists" (holy warriors for Islam) are providing the Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan - and the Jews in Israel within Rocket and Missile striking range from Gaza, as well as Jews and other non-Muslims elsewhere around the globe.
       
    No doubt, the grateful 'Palestinians' would sequester a burial place for Olmert next to Arafat in honor of what the NYT calls his "burnished legacy". Clearly, the NYT's "burnish" paragraph and their recommendation to freeze Jewish settlements and reduce the number of roadblocks which were set up to catch inflowing Muslim Arab Terrorists is an important segment of their national suicide advice. At a great cost, the security fence and the roadblocks have successfully reduced bloody Terror attacks. Many of those Terrorists were caught with arms and explosives. They were tried, convicted by the courts and then released by Olmert's corrupt government so they could continue to maraud and kill Jews. 
       
    I wonder why the NYT hasn't demanded that American troops cease setting up checkpoints in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are the road-blocks and checkpoints there because Arab Muslims cannot be trusted without playing the dual role of civilian and Terrorist interchangeably? I wonder, if the NYT has armed security guards in their lobby of its building? Surely they, as fellow travelers of the Muslim "Jihadists", Terrorists would never think their Terrorist friends would consider blowing up the NYT building or shooting their reporters or editors. Yassir Arafat killed many journalists as well as 100,000 Lebanese Christians and Muslims in Lebanon during his 12 year Civil War.

    As the story goes about a typical Middle East scenario: "A scorpion asks an alligator for a lift across the river. The alligator first refuses, saying: "Your sting will kill me." To which the scorpion replies, "If I sting you, I too will drown and die." So the alligator is persuaded and says, "Climb on my back." In the middle of the river the scorpion stings the alligator and, as he is dying, he asks: "Why did you kill me and yourself?" To which the scorpion answers: "This is the Middle East.' "
       
    Let's move on:
       
    The editorial speaks of two other gullible stupid 'alligators': Israel's Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak who favor a two-state solution. The NYT suggests that they will benefit if they invite a host of "scorpion" Palestinians to climb on the back of Israel. Why worry - since the NYT and other Jew-haters offer us assurances that, once on the other side of the River, all will be well...no more Kassam Rockets, no suicide bombers, no alliances with Iran and Syria to launch saturation missile attacks? Surely we can trust the "Jihadi" Muslims to keep the peace and discard their laws of the Koran to make Israel "Judenrein" (Jew-free) and go on to make the entire planet into one Caliphate subject to Sharia law.
       
    The NYT tells us that, making deals to divest Jewish Land to the 'Palestinians' will take enormous political courage for both the Jews and the 'Palestinian' leaders. As stated earlier, those risks for peace were already taken and, it was the Jews who paid the price each time.

    The NYT, in its pernicious wisdom, says permanent borders are to be drawn up, which will give Israel defensible frontiers and the 'Palestinians' an economically viable state. 
       
    First, any borders that Israel has ever accepted were immediately challenged by the collective Muslim Arab world, usually followed by invasions. After each defeat, the Muslim Arabs re-armed and prepared for the next - and then, the next war - claiming it is their Islamic destiny. As for the Palestinians creating an economically viable state, that's too much to expect from Muslims locked into their 7th Century mind-set, driven by religious clerics. What Arab Muslim country is really self-sustaining, based on their own energy? Even the Saudis are only successful because of the oil under their feet and the world oil companies that built the infrastructures to pump out and ship the oil.

    All are economic basket cases, contributing nothing to the world, who are keeping their own populations in abject ignorance and poverty, while they spend their donor money and/or oil loot on Western weapons. Is this then the economically viable nation the NYT tells us will be built by the 'Palestinians'? Once they were economically better off than Arab Muslims in surrounding countries because the State of Israel employed them - until every 'Palestinian' was suspected of being a Terrorist simply because some had shot or stabbed their own bosses - or blown up civilians, mostly Jews but also including Muslims. 
       
    The NYT burbles and airily dismisses the fact that Hamas does not acknowledge Israel's right to exist and refuses to accept any past (or future) agreements. This follows both the Arab League charters and the 1964 Charter of Arafat's PLO, calling for Israel's destruction is still in effect. The NYT refuses to acknowledge that all past agreements, like ceasing Terror, disarming, dismantling Terror infrastructure and de-weaponizing - stopping the teaching of their children to hate and kill Jews - all of these commitments for the Oslo Accords, 'et al' - have been broken. Then, the NYT says: "A way must be found to help turn Hamas into a legitimate and acceptable negotiating partner." Will wishing change a pagan, war-like people from the time of Mohammed into a non-aggressive democratic culture because the NYT babbles about finding a way to tame the beast called "Islam"?

    The NYT goes on to say that Israeli politicians unwilling to work with Mr. Abbas will only strengthen the hand of Hamas and other extremists. Oh. Really?
       
    The corrupt government of Olmert, Kadima, his Cabinet, the Knesset offer little or no resistance to peddling large parts of the Jewish country's ancient historic heartland. In each perfidious give-way, the failure of these confidence-building gestures becomes apparent in the number of dead Jewish men, women and children - both civilians and soldiers. 
       
    Yes, indeed, assisting Mr. Abbas with such things as releasing hardened, convicted and jailed Terrorists must appear beneficial to the NYT - although one cannot point to what those benefits were.

    Finally, the NYT makes its grand wish that all that has to happen is that the Arab/Muslim countries simply need to face up to their responsibilities. Responsibility to whom? Allah? Mohammed? The Ayatollahs or President of Iran? Which Islamic nation feels it has a "responsibility" to the 'Palestinians' - let alone the Jews of Israel? Is it Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Libya, etc?

    The fact is, they hate the prosperous, humanitarian Jewish State, both religiously and, because by comparison, the Israelis show the Arab Muslims they are a hopelessly backward people whose only success through the ages has been war and living on the loot built by other industrious nations,
       
    Now the world waits for the primitive and savage people to explode one or more nuclear devices which we in the West passed on to them. This then is the story of how the New York Times became a fellow traveler of a pagan people who still believe in the blood cult of human sacrifice - be it us and our children or them and their children.
       
    One last thought: The NYT would have Israel surrender Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and all those parts of Jerusalem occupied and desecrated by Jordan for 19 years from 1948 to 1967. This would be a deal similar to the Sharon/Olmert gesture of abandoning thriving farms and productive greenhouses, uprooting 10,000 Jewish men, women and children from the 21 communities of Gush Katif/Gaza as well as the 4 North Samarian communities.
       
    Have you ever seen vegetable gardens and fields of crops invaded by wild hogs? Nothing is left but destroyed crops as happened as soon as Gaza was surrendered 3 years ago in August 2005. Imagine, if you will, what Judea and Samaria would look like after being abandoned to the 'Palestinians'. If the homily of casting pearls before swine comes to mind, as in Gaza, that would be Israel's fate if it were up to the NYT and Olmert's government. 
       
    Thank G-d, it is not. The people of Israel are stronger than the NYT would ever write about.

     


     

    A Lesson From Kosovars And Palestinians For Atlasians...

             by Gerald A. Honigman


    Now tell me.What would you do in the age of nationalism--which came relatively late to the Middle East--if your national group already had almost two dozen states on over six million square miles of territory (conquered mostly from other national groups), wanted to create at least one more, but another people's sole, tiny, resurrected nation state stood in the way?

    Well, please take a look--like many of us have over the decades--at the answer through the oft-quoted words of a spokesman for that above national group itself, PLO executive committee member Zuheir Mohsen, on March 31, 1977, in the Dutch newspaper Trouw.

    The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese... Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.

    Before having to deal with the politics and sensitivities of at least some in the West, Arabs simply gave no thought to Mohsen's tactics.

    As I deliberately like to reemphasize time and again (for those who like to place Israel under the high power lens of moral scrutiny while playing deaf, dumb, and blind to what surrounds it), millions of native peoples were simply conquered and forcibly Arabized in the name of the Arab Nation and the spread of its Dar ul-Islam--imperialism and colonialism, pure and simple--and millions of native Egyptian Copts, black Africans, Kurds, Imazighen (Berbers), Jews, and others are still suffering the consequences of this murderous subjugation.

    In a post-Holocaust age, however, in the struggle to win over hearts and minds from abroad, how could Arabs demand twenty-two states while denying Jews their one?

    The answer--as Mohsen so correctly stated above: Reinvent yourselves.

    From now on, you're "Palestinians." And then depend on the ignorance of most of the rest of the world to back your claim, "If Jews can have a state, why not Palestinians?" And, don't you know, "Palestinians" are the new formerly stateless Jews.

    Forget the facts.

    Like most Arabs never saw the land of the Jews--Judaea--until their own murderous imperial conquests brought them out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. when they spread out in all directions.

    Or that the very name "Palestine" was dubbed upon Judaea by the Roman Emperor Hadrian after the Jews' costly second revolt for freedom. To pour salt onto their wound, he renamed the Jews' land after their historic enemies, the Philistines--a non-Semitic sea people (i.e. not Arab) from the area around Crete. Tacitus, Dio Cassius, and other contemporary Roman historians wrote all about Judaea and Judaeans--not "Palestine" or  "Palestinians." Listen to one of my favorite telling quotes about the Jews' first revolt in Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:
     

    Vespasian... succeeded to the command.... it inflamed his resentment that the Jews were the only nation that had not yet submitted.Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations.

    Or that, not having endured the forced exile and diaspora of many (but not all--many still remained in the hill country and elsewhere clear up to the Arab conquest) of the Jews, still...so many Arabs were newcomers themselves to the Mandate of Palestine after World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Turkish Empire which had controlled the land for over four centuries, that when the United Nations Relief Works Agency--UNRWA--was set up to assist Arab refugees (after a half dozen Arab states invaded a nascent Israel in 1948 to nip it in the bud and their attempt backfired), the very word "refugee" had to be redefined from its prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948 to assist these people. Hamas's own patron saint, for whom its terror brigade and rockets are named for, Sheikh Izzadin-al-Qassam, was born in Latakia, Syria. Arafat was from Egypt. And both "native Palestinians" had plenty of company, pouring into the Mandate because of the economic development going on due to the Jews.

    And so forth.

    Now, using this same tactic, Serbs have been similarly shafted .

    Albania is an independent nation southwest of the former Yugoslavia. The Serbs fought their first major battle for Kosovo against the spread of the Dar ul-Islam (this time led by Turkish imperialism) in 1389--over six centuries ago.

    Albania had become at least nominally converted to Islam via the Ottoman conquest. Over the centuries, ethnic Albanians encroached upon traditionally Serbian lands.

    Enter the late 20th century.

    Everyone knew that with the death of Tito, Iraq's twin, artificially glued together state of Yugoslavia would fall apart.

    Now, if you're an Albanian in Serbia and you already have an ethnic Albanian state in existence (so you can't claim "statelessness"), how do you stake your claim for additional territory--at another people's (Serbs') expense?

    Hitler played a somewhat similar game with the large population of ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. World War II soon followed, as his sights were set far beyond the Czechs' and Slovaks' domain.

    According to this reasoning, America also better watch its own southwest very carefully--especially since it really was once part of Mexico anyway. And what's Russia up to these days, since we're on this subject? Think non-Russian peoples' lands, with Russian ethnic minorities, and how this game could be played out.

    The answer, however, regarding Albanians in Serbia is.You follow Zuheir Mohsen's advice.

    But instead of renaming yourselves "Palestinians," you, of course, call yourselves Kosovars instead. And then get assorted Jihadis from the rest of the Arab/Muslim World to assist you--along with America and NATO.

    There is no doubt that too much of the conflict regarding the breakup of Yugoslavia was deliberately biased against the Serbs.

    Atrocities occurred (as they had for centuries)--but on both sides, with Serbs often the victims.victims the American State Department ignored as it sought Muslims it could point to as championing while America was fighting others in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. American bombers led the final dismemberment.

    There's a lesson here.and Jews, Kurds, Imazighen, and others need to pay close attention.

    Instead of demanding just the rebirth of their one state, Jews need to demand others as well.

    Jews have a long history in Morocco, as just one example--long before Arabs conquered both Jews and Imazighen alike there.

    Over 600,000 Moroccan Jews now live in Israel--part of the other side of the Middle East refugee problem few ever talk about...more Moroccan Jews than Arabs who got their own nation states in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, etc. when they were created. Additionally, many more Moroccan Jews live in America, France, and elsewhere today, including Morocco.

    Why multiple states for Arabs and not Jews?

    As early as Roman times, Jews fleeing the Roman wars in Judaea began to travel inland in North Africa and forged both economic and cultural ties with the Imazighen--especially in the Atlas Mountains. Some of the latter folks even adopted the faith of their Jewish neighbors.

    When Arab Muslims invaded, Jews and Imazighen fought them together. Across the Atlas Mountains, Queen Dahlia al Kahina (whom the famed Muslim scholar, Ibn Khaldun, called "the Jewess" ) led both Jews and Imazighen in battle against invading Arabs, who would later massacre and subjugate both peoples.

    Why not states for the Atlasians--at least one for Jews and one for the Imazighen--in North Africa?

    Why "Palestinians" and "Kosovars," but not "Atlasians?"

    While we're at it, some thirty-five million stateless Kurds need to jump aboard as well.

    Kurds predate Arabs in "Arab" Syria as well as in "Arab" Iraq.and in "Turkish" Turkey. But we all know what happened/happens when Kurds try to assert their rights there. Their best hope right now is in the place where they were indeed promised independence after World War I--in northern Mesopotamia, part of today's renamed Iraq.

    While I don't really expect that much of the above will happen, it's worth asking those academics, State Department folks, left-wing knownothings, and other hypocritical practitioners of the double standard. Why not?

    If Kurds played the Arab game regarding trading "Arab" for "Palestinian," how many Kurdish states might they be entitled to?

    The reality, of course, is that all of these peoples are still struggling to maintain or obtain basic political and human rights in what Arabs call "purely Arab patrimony."

    That others buy into their subjugating mindset is the real travesty.

     


     

    Column One: Dominoes anyone?
    Aug. 22, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
    Russia's invasion of Georgia is exposing many aspects of the international system that the US-led West has studiously ignored since the fall of the Soviet Union. One old truth that deserves attention is that the domino-theory of international relations remains true. That theory asserts that events in one arena will foment similar events in other arenas.
    Great powers are not the only ones that can cause dominoes to fall. Small states can as well. Israel's actions make this point clearly.
     
    This week the Olmert-Livni-Barak government voted to release another 199 terrorists from prison. Israel's leaders claimed that after releasing terrorist murderers to Hizbullah last month, we have no excuse for not releasing terrorist murderers to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas now. If Abbas cannot match Hizbullah's achievements, they argue that he will be discredited.
    But as The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh explained Monday, there is virtually no one in the Palestinian Authority who believes that Israel will be strengthening pro-peace forces in Palestinian society by releasing Fatah terrorists from jail. Those terrorists will merely strengthen the more radical elements in Palestinian society that are generally allied with Hamas and Islamic Jihad
     
    Previous Israeli releases of terrorists have shown that untold numbers of Israelis will pay with our lives for the government's idiocy. But it isn't just Israel that is impacted by Israel's mistakes. Jordan too is harmed.
    Just after the government announced its decision, Jordan announced that it was releasing four jihadist murderers from its prisons. The four terrorists, who killed two Israeli soldiers in 1990, had been sentenced to life in prison in Israel. Last summer, in a "confidence-building-measure" towards King Abdullah, Israel transferred them to Jordan to complete their prison terms.
    If Israel cannot deny to Fatah what it granted to Hizbullah, so Jordan cannot deny to Hamas what Israel granted to Fatah and Hizbullah. Jordan cannot be stricter with murderers of Israelis than Israel is.
     
    Jordan's recent rapprochement with Hamas follows the same pattern. According to the Saudi Al-Watan newspaper, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is scheduled to visit Jordan in the coming days as part of a general Jordanian policy to rebuild its cooperative ties with the Iranian-controlled jihadist group. Amman severed those ties in 2006.
    There can be no doubt that Hamas and its sister Muslim Brotherhood organization in Jordan constitute threats to the Hashemite regime. The Jordanian government would no doubt prefer not to have anything to do with Hamas. Indeed, it would doubtlessly be pleased if the terror group was destroyed. But Jordan cannot act against Hamas on its own. Only Israel can do that.
     
    But Israel has refused to take any action against Hamas as it has solidified its control over Gaza and has increased its influence over Judea and Samaria. Israel's inaction has compelled Jordan to appease the Iranian-controlled terror group.
     
    ISRAEL'S REFUSAL to acknowledge the interconnectedness of international events impacts events throughout the region. The US's strategic myopia affects events throughout the world. Recent occurrences in Pakistan bear this out.
    Since the September 11, 2001 attacks the US has ignored the domestic situation in Pakistan. First it placed all its faith in Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to act as its ally. Washington ignored Musharraf's refusal to purge the Pakistani military and powerful Inter Service Intelligence agency of its strong jihadist elements that collaborated with al-Qaida and the Taliban and provided them safe haven and allowed them to take control over the provinces bordering Afghanistan.
     
    Then, in an about face, last year Washington attempted to advance its program of democratization of the Islamic world by pressuring Musharraf to allow open elections to Pakistan's parliament. Unfortunately, the US failed to notice that the supposedly democratic contending parties all hate America and oppose taking any action against the Taliban and al-Qaida.
    Now that the anti-Western, "democratic" forces that the US has unleashed have forced Musharraf from power, the US has no allies at all in Pakistan's political and military-intelligence power structures with whom to collaborate in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida. Even more disturbingly, the US has no one it can trust to ensure that jihadist forces do not gain access to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
     
    This latter point was made clear on Tuesday when The New York Times quoted a senior Bush administration official who noted that jihadist agents have made "steadfast efforts" to infiltrate Pakistan's nuclear laboratories. Beyond that, even Musharraf never gave the US full assurance that he was securing his country's nuclear arsenal. Musharraf steadfastly refused to give an accounting of how he spent much of the $100 million the US transferred to him for the purpose of securing his 50-100 nuclear warheads.
    Although during his first term in office President George W. Bush often warned of the danger of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist groups or transferred to them by state sponsors, this issue has been largely ignored in recent years. Administration officials have downplayed the significance of overt cooperation between the Taliban and al- Qaida and the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies. And today, Washington's refusal to contend with that cooperation is coming back to haunt it. Now the US has no easy options for preventing the rapidly collapsing nuclear-armed Pakistani governing apparatuses from falling under the influence of the Taliban and al-Qaida.
    A similar situation is playing out in Lebanon. Just as the US ignored the ties between the Pakistani regime and al-Qaida/Taliban, so it has ignored the significance of Iran's control of Hizbullah and Hizbullah's control of the Lebanese government.
     
    Since the Western-allied March 14 movement forced Syria to remove its forces from Lebanon in 2005, the US has treated its leaders as reliable strategic allies. As a consequence the US refused to understand that when Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora allowed Hizbullah to join his government in 2005, he effectively placed his government at Hizbullah's mercy and so became a proxy of Iran.
     
    The US continued to ignore Saniora's subservience to Hizbullah during the Israel-Hizbullah war in 2006. Hoping to strengthen him, the US barred Israel from attacking Lebanese infrastructures serving Hizbullah's war machine. That US decision made it much more difficult for Israel to prevail in the conflict. And Israel's failure to defeat Hizbullah/Iran in 2006 paved the way for Hizbullah's seizure of power in May.
     
    Just as the Taliban and al-Qaida have taken advantage of the US's refusal to acknowledge the significance of their ties to Pakistan's military and intelligence services, so Hizbullah, Iran and Syria have exploited the US's refusal to acknowledge their control over Lebanon.
     
    One of the ways Iran, Syria and Hizbullah exploit the US's refusal to come to terms with their control over Lebanon is by making that control uncontestable. To this end, Hizbullah has forged alliances with disparate groups in Lebanon and so further isolated the remaining pro-Western voices in the country.
    This week Hizbullah signed a cooperation agreement with Syrian-backed al-Qaida-linked Salafists in Tripoli. This move has shocked many Western observers who have insistently argued that an alliance between Shi'ite and Sunni jihadists is unthinkable. These observers have ignored the fact that Shi'ites and Sunnis have strategic alliances throughout the region. Iran has a strategic alliance with Sunni-majority Syria. It controls Hamas. It has hosted al-Qaida commanders on its soil since at least late 2001.
     
    To a degree, these blind observers' fiction of Sunni-Shi'ite antipathy has been abetted by the Sunnis and Shi'ites themselves. Understanding the West's interest in ignoring the threat they pose both separately and together, until this week they never made their alliances explicit. What Hizbullah's accord with the al-Qaida-linked Salafists in Tripoli shows is that both forces are now so convinced of the West's weakness, that they believe they have nothing to fear from openly collaborating.
     
    UNLIKE EVENTS in Pakistan, which are the consequence of the nature of Pakistani society and the US's failure to acknowledge the nature of that society, the latest events in Lebanon are at least in part the consequence of Washington's impotent response to their ally Russia's invasion of the US's ally Georgia.
     
    It is often argued that Russia fears Islamic domination no less than the West. And while Russia certainly has good reason to be concerned about jihadist, its concern has not led it to act as an ally to the West in its fight against the jihadists. To the contrary, like Iran and Syria and their affiliated terror groups, Russia views the US as its true enemy. Like them it seeks to exploit US weaknesses to advance its own position.
     
    Russia understands that Iran's ideological foundations make it impossible for Teheran to ever reach an accord with the US. And it exploits the situation to its benefit.
    Moscow built Iran a nuclear reactor. It supplies Iran and Syria with advanced weapons systems. Russia's alliance with Iran and Syria advances its interests in two ways: It weakens the US and it ensures that Russia will not be the target of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
     
    Just as the US's failure to back Israel's bid to destroy Hizbullah in Lebanon two years ago paved the way for this week's Hizbullah-al-Qaida pact, so the US's weak response to Russia's rape of Georgia has emboldened the Russians, Iranians and Syrians to expose their long-standing strategic alliance. Wednesday Iran condemned Georgia as a "Zionist" state due to its close ties with Israel. Russia returned the favor by defending Iran's satellite launch, and backing Iran's announced intention to build another six nuclear reactors.
     
    Syrian President Bashar Assad capitalized on Russia's anti-US posture by visiting Moscow on Wednesday. Russia set the tone of his visit by condemning Israel for supplying Georgia with military assistance. It then allowed Assad to announce Moscow's intention to supply Syria with the sophisticated Iskander theater defense missile system which Syria has long sought.
     
    Russia's exploitation of points of US weakness to advance its own position leaves the US with two options. Washington can try to give Russia a better offer than its enemies can. Or the US can work to weaken its enemies by confronting them while strengthening its allies and so force Russia into a cooperative posture. Today there is no deal that the US can offer Russia which can compete with what Russia receives from its alliances with America's enemies. So the first option is moot.
     
    This brings us to option two which is simply the Cold War model of containment, based upon the domino theory of world affairs. Seeing as it already worked once, there is little reason not to return to it now. The US's decision to sign a strategic alliance with Poland was s first small step in the right direction. Diplomatic moves against Russia, like ending Moscow's membership in the G-7 and its association agreement with NATO, should already have been carried out.
     
    But most importantly, looking ahead, both the US and Israel should take a lesson from their enemies. They must acknowledge that when they are strong and victorious, their allies are strengthened throughout the world. And when they are weak and dissolute, their allies also pay the price of their irresponsibility.
     

     


     

    The Disease of Blind State Worship
    Nadia Matar


    Those people who oppose boycotting General Gershon Hacohen and think that he should have spoken in the Kfar Etzion debate titled "King David and I" point out that Gershon Hacohen has a lot of worthy deeds under his belt, a grand past in the army; One rabbi even says that Hacohen "prevented blood from being spilled at the time of the Gush Katif expulsion" and that after the deed was done, Hacohen admitted (not in public, but personally to one of the bereaved families) that he participated in a crime. Others say that Hacohen represents a different point of view, and, after all, what is the problem with hearing a different opinion?

    If so, I would like to propose that the serial rapist Beni Sela should be invited to be a head speaker in the "Binyan Shalem" convention titled "Family Relationships". Why not? I'm sure Beni Sela has performed some good deeds. I'm sure he loves his parents, and fulfills the commandment of respecting parents. He probably once helped a blind man to cross the street. He may have done his reserve duty in the army and has helped the country in this way.

    While raping his victims, he shed tears of identification with them and most important, he prevented bloodshed. He just raped. He did not murder. And when he did rape, he did it gently. So he promises. Until the next rape. but mainly, he represents a different opinion.so why not hear him out?

    Sounds like a crazy idea? Excessive? Radical? Too cynical? Why?

    They'll say "Don't exaggerate. Beni Sela is a real criminal, how can you even compare the two?" And this is where the problem is: The organizers of this debate really do not understand the problem inherent in inviting Hacohen. It is because they do not think of the events of 2005 in Gush Katif as a crime. And the moment the expulsion is not a crime, what's the problem with inviting Hacohen?

    The whole problem with the "Hacohen and the debate" is the very fact that he was invited ­ an invitation that shows us a clinically twisted and sick outlook, in part of the people of our camp. We must try and understand how it is that a large part of our community does not look upon the expulsion of 2005 as a crime? There is no doubt that if the same thing would have happened in France, and the government there would have expelled in force 10,000 Jews from the capital Paris and would give the synagogues there to Muslims in order to turn them to mosques, that all the organizers of this debate, together with the people of Israel would be united in the opinion that this is an anti-Semitic crime, and that we need to boycott and fight against those Europeans.

    Why is it that when this is done in Israel, there is no shock? Obviously not in the left; but even close to home the director of the Kfar Etzion Field School Yaron Rozenthal and the head of the Gush Etzion Community Center Eliaz Cohen, do not remember or interpret the expulsion as a crime?

    Is the answer to this question the fact that it was done by Jews? Meaning the same act, done by non-Jews is a crime, but done by Jews, inside the "family", is ok?

    There are those who explain this as the abused wife syndrome, where a beaten woman tries to appease her husband by hugging him more. The fear of the strong, controlling left, leads to appeasement even if the price is treading on one's own brothers. Others explain it as the "Stockholm Syndrome". The Stockholm syndrome is a phenomenon where a captive who is held by force by strangers, starts agreeing and empathizing with the ideology and actions of the people holding him. This syndrome comes from the need identify one's self with the strong and controlling element. We can also say that inviting Yossi Sarid and Gershon Hacohen reminds us of the Christian way of offering the other cheek to whoever spits on you or tries to tread on you. All these descriptions are correct, but they do not adequately address our question. Why? How did this happen?

    The problem is not only inviting Hacohen to the biblical debate. The problem is the conduct of part of our camp before, during and after the expulsion; dancing with the soldiers. The cooperation and groveling of certain rabbis and public figures with the perpetrators of the expulsion. Physical and verbal violence of the appeasers against right-wing activists. The pathetic need to be liked by the left. No other sector would behave like this when a threat of expulsion and the destruction of their life's work were hanging over their head. Not the Charedim, not the secular camp. And certainly not the Druze. So why, why has our camp behaved in such an abnormal way? In this question lies the root of the problem and the root of the answer.

    I believe that the state-religious education system has spoiled many in our camp, rabbis and public figures included. This education believes in the ideology that the "State is above all". Many have stretched this ideology to such extremes that in their opinion the government, as the representative of the state, can do whatever it pleases, even crimes against the Jewish people in its land. This radical state-worshipping has ultimately led to bizarre scenes of dancing with the expulsion forces. This extreme ideology prevented the Yesha Council from struggling to save Gush Katif, and instead to mourn and protest pitifully, because the holy State cannot be beaten. This abnormal ideology does not see the expulsion as a crime, which is why there is no problem with inviting the commander of the expulsion Hacohen to speak his piece. This perverted idea spoiled a lot of us and caused a lot of religious people to participate in the expulsion and thus desecrated G-d's name by giving
     a hand to the abandonment of parts of our holy Land to the enemy, and by expelling Jews from their land.

    Luckily, not all have fallen victim to this radical and dangerous indoctrination that causes its victims to turn to mindless robots who obey every order, without questioning the ethics of the order. More and more people in our camp understand the danger of blind obedience to the government. These are the people who, please G-d, will make sure that another expulsion will not take place.

    These are people that understand that the State is not a goal in itself, but a tool to be used for another purpose: returning the Jewish people to its G-d given Land, application of Jewish sovereignty on all of Israel when the day comes and we can restore the Jewish kingdom of old. The same idea is correct when talking about the army. The IDF was created to safeguard the people of Israel in the Land of Israel, and to fight the enemies of Israel. If there are people who take over this country and its army and completely change their purpose, there is no better way to sanctify the name of G-D than to oppose them.

    What the radical state-worshippers do not understand is that opposing the expulsion command, would have sanctified, rather than harmed the IDF. Massive civilian disobedience to prevent the expulsion crime would have only preserved the State of Israel in the Land of Israel.

    We failed in Gush Katif and the Northern Samaria in the summer of 2005. Since then, we are trying to remedy the problem, in time for the future struggles over Judea and Samaria. The flood of protests to the invitation of Gershon Hacohen to the "King David and I" convention shows that thank G-D, there is a large group of people that understood the lesson taught to us in the 2005 expulsion and will struggle, this time seriously, to save Israel. I am sure that King David, who fought his whole life to conquer and build the Land of Israel, thanks all those activists who prevented a great desecration of G-D's name in Kfar Etzion.

     


     

    Releasing Terrorists: New Victims Pay the Price
       
    Nadav Shragai

       
       
        
    The Israeli Cabinet approved on August 17 the release of almost 200 Palestinian security prisoners as a "goodwill gesture" to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The list includes several prisoners "with blood on their hands," who, by definition, were involved in the murder of Israelis.    

    According to an informal estimate by Israeli security bodies, about 50 percent of the terrorists freed for any reason whatsoever returned to the path of terror, either as perpetrator, planner, or accomplice. In the terror acts committed by these freed terrorists, hundreds of Israelis were murdered, and thousands were wounded.

    Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners and five other prisoners in return for Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was held captive by Hizbullah, and for the bodies of three soldiers kidnapped on Mount Dov. According to Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi, from the date of the deal on January 29, 2004, until April 17, 2007, those freed in the deal had murdered 35 Israelis. 

    An investigation by the Almagor Terror Victims Association in Israel revealed that at least 30 of the terrorist attacks perpetrated since 2000 were committed by terrorists freed in deals with terror organizations. Many were freed in the framework of goodwill gestures because they were defined by Israel as "without blood on their hands." The bloody swath cut by these terrorists claimed the life of 177 persons, with many others wounded and made invalids.      
       
    Another "Goodwill Gesture"
       
    In anticipation of the return to the Middle East of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Israeli Cabinet approved on August 17 the release of almost 200 Palestinian security prisoners as a "goodwill gesture" to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The list includes several prisoners "with blood on their hands," who, by definition, were involved in the murder of Israelis.
       
    Since 1985 the State of Israel has freed over 10,000 Palestinians who were serving prison sentences for hostile activity or terror actions, and this resulted in the murder and death of hundreds of Israeli citizens. Some of the Palestinian terrorists were freed in the framework of deals with terror organizations that involved the exchange of a few isolated Israelis who were taken captive by the terrorists, for hundreds and thousands of terrorists. Another portion were freed in the framework of what were termed diplomatic "goodwill gestures." Sometimes the terrorists were freed because their prison terms had been concluded or shortened.1
       
    According to an informal estimate by Israeli security bodies, about 50 percent of the terrorists freed for any reason whatsoever returned to the path of terror, either as a perpetrator,  planner or accomplice. In the terror acts committed by these freed terrorists, hundreds of Israelis were murdered, and thousands were wounded.2 In the case of the Jibril deal in 1985, the Israel Defense Ministry determined that 114 out of the 238 who were released returned to terrorism. During 1993-1999, 6,912 terrorists were freed in the wake of various diplomatic agreements, and 854 of them (12.4 percent) returned to terrorist activity, carried out terrorist attacks, murdered or planned to harm Israeli citizens, and were reincarcerated.3
       
    Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners and five other prisoners in return for Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was held captive by Hizbullah, and for the bodies of three soldiers kidnapped on Mount Dov. The deal was transacted in Cologne, Germany, on January 29, 2004. According to the information provided by Knesset member Tzahi Hanegbi, the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, from that date and until April 17, 2007, those freed in the Tannenbaum deal had murdered 35 Israelis.4 
       
    A comprehensive investigation recently conducted by the Almagor Terror Victims Association in Israel revealed that at least 30 of the terrorist attacks perpetrated since 2000 were committed by terrorists freed in deals with terror organizations. Many were freed in the framework of deals, understandings, or goodwill gestures because they were defined by Israel as "without blood on their hands." The bloody swath cut by these terrorists claimed the life of 177 persons, with many others wounded and made invalids. These statistics have been informally confirmed by security officials.5
       
       
    Victims and Murderers
       
    Dr. David Applebaum, head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and his 20-year-old daughter Nava, were murdered by a suicide bomber on September 9, 2003, when they went to Café Hillel on Emek Refaim Street in central Jerusalem. Nava was to be married the next day. The murderer, Ramez Sali Abu Salim, from Rantis, northwest of Ramallah, had been freed from an Israeli prison in 2002. He was rearrested a few months later, but was freed again on February 20, 2003. Seven months later he was sent by the Hamas command in Ramallah to commit a terror attack in the heart of Jerusalem.
       
    Also killed in this terror attack were Alon Mizrachi, 20; Gila Moshe, 40; Yehiel Emil Toubol, 50; David Shimon Avizdris, 51; and Shafik Yihya Karem, 22, from Beit Hanina. An additional 60 people were wounded.
       
    The famous Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for five acts of murder, was arrested for the first time in 1976 for hostile activity. After being freed, he became one of the leaders of the first intifada in 1987. Arrested again by Israel, he was expelled to Jordan. Permitted to return in the framework of the Oslo agreements (1994), he became the general secretary of the Fatah organization on the West Bank. With the start of the second intifada, Barghouti became the leader of the Tanzim, which was responsible for many terror attacks against Israelis. Some were carried out under the name of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. In April 2002 he was arrested, placed on trial, and in May 2004 he was convicted of five acts of murder. The prosecution waived 21 additional murder charges and 33 other charges.6
       
    Sheikh Ahmed Yasin was first arrested in 1983, after guns were seized in his home. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for holding weapons, establishing a military organization and calling for the liquidation of the State of Israel, but was freed by Israel 1985 in the framework of the Jibril deal.7 In 1987 Yasin established and headed the terror organization Hamas. In 1989 he ordered the killing of Palestinians suspected of collaboration with the IDF and the Israel Security Agency, and he subsequently commanded the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers. For these crimes, Yasin was given a life sentence. He was freed in 1997 as part of an agreement between Israel and Jordan after the botched assassination attempt by the Mossad on Khaled Mashaal in Jordan. After his release, Yasin resumed preaching violence and terror, and the IDF and the Israel Security Agency reported to the government that Yasin was involved in planning terrorist attacks on the operative
     level. On March 22, 2004, he was killed by missiles fired by Israel Air Force combat helicopters.8
       
       
    Freed Murderers Kill Again
       
    Abdullah Abd Al-Kadr Kawasme was originally arrested in 1988, following the murder of policeman Nissim Toledano, and was exiled together with 400 Hamas and Jihad activists. Upon his return to Israel, he was imprisoned and charged with membership in Hamas and involvement in hostile terrorist activity, and was released in 1994. He was responsible for many terrorist attacks including the infiltration into the community of Adura on April 27, 2002, where four people were killed, including five-year-old Danielle Shefi. Kawasme was also responsible for the infiltration of the community of Carmei Tzur on August 6, 2002, in which three people were murdered; two suicide bombings carried out in tandem in Jerusalem on May 18, 2003, in which six people were killed and 20 wounded; and a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in June 2003 in which 17 people were killed and 105 were wounded. Kawasme was killed by the IDF on June 21, 2003.
       
    Karim Ratteb Younis Awis was serving a life sentence for causing the death of a collaborator, but was released in a goodwill gesture to the Palestinians. On November 27, 2001, he dispatched two terrorists who opened fire on civilians at the central bus station in Afula, murdering Michal Mor and Noam Guzofsky and wounding an additional 84 people.9
       
    Nasser Abu Hameid, who had been given five life sentences for the murder of five collaborators, was released in September 1999 in the framework of the Sharm el Sheikh Agreement. After the outbreak of the second intifada, he was documented mutilating the corpses of IDF reserve soldiers Vadim Norzitz and Yossi Avrahami. In December 2000 he murdered Binyamin and Talia Kahane near Givat Zeev. In February 2002 he was involved in plotting the terrorist attack in which policewoman Galit Arbiv was murdered in Neve Yaakov, and he commanded the murder of Gadi Rejwan in the Atarot industrial zone in northern Jerusalem. In March 2002 he was responsible for a terror bombing at the Seafood Restaurant where Eliyahu Dahan, Yossi Havi, and policeman Salim Barakat were murdered. In December 2002 he was sentenced to seven life terms for the murder of seven Israelis and was convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder and additional crimes.
       
    Abbas ibn Muhammad Mustafa Alsayd was released in 1996 after three years in prison for directing disturbances in Tulkarm. He was responsible for many terror attacks and in September 2005 he was convicted of murdering 35 people and wounding hundreds in the terror attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on the eve of Passover, March 27, 2002, and at the HaSharon Mall in Netanya on May 18, 2001.10
       
    Matsab Hashalmon was released from jail as part of the "Tennenbaum deal" on January 29, 2004. Three months later he recruited suicide terrorists Ahmed Kawasme and Nissim Jaabari, who blew themselves up on August 31, 2004, on two buses in Beersheba, killing 16 civilians and wounding scores of others. 
       
    Iyad Sawalha headed the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Samaria. He was imprisoned for two years for his involvement in the murder of collaborators and was freed in 1998 in the wake of the Oslo Accords. On June 5, 2002, he was responsible for blowing up a bus at Megiddo junction where 17 people were murdered and another 42 were wounded. On October 21, 2002, he was responsible for detonating an explosive-laden jeep near a bus at Karkur, leaving 14 people murdered and scores wounded. 
       
    The list of freed terrorists and their victims goes on and on.
       
       
    Israel's Dilemma
       
    The Victims of Arab Terror International has appealed many times to the High Court of Justice against the freeing of terrorists, but all the petitions have been rejected. In one of the petitions (High Court of Justice case 914/04), Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levi expressed the dilemma that he finds himself in as a justice and as an Israeli citizen when confronted with the freeing of terrorists, and their reversion to the path of terror. 
       
    This is not the very first time that by virtue of agreements it signed, the State of Israel frees terrorists who sowed death and destruction in our midst. After every such prisoner release, the hope reverberated in many hearts that this time a change would ensue and those freed would no longer return to the path of terror and could possibly even serve as ambassadors for disseminating the idea of peaceful coexistence. It would seem that there is no need to elaborate to what extent this hope was in vain, and it might be more fittingly defined as a false illusion. If we needed further proof that those freed were not intent on peace, one can find it in the bloody events that have accompanied us since October 2000. Many of those whom Israel had in the past set free participated in these horrific events. These incidents have taken their toll in human life, sometimes as an everyday occurrence, and altered the lives of the wounded victims' families from top to bottom. I saw
     myself forced to concur with the decision of my colleagues, and with trembling hand I added my signature, and with the sole hope that beats inside me, namely that those who adopted the decision and have a complete picture before them and whose shoulders bear the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Israeli citizens were persuaded that the decision that they adopted was the correct one, despite the terrible risk involved for all of us in the freeing of the miscreants.11
       
       
    Conclusions
       
    Hundreds have been murdered and many more wounded in terrorist attacks perpetrated by terrorists who have been freed from Israeli prisons. 
       
    There needs to be a change in the "rules" that have crystallized in recent years where thousands of terrorists are released in return for isolated kidnap victims. This will limit the damage, for fewer freed terrorists will be free to return to the path of terror. One should not pay any price in order to bring about the release of kidnap victims or captives. 
       
    Furthermore, the terrorists that Israel frees in return for captives should not be freed into the West Bank, but abroad, as was done in certain cases in the past. This will make it harder for them to injure residents of the State of Israel.
     
    *     *     *
      
      Notes
      
      1. From a discussion with a military source.
      2. From a discussion with a military source.
      3. According to a senior figure in Central Command.
      4. Confirmed by Knesset member Tzahi Hanegbi to the writer.
      5. For further details, see the full investigation on the Almagor Terror Victims Association website
    www.al-magor.com/39719/
      6. The security report, the reports of the Almagor organization, and the verdict and sentence handed down against Barghouti.
      7. The Jibril deal involved an exchange of captives that took place on May 21, 1985, between the Government of Israel headed by Shimon Peres and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, a terrorist organization headed by Ahmed Jibril. In the framework of the exchange, 1,150 prisoners and security detainees who were imprisoned in Israel were freed in exchange for the return of three Israeli captives: Hezi Shai, Yosef Grof and Nissim Salem, who had been taken captive by Jibril's organization at the time of the First Lebanon War. The deal was supported by all the ministers in the Israeli government, both from the Labor Party and the Likud, with the sole exception of Yizhak Navon. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were freed in the territories and most of them, as almost all the security bodies concur today, constituted the backbone of the leadership for the first intifada that erupted three years later.
      8. From newspaper reports and a security report summing up the incident.
      9. From the sentence of the military court in Beit El, file 3478/02: "The crimes for which the accused is paying the penalty today, demonstrate that the gesture extended to them was not justified and that it led to the killing of additional innocent citizens. The danger posed by the accused was clear after he had already been convicted of murder in the past. The need to keep them at a distance from human civilization forever was also self-evident. After his release, the accused demonstrated that the gesture was unjustified and the steep price for this was paid by many Israeli families."
      10. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report on the terrorist attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya from March 2004, as well as a report by the Almagor organization.
      11. High Court of Justice 914/04, Victims of Arab Terror International against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 2004 (1) pp. 781-783.
      
      *     *     *
      
      Nadav Shragai is the author of At the Crossroads, the Story of the Tomb of Rachel (Jerusalem Studies, 2005); The Mount of Contention, the Struggle for the Temple Mount, Jews and Muslims, Religion and Politics since 1967 (Keter, 1995); and "Jerusalem is Not the Problem, It is the Solution," in Mister Prime Minister: Jerusalem, ed. Moshe Amirav (Carmel and the Florsheimer Institute, 2005). He has been writing for the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz since 1983. His previous studies for the Jerusalem Center include Jerusalem: The Dangers of Division - How to Meet the Demographic Challenge without Subtracting Arab Neighborhoods (Hebrew, 2008; English, forthcoming); "The Latest Damage to Antiquities on the Temple Mount" (February 2008); and "The Palestinian Authority and the Jewish Holy Sites in the West Bank: Rachel's Tomb as a Test Case" (December 2007).
      

     


     

    THE NATURE OF PEACE AND PEACE TREATIES
    By Bernard J. Shapiro (1993, 1994, 1995)

    Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
    August 17, 2008
     
    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF GEORGIAN INDEPENDENCE

    MAY ISRAEL LEARN THE LESSONS OF HISTORY SO AS NOT TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST.


    Great issues of war and peace as related to Israel are being debated by Jews across America. Israelis are debating the same issues among themselves. There are strong opinions on both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the major issues. What seems to be lacking in all these discussions is the proper historical context. Professor Paul Eidelberg of Bar-Ilan University, reviews the historical facts.

    Between 1945 and 1978 the longest time without a war going on someplace was a mere 26 days. On an average day there are 12 wars being fought somewhere on earth. The consensus of scholars has been that the norm of international relations is not peace but war. As Eidelberg reports, "Indeed, the occurrence of 1,000 wars during the last 2,500 years indicates that "peace" is little more than a preparation for war. Which means that peace treaties are WORTHLESS, to say the least."
    Eidelberg then quotes from a book by Lawrence Beilenson, entitled THE TREATY TRAP, saying, "After studying every peace treaty going back to early Roman times, Beilenson concludes that treaties are made to be broken. In fact, he shows that treaties for guaranteeing the territorial integrity of a nation are useless to the guaranteed nation, and worse than useless insofar as they engender a false sense of security. Such treaties can only benefit nations governed by rulers intending to violate them whenever expedient."

    Midge Dector says this about "peace"

    What I want to say is something that virtually the whole history of the 20th century teaches us and yet something we refuse to learn. And that is , when applied to the affairs of nations, peace is an evil word. Yes I said evil. And the idea of peace as we know it is an evil idea. From the peace of Versailles to "peace in our time" at Munich...each declaration of peace or expressions of longing for peace ended in slaughter. Not necessarily immediately and not necessarily directly, but slaughter all the same...

    For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostile cannot do so.

    To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long a go, is not the expression of hope, not even superstition but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth.

    On September 3, 1993, I wrote the following:

    "The rush of events in the Middle East has been dizzying. The media hype, the talking heads, the worldwide expectations of peace in the Middle East are all quite staggering. Radio, TV, newspapers herald the coming of a new era of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The positive images are so abundant that any moment one might expect to see Isaiah on Nightline showing Ted Koppel video clips of lions lying down with lambs. Though studying the same history as many of those cheering recent developments, I see nothing to be happy about.

    Once again I find myself marching to a different drummer. It has happened before, with my support for the civil rights movement (early 60's) and then the anti-war in Viet Nam struggle. Despite the media hype surrounding these developments, let me make something very clear: A leopard does not change its spots. And you can say a berachaha (Hebrew blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand --before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime."

    On May 18, 1994, I wrote:

    On May 17, 1994, in Johannesburg, Yassir Arafat called for a "jihad (holy war) until Jerusalem is restored to Moslem rule." He said this after undertaking many peaceful commitments since September, and after signing the Declaration of Principles in Washington and the Autonomy Agreement in Cairo. He also chose to draw a parallel between the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, which he signed with Israel, and the Hudaibiya Pact signed in 628 by the Prophet Muhammad with the leaders of the Quraysh tribe. Muhammad violated the agreement two years later and it has become a symbol for the Islamic principle that agreements and treaties with non-Moslems may be violated at will. There is a lesson for us all in this event.

    On June 22, 1995, 'MA'ARIV' finally saw the truth:

    Ma'ariv comments on Meretz's role in the current Government, and says that "the Labor Party is implementing Meretz's ideology. The saying about the tail wagging the dog is being realized every time Rabin carries out what Peres -- under the influence of Beilin, who thinks like Sarid -- advises him."

    The editors note that "Meretz has yet to prove one thing: that the way in which it is leading the Government is good for the State of Israel," and add that "there is a growing impression that we are caught up in a mania to withdraw from all of the key positions that have ensured our existence up until now, without receiving anything appropriate in return." The paper says that "a little anxiety about the future would not hurt Meretz's leaders, instead of the satisfied smile like a cat that has just swallowed a canary.
     
    =======================

     


     

    QUICK NOTE ON GEORGIA/RUSSIA WAR & ISRAEL
    by Bernard J. Shapiro
    August 2008
     
    Russia invades Georgia to pursue its national interest.
    Israel does the opposite. It pursues the national interest of its enemies.
     
    The Russians act, while the Israel talk, warn, threaten, scream, leak, and generally are always whining  about what is being done to them.
     
    The number of stupid things Israel has done that harm its citizens is tremendous. Consider:
    1. Giving up the oil fields of Sinai
    2. Reviving the PLO
    3. Giving "so called" palestinians the right to Eretz Yisrael and the Temple Mount
    4. Expelling productive good Jews to aid Hamas terrorists
    5. Denying human and civil rights to Jews in the Land of Israel
    6. Giving Arabs superior rights to Jews in the Land of Israel
    7. Accepting "banana republic status" with the USA
    8. Refusing to fight terrorism until victory
    9. Refusing to destroy our enemies world wide
    10. Bowing and stooping to anti-Semites world wide
    MORE...................
     
    Read the article below and see Israel's stupid strategic policy first hand. Why warn Russia so they can prepare. Surprise them like in 1982 over Syria and Suez Canal in 1970.
     
    Mind you, I love Israel and I feel pain having to write the above.......Bernard

     


     

    BEWARE THE RISEN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
    By Bernard J. Shapiro

    August 25, 2008 (Revised from original published in 2003)
     
     
    One thing is clear to me: the Lord has blessed Israel by re-uniting Jerusalem and bringing Judea, Samaria, and Gaza back under its control. It would be a horrendous sin against G-d and common sense for Israel to renounce this inheritance to which it is entitled. Israel holds these lands as a sacred trust for the Jewish people in perpetuity. It would not only be sinful, but also criminal, to abuse that trust by denying future generations of Jews their Holy Land -- the Land of their Fathers -- the one tiny spot on planet earth given to them by G-d.
     
    As we approach Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I see Am Yisrael in great pain. I say to the suffering people of Israel. We are an ancient people with a glorious history. Though we suffer from weak leadership, we are greater than our leaders. Our souls are greater than the terrorists and their allies in the Palestinian Authority. We will never be defeated by their bullets and bombs. We have never submitted. We have never renounced our claim to Eretz Yisrael. We are a Holy People, despite our pain. We have vision where our leaders sometime are blind. Our courage is greater than the mean and cruel world which has oppressed us.
     
    BEWARE THE RISEN PEOPLE
     
    I have a vision and a dream that I must reveal as we approach these Days of Awe: In the name of G-d, the Almighty, Defender of His People, Israel, I say to my people's enemies: Beware of the thing that is coming, that will take what you would not give. That will free the people of Israel from your atrocities. I say to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: Be aware of the Risen People who will sweep the Arab scourge and their Leftist collaborators into the dustbin of history. Know that the Jewish soul will be set free. The spectacular victories of the Israeli army and the return to Zion demonstrated that power. But it wasn't a miracle. It was just the soul of the Jew coming to its own. It was just the Jewish soul freed at last to be itself.
     
    And I see it coming, the Jewish soul released to be itself. I see a new proud Jewish government coming to power in Israel. A government that reclaims the Jewish Holy Places and restores Jewish sovereignty in all of Eretz Yisrael. I see Moslem control and Islamic sites removed from the Temple Mount to make it ready for Moshiach. I see the enemies of Israel, who raise up their hands to murder or injure Jews, driven from our Holy Land. I see the secular Jews of Israel and the world becoming more observant and returning to the Torah. I see religious Jews becoming more tolerant of diversity in Jewish practice.
     
    I see a new Israeli foreign policy that grovels before no nation, no matter how powerful. I see Israel's Foreign Minister informing every nation that their embassies must be in Jerusalem. If they don't respect Israel's capital, then may have a consulate in Tel Aviv. I see the government demanding that the Vatican return all the property it has stolen from the Jewish people during the last 2000 years. Maybe they will refuse and we could always hold their property in Israel as a down payment. The Vatican has been used to dealing with obsequious groveling Jews, but now they would see proud fearless Jews. I see an Israeli government that would change its relationship with America from one of subservience to one of equal alliance.
     
    Yes, I have a dream (apologies to MLK) that Jews will no longer debate the obvious: like whether to hold onto what is theirs or trade it away; whether to struggle for survival or to give up from fatigue. I have a dream that the Jews of the kibbutz and the Jews of YESHA will be reborn as brothers and patriots. From the Galilee to Eilat, all the people of Israel will share the same dream of a powerful independent Zionist nation. I have a dream that this strong, proud independent Israel will win the respect of all the nations of the world, including the Arabs. Instead of the contempt it has earned in recent years, Israel will again be a light unto the nations. And finally, I have a dream that this new Israel will find the peace it so dearly deserves. A peace with strength and self-respect. As I look back at 4000 years of Jewish history, I have but one urgent hope and prayer: We must make this dream a reality. There is no alternative.
     
    May the Lord, bless the leaders of Israel with the courage to pursue peace, and the wisdom to know when it is not attainable. May the Lord bless the Jews who return to Zion and give them jobs and new friends to ease their transition into Israeli life. May the Lord bless the war-weary Israeli people with the stamina to bear up under the strain, if peace not just around the corner. May they understand that their fate may be that of endless struggle to survive in a hostile world and may they have the strength to understand that there is still no alternative (ein brera). May the people of Israel prosper and go from success to success never forgetting that their destiny lies in their might, their righteousness and their faith in HaShem.  
    ============

     


     

    Our World: Three guys, a trailer and Israel's survival
    By Caroline Glick ,
    THE JERUSALEM POST - Aug. 25, 2008
    The Olmert-Livni-Barak government is apparently maneuvering to stand down on Iran, and they'd like the US to be blamed for their timidity. A careful reading of a bizarre article in Sunday's edition of Ha'aretz brings this point home clearly.
     
    The report details Israel's recent agreement with the US to deploy the X-Band high powered early warning radar system in Israel. The system will be manned by a team of three US military personnel from a trailer somewhere in the Negev.
     
    The US's willingness to deploy the system is largely the consequence of ardent lobbying efforts by US Congressman Mark Kirk. Kirk's successful push for the deployment of the X-Band system in Israel is a great boon for the country's defensive capabilities. The X-Band system can detect incoming missiles from 500-600 miles. Currently, Israel's early warning system is only able to detect missiles from 100 miles out. The earlier detection capacity means that in the event of an Iranian attack, Israel's Arrow missiles will be able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles before they reach Israeli territory and so even their debris will fall outside the country.
     
    BUT ACCORDING to unnamed Israeli "defense officials" who spoke with Ha'aretz, the price that Israel will be forced to pay for this increased defensive capacity is prohibitive. Those "defense officials" claim that the US forced Israel to agree that in exchange for the X-Band system, Israel will not attack Iran either preemptively or retroactively without US permission, because were Israel to attack Iran, the three American guys and their trailer could become a target for an Iranian missile.
     
    If Ha'aretz and the "defense officials" are right, then that means that Defense Minister Ehud Barak - who concluded the deal with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his visit to Washington last month - agreed to concede Israel's right to take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent its national destruction. Barak conceded Israel's right to prevent its own annihilation in exchange for three guys and a trailer and the capacity to live with a greater sense of security under Iranian nuclear threat. This sense of security will last for as long as Iran doesn't develop satellite-based warheads or for as long as Iran doesn't prove the X-Band radar or the Arrow 3 missiles incapable of actually intercepting incoming nuclear warheads.
     
    Since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and all their colleagues in the government have been silent on the deal, it can be assumed that they back Barak's move. So again, acting on the authority of the entire Kadima-Labor-Shas government, according to "defense officials," and Ha'aretz, Barak just agreed to give up Israel's right to attack Iran's nuclear installations. And the Americans made him do it.
    THE HA'ARETZ report did not include any mention of attempts to verify the "defense officials" claims with the Americans. And in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday night, Kirk vociferously denied their allegations.
     
    "There is no quid pro quo," he said.
    "You mean that the US did not say that in exchange for deploying the X-Band system Israel needs to receive US permission to attack Iran?"
     
    "No, the US made no such demand," Kirk said.
     
    "The basic idea is that a US ally getting nuked is a bad thing. The X-Band system increases the likelihood that such an attack would fail," he continued.
    Moreover, far from sending a message that the US would work to block an Israeli preemptive attack against Iran, Kirk argued that the deployment of the X-Band system manned by a US crew "will send a message to Iran, that Israel has powerful political support from its ally against any Iranian threat."
    Kirk also argued that the US will support a decision by Israel's government to attack Iran. As he put it, "If the Israeli government makes the difficult decision [that it must launch a preemptive attack against Iran], that is when Israel will need its allies the most. And that is when the US will be called in to show what it means to have us as an ally."
     
    So if Kirk - the US official most responsible for the X-Band deal - flatly denies that the US is using the X-Band deployment to prevent Israel from attacking Iran, what were those unidentified "defense officials" who spoke with Ha'aretz trying to achieve by making false allegations against the US? And why did Ha'aretz's reporters not bother to call Kirk or the Pentagon to verify their amazing claims?
     
    SADLY, THE answer is clear. Those "defense officials" were carrying out what has become standard practice for Israeli leftists over the past 15 years. They were working to demoralize the Israeli public into believing that it is inevitable that we cannot defeat our enemies or take any effective military steps to protect ourselves from their aggression.
     
    For its part, in its unquestioning reporting of the story, Ha'aretz was doing what the Israeli media - led by Ha'aretz - has been doing since 1993. It was helping leftist politicians demoralize the public into believing that we have no option of defeating our enemies and must therefore simply try to appease them as best we can, hunker down behind high walls and shields, and hope someone else will defend us.
     
    Since the Rabin-Peres government reversed what had been Israeli policy since 1967 and in 1993 decided to embrace the PLO - a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the country - as a peace partner, every single leftist government has claimed that Israel has no ability to defend itself. In 1993, the government embraced the radical Left's unsubstantiated claim that it was Israel's fault the Palestinians wanted to destroy us. And two years after the IDF ended the Palestinian uprising, the government also claimed that the IDF couldn't protect us from Palestinian terror and that Yasser Arafat would do a better job of defending us than our own army.
    The media supported their absurd claims and demonized their critics as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.
     
    Then there was Barak's disastrous unilateral withdrawal of IDF forces from south Lebanon in May 2000. Barak embraced the factitious claims of the radical anti-Zionist Left that the only reason Hizbullah was attacking Israel was because IDF forces were deployed in south Lebanon. Like the radical Left, Barak promised that once Israel withdrew, Hizbullah would disband its army and become just another peaceful political party in Lebanon.
    The media, for their part lobbied obsessively for the withdrawal. All withdrawal opponents were demonized as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.
     
    THEN THERE was the Palestinian terror war which began in September 2000. For a year and a half, as the Israeli casualty count mounted daily, the Sharon-Peres government told us that we had no military option to defeat the terrorists. The US would abandon us if we attacked the Palestinian Authority and anyway, the IDF was no match for terror cells.
    The media for their part pushed the narrative of Israeli helplessness. All proponents of military victory were demonized as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.
     
    Despite the IDF's successful defeat of terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defense Shield in April 2002, it took the leftist politicians and their media flacks no time to reinstate their narrative of Israeli powerlessness. Within weeks of the defeat of the terror forces in Judea and Samaria, the Labor Party, the media and later former prime minister Ariel Sharon argued that Israel could do nothing to defend against Gazan terror and therefore, should simply withdraw its forces and civilians from the Gaza Strip.
     
    And again, those who pointed out that Israel had never really tried to defeat the terror networks in Gaza were silenced. Those who warned that Gaza would become the new south Lebanon were demonized as warmongers and extremists and enemies of peace.
     
    Hizbullah's offensive against Israel in July 2006 was an unwelcome development for the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government and the media. It was the war their opponents had warned would come as a result of ill-conceived Israeli withdrawals. They wanted that war to go away as quickly as possible.
    Refusing to fight the war with any determination, they told the public that we had no interest in winning. We didn't want to get bogged down again the Lebanese "mud," they said. There was no "military solution," they pronounced. The US, they lied, opposed an Israeli ground invasion of Lebanon. Only the UN and the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese military could defend Israel, they claimed.
     
    So they sued for a cease-fire, which as their critics warned, paved the way for Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon. And the media praised their wisdom and silenced their critics by castigating the latter as warmongers, extremists and enemies of peace.
     
    THIS THEN is the historical backdrop against which the government's current attempt to demoralize the public into believing that it is futile to attempt an attack on Iran's nuclear installations is being carried out. But there is a qualitative difference between the government's newest attempt to wriggle out of its responsibility to defend the country and its previous derelictions of duty.
     
    This is the first time that the threat the government seeks to ignore is actually capable of annihilating the country. By claiming again here that the US will abandon us if we attack, the government is telling us that we have no choice other than to live in a world where a regime openly committed to destroying our country and our people has the means to carry out their designs. And in its unquestioning parroting of the government's line, the media is collaborating with this unacceptable state of affairs.
     
    If there was ever a situation requiring the public to take to the streets, this is it. Since Israel's founding, there has been an unspoken social compact between the public and our government. We all understand that existential threats have to be defeated. We don't discuss these things. We simply trust our governments to protect us.
     
    The Ha'aretz report signals that the current government is breaching this compact by preparing its case for inaction. This situation simply cannot be allowed to stand. And given that we are now in elections season, a public outcry today has the capacity to force our media to cover this story and so compel our politicians to either fulfill their part of the bargain or step down.
    While the US is happy to augment our defensive capacity, the Pentagon has been clear that it will not attack Israel's enemies for us. That is our job. And we the Israeli public must compel our leaders to do their job.
     
    caroline@carolineglick.com

     


     

    The Ramifications of a Palestinian State
    Louis Rene' Beres 
    THE JERUSALEM POST - Aug. 26, 2008
    With many issues now surfacing in the US presidential campaign, few are more important than the next president's position on "Palestine." To date, neither candidate has been open on this issue. Would one or the other (or both) feel the current president's commitment to a Palestinian state? Significantly, any such continuance would enlarge the terror threat to Western democracies in general, especially to Israel and the United States.
    Even before George W. Bush, the formal US mantra had called for a "two-state solution." Yet the official maps of the Palestinian Authority (an authority with no proper electoral basis and no clearly fixed territory) still include Israel only as a part of Palestine.
     
    This inclusion refers to all of Israel proper - not merely to Judea,
    Samaria and Gaza.
    The so-called road map still favored by President Bush offers a devious and ironic cartography. Everything about this plan presumes Israel's disappearance. Not even the irreconcilable and bloody divisions between warring Palestinian factions has diminished the overriding commitment of all of them to Israel's demolition. It is notably ironic, therefore, that the current government of Israel is on record in favor of a Palestinian state. What can Olmert be thinking? From the Oslo agreements onward, prime ministers from Rabin to Olmert have failed to understand that the true struggle with Arab enemies is less about territory than about God.
     
    TODAY, EACH Palestinian faction remains utterly loyal to a strategy for the "liberation of all Palestinian territory." This "phased plan" was first adopted by the Palestinian National Council in Cairo in June 1974. Under it, any Palestinian state would welcome assorted jihadist terror groups, including al-Qaida. Such cooperation is already on full display in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
    Israel, of course, would be the primary target. Additionally, a Palestinian state would aim to undermine the essential security interests of the US. Most perilous would be the inevitable competition for control of such a fragile and anarchic state by the various Sunni Arab regimes now being armed by Washington, and by Shi'ite Iran, being armed by Russia. Candidates McCain and Obama should be made aware of certain ominous linkages between a Palestinian state and regional war. Here, together with Israel's prime minister, they should also consider plausible connections with nuclear war.
     
    A PALESTINIAN state would have no proper authority under international law. Whatever its mode of self-declaration, any such presumption of Palestinian sovereignty could not satisfy the authoritative expectations of statehood. Candidates John McCain and Barack Obama should understand and acknowledge that every state must satisfy four specific requirements of the 1934 Montevideo Treaty: (1) a permanent population; (2) a defined territory; (3) a government; and (4) the capacity to enter into relations with other states.
     
    Although the PA could satisfy none of these criteria, it will argue otherwise. Almost certainly, this will involve incorrect legal references to "fundamental rights of self-determination and national liberation." The right of statehood under international law is never contingent upon goodness. For better or worse, there are no moral or ethical considerations that must be taken into account in the granting of sovereignty.
     
    This means that the openly declared and indisputable Palestinian goal of Israel's forcible destruction and America's incremental destabilization will have no legal bearing on whether or not a Palestinian state is created. Nor will unending and widespread Palestinian acceptance of violence. International law does not insist on any standard of decency for aspiring states, not even the most rudimentary acceptance of peaceful coexistence. While it is true that such acceptance is required for membership in the UN, the logically prior expectations of statehood are less stringent.
     
    In law, all that matters in establishing statehood are certain identifiable demographic, geographic and political facts. It is these particular facts on the ground, defined at Montevideo - not the codified and far-reaching Palestinian indifference to comity and civility - that would make any Palestinian declaration of statehood illegitimate.
     
    A Palestinian state remains contrary to America's strategic interests, and to the binding claims of both national and international law. Naturally, and notwithstanding the incomprehensible government stance in Jerusalem, such a state would be especially dangerous to Israel. It should, therefore, be rejected by both presidential candidates, and by Israel's next prime minister.
    =====
     
    The writer is professor of international law at Purdue, and was chairman of Project Daniel, which presented its final report on Iran to former prime minister Ariel Sharon. He is also the academic advisor to the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.

     


     

    Column One: When history is not repeated
    Aug. 28, 2008
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK 
     
    On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced: "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new cold war."
    Medvedev make this declaration after signing an order recognizing the sovereignty of Georgia's two pro-Russian provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Some observers warn that Russian annexation of the two territories is just a matter of time.
     
    While less attractive than a competitive alliance, Russia's violent, bullying behavior makes it impossible to imagine its leaders returning to their pre-invasion cooperative posture with the West. As a consequence, like Medvedev, many Western officials have been noting the possibility that a new cold war will take place between Russia and the West.
     
    Yet the nature of Russia's regime, which propelled its decision to launch its war in Georgia, raises doubts about the viability of reaching an equilibrium of hostility with the West comparable to that which existed during the Cold War. It is true that similarities between Russia's current behavior and that of the Soviet Union before it abound. As was the case with the Soviet Union, it is fairly clear that Russia's current regime has expansionist aspirations far beyond its immediate borders. Moscow's threat to attack Poland with nuclear bombs, its aggressive naval deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, its hosting of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its renewed talk of supplying Syria and Iran with advanced weapons systems all make its Soviet-like expansionist aims clear.
     
    Moreover, as Pavel Felgenhauer noted on the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor Web publication, Russia's government-controlled media is engaged in Soviet-like frenzied demonization of US leaders. In one prominent example this week, the government-mouthpiece Izvestia launched an obscene broadside against US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The newspaper referred to her as "insane," and then crudely demeaned her as "a skinny old single lady who likes to display her underwear during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov."
     
    As the West scrambles to build a strategy for contending with Russia, many writers and policy-makers have pointed out that Russia is fundamentally weak. As my former Jerusalem Post colleague Bret Stephens noted Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, Russia's demographic projection, like its oil and gas production, forecasts, is dim. The CIA has pointed out through demographic attrition, Russia's population will decline more than 20 percent over the next 40 years. And due to "underinvestment, incompetence, corruption, political interference and crude profiteering," Russia's oil production will decline this year for the first time. Its production rates are expected to drop precipitously next year and in the coming years as well.
    Cognizant of these negative trends, US and European leaders are hoping that Russia's bleak prospects will convince its leaders to step back from the precipice of war with the West to which they are now hurtling. On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried warned, "Russia is going to have to come to terms with the reality that it can either integrate with the world or it can be a self-isolated bully. But it can't have both."
     
    WHILE IT remains to be seen if the West will agree to isolate the Russian bully, it is certainly the case that Russia's leaders are not blind to their country's weaknesses. This is so because to a large degree, Russia's dim long-term prognosis has been caused by the domestic policies of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his cronies. And in light of this, it can be safely assumed that far from causing them to avoid confrontation with the West, their cognizance of Russia's problems is what caused them to adopt their belligerent posture.
     
    In December, Russian political insider Stanislav Belkovsky told the German media that during his two terms as Russia's president, Putin amassed a fortune in excess of $40 billion, making him the wealthiest man in Europe. Putin's wealth has been built through his ownership of vast holdings in three Russian oil and gas companies.
     
    Were Putin invested in the long-term prosperity and strength of his country, he would have invested that money in Russia. Instead he has squirreled it away in bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. And of course, Putin is not alone in betting his wealth against his country's future. Like him, his cronies in the Kremlin and the FSB (Federal Security Service) have accrued their wealth through their ownership in Russian companies that Putin has nationalized. And like him, they have taken their loot out of the country.
    The behavior of Russia's rulers makes clear that they do not concern themselves with the long-term health of their country as they construct their policies. And their concentration on short-term gains makes their decision to confront the US and Europe inevitable. It is now, when Russia's oil wealth is at its peak, that they are most powerful. And with their current power they seek to maximize their personal gains while justifying their actions in the name of Russian glory.
     
    By doing this, they are working to ensure that despite their despoiling of Russia's natural resources and fostering of social pathologies that guarantee Russia will be unable to stem its decline, Putin and his men will go out in a blaze of fire and light. Through his fascist cultivation of a cult of personality and his jingoistic aggression and incitement against the US, Putin, like Peter the Great and Josef Stalin, will enter the pantheon of Russia's great heroes after he abandons his devastated country to be reunited with his money. He cares not for the consequences of his actions for his fellow Russians. His loyalties are to immortality, and his bank accounts.
     
    It is due to Putin's non-domestic considerations that it is virtually impossible to reach a stable equilibrium of hostility with Russia today like that which existed with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This is the case for two reasons. First, because it is impossible to know how long he will stay around. And second, Putin's motivations block any chance of reaching a modus operandi with Russia because his motivations are not shared by his countrymen.
     
    THE FACT of the matter is that in its indifference toward Russia's long-term well-being, Putin's regime is far more similar to Iran and North Korea than it is to the Soviet Union that preceded it. As Iran invests hundreds of billions of dollars in its nuclear program and still more billions in its terror proxies, client states and offensive military systems in the name of its quest for Islamic domination and salvation, its domestic economy is falling apart.
    For the first time since 1982, this year Iran was forced to import wheat from the US. Parliament member Sayed Delkhosh announced Tuesday that 30% of Iran's $280b. annual budget has gone toward preventing failed government-owned companies from going bankrupt. Then, too, Iran's oil distribution company just announced that it intends to cut the public's gasoline rations ahead of the winter.
     
    As for North Korea, its principal exports are missiles, weapons of mass destruction, forged currency and narcotics. North Korea is a slave state replete will full regimentation of the entire starving population, abandoned, ruined villages and an archipelago of concentration camps. It is a country dedicated completely to the perpetuation of the pathological regime of absolute dictator Kim Jong-Il and his family.
     
    It is due to the fact that they base their national policies on considerations unrelated to their national well-being that Russia, Iran and North Korea have chosen a posture of war and confrontation with the West. For it is through confrontation and aggression that they coerce the West to pay attention to them. The identification of the West as the enemy enables them to divert their peoples' attention away from their domestic policy failures. Through their manipulation of public opinion Russia, Iran and North Korea have convinced their people to blame the outside enemy for their impoverishment and their suffering. And in light of the supposed enemies at their gates, the Russians, Iranians and North Koreans feel free, indeed compelled, to repress all opponents of their regimes.
     
    It is true that each of these regimes is motivated by different governing rationales. But whether their governing rationales are apocalyptic messianism, megalomania or greed, the result is the same. Guided by short-term goals, the leaders of Iran, Russia and North Korea seek out confrontation and war with the West.
     
    TO UNDERSTAND the acuteness of the challenges that Russia, Iran and North Korea constitute for the West, it is useful to compare them to the ascendant People's Republic of China. It is absolutely clear that like the Soviet Union before it, the PRC is currently engaged in a long-term strategy of expanding its military and economic power. Like the USSR, the PRC is emerging as a major power in competition and in conflict with the US.
    While the emergence of the PRC as a competitor of America's presents the US with major strategic challenges, the US has many options short of overt confrontation for contending with the rise of China. It can expand its naval forces and modernize its nuclear arsenal. It can strengthen its alliances with Japan, South Korea and other Asian democracies. It can expand and develop manufacturing markets in Thailand and India to compete with Chinese factories. At the same time, it can diversify its energy consumption to lower tensions over oil supplies with China.
     
    The fact that Russia, Iran and North Korea are unstable does not simply bar the prospect of reaching accords with them that will enable a stable equilibrium of terror and deterrence to emerge. Their inherent instability, evidenced by their otherworldly and so necessarily short-term policy horizons, makes clear that the lifespan of any deal is unknowable at best and most likely extremely limited. Moreover, even in the absence of a deal, it is impossible to reach a stable balance of terror.
     
    In contrast, during the Cold War, even when explicit agreements were impossible to achieve, there was still a basic framework of deterrence that limited the nature of the threat and the magnitude of possible conflagrations. Both the US and the Soviets based their strategies for contending with one another on a balance of terror predicated on mutually assured destruction. This understanding was founded on the American and Soviet presumption of the stability of the other side. In contrast, when forging policies to contend with the Russian, Iranian and North Korean regimes it is impossible to presume their stability because they are by their very natures unstable.
     
    The lesson of all of this is that while all enemies present dangers, not all enemies are alike. The same strategies cannot be employed against unstable enemies as can be employed against stable ones. Rather than forging policies toward Russia as well as Iran and North Korea based on false analogies with the Cold War, it is vital to recognize that regimes that do not concern themselves with the welfare of their own people are not regimes that will be credible negotiating partners or stable antagonists in cold wars based upon an assumption of mutual assured destruction.
     
    www.CarolineGlick.com