THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic
VOLUME 14 B"H
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
MILITARY/STRATEGIC, WORLD HISTORY, ISRAELI POLITICAL, ISLAM
THE FOURTH REICHASTAN ..............Mark Langfan
MILITARY/STRATEGIC, ISRAELI POLITICAL, ISLAM
DANIEL PIPES POSES ALTERNATIVES FOR SURVIVAL LIKE KAHANE DID ..............David Basch, Research Associate
WISHFUL BUT LOGICAL THINKING ..............Emanuel A. Winston
MILITARY/STRATEGIC, ISRAELI POLITICAL, JEWISH HISTORY
GOLAN HEIGHTS: A VITAL STRATEGIC ISRAELI ASSET ..............Mordechai Ben-Menachem
MILITARY/STRATEGIC, WORLD HISTORY, ISRAELI POLITICAL
ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR STRATEGY ..............Louis Rene Beres and Maj. Gen. Paul E.Vallely
ISRAELI POLITICAL, JEWISH HISTORY, RESISTANCE TO DEPORTATION
CHANUKAH AND JEWISH HISTORY ..............Bernard J. Shapiro
Iran : The Fourth Reichastan - The Hamas-Hezbollah-Syria-Iran-Iraqi Insurgency Axis:
The Hamas-Hezbollah-Syria-Iran-Iraqi Insurgency Axis:
“Loose” Chump Change or a “Fourth Reichastan”
by Mark Langfan
It is warmly comfortable to lazily scan the Hamas-Hezbollah-Syria-Iran-Iraqi Insurgency Axis as a disparate and discrete group of political/terrorist movements. For to otherwise view the insidious amalgam as a single coherent military and political machine would be to admit to an unthinkable and dark reality: that there currently exists a waxing nuclear capable Fourth Reichastan which is about to devastate and lay waste to the Judeo-Sunni-Christian-Buddhist-Hindu world. Such a conclusion would tear the false veneer that now exists which isolates the Iraqi, Hamas and Hezbollah insurgencies from each other and from Syria ’s and Iran ’s vital military and sovereign support of both. The grim reality is that the Hamas/ Hezbollah War and the Iraqi insurgency are two sides of the same coin that has as its fount the growing Iranian Fourth Reichastan Axis against America and the world.
Therefore, the only question is whether such an Iranian Fourth Reichastan exists. Now all manner of “experts” will collectively say “Pshaw!” They will piously intone the canard that “ Syria is Sunni and Iran is Shiite,” therefore, there can’t possibly be a functional “Axis.” However, historically, in the ante bellum tides of WWII, did Germany and Italy have to have exactly aligned interests to effectively function as a military “Axis”? No. In fact, in today’s terms Syria is the “Italian” or weaker element and Iran is the “German” or stronger element of the new Fourth Reichastan Axis. In a hauntingly eerie similarity, in the “Thirties,” Mussolini looked almost as Hitler’s equal partner in the Axis just as Assad now looks like an equal partner of Iran . The reality then is as the reality now, then, there was only one Fuehrer and now, that one “Fuehrer” is the collective Iranian Mullahs’ Council. Iran is in fact using Syria , as Germany used Italy , to facilitate its early strategic moves in the “Thirties” so that in the “Forties” Iran will come to rule. Iran ’s ignition of the illogical and unnecessary Hezbollah war may not be to tactically fog the Iranian nuclear issue but to strategically irrevocably push Syria into its loathsome embrace as Germany pushed Italy into its Axis in the Spanish Civil War.
In short, the seemingly disparate elements of the emerging Fourth Reichastan supply each other as an axis, defend each other as an axis, and fight for each other as an integrated axis: therefore, they’re an axis. Just because Iran has not openly fired missiles from its soil at Israel doesn’t mean its supply of materials and manpower and technical “advisors” and spiritual “permission” is not the essential and sovereign underpinning for Hezbollah’s open warfare on Israel . Likewise, just because Iran has not sent actual Iranian soldiers in actual Iranian uniforms into Iraq to openly kill American soldiers does not mean that Iran ’s logistical, monetary and manpower supply to the Iraqi insurgency as a sovereign power, has not effected a critical tipping point destabilization in Iraq . Such a silent war by Iran against America in Iraq is clearly aimed to cause America ’s catastrophic military defeat in Iraq . Clearly, the Iranian malevolent elemental efforts in Gaza , Lebanon and Iraq arenas are not just isolated meddling but are a purposeful, and integrated and focused warfare with the specific intent on destroying American military and strategic vital interests.
If in fact there exists a Fourth Reichastan, the consequences are stark, dramatic and dire. Most importantly, Syria , a modern reincarnation of fascist Italy , immediately becomes the de jure enemy of America . Syria is the critical enabling supplier of both the Iraqi insurgency and Hezbollah insurgency is no longer a dirty little secret ignorable by America . Syria is in fact the key supplier and sovereign territorial safe haven which supports the insurgency wars of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iraq . Syria is then an active purposeful belligerent against both America and Israel and not just a passive “innocent bystander.”
In fact, America’s and Israel’s disconnectedly treating Syria like an “innocent bystander” to the Hamas, Hezbollah or Iraqi insurgency wars will insure a twin defeat of Israel in its war of attrition with Hamas/Hezbollah and of America in its war with the Iraqi insurgency. Assad Junior will see his open support of both fronts as not only “costless” to his regime but his very empowering legitimacy. Assad will thereby be mistakenly emboldened, as was Mussolini, to redouble his resupply efforts and further fan the flames of both conflicts. In reality, America needs to ply Assad the same tough love with which Reagan, through Bush, wooed Khadafi. That may be all that is needed to roll up Iran ’s baby faced junior partner in crime and to cut the Insurgencies’ key supply lines. Otherwise, America’s and Israel’s disastrous inaction with respect to Syria will allow Assad Junior to delude himself into thinking himself as the king maker Assad Senior instead of as what he really is, an Iranian pawn.
America’s failure to immediately effect a militarily and political response to the reality of the Fourth Reichastan now will be even more irrevocably devastating to world peace and security than America’s ignoring the Third Reich’s exponentially strengthening axis of the Thirties. In the Thirties, there were vast defensive oceans and Germany did not possess either a nuclear potential or vast access and control of oil. Today, the exact opposite is true: Iran has a burgeoning nuclear potential and the Iranian Fourth Reichastan sits on vast natural oil reserves. Additionally, Iran sits astride tottering and cowering Sunni paper kingdoms whose massive strategic natural resources are necessary for today’s global economy. As such, Iran possesses and exerts incalculable economic leverage over the superpowers of China and Russia . Finally, one must add to this volatile mix the sorry fact that MAD does not act as a deterrent to Iran but an incentive. In sum, this is not a pretty picture.
Today, Iran correctly sees Israel ’s existence as a de facto projection of American military power and as the sole remaining obstacle to its future hegemony of the Middle East and the world, as Hitler saw Great Britain as the sole obstacle to his hegemony of Europe . Iran has learned from Germany ’s mistake in WWII and Saddam’s mistake of the “Nineties,” and is not wasting anytime or energy to occupy a defeated France or to consolidate a fractured Middle East before it attempts to destroy America ’s WWII forward base equivalent of Great Britain : Israel . In fact, the ostensible balkanization of the oil rich Sunni Kingdoms provide a false appearance of strategic division which masks Iran ’s true amassing strength. Iran ’s ultimate destruction of Israel will cripple America ’s ability to wage a winnable World War against Iran before that war even begins. Consequently, America can expect unrelenting hot and cold wars of attrition by Iranian proxies against Israel to rid itself of that sole obstacle to what will be its total Middle East domination. Unless America’s games out, takes action and protects itself and its allies against the possibility of a Fourth Reichastan now, the “Thirties” may rapidly become the “Forties,” or even the “Fifties” where Iran will have won.
Mark Langfan has had published numerous articles on Israel ’s military affairs.
DANIEL PIPES POSES ALTERNATIVES FOR SURVIVAL LIKE KAHANE DID
David Basch, Research Associate
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
December 20, 2006
"Jews are not in principle opposed to ethnic cleansing
and expulsion when the target of this is other Jews.
But they are not big on Arab expulsion, most probably
because they cringe in fear of the Arabs, hiding this
fear under a self-delusion that Jews are just "too moral"
to undertake such a policy. But now, with the Jewish ethnic
cleansing of Gaza, this idea of Jewish morality is
exposed as a form of self deception, masking a real
What clear-eyed supporters of Israel had predicted over the past
thirty years has finally come true, certified by Daniel Pipes in his
recent article, "Israel's Domestic Enemy" (December 19, 2006).
prediction was made by none other than Rabbi Meir Kahane (A"H) many
years ago when he envisioned that the Arabs that the Israeli leftists
were nourishing to become fellow citizens of Israel would one day set
themselves up to be masters of the country. Rabbi Kahane said more. He
said that these Arabs would remain loyal to the causes of their fellow
Arabs, Islam and Arab nationalism, and would not jump aboard the
leftist Universalism of the Jews -- all undeniable realities today.
Rabbi Kahane was demonized as a racist in speaking these truths about
Israel's Arabs at a time when Jewish Israel was master of its fate.
But so convinced were the Jewish leftist zealots of their leftist
religion, that it was an ideology so attractive and persuasive, that
there was no room in the minds of leftists to conceive that, unlike
the Jews, the Arabs would not embrace this Universalism but would hold
true to their Muslim-Arab heritage that rejects the right of Israel
to exist in any form.
It is telltale of how events in Israel have evolved that now even
Daniel Pipes, a staunch supporter of the "religion" of Jewish and Arab
coexistence in Israel, now sees that this now poses a crisis for
Israel. As he observes, Israel has three types of threatening enemies:
1) Arab nations, 2) external Arabs claiming to be refugees from Israel and
the true owners of Israel's lands, and 3) the Muslim-Arabs of Israel. While the
latter third type is the subject of Pipes article, it is worthwhile
Pipes view on this to focus for a few moments on the
first two threats to Israel that Pipes mentions.
As to the first of these, we find that Israel has dealt with the
problem of enemy
Arab nations very effectively, keeping these nations at bay by making them
realize that they would be demolished in a direct war against Israel.
Perhaps as a result of this, Israel has become so cocky that it has
thought that her safety and security is absolutely assured and that
she can afford to appease the Arab enemy for the sake of peace. The Arab
enemy has seized upon this opening to make this external Arab threat to
Israel more formidable as an opponent than ever before. Under a
series of leftist Israeli governments, the external Arabs have gained
legitimacy as a group with national rights to lands of the Mandate of
Palestine that have been controlled by Israel since they were captured
in the 1967 War of defense against five Arab armies.
While these Arabs had had no national existence prior to 1967 and were
referred to merely as "refugees" in the 1967 UN Resolution 242, Israeli
governments have accepted the Arab fiction that this group
constitutes a "people," a "Palestinian people," a name that ironically
begins with a letter "P" that is non existent in the Arab language.
Even Pipes participates in accepting this fiction of "Palestinians"
and uses this name in referring to them. The Arabs have lost no time
in retrojecting this fictitious "peoplehood" back to the time of the
Philistines and to claim ownership of all historic sites in the land
of Israel and the lands of Israel itself, now seen as "occupied."
The recent achievements of this Arab group has been to gain
control of lands in the Eastern highland territories of Judea and
Samaria and more recently they have acquired control of the Gaza
salient, promptly transforming the area into a military beachhead
against Israel that has as a first priority established a Hamas
controlled government and proceeded to bombard Israeli cities in
Not content with bringing about this disaster, the incorrigible
Olmert government, learning nothing from Gaza, seeks to transfer Jewish
land in the Eastern territories to these terrorists and to ethnically
communities from these areas. This the government does in the insane
belief that establishing a new Arab state in these areas will satisfy
Arab demands against Israel, as though the Arabs do not have as their
goal the destruction of all of Israel. Thus the only "success" here for
Israel is a temporary one of a "wall" that curbs infiltrating
terrorists from entering from the Israeli lands that Israel turned
over to the terrorists but which does not prevent Arab rockets from
reaching adjacent Israeli cities and placing all of Israel in
Now we come to the latest emerging threat to Israel, the Muslim
Israelis, that Pipes discusses. Here again we find a self created
Israeli problem that has festered because the leftist religious
ideology fatuously [nothing good] assumed that these Arabs would be
transformed by leftist Universalism. In fact, they have not been
transformed, but like the Algerians, who had been Francofied for 100
years and then within a decade reverted to their Muslim-Arab culture,
the Muslim-Israelis have shown themselves to be part of the
Muslim-Arab world working to annul the existence of Israel.
It seems that the gross error made in the leftist delirium of Israeli
governments is to think of the Arab-Muslim population as a minority
when it is actually part of a majority that constitutes the 300
million Arabs of the region -- a majority that demands the vanishing
While two of the three alternatives Pipes poses in his article clearly
recognize the hostile emergence of Israeli Muslims, a third ignores it
and thereby turns out to be thoroughly unrealistic. The latter, which
opens the ludicrous possibility that the Muslim Israelis will embrace
Zionism, can be discounted, leaving only two Pipes' possibilities.
The first of these is Pipes' alternative that Israel will abandon its
Zionism. Hence, as Pipes tells us, this will lead to acceptance of the
idea of a bi-national state that Muslim Israelis are now demanding.
But this is actually a dangerous surrender for the Jews since, under a
bi-national state that will end "the law of Jewish return," Jews will
very soon be submerged by Arab control as has occurred in Lebanon.
That nation began as 90% Christian but is now 60% Muslim with its
Christian population in continuous peril. Pipes tells us that the
111,000 Israeli Muslims of 1948 Israel have since multiplied by ten.
As this continues, the future must be a fading Israel, unlike the
Panglossian assertions of the Hillel Halkins. This must be as a result
of Muslim natural growth and, in addition, illegal infiltrations by
Arabs from the hundreds of millions of the Arab world -- try and stop
them under a government that the Muslims control.
What nevertheless makes the surrender of Zionism a realistic
possibility is that there may be more than 20% of Israelis that are
already anti-Zionist, including radical leftists and certain Orthodox
sects. If these can win the day, the transformation of Israel into a
new Arab state will be accomplished without bloodshed, this is,
bloodshed to the Arabs. As to what will happen to the Jews in this new
Arab State, I shudder to think since the Jews will have no outside
supporters, unlike the Christians of Lebanon that do get support from
the Christian nations of the world. Israeli Jews that are not
outright murdered may end up expelled the way the Jews of the Arab
nations were in 1949 with not a peep from the outside world. They were
lucky that they had Israel to go to. Aside from the Mediterranean Sea,
it is hard to envision where the powerless Israeli Jews will go.
As Oliver Hardy would remark to Stan Laurel whose antics brought
the pair into an impossible dead end, "Now this is a fine kettle
of fish you have gotten us into."
But it is Pipes' third possibility -- that Muslim Israelis will not
long remain Israeli -- which is the most likely outcome of the demands
that are being made by the now assertive Israeli Muslims. In the short
run, this is the most realistic of Pipes' possibilities. But what
Pipes actually has in mind by this third possibility seems to have two
The first interpretation, the one less likely to come about, is that
Jewish Israelis will get wise to their condition, namely, that the
Arabs do not have peace on their agenda but Israel's destruction,
first and last. Here Jewish Israelis will realize that Muslim Israelis
pose a grave and immanent threat. This will move Jewish Israelis,
for the sake of peace, to expel the dangerous hostile Arab population
from their midst, with, perhaps, its going to the lands that Israel
wants to surrender to the terrorists or to Arab lands beyond.
As we have recently observed, Jews (and even the U.S. government) are not
in principle opposed to ethnic cleansing and expulsion when the target of this
is Jews. But Jews are not big on Arab expulsion, most probably because they
cringe in fear of the Arabs, hiding this fear under a self-delusion
that Jews are just "too moral" to undertake such a policy. But now, in the wake
of the Jewish ethnic cleansing of Gaza, this idea of Jewish morality is
exposed as a form of self deception, masking a real Stockholm
Syndrome. This must have been rampant among Israeli Jews since it has
been leading them progressively to embrace the goals of the
frightening Arab enemies as their own values, as is the observed consequence
on those so afflicted with the Stockholm Syndrome. Thus, there is no
here but only the effects of deep fear of the Arabs.
Hence, ethnic cleansing of the Arabs is not a path that the majority
of leftist Israeli Jews can be expected to follow. Even if war were
imposed on Israel, it is likely that in victory, Israeli Jews will
resurrect the enemy with new appeasements that will enable them to try
again to destroy Israel, as has been Israeli practice for many
The more realistic interpretation of the path opened by Pipes' third
possibility -- that the Muslim Arabs will not remain Israeli for long
-- is that the Arabs will rise in rebellion against Israeli authority,
just as the Arabs did against the Christian authority in Lebanon, and
a murderous civil war will erupt in Israel for control of the state.
Given the Arab penchant to express their Islam in the form of
conquest, Arabs chomp at the bit, looking forward to this vision of
military triumph against the hated Jewish foe that they believe they
can vanquish. It can be expected that this will bring the Muslim
Israelis assistance from the Arabs of the territories and from Muslim
Arabs far and wide -- assistance from the outside of the kind that is
evident to U.S. forces fighting in Iraq -- wearing Israel down in a
continuous war of attrition. Thus does Bush's stupid support of a
new Arab state that will inevitably be terrorist and opposed to the existence
of Israel aid the Arab terrorists. The reality is that Arabs need Israel's
destruction before any form of democracy, something that Bush's
shallow understanding makes him overlook.
The fact has been that the existence of Israel had been conditioned on
the ability of Israel to militarily compel the Arab world to accept
its existence. But given the Israeli delusions over decades that
Israelis can dispense with the margin that strategic territory has
given them since 1967 and that Muslim Israelis will accept the
existence of Israel even when they have the option to side with their
brother Arabs in destroying Israel, Israel's existence has now become
problematic. The in-close enemy, brought in close by fanatic leftist
Israeli governments through a parade of appeasements, is now a mortal
danger to the existence of Israel.
Unless there is a new burst of realism about the nature of the implacable,
determined Arab enemy of a kind that has been unknown in Israel since the beginning of the state -- that is, unless this realization comes
flooding into Israeli consciousness -- the sooner will a realistic -- not a
-- approach to the issue of Israeli survival begin to be instituted
and threats to the nation dealt with, as Pipes thinks they soon must.
As to how these issues will turn out now -- will Israel overcome? -- remains in grave doubt, thanks to the incompetence of the current Olmert
government and the long line of Israeli delusionary leaders, characterologically warped by their leftist ideology to be blind to the implacable Arab threat, and to lead
the nation to its destruction.
Only a new, effective, clear-eyed
leadership can save Israel now, one willing to see that so called American friends like Bushare too blinded by oil politics to be helpful to Israel's future. Are Israel's people up tothe task of confronting their fate? The answer to this does not seem to be long in coming, as Pipes has warned.
GOLAN HEIGHTS: A VITAL STRATEGIC ISRAELI ASSET
by Mordechai Ben-Menachem
forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston,
Mid East Analyst & Commentator
Keep in mind - as you read this excellent analysis - is that Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes he has the right to negotiate the transfer of the Golan Heights, merely because he issues a "proclamation". Olmert plans to do this just as he plans to proclaim that East Jerusalem is to be transferred, just as the West Bank is to be transferred along with the Jordan Valley.
Gaza went this way when Olmert implemented his ethnic cleansing of 10,000 Jews from 25 Jewish communities in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria. Now Gaza is (as we and others forecast) a Global Terror Operational Base, turning into a powder keg of competing terror factions as Hamas and Fatah escalate toward a bloody Civil War.
Presently, areas of Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem are being sub-divided with an Israeli-built Fence/Wall (supposedly to protect Israeli Jews from Arab Muslim terrorists) but which is being arranged to benefit the Arab Muslims in what Olmert considers the whole State of Palestine.
In brief, it really doesn’t matter what the Knesset or the Israeli people might say, if they were consulted, or what the people of Israel would decide - if they were given the vote to decide their destiny.
The "Imperial" Prime Ministry (where the Prime Minister decides for the whole country) started with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and has grown exponentially. Ehud Olmert has adopted a dictatorial attitude in the belief that he actually has the right as he so chooses - to abandon, barter, sell any part of the Land of Israel which G-d gave to the Jewish people.
THE GOLAN HEIGHTS: A VITAL STRATEGIC ISRAELI ASSET
by Mordechai Ben-Menachem
Ben-Gurion University Beer-Sheva, Israel
When Yitzhak Rabin ran for election as Israel’s Prime Minister in 1992, he publicly declared at a giant election rally just two weeks before the election, "Whosoever gives up the Golan Heights, abandons the security of the State of Israel." Ehud Barak, when he was Chief of Staff, strongly maintained the vital necessity of retaining the "Golan Heights west of Quneitra" for Israel’s strategic survival (i.e., everything Israel presently controls; Israel does not control Quneitra).
In fact (in May 1993), Barak quoted the 1967 Secret Memorandum of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff that Israel should keep the Golan Heights, the areas around Jerusalem, the hills of Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, Sharm el-Sheikh. (1)
Only days after the UN passed a resolution calling Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem illegal, former US secretary of state James Baker calls for Israel to leave the Golan Heights. It appears the Iraq Study Group has an idea to use the Golan Heights as inducement for Syrian cooperative behavior in Iraq. They never heard the old Cosa Nostra expression, "They can be bought but do they stay bought?" The Shia rulers of Sunni Syria are the direct cultural descendants of the Medieval Assassins; they never stay bought, as their only historical allegiance is to themselves and the Alawi tribe.
Predictably, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara expressed immediate willingness to enter into negotiations with Israel, stipulating that Damascus is only willing to discuss an agreement with Israel providing the Golan Heights are returned to Syria to the last centimeter, as the first part of such an agreement; what the other ‘parts’ are, were not yet mentioned. Of course, if that is the first part, then obviously additional parts are also expected. For Israel, such a move is tactical disaster and strategic suicide. This assessment deals with the Golan issue in light of the Baker-Hamilton ISG report.
GEO-STRATEGIC STATUS OF THE GOLAN HEIGHTS
The Golan Heights is officially designated by law as part of the State of Israel. This is not merely an issue of a few tens of thousands of Golan residents, even those living there now for three generations, but a question of national life and death. If politicians are prepared to sacrifice this land, this must be and is cause for serious concern; and not just for Israel. To better comprehend this issue of serious national anxiety, one must first understand what the Golan is, and what it means to Israel's survival.
Topographically, the Golan is a 60 kilometers long by 20 kilometers wide mountainous plateau running from the upper Jordan Rift Valley and Lake Kinneret in the west, the Yarmuk Valley in the south, and Mount Hermon in the north. The total area is 1,158 square kilometers, with some 21% as a nature preserve (246 square kilometers). On Israel's side of the Golan, there is a steep incline from the Golan plateau down to the densely-populated Hula Valley and eastern shore of the Kinneret. The border with Syria in the Golan is eighty kilometers long.
Of the remainder, about eighty square kilometers is agricultural land worked by Jews and twenty square kilometers worked by Druze, with an additional 500 km. as pasture land. There also exists significant industrial activity.
Above the Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) rises an escarpment, ranging in height from 100 to 800 meters altitude, known as the Golan Heights, towering over the Rift Valley to its west; created by volcanic activity, pouring out from craters, covering the high plateau with layers of basalt, making cross-country movement difficult. The highest point is Mount Hermon (Biblical Sion) a multi-peaked mountain rising to 2,224 meters at its peak, dominating observation over the entire region up to the Damascus Basin to the east – some sixty kilometers distant. The so-called "Purple Line" established after the cease-fire of 10 June 1967, provided an excellent line of defense for Israel. The area was almost completely uninhabited before 1967, now contains a vibrant population with tens of villages and settlements, including (mostly) Jews and Druze.
The border is located mostly along the watershed and enables long range observation posts from a line of volcanic hills, containing strategic electronic surveillance stations. From a purely strategic view, the Heights contribute nothing to the defense of Syria's capital Damascus. A glimpse at the map shows clearly that due to topographical features to its west, Damascus can best be defended along the Awaj River near Sasa and the two stony deserts to the south, both practically impassable to military traffic. Any defense further west, including the Golan Heights can be easily outflanked, as the IDF did during the latter stages of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In other words, movement westward is made very difficult, while eastward is actually unhindered.
From a strategic point of view, the Golan would be critical to Israel even if Syria did not have a history of using it for constant shelling and harassment when they had it; even though they never made any other use of it. Legally, this use of the area made their capture in the Six-Day War not only strategically incumbent upon Israel, but also a legal right by international law. Additionally, the Golan was part of the League of Nations Mandate and was subtracted from Israel illegally.
THE GOLAN HEIGHTS: ISRAEL’S STRATEGIC BULWARK
Israeli control extends just over the crest-line, giving the IDF direct eye and radar contact with the sixty kilometer plain from the Golan to Damascus. Just 20-30 kilometers from Israel's forward positions are the deployment areas of Syria's missile and armored divisions – a mere two-hour tank ride to Israel. The Golan Heights acts as a defensive wall protecting Israel's north. It should be emphasized that all of Northern Israel is with direct artillery strike of the Golan, and Syria has a history of using this ability constantly until 1967 – including several major incursions under artillery cover with the objective of occupying territory. When international ‘negotiators’ discuss the 4 June 1967 armistice lines, they refer to lines including territory illegally conquered and occupied by Syria in these cross-border attacks.
Today, a Syrian attack is topographically channeled via only two passes in which armored vehicles can cross. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, some 150 Israeli tanks stopped invading Syrian columns, with more than 1,400 tanks, in the "bottleneck" Valley of Tears pass in the north and the pass through the volcanic hills in the southern heights. Despite the surprise attack on Israel’s most Holy Day, and despite being vastly outnumbered, Israeli troops held off the invaders for the 48 hours that were required to mobilize and deploy the necessary reserve forces that ultimately beat back and defeated the Syrian aggressors.
Israel's northern border has another serious topological and geographic anomaly. What is known as the "Galilee Panhandle" pokes strangely from the Hula valley northward up to the Lebanese border; a mere 5000 to 7000 meters wide along its northern part. It is a curious geographical phenomenon, created as result of hasty, shortsighted and un-mandated decisions made by the French and British Foreign Offices. On the west, the Panhandle leans on a mountain range, partially under Israeli and partially under Lebanese sovereignty and on its east by the Golan Heights, from which Israeli villages were constantly bombarded by Syrian artillery located on the overlooking slopes, prior to 1967.
Imagine a Syrian repeat performance of the 1973 surprise attack, this time with 4,000 tanks, 700 Scud ballistic missiles (some with chemical warheads), and tens of thousands Katyusha rockets fired upon Haifa and Tel Aviv within a 2-hour span, sowing widespread civilian panic and seriously disrupting Israel's emergency reserve mobilization. Remember the several billion dollars of damage done by Hezb’Allah’s 4000 rockets in the summer? That fight was as nothing compared to Syrian Scuds, plus thousands of Katyusha’s from there and additional several thousand from Lebanon, in a coordinated attack.
OTHER STRATEGIC ISSUES & CONSIDERATIONS
Population: During the time when the Golan was occupied by the Syrians, no effort was made to populate the region or to use it for anything other then a military staging area for attacking Israel. This area was also used by the Nazis harbored by Syria after WW II to view Israel, who entertained dreams of ‘completing’ their European ‘accomplishments’ from the Golan. They very nearly succeeded.
Today, the Golan is populated by a rich ethnic mixture consisting mostly, but not exclusively of Jews and Druze. The Druze have brethren in both Israel, primarily in the Carmel Mountain areas, and in Lebanon, with also a small number remaining alive under the Syrian regime. For instance, the Druze population of Israel is approximately 115,000 with almost 17,000 of them living in the Golan.
There are a total of thirty-three Jewish settlements; ten kibbutzim, nineteen moshavim, one moshava, two community villages and Qatzrin, the main city (the population of Qatzrin is about 7,000). The Jewish population is about eighteen thousand (18,000). Jewish and Druze populations are about equal (the Druze live in four villages).
The Golan is one of three sources of Israel's fresh-water needs. It is the largest and most plentiful of the three, thus it is the source for the majority of Israel’s water. It comprises the headwaters of the Jordan River and the mountain streams that flow into the Kinneret; more than one third of all of Israel’s water. With widespread contamination of the coastal plain's aquifers, resulting from the Oslo Accords giving over control of the aquifers and rain-flow runoff from Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, the Kinneret becomes Israel's main, almost sole, natural, fresh-water source. This water flows freely into the Kinneret and then, via massive pumps using 5% of Israel's electric power, the National Water Carrier supplies this water to the rest of Israel.
It was not always so. In 1964, Syria, then occupying the Golan Heights, tried to divert these critical headwaters away from Israel in a blatant attempt to cripple Israel's fresh-water supply.
Any damage or interruption to this water supply would strategically cripple Israeli industry and render agriculture over the entire North of the country untenable.
THE BAKER "OPTION"
The idea of Israel depriving herelf of its most important strategic hard-asset, for a mere piece of paper, signed by a single leader, would be a catastrophic mistake. This entails serious consequences, in both the short-term and long-term. In reality, Syria's national interests are not focused only on the Golan Heights, which represent only an insignificant part of its entire territory. Syria's long-term strategic aims are to exert its hegemony over the entire Lebanon, Israel's northern territory and most of Jordan, which it considers part of their strategic aspirations for a "Greater Syria".
One of the options being proposed by the Baker-Hamilton ISG-report is placing US forces to monitor a Syrian-Israeli peace deal over the Golan Heights, following Israel's withdrawal. Part of this would be US experts taking charge of the IDF monitoring stations on Mount Hermon and the overlooking border hills. Real-time intelligence is imperative for early warning in modern warfare. In relinquishing these highly strategic assets, even were they to remain under a friendly monitored replacement, could become a crucial matter of national survival.
For example, US intelligence on Iraqi Scud launch zones in western Iraq during Operation Desert Storm was denied Israel; despite her being under constant attack – even while Saddam's missiles impacted on Tel Aviv.
But there exists an additional, stronger reason, for Israel's reluctance to place US forces on the Golan. Placing US forces in harm’s way to guard Israel against hostile infiltrations and subsequent counter-guerrilla preventive (or punitive) operations by the IDF would inevitably lead to unnecessary tension between the two allied nations.
The Golan Heights represents a vital strategic asset for Israel's security, safety and even survival. This is true and demonstrates the existential threat to Israel’s sovereignty which surrendering the Golan Heights would substantiate, particularly in lieu of current political configurations in the specific region and in the Middle East, as a whole.
The danger of the so-called Shiite Crescent engulfing Israel from its north and north-eastern border, with a Hezb’Allah-dominated and Iranian-backed Lebanese Government, places before Israel a major strategic disaster - should she cede the Golan Heights to Syria, this danger is multiplied many-fold. The Golan Heights not only safeguards Israel's north, but deters, by the IDF long range reach into the Damascus basin, from any offensive options, which Bashar Assad may consider to under an Iranian umbrella.
1. "Barak Quotes Secret U.S. Joint Chiefs Memorandum of 1967" by Gail Winston May 1993 Jewish Press (reprinted 1996 & 1999)
Israel's Nuclear Strategy
By Louis Rene Beres and Maj. Gen. Paul E.Vallely
December 14, 2006 -The Washington Times
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's explicit reference on Dec. 11 to his country's nuclear weapons was hardly a "slip of the tongue." Rather, it was an intentional attempt to remind Israel's enemies that despite a long-standing policy of "opacity" or "deliberate ambiguity," the Jewish state would make any aggressor pay existentially for launching annihilatory attacks. Nor was Mr. Olmert's lifting of Israel's nuclear veil unprecedented. More than 10 years ago, Shimon Peres had publicly advanced the idea of unilateral denuclearization in exchange for "peace."
But a coherent strategic doctrine is now needed to provide Israel with broad nuclear policy frameworks. In fashioning this essential doctrine, Israel must address these major questions:
1. Should Israel now begin to identify certain general elements of its nuclear arsenal and nuclear plans?
2. Would it be in Israel's best interests to make certain that others are sufficiently aware of its nuclear targeting doctrine, its retaliatory and counter-retaliatory capacities, its willingness under particular conditions to pre-empt; and its capacities for ballistic missile defense?
The Arab-Islamic awareness of an Israeli bomb does not automatically imply that Israel has credible nuclear deterrence. If Israel's nuclear arsenal were seen as vulnerable to first-strikes it might not persuade enemy states to resist attacking the Jewish state. Similarly, if Israel's political leadership were seen as unwilling to resort to nuclear weapons in reprisal for anything but unconventional strikes, these enemy states may not be deterred. If Israel's targeting doctrine were judged to be predominantly focused on enemy state weapons and supporting military infrastructures, enemy states could so fear an Israeli first-strike that they would then consider striking first themselves.
How shall enemy states be apprised of Israel's targeting doctrine? It is no longer enough that Israel's enemies merely know that the Jewish state has nuclear weapons. They must also be convinced that these arms are secure and that Israel's leadership is actually willing to launch these weapons against high-value city targets in response to certain first strike and retaliatory attacks.
Israel's strategic doctrine must aim at strengthening nuclear deterrence. It can meet this objective only by convincing enemy states that a first-strike upon Israel will always be irrational. This means communicating to enemy states that the costs of such a strike will always exceed the benefits. Hence, Israel's strategic doctrine must always convince prospective attackers that their intended victim has both the willingness and the capacity to retaliate with nuclear weapons. If an enemy state considering an attack upon Israel were unconvinced about either or both of these components of nuclear deterrence, it could choose to strike first. This would depend in part upon the particular value it placed upon the expected consequences of such an attack.
Regarding capacity: Even if Israel were to maintain a substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons, it is necessary that enemy states believe these weapons to be distinctly usable. This means that if a first-strike attack were believed capable of sufficiently destroying Israel's atomic arsenal and pertinent infrastructures, that country's nuclear deterrent could be immobilized. Even if Israel's nuclear weapons could not be destroyed by an enemy first-strike, enemy misperceptions or misjudgments about Israeli vulnerability could still bring about the catastrophic failure of Israeli nuclear deterrence.
To the extent that Israel's doctrine actually identifies nuanced and graduated forms of reprisal, more disclosure could contribute to Israeli nuclear deterrence. Without such disclosure, Israel's enemies will be kept guessing about the Jewish state's probable responses, a condition of protracted uncertainty that could serve Israel's survival for a while longer, but — at one time or another — could come apart.
Prime Minister Olmert's public comment on Israel's nuclear capacity was a good first-step to enhanced nuclear deterrence. But it was only a good beginning.
Louis Rene Beres, who has counseled various government agencies in Washington and Jerusalem, is an author who served as chairman of Project Daniel under former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Prof. Beres is also the academic advisor to the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Maj. Gen. Paul E.Vallely, retired, is a military analyst for Fox News and host of the radio show "Stand Up America."
CHANUKAH AND JEWISH HISTORY
Will We Be Maccabees Or Victims?
By Bernard J. Shapiro
The year is 70 C.E. and a young Roman legionnaire stands on a hill overlooking Jerusalem. While he watches it burn, he says to his comrades in Latin, "Judea Capta Est" (Judea is conquered).Yet like the legendary phoenix, rising from the ashes of its own destruction, Israel burst onto the world's stage 2000 years later, with the cry of a lusty infant yearning to breathe free. Five Arab armies tried to destroy that new life before it could take hold. With blood and fire, including the sacrifice of one per cent of its population (6000 of its best young people), besieged Israel secured its independence.
Just nine short years earlier, European Jewry faced its most devastating experience, the Holocaust. In the areas under Nazi occupation, the Jewish death rate was 90%. Despite revolts in dozens of camps, and heroic resistance with the partisans of free Europe, the Jews were unorganized, unarmed and ultimately became victims. During both the Holocaust and Israel's War of Independence, the world and its leaders were indifferent, if not hostile, to the fate of the Jews.
Jews in their own land, with their G-d, have great power, much more than the sum of arms and men. During Chanukah we should recall the legacy of the Maccabees. Remember how two "Hellenized Jews," Jason and Menelaus tried to destroy Judaism and force assimilation on the Jewish population. For generations we have taught our children about the evil Antiochus and his attempt to suppress the Jews. In reality, there were traitors among our own people who led the way for Antiochus.
There arose in Israel, an almost similar situation when Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin led a leftwing coalition that was blatantly hostile to everything Jewish. They forced Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to go along with their nefarious schemes. They pushed through the Oslo Accords in the Knesset which surrendered the heartland of Eretz Yisrael, promised in perpetuity to Abraham and his descendants by G-d. The educational system in Israel was then revamped to eliminate the study of Jewish sources like the bible. They cultivated hatred of all things Jewish and especially religious Jews. Units of the Israel Defense Forces were recruited from the non-religious population for the sole purpose of suppressing and possibly destroying the religious villages of YESHA.
Peres, Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg and other extreme leftists, anxious to win favor with the Arabs, much like Jason and the Greeks, planned to give away Israel's strategic assets. Territory is not important if your new god is economics. While the Israeli government renounced anything Jewish, including Holy Sites, the Arabs sought strength and comfort in a revived Islam. Nothing portrays the difference better between the Arabs and the Jews than how each views his religion. Young Arab men, promised paradise, cry "ali Akbar" (G-d is Great), then sacrifice their lives to kill Jews in one great jihad. Jewish soldiers filed to respond to the enemy, uncertain about their open-fire instructions, demoralized by a government, which lies to them about the advent of peace.
The Israeli people rose up in the 1996 election and threw out the party of appeasement that had abandoned Eretz Yisrael. Benjamin Natanyahu became Israeli Prime Minister and the National/Zionist/Religious groups breathed a collective sigh of relief. ONLY RELIEF DID NOT COME. For some reason known only to him, Netanyahu, Barak, PM Ariel Sharon, and now Olmert proceeded to implement the very same Oslo agreements the voters had rejected What should we do?
Let us be Maccabees again. Let us go into battle with the Maccabee cry, "All who are with G-d, follow me!" With the words: "Who is like untoThee O G-d (the acronym of which spells out he word Maccabee in Hebrew) inscribed on their flags, the G-d inspired Jewish army swept the much larger enemy from the field in a great victory. It is this victory for which we celebrate Chanukah and not just the miracle of the oil burning eight days.
There is a simple but crucial lesson for us all in the above events. If we as Jews turn our backs on our religion and our G-d, we can expect disaster.
The current government of Israel has brought down the wrath of G-d on the Israeli people for turning its back on our heritage. Like Judah Maccabee, angered by the treason of Jason and Menelaus, and outraged by Antiochus, we must revolt against Olmert as we did against Peres, Rabin and Sharon. The nationalist opposition in Israel must unite behind one Zionist banner. They must fill the streets and jails with protesters. City after city must be shut down.
Victory will not fall into our lap. It must be fought for and won. We must demonstrate that the strength of our will and the power of our belief can not be defeated. Only then will victory come.
The Jews of Judea and Samaria and all of Israel must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who have surrendered our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in Judea, Samaria and Gaza who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham, nor their right of self-defense.
The brave heroes of Zion must not limit themselves to passive civil disobedience, but must be on the offensive. My friends, it is may past time to mount an active civil disobedience campaign that will be celebrated by future generations as the Maccabees are today.
While such internal Jewish conflict would be dreadful, it is a consequence of the government's disregard for the security and well being of its citizens. At this great time of trial and apocalyptic threat, the safeguarding of the future of the Jewish people's right to Eretz Yisrael must take precedence.