NOTES TO BIBI AFTER HIS FIRST ELECTION - STILL IMPORTANT
BERNARD J. SHAPIRO
An Editorial from THE MACCABEAN June 1997
A CALL TO ACTION
We Must Return To Zionism
By Bernard J. Shapiro
In 1897 in Basle, Switzerland, Theodore Herzl founded the World Zionist Organization. There were great accomplishments in the last 100 years. Much has happened to the Jewish people who found themselves on a roller coaster with many traumatic ups and downs. The Holocaust was the lowest point and the establishment of Israel was a high point. There was the great victory of 1967 and the trauma of 1973. Zionism flourished, Israel prospered, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were settled. The Ethiopian return to Zion brought tears to our eyes with pride. The great Russian migration to Israel literally changed the country for ever.
And then a cataclysmic and horrific event took place. A small clique of charlatans, with anti-Zionist delusions, took over the Israeli government in 1992. They deceived the Israeli voters by placing ("Mr. Security") Yitzhak Rabin at the head of their ticket. They promised security and then proceeded to dismantle the Jewish State. 100 years of Zionism are being undone in a few years. The new Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not seem to have the political will to undo the damage of Oslo.
In the past few years, it seems that the main effort of Israeli governments was the creation of a Palestinian state. The word peace was perverted and distorted, coming to mean surrender and appeasement.
It is time for real Zionists to take charge of Israel's future. Zionists who will populate the lands of YESHA. And do it without apology or timidity. The leaders of Israel must pursue security policies without regard to the opinions of those who did nothing to help us during the Holocaust. The People of Israel must understand that they have caused a revolution in Jewish history. We have moved from weakness to the power of self-determination.
WE MUST NOT GO BACK TO THE OLD VULNERABLE DAYS. SURVIVAL INTO THE 21ST CENTURY REQUIRES SELF-SUFFICIENT POWER AND ACTIONS.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE FAILURE
TO IMPLEMENT REAL ZIONISM
It is obvious that the Palestinians will continue to violate their Oslo commitments. Their behavior is in keeping with their character. It is normal for them to kill Jews, break agreements, lie to the media and even abuse their own people. Like the wolf and the sheep, it is just nature that one will devour the other. The Palestinians are working very seriously to create a state from the river to the sea, with Jerusalem as their capital. We are not surprised.
What bothers us greatly, is the impotence (indeed in actions) of the Israeli government in protecting the vital interests of the Israeli people. Instead of lists of PLO violations, DO SOMETHING! DEMAND COMPLIANCE. In the old days, terrorists were destroyed in Gaza and Beirut by the long arm of ZAHAL (Israel Defense Forces). How is it that they can now find refuge in Nablus and Jericho?
We say to Netanyahu," Arafat and Mubarak are laughing at you. At the Freeman Center we are crying. We had worked for a stronger leadership. A leadership that would mobilize Israel to face the ominous challenges of the 21st Century."
TALKING ABOUT HAR HOMA
The Freeman Center urges the Israeli government NOT to talk about Har Homa. Instead talk about the PA endorsement of terrorism and their lack of compliance with existing agreements. Bibi should talk to Mubarak only in Jerusalem and only after Azam is released from Egyptian imprisonment. And then Mubarak could be asked to help rid Egypt's newspapers of anti-Semitic articles and cartoons and to allow its citizens to visit and trade with Israel. Har Homa is nobody's business but the Israeli people and any Arab, American, or European that brings it up should be shown the door
OSLO HAS CAUSED STRATEGIC
DAMAGE TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY
The problem is the ability of the Palestinians to disrupt the IDF's mobilization schedule. Of course, the IDF can crush them in a head to head battle. But some 50,000 well armed terrorists (with anti-tank and anti-air missiles, Katyusha's etc) could slow Israel down while missile barrages from Syria, Iraq, and Iran containing VX nerve gas would contribute to general breakdown of Israel's ability to fight. Israel would still win, but at great cost. Do you remember the SCUD attacks and how much it disrupted life in Israel? Syria alone has 1000 missiles loaded with VX nerve gas and anthrax bacteria. We are talking chaos. Of course Israel can nuke these countries, but there is a great imbalance in this psychological deterrence factor. America and Russia operated on the principle of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) for 50 years. This will not work for Israel because its Arabs enemies see victory in DESTROYING Israel in a JIHAD. Arabs killed would go to
paradise while the Jews would be sent straight to hell.
It is this imbalance in attitudes toward human life that makes the situation so unstable. The Freeman Center believes firmly in the principles of "preemption, preemption and preemption." No nation hostile to Israel should be allowed to possess non-conventional weapons. Regardless of public opinion they need to be taken out.
ISRAEL'S SOVEREIGNTY IN YESHA
Sovereignty is quite often a unilateral act. America's sovereignty in Texas and California was never recognized by Mexico and certainly was a unilateral act of based on superior military power. Israel's sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael has considerably more international sanction (League of Nations Mandate etc) than America ever had. That the international climate has shifted (to anti-Semitism) doesn't alter the issue. Of course with the granting of Eretz Yisrael to the Jews by HaShem there are certainly moral rights.
In the final analysis, Zionism was the Jewish peoples act of unilateral sovereignty over what was morally and rightfully theirs BUT denied by mankind.
I wouldn't quibble over details, I would exercise our right and utilize our power for the good of the Jewish people. A lot of people misjudge the power of a united Jewish people in pursuit of justice for Israel. (Pray that we would unite!) We are not that weak, only intimidated by the big powers and the Arabs. Israeli strength has always been greater than the sum of arms and men. The Maccabees defeated numbers much greater than theirs. Bar Kochba held off the Roman Empire for many years before succumbing to the force of ONE HALF of Rome's Legions. I know they lost in the end, but many historians say that the huge losses of Rome in this battle with Bar Kochba and his men so weakened them that it led to Rome's decline. It is important to note that the Romans are NO MORE and we Jews control Israel and Jerusalem.
THE DOUBLE STANDARD
Some well meaning Jews believe that Israel should behave at a higher standard of morality than its Arab neighbors. They urge Jews to refrain from retaliating for Arab attacks.
While I have never supported murder for murder sake, killing the enemies that come to slay us is fully in keeping with Jewish law. Was it wrong for the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto to kill Nazis? For the IDF to raid terrorist bases? For Netanyahu to travel to Beirut to kill PLO terrorists? To kill the enemies of Israel, before they commit murder, is certainly a mitzvah. And I am not talking about unjustified murder. I am talking about real enemies including those who throw Molotov cocktails and other lethal objects. The double standard is really a form of anti-Semitism.
A complete discussion of this subject can be found in chapter 10 (Why Jews Must Behave Better Than Everybody Else) of Professor Ed Alexander's new book, THE JEWISH WARS (no relation to the book by Josephus about Masada).
An Editorial from the May 1997 issue of THE MACCABEAN.
NETANYAHU, OUR PRODIGAL SON
What Should The RIGHT Do About Bibi's Plight
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu is in trouble. While he will not be charged with a crime, there is no question that his political standing has fallen. How he came to be embroiled in the most damaging scandal of his political career is also well know. I would like to discuss the proper response of the National Camp to unfolding events.
Bibi has been like the prodigal son who takes the family inheritance and squanders it foolishly. He was elected on a Zionist platform by one of the largest Jewish majorities in Israeli history (over 11%). His election was a clear signal from the voters of concern about the direction of the Oslo Process. Yet like the prodigal son, he took the political power, given him by the electorate, and began to use it to complete the self-destructive process begun by the previous Labor/Meretz/PLO government.
Bibi's current troubles stem from his desire to secure a majority in the Knesset for the abandonment of Hebron. He desperately needed the votes of Shas, an ultra-Orthodox political party with a long history of fraud and scandal. While I am not a religious scholar, it has occurred to me, that Bibi may be feeling the Wrath of HaShem for his share in undermining the Jewish claim to Hebron, burial place of the Patriarchs. We know from the TANACH that HaShem loved and cared deeply for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps He is showing His displeasure at Bibi's actions.
With all that said, I must confess the following: Bibi is OUR prodigal son. We must guide him back to the Right path. Now there is no substitute. The Left has unsheathed their long knives and have begun to lust for blood. The viciousness of the Israeli media and the politically corrupted police and judiciary must be stopped. They seek to overturn the voter's democratic choice by innuendo, slander and damaging leaks. The charges against Bibi are at their very worse a form of political "backroom" bargaining. Such behavior has been common to every Israel government since 1948. In fact it was David Ben Gurion, Israel's first premier, who initiated the policy of "paying off" the ultra Orthodox to join his coalition.
Do we value the concept of "equal protection under the law" and judicial impartiality? The Left is guilty of far greater crimes against the State than Bibi. How many of you remember Alex Goldfarb who was given a new Mitsubishi to bolt the Tsomet Party and give Peres and Rabin a majority for the Oslo Accord? Was the late Yitzhak Rabin ever charged with the cold-blooded murder of 17 Jewish teenagers in 1948 during the Altalena incident. The Israeli police never investigated whether Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin and others violated Israel law by:
(1) collaborating with the enemy
(2) damaging Israeli security by aiding known terrorists
(3) perpetrating the self-destructive hoax of Oslo against the will of the Israeli people
(4) plotting with enemies of Israel to turn over strategic territory to them which would facilitate their destruction of the Jewish State.
The Left is also guilty of compromising the quality of the IDF by promoting fellow leftist officers instead of the most qualified. The leftist police have pursued an agenda of punishing Jews who defend themselves against Arab attack. And then the government releases Arab murderers to kill more Jews. The Israeli television channels are so biased that it is easier for Yasser Arafat to get an interview than the Prime Minister. Leftist educators have recently launched a campaign to strip everything Jewish or Zionist from Israel's schools. Speakers who have unconventional views are prevented from speaking on college campuses. Freedom of speech is only for the Left. I could go on. The Leftist rot in Israel runs very deep.
The bottom line is this: Israeli society has many problems. Bibi is certainly not the worst problem. We must support him during this current crisis. It could work to our favor. With the National Unity government removed from the table, Bibi is more dependent than ever on his Nationalist coalition. The Left is literally salivating for his fall. Bibi and his traditional allies must re-unite and proceed with the management of Israeli affairs in a more activist Zionist fashion. That means ACTUAL building permits in YESHA (in a simplified process) instead of mere TALK ABOUT PERMITS.
The new revitalized coalition must consider doing the following:
1. ACTUALLY DEMANDING RECIPROCITY from Arafat instead of just TALKING about it.
2. Demanding that all provisions of Oslo be complied with. This includes everything from the PLO Covenant, extradition of terrorists, disarming and destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad infrastructure, reducing the size of the PLO army to stated terms, turning in of all prohibited weapons (anti-tank, anti-air, grenades, bombs etc), and an end to incitement against Israel and Jews, etc etc
3. All of above to be done within 60 days or Oslo is terminated. PERIOD.
4. The Leftists must be weeded out of government media, the police, Consular Corp and the judiciary
5. Moledet should be brought into the government even if this means that the Third Way (no bargain for the Nationalists) decides to leave.
This is only a beginning. First we need to salvage this government and then make it RIGHT.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly magazine, THE MACCABEAN.
Bibi, Jonathan Is Worried
By Bernard J. Shapiro
An Editorial in the November 1996 issue of THE MACCABEAN
Long before I had ever heard of Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi), I had read about his older brother Jonathan, Hero of Entebbe. In 1980, I read a book of Jonathan's letters entitled: SELF-PORTRAIT OF A HERO, The Letters Of Jonathan Netanyahu [1963-1976]. A lot of reviewers at the time spoke about the beautiful prose, the passion and the great potential of this hero cut down in his youth. While I saw all those things, it was Jonathan's deep love of Israel and his fervent patriotism that attracted me most. There was something else that one could sense on every page. That was his deep understanding of Jewish history and the role of Israel in it. One of my favorite passages, which I have quoted often, could have been written today in the context of the Oslo Accords. Here is that excerpt:
"I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs. Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, if it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
I am sure that Bibi, growing up in the shadow of his fallen brother, must have felt an overpowering need to succeed. There must have been a need to learn more, achieve more, to rise to the top of his chosen field. The struggle was partly to "make his brother proud," and partly to prove to himself that he was made of the 'right stuff." That is, the stuff with which HEROES are made.
And Bibi did it all: military excellence, diplomacy at the highest level, and finally political success in his brilliant campaign for prime minister. He has proven his worth to everyone, including himself. Now, poised at center stage during the most critical time of Israel's history, Bibi seems to have lost his inner direction. Often he speaks with a voice that would make Jonathan cheer, and then his actions leave much to be desired. For example, on October 24, 1996, the Prime Minister's office sent me a list of the ten most egregious PLO violations (printed in this issue) of the Oslo Accords. It was quite devastating: this account demonstrating the PLO's total disregard for its peace obligations.
This impressive list could be used as a part of a major Israeli public relations (hasbara) campaign to justify terminating its obligations to implement Oslo, including the abandonment of Hebron. Unfortunately, Bibi will NOT do this. He should have given the list to PLO terrorist chief, Yasser Arafat, with the admonition that all implementation of Oslo would cease until complete compliance. He didn't. Bibi has spoken often of the need for reciprocity, while continuing to negotiate without it.
I want to tell a little story to explain what I believe is happening to Bibi. My grandfather, Harry W. Freeman, settled in Texas at the turn of the century. He was already fighting injustice to women and Afro-Americans by 1912, liquidating white slavery in Galveston by 1930 and speaking about the dangers of Hitler and Nazism in 1933. Growing up in Texas I used to love the rodeo which came to Houston once a year. One of my favorite contests was the wild bronco bull ride. Cowboys would mount these ferocious creatures and hold on tight until they were thrown. It all lasted little more than 12 seconds. It was much later that I learned that a leather strap was tied tight behind the bull's testicles to make him buck more ferociously. Even the biggest, strongest and most experienced Texans were able to ride the bull for only a few seconds.
This brings me back to Bibi, who is trying to ride the "Oslo bull." The Palestinian Arabs are filled with rage and hatred of Jews with all the ferocity of the bull angered by the leather strap../.. Much of their rage comes straight from Nazi anti-Semitism, brought to the Middle East by their former mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini. The Palestinian Arabs, filled with both Nazi and Islamic hatred of Jews, make the Oslo bull impossible to ride. Their aspirations for a state that REPLACES Israel is evident to anyone who takes the time to listen to what they are saying. As much as Bibi would like to master the Oslo process and protect Israeli interests, it is impossible. It is a bull he can never ride. This is a harsh reality. There is a history lesson that Jonathan understood well: Enemies must be defeated and destroyed. The idea that one makes peace with your enemies is just a hoax of the Left.
The Americans did not make peace with the Native Americans, they destroyed them../.. The same is the case with Hitler's Germany and the Emperor's Japan. Midge Dector had this to say about says this about peace:
"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 ago, 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."
Bibi must recognize the essential truth that both his brother and Dector have expressed so eloquently. He must read his own list of PLO violations. And then he must get off the Oslo bull and lead his people, Israel, to victory. Jews the world over are praying that he will fulfill his great destiny as a leader of Israel. They pray that he will pursue with all his vigor the Zionist goals of settling the Land, protecting the Holy Places, and ingathering the Jewish exiles. They pray that he will strengthen the military and infuse it with the high morale of days past. In my heart I know that Jonathan is watching over Bibi with love and affection. And Bibi, in my heart I fear that he is as worried as me.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Chairman of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its publications.