Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
REFLECTIONS OF A FRUSTRATED ZIONIST - YEAR END (2007)
by Bernard J. Shapiro
Much has happened in the last year. It has not been a good year for Zionism and the Jewish People. One could be optimistic and try to find the bright side of what has been happening. I am forced by nature to tell the truth in a realistic way. I am condemned to discuss harsh realities.
Some of my reflections:
1. The growth of religious Zionism would save Israel, IF there were TIME for it to take power. I fear that time is running out.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with a PLO supported government that rules Israel? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? Why don\'t members of the Nationalist Camp understand that FORCE is being used by only ONE side which is the extremist pro-Arab anti-Semitic government. The monopoly on power must be broken or there is NO hope.
2. Appeals for aliyah to Israel are a joke. Sounds harsh and non-Zionist. I understand that. Let me make something "perfectly clear" as US President Richard Nixon used to say. As long as Israel is ruled by anti-Semites, who are more interested in protecting the Arab "right" to kill Jews, donít expect huge waves of aliyah. As long as the police, courts, Shin Bet, media continue to defame and persecute TRUE ZIONISTS, donít expect huge waves of immigration. As long as Land in Israel is controlled by the government (and the pro-Arab JNF) to the neglect of Jewish couples wanting to build affordable housing, donít expect a huge wave of immigration. As long as the IDF is used as a political tool to suppress freedom of speech and the G-d given right of the Jewish People to settle Eretz Yisrael, donít expect a huge wave of aliyah. As long as the bureaucracy in the Israel government ministries discourages individual enterprise, there will be no massive wave of immigration.
3. Israelís military/strategic policy as been on a sharp decline since the days of Former Israeli Pm Ben Gurion and Menachem Begin. When Israel agreed to allow the PLO to escape Beirut after the First Lebanon War in 1982, the decline began in earnest. The Freeman Center strategy would have been to agree to let them leave on ships that would have an "accident" en route killing all aboard.
Israel has, without a doubt, the best military in world. The Israel Defense Forces are quite capable of achieving any objective the Israeli government puts before it. The soldiers of the IDF are brave, patriotic and exceptionally well trained and equipped. Unfortunately Israelís political leadership is confused, inept and lacking in Zionist motivation.
Israel has been unable to stop the War of Extermination against it, because it lacks the political will to do what is necessary. The current campaign to secure the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the captured IDF soldier, illustrates this fact. The Israeli government has given the military very limited objectives, primarily the release of the soldier. Proper strategic planning would use the sad situation of Shalitís capture to achieve a number of far reaching and important objectives.
Already Olmert has done several things that prevent the accomplishment of these aims. He has stopped the offensive in Gaza to allow time for negotiations to release Shalit. He has allowed Israel\'s enemy, Egypt, to intervene, and given the terrorists time to re-group and make demands.
The Israeli objectives should be:
1. The release of the soldier.
2. Elimination of the terrorist leadership in the PA.
3. Item #2 means successfully destroying the newly elected Hamas government.
4. Immediate annexation of all territory in Judea and Samaria that has strategic and religious value (which means all).
5. Withdraw citizenship and voting rights from Israeli Arabs who support terrorism against the State of Israel(which means most).
6. Create municipal councils but not sovereignty for Arab cities in the newly annexed areas.
7. Encourage Arab emigration by strict enforcement of taxes, building permits, national service requirements, and by providing funds to aid in emigration.
8. Dramatically increase Jewish immigration to Israel by reducing taxes and regulations on business. Immigration will soar once the lands of Judea and Samaria are opened up for massive Jewish settlement.
9. The Zionist/Jewish character of Israel must be affirmed and the cost of Jewish blood must rise dramatically as the government develops a zero tolerance for terrorism.
All of the above objectives are achievable. It is my hope that the Olmert government will be replaced soon with a new Zionist government committed to the objectives I have listed above.
10. The policy of restraint may have been practical during the pre-state days and even during the! early years of Israeli independence. These periods were characterized by weakness and relative dependence on foreign goodwill. Following the Six Day War in 1967, the need for restraint (havlagah) decreased and the damage it caused began to become more evident. Israel became the preeminent power in the Middle East, yet failed to grasp the strategic opportunities that came with such dominance. Here are some of the historical highlights of the failed policy of restraint:
1. Following the Six Day War (1967) and the capture of Jerusalem, Moshe Dayan turned over control of Judaism\'s most sacred place, the Temple Mount, to Moslem authorities. He did it to appease their sensibilities to the Israeli capture of the city. Jewish rights were ignored to please the defeated Arabs, who had plotted our destruction. Dayan also prevented a mass exodus of Arabs from YESHA, which ultimately led to the problems we face today.
2. During the War of Attrition with Egypt (1969-70), the Israeli forces adopted primarily a defensive posture. They built a system of bunkers (The Bar Lev Line) along the Suez Canal. Israeli soldiers were heavily pounded daily by Egyptian artillery. Finally they began to use aircraft to strike targets deep into Egypt. The policy of restraint kept them from striking anything but military and minor economic targets. Israeli soldiers died because the government was inhibited from causing Egypt \'real\' pain.
3. The Yom Kippur War of 1973 is a classic example of restraint run amok. Israeli military intelligence did not fail to recognize the approaching danger as has been the common account. In fact, Israel\'s leaders made the political decision not to utilize the great power of the IDF to crush the Egyptian and Syrian armies that they KNEW were planning to attack. Thousands of Israeli soldiers died needlessly.
4. The Camp David Accord with Egypt was another example of the failure to exert Israeli power. The oil fields of Sinai would have given Israel economic independence from America. The cost of redeployment from Sinai placed Israel in almost permanent debt to American diplomacy (increasingly pro-Arab). Did Israel achieve anything worthwhile at Camp David? I think not and I believe history will bear me out. Egypt has become one of the most ant-Semitic and hostile Arab countries in the world. As a result of Camp David, the Egyptian army now threatens Israel, having been equipped with the most modern American weapons.
5. During the War in Lebanon (1982), the IDF reached Beirut and then failed to complete the destruction of the PLO. Our enemies were allowed to escape and prepare to fight another day. Why didn\'t the Israeli Navy sink the ships loaded with PLO troops (including Arafat) as they fled Beirut? RESTRAINT!
6. In 1987 the intifada began and the Israeli forces showed great restraint and thus were incapable of crushing it. Of course, Israel received no credit in the Western media for such restraint. The failure to defeat this uprising began a process of demoralization among the Israeli population.
7. The Persian Gulf War (1991) and the SCUD attacks on Israel led to further demoralization. The failure to adequately respond to Iraq\'s aggression and the humiliating sealed rooms, led to a rapid decline in Israeli morale and desire to defend itself. More and more Israelis began to feel impotent, weak and fatigued with the continuous battle for survival. The Oslo Accords were the logical outcome of this depression and feeling that they could not sustain the struggle.
8. The Oslo Accords (1993) were the ultimate failure of the policy of restraint. Israel like America actually was very powerful. The IDF was unequaled in the Middle East while the US was the most powerful nation in the world. Yet despite this power, Israel\'s leaders, were ready to grant equal status to a band of murderers and ultimately create a state of "Palestine" which would challenge its right to the Land and its capital of Jerusalem.
9. Israeli forces in Lebanon should have been given a free hand to \'punish\' all those who facilitate attacks on them including Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. There should be no more agreements that tie Israeli hands.
The damage caused by havlagah (restraint) has been immense and it far past time to reverse that policy. Americans have been viciously attacked in Africa, Yeman, and Saudi Arabia. The attempt to try to criminalize terrorism has been a dreadful mistake. Terrorism is sponsored by states who allow their territory and funds to help the organization of terrorist. The Oslo agreement allowed Arafat to set up terrorist headquarters in Israel\'s heartland. From there he sent terrorists to attack Israel. With plausible deniability he claims "he is not responsible."
12 THINGS I AM SICK AND TIRED OF:
1. I am sick and tired of the slowly escalating actions of the IDF to fight terrorism.
The slow escalation allows PA terrorism to become immune to Israel\'s strategy. It allows them to smuggle more guns, missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft missiles into PA territory. This is much the same as with bacterial infections. If the antibiotic is not strong enough to eliminate it, then the disease will return in a much more virulent form. I would suggest that the IDF launch a massive offensive against the terrorists until victory.
2. I am sick and tired of the Israeli government\'s fear of collateral damage to the enemy.
The Arabs have no such qualms. In fact they target civilians in bestial suicide and rocket attacks. PA weapons factories, weapons storage depots and bomb making facilities should be blasted off the face of earth even if it causes civilian casualties. Remember that "he who is merciful to the cruel, will end up being cruel to the merciful."
Also remember that the US Civil War, WWI and WWII were won by the massive inflection of casualties on the enemiesís civilian populations.
3. I am sick and tired of Israeli PM Olmert\'s policy of restraint.
The adjustment to accepting the killing of Jews is an abomination. A Jew here or there murdered daily, pretty soon adds up to a lot of dead and maimed Jews. I remember when the Al Aksa terror on Israel began in September 2000, the IDF general staff opened a file called "Operation Thorns", a plan for the retaking of the PA areas. They estimated Israeli dead at 300. Since then there have been almost 1500 Jews killed, which is five times the estimated combat deaths (plus 10,000 wounded, many maimed for life), with no apparent consequences to the terroristsí ability to inflict casualties on Israel.
There is one extremely important variable. The PA (especially in Gaza) has used the last six years to build bunkers, firing positions, smuggle in heavy weapons and missiles, create an underground arms industry and organize an army of 100,000. The defeat of PA now would certainly be more costly. And it will grow with time. There is a very short window of time to defeat the PA terrorists with minimal losses. Many political analysts and military experts agree that Israel must take decisive action NOW.
4. I am sick and tired of the US State Department urging Israel to show "restraint."
Despite the fact that the CIA knows exactly WHO (PA) is attacking WHOM (Israel) the State Department continues call for a stop to the "cycle of violence." Whenever Israel is attacked viciously, there is rush to tell Israel "to turn the other cheek". Are we Christians or Jews? Does American follow the Christian policy expected of Israel?
5. I am sick and tired of Shimon Peres trying to arrange another appeasement for the PA.
He claims to be seeking a cease fire and a return to negotiations. Let me be honest with you. I don\'t want negotiations with either Hamas, Abbas or Assad. I want to crush them and their terrorist gangs.
6. I am sick and tired of the continued UN presence within the borders of Israel.
It\'s time to remove them and assert Israel\'s sovereignty. Israel should work to have the world withdraw its recognition of Arab refugee camps and refugees. It should condemn the hypocritical treatment of the Arab countries in exploiting these people for political purposes. Israel should declare in a strong voice that there are NO refugees. That status is not permanent and obviously should not apply to people living in the same place for 58 years.
7. I am sick and tired of the international boycott of Jerusalem as Israel\'s capital.
Israel should unilaterally announce to the nations of the world that all embassies MUST be in Jerusalem. (Consulates may be in Tel Aviv or any other place they want). Israel will no longer permit its eternal capital to be disrespected.
8. I am sick and tired that under both Labor and Likud governments, Arutz Sheva, Israel National Radio, has not been fully legalized.
Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Arutz Sheva should not only be allowed to establish facilities on land but also a television channel. I am also sick and tired of government television being controlled and dominated by the extreme left that does not represent the Israeli public. A lot of the time they represent the Arabs and not Israelis.
9. I am sick and tired of Israel\'s trying to be \'Mister Nice Guy\' to a hypocritical world.
Europeans are increasingly comparing Israel to the Nazis. Over half of all the resolutions of the UN since its founding have been directed against Israel. At the conference on how to condemn Israel in Durban, South Africa, UN head Kofi Anan condemned Israel for existing. In fact, at a recent meeting at the UN, there was a map of "Palestine", which included all of Israel. The Arab world openly plots the destruction of Israel. I am sick and tired of the vilification of "settlers".
10. I am sick and tired of Israel tolerating Moslem restrictions and desecrations on the Temple Mount.
The excuse that it would cause violence to exercise our rights there is absurd. Israel has the capability to enforce security. Virtually everything Israel wants do in the Land of Israel displeases the Arabs, who want us to leave. Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount and the destruction of Jewish antiquities by the Moslem waqf needs to be stopped immediately.
11. I am sick and tired of PA demonstrations of the fierceness of their terrorists and how they will destroy Israel.
Why not knock off a bunch of them during their demonstrations? Maybe they would be more circumspect.
12. And most important, the IDF and police should never be used for political purposes. Their purpose is to protect Israelis and not to expel them from their homes or persecute them.
I DO believe that we will defeat our current adversaries. We will succeed and survive from three sources of our strength: Love of Tanach (Torah), Love of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel, and Love of Am Yisrael (People of Israel).
.......In blood and fire was Israel born, and on a hot anvil was she forged. Her youth understood that life in the new Jewish homeland would require sacrifice. With stories of the stench of burning flesh from the ovens of Auschwitz embedded deep in their psyches, the young Israeli soldiers fight with the firm conviction that there is still no alternative, "ein breira." (From personal diary1992).
To that I would like add something the American soldiers used to say during the heaviest fighting in Viet Nam. This is dedicated (slightly revised) to the brave IDF soldiers who face the enemy every day: Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death, I will fear no evil because the Almighty fights with me for the Restoration of Zion and for love of HIS people, Israel.
.......And for the Jews of YESHA, I believe that He will NOT allow Olmert to expel them from the heartland of ERETZ YISRAEL. But remember, the Lor-d helps those who help themselves. Do not wait for a miracle -- BE THE MIRACLE!