STATE BRINGS $80,000 SUIT AGAINST HEBRON
..............The Jewish Community of Hebron
State brings $80,000 Suit against Hebron
The Jewish Community of Hebron
May 02, 2010
The state of Israel has filed a damage suit against the Jewish community of Hebron for the sum of over 300,000 NIS (approximately $80,000) to cover the costs of explusion of Jewish families from Beit HaShalom a year and a half ago. (See also ynetnews article: http://goo.gl/P2cD)
Beit HaShalom was purchased a number of years ago by a family from New York for over one million dollars. (A video of the seller counting the money can be viewed on youtube: http://goo.gl/j0EU). Jewish families moved into the building and resided there for almost two years prior to being forcibly expelled by police and riot squad officers. The expulsion orders were issued by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. At the time of the expulsion members of Hebron’s leadership were involved in serious talks with high-ranking members of the defense ministry in an attempt to bring a peaceful end to the crisis. However, despite these negotiations, Barak decided to violently expel the building’s Jewish residents.
It should also be noted, despite media report to the contrary, that the Israeli Supreme Court did not order that the building be vacated. Rather, they upheld the defense ministry’s right to vacate the building, should they choose to. However the decision to expel the Jewish residents was taken by the Defense Minister, not by the Supreme Court.
Hebron’s reaction to this suit:
This claim constitutes a gross violation of the principle of equality before the law, which is one of the basic principles in a democratic country. As long as similar lawsuits are not filed against criminals such as thieves, robbers, traffic criminals etc., and as long as the state does not require all citizens to pay the cost of enforcing the law against them, it cannot take such a drastic step towards those who are fulfilling the right to protest, which is the is the very soul of democracy.Certainly such measures cannot be used against right-wing demonstrators only.
This suit is contrary to the decision of the Knesset Constitutional Law and Justice Committee, which made a unanimous decision (February 2004) that "with regard to payments for operations involving eviction, the government will utilize the same principles by which it operates in response to protest actions of every citizen or group of citizens protesting government policy. "
Moreover, the Court did not order the government to vacate Beit HaShalom, rather permitted it to do so. Over several weeks, the Defense Ministry carried out an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the residents together to explore various options following the ruling. Barak’s settlement advisor Eitan Broshi, and a representative from the attorney general's office, Attorney Ben-Ari, participated in these discussions. The expulsion was implemented during the negotiations, by means of deception, when, concurrent to the actual expulsion, working papers were exchanged between the parties dealing with compromise proposals.
In light of these circumstances, the state can only sue itself for the costs of this unnecessary expulsion!
Beware: It should be noted that the state's position is not limited only to Hebron. The government declares: "The State Attorney's Office intends to submit such claims wherever necessary. These claims, as well as others, promoted by the prosecution, are part of its strategy, whereby the state intends to use civilian tools for preservation of the rule of law and public expenditures."
In conclusion, this suit can only be defined as unfair, ugly, political, discriminatory and lopsided, which, in other words, perfectly describes the state’s conduct concerning Beit HaShalom all along.
Time to Plan for War
May 7, 2010, 6:19 AM
So much for US President Barack Obama's famed powers of persuasion. At the
UN's Nuclear Non-Poliferation Treaty review conference which opened this
week, the Obama administration managed to lose control over the agenda
before the conference even started.
Obama administration officials said they intended to use the conference as a
platform to mount international pressure on Iran to stop its illicit nuclear
proliferation activities. But even before the conference began, with a
little prodding from Egypt, the administration agreed that instead of
focusing on Iran, the conference would adopt Iran's chosen agenda: attacking
Israel for its alleged nuclear arsenal.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that US officials were conducting
negotiations with Egypt about Egypt's demand that the NPT review conference
call for sanctions against Israel for refusing to join the NPT as a
non-nuclear state. The Journal quoted a senior administration official
involved in the discussions saying, "We've made a proposal to them [Egypt]
that goes beyond what the U.S. has been willing to do before."
Among other possibilities, that proposal may have included a US agreement to
appoint a UN envoy responsible for organizing a UN conference calling for
the Greater Middle East to become a nuclear-free zone. In diplomatese,
"Middle East nuclear-free zone" is a well-accepted euphemism for stripping
Israel of its purported nuclear capability while turning a blind eye to
Iranian, Syrian and other Islamic nuclear weapons programs. Egypt's demand,
which it convinced more than a hundred members of the Non-Aligned bloc to
sign onto, is for Israel to open its nuclear installations to international
inspectors as a first step towards unilateral nuclear disarmament.
On Wednesday the US joined the other four permanent members of the Security
Council in signing a statement calling for a nuclear-free Middle East and
urging Israel, Pakistan and India to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear
states. Following the US's lead, on Thursday Yukiya Amano, the new Director
General of the International Atomic Energy Agency wrote a letter to IAEA
member states asking for their suggestions for how to convince Israel to
sign the NPT.
So as Iran -- an NPT signatory -- makes a mockery of the treaty by building
nuclear weapons in contempt of its treaty obligations, the US has actively
supported Iran's bid to use the NPT review conference as yet another UN
forum for bashing Israel.
It bears recalling that the primary goal of the NPT is to prevent nuclear
proliferation. From the amount of attention Israel is receiving at the NPT
review conference, you could easily get the impression that Israel's
purported nuclear arsenal is the gravest proliferation threat in the world
today. But history shows that this is nonsense.
Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal, which it has reportedly fielded for four
decades, has not led to a regional nuclear arms race. Notwithstanding their
protestations to the contrary, Israel's neighbors fully recognize that the
purpose of Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal is to guarantee Israel's
survival and consequently only threatens those who would attack the Jewish
state with the intention of annihilating it. This is why although it is four
decades old; Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal has never caused a regional
nuclear arms race. It has never harmed or called into question the relevance
or usefulness of the NPT's international non-proliferation agenda. Moreover,
as a non-signatory to the NPT, Israel has the right to develop a nuclear
Iran on the other hand gave up that right when it joined the NPT regime. So
too, in sharp contrast to Israel's alleged program, it is clear that Iran's
nuclear project is aggressive rather than defensive. Consequently, it is
universally recognized that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Turkey and other states will begin developing their own nuclear
arsenals in short order. That is, it is absolutely clear that if the NPT is
to have any relevance in the coming years, if there is to be any hope that
counter-proliferation regimes can be useful; preventing Iran from acquiring
nuclear weapons must be its signatories' chief aim.
But due to the Obama administration's diplomatic fecklessness and
ideological blinders, administration officials were incapable of making
these points. And so, instead through its actions, the administration has
advanced the cause of nuclear proliferation. The US has now joined the ranks
of fools who claim that nuclear weapons in the hands of states like the US
and Israel are as problematic as nuclear weapons in the hands of states like
Iran and North Korea.
BUT THEN, in the end it makes no difference that the US has followed Iran's
lead at the NPT conference. Even if the administration had managed to make
Iran's nuclear weapons program the focus of debate, it wouldn't have
mattered because diplomacy is no longer a relevant tool for preventing Iran
from becoming a nuclear power. Appeasement has failed. Sanctions are dead in
the water in the Security Council.
And even if the Security Council passes a sanctions resolution, they will
have no impact on Iran's behavior. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
made that much clear in his speech on Monday and in subsequent remarks to
the media. As he put it, "While we do not welcome sanctions, we do not fear
them either. Sanctions cannot stop the Iranian nation."
What all of this demonstrates is that the diplomatic track - from
appeasement to sanctions - is irrelevant for contending with Iran's nuclear
program. The only way to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear bombs is to use
military force to destroy or severely damage its nuclear installations.
And this of course is something Obama will not do. His
begging-to-shake-hands policy towards Iran and the one hand and his iron
fist policy towards Israel on the other makes it absolutely clear that Obama
will do nothing to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Rather than
correct his abysmal failures, Obama seeks to hide them by minimizing the
seriousness of the threat.
In remarks to the media this week, a White House official downplayed the
Iranian threat. He told the Financial Times that Iran's "nuclear clock has
slowed down. They are not making dramatic technical progress given the
difficulties they are facing in their [uranium] enrichment program and the
fact that their efforts to build secret facilities have been disclosed."
The fact that the US's published intelligence estimates of Iran's nuclear
program contradict this claim didn't seem to faze the official.
The US's abdication of its responsibility as the leader of the free world to
prevent the most dangerous regimes from acquiring the most dangerous weapons
means that the responsibility for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear
weapons has fallen on Israel's shoulders. Only Israel has the means and the
will to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. And the message the NPT
follies convey is that Israel must develop contingency plans for attacking
Iran as quickly as possible.
Daily reports of weapons build-ups and military exercises in Iran and among
Iran's clients Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas expose the contours of their war
Syria and Iran have armed Hizbullah with some 40,000 missiles and rockets,
including hundreds of Scud missiles and guided surface-to-surface solid fuel
M600 missiles with a 250 km range and. This week Hizbullah threatened to
attack Israel with non-conventional weapons. Syria itself has a formidable
chemical and biological arsenal as well as a massive artillery and missile
force at its disposal.
As for Hamas, since Operation Cast Lead Iran's Palestinian proxy Hamas has
expanded its own missile arsenal. Today it reportedly has projectiles
capable of reaching Tel Aviv and beyond.
As for Iran, as its seemingly endless military exercises make clear, the
mullocracy has the capacity to use conventional weapons to imperil global
oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. So too, this week's report that Osama
Bin Laden may have decamped to Iran in 2003 merely served to underline
Iran's ability to utilize jihadist terror forces throughout the world.
From the open preparations for war that Iran and its clients have
undertaken, it is clear that if they initiate the next round of fighting
they will fight a four front war against Israel. That war will be dominated
by missile attacks against the entire country aimed at breaking the will of
the Israeli people while forcing the IDF to divert vital resources away from
Israel's primary target - Iran's nuclear installations - to contend with
Iran's proxies' missile stores.
AS THEY CONSIDER Israel's options going forward, Israel's political and
military leaders have to take two considerations into account. First, the
side that initiates the conflict will be the side that controls the battle
space. And second, there is a real possibility that the Obama administration
will refuse to resupply Israel with vital weapons systems in the course of
the war. The fact that Israel will be roundly condemned by the UN and its
component parts is a certainty regardless of who initiates the conflict and
therefore is irrelevant for operational planning.
Armed with these understandings, it is apparent that Israeli contingency
plans for war must have limited goals and should be guided by the
overarching aim of beginning and ending the war quickly. Luckily, Israel
excels at limited, swift campaigns.
Responding to one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent threats, Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman promised last month that if Assad attacks Israel,
Israel will bring down his regime. While bringing about the utter defeat of
Iran's regional proxies is a reasonable goal, it cannot be Israel's goal in
the coming war.
In the coming war, Israel will have only one goal: to destroy or seriously
damage Iran's nuclear installations. Every resource turned against Iran's
proxies must be aimed at facilitating that goal. That is, the only thing
Israel should seek to accomplish in contending with Syria, Hizbullah and
Hamas is to prevent them from diverting Israeli resources away from
attacking Iran's nuclear installations.
This means that Israel must launch a preemptive strike against Hizbullah's
missiles and missile launchers, Syria's missiles, artillery and launchers,
and Hamas's missiles and launchers. As for their short-range rockets, Israel
should do its best to intercept them and otherwise hunker down to weather
the storm of Katyushas and Qassams. Life of the homefront won't be easy. But
it won't be impossible either, as we saw in 2006.
Almost every assessment of a possible Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear
installations has assumed that Israel will use its air force to strike. All
that can be said of that analysis is that, just as there is more than one
way to skin a cat, so there is more than one way to destroy Iran's nuclear
installations. An Israeli strike should utilize all of them to keep the
Iranians off balance and on the defensive.
These are dangerous times. Iran, which seeks to position itself as a
regional superpower, has been emboldened by the Obama administration's
abdication of US global leadership. Only Israel can prevent Iran from
endangering the world. But time is of the essence.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
Security and Defense: Taking to the streets
By YAAKOV KATZ
Narrow alleys, enemies posing as civilians and schools doubling as
storerooms for weapons – urban warfare is an IDF nightmare.
Not many periods resemble this year in terms of military buildup among
Israel’s enemies. A quick glance along the borders demonstrates just how
significant the current trend is – Hamas is re-arming at an unprecedented
rate in the Gaza Strip; Hizbullah is doing the same in Lebanon; and Syria is
also training its forces in guerrilla tactics in the event of a future war.
What will spark this future war is unclear, but IDF officers joke about how
they will have to cancel their overseas vacation plans this summer. One
possibility is an IAF strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which will likely
lead to conflict with Hizbullah, Hamas and possibly Syria. Another
possibility is that Hizbullah will succeed – after many failed attempts – to
avenge the 2008 assassination of its military commander, Imad Mughniyeh, in
Damascus. If it shoots down an El Al plane or blows up an embassy, Israel
will likely feel compelled to respond.
Conflict could also erupt if Israel decides to attack a Syrian weapons
convoy to Hizbullah. This comes amid news that Syria has transferred an
unknown number of Scuds as well as hundreds of M600 missiles. The
Syrian-made M600 – which has a solid propellant and is a clone of the
Iranian Fateh-110 – has a range of 250 km., a 500 kg. warhead, and is
equipped with a sophisticated guidance system, giving Hizbullah
On the ground, the common denominator between all three fronts is the
urbanization process that is taking place. While Syria retains its tanks and
artillery, its recent investments have been in its commando units, antitank
missiles, rapid deployment capabilities and the construction of ghost towns
along the border to trap IDF troops.
Hizbullah has done the same. In the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF
encountered an enemy both entrenched in civilian infrastructure and heavily
deployed in what it called “nature reserves,” forested areas where Hizbullah
dug bunkers and set up Katyusha launch sites.
Based on current intelligence, the situation has gotten worse. Hizbullah is
almost completely stationed inside cities and villages throughout Lebanon. A
future war will be fought not in the hills but in the narrow alleys and
streets of Bint Jbail, Maron a-Ras and Hirbet Selm.
Hamas is no different. Following Operation Cast Lead, it underwent an
extensive internal inquiry, together with its Iranian patrons, and decided
to increase its dependence on civilian infrastructure. If Hamas fighters hid
in a dozen hospitals during Cast Lead, the number is likely to be double in
the next war. If it fired rockets from a dozen schools, the number next time
will likely be triple that.
Tasked with preparing IDF units with the future urban warfare it faces is
the Ground Forces Command (GFC), currently headed by Maj.-Gen. Sami
Turgeman, a veteran tank commander and until last year commander of Division
36, the IDF’s mobilized division on the Golan Heights.
Immediately after the Second Lebanon War, the IDF embarked on a process
which culminated six months ago in the approval by the General Staff of a
new operational doctrine for ground forces. Other IDF branches, like the air
force and the navy, are currently in the process of writing their own
The document, authored by a number of senior officers and overseen by
Brig.-Gen. Ilan Peretz, one of Turgeman’s deputies, essentially serves as
the reference for the military on how it should prepare its infantry,
armored, combat engineering and artillery forces for a future war, either
asymmetric or conventional.
“The document is our compass,” a top GFC officer recently told The Jerusalem
Post. “We analyzed what the nature of the next war will be and what we need
to do to get ourselves ready for it.”
Urban warfare, for example, has two innate difficulties. First, the closed
quarters makes it easier for the enemy to conceal its positions and
weaponry. As a result, it is difficult for the military to collect
intelligence. It is also difficult for a conventional military to accurately
distinguish between civilians and fighters who wear civilian clothing.
Therefore, the GFC recently decided that urban warfare training would be
mandatory for all its units – whether infantry, armor or combat engineers –
in their basic training.
“We don’t train for specific missions, but we create the capability the
soldiers will need to effectively carry out any type of mission they
receive,” the senior GFC officer said.
With the demand for the increase in training has also come the need for
additional IDF urban-warfare training centers.
Currently equipped with close to 20 facilities – the largest at the Tze’elim
base in the Negev – the IDF will increase that number by close to 50 percent
by next year and is currently building new facilities at the Golani and Kfir
infantry brigade training bases.
The IDF is also constructing a mock village in the Combat Engineer training
base in the Negev that is modeled after urban areas in the Gaza Strip and
southern Lebanon where, according to the IDF, Hamas and Hizbullah have
booby-trapped homes and built underground passageways stretching dozens of
Another decision was to create brigade combat teams (BCTs) made up of a
combination of infantry, armor and combat engineers like the forces that
fought in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. All combat units are
part of BCTs, so while the commander of the Paratroop Brigade, for example,
is only in charge of his four battalions on a daily basis, in the event of a
war or large-scale operation, his brigade will take in tanks and engineering
“The name of the game is interoperability,” the officer said. “This way the
commanders already know how to operate together and how to effectively
utilize the wide variety of forces under their command.”
For large-scale operations which involve the air force, each brigade
commander will receive an air liaison officer. This officer has his own
armored personnel carrier and enters the area of operations with the BCT and
serves as the brigade commander’s main air consultant.
“The brigade commander can say that he needs a specific target destroyed,
but doesn’t know which bomb or aircraft to use,” the officer said. “This is
what the liaison’s job is.”
To meet operational requirements, the GFC has recommended to the General
Staff that training regimens be increased from 13 weeks every two years to
17 weeks. The target date is next year.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
|3 Articles by Bernard J. Shapiro: RESTRAINT + DETERRENCE + FIGHTING TERRORISM
Posted Sunday, May 09 @ 11:38:28 EDT
| TIME TO END POLICY OF RESTRAINT
By Bernard J. Shapiro (1998)
"He who is merciful when he should be cruel will in the end be cruel when he should be merciful."...Midrash Samuel (Jewish rabbinic text from early Middle Ages)
"Yehi that I walk though the Valley of Death, I will fear no evil, because I am the meanest son of a bitch in the Valley"....Viet Nam soldiers after watching their friends get blown up by the enemy.
"And the Almighty is with me and my cause is JUST." (circa 1968 and adapted by the Freeman Center for IDF)
From the very early days of the Haganah and continuing with the emerging Israel Defense Forces (IDF), there was a policy of self-restraint or havlagah. This policy mandated that defenders could only return fire, hold their positions, and never to engage in counter-terror. This policy was based on the false premise that the Arab masses did not support the war against the Yishuv (the Jewish population before independence) and then the State of Israel and would be brought into the conflict if Israeli forces were too aggressive. There were some good and practical reasons for restraint in the early days. There was legitimate fear that the British would cut off immigration if the Jews were to go on the offensive against the Arabs. Havlagah was essentially a Haganah (Labor/Socialist) policy and many supporters of Jabotinsky's Revisionist Zionist movement broke off from them to form fighting units (Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern) unrestrained by that policy.
The modern IDF was dominated by Labor and quickly adopted the policy of restraint and the concept of "purity of arms" as its official doctrine. The later reinforced the former by adding that a soldier should never have to obey an illegal order to commit some atrocity. The enemy, including prisoners of war, should be treated with dignity and civilian populations should be spared as much harm as possible, even if this causes greater Israeli casualties. There was some flexibility in this strict moral code. A young officer named Yitzhak Rabin (1948) was sent to fire on Jewish teenagers swimming to flee the sinking Altalena (he killed 16 of them). Many retaliatory raids were launched against terrorist targets in neighboring countries, killing numerous civilians as collateral damage.
This 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 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 (1978) 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 (often pro-Arab). Did Israel achieve anything worthwhile at Camp David? I think not and 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 actually was very powerful. The IDF was unequaled in the Middle East. Yet despite this power, its 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 (today) are restricted in their ability to fight the Hizbollah and other terrorists. They must be given a free hand to 'punish' all those who facilitate attacks on them including Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. 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. Israel must massively and disproportionately retaliate for terrorist attack. The murderers of Jews must be plucked from their safe havens in Palestinian Authority areas. Oslo must be declared null and void due to Arafat's non-compliance with its terms. No more giving him "one more chance." The test is over. HE FAILED! He and his cronies should be arrested and tried for murder.
MAY THE LION OF JUDAH RISE ON THIS ROSH HASHANA AND RECLAIM THE SOUL OF ISRAEL AND WITH A MIGHT HAND VANQUISH HER ENEMIES....
DETERRENCE OR DHIMMIZATION
Which Should Israel Choose?
By Bernard J. Shapiro
December 23, 1994
Back in 1965, in a small meeting room in Tel Aviv, former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan gave a pep talk to a group of RAFI (Rishimat Poalai Israel) volunteers, myself included. At that time, RAFI, a breakaway faction of the Mapai Party, included such notables as former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and former Defense Minister Shimon Peres. Peres and Dayan had been considered the "hawks" of Mapai and it was no accident that in the 1965 election they supported a strong defense and security policy.
Dayan was always interesting to listen to, but this talk was something special and we paid attention to every word. "The essence of Israel's security in this region (Middle East) is deterrence," he said. "When we formed the State in 1948-9, we were very weak. The Arab States had planes, tanks, heavy artillery and many more soldiers than us. We had very little heavy military equipment. In the period 1949-55, we absorbed almost a million immigrants. Tent cities sprung up all over the country. We were totally disorganized. Had the Arabs mounted another major invasion, we could have lost. We devised a solution to this problem. It was deterrence. Think about being lost in a forest and surrounded by hostile animals. If you light a torch, boldly approach them showing no fear -- they will retreat. But, if you show fear -- they will attack and you are lost. We used this principle to save Israel during those early years. Every time we were attacked, we retaliated ten fold. We showed daring and penetrated deep within their borders to attack our targets. We were fearless, brave, and even a bit bloodthirsty. You know the result. The Arabs were afraid and never attacked. Deterrence worked. By 1956 when we invaded Sinai, the Israel Defense Force was not just strong, it was invincible."
The story above was not told just for nostalgia. The lesson is extremely important for the survival of Israel today. Unfortunately Israelis are daily witnessing the consequences of seven years of declining deterrence vis a vis its Arab population. In 1987, the intifada presented Israel with a new challenge. It was a new kind of war, but with the same aim of driving the Israelis out of their country. The Israelis fought the intifada with many handicaps, not the least of which were their own rules of conduct. Israeli soldiers failed to cope with attacks by teenage Arab boys. In the course of several years, the Arabs learned that the soldiers would not aggressively retaliate for their attacks. They became emboldened.
The Jews living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza showed great fortitude, enduring thousands of attacks and still tripling their numbers. The serious security failure developed as Arabs became accustomed to attacking Jews and Israeli soldiers. By trying to remain humane in the face of massive attacks, Israel emboldened the Arabs to more and more attacks. Throwing concrete boulders, Molotov cocktails, and then using firearms at Israelis became the norm of behavior among the Arabs. The Israeli government allowed its citizens to be attacked solely because they were Jews. In no other country of the world would such a policy be tolerated. Just two weeks ago a reserve officer of the Israel Defense Forces made a wrong turn and ended up in the center of Ramallah, a Arab city. He was immediately attacked by a vicious mob of Arabs, murder in their eyes, who almost beat him to death. Deterrence had vanished.
While the Jews may not have been afraid like the man in the forest, the affect of multiple restrictions on the Israeli right of self defense had the same result. That result was to increase the bloodlust of the Arab population and to multiply the Jewish casualties.
In 1991, the Persian Gulf War, with its SCUD attacks on Israel, further undermined Israeli deterrence. Having to depend on United States Forces instead of her own had a deleterious effect on Israeli self-confidence. It is notable that the Arab population of Judea and Samaria danced on their on their roofs and cried, "Gas the Jews" as the SCUD's headed for Tel Aviv. The self-assurance of the Israelis also declined immensely as a result of their cowering in sealed rooms during the missile attacks.
After the war, Shimon Peres and his associates began to search for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that did not require deterrence. The answer, Peres thought, was to be found in the growing influence of the extreme left (Meretz Party) in Israeli's ruling Labor elite. For many years, the left in Israel and its supporters in America have promoted the doctrine of "Israeli guilt" for the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. The leftists accepted the Arab propaganda version of Middle Eastern history and see their role as making amends for alleged "wrongs" committed against the Palestinian Arabs. When the Labor Party formed a coalition with Meretz, it was assumed that Meretz would be the junior partner. What we have witnessed is the virtual infusion of extreme left-wing philosophy into the body of Labor.
Peres took this "Israeli or Jewish guilt" and developed it into a "peace" policy based on rectifying "wrongs" committed against the Palestinian Arabs. The leftists saw the most serious "wrong" as being the occupation itself. Jewish rule over a minority of Arabs was considered so immoral, in and of itself, as to cause a destructive decline in Israeli democracy and public morality. The details of maintaining the occupation, like reserve duty in Gaza, were said to cause everything from violence in the home to reckless driving. Divorcing Israel from the territories was seen as a goal for Israel and not just a victory for the Arabs.
I describe the Peres "peace" policy as the "dhimmization of Israel." It was based on virtually giving the Arabs everything they wanted: a PLO state in most of the territories, control of land and water, return of refugees, and a shared status for Jerusalem. His belief was that by Israeli actions and concessions, he could terminate Arab hostility to Israel. Peres exhibited the fallacy of believing that anti-semitism is caused by the "bad behavior" of Jews. He failed to understand that there are major forces of religion, history and psychology in the one billion strong Islamic world that can not be manipulated by anything that Israel does. Would the Holocaust have been prevented if the Jews of Europe had been "nicer" to the Nazis? By shrinking Israel to a size that was non-threatening to the Arabs, Peres hoped to achieve for Israel the status of a dhimmis-nation in the Islamic world. Dhimmis status, you will recall, is the inferior third-class status afforded Jews in Arab countries throughout the centuries.
Israel, with its powerful military and independent citizens, had always been an affront to Moslems everywhere. Therefore, Jews should be made subservient, weak and dependent on the approval of their Moslem overlords. Peres understood that Israel in its present borders was too strong to be destroyed. He also understood that the Arabs were offended that they could not destroy Israel within its defensible borders. The Peres solution seems to involve making Israel weak, creating a PLO state, and generally groveling before Arab rulers. Such an emasculated dhimmis-like Israel, would now win the approval of the Islamic world. He would call it "peace." Some would call it appeasement. Some would cheer. Some would protest.. Freeman Center members (and real Zionists) see the Peres/PLO plan as a nightmare and pray that Israel's leaders will come to their senses and return to a policy of deterrence, security and defense of Israeli interests.
Bernard J. Shapiro is director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies in Houston, Texas and is editor its monthly political magazine, THE MACCABEAN.
FIGHTING TERRORISM AND THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD
By Bernard J. Shapiro
March 11, 1996
On Wednesday, March 13, 1996, we will witness a grand farce on an international stage. President Bill Clinton has assembled a group of some 31 nations to hold an "Anti-Terrorist Conference" on the shores of Sharm a-Sheikh, which lies on the coast of Egyptian Sinai. While no one can argue with fighting terrorism, the real purpose of the meeting is to shore up both the sagging political fortunes of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Clinton's meager foreign policy credentials.
Terrorism is not fought with political theater, but with constant vigilance, good intelligence, and steadfast political will. The Israeli government has facilitated the present state of rampant terrorism in its country through negligence and ill considered "peace" moves. Some of the more important actions by the Israeli government which have impacted negatively on its citizens are the following:
1. Abandonment of its intelligence network of Arab agents in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. These Arabs were the "eyes and ears" of Shin Bet (Israelis internal security agency). Working with them over 90% of terrorist actions were prevented. When the Oslo Agreement was signed, lsrael made a political decision to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority security apparatus. Intelligence information was exchanged which compromised the identities of Israeli informers. The Palestinians systematically tortured and murdered over 1200 Arabs believed to be "collaborators" with Israel. While retaliation against these individuals was specifically forbidden in the Oslo Agreement, both Israel and the United States chose to ignore this brutal fact.
2. The creation of territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority had the immediate effect of also creating safe havens from which terrorist could operate. The assembly of high-tech suicide bombs became practical with a secure home base in which to train operatives and store explosive material. PLO Chief Yasir Arafat has protected the terrorist infrastructure of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad and allowed them to increase in strength and effectiveness.
3. The release of over 11,000 terrorist prisoniers as a part of political arrangements made the the concept of "punishment for a crime" obsolete. This had a significant influence in creating a climate for future terrorist actions.
4. The failure of the Palestinian Authority to extradite known terrorists had the affect of guarantying safety to anyone committing murder inside Israel and escaping the few miles into PA territory. While extradition of terrorists is guaranteed in the Oslo Agreement, it has never been carried out. Israel has chosen to ignore this violation and has lobbied the US Congress to ignore it also. After every terrorist outrage, Arafat has had a few people arrested with much fanfare, only to release them quietly a few days later.
5. The greatest political error by the Israelis has been the false assumption that Arafat would fight Hamas. It is no coincidence that Arafat attended the funeral of "the engineer," credited with inventing the car-bomb. At the funeral he praised the master bomber as a martyr to the Palestinian cause and urged his audience to emulate him. He called for jihad, a holy war to destroy the Jews and create a Palestinian state from the "river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean) with Jerusalem as its capital." Hamas's Sheikh Mahmoud Zahar on the relationship between Hamas and the PLO: "Like the wings of a bird, they must work together."
Clinton has invited Arafat to the summit and is trying to get Syria's Hafez Asad to come also. What is the purpose of inviting terrorists to an anti-terrorist summit? It reminds one of hiring the fox to guard the hen house. Nothing can be accomplished at this conference except photo-ops and political games. Fighting terrorism requires a lot of hard work, away from the spotlight. It requires good intelligence acquired through building the confidence of informers that they will not be compromised. It also requires intelligence of another sort. The kind that can distinguish between friend and foe.
On September 3, 1993, the Jewish Herald-Voice published my press release from the Freeman Center: "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."
What I wrote then has proven to be true. I am saddened by this. I would have preferred to be wrong. The 220 Israelis who have died and the 900 horribly maimed by terrorists bombs would then be alive and well.
Bernard J. Shapiro is Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor,
[This article was originally submitted to the Houston Chronicle on March 11, 1996 and never published.]
Many Israelis are now putting their faith in a new kind of ghetto wall surrounding their communities. For this reason, I am re-issuing a article I wrote about one year ago.
by David Basch
"In this light, Pipes's advocacy concerning
the goal of victory over the Arab enemy makes
a lot of sense...."
"The feeble and insubstantial goal that Pipes
sees Israel as having embraced: "fight to win
acceptance by its enemies"... has altogether
failed and has only succeeded in empowering
the enemy and endangering Israel."
"I note that Pipes is staunchly on board the
Palestinian train,... essential if Israel is
not to rule over another "people," a tabooed
condition that does not at all trouble Arabs
when it is they who do the ruling ..."
Daniel Pipes in his recent article, "My Peace Plan: An Israeli
Victory," confirmed for me what Israel was doing wrong all along and
it made understandable why Israel has not succeeded in getting peace
but has been endangering this pursuit, all the while demoralizing
those allies who would give Israel steadfast support and actually
risking the nation's existence. It is simple to see how this is
happening, even more simple than Pipes describes.
What Israel has been doing is tantamount to a lamb's attempts to win
over the threatening jackal, getting the jackal to accept coexistence.
Despite the validity of this formulation of Israel's situation, it can
have no effect on Israeli policy since Israel's lamb-brained leaders
are unable to accept that Israel is indeed menaced by what are in
effect jackals -- Arab-jackals.
This point is essential if Israel is to truly mount a defense against
its enemies. For if the situation is such that you are a lamb and the
jackal is your enemy, the only way you can save your life is by either
vanquishing the jackal or placing stout impediments to keep him
endlessly away. It will not happen through the re-education of the
jackal, signed treaties, or through diversions. The fixed nature of
the jackal insures that a willing peace between him and the lamb
cannot succeed, any more than a wall of water will halt the inundating
of what lies before it without a dam to retain it, or that the Arab
world will cease to do naturally to destroy Israel without something
substantial indeed to bar the way.
This is why I regard with alarm what seems to be economist Netanyahu's
approach that would divert the Arab foe from its goal -- diverting the
jackal from to devouring lambs. He calls for their reeducation and the
building of a prosperous Arab economy. But Netanyah's education fix
will not change the Arab jackal's nature -- it is already too late for
that and impotent anyway, since the enemy, in any case, counters such
education by preaching the joys of the devouring jihad. And neither
will the road to economic prosperity succeed in diverting the enemy
since, for the Arabs, prosperity has never been a important priority
that comes before destroying Israel. Though the Arabs would be greatly
benefited by turning to peace, they reject that in favor of
destroying Israel, which "higher goal" is truly placed before their
So unless Israel's goal is final submission to the enemy, Israel must
adopt a different strategy in achieving its security and integrity. In
looking over the situation, Pipes's summary of his conception of the
goals of each side of the Arab-Israel conflict is instructive. Pipes
Until now, through round after round of war, both sides have
retained their goals. Israel fights to win acceptance by its
enemies, while those enemies fight to eliminate Israel. Those
goals are raw, unchanging and mutually contradictory.
Israel's acceptance or elimination are the only states of
peace. Each observer must opt for one solution or the other.
A civilized person will want Israel to win, for its goal is
defensive, to protect an existing and flourishing country.
Its enemies' goal of destruction amounts to pure barbarism.
Notice the feeble and insubstantial goal that Pipes sees Israel as
having embraced: "fight to win acceptance by its enemies." That
Pipes's view of Israel's goal is correct is borne out by the wholesale
surrenders and appeasements that Israel has given to its enemies in
order "to win acceptance." This has altogether failed and has only
succeeded in empowering the dangerous enemy.
See and weep over what Israel has given to the enemy. Israel has given
him legitimacy. Although the lands of the Palestine Mandate were set
aside for the Jewish people, the Arab enemy residents are construed by
Israel's government as having a legitimate claim to it and these Arabs
are now defined as an historic people with ancient claims to the
history and artifacts of the Palestine region, a view now shared by
the majority of American Jews who today dream of Palestine, not
And Israel has also whetted the enemy's appetite for its own ultimate
victory by giving him control of a geographic land base from which to
exert power over an Arab population mass, a population that has the
power to endlessly grow in number through normal increase and by
potentially assimilating millions of outside "refugees," cultivated to
share the goals of eliminating Israel, a mass population that for
many, many decades have been supported by enemies as well as Israel's
friends (the US among them, who I understand gives 70% of the economic
And if that geographic support hasn't been enough, Israel also gives
the enemy economic support -- including building infrastructure and
supplying him with water and electric power -- even while the enemy
continue attacks on Israel. As matters stand, Israel is ringed, north
(Lebanon), east (PA and Fatah forces), and south (Gaza's Hamas) by
formidable military enemy bases which Israel itself by policies and
surrenders has helped to establish.
Among the conceptions that enable starry-eyed human-rightist Israeli
leaders to hold their benign view of jackals that will become
vegetarians is the "evidence" that some seem to have done so. At least
the sweet talking Arabs that they talk to have done so. And so have
the ones that appear on television shows to testify on how they have
changed their minds about war and violence and how they are changing
other minds. The only problem is that, as every student of political
science learns, it only takes an active minority of 10% to bring about
revolution and the enemy side has many times more than that 10% --
some estimates of this active minority range from 30% to an oxymoronic
90% -- and these overwhelm those who preach peace and coexistence.
I will not even go into the fact that, as has also been shown to
occur, today's modernized Muslim population has the tendency to revert
back to militancy in succeeding generations, as a culturally
Francofied Algeria, speaking French for almost a hundred years,
reverted back to its Islamic roots in a period of less than ten years,
as has even some of the second generation Muslim immigrants to America
have embraced jihad and terrorist acts.
I note that Pipes is staunchly on board the Palestinian train, that
Israel must accept a "Palestinian" state as partner as part of plans
for a peaceful future. This "Palestinian" state will of course be
peopled by an Arabic population whose language does not include a "P"
sound, so alien is the origin of such a Palestinian nationality that
defines them and the mass of millions that are being cultivated to
believe that they are the owners of lands they have never been to or
seen. But Pipes thinks this is essential if Israel is not to rule over
another "people," a tabooed condition that does not at all trouble
Arabs when it is they who do the ruling over subcultures.
But if Pipes' dream of such a new state is a permanent fact in future
relations with the Arabs, it is a formula for continuing war that must
end in overwhelming Israel. The whole idea of the Arabs in fostering
and cultivating a phony " Palestinian" nationalism was for the purpose
of having it replace the Jews of Israel. This is a goal assisted by
the billion sized Muslim world and will not be abandoned by any
signature on a dotted line. Only if the idea of Israel's leaders for
Israel's future is to be absorbed into the Arab world and is their
unconscious dream, then Israel is going about this in the right way
and will no doubt get its wish. But I wouldn't call that Israeli
I am not sure how Israel will achieve the "victory" that I agree with
Pipes is essential if Israel is to survive. It will not come from any
success in winning over the Arab side to a willing peace, any more
than this is possible in winning jackals away from devouring
lambs. Israel's victory will have to be such that its enemy will have
been rendered virtually permanently incapable strategically and
physically continuing its battle.
I have my own ideas on content and manner of how Israel should proceed
to attain true victory but I am not a military tactician. I hope
Israel has some such persons that can indeed figure out how to do so.
It won't come through Israel's blood, sweat and tears expended in
building a rival Arab nation within its bosom.
David Basch is an architect and city planner in New York as well as the Freeman Center's political philosopher. Basch is also an expert on Shakespeare and the author of the book, The Hidden Shakespeare, which proves through talmudic and other Jewish sources that Shakespeare was in fact Jewish.
TRADING ISRAEL FOR OIL?
by Emanuel A. Winston,
Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator
We have watched numerous American Presidents anxious to trade Israel’s safety into the hands of Arab Islamist Jihadis (warriors for Islam) for the oil under their feet. To be clear, my reference is to the greedy men and women who have achieved high office representing America but, actually engaging in nefarious deals with Muslim Terrorist tyrants to subvert the Jewish Nation/State of Israel.
Don’t confuse this with most Americans who support Israel and understand that the Islamists have proven their hatred for America and all "infidels" (non-Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Bahais, etc.).
The greedy who float into the Presidency are not truly Americans but, deal-makers who not only are willing to compromise our dedicated allies - like Israel - but, seem just as willing to subvert and trade America’s safety to oil-bearing Muslims.
In my mind’s eye, I can see G-d saying: "So, you want oil, I will give you oil."
G-d gave us the natural basin of the Gulf of Mexico with its abundance o f seafood, estuaries where fish breed, the grass borders where every sort of bird can nest and reproduce.
What G-d gives, G-d can take back.
So, our greedy Presidents want oil at any price and show a craven willingness to sacrifice the Jewish people and their tiny State in trade for that oil. Now, in a virtual instant, the deep reservoirs of oil coat the sea-bed, killing all natural life and the fish so important to our food supply.
The lighter oil has spread a sheen of petroleum across the surface of the Gulf waters, already making it into the barrier islands blown by the winds. The heavier, thick, black crude is following on the currents which will coat the sea floor and the white sand beaches edging the Gulf.
No more work for the fishing boats, no more tourists - even to the coasts of Florida - possibly, even to the Florida Keys and up the East Coast of America destroying their fisheries, beaches and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Once again, the researchers are digging around the shores where the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled millions of gallons of crude. As they put a shovel into the sand and pebbles within a few inches of the surface, they find thick layers of crude oil, smelling just as it did in the tanks of the ship that spilled it.
As a relevant aside, there are oil fields in Africa where the drillers have caused misery and death to the villagers in an on-going war against the land and the people to get the black stuff out of the ground. The natives call the crude oil the "Devil’s Excrement".
We are told that, on average, only a ‘low’ percentage of wells blow-out or ships spill their loads of oil. The problem is that even when that ‘low’ is only 1%, the oil spreads equal a thousand, perhaps a million percent from the 1% incident.
So, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama and the greedy Presidents before you, all of you want oil and seem willing to sacrifice Israel for it. Clearly, G-d is giving you and your advisors just what you asked for but, all of America is paying a deadly price. It seems your legacy in history is that anything you are near, anything you touch is doomed to die.
The Gulf of Mexico will remain a polluted pond for decades. Any seafood coming out of those waters will be contaminated even if you pass new standards, accepting higher quantities of petroleum contamination.
That ‘trick’ has been done before when America’s overseeing institutions accepted higher levels of mercury and other contaminants which were found in the Great Lakes fish and the once pristine rivers and lakes in Canada.
The native Indians in Canada whose diet was primarily fish were told they could only eat one fish a week, especially pregnant women and children. The pollution experts of Canada could not have whole tribes of Indians or Eskimos dying off from contamination and loose political advice.
We "native Americans" were told our bodies could safely absorb these contaminants - or, at least, we get used to them. I just heard that a Nuclear Power Plant in Southern New Jersey has been leaking radioactive cooling water deep into New Jersey’s aquifer that supplies most of that state with its drinking water.
The corrupt and venal leaders of our nation and the ruthless corporations that bribe them have poisoned the land, air, water and the people - because the cash flow was their god and too good to pass up.
Well now, the real G-d is taking back what He once loaned us. Perhaps the last straw in His vaunted patience was sacrificing His Jewish messengers for what was never theirs to sacrifice but, only on loan.
As Pharaoh didn’t believe in the advancing plagues, thus finally sacrificing his nation of Egypt to grinding poverty - even to this day.
So too are you, Mr. Obama, destroying the American nation with your personal greed and hatred for the nation of Israel. But, like Pharaoh, your heart is hardened as we wait the next and perhaps greater catastrophes in the long string of plagues we have already endured.
So, you want oil, Mr. Obama? Now you have oil!
WHY DO THE ‘OTHER’ PEOPLES HATE THE JEWS?
by Emanuel A. Winston,
Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator
For several thousand years we Jews have had to suffer extraordinary hatred from all quarters. What was our great error that triggered this pathological rage when even the most bestial terrorists are given barely a passing glance?
Apparently, we Jews brought into view what humanity did not want. We brought to earth a G-d who displaced the myriad panoply of pagan gods held in great esteem by the pagan peoples and by their village shamans or priests. This new One G-d demanded that humans restrain their worst behavior and cruelty.
Since they, the priest cults, were not able to voice their complaints directly to this new G-d, they turned their rage against His messengers, the Jewish people.
The Jews had voluntarily agreed to be a "Light Unto The Nations" within the Covenant G-d made with the Jewish people. The families and descendants of Abraham, Moses and the Prophets were merely to live the life of Torah and to set an example as a "Light Unto the Nations". G-d chose the Jews because we agreed to follow His Commandments and Laws which He gave them on Mt. Sinai.
The pagan priest cults hated the restraints of One Invisible G-d and that hatred was passed on to the Jewish people. The pagan priests couldn’t compete with this new invisible omnipotent G-d. Some attributes of the One Invisible G-d were adopted while the ‘others’ tried creating modified versions of this One G-d.
Primitive man feared and worshiped all things he could not understand. Through to the present, fear and religion played a deep role in this behavior of man. From whole civilizations down to the smallest local village, the priest cults set the rules. Their custom was to have many gods to please and appease. Sometimes they engaged in human sacrifice, throwing virgins or children to their gods. They prayed for weather to get a good crops, victory in war, fertile wives, healthy children. Their many gods had a significant role in what humans thought the gods could give them.
The most important benefit they sought was that the gods would allow man to be alive after his death. Thus the creative rituals of burials, as practiced by the Egyptians for instance, was to send their dead kings to an after-life with food, wives, riches and to preserve them with mummification in order to arrive - ready to live again in the next world. Every civilization had their own rituals to appease their gods, particularly when marching to war.
But, something happened that sent a shock through the accustomed system. The new idea of there being only One Supreme Power, in effect, diminished the status of the priest cults and the myriads of gods they served.
It began with the leadership of a prophetic visionary, Avraham, who had the belief that there was only One G-d. His belief was confirmed by that One G-d. In time, through teachings of the ancient Prophets guided by Torah, the Hebrew people did, indeed, become a "Light Unto The Nations" an example of how mankind should conduct his life.
At this point, there developed a conflict. The idea of One G-d was gaining acceptance by the pagans, coupled with resentment. Why should an insignificant tribe of Jews claim a special relationship with the new One and Only G-d? Although the Jews did not press the pagan tribes to convert to Torah Laws and abandon their worship of their deities, nevertheless, the mere presence of a people who lived by what came to be known as the 10 Commandments and the 613 "Mitzvot" (Good Deeds - the Laws that Jews should live by) challenged their own pagan beliefs. The Jews’ personal conduct was their "Light Unto The Nations".
Why should the greater civilizations in size and power be demoted to line up behind the Jews for the privileges that should rightfully be theirs and theirs alone? Although the Jews did not claim such privileges over all others, nevertheless, other religious cults developed the ideology that somehow they should be superior and be granted the most prized rewards of "Life After Death". If, indeed, the Jews had this secret, then it must be taken from them.
While there was considerable reluctance to give up the pagan rituals of their past practices of worshiping multiple deities, be they animals, trees, mythical gods in the Roman and Greek tradition - such as sun and moon gods, idols - nevertheless, the One G-d of the Jews took hold.
But, even then the priest cults managed to keep some of their pagan practices, mixed in with the new acceptance of One G-d. The Jews, however, did not change their way of worship, guided by the Laws of Torah as given to the Jewish people by G-d on Mt. Sinai. Nor did they proselytize and try to convert others. They lived simply within their assigned role to be a "Light Unto The Nations" and for that, they were hated.
The Nations, the ‘other’ peoples - having accumulated whatever they could build, conquer, gathering wealth - wanted more. The priest cults promised them more IF they followed whatever rituals and appeasements to their panoply of gods. Mostly, they promised what they could not deliver. How could they promise a glorious life after death IF they followed incantations, giving money to the priests to build a large building with soaring spires and vaulted ceilings that will surely please their gods?
There was, of course, the suspicion that the Jews were somehow first in line for what Christians call resurrection or life-after-death. Why should the Jews have this privilege when new and better religions should serve the One G-d and expropriate the Covenant G-d made with the Jews?
A war against the Jews began with what we today call propaganda or demonization. The priest cults may have reluctantly accepted the concept of One G-d but, that did not mean they had to accept G-d’s Jewish messengers.
Clearly, in their estimation, this One G-d might have made an error in choosing Jews to be a "Light Unto The Nations".
How could G-d possibly select a group or tribe of Hebrews over all others?
Were not great civilizations more justified in being the Chosen People?
Were they not richer, more powerful, had greater armies and had conquered more people?
Did they not have more gods, more idols to worship?
How dare these upstart Jews ignore the many gods offered them to join the new ways!
The rage of the priest cults was passed down to the people. Jews were to be hated as "imposters" as G-d’s servants on earth. Soon the myth developed and grew -that Jews were somehow responsible for whatever happened on the planet that negatively affected the people. Poor crop yields, drought, famine....plagues like the bubonic plague of black death were certainly blamed on the Jews.
Then came the canards of blood libel. This demonization of the Jews was only limited to the imagination of the Church clerics.
Surely the Jewish ritual of bathing before the Sabbath and washing before eating was a dangerous, alien ritual. However, it seems that the Jewish ritual of washing helped the Jews stay clean which improved their health over all and, therefore, fewer died of the Plagues and other common illnesses.
Then what became "the Church", led by the apostate Jews, Saul, who changed his name to Paul and ‘borrowed’ a Jew as the Messiah and lord. As in all pagan, sacrificial cults, the killing of Jews became their custom and ritual to please their adopted Jewish lord.
Surely, the Jew Jesus would bless them with a life-after-death if they could either manage to convince Jews that Jesus was a man-child of the One G-d and the Messiah for whom the Jews have been waiting.
But, if they (the Jews) did not accept this mandate, then they were to be disposed of. Killing off the family of Jesus seemed to present no ethical or moral conundrum to the priest cults, particularly since they produced the blood libels that demonized the Jews and supported ages of murder.
Both Christianity from the year 1 C.E. (Common Era) and Islam 632 C.E. took parallel patterns in denying the Jew, calling the Jews a threat.
However, human sacrifice really never left the way of the pagans. Muslims kill Jews, Christian and all "Infidels" (non-Muslims). Nothing has changed. Remember - Most Muslims are not terrorists; however, almost all Terrorists in the last 50 years have been Muslims. (1)
Clearly, the Jews must give up their claims to G-d’s Covenant so the Christians and Muslims can fight it out to be the "last warrior standing", then they would be justified to submit their petition to G-d to be His sole representative on the Planet - and then, perhaps the Universe.
It is now 2010 and we observe a black President, following both the Christian and Muslim tracks of demonizing the Jewish Nation/State of Israel and her people. That Jews have contributed to mankind’s well-being in massive disproportion to their small numbers is regarded as ‘irrelevant’.
We observe American students on University campuses, marching like Adolph Hitler’s brown-shirts, enraged that there is a State of Israel. The Christian nations of Europe who gathered to assist Hitler in a genocidal massacre of their Jews once again are ramping up their anger against Israel as if they have discovered why their civilizations are failing.
While there are many who disbelieve in G-d’s Retribution, one is struck by the actions of a volcano in Iceland, spewing toxic ash - which covered the continent of Europe - just 70 years after the Holocaust left a mass graveyard in Europe holding the ashes of 6 million Jews.
We observed a similar spewing forth of crude oil, filling the Gulf of Mexico just last week, covering its shorelines, destroying fisheries - perhaps for decades. Breeding estuaries for fish, birds, turtles and other creatures - as well as tourist beaches - upon which men depend for their living may be contaminated for years to come.
Perhaps it’s merely coincidental that as President Barack Hussein Obama and the European countries join with the Ishmaelites in planning to eliminate the Jewish State, global catastrophe stalks their nations.
Money fails, violent weather, awakening the earth’s core to cause earthquakes and volcanoes demonstrate how fragile we are and so easily eliminated.
Perhaps those hostile to the Jewish people and their Nation/State of Israel will arrive in the world to come in the chaos of utter blackness and wonder what they have done to deserve such pain.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm Flight 103, 12/21/88
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 2/26/93
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, 10/23/83
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Khobar Towers, U.S. Barracks Saudi Arabia, 6/25/88
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of U.S. Embassies-Nairobi & Dar es Salaam, Africa, 8/10/98
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon & (probably) the White House or Congress on 9/11/01
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombings of 4 commuter trains in Madrid 3/11/04
REMEMBER the MUSLIM murders of at least 368 children in Beslan, Russia 9/1/04
AND, PLEASE REMEMBER the MUSLIM murders of at least 1500 Israelis since Oslo was signed 9/13/93, with tens of thousands wounded - many maimed for life!
REMEMBER all the AMERICANS and others whose lives were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks.
REMEMBER: Islamic Terrorists Have Carried Out More Than 15,247 deadly terror attacks since 9/11/01. [TheReligionofPeace.com]
Looking Back Into Our Future
SERMON/SPEECH BY JACK BERGER,
FREEMAN CENTER MEMBER
May 15, 2010
In the words of Ezekiel, “Ben Adam can these bones live… These bones Ben Adam are the whole family of Israel (… of Jacob)… and they the shuffling skeletons barely alive lament, ‘Our bones have dried and our hope is lost. We are doomed…’ yet from the heavens, a voice, My people, Behold… in just 3 years I shall open your graves of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Babi Yar… too many to name… and I shall put My spirit into you and I shall bring you back to the Land… the Land I promised to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… and there I will be your G-d!”
Ezekiel’s words from long ago - a prophecy looking back into our future.
In 1945, with the tragedy of the Shoah no longer a silent nightmare, the world capitals were filled with a deafening silence. For all too long the nations of the world had been “Holocaust deniers”. But deniers knew. They had taken temporary solace in discomforting lies which could no longer be denied… and a veil of shame spread not only over Europe, but to the shores of America and to American Jewry that for years had chosen to stand idly by the shedding of our brothers’ blood. Shame still had feelings in those days.
From the stench in the graveyards of Europe and the shame of all decent people, in the face of reality - few wanted to even ask the question – could these bones live?! And many believed that this time history would finally have its way with the Jews… the horror was beyond Crusades, Inquisitions and pogroms… but our Rock had other plans. He was about to split the Sea again – He had a miracle in store for the entire world to see… “Ben Adam, can these bones - from what is the remnant of European Jewry - live?”…
And so it was, 62 years ago yesterday afternoon, erev Shabbat, that a short, white haired man, stepped to a microphone in a crowded room in Tel Aviv and with the strength and courage forged over 2,000 years of wandering thru Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms - and that day with six million of our people at his side, defied the American government, defied the Europeans, defied the United Nations and defied the history of civilizations. The ceremony began with a mournful playing of Hatikvah in remembrance of the 6 million slaughtered. On the wall behind the speaker hung a huge picture of the unlikely dreamer Theodor Herzl… Ben Gurion / as Nachson before him / began in our new/old ancient language to step into our history with these opening words: “In the Land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land was shaped their spiritual, religious, and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books”… 16 minutes later he concluded by leading the assembled with the Shehecheyanu…
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of Universe who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this day”… and although not yet the land of milk and honey, you could hear the shrill sounds of shofars throughout the land announcing the rebirth.
After 2,000 years of wandering in the wilderness of Diaspora delusions – our people had, Shivat Zion, come home… and once again, the crowds in the hall and on the streets of Tel Aviv broke out this time in joy with the singing of Hatikvah – and there was dancing and praying throughout the land. It was Shabbat… and what a special Shabbat it would be… the 62 year war was about to begin.
Eleven minutes later the United States recognized the State of Israel and 48 hours later the United States embargoed all arms headed for Israel . Yes, said the United States , we will recognize you for New York ’s electoral votes, but your life will be short lived – c’est la vie! We’ll let the Arabs take care of the Jewish problem… America needed Arab oil to rebuild its economy after the war and those damn Jews in Palestine were not going to get in the way of America ’s need for prosperity. How wrong they would be. American Jews were both joyous and anxious… it has always been an uneasy relationship.
As some of you are aware, my views and reputation precede me. I gave a talk a number of years ago and after my talk a woman came up to me and handed me a book she said I must read – she told me that her father was one of the men at the meeting revealed in the book. The name of the book is “The Pledge” by Leonard Slater written in 1970 about men willing to do extraordinary things in a time of our people’s need… – I’ll give the synagogue the information. If you never read another book pick up and read the true story of a few dedicated men who refused to stand idly by – she knew her customers.
Zachor, Zachor… remember what Amalak did to you when you left Europe …
In May, 1948, a reporter, Eric Dowton wrote for The London Daily Telegraph,
“Mass murder was committed every day for a month on the streets of Jerusalem in the early summer of 1948. Children, women, the aged, the sick and wounded in their ambulances, were slaughtered without mercy.
Yet the world… did not protest. Washington and Moscow , London and Paris were silent… At the United Nations, an organization barely five years old, already the biggest circus for hypocrisy, faint protest voiceswere brushed aside. With few exceptions the world’s news media wassilent to condemn the Jerusalem bloodletting. The guns were Arab artillery, and much of the world hoped for, expected to see, the Arabs victorious in their way with the Jews. Thus most of Christendom again averted its eyes from the butchery of Jewish civilians in Jerusalem , while Islam gloated.
I am not Jewish. Raised a Protestant Christian… Often I wonder how Christendom can get to sleep at night, with so much (Jewish) blood on its hands. I feel so strongly about the indifference of the international community, especially the Christian church, toward events in Jerusalem in 1948 because I was there…
The Arab nations were supremely confident that once the British were out of the way, they could sweep the despised Jews into the sea… Many
Arab leaders boasted that they planned a way of “complete annihilation” and “utter extermination” against the Jews. (Finishing the job that Hitler had started.) And not one major figure in the international community (including the United States ) or in Christendom protested such threats…and this after the murder of millions in Europe …
Among foreign correspondents the general view was the Arab armies likely would overrun Jerusalem and massacre the Jews along the way… yet I listened with hope to Ben Gurion’s words coming from the Meir Dizengoff Art Museum in Tel Aviv; “… it is the self-evident right of the Jewish peopleto be a nation, as all other nations, in their own sovereign state…
Accordingly, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish People… we hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel .”
It was a Friday, the Jewish Sabbath, and synagogues were crowded with tearfully joyous congregations despite the danger from shelling. In Jerusalem , their thanksgiving was shadowed by the somber realization that the Arabs were closing the noose around the city, and that a battle wasabout to begin which would test their courage and will… I prayed for the Jewsand their dreams… None of us (in the media) foresaw the (miracle of the) humiliating defeat awaiting the blood thirsty Arabs…”
Long ago a pledge was made:
And I shall be your shield and you shall be My people… and a commandment was given, Thou shall not stand idly by the shedding of your brother’s blood. Listen world, listen Jew…
The new state was to be called Israel … our father Jacob , Israel one who prevails with
G-d… Although other names were considered, New Judea or Zion , there could be only one name – Israel … Israel in the memory of Jacob... and the words, “If you will honor me, please promise you will bring me back to the land and bury me with my fathers – at Machpelah in a town called Hebron”. Hebron is not a settlement.
The first Arab conquest of our land was in 634 C.E. over 2,000 years from when Abraham walked the land. From 1517 to 1917 – four hundred years – the Ottoman Turks controlled the land and to the Turks the land was simply a remote, unproductive part of their empire. Jews, many from Russia , began our journey back to the land in 1881.
During the long interval of Arab, Seljuk, Christian, Mameluke and Ottoman control, Palestine never became a national homeland for any people, or even existed as a geopolitical fact. Conquered and re-conquered fourteen times in thirteen centuries, each conqueror merely absorbed Palestine and ruled it from without, each leaving its legacy in soldiers and slaves whose descendants shared no ethnic or cultural identity. By 1881 the inhabitants totaled barely 300,000 including the area of Trans-Jordan, the Jews among them numbering a scant 25,000 compared to the 2,000,000 of Roman times… or the 5.9 million today.
Throughout our Torah the promise of covenant with the land was given to our people . The promise was not going to be easy and yet with each conflict a lesson was being learned, a people were being forged, a timeless covenant was being created.
Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured by the four Kings. Four armies, who had just defeated the five Kings, Abraham Ha’Ivri defeats the four kings with just 318 warriors and Melichzedik acknowledges that Abraham’s G-d is all powerful… people from all around hear of Abraham’s great victory and are in awe of Abraham. Yet Abraham just wants to get along so later he makes an agreement with Abimelech and Phiol and it was that after these things G-d tests Abraham…
Of all our patriarchs the one that thru his transformation gives us our hope to continue and the one I personally think about most is Jacob who transforms himself from Jacob the insensitive trickster to Jacob the proud, strong Jew, who in many ways became the model for our David Ben-Gurion, the new-old Jew.
We begin the story of Jacob with his relationship with his brother Esau. For those of us who have siblings, if we saw our brother or sister famished and in need of food, would we ever even think to barter with them and take advantage of their moments of weakness, listening to their plea “or I shall surely die” – What kind of person takes advantage of a brother in a moment of pain and suffering – not so Jewish.
When Jacob sees Rachel, he walks up to her and kisses her – no hello my name is, just I want it… it’s mine. Only after his wedding night fling does he realize he had the wrong sister. He had to have been pretty drunk – since Leah and Rachel had been described as being physically very different and does he even get it when Laban, so very sensitive to the feelings of his older daughter Leah says, “we don’t marry the younger before the older here”? Or could you as a parent ever be so insensitive as to single out one of your children / as he did with Joseph to the mental anguish of all your other children? And the question has to be asked - Why does the Torah divulge such negative character traits?
Jacob leaves home and shortly thereafter he hears the voice of G-d and G-d promises him - “Behold I am with you, I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this land, for I will not forsake you.” (Gen 28:15-16) But Jacob responds with the chutzpah of conditions when he says, “If G-d will be with me, will guard me on the way, will give me bread to eat and clothes to wear and I return in peace to my father’s house, then Hashem will be a G-d to me.” (Gen. 28:20-21) It sounds a bit like Monte Hall in Let’s Make a Deal – and it is in this response that shows how much our G-d loves His people - Of all the patriarchs Jacob is us: perhaps the spoiled, ungrateful grandchild in perpetuity.
And yet there is another sign of his personality when Jacob goes to Schechem and buys the plot of land from the children of Hamor and thereafter follows the kidnapping and rape of his only daughter Dinah by Schechem Hamor’s son “the most respected of all his father’s household” (Gen. 34:18-19)… he was looked up to in the community. The story goes that Shimon and Levi trick the Hivites and slaughter all the males of the town and rescue Dinah and what is Jacob’s concern? You have made me odious among the inhabitants of the land… Today you announced the building of homes for Jews in Ramat Sholom… I am few in number and should they band together and attack me I will be annihilated. (Gen. 34:30) I, me, me, seems to be the predominant theme when Shimon and Levi reply – “Should they treat our sister Jerusalem like a harlot”.
Shortly thereafter Jacob is told by G-d to travel to Beth-El yet Jacob is fearful that the people of the area will attack him for what he did in Schechem but – “There fell a G-dly terror on the cities which were around them so they did not pursue Jacob or his sons”. (Gen. 35:5) The inhabitants had heard what Jacob and his sons had done and they were fearful and with great respect let Jacob pass in safety… I guess some of Jacob’s potential enemies would now be thinking twice before they tried to harm or kidnap another Jew. Perhaps there is a lesson here for Gilad Shallit.
Fast forward as we follow Jacob to when he goes to Egypt to reunite with his beloved son Joseph. We see a Jacob transformed with a better understanding of his role as Israel .
Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and Pharaoh proclaimed for all of Egypt that Joseph was to be “in charge of all the land of Egypt” (Gen. 41:41) That he became his “Avrech” to ride in his second royal chariot. Pretty heady stuff for the Jew boy from Canaan of 30 and yet when “ Israel exclaims to G-d… My son Joseph lives” G-d tells Israel , “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt … I shall descend with you… and Joseph shall place his hand on your eyes.” (Gen. 46:3-4) And you shall see My truths… Jacob goes down to Egypt . Joseph, once the “Avrech”, second only to Pharaoh, the yid who proudly told Pharaoh that it was his G-d who read dreams… had lived in the Diaspora of Egypt… and it seems that things had changed in Joseph’s perception of himself and when “he placed his hands on Israel’s eyes”, Jacob the trickster became Jacob the Jew of truth, no longer solely worried about his own well being. Being reacquainted with his beloved son, he knew he had to set an example for the future of his beloved Joseph.
Joseph tells his brothers and father he will go tell Pharaoh that they have come from the land of Canaan … with all their possessions – they are coming for a long stay. And Joseph says to his father, “When Pharaoh asks what is your occupation, you tell him your servants have been cattlemen from our youth, both we and our forefathers… since all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians.” (Gen. 46-31-33) Joseph is asking his father and brothers to lie. What about the “Avrech”, second only to Pharaoh – It seems that Joseph is now all too aware of his Diaspora delusion… and so too is Jacob.
So it was that when Joseph introduces his father and brothers to Pharaoh and when Pharaoh asks “What is your occupation?” Israel answers – “Your servants are shepherds we as well as our forefathers…” and I can only imagine the shock and fear of Joseph… yet Pharaoh responds to Joseph… “Your father and your brothers have come… the land of Egypt is before you… settle them in the best part of the land… in the region of Goshen and if you know there are capable men among them, appoint them to be overseers over all that belongs to me” - The banks, the hospitals, the schools and universities… our financial centers... (Gen. 47:5-6) And Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence and Joseph had to be left speechless.
Jacob, no longer the trickster, was setting an example for his son Joseph, that with truth comes respect and this is how our people will become “a light unto the nations” not thru accommodation and not thru Chamberlainesque appeasement. G-d had returned Joseph to Jacob, and Jacob had found his strength in truth and his profound faith in Hashem. He had not only found respect and trust in Pharaoh’s eyes but became a model for Jewish leadership and David Ben Gurion 3600 years later.
Jacob and his words to Pharaoh became our story of May 14, 1948, of a people speaking with faith in our G-d’s promise to His people and with the strength, courage and dedication that was forged during our 2,000 year journey. G-d heard the cries of our people this time in Europe and again led them to the land that was promised to our forefathers long ago – a reconnection to our unique history – a miracle as incredible as the splitting of the Sea.
And so it was that Ben Gurion concluded, “We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally around the Jews of Eretz Israel in the tasks of immigration and up-building and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age old dream… of Shivat Zion - our redemption of Israel . Placing our trust in the Almighty we affix our signatures… on this Sabbath Eve, the 5th day of Iyar – 14th of May, 1948”.
There were many pressures put on Ben Gurion from the United States to not declare a state but to declare a trusteeship under the United Nations. He went to his trusted friend Yitzak Tabenkin for advice. Many warned about acting too quickly and how dangerous it would be to declare a state.
The Partition Plan would leave the Jewish people with a rather paltry slice of land – but it would nevertheless have been the realization of a Jewish homeland! He asked his close confidant Tabenkin to help him make the decision. Tabenkin asked for a day in which to consider his response: He wanted to take counsel with two individuals.
A day later Tabenkin urged Ben Gurion to refuse the offer of trusteeship and Ben Gurion replied “I accept your decision – but from whom did you seek advice?” “From two people”, answered Tabenkin – “From my grandfather and from my grandson. From my grand father who died ten years ago with his dreams of returning to our homeland, and from my grandson who is not yet born who will one day be born as a Jew in a Jewish homeland!”
It is said the Land of Israel does not belong to any particular generation; it is the patrimony of all generations. No matter how powerful may be the enemy and how threatening he may appear, we must have trust in G-d rather than in treaties of men and have ultimate faith to remember our covenant that was made to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel in a time of faith and eternal love. Am Yisrael Chai!
Hag so may’ach