Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."


Setting the Record Straight
Reflections of a Frustrated Zionist
by Bernard J. Shapiro
I am getting increasingly frustrated with the constant repetition of the same mistakes in Israel, year after year. Is there no learning curve for Israeli leaders, politicians, and let’s face the Leftist public?
Why do we debate the obvious, like does the Land of Israel belong to us. Some other important questions:
1. Why do we negotiate with Abbas, Obama, the UN, the Eu, Egypt, Jordan or any other anti Israel nations, leader, or institutions. JUST SAY NO! They are all short change artists as I wrote about many years ago. Please read.
Don't Play with the Short Change Artist
Or Why One Shouldn’t Make Redeployment Maps
By Bernard J. Shapiro 
From an editorial in the January 1998 issue of
During my 23 years as owner of House of Books in Houston, I learned many valuable lessons. One in particular seems to have an application to the current situation in Israel. Let me explain:
In 1978, the store was victimized by a short change artist. One of my clerks was at the register when a well dressed gentleman approached with a paperback book costing $2.95. He gave her a $20 bill and then began a back and forth exchange of money. In the end, the bookstore lost about $60.
I called the Houston police department and requested that an officer come to the store and brief my employees on how to prevent this crime from happening again. The officer came and told us a little story. It seems that Johnny Carson once asked a short change artist to come to his show and try to fool him while he was fully alert to what was going down. The criminal had no problem and his skill marveled the audience.
The Lesson: No matter how smart you are, a professional shortchange artist will win out. He is a pro. He does this day in and day out.
How To Stop The Short Change Artist: You simplyMUST NOT PLAY HIS GAME. At the the first hint of the scam, my employees were told to close the register and call security. They were specifically told NOT to try to outsmart or "keep up" with the short change artist.
How does this apply to Israel and the redeployment? Very simple. Think of Yassir Arafat and the US State Department as short change artists. They set up a scam called "Oslo" and the "peace process." They exchange promises for territory. They keep the territory but never keep their promises. Like I said, it is a scam.
Along comes the new Likud Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, who believes that he is smart enough to control the GAME. Only he can’t. No one can. He is up against pros who have been scamming nations for decades.
The State Department has reneged on commitment after solemn commitment to the Jewish State. (See latest Yoram Ettinger article in on 10-18) Still they continue, pledging friendship, while surgically inserting knives in our backs.
This high drama of maps, Sharon’s or Mordechai’s, is just another manifestation of the attempt to control theGAME. There is only one way to win for Israel: Don’t play!
Bibi must announce to the world that the cash register of Eretz Yisrael is closed. The GAME is over. The scam is through.
2, Why does Israel refuse to win the military, strategic and political war with the Arabs? Long ago, I decided that there was no Arab-Israeli Conflict. What there was in reality was: One long war of Arab Extermination Against Israel and the Jewish People. From the Nazis to the Islamo nazis, history has proven me correct.
Why do Israeli military and political try to ignore this reality and hide it from the Israeli public? There is only one way to deal with the enemy in war: DEFEAT, DESTROY, AN AND EXTIRPATE him.
Time for Israel and America to End Their Policy of Restraint
By Bernard J. Shapiro (2001)
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies

"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)

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.

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:
That power should have been used forcefully terminate the Arab War of Extermination against Israel and the Jewish People.
My prayer is that the leaders of Israel will finally learn that critical lesson.

Bernard J. Shapiro is chairman of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies <> and editor of all its publications.