|Ramifications of a PLO state
COURTESY OF: ARIEL CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH
"…PALESTINE WILL RISE UPON THE RUINS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL": YITZHAK RABIN
The principle of national self-determination as proffered by the Israeli Arabs, is nothing other than an ideological cover for the constant, unchanging Arab demand to destroy the State of Israel and establish an Arab state in its place.
Hans J. Morgenthau1
"Secular, democratic Palestine" will rise upon the ruins of the State of Israel... A Palestinian state…will be a time bomb which will draw the Arab world into war.
The Arabs foster the separate Palestinian nationalism and the myth of "restoring the rights of the Palestinian nation" within the territory of the State of Israel and in its stead, in order to destroy Israeli nationalism. The Palestinian national demand is designed to abrogate the existence of the State of Israel and not to coexist with it peacefully.
The political process transpiring in the Middle East ever since the Madrid Conference (November 1991), and even more vigorously since the signing of the Oslo Accords (September 1993), is referred to by many as a "peace process" whose essence, as characterized by the US presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, is the principle of "territories for peace." In other words, it is incumbent on Israel, the sole democracy in the Semitic domain, whose area totals 1/500 of that of the Arab countries, to divest itself of the one and only commodity that it lacks, namely territory. The Arab tyrannies, on the other hand, must provide in return the sole commodity of which they have none – peace. From the standpoint of the State of Israel, peace for territory is a radical move that is liable to place the Jewish state on the verge of existential danger, since withdrawal to the 1967 borders or to a line proximate to them will return Israel to the situation from which it was forced to stage a preemptive war so as to liberate itself from the "Auschwitz borders" as Abba Eban characterized them at the time. Today, however, the situation is far more grave than on the eve of the Six Day War for at least three reasons:
a. Israel is being pressured to embrace a time bomb – in the form of a Palestinian state on the outskirts of Greater Tel Aviv.
b. The firepower in Arab hands and the range and accuracy of their weapons have grown immeasurably since 1967, especially in the realm of ballistic missiles.
c. Since 1967 the ratio of the military balance between the IDF and the Arab armies has increased in Israel's disfavor from 1:3 to 1:5.
On the other hand, the density of the population in Israel has doubled, creating an unparalleled danger in view of the escalation in the level of weaponry of mass destruction possessed by Israel’s enemies.
For these reasons and many more, the Israel national consensus, until recently, totally negated the principle of "territories for peace" and withdrawal from the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. When President Carter suggested his support for the territorial solution for the Arabs of Eretz Israel4 by adopting the Arab interpretation of UN Resolution 242, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reacted sharply, in a manner unimaginable today:
President Carter’s statement regarding the withdrawal to the 1967 borders is very grave…it is lacking in both truth and a clear understanding of the facts. This is a vital issue for Israel, and the president’s statement, which hurts Israel’s position, should be viewed very severely. I cannot agree to this. The response on this issue is explicit, penetrating and unequivocal: no!5
Shimon Peres viewed any withdrawal from "the liberated territories of Eretz Israel" (in his words) as an existential threat to Israel. At the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the city of Ariel, Peres stated:
The lack of minimal territorial domain will place [Israel] in a situation of total nondeterrence…and will create an unconquerable desire in the Arabs to attack it from all sides and obliterate the Jewish state.6
Peres absolutely rejected the idea of a Palestinian state in his book Tomorrow Is Now.7 He writes:
During a war, the borders of the Palestinian state will serve as an ideal springboard for mobile forces to immediately breach Israeli defenses towards the infrastructure vital to Israel’s existence, to limit the freedom of action of the Israeli Air Force in Israeli skies, and to shed the population’s blood through "masses of artillery positions" proximate to the border. In the absence of defensible borders, Israel will be annihilated in a war. (Emphasis added)
In an article appearing in the Jerusalem Post, he writes: "A Palestinian state means...missiles at the gates of Jerusalem...terrorists along the main arteries of our existence."8
Amnon Rubinstein, former Minister of Education and now a prominent member of the ultra-left Meretz Party, spoke in even more caustic terms:
Since the days of Dr. Goebbels, there has never been a similar case in which the interminable repetition of a lie produced such plentiful results, and among all the Palestinian lies there is no greater, more overwhelming lie than the one demanding the establishment of a separate Palestinian state on the West Bank.9
Meanwhile, however, the politicians quoted above have undergone a 180-degree about-face, and from a position of rejecting the return to the 1967 borders and a Palestinian state, all three of them – along with what is referred to as the "Israeli peace camp" – have transformed themselves into passionate supporters of "territories for peace" and the establishment of such an Arab Palestinian state.
Rabin and Peres explained the turnabout in their political paths by citing the "changed circumstances" – rebus sic stantibus – in the world in general, and in the region in particular, stemming from the end of the Cold War. Yitzhak Rabin, it is true, admitted that in the name of peace "Israel will be required to make heavy and painful sacrifices," but from a historical perspective the price would be worthwhile since:
It is our obligation to view the new world as it is today; we must join the journey toward peace, reconciliation, and partnership that is racing forward all over the globe…the entire region has started down the path to peace and we must not miss the train.10
Peres frequently speaks of the "winds of conciliation and peace that are blowing in the Middle East". In his book The New Middle East, he foresees an economic triangle, modeled after the Benelux countries, consisting of an Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian federation. In Peres’ federation, a "free, democratic, thriving and constantly changing" government will rule. "The increase in the standard of living and the sweeping economic changes will turn Gaza into the Hong Kong of the Middle East." Peres’ miracle will result from the combination of Saudi money and Israeli technology.
According to the newborn Peres, the "territories under Israel’s control not only do not enhance Israel’s security but serve as a stumbling block to peace by creating tension between the Jewish state and its neighbors." In his opinion, international guarantees in general and those of the United States in particular, will ensure the proclivity for peace in the Middle East and halt Islamic fundamentalism by creating a coalition of pro-Western countries based on stable regimes such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
Israel’s role in the process is clear. "Heavy and painful sacrifices" means the irreversible loss of the Jewish homeland – the cradle of Hebrew civilization and the rationale for Zionism – both of which are strategic assets of the first order. In contrast to Israel, the Arab side of the equation is to receive everything that is offered at this point and, in return, sign a lengthy series of documents.
With the exception of agreements signed under strategic duress, i.e., the Munich Agreement of October 1938, or the capitulation of France in 1940, this situation is historically unprecedented. Hence, it is imperative to examine carefully whether the "New Middle East" is in fact a durable concept. Have the Arabs "started along the path toward peace", and is their readiness to accept Israel in the region not a strategic fraud, but rather an "authentic step toward peace with Israel on the part of those Arab countries, like Jordan and Egypt, that have reached the conclusion that they cannot overcome Israel in a war?"11
This paper aims to analyze the claims of the supporters of the "peace process" in an unbiased manner, in other words, without the self-deception apparatus that is so characteristic of Jewish radicalism, which sees in reality only what it chooses to see.
"Clash of Civilizations": Dominant Trends in the Middle East
Three central processes have characterized the Middle East over the past two decades and even more vigorously since the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War: a. The proliferation of the arms race, especially non-conventional weapons, b. the struggle for hegemony; and c. Islamic extremism.
The Proliferation of Weapons and the Struggle for Hegemony
The bipolar world alignment was based on the hegemony of the two superpowers, which exercised uncontested leadership. In an alignment of that sort, where the respective treaty organizations held great centralized power, the individual country had very limited maneuverability. Furthermore, in an era when the threat of nuclear holocaust existed, self-restraint as embodied in the principle of MAD (mutually assured destruction) took on even greater significance. The awareness of a possible nuclear holocaust led to the establishment of a system of technical coordination between the two superpowers, such as the "red phone" (hot line) between Moscow and Washington, and of doctrinal coordination. The latter entailed a mutual understanding to the effect that weapons of mass destruction and the means of their deployment via ballistic missiles and/or long-range bombers would not be supplied to unstable regimes, especially those in the Third World. The bipolar world was, therefore, a sort of insurance policy for the survival of the human race.
With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the superpower hegemony ended. However, whereas the American sphere of influence includes, primarily, the democracies of the Christian West, Moscow’s former protectorates outside of the Communist bloc are mainly the Islamic countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Egypt, although the latter achieved relatively independent status even before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Excluding Sudan and Libya, these are key countries in the Muslim world. All four have declared their aspirations for hegemony in the Semitic domain and all four are prepared to achieve their goals by the use of force. The Iran-Iraq War, Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, Iraq’s conquest of Kuwait, the threat of Iranian expansionism in the Gulf region, and the massive Egyptian investments in preparing its army for war with Israel attest to this.
With the collapse of the superpowers’ strategic reasons for restraining the their allies armaments, commercial considerations have become more significant. The substantial reduction in NATO military expenditures threatened to bring about the collapse of the weapons industry. The severe financial crisis in the former Warsaw Pact countries increased the value of one of the few commodities that these nations could market, namely weapons. Subsequently, the Middle East was inundated with weapons from East and West, sometimes by pushing prices down below cost. The decline in oil prices that began in the 1980s minimized the purchasing power of the countries of the region. Nevertheless, the Middle East quickly became the focus of worldwide weapons sales. During the 1990s the region was on the purchasing end of 42% of all weapons sales worldwide, twenty times the world average.12 The largest increase occurred after Operation Desert Storm, which provided a significant advantage to American weapons sales to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and primarily Egypt. This was true not only for conventional weapons, which had been supplied primarily by the former Eastern bloc. It was particularly true for non-conventional weapons supplied primarily by the West headed by Germany, the sale of which was a good deal more dramatic than for the conventional arms. The ballistic capability was provided mostly by North Korea and China, but the relatively cheap and available technology for the production of missiles based on the technology of the Soviet Scud series enabled Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria to develop, produce, and upgrade their own missiles.13 The dimensions of the effort by the Arab countries and Iran to supply themselves with chemical and biological weapons, along with the means to launch them, place them today in third place worldwide in this regard, after the United States and Russia. The lethal capability of the anthrax germ is roughly equivalent to the destructive capability of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bombs of that dimension are definitely sufficient for wars in the Middle East where the distances between countries are relatively short. As a result, even if the Middle East does not go nuclear in the immediate future, the chemical and biological weapons in Arab hands are sufficient to neutralize Israel’s nuclear deterrent and to create a locus of potential danger unparalleled since the end of the Cold War.14
Furthermore, already today, three NATO capitals, Ankara, Athens, and Rome are in ballistic-missile range of Syria, Egypt, and Libya. With the completion of the development of the Shihab-3 in Iran, half of Europe will be within this missile’s range, and in 2005, according to Pentagon assessments, Iran and North Korea will have the ballistic-missile capability to threaten America’s West Coast. Just for example, had Israel not destroyed the Iraqi nuclear capability (though not the potential) in 1981, or if Iraq had had the ballistic-missile capability to threaten southeastern Europe, it is highly questionable whether Turkey, Greece, and Italy, whose citizens would have been the hostages of an Arab despot, would have been prepared to join President Bush’s coalition on the eve of the Gulf War. One need not possess a lively imagination to envision the global ramifications of a Middle East under the hegemony of a Saddam Hussein-like ruler who controls the Kuwaiti oil reserves. Although Hussein was stopped in time, the methods used by the Iraqi leader is gaining momentum in a manner directly proportional to the escalation of ballistic- missile capability.
Since the Khumayni revolution in 1979, Islamic extremism has spread from the Iranian center and thrives especially in Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, and among the Arabs of Eretz Israel. This chapter cannot undertake a detailed discussion of the characteristics of Islamic extremism (often mistakenly referred to as "Muslim fundamentalism"). Basically, this phenomenon is a spontaneous, authentic reaction of a unified, powerful civilization well aware of its massive scope of a billion adherents, that is anxious about the disintegration and loss of values in the face of the globalization of the Western system of values. Consequently, on the theological-political level, its two major enemies are America – "great Satan", and Israel, "the dagger in the heart of Islam", or "little Satan".
Nevertheless, the assumption touted by Shimon Peres according to which "Islamic fundamentalism is supported by poverty and therefore raising the standard of living will facilitate its demise" is unmitigated nonsense that lacks any basis in reality. This absurd assertion is an affront to any civilization about which people insinuate that it will sell out its values, moral ethos and cultural code for a "bowl of lentil soup" in the form of an increase in the standard of living in the Western sense of the term, namely "microwaves, Internet, porno, and soap operas" as the spiritual leader of the Hizbullah in southern Lebanon, Sheikh Nasrallah, described it in an interview with a French newspaper. If there was any truth to the claim that there is a direct relation between the material standard of living and Islamic fundamentalism, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Gulf Emirates should all be thriving, modern democracies, since their per capita GDP is ten times that of Syria and roughly equal to those of Western Europe. Syria, on the other hand, should be submerged in the darkest depths of fundamentalism. Needless to say, the diametrical opposite is true. It was Hafez el-Assad who asphyxiated twenty thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama with cyanide gas in 1982 out of concern about Islamic subversion.15 On the other hand, anyone who violates the laws of the Sha’ria – Islamic law – in Saudi Arabia runs the risk of execution. Iran descended into the arms of Khumaynism from its previous status as a country oriented toward the West, precisely when its standard of living was then among the highest in the region.
The three trends described above, each one individually and especially in tandem, are liable to create a threat to world peace, more severe than that which prevailed during the Cold War era. Consequently, it is no wonder that they arouse deep concern in the West. In remarks made by Margaret Thatcher marking the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous Fulton speech, which laid the foundations for the Marshall Plan and NATO, the former British Prime Minister cautioned the West that the Islamic genie poses a greater threat than that posed by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.16 Washington and Moscow, despite the ideological rift between them, spoke the same language in the context of a common civilization, with the hot line between the Kremlin and the White House as its manifestation. This phenomenon is totally absent in a situation described by the American historian Samuel Huntington as The Clash of Civilizations. In an article of the same name that appeared in Foreign Affairs, the author has bleak expectations from a culture whose "borders are marked in blood." The article made unprecedented waves and became a cornerstone of think tanks in the West about the strategic process in the Middle East.
Bernard Lewis, one of the foremost Orientalists of our generation, writes:
We are facing a phenomenon of state-of-mind and intellectual movement which go far beyond the issues on the political agenda of governments. We are dealing with nothing less than a clash of civilizations, an irrational reaction perhaps but doubtlessly a historically significant reaction of an ancient adversary against our Judeo-Christian heritage from the past and against our secular existence.
Because of the West’s huge military, technological, and economic gap relative to any potential Islamic coalition in the foreseeable future, the "clash of civilizations" is not yet upon us. For Israel, however, the situation is clearly different.
B. ISRAEL: "A PEOPLE THAT DWELLS APART"
The pinnacle of faith is the jihad.
The Arab world’s long-standing effort to erase Israel from the map is anchored in a system of considerations intrinsic to the relations between the Jewish state and the Arab nation in general and Egypt in particular. As a result, the jihad (holy war) as the overriding principle of Islam, together with the long-term strategic interests of Egypt, form the dual basis for understanding the process of strategic abuse that is designed to force Israel’s return to the 1967 borders, thereby facilitating its destruction.
The Israeli Anomaly
The jihad ethos is a fixed situation in the declared war on the outside world…until the realization of its ultimate destiny [which is] the Islamization of all of the people in the world…. Until that day arrives the jihad…will remain an immutable obligation of the entire Muslim community. The upshot of this is that the existence of Dar al-Harb (the House of War) is essentially illegal according to Islamic law.
A practical ramification of the precept of jihad is the division of the world between Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam), the consecrated realm consisting of all of the territories in which Islam’s rule is uncontested, and the rest of the world that has yet to be conquered and is therefore appropriately called Dar al-Harb. Dar al-Islam ranges over twenty-two countries of the Arab League (not to mention the other Islamic states), from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf – an area twice that of Europe – in which Islam reigns unchallenged and in which almost every religious or national minority that has sought autonomy has been destroyed or oppressed. In the spacious Semitic domain there exists only one non-Islamic sovereign entity – Israel. As if that violation of the jihad ethos was insufficient, in all of their attempts to obliterate the Zionist entity the Arabs were routed on the battlefield – an unbearable, stinging affront to a culture that worships war as an ethos and violence as a principle.
Consequently, Israel is an anomaly that refutes the principle of jihad, since, despite its existence in Dar al-Islam, it is at one and the same time an extreme manifestation of Dar al-Harb. As a result, the standard sobriquets for the Jewish state, such as "a cancer in the body of the Arab nation" or "a dagger in the heart of the Arabs" might grate on the Israeli ear, but they are perfectly accurate from an Arab perspective. It is not Israel’s borders that are the cause of the Arab hostility – a claim seemingly contradicted by the fact that Israel occupies only about 1/500 of the territory of Dar al-Islam – but rather its mere existence. This point was elucidated by PLO spokesman Bassam-abu-Sharif: "The struggle against the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders but relates to the mere existence of the Zionist entity."
The Palestinian Charter, which represents the essence of the jihad principle in political guise, is also the canonized document through which the Arab nation comes to terms with the Israeli anomaly in the attempt to return Palestine to Dar al-Islam. Thus, the Charter proclaims the unity of the nation and the land, fundamentally rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state, and calls for pan-Arab cooperation in the armed struggle to extirpate Israel. The Charter was never amended, not to mention abolished. The show staged for Bill Clinton in Gaza, in December 1998, was nothing but a cynical farce played for the media with the full consent of the American president and ridiculed by the Palestinians themselves.
Egypt and the Israeli Wedge
Egypt, the leading country in the Arab world, is the prime candidate to assume the mantle of hegemony – if not Nasserite pan-Islamism, then at least pan-Arabic hegemony – thanks to its large population (62 million people), double that of Algeria or Sudan, which rank second in the Arab world in terms of population; its cultural primacy; and now, especially, thanks as well to its large army with state-of-the-art Western weaponry. Its geographic location, controlling the Suez Canal and the entrance to the Red Sea, grants it a clear strategic advantage. However, Egypt’s main problem in terms of regional hegemony is its geographic separation from Asia by the Jewish state, thrust as a wedge between it and the Arab nations to the east. Hasnein Haikal, one of the most articulate of the Egyptian intellectuals, expressed it well:
Israel wants to serve as a barrier between Africa and western Asia, and that is the reason…the heart of the conflict [is] between Egypt’s national plan to forge ties with the Arab bloc and Israel’s plan to sever those ties… As long as the peace agreement does not take that into account, peace will not be realistic.
The Egyptian attempt to reach the Saudi oil wells through Yemen in 1963; the standing Egyptian claim on Eilat and the western Negev; its uncompromising position regarding the stretch of sand called Taba based on the principle that Sadat never tired of repeating: "up to the last granule of sacred Arab land"; the Egyptian media’s persistent rendering of the map of Israel as "a dagger in the heart of the Arab nation" dividing the two parts of the Semitic domain, or "a dagger in the heart of the nations," are testimony to this.
The Egyptian attempts to wipe the Jewish state off the map in 1948 and 1967 failed. Furthermore, as a result of the Six Day War, Egypt lost the Sinai Desert, in other words, its territorial geo-strategic asset and its launching point in its war with Israel. With the return of Sinai in the context of the Camp David agreements, Sadat – Hitler’s diligent student and admirer, one of the most vitriolic anti-Semites in the Arab world and one who understood the inferiority complexes of Israel’s leaders so well – conceived the long-range strategic plan to return Israel to what he was wont to characterize as "its natural size". Sadat internalized well the principle expressed by Shimon Peres when referring, at that time, to the 1967 borders: "Without defensible borders, the country will be obliterated in war," reflected in the formula that Sadat repeated constantly: "It is incumbent upon us to return Israel to its 1967 borders; the remainder will be accomplished by the next generation" – leaving no doubt as to the nature of the objective resting on the shoulders of the "next generation".
Egypt’s strategic goal is supported by a comprehensive, coordinated system of tactical steps that for schematic convenience I shall divide into four:
a. Construction of a military force and preparations for war;
b. Establishment of the "Palestine Liberation Organization";
c. Political hostility designed to invalidate Israel’s international legitimacy;
d. Brainwashing and "anti-Semitic incitement of a scope unparalleled since the late Middle Ages, the ‘black centuries’ of Czarist Russia and the Nazi era in Germany".
In this paper, I shall address only points a and b.
C. CONSTRUCTION OF A MILITARY FORCE AND PREPARATIONS FOR WAR
The Egyptian case is characteristic of the trends in the "New Middle East". Egypt, with a per capita GDP of less than $1,000, is one of the poorest nations in the Third World. In 1990 Egypt was on the brink of collapsing under a mountain of external debt that totaled close to $50 billion and equaled, at that point, its gross national product. Cairo was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy, as it was unable to repay the interest, not to mention the principal. In that year, an exceptional opportunity to escape its economic entanglement presented itself when President Bush offered comprehensive relief of Cairo’s external debt in exchange for Egypt’s agreement to join the coalition against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. The sweeping remittance, the most comprehensive enjoyed by any country since World War II, totaled $29.5 billion, and Egypt was the beneficiary of a most convenient payment schedule for the balance of its debt as well. At that point, its extensive cooperation with Iraq in the development of weapons of mass destruction was "forgotten".
However, the remittance of debts and the comprehensive aid that Egypt received from external sources did not help very much, if at all. As the New York Times economic correspondent wrote in 1996:
Egypt’s economy remains as it was, in other words, totally ravaged and it is nothing more than fertile ground for fundamentalism. All attempts at industrialization have totally collapsed, the government bureaucracy is the paradigm of ineffectiveness, sloth and massive hidden unemployment. Schools there furnish masses of ignoramuses for the non-existent labor market…
Moreover, fortunately for Egypt, it is the only country in the Middle East totally without any strategic threat to its territorial integrity. Libya and Sudan are certainly impotent in posing a threat to Egypt and there is a peace treaty with Israel. Consequently, Egypt’s situation since Camp David resembles those extant in NATO countries subsequent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Concurrent with the dramatic decrease in the potential strategic threat, the Western countries cut their military expenditures significantly and set their defense budgets at 2% or 3% of the GDP.
One would thus have expected Egypt to follow in the footsteps of the NATO countries, cutting its military expenditures drastically and directing the limited, meager resources at its disposal to enhancing the prosperity of its citizens. In practice, the diametric opposite transpired.
The Camp David agreements deprived Israel of an important strategic/economic asset, the Sinai Desert. The Israeli loss was Egypt’s gain as it received a most significant power multiplier. Yet the prize for its willingness to receive Sinai was comprehensive American military aid totaling $1.3 billion dollars per annum, earmarked for the purchase of American weapons systems, and for upgrading its army based on Western military doctrine – in other words, the elimination of Israel’s "qualitative edge". Within a decade, Cairo’s military expenditures skyrocketed and are now estimated at $14.7 billion dollars per annum – 28% of the Egyptian GDP (1997). Since the official statistic generally cited, which serves Israel as testament to Cairo’s commitment to peace – $1.7 billion – is totally fictitious, the following is the real basis for reckoning Egypt’s military expenditures.
Egypt’s armed forces number more than a million soldiers, of whom 421,000 serve in the regular army with a similar number serving in a paramilitary alignment consisting of border police (12,000), national guard (60,000), internal security apparatus (325,000) and more. To this number (over 800,000), a quarter of a million reserve soldiers should be added. A schematic calculation of the expenditures for defense and security in modern armies equipped with Western weaponry is done on the basis of cost per soldier (division of the military expenditures by the number of men in uniform). For example, the cost per soldier in the US army is $135,000, a relatively high amount, due to its extremely expensive strategic systems. In the NATO armies, the average is $100,000 per soldier. In the IDF, which is considered a poor army by NATO standards, the cost per soldier is approximately $40,000 (depending on the calculation of the number of reserve soldiers who are in operational mobilization). Since the weapons in use in the Egyptian army today are Western in every sense, and since the costs of those systems are known to a great degree of exactitude, it is possible to estimate to an equal degree of accuracy Egypt’s military expenditures on the basis of the number of men in uniform. Even if we greatly minimize the cost of both the paramilitary units and the reserve forces and set the basis for calculation according to only 600,000 soldiers, underestimate different values such as lower wages and so on, as well as set the cost per soldier at just $25,000, extremely low in Western terms, the final result will be $14.7 billion, or 28% of the GDP (for 1997). This statistic is characteristic of a country at war.
There is no need to elaborate on what could be accomplished with an annual investment of more than $12 billion (the sum that Cairo would save if it would appropriate its funds as the Western countries did after the end of the Cold War and according to its real strategic needs) as opposed to diverting such wealth to the black hole of the next war.
Syria is another case that underscores the trend toward escalation of the arms race, which is, seemingly, strategically senseless for "a country which has opted for peace as a strategic decision" (Shimon Peres). Syria’s economic situation is even worse than Egypt’s. According to World Bank publications of 1998, for the first time in many years, Syria’s per capita GDP has dipped well below $1,000. Yet, like Egypt, Syria diverted all $5.5 billion that it received in the wake of its participation in the Gulf War to an intensive armament effort, especially in the realm of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Syria purchased production lines for the Scud-C missile from North Korea. Damascus is in the early stages of a comprehensive program to construct underground silos for the storage of anti-aircraft missile systems. The ballistic-missile alignment in Syria is already estimated at one thousand missiles that cover most of Greater Tel Aviv. In deliberations conducted during Assad’s visit to Moscow in early July 1999, Russia agreed to a far-reaching remittance of the Syrian debt, estimated at approximately $12 billion, in exchange for the extensive purchase of weapons, primarily T-80 battle tanks and squadrons of MiG-29 fighter planes. Indeed, that is the clear Syrian response to Peres’ claim that "peace with Israel is a strategic decision of President Assad."
A Palestinian Protectorate
It is worth noting that the "PLO", "Palestinian rights", and the principle of the "Palestinian state", even if they are not Cairene creations from start to finish, are manipulated by it for its strategic needs in the struggle with Israel. The Palestinian state, when it is established, will be largely an Egyptian protectorate and a very significant catalyst in Cairo’s aspiration for hegemony in the Middle East. Consequently, it is no wonder that the idea of a "Palestinian state" is greeted with blatant displeasure among the other Arab countries, which see through the Egyptian intentions very well. Assad is the least enthusiastic of all about the idea of a Palestinian state and indeed categorically rejects this possibility, since for him "Palestine" is southern Syria. His hatred for Arafat needs no substantiation. All of the terrorist organizations hostile to Arafat that constitute the "Rejectionist Front" are based in Damascus. Assad repeats at every opportunity that there is no such thing as the "Palestinian nation".
The Jordanian opposition is also obvious. The overwhelming majority (close to 70%) of the Jordanian population is Palestinian. The establishment of an independent state west of the Jordan will quickly lead, with Egyptian encouragement, to the delegitimization of the Hashemite dynasty. For this reason, over the years the late King Hussein repeatedly claimed that "Jordan is Palestine" and made certain to butcher the Palestinians at every attempt at subversion. In September 1970, which eventually became known as "Black September", Hussein’s loyalists slaughtered seventeen thousand Palestinians – men, women, and children – in a series of atrocities no less vicious than the massacres perpetrated time and again by Assad in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. However, Israel's decision to recognize the PLO spoiled Hussein’s plans since Jordan could not allow itself to be perceived as less pro-Arafat than Israel. The Jordanian monarchy had no choice but to join the bandwagon supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state with an Egyptian orientation.
The PLO, established in Cairo in 1964 before the Six Day War, was totally unrelated to the negation of the "rights of the Palestinian nation". Abd-el Nasser candidly depicted his establishment of the PLO as a tactical step, part of Cairo’s long-range strategy for the destruction of Israel. Arafat is a Cairo-born Egyptian, and the "Phased Plan", the political platform for the destruction of Israel, was adopted in June 1974 in Cairo under the direction of Sadat, who foisted it on the Arab League three months later. The "legitimate rights of the Palestinian people" is the phrase imposed by Sadat on Begin at Camp David. Not to be overlooked is the fact that all of Arafat’s decisions since Oslo have been taken in Cairo under the close supervision of Mubarak.
The PLO has been assigned three functions:
a. Internally: terrorism, as murderous as possible, in order to bring about the decimation and demoralization of the Jewish public; this, in an attempt to transform terrorism from a tactical nuisance into a strategic threat;
b. The establishment of an independent territorial entity in Eretz Israel to serve as a springboard for Arab countries in their future war; this, according to the Phased Plan;
c. Negation of the legitimacy of the State of Israel by reducing it to the partition borders on the basis of UN Resolution 181;
As of December 1999, Arafat has completely achieved his first objective, most of the second objective, and is energetically striving to implement the third.
a. Terrorism: From Tactical Nuisance to Strategic Threat
Israel is the first country in the modern era to capitulate to terrorism and act according to its dictates. Yitzhak Rabin, well aware of the strategic potential of terror, declared to members of his party in Rehovot: "These supporters…of the granting of self-determination to the Palestinians are in fact abetting terrorism, the PLO, and constitute a security threat to Israel." His signature on the Oslo agreements accomplished precisely what he foresaw in this statement. In the space of two years, from September 13, 1993, the date on which Oslo I was signed, to the signing of the interim agreement (Oslo II) on September 28, 1995, Arab terror claimed 164 fatalities. The "era of peace" escalated terrorism by 265% relative to the period of the intifada and by 745% relative to the previous decade, which was the era of open war on Israel by the terrorist organizations. Including those murdered abroad and on the Lebanese border (294), the total number of Jews murdered in terrorist actions since the establishment of the state through September 1995 comes to 1,150. In other words, two years of "peace" claimed more than 38% of all of the victims of Arab terror in the history of Israel. Although it is well known that Arafat is not only responsible on the ministerial level for the murderous acts perpetrated by his subjects but indeed personally directs the terrorism, this "leader of a terrorist gang, who has murdered more Jewish men, women, and children than anyone since Hitler" (Yitzhak Rabin, describing Arafat following the March 1978 massacre on the Tel Aviv-Haifa Coastal Highway), has become an ally of the Jewish state.
b. The Phased Plan
The Phased Plan was adopted by the Palestinian National Council, as mentioned above, in Cairo in June 1974. The crucial section as defined by paragraph 8 of the plan stipulates that:
Once it is established, the Palestinian National Authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity.
The Phased Plan as a constitutional decision obligating the Palestinian National Council is unceasingly mentioned in speeches delivered by Arafat and other leaders of the Authority. For some time already Arafat’s demands have greatly exceeded the territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza as they were pledged in the Oslo agreements, and today already they call for forcing Israel to the partition borders. As for control of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, the Arabs now have de jure control of 42% (according to the Wye agreements). Yet de facto, the PA controls 90% of the territories because of its foothold in the areas defined as Area B, in which administrative control belongs to the PA but military control is in Israel’s hands. Since this is a one-way process, in other words, territories defined as Area C (under total Israeli control) become Area B and then Area A (total Arab control), Israel invests nothing in Area B since it only possesses it on a temporary basis. The Arabs, aware of this situation, do as they please in Area B. Since Area B includes, for all intents and purposes, all territories in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza that have not yet achieved Area A status, with the exception of those areas within the fences of the settlements, some of the roads, and the army bases (i.e., Area C), there is substantial justification for the joy expressed by Abu Mazen, a senior Fateh official and close adviser to Arafat, who triumphantly declared that in the wake of the Wye agreements "90% of territories in the West Bank are in our possession." The Wye agreements, which were designed to provide the basic conditions for the existence of the nascent Palestinian state – in other words, territorial continuity – in practice, transferred Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in their entirety to Arafat. Hence, in practice, the Arabs have achieved the basic objective of the Phased Plan, and the formal confirmation will follow soon.
c. Political Delegitimization
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the negation of Israel’s legitimacy in its present borders is not a product of Israel’s "conquest" of the Golan, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem during the Six Day War, but rather of its "conquests" in 1948 at which time the cease-fire borders, which by definition are tentative, were delineated. The only borders recognized by the international community are the partition borders of November 1947 (UN Resolution 181). The precedents set by the evacuation of Sinai, the transfer of territories in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to Arab hands, and the Israeli willingness to withdraw from the Golan Heights have created a favorable atmosphere for a diplomatic campaign to force Israel back to the partition borders. Indeed, already on March 21, 1999, Arafat met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan and demanded that he convene the General Assembly for a session to discuss Israel’s violations of Resolution 181. On April 28, 1999, the Palestinian National Council raised the demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the partition borders and compliance with UN Resolution 194 of December 1948 concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
After a series of meetings that Arafat conducted with officials in Europe, the European Union, with the vigorous encouragement of Germany, the dominant power in the EU and holder of its rotating presidency, declared its support for the Arab demand. As a preliminary gesture of good will to Arafat, the German ambassador in Israel publicized a demand to internationalize Jerusalem by transforming it into a corpus separatum, based on the partition borders. (Those alert to historical ironies should note that in the same month Germany dedicated the Reichstag, transforming it into Germany’s official parliament in Berlin, the new/old capital of the Reich.)
The UN Human Rights Commission, a prestigious and influential body, passed a resolution in its annual session in Geneva on April 27, 1999, calling for self-determination for the Palestinian nation on the basis of Resolution 181, and demanded that Israel comply with Resolution 194. On July 2, as a direct conclusion of the Geneva Resolution, President Clinton announced at a press conference that "the refugees should be able to settle wherever they want to live," i.e., flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs. On July 15, the UN General Assembly, in a special session in Geneva, adopted a sweeping resolution accusing Israel of violating the fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of population to occupied territories. Although the public perception was that the resolution referred to Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, there can be no greater mistake, since the reference was to all occupied territories, that is: including those territories "occupied" in 1948. The Israeli claim that Resolution 242 supersedes 181 is baseless, since the UN never officially abrogated 181. On the contrary, 181 is repeatedly mentioned in UN documents (although these references are ignored by the media). Based on this exact principle, the Arab League, led by Egypt, raised the issue of 181 in its session in early September and demanded that the UN implement it forthwith.
Thus, the political process called in Orwellian fashion the "peace process," constitutes the diametric opposite in terms of its consequences for Israel’s circumstances and interests, which, as always, relate to the very roots of the Jewish state’s existence.
The grave process described above has its origins in a series of circumstances. Some are objective, such as the loss of Israel’s status as a strategic asset of the United States in the Middle East with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some are intrinsic to the national ethos of the Jewish people, such as their exceptional talent for self-deception. Both of these manifest themselves in the process of strategic abuse that Israel has been undergoing over the past decade.
Strategic abuse transpires when a nation collapses under the critical mass of an external threat with which it is unable to cope. In this situation, the raison d'etat, the spiritual and physical purpose of national existence, disintegrates. From a certain point, a process of self-destruction begins that manifests itself in gradually worsening stages of demoralization eventually leading to collaboration with the enemy.
The enemy, if he is sophisticated enough, will not take any radical action, i.e., war, but instead completely utilizes the strategic abuse in order to minimize the danger posed by the designated victim, until all that is left of the threatened country is an empty shell. At that point, there is usually no need to use force. The exhausted entity, which has lost its existential purpose and survival instinct, falls into the enemy’s hands like ripened fruit. This schematic description, which is designed to evoke memories of the elimination of Czechoslovakia from the map on March 15, 1939, is transpiring before our very eyes, albeit more slowly, in today’s Jewish state under the semantic euphemism "land for peace," a phrase that never left Hitler’s lips so long as he had yet to acquire all of the territories that he demanded.
Arafat’s unceasing threats concerning a "blood bath next to which the intifada will seem like child’s play, which will transpire unless Israel fulfills the Oslo agreements" are an illustration of this. The well-orchestrated declarations of Hafez el-Assad on the one hand, and Hosni Mubarak on the other, about the impending war unless "peace" is achieved and Israel "evacuates the sacred Arab land until the last grain of sand" are additional illustrations. Israel long ago internalized the threat mechanism, and the "peace process" is now a system of concessions designed to prevent the realization of the Arab threat. A blatant example of the semantic expression of the defeatism of peace was found in the explanations offered by Binyamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon after returning from the signing of the Wye agreements. When asked about the considerable concessions, they replied: "We had no choice because the Arabs would have abandoned the peace process."
An external threat can function in two modes. One is by inspiring national unity in the face of danger. In that case, the most outstanding characteristics of the threatened nation come to the fore. Individual interest is superseded by the common good. Individuals, by being willing to make sacrifices, create a very significant power multiplier. This was clearly exemplified by Israel on the eve of the Six Day War. The weeks before the outbreak of war were utilized for unifying the ranks, the social rifts were healed, at least temporarily, and the people prepared to defend their country. The IDF, the people’s army in its most profound sense in those days, waged a preemptive strike despite the enemy’s 3:1 manpower advantage and achieved one of the greatest battlefield victories in modern history.
The other type of reaction to an external threat is the demoralization of the public, deceit by false messiahs, defeatism, and self-deception, ultimately leading to collaboration with the enemy. In this situation, the principle of "mental block" emerges (as Rabin characterized Israeli blindness on the eve of the Yom Kippur War), which means, primarily, selective vision regarding the enemy’s intentions, misinterpretation of reality, and a compulsive addiction to the mantra of "peace" in the hope that the mere mention of it will transform it from ideal to reality. The following is but one of many examples:
In his speech before an assembly of the Jerusalem branch of the Fateh Youth (on Sunday, November 15, 1998), Arafat spoke of the impending establishment of the Palestinian state. He emphasized that in his remarks about the Palestinian homeland he meant the entire "Palestine", whose capital is Jerusalem and which he "will defend with rifles". Arafat quoted a verse from the Koran in which Allah decreed "destruction upon the Children of Israel". Arafat repeatedly mentioned the "Hudaibiya peace", which symbolizes the deception of the enemy through the signing of a false peace treaty. The Fateh constitution, which was first published a few months earlier, was distributed to the participants in the assembly. It was emphasized that this is the constitution of the Palestinian state that will be established. The constitution explicitly declares that its supreme objective is the "destruction of the Zionist presence in Palestine".
On Monday the 16th, all of the Arab newspapers in the PA published Arafat’s speech in great detail. On the following day, excerpts were published in the Hebrew press.
The Ariel Center sent a copy of Arafat’s speech, a blatant declaration of war and a grotesque violation of the agreements signed by the PA, together with the Fateh constitution, to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the central committees of all of the political parties. The only one who took the trouble to respond with explicit understanding of its significance was Rehavam Ze’evi of Moledet, who denounced "Arafat’s impertinence" and called to "immediately freeze all actions in accordance with the spirit of the Wye agreements."
No reaction was forthcoming from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office (as usual). The Labor Party spokesman responded by saying that Arafat’s remarks were intended for internal consumption and should, therefore, not cause undue excitement. The Meretz spokesman responded by saying that Arafat’s remarks were no different from statements made by the Israeli right demanding all of Jerusalem (sic) and all of Eretz Israel. The other parties (Likud, National Religious Party, Yisrael Ba’aliya, Third Way, Gesher) were clueless concerning the topic in question. The most typical response came from the office of the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry: "What’s the big deal? We’ve heard much worse things from Arafat in the past."
As mentioned above, the objective of the strategic abuse, referred to as the "peace process," is to bring about Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 cease-fire lines as a first step toward its physical liquidation. If this next step is consummated, what will be the results?
D. THE PRICE OF WITHDRAWAL
Without defensible borders the state will be obliterated in war.
Until recently, this emphatic pronouncement by Shimon Peres was a fundamental tenet of Israel’s strategic thinking, and its ramifications go far beyond the military. It is a tapestry interwoven from numerous components that together constitute the price that Israel will be forced to pay for allowing the establishment of a Palestinian state. Loss or concession of any of these components separately would result in a grave but manageable threat. Their combination into one aggregate will place Israel on the verge of existential danger. For example, theoretically, Israel could overcome the resulting lack of water by transporting water from Turkey; the military threat from the Palestinian state itself is secondary; the Palestinian demand to contract Israel into the partition borders can be deflected diplomatically, and so on. However, only an insane country would rely on a third party for its water supply; the Palestinian state is not intended to battle Israel alone, but to serve as a launching point for a comprehensive war; the diplomatic struggle is a lost cause since Israel will have no allies in it, and so on. Furthermore, fifty years of existence and five wars should have sufficed to neutralize those precise dangers; why recreate them ourselves?
1. The Loss of National Existential Purpose
One of the gravest phenomena in the demoralization process in Israel is the de-Zionization of the public debate, which manifests itself, first and foremost, in the alienation of the territorial component of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. These "territories" happen to be "the cradle of the Hebrew nation, the historic existential purpose of Judaism, and the one and only rationale for Zionism" (Menachem Begin). Without them, all that will remain of the Jewish nation’s yearnings for its homeland will be pure territorialism. And if it is merely territorialism, then the American exile is certainly preferable, for there is no question that New York is much safer and Los Angeles more fascinating than Tel Aviv. The painful abandonment of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem (see endnote 28) in 1947, with the acceptance of the partition borders, following the Holocaust – the darkest chapter in Jewish history – was accepted only in the spirit of "ein breira" (no choice) in order to obtain a tract of land; "A Place among the Nations", as defined by Binyamin Netanyahu in his book by the same name, for the survivors of the Second World War. Nevertheless, the longing for these areas was and remains a central component of the national consensus. No one elucidated this better than David Ben-Gurion:
No Jew has the privilege to cede the right of the Jewish people to the land. No Jew has that authority. No Jewish organization possesses that power. Not even the entire Jewish nation alive today has the liberty to relinquish any portion of the land. This is the right of the Jewish nation throughout the generations, a right which cannot be repealed under any circumstances. If Jews in any given era were to announce their abandonment of that right, it is beyond their power and authority to negate that right from future generations. No concession of that kind can obligate or commit the Jewish people. Our right to this land – the whole land – is eternal, and until the realization of the complete and total redemption we shall not abandon our historic right.
Willingly to cede Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem – Zion – will empty Zionism of its content and Israeli nationalism of its existential purpose. To abandon the Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza under Arab sovereignty will essentially constitute the formation of ghettos and the creation of an exile within Eretz Israel by the Jews themselves. The dismantling and evacuation of the settlements will mean the displacing of Jews by Jews from Eretz Israel and the compliant adoption of the Nazi principle of Judenrein in the Hebrew homeland. In either case it will be a fatal blow to the Jewish national ethos.
2. The Loss of Strategic Assets
As pointed out above, the liberation of portions of the homeland in the Six Day War provided Israel with a power multiplier of decisive significance in the form of territorial strategic assets without which Israel will not have the ability to exist. Immediately after the war, in June 1967, President Johnson asked the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Wheeler, to draw him a map of the minimal borders required for Israel’s survival. The map, known as the "Joint Chiefs of Staff Map", served as the basis for the definition of "secure and recognized boundaries" in UN Resolution 242 of November 1967. It includes most of Judea and Samaria, all of the Golan Heights (before the evacuation of Kuneitra in 1974), in addition to 5,000 square kilometers in Sinai that would enable the defense of Eilat and give Israel control of the entrance to the Red Sea in Sharm e-Sheikh.
Thus, already today, Israel possesses less than the minimal territory required for its defense, as determined thirty-three years ago. Withdrawal from the remaining territorial assets to the 1967 borders, especially considering the present levels of armaments in the Arab world, will rob Israel of the ability to defend itself. The details of the strategic and logistic challenges confronting the IDF as it is required to withdraw from Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and the Golan Heights and of the dangers facing Israel are enough to fill a thick volume. It is worth noting briefly that in the IDF military doctrine, western Israel and the Golan are one organic unit. Consequently, withdrawal to the 1967 borders will cause a collapse of Israel’s military doctrine concerning the future battlefield. From a purely logistic perspective, with the population density in Israel, there is insufficient space for the deployment of the army at its present size not to mention firing ranges and training areas. The ground-based early warning capability, a decisive component of the army’s readiness in case of a surprise attack, will be critically diminished due to the topography of the area. The airborne alternatives (AWACS or J-STAR platforms) can offer only a partial early warning capability alongside ground facilities. But the airborne alternatives are so expensive and vulnerable that, in terms of cost effectiveness and in light of the topography and the surface of Eretz Israel, it is doubtful that they could prove effective.
Withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state will undermine the balance of power between Israel and its immediate neighbors (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and the army of the Palestinian state). This situation will "arouse an uncontrollable desire within the Arabs to destroy Israel", according to Shimon Peres as quoted above.
3. The Loss of the Moral Status of a Besieged Nation
A basic tenet in international law, founded on the principle of justice (ex iniuria non oritor ius – a right cannot result from an unjust deed), establishes that an aggressor defeated in war has no right to claim ownership of the territory that it lost, for if that were the case, it would encourage aggression and render the very principle of justice a mockery.
Behavior of that sort would be tantamount to providing a guarantee to every potential aggressor that even if his attempted aggression fails, all of the territories which he might have lost in his attempted aggression will be automatically returned. A rule of that sort would raise the insanity to an absurd level – there is no such rule.
As a consequence of this tenet, the Axis countries in World War II lost extensive territory. Germany alone lost eastern Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, the Sudetenland, and Alsace-Lorraine. Egypt’s loss of Sinai in the Six Day War was based on the same principle of international law. Ceding Sinai to Egypt was, consequently, not only a strategic blunder that destroyed, once and for all, any chance Israel might have had to become a regional power, but violated the basic principle of justice and served as a precedent for the contraction of Israel back to the cease-fire lines of 1949. Relinquishing to Damascus the Golan – a Syrian launching point in attempts to destroy Israel during three wars and countless acts of terrorism – will not only be an act of encouraging Arab aggression, but an admission that the Arab claim that Israel was the aggressor in all of its wars is accurate. In that way, the moral basis for Israel’s right to defend itself will be undermined.
4. The Loss of Nuclear Deterrence
Proponents of withdrawal to the 1967 borders proffer Israel’s nuclear deterrence potential, primarily the principle of MAD (mutually assured destruction) as a guarantor of its existence. The logic supporting this claim is that retreating to the borders that rob Israel of its conventional deterrence capability creates a security risk of such a high danger level that Israel will be left with no alternative other than to put its finger on the nuclear trigger. The Arabs, it is claimed, will be so keenly aware of this delicate "balance of terror" that they will internalize the danger they face if they were to attack Israel, and, consequently, will refrain from doing so. In this way, peace will come to the Middle East.
This theory is patently unfounded, if for no other reason than the profound desperation that it reflects. It seriously errs in the understanding of the nature of nuclear deterrence based on the principle of MAD. Not only does nuclear deterrence not obviate the need for conventional deterrence, on the contrary, it is totally reliant on it. "Nuclear holocaust" is not a military term but rather a moral-theological concept, and MAD – in other words, preparedness to commit national suicide – is an untenable situation and must be prevented by the conventional warfare alternatives. For this reason the two superpowers that encompassed entire continents and were armed with the most superior conventional weaponry, never relinquished their possession of territories, planes, and tanks. With the loss of conventional deterrence that will accompany the withdrawal to the cease-fire lines, Israel’s nuclear deterrence will also be lost and the door to strategic abuse will be opened. There is not the slightest possibility that any Israeli Prime Minister would call for pulling the nuclear trigger, i.e., committing national suicide, when the alternative is sweeping concessions or even unconditional surrender.
5. American Abandonment
The American abandonment was blatantly manifested during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991. The American decision to prevent Israel from defending itself against the shower of Iraqi missiles by supplying useless batteries of Patriot ABMs – which failed to intercept even one of the thirty-nine Scuds – was a grave blow to Israel’s deterrence capability. The pictures of the panic-stricken Israeli wearing a gas mask in his sealed room, and the public fleeing for its life from the city centers, number among the primary causes for the escalation in the production of weapons of mass destruction and the stockpiling of ballistic-missiles for dispatch toward Israel’s cities.
America’s policy designed to force Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 borders, despite the clear knowledge that in doing so the very existence of the State of Israel will be placed in question, was also adopted on the eve of Operation Desert Storm. Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia made their participation in the war conditional on the establishment of a Palestinian state, withdrawal from the Golan, and Israel’s expulsion from Jerusalem. The Bush administration had no problem accepting this since, as James Baker pointed out – in Damascus of all places – "Washington never recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem," and the "legitimate rights of the Palestinians" were already guaranteed by Camp David. Thus, since 1991, Presidents Bush and Clinton have been implementing America’s existing policy and in no way does anyone have a right to complain that they were unaware of this policy. The period of the "special relationship" between Israel and the United States, which did in fact exist from 1968 to 1990, is long over. George Ball, the outspoken former Undersecretary of State, described the situation in a picturesque manner: "The aircraft carrier called Israel capsized". The Israel citizen-in-the-street who has not internalized Lord Palmerston’s well-known statement – "Countries do not have friends, only interests" – refuses to understand this. However, just as Franklin Roosevelt did not raise a finger to save European Jews and thereby cooperated with Hitler, so, too, the administration in Washington will not raise a finger when Israel will find itself in existential danger. Washington’s blatant violations of signed agreements on the eve of the Six Day War, and its acceptance of the impending destruction of the Jewish state in those days, is a reminder to those who refuse to learn the lessons of history.
Israel has, in fact, lost its status as a strategic asset; yet it retains a valuable asset, which is significant in the eyes of the White House and the State Department, and that is the state of Israel itself, by whose dismemberment Washington hopes to win the goodwill of the Arabs.
Needless to say, American pressure at this stage is nothing compared to what Israel can anticipate if it loses the few power multipliers that it still maintains. The abrogation of military aid, the disarmament of Israel’s nuclear potential, a military embargo, and potential support for Resolution 181 will be among the sanctions imposed on Israel within the 1949 borders. And these sanctions will be imposed justifiably, as William Safire remarked in his column in the New York Times:
"The United States has no interest in a ‘half-state’ which possesses no oil and no security depth and acts irresponsibly by abandoning its inhabitants to the benevolence of those who seek to destroy it."
6. The Loss of Water
The water potential of Eretz Israel is 1.8 billion cube (m3), divided among a population of approximately 8 million. On the average, that is 225 m3 per person as opposed to 1,200 m3 in Egypt and 2,000 in Syria. There are three primary sources for this quantity, which is exploited to the last drop and beyond: the Kinneret Basin, the Mountain Aquifer and the Coastal Aquifer. Relinquishing the Golan to Syria will involve loss of territorial control over 70% of the Kinneret Basin. In other words, it will constitute a severe blow to the National Water Carrier, the main artery of the water supply to the Negev.
The Mountain Aquifer, which supplies 600 million m3, especially to Greater Tel Aviv, is destined to fall overwhelmingly under the territorial control of the Palestinian state, which lacks any other source of water. Since the Palestinians intend to resettle the 1948 and 1967 refugees, reaching four million inhabitants by the next decade, the Palestinian state will need every drop of water from the Mountain Aquifer.
The Coastal Aquifer, located overwhelmingly within the Green Line, supplies about 400 million m3 annually. However, most of that water has been polluted by industrial waste and over-salination. Since most of it is unfit for drinking, it has been diverted primarily to industry and agriculture. Thus, the State of Israel, shriveled into its 1949 borders, will relinquish most of the water under its control, and will be left with a sewage ditch.
7. The Palestinian State
In Oslo, the Israeli government signed an agreement with an organization that, at the time of the signing of the agreement as well as today, remains committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. This goal is overt in all of the PLO’s public expressions and pronouncements: 1. in the very character of jihad; 2. by dint of its name: the "Palestine Liberation Organization"; 3. in its constitution, the "Palestinian Charter"; 4. in its political platform, the Phased Plan, which depicts the state as a first step on the road to the destruction of Israel by Arab countries; 5. In the Fateh Constitution which is the dominant body of the embryonic Palestinian state and its anticipated ruling party; 6. and in its emblem which is the map of the entire Eretz Israel with no vestige of the Jewish state. Immediately upon its establishment, the Palestinian state will act according to its constitutional, political, and ethical obligations. The first four steps which Palestine will take upon its establishment will be:
a. The Geographic Dimensions
A declaration will be issued that announces the inclusion of all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the Arab Palestinian nation with Jerusalem as its capital. Since this is indeed the geographic dimensions of the Palestinian state as depicted in the Oslo Accords, and since the entire world led by the United States will salute the declaration, Israel will have no choice but finally to accept the decision.
b. Military Cooperation
The next step will be the signing of a military cooperation agreement with the Arab countries, first and foremost among them Egypt, resulting in a comprehensive armament program. Military cooperation agreements as part of the Phased Plan will be required by the Palestinian state in order to neutralize Israel’s decisive superiority. Israel will be powerless to do anything about it. On the basis of international law, a sovereign country can sign strategic cooperation agreements and military treaties with whomever it pleases. Moreover, Israel’s decisive strategic inferiority due to its untenable borders will likewise preclude any military action on Israel’s part.
c. Building an Army
Immediately upon the establishment of the Palestinian state, Arafat will announce mandatory conscription. The present core of the PLO army is now estimated at 40,000-50,000 soldiers, with an additional 20,000 terrorists among the "Rejectionist Front" organizations in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq who will arrive in Judea, Samaria and Gaza immediately upon the establishment of the state. Through mandatory conscription the PA can anticipate drafting at least 100,000 more men. Thus, it is highly probable that the scope of the Palestinian army will be 160,000 or more men in uniform, roughly equaling Israel’s regular army – 187,000 – within just a few years. This significant force, deployed on the outskirts of Greater Tel Aviv, will not require Merkava tanks, among the most sophisticated in the world, nor F-15 fighter planes, in order to constitute a grave threat to the soft underbelly of the Jewish state. Without even firing one shot, they will force the IDF to deploy massive forces in order to neutralize the Palestinian threat.
At this point, Egypt will once again raise its demand to evacuate all foreign forces from Sinai. International law mandates the removal of UN forces from the territory of a sovereign nation upon demand. Based on this legal principle, U Thant, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, withdrew the international buffer force on the eve of the Six Day War. The evacuation of the international force, even without deploying substantial Egyptian forces in Sinai, will compel the IDF to mobilize a comprehensive deployment of forces on Israel’s southern border.
The withdrawal from the Golan and the evacuation of Lebanon will lead to the encirclement of Israel’s north from Rosh Hanikra to the Kinneret by the Syrian army. It is no secret that Israel will be unable to deploy its small regular army along all of the country’s border, the length of which will double from its present dimension, as it will be required to do according to the above scenario.
In a schematic reckoning of soldier-for-soldier, the military balance of regular forces from the "inner circle" threat, including Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian state will be 5:1. No doubt that Jordan, at the moment that it senses Israeli vulnerability, will join the threatening forces as will the "outer circle" countries: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and Iran. In this situation, again without the need to fire even one shot, the strategic abuse of Israel will reach a new level which will manifest itself in a new series of ultimatums, such as: dismantling its nuclear potential, autonomy for the Arabs of the Galilee, withdrawal from portions of the Negev, etc. The Israeli acquiescence to these demands is inevitable since the alternative will be all-out war under conditions of an unfavorable balance of military forces.
d. The Fate of the Yishuv in Judea, Samaria and Gaza
As an immediate result of the establishment of a geographically defined sovereign entity, Israel will find itself in violation of international law in at least two regards:
1. Its army will be deployed in the sovereign territory of a foreign country.
2. Its armed citizens, who refuse to accept the sovereign’s law, will become an irredentist enclave in the territory of a foreign sovereignty.
This situation is clearly intolerable and the Palestinian authorities will demand immediate removal of the foreign force and disarmament of the Jewish settlers.
At this point, Israel will lack the power multipliers needed to deal with the situation, especially since the United States, together with the entire international community, will be arrayed against it. Consequently, it will be forced to withdraw its army to the 1967 borders. However, while dismantling and transferring an army camp can be accomplished in a matter of days, the issue of the civilian population, numbering 200,000 people spread over 144 villages, towns and cities, is immeasurably more complex.
Palestine’s unequivocal demand to dismantle the "settlements" will win the support of the international community, which will rely on pertinent UN resolutions concerning the illegality of the settlements and Israel’s violations of the fourth Geneva Convention, as well as pan-Arab backing in the form of the threat of a comprehensive war. This situation will prevent Israel from intervening on behalf of its citizens trapped in the Palestinian state, as any military attempt by Israel will justifiably be taken as a casus belli. In the face of the threat of war on the one hand and the confrontation with the international community on the other, with the settlers in any case viewed by the majority of the Israeli public as "obstacles to peace", any prospect other than Israeli surrender is hard to imagine.
The transfer of 200,000 people (50,000 families) constitutes an economic blow with which the Israeli economy is not prepared to deal. Compensation to the population of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, based on the precedent of the Sinai evacuees, is liable to reach the sum of approximately $100 billion, in other words, equal to the Israeli GDP for the year 1999. Needless to say, this fantastic sum, or anything close to it, will cause the Israeli economy to collapse. The alternative solution is to abandon the Jewish settlements to Arafat’s goodwill according to the well-known formula proposed by the Israeli Left: "Instead of removing the fish from the aquarium, it is preferable to remove the water from the aquarium" (Dedi Zucker, former Meretz MK).
In the panic that will ensue among the settlement population, any sum they are offered will be preferable to what awaits them in the land of Arafat. Whatever compensation they receive, if any, will still lead to the widespread impoverishment of the Jewish population of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. It will also constitute an unbearable blow to Israel’s morale and intensify the public’s demoralization.
e. Israel: "A State of Its Citizens"
The establishment of the Palestinian Authority palpably emboldened the process of the transformation of the Israeli Arabs into an active irredentist force. The method is a copy of the one employed by the Sudeten Nazis in Czechoslovakia in the late 1930s, namely, to use the tools that democracy places at the disposal of a fifth column in order to destroy the country from within. For some time, Arafat has been the guiding force behind Israeli Arab institutions. Arafat’s adviser, Ahmed Tibi, is an Israeli citizen and at present a member of Knesset. Even the Czechs in the late thirties never lampooned their democracy to that extent (see the chapter in this book "Czechoslovakia 1938 – Israel Today").
The nature of the Arab fifth column within Israel has manifested itself in a series of activities, primary among them the creation of managerial autonomy by establishing an array of illegal institutions; comprehensive seizure of state lands and illegal construction of dozens of villages; wild anti-Semitic incitement; acts of sabotage and ecological terrorism (approximately 10% of the national forests have been destroyed by fires ignited by Arabs), together with logistic support for Fateh and Islamic Jihad terrorism.
On the parliamentary level, the central issue on the agenda is the liquidation of the Jewish state by eradicating its Jewish, and most certainly its Zionist, identity. This is to be accomplished through the slogan "a state for all its citizens". This, too, is a verbatim imitation of the Sudeten Nazis’ demand that the Slavic character of Czechoslovakia be eradicated using the euphemism of "equal rights". However, there is one difference. When Conrad Henlein, the leader of the Sudeten Nazis, raised that demand in the summer of 1938, he was arrested on the spot, his citizenship was revoked, and the next day a deportation order was issued against him. MK Azmi Bishara, on the other hand, who transformed the demand for a "state for all its citizens" into his party’s campaign slogan for the 1999 elections, was running for Prime Minister of Israel!
The establishment of a Palestinian state will provide the Israeli Arabs with that which they are now lacking: political backing for their demands, which will be transformed from subversiveness to an ultimatum. Territorial autonomy for the Arabs of the Galilee, abolition of the Law of Return and the other "Zionist" characteristics in the context of the "state for all its citizens", affirmative action for Arabs in government institutions, and a far-reaching cut in Israel’s military expenditures (in other words, a further blow to the IDF, which suffered a 50% reduction of its budget over the past decade) are issues that are repeatedly raised already today. The intimate relationship between the Arab fifth column and the Israeli Left will accelerate the demoralization process.
f. Implementation of UN Resolution 194
The Arab minority numbers 20% of the population. Historical experience has it that a minority of 20% is the maximum that a nation can permit; beyond that the country runs the risk of disintegration. The situation is far more serious when the national minority is related ethnically to an enemy state. The classic case in modern history was the Sudeten Germans, who constituted 23% of Czechoslovakia’s population and at the same time were ethnically an integral part of Nazi Germany, the largest, most powerful and violent tyranny in Europe and Czechoslovakia’s enemy. The rest of the story is well known.
The establishment of a Palestinian state will lead to a mass influx into Israel of Israeli Arabs who escaped in 1948 along with those who fled in 1967. Even if there was no blood relation or family ties, the economic incentive to earn many times more in the Israeli marketplace than in their present situation would be a powerful magnet for mass immigration. Needless to say, in the 6,000 square kilometers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza there is insufficient space to settle a population of millions. In any case, the Palestinian state lacks even the most basic economic potential. It does not have the necessary territory and water to develop agriculture to supply food to the populace, and certainly to develop competitive agriculture for export purposes. It has no relative advantage in industrial production, and clearly no human resources for the development of high-tech industries. The primary objective, openly declared, will be to engender international pressure for the implementation of UN Resolution 194 on the repatriation of Arab refugees. It is safe to assume that Israel will oppose this, since it is tantamount to national suicide. However, the combination of international pressure, Arab threats of war, extensive Palestinian terrorist acts, and collaboration with the Arab fifth column in the Knesset and by the Israeli Left will lead to a series of compromises in a humanitarian guise, such as the expansion of the concept "reunification of families." Even with the definition in practice today, the Arab population has grown by more than 100,000 since 1995. The Palestinian Authority’s institutions are already preparing precise lists of Arab property abandoned in the War for Independence in 1948, including entire cities such as Lod, Ramle, and Beersheba and most of the kibbutzim. The demand for property will be submitted immediately upon the establishment of the state, which will at that point become the official representative of its citizens.
In response to the threat of inundation with Arab refugees, Israel in the past countered with three arguments that totally contravene the Arab demand:
1. The refugee problem was created by the Arabs in their attempt to destroy Israel in 1948, and they must bear the consequences and solve the problem in their own territory. Based on this principle, three million Sudeten Germans were deported to Germany in 1945-1946.
2. The confinement of the refugees in camps for dozens of years and exploitation of their suffering in order to fan the flames of hatred toward Israel is a reprehensible act, unprecedented in modern history. The Arabs should do for the refugees that which Israel did for its compatriots who immigrated in destitute condition from many Arab and Moslem countries from which they were evicted or where their lives were in jeopardy.
3. Even though there is no legal basis for the Arab demand for restitution of the refugees, Israel will be prepared to discuss the issue on condition that, at the same time, the issue of property plundered from Jews expelled from Arab countries after 1948 will be discussed.
The Arabs, knowing well that any attempt to force on Israel the repatriation of refugees was tantamount to a declaration of war, refrained from raising the subject. This was the case with the issue of monetary restitution as well. Since the value of the property plundered from the Jews in Arab countries was immeasurably greater than that abandoned by Israeli Arabs, the Arab demand was liable to boomerang.
Today, however, with the sweeping collapse of the building blocks of its existence, Israel has abandoned its policy concerning refugees as well. Jewish war refugees have been forgotten, and the issue of the refugees of 1948 is raised in all its grievousness. Not only was the Palestinian demand to raise Resolution 194 not rejected on the spot by their Israeli counterparts, on the contrary, the Israelis expressed understanding and promised to deal with the issue in a "creative" manner. As noted earlier, a manifestation of this was supplied by President Clinton.
Are There Really "Economic Dividends of Peace"?
Shimon Peres’ mistaken premise, according to which: "Islamic fundamentalism is supported by poverty, therefore raising the standard of living will facilitate its demise," was discussed above. Similarly, there is no basis for his other economic assumptions, such as his statements about the "dividends of peace" and the "Middle Eastern Common Market in which Israel will participate".
One of the consensual lies that occupies a place in the public consciousness is that the "peace process" pays economic dividends. Anyone analyzing the impressive growth in Israel’s GDP since 1986 knows its true causes. Israel is a technological and scientific powerhouse, and at the start of the third millennium there is an indubitable correlation between a country’s technological potential and its per capita product. The upper echelon of wealthiest countries in the world are at one and the same time the foremost technological powers, as the added values for one employed in this field are much more substantial than for most economic areas. The impressive techno-scientific potential of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union jump-started this facet of the Israeli economy, and consequently, these are the direct causes of the doubling of the per capita GDP from $8,000 in 1986 to $17,000 in 1998.
A brief analysis of the economic reality among the Arabs of Judea and Samaria indicates the lack of correlation between assumptions and reality in Peres’ outlook.
In 1987, after two decades of accelerated economic growth that began after the Six Day War, the per capita GDP among the Arabs of Judea and Samaria reached $3,000, almost 40% of Israel’s GDP at that time, which was $8,000. Had the economic growth continued at the same pace, the per capita GDP would be $7,000 today, higher than in Saudi Arabia and seven times higher than in Egypt, Jordan, or Syria. Yet the intifada, the Oslo agreements, and self-rule have reversed the trend. During a decade of accelerated impoverishment from 1988 to 1998, the per capita GDP in Judea and Samaria declined and now stands at approximately $1,000 (as of 1998), and is even lower in Gaza. Thus, Arafat has returned the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to the level of per capita income extant in impoverished non-oil-producing Arab countries.
The malaise of the Arab economy has nothing at all to do with the "peace process" and is based totally on the Islamic heritage of totalitarian states, which destroys any glimmer of democratization – a necessary prerequisite for economic growth. Technological underdevelopment, limited access for women to the workplace, widespread hidden unemployment in the Kafkaesque bureaucratic labyrinth, military expenditures that swallow up a significant portion of the national product, but above all, the corruption of the "rais" ("President") who treats the state treasury as his personal property, are the overriding factors that preserve the poverty and backwardness of the Arab countries. Hafez el-Assad’s personal property is estimated by Forbes at $2 billion – this in 1999 when the World Bank publicized the severe economic crisis in Syria. According to the publication, for the first time in many years, Syria’s per capita GDP dipped below $1000. The personal wealth of the late Moroccan King Hassan II is also estimated at about $2 billion, which constitutes about 10% of the product of Morocco’s bankrupt economy. The royal family of Jordan robs one-third of the kingdom’s constantly bankrupt economy. The episodes of Sadat’s corruption and the Mubarak family’s nepotism are classic. However, all of the above are nothing compared to Arafat’s exploits. The private property of the upper echelon of the PLO (in other words, Arafat), primarily obtained through money laundering, counterfeiting, heroin, bank robbery, and extortion of hostages, was estimated at about $12 billion as far back as 1992. With the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, astronomical sums – which Arafat divides among his inner circle at the expense of his unemployed subjects – accrued to him from newly formed monopolies. This does not include the monthly transfer of $8.7 million dollars to his private account in the Bank Hapoalim Hashmonaim branch in Tel Aviv on the direct order of Shimon Peres (and since then honored by the Netanyahu and Barak governments). Since the beginning of the Tel Aviv arrangement in 1994, a total of approximately half a billion dollars has been transferred to Arafat’s private account.
At one point, Shimon Peres recommended that Israel join the Arab League. The suggestion was greeted in the Arab world with ridicule and was presented as an additional example of Israel’s attempts to undermine the foundations of the Arab world in order to cause its dissolution from within. Similarly, suggestions about regional cooperation and the Middle Eastern Common Market are portrayed as an Israeli plot to dominate the Arab economy.
What prevents the Arab countries from establishing a common market in the Middle East? After all, the cultural homogeneity of the Arabs involving language, religion, heritage, and ethnic origin – which ordinarily is a highly significant impetus for regional cooperation– is immeasurably more uniform than among the countries of the European community. However, not only has the Middle East been unsuccessful in establishing an organization of economic cooperation, it has become the focal point of the gravest threat to world peace. The Arabs are the ones who imposed, and continue to impose, an economic boycott of Israel and not the other way around. However, thanks to a per capita GDP of $17,000, Israel is among the fifteen richest nations in the world, while the Middle East continues, as ever, to wallow in the swamp of poverty, backwardness, and tyranny. How characteristic it is that 5.8 million Israelis produce more than $100 billion – a figure much higher than that produced by the surrounding Arab countries, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan combined, where 86 million Arabs together produce $82 billion.
A Historic Window of Opportunity and How to Miss Out on It
The megatrends in the Middle East described in the first part of this article, provide Israel with a rare historic window of opportunity. The most dangerous process from a global perspective is the intensification of Islamic hegemony – a nationalist civilization motivated by imperialist, religious aspirations and armed with weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. Israel is, indeed, in the eye of the storm but it is not alone. Turkey is concerned about Arab-Iranian subversiveness and its influence on the country’s Muslim majority, which is liable to bring the Ataturk revolution and the secular government to an end. Syria is a common enemy, and Turkish-Israeli strategic cooperation clearly would neutralize the Syrian threat (as well as the long-term Iraqi threat). The common interest has created an intricate network of ties between the two countries on the basis of military cooperation, especially in the area of upgrading weapons systems, missiles, and military technology.
India is an additional, extremely important objective for military/economic cooperation with Israel. It is no secret that the large Muslim minority in India and Islamic subversiveness stand at the top of the list of priorities on the Indian subcontinent. Like Turkey, India is a potential market for Israeli military technology. Both India and Israel are among the world centers in the field of computers. Cooperation between the two in this area, with its high added economic value, could aid the Indian economy and indeed rescue it from the Third World status in which it is mired.
A strategic triangle of India, Israel, and Turkey could create a very powerful center in the Middle East that could contribute much to halting Islamic hegemony. Strategic power centers naturally attract other interested parties. Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya are natural candidates. Halting Islam would have a salubrious effect on democratic tendencies, weak and modest as they may be, in the Arab countries themselves. So, for example, the possibility that Iran, in which the processes of recovery from Khumaynism are beginning, might join the coalition in the future cannot be ruled out. The process of liquidating minorities in the region, especially Christians, would cease or at least be mitigated.
It goes without saying what effect such a turn of events would have on the Jewish state’s standing in the international arena. Israel, as part of a powerful strategic treaty, would cease to be the trampled doormat of the European community. Europeans are now located within ballistic-missile range of the Arab countries. Likewise, they are threatened by Muslim irredentism in their own lands: the Muslim minority in France now constitutes 7% of the population and continues to grow rapidly. Europe is well aware of the Islamic threat. The Europeans, who have a well-developed historical memory, do not forget that the defeat of Richard the Lionhearted by Saladin at the end of the 12th century brought Islam to the gates of Vienna by the 17th century. Consequently, Europe is a natural ally for Israel. In order to achieve this, however, Israel must project power, resolve, and strategic backing of other regional powers such as India and Turkey.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US Congress became the most significant power center in the world. In contrast to the president who represents short-term American interests, if for no other reason than the time limitations of his term in which he must produce immediate results, the strategic thinking of Congress is long-term, which accounts for the basic difference in their respective attitudes toward Israel. US Presidents Bush and Clinton pursued (and Clinton persists in this policy today) a policy of the dismemberment of Israel and its relegation to the 1967 borders. By contrast, a sweeping majority in the Congress – the authentic representative of the American public – adamantly opposes this policy. That is because a strong Israel with safe borders is a clear American interest. There is no more blatant (and from Israel’s perspective, more exciting) manifestation of the polarization between the White House and Congress than the issue of Jerusalem. Whereas both houses of Congress decided by an overwhelming majority to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to "Jerusalem – united forever under Israeli sovereignty" (that is the language of the bill!), President Clinton, with the cooperation of Rabin, Netanyahu, and Barak, vetoed the bill. The issue of Jerusalem, of course, with its symbolic and historical significance, involves far more than the geographic location of the embassy. Without a doubt, American recognition of a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would halt, and possibly even terminate, the "peace process", and that was precisely the Washington lawmakers’ intent. On the other hand, the White House’s obvious goal of dividing Jerusalem is what will return Israel to the 1967 borders.
Thus, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, a historic window of opportunity opened for Israel. Actual implementation of the present disastrous political process – designed to emasculate the Jewish state and transform it from a regional power to a divided entity on the threshold of existential demise – would seal the window of opportunity forever. Strategic cooperation depends on the strength of the ally. What possible interest could Turkey or India have in a shriveled Israeli entity with suicidal tendencies that cooperates with its most heinous enemies? Historical precedent teaches that the political anti-Semitic tendencies of the European Union will continue to develop. The US Congress, the last stronghold still supporting Israel, will abandon it as well, a trend already apparent. And the abandonment will be justifiable, since one cannot expect the average congressman or senator to be more Zionist than the Israelis themselves.
The patient reader who has reached this point, especially the reader upset by the air of pessimism permeating this article, will certainly ask: What can Israel do to escape the murderous trap into which it has fallen? The answer was provided in 1997 document (the Declaration of Intent of the Ariel Center for Policy Research). The following are the main points:
The defining of an alternative political-diplomatic strategy is conditioned first and foremost on acceptance of the basic assumption that the goal of the Arab world is to reduce Israel to the 1949 lines in order to make it easier to destroy the Jewish state. Therefore, consummation of the "peace process" means certain war, and this would take place under conditions, topographical and strategic, of decisive Israeli inferiority.
On the other hand, if the process is stopped now, the probability of war, though still very high, is not absolutely certain. And if war does break out, Israel's chances of winning will be immeasurably higher in the present borders.
Hence, stopping the process is an existential necessity for Israel.
It is true that withdrawing from the "peace process" would mean paying an international political price. However, this price, high as it might be, would be immeasurably preferable to the existential danger entailed in retreat to the 1949 lines.
Israel will have to struggle in four arenas at one and the same time. This is to be done while conducting an aggressive, unceasing information campaign that corresponds to a variety of relevant target audiences. The purpose would be to achieve world understanding of Israel's history, rights, and needs, in order to combat effectively the multiform and multitudinous Arab fabrications and inventions. To accomplish this, a government information agency needs to be established.
The four arenas of struggle that policy makers will have to deal with are as follows:
1. The Possibility of War
One must assume that the Arab world will not come to terms with an Israeli decision to freeze the present situation, and to stop "the momentum meant to restore Israel to its natural size," as Anwar Sadat put it. Therefore, as already noted, a high probability of war exists. Israel must be ready to face it. For that purpose, the Israeli army must recover its deterrent image, which has been severely damaged, and a military doctrine must be clearly defined to deal with the anticipated conflict, which will consist mainly of the enemy's launching of surface-to-surface missiles at Israel’s home front.
Tough deterrence: a. Israel still possesses strategic assets in Judea-Samaria and the Golan Heights; b. the techno-scientific gap between itself and its enemies is still considerable; and c. the level of armament in weapons of mass destruction in the Arab states has not yet reached the stage of critical mass. In combination, these factors might deter the Arabs from an adventure that they could perceive to be very dangerous.
However, if the factor of deterrence does not work, Israel must deploy for the possibility of a preventive war, and in contrast to the past, Israel must clearly define the strategic/diplomatic/political goals of the war.
2. The European Union
The political-diplomatic cost to Israel's relations with the member-states of the European Union might be heavy and even involve economic sanctions. However, a combination of determination on the one hand, and a comprehensive information campaign on the other, might soften European hostility. This will work chiefly if the European Union internalizes the fact that Israel has enduring principles of national defense that it will not violate even at the cost of a general war.
In the information campaign Israel must make it very clear that we have learned our lessons well from the example of Czechoslovakia and the Munich Agreement, and that there is no chance that Israel will commit suicide on the altar of European appeasement. On the contrary, just as Czechoslovakia's power vis-a-vis the Nazi threat was the keystone of peace in Europe in the late 1930s, so now Israel's power facing the Islamic threat is in the paramount interest of the Western world.
3. Relations with the United States
The diplomatic-political cost to relations with the United States might be much lower than we customarily think. Israel has many allies in both houses of Congress, in the military establishment, among Christian fundamentalists, and the broad public. The fact is that whenever Israel made clear that there was a clash of interests between it and Washington, and stood resolutely for its position, it was still able to hold its ground. Three examples are: the application of Israeli law and administration to the Golan Heights; the Jerusalem Law; and the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor.
4. The Internal Israeli Arena
The public in Israel is obliged to pay the price of both peace and war. Hence, without overall support from the public for a decisive political enterprise, it will not be possible to stop the dangerous downhill slide on the slope of the "peace process".
The average Israeli is now in the midst of self-deception that undermines the nation's instinct for survival. This is the result of continuous brainwashing, media distraction, cynical exploitation of accumulated weariness, and economic abundance that emasculates willpower. To restore the Israeli public to rationality, a systematic, constant, and comprehensive information campaign is necessary, both on the level of the elites and of the mass media.
A harsh reality emerges from the above document. It is the result that one may anticipate from political defeatism. However, we the undersigned, the Steering Committee of the Ariel Center for Policy Research, believe that Israel has the physical and mental potential to halt the grave developments described above, and to restore the Jewish state to the path of security and prosperity.
Thus, the optimistic phrasing of the Steering Committee members.
However, the question is not what can be done, but whether there is enough of a survival instinct left in Israel to abandon the "peace process" and pay the heavy price of shattering expectations.
There is not one incident in the history of humanity in which defeatism led to peace which was anything other than a complete fraud.
See Bernard Lewis, “The Roots of Islamic Rage,” Atlantic Monthly, September 1990.
The Hadith is a collection of traditions, opinions, sayings, and deeds attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, compiled and published in the ninth century.
Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Baltimore, 1965.
Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1996.
In an interview with Rouz-al-Yusouf, May 18, 1992 (notably, the weekly Rouz-al-Yusouf is Mubarak’s mouthpiece). See Yohanan Ramati, “Egypt – The Enemy Behind the Smokescreen”, Nativ, July 1993.
See Yossef Bodansky’s article, “Mubarak’s Wedge: The Negev as Casus Belli,” Nativ, November 1997.
“Messer ins Herz der Volker,” as translated by Der Spiegel, from an interview quoting Mubarak, June 22, 1995.
Israel has never appeared on official maps in Egypt. In the Geographic Atlas of the Egyptian Ministry of Education, instead of Israel, “Plundered Palestine” appears.
As characterized by Bernard Lewis in his article “Yishmael’s War with the Jews,” Nativ, March 1989.
For material on points c and d, see the series of studies by Bernard Lewis, Rivka Yadlin, Raphael Israeli, and Arieh Stav as follows: Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites, London, 1988; Rivka Yadlin, An Arrogant, Oppressive Spirit – Anti-Zionism and Anti-Judaism in Egypt, Jerusalem, Zalman Shazar Center, 1988; Raphael Israeli, Peace in the Eyes of the Beholder, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, Mouton Publishers, 1987; Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature, A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery, Jerusalem, Gefen Publishers, 1999.
New York Times, June 3, 1996.
See Shawn Pine, “Egypt’s True Defense Expenditures: 2.7 or 14 Billion Dollars?,” Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR), Policy Paper No. 6, 1997.
See the 1997 Middle East Military Balance, Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.
According to a report in Ma’ariv, August 3, 1986.
History Department of the IDF, Arab and Islamic Terror, Jerusalem, l995. The statistics are for the second half of 1995, courtesy of the IDF spokesman.
According to the "accepted" definition, Jerusalem is divided into 2 sections, the "Eastern" (for the Arabs) and the "Western" (for the Jews). However, this definition is misleading. There is only one Jerusalem, The Eternal Capital of Israel, the Cradle of the Jewish People and the raison d'?tre of Judaism, which is commonly called "the Old City". This is the site of the Temple Mount, Zion and the City of David. All the rest of what is referred to as Jerusalem, constructed since the 19th century, are, in fact, suburbs of Jerusalem. In their request for sovereignty in Jerusalem the Arabs are trying to cut off the Jewish state from its historical heart.
Both Clinton’s statement and the UN resolution in Geneva had full support on the media level. An article in the New York Times on July 16, 1999, discussing the President’s statement, remarked: “The President’s comment aroused a wave of criticism in Israel in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians scattered throughout the Middle East seek territory now occupied by Israel…”
In his speech before the 22nd Zionist Congress in Basle, 1946.
For details see Edward Saar, “Judea and Samaria and Modern Arms”, Nativ, May 1990.
Julius Stone, Israel and Palestine, London, l981, p. 52.
See Shai Feldman, Nuclear Deterrence in Israel (Hebrew), Tel Aviv, 1984.
For other examples of American betrayal of allies in need, see Irving Moskowitz, “The Built-in Failures of American Guarantees of Israel’s Safety”, Nativ, November 1993.
See the assessment of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “The Palestinian Security Services: Between Police and Army,” 1999.
See the 1997 Middle East Military Balance, Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.
A different basis for figuring the sum of reparations, also approximately $100 billion, involves calculations made regarding the Golan Heights. The sum required for evacuating thirteen thousand inhabitants of the Golan was estimated at $10 billion; see Prof. Nurit Klayot, “Golan Heights – The Cost of Evacuation”, Haifa University, Summer 1996.
Egypt is an example of this. Despite its huge area and unlimited water supply from the Nile, Egypt imports 60% of its food.
Ma’ariv, November 21, 1999.
For details, see Yad Tabenkin Research Center, “Economic Study of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza for 1987”. It should be noted that the above is a Laborist research center and therefore Left-oriented.
See Forbes, July 1999.
See Steven Plaut, “The Collapsing Syrian Economy”, Middle East Quarterly, September 1999. An updated version of this paper appeared in Nativ, January 2000.
See publications of the War against Terrorism section of British Intelligence, as appearing in the Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1993.
When Interior Minister Natan Sharansky raised the issue in a Cabinet meeting on November 10, 1999, he was quickly hushed by his colleagues. See the stir it created in the Israeli mass media at that time.
Peres’ book The New Middle East, with its recommendations in the economic realm, was translated into Arabic in Egypt. On the book’s back cover, the publishing house explains that the book was printed as a service to the Egyptian reader in order to present before him the Jewish plot to control the Arab economy, and to prove the validity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
For details, see “Israeli-Turkish Strategic Cooperation,” Meltem Muftuler-Bac, Ariel Center for Policy Research, Policy Paper No. 47, 1998.
Signed by Ezra Sohar, Yosef Ben-Shlomo, Arieh Stav, and Eliav Shochetman.
In his speech to the Republican Party Convention, October 1962.