Sunday, August 29, 2004

Why I'm Moving to Israel

Sunday, August 29, 2004
Erica Chernofsky

When I tell people I spent the last year of my life studying abroad in Israel (search), they usually look at me funny and respond politely.

When I tell them I'm planning to move there permanently in August, the flabbergasted look on their face demands an explanation.

I'm a 21-year-old student at NYU majoring in journalism. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and a boyfriend. I come from the average American family, and look like the average American girl. So why am I leaving the land of opportunity to live, permanently, in a land ravaged by war?

A rabbi once told me that when God took Abraham to Canaan (search) and showed him the land, promising it to Abraham's future generations, He also showed him every Jew that was ever to be born. The rabbi went on to explain that, according to the legend, when a Jew stands in the exact spot where thousands of years ago Abraham first beheld him, he becomes intimately and eternally bound to the land.

Like many Jews, I had been to this land, now called Israel, numerous times, to see the holy sights and visit the home of my forefathers. And while I felt a connection, and perhaps had the feeling of "coming home" that many Jews boast of, I never viewed the country as anything more than a place of religious and historical significance to visit every once in a while.

But two summers ago, when I visited Israel with my family, something was different. I suddenly felt a visceral need to identify with the people and the culture, and so I decided to spend a year abroad studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (search). The only explanation, albeit fantastical, that I can offer is that perhaps that summer I stood in the very place where Abraham first regarded me, so many years ago, and my soul anchored itself in the sacred soil.

I was overcome with the realization that there was a country whose land had been promised to me, where millions of my people lived, yet their lives were so different from mine. I wanted to see that land and that life, learn about it, be part of it.

I quickly became part of life in Israel. I got used to having my bag checked every time I went into a store or restaurant, I got used to seeing my Israeli soldier friends walking around with huge M-16's on their shoulders. I mastered haggling with the taxi drivers. Taxis, not buses--that was the rule my parents, and many of my friends' parents, issued before we left. With all the suicide bombings on buses, it just isn't worth the risk. And though I don't travel on buses, I'll admit I still feel frightened walking by a bus, or sitting at a red light in a taxi with a bus in the next lane. It's just too hard to get the television images of blown-up buses out of my head.

Two weeks after I arrived, I was lucky enough to land an internship at The Jerusalem Post, which was an invaluable opportunity for me as a young journalist. There, I was thrown right into the thick of things, with no choice but to learn quickly. On my very first day, I wrote an article that appeared in the newspaper, and while it wasn't front-page news, it was my debut into the world of journalism.

The internship was my first step into the "real world." The Post staff treated me like a full-fledged reporter, giving me assignments and deadlines and sending me around the country to gather information. It was great training, and it was often fun.

But, living in Jerusalem was also often very stressful.

I remember one night that was particularly nerve-racking. It was a Saturday night. My parents' plane had just taken off after a brief visit, and all my friends were on a weekend get-away hiking in the Golan. I was in my dorm at Hebrew University when I got a phone call from a friend in the Israeli army. He said he couldn't talk, but he wanted to warn me not to leave my dorm that night.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because we're on our way to Jerusalem right now to look for a terrorist who's on the loose, who according to intelligence is planning on blowing himself up in Jerusalem tonight."

I was terrified. I was all alone. I couldn't call my parents, and I was scared to leave my dorm. I had never before experienced such real fear and danger.

But in Israel, that sense of fear and danger is the norm. In Alaska, it's normal to wear snow boots all year round. In New York, that would be absurd. In Israel, the snow boots are simply bulletproof vests.

Life is about adjusting, and I'm still struggling with the adjustment.

When I told my best friend that I was going to Israel for a year, she couldn't believe it. She couldn't understand why I was going to spend a year of my life in a country filled with angry extremists who would jump at the chance to kill me.

She was correct in that what we see on TV is scary--images of the burned frames of blown-up buses or cafes, the Israeli military in the slums of the Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza.

But the majority of the cafes in Israel are modern, popular places where Israelis spend their evenings or lunch breaks, and many Palestinians are not the suffering, impoverished people we see on TV. Many live in mansions in developed Arab villages.

I explained all of this to my friend as best I could, but I didn't say what I was really thinking: Honestly, how safe is it to live anywhere these days? Today, terrorism is a global threat. How many New Yorkers were scared to go to work at the World Trade Center on that Tuesday morning in Sept. 2001? But today, everybody is wary, everywhere in the world. The point is that we still go on living. Not just existing, but actually living. We can't live life scared to go around every corner, or none of us would ever leave the house.

It's no different in Israel. Living means putting the fear behind you.

Of course, managing the fear is a personal battle. On the one hand, no one wants to forget the three-year-old child killed by a Palestinian rocket while he was walking to nursery school with his mother. On the other hand, we do want to forget. We want to move on and not dwell on all the sorrow and tragedy.

Yet while their survival requires Israelis to harden their hearts to the pain, to take a deep breath and push the grief out of their minds, doing so is slowly turning Israel into a very hardened country. I fear once I live there, I might harden with it; so while some may worry that I will lose my life, I worry more about losing my heart.

It is Israel's mostly futile effort to block out the pain of all the death that is causing them to lose the media war. The Palestinians bring the journalists and cameras into their homes, showcasing their anguish for the world.

Everyone can remember the last time they saw an Israeli bulldozer destroying a house, or an Israeli tank plowing through a Palestinian village. But rarely do we see the footage of the Israeli mothers, wives and children crying for lost relatives. We hear the names of the dead, but rarely do we see the victims who remain maimed and crippled. They do exist, but Israel avoids revealing its vulnerable side.

So instead, Israelis appear tough and military.

Oddly, once I arrived in Israel, I felt further from the war-torn country I was familiar with than when I was at home, watching suicide bombings and shootings on the news every day. There I was, living in what is technically considered East Jerusalem, and I was oblivious to the danger around me. Despite the terror, bombings and deaths, there is a living side to the country, and that's the Israel I became a part of.

And that's my answer to those who can't understand my decision to live in Israel, exactly what Israelis want the world to remember: People are actually living life there. It's not a third-world regime. It's not Afghanistan or Iraq. It's a modern democracy, just like the United States, trying to exterminate terrorism. The roads are paved, there are prestigious hospitals and universities, and they even have The GAP and IKEA.

But none of that makes news, so we don’t see it--hence the flabbergasted looks when I say that after spending a year in Israel, I’m moving there permanently this summer.

So while perhaps it was my religious beliefs that led me to explore the country in the first place, it was the country itself, the people, the culture and the life, that kept me there.

Erica Chernofsky will graduate from NYU with a degree in journalism in January, 2005, completing her last semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was an intern with this summer, and moved to Israel earlier this month.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Egyptian Government Weekly promotes 'Blood Libel' (again)

As you probably know, Samir Ragab is the editor in chief of the government-owned daily Al Gomhuriya and a confidant of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Ragab is also the chairman of the Egyptian Gazette, an English-language newspaper published in Cairo and Mayo, the weekly newspaper of the ruling National Democratic Party, issued on Mondays. Mr. Ragab is also the chairman of the board of directors of Aqidati, a religious Egyptian weekly magazine published by the Al-Tahrir foundation, which is linked to the ruling National Democratic Party.

One would think that a gentleman of such august stature and political savvy might be expected to review what is published under his masthead. Hussam Wahba, a columnist for Aqidati recently wrote an article based upon blood libels and accusing Judaism of promoting ritual murder! It was published in Al-Gomhuriya, August 10, 2004. The following are excerpts from the article:

The Content, as translated, is owned by The Middle East Media Research Institute ("MEMRI").

On the Main Entrance to the Knesset it is Inscribed : 'Compassion Toward a Non-Jew is Forbidden'"… The Jews forgot that their primary constitution, on which they rely, is full of intellectual religious terrorism against all other nations. Aqidati decided to wage a battle against International Zionism in order to expose the extent of terrorism that exists in the Zionist doctrinal mind. The truth of the matter is that the Jews themselves do not deny [the existence of] Zionist terrorism. Whoever visits the Israeli parliament known as 'The Knesset' will notice at the main entrance a sentence written on the wall saying: 'Compassion towards a non-Jew is forbidden, if you see him fall into a river or face danger, you are prohibited from saving him because all the nations are enemies of the Jews and when a non-Jew falls into a ditch, the Jew should close the ditch on him with a big boulder, until he dies, so that the enemies will lose one person and the Jews will be able to preserve their dream of the Promised Land, the Greater Israel!'

"This sentence is taken from the Jewish Talmud which is holier that the Torah itself, and was described by the Israeli Ministry of Education in the lexicon that it published at the beginning of this year for primary school students in Israel as: 'The Talmud is the oral Torah which Moses received from his Creator. It contains commandments, which every Jew must perform. The Talmud is the holy book of the Israelites and its sanctity equals or even surpasses that of the Torah…'"

The Jews' Sacred Obligation to Murder 'Goyim'

" Dr. Muhammad Abdalla Al-Sharqawi says in his book 'The Talmudic Scandals' that the Talmud … exposes the hidden aspects of the Jewish psyche… The Jewish Rabbis came up with it as a result of the deep distress over [their] exile and fragmentation, which cultivated in the Jewish psyche hatred and loathing and a raging need for vengeance and tyrannical control over non-Jewish nations. To this day Jewish life is based to a great extent on the Talmudic dictates and principles…

"Dr. Al-Sharqawi adds that if we examine the Talmudic attitude toward other, non-Jewish nations, we will find it to be as close as can be to a desire to completely annihilate the 'Goyim' – the non-Jewish nations. For instance, the Talmud says: 'Murdering a non-Jew whenever possible is an obligation. A Jew is a sinner if he can murder non-Jews but does not do so. And a Jewish priest who blesses a person [Jew] who brings evidence that he murdered one or more non-Jews is a blessed priest. Murdering non-Jews pleases God, because the flesh of non-Jews is the flesh of donkeys and their sperm is the sperm of animals.'

"The Talmud also says 'Kill anyone who is not Jewish even if he is pious. The Jews are prohibited from saving from death any member of the other nations, or rescue him from a ditch in which he fell, because that would mean saving an idolater, even though he is pious.'

"Also, the Talmud says that 'it is righteous for a Jew to kill a non-Jew with his own hands, because whoever kills a non-Jew is offering a sacrifice to God…'

"The Talmud also contains instructions to the Jew that if the non-Jew is stronger than him, he should do anything in his power to bring about his death even in an indirect manner and to pin the blame on a non-Jewish nation; this may cause a conflict between two non-Jewish nations to the point of fighting and destroying each other. Then, God will reward any Jew who contributed to the conflict between the two nations with eternal life in Paradise…

" The Talmud did not only deal with killing non-Jews, but permitted the violation of their honor [i.e. women] and property, when it says: 'The Jew is not in the wrong if he rapes a non-Jewish woman, because non-Jewish women are permitted…'

" Dr. Al-Sharqawi concludes by saying: 'All this proves the principle that the killing of non-Jews by Jews is a sacred obligation that the Jew should carry out whenever he can, because, according to the Talmud, his arm is connected to his body for the sole purpose of killing and not for recreation.'"

The Jewish Ideology of Conflict" Dr. Muhammad Abu Ghadir, the former head of the Hebrew Language Department in Al-Azhar University , points out that the Jews believe wholeheartedly that violence and blood are the only things that safeguard their lives. Their rabbis, throughout history, were successful in convincing them that non-belligerence with the surrounding world would lead to their destruction and that the only way for the Jews to stay alive is to follow the dictates of their holy books concerning the obligation to carry on the conflict with all other nations and to intensify the conflict with relatively weak nations.

"When they see a nation stronger than them, every Jew has a daily obligation to make every effort so that this nation should be weakened to the point that in the end it collapses, or at least becomes weaker than the Jewish nation, so that they may then eliminate it completely.

"The books of the Jewish religion say that in ancient times God addressed his Jewish worshiper, saying: 'You must have an enemy, and if you do not have one, create one so that you can defeat him and kill him and gain God's goodwill and His reward.' If we examine the word 'killing' in the books of the Jewish religion, we find that it is repeated tens and hundreds of times, which indicates to us the enormity of terrorism in Zionist religious thought, especially when we realize that 80% of the religious verses demand of the Jews to kill non-Jews, and even the sentences and the verses that do not talk about killing, and talk about, for instance, God giving the land to the Jews and not to others, you can find between the lines a clear call to the Jews to use all kinds of ploys and tricks to annihilate non-Jews who live on this earth, so that the Jews may take control over it…"

'The Talmudic Dictates Urge Jews to Draw the Blood of Muslims and Christians for Religious Rituals'

" Dr. Jama al-Husseini Abu Farha, instructor in theology at the University of Suez , points out that what the media shows us every day about Israeli conduct in the occupied territories is no different than what their history shows us about their inhumane practices towards humanity as a whole. One need only point out that they are 'blood suckers' according to the Talmudic dictates, which urge them to murder and draw the blood of Muslims in particular, and Christians even more so, and to use this blood in religious Israeli rituals.

"Jewish terrorism reached the point of underscoring that the Ten Commandments - as they claim - assert the right of Jews to plunder and steal non-Jewish money and to see their blood, honor and properties as fair game and to lend them money at [high] interest so long as they do not convert to Judaism."

'The Word Jew in English Means Trickery, Deceit and Deception'

"Zionist terrorism is not confined just to their religious doctrines; even their language reflects their radicalism and their terrorism. The Hebrew language includes many proofs of the truth of Zionist terrorism. The word 'Jew' … is used in the English language to mean 'trickery, deceit and deception,' all of which signify cunning and slyness. It is strange that the Jews know this very well but did not try to object to it. The Oxford dictionary says that there are words related to the word 'Jew,' among them 'cheat,' 'offensive,' and 'grasping,' and all of them mean greedy, covetous, cheating, counterfeiting, aggressive, and annoying. This link between the word 'Jew' and all these meanings certainly reflects the image of the Jewish way of thinking from an English point of view, and it is undoubtedly a bad image which does not reflect the opinion of one person only but [rather] the opinion of anyone who speaks English…"

Disseminating Blood Libels"Since admission is the highest form of evidence, we will present to the reader a letter of confession written by the Jewish Rabbi known as 'Neophytos the Convert [to Christianity]. The letter has to do with the Jews slaughtering non-Jews, draining their blood, and using it for Talmudic religious rituals. Neophytos called his letter 'The Secret of the Blood'; in it he said that 'from a young age, the Jewish Rabbis teach their students how to use non-Jews' blood to treat illnesses and for sorcery…

"'The Rabbis use this blood in various religious rituals, among them weddings when an egg is smeared with blood and the married couple eats it the night of the wedding, which gives them the power to deceive and trick anyone who is not Jewish. Also, the Rabbis use the blood of the non-Jewish victim to treat some illnesses that afflict the Rabbis. They mix some of the blood with the blood of a circumcised baby, then brush it on his throat in order to purify him, and also anoint their temples with it to commemorate the destruction of the Temple every year; [it is also used to] anoint the chests of their dead so that God will forgive them their sins; it is also mixed in the holiday bread and in many other Talmudic rituals.'

"Therefore, these rituals that were mentioned in the Talmud and which reflect the truth about the present Jewish terrorist way of thinking are certainly implemented from time to time, while they do not hesitate to distort the image of Islam and describe it as a terrorist faith."

Mr. Ragab may be contacted at:

This is truly bizarre material to be disseminating in the 20th century. Hussam Wahba's bizarre assertions, provided under the cover of scholarly reportage, are false and foul. The statements Wahba makes on his own, as well as those he quotes from Dr. Muhammad Abdalla Al-Sharqawi, Dr. Muhammad Abu Ghadir and Dr. Jama al-Husseini Abu Farha are utterly fantastic.

Perhaps Mr. Ragab might comment on why any government-owned publication of Egypt, Israel's supposed "peace partner", especially any publication subject to Mr. Ragab's oversight, would propagate such loathsome falsehoods?


Elihu D. Stone
Sharon, MA

Monday, August 23, 2004

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America: 75th Anniversary of Hebron Massacre

Shalom CAMERA E-Mail Team:

August 24, 2004 marks the 75th anniversary of the 1929 Hebron Massacre, in which 67 Jews were brutally murdered by their Arab neighbors. Arab mobs were incited by various false rumors, e.g. that Jews were murdering Arabs and that Jews were plotting to harm the Al Aqsa Mosque and other sites holy to Muslims. Attacks against Jews began in Jerusalem and spread throughout Palestine.

Please encourage the media to report on the anniversary of this tragic event.
It is interesting to note that the same type of incitement that provoked the August 1929 attacks was used again by Palestinian leaders in 2000 to launch the current wave of violence.

Anniversaries of events important to Palestinian Arabs are often noted in news reports, year after year, but rarely do we see mention of anniversaries of events important to Israelis.

Here is a succinct account of the 1929 Hebron Massacre.
From Wikipedia:
1929 Massacre
"A long-running dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem became steadily more violent until, on August 23, 1929, a mob of Arabs inflamed by false rumours that two Arabs had been killed by Jews started a murderous attack on Jews in the Old City. The violence quickly spread to other parts of Palestine. The worst atrocities were in Hebron and Safed , where massacres of Jews occurred. In Hebron, Arab mobs killed 67 Jews and wounded many others using clubs, knives and axes. The lone British policeman in the town was overwhelmed and the reinforcements he called for did not arrive for 5 hours (leading to bitter recriminations). Most of the other Jews survived by hiding with their Arab neighbors. The surviving Jews were evacuated from the town. A few dozen families returned in 1931 but the community never reestablished itself and there were no Jews remaining in Hebron [until after Israel gained control of Hebron in the 1967 War]."
Media contacts and more informational links about the 1929 Hebron Massacre are at the bottom of the alert.

With thanks,
Lee Green
Director, National Letter-Writing Group

Other Informational Links:

"From 1922 through 1928 the relationship between Jews and Arabs in Palestine was relatively peaceful. However, in late 1928 a new phase of violence began with minor disputes between Jews and Arabs about the right of Jews to pray at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. These arguments led to an outbreak of Arab violence in August 1929 when Haj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, fomented Arab hatred by accusing the Jews of endangering the mosques and other sites holy to Islam. Observers heard Husseini issue the call: Itback al-Yahud 'Slaughter the Jews!'
On August 22, 1929 the leaders of the Yishuv met with the British Deputy High Commissioner to alert him of their fears of a large Arab riot. The British officials assured them that the government was in control of the situation. The following day the Riots of 1929 erupted throughout the Palestine Mandate, lasting for seven days.
On Friday, August 23, Arab mobs attacked Jews in Jerusalem, Motza, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and other parts of the country. The Old City of Jerusalem was hit particularly hard. By the next day, the Haganah was able to mount a defense and further attacks in Jerusalem were repulsed. But, the violence in Jerusalem generated rumors throughout the country, many carrying fabricated accounts of Jewish attempts to defile Muslim holy places, all to inflame the Arab residents. Villages were plundered and destroyed by Arab mobs. While attacks on Jews in Tel Aviv and Haifa were thwarted by Jewish defenses, there were Jewish deaths in Hebron, where 67 Jewish men and women were slaughtered and Safed, where 18 Jews were killed, as well as scattered other losses totaling 133 Jewish deaths, with more than 300 wounded.
The Arab violence in Hebron was one of the worst atrocities in the modern history of Israel. On the afternoon of Friday, August 23, 1929 Jerusalem Arabs came to Hebron with false reports of Jews murdering Arabs during the rioting there, even saying thousands of Arabs had been killed. Despite the fact that Jews and Arabs in Hebron had been on good terms, a mass of frenzied Arab rioters formed and proceeded to the Hebron Yeshiva where a lone student was murdered. The next day, the Jewish Sabbath, the killing continued as an Arab mob of hundreds surrounded homes where Jews sought refuge, broke in and murdered scores of Jews in a bloody rampage.
The dead Jews that day included Eliezer Dan Slonim, a man highly esteemed by the Arabs. He was the director of the local English-Palestine bank whose many clients were Arabs, and was the sole Jewish member of the Hebron Municipal Council. He had many friends among the Arab elders, who had promised to protect him. Twenty-two people died in Slonim's house that day including his wife and two young children.
By the end of the riot, during which the British police did nothing to protect the Jews or stop the violence, sixty-seven Jews were dead and hundreds wounded. The survivors were isolated in a police station for three days while the Arabs rampaged through their houses, stealing and destroying Jewish property, unmolested by the British authorities. At the end of the three days the Jews were sent to Jerusalem, exiled from their homes for the crime of being a victim of the Arab riot. Hebron's ancient Jewish quarter was empty and destroyed. For the next 39 years no Jew lived in Hebron, not until after it was liberated by the Israeli military during the Six Day War in 1967."
Other articles on the 1929 Hebron Massacre:
[If the above link does not work, go to
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Friday, August 20, 2004

From the Arab Press: Don't Blame Zionism For The Violent Arab Culture

14:46 Aug 13, '04 / 26 Av 5764

The journalist and former Kuwaiti Communications Minister, Dr. Sa'ad Bin-Tafla, said that violent tendencies in Arab culture have deep roots and are not a product of the conflict with Zionism.

"I believe we are all responsible for this culture and Zionism and Imperialism have no part in it," Bin-Tafla declared in a recent interview with Jordanian television, "It is incorrect to say that violence is the result of the occupation. The French occupation left Algeria after a million victims fell, and then 100,000 Algerians were slaughtered by other Algerians, in the name of Islam, within less than ten years. That is to say, sadly, more than even Israel could have killed during the period of the intifada. This violence has cultural roots, unconnected to the occupation....

"The number of killed in Algeria and those killed by other Arab regimes is greater than the number of Palestinians killed by Israel..." the former Kuwaiti minister explained, adding, "There is a culture of violence that existed before the Americans arrived in Iraq and the Gulf, and even before the Israeli occupation in Palestine; before the American occupation in Afghanistan...."

Bin-Tafla stated, "the slaughter, the destructive abuse, the anarchy and the bloodshed do not approach in any way the legal definition of Jihad or resistance. It is anarchy and terrorism and is indicative of frustration and a culture of collective suicide reminiscent of whales [which beach themselves]. Such a culture stems from objective and personal reasons."

Bin-Tafla traces the source of much of the frustration among Arab youth to "an extremist religious stream" in the Islamic world. "It tells [the youth], 'You must achieve one of two things - martyrdom or victory,'" the Kuwaiti journalist explained, "It prettifies the culture of violence and describes it as resistance and Jihad."

Bin-Tafla also lays the blame on the Arab media: "Unfortunately, many in television, radio and print media... pushed these youth towards frustration and caused them to die needlessly, killing others with them, and to divide the world into black and white."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Letter to the editor of Associated Press

Dear Sir/madam:

In Barry Schweid's article "Powell has kind words for Arafat", the headline completely mischaracterized Mr. Powell's words. Moreover, Mr. Schweid himself utterly misrepresented Mr. Arafat's leadership.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the Palestinian leader "occupies a unique place in the minds of hearts of his people" and that he " the embodiment of their desires and wishes," he was being diplomatic, at most. An extreme example will clearly illustrate my point: It could just as easily be said that Hitler, after all, also "occupied a unique place in the hearts and minds of his people and was "the embodiment of their desires and wishes".

More disturbing was Mr. Schwied's observation that "ever since"Arafat took over leadership of the PLO in 1967 "he has renounced the terror tactics that the PLO used for decades and has agreed to coexistence with Israel" is an utter falsification. For every statement Mr. Arafat ever made about accepting Israel's existence, dozens can be found calling for the Israel's destruction. Arafat, personally and through his Al-Aqsa Brigades, has promoted and glorified terrorist tactics at every turn and continues to do so. Arafat has clearly failed in every respect to transform himself from a terrorist kingpin to any kind of statesman. The only thing remaining unclear is whether Mr. Schweid's monstrous representation otherwise is born of a truly stupefying ignorance or a malicious disregard for the truth; neither has any place in respectable journalism.


Elihu D. Stone
Sharon, MA

Monday, August 16, 2004

Jordan is Palestine

Benny Elon Presented "Jordan is Palestine" Plan to Prince Hassan MK Benny Elon, whom Prime Minister Sharon fired from his position as Tourism Minister because of his opposition to the disengagement/expulsion plan, presented his "Jordan is Palestine" plan to Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan.

Elon disclosed to Arutz-7 today that his meetings with Hassan and other Jordanian officials took place several months ago in Jordan, while he was still a Cabinet minister. He said that the Prince said that his country would be hard-put to accept such a plan because it doesn't trust Israel: "They saw what happened in Lebanon [with the sudden abandonment of the Southern Lebanese Army - ed.] and with the collaborators in Yesha [Judea, Samaria and Gaza]," and also that Israel always gave precedence to diplomatic initiatives with the Palestinian Authority as opposed to with Jordan.

Despite this reaction, MK Elon feels that if and when the U.S. agrees to recognize Jordan as "the representative of the Palestinians, and treats Israel-Jordan as the democratic axis in this region," including significant economic aid to Jordan, "our neighboring kingdom's leadership will view this plan much more sympathetically."

MK Elon headed Yeshivat Beit Orot in Jerusalem before entering politics, and succeeded the murdered Rehavam Ze'evi as head of the Moledet Party. The Elon peace plan, entitled "The Right Road to Peace," calls for the residents of the refugee camps to be resettled in Arab countries, while other Arabs living in Yesha will become Jordanian citizens. "The first to go [to Jordan] will be the terrorists, of course," Elon said, "while those with property here and who have been living here for generations - they held Jordanian citizenship up until 1988, when King Hussein took it away - will continue to live in Judea and Samaria, but with renewed Jordanian citizenship."

MK Elon will depart tomorrow for the United States, where he will continue to promote his plan among American leaders. He will also meet there with Jewish and Christian leaders in an attempt to increase their awareness of the dangers and negative ramifications of the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Holy Land.

The Elon Plan, which is being mailed to all Jewish residents of Yesha this week, calls for the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, which Elon says is an "entity without a future, whose existence precludes the end of the conflict." The plan also calls for Israel to take absolute steps to end Palestinian terrorism, including the collection of all weapons, dismantling of terrorist hotbed refugee camps, and the expulsion of terrorists and their accomplices.

The next step in the Elon Plan is international aid to Jordan in recognition of its role as the only representative of the Palestinian people and to help it absorb a certain amount of refugees. In this connection, Haggai Segal reports that Jordan has greatly restricted, over the past few days, the granting of entry visas to Arab citizens of Judea and Samaria - leaving thousands of Arabs stranded at the bridges and entrances from Israel to Jordan. According to the plan, however, Israel will be sovereign over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with Arab residents receiving Jordanian citizenship.

The last stages of the plan involve an internationally-funded completion of the "exchange of populations" that began in 1948 between Jews of Arab countries and Arabs in Israel. This will include the complete absorption of the former refugees in the various countries. Israel and Jordan will then declare the end of the conflict between them and will establish full and friendly relations.

The plan makes clear that a small, sliced-up and crowded Palestinian state in the areas of Judea and Samaria, aside a threatened and narrow Israel - such as envisioned in the Road Map plan - is a sure recipe for war in the near future.

MK Elon explained that he distributed his plan to the residents of Yesha because, "We saw, during our campaign against the disengagement plan for the Likud Party referendum, that this population has fantastic quality. The determination and the dedication and talents of these people who, by going from house to house, actually changed public opinion [a reference to the fact that the plan enjoyed majority support amongst the Likud membership until the Yesha residents went from house-to-house over the course of 2-3 weeks, leading to a 60%-40% victory against the disengagement - ed.]."

"I believe that if this population studies the plan, and gets to know it, and makes comments on it - we, the [right-wing] politicians, were not able to come up with an agreed-upon plan, but maybe this public will be able to. Just like the Oslo Plan fell, and the Road Map fell, and Sharon and his disengagement will fall - the public will come to us and ask us, 'What do you propose?' - and then, we must not hesitate or stutter! We must have a serious plan, one that is on the table and known, and that is what will win."

Segal asked, "Your problem, however, is not in convincing the Israelis, but rather in persuading Jordan to agree to take on the role you're assigning it."

Elon: "This is something I learned from Arik Sharon. First we have to convince the Israelis, then the Americans, and only then - everyone else. It's inconceivable that we keep looking for a partner, checking what they'll agree to, and building our positions based on that - as [Yossi] Beilin did. I believe that in Jordan we have with whom to talk." Here he disclosed that he had met with Hassan, and that the meeting was "not at all bad." Relating to the understandable Jordanian fear that a surplus of Palestinians will overthrow the Hashemite Kingdom, Elon said, "There is no reason for us to view the situation as if the Palestinian state will be formed there; rather, for us, the Jordanian government as it now stands is much better than any Palestinian Authority that could arise there... In short, Hassan made it clear that under certain circumstances, he could agree to this plan - and that Jordan was originally not even in favor of detaching itself from the Palestinians, as King Hussein did in 1988."

Asked whether he had discussed his plan with Prime Minister Sharon, MK Elon said, "Yes, and more than once. I reminded him that he himself had said many times that Jordan is Palestine. He said that now, however, we have a tactical need for Jordan, in that it does much of the work of protecting our border. This is of course good, but we need to have a comprehensive strategic plan that will end the conflict - as the only one who gains from its perpetuation is Arafat, not Israel. We must know that the British gave up 78% of its mandate - the historic Land of Israel - in order to create a Palestinian state on it; this is much to be regretted, but it is inconceivable that on the remaining 22%, yet another Palestinian state should be formed. We have to know and make it clear - first of all to ourselves - that Sharon wants to return us to the Green Line. He says he wants to preserve the settlement blocs, but really he is fooling everyone, including, possibly, himself; pay no heed to his act of getting upset at Olmert for saying it aloud."



Let me begin by putting this in historical perspective. If you go back tothe years immediately following World War II, American liberals were amongIsrael's best friends.Israel's independence was secured with the active support of Harry Truman,perhaps the era's quintessential liberal. Eleanor Roosevelt, AdlaiStevenson, The New York Times all werestalwart supporters of the Jewish state.

>From the liberal perspective, the Jews had impeccable credentials. Theywere, after all, a certified victim group (one out of every three havingjust been murdered by the Nazis).

If that weren't enough, Zion was resettled by progressives of the Kibbutzmovement. Among mainstream liberals of the period, sympathy for Israel wasboundless.

Of course, liberalism of the 40s and 50s was a far cry from the liberalismof today. This was before the creed was corrupted by Marxism andmulticulturalism when liberalism couldstill be distinguished from leftism. From the end of World War II until thelate 1960s, liberalism was optimistic, individualistic, anti-totalitarianand pro- American.

Today, just as the nature of liberalism has mutated, so has its attitudetoward Israel.

While there are a few exceptions, today, Israel's enemies are foundprimarily on the left and in those institutions most closely identified withthe new American liberalism -including the news media, academia and the mainline Protestant churches.

I'd like to take a few minutes to examine each, and consider how theirhostility toward Israel -- which at times borders on the pathological -- ismanifested. Then I'll come tothe heart of my thesis: What it is about Israel that drives the Left nuts .

First, the news media of which I was a member for over 20 years. DespiteArab propaganda about the U.S. media being controlled by Jews’ control ofthe fourth estate isn'treligious or ethnic, but ideological. The media is overwhelming liberal - areality routinely reflected in biased coverage on a broad range of issues.How liberal? According to a surveyof Washington bureau chiefs and congressional reporters, in the 1992election, 89 percent voted for Bill Clinton, compared to 7 percent forGeorge Bush Sr., and 2 percent for Ross Perot.

What little support Israel has in the media comes almost exclusively fromconservatives Fox News, The New York Post, the editorial pages of The WallStreet Journal, The Washington Times, syndicated columnists like Cal Thomasand Charles Krauthammer and talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh. It'saxiomatic: The more liberal a media outlet, the moreantagonistic it is toward Israel. The anti-Israel lynch mob is led by TheNew York Times,The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, CNN, network news departments, talkshow hosts like PhilDonahue and anchors like Peter Jennings.

On November 21st of last year, ABC's Nightline had a segment titled"Desperate Acts: Suicide Bombers," which compared Japanese kamikaze pilotsof World War II with Palestinianhomicide bombers.

Ted Koppel informed us that, "The level of anger among many Palestiniansagainst the Israeli military is so profound that there, too, suicide bombersare often elevated to heroicstatus."

For the left, anger and frustration justify almost anything, unless, ofcourse, it's anger and frustration by white males. Come to think of it, theGermans too were angry andfrustrated in the early 1930s. They'd lost a war and over a million men,were humiliated by the Versailles Treaty and went through economic andpolitical upheaval during the GreatDepression. Perhaps the level of anger among many Germans was why stormtroopers and the SS were elevated to heroic status.

If they're angry with the Israeli army, then why are the victims ofPalestinian terrorism overwhelmingly civilians: toddlers eating ice creamcones, children sleeping in theirbeds, women shopping, and elderly Holocaust survivors attending Passoverseders? Between September 2000 and Feb. 18, 2003, 38% of Palestinianfatalities were noncombatants.However, during the same period, noncombatants accounted for 77% of Israelifatalities. There are civilian casualties on both side, but (unlike theIsraelis) the Palestiniansintentionally target noncombatants.

The "level of anger" (actually hatred), referred to by Koppel, precedes theso-called occupation of the West Bank, and even the establishment of theState of Israel, by decades.(There were pogroms in Hebron in the 1920s and '30s. The Grand Mufti ofJerusalem helped Hitler carry out the Holocaust.)

Anti-Semitism is inculcated at all levels of Palestinian society. It's inthe textbooks, in the government-controlled media and in sermons from themosques.

But the myth -- (beloved of Arab propagandists) endlessly repeated by usefulidiots like Koppel - is that setting off nail-packed bombs on busy streetsand dragging 13-year-oldboys to caves and stoning them to death, is the "only means" thePalestinians have to respond to the "brutal Israeli occupation."

Speaking of which, it's almost impossible to hear a news report aboutviolence in Israel without a reference to "the occupied West Bank" or "theoccupied territories."

When the Germans overran most of France in 1940, it was legitimate to speakof occupied France. After all, France had been a sovereign nation forhundreds of years. Prior to theGerman invasion, it had a government that exercised authority within definedborders.

When was the last "Palestinian nation"? Who was its ruler? Where was itscapital? What are its more notable achievements in art, literature andscience?

As my friend Joe Farah, an Arab-American, points out, "Palestine is as realas Never-Never Land". From the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealthin the firstcentury AD until the Israeli liberation in 1967, there was never a sovereignstate on the land the media designates the "occupied territories." Israeldidn't take the West Bank away from the Palestinians. It reclaimed it fromJordan, which had illegally occupied it for the previous 19 years.

There is no distinct Palestinian language, religion or culture. There are 22Arab states in the region whose inhabitants are virtually identical to thePalestinians. If Arafatistan is ever established, that will give them 23Arab states. Do you think they'll be satisfied then? Don't count on it.

By using the term "occupied territories" (instead of "disputed territories")the media implicitly takes sides - against the so-called "occupiers" andwith those who supposedly are being "occupied."

CNN founder Ted Turner is a priceless human resource. There is no internalmonitor on his mouth. Turner is so dumb that he says things others in themedia are thinking, but havethe good sense not to proclaim publicly.

Thus, in an interview last year with the left-wing British publication TheGuardian, Turner expounded: "The Palestinians are fighting with humansuicide bombers; that's allthey have. The Israelis, they've got one of the most powerful militarymachines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are theterrorists? I would make a case that bothsides are involved in terrorism." By the way, this brilliant analysis isfrom the same deep thinker who told us that "poverty" caused the World TradeCenter attack.

Let's see: Al Qaeda hijacks a plane and murders 3,000 Americans. Americaresponds by bombing its host country, Afghanistan. Based on Turner's logic,America and Osama binLaden are each involved in terrorism. What choice did Al Qaeda have? Afterall, America has one of the most powerful military machines in the world.Who can blame Bin Laden for strikingback with the only means at his disposal?

Or, take another favorite media expression, "the cycle of violence." LastSeptember, after two homicide bombings in a single day, Israel moved intoArafat's compound in Ramallah. On the NBC Nightly News on September 19, TomBrokaw sadly intoned, "It sounds so familiar, a cycle of violence that seemsto be escalating all over again."

Cycle of violence? Who started the violence? Who perpetuates it? Which sideglorifies murder? Which sides says the other is sub-human? Hamas andArafat's security forces spreadbody parts around a Jerusalem pizzaria or blow up a Tel Aviv disco. Israelresponds by sending its security forces to Ramallah or Nablus to dismantlethe terroristinfra-structure. For the media, action and reaction aggression andself-defense both are part of "a familiar cycle of violence." Ladies andgentlemen, this is moral equivalency at its worst.

However, the media actually look objective and fair-minded next to thereligious left. Whether the issue is social policy, economic policy orforeign policy, the mainline Protestant churches are reliably leftist.During the Cold War, the U.S. Council of Churches and its affiliates wereinveterate apologists for the Evil Empire, advocates of disarmamentat any price and opponents of U.S. military intervention to stem thecommunist advance. In the 19th century, the Church of England was describedas "the Tory party at prayer."

Today, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the PresbyterianChurch and their ilk could aptly be designated as Noam Chomsky and HowardZinn at prayer. Given liberalism's antipathy toward Israel, you would expectthese churches to be anti-Zionist,and you would not be disappointed.

Typical of this mindset was a statement issued by the National Council ofChurches in October 2000 that declared, "We decry the severity of theIsraeli response, and condemn their disproportionate use of force. Themassive and one-sided loss of life and infliction of injury and propertydamage belie the Israeli claim to legitimate self- defense."

Or, consider this from a report by Churches for Middle East Peace (composedof the usual suspects) in June, 2001, "Few things have done more to destroythe hope and pursuit ofpeace through negotiations than Israel's unrelenting settlement activity."

These relentless Jewish "settlements" comprise roughly 2% of the land on theWest Bank, most are contiguous with pre-1967 Israel. Just to put the matterin perspective, sincethe '67 war, Israelis have established 144 settlements in the area - rangingfrom communities of a few trailers to thriving cities. At the same time, theArabs have built 267 newsettlements.

It never ceases to amaze me that 250,000 Jews living amidst 2 million Arabson the West Bank "destroys the hope and pursuit of peace," but 1 millionIsraeli Arabs living among 5million Jews in pre-1967 Israel does not, or that Churches for Middle EastPeace has endorsed a principle which would have delighted the Nazis makinga designated territory(in this case Biblical Israel) "judenrein," free of Jews.

In October, 2000, the United Methodist Church confessed, "We recognize thecurrent popular protest is an expression of deep Palestinian frustrationover the ongoing disrespect,dehumanization and denial of their basic human and national rights by anunjust political system." That "unjust political system" (Israel's) happensto be the only democraticsystem in the Middle East, one that's had 4 changes of government in thepast 10 years. Arabs sit in the Israeli Knesset, next to Jewish socialists,rightists and Orthodox Jews.

In a 2002 statement, the Episcopal Church USA observed, "The unbreakablecycle of violence which was set in motion by Ariel Sharon's provocativevisit to the Temple Mount inJerusalem, has led to a tragic loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives." Now,really. Even officials of the Palestinian Authority admit that the currentjihad was planned formonths before Ariel Sharon's "provocative visit" to what just happens to beJudaism's holiest site. The visit was an excuse for the latest intifada. Itdid not precipitate it.

In a March 2002 letter to Sharon, an official of the Presbyterian ChurchUSA, babbled, "While we do not condone the acts of violence by certainPalestinian extremists (notterrorists, but extremists), we are appalled that Israel, in response, hascontinued to punish the entire Palestinian population and its leaders whohave been your government'spartners in the peace process." Newsflash circa 1944: "The Allies continueto punish the entire German population and its leaders - who were itspartners in peace at Munich."

Just because Palestinian society celebrates the slaughter of Jewishchildren, just because Arafat's own Fatah and Tanzim militias joyfullyparticipate in the murders, just because a plurality of Palestinians saythat even if Israel withdrew from every inch of the territories and gavethem a state with East Jerusalem as its capital, they would still wantthe slaughter to continue until the Jewish state was utterly obliteratedIsrael has responded harshly. As my grandmother would say -- Go figure!

Which brings us to the colleges and universities. There is no place inAmerica where leftism is more entrenched than on the campus. The number ofRepublicans on the average liberal arts faculty could be counted on thefingers of one hand. David Horowitz, of the Center for the Study of PopularCulture, says that in the month after 9/11, there were over 150anti-war demonstrations at colleges and universities, almost every one ledby faculty members.

The newest weapon of the anti-Israel academic left is divesture - the demandthat educational institutions sell their stock in corporations doingbusiness with Israel. On morethan 50 campuses including Harvard, Columbia and Yale - faculty petitionscalling for divesture are being circulated.

The current campaign echoes that of the apartheid era and equates Israelwith South Africa. But Israel is a democracy, the only one in the MiddleEast, where all citizensenjoy equal rights.

In Egypt, a dictatorship, Coptic Christians are regularly persecuted andoccasionally murdered. In the Sudan, more than two million have been killedand four million displaced,and slavery is rampant, in a war prosecuted by its Islamic government.Lebanon has become a virtual satellite of Damascus, with 30,000 Syriantroops occupying the country. InSaudi Arabia, a medieval monarchy Christianity can't even be practiced inprivate, and imams on the government payroll regularly call for the murderof Christians and Jews.

Not one of these nations is the object of a divesture campaign. Then again,they're merely dictatorships (most anti-American), engaged in persecution orwholesale murder for political or religious reasons. No big deal.

By the way, the American people have a perspective on Israel and thePalestinians that is diametrically opposed to that of the media, academicand clerical elites. According to ajust- released survey by McLaughlin & Associates, 71% of Americans believeArafat's Palestinian Authority should not be granted statehood (against 13%who believe it should). Bya 2-to1 margin, the America public believes that if such a nation isestablished, it would be a terrorist state. And, by a 3-to-1 margin (61% to19%), Americans believe thatthe long-term goal of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority is thedestruction of Israel.

When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, the American peopleessentially are of one mind and the left, once again, is out of its mind.Why? In a world full of genocidalregimes and terrorists states that pose a mortal danger to America, why isthe left obsessed with Israel? I would like to suggest five reasons.

Reason #1: Israel is pro-American.To cite but one example, in the UN General Assembly, Israel votes withAmerica more than any other nation. Well, you may say, isn't that becauseIsrael is a major recipient ofour foreign aid? But so is Egypt, and it rarely votes with us at the UN orsupports our foreign policy initiatives.

Israel is an American ally because it shares our values: democracy, respectfor human rights, religious tolerance, the free market and an open society.

But its very support for America makes it suspect in the eyes of the left,which is intrinsically anti-American. Since the left views America as themajor repository of evilin the world, it stands to reason that it would have essentially the sameview of our embattled allies. Just as it considers America a corrupt,repressive, racist bully, itfollows that those nations/governments aligned with us are seen as similarlytainted. In other words, the left hates Israel for the same reason the lefthates America.

Reason #2: Arafat and this thugs, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are seen asanother national liberation movement the Middle East equivalent of the VietCong and Sandinistas.

Prior to World War II, the stated goal of Marxism was liberating oppressedclasses workers and peasants. When that enterprise failed spectacularly(witness 30 million deadin the Soviet Union and 50 million murdered in the People's Republic ofChina), Marxists moved on to national liberation freeing oppressed peoplesfrom colonial exploiters.

For the left, Palestinians and Israelis fit this paradigm perfectly. ThePalestinians are living on land they claim as their's but don't fullycontrol. We are told that they'reoppressed, subjugated, denied a nation of their own. Liberals don't examinethe validity of that claim. They don't ask how the Palestinians got there.They don't look at theirrecord with the limited self-government they have. They don't ask what willhappen to the rest of Israel once its border is 8-miles wide at its narrowwaist and with the Palestiniansarmed with rockets and mortars -- controlling the high ground of Judea andSamaria -- allied with Syria, Iran and Iraq.

All they know is the Palestinians are "an indigenous people." The Israelisare denying them self-determination. That's all they want to know.

Actually, if Ariel Sharon wore fatigues and had a three-day growth, he'dprobably improve his standing with the left.

Reason #3: Along the same lines, the Middle East conflict is seen as a powerstruggle between a Third World people and a transplanted European colonialpower. Thanks to multiculturalism, the left believes that morality isdetermined by ethnicity and income. Compared to Israelis, most Palestiniansare relatively poor. For the left, poverty is a mark of virtue.

It's quite true that Israeli society reflects the Western values mentionedearlier, notwithstanding that today many Israelis are Sephardim: Jews whosefamilies have lived inthe region for millennia.

Whether it's strikers vs. corporate executives, cops vs. accused, thehomeless vs. the middle class, black vs. white, oil companies vs. caribou,the left invariably sides withthose it perceives as victims. For liberals, life is an endless psychodramapitting horrible "haves" against saintly "have-nots."

Israel does indeed have the heavy weapons. On the other hand, thePalestinians have the support of the entire oil-rich, populous,armed-to-the-teeth Arab world. Are the Saudioil sheiks who support the destruction of Israel the wretched of the earth?Is Saddam Hussein, who pays a bounty to the families of suicide bombers? AreSyria, Iraq and Iranpowerless? When viewed in isolation, the Palestinians appear to be theunderdog. However, when they are properly perceived as an advance column forthe Moslem Arab world, they arehardly an embattled people.

Reason #4: Israel is a Jewish state.The left is notoriously hostile to religion. (This includes the religiousleft, which long ago abandoned salvation for social action.) Not allreligion, but Western religion. Islam, which is viewed as a Third Worldreligion, a religion of the downtrodden has become the liberals' specialpet, ironically, given that its agenda isn't exactly synonymous with that ofthe National Organization for Women and the Gay and Lesbian Advocates andDefenders.

On the other hand, just as conservative Christians are drawn to Israelbecause they see Biblical prophecy therein confirmed, the left is repulsedfor the same reason.

In an era of science and socialism, the God of the Bible, the God ofChristians and Jews, was supposed to disappear. But, more than any otherphenomenon, the existence of themodern state of Israel after 2,000 years of exile, despite overwhelmingodds - challenges that assumption.

Thus many on the left, who also view the founding of Israel as an injustice,would be happy to see all of the Jews pack up and move somewhere else. Theidea of a Jewish state offends their universalism. For a nation to be aMoslem state is fine. But for a country to be a Jewish state is just tooparticularistic.

Reason #5: It is an article of faith for the left that all people arebasically good, that conflict arises from misunderstandings and thateverything can be resolved bynegotiations.

Liberalism thus may be contrasted with Christianity and Judaism.Christianity holds that man is inherently sinful - a condition which may berectified by faith and grace.

Judaism believes that man has both a good and evil inclination - but, as theBible says, from birth man's heart is inclined toward evil. Liberalismbelieves in innate goodness,that man is basically virtuous and corrupted, not by his nature, but bysociety.

How does this worldview apply to the Middle East? The left blames Israel forfighting terrorism with military force, instead of with diplomacy.

Since Israel is in a position to surrender territory, it stands to reasonthat if the violence is continuing, it's because Israel hasn't given upenough.

What exactly has Israel given to the Palestinians? Since the signing of the1993 Oslo Accords, it has turned over to the Arabs all of Gaza and 40percent of the West Bank including areas with 80 percent of the populationas well as Hebron, Judaism's second holiest city.

In return, Israel has gotten over 600 dead and 4,000 wounded (based on ourpopulation, that is the equivalent of 38,000 dead Americans and 230,000wounded), the destruction of the Tomb of Rachel, and a worldwide wave ofanti- Semitism.

Diplomacy only work when both sides are sincere, when each is committed todemocracy and the rule of law. (Arafat is sincerely committed to thedestruction of Israel.).

Negotiations with totalitarians, tyrants and thugs lead to Munich and WorldWar II, lead to the 1973 Paris Peace Accords (the grave of South Vietnam,Cambodia and Laos), lead to ouranti-nuclear agreement with North Korea, which we now know Kim Jong Ilviolated all along, lead to Oslo. Nations have been buried with a scrap ofpaper.

Actually, the left wouldn't mind Israel so much if it wasn't an Americanally, if it wasn't a democracy with Western values, if it wasn't a Jewishstate, if its opponents weren't an indigenous, Third World people and if itwas willing to give them whatever they want and trust in their word forIsrael's future security.

Since the opposite is the case, the liberal-left's hostility toward Israelwill only deepen. Given the liberal degeneration over the past six decades, it could not have been otherwise.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


The defining issue, Melanie Phillips, July 21, 2004

The world terror supporters' club, aka the UN, has told Israel to tear down its security barrier. This follows the ruling by the terror court, the ICJ, that the barrier is illegal (see below). Neither of these decisions is binding, but they are intended to build up the global demonization of Israel as a pariah state, the necessary prelude to its destruction. Meanwhile, in the US where Christian support for Israel is so strong, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church has equated Israel with apartheid South Africa and called for universal divestment from it.

These developments all signal a world that is descending ever deeper into a terrifying moral darkness. If the Jews have always been a society's pit canaries whose fate is an early warning of that society's wider collapse, Israel is surely the canary in the mine of the world. The way it is being treated bespeaks a mortal sickness. Israel is the victim of a continuing, half-century attempt to annihilate it. Yet its attempts to defend itself are denounced and vilified, its activities are misreported and distorted, it is judged by malign double standards to paint it falsely as a rogue state – and all the while those doing so look the other way while a genocide is perpetrated in Sudan, sanitized even in today's papers as merely a 'humanitarian' catastrophe. The moral inversion involved was captured in a remark by Mark Steyn in yesterday's Telegraph:

'The UN system is broken beyond repair. In May, even as its proxies were getting stuck into their ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan was elected to a three-year term on the UN Human Rights Commission. This isn't an aberration: Zimbabwe is also a member. The very structure of the organization, under which countries vote in regional blocs, encourages such affronts to decency.'

This is the same UN that has now pronounced that Israel should not defend itself against the war of exterminatory mass murder being perpetrated against its citizens. This treatment of Israel goes far beyond the fate of that particular region. The obsessive malice with which it is vilified and libeled, and the tacit and even explicit encouragement of the war of mass murder against it, while atrocities in Africa are not only ignored but their perpetrators given a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission, for heaven's sake, shows that not just the UN but the world order it represents are bust, broken, bankrupt.

For faced with this obscene parody of a world body that is supposed to promote and uphold peace and justice but actually ignores, promotes and upholds genocide, mass murder, tyranny, terrorism and endemic corruption, the democracies of the west not only ignore such evidence but profess to believe that the UN is a moral exemplar without whose imprimatur wars are illegitimate and whose every utterance or action possesses unchallengeable moral authority. But the correct -- indeed, the only -- moral response to the UN would be to shut it down. While the world is run by tyrannies --and despite the US veto at the UN, it is so run -- tyranny, terrorism and genocide will of course continue unabated, and the victims of these atrocities will be regarded at best with indifference and at worst demonized as villains in order to protect the guilty. That is the twisted and lethal phenomenon of which Israel is both victim and symbol.

The scale of this moral inversion is so huge, so profound and so fundamental that the Presbyterian Church decision has provoked an incandescent protest by Dennis Prager, a US talk-show host who thought Christianity was on the side of good but now finds it has been hijacked to serve the cause of evil. Prager spells out the nature of this obscenity:

'It takes a particularly virulent strain of moral idiocy and meanness to single out Israel, not Arafat's Palestinian Authority, or terror-supporting, death-fatwa-issuing Iran, or women-subjugating Saudi Arabia, for condemnation and economic ruin. One of the most decent societies, one of the most liberal democracies in the world, is fighting for its life against Islamic fascists who praise the Holocaust and publicly call for the annihilation of Israel -- and the Presbyterian Church calls for strangling Israel!

'Apartheid state?' This Goebbels-like Big Lie, concocted by the world's anti-Israel and anti-American Left and by those who want Israel destroyed, is now an official doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. Israel is a nation whose population is one-quarter non-Jewish Arab, with the same rights, including voting and its own political parties, as Jewish citizens; a nation whose second official language is Arabic, the language of those who wish to annihilate the Jewish country; a nation that occupies a tiny sliver of land known as the West Bank only because Jordan, overwhelmingly composed of Palestinians, invaded Israel in 1967 in order to destroy it and thereby lost its ownership of the West Bank.' And then Prager draws a conclusion as stark and bleak as it is true:

'This is one of the morality-clarifying issues of our time. To single out Israel for economic strangulation while that good nation fights for its life is an act of such immorality that holding that view precludes one from the title "good" or "God-fearing," for if they are true to God, I am false to Him. If they are good, I who support Israel am bad. If their Bible teaches them to strangle Israel and support Yasser Arafat, I am guided by a different Bible. They have drawn a line. It is now time for good people, Presbyterians specifically, Christians generally, to distance themselves vigorously and publicly from this morally sick church. And it is time, once again, for Jews to realize that the enemies of the Jews in our day are to be found on the Christian Left while their friends are far more often on the Christian Right.'

Israel is the defining moral issue of our time. Not because its situation is the worst in the world -- the genocide in Sudan is clearly in a different league. But because the way the world is treating it exemplifies a global moral sickness in which truth, goodness and the victims of an annihilatory madness are ignored, dehumanized or attacked, while lies, wickedness and their perpetrators are appeased, endorsed and supported.

Monday, August 02, 2004

A View from the Eye of the Storm

Though this is very long, it'll be worthwhile.
By far, the most transparent description of the present world
conflicts. Please, please read. It is a must. You will not regret it.

HAIM HARARI, a theoretical physicist, is the Chair, Davidson
Institute of Science Education, and Former President, from 1988 to
2001, of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

During his years as President of the Institute, it entered numerous
new scientific fields and projects, built 47 new buildings, raised
one Billion Dollars in philanthropic money, hired more than half of
its current tenured Professors and became one of the highest
royalty-earning academic organizations in the world.

Throughout all his adult life, he has made major contributions to
three different fields: Particle Physics Research on the
international scene, Science Education in the Israeli school system
and Science Administration and Policy Making.

A View from the Eye of the Storm

Talk delivered by Haim Harari at a meeting of the International
Advisory Board of a large multi-national corporation, April 2004:

As you know, I usually provide the scientific and technological
"entertainment" in our meetings, but, on this occasion, our
Chairman suggested that I present my own personal view on events
in the part of the world from which I come. I have never been and
I will never be a Government official and I have no privileged
information. My perspective is entirely based on what I see, on
what I read and on the fact that my family has lived in this
region for almost 200 years. You may regard my views as those of
the proverbial taxi driver, which you are supposed to question,
when you visit a country.

I could have shared with you some fascinating facts and some
personal thoughts about the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, I will
touch upon it only in pas sing. I prefer to devote most of my
remarks to the broader picture of the region and its place in
world events. I refer to the entire area between Pakistan and
Morocco, which is predominantly Arab, predominantly Moslem, but
includes many non-Arab and also significant non-Moslem minorities.
Why do I put aside Israel and its own immediate neighborhood?
Because Israel and any problems related to it, in spite of what
you might read or hear in the world media, is not the central
issue, and has never been the central issue in the upheaval in the
region. Yes, there is a 100 year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it
is not where the main show is:

* The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel.
* The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime is massacring its black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel.
* The frequent reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilian in one village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel.
* Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butchered his own people because of Israel.
* Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the 60's because of Israel.
* Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of his own citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel.
* The Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with Israel.
* The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do with Israel,
and I could go on and on and on.

The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally
dysfunctional, by any standard of the word, and would have been so
even if Israel would have joined the Arab league and an independent
Palestine would have existed for 100 years.

The 22 member countries of the Arab league, from Mauritania to the
Gulf States, have a total population of 300 millions, larger than
the U S and almost as large as the EU before its expansion. They
have a land area larger than either the US or all of Europe. These
22 countries, with all their oil and natural resources, have a
combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal
to half of the GDP of California alone.

Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor are beyond
belief and too many of the rich made their money not by succeeding
in business, but by being corrupt rulers. The social status of women
is far below what it was in the Western World 150 years ago. Human
rights are below any reasonable standard, in spite of the grotesque
fact that Libya was elected Chair of the UN Human Rights commission.
According to a report prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals
and published under the auspices of the U.N., the number of books
translated by the entire Arab world is much smaller than what little
Greece alone translates. The total number of scientific publications
of 300 million Arabs is less than that of 6 million Israelis. Birth
rates in the region are very high, increasing the poverty, the
social gaps and the cultural decline. And all of this is happening
in a region, which only 30 years ago, was believed to be the next
wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed, at
some point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the world.

It is fair to say that this creates an unprecedented breeding ground
for cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement,
suicide murders and general decline. It is also a fact that almost everybody in the region
blames this situation on the United States, on Israel, on Western
Civilization, on Judaism and Christianity, on anyone and anything,
except themselves.

Do I say all of this with the satisfaction of someone discussing the
failings of his enemies? On the contrary, I firmly believe that the
world would have been a much better place and my own neighborhood
would have been much more pleasant and peaceful, if things were

I should also say a word about the millions of decent, honest, good
people who are either devout Moslems or are not very religious but
grew up in Moslem families. They are double victims of an outside
world, which now develops Islamophobia and of their own environment,
which breaks their heart by being totally dysfunctional. The problem
is that the vast silent majority of these Moslems are not part of
the terror and of the incitement but they also do not stand up
against it. They become accomplices, by omission, and this applies
to political leaders, intellectuals, business people and many
others. Many of them can certainly tell right from wrong, but are
afraid to express their views.

The events of the last few years have amplified four issues, which
have always existed, but have never been as rampant as in the
present upheaval in the region. These are the four main pillars of
the current World Conflict, or perhaps we should already refer to it
as "the undeclared World War III".

I have no better name for the present situation. A few more years
may pass before everybody acknowledges that it is a World War, but
we are already well into it.

The first element is the suicide murder. Suicide murders are not a
new invention but they have been made popular, if I may use this
expression, only lately. Even after September 11, it seems that
most of the Western World does not yet understand this weapon. It is
a very potent psychological weapon. Its real direct impact is
relatively minor. The total number of casualties from hundreds of
suicide murders within Israel in the last three years is much
smaller than those due to car accidents. September 11 was
quantitatively much less lethal than many earthquakes. More people
die from AIDS in one day in Africa than all the Russians who died in
the hands of Chechnya-based Moslem suicide murderers since that
conflict started. Saddam killed every month more people than all
those who died from suicide murders since the Coalition occupation
of Iraq.

So what is all the fuss about suicide killings? It creates
headlines. It is spectacular. It is frightening. It is a very cruel
death with bodies dismembered and horrible severe lifelong injuries
to many of the wounded. It is always shown on television in great
detail. One such murder, with the help of hysterical media coverage,
can destroy the tourism industry of a country for quite a while, as
it did in Bali and in Turkey.

But the real fear comes from the undisputed fact that no defense and
no preventive measures can succeed against a determined suicide
murderer. This has not yet penetrated the thinking of the Western World. The U.S.
and Europe are constantly improving their defense against the last
murder, not the next one. We may arrange for the best airport
security in the world. But if you want to murder by suicide, you
do not have to board a plane in order to explode yourself and kill
many people. Who could stop a suicide murder in the midst of the
crowded line waiting to be checked by the airport metal detector?
How about the lines to the check-in counters in a busy travel
period? Put a metal detector in front of every train station in
Spain and the terrorists will get the buses. Protect the buses and
they will explode in movie theaters, concert halls, supermarkets,
shopping malls, schools and hospitals. Put guards in front of every
concert hall and there will always be a line of people to be checked
by the guards and this line will be the target, not to speak of
killing the guards themselves. You can somewhat reduce your
vulnerability by preventive and defensive measures and by strict
border controls but not eliminate it and definitely not win the war
in a defensive way. And it is a war!

What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded
murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true
fanatic religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up. No son of an
Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown himself. No
relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn't you expect some of the religious
leaders to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if
this is truly a supreme act of religious fervor? Aren't they
interested in the benefits of going to Heaven? Instead, they send
outcast women, naïve children, retarded people and young incited
hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual, of the next
world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme act is
performed and enough innocent people are dead.

Suicide murders also have nothing to do with poverty and despair.
The poorest region in the world, by far, is Africa. It never happens

There are numerous desperate people in the world, in different
cultures, countries and continents. Desperation does not provide
anyone with explosives, reconnaissance and transportation. There was
certainly more despair in Saddam's Iraq then in Paul Bremmer's Iraq,
and no one exploded himself. A suicide murder is simply a horrible, vicious weapon of
cruel, inhuman, cynical, well-funded terrorists, with no regard to
human life, including the life of their fellow countrymen, but with
very high regard to their own affluent well-being and their hunger
for power.

The only way to fight this new "popular" weapon is identical to the
only way in which you fight organized crime or pirates on the high
seas: the offensive way. Like in the case of organized crime, it is
crucial that the forces on the offensive be united and it is crucial
to reach the top of the crime pyramid. You cannot eliminate
organized crime by arresting the little drug dealer in the street
corner. You must go after the head of the "Family".

If part of the public supports it, others tolerate it, many are
afraid of it and some try to explain it away by poverty or by a
miserable childhood, organized crime will thrive and so will
terrorism. The United States understands this now, after September
11. Russia is beginning to understand it. Turkey understands it
well. I am very much afraid that most of Europe still does not
understand it. Unfortunately, it seems that Europe will understand
it only after suicide murders will arrive in Europe in a big way.
In my humble opinion, this will definitely happen. The Spanish
trains and the Istanbul bombings are only the beginning. The unity
of the Civilized World in fighting this horror is absolutely
indispensable. Until Europe wakes up, this unity will not be achieved.

The second ingredient is words, more precisely lies. Words can be
lethal. They kill people. It is often said that politicians,
diplomats and perhaps also lawyers and business people must
sometimes lie, as part of their professional life. But the norms of
politics and diplomacy are childish, in comparison with the level of
incitement and total absolute deliberate fabrications, which have
reached new heights in the region we are talking about. An
incredible number of people in the Arab world believe that September
11 never happened, or was an American provocation or, even better, a
Jewish plot.

You all remember the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mr. Mouhamad
Said al-Sahaf and his press conferences when the US forces were
already inside Baghdad. Disinformation at time of war is an accepted
tactic. But to stand, day after day, and to make such preposterous
statements, known to everybody to be lies, without even being
ridiculed in your own milieu, can only happen in this region. Mr.
Sahaf eventually became a popular icon as a court jester, but this
did not stop some allegedly respectable newspapers from giving him
equal time. It also does not prevent the Western press from giving
credence, every day, even now, to similar liars. After all, if you
want to be an antisemite, there are subtle ways of doing it. You do
not have to claim that the holocaust never happened and that the
Jewish temple in Jerusalem never existed. But millions of Moslems
are told by their leaders that this is the case. When these same
leaders make other statements, the Western media report them as if
they could be true.

It is a daily occurrence that the same people, who finance, arm and
dispatch suicide murderers, condemn the act in English in front of
western TV cameras, talking to a world audience, which even partly
believes them. It is a daily routine to hear the same leader making
opposite statements in Arabic to his people and in English to the
rest of the world. Incitement by Arab TV, accompanied by horror
pictures of mutilated bodies, has become a powerful weapon of those
who lie, distort and want to destroy everything.

Little children are raised on deep hatred and on admiration of
so-called martyrs, and the Western World does not notice it because
its own TV sets are mostly tuned to soap operas and game shows. I
recommend to you, even though most of you do not understand Arabic,
to watch Al Jazeera, from time to time. You will not believe your
own eyes.

But words also work in other ways, more subtle. A demonstration in
Berlin, carrying banners supporting Saddam's regime and featuring
three-year old babies dressed as suicide murderers, is defined by
the press and by political leaders as a "peace demonstration". You
may support or oppose the Iraq war, but to refer to fans of Saddam,
Arafat or Bin Laden as peace activists is a bit too much. A woman
walks into an Israeli restaurant in mid-day, eats, observes families
with old people and children eating their lunch in the adjacent
tables and pays the bill. She then blows herself up, killing 20
people, including many children, with heads and arms rolling around
in the restaurant. She is called "martyr" by several Arab leaders
and "activist" by the European press. Dignitaries condemn the act
but visit her bereaved family and the money flows.

There is a new game in town: The actual murderer is called "the
military wing", the one who pays him, equips him and sends him is
now called "the political wing" and the head of the operation is
called the "spiritual leader". There are numerous other examples of
such Orwellian nomenclature, used every day not only by terror
chiefs but also by Western media. These words are much more
dangerous than many people realize. They provide an emotional
infrastructure for atrocities. It was Joseph Goebels who said that
if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. He is now
being outperformed by his successors.

The third aspect is money. Huge amounts of money, which could have
solved many social problems in this dysfunctional part of the world,
are channeled into three concentric spheres supporting death and murder. In the
inner circle are the terrorists themselves. The money funds their
travel, explosives, hideouts and permanent search for soft
vulnerable targets. They are surrounded by a second wider circle of
direct supporters, planners, commanders, preachers, all of whom make
a living, usually a very comfortable living, by serving as terror
infrastructure. Finally, we find the third circle of so-called
religious, educational and welfare organizations, which actually do
some good, feed the hungry and provide some schooling, but brainwash
a new generation with hatred, lies and ignorance. This circle
operates mostly through mosques, madrasas and other religious
establishments but also through inciting electronic and printed
media. It is this circle that makes sure that women remain inferior,
that democracy is unthinkable and that exposure to the outside world
is minimal. It is also that circle that leads the way in blaming
everybody outside the Moslem world, for the miseries of the region.
Figuratively speaking, this outer circle is the guardian, which
makes sure that the people look and listen inwards to the inner
circle of terror and incitement, rather than to the world outside.
Some parts of this same outer circle actually operate as a result of
fear from, or blackmail by, the inner circles. The horrifying added
factor is the high birth rate. Half of the population of the Arab
world is under the age of 20, the most receptive age to incitement,
guaranteeing two more generations of blind hatred.

Of the three circles described above, the inner circles are
primarily financed by terrorist states like Iran and Syria, until
recently also by Iraq and Libya and earlier also by some of the
Communist regimes. These states, as well as the Palestinian
Authority, are the safe havens of the wholesale murder vendors. The
outer circle is largely financed by Saudi Arabia, but also by
donations from certain Moslem communities in the United States and
Europe and, to a smaller extent, by donations of European
Governments to various NGO's and by certain United Nations
organizations, whose goals may be noble, but they are infested and
exploited by agents of the outer circle. The Saudi regime, of
course, will be the next victim of major terror, when the inner
circle will explode into the outer circle. The Saudis are beginning
to understand it, but they fight the inner circles, while still
financing the infrastructure at the outer circle.?

Some of the leaders of these various circles live very comfortably
on their loot. You meet their children in the best private schools
in Europe, not in the training camps of suicide murderers. The Jihad
"soldiers" join packaged death tours to Iraq and other hotspots,
while some of their leaders ski in Switzerland. Mrs. Arafat, who
lives in Paris with her daughter, receives tens of thousands Dollars
per month from the allegedly bankrupt Palestinian Authority while a
typical local ringleader of the Al-Aksa brigade, reporting to
Arafat, receives only a cash payment of a couple of hundred dollars,
for performing murders at the retail level.?

The fourth element of the current world conflict is the total
breaking of all laws. The civilized world believes in democracy, the
rule of law, including international law, human rights, free speech
and free press, among other liberties. There are naïve old-fashioned
habits such as respecting religious sites and symbols, not using
ambulances and hospitals for acts of war, avoiding the mutilation of
dead bodies and not using children as human shields or human bombs.
Never in history, not even in the Nazi period, was there such total
disregard of all of the above as we observe now. Every student of
political science debates how you prevent an anti-democratic force
from winning a democratic election and abolishing democracy. Other
aspects of a civilized society must also have limitations. Can a
policeman open fire on someone trying to kill him? Can a government
listen to phone conversations of terrorists and drug dealers? Does
free speech protects you when you shout "fire" in a crowded theater?
Should there be death penalty, for deliberate multiple murders?
These are the old-fashioned dilemmas. But now we have an entire new

Do you raid a mosque, which serves as a terrorist ammunition
storage? Do you return fire, if you are attacked from a hospital? Do
you storm a church taken over by terrorists who took the priests
hostages? Do you search every ambulance after a few suicide
murderers use ambulances to reach their targets? Do you strip every
woman because one pretended to be pregnant and carried a suicide
bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back at someone trying to kill you,
standing deliberately behind a group of children? Do you raid
terrorist headquarters, hidden in a mental hospital? Do you shoot an
arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one location to another,
always surrounded by children? All of these happen daily in Iraq and
in the Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do not want to
face the dilemma. But it cannot be avoided.

Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that someone would openly stay
in a well-known address in Teheran, hosted by the Iranian Government
and financed by it, executing one atrocity after another in Spain or
in France, killing hundreds of innocent people, accepting
responsibility for the crimes, promising in public TV interviews to
do more of the same, while the Government of Iran issues public
condemnations of his acts but continues to host him, invite him to
official functions and treat him as a great dignitary. I leave it to
you as homework to figure out what Spain or France would have done,
in such a situation.

The problem is that the civilized world is still having illusions
about the rule of law in a totally lawless environment. It is trying
to play ice hockey by sending a ballerina ice-skater into the ring
or to knock out a heavyweight boxer by a chess player. In the same
way that no country has a law against cannibals eating its prime
minister, because such an act is unthinkable, international law does
not address killers shooting from hospitals, mosques and ambulances,
while being protected by their Government or society. International
law does not know how to handle someone who sends children to throw
stones, stands behind them and shoots with immunity and cannot be
arrested because he is sheltered by a Government. International law
does not know how to deal with a leader of murderers who is royally
and comfortably hosted by a country, which pretends to condemn his
acts or just claims to be too weak to arrest him. The amazing thing
is that all of these crooks demand protection under international
law and define all those who attack them as war criminals, with some
Western media repeating the allegations. The good news is that all of this is temporary, because
the evolution of international law has always adapted itself to
reality. The punishment for suicide murder should be death or arrest
before the murder, not during and not after. After every world war,
the rules of international law have changed and the same will happen
after the present one. But during the twilight zone, a lot of harm
can be done.

The picture I described here is not pretty. What can we do about it?
In the short run, only fight and win. In the long run ? only educate
the next generation and open it to the world. The inner circles can
and must be destroyed by force. The outer circle cannot be
eliminated by force. Here we need financial starvation of the
organizing elite, more power to women, more education, counter
propaganda, boycott whenever feasible and access to Western media,
internet and the international scene. Above all, we need a total
absolute unity and determination of the civilized world against all
three circles of evil.

Allow me, for a moment, to depart from my alleged role as a taxi
driver and return to science. When you have a malignant tumor, you
may remove the tumor itself surgically. You may also starve it by
preventing new blood from reaching it from other parts of the body,
thereby preventing new "supplies" from expanding the tumor. If you
want to be sure, it is best to do both.

But before you fight and win, by force or otherwise, you have to
realize that you are in a war, and this may take Europe a few more
years. In order to win, it is necessary to first eliminate the
terrorist regimes, so that no Government in the world will serve as
a safe haven for these people. I do not want to comment here on
whether the American-led attack on Iraq was justified from the point
of view of weapons of mass destruction or any other pre-war
argument, but I can look at the post-war map of Western Asia. Now
that Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are out, two and a half terrorist
states remain: Iran, Syria and Lebanon, the latter being a Syrian
colony. Perhaps Sudan should be added to the list. As a result of
the conquest of Afghanistan and Iraq, both Iran and Syria are now
totally surrounded by territories unfriendly to them. Iran is
encircled by Afghanistan, by the Gulf States, Iraq and the Moslem
republics of the former Soviet Union. Syria is surrounded by Turkey,
Iraq, Jordan and Israel. This is a significant strategic change and
it applies strong pressure on the terrorist countries.
It is not surprising that Iran is so active in trying to incite a
Shiite uprising in Iraq. I do not know if the American plan was
actually to encircle both Iran and Syria, but that is the resulting

In my humble opinion, the number one danger to the world today is
Iran and its regime. It definitely has ambitions to rule vast areas
and to expand in all directions. It has an ideology, which claims
supremacy over Western culture. It is ruthless. It has proven that
it can execute elaborate terrorist acts without leaving too many
traces, using Iranian Embassies.. It is clearly trying to develop
Nuclear Weapons. Its so-called moderates and conservatives play
their own virtuoso version of the "good-cop versus bad-cop" game.
Iran sponsors Syrian terrorism, it is certainly behind much of the
action in Iraq, it is fully funding the Hizbulla and, through it,
the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, it performed acts of terror
at least in Europe and in South America and probably also in
Uzbekhistan and Saudi Arabia and it truly leads a multi-national
terror consortium, which includes, as minor players, Syria, Lebanon
and certain Shiite elements in Iraq. Nevertheless, most European
countries still trade with Iran, try to appease it and refuse to
read the clear signals.

In order to win the war it is also necessary to dry the financial
resources of the terror conglomerate. It is pointless to try to
understand the subtle differences between the Sunni terror of Al
Qaida and Hamas and the Shiite terror of Hizbulla, Sadr and other
Iranian inspired enterprises. When it serves their business needs,
all of them collaborate beautifully.

It is crucial to stop Saudi and other financial support of the outer
circle, which is the fertile breeding ground of terror. It is
important to monitor all donations from the Western World to Islamic
organizations, to monitor the finances of international relief
organizations and to react with forceful economic measures to any
small sign of financial aid to any of the three circles of
terrorism. It is also important to act decisively against the
campaign of lies and fabrications and to monitor those Western media
who collaborate with it out of naivety, financial interests or

Above all, never surrender to terror. No one will ever know whether
the recent elections in Spain would have yielded a different result,
if not for the train bombings a few days earlier. But it really does
not matter. What matters is that the terrorists believe that they
caused the result and that they won by driving Spain out of Iraq.
The Spanish story will surely end up being extremely costly to other
European countries, including France, who is now expelling inciting
preachers and forbidding veils and including others who sent troops
to Iraq. In the long run, Spain itself will pay even more.

Is the solution a democratic Arab world? If by democracy we mean
free elections but also free press, free speech, a functioning
judicial system, civil liberties, equality to women, free
international travel, exposure to international media and ideas,
laws against racial incitement and against defamation, and avoidance
of lawless behavior regarding hospitals, places of worship and
children, then yes, democracy is the solution. If democracy is just
free elections, it is likely that the most fanatic regime will be
elected, the one whose incitement and fabrications are the most
inflammatory. We have seen it already in Algeria and, to a certain
extent, in Turkey. It will happen again, if the ground is not
prepared very carefully. On the other hand, a certain transition
democracy, as in Jordan, may be a better temporary solution, paving
the way for the real thing, perhaps in the same way that an
immediate sudden democracy did not work in Russia and would not have
worked in China.

I have no doubt that the civilized world will prevail. But the
longer it takes us to understand the new landscape of this war, the
more costly and painful the victory will be. Europe, more than any
other region, is the key. Its understandable recoil from wars,
following the horrors of World War II, may cost thousands of
additional innocent lives, before the tide will turn.