December 29, 2003

A Breath of Fresh Air - A Jordanian Prince that makes a lot of sense.

Jordan's Hassan: Sharon pragmatic, but cannot find a partner

By Haaretz Service

Prince Hassan bin Talal, uncle of Jordan's King Abdullah and a former heir to the throne of the Hashemite kingdom, has told an Italian newspaper that he sees Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a pragmatic man, who wants security for his people, but is unable to find a partner on the Palestinian side with whom to conduct negotiations.

In comments published Monday by La Stampa, Prince Hassan said that "Arafat is at a transitory stage, but, unfortunately, we can see the growing influence of Hamas and Hezbollah among the Palestinians."

Hassan, the younger brother of Jordan's deceased monarch King Hussein, also said that "the Palestinians continue to talk about Palestinian unity. The Palestinian question has never been resolved. From my perspective, Jordan should include all the Palestinians, and Israel, Palestine and Jordan should enjoy the same sort of interdependence as there is in the Benelux countries."

When asked whether he was planning on establishing a new political party, Prince Hassan replied that he preferred to start a political movement, at the center of the political spectrum. "There are Christian Democratic, so where should there not be Muslim Democrats," he added.

Hassan said that there are currently three phobias afflicting the world: "anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism and anti-Americanism. This is because the Americans should not be talking about a new world order, but about a new international alliance for peace."

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/377281.html

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Startling Revelations Re: Israeli Political Intrigue


December 21, 2003

Dear Yitzchak

I just wonder how much following Shaul Mofaz has. I have a suspicion he may be the man that gets in, avoiding the enmity between Sharon and Netanyahu and bypassing Olmert who I learned to dislike quite easily upon one of his appearances here. He seems the ultimate opportunist.

Be well and careful,

Jerry


This morning I was fortunate enough to receive, in reply, this tremendous analysis of the inner workings of the current Israeli political scene. Those that read the pages in our web page should have no doubts as to who I pray wins this political struggle that, in the end, may well determine the continued existence of the Jewish State.

December 28, 2003

Jerry Shalom,

Mofaz is in a delicate political position. The reason is that he is not a Member of the Knesset and he is only serving as a Minister at the request of Sharon. That means that according to the Israeli law, in case that Sharon has to resign before his tenure ends then Mofaz is not playing in the battle of succession. It will be mainly between Netanyahu and Olmert. Also, Mofaz can be asked to resign at any time from his position by the PM and in 2 weeks to be forgotten by the public opinion. That is why he has to play a very delicate political game between Sharon and Netanyahu. Mofaz interest is that if Sharon resigns then to have general elections so that he could run to become MK and to nominate himself to leadership of the Likud and the country.

On the other hand, Olmert's interest is not to have general elections in case that Sharon resigns. He is still too weak in the Likud and in the general public opinion. In case that Sharon resigns and there no general elections are called, then the cabinet will appoint one of its members that is also an MK to the position of PM. Now, Olmert is a very close friend of Lapid (Chairman of SHINUI) and he is also close with Peres (he served as chairman of Peres' 80th birthday celebration). That is why Olmert is working behind scenes (maybe also with the help of Sharon) to make a new unity government with Labour party. He could count on their votes in the cabinet in case that Sharon resigns.

Now, Netanyahu is working to oppose Olmert and Netanyahu's interest is closer to the interest of Mofaz and Shalom these days and that is why they are cooperating these days. I also hear that Livnat is cooperating together with them and that means that they are quite strong opposition to Olmert and thus to Sharon as well. But the game is very delicate. No one wants to go to the battle at a premature time.

Hope I did not make it too complicated.

Best wishes,

Yitzchak

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 25, 2003

Richard Haase, Former Director of Planning vs. President Bush

(Rep. Barney Frank, quoting thankfully, Former Director of Planning, Richard Haasse in news item below. Unfortunately, Haase’s policy, pressuring Israel into self-destruction which will result in irreparable long term harm to the United States, persists. Too bad that perennial State Department misguided theory was not dismissed along with Richard Haase. ) jsk

From: The Washington Times, Dec. 22-28, 2003

Inside the Beltway by John McCaslin

Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, celebrated the capture of Saddam Hussein last week by inserting into the Congressional Record two previously published newspaper op-ed columns from The Washington Post that "received far too little attention."

The first opinion piece was penned by Richard Haass, formerly director of policy planning at the State Department who, as Mr. Frank reads it, believes the Iraqi war was motivated not by a fear of weapons of mass destruction or of the need to combat terrorism, but rather as a conscious policy choice in service of the Bush administration's view of the world.

"While I was disappointed that more attention had not been paid to this, I was not surprised to see a very thoughtful article by Lawrence J. Korb underlining exactly how significant Mr. Haass's article was," Mr. Frank continues.

Mr. Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan, wrote that he agreed with Mr. Haass that the ongoing war is directly contrary to earlier rationale given by President Bush and his top officials. As for his questionable timing of inserting the pair of articles, Mr. Frank states: "The adage better late than never is relevant."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:05 AM | Comments (185) | TrackBack

December 22, 2003

Lethal Gestures for "Palestinian Arab Peace."

( How about David Satterfield, U.S. Middle East envoy and Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State advise U.S. Forces to ease up on the restriction of movement of Iraqi civilians and let up on the US military presence in Iraq thus putting American soldiers and civilians at risk like they have the gall to do with Israeli soldiers and citizens? Does the United States government think Israeli lives are of any less value?) jsk

By Dan Diker

* Despite increasing Palestinian terror, U.S. Middle East envoy David Satterfield "slammed" Israel on December 11 for continued "restrictions on the movement" of Palestinian civilians, according to a report in Ha'aretz. In addition, Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on December 12 to do more to alleviate Palestinian hardship, according to the Washington Post.

* Israel continues to pay a high price if it automatically accedes to American pressure in this regard. On December 3, at the last minute, Israeli security forces prevented two Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel by Islamic Jihad terrorists, one against a school in Yokneam and another in Beit She'an. Since the unilaterally announced Palestinian hudna (cease-fire) of June 29, 2003, 85 Israelis have been killed and 417 wounded in Palestinian terror attacks.

* Among those killed in the Café Hillel attack in Jerusalem on September 9, 2003, were Rabbi Dr. David Appelbaum, head of Shaare Tzedek Hospital's emergency room, and his daughter Nava, who was to have been married the following day. Dr. Appelbaum's death was a particularly profound loss for the Jewish state since he was widely recognized as a global authority on emergency medicine and had personally cared for thousands of victims of Palestinian terror since 1981. Appelbaum was murdered by a Palestinian who had been released from detention on February 2, 2003, as a "gesture."

* Despite Israel's repeated goodwill gestures and the prime minister's recent public statements indicating his intention to take unilateral steps to improve the humanitarian situation among the Palestinians, senior Israeli security officials warn that such moves could create a terrorist "wonderland," enabling them to "rest, rearm, and upgrade."

* Israeli gestures in the absence of Palestinian security measures have had proven lethal consequences for Israeli civilians and soldiers alike. Improving the economic situation of the Palestinians is important, but the precipitous removal of security measures can cost lives. This point should be remembered before Israel is asked again to undertake similar risks in the future.

On December 14, 2003, Palestinian terrorists launched twenty mortars and seven anti-tank missiles at Jewish communities in the Gaza district.1 This followed a Palestinian shooting attack that wounded seven Jewish worshippers returning from prayer at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus on December 12. While security officials report receiving 52 separate warnings of impending terror attacks as of December 17,2 the IDF announced it would continue to ease restrictions on the movement of Palestinians throughout the West Bank.

The Israeli moves followed sharp criticism by U.S. Middle East envoy David Satterfield who on December 11 "slammed" Israel for continued "restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians" and "the consistent failure to issue permits to Palestinians identified as critical to the success of the reform effort," according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.3 In addition, Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on December 12 to do more to alleviate Palestinian hardship, the Washington Post reported.4


The Lethal Cost of Premature Gestures

Israel continues to pay a high price for acceding to American pressure to ease West Bank restrictions. On December 3, at the last minute, Israeli security forces prevented two Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel by Islamic Jihad terrorists, one against a public school in Yokneam and another in Beit She'an. According to news reports, the terrorists, under the direction of Islamic Jihad headquarters in Damascus, sought to enter Israel through the northern Jordan Valley after the easing of security restrictions.5 Because of Israel's new security fence that separates Yokneam from the terrorists' staging area in Jenin, they were forced to travel a much longer route around the fence to the Jordan Valley, providing the IDF with critically needed time to learn of their plan and thwart it. While the security fence has already repeatedly proven its utility, U.S. officials continue to express their reservations about the entire project.

On November 18, IDF sergeants Shlomo Belski and Shaul Lahav were shot and killed at close range by a Palestinian terrorist as they stood guard at a checkpoint near Bethlehem on the tunnel road linking Jerusalem to the Gush Etzion communities south of the capital. The attack was carried out by Jabbar al-Ahmad, 21, a member of the Palestinian security services as well as the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a Fatah terror group under the direct control of Yasser Arafat.

According to IDF sources, this attack was only the latest in a series of Palestinian terror actions against Israeli targets in the area since Israel turned over full security control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority on July 1, 2003, as a goodwill gesture to former PA prime minister Abu Mazen in exchange for promises that the PA would combat terrorism and maintain security control.6 On October 24, a Fatah terror cell originating in Bethlehem opened fire at IDF soldiers guarding the same checkpoint.

Samir Amir, an officer in the Palestinian military intelligence, waslater arrested by the IDF for participating in the attack.7 According to Israeli security sources, "In the five months since the IDF turned over security control of the Bethlehem area, Palestinian security agencies have yet to prevent terror activities emanating from the area, despite PA statements to the contrary."8

In the first three weeks of November 2003 alone, Israeli security sources recorded 203 terror attacks against Israelis throughout the West Bank, as well as four Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli towns within pre-1967 Israel.

Since the unilaterally announced Palestinian hudna (cease-fire) of June 29, 2003, 85 Israelis have been killed and 417 wounded in Palestinian terror attacks, as of December 16, 2003.9 The hudna came to a violent end on August 19 when a Hamas suicide bomber blew up a Jerusalem city bus, murdering 23 Orthodox Jewish worshippers returning from evening prayers at the Western Wall, many of them children, and wounding nearly 150. One Israeli official noted immediately following the attack that the bomber had "first looked into the eyes of his victims before detonating his explosive belt."


Unilateral Gestures Have Cost Israel Some of its Most Treasured Citizens

On September 9, 2003, Hamas terrorists struck twice more, murdering 16 people and wounding over 80 in two suicide bombings within the space of six hours. Ihab Abdel Kader Salim, 19, killed nine Israeli soldiers and wounded scores of others at a soldiers' hitchhiking post near Tel Aviv. Israeli security sources confirmed that Salim had been released from Israeli administrative detention on March 3, 2003.10

That same evening, Ramez Fahmi Az Aldin Salim, 22, detonated an explosive belt that killed seven Israelis and wounded 50 others at Café Hillel in Jerusalem. The bomber had been released from IDF administrative detention on February 2, 2003.11 Among those killed in this attack were Rabbi Dr. David Appelbaum, head of Shaare Tzedek Hospital's emergency room, and his daughter Nava, who was to have been married the following day. Dr. Appelbaum's death was a particularly profound loss for the Jewish state as he was widely recognized as a global authority on emergency medicine and had personally cared for thousands of victims of Palestinian terror since 1981.


Israel is Still Taking Risks for Peace

Despite Israel's repeated goodwill gestures and the widespread easing of travel restrictions on Palestinians, as well as the prime minister's recent public statements indicating his intention to take unilateral steps to improve the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians, senior Israeli security officials warn that such moves could create a terrorist "wonderland," enabling them to "rest, rearm, and upgrade."12 With Yasser Arafat once again in control of the PA's armed forces and his encouragement of numerous splinter terror groups, there is little doubt that additional gestures Israel may be compelled to make could have a lethal impact on Israeli citizens in the future.

It is easy to conclude a U.S.-Israeli diplomatic meeting with a call for seemly innocuous gestures on the part of Israel intended to improve the everyday life of Palestinians. The betterment of Palestinian living standards is an important goal. However, Israeli gestures in the absence of Palestinian security measures have had proven lethal consequences for Israeli civilians and soldiers alike. This point should be remembered before Israel is asked again to undertake similar risks in the future.

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Institute for Contemporary Affairs
Vol. 3, No. 11 - 18 December 2003



Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Netanyahu - PA Arabs not the problem

NETANYAHU: DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM NOT WITH PA ARABS, BUT WITH ISRAELI-ARABS

"The chronology is not peace, economic prosperity, security," Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said this morning at the much-touted Herzliya Conference, "as some still feel. I hold that the order is precisely the opposite: First security must be stabilized, using the means I described, then economic prosperity, and then peace. Because otherwise, every peace agreement is hostage to suicide terrorists."

Netanyahu, who served as Israel's Prime Minister from 1996-99, spoke at the beginning of the second day of the conference organized by the Institute of Policy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. The three-day event is designed to bring together the country's military, political, academic, and economic brass, and has become the most influential forum of its nature on contemporary Israeli policy.

Netanyahu said that a demographic problem exists - but not with the "Arabs of Palestine, but rather the Arabs of Israel." He said that there is essentially no demographic problem with the Arabs of the PA, in that they are already under PA control, "even if the army sometimes goes into the cities." However, Netanyahu said, "regarding the Israeli-Arabs, who will remain Israeli citizens, here we have a problem... In our Declaration of Independence, we say that our raison d'etre is that we are a Jewish state, and this means that we must guarantee a Jewish majority. But we are also a democracy..." He said that if the Arabs become a minority of 40%, the State will cease to be Jewish - but if we remain with 20%, or even less, but with tough and violent relations, then this harms the State's democratic nature. "We therefore need a policy that will first of all guarantee a Jewish majority - I say this with no hesitation, as a liberal, a democrat, and a Jewish patriot - ... and one that will balance between these two needs."

Regarding the future borders, Netanyahu said that Israel must protect its vital security interests: "What connection is there between their right to self-definition and their ability to station themselves on hills near Ben Gurion International Airport and shoot down a landing plane?

There is no connection. I therefore say that any peace agreement has to be built on two elements: The entire Palestinian population, or almost all of it, must be under self-rule of the Palestinians, and not Israeli; and Israel must maintain its control over the entry of arms and fighters into those areas."

Netanyahu said that there is no reason for despair, and that the situation has improved both economically and security-wise since last year.

The Finance Minister spoke of the importance of the counter-terrorism partition fence from many standpoints, including "economics, defense, demography, and as something that advances peace... Last night I signed an order releasing 700 million more shekels for the construction of the partition."

He said that under the present circumstances, we can't proceed diplomatically with the PA because "we have no partners on the other side." He said that a true peace partner must drop all its intentions to destroy Israel, "what they call the right of return or the liberation of occupied Palestine... What's important is not what they [the PA Arabs] say in Geneva, but what they say in Jenin, and in Kalkilye, and in Ramallah. We see that they [are far from that point] - from their education, their textbooks, their marketplace talk, their public dialogue - they have not dropped their plans [to destroy Israel]; on the contrary, they are encouraging it... The second test of a partner must be that they neutralize their tools of destruction - terrorism." Netanyahu said that he does not believe that a moderate PA leadership can arise under the current conditions of hatred and daily incitement, and that therefore Israel "must first take steps to destroy terrorism and bring about a societal interest in stability, and only then will a moderate leadership be able to arise."

Netanyahu had strong criticism of all the new plans being spouted by Likud ministers with no coordination with the Prime Minister. "The multiplicity of plans causes damage to Israel," he said.

Both Gen. Amos Gilad and Gen. (res.) Oren Shachor expressed opposition today to unilateral gestures by Israel. "Even if the war lasts until 2020," Shachor said, "we must not withdraw unilaterally." Gen. Shachor headed the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and was a senior member of the Israeli negotiating team with the PA under the Rabin and Peres governments, while Gen. Gilad is head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic Desk.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:19 PM | Comments (81) | TrackBack

Response of Howard Dean Camp

NHArnie@aol.com wrote:

HERE IS A RESPONSE FROM THE DEAN CAMP..THEY ARE AWARE OF THE CHAIN AND I SHOULD ALSO REMIND YOU THAT STEVE GROSSMAN, FORMER CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL DEM. PARTY IS DEANS CHAIR AND A GREAT FRIEND OF ISRAEL. HOPE YOU ARE WELL. LOVE ARNIE

Thank you for contacting Dean for America regarding a chain email currently circulating on the internet that drastically misrepresents Governor Dean's views on Israel. I appreciate this opportunity to set the record straight on Governor Dean's strong support for Israel and for achieving peace in the Middle East.

Further, I would encourage you to send this response to others who may have received the email at issue or may be interested in this topic.

Governor Dean is committed to the historic special relationship between the United States and Israel. Israel is not just an ally, but a long-standing friend whose security the United States will always work to bolster and protect. This will include providing the resources necessary to guarantee Israel's long-term defense and security.

Governor Dean is also committed to achieving a negotiated, comprehensive, and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Despite the challenges, he remains optimistic about the chances for peace and recognizes that the only viable framework for peace is a two-state solution. Getting to such a solution will not be easy, but only the United States can and must bring the two sides to the table and facilitate negotiations between parties.

Governor Dean believes that Israel has the right to protect and defends its citizens from Palestinian terror. He deplores violence against innocent civilians. When Governor Dean referred to Hamas terrorists as "soldiers," he did so to distinguish them from "civilians." Under the internat! ional laws of armed conflict, Israel has a right to target members of armed groups, like Hamas terrorists, when they participate directly in hostilities against Israel because such persons are not entitled to the protections accorded to civilians.

Here is a link to a complete statement of Governor Dean's principles on Israel and achieving peace in the Middle East:

www.deanforamerica.com/policy_policy_foreign_mideast

Additionally, here is a link to a document capturing the significant support that Governor Dean has received from American Jewish communal leaders.

http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/DocServer/isrresponse.pdf?docID=1986

Thank you for your continued interest in Dean for America. We look forward to earning your support.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:34 PM | Comments (112) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Media Deliberately Ignores Evidence Revealing Malvo’s Islamic Extremism


By Michelle Malkin

(Is the media just behaving in what they consider a “politically correct manner” in deference to a religion that, with minor exception, openly encourages terrorism or … does revealing the fact that this country is itself engulfed in a euphemism called the “War Against Terror” somehow strengthen the courageous position of the man the media loves to hate - President G.W. Bush?) jsk

From the moment John Alien Muhammad and Lee Malvo were arrested in the Beltway-area sniper case last fall, the media and Muslim activists wanted us to believe that the serial killings had absolutely nothing to do with Islamic terrorism.

CNN downplayed Muhammad's religious conversion — calling him by his old name, John Alien Williams, when his identity was first revealed, Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) argued: "There is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims."

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper railed against conservative commentators such as Mark Steyn, who had taken note of Muhammad's Islamic faith and his reportedly expressed anti-American sentiments after the September terrorist attacks. Roeper smugly concluded: "... An awful lot of conservatives really, really wanted the snipers to be terrorists. But they were wrong. I'll say that because they never will."

Now a chilling stack of evidence, introduced by Malvo's own lawyers last week at his capital murder trial, exposes accused sniper Malvo as an unrepentant Muslim extremist. Among Malvo's jailhouse artwork:

Exhibit 65-006: A self-portrait of Malvo in the cross hairs of gun scope shouting, "ALLAH AKBAR!" The word "SALAAM" scrawled vertically. A poem: "Many more will have to suffer. Many more will have to die. Don't ask me why."

Exhibit 65-013: The word "INSHALLAH" above a portrait glorifying "Muammar Kaddafi" as "The Liberator" dressed in full military regalia.

Exhibit 65-016: A portrait of Saddam Hussein with the words "INSHALLAH" and "The Protector," surrounded by rockets labeled "chem" and "nuk"(sic).

Exhibit 65-043: Father and son portrait of Malvo and Muhammad. "We will kill them all. Jihad."

Exhibit 65-056: A self-portrait of' Malvo as sniper, lying in wait, with his rifle. "JIHAD" written in bold letters. *

Exhibit 65-057: A drawing of the |Twin Towers burning with a plane flying toward the buildings. Captions: • "JIHAD ISLAM UNITE RISE!" along with "America did this" and "You were warned." Portrait of Malvo as sniper labeled "Believer" and portrait of Osama bin Laden labeled "prophet." A poem: "Our minarets are our bayonets, our mosques are our barracks (sic), Our believers are our soldiers." The American flag and the Star of David drawn in crosshairs.

Exhibit 65-067: A suicide bomber labeled "Hamas" walking into a McDonald's restaurant. Another drawing of the Twin Towers burning captioned: "85 percent chance Zionists did this." More scrawls: "ALLAH AKBAR," "JIHAD" and "Islam will explode."

Exhibit 65-103: A lion accompanies chapter and verse from the Koran ("Sura 2:190"): "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you and slay them wherever ye catch them."

Exhibit 65-109: Portrait of Osama bin Laden, captioned "Servant of Allah.”

Exhibit 65-117: The White House drawn in cross hairs, surrounded by missiles, with a warning: "Sep. n we will ensure will look like a picnic to you" and "you will bleed to death little by little."

Exhibit 65-114; Self-portrait of Malvo as sniper. Rant says, "they all died and they all deserved it."

Exhibit 65-101: Malvo's thought for the day: "Islam the only true guidance, the way of peace."

Ten Americans were murdered at the hands of the Beltway-area snipers. Malvo's lawyers say he was insane and "brainwashed." No more so than your average madrassa student in Jeddah or America-hating cave dweller in Tora Bora. Malvo is, in his own words, a "believer" of Allah and a "soldier" for "JIHAD."

Stop telling me Islam had nothing to do with it!

Michelle Malkin writes for Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:40 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Iraq's Kurds


Iraq's Largest Minority - The Kurds

The Kurds, with an estimated population of 6 million, are Iraq's largest ethnic minority group, representing nearly one-quarter of the country's population. The majority of Iraq's 24 million residents are Arabs.

The Kurds are Muslims who share the Islamic faith with their Arab Iraqi
neighbors, but remain culturally distinct, separated by language and heritage.
The Kurds speak their own Kurdish languages, which are actually variations of a Persian dialect.

Iraqi Kurds live primarily in northern Iraq. But they're part of a larger, regional culture of some 25 million Kurds who live in the mountainous borderlands of neighboring Iran, Turkey and Syria.

Like northern |Iraq, these areas are rich in deposits of oil, chromium, copper, iron and coal. This area is sometimes referred to as Kurdistan, or "Land of the Kurds," although no such independent state exists and future prospects appear dim.

The Kurds, who trace their roots back thousands of years to the region's original nomadic tribes, are the world's largest ethnic group without an official homeland. With a long history of oppression - Saddam Hussein brutalized the Kurds in the 1980s and early 1990s. His atrocities included a series of massacres and an "ethnic cleansing" campaign that unleashed poisonous gas attacks using banned chemicals.

Kurdish fighters — known as_"peshmerga" (those who confront death) — are now staunch allies of U.S. troops in northern Iraq helping coalition troops secure Iraqi territory. Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq has remained outside Saddam Hussein's control for more than a dozen years, protected by the U.S. and British no-fly zones. The Kurds have established their own democratic government and hope to retain their cherished freedoms in a new Iraqi government being formed by the allies.

From: The Detroit News By Susan R. Pollack

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:55 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

December 15, 2003

Richard Perle - Scoop Jackson’s protégé’

(Redacted from a personal vignette by Sy Frumkin in his Graffiti for Intellectuals newsletter)

In the 1970s Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson introduced the Jackson-Vanik Amendment legislation that was one of the major factors forcing the Soviets to let the Jews go. There was much opposition to it at the time, some of it from Jewish organizations. President Nixon and Henry Kissinger had promised Brezhnev that the Amendment wouldn't pass and American Jewish organizations were pressured by Washington to oppose it. Nixon even invited a dozen or so presidents of Jewish organizations and told them outright that Israel's request for jet fighters would be denied if the Jackson-Vanik law passed. Later, when some of these Jewish leaders came to Jackson and asked him to drop the Amendment, Scoop threw them out of his office.

Support for Jackson's Amendment in Southern California came mostly from Soviet Jewry activists, like Zev Yaroslavsky and myself, and with time we developed a close relationship with two of Senator Jackson's-aides who were instrumental in pushing the Amendment through - Condoleezza Rice and Richard Perie. I had no idea at the time that Richie Perie was the son of Jack H. Perie, a fellow shmata merchant, or that he and Condy Rice both would eventually become major powers in Washington.

The October 24 issue of the IntemationaL Jerusalem Post has a lengthy interview with Richard Perie. He is introduced as a man who might be taken for Donald Rumsfeld's or Paul Wotfowitz's or Dick Cneney's intellectual doppelganger. The difference is that Perle is not so constrained by considerations of political or bureaucratic tact. He says what he thinks.

The interview ranged over a variety of topics dealing with Israel and the Middle East - Iraq, the security fence, 9/11, media bias - and it would be worth anyone's while to get a copy of it. What moved me most, however, was Perie's reply when at the end of the interview, historian Michael Qren asked where Scoop Jackson's compassion for Jews and Israel came from.

Here it is:
"I think I know where it came from. It came from his own roots as a son of a Norwegian immigrant. His father was a trade unionist. He was president of the local card-carrying union organization. Scoop was devoted to the values of liberal democracy and he was profoundly affected by the Nazi invasion of Norway. "The lesson he drew from if was that the small progressive liberal democracy which was ahead of much of the world in terms of social justice was invaded and occupied in a matter of days and his conclusion was that you have to be strong.

Small countries are vulnerable. He used to compare Israel and Norway - countries that had achieved a great deal but were vulnerable. "So it starts with that. As a congressman he attempted to enlist in the army and was prevented from doing so. Congressmen were told to remain in their role in their elected offices. But at the earliest opportunity he joined the American forces, not as a soldier but as a member of Congress and he was present at the liberation of Buchenwald. And you don't forget something like that. Within a matter of days he signed a letter, which was circulated in Congress concerning the establishment of a Jewish State.

"He was driven by a sense of values. He hated totalitarianism - left and right - and his involvement in Soviet Jewry stemmed from that. People wanted to leave and were being prevented from leaving and he wanted to do something about it. As luck would have it, the moment the Soviets moved to curtail immigration, the Nixon administration had a piece of legislation proposing trade concessions to Moscow and Scoop caught this opportunity and that was the beginning of Jackson-Vanik”

He final question from Oren: "Did you go to work for him because of his position on these issues?" Perle: "No, quite the other way around. I had never been to Israel. I had never paid much attention to Israeli matters. Scoop used to say with pride that he had helped me to discover my roots as a Jew and he did. He was extraordinary.”


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:25 AM | Comments (46) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003

The Geneva Initiative Unmasked


By Yossi Klein Halevi

Excerpted from an article in International Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2003

Reading the initiative's 26-page document is a surreal experience. The document fearlessly penetrates the most intractable issues of the Palestinian-Israeli abyss. Jerusalem? Here's a color-coded map of how the city of conflict will be transformed into the city of peace. Refugee return? There's no dilemma that men of goodwill can't resolve. The Temple Mount? Give us a real problem.

The only hitch is that it's a monumental act of self-deception. Which is precisely what makes it such a worthy successor to the pre-Yom Kippur conceptzia that it supposedly negates. The conceptual sin of the Geneva Israelis - Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Amram Mitzna, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak - is to assume that we can still negotiate a comprehensive peace with this generation of PLO leaders, and that they will abide by their commitments. That sin emerges from the Left's refusal to concede the enormity of the Palestinian betrayal of peace, and to cling instead to the cowardly claim that both sides are responsible for the failure of Oslo.

Cowardly, because the notion allows left-wingers to avoid admitting just how wrong they were about peace with the PLO. That failure wasn't just a lapse in judgment about Yasser Arafat's character; it was a failure to comprehend the depth of Arab rejectionism of Israel's being. Not surprisingly, the initiative itself contains Oslo-sized loopholes waiting to be abused. The fact that disagreement has already begun over interpretation of the document is the inevitable result of negotiating with Arafat's regime. While Israeli negotiators insisted they had won a Palestinian renunciation of the right of return, Palestinian negotiators were telling their people that they had done no such thing.

The supposed historic breakthrough of the Geneva Initiative is simply that it doesn't mention the right of return. In other words, the Palestinians have refused once again to renounce their goal of demographically destroying Israel. And so while Israelis are expected to repudiate their right of return to post-1967 borders in the most tangible way, by physically uprooting settlements, Palestinians won't even offer a verbal repudiation of the right of return to pre-1967 Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

Objective News? Say what?

For those of us that are naïve enough to believe there is such a thing as objective news reporting, consider the following:

While glancing at the newsstand this AM, Two captions from two different papers blared out dealing with exactly the same subject i.e. the testimony of CEO Juergen Schrempp in the Kirk Kerkorian suit against Daimler-Chrysler.

The Detroit News caption to their article read;

Schrempp admits spin on merger

The Detroit Free Press caption to their article read:

Schrempp pins most of blame on Eaton
( Former chairman of Chrysler prior to the merger)

So much for objective reporting and captioning. So, let the reader beware.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:12 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

December 09, 2003

“Palestine” - Destination Terrorism

By Uri Ulitzur, The International Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2003

The "vision of a Palestinian state" is something we have already tried. In the years since Oslo, particularly the last three, we have seen what the Palestinians intend to do with the tools of independence and statehood, if they are given them. They already had a state-in-the-making, and they used it to build a huge terrorist base and a society mobilized and incited to hate Israel.

The Palestinian Authority did nothing to promote its own people's economy and welfare. It used all the tools of government in its hands in order to cultivate the terrorist capabilities of many systems and organizations, and in order to educate masses of people from kindergarten to old age towards war, hatred, and suicide terrorism. If the PA has been a swamp of terrorism, corruption and incitement, then the Palestinian state will be a whole lake. It will grow a center of international terrorism, and will be totally mobilized towards war over the next phase of "liberating Palestine."

This also has objective reasons: the Palestinian state - the one from the Bush vision or the Beilin dream - is a dwarf country, territorially splintered, and devoid of any economic infrastructures or resources. You cannot squeeze two states into our tiny land, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. There is hardly room here for one state; you have to be blind not to see that.

Why are there so many blind people among us, some of whom are intelligent and wise in every other area - because we are living under terror. Terror is a first rate cause of political blindness and of the phenomenon of hallucinations and illusions. Terror distorts its victims' judgment, it makes them feel as if they share the guilt, develop dependency on the aggressor, and have baseless faith that a simple solution to the situation is hiding around the nearest corner. Every terrorist knows that, and all terrorism is built on that.

Therefore, the first step of any political plan has to be defeating terrorism. It is not a security but a political matter. It is a pre-condition for the very existence of political judgment. No political plan has any hope unless it is preceded by a decisive defeat of terrorism, not just militarily but conceptually no peaceful solution has any chance unless every child in Gaza and every analyst in every news media in the world knows that terrorism has been militarily defeated and caused the Palestinian people only harm, and that every person and every organization that engaged in terrorism has disappeared from the political map.

And this solution is not hiding around the nearest corner. It is far away, and the path to it is strewn with obstacles, mines, internal divisions and pain. It requires the courage to say: No, my friends - there is no political horizon right now and no negotiating table, because there is terrorism.

The idea that a political solution can appear instead of defeating terrorism is the illusion that keeps the political horizon infinitely distant. The road cannot be shortened. A political solution will come only after terror is defeated. That is the first step in a three-phase political plan. The second phase is a long interim period during which Palestinian self-rule will be established under Israeli responsibility; the third phase is a region-wide permanent settlement, in which not only Israel but also Egypt and Jordan will be required to allocate land towards resolving the Palestinian problem.

I am sure that is the solution that will come at the end of the process, but the process might last 50 years. Therefore the question that matters to our own lives, and our main role towards a solution, is the first phase: defeating terrorism - unequivocally, without compromise and without illusions.

The writer, former bureau chief of the Prime Minister's Office, is editor of Nekuda monthly of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:44 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

December 07, 2003

WAR IN THE ABSENCE OF STRATEGIC CLARITY

A redaction of a devastating article by Mark Helprin, Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2003

AMERICA HAS APPROACHED THE WAR ON terrorism as if from two dream worlds. The liberal, in which an absurd understanding of cause and effect, the habit of capitulation to foreign influence, a mild and perpetual anti Americanism, reflex allergies to military spending, and a theological aversion to self-defense all lead to policies that are hard to differentiate from surrender. And the conservative, in which everything must be all right as long as a self-declared conservative is in the White House—no matter how badly the war is run; no matter that a Republican administration in electoral fear leans left and breaks its promise to restore the military; and no matter that because the Secretary of Defense decided that he need not be able to fight two wars at once, an adequate reserve does not exist to deal with, for example, North Korea. And in between these dream worlds of paralysis and incompetence lies the seam, in French military terminology la soudure, through which al-Qaeda, uninterested in our parochialisms, will make its next attack.

The war is waged as if accidentally, and no wonder. For domestic political reasons and to preserve its marginal relations with the Arab World, the United States has declined to identify the enemy precisely. He is so formless, opportunistic, and shadowy that apparently we cannot conceive of him accurately enough to declare war against him, although he has declared war against us. Attribute this to Karl Rove's sensitivity to the electoral calculus in key states with (supposed but inaccurate estimates of - jsk) heavy Arab-American voting, to a contemporary aversion to ethnic generalities, to the desire not to offend the Arab World lest it attack us even more ferociously, to the fear of speaking truth to oil, to apprehension about the taking of hostages and attacks upon embassies, and to a. certain muddledness of mind that is the result both of submitting to polite and obsequious black mail and of having been throughout the course of one's life a stranger to rigorous thought.

Reluctance to identify the enemy makes it rather difficult to assess his weaknesses and strengths. Thus, for want of a minimum of political courage, our soldiers are dispatched to far-flung battlefields to fight an ad hoc, disorganized war and, just as it did in the Vietnam War, Washington explains its lack of a lucid strategy by referring to the supposed incoherence of its opponent. From the beginning, America has been told that this is a new kind of war that cannot be waged with strategic clarity and that strategy and its attendant metaphysics no longer apply.

And because we cannot sufficiently study the nature of an insufficiently defined enemy, our actions are mechanistic, ill-conceived, and a function of conflicting philosophies within our bureaucracies, which proceed as if their war plans were modeled on a to-do list magnetized to some suburban refrigerator.

THE ENEMY MUST AND CAN BE DEFINED.

That he is the terrorist himself almost everyone agrees, but in die same way that the United States extended blame beyond the pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor, it must now reach far back into the structures of enablement for the sake of deciding who and what must be fought. And given die enormity of a war against civilians, and the attacks upon our warships, embassies, economy, capital, government, and most populous city, this determination must be liberal and free flowing rather than cautious and constrained, both by necessity and by right. The enemy has embarked upon a particular form of warfare with the intent of shielding his center of mass from counterattack, but he must not be allowed such a baseless privilege.

For as much as he is the terrorist who executes the strategy, he is the intelligence service in aid of it, the nation that harbors his training camps, the country that finances him, the press filled with adulation, the people who dance in the streets when there is a slaughter, and the regime that turns a blind eye. Not surprisingly, militant Islam arises from and makes its base in the Arab Middle East. The first objective of the war, therefore, must be to offer every state in the area this choice: eradicate all support for terrorism within your borders or forfeit existence as a state. That individual terrorists will subsequently flee to the periphery is certain, but the first step must be to deny them their heartland and their citadels.

Recognizing that the enemy is militant Islam with its center the Arab Middle East, it is possible to devise a coherent strategy. The enemy's strengths should not be underestimated. He has a historical memory far superior to that of the West, which has forgotten its thousand-year war with Islamic civilization, Islamic civilization has not forgotten, however, having been for centuries mainly on the losing side. Its memory is dear, bitter, and a spur to action. And it dove tails with a spiritual sense of time far different from that of the West, where impatience arises in seconds, for the enemy believes that a thousand years, measured against the eternity he is taught to contemplate and accept, is nothing.

Closely related to his empowering sense of time are his spiritual sense of mission, which must never be underestimated, and Islam's traditional embrace of martyrdom. This militant devotion, consciously or otherwise, pays homage to the explosive Arab conquests, which reached almost to Paris, to the gates of Vienna, the marchlands of China, India, and far into Africa. War based on the notion of Islamic destiny is underway at this moment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sinkiang, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Macedonia, Algeria, the Sudan, Sub-Saharan Africa, and throughout the world in the form of terrorism without limitation or humanitarian nuance—all in service of a conception far more coherent than the somnolent Western nations seem to comprehend.

The object long expressed by bin Laden and others is to flip positions in the thousand-year war. To do this, the Arabs must rekindle what the tenth-century historian Ibn Khaldun called 'asabiya, an ineffable combination of group solidarity, momentum, esprit de corps, and the elation of victory feeding upon victory. This, rather than any of its subsidiary political goals, is the objective of the enemy in the war in which we find ourselves at present. Despite many flickers all around the world, it is a fire far from coming alight, but as long as the West apprehends each flare as a separate case the enemy will be encouraged to drive them toward a point of ignition, and the war will never end.

The proper strategic objective for the West, therefore, is the suppression of this fire of asabiya in the Arab heartland and citadels of militancy — a. task of division, temporary domination and, above all, demoralization. As unattractive as it may seem, in view of the deadly alternative it is the only choice other than to capitulate.

(Every supposed political leader of the West mist read the rest of this devastating analysis in the Claremont issue listed above.)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:23 AM | Comments (96) | TrackBack

December 05, 2003

US Census Bureau Arab Population Numbers - 1.2 million

(Not quite the 5-6 million constantly trumpeted by Jim and John Zogby and his Zogby International Poll, in their attempt to aggrandize Arab political influence. The political question of course, goes a touch further - What percentage of this 1.2 million actually go to the voting booth?) jsk

Detroit News staff and wire reports December 4, 2003

WASHINGTON — The Arab population in the United States has nearly doubled in the past two decades, according to the Census Bureau's first report on the group. Experts cited liberalized U.S. immigration laws and unrest in the Middle East that led many people to come to America.

The bureau counted nearly 1.2 million Arabs in the United States in 2000, compared with 860,000 in 1990 and 610,000 in 1980. About 60 percent trace their ancestry to three countries: Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Michigan has the nation's third largest Arab population, 76,504, behind New York and California, according to the report.

Almost 30,000 are clustered in Dearborn, (Somehow Detroit Newspaper reports have frequently quoted 100,000 Arabs in Dearborn and 400,000 in the Metro Detroit area! - jsk) whose population is 30 percent Arab, a concentration far higher than in any other U.S. city. Local Arab leaders say the actual numbers may be two to three times higher than the Census Bureau's count. They contend language barriers and fear of the government may have had a negative impact on public participation in the census.

While earlier Arab immigrants came from countries with large Christian populations, newer arrivals come from heavily Muslim countries such as Iraq and Yemen. "Immigrants from the Arab world come for the same reason all immigrants come — economic opportunity, opportunities to have an education to develop a professional career," said Helen Samhan, executive director of the Arab American Institute Foundation, a research group. Samhan said the lifting of U.S. immigration quotas in the 1960s opened the door to people from Arab countries, and many took advantage during the i98os and 1990s, with a large number coming from nations such as Lebanon and Iraq where there were wars.

"It would be better to come to America than Europe or Canada," said Zak Trad, 33, of Anaheim, Calif., who came from Lebanon three years ago."It's the largest Arab community not in an Arab country. I didn't think I would be a stranger here." New York City, the first stop for millions of immigrants for more than a century, had the largest Arab population among U.S. cities, 69,985. Dearborn was next at 29,181. Sterling Heights was the city with the largest percentage of Arab-Amercans, 3.7 percent, followed by Jersey City, N.J., with 2.8 percent.

Dearborn's population is about 30 percent Arab but it was not ranked because the Census Bureau only counted cities with at least 100,000 residents. Dearborn has about 98,000," The Census Bureau asked those who received the long version of the questionnaire to list their ancestry. The form was sent to about one-sixth of all households. Arab-Americans say their population is larger than that reported by the Census Bureau, but many are reluctant to fill out government forms because they came from countries with oppressive regimes.

The 10 U.S. cities with the largest Arab population:
New York - 69,985; Dearborn, MI 29181;Los Angeles - 25,673; Chicago 14,777; Houston 11,128; Detroit 8,287; San Diego 7,357; Jersey City 6755; Boston 5845; Jacksonville, FL 5751

The percentage of Arab residents in 10 U.S. cities with 100,000 or more people ranges between 1.69 and 3.69%.

Source - U.S. Census Bureau


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:23 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

December 04, 2003

Howard Dean vs. Israel


HOWARD DEAN PROMISED THAT IF HE IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, THE UNITED STATES WILL NO LONGER SUPPORT ISRAEL THE WAY IT HAS IN THE PAST UNDER BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS.

IN HIS OWN WORDS HE WILL INSIST THAT THE UNITED STATES BE "EVEN HANDED." THIS IS A TERM REGULARLY EMPLOYED BY ARAFAT AND HIS COTERIE OF ADHERENTS THAT MEANS TO BE ANTI-ISRAEL!!

GOVERNOR DEAN MADE THESE COMMENTS ON CNN, SEPTEMBER 10, 2003 ON THE WOLF BLITZER SHOW. HE HAS REPEATED THOSE WORDS SINCE.

IF THIS WERE NOT ENOUGH, GOVERNOR DEAN ON THAT SAME SHOW
CHARACTERIZED THE HAMAS TERRORISTS AS "SOLDIERS".

FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE SOMEONE RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO IS CALLING TERRORISTS SOLDIERS.

(Of course these comments put Dean in "good" company i.e. Al Sharpton who I am sure feels the same way) Jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2003

Great Interview

Israpundit, a popular pro-Israel site has just posted an exclusive interview with Shaykh Palazzi. Palazzi is the remarkable Italian-Moslem cleric whose support for Israel has been the subject of many articles. The interview is posted verbatim and is a great read.

http://israpundit.com/archives/003433.html#more and

Click Links in task bar and then on to Israpundit to view interview.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:49 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003

Blame the Chaos on Sharon

By Isi Leibler, The Internet Jerusalem Post, Dec. 2, 2003

Have we really begun losing the plot? In the old days, when we witnessed apparent bungles we would convince ourselves that we were not privy to all the facts and time would show that our leaders were in reality playing a smart game. Today we no longer suffer such delusions. Take the Geneva Accord, which amounts to a vastly inferior version of the Oslo disaster.

The initiative was launched by the same failed politicians who inflicted Oslo upon us and were decisively rejected by their constituents. In a normal society they would have been universally condemned and probably prosecuted for undermining their democratically elected government at a time of war.

Imagine the inconceivable scenario of a Belgian government financing a right-wing politician to promote policies opposed by the Swiss government. Yet the Swiss launched a full-blown festival to celebrate the signing with hundreds of journalists, rock stars, Hollywood actors, politicians and former president Jimmy Carter being flown gratis to Geneva.

The Israeli media also had a fest. Viewing the Ilana Dayan TV program, which presented film clips of Beilin's negotiations with the Palestinians, is a surrealistic experience. We see Beilin nonchalantly agreeing to cede Efrat to the Palestinians and his assistant, Lord Levy's son, handing over other areas of Jewish settlement. Instead of telling the Swiss to stop interfering in our internal affairs and being more explicit about the outrageous behavior of the failed politicians, our prime minister decided to play down the entire issue.

But then, lo and behold, President Moshe Katsav hosted a meeting with Beilin and the Palestinians. He praised them for indulging in dialogue and gently admonished them for failing to promote their project through the government. This kindergarten political spiel was of course ignored, but understandably the media highlighted the photo opportunities of Katsav holding court with Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo. Could one visualize the Queen of England holding chat sessions and being photographed with a former minister conducting negotiations with the Argentineans during the Falklands War?

In the light of this, it is somewhat bizarre to express disappointment that the Americans, who initially disassociated themselves from Geneva, are now sending official observers and praise Beilin's "constructive peace initiatives." One might even consider it somewhat churlish to criticize Colin Powell for literally following the example of the president of Israel.

THE MADNESS goes further. Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg continues uninhibitedly to defame Zionism and Israel and tells the world that our schoolchildren relish killing old men and women. And we complain about European anti-Semitic outpourings!

And the lunatic Right contributes to the ultimate ideological insanity by announcing its support for a purportedly binational state which would grant Arab citizens only limited rights under Jewish sovereignty.

Despite the fact that we remain engaged in a cruel war, the chaos prevails at all levels.

In the space of one month IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon publicly criticized his government; four former GSS chiefs aired their individual political bias and reprimanded the government, encouraging Palestinians to revive their dreams about Israel unraveling because of internal disputes; the Oslo resurrection promoted by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh was praised by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; resolutions were submitted in the US Congress promoting the Geneva charade and the Ayalon-Nusseibeh initiative; and a plethora of other independent, opposition and semi-official so-called seminars and other forms of quasi negotiations with Palestinians taking place all over the world without any apparent government frame of reference.

And to top it off: following the endorsement of the Road Map by the Security Council, Kofi Anna condemns us for building a security fence and violating UN resolutions, serving ominous notice of possible future attempts to impose sanctions.

Who is to blame for this anarchy and chaos? Unquestionably, the government. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot continue mumbling inanities and ignoring all these independent initiatives. He must cease the zigzags, hinting at "painful sacrifices" and unilateral withdrawals one day and warning the Palestinians that if they do not get their act together they will lose their last chance to ever achieve statehood the next.

It is not because we face a hostile administration that US policy has begun tilting against us. It is, rather, a byproduct of our paralysis and mistaken belief that by doing nothing our problems will be overcome. A warm personal relationship between President George W. Bush and Sharon does not warrant a neglect of Congress and American public opinion. Indeed it would appear that because of its strong support for Israel we have begun taking Congress somewhat for granted.

There is little doubt that our seeming inertia, combined with the absence of a more concerted campaign to promote our position in the US, contributed to the recent disastrous public chastisement of our policies by the administration and the deduction of $300 million from our loan guarantees – to which our government barely responded.

Sharon must realize that if he continues on his present path, Bush will simply drift into making more anti-Israeli gestures to mollify the Europeans.
The premier must provide leadership, make difficult decisions, and talk to the nation. He must begin charting a long-term strategy, despite the realization that there are no quick fixes capable of resolving the complex challenges facing us. And he must involve his cabinet, as this country cannot endure another Napoleonic initiative.

It is also high time for Israelis to demand that their elected leaders behave in a more transparent manner. A true democracy requires public involvement in the political process between elections. If the public is given the opportunity of debating policy options they will assuredly contribute towards achieving a constructive policy and game plan. That will be infinitely preferable to being confronted with ex cathedra government policies launched under pressure and in desperation.
The people of Israel are far more mature than many of our current leaders seem to believe. And democracy ultimately thrives in an environment of accountability, leadership and transparency.


The writer is senior vice president of the World Jewish Congress.
ileibler@netvision.net.il

_________________________________________________

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:45 AM | Comments (47) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003

Israeli Maj. Gen. (ret) Matan Vilnai - Warnings 1998 vs. 2003

Warned of Grave Dangers of Arrangements Similar To Geneva Initiative, Five years ago.

(What has changed? Only Vilnai’s political affiliation and the Israeli condition being far more perilous as a result of Oslo, not less and the warnings of 1998 now even more crucial.) (jsk)

By: Aaron Lerner Date: 1 December 2003

("Haaretz" 11 September, 1998)

The following is IMRA's English translation of selection potions of Maj.Gen. (ret.) Matan Vilnai's first post service interview which appeared in the 11 September 1998 Haaretz Magazine section. Matan Vilnai is now a Labor Party MK.

[IMRA: Under the terms of the Geneva Initiative, a third party decides what
weapons the Palestinians can deploy and after five years all third party
supervision of the border entry points is dropped. In addition, the formation of the sovereign Palestinian state is immediate and Israeli withdrawals to the Green Line are not conditioned on the removal of the weapons already inside the area of the Palestinian state - including anti-aircraft missiles smuggled into the area.]

"...We must understand that if two anti-aircraft missile batteries are placed in the area of Nablus and the area of Hebron, they will close down Israel's entire airspace. No plane will be able to take off - not from Lod and not from Tel Nof nor Ramat David Therefore the demilitarization must be very clear and stringent. Any presence of assault forces in Judea and Samaria can cause that all the apocalyptic predictions will be realized. Under no circumstances can an Arab army be permitted west of the Jordan."

[IMRA: Under the terms of the Geneva Initiative, the Jordan Valley and Mount
Baal Hazor are in Palestinian hands. Water resources for the Palestinians
are guaranteed. The water section of the Geneva Initiative remain a blank
section.]

"In addition to this, we need to make sure that also the Jordan Valley and that Mount Baal Hazor be in our hands and that the question of water sources be solved so that they can't dry us out."

.... At the end of the twentieth and the start of the twenty first century, territory has significance. Despite the missiles and radars it has not lost its importance. I know that it sounds modernistic to say the opposite, but this can be said by those who do not bear responsibility. And I still feel that I bear responsibility.

I will just give you an illustration: The principle power of the United States is a group of aircraft carriers that ply the oceans. Around each such group is a defense zone that is defended by small craft and planes. And this entire defense area has a radius of 200 miles, a little more than 300 kilometers, that in our case is half the way to Baghdad - with Damascus inside and the Suez Canal. And here we are talking about an aircraft carrier, not a state. Not civilians and industry and hotels.

Therefore, we must always remember, that in pure military terms the whole matter here is an almost impossible task. Therefore it is also necessary to understand that all the talk about a small army is ridiculous. Because in comparison to the tasks that it has, the IDF is really minute. And there is no need to rush and cut, or reduce or concede.

So also when I support territorial concessions I say, slowly slowly. It is
necessary to takes risks for peace - because the dangers of war are greater - and it must be done in a reasonable and careful way. There's no need to lose patience. Don't get excited and don't lose proportion. Haste is from the devil."

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
imra@netvision.net.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:45 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack