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Israel Report
March 2002

  • Postmodern Palestine: The new amorality in the Middle East.
    Palestinians appeal to the American public on grounds that three or four times as many of their own citizens have died as Israelis. The crazy logic is that in war the side that suffers the most casualties is either in the right or at least should be the winner. Some Americans nursed on the popular ideology of equivalence find this attractive. But if so, they should then sympathize with Hitler, Tojo, Kim Il Sung, and Ho Chi Minh who all lost more soldiers — and civilians — in their wars against us than we did.

  • War on Terror's Exception: The U.S. & Arafat
    Think crime doesn't pay? Don't tell it to Yasser Arafat. The former (which is not to say "ex-") terrorist continues to inspire those who would build their careers on violence. This week Arafat showed that he could still capture the limelight, still set the agenda, and further his cause for an independent Palestine with himself as its leader. Using the Beirut Arab summit as his arena Arafat reclaimed his title of "most talked about Muslim radical" from heavyweight challenger Osama bin Laden.

  • A Tragical Farce of a Summit
    It would be wrong to imagine the Arab League summit meeting in Beirut is degenerating into farce, for the organization has a long history of not rising out of this condition. Syria and Saudi Arabia are seeking unanimous backing for opposite resolutions. A final communiqué was, as ever, drafted before any discussion began, which had already internalized the schizophrenia.

  • The Eye of the Storm
    Bible prophecy hangs on the existence of Israel in the last days. The entire end-times scenario revolves around the existence of a Jewish state and the global effort to annihilate it. Without the existence of Israel, the picture painted by the Bible for the last days would bear no resemblance to current events.

  • The 1930s, Again - A hard rain is going to fall.
    The problem is them and their unelected and unfree regimes, not us — just as it was Hitler, not us; Tojo, not us; Mussolini, not us; and Stalin, not us — just as it always is when unelected maniacs take control and hijack an entire country and culture. We can either step up and stop Islamic fundamentalism, Arab terrorists, and Middle Eastern dictators or we can step back and watch it all continue to grow. If 9/11 was the beginning of a war, then we should remember that wars usually end when one, not both sides, win.

  • The Only Way to Peace
    In normal life, it is a sign of being unhinged if you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. But in the business of Middle East diplomacy such behavior could earn you a Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Palestinian Pretense & Israeli Reality
    There will be no second Holocaust. If almost all of the West Bank is returned, as is likely, and in a few years hostilities nevertheless resume as they did during phases 1-3 of the Middle East wars, as is also likely, the battle will be over Israel itself, not Palestinian land. That will be a war Israel will not lose, and it will be fought outside not inside the Jewish state. And that will be a nightmare compared to the current crisis. Those in Europe and in the United States who now lecture about morality will then prove to be not only amoral, but also answerable for far, far more still.

  • Israel's Moment of Truth
    Regardless of all the commitments he has made - from Oslo to Sharm, Mitchell, Tenet, and Zinni - Arafat has decided that the terrorism will continue until Israel withdraws under fire. With each cycle of terrorism leading to pressure, a "cease-fire," then more terrorism, Arafat hears more voices of desperation, more calls to internationalize the conflict, negotiate under fire, or withdraw unilaterally.

  • The Ordinary Israeli at End of His Tether
    The horror was unimaginable - even in a city that has lost count of the atrocities visited upon it by Palestinian terrorists. Severed heads rolled down the sidewalks of King George Street, which was littered with limbs. Dozens of wounded writhed in agony from the nails and screws that spewed from the bomber's explosives belt.

  • Naming the War
    And if we do not make it clear to ourselves immediately that this war is the War of Israeli Sovereignty, that sovereignty will fall apart. If we do not demand right now that this war be followed by peace--the peace, too, will fall apart. And if we go on laundering words and if we do not draw lines immediately and if we do not define the fundamentals, the little order that still remains will also fall apart. The little remaining quiet will disappear. Because the Bratslavers are already congregating in the corner; the muezzin is calling from the Temple Mount.

  • The Crossroads Of History
    This then, is the impending world of the future. A battleground between competing visions of humanity, a world in which suicide bombers, with no remorse or conscience, explode themselves in major urban centers throughout the world in an attempt to terrorize populations into an acknowledgement of their power.

  • Get Serious
    What's next is utterly predictable. Arafat will try to have his cake and eat it, too. In other words, he will see if he can go to Beirut and meet with Cheney without having to implement his commitments under the Tenet plan. One might ask, how could Arafat be so craven as to believe that Israel and the United States will let him get away with that? The real question, unfortunately, is the opposite one: What reason does Arafat have to believe that this time he will be held to his commitments?

  • The Inconvenient Ally
    "The phrase 'land for peace' is interesting in itself. It is actually another way of describing the appeasement forced on Czechoslovakia by her supposed friends in 1938. This was also supposed to promise peace, but made the country impossible to defend and opened the gates for invasion a few months later. Those responsible for this cowardly stupidity are still reviled 60 years on. Those who urge it on Israel in the present day are praised."

  • Jews Under Siege
    Those confounded Jews. They just won't line up quietly for the march to the gas chambers. This, alas, now as for eons past, is the sum and substance of world opinion. Israel is under attack by monsters. And world opinion is siding with the monsters.

  • Stop the Murder and Hatred
    It's time for a zero-tolerance policy on murder, terrorism and hatred in the Mideast. The charade of Yasser Arafat as peacemaker is over. It's no longer a matter of Arafat saying one thing and doing another. His evil words and deeds now match one another.

  • Where Do We Go From Here?
    Let anyone who recoils from the recapture of the territories know that the direction emerging in the past weeks points to an escalation whose end point is clear and predetermined: being drawn into the recapture of the territories to fend off the threat of mortars, Kassam rockets and attacks on Israeli civilian centers, but without any political plan or defined strategic goals. In that respect, indecision may be the most dangerous situation of all.

  • Mutant Hate
    Now for the real issue. Can Israel possibly make peace with a people so far off the track of civility and the universal human passion for life?

  • Palestinian Parades and Israeli Tears
    Last Saturday, shortly after midnight, Channel 2 broadcast footage of hundreds of Palestinians marching in a celebratory parade. The participants waved banners and jumped up and down in excitement as they applauded the latest news update: a suicide bomber had blown himself up outside a cafe in Jerusalem - Eleven innocent families had been torn apart, their loved ones taken from them in an instant of terror and death. And all the Palestinian marchers could do in response was cheer.

  • Running on Empty
    The use of additional force against the Palestinians may also not provide us with the security we seek. Destroying the infrastructure of terror in the West Bank and Gaza Strip may minimize the frequency and deadliness of the attacks against us, but the psychology of hatred and the continuing incitement of that hatred against us will not be crushed completely by force. In fact, the very triumph of force may enhance it. There will continue to be those who somehow see blowing themselves up to kill Jewish babies and innocent civilians as a noble and spiritually uplifting act.

  • Atrocities, Retaliations and the Laws of War
    The Palestinian resort to violence is grotesque and gratuitous, seeking only to inflict maximum pain and suffering upon the innocent, while the Israeli use of force is designed only for survival and self-protection. Does anyone really believe that Israel would use armed force against any Arab targets if the Palestinians ceased their campaign of mayhem and murder?

  • Arafat vs. the War on Terror
    The reason is that, while there is practically no support or sympathy for the Taliban or al-Qaida outside the Arab world, there is substantial understanding for the Palestinian cause - even as Israelis are being murdered on streets, in seminaries, outside synagogues, and in coffee houses. Terrorists are being fought in Afghanistan, but the struggle over the legitimacy of terrorism is being fought in Israel.

  • A Report from the Frontline
    Why, when the media and governments of the world want to evaluate conditions in countries around the world do they speak of public opinion, and when they speak of the Palestinians and other Arabs, they refer to the "Palestinian Street" or the "Arab Street?" Is this not a way to condone the riots, and the vicious rumors that infect their streets? Why not expect them to express themselves in the same way other civilized people do, not by rioting or incitement in the streets, but by legitimate expressions of public opinion? Why do the same media and governments warn that if the Arabs do not get what they want, bloodshed and violence will follow, and accept this as a norm?

  • Rewarding Palestinian Terrorism
    While it might be easier for Europe and the United States to tighten the diplomatic screws on Jerusalem, the cause of the current crisis lies a few miles up the road, ensconced in an office in downtown Ramallah. Yasser Arafat has been waging an unrelenting war of terror against Israel for the past 18 months, seeking to kill as many Jews as possible and provoke an Israeli response, one that would bring about international intervention on behalf of the Palestinians. As last night's shooting attack in Netanya and bombing in Jerusalem demonstrated, Arafat has no intention of halting the violence any time soon.

  • Cease-Fire: Two Interpretations
    Cease-fire. It's a simple concept really. Or, at least, it should be. But for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples these two words, cease & fire, are more a metaphysical concept than a physical reality. In the Middle East the term "cease-fire" is used more often than "peace." It is believed by many that a cease-fire must precede peace, while in truth, it has, over and over again, postponed any hope of peace.

  • Canadian Double-Talk on Israel  flag
    Both Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Foreign Minister, Bill Graham, made major speeches on the occasion of a state visit by Israeli President Moshe Katsav. Unfortunately, Messrs. Chretien and Graham performed a dubious good cop-bad cop routine, with resounding support for Israel from the former, and a deceptive piece of moral equivalence from the latter. The government may think this allows it to have its diplomatic cake and eat it, too, but in truth it makes Canada seem either confused or cynical.

  • The Saudi 'Peace' Plan
    In 35 years of studying the Middle East, I have rarely seen anything to rival the Saudi ``peace plan'' for cynicism (of those pushing the plan) and gullibility (of those buying it). If it were not so tragic it would be comic.

  • Religious Freedom in Nazareth
    During these difficult times, the decision of a ministerial committee headed by Construction and Housing Minister Natan Sharansky to block the building of a large mosque in the main square of Nazareth may seem to be of peripheral interest. The decision, however, may eventually be seen to be a landmark victory against extremism and for religious freedom, and be taken as a model for how to respond to other instances of crass bullying.

  • Arafat Kills More Americans
    Americans need to start taking Yasser Arafat's continued terrorism personally. For 30 years he has ordered and condoned the murder of American citizens – including U.S. diplomats. That killing spree continues even today. Lost in the recent wave of terrorism in Israel is the fact that two more American citizens were murdered, and six wounded.

  • Threaten Arafat's Power
    The dirty little secret of Israel's war on terrorism is that Israel is not systematically threatening what matters most to Yasser Arafat: the illegal army that maintains his control. Israel has hesitated because this army (called "police") has participated in terrorism only on a freelance basis and Israel still hopes that someday it will be used to disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

  • Shoot-the-Moon Diplomacy
    The wildly over-ambitious diplomacy co-sponsored by Clinton and Israel's Labor Party leaders (Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak) had precisely the opposite effect from that expected: The Camp David II summit was supposed to close down the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but in fact prompted an unprecedentedly aggressive round of Palestinian violence against Israel that still continues and is still getting worse.

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