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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Arab Islamic’

Eight Years Of Unheeded ‘Daniel’ Warnings About Iran What Happens Next? (Part III)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The views expressed in this eight-column article on Project Daniel are solely those of Professor Louis René Beres, and may not reflect the opinions of any other members of Project Daniel, or of any government.

 

            The more things change, the more they remain the same. As I have indicated again and again on these pages, Israel remains the openly declared national and religious object of Arab/Islamic genocide. This term is used here, again, in the literal and jurisprudential sense. It is not merely hyperbole or an exaggerated figure of speech.

 

             What is Israel to do?  How might Israel’s possible actions or inactions affect the likelihood of a regional nuclear war in the Middle East?  And in what precise ways might a nuclear war actually begin between Israel and certain of its enemies? Here are some of Project Daniel’s original responses:

 

            Israel’s nuclear weapons, unacknowledged and unthreatening, exist only to prevent certain forms of enemy aggression. This deterrent force would never be used except in defensive reprisal for certain massive enemy first strikes, especially for Arab and/or Iranian attacks involving nuclear and/or biological weapons. For a limited time, Israel’s enemies are not yet nuclear. Even if this should change, Israel’s nuclear weapons could continue to reduce the risks of unconventional war as long as the pertinent enemy states were (1) to remain rational; and (2) to remain convinced that Israel would retaliate massively if attacked with nuclear and/or certain biological weapons of mass destruction.
            But there are many complex problems to identify if a bellicose enemy state were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, problems that belie the seemingly agreeable notion of stable nuclear deterrence. Whether for reasons of miscalculation, accident, unauthorized capacity to fire, outright irrationality or the presumed imperatives of “Jihad,” such a state could opt to launch a nuclear first-strike against Israel in spite of the latter’s nuclear posture.  Here, Israel would certainly respond, to the extent possible, with a nuclear retaliatory strike.

 

            Although nothing is publicly known about Israel’s precise targeting doctrine, such a reprisal might surely be launched against the aggressor’s capital city or against a similarly high-value urban target. There would be no assurances, in response to this sort of aggression, that Israel would limit itself to striking back against exclusively military targets or even against the individual enemy state from which the aggression was launched.

 

            What if enemy first strikes were to involve “only” chemical and/or biological weapons? Here, The Group understood, Israel might still launch a reasonably proportionate nuclear reprisal, but this would depend largely upon Israel’s calculated expectations of follow-on aggression and on its associated determinations of comparative damage-limitation.

 

            Should Israel absorb a massive conventional first-strike, a nuclear retaliation could still not be ruled out altogether. This is especially the case if: (1) the aggressor were perceived to hold nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in reserve; and/or (2) Israel’s leaders were to believe that non-nuclear retaliations could not prevent national annihilation. Again, Project Daniel had determined early on that the threshold of existential harms must be substantially lower than wholesale physical devastation. It would appear that there are now no logical or empirical reasons to modify this determination.

 

            Faced with imminent and existential attacks, Israel, properly taking its cue, at least in part, from the National Security Strategy of the United States of America, could decide to preempt enemy aggression with conventional forces. Announced on September 20, 2002, this Bush-era American strategy affirms the enduring reasonableness of anticipatory self-defense under international law.  If Israel were to draw upon such authoritative expressions of current U.S. policy, we reasoned, the targeted state’s response would determine Israel’s subsequent moves.

 

            If this response were in any way nuclear, Israel would assuredly undertake nuclear counter-retaliation. If this enemy retaliation were to involve certain chemical and/or biological weapons, Israel might also determine to take a quantum escalatory initiative. Escalation dominance could be vital to Israel’s security in the midst of certain strategic crises.

 

            If an enemy state’s response to an Israeli preemption were limited to hard-target conventional strikes, it is highly improbable that Israel would resort to nuclear counter-retaliation. On the other hand, said The Group, if the enemy state’s conventional retaliation were an all-out strike directed toward Israel’s civilian populations as well as to Israeli military targets – an existential strike, for all intents and purposes – an Israeli nuclear counter-retaliation could not be ruled out. Such a counter-retaliation could be ruled out only if the enemy state’s conventional retaliations were entirely proportionate to Israel’s preemption; confined entirely to Israeli military targets; circumscribed by the legal limits of “military necessity“; and accompanied by explicit and verifiable assurances of no further escalation.

 

            It is exceedingly unlikely, we understood, but certainly not inconceivable, that Israel could decide at some point to preempt enemy state aggression with a defensive nuclear strike. While circumstances could surely arise where such a defensive strike would be completely rational and also completely acceptable under international law (such a policy had been embraced by the United States in Joint Publication 3-12, Doctrine For Joint Nuclear Operations, 15 March, 2005), it is improbable that Israel would ever permit itself to reach such circumstances.

 

             In our view, an Israeli nuclear preemption could be expected only if: (1) Israel’s state enemies had unexpectedly acquired nuclear or other unconventional weapons presumed capable of destroying the Jewish State; (2) these enemy states had made explicit that their intentions paralleled their capabilities; (3) these states were authoritatively believed ready to begin a countdown-to-launch; and (4) Israel believed that non-nuclear preemptions could not possibly achieve the minimum needed levels of damage-limitation, that is, levels consistent with its own national survival.

 

            Should nuclear weapons ever be introduced into a conflict between Israel and the many countries that wish to destroy it, some form of nuclear war fighting could ensue. This would be the case so long as: (a) enemy state first-strikes against Israel would not destroy the Jewish State’s second-strike nuclear capability; (b) enemy state retaliations for Israeli conventional preemption would not destroy Israel’s nuclear counter-retaliatory capability; (c) Israeli preemptive strikes involving nuclear weapons would not destroy enemy state second-strike nuclear capabilities; and (d) Israeli retaliation for enemy state conventional first-strikes would not destroy enemy state nuclear counter-retaliatory capability. From the standpoint of protecting its security and survival, this meant that Israel must now take proper steps to ensure the likelihood of (a) and (b) above, and the unlikelihood of (c) and (d).

 

Louis René Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

The Pianist (Part II)

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
War, terrorism and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Now, as certain portions of the Arab/Islamic world openly declare genocidal intentions against Israel (a war of extermination is plainly a genocidal war under international law), some progressive Jews are proudly leading various rallies and/or publications for peace – a peace that could only be fashioned upon a new generation of Jewish corpses. Here, in the United States, and regrettably, also in Israel, Jewish university professors are all-too typically the leaders in organized campus protests (1) against an alleged Israeli “occupation,” and (2) for expanded Palestinian “rights.”

 

Not one of these Jewish professors normally murmurs an audible objection to multiple Arab murders of their fellow Jews in Israel by lynchings, shootings and suicide bombings. Nor, one can be rather certain, will any of these Jewish “humanitarians” suggest any reciprocal Palestinian wrongdoing when Hamas’ next round of rockets is fired at cities and towns in Israel, or when Palestinian Authority security forces so rigorously trained by U.S. Lt. General Keith Dayton begin to initiate new terrorist outrages against Israel. Regarding these American-trained Fatah fighters, we can also be sure that they will ultimately also use their new found terror talents against their benefactor – that is, against the United States itself.

 

Credo quia absurdum. “I believe because it is absurd.” Offered an “opportunity” to combine self-destruction with broader patterns of injustice, we Jews always have enthusiastic takers among us. Always, these grim archaeologists of ruins-in-the-making overlook that any complicity with evil is destined, deservedly, to fail. We still have much to learn, therefore, from The Pianist.

 

The Jewish Police in Warsaw, we know now, were indecent and foolish. Today’s  “Jewish Police,” mainly American and Israeli academic supporters of Israel’s enemies, don’t wear a uniform or carry a truncheon, but they are similarly indecent, and equally foolish. In some respects, they are vastly more odious than even their Warsaw antecedents, as this current generation of Jewish collaborators does so willingly and smugly, boastfully, and without any genuine prior need for personal or familial self-preservation.

 

Too often hiding behind their academic robes, and behind sanctimonious yet altogether vacant calls for academic “freedom,” the consuming cowardice of these contemporary Jewish Police is not merely stifling it is also very dangerous. Intermittently reinforced by well intentioned but similarly-uninformed Jews outside the academy who believe that marching ceremoniously for Palestinian statehood is somehow the moral equivalent of marching for civil rights with Martin Luther King, these pitiable but lamentable Jewish minions represent the witless advance guard of Israel’s physical annihilation. Left unchallenged by those who should know better, but who nonetheless remain silent, they will sit by contemplatively, and without remorse, as chemical, biological and possibly even nuclear weapons rain down upon Israel. In Los Angeles, a veritable Mecca for Jews who live comfortably in “caves” (Plato’s caves), they will be visibly upset at what is happening (perhaps even going so far as to write angry letters to the Los Angeles Times), but still not sufficiently upset to interfere with their local Temple’s busy oneg schedule, or with the Sisterhood’s annual and widely-celebrated deli lunch.

 

Another thought dawns. In Warsaw, the great majority of Jews did not feel it was their personal responsibility to speak and act on behalf of Jewish survival. Rather, they believed, communal safety was exclusively the codified responsibility of community leaders; ultimately, that is, of the Jewish Councils who then both sanctioned and sustained the Jewish Police.

 

Today, it is clear that an even larger majority of American Jews remain silent in the face of hideous distortions of Israel by their fellow Jews, both in Israel and, here, in the United States.  Many of this “silent majority” are professional and well educated: doctors and lawyers, business people and social workers, teachers and accountants, entertainers and professors. They are silent, they claim, only because they are not “experts.” But the truest reason for their desperate silence is always something else. This is a seemingly irrepressible inclination to meet unwelcome and annoying danger with capitulation, fear and trembling.

 

What are they afraid of, these gentle and caring Jewish Temple members who can routinely be counted upon for regular donations to help the local homeless, and, of course, to make exceptionally tasty sandwiches for the local poor?  How can these patently good people fail to see that the Jihadist anti-Jewish world is once again mustering for a Jewish genocide, this time a more modernized mass killing in which the technology of annihilation will now bring gas directly to the target populations?  Don’t they see that they have a sacred responsibility, as Jews and as human beings, not to sit idly by as readily identifiable portions of the Arab/Islamic world prepare openly to blot out the increasingly vulnerable and continuously despised Jewish State?

 

How can these Jews fail to understand their absolute and binding obligation to resist becoming another “Jewish Police?” How, indeed, can they have learned so little from their own modern history? From The Pianist?

 

             Before suffering his then-unexpected torments, the pianist was altogether optimistic about the world. He did not want to be bothered too much about the unrelenting burdens of being Jewish. The world, after all, had become “modern.” Weren’t medieval hatreds, therefore, about to finally disappear?

 

The Jew had now become free to worry about others. He could even choose to be liberal and cosmopolitan. He was finally free, if only he chose, to stop worrying.

 

 

 But he was wrong, dead wrong. Today, moreover, the State of Israel, always the individual Jew in macrocosm, exists in existential peril, and without an adequate awareness of its stunningly fragile future by most Jews living elsewhere. For this to change, all Jews, must, at an absolute minimum, firmly reject and counter the frequently false portrayals of Israel’s policies and circumstances (e.g., the calumny of the Goldstone report concerning Israel’s winter 2008-2009 Cast Lead self-defense operation in Gaza). They should also refuse to collaborate in any way with those multiple foes or their hapless agents who would cheerily bring us another Final Solution.  This particular moral and intellectual imperative remains the great lesson of The Pianist.

 

If we should fail to heed this authentically existential obligation, the yawning abyss of Jewish history will be deep enough to hold us all. We dare not fail.

 

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and publishes widely on international relations and international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Remaining ‘Worthy Of Our Role’: History, Responsibility, Community (Part II)

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

We are the rungs of a ladder, we are the links to the future;

This broadens our vision, yet restricts us;

This is a source of pride and a reason for modesty -

May we be worthy of our role.                                                                                      Israel Eldad

 

 

            We must immediately recognize, and reveal widely, that there is no “cycle of violence” in the Middle East, only intermittent Arab/Islamic terror followed by indispensable Israeli counter-terror. If the Palestinian terrorists were to simply and unconditionally stop their murderous attacks on unprotected civilians, Israelis would never lift another hand against them. It’s that simple.

 

             If, however, the Israelis should ever stop defending themselves prior to such an enemy cessation, the Arab/Islamic enemy would murder every Jew in “Occupied Palestine.” In response to contrived and disingenuous Palestinian arguments that there is some sort of “equivalence” between Arab terror and Israeli counter-terror, we must always recall an essential difference between premeditated murder and required national self-defense. In any domestic society, just because the criminals and the police may both carry guns doesn’t make them the same.

 

            We Jews must learn to read widely beyond the mainstream press, which is often ignorant of facts on the ground, or – worse – is maliciously inclined toward Israel. In this connection, American Jews must really learn history – Jewish history; Israel’s history; Arab history; Islamic history. Presently, because there is so much historical ignorance amongst us, Arab propagandists and their allies typically have an easy time debating the issues. As a professor I see the difference every day between the intellectual preparedness of the Jewish students regarding history, which is generally weak, and that of the Arab/Islamic students and their supporters, which is usually far stronger. As a beginning, to be sure, every American Jew and every American Christian Zionist should now be reading The Jewish Press.

 

            We must all be willing to speak and write in defense of Israel. This is not just the responsibility of the professors. If it were, we would be hearing even more about the evils of Israel’s “occupation” of “Arab land.” By the way, speaking of “occupation,” the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed in 1964, three years before the 1967 War. What then, precisely, was the PLO seeking to liberate during those years?

 

            Here in the American heartland, only a small handful of Jewish souls make an audible sound about Israel’s survival.  Nowhere is it written that Jewish doctors; Jewish lawyers; Jewish dentists; Jewish accountants; Jewish merchants; Jewish plumbers cannot speak openly and courageously for Israel. The argument that I hear often from friends and acquaintances – “I’m sorry, I just don’t know enough. I have a business to take care of” – is plainly wrong and inexcusable. If you don’t know enough, study more. Now. And if you fear that it will be “bad for business,” be ashamed of yourself – justifiably ashamed of your cowardice, your lethargy (is golf really than important?) and your thoroughly demeaned Jewish spirit.

 

            We must encourage each other to undertake serious analytic examinations of the issues, and to exercise imaginative thinking for solutions. To a significant extent, the survival problems faced by Israel have an important intellectual dimension. For example, how to achieve any sort of reconciliation with the Palestinians must draw upon difficult conceptual explorations of both culture and trust. Similarly, as Israel will soon face expanding weapons of mass destruction among both its state and non-state enemies, leaders in Jerusalem will have to figure out optimal strategies of deterrence, defense, war fighting and preemption. As Chair of Project Daniel, a small advisory group to former Prime Minister Sharon that was concerned with chemical/biological/nuclear threats to Israel, I can testify directly to the great difficulty of the intellectual tasks before us. At the same time, don’t think that just because you’re not a Ph.D. strategist or a member of the IDF General Staff, you are necessarily incapable of offering productive observations.

 

            We must recognize that Israel now faces, and has always faced, a genuine genocide from its many enemies. It is true, thankfully, that we Jews now have a state to prevent a repeat Holocaust. But it is also true and intolerably ironic that war can now become the instrument of another Jewish genocide. In a very real and palpable geopolitical sense, the creation of Israel – by concentrating such a large percentage of the world’s Jews in such a tiny area – has made such an unspeakable scenario more plausible.

 

            It is now possible to bring gas to the people; it is no longer necessary to bring people to the gas. Moreover, the Arab/Islamic side has never been subtle about its plans to “liquidate” the Jews (the term they have favored since 1948), and we can assume that if left unchallenged, they will at some point have both genocidal capability and genocidal intent. Keep in mind that Israel is half the size of Lake Michigan, and that its Jewish population is largely concentrated along a tiny coastal section of a microscopic country. Keep in mind, also, that Islamic clerics in mosques throughout the world insist in their weekly sermons that Allah has concentrated the Jews in Israel precisely to make possible their next annihilation.

 

            Finally, we must always recall that memory is the heart of redemption, and that we are obligated, strongly obligated, never to forget, to honor the souls of the six million, of the Kedoshim. To do this we must never separate ourselves from the fate of our fellow Jews in Israel. If necessary, and this is critical, we must sometimes actively oppose the “Jewish Establishment” in the United States. Oftentimes, this Establishment seems more concerned with exhibiting its own power and prestige than with its true mission. Certainly there is not much for us to be proud of in this regard during the Holocaust.

 

            The Jewish establishment was largely silent during the Holocaust, and it stubbornly insisted upon support for Oslo from day one, even when it was apparent that Israel’s good intentions would forever be unreciprocated. (Better to assure a seat at the next Israel banquet in New York, preferably close to the visiting prime minister, than to imperil such an advantageous social opportunity by speaking out.) Nor should we ever assume that Jewish candidates for public office are necessarily good for the Jews or good for Israel or even that they are necessarily honorable or capable in general.

 

            Rabbi Eliezer Waldman once wrote movingly in The Jewish Press of “the eternal flame of Jewish life in Israel.” By working for the redemption of Israel, Rabbi Waldman instructed, we also work to bring a blessing to all the peoples of the world. It follows that we Jews in this country ought never to see a contradiction between our struggle for Jewish survival in the land of Israel, and our deep concern for America and the wider global community. Moreover, like Buddhists, we Jews understand the ultimate Oneness and inter-dependence of all things (the Talmud instructs that “the dust from which the first man was made was gathered in all the four corners of the earth”), and we recognize, incontestably, that our ultimate obligations to Jewish continuity are inextricable from our similarly sacred obligations to the larger human community.

 

            Saving the Jewish State and saving the world are One and the same.

 

LOUIS RENÉ BERES  was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and publishes widely on Israeli security issues. He was Chair of Project Daniel, and is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Still Taking Detours To Survival: Obama, Netanyahu And The Twisting “Road Map” To Genocide And War (Conclusion)

Monday, March 29th, 2010
           The list of PA violations of Oslo goes on and on.  There is the incontestable failure to prevent incitement (codified at Annex 1, Art. II, 35); harassment of suspected former collaborators (codified at Art. XVI); failure to provide information on Israeli MIAs (codified at Art. XXVIII of the Interim Agreement and at Art. XIX of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement); the failure to change the PLO Covenant (codified at Art. XXXII), a failure that means that the PA (let alone Hamas) has still not renounced its intent to annihilate the Jewish State; the abuse of human rights and the rule of law (codified at Art. XIX); the failure to control PApolice activity in eastern Jerusalem (codified at Annex I of both agreements – the Gaza-Jericho Accord and the Interim Agreement – which carefully delineate the areas in which the Palestinian security forces may operate).


            There are other PA/Hamas violations of Oslo – any one of which could comprise an entire magazine article.  They include unilaterally halting security cooperation with Israel in contradiction to Art. II (2) of Annex I to the Oslo Accords; failing to coordinate movement of Palestinian police (under Art. V (6) of Annex I to Oslo 2; the movement of Palestinian policemen between Area A and Area B, or in Area C, must be coordinated in advance with Israeli security officials; detaining Israeli citizens (according to Art. XI (4d) of Annex I to the Oslo Accord:  “Israelis shall under no circumstances be apprehended or placed in custody or prison by Palestinian authorities.”); failing to enforce restrictions on Visitor’s Permits (under Art. 28 (13b) of Annex III to the Oslo 2 Accords, “The Palestinian side will notify Israel of any extension.”); and constructing, without authorization, a Gaza strip sea port and the Dahaniye airport (the first in violation of Art. XIV (4) of Annex I to the Oslo 2 Accords – the second in violation of Art. XIII (3) of Annex I to the Oslo 2 Accords).


            Generally, both Israeli and Arab proponents of “peace” feel that, for Israel, the Oslo agreements and Road Map represent a pretty good bargain.  Ignoring the entire history of genocide against Jews that led to Israel’s statehood in the first place, they neglect to consider that this “bargain” will ultimately involve nothing less than another Jewish Diaspora.  But there is no more contrived component of the pro-Peace Process argument than this one:  Accommodation (surrender) to the Palestinians opens the way to subsequent peace treaties with Syria and Lebanon. Along with peace treaties already signed with Egypt and Jordan, these new agreements will leave Israel in a state of peace – for the very first time – with all its immediate neighbors. However, looking at (1) the aforementioned map of Palestine (which incorporates the current State of Israel), (2) the aforelisted PA/Hamas violations of Oslo – especially the refusal even to abrogate a codification of genocidal intent – and (3) the incessant Arab and Islamic calls for Jihad, is there any reason to believe that Israel’s enemies will now subordinate their overriding doctrinal and religious expectations to the diametrically opposite expectations of international law? 


            There is no greater power in all world politics, especially in the Islamic Middle East, than power over death.


            More precisely, regarding these doctrinal and religious expectations, it will be helpful to consider the following hadith, an Arabic term which refers to the oral tradition by means of which sayings or deeds attributed to the Prophet Mohammed have been handed down to Muslim believers:  “Verily, the word of God teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”

 

 

              Have Israeli and American supporters of the current Road Map forgotten that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had defended his 1979 Treaty with Israel in the Arab world by identifying it as no more than a tactical expedient?  President Sadat claimed that the Treaty was “founded upon Islamic rules, because it arises from a position of strength, after the holy war and victory Egypt achieved on 10th Ramadan 1393″(October 1973). Generally overlooked, the Treaty provides a legally permissible rationale for abrogation by Egypt.  A minute to Article VI, paragraph 5, of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty stipulates:  “It is agreed to by the Parties that there is no assertion that this Treaty prevails over other Treaties or agreements, or that other Treaties or agreements prevail over this Treaty.”  


            In keeping with standard practice throughout the Arab/Islamic world, Al Da’wa, The Mission, a prominent Islamic publication, has identified the status of Israel with the status of the individual Jew.  Here, as we have noted earlier about authoritative Arab/Islamic views in general, Israel is merely rendered as the Jew in macrocosm:  “The race (sic) is corrupt at the root, full of duplicity, and the Muslims have everything to lose in seeking to deal with them; they must be exterminated.”  


             Following are some earlier statements by senior PA officials, all of which were flagrantly anti-Jewish, and several of which incorporated sordid anti-Jewish stereotypes. They complement the earlier-cited Arab/Islamic quotations about Jews and Judaism: (1) “Five Zionist Jews are running the policy of the United States in the Middle East:  Madeleine Albright, William Cohen, Dennis Ross, Miller and Martin Indyk.  It is not possible that the American nation, which consists of 250 million people (sic), can not find anyone other than five Zionist Jews to conduct the peace process with the Palestinians.”  PA Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein, Yediot Ahronot, April 13, 1997  (2)  “We are fighting and struggling with an enemy who is Shylock.  We must know that he is Shylock.”  Othman Abu Gharbiya, PA Chairman Arafat’s Adviser on National Political Guidance, in a radio interview, Voice of Palestine, March 15, 1997  (3) “The Jewish lobby is working very hard to jeopardize the process.”  Former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, in an interview, BeirutDaily Star, March 25, 1997, Agence France Presse, March 26, 1997  (4) “Israeli authorities…infected by injection 300 Palestinian children with the HIV virus during the years of the intifada.”  Palestinian representative Nabil Ramlawi at a session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Jerusalem Post, March 17 1997. 


            The theme of Palestine as the predestined grave of Israel, and of the Jews in general, is a persistent motif in Arab/Islamic orientations toward Israel.  Here, the following claim, made more than a generation ago by Dr. Yahya al-Rakhawi in Al-Akhbar, the organ of Egypt’s Liberal Party, is still typical:  “When the State of Israel was established and was recognized by many, in both East and West, one of the reasons for this recognition was the desire of the people in the East and West to get rid of as many as possible of the representatives of that human error known as the Jews.  Behind this motive was another, secret purpose: to concentrate them in one place, so that it would be easier to strike at the right moment.”


            Neither strategically nor jurisprudentially are war and genocide mutually exclusive. Certain of Israel’s Islamic enemies are now making preparations for just such a strike.  Principal among these, of course, is the Islamic Republic of Iran. To assist in these exterminatory preparations, an ongoing war of terror and attrition against the Jewish State is laying the foundations for the eventually planned war of annihilation. 


            Although it may no longer be possible for Israel to entirely prevent such a war, a war that could involve various forms of unconventional weapons, the government of Israel may still diminish expected harms by recalling the true history of Arab-Israeli conflict and by finally extricating their beleaguered country from the inevitably lethal consequences of Oslo and the Road Map.                     


LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on Israeli and US foreign and military policies. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Still Taking Detours To Survival: Obama, Netanyahu And The Twisting “Road Map” To Genocide And War (Part I)

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Oddly, Israel and the United States remain intent upon committing gigantic and possibly lethal errors in world affairs. Unimpressed by history, and determinedly indifferent to glaring facts on the ground, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama now proceed more or less smugly on the twisting road to “Palestine.” Along the way, the United States continues to equip and train Palestinian Authority (PA) “security forces,” a disjointed band of armed criminals that represents little more than the grotesque vanguard of future anti-Israel and anti-American terrorism.

Credo quia absurdum. “I believe because it is absurd.” Arming Fatah against Hamas is a foolish and self-defeating foreign policy based on the utterly false presumption of a consequential difference between criminal organizations. In the conceptually related matter of arming or otherwise supporting certain Sunni Arab states against Shiite Iran, our leaders in Washington and Jerusalem also exhibit the latest example of a time-dishonored geopolitics.

The Obama administration, like its immediate predecessor, understandably seeks some sort of tangible balance among states in the Middle East. But in today’s complex world politics, where sub-state actors often assume very critical roles, antiquated policies of contrived “equilibrium” are destined to fail. This is especially the case when one considers the inherently destabilizing impact of Iranian nuclear weapons, a future impact made possible by the persistent American and Israeli unwillingness to acknowledge the obvious futility of sanctions.

Still bowing to the president of the United States, this one as incapable of nuanced strategic thinking as the one who came before him, Mr. Netanyahu will certainly choose to stay “prudently” close to the prescribed “Road Map.” Supporters of this latest expression of a Middle East Peace Process (before highway metaphors became fashionable, there was Oslo) will continue to base their principal argument on a series of manifestly unwarranted assumptions. Assessing all ascertainable evidence, and all explicit Palestinian threats, it should already be plain that no process of unilateral dismemberment (former Prime Minister Sharon called it “disengagement;” successor Prime Minister Olmert called it “realignment”) can ever bring purposeful resolution to what is fundamentally a religious dispute between Israel and the recalcitrant Arabs.

The essential Israeli struggle against Arab/Islamic genociders (what else should one call adversaries who seek Israel’s destruction “in whole or in part”?) has little or nothing to do with territory. Rather, it has to do with an altogether irreconcilable configuration of enemies that seeks not land, but religious hegemony. Ultimately, Messrs. Obama and Netanyahu should finally recognize that these particular Islamic enemies seek something far more personal than any kind of political settlement. In the final analysis, what they seek is nothing less than immortality.

In all world politics, there is no greater form of power than the power over death. The core dispute between Israel and the Palestinians is thus not about any sort of secular or territorial compromise; it is about G-d. From 1948 to the present, the Arab/Islamic world’s authentically existential opposition to Israel has stemmed preeminently from a deeply doctrinal hatred of a Jewish state in its midst – indeed, of any Jewish state that dares to defile the Dar al Islam.

Now, truly basic questions need to be asked. If Arab/Islamic opposition to Israel were only about West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza, why then were there so many Arab terrorist attacks against Jews between 1948 and 1967? Then, these disputed territories were in Arab hands? What, exactly, were these terrorists seeking to “liberate” before there were even any “Israel-occupied territories?” What, in fact, were Arab terrorists trying to accomplish before Israel even became a state?

For that significantly sizeable portion of the Arab/Islamic world that remains dedicated to Israel’s annihilation, an inventive cartography is part of a far wider strategy of genocide. To understand this, we must recall that in the generally accepted Arab/Islamic view, Israel is always the individual Jew writ large. The Jewish State – any Jewish state – must always be loathed. This easily documented and nefarious deduction is a far cry from the persistently wishful view of Oslo/Road Map/Disengagement/Realignment supporters – that is, that Israel is despised only because it is Zionist, only because it is an “occupier.”

The Israeli is hated in the Arab/Islamic world because he is a Jew. Period! That is the whole story. All else is commentary. All else is land for nothing.

An authoritative expression of this Islamic view is stated unambiguously in a widely-cited article from Al-Ahram. Here, the religiously prominent Dr. Lufti Abd al-Azim wrote straightforwardly and portentously:

The first thing we have to make clear is that no distinction must be made between the Jew and the Israeli…. The Jew is a Jew, through the millennia…. in spurning all moral values, devouring the living and drinking his blood for the sake of a few coins. The Jew, the merchant of Venice, does not differ from the killer of Deir Yasin or the killer of the camps. They are equal examples of human degradation. Let us therefore put aside such distinctions and talk about Jews.

The regionally and Islamically revered Dr. Abd al-Azim is not alone in this revealing position. A current Egyptian textbook on Arab Islamic History – one widely used in teacher training colleges – expresses the following parallel sentiments:

The Jews are always the same, every time and everywhere. They will not live save in darkness. They contrive their evils clandestinely. They fight only when they are hidden, because they are cowards….The Prophet enlightened us about the right way to treat them, and succeeded finally in crushing the plots that they had planned. We today must follow this way and purify Palestine from their filth.

(To be continued)

LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on Israeli and US foreign and military policies. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Space, Time and The Middle East “Peace Process”

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
           Without getting lost in the immensely dense intricacies of quantum theory and the theories of relativity, we already know that modern physics has witnessed revolutionary breakthroughs in the rational understanding of space and time.  Normally, however, these imaginative breakthroughs – which have produced entirely new “paradigms” or scientific models of the physical universe, still remain distant from analytic considerations of international relations and international law. Nonetheless, it should also be obvious to us that much of the seemingly interminable and titanic struggle between Israel and the Arabs is actually about space – that is, about land and territory. What is not at all obvious, but certainly just as important, is that this struggle in all of its current manifestations is substantially about time.

 

            What does this mean? Why should the Middle East “Peace Process” contain an important chronological dimension? In asking this apparently odd question, I enclose the words peace process in quotation marks because of its historical one-sidedness, a process always seeking an Israeli willingness to exchange “land for nothing.” This enduring condition of asymmetrical expectation extends from the original Oslo Agreements in 1993 to the current “Road Map.” From the spatial perspective, there is, then, in the Middle East “Peace Process,” simply nothing new under the sun.

 

            But chronology is also important here. Israel’s ongoing struggle against Arab/Islamist war and terror should now be conducted with a far more determined and self-conscious understanding of time. This is because, for Israel’s enemies, time means something very different from what it means to those Jews who must defend themselves against persistent Jihadist violence and cruelty. For the Israeli defenders, seeking to implement purposeful policies, real time always has far more to do with an astute awareness of felt time than it does with any standard mechanical measures of clocks.

 

            What, exactly, is felt time? Although usually ignored, time means very different things to the different actors in world politics. Aptly, the idea of felt time, of time-as-lived rather than clock time, has its origins in ancient Israel. Rejecting the idea of chronology as mere linear progression, the early Hebrews had approached time as a distinctly qualitative experience. Dismissed as something that can submit only to abstract or quantitative measure, time was understood in ancient Israel as logically inseparable from its personally infused content.

 

            The Jewish prophetic vision was that of a community existing in time, under a transcendent G-d. Political space in this grand vision was surely important, but, significantly, not because of territoriality. Instead, the significance of space – today we would speak of “land” – naturally derived from the particularly momentous events that had taken place within presumptively sacred borders. These events were identified in part by the progression of a Jewish community structured in time.

 

            For present-day Israel, the space-time relationship has two complex dimensions. First, leaving aside the ironies of possible further capitulations, any still-considered territorial (Judea/Samaria) surrenders by Israel would reduce the amount of time Israel has to resist impending terrorism and aggression. There is nothing at all controversial about this observation. For anyone who reads The Jewish Press, in particular, this plain fact is straightforward, and without any hint of mystery. It has, however, yet to be understood by the deluded many who still desperately chase after an always-illusory “peace.”  Second, and similarly obvious, such surrenders, considered cumulatively, have already provided ample time for Israel’s mortal enemies to await their more perfect war-making opportunity. It follows, in an apparent but consequential paradox that time now serves Israel’s enemies both by its diminution, and by its extension.

 

            For Israel, the strategic importance of time can be expressed not only by its unique relationship to space, but also by its role as an indispensable repository of memory. By recalling the historic vulnerabilities of Jewish life in the world, Israel’s current leaders could, finally, begin to step back from a seemingly endless sequence of perilous surrenders. “Yesterday,” says Samuel Beckett in his analysis of Proust, “is not a milestone that has been passed, but a daystone on the beaten track of the years, and irremediably a part of us, heavy and dangerous.” Aware that tomorrow will be determined largely by “yesterday,” and especially by the memory of “yesterday,” Prime Minister Netanyahu now has a unique opportunity to recognize that time itself is power.

 

            The subjective metaphysics of time, a reality that is based not on equally numbered moments, but upon flowing representations of time as lived, should from now on impact the way in which Israel actually confronts its many Arab/Islamic enemies. This means struggling to understand the manner in which these enemies, both states and terror groups, live within time.  If, for example, it can be determined that certain terrorist groups accept a very short time horizon in their ceaseless search for a fiery end to Israel, the Israeli response to Arab/Islamic aggressions and expectations would have to be correspondingly swift (possibly even including certain appropriate preemptions). If, on the other hand, it would seem that this time horizon is substantially longer, Israel’s response could conceivably be more patient and less urgent (thus relying more on the relatively passive dynamics of deterrence and active defense).

 

            Of special interest to Prime Minister Netanyahu should be the still-generally hidden time horizon of the Jihadist suicide bomber. Contrary to the prevailing conventional wisdom, this especially grotesque form of murderer is uniquely afraid of death, so afraid, in fact, that he is willing to “kill himself” as a means of conquering personal mortality. Such a strange manner of conquering death, is, in turn, a paradoxical way to “unstop time,” that is, to replace his or her presumed human obligations to a life of suffering with an eternity of uninterrupted bliss.

 

            Truth, here, thus lies latent in paradox. Israel could now benefit importantly from understanding a seemingly contradictory mindset that identifies “suicide” with everlasting life. Specifically, such an understanding should focus upon a core Islamist terrorist idea that time does not have a “stop,” and that heroic “martyrdom” – that is, the sacrificial murder of defenseless infidels – is inevitably the surest way to soar above the insufferably mortal limits imposed by clocks. Recently, at the Fatah Sixth Congress held in August 2009, this particular message came across loud and clear.

 

            How can such a strategic understanding by Israel be achieved? Perhaps the most obvious way to combat the Arab/Islamist suicide bomber’s peculiarly deadly notion of time is to disabuse him of this notion. This would entail a primary and antecedent realization in Jerusalem that the suicide bomber now sees himself as a religious sacrificer, in full ceremonial action, escaping from time without meaning to a meaningful place of sacred time. Abandoning the profane time of ordinary mortals – a chronology inextricably linked for him or her to personal death – the Arab/Islamist suicide bomber is able to transport himself into the exclusive and divine world of martyred immortals. It follows that the temptation to “sacrifice” despised Jewish infidels at the bloody altar of Jihad is always considerable, even irresistible. Again, this hideous message was strongly reaffirmed at the August 2009 Fatah Sixth Congress.

 

            What should Israel now do with this more informed understanding of its most callously brutish enemy? Clearly, massive internal and external war against the terror infrastructure, while essential for other very good strategic and tactical reasons, can never offer a total solution. Rather, Israel’s immediate task must be to convince prospective suicide bombers, either directly or indirectly, that their intended “sacrifice” will never elevate them above the mortal limits of time. Indeed, the assorted would-be murderers (Fatah, Hamas, it makes absolutely no conceptual difference) will first need to be convinced that:  (1) they are not now living in profane time; and (2) that every sacrificial killing of Jews is actually a profanation of Islam.

 

             Exactly how to accomplish this vital objective must quickly become central to Israel’s genuinely existential struggle against war and terrorism in time. In the Middle East “Peace Process,” time should now have its proper space.

 

LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is author of many books and articles dealing with war, terrorism and international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, and was Chair of Project Daniel.

Religious Bases Of Jihadist Terror Points Of Importance

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Faced with staggering and largely unprecedented geopolitical threats, President Obama already understands the limits of military action against terrorism. At the same time, it is unlikely that he also fully appreciates the stark and absolutely determinative role of religion and ritual in shaping America’s principal terrorist adversaries. It is imperative, therefore, that the president begin to understand that all Arab/Islamic terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, is authentically driven by deeply theological notions of sacrifice.

Today, even after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, Mr. Obama favors a fictional “Two-State Solution.” Still planning to proceed with the so-called Road Map, a twisted cartography initially encouraged by his immediate predecessor, the president effectively intends to give aid and comfort to those very Palestinian terrorists who would celebrate our national downfall. In this connection, Mr. Obama should learn, there is no meaningful difference between Fatah and Hamas, although the latter, in Gaza, has already established ominous and explicit collaborative ties with al-Qaeda.

In public, to be sure, Fatah leader and Palestinian “president” Mahmoud Abbas has conveniently abandoned the plain language of Jihad. This is understandable, because neither the Americans nor the Israelis could maintain any usable pretext for aiding Fatah if Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) were more candid. In private, of course, Abbas remains altogether beholden to those who commit to the murder of “infidels.” He simply has no other choice.

Although Palestinian “suicide bombing” terrorism can sometimes prove purposeful in political, strategic and tactical terms (to wit, former Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s “disengagement” from Gaza), its true rationale lies elsewhere. It is, above all, a primal example of blood sacrifice, a sacred ritual designed to enlist divine assistance inan obligatory Jihad. Expressed in the slaughter of innocents, Palestinian suicide bombing is never really about land or rights or justice or peace or self-determination. Rather, for the pious murderer and his many celebrants, it is an attempt to elicit both public adulation and personal immortality. These are not inconsiderable incentives.

Significantly, the Jihadist terrorist’s “martyrdom” is not really posthumous. He regards his fiery death here on earth as only a momentary inconvenience. For him (and now, sometimes also for her), such discomfort is a tiny price to pay for perpetual hero worship and also life everlasting. This should not be difficult for President Obama to acknowledge, so long as he resists projecting our own western notions of rationality upon the Jihadist.

In the unceasing war between Israel and Arab/Islamic terror, Palestinian hatred of Jews is deep and far-reaching. But if the religiously despised Jew did not exist, the terrorists would have to invent him. For them, the explosive sacrifice of Jewish men, women and children in buses, playgrounds, ice-cream parlors and nursery schools offers not “merely” the promise of eternal life. It also serves to protect the Palestinian community from its own violence.

When Jews are murdered by suicide-bombers – whether by Hamas’ “military wing” or by Fatah’s Al Aqsa “martyr’s brigade,” it makes no real difference – elements of dissension within the Palestinian community are drawn conveniently to the sacrificial victims. Such terrorism thus serves the enormously compelling interests of social solidarity. Mr. Obama should recall that as soon as Fatah and Hamas began to slow their attacks against Israelis, they started to slaughter each other.

In human sacrifice, an ancient practice that has not yet “died,” the victims are expected to bear some basic resemblance to the killers. Still, this resemblance must never be carried too far, lest it diminish the sacrificer’s murderous ardor. This evokes a paradox. The Fatah or Hamas terrorists must acknowledge that their intended Jewish victims are also human, but just barely.

In Euripides’ Medea, the substitution of one sacrificial victim for another is dense with meaning. Because the true object of Medea’s hatred – her faithless husband Jason – is out of reach, she substitutes her own children. Moreover, Medea prepares the death of her children exactly like a priest preparing for sacrifice. And Medea’s sacrifice reveals the following overriding truth, one that should be at the very top of the list for an American president still wrongly convinced that Fatah will act differently than Hamas: Violence will accumulate until it overflows its confines and floods the surrounding areas. The role of sacrificial suicide-bombing terror is nothing less than to stem this rising tide and to redirect murderous fear into “proper” channels.

For all Palestinian terrorists, sacrificial violence against Israel must have two distinct categories of victims. One category is the “vile, infidel Jew.” The other is the “glorious martyr” who kills the despised Jew (it is always the “Jew,” never the Israeli) and who earns eternal glory by “dying for the sake of Allah.” This “martyr” need not fear personal death in sacrificing himself as a suicide. On the contrary, by choosing to “die” in this way he buys himself free from the horror of mortality: “Do not consider those who are slain in the cause of Allah, as dead,” says the Koran. “They are living by their Lord.”

“Strive for death, and you will receive life,” believes both the Fatah and Hamas terrorist. Each ritualistic killer presumes a very basic human sameness, but both also emphasize a vital Islamic difference from Jews. The Jews, they allege, fear death above all. This is an unfounded and ironic allegation, as the main rationale of the “suicidal” Palestinian terrorist is always to avoid death. For this “martyr,” what is uppermost is to obtain a “seat in Paradise,” and to be saved “from the torture of the grave.”

In practice, American and Israeli officials who would understand Arab/Islamic terror as a form of sacrificial religious worship might now seek ways to disabuse intended “martyrs” of their particular search for immortality. But this strategy would lie far beyond the scope of operational possibility. Palestinian terror-violence takes shelter in religion, but, reciprocally, religion also allows Fatah/Hamas terrorists to combine ecstatic bloodletting with internal harmony.

As America and Israel continue to mistakenly project their own Western, rational model of geopolitics upon Palestinian terrorist thinking, celebrated “martyr” Samy Rahim’s words spoke truthfully about the nature of both the Fatah and Hamas enemy: “Every day on which the sun rises and no Jew is killed, nor any martyr has died, will be a day for which we will be punished by Allah.” This punishment will arise because both obligatory aspects of sacrificial terror will have been neglected: The sacrifice of the Jew and the sacrifice of the “martyr.” The two-sided nature of terror/human sacrifice is also codified in the Charter of Hamas: “…the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise….”I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.”

Before open civil war erupted between Fatah and Hamas, the jointly appointed clergy, preaching on the Temple Mount, sermonized: “Palestinians spearhead Allah’s war against the Jews. The dead shall not rise until the Palestinians shall kill all the Jews…. All agreements with Israel are provisional.”

This Palestinian terrorist view still favors only a Final Solution (not a Two-State Solution) for Israel. It is a view shared by Fatah and Hamas. Aiding and arming the former in order to destroy the latter misses the key point. Only when Washington and Jerusalem begin to see that their clearly common enemy is rooted in the Islamist-based linkage of terrorism to human sacrifice can they finally embrace a real progress. For U.S. President Barack Obama, there can be absolutely no more immediately important recognition.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on Israeli security matters, terrorism and international law He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/religious-bases-of-jihadist-terror-points-of-importance/2009/06/10/

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