Photo Credit: courtesy
Anat Berko

{Originally posted to the IMRA website}

IMRA Interview: Likud MK Anat Berko Pitches Dividing Jerusalem Before Completing Study of Consequences
Dr. Aaron Lerner 1 October 2017


The following is a translation of the Hebrew exchange via WhatsApp

Lerner: Photo of Ben Caspit column in Maariv on 29 September with the headline: “Separation Plan – KM Dr. Anat Berko presented a comprehensive plan this week to the Prime Minister, whose goal is to separate between the Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem…”

Good morning from Dr. Aaron Lerner – a member of the Likud Central committee in Raanana. I wanted to clarify if in fact in your plan neighborhoods are transferred to the Palestinian Authority. I wanted to also ask on behalf of

Likud MK Dr. Ana Berko: Good morning Dr. Lerner, read the article carefully, I would be pleased if you invited me to talk about the plan.

Lerner: I want to do my “homework”, so there is a basic point:

There are plans to transfer neighborhoods in Jerusalem to a separate Israeli regional council.

From what I understand, from what Ben Caspit wrote, according to your plan we are not talking about transferring neighborhoods to a separate Israeli regional council but instead to the Palestinian Authority. Is this correct?

Berko: To remove a mass of villages that have nothing to do with Jerusalem and today they have the status of residents (National Insurance, health insurance), that they exploit for terror in certain circumstances. Only security considerations will be made.

Lerner: That is to say – yes, transferring them to the Palestinian Authority.

Only one question: was a simulation carried out of the implementation of your plan by a “red team”?

That is to say: taking a staff that thinks how they could exploit the program.

I ask this in particular since you relate to “security considerations” and it may turn out that a “red team” analysis finds ways to exploit the implementation of the plan to an extent that the plan is already problematic.

In contrast: if the plan holds up even when one tries to exploit it this would add to the plan.

By the way: the idea of red team analysis is from Shlomo Gazit [AL: former head of Military Intelligence]. He maintains that in his time this tool was used and that we screw up many times now because we don’t really think to the end what the enemy can do.

I will translate the answer to English for distribution in

Berko: I don’t know what a red team is. They weren’t in the story.

Lerner: Here is a report of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff describing the need for red teams:   [AL: Joint Doctrine Note 1-16 Command Red Team 16 May 2016 Unclassified]

It is a way to examine ideas and plans.

Berko: We haven’t used this, at this stage. In any case, thanks for the update. I am going into a Knesset Committee.

Lerner: I (Aaron Lerner) am in shock.

You are going around with a plan. Sending it even to the Prime Minister and of course the media

And it turns out that the depth of thinking invested in the security considerations can be measured as a few millimeters!!

Berko: You are wrong. The matters were weighed and studied by a serious and trained staff. We can discuss this later. Have a good day.

Lerner: If how a team of the enemy can exploit the plan isn’t checked then one is left with a situation of “best case analysis”.

By the way, that’s why in the IDF they claimed that it was possible to leave the Golan.

They thought about it and studied how everything would be ok with various substitutes.

But they weren’t willing to really study it.

Berko: Don’t worry, these things will be studied. It is clear that no one relies on the Palestinians in any case!

Lerner: You write “will be studied” and not “were studied”. That’s to say, you gave a plan to our Prime Minister and the media before a proper in depth study.

In all due respect, we in Israel have suffered enough from plans that weren’t subject to appropriate study before they were published.

You are not from a think tank. You are a Likud Member of Knesset. A Member of Knesset because you were chosen by the Prime Minister [AL: she did not run in the primaries but instead was picked by PM Netanyahu for the list].

When the world sees the plan – including the Trump staff – they relate to it accordingly.

I recommend that in light of the importance that is given to your plan that you take a break to recruit an appropriate group that can do a simulation of the results of the plan, with the people playing the Arabs being the most innovative and smart – and act under the basic assumptions that their goal is to cause the maximum damage to Israel.

Best regards,
Dr. Aaron Lerner

Berko: The work hasn’t been completed Dr. Lerner.

Lerner: But its already getting media publicity. And you already gave material to the Prime Minister.

It would be appropriate to publish an announcement that you are taking a break to check the plan and that until the checking has been completed you do not support the plan.

[No reply].