2003 - Part 1
THE TRANSFER IS ALREADY HERE!
In the last issue of Israel Imperial
News, as in this current one, we have been saying that the hidden
agenda of the Israeli government is Transfer - that is, the
implementation of the policy of getting rid of the Palestinian
people - Ethnic Cleansing in short. It's not a hidden agenda
This is an article from the English edition
of the daily newspaper Ha'aretz, published on the 26th of April
2002. In this light we have to see and understand the massacre
in Jenin, the destruction of the houses and the vandalisation
of the computers and the destruction of the software in the invaded
towns of the West Bank.
The transfer is already here. It is not the
transfer that Benny Begin described with horror as "Jewish
soldiers breaking into hundreds of homes and forcibly removing
Arab families, dragging men and women and taking infants out of
the cradles, and sending them on their way with their belongings."
Jewish soldiers, as we know, will not break in, will not drag
people and will not carry infants out in their hands. Jewish soldiers,
to rely on the fragmentary reports from Jenin, level houses with
bulldozers and crush vehicles with tanks - not least so that the
refugees from Jenin will not want to return to the city. Or, so
that if they do want to, they will have no place to go back to.
This form of population transfer dovetails well
with the current bloody round of actions. No longer are we engaged
in a boxing match with rules and a referee. What we have now is
pummelling in the school corridor, with pinching and spitting
and biting and fingers in the eyes. The present transfer is a
wild brawl. It has no tactical goals, though it has one strategic
aim: to make life unbearable, to instil fright and induce flight.
Hundreds of dead from human bombs on buses will do the job - and
so will toppling houses with their residents inside in refugee
This transfer is not talked about openly. It
does not exist officially; there is no government decision to
implement it, and certainly it is not to be found in official
operational orders. To be precise with the terminology, a big
wink has to accompany this transfer as it is not just any old
transfer, it is, you know, a "voluntary transfer," or
in the more stylised language of Effi Eitam, the newly installed
cabinet minister and leader of the National Religious Party, it
is "evacuation by choice."
"Evacuation by choice" encapsulates
a dream of the nullification of the Palestinians, of their complete
and sudden disappearance like the fading of a bad dream - and
without the physical contact of Jewish hand. That vision has captured
the imagination of politicians from the early leaders of Zionism
such as Berl Katznelson and David Ben-Gurion, to soldier politicians
of the likes of Moshe Dayan and Rehavam Ze'evi. The methods were
many and diverse, ranging from threats to inducements: from encouraging
the flight of the refugees of 1948 and of southern Lebanon in
the 1980s, to the attempt to tempt them with a grant of $3,000
per family for those who would agree to leave (Dayan, 1967). There
were attempts to expel them by means of incentives to study abroad,
by making possible free passage from Gaza to the West Bank, and
even with help in liquidating and moving property (a team of experts
established by Levy Eshkol in 1967).
The generous offers were of no avail: The Palestinians
are still here. Another proposal, too, made by Ze'evi in 1992
- to prevent the Arabs from working and deny them access to the
universities - also somehow failed to be put into practice. The
most practical of all was Uzi Narkiss, of all people, who was
the head of Central Command in 1967. At first he thought, as he
told Gideon Levy in this magazine, that buses would be enough.
He had them brought to the Jordan River bridges and tried to tempt
the frightened refugees to escape into Jordan, but only about
20,000 took advantage of the convenient transportation.
A few days later, in the Latrun salient, he
found a more efficient and less costly alternative. Buses were
no longer needed in this case, only a veiled threat: "We
come in the morning and say: 'Guys, go to Ramallah.' And they
go. There was no resistance and no blows," Narkiss said,
adding, "afterward, we levelled the villages and today we
have Canada Park there."
Although success was not complete, Narkiss'
method of implicit intimidation, like the blunter methods of the
War of Independence and the Lebanon War, proved that Arabs could
be made to flee without fear that Jews would get their hands dirty
loading women and children onto trucks. This is only "a small
injustice that is intended to prevent the greater injustice,"
says Prof. Aryeh Eldad. The "voluntary transfer" is
far more than a mutual offsetting of unequal injustices: It bears
the prospect of bringing about an absolute solution to the Palestinian
Final and absolute solution
Prof. Aryeh Eldad, who is one of the supporters
of this absolute solution, is first of all a physician. From 1979
to 2000, he was chief medical officer of the Israel Defence Forces.
Today he is the director of the plastic surgery department at
Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. He is also the son
of the late Prof. Yisrael Eldad, a cultured man with broad horizons
who had a clearer position than his son concerning the solution
of the Palestinian problem. The senior Eldad was round of body,
while the son is sharp and lean. From his father, he inherited
the severe facial features and the eyebrows that dive like fire
bombers in a diagonal thrust over the piercing eyes.
True, Yisrael Eldad had a Ben Gurion-type white
mane, while his son has faded brown hair, but the ideas of the
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are common to them both.
Yisrael Eldad translated all of Nietzsche's writings into Hebrew
and his son received his doctrine from him, though "diffusely,"
as he puts it. Like Nietzsche, Eldad also shows disdain for the
universal rules of morality, respects force and esteems the will
power that implements it. Force, Eldad Jr. says, is a language
that everyone understands. To say "I want" is, in his
view, an argument sufficiently persuasive so that it need not
be supported by moral justifications, since in any case, "everything
Eldad is disappointed that Israelis still possess
a ghetto mentality that makes them think that they need authorisation
and approval before acting. He would enjoy being like the simple,
bully-boy goy who needs neither approval nor reinforcements and
who mocks the world. And if a goy, then an American goy. Not the
soul searching, cowed American of Vietnam, but the American who
bombs Iraq and shells Serbia, and even one who drops an atomic
bomb on Hiroshima. The atomic bomb and the bombing of Dresden
in World War II are Eldad's examples of the revenge that is an
integral element of every war (the house philosopher backs him
up: "A little revenge is more human than no revenge,"
he wrote). The atomic bombs killed tens of thousands of Japanese
civilians, but they prevented the death of American soldiers.
The bombing of the city of Dresden by the British also killed
tens of thousands of civilians, but spared the lives of thousands
of British soldiers by shortening the war.
There is no absolute justice in the struggle
between the two peoples, he says, there is relative justice -
and ours is preferential to theirs. Transfer, for example, is
a small injustice (to them) that will prevent a great injustice
(to us). After all, what is it to walk a few kilometres when compared
to incalculable bloodshed?
"There will be no forced transfer, no march
and no buses or trucks," Prof. Eldad says reassuringly. "An
ordinary Jew is incapable of taking people and uprooting them."
He does not think that a "transfer by agreement" is
possible. "Three thousand dollars will not make a Palestinian
leave the home where his family has resided for hundreds of years,"
How, then, does one induce him to leave his
home? "A war will expel him," he replies. "Panic
and risk of life will compel him to flee the house where his family
has lived for hundreds of years." Nietzsche: "You say,
it is the good cause that hallows even war? I say to you: It is
the good war that hallows any cause." We will bomb them from
the air, Eldad says, actuating the philosopher's thought. We will
bomb population centers and then they will flee, as they did in
the War of Independence and in the war in Lebanon.
Small vs. great tragedies
"Transfer is an impossible idea
because we will not let you do it," asserts the writer Amos
Oz, "even if we have to split the army and the country. The
right has to know that if it tries this, it will bring about the
disintegration of the country." But Oz does not frighten
Prof. Eldad. Eldad divides the fight against the Palestinians
into two sections: the small tragedy (theirs), which is always
preferable to the great tragedy (which is always ours).
Is the disintegration of the country the
"small tragedy" that will save us from the "great
tragedy" of loss of the Promised Land? "Even Amos Oz
and his friends will stay quiet if the war that expels the Palestinians
comes in reaction to a destructive operation of theirs,"
And what is a "destructive operation"?
"It will not be our reaction to one or two killed, even if
that happens every day for months on end," he says. "I
am talking about a reaction to [the use of] chemical or biological
material or to mass killing, hundreds of dead."
Until masses of Israelis are killed, Eldad
has a detailed and even partially up-to-date scenario: Hezbollah
fires Katyusha rockets at cities in Galilee, Israeli Arabs attack
and burn emergency depots of the army, "and then all you
have to do is bomb them from the air. We will shell population
centres in Nablus, in Hebron, in Gaza," he says. There will
be a great fight, with people fleeing to Jordan, "but Jordanian
policemen will shoot them in order to stop them from entering
the country." The transfer, then, will be "the result
of a catastrophe," and "Amos Oz will be able to live
with that, the 53 percent who are against transfer [according
to a survey by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel
Aviv University], the world, will be able to live with it."
The world will be able to live with it?
The world according to Eldad (with the exception of United States
today) is hypocritical and anti-Semitic, but we nevertheless need
it, because without it's help, he confirms, "there will be
devastation here." To ward off that possibility, Eldad is
ready for a moment to stop being the neighbourhood bully and disguise
himself as a Ghetto Jew - and then to hurl the anti-Semitism of
the squire into his face in a way that will make it possible to
reap the fruits of the resultant guilty feelings immediately.
And will the world swallow the ingenious ploy?
Prof. Eldad relies on the world's blindness.
In 1994, he headed an IDF mission to the refugee camps in Rwanda.
"We actually treated the 'bad guys,'" he says, "but
did anyone in the world distinguish between good and bad? They
were all blacks, as far as the world was concerned. The world
sees us as two wild tribes that are fighting each other to the
death on a faraway hill, and I wish they would let us get on with
the work without interruption."
Nietzsche assailed universal morality,
calling it "herd morality." Does the Holocaust free
us from any and all obligation to universal morality? "Our
sensitivity is exaggerated," Prof. Eldad says. In Rwanda,
he had to record the medical condition of the refugees on their
arms with a felt pen, but was asked, "because of the associations,"
to write on their forehead. In Ramallah, an officer wanted to
classify the different "wanted individuals," but wasn't
sensitive enough to the association" and wrote numbers on
their arms. Another officer, equally insensitive, forced wanted
individuals to march in a procession wearing only their underclothing,
because he was afraid they might be concealing explosives on their
bodies. Operational efficiency? Lack of historical sensitivity?
"Maybe, but definitely a small injustice,"
Prof. Eldad says, seeking accuracy. "So we made them march
naked, so we drilled holes in walls, so we frightened the women
and children a little - so what? In the end we saved lives of
War morality and society
"The moral imperative is the light
flickering in the white darkness of human blindness. These are
the simple human moral values that must be defended at any cost
and that cannot be taken for granted
The blindness of Saramago
is the blindness all of us."
These fine words were written by none
other than Prof. Eldad, the man to whom "the simple human
values" are alien when applied to Palestinians. It was with
these words that Eldad wrote (in the Ha'aretz book review section)
about the novel "Blindness" by Jose Saramago, the Portuguese
writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. About a
month ago, Saramago likened the IDF's in the territories to those
of the Nazis. His greatness as a writer does not offset his ignorance
as a person, Prof. Eldad explains today.
Historian and Holocaust researcher Dr.
Aryeh Arad believes in human moral values. Every aspect of his
biography touches on a painful point of the events here today
and their implications. He was a partisan fighter, an officer
in the Armored Corps, the IDF's chief education officer, and the
chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Authority in Jerusalem.
Dr. Arad is particularly sensitive to the points at which the
unique Holocaust abuts on every war, including the present one,
and as an educator and a soldier, he understands the effect of
war morality on the society as a whole.
As someone who went through all the stages
of command in the Armored Corps, he is asked about the sense of
power that a tank accords to those inside it. Is there a type
of enjoyment in the ease with which a house can be brought down
by means of light movement of the steering apparatus? Does crushing
a parked car offer the same forbidden pleasure that a naughty
child gets from smashing a beetle with a stone? A danger resides
in the sense of power, he responds. Wars hurt the victorious soldiers
too, and also the whole society. The soldiers who went through
the Vietnam War were not the same as they were before that experience.
"We chased crying children,"
Ido, one of the soldiers in Tul Karem, told Ha'aretz last week.
"The mothers were crying, too. But we had no problem with
that, we felt terrific, because these are people who are hurting
us. We left our feelings at home." Will Ido find his feelings
waiting for him when he returns home? There is a danger in the
sense of power, Dr. Arad says.
In 1969, when he was chief education officer,
Arad published an article in the IDF's weekly magazine entitled
"War Without Hatred." In it, he called on soldiers to
fight "purposefully and morally, without being dragged after
instincts that will corrupt the human image of the fighter
and the image of Israeli society."
Asked whether the fact that we are victims
of the Holocaust imposes on us a heavier moral responsibility
or does it in fact absolve us of responsibility, he says: "It
definitely imposes heavy moral responsibility. We will be the
first in the world to suffer if human life has no value."
The incident in which numbers were written on the arms of people
in Ramallah makes him angry. It was, of course, "stupidity
and insensitivity," but he does not accept the assumption
that the act also contained an element of humiliation, a type
of dehumanisation that transforms a human being into an object.
Aryeh Arad is, according to his description
of himself, a "practical person." Therefore, he is not
shocked by the spectacle of prisoners made to march in the cold
dressed in their underwear. It is not humiliation if stripping
them made it possible to check whether they had explosives. Arad
is not an opposition type and he wants to avoid self-righteousness.
He would have told the combatants who were holed up in Jenin that
they had a certain amount of time to come out, otherwise the army
would burst in with force. Even if women and children were there?
Yes, he says, I would have taken responsibility and gone in.
All his adult life, he has held "state" positions; he
doesn't want to hurt anyone, so his language is evasive and his
style is thick, but his intention is clear: "In some of the
actions in the territories, we are not reducing the reservoir
of hate." In other words, levelling houses and crushing cars
will only hurt us. Invoking the same pragmatic approach, he rejects
proposals to punish the families of terrorists or to inflict damage
on their villages. The Germans, he says, did that and failed.
So a few families wandered around in the forest because their
houses had been demolished, but did they hate less? Did they fight
Arad is scornful of the transfer advocates.
Who is going to let them expel three million Arabs? After all,
when we tried to expel 400 Arabs, they wouldn't let us - referring
to the expulsion to Lebanon of 400 Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists
by the government of Yitzhak Rabin in December 1992. Arad dismisses
the concept of "voluntary transfer" espoused by Aryeh
Eldad and Effi Eitam, "because it not practical." He,
too, would like "the Arabs to disappear out of sight,"
but he knows that the world will not let us do things like that.
The world? The world that was silent when the members of your
family were murdered?
Even though Arad was a soldier for more than
half his life, beginning in the Harel Brigade of the pre-state
Palmach "shock troops," Prof. Aryeh Eldad would probably
consider him a grovelling ghetto-type Jew. The former resistance
fighter and chairman of Yad Vashem today takes an attitude toward
"the world" that differs from the provocative position
according to which we have a right to turn our back on the world
because it was silent then. After all, as a "practical person,"
he knows that the world has changed: In 1945 the Soviets placed
the Chechens on trains and within a few days scattered them to
the four winds, without firing a shot as revenge for the collaboration
with the Germans. Today, 60 years later, the Russians, with all
their tanks and planes, are unable to suppress 2.5 million Chechens.
Look how we got embroiled in the case of the
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, he says; if anything happens
to the church, Israel will feel the wrath of all Christendom.
The world, he notes, considers national self-determination a "sacred
value" and will not accept an attempt by Israel to prevent
the Palestinians from achieving that status. And if we tell the
world where to get off, in the spirit of Prof. Eldad's vision?
In that case, the world is capable of "bringing us to our
knees if it cuts off our oil supply for three months".
It is wrong to view every manifestation of opposition
to Zionism as a case of Anti-Semitism, Dr. Arad believes. True,
there are cases in which Anti-Zionism acts as a cover for repressed
Anti-Semitism, but we must not make sweeping generalisations.
The Jews suffered more than anyone from such generalising. Not
all Europeans are Anti-Semitic. And what of Israelis, he asks:
Do they all agree with the government? Dr. Arad identifies the
pointlessness of the current state of affairs. The armed guards
in front of cafes irk him. The guard at the post office in Ramat
Hasharon drives him crazy. If all the guards in Israel held hands,
they could encircle the country and do more good, he fumes. Nor
does he understand why the finance minister is preaching war instead
of doing something about the collapsing economy.
Unlike Prof. Eldad, Dr. Arad believes in universal
values. He does so even though he lost his family in the Holocaust
and is therefore ostensibly entitled to benefit from the "freedom
of the victim" that permits him to deny those values. Prof.
Yehuda Bauer, the well known historian of the holocaust, wrote:
"Voluntary transfer, meaning ethnic cleansing, will inevitably
be accompanied by mass murder. The attempts to implement these
plans will bring an end to era of democracy in Israel
will be total moral destruction and economic destruction as well.
No one will want to invest in a racist, violent country."
The word "Holocaust" is not mentioned, and Dr. Arad
also declines to link the Holocaust and it's moral implications
directly to the events here, but even if it is not stated, it
cannot be ignored.
"RELATIVE CALM" IN THE MIDDLE EAST
James J. David
Today's ambush of an Israeli bus in the West
Bank that killed 7 Jewish settlers officially ended a 3 week period
of what the American news media have called a "relative calm"
in Middle East violence. In other words, the average American
citizen who doesn't keep up with the Middle East as I do would
naturally assume that there have been no killings during this
3 week period. This assumption would be correct if the terms "relative
calm" was to define any other conflict. The distiction in
the Middle East is that this is
not just any other conflict. This is not just a conflict between
Israelis and Palestinians but a conflict between Israel and the
news media. Whatever the case may be, there's no doubt that journalists
generally understand critical words about Israel to be hazardous
to careers. And not only do the
journalists feel the threat, but the News Outlets themselves have
gotten the message.
There was a time when we could at least depend
on CNN to give us a balanced account of the happenings in the
Middle East but, if you've noticed lately, CNN seems to report
only the news that is favorable to the public image of the Israelis.
This all began about 3 weeks ago when the Israelis threatened
to pull the plug on CNN unless they immediately tiltled all the
news in favor of Israeli victims of terrorist attacks and stop
all interviews with Palestinan victims. CNN immediately sent over
their senior vice president to Israel to resolve the problem while
correspondent Wolf Blitzer spent one week
in Jerusalem airing nothing but Israeli victims. Since then, CNN
bends over backwards to insure only news of Israeli victims makes
Up until today, and during these last 3 weeks
of "relative calm" there hasn't been one single Israeli
killed or wounded and not one suicide bombing had been committed.
Instead, there have been 43 Palestinians killed, most of them
unarmed civilians, including 9 children and two young Palestinian
mothers. Just 3 days ago the Israelis machine gunned and killed
an innocent mother and her 2-year-old son, a 13-year-old boy and
a Palestinian free-lance photographer. In addition to these unprovoked
killings, there have been dozens of men, women and children maimed
and injured by the Israeli occupation forces, and dozens of homes
have been demolished including the complete destruction of the
Palestinian Authority offices in Hebron. In addition there are
over 3 million Palestinians confined to their homes and placed
under long curfews for more than three weeks.
Have we heard any criticism or condemnation
from President Bush, or Secretary of State Colin Powell? Have
we seen National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice step up to
the podium on the White House lawn to speak to reporters about
Israeli violence? Have we seen Congressman Tom Lantos introduce
any written document to withhold any more economic aid to Israel
unless the violence stops? Of course we haven't. It only happens
when the violence is Palestinian violence. And don't be surprised
if you don't see the above actions taken today, not at Israel
but at Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians after today's bus ambush
that killed 7 Israelis.
I should also warn you to be prepared for the
blitz of news coverage of today's Middle East violence. The 3
week period of "relative calm" will be over and our
local and national news media will present headline coverage of
today's bus attack where 7 innocent Jewish settlers were ambushed
and killed. No mention will be made of Israeli troops killing
the Palestinian mother and her 2-year-old son nor will there be
any mention of the 13-year-old Palestinan boy who was killed by
Israeli machine guns. Neither will there be
any mention of the 35-year-old Palestinian journalist Emad Abu
Zahra, who was shot and killed by Israeli troops--if only he could
get a fraction of the coverage that Wall Street journalist Danny
Since this report was written in December 1999,
the number of innocent Palestinian homes demolished has almost
doubled to 4700, causing more than 30,000 men, women, and especially
children to become homeless with very little clothing and food.
The fact that today's news media consistently
and deliberately ignores these dozens of Palestinians brutally
killed by Israel demonstrates in the clearest possible terms that
only Israeli lives are valued and only the concerns and security
of Israel are taken seriously. Rarely since the Second World War
a people been so vilified as the Palestinians and rarely has a
people been so frequently excused and placated as the Israelis.
Downloaded from the Internet
James J. David is a retired Brigadier General
and a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College,
and the National Security Course, National Defense University,
Washington DC. He served as a Company Commander with the 101st
Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970
and also served nearly 3 years of Army active duty in and around
the Middle East from 1967-1969.
THE CLASSIC RECIPE FOR INDEPENDENCE
Hanoch Levin - translated
from the Hebrew by Ran HaCohen
The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then make ceremonies, sew flags,
Sign a long charter with many words.
Feel how the back becomes erect,
Even though the hunchbacks remain crooked.
The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then open offices, eat watermelons, make love,
Shed sweat, feel in your mouth a light sense of disappointment.
Suddenly discover next to you another small nation, wretched and
Let its buzz bother you like that of a fly.
The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then crush the nation next to you, oppress it to dust.
It wants what you wanted - don't give it anything.
It points a pistol - reply with a canon, it threatens - you murder.
Let the living shout, let the dead rot away, let the undertaker
The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then shake hands, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier, open
Hold speeches on friendship, eternity, fraternity, commercial
and cultural ties.
Sit comfortably in an armchair, open an evening paper, read with
Somewhere on earth, somebody is sending people to die.
Burning the Oslo Candle at Both Ends
Gideon Levy - Ha'aretz, 16 June 2002
Like the living dead, the Oslo Accords hover
overhead: When it's good for Israel, we rush to embrace them;
when it's not, we ride roughshod over them. This is an intolerable
situation. Perhaps it really is time to declare Oslo dead, as
Minister Tsachi Hanegbi repeats ad nauseum on the TV promo for
"Politika." But there is a price to pay, for which Israel
doesn't seem ready for.
Last week, the High Court of Justice heard the
petition of a four-and-a half-year old boy from Jericho, Shamas
a-Din Tabiyah, diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. The State of Israel
has refused to finance oncological treatment for the boy, although
there is no children's oncology ward in the territories. What
are the parents supposed to do? Let him die?
By turning its back on him, that is the fate
that Israel has prepared for him. Israel claims that according
to the interim agreements, the Palestinian Authority is responsible
for "providing medical services to minors and adolescents
living in PA-controlled territory." All of a sudden, Israel
has remembered the interim agreements. But when the High Court
ordered the Physicians for Human Rights association, which submitted
the appeal in the child's name, to produce a promise of payment
from the PA, representatives of the association discovered that
there was no one to talk to: Ramallah was under curfew and no
one answered at the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In a nutshell, reality was exposed in all its
absurdity. Israel places responsibility for the health of citizens
on a ministry that Israel itself has closed or prevented from
carrying out its duties. A health ministry cannot be run under
prison conditions, and the same goes for other government ministries,
some of whose buildings have been destroyed by Israel. After a
few days, Shamas' problem was resolved. But that is slight consolation:
It took an appeal to the High Court to save the life of a
Palestinian child because the state hides behind signed agreements
that it ignores itself every day, all for the sake of shirking
responsibility for the fate of a sick boy. Think how many ailing
Palestinian children never made it to the High Court.
If the Oslo Accords are valid, as the attorney
representing the state claimed in court, Israel must immediately
halt its daily incursions into Area A, perhaps the most flagrant
violation of these accords. It must lift the siege and allow the
Palestinian Authority to run at least the civilian side of life
in the territories. It seems doubtful that the current government
will agree. The implication is that Israel perceives the Oslo
Accords as null and void. If so, Israel must renegotiate, without
delay, its legal and moral responsibility for three million people
who are again living under what is actually full occupation. It
must provide these people with education, social services, sanitation
and health care, as required by international law. Israel cannot
continue to burn the candle at both ends.
In Operation Defensive Shield, Israel not only
destroyed the security services of the Palestinian Authority,
but also a large part of its civilian infrastructure. As a result,
the population is now facing a situation it has never experienced
before: There is no governing body that deals with daily affairs.
The civil administration of old is gone, and the Palestinian Authority
has basically been destroyed. Who is in charge of sanitation?
Who supplies water? Who runs the schools and the welfare system?
Israel says it's the PA's responsibility,
but in practice, it does not allow the Authority to do its work.
It is impossible to collect the garbage and deliver water because
of the blockades. How, for example, can water reach the Furik
family, whose house is not connected to the water supply, if the
roads are closed? How can teachers get to Beit Dajan, or students
to Bir Zeit? And this is without even mentioning the empty coffers
of the Palestinian Authority, the tax money that Israel refuses
to hand over, the closure of Israeli markets to Palestinian produce,
the restrictions on the transport of farm products and industrial
goods within the territories and the high unemployment rates -
all resulting from the Israeli siege. Amid all this chaos, all
this desolation and destruction, one needs quite a bit of cynicism,
insensitivity and moral obtuseness to claim, as Israel has, that
the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the medical care
of its citizens, among them a little boy with cancer.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN DEIR-YASSIN 54 YEARS AGO?
(a long projection into the past)
Assembled, translated & edited by Shimon Tzabar
The political and Military Background
in Palestine in 1948:
The British left Palestine on the
15th of May 1948. Until that time there was no Israeli government,
and no Israeli Army. Until that time, the Jewish military force
consisted of three independent groups: The larger one was the
Hagana. Within the Hagana there was a strike force known as the
Palmah. Outside Hagana there were two more independent smaller
forces. The biggest of the two was Etzel, which was the underground
terrorist organisation of the opposition party led by Menahem
Begin, and the smaller one was Lehi, known also as the Stern Gang,
a splinter group which separated from the Etzel a few years previously.
There are many versions of what
happened in Deir Yassin on the 9th of April 1948. Some of these
versions are propaganda pieces, some of which will be dealt with
later on. I wanted to find an Israeli version from a reliable
eye-witness, if something like that existed. I sifted through
the Israeli Hebrew press for many years until I found something
that sounded more or less reliable. I say more or less, because
this account is also biased (as we shall see). The account I found
was a report done by Dr. Me'ir Pa'ill who is today a member of
the Knesset representing the Meretz party. Fifty three years ago
however, in April 1948, he was known as Colonel Me'ir Pilavski,
a liaison officer representing the Palmah in the headquarters
of the Hagana in Jerusalem.
The story of Colonel Me'ir Pilavski
appeared in an interview which he gave to Ron Maiberg. The interview
was published in the magazine Monitin, no. 32, April 1981, page
The story of Colonel Me'ir Pilavski:
Etzel and Lehi had decided to carry
out one operation together. They counted their men and discovered
that together they could supply 130 fighters. Among the Etzel
members there was one, Joshua Goldshmid, who lived in Giv'at Shaul,
a western suburb of Jerusalem close to Deir Yassin and he was
the one that pushed for Deir Yassin. The place itself was a small
village of 750 inhabitants. It did not have a strategic location
and wasn't situated on any important road. And, at that time,
there was already an unwritten agreement between Deir Yassin and
Giv'at Shaul that they would not shoot or snipe at each other
and will not allow outside guards to enter. This agreement was
observed until the village was attacked without provocation by
the Lehi-Etzel gang.
One night at the end of March 1948,
shots were heard coming from Deir Yassin. It was revealed the
next morning that an Arab gang had tried to enter the village,
but the villagers had fired at them and driven them off.
Since the Hagana was holding the
lines of communications, Etzel and Lehi asked David Sha'altiel,
the commander of the Hagana's Jerusalem district for a meeting.
I'm telling you this to show that I knew what was going on, because
I was in the picture from the beginning. Sha'altiel told them
that the plan of the Hagana was, that when the British army leave
(shortly), they would take over Deir Yassin and level it to build
an airport. Instead of attacking Deir Yassin now, he advised them
to attack Ein Karem instead... (I omitted here a few irrelevant
remarks. Ed.) No, they said, Ein Karem is too difficult. Then
Sha'altiel suggested they attack Kolonia. No, they said, that
is difficult too. We want Deir Yassin! [ I omitted here too a
few irrelevant remarks - Ed].
It was Friday, the 9th of April
1948 and I went in together with them. I had a tommy-gun with
a disc magazine, 50 bullets and proper boots. On that day I did
not fire even one bullet. With me was a guy with a good Leica
camera capable of taking 36 still, black and white pictures. Half
of them were shot during the battle and half afterwards. (Here,
again, I omitted some irrelevant remarks. Ed.)
The raid was supposed to start
two hours before dawn. The road to Deir Yassin was open. It was
not mined or obstructed because it was constantly in use. The
plan was, that the van carrying the Etzel/Lehi members would drive
on this dusty road and a loudspeaker would call to the inhabitants
to flee from the village. I was walking on this very road. They
(Lehi) didn't know who I was. They were late and reached the village
when it was already daylight. The van drove on without lights
for about 100 or 200 meters. 'No great deal'. For some obscure
reason it got off the road and couldn't get back on to it. I thought
that now a small skirmish would develop, but there was actually
a battle. From my battleground experience I noticed that the Arabs
had only rifles. All their shots were single shots. Only the attackers
had automatic weapons. They managed to take over the eastern side
of the village with a handful of casualties. The Arabs took over
a few houses on the western side of the village and were sniping
at us. So it lasted a long time. They didn't move.
I was sitting with my photographer
in one of the houses and waited. Suddenly, at about 11 o'clock
in the morning, I heard the explosions of 2 inch mortar shells.
I looked out of the window and I saw ten Palmah fighters under
the command of the late Jacob Wog, descending and taking over
the rest of the village. I ran up to them, "Yaki" I
asked him", what are you doing here?". "I know"
he said, "I returned last night from a raid on Ein Karem
and at nine o'clock somebody walks to me and says 'come! There
is a crisis. We have attacked Deir Yassin and we've got stuck.
It could turn into a disaster! I equipped the platoon with mortars
and did a flanking". The Palmach didn't have even one casualty.
I said to Yaki: " This is a job by Etzel and Lehi. This isn't
our quarter. Take your guys and go to sleep."
I think that if the platoon had
stayed on, there would not have been a massacre. They (Etzel &
Lehi), were not able to carry out even their own task. We had
to send in a tired platoon to finish the job for them.
Suddenly I started to hear shooting
from all directions in the village. I ran there with my photographer
and I saw gangs of Etzel and Lehi running through the alleys.
In my report I added: 'with bulging eyes' as if they were 'running
amok'. They were running from house to house. They got inside,
and butchered whoever was there by shooting, not by hand grenades!
By shooting! I called it hot blooded murder. It was spontaneous,
not planned. I ran after them shouting:' what are you doing?'
They looked at me as if I was crazy, also with those bulging eyes.
The photographer was taking pictures of scenes that I can still
see, even now, with my own eyes: A corner in a room. A woman,
children and an old man, butchered. Another house. A man, a woman
and children were lying in a corner. Not along the walls. Here
and there was somebody wounded.
This massacre ended in the afternoon,
when some of our people came from Giv'at Shaul and started to
shout. Then they stopped it. They gathered those who were still
alive and put them in a house while shouting wildly: 'We will
explode it on them'.
They took about 20 to 25 men and
put them on a lorry. We joined them in their trip to town. They
arranged a parade in some of Jerusalem suburbs where they had
followers. The crowd cheered and clapped. Then back to the lorry.
They took them to a quarry between Giv'at Shaul and Deir Yassin.
Took them off the lorry, made them stand against the wall and
shot them. This picture was also taken by my photographer.
They took all those that remained
(alive in the village), put them on a truck and paraded them through
the streets of Jerusalem to the Musrara quarter and from there
they let them escape in the direction of the Jaffa gate.
On the Saturday, Etzel and Lehi
notified David Sha'altiel: 'Tomorrow we leave the place. We are
a crash unit. We don't hold to command posts. They were asked
to at least bury the corpses. 'We don't care' was their answer.
Two platoons of Gadna, seven and eighth grade students (a pre-military
unit of the Hagana.. Ed.), were brought to Deir Yassin on the
Sunday and they did most of the burying. They counted the corpses.
The Red Cross arrived later on. There were 254 dead out of 750
people who had lived in this village. A third was killed, a third
was evacuated and a third escaped.
I wrote my report and sent it to
Israel Galili, the head of the Hagana".
This was what Dr.Me'ir Pa'yil told
the members of kibbutz Hulda in 1979, when somebody who knew that
he had been involved, asked him to tell the true story. Since
the members of the kibbutz wanted to know the whole truth, they
also invited Mordekhai Ra'anan, the commander of the Etzel unit
that was active in Deir Yassin, to tell them his version of what
happened on the 9th of April 1948. After Ra'anan told his story,
someone in the audience rose up and said that two weeks ago they
had heard a completely different story.
Ra'anans answer was: "Me'ir
Pa'yil is a liar and a fraud. He was never in Deir Yassin at that
Amotz Peleg, the guy in the kibbutz
responsible for setting up these debates, decided to clear this
matter up. He wrote a letter to Israel Galili who was at the time
the general commander of the Hagana. Galili confirmed that Me'ir
Payil was actually there and had submitted to him a shocking report
and photographs of what happened at Deir Yassin. He added that
he had showed this report to Ben-Gurion who was Prime Minister
at the time. A facsimile of that letter (in Hebrew) was reproduced
in this article. However, Pa'ils original report and the photographs
are locked-up in the archives of the Israeli Army and nobody can
get access to them, not even Galili himself. Furthermore, even
Me'ir Pa'yil the author was denied access to his own report and
I mentioned earlier that this report
was biased. But its bias consisted of more then just its claims
about the incompetence of Etzel and Lehi said to be 'so incompetent
as not to be able to conquer Deir Yassin on their own and they
needed the help of the Palmah'. It was also biased in its claim
that the Hagana was not responsible for the massacre, that it
was only the work of Etzel and Lehi. Its similar to what happened
years later after the massacres in Sabra and Shatila. The claim
is that Ariel Sharon and the Israeli army did not carry out the
massacre, and that it was perpetrated by the Christian militia!
But who allowed the Christian militia to enter the refugee camp
in the first place?
I tried to clear up the role of
Etzel and Lehi in the massacre. I looked for an eye witness account
from that group and managed to find an eye witness from Lehi.
In an interview in the magazine Koteret Rashit on 26/12/1984,
Nahum Barnea asks the writer Amos Keinan: "People say that
you participated as one of the Lehi fighters in the massacre of
Deir Yassin. Is it true?"
Amos Keinan: " I never kept
it a secret. I told it to all my Palestinian friends. However,
I cannot give an eye witness account because I was wounded early
in the morning and was transferred to a hospital on Radak street.
I did not see what was going on there. However, I can reconstruct
some events from memory because I participated in the planning
committee which set the aims of this operation. Nobody there mentioned
a massacre. We were discussing two possible targets: Beit Hanina
(North Jerusalem) or Deir Yassin. I participated in forward scouting
of these two targets
I'm surprised by Keinan's first
claim that he never kept it a secret, I was a close friend of
his since our teenage years and I don't remember him ever mentioning
it. He might have told it to his Palestinian friends as he so
cheerfully states, and I, with all our friendship, am not a Palestinian
but an Israeli. But why did he tell it to the Palestinians? Was
it to gain their respect or to frighten them? This part of his
interview does not make any sense to me. And, if he was as he
claimed, a member of the planning committee, did Amos Keinan approve
of the idea to parade 20 or 25 people of Deir Yassin in the Jerusalem
suburbs and then execute them in a quarry?
Although my search for an eye-witness
account of the massacre is not resolved by Amos Keinan's interview,
I think that it is highly significant, because Amos was known
as one of the leaders of the Peace Now movement and an interview
like this would have allowed him to expose the murderous tendencies
of some of his former allies unless, of course, he himself was
I also mentioned, previously, that
there are propaganda versions of the Deir Yassin massacre. One
of them is by Menahem Begin, published on 06/05 1971: " The
battle was very difficult. Almost from every house that was built
of hard stone they shot at our people. To overcome this fire we
had no choice but to throw hand grenades into the houses. After
we broadcasted our announcement, we didn't believe that civilians
stayed there, but they did. It was painful and tragic for us".
Another version was published by
the Israeli Foreign Office on 16/93/1969: "When they entered
the conquered houses they were shocked to discover that side by
side with Iraqi and Palestinian fighters bodies, there were corpses
of women and children. It may well be that these luckless peasants
believed that the Arab soldiers would be able to overcome the
assault or that they were forbidden to leave the village with
the rest, when they had an opportunity to do so before the battle
started or they were afraid to leave. They were innocent victims
of a cruel war. The responsibility for their deaths falls directly
on the Arab soldiers who had to behave according to all the war
regulations - to evacuate them from the village the moment they
had decided to turn it into a citadel."
The most extreme and bizarre version
is that of Eliahu Amikam, a journalist on the staff of the tabloid
Yediot Aharonot, who published on 19/08/1960: " In Deir-Yassin
there were soldiers of regular foreign armies, including Nazis
with swastika emblems. Among the corpses there were Iraqis, Syrians
and Yugoslavs lying in their military uniform. Swastika ribbons
were torn off their sleeves".
THE HARMONIOUS DISCORD
Published in Arabic in Al-Sarq al-Awsat. Translated by the author
If there is anybody in the Middle East who deserves
pity and ridicule, he is undoubtedly Shimon Peres. He never stops
repeating his patethic words about his sorrow and regret for joining
the government of Sharon. But he, nevertheless, keeps his post
as Foreign Minister and keeps repeating his regret for joining
the government. He has become the laughing stock of everybody,
which is a pity for he is one of the few people within the Israeli
establishment with some sympathy and understanding for the Palestinians.
Even the gentlemen on the Nobel Prize Committee
began to feel embarrassed on his account. Some of them expressed
their regret for not having any mechanism in the regulation of
the prize which may allow them to withdraw the Peace Prize from
those who put it to disrepute and trample its dignity under their
feet. In view of the possibility that this government may actually
kill Yasser Arafat, some members are feeling very worried about
the possibility of one Nobel Peace Prize winner killing another
Nobel Prize winner. This would be sheer black comedy, although
not the first one in the cynical history of this grand prize.
In the meantime a joke has been circulating
among the Israeli liberals and leftists, a recycling of the old
anecdote of the Egyptian wit, Muhammad al Babli when crossing
the Meditterranean with his soul mate, Imam Abd. The updated joke
says that two Jews were crossing the Atlantic by sea and their
ship hit an iceberg and started to sink. One of them hurried to
his friend, shouting "Shlomo dear, this ship is sinking".His
friend replied "So what, why are you so worried? Is it ours?"
The Israeli wit cited the joke in regard to
Peres and Ariel Sharon. In a state of panic Peres said to his
Prime Minister "The whole place is sinking in blood and fire".
Sharon replied calmly "So what, is it ours?"
Most Arabs don't believe in any difference
between the Labour party to which Peres belongs and the Likud
party to which Sharon belongs as far as the Palestinians are concerned.
Indeed, some of them think that the Likud party is better for
the Arabs because of its frankness and exposure, whereas the Labour
party is disguised and deceptive. Furthermore it is a party which
COULD IT BE WAR CRIMES?
Zuhair Sabbagh - Lecturer in Sociology in Bir-Zeit University,
A summing up and analysis of the events of the last four
months in Palestine
On March 29, the Israeli colonial
army launched a comprehensive war against the city of Ramallah.
The military offensive was later expanded to include the invasion
of Tul-Karem, Qalqilia, Jenin and Nablus. The Israeli government's
aim was declared as "the liquidation of the Palestinian terrorist
network inside area "A" which is administered by the
Palestinian Authority." After occupying some sections of
the city, 60 Israeli tanks encircled the Palestinian Authority
Compound. After pounding with tanks and demolishing seven buildings,
the Israeli invading army imposed a tight siege on Palestinian
President Yasser Aarafat, where he was confined to two rooms.
In the first few days of the invasion,
Israeli troops occupied and muted a number of Palestinian television
and radio stations in Ramallah and other cities. Then, a clear
message was sent to the international media, when an Italian reporter
was shot and killed by an Israeli tank, another TV repoter was
shot in the neck, and a number of TV reporters' offices were broken
into and ransacked. Later, the TV reporter of Abu-Dabi was deported
and the government journalist card was revoked for other TV reporters.
Foreign TV reporters were denied freedom of movement except if
permitted by the military authorities, so they confined themselves
to their offices and began to function as televised radio reporters.
In addition, a number of European and American volunteers and
activists were deported by Israeli police. Moreover, the Israeli
right-wing government has prevented the free access of the Israeli
media into the reoccupied cities. Israel's official and private
media were forced to rely, in their news coverage, on European
and American TV reports. One must be reminded here that on January
19th, Israeli tanks and troops occupied the Palestinian Broadcasting
Station and blew it up. This was a systematically planned campaign
that ended on April 13th when Israeli troops took over the Jawal
Telephone Company, a Palestinian Mobile Phone Company and disrupted
its services. One hour later, the Israeli authorities disconnected
our telephone access to the world. All communication, by telephone,
facsimile and electronic mail, was completely severed.
Apparently, the use of intimidation
and violence by the Israeli army was meant to: disrupt the work
of Palestinian and international media; severe the electronic
communication with the world; tightly shut the OPTs in front of
all the media groups; and create a news blackout on its military
activities. These measures provided the army with a tool to prevent
any eyewitnesses from reporting what goes on inside, especially
European television reporters. One should ask: was there something
the Israeli army wanted, very much, to hide? In order to answer
this question, we must provide a short political background.
A Short Background
Both the Barak and the Sharon governments
have started a war of aggression against the Palestinian Authority
as well against 3.2 million Palestinian civilians. In violation
of the Oslo Accords, a signed agreement, General Barak: initiated
a war of aggression that included the use of massive and disproportionate
fire against Palestinian civilians that resulted in the killing
and maiming of hundreds. Among other lethal methods, Defense Minister
and Prime Minister Barak: used Apache helicopter gunships that
fired anti-tank rockets on civilian houses, hospitals and security
installations; stationed tanks, and used them to bombard civilian
populated areas; began a campaign of extra judicial killings of
Palestinian activists; allowed his army and police, including
snipers, to shoot and kill a big number of Palestinian civilians
who protested against his intransigent policies; allowed armed
settlers to attack, shoot and kill Palestinian civilians; did
not stop a number of ferocious racial attacks by Israeli mobs
against Palestinian civilians who are citizens of Israel; allowed
his police, including snipers, to shoot and kill 12 Palestinian
civilians and citizens who participated in demonstrations protesting
against Barak's intransigent policies; and prevented the entrance
of food and medicine to besieged Palestinian civilian locations.
General Sharon, who on February
8th was elected by 62.3 percent of the Israeli electorate, replaced
General Barak as Prime Minister, acted, towards the Palestinians,
in the same fashion but with more intensity. The Israeli army
continued to assassinate Palestinian activists, tanks continued
to bombard Palestinian civilian localities, F-16 bombers and Apache
helicopter gunships continued to raid Palestinian security installations
and civilian commercial enterprises such as the Gaza Seaport,
fishermen's boats, factories and workshops. On a number of occasions,
the assassination of a Palestinian activist will be carried out
in a period of relative calm, which then will provoke a Palestinian
violent response. The government will then use this as a justification
for retaliation. This was Sharon's style of avoiding political
negotiations with the Palestinian authority because it might lead
to a halt in colonial settlement, a concession that Sharon could
Deligitimization of the PA
In the aftermath of numerous military
incursions, raids and assassinations, Minister of Defense General
Ben-Eliezer declared: "We are not interested in occupying
the "A" areas. We do not want to bring down the Palestinian
Authority. We are not fighting against the Palestinian people
but against terror." This declaration was followed by a systematic
propaganda campaign that aimed to discredit and deligitimised
the Palestinian Authority. Numerous Israeli politicians, diplomats,
security and military officers conducted a harmonized campaign
of anti-Palestinian slander that was openly directed against Palestinian
President Yasser Arafat. Then, the Israeli government took a resolution
in which it called President Yasser Arafat irrelevant. Then more
slander began to pour out. Yasser Arafat was accused of heading
a terrorist authority and a coalition of terrorists.
One could detect that the use of
slander, demonisation of Arafat and the terror Mantra by the Israeli
right-wing government were meant to liquidate the Oslo Agreement
by eliminating the Oslo partner, namely the Palestinian Authority.
This development was a necessary precondition for the continuation
of the Zionist colonial project inside the OPTs that kept on expanding
under both a Left and Right Zionist governments.
After slander and deligitimisation,
the Israeli government decided to isolate and humiliate Yasser
Arafat. While being in the PA Compound in Ramallah, Apache helicopter
gunships and F-16 bombers bombed out and rocketed Arafat's two
helicopters and a small jet plane in the Gaza Strip. In addition,
Israeli army bulldozers ploughed the Gaza Airport. Then tanks
moved on and occupied parts of Ramallah, then withdrew under world
pressure. Later on, Israeli tanks came as near as one hundred
meters from Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. These were escalating
steps that led to the "Big Bang" on March 29th.
Zionist Customs of War
According to International Law,
war crimes are violations of "the laws and customs of war"
that are committed by states during war conditions. They could
be classified into three categories: (a) crimes against peace;
(b) war crimes; and (c) crimes against humanity.
(a) Crimes against Peace: Could be defined by International Law
as including the "
planning, preparation, initiation,
or waging of a war of Aggression, or a war in violation of international
treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common
plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing."
(b) War Crimes: could be defined
by International Law as including
but not be limited to,
murder, ill-treatment, or deportation to slave labor or for any
other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory,
murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the
seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property,
wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation
not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against Humanity: These
are war crimes committed by state armies against civilians. They
include, according to international law, "
extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts
committed against any civilian population, before or during the
Throughout the period March 29-April
14, the Israeli army has carried out a number of violations, inside
Palestinian cities, that clearly show distinctive features of
war crimes. The Israeli army has murdered an unknown number of
Palestinian civilians, security personnel and armed Palestinians.
Some were shot and killed in the streets and inside their houses,
while others were killed as a result of fire by heavy tank machine
guns, anti-tank rockets, bombardment and explosions. Israeli tanks
bombarded at least one hospital in Jenin for two hours on April
4th. Its oxygen, water, and electricity supply were devastated
to a point where it could not function anymore as a hospital.
In addition, an Israeli army bulldozer ploughed the street that
leads to the hospital making it inaccessible. Other hospitals
in Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Bayt Jala, and Hebron were encircled
with tanks and cuts of water, electricity and telephone networks
were frequently applied by the Israeli army. Moreover, Palestinian
and Red Cross ambulances were denied the freedom to provide their
emergency service to the wounded. Despite that, some Palestinian
ambulances tried to provide medical help. Some of the ambulances
were run over by tanks, others were expropriated by the army,
while others were shot at, sometimes stopped, searched and kept
waiting for over one hour while carrying wounded civilians inside.
The only ambulance owned by the Jenin Hospital was put out of
order. For twelve days Red Cross and Palestinian ambulances were
denied entrance to Jenin and Jenin Refugee Camp. Obviously, the
army wanted to deny medical treatment for the wounded making them
bleed to death.
In addition, for the past twelve
days, the Israeli army still lays a tight siege to the Jenin area,
and still prevents the entrance of relief agencies, medical and
food supplies, journalists, United Nations Relief and Work Agency,
and anti war demonstrators.
This systematic policy by the Israeli
army will logically leads us to conclude that the army is very
anxious and determined to hide something from the Israeli and
world public opinion. It also reveals that the Israeli army aims,
as a matter of policy, at the maximization of Palestinian death
toll. The murder of civilians and the systematic denial of medical
treatment to the wounded and the sick, lead directly to the murder
of civilians. These are war crimes that are deliberate, strongly
immoral, and brutally inhumane and cannot be justified under any
Plunder and Wanton Destruction
Other types of war crimes that
were stipulated by International Law are the "
of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns,
or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity."
During clashes and after the cessation of fire, Israeli tanks
and Apache helicopter gunships, bombarded and rocketed residential
quarters in Nablus, Jenin and Jenin Refugee Camp. Tanks, military
bulldozers, explosives and helicopter gunships demolished the
old city of Nablus and the al-Yasmina quarter.
After the cessation of clashes,
the Israeli army began a campaign of search, devastate and plunder.
Numerous private vehicles were either run over or damaged by passing
tanks. Many commercial enterprises such as supermarkets, stores,
Banks, customers' safes, hotels, companies, workshops, money exchange
bureaus and factories were devastated, ransacked and plundered
by Israeli tanks and soldiers. In addition cultural centers, Ramallah's
only theatre, the al-Sakakini Cultural Center, sports centers
and human rights centers were also ransacked. Hospitals were encircled
with tanks, besieged, and bombarded. Tanks bombarded water supply
sources and electricity grids. Tanks purposefully knocked down
traffic lights, electricity and telephone poles. Underground network
of water pipes were dug out and cut by army bulldozers. The window
glass of offices and private houses were shot at and shattered.
The doors of residential buildings and private houses were forcefully
opened, mostly at night, by either the use of heavy hammers or
dynamite. Due to the daily march of rambling tanks, the city roads,
sidewalks, trees, greenery and flowers were absolutely devastated.
In addition, a number of Palestinian
ministries were ransacked and devastated, such as the ministries
of education, agriculture, industry, health and social welfare.
Prior to destruction, the Israeli army expropriated documents,
data and the computer servers of ministries and government offices.
This destruction could be added to the initial destruction of
security centers and the interior ministry, which were rocketed
and demolished inside the PA Compound.
Of course, war also means devastation,
destruction and a lot of rubble and there has never been a "clean
and noble" war. But, devastation and wanton destruction that
takes place after the cessation of clashes cannot be justified
by a military necessity. It could have been imperative for a hidden
agenda that the army wanted to implement.
It is imperative to observe that
most of the wanton destruction, caused by the Israeli invasion,
to Palestinian cities, was systematically carried out to cause
maximum economic damage to the civilian society. The Israeli army
wanted to cause the maximum damage to the civilian infrastructure
and to eliminate any economic enterprises that could provide employment
and income to Palestinian civilians. The army intended also to
lower the starting level of Palestinian independence, economic
and nation building. The Israeli colonial bourgeoisie might, probably,
have thought of the economic benefits that the Israeli economy
might achieve during the process of the after war rejuvenation
Deportation and Ethnic Cleansing
Ethnic cleansing and genocide against
indigenous population are considered by United Nations instruments
as two types of war crimes. Although, a campaign of slow ethnic
cleansing has been carried out by the Israeli army inside the
Gaza Strip during the Barak and Sharon governments, nevertheless,
the largest campaign of ethnic cleansing was carried by the Sharon
government in the Jenin Refugee Camp.
After occupying the cities of Tulkarem,
Qalqilya, Nablus and Jenin, the Israeli air force began carpet
bombing of the old city of Nablus and the Jenin Refugee Camp.
In both the old city of Nablus and especially the Jenin Refugee
Camp, the Israeli army met fierce Palestinian resistance that
led to the killing of 13 Israeli soldiers in the Jenin Refugee
Camp, in addition to two more dead soldiers in Nablus and Dura.
On April 9th, the Israeli army
asked for a truce in the Jenin RC in order to get out unknown
dead and wounded Israeli soldiers. After securing that, the army
went berserk. It began massive demolishment of refugee houses
in the JRC, using in the process 30 army bulldozers.
On the same day, it was reported
that the residents of the old al-Yassaminah neighborhood in Nablus
were threatened by the army to evacuate their houses "because
it intends to demolish the entire neighborhood." On April
11th, the Israeli Television showed a Palestinian old woman in
Nablus who emotionally told a foreign television reporter: "They
bulldozed the martyrs and threw them inside the sewage system
so as to prevent the press from seeing and photographing."
On April 14th, the Abu Dabi Television showed how a group of Palestinians
were pulling out a woman from inside a sewage hole. She was still
On April 10th, Palestinian sources
confirmed that over 130 dead Palestinians were under the rubble
of the JRC. Then news began to filter out of the besieged JRC
that the army began to carry out a massive campaign of ethnic
cleansing. According to one source, the army evicted from the
JRC "around 10,000 Palestinian refugees, out of population
of 15,000." The evicted refugees were forced to go to the
village of Rumana and other unknown locations. They resided inside
schools, mosques and private houses, while other refugees slept
in the open.
Already on April 9th, "rumors"
began to circulate out of a tight military siege that the Israeli
army has dug a mass grave for dead Palestinians that were taken
out of the JRC. According to a number of eyewitnesses, the army
was seen smuggling out in trucks Palestinian corpses and that
"Israeli bulldozers began to dig out a mass grave in which
over 300 corpses were buried." In response, ex-Chief of Staff
General Dan Shomron fiercely defended the Israeli army. In an
interview with the Israeli Television, he declared: "We have
the most ethical army in the world
" On April 11th ,
a high-ranking Israeli officer emphatically declared: "There
was no massacre. We neither used tanks or air force. If we wanted,
we could have done it in one day
" In response to a
question, the army spokesperson claimed that the reason for the
tight siege on the JRC was that the army is busy trying to "neutralize
booby-trapped Palestinian corpses
On April 12th , Two Arab members
of the Israeli Parliament, along with Adala human rights organization,
petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court, which issued an interim
order that forbade the army from transporting and burying Palestinian
corpses inside Israel.
During the army's campaign against
the JRC, news began to spread that the army does not take any
Palestinian prisoners, that they shoot at anyone moving inside
or outside their homes and that tight military siege has strictly
been imposed by the army. During that time, the Israeli television
met with a number of Israeli soldiers who took part in the invasion
of Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and the JRC. One soldier boasted by
saying: "We demolished the entire city. Nablus was once a
" Then next day, General Sharon was seen
in a meeting with soldiers in the Jenin area. One soldier asked
Sharon: "Where this will lead us to?" He added: "When
I take out, at midnight, a weeping child from his house, I feel
I am creating the next terrorist!" Sharon's response was:
"We shall not withdraw from Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin or Bethlehem
until we bring about the capitulation of the terrorists"
On April 14th, Israeli troops murdered
Abu Jandal, a military commander of the JRC resistance, who gave
himself up along with an unknown number of fighters. Abu Jandal
was shot and killed in cold blood, inside one of the courtyards
of Jenin. A strong fear exists that other prisoners who gave themselves
up to the Israeli army would meet the same fate
Is Sharon A Man of Peace?
During the course of the Israeli
invasion and for a number of crucial days, anti-war and anti-Israeli
demonstrations broke out in many Arab, Muslim, African, Asian,
Latin American, European and American cities. Yet, the American
Administration kept silent. When demonstrations in the Arab world
began to become more intense and more critical of American support
of Israel, the US Administration broke its silence.
On April 4th, American President
Bush delivered a speech in which he severely criticized the beleaguered
and captive Palestinian President and demanded from him to be
tough on terror and terrorists. Then, President Bush demanded
from Israel to stop and withdraw its forces. He concluded by saying
that he will dispatch foreign minister Colin Powel next week.
The Bosh Administration carried
out what could be best described as political and diplomatic acrobatics
that showed pretension of being against Israeli aggressive invasion
but not serious enough to stop it. It sent Powel on a tour of
diversion that started with Morocco, then Egypt, Jordan, Spain
and Israel, in order to provide the Israeli military machine with
the necessary time to conclude their aggression.
On April 7th, "American White
House Spokesman described Sharon" in clear Orwelian language,
" as a man of peace." This was a clear insult to human
intelligence and memory. General Sharon's dark history reveal
that on numerous occasions he has shown absolute disregard for:
human lives, human rights, peace initiatives, international law,
international treaties, UN Charter, UN Accords and Human Rights
Instruments, and the laws and customs of war. In the 1948 war,
Sharon participated in the Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing
against the Palestinian civilians; in 1953, and as a commander
of the infamous Unit 101, officer Sharon demolished several houses
on top of their Palestinian residents that resulted in the murder
of 53 civilians; in the 1972, Commander of the Southern Region,
General Sharon demolished thousands of refugee houses in the Gaza
Strip and ethnically cleansed thousands of Palestinian refugees;
in 1982, and as Defense Minister, General Sharon launched a bloody
war of aggression against Lebanon and the PLO forces. During the
course of the war extreme brutalities were committed by the Israeli
forces, especially the 80 days bombardment, and rocketing of the
besieged city of Beirut. But the most appalling of these brutalities
was the massacre that was organized by Israel's top military commanders,
headed by General Eric Sharon. Today, Prime Minister and Minister
of Defense Sharon commits similar war crimes of war of aggression,
murder, extra judicial killings, plunder, devastation, and ethnic
cleansing in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. How can such a
general with that dark record of war crimes be called "a
man of peace"?
A Possible Hague Tribunal
According to International Law,
laws and customs of war, the United Nations Charter, the individuals
who could be charged with war crimes could be any of the following
number of categories:
(1) Those who had personally committed
some violation of the laws and customs of war; (2) those who committed
some violation of the laws and customs of war under order from
some superior; (3) those who belonged
to some organization declared to be criminal; (4) those who planned
or ordered "criminal" policies before or during the
war; (5) those who failed to prevent atrocities or criminal policies;
(6) those who planned, initiated, or waged "illegal"
The present Israeli political and
military leaders could be accused, by the international community
and by a Hague Tribunal, of committing a number of war crimes.
However, in order to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice,
two conditions must be met: (1) An international, competent, and
objective committee must be established by the international community.
Its mandate must be clear and fully supported by a United Nations
Security Council resolution, which will delegate it with the task
of investigating the charges of war crimes that were committed
by the Israeli army and the Israeli government; (2) The international
community, especially Western Europe and the United States, must
realize that Israel cannot be given the chance of freely violating
international law. Israel, like other states, must abide by international
law and UN resolutions, and Israeli violations and wanton brutality
must be prosecutable and punishable and cannot remain camouflaged
and justified by the brutal Occidental blanket of "terror
One must ask here a question. Why has the Israeli army systematically
carried out a number of war crimes against the Palestinian civilian
society? In order to comprehensively and truly answer this question,
one must provide a necessary background that connects the Oslo
Agreement with Sharon's present invasion of the OPTs. The following
is an attempt to address the important issues.
Oslo And After
Israel has signed the Oslo Accords
with the PLO in 1993, according to which Israel and the PLO have
mutually recognized each other. In 1994, the PLO was allowed by
Israel to establish its Palestinian Authority inside "autonomous
zones", namely the cities and towns. Israel has also agreed
to allow the PA to bring in about 40,000 security forces that
were needed for policing the areas under its rule. According to
the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was supposed to last
five years (1994-1999). In the beginning of the last year, permanent
status negotiations between Israel and the PA were supposed to
take place. For ideological reasons, Prime Minister Natanyahu
helped in creating an impasse for refusing to start these negotiations.
In May 1999, Barak was elected
as Prime Minister. He refused to carry out any withdrawal from
area "B" to be added to areas "A" as stipulated
by the Oslo Accords. Instead, Barak opted to go immediately to
the permanent status negotiations, which is a stage to follow
the interim period of autonomy. The logical consequences of the
permanent status negotiations could have been total Israeli withdrawal
from the OPTs; liquidation of the entire illegal colonial settlement
inside the OPTs and the establishment of a fully sovereign and
independent Palestinian state. However, Barak desired to partially
withdraw from the OPTs, to control a strip of land around Palestinian
territories under Israeli control for a limited period, to keep
most of the colonial settlers inside three settlement blocks,
and to keep occupied East Jerusalem under Israeli monopolized
control. On the issue of the right to return of the Palestinian
refugees, Barak did not yield.
Barak Opts For Colonial Hegemony
The Oslo Agreement was a camouflaged
colonial solution to a colonial situation that was imposed on
the Palestinians. It was definitely not a peace agreement nor
a historical compromise. Yet, the ultra-nationalist Israeli Zionist
right regarded Oslo as dangerous to the colonial project and was
fiercely against it. After the assassination of Prime Minister
Rabin by an anti-Oslo Israeli rightist. Shimon Peres replaced
Rabin. During election campaign Peres wanted to act tough towards
"the Arabs" so as to win right-wing voters. He, therefore,
committed a massacre against Lebanese civilians. Israeli artillery
bombarded "by mistake" a group of Palestinian refugees
who found a temporary sanctuary inside a UN Forces camp. Over
100 Lebanese villagers were brutally killed by an Israeli shell.
A UN vedio film was released by UN Secretary General showed how
an Israeli plilotless small plane was seen guiding Israeli shelling
and "the mistake" turned out to be a calculated killing
of a mass of Arabs. Peres paid for "his mistake" in
the election ballots. The public moved further to the right and
ultra-nationalist Natanyahu was elected. Netanyahu began his subversion
of Oslo and was engulfed with right-wing provocation when he approved
the opening of the Tunnel under the al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestinians
reacted with mass demonstrations and short three-day armed clashes
took place leading to 14 dead Israeli soldiers and over 100 killed
Palestinian security personnel and civilians. His procrastination
regarding the permanent status negotiations and his impossible
conditions created an impasse with the Palestinian side. Netanyahu's
policies led to a deadlock and later to his political demise.
General Barak managed to maneuver
his way to become the leader of the Labor Party. He projected
himself as a "peace candidate" campaigning against a
rejectionist right wing Netanyahu. The Israeli public moved a
bit to the Zionist Left and the Palestinian electors inside Israel
helped defeat Netanyahu and bring a "man of peace" to
become Israel's Prime Minister.
Both Natanyahu and Barak followed policies that showed Israeli
retraction from Oslo. Natanyahu the rightist signed the Hebron
Agreement that led to the partition of Hebron giving 80 percent
of its territory to the Palestinians and keeping 20 percent under
the army's control. However, Natanyahu refused, for ideological
reasons, to start the permanent status negotiations. But he withdrew
from small percentage of territory that was transferred to the
Palestinian Authority. Barak the "man of peace" did
not withdrew from one inch but started permanent status negotiations
with the PA that went no where.
The Demise of the Oslo Accords
Camp David II was a Barak manufactured
attempt to impose his colonial conditions on the Palestinians.
It offered the Palestinians part of the Palestinian occupied territories,
fractured fictitious sovereignty and colonial subjugation. Barak
desired a continuation of the colonial project (Israeli settlement
blocks) and a Zionistan entity for the Palestinians. After realizing
that the Palestinians could not capitulate to Barak's hegemonic
colonial conditions, the Barak government halted the permanent
status negotiations and started a war against the Palestinian
people. It began with Sharon's provocative visit to al-Aqsa Mosque
in occupied East Jerusalem. Accompanied by 2000 Israeli police,
General Sharon marched provocatively inside the courtyard of the
al-Aqsa Mosque. This act expressed the ultra-rightist position
of colonial monopoly of Jerusalem and rejection of the Oslo Agreement.
It was meant to provoke Palestinian mass demonstrations, a matter
that was used a justification by Barak to start the army's onslaught.
Then, the Israeli police and border guards reacted with massive
fire that led to the killing of 8 Palestinian demonstrators in
one day, who were killed around the Mosque. Israeli snipers injured
over one hundred demonstrators. This provoked more mass demonstrations
that were met with more fire. Palestinian civilians were killed
inside West Bank and Gaza Strip cities, villages and refugee camps.
Israeli border guards and police also gunned down twelve Palestinian
demonstrators, citizens of Israel. Barak was determined to force
his conditions by the use of fire, tanks and an aggressive war.
Palestinian civilians reacted with
more demonstrations, and the numbers of those killed by the Israeli
army began to increase. Mass demonstrations developed into a popular
uprising, which the army did not like. Then armed clashes began
to take place between armed Palestinians and the Israeli army.
This militarization of the popular Uprising was a development
that Israel helped to create.
As the political option was liquidated
by Barak and in reaction to massive killing and maiming of civilians,
Palestinian Islamists began to carry out commando operations inside
Israeli cities. To which the Israeli army retaliated with the
maximization of fire power. F-16 bombers and Apache Helicopter
gunships began to target Palestinian security installations. This
went on for months, and was escalated more by Barak's government.
A hit list of "wanted" Palestinian leaders and activists
were targeted for assassination. The Israeli government approved
this illegal policy of extra judicial killings and the army began
to implement it. The Israeli policy of targeted killing provoked
more Palestinian suicide bombings that resulted in a number of
killings of Israeli civilians. Then, the Israeli government retaliated
with more air raids and more targeted killings of Palestinian
activists. Using the impact of the suicide bombings, the Israeli
army began slow ethnic cleansing in the Gaza Strip that was implemented
through the eviction of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, leveling
their agricultural land and demolishing their houses. Then tanks
were stationed at the entrances of Palestinian cities and towns.
Typical of colonial societies,
ultra right nationalism began to engulf the majority of the Israeli
people. Racial violence by Israeli Jews aimed against Palestinian
civilians began to take place inside Israeli streets. Around 2000
anti-Arab Israeli settlers attacked one Palestinian neighborhood
of Nazareth, a Palestinian city located inside the State of Israel.
Barak and his government was, in the public eye, unable to put
an end to the fire it has ignited. Later on it was replaced by
an ultra rightist General Eric Sharon.
The right wing government of Israel,
has clearly shown that it is ready to commit war crimes in order
to continue its colonial subjugation of 3.2 million Palestinians.
It uses the issue of "terror" to avoid paying the price
of decolonization. It gets outright support from the American
Administration and collaboration of the European and Arab regimes.
However, the ensuing war taking
place now inside the Palestinian occupied territories is a stage
in the conflict between the Israeli colonial army and the Palestinian
national movement. It has a history of massive colonial violence
aimed at subjugating a nation and its meagre resources to the
sole benefit of the Zionist colonial bourgeoisie. The Israeli
army acted in the past and acts now, as a tool in defense of colonial
hegemony and interests. The Palestinian national movement embodies
the national aspirations and rights of a colonized indigence people.
Therefore, the American "mini security agreements" that
concentrate on the issues of "terror" and the security
of Zionist colonial hegemony and attempt to frustrate Palestinian
national struggle, cannot camouflage the real issues. Zionist
settler colonialism has been, for the past thirty-five years,
trying to disparately patch up its colonial rule over the Palestinian
indigence people. The Zionist colonial bourgeoisie has continued
and expanded its settler colonial project inside the OPTs. It
refuses to pay the price of decolonisation and keeps maneuvering
and pretending to desire "peace". The present stage
in the Zionist-Palestinian Conflict has proved beyond any doubt
that Zionist settler colonialism contradicts in absolute terms
genuine, true and lasting peace. Settler colonialism cannot coexist
with genuine peace because it is grossly unjust, brutal, racist
and militaristic political system. On the other hand, the Palestinian
national movement has determined to continue the national struggle.
The Palestinian people strongly insist on liquidating Zionist
colonial hegemony, winning their right to self-determination and
establishing their fully sovereign and truly independent state
References to sources of
the cited quotations, found in the original, have been erased
in this copy for brevity and simplicity.
CAN THE ISRAELI ARMY BE DEFEATED? AND IF SO, HOW?
Israeli army is called (I don't know why) the Israeli Defence
Force. It is, actually, a very strong attack force. This is the
strongest Army in the Middle East, and it also possesses chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons, in short, weapons of mass destruction.
That fact is not disputed by anyone. The only question is if this
army can be defeated?
If we are
talking about power, we all know that a military power can be
defeated by a greater military power. In this sense the Arab power,
even the combined Arab power, is not enough to defeat the Israelis
and if we are talking about the Palestinians we must acknowledge
that they don't have any power at all.
In the last
thirty-two years, we, a small group of Israelis, have been trying
to alert the world liberal public opinion to the fact that Israel
intends to get rid of the Palestinians and take over and settle
in their place. We must admit that in this task we have failed.
The international public opinion didn't force their governments
to curtail Israeli appetite for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
The inaction of great powers like the USA, Britain, France and
Germany, only encouraged Israel to continue the policy of creating
illegal Jewish settlements on confiscated Arab land.
now reached a situation where Israel has started not only to put
settlers on Palestinian land but have also started to get rid,
physically, of the Palestinians themselves. They do it in different
cruel ways. Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, they
have treated the Palestinians living in the occupied territories
in the most degraded way. In the end, after many years of suffering,
the Palestinians started to object. Their objection, known as
the Intifada, began by throwing stones at soldiers, which the
Israeli army answered by shooting and killing. I'll not go into
the history of the two Intifadas because this is already in the
public domain. I'll concentrate instead on the ethnic cleansing
methods that Israel is employing. First they shoot to kill using
the slightest provocation. When they shoot to kill, their main
target is usually the leaders or those who are capable of leading
- but anyone else will do, even a child. If they don't manage
to kill, and only wound, they prevent the medics and the doctors
from reaching the wounded, so that they die. When they don't manage
to kill or wound, they arrest. The detained people are then tortured
in order to extract "information". I don't know what
kind of information they extract, but what I do know is that after
they extract the information, these people are released, and then
other Palestinians execute them because they are regarded as traitors.
This suits the Israelis well. Palestinians killed by other Palestinians
is even better.
cleansing by these methods is sure and safe, but it is too slow.
There are still too many Palestinians left. The Israeli Army hastens
the process by demolishing houses. This system of demolishing
houses is very clever. It doesn't enrage Europeans as do the killings,
but is no less effective. If people don't have a place to live
in, they go. In the beginning they go to live with their relatives
or neighbours. If the house of their relatives or neighbours is
also demolished, they are even more crowded or live in the open.
In the end, those who have some money, like the rich and the middle
class, emigrate and join their relatives abroad. The poor who
are left without leaders will have to submit to slavery for very
little money because they have to eat and feed their families.
Recently, in the raid on Ramalla, Nablus and Jenin, Israel soldiers
started something new: they broke computers, destroyed software
and any information they could find that can keep a community
going, (which is no less cruel and vile than the other things
they do). They also made it look as if the soldiers did it just
for fun. But I know the Israelis - I'm one of them - and I know
that they wouldn't have done it if they were not instructed to
so it seems, is going to stop Israel getting rid of the Palestinians
because the greatest power, the USA, is actually encouraging it,
while the European powers do not lift a finger. Why should they
sacrifice their soldiers and their economic interests because
of the Palestinians?
then remains and is crying out even louder: is there a way for
a lesser power to defeat a greater power, in this case Israel?
You might be surprised but the answer to this question is yes,
there is! Yes, there is a way, but this way is a revolutionary
way that departs from the old, classic way of thinking and doing
war. This way of thinking does already exist in some lesser branches
of combat but has not penetrated yet to the real theatre of war.
example, of the combat art of Judo. In this art, the principle
is to use the power of your opponent to defeat him. Can this approach
be applied to war? Is it possible to use the power of the Israeli
Army itself to defeat it? Yes, it has even been done in the past
- there are already some historic examples.
two historic examples from ancient times. One is that of Alexander
the Great in his famous victory when he defeated the Persian army
in Arbela, and the other is the defeat of the Roman army at Canae,
by Hannibal. However, I don't want to go back to antiquity. I
will only go back 200 years.
ago there was, in Europe, another invincible army, and that was
the French Army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. This
was an army that won all the battles it fought but, in the end,
collapsed under the weight of its own victories. The Israeli army
can be defeated in the same way, but one that needs a different
approach to war and war strategy.
Let us have
a look at the reasons for the collapse of the French army. As
we all know, the French, under the command of Napoleon won all
the battles they fought. This, naturally, gave them an appetite
for more victories. After subduing all his opponents in central
Europe, Napoleon looked for more enemies and found one in the
east. He attacked Russia. The Russian Tsar and his generals knew
the power of the French army and tried to avoid battle. Occasionally
they fought small skirmishes, which they usually lost but which
resulted in very little damage to their own troops. The French
army was confident and continued to advance. The Russian Army
retreated until the French conquered Moscow. Even then, the Russian
Army refused to fight and the Russian Tsar refused to surrender.
sat in Moscow waiting for a surrender that never came. The French
army ate all the available food and drank all the available wine,
and harassed the local population out of sheer boredom. After
they burned half the city down and saw the cold Russian winter
coming, they returned the same way they came. On their retreat
they were harassed by guerrilla attacks by the Russians, which
this time were much more successful, since the French soldiers
were already tired from their many victories. The French retreated
until they reached Paris, but this time they entered Paris with
their tail dangling between their legs. This was the end of the
invincible French army, and in their next battle in Leipzig, they
were militarily defeated.
a good model by which the invincible Israeli army could also be
defeated. But, as we've already said, it needs a revolutionary
way of military thinking and acting.
Instead of offering peace for land as the Saudis are now proposing
(which is actually an American plan), the Arab states have to
declare war on Israel but, at the same time, they should not repeat
the mistakes they made in 1967 and 1972. This time, after declaring
war on Israel, they should avoid a military confrontation. When
the Israeli Army attack them, they should retreat. They should
avoid battles as much as possible and prefer instead small, guerrilla-style
skirmishes. They should continue to avoid battles, go on retreating
and let the Israeli army advance. They should let the Israelis
advance and take over Cairo, Damascus and Beirut. Once Israel
has conquered these capitals they will be entrapped. In order
to keep these cities, the Israeli Army will be stretched beyond
its limits. I don't know how much army one needs to keep Cairo
with its 12 or 15 million inhabitants. The Israeli army will be
so thin that it will be vulnerable to guerrilla and terror attacks
from all sides. A myriad of small guerrilla attacks will cause
it so much damage that in a short time the army will retreat and
go back to Tel Aviv. This time, however, not as a proud and victorious
army, but as a defeated one.
difficulty that I can see with this plan is that the Arab states
will be unable or unwilling to implement it. Some might point
to a possible danger. But then, what could be a danger? The only
danger that I can see is this: that the Israelis, who will also
know about this plan to defeat them, (because it will be in the
public domain, published on this website as well as elsewhere),
might try to avert their fate by not responding to the challenge,
and not attacking the Arabs when they declare war on Israel. Worse
still, they may raise the white flag themselves and surrender
to the Arabs the moment war is declared. This is a real danger
and I'll have to think hard how to react to such a challenge.
But, knowing the Facist/Nazi character of Ariel Sharon and his
complete reliance on the theories of Machiavelli and Klausewitz
(1), there is no doubt that he will dismiss this article as a
joke, thereby sealing the fate of the Israeli Army.
you have a better idea about how to defeat the Israeli army, send
it to us and we will publish it!
It should be noted that in one of the last chapters in his book
On War, there is a hint of the idea expressed in this article.
When asked what should a weak nation do when confronted by a much
stronger enemy, his advice is to attack although he doesn't elaborate
on the subject.
in this article is based on the book: The White Flag Principle
- How to Lose a War and Why, by Shimon Tzabar, published by Allan
Lane, (Penguin Hardcover Edition), 1972.
History is repeating itself...This is fascism,
how they [the Israeli soldiers] are dealing with people, detaining
them in big schools and interrogating each one, writing numbers
on them. People are terrified. The Israeli soldiers are shooting
everything. Life here has totally stopped; it's dead. This is terrorism
against civilians. It is organised terrorism by the state...this
is an organised war against a whole people who have no weapons to
resist tanks, and helicopters and F16s." - Ashraf, a Palestinian
imprisoned in his home in Ramallah. It's Monday in Beit Jala, a
small town near Bethlehem and 150 people from the International
Solidarity Movement and dozens of Palestinians are marching peacefully
in the deserted streets. They are attempting to visit families besieged
in their homes, before Israeli tanks block their path. Two of the
marchers start to move towards the tanks with their hands up in
order to negotiate, but soldiers open fire at both the crowd and
the reporters that are there. Eight people are injured, one seriously.
Other activists are holed up with Yasser Arafat
in his headquarters. Mario Lill from Brazil's Landless Workers'
Movement (MST) is one of those who are acting as a human shield
and has become a sort of war correspondent broadcasting live to
Brazil. Others such as anti-globalisation French farmer Jose Bove
were arrested in the compound by Israeli troops.
Wednesday and two thousand people including internationals,
Israeli and Arab civilians gather at a checkpoint near Ramallah
trying to get humanitarian aid delivered to the besieged town. Soldiers
fire tear gas and baton charge people. One of the protestors was
Yehudith Harel. "Two Israeli faces surfaced today. One is the
decent and humane face of the Israeli Anti-war movement - an alliance
of Israeli citizens - Jews and Arabs, adamant to struggle together
for Justice for the two peoples. The second is the ugly and brutal
face of the Occupation mentality and practices threatening to crush
People from around the world have been volunteering
in the occupied territories of the West Bank for over a year, taking
non-violent direct action like clearing roadblocks and acting as
willing human shields to protect the Palestinian people. Invited
by Palestinian activists, these international supporters live and
work in solidarity with them - a similar call out to the one made
by the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. People from abroad can often
get away with a lot more when protesting, partly because they have
the eyes of the international press on them - until Monday that
was, when live ammunition was fired at the international observers
for the first time.
As for the Palestinians, even the doctors, nurses
and paramedics are being used by the Israeli army as human shields
or forced to strip and sit on their knees at gunpoint in the streets.
Israeli forces have stopped ambulances delivering aid or picking
up the wounded and are detaining the Palestinian Red Crescent society
and aid workers. 120 Palestinian paramedics have been killed in
the last 18 months.
As Israeli tanks roll in to Palestinian settlements,
they destroy telephone lines and cut electricity and water supplies.
All men between the ages of 16 and 50 are rounded up. Some homes
are destroyed, others have their windows blown out and walls dynamited
as soldiers move from home to home. Soldiers occupy other homes
forcing the residents to live together in a single room, with little
or no access to telephone lines, news coverage or even food and
water. An entire civilian population is being openly terrorised
after over 50 years of occupation by the Israeli State.
Michael Ben-Yair, former Israel attorney general
said, "The Intifada is the Palestinian people's war of national
liberation. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonist society,
ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring
settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft
and finding justification for all these activities...we established
an apartheid regime."
Lev Grinberg (Director of the Humphrey Institute
for Social Research at Ben Gurion University) sums up the situation:
"Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally
condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should
be sent to jail. But they cannot be compared to State terrorism
carried out by the Israeli Government. The former are individual
acts of despair of a people that sees no future, vastly ignored
by an unfair and distorted international public opinion. The latter
are cold and "rational" decisions of a State and a military
apparatus of occupation, well equipped, financed and backed by the
only superpower in the world."
While Palestinians are being shot
dead by Israeli troops and the Americans wage "War on Terrorism".
BAE Systems, the world's biggest arms trading company, are laughing
all the way to the bank as their share prices have increased by
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