Mar 19, 2012
Is the Victimhood Weapon Losing Strength?
Is the Victimhood Weapon Losing Strength?
NOtE: Israel's strongest US supporters, the Christian Zionists, are rarely (if ever) heard to use the victim weapon for Israel.
QUOTE: Prime Minister Golda Meir after the Eichmann trial: "Now, when everyone knows what they did to us, we can do anything we want, and no one has the right to criticize us and tell us what to do."
Israel is fighting a losing battle over victimhood
For years, victimhood speeches by Israeli leaders have succeeded in bringing American Jews to their feet, applauding, and getting them to open their wallets.
By Akiva Eldar
With regard to A.B. Yehoshua's extraordinary remark - that he had "never heard the Jews analyze the Holocaust as a Jewish failure, which was not anticipated" - I can only wonder where the renowned author was when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waved the "Auschwitz letters"? Yehoshua didn't hear that Netanyahu said that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new version of Adolf Hitler? He didn't know that Netanyahu had promised that he would not, under any circumstances, allow Iran to carry out a second Holocaust? Doesn't Yehoshua understand that Shoah equals victimhood - not guilt, not failure, and without any doubt whatsoever - and that the ability to play the victim is a strategic asset with an existential value?
In her new book, "Who is Afraid of Historical Redress: The Israeli Victim-Perpetrator Dichotomy," Dr. Ruth Amir wrotes that the perception of Israeli-Jewish victimhood, which was always present in the Jewish narrative and Jewish thought, became even stronger after the Holocaust and serves to give Israel political legitimacy.
Amir, who heads the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at the Jezreel Academic College (full disclosure: This writer is a member of the college's board of governors ), notes that the fact that Israel sees itself as a victim justifies its aggression and injustice. With the help of guilt-neutralizing mechanisms, Israelis disengage the circumstantial link between an action and its consequences, and absolve themselves of responsibility. That is why they aren't interested in trying to correct injustices and reconcile with their neighbor.
The death of John Demjanjuk recalls the declaration that Shulamit Aloni attributes to the late Prime Minister Golda Meir after the Eichmann trial: "Now, when everyone knows what they did to us, we can do anything we want, and no one has the right to criticize us and tell us what to do." Meir even apparently commented that she would never forgive our enemies for "forcing" us to kill them - another victim-like comment.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin said before the bombing of Beirut during the first Lebanon war that "No country that fought in World War II has any right to preach morality to us, since they did nothing to stop the killing and extermination of the Jews."
Victimhood purifies the victim of any guilt and enables him to request empathy - even if he is the stronger, victorious, occupying party. This duality is the reason that for years, victimhood speeches by Israeli leaders have succeeded in bringing American Jews to their feet, applauding, and getting them to open their wallets.
The problem is that since World War II the language of human rights has been gradually taking the place of the Holocaust in diplomatic and moral discourse. Even in Germany it's getting harder and harder to play the role of occupier-victim. Sigmar Gabriel, the chairman of that country's Social-Democratic Party, who has his eyes on the chancellor's seat, visited Israel and the territories last week and didn't hesitate to write on his Facebook page that in Hebron there is an apartheid regime.
If you remove the Holocaust and victimhood from the debate, Netanyahu's claim that "Israel has the right to defend itself," turns into a double-edged sword. How then, are we meant to respond to the Palestinian leader who will claim: "It's the right of a people without a state to defend itself?"
True, there is a difference. Israel is not threatening to destroy the Palestinians. It is "only" taking their lands and has "only" been holding them under a regime of occupation for 45 years, without basic civil rights. From another perspective, if it's justified to impose sanctions on Iran because it desires nuclear deterrence, why is it forbidden to impose sanctions on Israel so as to stop settlement in the territories?
Remove the Holocaust and victimhood from Israel and then ask yourself: If it's permissible for this country to bomb Iran to free itself from a nuclear threat, then why are the Palestinians forbidden to launch rockets against Israel to free themselves of the occupation? Does Jewish construction in the occupied territories accord with the law and international consensus any more than the Palestinian request to be accepted as a UN member? For how long will the Holocaust save the world's last colonialist government from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, when it is trying to withhold nuclear power from Iran?
Without entering into self-righteous symmetry, it must be said that many of the Palestinians have yet to wean themselves from their addiction to the Nakba (the so-called catastrophe of the creation of the Jewish state ) and their own victimhood. The key to their old house in Sheikh Munis (now Ramat Aviv ) that they wear around their necks will not open the door for them to a Palestinian state.
In this endless battle, the battle over victimhood, everybody loses.
Published 01:28 19.03.12 Latest update 01:28 19.03.12
Posted at 11:46 am by ariksilverman
Chipping Away At Israeli Apartheid
Chipping Away At Israeli Apartheid
Bear in mind that these are Israeli citizens, not Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
Israeli Arab farmers brought into state quota system for first time
Move follows a government decision from 2009 to include Arab dairy and poultry farmers in system.
By Amiram Cohen
For the first time in the history of the state, 12 Arab dairy farmers and 24 Arab poultry farmers received state quotas to sell eggs and milk on the regulated market.
Both the egg market and the dairy market are state regulated. This means that farmers receive a fixed price for selling their eggs and milk.
However, they are also limited to producing a fixed, government-determined quantity.
In certain communities, quotas are considered a benefit because they ensure a fixed income. Some farmers also sell their quotas to larger producers.
Dairy farmers working under the quota system generally sell their milk to the big dairies, while poultry farmers sell their quota eggs to the supermarket chains and other stores.
To date, no Arab farmers had been included in this system.
While the government had made the decision to include Arabs in the quota system back in 2009, it was implemented only now.
In keeping with the Agriculture Ministry's orders, 12 dairy farmers in Tamra, Ma'aliya, Baka al-Garbiyeh and Arara will each receive permits to sell half a million liters of milk a year.
The 24 poultry farmers each received permits to sell 250,000 eggs per year.
However, these are still symbolic quantities, accounting for 0.02% of the country's annual milk production and 0.03% of all eggs.
Published 01:28 19.03.12 Latest update 01:28 19.03.12
Posted at 12:50 am by ariksilverman
Mar 14, 2012
More Israeli Ethnic Cleansing: Palestinian Solar Panels, Water, Sewer Demolitions
NOTE: Some have asked why email notifications of new postings have stopped. Investigation suggests that there have been no notifications by the blog host since February, 2011. Would we be paranoid to wonder whether supporters of Israel have conspired with the host to try to kill this blog?
Palestinians prepare to lose the solar panels that provide a lifeline
Israel is planning to demolish 'illegal' solar panels that are the only source of electricity for Palestinians in West Bank villages
Phoebe Greenwood in Tel Aviv
Two large solar panels jut out of the barren landscape near Imneizil in the Hebron hills. The hi-tech structures sit incongruously alongside the tents and rough stone buildings of the Palestinian village, but they are fundamental to life here: they provide electricity.
Imneizil is not connected to the national electricity grid. Nor are the vast majority of Palestinian communities in Area C, the 62% of the West Bank controlled by Israel. The solar energy has replaced expensive and clunky oil-powered generators.
According to the Israeli authorities, these solar panels - along with six others in nearby villages - are illegal and have been slated for demolition.
Nihad Moor, 25, has three small children. The family live in a two-room tent kitted out with a fridge, TV and very old computer. She also has a small electric butter churn, which she uses to supplement her husband's small income from sheep farming.
"The kids get sick all the time. At the moment, because of a change in the weather, they all have colds. Without electricity I wouldn't even be able to see to help them when they need to use the [outdoor] toilet at night," Moor says. "I don't want to imagine what life would be like here if [the panels] were demolished."
Imneizil's solar system was built in 2009 by the Spanish NGO Seba at a cost of Ä30,000 to the Spanish government. According to the Israeli authorities, it was built without a permit.
Guy Inbar, a spokesperson for the Israeli authorities in the West Bank, explains: "International aid is an important component in improving and promoting the quality of life of the Palestinian population but this does not grant immunity for illegal or unco-ordinated activity."
The problem for Palestinian communities here is that permission to build any infrastructure is very hard to come by. According to figures from the civil administration quoted by the pressure group Peace Now, 91 permits were issued for Palestinian construction in Area C between 2001 and 2007. In the same period, more than 10,000 Israeli settlement units were built and1,663 Palestinian structures demolished.
The Jewish settlements in Area C are connected to the national water and electricity grids. But most Palestinian villages are cut off from basic infrastructure, including water and sewage services. Imneizil, which borders the ultra-religious settlement of Beit Yatir, currently has nine demolition orders on various structures, including a toilet block and water cistern for the school.
Comet ME is an Israeli NGO trying to circumvent these crippling restrictions on Palestinian development by harnessing Hebron's abundant natural energy sources - wind and sun.
Funded largely by the German government, the organisation has already provided tens of Palestinian villages with electricity through solar panels and wind turbines. Its goal is to reach all villages in the southern Hebron area by the end of 2013.
"In technical terms it's do-able, but it depends on Israeli policies," says Elad Orian, Comet ME's founder. "Power is a human right, like housing and education," he says. "We deal with providing basic energy services. Renewable energy provides the best route to do it."
The green energy solution has its flaws. At a cost of around $4,500 per family, it is expensive. Nor does it generate enough electricity to sustain a community. But it has offered a lifeline to the 150,000 Palestinians living in Area C's impoverished communities.
However, it will become increasingly difficult to convince donors that alternative energy is worth investing in if the expensive technology they are funding is destroyed. After the order issued against the Imneizil solar panels in September, six alternative energy systems built by Comet ME in Hebron have received demolition orders.
A legal fight waged by Rabbis for Human Rights has succeeded in suspending, but not lifting, the demolition of Imneizil's panels. The German foreign office has launched an intense diplomatic effort to save the others in nearby villages.
One UN expert, speaking anonymously as they are not authorised to talk to the media, believes the crackdown on the alternative energy movement by the Israelis is part of a deliberate strategy in Area C. "From December 2010 to April 2011, we saw a systematic targeting of the water infrastructure in Hebron, Bethlehem and the Jordan valley," the source said. "Now, in the last couple of months, they are targeting electricity. Two villages in the area have had their electrical poles demolished.
"There is this systematic effort by the civil administration targeting all Palestinian infrastructure in Hebron. They are hoping that by making it miserable enough, they [the Palestinians] will pick up and leave."
According to UN research, that is happening. Ten out of 13 Palestinian communities living in Area C surveyed by the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 2011 reported that families had already left their land as a result of Israeli policies. Ali Mohamed Hraizat, 49, head of Imneizil's village council, fears that if the solar panels are destroyed, his community will see an exodus.
"We've been here since 1948. We try to stay and maintain our lives, but people will leave if the electricity is cut off," he says. "They are used for light for their children to study by and for televisions. They will move into town. The solar panel isn't doing any harm ... I just don't see the point in demolishing it."
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 March 2012 03.00 EDT
Posted at 03:41 pm by ariksilverman
Feb 23, 2012
What Really Happened in the "Yom Kippur" War?
What Really Happened in the "Yom Kippur" War?
by ISRAEL SHAMIR
Here in Moscow I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy. The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a draft for a memorandum addressed to the Soviet politbureau, describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger. If you are an Egyptian reader this revelation is likely to upset you. I, an Israeli who fought the Egyptians in the 1973 war, was equally upset and distressed, - yet still excited by the discovery. For an American it is likely to come as a shock.
According to the Vinogradov memo (to be published by us in full in the Russian weekly Expert next Monday), Anwar al-Sadat, holder of the titles of President, Prime Minister, ASU Chairman, Chief Commander, Supreme Military Ruler, entered into conspiracy with the Israelis, betrayed his ally Syria, condemned the Syrian army to destruction and Damascus to bombardment, allowed General Sharon's tanks to cross without hindrance to the western bank of the Suez Canal, and actually planned a defeat of the Egyptian troops in the October War. Egyptian soldiers and officers bravely and successfully fought the Israeli enemy - too successfully for Sadat's liking as he began the war in order to allow for the US comeback to the Middle East.
He was not the only conspirator: according to Vinogradov, the grandmotherly Golda Meir knowingly sacrificed two thousand of Israel's best fighters - she possibly thought fewer would be killed - in order to give Sadat his moment of glory and to let the US secure its positions in the Middle East. The memo allows for a completely new interpretation of the Camp David Treaty, as one achieved by deceit and treachery.
Vladimir Vinogradov was a prominent and brilliant Soviet diplomat; he served as ambassador to Tokyo in the 1960s, to Cairo from 1970 to 1974, co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, ambassador to Teheran during the Islamic revolution, the USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He was a gifted painter and a prolific writer; his archive has hundreds of pages of unique observations and notes covering international affairs, but the place of honor goes to his Cairo diaries, and among others, descriptions of his hundreds of meetings with Sadat and the full sequence of the war as he observed it unfold at Sadat's hq as the big decisions were made. When published, these notes will allow to re-evaluate the post-Nasser period of Egyptian history.
Vinogradov arrived to Cairo for Nasser's funeral and remained there as the Ambassador. He recorded the creeping coup of Sadat, least bright of Nasser's men, who became Egypt's president by chance, as he was the vice-president at Nasser's death. Soon he dismissed, purged and imprisoned practically all important Egyptian politicians, the comrades-in-arms of Gamal Abd el Nasser, and dismantled the edifice of Nasser's socialism. Vinogradov was an astute observer; not a conspiracy cuckoo. Far from being headstrong and doctrinaire, he was a friend of Arabs and a consistent supporter and promoter of a lasting and just peace between the Arabs and Israel, a peace that would meet Palestinian needs and ensure Jewish prosperity.
The pearl of his archive is the file called The Middle Eastern Games. It contains some 20 typewritten pages edited by hand in blue ink, apparently a draft for a memo to the Politburo and to the government, dated January 1975, soon after his return from Cairo. The file contains the deadly secret of the collusion he observed. It is written in lively and highly readable Russian, not in the bureaucratese we'd expect. Two pages are added to the file in May 1975; they describe Vinogradov's visit to Amman and his informal talks with Abu Zeid Rifai, the Prime Minister, and his exchange of views with the Soviet Ambassador in Damascus. Vinogradov did not voice his opinions until 1998, and even then he did not speak as openly as in this draft. Actually, when the suggestion of collusion was presented to him by the Jordanian prime minister, being a prudent diplomat, he refused to discuss it.
The official version of the October war holds that on October 6, 1973, in conjunction with Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Anwar as-Sadat launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces. They crossed the Canal and advanced a few miles into the occupied Sinai. As the war progressed, tanks of General Ariel Sharon crossed the Suez Canal and encircled the Egyptian Third Army. The ceasefire negotiations eventually led to the handshake at the White House.
For me, the Yom Kippur War (as we called it) was an important part of my autobiography. A young paratrooper, I fought that war, crossed the canal, seized Gabal Ataka heights, survived shelling and face-to-face battles, buried my buddies, shot the man-eating red dogs of the desert and the enemy tanks. My unit was ferried by helicopters into the desert where we severed the main communication line between the Egyptian armies and its home base, the Suez-Cairo highway. Our location at 101 km to Cairo was used for the first cease fire talks; so I know that war not by word of mouth, and it hurts to learn that I and my comrades-at-arms were just disposable tokens in the ruthless game we - ordinary people - lost. Obviously I did not know it then, for me the war was a surprise, but then, I was not a general.
Vinogradov dispels the idea of surprise: in his view, both the canal crossing by the Egyptians and the inroads by Sharon were planned and agreed upon in advance by Kissinger, Sadat and Meir. The plan included the destruction of the Syrian army as well.
At first, he asks some questions: how the crossing could be a surprise if the Russians evacuated their families a few days before the war? The concentration of the forces was observable and could not escape Israeli attention. Why did the Egyptian forces not proceed after the crossing but stood still? Why did they have no plans for advancing? Why there was a forty km-wide unguarded gap between the 2d and the 3d armies, the gap that invited Sharon's raid? How could Israeli tanks sneak to the western bank of the Canal? Why did Sadat refuse to stop them? Why were there no reserve forces on the western bank of the Canal?
Vinogradov takes a leaf from Sherlock Holmes who said: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. He writes: These questions can't be answered if Sadat is to be considered a true patriot of Egypt. But they can be answered in full, if we consider a possibility of collusion between Sadat, the US and Israeli leadership - a conspiracy in which each participant pursued his own goals. A conspiracy in which each participant did not know the full details of other participants' game. A conspiracy in which each participant tried to gain more ground despite the overall agreement between them.
Before the war Sadat was at the nadir of his power: in Egypt and abroad he had lost prestige. The least educated and least charismatic of Nasser's followers, Sadat was isolated. He needed a war, a limited war with Israel that would not end with defeat. Such a war would release the pressure in the army and he would regain his authority. The US agreed to give him a green light for the war, something the Russians never did. The Russians protected Egypt's skies, but they were against wars. For that, Sadat had to rely upon the US and part with the USSR. He was ready to do so as he loathed socialism. He did not need victory, just no defeat; he wanted to explain his failure to win by deficient Soviet equipment. That is why the army was given the minimal task: crossing the Canal and hold the bridgehead until the Americans entered the game.
Plans of the US
During decolonisation the US lost strategic ground in the Middle East with its oil, its Suez Canal, its vast population. Its ally Israel had to be supported, but the Arabs were growing stronger all the time. Israel had to be made more flexible, for its brutal policies interfered with the US plans. So the US had to keep Israel as its ally but at the same time Israel's arrogance had to be broken. The US needed a chance to "save" Israel after allowing the Arabs to beat the Israelis for a while. So the US allowed Sadat to begin a limited war.
Israel's leaders had to help the US, its main provider and supporter. The US needed to improve its positions in the Middle East, as in 1973 they had only one friend and ally, King Feisal. (Kissinger told Vinogradov that Feisal tried to educate him about the evilness of Jews and Communists.) If and when the US was to recover its position in the Middle East, the Israeli position would improve drastically. Egypt was a weak link, as Sadat disliked the USSR and the progressive forces in the country, so it could be turned. Syria could be dealt with militarily, and broken.
The Israelis and Americans decided to let Sadat take the Canal while holding the mountain passes of Mittla and Giddi, a better defensive line anyway. This was actually Rogers' plan of 1971, acceptable to Israel. But this should be done in fighting, not given up for free.
As for Syria, it was to be militarily defeated, thoroughly. That is why the Israeli Staff did sent all its available troops to the Syrian border, while denuding the Canal though the Egyptian army was much bigger than the Syrian one. Israeli troops at the Canal were to be sacrificed in this game; they were to die in order to bring the US back into the Middle East.
However, the plans of the three partners were somewhat derailed by the factors on the ground: it is the usual problem with conspiracies; nothing works as it should, Vinogradov writes in his memo to be published in full next week in Moscow's Expert.
Sadat's crooked game was spoiled to start with. His presumptions did not work out. Contrary to his expectations, the USSR supported the Arab side and began a massive airlift of its most modern military equipment right away. The USSR took the risk of confrontation with the US; Sadat had not believed they would because the Soviets were adamant against the war, before it started. His second problem, according to Vinogradov, was the superior quality of Russian weapons in the hands of Egyptian soldiers - better than the western weapons in the Israelis' hands.
As an Israeli soldier of the time I must confirm the Ambassador's words. The Egyptians had the legendary Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, the best gun in the world, while we had FN battle rifles that hated sand and water. We dropped our FNs and picked up their AKs at the first opportunity. They used anti-tank Sagger missiles, light, portable, precise, carried by one soldier. Saggers killed between 800 and 1200 Israeli tanks. We had old 105 mm recoilless jeep-mounted rifles, four men at a rifle (actually, a small cannon) to fight tanks. Only new American weapons redressed the imbalance.
Sadat did not expect the Egyptian troops taught by the Soviet specialists to better their Israeli enemy - but they did. They crossed the Canal much faster than planned and with much smaller losses. Arabs beating the Israelis - it was bad news for Sadat. He overplayed his hand. That is why the Egyptian troops stood still, like the sun upon Gibeon, and did not move. They waited for the Israelis, but at that time the Israeli army was fighting the Syrians. The Israelis felt somewhat safe from Sadat's side and they sent all their army north. The Syrian army took the entire punch of Israeli forces and began its retreat. They asked Sadat to move forward, to take some of the heat off them, but Sadat refused. His army stood and did not move, though there were no Israelis between the Canal and the mountain passes. Syrian leader al Assad was convinced at that time that Sadat betrayed him, and he said so frankly to the Soviet ambassador in Damascus, Mr Muhitdinov, who passed this to Vinogradov. Vinogradov saw Sadat daily and asked him in real time why he was not advancing. He received no reasonable answer: Sadat muttered that he does not want to run all over Sinai looking for Israelis, that sooner or later they would come to him.
The Israeli leadership was worried: the war was not going as expected. There were big losses on the Syrian front, the Syrians retreated but each yard was hard fought; only Sadat's passivity saved the Israelis from a reverse. The plan to for total Syrian defeat failed, but the Syrians could not effectively counterattack.
This was the time to punish Sadat: his army was too efficient, his advance too fast, and worse, his reliance upon the Soviets only grew due to the air bridge. The Israelis arrested their advance on Damascus and turned their troops southwards to Sinai. The Jordanians could at this time have cut off the North-to-South route and king Hussein proposed this to Sadat and Assad. Assad agreed immediately, but Sadat refused to accept the offer. He explained it to Vinogradov that he did not believe in the fighting abilities of the Jordanians. If they entered the war, Egypt would have to save them. At other times he said that it is better to lose the whole of Sinai than to lose a square yard on the Jordan: an insincere and foolish remark, in Vinogradov's view. So the Israeli troops rolled southwards without hindrance.
During the war, we (the Israelis) also knew that if Sadat advanced, he would gain the whole of Sinai in no time; we entertained many hypotheses why he was standing still, none satisfactory. Vinogradov explains it well: Sadat ran off his script and was waited for US involvement. What he got was the deep raid of Sharon.
This breakthrough of the Israeli troops to the western bank of the Canal was the murkiest part of the war, Vinogradov writes. He asked Sadat's military commanders at the beginning of the war why there is the forty km wide gap between the Second and the Third armies and was told that this was Sadat's directive. The gap was not even guarded; it was left wide open like a Trojan backdoor in a computer program.
Sadat paid no attention to Sharon's raid; he was indifferent to this dramatic development. Vinogradov asked him to deal with it when only the first five Israeli tanks crossed the Canal westwards; Sadat refused, saying it was of no military importance, just a "political move", whatever that meant. He repeated this to Vinogradov later, when the Israeli foothold on the Western bank of became a sizeable bridgehead. Sadat did not listen to advice from Moscow, he opened the door for the Israelis into Africa.
This allows for two explanations, says Vinogradov: an impossible one, of the Egyptians' total military ignorance and an improbable one, of Sadat's intentions. The improbable wins, as Sherlock Holmes observed.
The Americans did not stop the Israeli advance right away, says Vinogradov, for they wanted to have a lever to push Sadat so he would not change his mind about the whole setup. Apparently the gap was build into the deployments for this purpose. So Vinogradov's idea of "conspiracy" is that of dynamic collusion, similar to the collusion on Jordan between the Jewish Yishuv and Transjordan as described by Avi Shlaim: there were some guidelines and agreements, but they were liable to change, depending on the strength of the sides.
The US "saved" Egypt by stopping the advancing Israeli troops. With the passive support of Sadat, the US allowed Israel to hit Syria really hard.
The US-negotiated disengagement agreements with the UN troops in-between made Israel safe for years to come.
(In a different and important document, "Notes on Heikal's book Road to Ramadan", Vinogradov rejects the thesis of the unavoidability of Israeli-Arab wars: he says that as long as Egypt remains in the US thrall, such a war is unlikely. Indeed there have been no big wars since 1974, unless one counts Israeli "operations" in Lebanon and Gaza.)
The US "saved" Israel with military supplies.
Thanks to Sadat, the US came back to the Middle East and positioned itself as the only mediator and "honest broker" in the area.
Sadat began a violent anti-Soviet and antisocialist campaign, Vinogradov writes, trying to discredit the USSR. In the Notes, Vinogradov charges that Sadat spread many lies and disinformation to discredit the USSR in the Arab eyes. His main line was: the USSR could not and would not liberate Arab soil while the US could, would and did. Vinogradov explained elsewhere that the Soviet Union was and is against offensive wars, among other reasons because their end is never certain. However, the USSR was ready to go a long way to defend Arab states. As for liberation, the years since 1973 have proved that the US can't or won't deliver that, either - while the return of Sinai to Egypt in exchange for separate peace was always possible, without a war as well.
After the war, Sadat's positions improved drastically. He was hailed as hero, Egypt took a place of honor among the Arab states. But in a year, Sadat's reputation was in tatters again, and that of Egypt went to an all time low, Vinogradov writes.
The Syrians understood Sadat's game very early: on October 12, 1973 when the Egyptian troops stood still and ceased fighting, President Hafez el Assad said to the Soviet ambassador that he is certain Sadat was intentionally betraying Syria. Sadat deliberately allowed the Israeli breakthrough to the Western bank of Suez, in order to give Kissinger a chance to intervene and realise his disengagement plan, said Assad to Jordanian Prime Minister Abu Zeid Rifai who told it to Vinogradov during a private breakfast they had in his house in Amman. The Jordanians also suspect Sadat played a crooked game, Vinogradov writes. However, the prudent Vinogradov refused to be drawn into this discussion though he felt that the Jordanians "read his thoughts."
When Vinogradov was appointed co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, he encountered a united Egyptian-American position aiming to disrupt the conference, while Assad refused even to take part in it. Vinogradov delivered him a position paper for the conference and asked whether it is acceptable for Syria. Assad replied: yes but for one line. Which one line, asked a hopeful Vinogradov, and Assad retorted: the line saying "Syria agrees to participate in the conference." Indeed the conference came to nought, as did all other conferences and arrangements.
Though the suspicions voiced by Vinogradov in his secret document have been made by various military experts and historians, never until now they were made by a participant in the events, a person of such exalted position, knowledge, presence at key moments. Vinogradov's notes allow us to decipher and trace the history of Egypt with its de-industrialisation, poverty, internal conflicts, military rule tightly connected with the phony war of 1973.
A few years after the war, Sadat was assassinated, and his hand-picked follower Hosni Mubarak began his long rule, followed by another participant of the October War, Gen Tantawi. Achieved by lies and treason, the Camp David Peace treaty still guards Israeli and American interests. Only now, as the post-Camp David regime in Egypt is on the verge of collapse, one may hope for change. Sadat's name in the pantheon of Egyptian heroes was safe until now. In the end, all that is hidden will be made transparent.
Postscript. In 1975, Vinogradov could not predict that the 1973 war and subsequent treaties would change the world. They sealed the fate of the Soviet presence and eminence in the Arab world, though the last vestiges were destroyed by American might much later: in Iraq in 2003 and in Syria they are being undermined now. They undermined the cause of socialism in the world, which began its long fall. The USSR, the most successful state of 1972, an almost-winner of the Cold war, eventually lost it. Thanks to the American takeover of Egypt, petrodollar schemes were formed, and the dollar that began its decline in 1971 by losing its gold standard - recovered and became again a full-fledged world reserve currency. The oil of the Saudis and of sheikdoms being sold for dollars became the new lifeline for the American empire. Looking back, armed now with the Vinogradov Papers, we can confidently mark 1973-74 as a decisive turning point in our history.
ISRAEL SHAMIR has been sending dispatches to CounterPunch from Moscow.
February 22, 2012
A CounterPunch Exclusive: Collusion and Betrayal on the Suez Canal
Posted at 08:37 pm by ariksilverman
Jan 22, 2012
Jewish paper's column catches Secret Service's eye
Jewish paper's column catches Secret Service's eye
By Joe Sterling, CNN
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- The U.S. Secret Service is looking into a controversial column by an Atlanta Jewish newspaper publisher that mulled the assassination of an American president.
Andrew Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote a January 13 column about the threat of Iran to Israel. He posed three options for the Jewish state to counter the Iranian regime.
One of them called for a "hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence."
"Give the go-ahead for U.S. based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States' policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies."
U.S. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie told CNN Saturday, "We are aware of it. We are taking the appropriate investigative steps."
Adler could not be reached for comment, but the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a wire service for Jewish newspapers in North America, quoted Adler on Friday as saying "I very much regret it. I wish I hadn't made reference to it at all."
Adler -- who said he's gotten a lot of flak for the column -- said he would issue an apology in the next edition of the weekly newspaper, the JTA reported.
The column, titled "What would you do?" doesn't mention President Barack Obama's name, but U.S. Jewish groups that strongly denounced the column read the words as a reference to Obama himself. The column also refers to the administration's "never ending 'Alice in Wonderland' belief that diplomacy is the answer," an apparent dig at the Obama White House's foreign policy efforts at dialogue with such countries as Iran.
"The suggestion by anyone, in this case a Jewish newspaper publisher, that Israel should consider assassinating President Obama is shocking beyond belief," said Dov Wilker, director of the American Jewish Committee in Atlanta.
"While we acknowledge Mr. Adler's apology, we are flabbergasted that he could ever say such a thing in the first place. How could he even conceive of such a twisted idea?" said Wilker. "Mr. Adler surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish community."
The White House declined to comment Saturday on the column.
Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Adler's "lack of judgment as a publisher, editor and columnist raises serious questions as to whether he's fit to run a newspaper."
"There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn't even belong in fiction. These are irresponsible and extremist words. It is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the damage.
"Irresponsible rhetoric metastasizes into more dangerous rhetoric. The ideas expressed in Mr. Adler's column reflect some of the extremist rhetoric that unfortunately exists -- even in some segments of our community -- that maliciously labels President Obama as an 'enemy of the Jewish people,'" Foxman said.
Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper called the remarks "irresponsible and reprehensible" and said they "must be publicly condemned by Jewish leaders across the ideological and political spectrum."
"We take small comfort from the apology ó what a shanda!" Cooper said, using the Yiddish word for something shameful or scandalous.
JTA also quoted Opher Aviran, the Israeli consul-general in Atlanta as saying he was "appalled at this deranged and morally repugnant assertion. We condemn such calls in the strongest possible terms."
The Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly focused on the Atlanta Jewish community, was founded in 1925 as the Southern Israelite.
updated 6:11 PM EST, Sun January 22, 2012
Posted at 07:29 pm by ariksilverman
Jan 21, 2012
An Excellent Primer on Israel°Įs Tangled Politics
An Excellent Primer on Israel°Įs Tangled Politics
"May Your House be Destroyed!"
by URI AVNERY
"ISRAEL HAS no foreign policy, only a domestic policy," Henry Kissinger once remarked.
This has probably been more or less true of every country since the advent of democracy. Yet in Israel, this seems even truer. (Ironically, it could almost be said that the US has no foreign policy, only an Israeli domestic policy.)
In order to understand our foreign policy, we have to look in the mirror. Who are we? What is our society like?
IN A classical sketch, well known to every veteran Israeli, two Arabs stand on the sea shore, looking at a boat full of Russian Jewish pioneers rowing towards them. "May your house be destroyed!" they curse.
Next, the same two figures, this time Russian Jewish pioneers, stand on the same spot, launching Russian curses at a boat full of Yemenite immigrants.
Next, the two are Yemenites cursing German Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis. Then, two German Jews cursing Moroccan arrivals. When it first appeared, that was the last scene. But now, one can add two Moroccans cursing the immigrants from Soviet Russia, then two Russians cursing the latest arrivals: Ethiopian Jews.
That may also be true for every immigrant country, from the United States to Australia. Every new wave of immigrants is greeted by the scorn, contempt and even open hostility of those who came before them. When I was a child in the early 1930s, I frequently heard people shouting at my parents "Go back to Hitler!"
Still, the dominant myth was that of the "melting pot". All immigrants would be thrown into the same pot and cleansed of their "foreign" traits, emerging as a uniform new nation without any traces of their origin.
THIS MYTH died some decades ago. Israel is now a kind of federation of several major demographic-cultural blocs which dominate our social and political life.
Who are they? There are (1) the old Ashkenazim (Jews of European origin); (2) the Oriental (or "Sephardi") Jews; (3) the religious (partly Ashkenazi, partly Oriental); (4) the "Russians", immigrants from all the countries of the former Soviet union; and (5) the Palestinian-Arab citizens, who did not come from anywhere.
This is, of course, a schematic presentation. None of the blocs is completely homogeneous. Each bloc has several sub blocs, some blocs overlap, there is some intermarriage, but on the whole, the picture is accurate. Gender plays no role in this division.
The political scene almost exactly mirrors these divisions. The Labor party was, in its heyday, the main instrument of Ashkenazi power. Its remnants, together with Kadima and Meretz, are still Ashkenazi. Avigdor Lieberman°Įs Israel Beytenu consists mainly of Russians. There are three or four religious parties. Then there are two exclusively Arab parties, and the Communist party, which is mainly Arab, too. The Likud represents the bulk of the Orientals, though almost all its leaders are Ashkenazim.
The relationship between the blocs is often strained. Just now, the whole country is in an uproar because in Kiryat Malakhi, a southern town with mainly Oriental inhabitants, house owners have signed a commitment not to sell apartments to Ethiopians, while the Rabbi of Safed, a northern town of mainly Orthodox Jews, has forbidden his flock to rent apartments to Arabs.
But apart from the rift between the Jews and the Arabs, the main problem is the resentment of the Orientals, the Russians and the religious against what they call "the Ashkenazi elite".
SINCE THEY were the first to arrive, long before the establishment of the state, Ashkenazim control most of the centers of power ®C social, political, economic, cultural et al. Generally, they belong to the more affluent part of society, while the Orientals, the Orthodox, the Russians and the Arabs generally belong to the lower socio-economic strata.
The Orientals have deep grudges against the Ashkenazim. They believe ®C not without justification ®C that they have been humiliated and discriminated against from their first day in the country, and still are, though quite a number of them have reached high economic and political positions. The other day, a top director of one of the foremost financial institutions caused a scandal when he accused the "Whites" (i.e. Ashkenazim) of dominating all the banks, the courts and the media. He was promptly fired, which caused another scandal.
The Likud came to power in 1977, dethroning Labor. With short interruptions, It has been in power ever since. Yet most Likud members still feel that the Ashkenazim rule Israel, leaving them far behind. Now, 34 years later, the dark wave of anti-democratic legislation pushed by Likud deputies is being justified by the slogan "We must start to rule!"
The scene reminds me of a building site surrounded by a wooden fence. The canny contractor has left some holes in the fence, so that curious passers-by can look in. In our society, all the other blocs feel like outsiders looking through the holes, full of envy for the Ashkenazi "elite" inside, who have all the good things. They hate everything they connect with this "elite": the Supreme Court, the media, the human rights organizations, and especially the peace camp. All these are called "leftist", a word curiously enough identified with the "elite".
HOW HAS "peace" become associated with the dominant and domineering Ashkenazim?
That is one of the great tragedies of our country.
Jews have lived for many centuries in the Muslim world. There they never experienced the terrible things committed in Europe by Christian anti-Semitism. Muslim-Jewish animosity started only a century ago, with the advent of Zionism, and for obvious reasons.
When the Jews from Muslim countries started to arrive en masse in Israel, they were steeped in Arab culture. But here they were received by a society that held everything Arab in total contempt. Their Arab culture was "primitive", while real culture was European. Furthermore, they were identified with the murderous Muslims. So the immigrants were required to shed their own culture and traditions, their accent, their memories, their music. In order to show how thoroughly Israeli they had become, they also had to hate Arabs.
It is, of course, a world-wide phenomenon that in multi-national countries, the most downtrodden class of the dominant nation is also the most radical nationalist foe of the minority nations. Belonging to the superior nation is often the only source of pride left to them. The result is frequently virulent racism and xenophobia.
This is one of the reasons why the Orientals were attracted to the Likud, for whom the rejection of peace and the hatred of Arabs are supreme virtues. Also, having been in opposition for ages, the Likud was seen as representing those who were "outside", fighting those who were "inside". This is still the case.
The case of the "Russians" is different. They grew up in a society that despised democracy, admired strong leaders. The "whites", Russians and Ukrainians, despised and hated the "dark" peoples of the south ®C Armenians, Georgians, Tatars, Uzbeks and such. (I once invented a formula: "Bolshevism minus Marxism equals Fascism".)
When the Russian Jews came to join us, they brought with them a virulent nationalism, a complete disinterest in democracy and an automatic hatred of Arabs. They cannot understand why we allowed them to stay here at all. When, this week, a lady deputy (though "lady" may be euphemistic) from St. Petersburg poured a glass of water on the head of an Arab deputy from the Labor party, nobody was very surprised. (Somebody quipped: "a Good Arab is a wet Arab"). For Lieberman°Įs followers, Peace is a dirty word, and so is Democracy.
For religious people of all shades ®C from the ultra-Orthodox to the National-Religious settlers, there is no problem at all. From the crib on, they learn that Jews are the Chosen People; that the Almighty personally promised us this country; that the Goyim ®C including the Arabs ®C are just inferior human beings.
It may be said, quite rightly, that I generalize. I do, just to simplify matters. There are indeed a lot of Orientals, especially of the younger generation, who are repelled by the ultra-nationalism of the Likud, the more so as the neo-liberalism of Binyamin Netanyahu (which Shimon Peres once called "swinish capitalism") is in direct contradiction to the basic interests of their community. There are also a lot of decent, liberal, peace-loving religious people. (Yeshayahu Leibovitz comes to mind.) Some Russians are gradually leaving their self-imposed ghetto. But these are small minorities in their communities. The bulk of the three blocs ®C Oriental, Russian and religious ®C are united in their opposition to peace, and at best indifferent to democracy.
All these together constitute the right-wing, anti-peace coalition that is governing Israel now. The problem is not just a question of politics. It is much more profound ®C and much more daunting.
SOME PEOPLE blame us, the democratic peace movement, for not recognizing the problem early enough, and not doing enough to attract the members of the various blocs to the ideals of peace and democracy. Also, it is said, we did not show that social justice is inseparably connected with democracy and peace.
I must accept my share of the blame for this failure, though I might point out that I tried to make the connection right from the beginning. I asked my friends to concentrate our efforts on the Oriental community, remind them of the glories of the Muslim-Jewish "golden Age" in Spain, of the huge mutual impact of Jewish and Muslim scientists, poets and religious thinkers throughout the ages.
A few days ago, I was invited to give a lecture to the faculty and students of Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva. I described the situation more or less along the same lines. The first question from the large audience, which consisted of Jews ®C both Orientals and Ashkenazim, and Arabs ®C especially Bedouins was: "So what hope is there? Faced with this reality, how can the peace forces win?"
I told them that I put my trust in the new generation. Last summer°Įs huge social protest movement, which erupted quite suddenly and swept ["along"?] hundreds of thousands, showed that yes, it can happen here. The movement united Ashkenazim and Orientals. Tent cities sprang up in Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva, all over the place.
Our first job is to break the barriers between the blocs, change reality, create a new Israeli society. We need blockbusters.
Yes, it is a daunting job. But I believe it can be done.
URI AVNERY is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch°Įs book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.
Weekend Edition January 20-22, 2012
Posted at 12:57 pm by ariksilverman
Jan 20, 2012
Israeli Reaction to Call for Mossad to Assassinate Obamaa
Israeli Reaction to Call for Mossad to Assassinate Obamaa
Uproar after Jewish American newspaper publisher suggests Israel assassinate
Op-ed in Atlanta Jewish Times says the slaying of the president may be an effective way to thwart Iran's nuclear program.
By Chemi Shalev
NEW YORK - The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.
Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iranís nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iranís nuclear facilities and the third is to "give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United Statesí policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies."
Adler goes on to write: "Yes, you read "three correctly". Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israelís existence. Think about it. If have thought of this Tom-Clancy-type scenario, donít you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israelís most inner circles?"
Adler apologized yesterday for the article, saying "I very much regret it; I wish I hadnít made reference to it at all," Adler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. And in an interview with Gawker.com, Adler denied that he was advocating an assassination of Obama.
The American Jewish Committee in Atlanta last night issued a harsh condemnation of Adlerís article, saying that his proposals are "shocking beyond belief."
"While we acknowledge Mr. Adler's apology, we are flabbergasted that he could ever say such a thing in the first place. How could he even conceive of such a twisted idea?" said Dov Wilker, director of AJC Atlanta. "Mr. Adler surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish community."
Published 03:44 21.01.12 Latest update 03:44 21.01.12
Posted at 08:33 pm by ariksilverman
Will Zionist Jew Calling For Obama Assassination Be Punished
Will Zionist Jew Calling For Obama Assassination Be Punished?
Atlanta Jewish Times owner says sorry for Obama 'hit' column
Andrew Adler says he deeply regrets writing a column suggesting Mossad agents should consider 'a hit' on the president if he fails to support Israel
Andrew Adler said he wrote the column on Obama to get a reaction from readers
The owner of a Jewish newspaper in Atlanta has said he deeply regrets writing a column suggesting that Israel consider "a hit" on Barack Obama if he stands in the way of the Jewish state defending itself.
Andrew Adler told the Guardian he wrote the column in the weekly Atlanta Jewish Times "to get a reaction" from the paper's readers.
"The headline for the column was: 'What would you do?' That's what I wanted to see," he said. "It's got like a Dr Phil reaction: what were you thinking? I feel really bad it did that."
The column asks readers to imagine that they are the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, confronting the threat posed by Hezbollah and Iran's nuclear programme while also under pressure from a US president with an "Alice in Wonderland" belief in diplomacy over force.
Adler lays out what he says are the three options available to Netanyahu: attack Hezbollah and Hamas; defy the US - which is willing to let "Israel take a lethal bullet" - by striking against Iran's nuclear facilities; or a third option.
"Three, give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice-president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States' policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies," Adler wrote in a column that appeared in print by not online.
"Yes, you read "three" correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence. Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don't you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel's most inner circles?"
Adler went on to ask: "How far would you go to save a nation comprised of 7 million lives - Jews, Christians and Arabs alike? You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table."
Adler said he understood why readers might interpret his writing as suggesting that Israel is seriously considering assassinating the US president but that is not what he meant.
"No, no, no. It's unfathomable, unthinkable," he said, adding: "I'm definitely pro-Israel to the max."
Adler said he intends to repudiate the column in the next edition of the paper.
"I've put my pen in my mouth," he said. "I'm writing a retraction to the column."
The Atlanta Jewish Times was founded in 1925 as the Southern Israelite. Adler bought the paper three years ago. It has a circulation of several thousand copies a week.
guardian.co.uk, Friday 20 January 2012 16.10 EST
Posted at 06:16 pm by ariksilverman
Jan 13, 2012
Israel Sh*ts On The US Again and Congress Laps it Up
Israel Sh*ts On The US Again and Congress Laps it Up
Is there no end to the humiliation Congress subjects our country to from Israel in order to keep those campaign contributions flowing?
'Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA spies to recruit terrorists to fight against Iran'
Foreign Policy magazine cites CIA memos from 2007-2008 that the Mossad recruited members of Jundallah terror group to fight against Tehran; U.S. was reportedly furious with Israel and moved to limit joint intelligence programs.
By Barak Ravid
Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA officers in order to recruit members of a Pakistani terror group to carry out assassinations and attacks against the regime in Iran, Foreign Policy revealed on Friday, quoting U.S. intelligence memos.
Foreign Policy's Mark Perry reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, behind the back of the U.S. government, and infuriated then U.S. President George W. Bush.
Perry quotes a number of American intelligence officials and claims that the Mossad agents used American dollars and U.S. passports to pose as CIA spies to try to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization that has carried out a series of attacks in Iran and assassinations of government officials.
According to the report, Israel's recruitment attempts took place mostly in London, right under the nose of U.S. intelligence officials.
"It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought
According to a currently serving U.S. intelligence officer, Perry reports, when Bush was briefed on the information he "went absolutely ballistic."
"The report sparked White House concerns that Israel's program was putting Americans at risk," the intelligence officer told Perry. "There's no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians."
The intelligence officer said that the Bush administration continued to deal with the affair until the end of his term. He noted that Israel's operation jeopardized the U.S. administration's fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was under immense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah.
According to the intelligence officer, a senior administration official vowed to "take the gloves off" with Israel, but ultimately the U.S. did nothing.
"In the end it was just easier to do nothing than to, you know, rock the boat," the intelligence officer said.
Apparently, the Mossad operation caused a fiery debate among Bush's national security team and it was only resolved when U.S. President Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, Perry quotes several serving and retired officers as saying.
The U.S. State Department has vehemently denied any ties to Jundallah and many U.S. intelligence officials remained angry with Israel over the 2007-2008 operation.
"Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us," Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. "If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they're supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don't think that's true."
Published 20:54 13.01.12 Latest update 20:54 13.01.12
Posted at 05:36 pm by ariksilverman
Jan 3, 2012
Israel's Seculars Fed Up With Religious "Disease"
Israel's Seculars Fed Up With Religious "Disease"
It's time to cure the disease of ultra-Orthodox education
Young Haredim are educated to totally despise the values of the secular state, which is why they have no problem scaring a little girl or calling policemen Nazis.
By Nehemia Shtrasler
Blessed be the yeshiva student who scared the little girl on her way to school. Blessed also be the one who spit at and cursed female passersby. Blessed be the ultra-Orthodox man who called the female soldier a prostitute, and blessed be those who demonstrated in striped prisoners' garb and stuck yellow stars on their clothing.
All this taken together might finally shake up the secular majority and force it into action. All this might make 90 percent of the population understand that there's no point in condemning the spitter or putting the one who cursed on trial. They are merely symptoms of a serious disease, and whoever deals merely with the symptoms is wasting his time and could even make the disease worse.
The disease is ultra-Orthodox education. It's an education that puts young Haredim through a thorough brainwashing, which ends with them believing that democracy is the evil regime, that equal rights for women is totally treif, that freedom and humanism are only good for the goyim, and that studying math, English and history is idolatry. They also learn that to go out and work for a living is a terrible embarrassment, and that to serve in the army is worthy of contempt, suited only to the secular donkey - who is stupid enough to sacrifice his life for the "homeland."
Young Haredim are educated to totally despise the values of the secular state, which is why they have no problem scaring a little girl or calling policemen Nazis. Their leaders have a clear goal: To provide the community with good living conditions at the expense of the secular donkey, who they believe should work hard, pay taxes and sacrifice his life in the army. Thus they can continue to shirk their duty while continuing to blackmail.
The part that's especially galling and absurd is that the secular majority, in its foolishness, is financing this destructive process. It gives huge budgets to the independent Haredi educational system. It gives allowances to married yeshiva students, as well as grants that are far higher than what a soldier gets during his compulsory service, or a student studying medicine or engineering. This is because the secular population is suicidal. It is slowly but surely wiping itself out with its own hands.
Just now, following the events in Beit Shemesh, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested a solution: Divide Beit Shemesh into two, a Haredi city and a religious-secular one. Interior minister and Shas chairman Eli Yishai immediately objected. Yishai understood that a Haredi city couldn't survive because it would be "without revenues, without arnona [city taxes] and without industry."
In other words, without the secular-national religious donkey bearing the burden, there would be nothing from which to give those Haredi families with many children. It would be impossible for them to finance their education, health care, welfare, ritual baths, synagogues, yeshivas and kollels - yeshivas for married men.
As we speak, Beit Shemesh is planning a new neighborhood with 25,000 apartments, but the government is marketing those apartments at Haredim at cost price. In other words, despite the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee, the Haredim are the ones who will get land at half price, in addition to large discounts on taxes. All this comes on the backs of the religious and secular taxpayers.
Only last week, Yishai suggested changing the tables for arnona discounts so that large families in small apartments with low incomes get a bigger break.
So we have to stop dealing with symptoms; it's time to cure the disease. In other words, to do away with the independent education systems of Shas and Agudat Yisrael, and force every child in Israel to study the same general curriculum, as in France. Whoever wishes can teach his children Mishna and Talmud in the afternoon.
All the Haredi draft evaders should be drafted into the Israel Defense Forces for three years, like any other citizen. Everyone has to help protect the country. The support given to yeshivas and kollels from the state budget should be totally stopped, which will force the Haredim to go to work. In no part of the Diaspora, neither in Poland nor in Morocco, did Jews even dream of living as parasites at the public's expense.
But knowing where we live, and what's important to Netanyahu, we can assume that this call will fall on deaf ears and we'll take the slow-but-sure route to oblivion.
Published 03:12 03.01.12 Latest update 03:12 03.01.12
Posted at 01:49 pm by ariksilverman