Living in the Shadow of the Six Day War: The Unraveling of a Miracle
This improved and consolidated version of a three year old series of articles has been published in Jewish Indy (Indianapolis, USA), Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury's Weekly Blitz (Bangladesh). I am attempting to have it translated into Hebrew in hopes that my Israeli friends and neighbors will see a painful summary of all that we have lost in the dark and scary Shadow of Six Day War.
Copyright © R. Kossover, 2010
Originally published at Blogcritics Magazine in four parts during 6-9 June 2007.
Copyright © R. Kossover, 2007
Author's note: Now, three years after this article was originally published, we have fought a brief war in Gaza, and now sit on the lip of further war, with Turkey having thrown its lot in with the revivified Persian Empire that stretches from the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the beaches of Lebanon and Syria. We wait for the other shoe to drop, for the time when we will need to pull up the lawn chairs and watch the missiles fly in to destroy Tel Aviv, and pray that they do not hit us here in the midst of Samaria.
I was not yet sixteen when the Six Day War broke out in June, 1967. Over 25 years ago I recorded what happened to me the day before the war started.
I jumped out of bed when I heard my mother's voice. Listening to the 7:00 a.m. news, I heard CBS Radio's Israel correspondent Jay Bushinski say that Israel Defense Forces had advanced 10 miles into Egyptian territory and had destroyed the entire Egyptian Air Force. During the following week, I walked around school dazed, distracted. But not so distracted that I couldn't drag out a Hebrew grammar book to study abandoned verb conjugations and forgotten vocabulary. I carried a new dream within me.
Only twenty-four hours before - Sunday morning - it would have been like Vietnam; another war in a far off place.
After Memorial Day, 1967, Brighton Beach was my second home. I soaked up rock-n-roll tunes from the radio as I lay on a blanket playing poker and browning my back.
My best friend at the time was an Israeli, Shlomo Rozenberg. Sunday, June 4th, he and I kicked a soccer ball around while gentle winds blew and sea birds flew over Brighton beach. As afternoon shadows lengthened, the soccer game disintegrated. Shlomo and I made our way to a forest of legs surrounding a centrally located group of beach blankets and umbrellas. This was "Bay 3", the central hangout for Israelis living in New York on hot summer days.
Together with eight others, we clambered over each other's shoulders to form a human pyramid. While I struggled to maintain my balance, someone began to play a Hebrew love ballad on his guitar. A bongo drummer softly kept rhythm.
Almost everybody sang along. Guys put muscled arms around their girlfriends' olive shoulders. Giant Stars of David reflected gold, copper and light.
I was silent.
I neither knew the words, nor understood the language. All I knew at that moment was how lonely I felt. I wanted to walk away from this crowd of foreigners, lay on my blanket and listen to the Beach Boys and the Stones. I didn't. Shlomo had his left leg on my right shoulder. He needed my support.
By the time the unsteady pyramid had collapsed, Jack Goldberg - card sharp and pre-eminent party giver in Brooklyn's felafel ghetto on 13th Avenue - was making a speech about breaking Nasser's noose on the Straits of Tiran. To shouts of "kol hakavód!" and "bravo!," he orated passionately that the Russians could drop dead and that Israel would drive the Egyptian monkeys to the gates of Cairo. He yelled "'am yisraél Hai!" and "long live America!," The rest of the crowd soon took up Ya'akov's calls.
In the midst of the shouting the staccato of a bongo drum pierced the air like a machine gun. A girl began to sing "Hava Negila" and grabbed Shlomo's hand. He grabbed mine and we danced a hora to the steady beat of the knee drums.
I danced and whirled and jumped. Concentric circles formed dancing clockwise and counter-clockwise. I kicked sand, running first to the right then to the left. The knee drums pounded their cadence into my brain. As more and more people joined the hora, I sang the one song I recognized that day in a voice of voices.
The ancient spirit of Israel rose within me. Walls of isolation dropped. I felt my soul link with the souls around me. I shared fear. I shared concern. I shared joy. For the first time in my life, I didn't feel like an outsider. I belonged.
That night we watched a television "special" about the Middle East. My mother looked at the map on the TV and said to my father, "Louie, they have us surrounded." She had never referred to Israel as "us" before.
When I went to sleep that night, He Who guards Israel did not sleep. Only He - and the Israel Defense Force - were prepared for the six days that followed.What had happened was a miracle. First of all, that event on Brighton Beach and the events of the week that followed it shaped the rest of my life, telling me where my own identity really lay. Even though it would be over thirty years before I would fulfill my own dream of coming home to Israel, the seed leading to its fulfillment had been planted.
But on a far larger level, a small insecure nation surrounded by millions of hateful enemies determined to drive it into the sea and massacre all of its inhabitants had defeated all of its enemies on the field and totally humiliated them. In the words of the great Israeli writer, Ephraim Kishon, "Israel solved the problem of winning a two-front war by fighting a three front war." In six days, David had downed Goliath using airplanes, tanks, and sheer moxie. And the Arabs, just like the Philistines 3,000 years earlier, pulled off their boots in the sand and ran as fast as they could.
From a country with a central section 10 miles wide, Israel had expanded to cover all the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, a broad and good land; it had conquered the Heights of Golan, so that never again would Syrian gunners bombard kibbutzim and towns in the north and force the inhabitants to sleep in underground bunkers; it had liberated the city of Jerusalem from foreign rule and re-united it under the rule of the only people who pray for the city's welfare daily, the Jewish people; it had conquered Gaza, an infectious nest of murderous terrorists; and as a security buffer, it had conquered the entire Sinai peninsula, ending forever the danger of a blockade of Israeli shipping in the south, as well as that of a massive land invasion that would overrun Ashkelon, Beersheva, and Tel Aviv. In addition to all this, most of the inhabitants of the territory that had been under Jordanian rule for 19 years waited at three bridges at the Jordan River, seeking to flee Israeli rule.
Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, wanted to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount. The opportunity to have Judea and Samaria nearly empty of Arabs stood before the leaders of Israel. Had a synagogue been built on the Temple Mount it would have cemented our claim to it, mosques and domes notwithstanding. Had the Arabs fleeing Israeli rule been allowed to leave, the settlement of Judea and Samaria would have been a far easier and less controversial task. It is likely that the territory would have been annexed to the State and living in Ma'ale Levona, for example, would be looked upon as normal, instead of theft of someone else's land by self righteous, finger-wagging foreigners, and ignorant Israelis who think they know better than G-d Himself.
But this is not what happened.
The key person who began the unraveling of the miracle of the Six Day War, was the IDF's Chief of Staff, the late Moshe Dayan. Consulting with a large number of rabbis who tended to feel that entering upon the Temple Mount was an affront to G-d, Dayan banned the idea of the synagogue. Rabbi Goren's view was a minority one at the time. But, as if to lock out the possibility of a synagogue ever being built, Dayan handed control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf, a Moslem community organization. Given that the secular establishment ruling the country then (and now) did not want to see a strengthening of the religious community in Israel, and certainly rejected the view that Israel should be a publicly Jewish state, this act certainly went in line with its vision for the nation. But the rabbis who advised Dayan that a synagogue should not be built on the Temple Mount, advice that gave him cover for his actions, probably do not have the sense to now say "t'aínu" - "we made a mistake". This, in spite of the acts of the Waqf to erase all Jewish presence on our Temple Mount over the last several years.
Additionally, Dayan blew up the bridges at the Jordan River, thus preventing the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria from leaving. So they left the sites of the blown up bridges, returning to their homes. The Israelis attempted a "light-handed" occupation, but there is no such thing as a light-handed occupation of a potentially hostile population being fed hate propaganda daily.
Because Dayan did not allow the Arabs at the Jordan River bridges to leave, he created the problem of wanting to "annex the land but not the people". He handed to the Arabs a legitimacy they would not have had otherwise in demanding the land for themselves and undermined any Jewish claim to our land. He built the stool upon which the PLO stood, the stool upon which the Hamas stands. His act was an act of rank cowardice that has cost thousands of Jewish lives in the last forty years, not to mention thousands more Arab lives.
Very few Jews, living in Israel or elsewhere foresaw the disastrous consequences of these two acts when they were done. But this looks at events only from the point of view of political analysis. The real issue is that the last forty years spent in the shadow of the Six Day War has only made clear what happens when a people, particularly its leaders, spit at a miracle. In 1967, and indeed even into 1973, this nation had land, a sense of security, and a joie de vivre that one could feel in the festive air. The history of the last 33 years at least is the history of how this nation has lost all it gained in the Six Day War, along with the joie de vivre it had possessed when going into battle in June, 1967.
Tremendous victories were achieved by Israel in the 1967 War. Israelis called it a miracle.
It slowly unraveled.
The first unraveling was the "War of Attrition," which in essence was the attempt by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), particularly the artillery and air, to prevent Egypt from rebuilding its military forces - the war machine it had built up before 1967 with immense Soviet aid. While primarily costly in matériel, the real cost of this war forced Israel into dependency on American military aid. Prior to the Six Day War, Israel's leaders had done what they could not to openly rely too heavily on the United States for arms, though it had received heavy tanks from the States via aid to West Germany.
The main foreign supplier of arms to the IDF prior to the Six Day War was France. When the French decided to side with the Arabs in 1967 this began to change. The political atmosphere in the States was favorable to the Israelis, and American Jews gloried in seeking to get aid for the nation that had given them a renewed sense of pride. Thus, almost unnoticed, Israeli sovereignty began to slip from the fingers of her leaders. The most fortunate event that occurred during this period was when the Israelis "acquired" nuclear material to make missiles. It was the one really good thing that Shim'ón Peres did in the service of his country.
The second strand of the unraveling of the miracle was the beginning of Arab terror against Israeli civilians. The terror campaign had the initial effect of making the Arabs look evil and vicious - they blew up a school in Ma'alót, planted pencil bombs that would blow up in the hands of little children, and similar acts. Innocents were usually targeted. But this was accompanied with a well funded propaganda campaign to reverse the roles of the combatants, constantly referring to the Israeli "Goliath" overshadowing the Arab (and later, "Palestinian") "David."
The turning point in this campaign of terror - revealing the success of the Arab propaganda effort - was the reaction to the murder of the Israeli Olympic athletes in the 1972 Munich games by the Arab terror organization, Black September. As wrong as the terror attack might have been, the distribution of Olympic medals was far more important in the eyes of the corporate world than a terror organization bringing dishonor to the international games.
The shedding of human blood, particularly of Jewish blood, did not matter if it got in the way of the great publicity machine hustling the Olympics. The murder of the Israeli athletes was turned as much as possible into another form of entertainment for the hungry masses. In addition, the Arabs were able to get a certain amount of sympathetic coverage, with the line "poor Palestinians driven to terror" being capitalized upon constantly. The Arab propaganda planted in the late '60's and early '70's has echoed through three and a half decades of murderous terror attacks, always being used as the excuse to cover them and give them legitimacy.
The Yom Kippur War
The next strand in the unraveling was the co-ordinated Arab attack on Israel on 10 Tishrei, 5734 - the Yom Kippur War. That the "empire would strike back" was inevitable. But many other things were not.
Israel's leaders, now dependent on U.S. arms, quailed before American bullying - something that they did not do in 1967 - and waited for an Arab attack when they could have struck pre-emptively. They relied on America to fulfill promises of arms replenishment - which the Americans did not keep until Secretary of Defense Shlesinger informed Richard Nixon, then president, of the duplicity of his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, in holding up arms resupply.
More important was the cold enmity towards Israelis around the world. In 1967, for example, blacks would drive through New York with huge flags of Israel on their cars to show their sympathy. Six years later, blacks in New York, now influenced by Arab propaganda, were cool at best and often openly hostile. I remember one black man telling me that "Israel was not a natural country". The Arab campaign of disinformation and lies - backed by the United States State Department - was succeeding.
Nation after nation broke ties with this country, even nations that had received aid from it. The breaking of ties by foreign nations, the American duplicity, the hostility of the world reflected at the United Nations, ought to have been a signal to the nation's leadership that it was time to assert the true character of the people of Israel, and act as and view itself as a nation reckoned alone. Indeed in 1973, it was. But the desire of the Zionists to be just like all the other nations overruled this impulse, and like a girl desperate for a lover, Israel began to chase for friends. This meant that her leaders caved in to foreign demands when they should have told the foreigners to go to hell.
History will not be kind to Golda Meir, z"l, in spite of all that she did to build this country. But it will be even less kind to Moshe Dayan. During the war, the one Israeli tactic that succeeded - the audacious attack on Egyptian tank lines that broke them by General Ariel Sharon - was fought tooth and nail by Security Minister Moshe Dayan, his superior.
If the enmity of the world, contempt of much of the world's press, and American duplicity weren't enough to signal that something was very wrong, the cease fire agreement reached at Tent 101 should have.
The IDF drove the Syrians off the Heights of Golan entirely and were advancing east northeast towards Damascus. It had invaded Egypt proper (in Africa) and had surrounded its vaunted 3rd Army while forces advanced on Cairo. The IDF, at the cost of over 2,500 dead in about three weeks (the equivalent of 135,000 American dead in a similar type of battle for survival), had repulsed a coördinated attack that could have destroyed the country, and had routed its enemies entirely.
At Tent 101, where negotiations were conducted, Israel was forced to give up land!
Israel was forced to withdraw to the status quo ante (4 October 1973) and surrender to the Syrians control of the city of el-Quneitra. In the Sinai, Israel was forced to withdraw 10 kilometers east of the Suez Canal and withdraw from Africa entirely. A diplomatic defeat was dealt out to the victors in war by the American Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The bitterness of that defeat acted like a poison that embittered the body politic here for years.
The next unraveling was the appearance before the General Assembly of the late Yasser Arafat, a murdering terrorist, who broke the laws of the City and State of New York by carrying a holstered pistol to the meeting without a license. In that speech, he told the delegates that in one hand he had a pistol and in the other he had on olive branch. In truth, he never held an olive branch, but he put on a good enough show to fool millions of people. To top all this was the recognition of the PLO, a terrorist umbrella organization, as the "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," which created a people out of a non-people on the strength of the lies of the Husseini clan, and a further resolution that condemned Zionism, the movement that built the State of Israel, as racism.
This was the signal for a strong Israeli leadership to expel United Nations personnel from Israel permanently and to take over direct control of the Arab refugee camps in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The United Nations had just declared war on Israel and did not deserve - as it does not deserve now - one square meter of land here, not to mention a presence in the most strategic spot in Jerusalem, Armon haNetziv. But the weak-kneed YitzHaq Rabin, z"l, did not understand this and did not do it at all. In 1977, when his wife Leah was caught with her fingers in the cookie jar - it really was a penny ante scandal compared to the thefts of Olmert, Martin Schlaf and the late Yossi Ginosar - the anger was such that Rabin and the leftists were driven from office by a true nationalist, MenaHem Begin, z"l.
The miracle further unraveled with two events - the "peace" treaty with Egypt and the invasion of Lebanon. Both occurred on Begin's watch.
The peace treaty appeared to be a good thing - except that Israel was forced to give up all of the Sinai Peninsula. A Pentagon study had shown years earlier that the minimum that Israel required for her security needs was control of Sharm el-Sheikh (Yamit) in the south, and control of parts of the northern and central Sinai. Giving up all of the Sinai did not allow Israel her minimum requirements for security.
This was the first problem. The second problem was that by giving up the entire Sinai, it created a "little" Israel, instead of the spacious mini-empire that control of the Sinai gave. The third problem was that Israel would have to give up oil holdings - the Arabs and the Americans controlling the oil industry had used the Yom Kippur War as a cover to triple oil prices in 1973, which now meant that oil was a valuable asset. But all of these problems were dwarfed by something that the Israelis did not realize at all.
When the late Anwar el-Sadat was able to win back the Sinai from the Israelis without firing a shot, he injected a tremendous amount of hope into the Arabs living under Israeli rule in Gaza, Judea and Samaria that they could eject the Israelis entirely. This hope was to result in the creation of large terrorist bases in refugee camps and Arab towns, and in the intifada of the late 1980's. This then leapfrogged into the development of Hamas and later HizbAllah.
The second event that occurred was the Lebanon War - the first Lebanon War. The original "Peace in Galilee" campaign was to advance to the Litani River and to stop, driving the el-Fatah terrorists from the territory, and occupying it, thus preventing further terrorist attacks from Lebanon. But Security Minister Ariel Sharon turned the campaign into a full-scale invasion of Lebanon, as far as Beirut. This was the first time that the Jewish state had gone to war in a situation that was not an issue of self-defense against attack, and it appeared to many that an unspoken covenant had been broken, particularly after Security Minister Sharon ordered the IDF to advance beyond the Litani River.
The nature of the poison that had spilled into Israeli political life began to show itself at the Battle of Sultan Yakub, where a tank division of largely religious soldiers was allowed to advance into an ambush by their commanders, Colonels Ehud Barak and Amram Mitzna, both secular Jews and later major figures in the Labor Party. Twenty three soldiers were killed in that ambush and three soldiers went missing, including Zechariah Baumel, who remains missing to this day.
But the real problem with Sharon's invasion of Lebanon was that his goal - the destruction of El Fatah as fighting force - thwarted by the United States government, which arranged for Arafat, along with people like Mahmoud Abbas, to live, and to leave for Tunis. This rendered the Israeli invasion worthless and created, for the first time, a real element of questioning the validity of the actions of the IDF among Israelis. This led to an acceptance among some of the elites here of something called "post-Zionism", which revises the history of the country to present it as though we Jews who have sought to re-settle our home as a people are colonial villains with no rights, while the Arabs, many of whom immigrated here from Iraq or Syria during the period of British rule with their encouragement, had rights that extended centuries back.
The event that was decisive in changing the nature of the invasion was a massacre of "Palestinian" Arab refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps by a Christian Lebanese militia force, known as the Phalangists. The fact that thousands of Lebanese Christians had been killed during the Lebanese civil war by "Palestinian" Arabs was ignored by the world's press; so was the fact that five thousand "Palestinian" rebels had been killed by General Zia ul Haq in Jordan in 1970. The fact that Security Minister Sharon was supposed to watch over the Phalangist forces for possible abuses was focused in on like a laser.
In the end, Israeli forces withdrew to the Litani and a zone south of it to prevent Arabs from firing missiles into Israel. But not before major internal damage had been done to the country's political structures and the trust that Israelis placed in the IDF.
The year 1991 saw the effective end of Israel's sovereignty. This occurred when the United States attacked Iraq in what has become known as the "First Gulf War."
The Iraqi dictator, unable to effectively deal with the United States, attacked Israel. The Scud missiles fired from trucks in Iraq could have been stopped by the air forces of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), but the United States ordered the Israelis not to retaliate, and to make sure that the Israel government complied, withheld codes that would have allowed our air forces to fly over Jordan and Iraq. Israel's self-defense was thus squelched by the minions of George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State, James "fuck the Jews" Baker.
After this war, Prime Minister YitzHaq Shamir was virtually ordered to a summit in Madrid for "direct talks" with the Arab enemy. Shamir wrecked these talks by calling his Syrian counterpart a terrorist. The Syrian, enraged, threw the accusation back at Shamir, whose group in the War of Independence, known as the "Stern Gang", had assassinated the Swedish "mediator" Count Folke Bernadotte, a man who had planned to force Israel to surrender Jerusalem entirely in his proposals for "peace" in 1949.
This wrecking of the Madrid summit by Shamir was the last sovereign act by an Israeli head of government. Since then, no Israeli prime minister has had the guts to take any action independent of the United States. Not YitzHaq Rabin, who depended on the United States for support; not Benyamin Netanyahu, who had been intimidated by Bill Clinton; not Ehud Barak, who owed his position entirely to Bill Clinton; not Ariel Sharon, who was unwilling to do what he was elected to do, to squelch Arab terror with an iron fist as he had done in Gaza decades previous; and certainly not the clown who pretends to the prime minister's seat and is on the verge of ejection from it, Ehud Olmert. But I get ahead of myself.
A further example of how the United States squelched the sovereignty of the country was how it influenced the settlement of Judea and Samaria after the flood of Russian Jews came here. Aid money that was supposed to be used to build infrastructure was withheld on the condition that Russians be prevented from settling in Judea and Samaria.
In a CRS Report for Congress prepared in January, 2006, it reports how during times of domestic unrest in Israel and regional instability, U.S. aid to Israel had increased. The report stated that in 1991 Congress provided Israel $650 million in emergency grants to pay for damage and other costs from Operation Desert Storm. In addition, Israel was given Patriot missiles to defend against Iraqi Scud missile attacks. After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing increase in migration of Russian and other Eastern bloc Jews to Israel, Congress approved $10 billion in loan guarantees for Israel to help it absorb immigrants and provide them with adequate social services.
It also explained how Loan Guarantees for Soviet Immigration were to work. In late 1990, the press reported that Israel would request $10 billion in loan guarantees from the United States. Under the proposal, Israel would borrow $10 billion from U.S. commercial establishments, and the United States government would guarantee the loans against default. Israeli officials said the funds were needed to finance housing, jobs, and infrastructure for an anticipated 1 million Soviet Jewish immigrants that were expected between 1991 and 1995. In April 1991 there were negotiations over Israel's request for emergency funds for recovery from Iraqi attacks during Operation Desert Storm.
Israel agreed to postpone its guaranteed loan request until September, 1991. Then, President George H.W. Bush asked Congress to delay consideration of the Israeli request until January 1992 because the President feared that the loan request would jeopardize Secretary of State Baker’s negotiations for a peace conference [Madrid]. Reluctantly, most Members of Congress agreed. When Congress returned in January 1992, Secretary Baker said the Administration would support the Israeli request only if Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activity in the occupied territories (does this phrase look familiar, anybody? - RK).
According to the report, in a series of negotiations among the Administration, Congress, and Israel, several compromises were offered: reducing the U.S. loan guarantees by an amount equal to the Israeli expenditures on settlements in the occupied territories, reducing the annual amount of the loan guarantees, or allowing Israel to complete housing projects underway in the territories but to ban new projects. None of the proposals were acceptable to all the parties. With the stalemate, it appeared that Israel’s loan guarantee request was to be postponed until consideration of the FY1993 foreign aid legislation later that year.
Following the June 1992 Israeli elections, which YitzHaq Rabin and his Labor party won, relations between the United States and Israel improved because the Bush Administration found the new Israeli leaders more accommodating toward peace talks with Arab states. President Bush announced in August that he would propose approving the loan guarantees. Congress attached the loan guarantee authorization to the Foreign Operations Appropriation bill that passed on October 5, 1992 (Title VI, P.L. 102-391, signed into law on October 6, 1992). The United States approved the first $2 billion tranche [portion] in December 1992, and Israel issued the first $1 billion in bonds in March 1993.
The long and the short of all this was that while the United States was willing guarantee the loans to Israel of $10 billion to settle Russian Jews in Israel, they preconditioned all of this by saying that these Russian Jews could not settle in Judea and Samaria. And it should be emphasized here, that these conditions were not on loans per se, but loan guarantees. This means that the private institutions that lent Israel the money will still receive them out of Israeli tax revenues. The "aid" consisted only of guaranteeing the loans.
This preconditioning of loan guarantees effectively hobbled much of the settlement of Judea and Samaria.
The standard Israeli style of getting around things was used to build and settle the city of Ariel, only a few hilltops north of us in Ma'ale Levona. The result is that Ariel is largely a Russian speaking city, with a large population. Without this interference in our internal affairs, it is safe to say that at least 300,000 Russian immigrants would have settled in Judea and Samaria, with many of them concentrated in Hebron and Ma'ale Efraim, to the southeast of here. American interference has meant, among other things, that Ma'ale Efraim, built to be the capital of southern Samaria, is virtually a ghost town with a sense of failure hanging over it. It has also meant that factories in Ma'ale Levona have never been built, that the industrial area of Shiló is nearly deserted, and that all of these communities are "bedroom communities" for Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, when they need not have been.
Let's look at that report to Congress again. There is a key line in there that tells us where the Oslo road to suicide started. "Following the June 1992 Israeli elections, which YitzHaq Rabin and his Labor party won, relations between the United States and Israel improved because the Bush Administration found the new Israeli leaders more accommodating toward peace talks with Arab states."
Oslo was never a secret process at all. The secrecy was maintained to hide the fact that negotiations with the PLO were a crime at the time that they were taking place under the guiding hand of Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, Warren Christopher. An accurate account of how all this began is excerpted below in an article by Barry Chamish, who has effectively proven why (and how) Rabin was killed.
Chamish begins by explaining that he had received a phone call from a fellow named Henry Gluksman, the advance man for the Oslo negotiations. Gluksman is a political refugee in Norway. The government there provides him with an apartment and pension as protection against mortal retaliation from Israel. According to Barry, Gluksman claims the Shabak made attempts on his life and he was forced to flee Israel in the early 1980s. Argentinian-born Gluksman publicly accused Israel of being behind the Falklands War. "I discovered that it was Israel Aviation Industries that provided the Argentinian planes and missiles and it was they who sunk the Lancaster", he explained. "They convinced the Argentinian government that they could win the war for them".
Gluksman had been impressed with Barry's website and his Rabin murder research. According to Chamish, The first thing he said was, "You missed the real motive for Rabin's murder. It was financial". Let's have a look at Barry's article.
Gluksman claims the Shabak made attempts on his life and he was forced to flee Israel in the early 1980s. Argentinian-born Gluksman publicly accused Israel of being behind the Falklands War. "I discovered that it was Israel Aviation Industries that provided the Argentinian planes and missiles and it was they who sunk the Lancaster", he explained. "They convinced the Argentinian government that they could win the war for them".
Mr. Gluksman's motives for talking freely to me appear not to be ideological. He is an avowed Marxist. Simply, he believes his Oslo talks became corrupted and that Rabin was murdered by the corrupters of his negotiations. His insider revelations are startling and verify the crux of my own research.
Gluksman: When I began laying the groundwork for the Oslo talks in '88, money wasn't even considered as a political issue. It's when it became the core issue that things turned ugly.
Chamish: What do you mean 1988? The talks began in 1992.
Gluksman: The plans for them were initiated in 1988. We had to wait until Rabin was elected to put them into action. He sent the two negotiators, Pundak and Hirshfeld, to Oslo and the initial talks were aimed at establishing an honest groundwork for peace.
Chamish: I interviewed Ron Pundak in 1996 and he told me something remarkable. He said that his boss, Yossi Beilin, does not believe in borders. Borders cause wars. He told me the end result of the accord would be the removal of Israel's borders. This would be done by dismembering the country piece by piece. After, Israel would blend into a Middle East bloc of united Arab countries.
Gluksman: Yes, that was our objective. The Gush Katif disengagement was agreed to in 1993 as part of the broader plan. To understand how this would lead to peace, look at Hong Kong. It was a colony of six million in a sea of over a billion Chinese. Israel consists of six million Jews in a sea of over a billion Moslems. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1999, nothing changed for the people of Hong Kong. They went on with their lives as before but without the threat of attack hanging over them. That was our objective. Israel would become Arab and nothing would change, but the threat would end. The Jews of Tel Aviv would go on with their lives, run their businesses, build their homes but the mayor would be an Arab, the police would be Arabs, the courts would be Arab. It was the ideal solution.[emphases mine - RK]
This details the reasons for the Oslo Accords as they were originally envisioned. Beilin's vision for change in Israel goes even beyond that of Uri Avneri and other "Gush Shalom" types. Perhaps his vision for peace would have made sense if we were all Arabs, and the Arabs were not being convinced daily that they have to kill us all. But as we see, the Arabs leaders do want to kill us all and have been poisoning their people with the desire for Jewish blood for decades.
The remainder of this interview deals more with the death of Rabin, but outlines why our country is on the ropes today. The Israeli leadership saw this as a big money making opportunity. And they had the minds of criminals. Let's read the rest of Barry Chamish's interview with Henry Gluksman to get a better sniff of the rat's nest that is Israeli politics.
Chamish: So if the plans are on course beginning with Gush Katif, what is your problem with the accords?
Gluksman: The problem began when the Labor Party leaders saw Oslo as a way to make a quick buck. Everyone was rushing to join in, Shimon Peres [Peres brought along his friend whom he had mentored, Ariel Sharon], Chaim Ramon, Micha Harish. And they all came with their Palestinian businessmen in tow.
I mean, who were Micha Harish and Chaim Ramon? How did they become peace negotiators? Oslo was drawing the greediest crooks to the money pot. They did not want peace, they wanted a piece of the action.
People who were absolute nobodies suddenly were showing up for discussions. The most absurd was this Rabbi Melchior who Peres brought along. Who ever heard of him before? He had no legitimacy or constituency, never wrote learned tracts and overnight he jumps from Oslo to the cabinet of Shimon Peres.
Everyone the Israelis sent to iron out details were there for what they could get out of Oslo and the P.L.O. more than cooperated in the thefts and corruption. From a Marxist beginning, the discussions turned capitalistic.
Chamish: Where did Rabin fit in? [this refers to the murder of Rabin]
Gluksman: He saw how corrupt everything had turned and decided to abandon the whole enterprise. He was going to put the talks on hold or shut them down for good if the corruption didn't stop. That is why they murdered him. He threatened to bring down the house of crime and that would have been very costly to the crooks. I read your work. Your conclusion is similar to mine but you left out some people who stood to lose big if Rabin stayed alive. It is a broader plot than you've found out.
This little portion of Chamish's interview with Henry Gluksman outlines one of the main problems of the present Israeli régime. It is nothing but a criminal mafia. It had been one for a long time, but "Palestine" was the cash cow that really drew all the cockroaches out of the wall. To be fair, this country is far less corrupt than countries like India or Pakistan, and even in crisis is better governed than either of these aforementioned nations. But the quality of the governance has dropped dramatically, even as the standard of living (for the rich Ashkenazi Jewish élite) has gone up.
In the interview with Henry Gluksman, we saw what Yossi Beilin's vision for the Oslo Accords was to have meant and one of the reasons it went so terribly wrong. In this article from Israel Insider, Expelling the Settlers, by Barry Chamish, we see what the reality of the Oslo Accords were to be as they started to be enforced. Let's look at the murder of two boys hiking near Teko'a.
It is no different than the heartbreaking case of the 14 year-old son of Sheri Mandell, an American immigrant living in Teko'a. He took a short hike from his home with a friend, they were set upon by Arabs who tied them up and bludgeoned them to death, cracking open their skulls with rocks.
After delighting in the screams of the boys as each rock opened more of their brains, the murderers took further pleasure in the sadistic coup de grace of ripping the bodies apart with knives.
Days later, Sheri Mandell's home was sniped at, with a bullet entering the bedroom of her nine year old daughter. Had she been in the room, she would have joined the list of double murders. Sheri took the hint and abandoned her home in Teko'a that night. She will likely not be the last to be shot at (author's note: Indeed she has not been. Not a week goes by without another report of Arabs shooting at Jews in Judea and Samaria - RK).
One of the secret parts of the Oslo Accords dealt with Judea and Samaria. In it, it detailed in as few words as possible, the elimination (as in murder) of the leadership of Judea and Samaria. When you talk to folks who have lived here for fifteen years or so, they can see the arm of elimination and murder of their leaders, even if they do not want to. They've been to too many funerals.
Even in the case of a young kid like Kobi Mandell detailed above, the effects of murder and demoralization have their toll. One of the fellows who found the body is a man who works for the Jewish Agency, and who moderates a website for would-be immigrants to this country. On the website, political arguments break out frequently, even though it is a site for the nuts and bolts of moving one's life from an English speaking country to Israel and discussions of religion and politics are banned. Imagine what stoicism it takes to do the job of telling Jews to shut up about the problems of Arabs killing them when you have just found the destroyed body of one of your neighbors - a body destroyed by a mob of savages!
The Oslo Accords have really meant demoralization. One of the reasons this is true is that in 1993, many Israelis embraced the idea of 'peace at last' with a warm enthusiasm. Living in peace means a lot to Israelis. It means possibly dismantling the reserves system and the draft; it means travel to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, North Africa; it means endless possibilities for business deals and making money. It means reducing taxes because this tiny nation will not have to support a world class army any more. It's a no-brainer to say that peace is a wonderful idea for Israelis.
But no peace arrived with the Oslo Accords. What arrived instead was the steady terror of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with the deaths constantly salved over by the government as "sacrifices for peace." The constant toll of terror, both in attacks through the 1990's and since 2000, have meant demoralization, sadness, pain, depression, fear. When I visited this country in January 2000, that is what I found.
Under the face of "normality" there was a deeply sad feeling. This feeling has only deepened since 2000, but it had a specific price in 2000.
In the year 2000, an organization called Women in Black was featured by the Hebrew (leftist) media. These women were the mothers of soldiers who had died defending the piece of south Lebanon that Israel had held on to when it withdrew from the rest of the country in 1984.
They protested daily that it was a waste of their childrens' lives to have had them stationed in Lebanon, and they demanded that the government withdraw soldiers from there to save lives. At the time, they were the media's darlings. In time, this will change, and they will learn what it is to be shunned in a Jewish society. That time has not arrived yet, though.
In a controversial decision, Ehud Barak decided on a unilateral withdrawal to "recognized international borders" that was to solve the problem of the casualties lost to occupying southern Lebanon up until the Litani River. On the day of the ordered withdrawal, Arab forces attacked and the Israelis ran away. HizbAllah, an Iranian puppet organization of Shi'a Arabs formed to "fight the Israeli occupier" moved soldiers all the way to the border while the Israelis fled south. And the pattern that we were to see until the 2006 rocket attacks by HizbAllah began. The UN moved in an ineffectual force of "peacekeepers" who did nothing.
HizbAllah attacked Israel with rockets, claiming that a farm that was Lebanese territory had not been evacuated, and therefore, Lebanon had not yet been freed of the occupier. The UN ruled that the farm belonged to Israel. But this did not matter to HizbAllah. They continued to bombard Israel with rockets while the Iranian government resupplied HizbAllah, trained their soldiers and the United Nations did nothing to stop any of this.
The further consequences of withdrawing from strategic territory were to have a humiliating price in 2006 - the defeat of Israel by a terrorist organization. But the immediate consequences came much sooner. The infamous Camp David meetings in July 2000 were supposed to produce a final peace agreement between Arafat, the "raïs" of the "Palestinian" Authority, and the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. But Arafat turned down the best offer that Barak could make him and walked away. What was unknown to the public was that the PLO had begun to secretly plan for war in the autumn of 2000 and went to war - using a visit by Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount on Rosh HaShanah as the excuse.
This war started as a series of riots at the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem, with a whole slew of rock throwing incidents. But it was a war. I learned of this from an e-mail which I still have stored in my computer to remind me of what war looks like from the point of view of an e-mail. A woman who lives in Beitar Illit was writing to a list of would-be immigrants, and I saw this e-mail a couple of days after Rosh Hashanah. In it, she described soldiers laying prone outside her home shooting at the Arab village across the hill.
The rock throwing incidents became shooting incidents, with regular shooting at Gilo in south Jerusalem from the Arab village of Beit Jarrah, and regular bombardment of Gush Qatif from the Arab cities in the Gaza Strip. The public waited for Barak, a former chief of staff of the IDF, to order the crushing of this rebellion and the arrest of the Arab terrorist leaders. But Barak did not do this.
In fact, the IDF was held back from doing anything except crowd control while Barak made desperate efforts to negotiate with Arafat to get back the illusory "peace of Oslo". A mob of Arabs took over Joseph's tomb and the IDF evacuated it - doing something they had never done before - at least not in the public eye. They allowed one of their casualties to die in enemy hands, a Druze soldier named Mudhuf Yussuf.
Rabbi Yossi Baumol from Ateret Kohanim wrote of this incident in the essay which is the religious underpinning of this article. He pointed out that in Jewish tradition there is not one messiah but two: the "messiah, son of Joseph" and the "messiah, son of David". Each of these messianic figures has a separate task and the first messianic figure, the messiah, son of Joseph, had to die before the second one could arrive to do his task of spiritual redemption. The "messiah, son of Joseph" had the task of re-populating the Land with Jews, and with seeing to it that there would be sustenance for them and fighting the "wars of the messiah."
Rabbi Baumol argued that the "messiah, son of Joseph" was really the Zionist movement, noting that yoséf and tzión have the same numerical value in Gematria, the Jewish method of using Hebrew letters to denote numbers. He also pointed out that it was the Zionist movement that had repopulated the land with Jews, developed a self defense force for them and had, as its apotheoses, the founding of the State and the Six Day War. He made the observation that what we were seeing was the gradual destruction of Zionism, as a movement to inspire people to do things, as a force to repopulate the Land and now, as a military force to defend it. Six years on from this analysis, we can see the truth of Rabbi Baumol's words in the events that have transpired since then.
Spitting at G-d's gift of easy victory in 1967 has finally lead to a situation where Israeli police expelled Jewish residents of Gush Qatif in 2005, and what was nearly worse, the defeat of the IDF before a force of terrorists in the mountains of Lebanon and the flight of the government from the entire northern portion of the country during a rocket bombardment from south Lebanon - the very area that Ehud Barak thought he was so smart in evacuating in 2000. Both events, taken together, have caused the public to lose all of its confidence in a government of thieves and liars that has led them to defeat. Gone completely is the joie de vivre that I saw in 1973. Gone completely is any sense of optimism or hope. All that we see today is a tired nation waiting for the next blow to fall, for the next shoe to drop and for war to strike again, bringing only death, disaster and funerals.
To be blunt, this is a very depressing topic to write about further. However, the reader can examine the 140 or so articles I have written at Blogcritics Magazine to see how I've attempted to cover the events since November 2005.
In June 2007, forty years after the Six Day War - the shining moment of my youth that inspired me to come home - we again face war with Syria, we again face war with Gaza, and in addition to all this, we face the threat of missile bombardment from south Lebanon, as well as Iran, and portions of Samaria. Again, I can look at the tiny Jewish state on the map in the midst of the Arab enemy and tell my wife, "Dear, they have us surrounded," exactly as did my mother to my father when watching the TV on Sunday night, 4 June 1967.
Our government is so weak as to hardly merit the name, so corrupt that calling it a mafia is an insult to the honor practiced in Italian crime families. Our army is so under-supplied that it can afford only forays and sorties into enemy territory, territory conquered proudly 40 years earlier. When I was a youth, I turned to the IDF for inspiration. Now, I have less hair, and considerably more wisdom. I turn not to an unstable institution that has been eaten into. Its morale is in the toilet.
I turn instead to the G-d of Israel for my security, and I wait for the morning when I will hear the missiles flying overhead, and hear my wife shout "Reuven! War!!"
I wish to thank Barry Chamish for having uncovered the evil tale of the Battle of Sultan Yukub in the First Lebanon War. Frankly, I would have rather not known - and I suspect that Barry would rather have not known, either. But the search for truth is like the search for redemption - and one must follow where truth leads in order to be redeemed from evil.