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An HIR Series
and Investigative Research - 23 November 2007
Merriam Webster defines “aphorism” as: “a terse formulation of a truth.” We like them. Entire collections of aphorisms are published and enjoyed, and they are passed down generation after generation. When we see something that applies we whip them out and ‘fit’ the phenomenon to its aphoristic ‘frame’: a satisfying round hole for an equally round peg.
A famous aphorism, coined by philosopher Jorge Santayana, goes like this: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Terse and true. Here’s another famous one, apparently from Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Terse and true. The two aphorisms are not identical, but they do have a certain flavor in common.
Can we find phenomena in the Arab-Israeli conflict that we can fit these aphorisms to? The Annapolis Conference comes to mind.
Recently Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni explained to an international audience of top diplomats what her government hopes to achieve there. Her remarks were reported by Hillel Fendel in Israel National News, a news service editorially opposed to the ongoing extensions of the Oslo Process, which threaten to give Judea and Samaria (and perhaps part of Jerusalem), cleansed of its Jews, to PLO/Fatah. Fendel's piece is worth reading carefully.
[Israel National News quote begins here:]
“[Israeli] Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking before Foreign Ministers of the European Union and others, says that Israel is so anxious for peace that it is willing to enter into negotiations at an inopportune time and with a partner who can’t deliver.
‘We have proven in the past,’ Livni told the participants at a conference in Lisbon, including the foreign ministers of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Libya, ‘that we extend our hand in peace. We have proven this in negotiations, and in the [Gaza] Disengagement -- which we did not have to do -- as well as in the negotiations today. The Palestinian Authority is divided, Gaza is ruled by terrorism, and we could have waited until the first stage of the Road Map [i.e., an end to terrorism - ed.] is implemented.’
Livni also boasted that ‘we have removed settlements. I myself made a decision [as part of the Sharon government - ed.] to uproot thousands of people from their homes [in Gush Katif and northern Shomron]. Not one Israeli soldier is stationed today in Gaza, yet Israel is attacked daily.’
‘People are justifiably presenting major question marks,’ Livni said, listing the questions without answering them: ‘Is this the right time for talks, when our nursery children are under fire from Gaza? Is it the right time to talk when the other side is so weak and ineffectual?’
After having admitted that the talks would take place despite the lack of fulfillment of the PA pledge to stop terrorism, she said, ‘This dialogue is taking place with the understanding that implementation of any agreement will be contingent on our security needs… The way to the establishment of a Palestinian state is dependent upon our ability to transmit the key of self-rule to a responsible element that will be able to control things and promise that there will not be a terrorist state alongside us.’ ”
[Israel National News quote ends here]
The Israeli government, explains the Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, made the decision to give land to the Arab enemies of Israel in exchange for ‘peace.’ And yet these enemies were at the time sponsoring ongoing terrorist violence against the Israeli Jews. Among many possible examples of the disastrous consequences of this policy, Livni cites the Gaza Disengagement: “Not one Israeli soldier is stationed today in Gaza, yet Israel is attacked daily.” This was her own policy: “I myself made a decision to uproot thousands of people [Jews] from their homes.” Those who question her wisdom, she concedes, have a point: “People are justifiably presenting major question marks.” Then she adds her own question mark: “Is this the right time for talks, when our nursery children are under fire from Gaza?” One almost feels prepared by her entire thrust for a no. But in fact her answer is yes: Livni is pushing to remove many more Jews, living on land that is much more symbolic to Jewish heritage, and a great deal more militarily strategic than Gaza. Why? Because “this dialogue,” she explains, “is taking place with the understanding that implementation of any agreement will be contingent on our security needs.” Huh?
Livni herself reviews relevant past events: she remembers the past. So if she is about to repeat history the problem is not amnesia. Santayana's aphorism does not apply.
How about Einstein's aphorism? Is Livni insane? I have noticed how tempting this hypothesis has become for many Jewish patriots. And I confess that it has a certain appeal. But I am skeptical that people in power will be less able to reason than the average person. After all, they are in power, and the average person isn’t.
So let us be very clear. The insanity/stupidity hypothesis amounts to this: Livni is doing the same thing again -- giving strategic land to the enemies of the Jews -- because, this time, she expects to get a different result: peace.
For the sake of argument (humor me), suppose that Livni is not insane. What would that mean? That Livni is doing the same thing again because she expects to get the same result again, not a different one.
Let us call this the alternative hypothesis. Is it reasonable?
Well, let us consider a few things. Last time around Livni gave strategic land of the Jewish State to people who say out loud they wish to murder Jews, and the Israeli people did not stop her. Why? Because:
1) incredibly, a good many Israelis were “so anxious for peace,” as Livni says, that they twisted and bent their minds until they agreed that giving strategic land to the enemy was the way to protect Israel; and so,
2) an insufficient number of Israelis expressed opposition; and further,
3) of those opposed, an insufficient number took to the streets; which then,
4) made it possible for Livni and her clique effectively to use the repressive powers of the Israeli State against those who did protest.
Under the alternative hypothesis, Livni thinks she can do this again, and get away with it. How about that? The Israeli government has given power to enemies of the Jews inside the Jewish state on numerous previous occasions; Israeli Jews, at every juncture, have not managed to stop this. Livni thinks she can do again what has been done many times by Israeli leaders before. So she is expecting the same behavior to produce the same result as it has (every time) before.
This is the opposite of insanity: it is learning.
So we have two hypotheses. The first, where Livni’s behavior is interpreted as insanity/stupidity, is tempting because many find it difficult to imagine that the foreign minister of Israel wishes to harm the security of Israel. But this latter possibility -- it is called ‘treason,’ by the way -- should be put on the table, because one must consider that perhaps Livni, who after all is in power, is neither stupid nor insane. This is the alternative hypothesis.
How to decide between the two hypotheses? Is it possible?
I think it is. Suppose there was information so explosive that, if wielded by the Israeli government in a massive state-sponsored campaign to inform every Israeli, Diaspora Jew, and Westerner, this information would immediately put an end to the Oslo Process that now threatens to destroy Israel. Suppose that this information would make it politically easy -- incredibly easy -- not only to cease giving any more land to PLO/Fatah, but also to expel the entire PLO/Fatah organization from Israel and the disputed territories. And suppose this information would guarantee widespread support from the Western citizenries for such efforts. Suppose, finally, that Livni had been hiding this information from Israelis and Westerners. What would we have to conclude, in these circumstances? That Livni is stupid and/or insane? No. When people who are supposed to defend you deliberately hide certain facts which they know and which you need in order to defend yourself, they are being neither stupid nor insane.
They are being cunning.
Now, information with all of the above properties does indeed exist. 'Palestinian Authority' is only the newest name for Mahmoud Abbas' PLO, which itself is a cover name for Al Fatah. Al Fatah was created by Hajj Amin al Husseini.
What makes this so explosive? The following.
Hajj Amin al Husseini was Mufti of Jerusalem before WWII, and from that position organized several massive terrorist attacks against the Jews of British Mandate Palestine and against any Arabs who disagreed with his racist policy. The last one, from 1936 to 1939, was organized with weapons supplied by Adolf Hitler. After going to Iraq and organizing a pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad, Husseini moved to Berlin and met with Hitler on 28 November 1941. According to the postwar testimony of top Nazi Dieter Wisliceny, presented at Nuremberg and then also at Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem, Husseini convinced the Nazis that no European Jew should be allowed to live (until right before this, according to a crushing consensus of WWII historians, the Nazis were thinking of expelling most of the European Jews to Palestine). The Wannsee conference -- at which historians agree that the Nazis decided to exterminate the entire European Jewish population -- happened less than two months after Husseini met with Hitler. Wisliceny also testified that Husseini subsequently became the top co-architect of the implementation of the Final Solution, together with Adolf Eichmann, with whom he became close friends. Wisliceny was in a position to know because he was one of Eichmann’s top lieutenants. AT the end of the war, Husseini escaped justice and took refuge in Cairo, where Nazi colleagues of his led by Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s great expert in operations inside enemy territory, also arrived in the 1950s to train Gamal Abdel Nasser’s security and intelligence services. Under Husseini’s watchful eye, these Nazis trained Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen), and other adolescent protégés of Husseini who together became Al Fatah.
If you have never heard the above that is because the mainstream media does not talk about it. And also because the Israeli government has never held a press conference to explain it. That one of history’s greatest butchers of Jews, Hajj Amin al Husseini, is who trained Mahmoud Abbas to go finish the German Nazi job. And yet, if the Israeli government were to use the considerable resources of the Israeli State to inform Israelis and Westerners of this, the Oslo Process that threatens Israel could be brought to a sudden halt, with widespread support from Westerners. If they had done this in the late 1980s, it would never have gotten off the ground. Why? Because almost everybody understands that it is politically ungrammatical to give a strategic piece of the Jewish State to a direct trainee of the man who masterminded the German Nazi Final Solution.
Is Livni unaware of the above information?
Well, consider the following. It took me two weeks to document this with publicly available materials, and I do not have the resources of a famed intelligence service that supposedly spends millions of shekels a year investigating the terrorist enemies of Israel. So it is reasonable to suppose that the Israeli government knew the above facts about PLO/Fatah long before I did. But even if one wishes to suppose that it didn’t, I published my first article about this on Israel National News in May 2003. The Israeli government watches Israel National News very closely -- so closely, in fact, that when its radio component became popular for its opposition to the Oslo process in its early stages, the Israeli government shut it down.[3a] Moreover, my article in Israel National News created a bit of a stir, because a pro-Oslo political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, Ian Lustick, got me fired from that university for having published this article in Israel National News. This produced 1) a bit of a revolt among Penn students, 2) an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 3) an interview with FOX-NEWS, and 4) coverage in Israel National News. So the Israeli government definitely knows that PLO/Fatah is an extension of the German Nazi Final Solution.
Why do ordinary Israelis -- and Diaspora Jews, for that matter -- tolerate their ‘leaders’? Because even though Santayana’s aphorism may not apply to Livni, it does apply to them. Most Israelis and Diaspora Jews cannot remember their history, and they will soon be condemned to repeat it.
True, the expression “Never Again!” pours easily from their lips, but in fact most Jews are quite ignorant on many important matters relating to the Shoah (‘Holocaust’), and thus ill-equipped to guarantee that the cry “Never Again!” will be honored as a historical outcome. They may grow up hearing a lot about Shoah, a subject they will certainly be exposed to in school, but whitewashed from their educational experience is the important matter of what Jewish leaders of that time -- who naturally had an obligation to defend their persecuted brethren in Europe -- did in the prelude to, and during, WWII. I have found that very few Jews know the work of the handful of Jewish historians who, in the 1990s, began documenting in great detail what Jewish leaders did in the context of the Nazi onslaught. Neither do many Jews know about the German Nazi roots of the PLO and its commitment to see through the Final Solution. So the same trick is about to be played on the Jews -- yet again.
Unless, of course, Israelis, Diaspora Jews, and well-meaning Westerners can be quickly educated and raise their voices in time.
To see a comparison of the behavior of Jewish leaders in the first half of the 20th c. up to and during the Nazi attack, with the behavior of Israeli leaders since the World War and in the present crisis, consult the articles in the following series::
This generation has a rare opportunity. It is this: to show that the WWII Nazi attack against the Jews in the mid-twentieth century taught us something important: when we defend the Jews we are defending the political health of the entire West. To defend the Jews is to defend the liberties and lives of all Westerners. Because those liberties are threatened by the antisemites. For ordinary Westerners, the defense of the Jews is self-defense; antisemitism is suicide. It should be obvious, because WWII gave an eloquent demonstration in millions upon millions of non-Jewish lives lost -- and all because we didn’t oppose antisemitism. Can we no longer remember this?
I will end with an aphorism of my own coinage that translates Santayana’s into a positive expression:
We are always creating history. Only those who become aware of this have a chance, actively and consciously, to shape the future.
The next piece in this series is:
The Arab League, then and forever
and Further Reading
 FM Livni:
"We Uprooted Thousands, Yet Rockets are Still Coming"; Israel
National News; 10 Kislev 5768, November 20, '07; by Hillel Fendel
 Everything in the paragraph is documented in detail in the following two pieces:
 “Whitewashing then Palestinian
Leadership, Part II”; Israel National News; 10 Kislev 5768, November
20, '07; by Francisco Gil-White.
poll results show intense Israeli Jewish opposition to Israeli government, US
Selected questions below:
1. In your opinion, is Abu Mazen and his government able or unable today to prevent terror attacks and the firing of rockets against Israel from the areas of Judea and Samaria?
2. Should Israel withdraw from the territories of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, what do you think the chances are that Hamas takes over these areas?
High to Very High 65%
3. In your opinion, what are the chances that rockets will be fired at Israeli cities should the IDF withdraw from areas in Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem?
High to Very High 55%
5. In light of the current situation of the PA, do you support or oppose Israel committing to transfer sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians?
6. In light of the current situation of the PA, do you support or oppose that Israel should commit to transfer parts of Jerusalem to Palestinian control?
7. In light of the current situation of the PA, do you support or oppose that Israel should commit to remove the IDF from most of Judea and Samaria, and transfer it to Palestinian control?
8. In light of the experience with the disengagement, do you support or oppose that Israel should commit to a mass evacuation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria?
9.In light of past experience, do you believe that the evacuation of communities and withdrawal of the IDF from territories strengthens or weakens Israel security and international standing?
10. Do you support or oppose the proposal according to which the State of Israel will offer reasonable compensation to Palestinians in Judea and Samaria in order that they agree to emigrate to other countries?
11. Do you agree or disagree with the claim that today, in retrospect, the drive to achieve peace with the Palestinians has done damage to the State of Israel?
12. Do you agree or disagree with the claim that in light of the experience of the past Israel should deal with the Palestinians with a tougher approach and not seek simple ways to solve the Israel-Arab conflict?
18. Minister Eli Yishai, chairman of the Shas Party, said a number of weeks ago that Shas will not give its hand to the division of Jerusalem. In light of this declaration, do you think that Shas should leave the Olmert Government if an agreement is signed with Abu Mazen that includes the division of Jerusalem?
19. What do you think is closer to the truth?
65% The main motive of Shas in its decisions on policy is the desire to retain the positions and budgets that they have within the framework of the Olmert Government
29% The main motive of Shas in its decisions on policy is the
national interest of Israel
20. Minister of Education Yuli Tamir decided recently to include in the history books used in Israeli schools information according to which some Israeli Arabs see the War of Independence of Israel as "Nakba", namely a national disaster for the Palestinian People. Do you support or oppose Minister Tamir's decision?
Attack of the Body Snatchers?
In 1994, Tzipi Livni's boss, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, spoke forcefully against Yitzhak Rabin's Oslo Process, and against giving away any land to PLO/Fatah.
This is what he said:
"There are those who say that there
are some parts of the Land of Israel that cannot be given up, and others that
can. [They say] with the same light-headedness that they are willing to give
up some. They will also propose, at some time in the future, giving up the
( go to the source )
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