TEN YEARS SINCE OSLO: THE PLO´S "PEOPLE´S WAR" (JCPA-JERUSALEM CENTER FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS) Jerusalem Viewpoints No. 503 Joel S. Fishman 4-18 Elul 5763 / 1-15 September 2003)
JCPA-Jerusalem Center Public Affairs
JCPA-Jerusalem Center Public Affairs Articles-Index-Top
Israel and the PLO have been confronting each other according to
completely different paradigms of conflict.
Since the late 1960s, the PLO has adopted a "people´s war"
paradigm that continued to guide its policies even after the signing
of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
According to the "people´s war" paradigm, borrowed from Marxist-
Leninist traditions in China and Vietnam, conflict is waged on both
the political and military levels, but for militarily weaker guerilla
groups, political conflict is more important, especially the
delegitimization of an adversary and the division of his society.
Prior to 1993, Israel largely responded to the PLO militarily as
a terrorist threat, but not politically. After 1993, with the
PLO "renouncing" terrorism, Israel embraced the PLO leadership and
ignored the signs that the PLO was still engaged in political warfare
against it (incitement, reluctance to alter PLO Covenant, UN votes,
textbooks). Israeli governments later complained about these symptoms
of political warfare, without identifying the cause.
Established Israeli traditions place undue emphasis on the
narrowly-framed military approach to the detriment of the political,
which leaves Israel particularly vulnerable to broad-based strategic
deception. Israeli policy-makers must reexamine the assumptions upon
which they have based political and military policy over the last
Misunderstanding the Enemy´s Strategy
What is of supreme importance is to attack the enemy´s strategy.
- The Art of War, Sun Tzu1
On September 13, 1993, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and
Chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House Lawn. Shimon
Peres for the State of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) for the
PLO signed the Declaration of Principles, while President Clinton,
Secretary of State Christopher, and Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev
looked on. The purpose of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) was to
initiate a peace process between the State of Israel and the
Palestine Liberation Organization. A decade has passed since that
optimistic event, and Israel has suffered 1,080 casualties: 256 from
the signing of the DOP in September 1993 to September 2000, and 824
from September 2000 until June 1, 2003.2 Proportionately to its
population, this number would represent the equivalent loss for the
United States of about 49,000 citizens. The human cost to Israel of
the adventure of the Oslo Accords has exceeded the War of Attrition
on the Suez Canal (1968-1970). A protracted condition of war has
dealt a devastating blow to Israel´s economy. It has permanently
changed many lives and aggravated social tensions. These facts compel
us to ask serious questions. Is Israel better or worse off for having
entered into this arrangement? Has there been a policy failure? If we
do not have peace, then what do we have, and where is it leading?
Israel´s misfortune stems from a failure to understand the enemy´s
strategic goals and its choice of means and methods. In retrospect,
it is clear that Israel´s leadership has seriously underestimated its
adversary´s consistency of purpose and commitment. Speaking frankly
and for the record, several members of the Palestinian leadership
have stated that they entered into the peace process in bad faith.3
One example will suffice. The late Faisal Husseini (1940-2001), whom
the media fondly designated a "Palestinian moderate," declared in an
interview on June 24, 2001, in the Egyptian (Nasserite) newspaper Al
Arabi, that the Oslo Agreements constituted a "Trojan horse," whose
essence was deception. He said in clear language that the PLO had
entered an agreement for the purpose of gaining a foothold in the
Land of Israel from which it could wage a sustained guerilla war that
eventually would destroy the Jewish state and replace it with an Arab
Palestine. On this occasion, Husseini gave a faithful restatement of
the Phased Strategy that the PLO adopted in June 1974. This program,
known also as the Strategy of Stages, calls for the establishment of
a Palestinian state in any part of the country that becomes
available, if necessary through a negotiated process.4
... You are dragging me into talking about what we refer to as
our "strategic" goals and our "political" goals, or the phased goals
[author´s emphasis]. The "strategic" goals are the "higher goals,"
the "long-term goals," or the "unwavering goals," the goals that are
based on solid pan-Arab historic rights and principles. Whereas
the "political" goals are those goals which were set for a temporary
timeframe, considering the [constraints of] the existing
international system, the balance of power, our own abilities, and
other considerations which "vary" from time to time.
... When we are asking all the Palestinian forces and factions to
look at the Oslo Agreement and at other agreements as ´temporary´
procedures, or phased goals, this means that we are ambushing the
Israelis and cheating them [author´s emphasis]....
... Our ultimate goal is [still] the liberation of all historical
Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, even if
this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or
for many generations.5
Any intention of becoming "partners for peace" or a future good
neighbor is not to be found here. It is noteworthy that this naked
declaration of bad faith did not stimulate serious discussion in
Israel nor did it have a lasting impact. On the one hand, Israeli
policy-makers, by not taking such clear statements at face value,
were in denial. On the other hand, the type of government that the PA
has become may explain the occurrence of such statements. The PA is
not a democracy but rather a totalitarian state in the making.6
Hannah Arendt has written that one of the characteristics of this
type of regime is that, while it operates in many respects like a
secret society, it is absolutely frank about declaring its true
Despite such disturbing events like the occasional bus bombing and
the ongoing anti-Semitic incitement, it has been generally assumed
that, with the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993, the
PLO initiated a new era by renouncing terror, accepting the reality
of Israel, and engaging in the constructive enterprise of state-
building. Israeli and American leadership could not face up to the
frequent recurrence of terror, regarding it as an act of nature, such
as a thunderstorm or an earthquake, about which nothing could be
done. One could not formally recognize the "inconvenient reality" of
terror without calling into question the entire "peace process."
Furthermore, coming to terms with reality would imply adopting a
course of action other than maintaining the status quo. Because of
this entrenched mindset and patterns of political correctness, one
would hardly dare raise the possibility in public that acts of terror
and violence perpetrated against Israel´s civilians and society were
an integral part of Palestinian strategy - the rule rather than the
During the period that has been referred to as the "Total Liberation
Phase" (1969-1974), the PLO culturally and politically found its
place in the ranks of other socialist anti-colonial liberation
movements.8 As Barry Rubin has pointed out, the organization wanted
to wage a "people´s war," following the example of Marxist-Leninist
guerillas in China, Cuba, and Vietnam. He described the goals of this
people´s war and how the PLO understood its strategic goal at that
time. The following statement is remarkably consistent with Feisal
Husseini´s views, expressed above:
... The PLO´s target in Israel, however, was not merely a government
but the people themselves. Thus, since the PLO was at war with a
society - not an army or simply the post-1967 occupation - every
aspect and member of Israeli society was a legitimate target. The
PLO´s aim "is not to impose our will on the enemy," explained the PLO
magazine Filastin al-Thawra in 1968, "but to destroy him in order to
take his place...not to subjugate the enemy but to destroy him."9
Lessons of the Socialist Liberation Movements
The PLO looked to the examples of other liberation movements in its
endeavor to find allies, expertise, and arms, particularly within the
socialist world. The experience of China, Cuba, and Vietnam were of
special importance. They drew inspiration from the Algerian
revolutionary experience and received expert advice in presenting
their case.10 Until they had consulted with the Algerians, the main
Palestinian propaganda theme was "throwing the Jews into the sea."
Under Algerian guidance, they introduced different terminology and
themes. Further, although the French army had won the war against
Algeria, "the Algerian victory over France was to a considerable
extent achieved as a result of public opinion in France itself and in
major NATO countries turning against the French in Algeria - in
response to a remarkably skillful propaganda campaign carried out by
the FLN."11 This was an example of the effective use of propaganda as
a tool of political warfare (which resembled the Vietnamese model,
described below). After the Six-Day War, Muhammad Yazid, who had been
minister of information in two Algerian wartime governments (1958-
1962), imparted the following principles to Palestinian propagandists:
... Wipe out the argument that Israel is a small state whose
existence is threatened by the Arab states, or the reduction of the
Palestinian problem to a question of refugees; instead, present the
Palestinian struggle as a struggle for liberation like the others.
... Wipe out the impression...that in the struggle between the
Palestinians and the Zionists, the Zionist is the underdog. Now it is
the Arab who is oppressed and victimized in his existence because he
is not only facing the Zionists but also world imperialism.12
During the 1970s and 1980s, the elite of the PLO developed close ties
with the Soviet Union and with countries of the Eastern Bloc, such as
the German Democratic Republic and Romania.13 The relationship
between the PLO and the Soviet Union was somewhat different, because
of Moscow´s objective of penetrating and increasing its political
influence in the region.14 Although the relationship between the PLO
and the USSR dated from the 1960s, it was only in 1974 that the PLO
formally opened an interests office in Moscow. In exchange for Soviet
aid, the PLO extended its full support to Moscow, which later
included public approval of the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.15 Many
Palestinians received training in warfare, espionage, and
indoctrination in Communist countries.16 One notable example, Mahmoud
Abbas (Abu Mazen), the current Prime Minister of the Palestinian
Authority, received his doctorate from Moscow´s Oriental College in
1982.17 While it may not be possible to ascertain the exact type of
training each individual may have received in these socialist
countries, their collective experience left them with commonly held
views regarding military doctrine, which they continue to hold.
In 1970, while the PLO´s relations with the Soviet Union "remained
distant and marked with suspicion," China and Vietnam "reached out"
to the PLO, inviting Yasser Arafat and Abu Iyad for a discrete visit.
Zhou Enlai (Chou En-Lai) received the two in China and granted them
his country´s full support.18 In Vietnam, where they remained for two
weeks, their gracious host was General Vo Nguyen Giap (b.1912), the
master of insurrectionary warfare of his generation. It is reported
that Abu Iyad asked the Vietnamese why public opinion in the West
considered the Palestinian armed struggle to be terrorism, while the
Vietnamese struggle enjoyed praise and support.
In response, the Vietnamese counseled the PLO to work for their goals
in phases, which would conceal their real purpose, permit strategic
deception, and give the appearance of moderation.19 They also coached
the Palestinians on the manipulation of the American news media.20
Giap exhorted Arafat: "Fight by any method which can achieve
victory.... If regular war can do it, use it. If you cannot win by
classical methods, don´t use them. Any method which achieves victory
is a good one. We fight with military and political means and with
international backing."21 With these words, General Giap described
the essence of a people´s war.
This was not the first high-level Palestinian visit to North Vietnam.
In 1964, Fatah, before its takeover of the PLO, sent Abu Jihad, the
man who would eventually head the PLO´s military operations, to China
and North Vietnam, where he studied the strategy and tactics of
guerilla war; he testified that these visits affected his military
thinking for years to come to such an extent that he later preached
the need for "a people´s liberation war."22 It is noteworthy that
Fatah translated the writing´s of General Giap into Arabic, as well
as the works of Mao and Che Guevara.23 Similarly, the PFLP, which
would also merge with the PLO, included the writings of Mao and Giap
as part of the military training of their fedayeen in the late
People´s War: Military Operations as an Adjunct to Politics
According to Stefan Possony, a highly influential American
strategist, a people´s war is a "clash of societies" which includes
both political and military dimensions, having violent and non-
violent manifestations. Possony had a significant influence on
President Ronald Reagan, through his identification of the strategic
vulnerabilities of the Soviet Union and how they could be exploited
(see Appendix). His insight was that a "people´s war is a political
conflict, with military operations an adjunct to politics."25
The means and methods of a people´s war are probably the finest
available for asymmetrical warfare, which enable an insurrectionary
movement to fight against a militarily superior adversary. It is a
matter of vital importance that Israeli policy-makers understand its
principles and operative doctrine, because it is this type of war
which the Palestinian Authority has been waging against Israel. The
signing of the Oslo accords brought no break with the Palestinians´
violent past, but rather there was a distinct continuity of thought,
goals, and tactics. In this discussion, special attention will be
devoted to the subject of people´s war and the evaluation of the
relative strengths and weaknesses of each side.26
The Historical Background of a People´s War
In order to understand the nature of a people´s war, it is necessary
to describe its origins and development. The doctrine of people´s war
rests on a foundation of Soviet military theory to which Asian
thinkers added their own innovations and refinements. The successful
application of this doctrine ultimately resulted in the victory of
the Chinese Communists over the Nationalist Chinese and the birth of
the People´s Republic of China. A generation later, Vietnamese
General Vo Nguyen Giap, who defeated both the French and the
Americans, made his own contributions.
Harriet Fast Scott and William F. Scott have analyzed Soviet (Marxist-
Leninist) military theory and its special terminology.27 This body of
thought provides a structured ideological framework that binds the
main political objective to its military implementation. In Soviet
theory, the broadest category of basic thought, called "doctrine,"
forms the ideological foundation from which policy and implementation
are derived.28 Although this system of structured thought first was
set in place in the early 1920s, it served as the basis of military
theory even after the Soviet Union became a superpower with a large
conventional and nuclear capability. While Soviet communism may not
be a world force today, the legacy of its military doctrine is alive
and well. The Soviet Unified Military Doctrine, which also reflects
the influence of German military thought,29 runs on two tracks:
political and military, with the political taking precedence over the
military. Its major political objective, it should be recalled, was
the victory of communism over capitalism.
When, in the 1920s, the Soviet Union exported this model of military
doctrine, it was based on the idea of mobilizing the support of the
urban proletariat. This approach did not work in China where this
population group was very small, and the Nationalist government (KMT-
Kuomintang), which had the advantage of a well-trained conventional
army (with German advisors), was generally able to hold the important
cities. After suffering serious losses in Hunan in August and
September 1930, Mao Tse-tung made the "single most vital decision in
the history of the Chinese Communist Party." He dropped the line laid
down by Moscow in favor of a new approach.30 Unable to confront his
adversaries by conventional means, Mao Tse-tung decided to mobilize
the peasants, move the war to the countryside, and preserve his
forces through mobility and retreat.
Mao advocated prolonged war because "there was no other reliable way
to weaken and exhaust a stronger opponent."31 Here, the human
dimension becomes paramount. Good strategy and tactics would
compensate for relative weakness, and the contribution of a talented
general could tip the balance. In contrast, the tendency in the West
has been to consider military advantage in the form of hardware and
firepower, which is not always a reliable indicator of real
strength.32 Lin Piao (1907-1971), who until his death was Mao´s
designated successor, further developed the idea of people´s war by
advocating the application of its principles on a global scale,
namely, laying siege to the world´s capitalist countries by taking
over the world´s countryside. According to this view, North America
and Western Europe represented the cities of the world, and Asia,
Africa, and Latin America, the world´s countryside.33
The Vietnamese, particularly under General Giap, remained within this
basic tradition of guerilla warfare but were more pragmatic. Giap did
not automatically accept the Chinese approach and ideological
constraints.34 In a retrospective interview, he stated that guerilla
warfare was only one aspect of people´s war. In his personal
understanding of the term, "A people´s war is characterized by a
strategy that is more than simply military. There is always a
synthesized aspect to the strategy, too. Our strategy was at once
military, political, economic, and diplomatic, although it was the
military component which was the most important one."35
One of Giap´s innovations was the manipulation Western news media in
a manner that turned the freedom and vulnerability of open democratic
societies to his advantage. He grasped that the impact of events
viewed through the prism of the media could be decisive. For example,
in 1954, only four percent of the French forces in Indochina were
defeated at Dien Bien Phu. However, the shock of this setback in
metropolitan France - as distinguished from the event itself -
shattered domestic support for the French war effort.36 Although the
1968 Tet Offensive was a Vietcong defeat, and American casualty rates
were relatively low, its manipulation in the American media had a
strategic impact very similar to that of Dien Bien Phu.37 Further,
General Giap adeptly utilized the medium of television (with the aid
of eager American helpers) in order to undermine domestic American
support for the Vietnam War. He said: "In 1968 I realized that I
could not defeat 500,000 American troops who were deployed in
Vietnam. I could not defeat the Seventh Fleet, with its hundreds of
aircraft, but I could bring pictures home to the Americans which
would cause them to want to stop the war."38
In this review of Marxist-Leninist military thought, we have noted
the precedence of political over military doctrine. As noted above,
the major political objective of the system that produced this type
of warfare had been to ensure the victory of communism over
capitalism. However, in 1988, the Soviet Union officially decided to
repackage and disguise its major political goal. The faithful would
no longer speak of the "class struggle." Instead, they would use a
deceptively elegant new term for the same thing, the "struggle for
People´s War and Its Operative Doctrine
In 1970, Stefan Possony described the characteristics of people´s war
People´s war is a long drawn-out or protracted revolution. Its
unavoidable duration is exploited by guerillas to bankrupt their
opponents politically, morally, and economically.41...The most
practical objective of guerilla warfare is to create chaotic
conditions in the target country and prevent effective, efficient,
and good government.
The key concept of a people´s war is to build up dual power by
means of guerilla warfare. Dual power means the existence of two sets
of power institutions, authorities, and government-like
administration functioning side-by-side competitively.
The transition of power from government No. 1 to government No. 2
is to be accomplished by withdrawing the loyalty of the population
from the pre-existing government and bestowing it on the emerging
government, while simultaneously providing it with legitimacy. This
transition constitutes the revolutionary process.
Victory means that one or the other government prevails. Defeat
means that one or the other government (or regime) disappears
[author´s emphasis]. The transfer of loyalty depends in large measure
upon the success of violent guerilla operations.42
Some of its tactical methods include:
1. The use of propaganda to deprive its enemy of its legitimacy and
outside support....Propaganda, especially if it is attended by
conquest, is the prime method through which legitimacy is withdrawn
and attributed to a new power elite.43 In this context, propaganda
has a special purpose: "As the war appears and disappears from the
news but for years continues to rage, world public opinion is being
conditioned to accept rebel victory as inevitable and pre-
2. Destroying the enemy´s economy.
3. Promoting anti-militarism and encouraging defections from the
army, stimulation of desertion and mutiny.45
4. Mass terror as a "psychological" operation to weaken the enemy´s
forces and morale, and strengthen the guerillas.46
5. Securing intelligence and denying intelligence to the enemy.47
Beyond these specific tactics, there are several basic principles
which an insurgent group must observe: 1) staying in existence; 2)
modifying the pace of hostilities; and 3) securing and maintaining
safe sanctuaries and mobility. The foremost aim of an insurgent
force, whether it is violent or non-violent, is to avoid
annihilation, for which purpose it must avoid visible organization,
concentration, and battle. The insurgent force is not interested in
speed, but in long-term survival and growth - it must reckon in
decades.48 With regard to the pace of hostilities, "the war goes away
and returns. Strategic management can be improved by alternating the
centers of gravity, re-escalating and de-escalating, multiple
diversions, changes of targets, and through concealment and
Manifestations of the Palestinian "People´s War"
The present conflict with the Palestinians has the basic
characteristics of a people´s war. It is part of the original Phased
Strategy. Based on an extended time-frame, its method is to defeat
Israel by demoralizing its citizens and undermining its ability to
fight, by attacking the rear (civilian society), destroying its
economy, and promoting dissension in order to undermine its moral and
social cohesion. Therefore, let us devote some attention to the
varied effects of a people´s war upon Israeli society and its ability
to stand up to this type of insurrection.
The Use of Economic Warfare to Bankrupt an Adversary
While evidence of Israeli economic hardship appears daily in the news
media, there is little awareness that the current adversity results
only partially from the world economic crisis or local mismanagement,
but rather has been caused intentionally. News reports warn of the
collapse of the public health system and statistics show the rising
number of unemployed. A decade ago, it was assumed that the "peace
process" would foster ties of economic interdependence that would
establish the foundation of future peace and prosperity. The
Palestinian violence that began in September 2000 has had serious
economic consequences, including the closing of businesses and
factories, the near collapse of tourism, and the ruin of joint
investment projects which were designed to provide a livelihood for
Palestinian wage earners.50
Terror and Internal Mobilization
According to Possony, "terror is the second most important guerilla
operation. Selective terror hits the enemy´s muscles, nerves, and
brain. The terrorization of the civilian population as a mass is
aimed at achieving cooperation and support, and at obtaining
recruits. Mass terror is a ´psychological´ operation to weaken the
enemy´s forces and morale, and strengthen the guerillas."51
During the implementation of the Oslo Agreements in the 1990s,
Israelis frequently complained about incitement in the Palestinian
media and the hatred of Israel contained in Palestinian textbooks.
From the perspective of a "peoples´ war," incitement in the media and
schools is part of the internal mobilization of Palestinian society
for continuing long-term conflict and preparing it to make sacrifices
associated with war. Palestinian incitement and schoolbooks were thus
indicative of the intent of the Palestinian leadership to wage
continuing conflict and were not simply an aberration of the peace
In fact, the process was accompanied by continuing terrorism.
According to the Israel Defense Forces´ spokesperson, from September
2000 until the end of June 2003, there were 18,000 terrorist events
in Israel, including unsuccessful attempts52 - an average of eighteen
attempts a day. If the illegal weapons shipments on the captured
Santorini and Karine-A ships and other arms deliveries had reached
their destinations, the Palestinians would have been able to
neutralize the effectiveness of tanks and certain types of aircraft,
and duplicate the missile threat under which the Hizballah has placed
northern Israel.53 This worst-case scenario represents the real war
from which Israelis have been sheltered thus far. While guerilla
forces, making use of low technology, can and have scored decisive
victories,54 the technological ability of the PA has been steadily
According to plan, the building of a conventional army is the stage
which follows guerilla warfare. The people´s wars in China and
Vietnam began as guerilla operations, but conventional armies
ultimately finished the job. The PLO´s 1974 Stages Strategy was based
on the premise that in its final stage the PLO will induce the Arab
states to join a wide coalition of conventional armies that will
attack and vanquish Israel. This scenario repeated itself years
later. Just before the 1982 Lebanon War, the PLO began organizing its
units in southern Lebanon into regular military formations,
indicating their readiness to shift from guerrilla warfare to
conventional military organization.55 These Palestinian formations
were to be a part of an Eastern Front coalition including Jordan,
Syria, and Iraq. In the 1990s and today, television news programs
show the PA forming such an army, this time under the pretext of
building a force to fight against terror. The Palestinians have
admitted to 39,000 in the Palestinian police, well above the 30,000
limit, and it is probable that the numbers are much higher. The
commander of the Palestinian police in the West Bank was the same Haj
Ismail who headed the PLO´s military formations in southern Lebanon
in the early 1980s. The Americans and Europeans have financed the
project, and the CIA has provided expert training that ultimately was
and may again be used against Israel in the Palestinian people´s war.
(In this respect, the precedent of America´s training of Islamic
fighting forces in Afghanistan should be borne in mind.)
The delegitimization of Israel has been a central motif of
Palestinian propaganda in international bodies, such as the United
Nations, starting with Yasser Arafat´s first address to the UN
General Assembly in 1974 and in the campaign to seek UN adoption of
the infamous 1975 "Zionism is Racism" resolution. As mentioned above,
the purpose of the propaganda struggle is the ultimate transfer of
legitimacy from the State of Israel to the Palestinian state, namely,
the process of "replacement." Indeed, in his first UN address, Arafat
systematically attacked the legitimacy of Israel as a "racist entity"
that was founded in the "imperialist-colonialist concept." He then
proceeded to talk repeatedly about the legitimacy of the PLO.
This was reminiscent of a much earlier struggle that the Jewish
people faced. The Church Fathers developed the principle of
supersessionism, with the Church, the "New Israel," replacing
the "Old Israel," namely, the Jewish people and religion which,
according to their teachings, had become obsolete and its covenant,
abrogated.56 The "Palestine Covenant," whose goal is to replace the
Jewish state, is a hateful expression of recycled supersessionism.
Ironically, while both Protestant and Catholic churches have rejected
supersessionism and anti-Semitism, Palestinian agitators and
apologists have become eager cultural scavengers. An extension of
supersessionism may be found in Palestinian fabrications of a
counterfeit historical narrative of the ancient and recent past in
order to claim the legitimacy that rightfully belongs to the Jewish
Finally, it was already clear in 1993 that the PLO was going to
continue its political war to delegitimize Israel, regardless of any
bilateral agreement between the two sides. Within three months of the
signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993, the PLO renewed its
assault on Israel at the United Nations General Assembly with nearly
twenty anti-Israel resolutions. For those pursuing a "people´s war"
strategy, negotiations are just an extension of continuing conflict
and not an opportunity for two peoples to reach a new rapprochement.
This process was epitomized at the UN Conference Against Racism at
Durban (September 2001), where the supersessionist principle played a
role in the larger Palestinian project to delegitimize Israel by
eliminating references to the Holocaust and replacing them with
Palestinian suffering under Israeli "Nazi-like oppression."58
While peace movements reflect a legitimate expression of opinion in
all democratic societies, the Israeli peace movement was of
particular interest to the PLO. Each side, however, viewed the other
party very differently. On many occasions, while Israeli peace
movements sought to open a genuine dialogue to explore ways of ending
the conflict, Palestinian leaders frequently admitted that helping
those peace movements was a way of promoting anti-militarism and
dividing the society of their Israeli adversaries. Mahmoud Abbas told
Israeli Arabs after the outbreak of Palestinian violence, "If you
want to help us, do it by providing supplies [to the PA] and by
[holding] peace demonstrations with the Israeli peace movements.59
Securing Intelligence and Denying Intelligence to the Enemy
In the conduct of a people´s war, an insurgent group must have
excellent intelligence in order to operate effectively. The PLO has
displayed resourcefulness in gathering intelligence and acquiring a
sophisticated understanding of Israeli society.60 It used Israeli-
Arab politicians, like Ahmad Tibi, as advisors to Yasser Arafat. PLO
leaders maintain close ties with Israeli NGO´s and former Israeli
officials from both the civilian and military sectors. On many
occasions, PLO leaders have received advice from these Israelis on
how to deal diplomatically with Israeli governments. At the same
time, they dealt ruthlessly with Palestinians suspected
as "collaborators," who were frequently executed in public lynchings
by groups like the Tanzim, in order to set an example.
Competing Loci of Authority
The PA has endeavored to undermine Israeli sovereignty via competing
bodies of authority, most notably in the Arab towns and cities of the
Galilee, areas under full Israeli sovereignty.61 Many have become
unsafe for Jews and, for reasons of security, government agencies
frequently cannot provide services.62 The wave of illegal
construction in Jerusalem, organized in part by the Palestinian
Authority, with the Saudis paying for the legal defense of the
offenders, represents a similar challenge.63 Orient House served as
the PA´s quasi-municipal offices in eastern Jerusalem, enjoying a
type of immunity and protected by its own guards, until closed by the
Israeli government. It gave the PA a semi-official presence where
foreign dignitaries could be received and contacts with Israeli
Establishing Secure Sanctuaries and Building Mobility
The IDF has made considerable efforts to prevent the enemy from
achieving secure sanctuaries and building mobility. Accordingly, the
closing of Dahaniya Airport and the Port of Gaza, erecting the
barrier fence, reducing the number of VIP passes for PA dignitaries,
as well as the extensive use of roadblocks, have been and are crucial
for Israel´s security. Such defensive measures were not intended to
inconvenience the civilian population but became necessary when
Palestinian leaders did not honor their obligations.
Israel´s Response to the "People´s War"
While Israel has done remarkably well in facing the military
challenge, its political performance has been lacking. Israel does
not have a well-developed political tradition with regard to the
conduct of affairs of state, including foreign affairs, often
following Moshe Dayan´s dictum that "Israel does not have a foreign
policy. It has only a defense policy."64 Unfortunately, its enemies
have taken advantage of this vulnerability. Its major weakness
results from the absence of well-defined political goals and
political talent to match its military capability. This situation
derives in part from an out-dated view that security is primarily a
military matter. Thus, while the PLO waged its struggle according to
a "people´s war" paradigm, which gave primacy to the political
struggle with Israel over its terrorist campaign, Israel responded
only militarily to the PLO until the signing of the Oslo Accords in
1993. After 1993, the Israeli government embraced the PLO because it
declared its renunciation of terrorism, even though it was still
committed to its program of political warfare against the State of
During the two decades which preceded Oslo, the PLO, with the
coaching of socialist politicians such as Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of
Austria, worked purposefully to acquire the attributes of political
respectability. On November 13, 1974, Yasser Arafat addressed the UN;
in July 1979, Kreisky received Arafat in Vienna as a chief of state;
and, in December 1988, Kreisky, with the tacit support of the U.S.
State Department, organized a meeting for Arafat with several
American Jewish leaders in Stockholm.65 After 1993, Arafat became a
frequent visitor to the Oval Office and in December 1994 he shared
the Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. While
Israel´s prestige seemed to improve globally as well, this proved to
be only temporary. The moment the PLO created an impasse in the
negotiating process, Israel´s diplomatic position worsened, while
Palestinian achievements accumulated.
At the same time, Israel´s political posture was weakened by two self-
inflicted disabilities: the decision to stop defending Israel´s case
abroad and to downgrade the traditional relationship with diaspora
Jewry. A decade ago, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres formally decided
to end whatever information policy Israel may have had.66 As a result
of this decision, Israel dropped its weak defenses, while the
Palestinians made effective use of the considerable expertise and
sophistication they had gained over the years. Seizing this
opportunity, they intensified their own aggressive efforts to destroy
Israel´s legitimacy by using propaganda as a "method of political
Furthermore, the Oslo process resulted in denigrating the support and
lobbying efforts of diaspora Jewry. It became conventional wisdom
that the diaspora was no longer important for Israel, as leading
Israeli author A. B. Yehoshua told American Jews: "We don´t need
you."67 Similarly, Dr. Yossi Beilin of the Foreign Ministry informed
an American audience, "You want me to be the beggar and say we need
money for the poor people. Israel is a rich country. I am sorry to
tell you."68 This change of attitude showed neglect and contempt and
helped erode one of the Jewish state´s traditional pillars of
political support. Nearly a decade later, Professor Steven
Windmueller described the effects of this program of deconstruction:
... Following the Oslo Accords, a [new] reality became significant. A
number of Jewish civic and community relations´ organizations began
to dismantle the institutional infrastructures that traditionally
lobbied for Israel. The effect of these structural changes in the mid-
1990s can best be understood in the context of a whole generation of
young American Jews unable to effectively articulate the case for
Israel to their peers. Possibly more disturbing...is the
corresponding decline in the levels of commitment on the part of this
generation of American Jews, who are increasingly unwilling to view
Israel as an integral component of their Jewish identity and focus
for communal responsibility.69
An additional reason for Israel´s political weakness may be related
to the heavy representation of former generals in the political
decision-making apparatus. Many of these men have neither served an
apprenticeship in the civil service, business, academe, nor have
acquired the skills, knowledge, experience, and accountability
demanded of civilian political leaders. Having spent their adult
lives waging war, some retired generals desperately want to conclude
their careers as peace-makers, and some have tended to act
unilaterally without consulting seasoned and experienced political
figures. Occasionally, they have shown a serious disregard for the
When dealing with the Palestinian challenge, Israeli policy-makers
focused narrowly on military aspects of the threat they faced, like
dismantling the terrorist infrastructure or collecting illegal
firearms. However, Israeli leaders did not respond to the political
challenge that the PLO posed with its continuing use of a strategy of
stages. And while Israeli military intelligence repeatedly warned
about Arafat´s failure to dismantle Hamas and Islamic Jihad, until
early 2001, any questioning of the PLO´s intentions to reach real
peace (as opposed to its sticking to the 1974 Strategy of Stages for
Israel´s eventual elimination) was seen as a minority view.70
Over the past decade, the great hope of most Israeli policy-makers
has been to reach a settlement with the Palestinians at all costs, to
prefer a "bad peace" to a "good war," even at the price of "painful
sacrifices."71 It seems that they have considered a settlement to be
a type of panacea. Further, Israel´s policy, based on short-term
improvisation, has not taken into account the likelihood of
a "protracted conflict," while the doctrine of people´s war makes
skillful and deliberate use of the dimension of time. As a result, a
decade later, Israel´s human and economic capital has been
considerably depleted, while the enemy has augmented its political
and military strength. By following such a policy, Israel has also
been put at a serious disadvantage by forfeiting much initiative to
others, while Arafat and his organization have been following a plan
and have demonstrated consistency of purpose.72 In this context,
Hannah Arendt offers a valuable insight:
... It has been one of the chief handicaps of the outside world in
dealing with totalitarian systems that it ignored this system and
therefore trusted that, on the one hand, the very enormity of
totalitarian lies would be their undoing and that, on the other, it
would be possible to take the Leader at his word and force him,
regardless of his original intentions, to make it good. The
totalitarian system, unfortunately, is foolproof against such normal
consequences; its ingeniousness rests precisely on the elimination of
that reality which either unmasks the liar or forces him to live up
to his pretense.73
The role of the United States in Israel´s current predicament must
come under consideration. Writing just after the end of the Clinton
administration and at the beginning of the Bush presidency, Barry
Rubin described American policy which in the short term appears to be
neutral, but over the longer term fails to advance the cause of peace
and stability in the region:
... In terms of long-term strategy toward the region, it is fair to
say the United States has remained largely in what may be called a
mediation-of-peace-agreements-mode despite abundant evidence that
such agreements may not be achievable in the foreseeable future (and,
if achieved, cannot be expected to be honored by the leaders with
which Israel negotiates).74
The American policy of condemning the "cycle of violence," claiming
to be "even-handed," and "pressuring both sides," represents a moral
compromise and the propagation of a fiction necessary to keep a bad
piece of business going. Although such things are never admitted
publicly, the implied price of this approach could well be tolerating
some "acceptable level" of Israeli civilian terror victims. The main
beneficiary of this approach is the Palestinian Authority and not
Israel, for the very basic reason that they are reaping the benefits
of a fraudulent transaction. Just as the U.S. pressured Israel to
accept Egyptian violations of the armistice agreement after the War
of Attrition in 1970, namely, moving missile launching pads closer to
the Suez Canal, the American administration has followed this
paradigm with the Palestinians in the Oslo era.75
Oslo Gave the Palestinians a Territorial Base
... We adopt the experience of another people to our own particular
circumstances. The topographical conditions here are not the same as
in Algeria or Vietnam. We should not leap beyond the limitations
imposed on us by the military, material, and natural conditions, but
we can overcome these limitations, and we shall do so if we adapt our
strategy to them.
- Yasser Arafat, late 1960s.76
Since its early days, during the "Total Liberation Phase" (1969-
1974), the PLO did not have the viable option of waging a sustained
guerilla war against Israel. The main accomplishment of the Oslo
accords was to give the PLO a territorial base that provided a viable
option for waging a sustained guerilla war against Israel for the
purpose of achieving its strategic objective. "Victory, in this
contest," it should be recalled, "means that one or the other
government prevails. Defeat means that one or the other government
(or regime) disappears."77
In view of this new situation, it is necessary to reevaluate the
basic assumptions of Israel´s policy. The fact that Israel faces a
people´s war means that there is no "peace process" in the generally
accepted meaning of the term, nor is a genuine settlement in
prospect. There is no deal to be done. Instead, there is a condition
of a protracted, decades-long war whose purpose is to weaken the
Jewish state in order to destroy it. Negotiations and occasional
pauses take place mainly as a tactic subordinated to the enemy´s
greater goal and to enable it to take territory without a struggle.78
As David Makovsky wrote, the consequences of this type of encounter,
as in the case of the Taba negotiations, have been to raise the cost
to Israel of a settlement in a future negotiation. This is
called "moving the concessionary baseline."79 Such negotiations also
provide the other side the opportunity to consolidate gains and the
legitimacy of being in the company of respectable partners.
According to this analysis, Israel´s policy-makers have seriously
underestimated the determination and ability of the enemy and have
viewed relative strength too much in terms of hardware. If one takes
into account the opposing strategy with its integrated military and
political doctrine, Israel´s advantage seriously weakens. If Israel
wants to assure its own survival, it must defeat the enemy´s strategy
and its people´s war. Specifically, there is an urgent need to
reassess the threat facing Israel and to prevent the enemy from
augmenting its strength and implementing its strategy. Israel must
meet the challenge by devising its own unified doctrine with clearly
defined and stated political and military goals. Some of these should
be: 1) to assure the survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish
state and to protect its citizens; 2) to defend its legitimacy
proactively, and; 3) to complete the process of integrating the
Jewish state into the structure of the democratic world.
Appendix: The Strategic Thought of Stefan T. Possony
This essay has made extensive use of the writings of Stefan T.
Possony (1913-1995), a little-known but extremely important American
strategist. Born in Vienna in 1913, he received his doctorate there
in 1930 in history and economics. He moved to Paris in 1938, the year
his first major book, Tomorrow´s War, was published, and he worked as
a psychological warfare advisor to the French Foreign Ministry and as
an advisor to the French Armed Forces. Advance units of the Gestapo
briefly captured him when Paris fell, but he escaped, fleeing across
the Pyrenees and then to the United States in 1940, where he
initially worked at Princeton University alongside Einstein at the
Institute for Advanced Studies. Possony studied a broad a range of
twentieth-century problems, including communism, psychological
warfare, and strategic targeting.80 During the Second World War he
was aware that Nazism would be defeated, and that communism was the
next challenge. He played a key role in the process of influencing
Emperor Hirohito to agree to Japan´s surrender, thus overruling the
military caste of Imperial Japan. While Director of International
Studies and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford
University, where he was affiliated from 1961, his ideas of space-
based systems of anti-missile defenses and the use of directed-energy
weapons from space caught the imagination of then Governor Ronald
Reagan of California, who adopted them when he was elected president
in 1980. (Possony and his coauthor, Jerry Pournelle, a writer of
science fiction, published The Strategy of Technology which directly
inspired the Strategic Defense Initiative.81) One of Possony´s
protégés, Richard Allen, became National Security Advisor to Reagan
in 1981. He was the contact for Possony in the White House.82 (White
House Chief of Staff and later Secretary of State Gen. Alexander M.
Haig, Jr., was another former Possony protégé.) President Reagan
adopted Possony´s view that the U.S. and the West should use their
technological supremacy to work for victory in the Cold War.83 Other
Possony ideas are clearly recognizable in the Reagan administration´s
comprehensive strategy for the deconstruction of the Soviet Union.84
His analysis of insurgent warfare and communist military doctrine has
been of particular relevance here.
* * *
The author wishes to acknowledge the kind help of: Gregory Copley
(Defense and Foreign Affairs Publications, the International
Strategic Studies Association, Washington, D.C.); Cecil B. Currey
(Lutz, Florida); Rivkah Duker Fishman; Manfred Gerstenfeld; Raanan
Gissin (Prime Minister´s Office); Amnon Lord; Zvi Marom; Moshe Yegar;
Jerry Pournelle (Los Angeles); Michelle Ben-Ami, Librarian, American
Jewish Committee, Jerusalem; staff of the American Cultural Center,
Jerusalem; and Linda Wheeler, Reference Librarian, Hoover Institution
1. Sun Tzu, Art of War, Samuel B. Griffith, tr. and ed. (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1963), p. 77.
2. http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0cc40. Between September 29,
2000, and June 1, 2003, Magen David Adom treated a total of 5,456
casualties as follows: 688 killed, 478 severely injured, 685
moderately, and 3,605 lightly injured, among them 11 MDA staff
3. E.g., Arafat´s speech of May 10, 1994, in a Johannesburg mosque.
Yossi Melman, "Don´t Confuse Us with the Facts," Haaretz, August 16,
2002. Also, Yael Yehoshua, "Abu-Mazen: A Political Profile," MEMRI
Special Report 16 (April 30, 2003).
4. Yossef Bodansky, Arafat´s "Peace Process," ACPR Policy
Paper 18 (1977):4.
6. The PA has not held general elections since 1996. The Israeli-
Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,
signed in Washington on September 28, 1995, specifies in Chapter I,
Article III, Paragraph 4: "The Council and the Ra´ees [President] of
the Executive Authority of the Council shall be elected for a
transitional period not exceeding five years from the signing of the
Gaza-Jericho Agreement on May 4, 1994." It should be noted that in
January 1996 Arafat was elected by a majority of 87.3 percent, which
was exactly the same percentage as the January 1947 Communist
election victory in post-war Poland. After he took power in 1959,
Fidel Castro also promised democratic elections in three years.
7. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 2nd ed. (New
York: Meridian Books, 1959), p. 378.
8. Hussam Mohammad, "PLO Strategy: From Total Liberation to
Coexistence"; http:/pij.org/site/vhome.htm?g=a&aid=4282. See also
Gerard Chaliand, The Palestinian Resistance, trans. Michael
Perl (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972).
9. Barry Rubin, Revolution until Victory? The Politics and History
of the PLO (Cambridge, Mass.: H.U.P., 1994), p. 24.
10. Raphael Danziger, "Algeria and the Palestinian Organizations," in
The Palestinians and the Middle East Conflict, Gabriel Ben-
Dor, ed., (Tel Aviv: Turtledove, 1979), p. 348.
12. Ibid., pp. 364-365. See particularly the subsection, "Some
Diplomatic and Propaganda Techniques," of Richard Pipe´s
chapter, "Some Operational Principles of Soviet Foreign Policy," in
M. Confino and S. Shamir, The USSR and the Middle East
(Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1973), pp, 18-20.
13. See Baruch Hazan, "Involvement by Proxy: Eastern Europe and the
PLO, 1971-1975," ibid., pp. 321-40.
14. See Ion Mihai Pacepa, "The Arafat I Know," Wall Street
Journal, January 10, 2002.
15. Neil C. Livingston and David Halevy, Inside the PLO (New
York: Morrow, 1990), p. 141.
16. Yuval Arnon-Ohana, The PLO: Portrait of an Organization
(Hebrew) (Tel Aviv, 1985), p. 107. "Muhammad A-Sha´ar, PLO
representative in Moscow, declared in February 1981, ´many hundreds
of Palestinian officers at the rank of division commanders have
graduated Soviet military academies.´"
17. See "Palestinian Leader: Number of Jewish Victims in the
Holocaust Might be ´Even Less Than a Million...´," MEMRI Inquiry
and Analysis Series 95, May 30, 2002;
18. Abu Iyad [Salah Khalaf] with Eric Rouleau, My Home, My
Land, trans. Linda Butler Koseoglu (New York: Times Books, 1978),
19. Ibid., 69, and Yossef Bodansky, "Arafat´s ´Peace Process,´" p. 4.
In June 1974, the PLO adopted the "Phases Program/PhasedPlan" in a
series of resolutions at a meeting of the Palestine National Council
held in Cairo. Bernard Lewis, "The Palestinians and the PLO; A
Historical Approach," Commentary 59 (January 1975):45, 48.
20. Abu-Iyad, p. 69, as quoted by Yossef Bodansky, p. 4.
21. Al-Dustur (Amman, Jordan), April 14, 1970, quoted by Cecil
B. Currey, Victory at Any Cost; The Genius of Viet Nam´s Gen. Vo
Nguyen Giap (Washington: Brassey´s, 1997), p. 277. See also
Joseph Farah, "Vietnam All Over Again in Mideast?"
WorldNetDaily, December 17, 2002;
22. See entry of Khalil al-Wazir in Guy Bechor, ed., The PLO Lexicon
(Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 1991), p. 90. See also "Biography of
Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad)," Encyclopedia of the Palestinians,
Philip Mattar, ed. (New York: Facts on File, 2000).
23. Y. Harkabi, "Al Fatah´s Doctrine," in The Israel-Arab Reader:
A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict, Walter Laqueur
and Barry Rubin, eds. (New York: Penguin Books, 1991), p. 395.
24. Chaliand, The Palestinian Resistance, p. 158.
25. Stefan T. Possony, People´s War; The Art of Combining Partisan-
Military, Psycho-Social, and Political Conquest Techniques
(Taipei: World Anti-Communist League, 1970), p. 85 [Hereinafter,
26. See Sun Tzu, Art of War, p. 84, "Offensive Strategy,"
verse 31: "Therefore I say: ´Know the enemy and know yourself; in a
hundred battles you will never be in peril.´"
27. Harriet Fast Scott and William F. Scott, eds., The Soviet Art
of War; Doctrine, Strategy and Tactics (Boulder, Colo.: Westview
Press, 1982. For a modern and recent history of the Soviet Union, see
Mikhail Heller and Alexandr Nekrich, Utopia in Power; The History
of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present, trans. Phylis B.
Carlos (New York: Summit Books, 1986).
28. Marshal A. A. Grechko has defined military doctrine as "an
officially accepted system of views in a given state and its armed
forces on the nature of war and methods of conducting it and on
preparations of the country and army for war." Scott, Soviet Art
of War, p. 4.
29. Mikhail V. Frunze (1885-1925), who became chief of staff of the
Red Army in May 1924, had described the Unified Military Doctrine in
a publication that first appeared in June 1921. Scott reports that he
had been strongly influenced by the writings of the German generals
Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, ibid., p. 28. See
also, "Some Soviet Techniques of Negotiation," in Philip E. Mosely,
The Kremlin in World Politics; Studies in Soviet Policy and Action
(New York: Vintage, 1960), p. 40. Mosely wrote in 1951: "Through
Lenin and Stalin, Soviet thinking has fully absorbed the Clausewitz
maxims that national strength and strong alliances determine the
effectiveness of national policy in peace, and that in war one must
never lose sight of the aims of policy for which it is waged."
30. Mao Tse-tung on Guerilla Warfare, trans and ed., Samuel B.
Griffith (New York: Praeger, 1961), p. 16-17, and Art of War,
p. 47. Mao and Chu Teh, with whom he founded the Red Chinese
Army, made this decision together.
31. Stefan T. Possony, A Century of Conflict (Chicago:
Regnery, 1953), p. 235. With regard to this principle, Mao drew on
the thinking of Mikhail V. Frunze and Mikhail N. Tukhachevsky,
Marshal of the Soviet Union (1882-1945).
32. Scott, Soviet Art of War, p. ix.
33. "Lin Piao on "Strategy and Tactics of a People´s War" (1965), in
Martin Ebon, The Life and Writings of China´s New Ruler; Lin
Piao (New York: Stein and Day, 1970), pp. 228-29. This passage
may be found in Lin Piao´s key policy statement, "Long Live the
Victory of the People´s War!" (1965). Sun Tzu had written: "The worst
policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no
alternative." Art of War, p. 78. See also Conor Cruise
O´Brien´s comments on Lin Piao, On the Eve of the Millenium; The
Future of Democracy Through an Age of Unreason (New York: Free
Press, 1994), p. 138.
34. Currey, Giap, pp. 319-21. For historical background, see
Ho Chi Minh, "The Party´s Military Work among the Peasants;
Revolutionary Guerilla Methods," in Armed Insurrection, A.
Neuberg [pseud.], ed. (New York: St. Martin´s 1970), pp. 255-71. This
title was first published in 1928 as Der bewaffnete
35. "Interview with Vo Nyugen Giap, Viet Minh Commander,"
36. Currey, Giap, p. 204.
37. "While in Hanoi, Abu-Iyad was also educated about the strategic
impact of the 1968 Tet Offensive - a major military defeat of the
Vietcong and North Vietnam that was transformed into a major
strategic victory of Hanoi through the sophisticated exploitation and
manipulation of Western, particularly American, media and public
opinion." Yossef Bodansky, "Arafat´s ´Peace Process,´" p. 4.
38. Raanan Gissin, "Low Intensity Conflict with High Resolution: Can
We Win?" Justice 31 (March 2002):15-16.
39. David Binder, "Soviet and Allies Shift on Doctrine," New York
Times, May 25, 1988.
40. Stefan T. Possony, People´s War.
41. Ibid., p. 86.
42. Ibid., pp. 87-88. "In this sense, a people´s war is less a
seizure of power than a building of revolutionary power
and the gradual weakening, perhaps the destruction, of the anti-
revolutionary establishment, notably its armed might" (ibid.,
43. Ibid., p. 44. For background information on the subject of
propaganda, see E. H. Carr, "Propaganda in International Politics,"
Oxford Pamphlets on World Affairs 16 (Oxford: Clarendon,
1939); and Philip M. Taylor, "Propaganda from Thucydides to
44. P.W., p. 44.
45. Anti-militarism includes breaches of military discipline,
disobedience, desertion, and mutiny, ibid., p. 34.
46. Ibid., p. 21. See Richard Pipes, "Some Operational
Principles of Soviet Foreign Policy," pp. 13-15.
47. Ibid., p. 22.
48. Stefan T. Possony, Waking up the Giant (New Rochelle:
Arlington House, 1974), pp. 679-80.
"All the guiding principles of military operations grow out of the
one basic principle: to strive to the utmost to preserve one´s own
strength and destroy that of the enemy." Selected Works of Mao Tse-
tung, vol. 2 (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1967), p. 81.
49. P.W., p. 45.
50. Amos Harel, "Major General Yaakov Orr," Haaretz, July 13,
2001. See J. S. Fishman, "The Broken Promise of the Democratic Peace:
Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Jerusalem Viewpoints
477, May 1, 2002.
51. P.W., p. 21. "Propaganda is indeed part and parcel
of ´psychological warfare´; but terror is more. Terror continues to
be used by totalitarian regimes even when its psychological aims are
achieved; its real horror is that it reigns over a completely subdued
population....Propaganda, in other words, is one and possibly the
most important instrument of totalitarianism for dealing with the non-
totalitarian world; terror, on the contrary, is the very essence of
its form of government." Hannah Arendt, The Origins of
Totalitarianism, p. 344.
52. "Zochrim et Mitchell Techilah?" ["Remember Mitchell at the
Start?"] Mekor Rishon, June 27, 2003 (Hebrew).
53. During the Oslo years, the Palestinian leadership was in material
breach of the military clauses of the interim agreement, seeking to
import weaponry like SA-7 shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles and
manufacturing Qassam rockets. The Karine-A weapons ship contained a
ton and a half of highly potent C-4 explosives, long ranger mortars
(120 mm), and 20 kilometer-range katyusha rockets (122 mm). Dore
Gold, "Defensible Borders for Israel," Jerusalem Viewpoints
500 (June 15-July 1, 2003).
54. "For the remainder of his life, Giap would laugh at a small joke
which Ho Chi Minh made about the outcome of the battle. ´At Dien Bien
Phu,´ Ho chuckled, ´Giap lost not a single tank or airplane.´"
Currey, Giap, p. 204.
55. "In the four years leading up to the 1982 war [in Lebanon], it
[the PLO] proceeded to upgrade its forces in the south in terms of
weaponry and numbers, and transformed them into something closer to a
regular army." Rashid Khalidi, Under Siege: PLO Decision-Making
During the 1982 War (New York: Columbia University Press,
56. For a definition of supersession, see James Carroll,
Constantine´s Sword; the Church and the Jews (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 2000), p. 633, n. 1.
57. On anti-Jewish teachings of Palestinian Christian leaders, see
Yitzhak Sergio Minerbi, "Palestinian Christians Ignite Religious
Controversy" (Hebrew), Kivunim Hadashim 8 (April, 2003):70-
58. Anne Bayefsky, "Terrorism and Racism: The Aftermath of Durban,"
Jerusalem Viewpoints 468 (December 16, 2001).
59. "Abu Mazen in Gaza: Stop the Armed Operations," MEMRI, Special
Dispatch 449, December 2002.
60. For an example of the activities of Peace Now in monitoring and
reporting on Jewish settlement activity, see Aviv Lavie, "No Mountain
Too High," Haaretz Magazine, June 20, 2002, pp. 8-11.
61. See, for example, Etgar Lefkovits, "Five Held for Trying to
Reestablish Jerusalem PA Security Force," Jerusalem Post,
August 19, 2003.
62. Moshe Katz, "It is Also Dangerous Here," Mekor Rishon, Yoman
Shevi´i, July 4, 2003 (Hebrew).
63. Justus Reid Weiner, "The Global Epidemic of Illegal Building and
Demolitions: Implications for Jerusalem," Jerusalem Viewpoints
498 (May 15, 2008).
64. Conor Cruise O´Brien, The Siege (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1986), p. 508.
65. Sten Anderson disclosed Kreisky´s role in altering Swedish policy
in favor of the PLO at the end of 1974 and in involving American Jews
in talks with Arafat. Moshe Yegar, Neutral Policy - Theory versus
Practice; Swedish-Israeli Relations (Jerusalem: W.J.C., 1993),
66. Yoram Hazony, The Jewish State; The Struggle for Israel´s Soul
(New York: Basic Books, 2000), p. 66.
67. Jerusalem Post, April 5, 1996, quoted by Steven T.
Rosenthal, Irreconcilable Differences? (Hanover: Brandeis,
2001), p. 175.
68. Washington Post, February 20, 1994, quoted by Rosenthal,
69. Steven Windmueller, "September 11: Its Implications for American
Jewry," Jerusalem Viewpoints 492 (February 16, 2003). One
result of the process described above was that many young Jewish
individuals possessing a strong sense of social justice and idealism
but weak ties of identification were left vulnerable to the
approaches of pro-Palestinian groups which targeted them for
70. Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, "Understanding the Breakdown of
Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations," Jerusalem Viewpoints 486,
September 15-October 1, 2002. In the original Hebrew version of this
article, that appeared in the IDF military affairs journal
Maarakhot 383, May 2002, it is noted that this analysis was
written on the basis of an IDF document called "The Other View,"
which the author prepared in August 2001.
71. In contrast, Harold Nicolson, author and diplomatist who was a
member of the British Delegation in Paris after World War I,
wrote, "it is a bad peace which settles nothing. We must see to it,
therefore, that at the end of this war [WWII] we do not make a bad
peace. We must learn from past experience."Why Britain is at
War (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1940), p. 113.
72. "In a post-Camp David whirlwind diplomatic tour, Arafat stopped
in Jakarta on August 16, 2000, where Indonesia´s former president,
Abdurrahman Wahid, urged him to end the conflict with Israel. The
reply? ´Arafat confessed to me that in a hundred years, Israel will
disappear. So why hurry to recognize it?´" Yediot Ahronot, May
10, 2002, as cited by David Makovsky, "Taba Mythchief," The
National Interest (Spring 2003):128.
73. Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 384.
74. Barry Rubin, "From One U.S. Administration to the Next;
Similarities and Differences in the Push for Arab-Israeli Peace,"
AJC Israel/Mideast Briefing (July 3, 2001).
75. Dr. Steven Plaut, "The Third Worst Middle East War," (November
27, 2003); http.//chronwatch.com/features/contentDisplay.asp?
76. Danziger, "Algeria and the Palestinian Organizations," p. 348.
77. P.W., pp. 87-88.
78. "Such negotiations are not originated by revolutionists for the
purpose of arriving at amicable arrangements with the opposition.
Revolutions rarely compromise; compromises are made only to further
the strategic design. Negotiation then, is undertaken for the dual
purpose of gaining time to buttress a position (military, political,
social, economic) and to wear down, frustrate, and harass the
opponent." Griffith, Mao Tse-tung on Guerilla Warfare,
Introduction, p. 16.
79. David Makovsky, "Taba Mythchief," pp. 119-29.
80. "His work in the field of strategic targeting was pioneering.
Before that, almost all targeting in air warfare was considered a
tactical function." "Stefan Possony; Pioneered Air War Strategy in
WWII," Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1995.
81. "American defense policy at the time was one of deterrence by the
development of overwhelming offensive force which would make either
side think twice before deploying it. This was appropriately named
mutually assured destruction (MAD). Possony argued that this strategy
was insufficiently flexible. ´To stay ahead in the decisive
technological war,´ he wrote, ´The United States must strive for a
real option of assured survival.´ Though little of the necessary
technology then existed, Possony postulated the very anti-missile
ideas including high-energy laser beams fired from satellite battle
stations in orbit, advanced satellite radars to give early warning,
and a range of decoys which were later to be developed." "Stefan
Possony" (obit.), The Times, May 2, 1995.
82. Personal communication, Jerry Pournelle, May 18, 2003.
83. Martin Walker, "Dark Dreamer of Star Wars; Stefan Possony"
(obit.), Guardian, May 5, 1995.
84. See, for example: Peter Schweizer, Victory; The Reagan
Administration´s Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the
Soviet Union (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994).
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