Skip to comments.ESCALATION? Rightist IDF Ex-Generals Propose Massive Invasion Of PLO Territories
Posted on 01/30/2002 10:13:50 PM PST by FresnoDA
|w w w . h a a r e t z d a i l y . c o m|
Rightist ex-generals propose massive invasion of territories
A group of senior reserve officers, led by Brig. Gen. (res.) Effi Eitam (Fein) are working on a "security-political plan" that includes reoccupying the territories to destroy the Palestinian Authority and changing the political system to prevent Arabs from being elected to the Knesset.
Former reserve generals and senior defense establishment officials are taking part in the formulations of the plan. Eitam, who left the army a year ago and makes no secret of his right wing views, has been conducting intensive political activity in recent months. Beyond the plan's military recommendations are Eitam's plans to directly enter the political arena, possibly as part of a new right wing movement. The plan has already been presented to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who refrained from expressing support for it, and is due to be presented to the public in the coming weeks.
Eitam and his associates say Israel faces an "evasive threat," meaning one that is difficult to identify. That's why, they say, Israel has so much difficulty dealing with it. "If we were now facing an invasion of Syrian or Egyptian armies into the Golan Heights or the Negev, we'd all know what to do," said one of the formulators of the document. "The trouble is that Israel is now like a person for whom cancer, not a bullet, is threatening his life. Our problem is the diagnosis - and by the time we wake up, it will be too late."
Eitam added, "This is a first attempt by the right to present a political-security plan that doesn't make do only with blocking Palestinian intentions but proposes solutions to the situation."
The plan calls for a massive Israeli invasion of Palestinian cities. The former generals argue that the military incursions into cities like Jenin and Tul Karm proved in recent weeks that the IDF would have no problem taking over the cities. They propose entering the territories, "cleaning" them of terrorists and weapons, and then ruling the areas. The move would include the elimination of the Palestinian Authority. Some also call for the physical elimination of Yasser Arafat. According to the ex-generals, the strategic reality could be changed "in a week." The former generals say they have support for their plan in the top command of the IDF.
They believe Israel should unilaterally declare that no sovereignty other than Israel would ever be allowed into the area west of the Jordan River. They say such a declaration would lead to the withering of the intifada, "because the suicide bombers are not blowing themselves up out of despair, but out of hope they can drive us out of the territories. As soon as they find out that won't happen, the level of violence will also drop."
The plan also recommends taking far-reaching steps in other areas: An aggressive Israeli military approach to the nuclear threat from Iran (if the U.S. doesn't do it); encouraging democratic regimes in the area (including changing the regime in Jordan so it becomes the Palestinian state), and limiting the political power of Israeli Arabs.
The plan recommends changing the electoral system to a district system, with the districts gerrymandered to prevent significant Israeli Arab representation in the Knesset. The main criteria, they believe, is whatever strengthens Israel as a Jewish state. They say they hope to win broad support for their goals in the Israeli public, and that they believe the Americans would acquiesce to their plans. They say the circumstances may be such that the current administration in Washington would not object to these proposed Israeli steps.
By Amos Harel, Ha'aretz Correspondent
They added this last part to make the right-wingers look like racists, but I doubt any reasonable person would try to deny Arabs the right to serve in the Knesset, especially considering so many of them fight and die for Israel (the four IDF soldiers murdered by terrorists in Gaza were Arabs).
If you read the article carefully, all that is being proposed is that the Knesset change to a US Congress-like situation, in which each district elects one member, whoever gets more votes. This would be a change from the current proportional representation system, in which parties name a list of candidates, and get their proportion of the popular vote elected. Arabs would still elect a few members, like Republicans elect a few legislators in US big cities. Like the Republicans, this would be a far smaller number than their percentage of the total vote.
The Mouse That Roared
01/30/02 Yasser Arafat has now openly threatened the United States. His response to US Secretary of State Colin Powell's warning to reign in terror or face an array of American sanctions was, "If the United States cuts ties with the Palestinian Authority it will cause an earthquake in the region that no one will be able to stop."
With Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran joining forces and issuing warnings to the US to reign in Israel and release Arafat from Ramallah, it would appear that an attack from Saddam and Iran may be imminent.
Posted on 1/30/02 6:21 PM Pacific by Davea
Selling the 'Samson option'
Analysis By Herb Keinon
(January 31) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in his conversation yesterday with Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, undoubtedly discussed how Israel's policies are driving the region to the brink of disaster.
This line of argument, used by Mubarak on innumerable occasions with Israeli and Egyptian interlocutors, says the current violence will spill over and ignite the streets of Amman, Cairo, and Riyadh, leading to a massive conflict with apocalyptic consequences for the region and the world.
By mouthing this argument, Mubarak is propagating what diplomatic officials in Israel refer to as Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's "Samson option." The Samson option, named after the Biblical figure who brought the walls tumbling down, is the Palestinian nuclear option, without the bomb.
If Arafat would employ this option, a senior diplomatic official said yesterday, it would mean killing dozens of Israelis daily - by rocket attacks on airplanes, suicide bombers, and the machine gun strafing of public places.
The aim of this tactic is to threaten the Arab world, the US, and Europe with a "total blast" to force them to pressure Israel, and to force Israel to keep its hands off Arafat.
Whether the Palestinians have the means to create this type of havoc, to bring about this "big bang," is debatable. But right now the very perception of this capability is already having its effect.
Certainly the Egyptians are worried about this, the diplomatic official said, because such a "big bang" would have enormous repercussions in Egypt. Arafat, by waving this option, is threatening to destabilize the entire region if his demands are not met.
The specter of the Samson option has also had its impact on the Europeans. Monday's EU declaration that Israel needs Arafat as a "partner" is a direct result of the fear Arafat will unleash his Samson option if he feels his back is against the wall, the diplomatic official said. But according to the official, what the European declaration will do is actually prolong the violence, rather than somehow curtail it.
The declaration, which states "Israel needs the Palestinian Authority and its elected president, Yasser Arafat, as a partner to negotiate with, both in order to eradicate terrorism and to work towards peace," gives him breathing space.
It signaled to Arafat there are cracks in what needs to be an iron wall of world pressure. This world pressure, together with continuous military pressure, is the "cocktail" Israel believes will eventually spur Arafat into action.
A Foreign Ministry cable from Washington yesterday said that if - in the cautions world of diplomatic-speak - President George W. Bush spoke Friday of being "very disappointed" in Arafat, one can only imagine what is being said about him behind Washington's closed doors.
"To contain Arafat," the diplomatic official said, "it is necessary he get a clear message from everyone that he has no room to maneuver." The Americans took a giant step forward in that direction over the weekend. The Europeans, on Monday, took a similar step backward.
The end result, the official said, will be to prolong the current attrition, and "the danger is that the attrition will get out of hand." The official said the bomb discovered last week near a wedding hall in Jerusalem packed enough explosives to have taken down the entire building, killing dozens, if not hundreds, of people.
Such an attack, he warned, would have prompted an unprecedented military action from Israel as well. The downward spiral fall would have been precipitous.
The Europeans are not the only ones sending signals to Arafat there is no need for him to change his policies, the official said. Similar signals are coming from within Israel itself.
According to this official, who is not at all identified with Likud or the Right, Arafat hears the growing calls for unilateral separation (which he said is a euphemism for withdrawal) within Israel. Likewise, Arafat also hears about reserve officers refusing to serve in the territories, and of Tel Aviv women setting up an organization along the Four Mothers model instrumental in leading to Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon.
The accumulative effect of this, according to the senior diplomatic official, is Arafat "says to himself, 'Let's push a little more, let's kill a few more Israelis, and then they will eventually run away - just like they did in Lebanon."
Well it has certainly had that effect on the US. The winner-take-all system for congresscritters and presidential electors is thought to be the reason for the two party system and the moderation of the parties, as compared to parties in Parliamentary systems with proportional representation. Of course this has the effect of ossifying the political structure when there hasn't been a new major party in 155 years! The effect of third-parties, though, has been to change the two major parties, as they adjust their policies to absorb the members of the third parties.
I am starting to get really nervous about this. It looks like someone may yet choose between the IDF plan discussed in the article, the expulsion option favored by the Kach party, the Sampson option, or the nuclear option. Beats Global Thermonuclear War, I guess, but it is likely to get very, very, unpleasant!
I know this has been in the back of a lot of people's minds there for a long time, but this is the first explicit proposal I have seen by any responsible Israeli sources for moving toward it.
My hunch is that this is a leak or trial balloon sent up to gauge public reaction.
Especially telling is the proposal about ...changing the regime in Jordan so it becomes the Palestinian state....
There's only one straight way to read this line--as a proposal to expel the Palestinians from the West Bank, thereby creating a purely Jewish state.
Terrorism is an Arab/Muslim tactic, dating to before the 1972 Munich Olympics. In 2000, Arafat rejected the Clinton/Barak peaceful option, and started the current "Intifada." Terror cannot be allowed, as a means of victory for these people, or else it will spread further.
From my understanding, the Sampson option is an Israeli, not a PLO option, and it entails nuclear strikes at all the major muslim capitals in the mid-east.
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