Israel and the “Shia Threat”

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Written by Dennis M. Nilsen exclusively for SouthFront

The Israeli State founded in 1948 has consistently maintained a firm foreign policy of active defense against its regional neighbors who, since independence, have engaged in at least four wars against it.  This state of perpetual insecurity has forced all political parties within Israel to pursue a regional foreign policy of divide and manage in order to prevent the emergence of a powerful, ideologically-united military bloc able to viably oppose its actions, despite the uncritical support of the United States.  In on-the-ground terms, all Muslims in the Middle East possess a cultural dislike of the Israelis because of gross displacement of the Palestinian people during the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.  While Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, it still occupies Golan, internationally recognized as belonging to Syria, a majority of the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Click to see the full-size map

This status quo provides a residual foundation of resentment, but it is the present and constant Israeli policy of discrimination against the Palestinians which forms the injurious thorn in the side of its Muslim neighbors.  This state of affairs causes all Israelis to live in a siege mindset, to be overly belligerent in words and actions to provocations and to always take a hardline in any negotiations designed to end the politically untenable situation of the Palestinian people in the West Banka and Gaza.  Though the Israeli vote is divided among a plethora of parties, there is this strong commitment to security found in them all which allowed men as opposed ideologically as Shimon Peres and Binyamin Netanyahu to ultimately agree on the larger picture of Israeli regional foreign policy.

Seen in a religious context, Israeli is surrounded by a sea of Muslim neighbors.  Yet Israeli foreign policy noticeably more severe towards the Shia than the Sunni.  Why, in Israeli eyes, do they constitute a potentially greater threat?

First, they unlike the Sunnis possess a religious unity whose character is politically based in Iran.  While Shia theology does not demand the existence of one guardian jurist (vela-ye faqih) to judge all of the ‘umma, this came to be supported from the middle of the nineteenth century, and the establishment of the Khomeini regime in Iran made this a fact.  While there are other ayatollahs – and the very chief among them marj’e – the constitution of Iran has institutionalized this hierarchy within Shia Islam.  Traditionally, the leading Shia jurists had refused direct involvement in politics as this stance was the continuation of the practices of the Imams.  However, with the creation of the Safavid state in Persian in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the political character of Shiism came into its own.  The historical direction of Shiite jurisprudence was therefore fated to occur in Iran because it was – and is – the locus of one of the two major venues of Shiite scholarship (Qom, the other being Karbala in Iraq, and because it is the only officially Shiite state.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Second, the political direction of the Iranian Shia community has meant advocacy of a continuous revolutionary movement to establish Shia or Shia-friendly regimes.  The various Sunni schools of jurisprudence have all promoted the spread of Islam, but the political unity of the Shia under the headship of Iran has meant that much more of a focused attempt to do this, and the recent political breakwater created by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran has given great fuel to this impetus.  Further, the absence of any real plurality within Shiite jurisprudence means that a very large majority of the Shia follow the Ja’fari School, which is institutionalized in Iran as part of the legal system.  The Yemeni Shia follow the Zaydi School which, while an older discipline than the Ja’fari, cannot compete numerically or status-wise against the latter.  All of the Shiite political allies of the Iranians follow the Ja’fari School, and while the ruling elite in Syria are Alawi, politically these have aligned themselves with the Iranians to challenge greater enemies in Sunni takfiris and Israel.

Therefore, the political and religious unity of the Shia under the headship of Iran means a concentration of the revolutionary element as taught by Ayatollah Khomeini.  While there indeed are a number of Sunni jihadi groups operating with goals detrimental to Israel, none have the institutional or political maturity of the Shia.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian stone throwers at the northern entrance of the village of Yatta, near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on May 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER

This religious similarity being established, what does it mean in actual fact for the Israelis?  What designs does the Iranian-led Shia bloc have against Israel?  Are the usual mantras which we hear about the destruction of Israel and the mass murder of Jews true or merely hyperbole to instill a regime of fear among the Israeli populace?  Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the political and military leaders of Iran have opposed the existence of the Zionist regime for a number of reasons, the most well-known among which are the unresolved plight of the Palestinians and occupation of the West Bank and the control of Jerusalem with the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

al-Aqsa Mosque

More broadly, however, Iran sees Israeli foreign policy as detrimental to the Islamic world in general and destructive to its own well-being.  However, since the Iranians cannot match the Israelis in terms of military or alliance power, they must resort to methods recently characterized as hybrid warfare, a mixture of clandestine military support and propagandistic dissimulation.  As to Jerusalem, are they committed to restoring it to Islamic rule?  They have named the special action service branch of the Sepah the Ghods Force [Quds Force] (‘the Jerusalem Force’): is there any other country which denotes its units in such a way?

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

The Official Seal of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or Sepah

Because Jerusalem is considered by the Shia after Mecca and Medina to be the third-ranking of their holiest sites, it is understandable to conclude that part of this preparation for the return of the Mahdi means the recapture of the city for the Muslims; they, as do the Sunni, consider that the Masjid al-Aqsa (“The Farthest Mosque”) in the Old City was a site given significance by the Patriarch Abraham as a place of sacrifice before the coming of Mohammed.  The existence of the remaining foundations of the Temple of Solomon underneath it means that the reoccupation of the Mosque by Muslim authority cannot happen without the eradication of the State of Israel; this the Iranians are reconciled to it.  With Karbala, Najaf, Mecca and Medina currently ruled by an Islamic authority, the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem remains the only one outside of Muslim hands.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force

The generations-long Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe/Disaster), begun in 1948, is an added ingredient in the conflict between Iran and Israel, held by some in the Islamic Republic as a true injustice which needs to be remedied and by others who cynically accept the role of spokesman and advocate for these people, but who really consider them to have no effect upon the national wellbeing of Iran.

The Iranians, as a confessional Shia state, are naturally most concerned with their Shia brethren in neighboring countries, countries in which they do not enjoy the same directional control of the culture as they do in Iran.  In Iraq until recently, the Shia were politically excluded from the status quo regime of Sunni Arabs, and as I have mentioned before the removal of Saddam Hussein and the de-Baathification of the country was the greatest triumph for Iranian foreign policy since the Revolution of 1979.  The majority Shia population of Bahrain has meant the heightened interest of Iran towards that country since the Revolution, and the current military interventions in Syria and Yemen on behalf of al-Assad and the Houthis rebels are driven by a desire to see the existence of their fellow Shia made secure.  The Iranian support for Hezbollah, which the Sepah helped to create in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, is well known and is a permanent feature of Iranian regional foreign policy, the primary and most visible ingredient in their Axis of Resistance political, economy and military alignment against the Zionist State.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Flag of Hezbollah

The next factor in this Axis of Resistance is the quasi-state of Hezbollah, the ‘Party of God,’ a movement which arose in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and formed with the backing of the Sepah.  While Hezbollah has gone from being an anti-state within Lebanon to a participant in parliamentary governance and a provider of social and educational services to a large number of Lebanese, its original aim of the destruction of the State of Israel as an act of defensive jihad remains in place.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Hezbollah displays a pick-up truck mounted with a multiple rocket launcher in a parade in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatiyeh in 2014. (photo credit:MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP)

Again, because it lacks the military might of Israel – and a strong backer like the United States – Hezbollah must engage in hybrid warfare.  Under the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah continues to pose a very real though untraditional military threat to Israel.

The third party to this bloc is Syria, officially an ethnically-based republic but in reality a key partner in extending the reach of Iran to its Hezbollah partners in Lebanon.  Syria is no friend of Israel, due not least to the continued occupation of two-thirds of the Golan Heights since 1967.  Syrian attitudes towards Israel are not officially religiously motivated due to Syria not possessing a confessional character, but neither does it diplomatically recognize the Zionist state; it also takes part in the Arab boycott against it.  Further, it has consistently taken the part of Hezbollah against Israeli actions, intervening on its behalf during the 1982 invasion and continuously acting as a bastion on which to ensure a favorable Lebanese foreign policy for itself against Israel.  A potential fourth party here is Iraq, which is heavily under Iranian influence due to religious affinity and also to the more recent joint actions taken against ISIS.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

In this Thursday Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, Hezbollah leader sheik Hassan Nasrallah, left, speaks with Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upon their arrival for a dinner in Damascus, Syria. (photo credit: AP/SANA)

Considering all of this, it is not difficult to understand why the Israelis maintain a hardline stance against these entities.  Although the Israelis are divided internally, and the political parties are quite diverse, seek different ends for a political ideal, all are committed to a Jewish state and only divided as to the intensity of its religious character and to the resolution of the Palestinian issue.  Despite this internal division, the Israelis have maintained a united front against any accommodation with what they perceive to be any threat against their interests.  Are they being misled by an unreasonable fear, or do they see the truth behind foreign policy maneuvers which can be seen as benign?

The real Israeli problem with the Muslim world at large and with their Middle Eastern Muslim neighbors began in 1967 with the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem; these actions caused a permanent state of animosity towards the Israelis despite the numerous agreements and the diplomatic recognition given to them by Egypt and Jordan.

The continued occupation of these lands, plus the aggressive campaigns of settlement building in the West Bank – a policy followed by all Israeli governments, whether Likud or Labour – have only further alienated Muslim sentiment and served as fuel to the fire both for Sunni jihadi groups and for the Shia bloc.  Existing within a small pale on the Mediterranean coast, the Jewish state understandably sees itself as having its collective back to the sea, and the only way that it can at the least maintain or at most strengthen its position is by engaging in forceful rhetoric and sometimes unilateral military action against those interests it perceives intend it harm.  The world has seen how severely it has dealt with the Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah, and further back in time the PLO under Arafat; the world has also witnessed the unilateral military strikes against nuclear facilities in Iraq in 1981 (Operation “Opera”) and Syria in 2007 (Operation “Orchard”) and more recently against the Syrian Armed Forces on the pretext of interdicting arms shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

A two-ship of Israeli Air Force F-16s from Ramon Air Base, Israel, head out to the Nevada Test and Training Range, July 17 during Red Flag Exercise 09-4. Photo: Master Sergeant Kevin J. Gruenwald

As to Iran, if the political establishment has consistently spoken with bravado against Israel, then the Israelis have responded in kind, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has on more than one occasion openly spoken of the existential threat which an Iranian nuclear weapons project will pose for his country, and that, if such be the case – despite the guarantees of the IAEA that Iran has complied with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – Israel reserves to the right to conduct a unilateral air strike against any and all facilities which it deems are crucial to the weapons construction regime.  Due to the brittle security atmosphere prevailing in the Middle East, the Prime Minister stills enjoys considerable support despite the allegations of corruption, and his Likud (Heb. “Consolidation”) Party unquestionably prevails in recent opinion polling.  Avigdor Lieberman, the defense minister from Yisrael Beiteinu (Heb. “Israel Our Home”), a secular rightwing party, while voicing greater moderation in his statements about the Palestinians (cf. “Lieberman Plan”) is as against Iran attaining nuclear weapons capability as his chief.  Of the 23 cabinet members (holding a total of 31 portfolios), 12 are from LikudKulanu (Heb. “All of Us”), the only centrist party within the governing coalition, holds the ministries of Economy, Construction and Finance, and thus does not have a strong say in the determination of foreign diplomatic and military policy.  The Orthodox Jewish parties Shas (short for Shomrei Sfarad, Heb. “Guardians of the Sephardim”) and The Jewish Home each have two portfolios, while Lieberman’s party Yisrael Beiteinu has two, and United Torah Judaism has one.  All of these parties save Yisrael Beiteinu and Kulanu are religious, and all save Kulanu are rightwing.

Israel and the "Shia Threat"

Avigdor Lieberman REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM – Tags: POLITICS)

Suffice it to say that Netanyahu, who in addition to the Prime Minister’s office holds the foreign affairs portfolio, and Lieberman are both hawkish when considering actions towards countries whom they see as prejudicial to their own understanding of Israel’s interests.  Lieberman has publicly noted that he does not believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main reason for the lack of a status quo in the Middle East, nor does he believe the restitution of the 1967 borders will bring about a peaceful settlement.  His main efforts are against Hezbollah and Iran, though it is myopic at the very least to disregard this continuous human rights catastrophe in the context of his country’s relations with Lebanon and Iran.

For the foreseeable future, then, the actions which Israel may take in order to prevent the consolidation of a Shia bloc are, in the first order, the exerting of diplomatic pressure on Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and (to be determined) Iraq in order to forestall actions prejudicial to Israel.  This will be most likely accomplished through the enlistment of American and/or British power at the UN or through NATO.

Also in the first order is the conducting of harsh security measures within Israel against suspected agents of these governments, unilateral air strikes against agents of these governments deemed to be operating in a manner directly harmful to Israeli security, and the use of clandestine operations through its Mossad security service.  Of the second order is the use of all-out war, something seemingly spoken of freely by Prime Minister Netanyahu but in reality something to be avoided at all costs due to the great destruction it would wreak on his country.

Obviously of particular concern to the Israeli government is the growing influence of Iran in Syria and in Lebanon through Hezbollah.  Its leadership can be expected to continually raise the alarm about this and to engage in unilateral airstrikes against targets they deem to be of particular importance.  Although they cannot prevent Hezbollah from arming itself to a dangerous level, they can reorient their defensive doctrine to prepare to refight the 2006 war.  It is widely expected that Israel and Hezbollah will again fight, but it remains to be seen how involved Iran will be in this contest.  These two countries cannot engage in a traditional war but only by proxy.  As Iran is determined to destroy the State of Israel as it exists, it will continue to supply and direct Hezbollah.  Israel on the other hand cannot directly reach Iran, even through airstrikes (which it has been shown will only have a small effect on Iranian nuclear capability but will ensure the uniting of the Islamic world against Israel).  Thus both are fated to fight a proxy war.

In Syria, Iranian support has been essential to the increasingly successful Syrian efforts to defeat ISIS, and this has caused concern in Israel.  However, a permanent Iranian influence will be measured on how much they give to the rebuilding of the country and the support to the Syrian Army.  The prospects for success here are much less than in Iraq because there is no shared border nor a sizeable Shia population in Syria; rather, the Syrian government has to worry about keeping its majority Sunni population pacified, something which will not happen should Iran visibly remain.  Despite all of this, should Syria remain a passageway for the shipment of arms and personnel between Iran and Hezbollah, Israel will continue to engage in its current efforts to dry up this land line.

Presently there exists a war of words between Israel and its Shia opponents coupled with a certain undeclared warfare prosecuted through indirect means.  We can expect to see more of this, as both Israel and her opponents (Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq) are in it for the long game.

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  • Helen4Yemen

    “The Israeli State founded in 1948 has consistently maintained a firm foreign policy of active defense against its regional neighbors who, since independence, have engaged in at least four wars against it. ”

    Who did the Lithuanian, Hungarian, Ukranian Jews gain independence from … please tell me?

  • Helen4Yemen

    “all Muslims in the Middle East possess a cultural dislike of the Israelis because of gross displacement of the Palestinian people during the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 ”

    The arrival of European Jewry from the start was the crime – the rest is the natural profession of colonialism.

    • Attrition47

      All? Cultural? Anyone who believes in justice despises the zionist colony, religion doesn’t come into it.

  • Helen4Yemen

    “The real Israeli problem with the Muslim world at large and with their Middle Eastern Muslim neighbors began in 1967 with the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem”

    I am offended by this statement. Can you please tell me what business European Jewry had on Arab land whether in the 1830 or 1930’s?

    For over a thousand years, there were no Jews living in Palestine

    In 1882 when European Jewry arrived in Palestine as Zionist
    colonial settlers, they found:

    • 400,000 Arabic-speaking indigenous Palestinian Muslims (78%)
    • 40,000 Arabic-speaking indigenous Palestinian Christians (6%)
    •15,000 YIDDISH-SPEAKING European Jews (3%)

    All the 15,000 Jews were Yiddish-speaking migrants from
    Eastern Europe who had arrived in the 1830’s and 1840’s to live
    on Halukka (charity) sent them to from abroad. Make no mistake
    about it that these indigent Jews of Eastern Europe were sent to
    plant the seed for Jewish presence on that land before the
    stampede to colonize the land would begin by European Jewry.

    • Brother Ma

      I can not argue with history.

      • Helen4Yemen

        I do not know what that means. I am Middle Eastern and what I see is a white European who faked his way to our region as “returning” and inserted his European ass where it does not belong. Where am I wrong?

        • Brother Ma

          History is fact.so you mentioned fact.so i am agreeing with all you have said.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Thank you for explaining. We the people of that region were used and abused by the Christian West where our land was used to perform ‘the Final Solution” to remove the hated Jews of Europe at our expense. The Christian West for the first time ever was at peace with Jewry of the West once Arab land was used to settle these foreigners.

          • Attrition47

            The Christian West hasn’t existed since the Reformation and racist antisemitism was an invented tradition which emerged at the same time as zionism.

    • Attrition47

      Oh dear, a conspiracy theory.

      • Brother Ma

        The problem of conspiracy theories with people like you is that thwy really are a theory of conspiracy.get it? You will do anything to discredit a theory ,just like your flat earth pals did to people who knew better: those that coud see the earth was round.

        • Attrition47

          The flat earthers are a myth invented by Washington Irving.

          • Brother Ma

            What the fcuck?

  • Helen4Yemen

    “These actions caused a permanent state of animosity towards the Israelis despite the numerous agreements and the diplomatic recognition given to them by Egypt and Jordan”
    _________
    Disgusted again. Please understand that Egyptian nor the Jordanian people did not consent to “peace” with the most deadly enemy on their land. That “peace” was paid for and still being being for with Americans billions that get paid to Egypt and Jordan for the sole purpose that foreign Jewry can continue to squat on Arab soil.

  • Helen4Yemen

    https://i0.wp.com/worldpeace365.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/greater-israel-52.png

    It is all about the ODED YINON PLAN to break up the Arab countries.

    1- The Arab world is too fractured to pose a threat to the Jews in Palestine
    The Arab Moslem world, therefore, is not the major strategic problem which we shall face in the Eighties, despite the fact that it carries the main threat against Israel, due to its growing military might. This world, with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems and does not therefore constitute a real threat against the State of Israel in the long run, but only in the short run where its immediate military power has great import. In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes.

    2- The Arab world is made up of ethnic groups hostile to one another
    The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorities and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging.

    3- Algeria, Morocco,Tunisia are made up of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers
    Apart from Egypt, all the Maghreb states are made up of a mixture of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers. In Algeria there is already a civil war raging in the Kabile mountains between the two nations in the country. Morocco and Algeria are at war with each other over Spanish Sahara, in addition to the internal struggle in each of them. Militant Islam endangers the integrity of Tunisia and Qaddafi organizes wars which are destructive from the Arab point of view, from a country which is sparsely populated and which cannot become a powerful nation. That is why he has been attempting unifications in the past with states that are more genuine, like Egypt and Syria.

    4- Sudan is made up of four groups hostile to one another
    Sudan, the most torn apart state in the Arab Moslem world today is built upon four groups hostile to each other, an Arab Moslem Sunni minority which rules over a majority of non-Arab Africans, Pagans, and Christians.

    5- Egypt: Christian minority may want a state of their own
    In Egypt there is a Sunni Moslem majority facing a large minority of Christians which is dominant in upper Egypt: some 7 million of them, so that even Sadat, in his speech on May 8, expressed the fear that they will want a state of their own, something like a “second” Christian Lebanon in Egypt.

    6- Syria: Shia minority ruling over majority Sunni
    Syria is fundamentally no different from Lebanon except in the strong military regime which rules it. But the real civil war taking place nowadays between the Sunni majority and the Shi’ite Alawi ruling minority (a mere 12% of the population) testifies to the severity of the domestic trouble.

    7- Iraq: Sunni minority ruling over Shia majority – Kurdish minority will make it easy to break it up
    Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi’ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren’t for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq’s future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria today. The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi’ites in Iraq view as their natural leader.

    8- Bahrain, UAE, Oman: Sunni minority rules over Shia majority, Kuwait: 75% foreign, Saudi Arabia: 50% foreign
    All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the UAE, Shi’ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist South Yemen there is a sizable Shi’ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power.

    9- Jordan: Palestinian majority ruled by Bedouin minority
    Jordan is in reality Palestinian, ruled by a Trans-Jordanian Bedouin minority, but most of the army and certainly the bureaucracy is now Palestinian. As a matter of fact Amman is as Palestinian as Nablus.

    10- Syrian army is Sunni, commander Shia; Iraqi army is Shia ruled by Sunni
    All of these countries have powerful armies, relatively speaking. But there is a problem there too. The Syrian army today is mostly Sunni with an Alawi officer corps, the Iraqi army Shi’ite with Sunni commanders. This has great significance in the long run, and that is why it will not be possible to retain the loyalty of the army for a long time except where it comes to the only common denominator: The hostility towards Israel, and today even that is insufficient.

    11- Iran is composed of Sunni, Shia Alawis, Sunni Kurds, it faces Ethnic and religious tension,
    Half of Iran’s population is comprised of a Persian speaking group and the other half of an ethnically Turkish group. Turkey’s population comprises a Turkish Sunni Moslem majority, some 50%, and two large minorities, 12 million Shi’ite Alawis and 6 million Sunni Kurds.

    12- Afghanistan: 33% Shia, 67% Sunni
    In Afghanistan there are 5 million Shi’ites who constitute one third of the population.

    13- Pakistan: 15 million Shia (1982 figures)
    In Sunni Pakistan there are 15 million Shi’ites who endanger the existence of that state.

    14- The Muslim world made up of ethnic minorities is like a house of cards
    This national ethnic minority picture extending from Morocco to India and from Somalia to Turkey points to the absence of stability and a rapid degeneration in the entire region. When this picture is added to the economic one, we see how the entire region is built like a house of cards, unable to withstand its severe problems.

    15- Jews should have given Jordan to Palestinians and removed them from Palestine
    We could have saved ourselves all the bitter and dangerous conflict since then if we had given Jordan to the Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river. By doing that we would have neutralized the Palestinian problem which we nowadays face, and to which we have found solutions that are really no solutions at all, such as territorial compromise or autonomy which amount, in fact, to the same thing. Today, we suddenly face immense opportunities for transforming the situation thoroughly and this we must do in the coming decade, otherwise we shall not survive as a state.

    16- Jews should never have lost the Sinai peninsula
    The loss of the Suez Canal oil fields, of the immense potential of the oil, gas and other natural resources in the Sinai peninsula which is geomorphologically identical to the rich oil-producing countries in the region, will result in an energy drain in the near future and will destroy our domestic economy: one quarter of our present GNP as well as one third of the budget is used for the purchase of oil. The search for raw materials in the Negev and on the coast will not, in the near future, serve to alter that state of affairs. (Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. The fault for that lies of course with the present Israeli government and the governments which paved the road to the policy of territorial compromise, the Alignment governments since 1967.

    17- Hoping for Egypt to give Israel the excuse to start a war and take back Sinai.
    Israel has two major routes through which to realize this purpose, one direct and the other indirect. The direct option is the less realistic one because of the nature of the regime and government in Israel as well as the wisdom of Sadat who obtained our withdrawal from Sinai, which was, next to the war of 1973, his major achievement since he took power. Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day.

    18- How to break up Egypt
    Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front. Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic State in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government as to date, is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run.

    19- Break up Lebanon into five provinces
    Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track.

    20- How to break up Syria and Iraq into ethnic and religious components
    The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.

    21- How to break up Iraq along ethnic/religious lines
    Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.

    22- How to break up Saudi Arabia
    The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure.

    23- Transfer power in Jordan from the King to Palestinians
    Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run. There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority.

    24- Change the regime in Jordan and expel Palestinians from Palestine to Jordan
    Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigration from the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future.

    25- Jews must remove all Palestinians and send them to Jordan
    The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for, given the plans of the PLO and those of the Israeli Arabs themselves, the Shefa’amr plan of September 1980, it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river.

    26- Palestinians must understand that Jews must rule over all Palestine-and they need to move to Jordan
    Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan.

    27- Palestinians consider all of Palestine stolen irrespective of 1948 or 1967 and Jews consider all of Palestine theirs – even beyond Jordan River
    Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of ’67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it, as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter.

    28- The West Bank must be populated with Jews or else Jews will be defeated like crusaders.
    Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. Taking hold of the mountain watershed from Beersheba to the Upper Galilee is the national aim generated by the major strategic consideration which is settling the mountainous part of the country that is empty of Jews today.

    29- No force can remove the Jews from Palestine
    Our existence in this country itself is certain, and there is no force that could remove us from here either forcefully or by treachery (Sadat’s method). Despite the difficulties of the mistaken “peace” policy and the problem of the Israeli Arabs and those of the territories, we can effectively deal with these problems in the foreseeable future.

    • Brother Ma

      A liitle long Helen.i cut and pasted into my notes to read another day but i had a quick look through.thanks for detail.

  • Helen4Yemen

    This author makes appear as if this is a conflict between India and Pakistan, indigenous neighbors instead of a totally foreign colonial settler people and the natives.