The Conception of the Doctrine of the War on Terror

gretavo's picture

Note: This article is reprinted here as a source to help understand the role played by Benjamin Netanyahu in developing the doctrine of the war on terror that became U.S. policy after 9/11. We do not agree with the source of this article that the 9/11 attacks were actually perpetrated by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda as a legitimate means of resisting oppression in the middle east.


Although the doctrine of War on Terror was announced by G.W. Bush following the events of 9/11, the real architect of that doctrine is Benjamin Netanyahu. While most people think that Netanyahu is an Israeli politician, he is also an author of a few books on terrorism and is the real father of the War on Terror doctrine. One of his early works on terrorism "International Terrorism: Challenge and Response" dates back to 1979. His major definitive work "Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism" was published in 1995. He has also been promoting his War on Terror doctrine in his speeches. One such speech was delivered at the Jewish Agency Assembly Plenary meetings held in Israel on 24th June 2001. The main points of that speech are:

  1. The Palestinians are to blame for the conflict in the Middle East, and specifically Yasser Arafat.
  2. It is legitimate for established states to engage in wars, because the societies are imperfect.
  3. Palestinians are not waging a legitimate war (like established states using regular armies) and are terrorists.
  4. The Palestinian terrorists deliberately attack civilians.
  5. The Israelis are responding in self-defense.
  6. When the Israelis respond, they respond against combatants.
  7. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are committed to the destruction of the State of Israel.
  8. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are using the illegitimate and criminal means of terrorism.
  9. The Palestinian are wrong and the Israelis are right.
  10. Terrorism invariably comes from terrorist regimes.
  11. Terror is useful, only if the cost of waging terrorism, the cost of that regime is lower than the benefits of waging terrorism.
  12. To stop terrorism, one must make the terrorist regime pay very very heavily.
  13. The root core of the Middle East conflict is the existential opposition by a great many in the Arab world still, and certainly by the Palestinian leadership to Israel's very existence.
  14. The first way of ensuring Israel's existence is that the Arabs simply understand that Israel is so powerful, so permanent, so unconquerable in every way that they will simply abandon by the force of the inertia of Israel's permanence all opposition to Israel.
  15. The second way [of ensuring Israel's existence] is for the forces of democratization get to the Arab regimes.
  16. Using propaganda techniques, like broadcasting American television serials (which Netanyahu sees as subversive material) will ultimately bring down regimes like the Ayatola regime and the Khoumeni regime in Iran.
  17. In the 21st century, you cannot achieve a military victory unless you achieve a political victory to accompany it; and you cannot achieve a political victory unless you achieve a victory in public opinion; and you cannot achieve a victory in public opinion unless you persuade that public that your cause is just.
  18. It doesn't make any difference if you are on the side of the angels or on the side of the devil. Anyone fighting in the international arena for public opinion must argue the justice of his cause. Hitler argued for the justice of his cause and Stalin argued for the justice of his cause. They all had propaganda machines. Whether you are right or you are wrong you must argue the justice of your cause.

Although this speech was delivered some two months before the events of 9/11, one can see in it all the main points advanced by G.W. Bush in his speeches on War on Terror, which followed the 9/11. But at the time of the delivery of the Netanyahu speech, the interest in the Netanyahu "War on Terror" doctrine was limited to a narrow circle of professional Greater Israel Zionists and Middle East experts. It was also obvious that the Netanyahu doctrine could not be implemented by Israel alone without involving into it the full military and financial might of the USA. At the time such involvement seemed an unlikely prospect which could only be achieved through some kind of miracle.

But this "miracle" did not take long to happen.

The Birth of the Doctrine of War on Terror Announced
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On the 11th of September 2001 two passenger planes were driven into the World Trade Center and another one into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the US Department of Defense), causing large scale destruction and deaths of some 6,0001 people.

Had destruction and deaths on such scale happened in Africa or Asia, it would have been a short one day's news item, like an earthquake or community violence in India. But it happened in the USA, and this made all the difference
the Netanyahu doctrine of War on Terror became a new global ideology of the World's most powerful nation.

This is how George W. Bush announced his doctrine in his Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People on September 20, 2001:

"Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
. . .

The civilized world is rallying to America's side. They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments."

While the speech was in response to the events of 9/11, and its immediate targets was the al-Qaida organization and the Taliban government of Afghanistan, the reference to "the stability of legitimate governments" meant that the War on Terror announced by G.W. Bush has divided the world into two camps: (1) the legitimate established governments and (2) the terrorists, anybody who would fight or resist such established governments, and any established governments that assist or harbor such terrorists. The first group was with us (the Americans) that second with them (the terrorists).


This has created a new, unprecedented, world order.

The New World Order
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Throughout all of recorded human history there were powerful empires conquering and ruling other nations, but their power has never extended to the whole world, and there were rival nations which kept the powers of such empires in check. Now there emerged a single super power any opposition to which became illegitimate and leading the opponents to physical destruction. This was clearly demonstrated by the application of the War on Terror doctrine in Afghanistan.

The Band Wagon
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Since the meaning of War on Terror was that any small nation under control of a larger or militarily more powerful nation and seeking independence from that controlling nation through any form of violent resistance could be described as "terrorists", all states involved in such conflicts jumped eagerly on the band wagon of the War on Terror. Russia got total freedom to do what they like in Chechnya, the Chinese stepped up their efforts to suppress all opposition in East Turkistan, and the Israelis saw in the War on Terror opportunity to extend their control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Doctrine Grows in Strength and Scope
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The "us" and "them" doctrine as announced by G.W. Bush was very close to the Netanyahu doctrine, all that was left for Netanyahu to harness the full military and economic might of the USA to his cause was to interpret the "us" of G.W. Bush as "the Democracies (the West, the Civilized World) rallied behind that bulwark of Democracy -- Israel" and the "them" of G.W. Bush as "the terror regimes -- the Arab dictatorships rallied behind that arch enemy of Israel (and the West and Civilization) -- Yasser Arafat". With such interpretation the Netanyahu dream of Greater Israel could become reality within his life time. But at that time a dark shadow falls over the Netanyahu dream landscape.

At the end of March 2002 the Saudis present their Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

This plan, if accepted, would have lead to a permanent solution of the Middle East Conflict, but it would have also frozen the Israeli borders as they were before the 1967 war. And this would have meant the end of the dreams of Greater Israel.

The Saudi Plan is immediately rejected by the Israeli government. Instead they begin a full scale military offensive on the Palestinian territories. They also begin a campaign to discredit Yasser Arafat. Appeals by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to stop the hostilities are ignored by the Israelis. And so are calls by G.W. Bush. And on 10 April 2002 Benjamin Netanyahu delivers another speech on the War on Terror, this time before the US Senate in Washington

The main points of this speech are as follows:

  1. The American victory against terror in Afghanistan is only the first step in dismantling the global terrorist network. The other terrorist regimes must now be rapidly dealt with in similar fashion.
  2. Israel, a democratic government that is defending itself against terror should not be equated with the Palestinian dictatorship that is perpetrating it.
  3. Israel should not be asked to stop fighting terror and return to a negotiating table with a regime that is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State and openly embraces terror.
  4. Israel has the right to defend itself.
  5. The government of Israel must fight not only to defend its people, restore a dangerously eroded deterrence and secure the Jewish State, but also to ensure that the free world wins the war against terror in this pivotal arena in the heart of the Middle East.
  6. Israel must dismantle Arafat's terrorist regime and expel Arafat from the region.
  7. Israel must clean out terrorists, weapons, and explosives from all Palestinian controlled areas.
  8. Israel must establish physical barriers separating the main Palestinian population centers from Israeli towns and cities to prevent any residual terrorists from reaching Israel.
  9. There can never be a political solution for terror. The grievance of terrorists can never be redressed through diplomacy. That will only encourage more terror. Yasser Arafat's terrorist regime must be toppled, not courted. The Oslo agreements are dead. Yasser Arafat killed them.
  10. A political process can only begin when this terrorist regime is dismantled.
  11. The urgent need to topple Saddaam is paramount. The commitment of America and Britain to dismantle this terrorist dictatorship before it obtains nuclear weapons deserves the unconditional support of all sane governments.
  12. America must show that it will not heed the international call to stop Israel from exercising its right to defend itself. If America compromises its principles and joins in the chorus of those who demand that Israel disengage, the war on terror will be undermined.
  13. For if the world begins to believe that America may deviate from its principles, terrorist regimes that might have otherwise been deterred will not be deterred. Those that might have crumbled under the weight of American resolve will not crumble. As a result, winning the war will prove far more difficult, perhaps impossible.
  14. To assure that the evil of terrorism does not reemerge a decade or two from now, we must not merely uproot terror, but also plant the seeds of freedom
  15. It is imperative that once the terrorist regimes in the Middle East are swept away, the free world, led by America, must begin to build democracy in their place.
  16. We simply can no longer afford to allow this region to remain cloistered by a fanatic militancy. We must let the winds of freedom and independence finally penetrate the one region in the world that clings to unreformed tyranny.


This speech of Netanyahu reads almost like a cooking recipe which the American administration has been using in its Middle East and War on Terror policies. This is evidenced by the speech by G.W. Bush on resolving the Middle East Conflict (2002-06-24) in which G.W. Bush gives green light to the Israelis to implement their policies justifying them by extracts from the Netanyahu speech, while at the same time trying to placate the Arab states by holding in front of them a vision of a Palestinian state in 3 years time.


The Netanyahu Brigades
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While Netanyahu is the real father of the War on Terror doctrine, which if implemented in full would lead to major changes in the Middle East, which will fall under control of a strong and "unconquerable" Israel, he is not alone. Behind him stands the global federation of "center-right" Zionist movements known as Likud Olami -- the World Union of Liberal and National Zionists. Their American branch - the American Friends of Likud are the people who are influential in shaping the views of the American Administration and the World Public Opinion on the Middle East conflict and the "War on Terror" by promoting the ideas of their ideological leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The ideas of Netanyahu are also supported by some Christian Zionists, who exercise strong influence on the American administration. Examples of such organisations are the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel and Koinonia House. These organisations promote the idea of Greater Israel and seek to create a negative image of the Arab states and of Islam.

Implementing the Netanyahu Doctrine
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While the American war against Afghanistan can be explained by a desire to hit back at the presumed perpetrators of the Events of 9/11, the Axis of Evil Bush speech, the anti-Arafat campaign by the Americans, the planned war against Iraq, the prematurely published Rand report, portraying the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States and promoter of terrorism -- are all concepts and proposed steps described or prescribed by Netanyahu in his books and speeches.

So how far are the Netanyahu dreams from becoming reality?

Is the Netanyahu Doctrine Workable?
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Dreams of great empires are not new. Throughout all of human history there have been ambitious national leaders dreaming of subduing the rest of the world. And they have had their successes. These successes lasted for decades and even spanned centuries. But they have always ended in the same way -- the empires collapsed. The Babylon, the Byzantium, the Kingdom of Solomon, The Romans, The Moguls, The Tartars, The Ottoman Turks, the British Empire, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin -- they all had their great times, and they all collapsed. Why?

It has always been possible for more numerous, or better armed, nations to conquer others, but once they expand their conquests they are faced with the task of controlling large numbers of people scattered over large territories. And these people are hostile to the conquerors and seek their destruction. And while the imperial leaders can rally support for short victorious campaigns, the burden of controlling large hostile territories for prolonged periods of time becomes too much to bear. This is why the British have shrugged the burden of keeping their empire off their shoulders. This is why Napoleon and Hitler could not sustain their victories once their armies spread thin over partisan-infested Europe and Russia. This is why the Russians had to leave Afghanistan.

The other reason of collapse of empires is internal corruption. Conquerers of other nations often justify their conquests by moral imperatives, like civilizing the barbarians, liberating the masses, etc., but they invariably end up by inflicting injustice on others. To justify their actions they resort to lies (spin, propaganda, etc.) and finish by deceiving themselves and discrediting themselves even before their own people. Moreover dishonesty leads to general corruption and immorality and tyranny even against their own people. In the end they create opposition to themselves among their own people. This is why today the most vociferous opponents of the Israeli war against the Palestinians are Israeli Jews campaigning against the war. This is why the most vociferous opponents of Communism in Russia were children of members of the Communist elite. This is why the militarily unconquerable Soviet Union, the government of which had the tightest possible control over every aspect of life of each and every of its citizens, collapsed from inside under the weight of its own bureaucracy.

The Way to Peace and Security
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Today due to development of communications between people, the world has shrunk to a "Global Village". The days of empires are over. The dreams of Netanyahu and the imperial ambitions of George Bush and Tony Blair are hangovers of past centuries. Yes, there is need for a new world order, but not for a world order based on domination by superpowers of smaller nations. The new order will have to be built on the principles of mutual respect and equality of all people under the law.

The Netanyahu War on Terror doctrine, which President Bush adopted as the guiding principle of American foreign policy runs contrary to the needs of the modern world and is bound to fail, although it has potential for causing great damage to mankind for a number of decades.

Before more countries in the world are subjected to devastation, like that caused by the Americans in Afghanistan, before the Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed spills over to other countries, the War on Terror should be stopped and discarded as another imperial ideology. Instead, the efforts of mankind should be directed to resolving the existing conflicts (which are the result of the past imperial policies) on the basis of justice and development of peaceful means of resolution of international disputes. This will lead to a world free from wars, terrorism and politics.


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kate of the kiosk's picture

world court of justice

thanks for turning me and others on to this site, Gretavo! Shall pass along, for sure. Best wishes for 2011 to you and yours.

gretavo's picture

June 2001 Netanyahu speech

Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Agency Assembly Plenary meetings

held in Israel on 24th June 2001.

Thank you Daniel, thank you all Alex Grass, Sallai Meridor, Chaim Chesler and Avi Pazner and many friends that I see here, old friends and new friends. So I am delighted to see all of you. I am speaking in English, beshana haba b'ivrit.

I am delighted to see all of you especially these days I think it is important that you are here. It is an statement of the basic and most profound solidarity that you as representatives of Jewish communities for Israel and it is important now because Israel is, of course, in a time of crisis and in the midst of a conflict.

The question I want to begin with is why do we have conflict? After all for many years Arafat and his spokesmen and spokeswomen in the west have been saying "Give us a West Bank State with half of Jerusalem as its capital and we will give you peace." Well, at Camp David less than a year ago he was offered a West Bank State, a State in Judea and Samaria and have of Jerusalem, but we didn't get peace. He turned it down. He turned it down and began a campaign of violence, which lasts to this very day, and the question is why?

The answer to that is that what Arafat says inside to his own people in Arabic is radically different from what he says outside in English or in French or in Spanish or in any other language. Inside of course he says that he doesn't want a West Bank State, that is understood, what he wants is not a state next to Israel, he wants a state instead of Israel. He doesn't want peace with Israel, he wants a peace without Israel and that is of course reflected not only in territorial demands, but of course in the code word for Israel's destruction, which is the so-called right of return of the Palestinian refugees, which is another word for the dismantling of the State of Israel.

I think the choice he had to make between the outside message and the inside message, which he personally represents that made him decide to go on the route of violence, the route of terrorism thereby remaining true to the reason that the PLO was founded in the first place. When was the PLO founded? It was in 1964, it was the organization to liberate Palestine. What Palestine was it going to liberate in 1964? It wasn't Judea and Samaria or the West Bank; they were in Arab hands. It wasn't East Jerusalem that was in Arab hands too. It wasn't the Gaza Strip that was in Arab hands. The Organization for the Liberation of Palestine, the PLO was set to liberate the heart of Palestine and the heart of Palestine in the Arafat and the PLO doctrine is Haifa, Jaffa, Baku, Ramle, Lod and Tel Aviv.

This is what this organization stands for, this is what this man stands for, that is that it is an organization that is committed to an illegitimate goal, the goal of policide, the destruction of a state. But it is not merely committed to an illegitimate goal it pursues it through illegitimate means, the means of terror, the means of wanton and deliberate assault against innocent civilians, against teenagers in a Tel Aviv discotheque and against babies that are deliberately targeted by snipers. That is an organization that is willing to flout all the laws of war.

There has been in the last 150 years an attempt by humanity to codify the limits of war. We recognize that there are imperfections in our society, that countries and peoples occasionally fight one another. But it has been approved by the civilized community that should we descend into conflict, we shall limit that conflict and we divide the world into two, really into two parts. On one side are combatants, on the other side the civilians. And combatants fight combatants, armies fight armies, armed people fight armed people, they don't deliberately cross the line to the other side. That they don't do, it can happen by accident, it happens in any war that civilians are accidentally killed or wounded or maimed.

But in the case of war crimes it is the deliberate targeting of civilians that receives that description. It is when you deliberately attack civilians that you are committing a war crime. It doesn't make any difference on which side you are on. You might even be fighting for a noble cause, but if you deliberately use a method that is illegitimate you will be judged for war crimes.

For example, if you are a member of the allied invading force in World War 11 fighting for the greatest just cause in the history of mankind and you enter a German village or town and you put women and children against the wall and you shoot them, you will be judged and tried, probably be hung for war crimes, because some methods of conflict are illegitimate in themselves, they are evil in themselves.

Others are not, another example. In World War 11 the RAF, the British Royal Air Force set out to bomb the Gestapo headquarters, certainly a legitimate target, this was in Copenhagen and the British bombers missed. Instead of the Gestapo they hit a children's hospital nearby and 83 children were horribly killed. Now this is not a war crime, this is not terrorism. This is one of the tragic accidents that accompany every war, but the target was a legitimate target.

In the case of Arafat, what we have in the Palestinian terrorists that he fosters, they deliberately attack civilians. They don't go into that discotheque looking for soldiers; they deliberately are going to kill innocent children. When they bomb shopping malls, when they bomb buses, when they target vehicles on the road, they are deliberately killing civilians, sometimes by accident they kill some soldiers.

In the case of Israel we are responding in self-defense. A. we don't initiate the attacks; they initiate the attacks all the time. But even when we respond, we respond against combatants. So, it is important to understand that there are two great distinctions that we must put forward in front of people's minds. The first is that Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and the second is that they are committed to doing so, using the illegitimate and criminal means of terrorism. It is not a symmetrical conflict between this tribe and that tribe. It is totally asymmetrical, they are wrong and we are right and we have to say it. I am going to be a lot tougher than I was just telling you right now, a lot more, wait until you hear it. Because I think this is the easy part, I think there is a much tougher part but before we get to it we have to ask a question.

When faced with an adversary with this goal and using this method, how can we solve this conflict? How can we get rid of terrorism? Indeed many people, I would say the majority of our people both in Israel and in the Diaspora have recognized the nature of Arafat's true goal that has been unmasked in the time since Camp David. Have recognized also the fact that they are the ones who are perpetrating this violence and initiating. They recognize it, but then they come to a point of anxiety and concern and I would say even despair because they say, "What can we do about this? What can be done? Can anything be done?" After all we are told you can't stop terrorism with military means, there is no military solution to terrorism. You hear that. Have you heard that? On and on and on.

The first thing, there is no military solution to terrorism, or perhaps since there is no military solution to terrorism then we must move on the political front, which means maybe make, even though it is very distasteful, even more reaching, far reaching concession, we will have to make them anyway, or perhaps there is no solution at all. People reach the point of great concern and possible despair.

I think part of this is based on a great confusion between two entirely separate questions. The first is, is there a solution to the problem of terrorism? The second, entirely independent question, is there a solution to the conflict? The first question, is there a solution to terrorism, the answer is yes, of course there is. Because the solution to terrorism has to recognize where terrorism comes from. Terrorism comes from terrorist regimes invariably. All terrorism that sustained itself beyond cross international boundaries and beyond a certain period has to be sustained by a regime. Terrorists being used by the Palestinian regime to intimidate Israel, to make Israel surrender its positions, to make Israel demoralized and so on. But terror is useful, only if the cost of waging terrorism, the cost of that regime is lower than the benefits of waging terrorism.

If you want to stop terrorism, if you want to bring it down to inconsequential proportions, then what you have to do is make that regime pay very very heavily. Once faced with the choice of the cost of waging terror, usually these regimes stop.

Now, I have to tell you that this approach was tried by a country somewhat less advanced than us, less sophisticated, it is called the United States, they did not hear about the idea that you can stop terrorism with military means. So after years of being attacked by terrorists from Libya the west was attacked, the US was attacked, of course Israeli targets were attacked as well, the United States and Britain set out on a bombing mission and bombed Libya, they nearly killed Gadaffi in that raid. They placed sanctions on Libya, including sanctions preventing the landing of Libyan planes in important parts of the west and so on.

What happened as a result of this action was that Libyan terrorism stopped completely at that point, completely. Now, I want to caution you and tell you that the conflict between Gadaffi, between Libya and the United States did not stop. Gadaffi still calls the United States a great Satan. He still believes that the American influence in the world is pernicious, dangerous to Islamic civilization and so on and so on. The conflict didn't stop but the terrorism stopped completely.

Now you can go to North Korea that sponsored terrorism and was hit with very very strong sanctions, so they stopped too. I can give you many many other examples of other countries. But why go far? Go right here. We had terrorism for years, from Nasser's Egypt and we applied very forceful sanctions, military sanctions against Egypt. When Nasser saw the cost to his regime he stopped the terrorism completely. Years before we had any political process, let alone a peace treaty with Egypt. In a similar vein we had terrorism from Jordan. For example the last bout was in 1969/1970 and we took very forceful action against Jordan and faced with the imminent collapse of his regime, both by our blows and the danger of terrorist movement from within, King Hussein stopped this terrorism. It stopped. This was years before we had a political process, let alone a peace treaty with Jordan.

I don't have to go back that far either, in the three years that we led the government, we inherited a country with exploding bombs, exploding buses, suicide bombers, shopping mall bombings, a lot of the things you see today. We stopped it, not a hundred percent, a zero percent. We got it down from a hundred percent to five percent. Now how did we do it? We did it because we made it very clear to Arafat in two separate incidents fairly on in our administration that we would take all the necessary action, military and economic that would be required to protect our people and if necessary this might mean the collapse of his regime. That wasn't out goal, but he would know that that would be the outcome if he sustained the terrorism.

The first incident was the tunnel incident, which you may remember. I had opened a twenty centimeter door on a tunnel that had been dug by the Maccabies 2200 years earlier and Arafat said that I was undermining the Al Aksa mosque, the same thing. It is kind of difficult to undermine the Al Aksa mosque from that place because it is 250 meters, a quarter of a kilometer away from the Al Aksa mosque, but nevertheless he instigated this violence. How long did the violence last, do you know? It lasted two days.

The question is, why did it last two days? Why didn't it last nine month? I will tell you why. When it happened I was abroad, I was visiting France and from there I went to Germany and by the time I got to Germany I understood I was told there was full scale fighting. I came back, landed in Tel Aviv, heard the reports that our soldiers were under siege in Joseph's Tomb in Schem and that fighting had broken out across the entire front in Yehuda and Shomron, in Aza and so on and that we were being fired upon by thousands of Palestinian police using the very weapons we had given them to fight terrorists and they were shooting at us. I gave an order to advance all the tanks in these front to assault positions. Then I called Arafat and I said, "Mr. Chairman, this is a time of great crisis, I want to be brief and to the point. If you don't stop all violence and all shooting within a given time period," it was not in hours, within a given time period, not days, not weeks, not hours, I specified a very short time period. "If you don't do it then I will send the tanks in." The response was that he understood what I was saying. Within that specified timeframe to the dot he stopped all firing.

Now notice, I didn't give a public ultimatum, I don't necessarily believe in publicly hoisting somebody on a high pole, but I delivered a message and he believed correctly, by the way that I stand up to all world pressure and to even a US administration that wasn't particularly friendly at the time, but that I would do it, and I would have done it. Well, he stopped.

Then some time later he tried to use Hamas and Islamic Jihad by giving them a green line and he bombed or they bombed a cafe in Tel Aviv and had two subsequent bombings in Jerusalem, all in a few days. At the time he was very dependent and had practically no external funding, sources of funding. So I thought a good lever to use was to stop the money, which I stopped completely and they won. Within a week or two the Palestinian Authority was experiencing great difficult. They complained to the Americans who turned to me and they said, "You know, if this goes on his regime will not survive." I said, "That is his problem not mine." They said, "But you are committed under the Oslo Accords to pass VAT funds, VAT monies to the Palestinian Authority," and I said, "they are committed under the Oslo Accords to prevent the attacks of terrorists, they are supposed to act against these terrorists and jail them and so on." They said, "So what do you want?" I said, "Well I want A, B, C and D." And they said, "Then will you give them the money?" I said, "No, let us see A, B, C and D and then we will talk." A week later they come back and they say, "He has done A, B, C and D now ill you give him the money?" I said, "Sure ten percent."

Then the next week he did more and more and more, within six weeks he had stopped the terrorism completely. He had jailed the Hamas and other terrorists. He had given very strict orders to his own forces not to engage in any violence and from that point on we had practically no terrorism. I don't want to say none at all, but very very little. In fact you could take the entire three work and it would stick unfortunately in today's terms in three weeks and sometimes into three days.

Now why did that happen? Again, it wasn't that Arafat was a Zionist he wasn't and the suicide bombers were but they weren't dispatched they were controlled and they were controlled because the only thing that Arafat cares about is the survival of his regime. He doesn't care about the Palestinian people. If we merely respond and attack and take casualties from the Palestinian people, he is not only unhappy he is happy. It is good on CNN; it is good on the international networks and so on. The thing that Arafat cares about is the response that is sufficiently massive to bring down the regime. At the point when he understands that that is the price that he will pay, he is likely to stop.

But let me tell you something, if he doesn't stop then he will fall. The next guy will know that if you want to live next to Israel and you want to be in power, then you better live in peace with Israel. If you don't live in peace with Israel you will pay the consequences too. This is the only formula to stop terrorism.

The contrary formula that says, "Let us pay with concessions," is the one sure way to always continue terrorism. It is the exact reverse of what is being discussed. So it is possible to stop terrorism or reduce it to inconsequential means using deterrence, using deterrence means not only having deterrence but the willingness to use your strength in a variety of means, not only military to get that message across.

Having said that, while there is a solution to terrorism, there is no immediate solution to the conflict, because the conflict is about our existence. The root core of this conflict has been revealed once again to those who didn't see it, to be what it has always been. The existential opposition by a great many in the Arab world still, and certainly by the Palestinian leadership to Israel's very existence. This is not something we can compromise about, we can't say, "Oh well you know we will compromise about half of our existence." It is not something that lends itself to compromise and the question is what will make the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian movement, what will make it abandon the goal of destroying the State of Israel?

I would say that there are two possibilities for that to happen. The first is that they will simply understand that Israel is so powerful, so permanent, so unconquerable in every way that they will simply abandon by the force of the inertia of our permanence, they would abandon this goal as a practical means. That happened, by the way with two of our neighbors. It happened with Egypt and with Jordan, especially after the great victories of the Six Day War and in a paradoxical way also our victory, which is undenied, which is denied in parts of the Arab world, but really understood after the surprise attack of Yom Kippur. That could happen.

There is a second thing that I would have never said a few years ago, but going around the world and seeing the power of the information revolution, I think there is another possibility as well and that is that the forces of democratization, the forces of pluralism that are sweeping China, that are sweeping Iran, that are sweeping other parts of the world may get at the end, at the very end, also to the Arab regime. You can see part of that in the Gulf. In the Gulf you see a lot freer Arab world. A lot freer with information and you see the consequences. It is less hostile; it is less aggressive and less fanatical. It is open to internal debate of a kind, limited, very limited.

By the way, this debate, this opening up of information is what is happening now, for example in Iran. What you saw last week in Iran is exactly the result of the fact that Iran is not a closed society like say Syria or Iraq. There are 250,000 satellite dishes in Iran and Internet. I once said to the head of the CIA that if he wants to accelerate a change in the regime in Iran, he should forget about standard CIA stuff. He should be using big transformers to broadcast Beverly Hills 2050 and Merril's Place and all that stuff, because that is subversive material. The young people in Iran see the houses and the cars and the nice clothes and they are saying, "We want to have it too. We want to have a good life too." That is the tension that ultimately will bring down this Ayatola regime and the Khoumeni regime, it will come down.

Now, it is going to take a lot longer in the Middle East and the Middle Eastern regimes are going to build up as many dams, as many walls to prevent that kind free information from reaching their populations. But I believe that ultimately it is impossible to block it. It is not that in the future they will become liberal western democracies, they will not. But there will be, I would say the end of a situation, which has created the greatest tragedies in the 20th century.

The greatest tragedies in the 20th century occurred because of the wedding of dictatorship and this instrument that I am holding in my hand, the microphone. When one leader can talk to millions of people and he tells them what to think and what to feel and who to hate and who to worship, himself of course, that is when you get the tragedies that you get in Europe, we got in Europe around the mid century, that we got in Asia, in Russia, in China and of course in the Middle East. This is the power of the Gadaffis and the Stalins and the Hitlers and the Arafat. It is when they control as Arafat controls every word that is published in a Palestinian paper, every cartoon that is displayed, every image that is broadcast on Palestinian television and Palestinian radio, and you will know that we are moving in that direction. You will know that we are moving to a new world and a new reality, when one day we will open a Palestinian newspaper and we will see a very broad banner, headline in Arabic saying, "There is no military solution to the conflict with Israel." When they write it, then you will know that a new possibility exists. But it is still in the future, perhaps even the distant future.

For the foreseeable present and the immediate future what we have to do is continue to build our deterrence, to make Israel stronger in every way because that is the only thing that might bring them to relinquish the goal of destroying Israel.

So, I have said today that there are two separate issues. There is the issue of stopping terrorism or at least removing from the scene, from our national scene and the international scene as a potent force eminently doable. There is a separate issue of how to end this conflict and it can only be ended when the Palestinians abandon their goal of destroying Israel.

I have said that but I have not perhaps said something that you are facing every day. What you are facing undoubtedly is the complete distortion of the facts as I put them forward and as you understand them in your respective countries and the assault on the truth and on Israel and on Zionism that are endless everyday. I have often been asked "What do you do about that?" I guess people think, well you have to learn English, you have to know how to speak fluently.

I have just come from France, from a visit to the Jewish communities of Marseilles and Nice and from appearing on TV Sanc, a French international thing. I did not speak in English, I spoke most of the time in French. My French isn't that good, certainly not as good as my English, but I got a lot of responses to what I said, because what counts at the end is this, you cannot in the 20th century, we learned something in the 20th century that it holds true for the 21st century, you cannot achieve a military victory unless you achieve a political victory to accompany it; and you cannot achieve a political victory unless you achieve a victory in public opinion; and you cannot achieve a victory in public opinion unless you persuade that public that your cause is just.

Therefore, it doesn't make any difference if you are on the side of the angels or on the side of the devil. Anyone fighting in the international arena for public opinion must argue the justice of his cause. It is true, everybody does it, Hitler argued for the justice of his cause and Stalin argued for the justice of his cause. They all had propaganda machines. Whether you are right or you are wrong you must argue the justice of your cause.

It is true that up until 1967 up to the Six Day War the Arabs did not use any propaganda weapon at all, because the didn't have to. All they would have to do is cut the country in half, it was all of twelve kilometers wide. It is only after we moved the border from the outskirts of Tel Aviv across a stone wall twelve hundred meters high, it is called the Mountains of Judea and Samaria, we moved it to the banks of the Jordan and now the physical conquest of Israel was impossible. It is only then after 1967 did they begin to use the weapon of propaganda, because they knew that that was the only way that they could create political pressure. They would win in public opinion that create political pressure to reverse the military victory, to get us out of these positions by arguing that we were there for an unjust cause.

That is essentially what they have been doing and what we have been doing is practically nothing. Now we have to change that. There are many reasons why, but we can talk about, you can ask me about that. We must change that.

I was interviewed recently by an anchor woman in CNN and she said to me, "But the Palestinians say that you took their land," and I said "it is not their land." What happened was absolutely amazing. You know when you are interviewed you look right into the camera but you see on the side you get to see what the people are doing and you know in these studios they always have these staffers working on their papers. All of a sudden I could see from the corner of my eye that all the staffers raised their heads. "What did he say? What did he say? He said it is not their land," and they all paid attention. I said, "Yes, it is not their land. Arafat says that the Zionist invaded the Palestinian homeland in 1880. Palestine at the time was a green verdant country teaming with Palestinians living their lives independently and then the Zionists came and took it all away." I said in 1867 there was a visit to the Holy Land by Mark Twain, a well known Zionist propagandist right, and he described what he saw in the land, he said, "I traveled through the Galilee an entire day. I didn't see a single human being on the entire route." He came to Jerusalem he said, "Jerusalem sits in sack cloth and ashes, when will the Jews come back?" They were back by the way, there was already a majority in Jerusalem. But he said, "When will the Jews come back in large numbers to bring this country back to life?"

Well, you might think that something miraculous happened between 1867, the year of Mark Twain's visit and Arafat's purported invasion in 1880. Alas nothing happened in fact in 1880 on the year of invasion there was another important visitor to this land. His name was Stanley, Arthur Penwin Stanley, he was the greatest mapmaker, the greatest cartographer in the 19th century, and Englishman and he described what he saw. He said, "I stood in Judea," by the way nobody used the term West Bank that is a politicized word. He said, "I am standing in Judea, I look north I look south I see not a single human being. Well will the Jews come back to bring this land alive." Almost word for word, I am paraphrasing, but almost the same words.

This is repeated again and again by hundreds of visitors to Palestine in the 19th century. By British visitors, by American visitors, by German visitors, Swiss visitors, French visitors. The great poet Francois Le Marti everybody describes exactly the same thing. A barren empty land and expressing their hope that the Jews would come back.

Well, the Jews did come back at the end of the 19th century they began and they built here farms and towns and industry, factories, sources of employment, hospitals and as a result there was a tremendous immigration here, tremendous immigration from Syria, Iraq, Egypt an North Africa. Most of those who called themselves Palestinians are the result of immigration, recent immigration as a result of the Zionist return.

There is another person who testified to that between the world wars. You know between World War 1 and World War 11 it is a short span of about twenty years, the Arab population here multiplied five fold from this immigration, five fold. Winston Churchill who was Ministry Colonial Secretary for the British Government that controlled the country at the time, he said that the Arabs had absolutely no grievance against the Zionist, because far from depriving them or doing injustice to them, the Jews built up the country and opened the gates of the country so the Arab numbers could come in and swell in great numbers. Well Winston Churchill another Zionist propagandist, right.

These are the fact that we have to bring back. Most of the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians came as a result of the Jewish return to this land. We do not seek to displace them. We have a land in dispute, sure. They claim it and we claim it. That has to be adjudicated. But they have no right to pick us out from anywhere because it is not their land.

Now, I am saying all this to you because I believe that anything else that we say is insufficient and doesn't get to the heart of the matter. If you talk about security, people will say, "Sure security, but if you stole something you are not entitled to security, bring it back."

I was visiting Spain about six weeks ago. About five hundred years ago in the University of Valle de Rid, this is the ancient, the oldest university in Spain, the inquisition first kicked out the Jews and then they barred anybody with Jewish blood to study in this university. Five hundred years later the same university, I think in that same hall of the inquisition invited my father Professor Ben Zion Netanyahu, a noted scholar of the inquisition, to give him an honorary degree there. So I thought that was a good reason to participate, not only in a personal event, but in a closing of an historical circle and I went there.

My colleague and friend the Prime Minister of Spain Jose Mario Azna heard that I was coming to Spain and invited my wife and me to spend a weekend with his wife on this small farm that he has near Toledo. The farm is about the size of the Galilee, I must tell you. Prime Ministers live very well in Spain.

He invited the Foreign Minister and his wife to join us for dinner. He said, "Bibi tomorrow we will talk about what is happening today. We will talk about the terror and the politics, but tonight I want to ask you something that is really troubling me. I want to ask you who has justice on his side? Who has history on his side? In fact what is your case?" I turned to him and I said, "My friend Jose Maria, what is your case?" and he said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, what is the case of Spain. Spain was occupied for eight hundred years by the Arabs, all of Spain had been conquered except a little point in the north called Ovido. The Arabs built there a great civilization. But you never accepted this conquest.

For eight hundred years, year after year you fought the Arabs and you drove them southward again and again and again with rivers of blood, it was a horrible battle. Finally only the kingdom of Granada remained and then that was pushed out. Does anyone say that the people of Spain committed a great injustice to the Arabs?" He said, "No," and I said, "Well, let us see what is common and let us see what is different between the case of Spain and the case of Israel.

What is common speaks loudly for us and what is uncommon speaks even more strongly for us. What is common is the presence of the original owners of the land, in this case the people of Spain in your case, in our case the people of Israel, who never gave up their right to the land. As long as the people existed and the claim lived with them, that claim had its merits. You never gave it up. It was yours. It is somebody who is displaced from his house and he says "I want my house." As long as he doesn't go elsewhere and give up that claim that house is his. That is the same thing.

In our case that claim is even longer because our ownership of that land goes back thousands of years in our governing document is the Bible. Our strong attachment to this land, so strong that for thousands of years, for many centuries Jews said, "Next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem." Never giving up the claim. That is what is common.

Now what is uncommon? Well the first difference is it took you eight hundred years to liberate your country, it took us twelve hundred years from the Arab conquest, not a big difference in historical terms. The second difference is that you had this little on the mounts called Ovido as a folk room to begin the liberation of your country, we had nothing. I mean there were Jews throughout from antiquity in the Holy Land, but we had no real presence that we could develop a powerful challenge. The fact we had to do with no such presence in the land itself. That only makes the task harder, it doesn't make the right any smaller.

Sir, you displaced the great civilization in Spain, we displaced nothing as Mark Twain and everyone else attest to because by the time we came around in the late 19th century and the 20th century the Arab conquest had been replace by the Mamlu conquest and the Turkish conquest and so on, there was nothing left. A barren empty land.

Fourth, you displaced, you took this land with fire and blood, and you took Spain with a campaign of fire and blood practically unmatched in the history of the world. We took it with peaceful means. We came to absentee landlords living the good life in the Cairo and in Beirut and we bought with exorbitant prices, our patrimony, swamps, rock, and desert.

Fifth, you drove them away. We let them come in. We extended our hand in peace and friendship to them time and time again. In fact Zionism offered compromises to the Palestinians and the Arab world from the 1920s on to the very present and time after time they refused. They refuse any compromise. So where does justice lie?"

Now, I cannot tell you what he responded because I am putting on my diplomat's hat but I am telling you this. If we don't address this issue, if we don't address the justice of our cause, if we don't speak with a conviction of a just nation fighting for a just cause, we will not win the hasbara war, but far more importantly we cannot secure the future of Israel. The only way that we secured the future of Israel, the reason we were able to come back here, the reason we were able to roll back enemies a hundred times our size and to perform this ongoing miracle, which is called the Jewish State, and to defy all the prognostications and all the doom sayers is because we believe we were just.

If there is something important that we have to do, it is not merely to persuade in hasbara terms the non-Jews abroad, it is to persuade above all and before all else the Jewish people. The Jewish people in the Diaspora and our own Jewish people here, many of whom have fallen prey to this campaign of lies and vilification. It is important that we say very clearly, notwithstanding our willingness to make a reasonable compromise that will allow us to live and allow the Palestinians to live, but it is something that we make out of a complete understanding of our rights and certainly not something that will endanger us in any way.

It is important to reassert our rights, it is important to restate old truths that everybody in the world knew before the Arab campaign began. All those people who met in Versailles knew the true history of this land and the true history of Zionism. That was at the beginning of the 20th century. By the beginning of the 21st century practically no one knows and many of us don't know.

It is important that we know once again and we state once again very clearly "This is our land. It has been our land for 3000 years. This is our eternal city Jerusalem. It has been our city for 3000 years. This is the Temple Mount it has been sacred to us for 3000 years."

If we stand on our rights, if we believe in the justice of our cause then, and I guarantee you it will happen, Israel will prevail once again. Thank you very much.

gretavo's picture

September 20, 2001 Netanyahu speech to US House of Reps

Distinguished representatives, I want to thank you for inviting me to appear
before you today. I feel a profound responsibility addressing you in this
hour of peril in the capital of liberty.

What is at stake today is nothing less than the survival of our civilization.
There may be some who would have thought a week ago that to talk in these
apocalyptic terms about the battle against international terrorism was to
engage in reckless exaggeration. No longer.

Each one of us today understands that we are all targets, that our cities are
vulnerable, and that our values are hated with an unmatched fanaticism that
seeks to destroy our societies and our way of life.

I am certain that I speak on behalf of my entire nation when I say: Today, we
are all Americans. In grief, as in defiance. In grief, because my people have
faced the agonizing horrors of terror for many decades, and we feel an
instant kinship with both the victims of this tragedy and the great nation
that mourns its fallen brothers and sisters. In defiance, because just as my
country continues to fight terrorism in our battle for survival, I know that
America will not cower before this challenge.

I have absolute confidence that if we, the citizens of the free world, led by
President Bush, marshall the enormous reserves of power at our disposal,
harness the steely resolve of a free people, and mobilize our collective will
- we shall eradicate this evil from the face of the earth.

But to achieve this goal, we must first however answer several questions: Who
is responsible for this terrorist onslaught? Why, what is the motive behind
these attacks? And most importantly, what must be done to defeat these evil

The first and most crucial thing to understand is this: There is no
international terrorism without the support of sovereign states.

International terrorism simply cannot be sustained for long without the
regimes that aid and abet it. Terrorists are not suspended in mid-air. They
train, arm and indoctrinate their killers from within safe havens on
territory provided by terrorist states. Often these regimes provide the
terrorists with intelligence, money, and operational assistance, dispatching
them to serve as deadly proxies to wage a hidden war against more powerful

These regimes mount a worldwide propaganda campaign to legitimize terror,
besmirching its victims and exculpating its practitioners -- as we witnessed
in the farcical spectacle in the UN conference on racism in Durban last
month. Iran, Libya, and Syria call the US and Israel racist countries that
abuse human rights? Even Orwell could not have imagined such a world.

Take away all this state support, and the entire scaffolding of international
terrorism will collapse into the dust.

The international terrorist network is thus based on regimes - Iran, Iraq,
Syria, Taliban Afghanistan, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, and
several other Arab regimes, such as the Sudan. These regimes are the ones
that harbor the terrorist groups: Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Hizbullah
and others in Syrian-controlled Lebanon, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the
recently mobilized Fatah and Tanzim factions in the Palestinian territories,
and sundry other terror organizations based in such capitals as Damascus,
Baghdad, and Khartoum.

These terrorist states and terror organizations together form a terror
network, whose constituent parts support each other operationally as well as
politically. For example, the Palestinian groups cooperate closely with
Hizbullah, which in turn links them to Syria, Iran, and bin Laden. These
offshoots of terror have affiliates in other states that have not yet
uprooted their presence, such as Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

The growth of this terror network is the result of several developments in
the last two decades: Chief among them is the Khomeini revolution and the
establishment of a clerical Islamic state in Iran. This created a sovereign
spiritual base for fomenting a strident Islamic militancy worldwide, a
militancy that was often backed by terror.

Equally important was the victory in the Afghan war of the international
mujahadin brotherhood. This international band of zealots, whose ranks
include Osama bin Laden, saw their victory over the Soviet Union as
providential proof of the innate supremacy of faithful Muslims over the weak
infidel powers. They believed that even the superior weapons of a superpower
could not withstand their superior will.

To this should also be added Saddam Hussein's escape from destruction at the
end of the Gulf War, his dismissal of UN monitors, and his growing confidence
that he can soon develop unconventional weapons to match those of the West.

Finally, the creation of Yasser Arafat's terror enclave gave a safe haven to
militant Islamic terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Like
their mujahadin cousins, they drew inspiration from Israel's hasty withdrawal
from Lebanon, glorified as a great Muslim victory by the Syrian-backed
Hizbullah. Under Arafat's rule, these Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups
made repeated use of the technique of suicide bombing, going so far as to run
summer camps in Gaza that teach Palestinian children how to become suicide

Here is what Arafat's government controlled newspaper, Al Hayat al Jadida,
said on September 11, the very day of the suicide bombing of the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon: "The suicide bombers of today are the noble
successors of the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a tough
lesson. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of
history. They are the most honorable people among us."

A simple rule prevails here: The success of terrorists in one part of the
terror network emboldens terrorists throughout the network.

This then is the who. Now for the why.

Though its separate parts may have local objectives and take part in local
conflicts, the main motivation driving the terror network is an anti-Western
hostility that seeks to achieve nothing less than a reversal of history. It
seeks to roll back the West and install an extremist form of Islam as the
dominant power in the world. And it seeks to do this not by means of its own
advancement and progress, but by destroying the enemy. This hatred is the
product of a seething resentment that has simmered for centuries in certain
parts of the Arab and Islamic world.

Most Muslims in the world, including the vast majority of the growing Muslim
communities in the West, are not guided by this interpretation of history,
nor are they moved by its call for a holy war against the West. But some are.
And though their numbers are small compared to the peaceable majority, they
nevertheless constitute a growing hinterland for this militancy.

Militant Islamists resented the West for pushing back the triumphant march of
Islam into the heart of Europe many centuries ago. Its adherents, believing
in the innate supremacy of Islam, then suffered a series of shocks when in
the last two centuries that same hated, supposedly inferior West penetrated
Islamic realms in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf.

For them the mission was clear: The West had to be first pushed out of these
areas. Pro-western Middle Eastern regimes were toppled in rapid succession,
including in Iran. And Israel, the Middle East's only democracy and its
purest manifestation of Western progress and freedom, must be wiped off the
face of the earth.

Thus, the soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel,
they hate Israel because of the West - because they see it is an island of
Western democratic values in a Muslim-Arab sea of despotism. That is why they
call Israel the Little Satan, to distinguish it clearly from the country that
has always been and will always be the Great Satan - the United States of

Nothing better illustrates this than Osama bin Laden's call for jihad against
the United States in 1998. He gave as his primary reason not Israel, not the
Palestinians, not the "peace process," but rather the very presence of the
United States "occupying the land of Islam in the holiest of places" - and
where is that? - "the Arabian peninsula" says Bin Laden, where America is
"plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, and humiliating its people."
Israel, by the way, comes a distant third, after "the continuing aggression
against the Iraqi people" [Al Quds al Arabi, February 23, 1998]. For the bin
Ladens of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow.

America is the target.

But reestablishing a resurgent Islam requires not just rolling back the West;
it requires destroying its main engine, the United States. And if the US
cannot be destroyed just now, it can be first humiliated - as in the Teheran
hostage crisis two decades ago - and then ferociously attacked again and
again, until it is brought to its knees. But the ultimate goal remains the
same: Destroy America and win eternity.

Some of you may find it hard to believe that Islamic militants truly cling to
the mad fantasy of destroying America. Make no mistake about it. They do.

And unless they are stopped now, their attacks will continue, and become even
more lethal in the future.

To understand the true dangers of Islamic militancy, we can compare it to
another ideology which sought world domination - communism. Both movements
pursued irrational goals, but the communists at least pursued theirs in a
rational way.

Anytime they had to choose between ideology and their own survival, as in
Cuba or Berlin, they backed off and chose survival. Not so for the Islamic
militants. They pursue an irrational ideology irrationally - with no apparent
regard for human life, neither their own lives nor the lives of their
enemies. The communists seldom, if ever, produced suicide bombers, while
Islamic militancy produces hordes of them, glorifying them and promising them
that their dastardly deeds will earn them a glorious afterlife. This highly
pathological aspect of Islamic militancy is what makes it so deadly for

When in 1996 I wrote a book about fighting terrorism, I warned about the
militant Islamic groups operating in the West with the support of foreign
powers - serving as a new breed of "domestic-international" terrorists,
basing themselves in America to wage jihad against America: "Such groups," I
wrote then, "nullify in large measure the need to have air power or
intercontinental missiles as delivery systems for an Islamic nuclear payload.
They will be the delivery system. In the worst of such scenarios, the
consequences could be not a car bomb but a nuclear bomb in the basement of
the World Trade Center." Well, they did not use a nuclear bomb. They used two
150-ton fully fueled jetliners to wipe out the Twin Towers. But does anyone
doubt that given the chance, they will throw atom bombs at America and its
allies? And perhaps long before that, chemical and biological weapons?

This is the greatest danger facing our common future. Some states of the
terror network already possess chemical and biological capabilities, and some
are feverishly developing nuclear weapons. Can one rule out the possibility
that they will be tempted to use such weapons, openly or through terror
proxies, or that their weapons might fall into the hands of the terrorist
groups they harbor?

We have received a wake up call from hell. Now the question is simple: Do we
rally to defeat this evil, while there is still time, or do we press a
collective snooze button and go back to business as usual?

The time for action is now.

Today the terrorists have the will to destroy us, but they do not have the
power. There is no doubt that we have the power to crush them. Now we must
also show that we have the will. Once any part of the terror network acquires
nuclear weapons, this equation will fundamentally change and with it the
course of human affairs. This is the historical imperative that now confronts
all of us all.

And now the third point: What do we about it? First, as President Bush said,
we must make no distinction between the terrorists and the states that
support them. It is not enough to root out the terrorists who committed this
horrific act of war. We must dismantle the entire terrorist network.

If any part of it remains intact, it will rebuild itself, and the specter of
terrorism will reemerge and strike again. Bin Laden, for example, has
shuttled over the last decade from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to the Sudan
and back again. So we must not leave any base intact.

To achieve this goal we must first have moral clarity. We must fight terror
wherever and whenever it appears. We must make all states play by the same
rules. We must declare terrorism a crime against humanity, and we must
consider the terrorists enemies of mankind, to be given no quarter and no
consideration for their purported grievances. If we begin to distinguish
between acts of terror, justifying some and repudiating others based on
sympathy with this or that cause, we will lose the moral clarity that is so
essential for victory.

This clarity is what enabled America and Britain to root out piracy in the
19th century. This is how the Allies rooted out Nazism in the 20th century.

They did not look for the "root cause" of piracy or the "root cause" of
Nazism - because they knew that some acts are evil in and of themselves, and
do not deserve any consideration or "understanding." They did not ask if
Hitler was right about the alleged wrong done to Germany at Versailles. That
they left to the historians. The leaders of the Western Alliance said
something else: Nothing justifies Nazism. Nothing! We must be equally clear
cut today: Nothing justifies terrorism. Nothing! Terrorism is defined not by
the identity of its perpetrators nor by the cause they espouse. Rather, it is
defined by the nature of the act.

Terrorism is the deliberate attack on innocent civilians. In this it must be
distinguished from legitimate acts of war that target combatants and may
unintentionally harm civilians.

When the British bombed the Copenhagen Gestapo headquarters in 1944, and one
of their bombs unintentionally struck a children's hospital, that was a
tragedy, but it was not terrorism. When a few weeks ago Israel fired a
missile that killed two Hamas arch-terrorists, and two Palestinian children
who were playing nearby were tragically struck down, that is not terrorism.

Terrorists do not unintentionally harm civilians. They deliberately murder,
maim, and menace civilians - as many as possible.

No cause, no grievance, no apology can ever justify terrorism. Terrorism
against Americans, Israelis, Spaniards, Britons, Russians, or anyone else is
all part of the same evil and must be treated as such. It is time to
establish a fixed principle for the international community: Any cause that
uses terrorism to advance its aims will not be rewarded. On the contrary, it
will be punished and placed beyond the pale.

Armed with this moral clarity in defining terrorism, we must possess an equal
moral clarity in fighting it. If we include Iran, Syria, and the Palestinian
Authority in the coalition to fight terror - even though they currently
harbor, sponsor, and dispatch terrorists - then the alliance against terror
will be defeated from within.

Perhaps we might achieve a short-term objective of destroying one terrorist
fiefdom, but it will preclude the possibility of overall victory. Such a
coalition will melt down because of its own internal contradictions. We might
win a battle. We will certainly lose the war.

These regimes, like all terrorist states, must be given a forthright demand:
Stop terrorism, permanently, or you will face the wrath of the free world -
through harsh and sustained political, economic, and military sanctions.

Obviously, some of these regimes will scramble in fear and issue platitudes
about their opposition to terror, just as Arafat, Iran, and Syria did, while
they keep their terror apparatus intact. We should not be fooled. These
regimes are already on the US lists of states supporting terrorism - and if
they are not, they should be.

The price of admission for any state into the coalition against terror must
be to first completely dismantle the terrorist infrastructures within their
realm. Iran will have to dismantle a worldwide network of terrorism and
incitement based in Teheran.

Syria will have to shut down Hizbullah and the dozen terrorist organizations
that operate freely in Damascus and in Lebanon. Arafat will have to crush
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, close down their suicide factories and training
grounds, rein in his own Fatah and Tanzim terrorists, and cease the endless
incitement to violence.

To win this war, we must fight on many fronts. The most obvious one is direct
military action against the terrorists themselves. Israel's policy of
preemptively striking at those who seek to murder its people is, I believe,
better understood today and requires no further elaboration.

But there is no substitute for the key action that we must take: imposing the
most punishing diplomatic, economic and military sanction on all terrorist
states. To this must be added these measures: Freeze financial assets in the
West of terrorist regimes and organizations; revise legislation, subject to
periodic renewal, to enable better surveillance against organizations
inciting violence; keep convicted terrorists behind bars. Do not negotiate
with terrorists; train special forces to fight terror; and not least
important, impose sanctions on suppliers of nuclear technology to terrorist

I have had some experience in pursuing all these courses of action in
Israel's battle against terrorism, and I will be glad to elaborate on any one
of them if you wish, including the sensitive questions surrounding

But I have to be clear: Victory over terrorism is not, at its most
fundamental level, a matter of law enforcement or intelligence. However
important these functions may be, they can only reduce the dangers, not
eliminate them. The immediate objective is to end all state support for and
complicity with terror. If vigorously and continuously challenged, most of
these regimes can be deterred from sponsoring terrorism.

But there is a real possibility that some will not be deterred - and those
may be ones that possess weapons of mass destruction. Again, we cannot
dismiss the possibility that a militant terrorist state will use its proxies
to threaten or launch a nuclear attack with apparent impunity. Nor can we
completely dismiss the possibility that a militant regime, like its terrorist
proxies, will commit collective suicide for the sake of its fanatical

In this case, we might face not thousands of dead, but hundreds of thousands
and possibly millions. This is why the US must do everything in its power to
prevent regimes like Iran and Iraq from developing nuclear weapons, and
disarm them of their weapons of mass destruction.

This is the great mission that now stands before the free world. That mission
must not be watered down to allow certain states to participate in the
coalition that is now being organized. Rather, the coalition must be built
around this mission.

It may be that some will shy away from adopting such an uncompromising stance
against terrorism. If some free states choose to remain on the sidelines,
America must be prepared to march forward without them - for there is no
substitute for moral and strategic clarity. I believe that if the United
States stands on principle, all the democracies will eventually join the war
on terrorism. The easy route may be tempting, but it will not win the day.

On September 11, I, like everyone else, was glued to a television set
watching the savagery that struck America. Yet amid the smoking ruins of the
Twin Towers one could make out the Statue of Liberty holding high the torch
of freedom. It is freedom's flame that the terrorists sought to extinguish.
But it is that same torch, so proudly held by the United States, that can
lead the free world to crush the forces of terror and secure our tomorrow.

It is within our power. Let us now make sure that it is within our will.

gretavo's picture

April 2002 Netanyahu speech to U.S. Senate

Benjamin Netanyahu

Address to the U.S. Senate

benjaminnetanyahu.jpg (12990 bytes)

delivered 10 April 2002

Thank you. I want to thank Senators Kyl and Lieberman for hosting this gathering, and for my many friends, the distinguished senators who are here, and Senator Helms, who have all been stalwart supporters of the State of Israel and the excellent relationship between our two countries. It is for the sake of our common values that I have come here today. I have come here to voice what I believe is an urgently needed reminder that the war on terror can be won with clarity and courage or lost with confusion and vacillation.

Seven months ago, on a clear day, in this capitol of freedom, I was given the opportunity to address you, the guardians of liberty. And I will never forget that day -- a day when words that will echo for ages pierced the conscience of the free world. These were words that lifted the spirits of an American nation that had been savagely attacked by evil, words that looked that evil straight in the eye and boldly declared that it would be utterly destroyed. And most important, words that charted a bold course for victory.

Now, these words were not mine. They were the words of the president of the United States. In an historic speech to the world that September, and with determined action in the crucial months that followed, President Bush and his administration outlined a vision that had the moral and strategic clarity necessary to win the war on terror.

The moral clarity emanated from an ironclad definition of terror and from an impregnable moral truth. Terrorism was understood to be the deliberate targeting of civilians in order to achieve political ends, and it was always unjustifiable. With a few powerful words, President Bush said all that was needed to be said. Terrorism, he said, is never, ever justified.

And the strategic clarity emanated from the recognition that international terrorism depends on the support of sovereign states, and that fighting it depends -- demands that these regimes be either deterred or dismantled. In one clear sentence, President Bush expressed this principle. He said, "No distinction will be made between the terrorists and the regimes that harbor them."

This moral and strategic clarity was applied with devastating force to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that supported al Qaeda terrorism. No forced moral equivalence was drawn between the thousands of Afghan civilians who are the unintentional and unfortunate casualties of America's just war, and the thousands of American civilians deliberately murdered on September 11th. No strategic confusion led America to pursue al Qaeda terrorism while leaving the Taliban regime in place.

Soon after the war began, the American victory over the forces of terror in Afghanistan brought to light the third principle in this war on terror -- namely, the imperative for victory, the understanding that the best way to defeat terror is to defeat it. Now, I know this sounds to you tautologous and it must have seen at first to be a trite observation, it wasn't fully understood, but contrary to popular belief, the motivating force behind terror is neither desperation nor destitution. It is, in fact, hope -- the hope of terrorists, systematically brainwashed by the ideologues who manipulate them, that their savagery will break the will of their enemies and help them achieve their objective. Now, if you defeat this hope, you defeat terrorism. Convince terrorists, convince their sponsors and their potential new recruits that terrorism will be thoroughly uprooted and severely punished, and you will stop terrorism in its tracks.

By adhering to these three principles -- moral clarity, strategic clarity, and the imperative for victory -- the forces of freedom, led by America, are well on their way to victory against terror from Afghanistan. But that is only the first step in dismantling the global terror network. The other terrorist regimes must now be dealt with rapidly in similar fashion.

And yet today, just seven months into the war, it is far from certain that this will be done. Faced with the quintessential terrorist regime of our time, a regime that both harbors and perpetrates terror on an unimaginable scale, the free world is muddling its principles, losing its nerve, and thereby endangering the successful prosecution of this war.

The question many in my country are now asking is this: Will America apply its principles consistently and win this war, or will it selectively abandon these principles and thereby ultimately risk losing the war? My countrymen ask this question because they believe that terrorism is an indivisible evil that must be fought indivisibly. They believe that if moral clarity is obfuscated, that if you allow one part of the terror network to survive, much less be rewarded for its crimes, then the forces of terror will regroup and rise again.

Until last week, I was absolutely certain that the United States would adhere to its principles and lead the free world to a decisive victory. Today, I too have my concerns. I am concerned that when it comes to terror directed against Israel, the moral and strategic clarity that is so crucial for victory is being lost. I am concerned that the imperative of defeating terror everywhere is being ignored when the main engine of Palestinian terror is allowed to remain intact. I'm concerned that the State of Israel, that has for decades bravely manned the front lines against terror, is being pressed to back down just when it is on the verge of uprooting Palestinian terror.

These concerns first surfaced with the appearance of a reprehensible moral symmetry that equates Israel, a democracy that is defending itself against terror, with a Palestinian dictatorship that is perpetrating it. The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians has been shamefully equated with the unintentional loss of Palestinian life that is the tragic but unavoidable consequence of legitimate warfare. Worse, since Palestinian terrorists both deliberately target civilians, and deliberately hide behind civilians, Israel is cast as the guilty party because more Palestinians have been killed by Arafat's terrorist war than Israelis have been killed.

No one, of course, would dare suggest that the United States was the guilty party in World War II because German casualties, which, by the way, included millions of civilians, were 20 times higher than American casualties. So too, only a twisted and corrupt logic would paint America and Britain as the aggressors in the current war because Afghan casualties are reported by some -- I don't have conclusive figures -- to have well exceeded the death toll of September 11th.

The responsibility for civilian deaths in the U.S. on September 11th and in America's subsequent military actions lies squarely with the Taliban's chief, Mullah Omar, and with Osama Bin Laden. And similarly, the responsibility for civilian deaths in Israel, and in Israel's subsequent military action in Palestinian-controlled areas, lies squarely with Yasser Arafat, who has actually the dubious distinction of being the world's only terrorist chieftain who both harbors and perpetrates terrorism.

Now, my concern was sparked not only by this specious allocation of blame for civilian casualties, it deepened when, incredibly, Israel was asked to stop fighting terror and return to a negotiating table with a regime that is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state and openly embraces terror. Yasser Arafat brazenly pursues an ideology of "poliscide" -- I think I coined this phase -- "poliscide," which is the destruction of a state, and he meticulously pursues it by promoting a cult of suicide, and with total control of the media, the schools, the ghoulish kindergarten camps for children that glorify suicide martyrdom -- for God's sake, this is a man who signs the checks for the explosives for the suicide bombs. Arafat's dictatorships has indoctrinated a generation of Palestinians in a culture of death, producing waves of human bombs that massacre Jews in busses, discos, supermarkets, pizza shops, cafes -- everywhere and anywhere.

Israel has not experienced a terrorist attack on the scale that you have witnessed on that horrific day in September. That unprecedented act of barbarism will never be forgotten. It too will live in infamy. In my judgment, it will surpass in infamy the other great attack on America. But in the last 18 months, Israel's six million citizens have buried over 400 victims of terror -- a per capital total equal to half-a-dozen September 11ths. This daily -- indeed, hourly carnage, is also unprecedented, even in terrorism's long and bloody history. Yet, at the very moment when support for Israel's war against terror should be stronger than ever, my nation is being asked to stop fighting. And though we are assured by friends that we have the right to defend ourselves, we are effectively asked to suspend -- not to exercise that right.

But our friends should have no illusions. With or without international support, the government of Israel must fight, not only to defend its people and to restore a dangerously eroded deterrence to secure the Jewish state, but also to ensure that the free world wins the war against terror in this pivotal arena in the heart of the Middle East.

I think that Israel must now do three things. First, it must dismantle Arafat's terrorist regime and expel Arafat from the region. As long as the engineer of Palestinian terror remains in the territories, terrorism will not stop and the promise of peace will never be realized. Second, Israel must clean out the terrorists, the weapons, the explosives from all the Palestinian-controlled areas. We have uncovered just in Jenin about 1,400 Kalashnikov rifles, 12 laboratories for explosives, for TNT explosives, and hundreds -- hundreds of front-line terrorists. No place, whether it is a refugee camp in Gaza or an office in Ramallah, can be allowed to remain a haven for terror. And third, Israel must establish physical barriers separating the main Palestinian population centers from Israel's towns and its cities. And this will prevent any residual terrorists from reaching Israel. We have such a barrier around Gaza in the form of a fence, and hardly any -- not even a single terrorist suicide bomber has crossed from Gaza in recent months. Done together, these three measures will dramatically reduced terrorism. They will bring security to the people of Israel, and they will restore stability to the region.

Last week, the government of Israel began to take the second of these vital steps. Rather than bomb Palestinian-populated cities and towns from the air -- an operation that would have claimed thousands of civilian casualties -- the Israeli army is taking on a much greater risk by using ground forces that painstakingly make their way through the hornet's nest of Palestinian terror. But instead of praising Israel for seeking to minimize civilian casualties through careful and deliberate action, most of the world's governments shamelessly condemn it. For seven months, many of these governments have rightly supported the war against Afghan terror, yet after only seven days, their patience for Israel's war against terror has run out.

Now, the explanations that are offered for this double standard are not convincing. Actually, it's a triple standard. There is a standard for the dictatorships in the world. There is a standard for the democracies. And there is still a third standard for Israel. But none of the explanations for this double or triple standard are convincing.

First, it is said that the war on terror is different because the political process exists that can restore security and advance peace. This is simply not so. There can never be a political solution for terror. There can never be a political solution for terror for a simple reason. The grievance of terrorists can never be addressed through political concessions. If you offer terrorists political concessions, you encourage them to engage in more terror, which is more or less the process that Israel just went through. It offered Arafat's terror enormous concessions under a previous prime minister, and the terror catapulted to impossible heights. There is no political solution to terror. You have to defeat terror militarily in order to have a political process. Yasser Arafat's terrorist regime must be toppled, not courted.

The Oslo agreements, unfortunately, are dead. Arafat killed them. He tore it to shreds, soaked it in Jewish blood by violating every single one of the provisions of Oslo, including the two core commitments he made to recognize the state of Israel and to permanently renounce terrorism. With such a regime, with such a failure of leadership, no political process is possible. In fact, the political process can only begin when the terrorist regime is dismantled.

Second, it is said that waging war on Palestinian terror today will destabilize the region and cripple the imminent war against Saddam Hussein. This concern, my friends, is also misplaced. First, I must state clearly that the need to topple Saddam is paramount. I think the commitment of America and Britain to dismantle this terrorist dictatorship before it obtains atomic bombs, before it develops nuclear weapons, deserves the unconditional support of all sane governments and all sane people around the world.

But contrary to conventional wisdom, what has destabilized the region is not Israeli actions against Palestinian terror but rather the constant pressure exerted on Israel to show restraint. It is precisely the exceptional restraint shown by Israel for over a year and a half that has unwittingly emboldened its enemies and inadvertently increased the threat of a wider conflict. If Israeli restraint were to continue, the many thousands that are now clamoring for war in Arab capitols will turn into millions, and an unavoidable -- and an avoidable war will become inevitable. Half measures against terrorists will leave their grievances intact, fueled by the hope of future victory. Full measures may not redress these grievances, but it will convince them that the pursuit of terror will bring certain defeat.

America must now show that it will not heed the international call to stop Israel from exercising its right to self defense, for if the world begins to believe that America may deviate from its principles, then terrorist regimes that might have otherwise been deterred will not be deterred. Those that might have crumbled under the weight of American resolve, will not crumble. As a result, winning the war against terror will prove far more difficult, and perhaps impossible.

I must tell you that the charge that Israel, of all countries, is hindering the war against Saddam, is woefully unjust, because I think that my country, more than any other, has done more to make victory over Saddam possible. Twenty-one years ago, Prime Minister Menachem Begin sent the Israeli Air Force on a pre-dawn raid hundreds of miles away on one of the boldest military missions in our nation's history. When our pilots returned, we had successfully destroyed Sadaam's atomic bomb factory and crippled his capacity to build nuclear weapons. Israel was safer, and so was the world. But rather than thanking us for safeguarding freedom, the entire world condemned us. Ten years later, when American troops expelled Iraqis forces in the Gulf War, then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney expressed a debt of gratitude to Israel for the bold and determined action a decade earlier that had made victory possible.

Indeed, I am confident that in time those who would question Israel's actions now will understand that rooting out Palestinian terror today will also make Israel and the world safer tomorrow. And there is a reason why I am saying that. If we do not shut down the terror factories that Arafat is hosting -- those terror factories that are producing human bombs -- it is only a matter of time before suicide bombers will terrorize your cities here in America. If not destroyed, this madness will strike in your busses, in your supermarkets, in your pizza parlors, in your cafes. Eventually, it is not impossible that those human bombs will supplement their murderous force with suitcases equipped with devices of mass death that could make the horrors of September 11th seem pale by comparison.

Arafat pioneered the art of airline hijacking. It was used against us, and very quickly spread to the entire world. It took us 20 years to put this demon back in the box. If we do not shut down the human bomb terror factories that Arafat is pioneering today, they will surely as the light of day reach the United States with greater and greater devastating force.

This is why there is no alternative to winning this war without delay. No part of the terror network can be left intact, for if not fully eradicated, like the most malignant cancer, it will regroup and attack again, with even greater ferocity. Only by dismantling the entire terror network will we be assured a victory.

But to assure that this evil does not re-emerge a decade or two from now, we must not merely uproot terror but also plant the seeds of freedom. If we win against Arafat, as I know we will -- if you win against Saddam and Iraq -- what will prevent a new Saddam or a new Arafat from coming back 10 years or 20 years from now? It is important to understand that only under tyranny can a diseased, totalitarian mindset be widely cultivated. And this totalitarian mindset, which is essential for terrorists to suspend the normal rules that govern human beings´ conscious behavior -- the behavior that prevents them from committing grisly acts, from blowing up babies, or a bus full of innocent people -- you have to brainwash people systematically under a tyrannical system in order to get them to make these acts, these suicide acts.

Well, it is impossible to produce such a mindset in a climate of democracy and freedom, because the open debate and plurality of ideas that buttresses all genuine democracies and the respect for human rights and the sanctity of life that are the shared values of all free societies, these are, at the end of the day, the permanent antidote to the poison that the sponsors of terror seek to inject into the minds of their recruits. And that is why it is also imperative that once the terror regimes in the Middle East are swept away, the free world, led by America, must begin to build democracy in their place. This will not happen overnight, and these will not become western democracies overnight or ever.

But we simply can no longer afford to allow this region to remain cloistered by a fanatic militancy. We must let the winds of freedom and independence finally penetrate the one region in the world that clings to unreformed tyranny. I have thought many times about Israel's position in the world, having led Israel and having represented it in the forum of public opinion and leadership such as this one. I have to tell you, my friends, that I'm not surprised that in exercising our basic right to defend ourselves, Israel, my country, is condemned by Arab dictatorships. This is predictable.

That today it is condemned by Europe may not be predictable, but it is a difficult thought. Europe, which 60 years ago refused to lift a finger to save millions of Jews on whose soil they were annihilated, Israel is now turning -- or rather Europe is now turning its collective backs on a Jewish state that is trying to ward off mass killers with legitimate military action. I think this is downright shameful. But I have to admit that I didn't expect much better from any of these European governments.

Yet the America I know and have come to deeply respect has always been different. History has entrusted upon this nation the task of carrying the torch of freedom. And time and again, through both war and peace, America has carried that torch with courage and with honor, combining a might the world has never known with a sense of justice that no power in history has possessed.

I have come before you today to ask you to courageously continue to carry this torch with courage, with honor, by standing by an outpost of freedom that is resisting an unprecedented terrorist assault. I ask you to stand by Israel's side in its fight against Arafat's tyranny of terror, and thereby help defeat an evil that threatens all of us, that threatens all of mankind. And, knowing you, I'm sure that you will respond.

Thank you very much.

gretavo's picture

The Likudization of the World: The True Legacy of September 11

To be published on Friday, September 10, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
The Likudization of the World: The True Legacy of September 11
by Naomi Klein

Russian President Vladamir Putin is so fed up with being grilled over his handling of the Beslan catastrophe that he lashed out at foreign journalists on Monday. ?Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks,? he demanded, adding that, ?No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to child-killers.?

Mr. Putin is not a man who likes to be second guessed. Fortunately for him, there is still at least one place where he is shielded from all the critics: Israel. On Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warmly welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov for a meeting about strengthening ties in the fight against terror. ?Terror has no justification, and it is time for the free, decent, humanistic world to unite and fight this terrible epidemic,? Mr. Sharon said.

There is little to argue with there. The essence of terrorism is the deliberate targeting of innocents to further political goals. Any claims its perpetrators make to fighting for justice are morally bankrupt and lead directly to the barbarity of Beslan: a carefully laid plan to slaughter hundreds of children on their first day of school.

Yet sympathy alone does not explain the unqualified outpourings of solidarity for Russia coming from Israeli politicians this week. In addition to Mr. Sharon?s pronouncements, Israel?s Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom commented that the massacre showed that ?There is no difference between terror in Beersheba and terror in Beslan.? And the Associated Press quoted an unnamed Israeli official saying that Russians ?understand now that what they have is not a local terror problem but part of the global Islamic terror threat. The Russians may listen to our suggestions this time.?

The underlying message is unequivocal: Russia and Israel are engaged in the very same war, one not against Palestinians demanding their right to statehood, or against Chechens demanding their independence, but against ?the global Islamic terror threat.? Israel, as the elder-statesman, is claiming the right to set the rules of war. Unsurprisingly, the rules are the same ones Sharon uses against the Intifada in the occupied territories. His starting point is that Palestinians, though they may make political demands, are actually only interested in the annihilation of Israel. This goes beyond states? standard refusal to negotiate with terrorists ? it is a conviction rooted in an insistent pathologising, not just of extremists, but of the entire ?Arab mind?.

From this basic belief several others follow. First, all Israeli violence against Palestinians is an act of self-defence, necessary to the country?s very survival. Second, anyone who questions Israel?s absolute right to erase the enemy, is themselves an enemy. This applies to the United Nation, other world leaders, to journalists, to peaceniks. Putin has clearly been taking notes, but it?s not the first time Israel has played this mentoring role. Three years ago, on September 12, 2001, Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked how the previous day?s terror attacks in New York and Washington would affect relations between Israel and the United States. ?It's very good,? he said. ?Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.? The attack, Mr. Netanyahu explained, would ?strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive haemorrhaging of terror.? Common wisdom has it that after September 11, a new era of geo-politics was ushered in, defined by what is usually called ?the Bush Doctrine?: pre-emptive wars, attacks on ?terrorist infrastructure? (read: entire countries), an insistence that all the enemy understands is force. In fact it would be more accurate to call this rigid world-view ?The Likud Doctrine.? What happened on September 11 2001 is that the Likud Doctrine, previously targeted against Palestinians, was picked up by the most powerful nation on Earth and applied on a global scale. Call it the Likudization of the world, the real legacy of September 11. Let me be absolutely clear: by Likudization, I do not mean that key members of the Bush Administration are working for the interests of Israel at the expense of U.S. interests ? the increasingly popular ?dual loyalty? argument. What I mean is that on September 11, George W Bush went looking for a political philosophy to guide him in his new role as ?War President,? a job for which he was uniquely unqualified. He found that philosophy in the Likud Doctrine, conveniently handed to him ready-made by the ardent Likudniks already ensconced in the White House. No thinking required. In the three years since, the Bush White House has applied this imported logic with chilling consistency to its global ?war on terror? ? complete with the pathologising and medicalising of the ?Muslim mind?. It was the guiding philosophy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and may well extend to Iran and Syria. It?s not simply that Bush sees America?s role as protecting Israel from a hostile Arab world. It?s that he has cast the United States in the very same role in which Israel casts itself, facing the very same threat. In this narrative, the U.S. is fighting a never ending battle for its very survival against utterly irrational forces that seek nothing less than its total extermination.

And now the Likudization narrative has spread to Russia. In that same meeting with foreign journalists on Monday, The Guardian reports that President Putin ?made it clear he sees the drive for Chechen independence as the spearhead of a strategy by Chechen Islamists, helped by foreign fundamentalists, to undermine the whole of southern Russia and even stir up trouble among Muslim communities in other parts of the country. ?There are Muslims along the Volga, in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan...This is all about Russia's territorial integrity,? he said.? It used to be just Israel that was worried about being pushed into the sea.

There has indeed been a dramatic and dangerous rise in religious fundamentalism in the Muslim world. The problem is that under the Likud Doctrine, there is no space to ask why this is happening. We are not allowed to point out that fundamentalism breeds in failed states, where warfare has systematically targeted civilian infrastructure, allowing the mosques start taking responsibility for everything from education to garbage collection. It has happened in Gaza, in Grozny, in Sadr City. Mr. Sharon says terrorism is an epidemic that ?has no borders, no fences? but this is not the case. Everywhere in the world, terrorism thrives within the illegitimate borders of occupation and dictatorship; it festers behind ?security walls? put up by imperial powers; it crosses those borders and climbs over those fences to explode inside the countries responsible for, or complicit in, occupation and domination.

Ariel Sharon is not the commander in chief of the war on terror; that dubious honour stays with George Bush. But on the third year anniversary of September 11, he deserves to be recognized as this disastrous campaign?s spiritual/intellectual guru, a kind of trigger-happy Yoda for all the wannabe Luke Skywalkers out there, training for their epic battles in good vs. evil.

If we want to see the future of where the Likud Doctrine leads, we need only follow the guru home, to Israel ? a country paralyzed by fear, embracing pariah policies of extrajudicial assassination and illegal settlement, and in furious denial about the brutality it commits daily. It is a nation surrounded by enemies and desperate for friends, a category it narrowly defines as those who ask no questions, while generously offering the same moral amnesty in return. That glimpse at our collective future is the only lesson the world needs to learn from Ariel Sharon.

Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows.

Chris's picture

Not bad for a 9/11

Not bad for a 9/11 denier(Klein that is). Though its kind of ridiculous to reject out hand the idea that many in the Bush administration and US gov/military/intel structure in general have dual loyalties. Maybe she was just being facetious.

gretavo's picture

Israeli Video Blog Exposed as a Hoax

June 27, 2011, 6:52 pm

Israeli Video Blog Exposed as a Hoax

Updated | Tuesday | 9:23 a.m. A YouTube video featuring a man who presented himself as an American gay rights activist disillusioned with the latest Gaza flotilla campaign has been exposed as a hoax.

The man in the video, who introduced himself to viewers as Marc and claimed that the organizers of the latest flotilla of ships bound for Gaza had rejected his offer to mobilize a network of gay activists in support of their cause, was identified as Omer Gershon, a Tel Aviv actor involved in marketing, by the Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian Web site.

As my colleague Ethan Bronner explains, pro-Palestinian activists, including the prominent American author Alice Walker, are planning to sail a flotilla of small ships from European ports toward Gaza to protest Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Just hours after the supposedly homemade video was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Benjamin Doherty of the Electronic Intifada pointed out that it had suspiciously high production values — most obviously, lights and what is known as B-roll — and was attributed to an activist calling himself Marc Pax, who seemed to have no other online presence.

While it remains unclear who produced the video, and Mr. Gershon has not responded to a request for comment, bloggers were quick to point out that people in three different Israeli government offices promoted it on Twitter soon after it was posted online.

As the blogger Max Blumenthal reported on Friday, one of the first people to draw attention to the video was Guy Seemann, who is an intern in the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

The same day, the Israeli government’s press office advised its Twitter followers to watch the video and follow Mr. Seemann’s feed.

Be careful who you get in bed with! #LGBT #Human Rights Women’s rights #Hamas #Flotilla @guyseemannFri Jun 24 19:23:24 via CoTweet

Over the weekend, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also posted a link to the video on its official Twitter feed.

RT @DavidSaranga: VIDEO: Not equal not welcome #LGBT activists rejected by #flotilla2 organizers. #Gaza #terror #IsraelSun Jun 26 12:13:07 via SocialOomph

After the Electronic Intifada revealed that the man in the video was an actor, the Israeli press office deleted its original message from Twitter and posted a new one, apologizing for having promoted “an apparent hoax.” The press office added, “We were duped.”

A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister told The Lede: “Mr. Seemann is a 25-year-old who is interning in our office. His tweet was a mistake on his part. It was done without authorization and without approval. His mistake has been pointed out to him.” Mr. Seemann, who denied that he had had any role in the production of the video and said that it had been sent to him by “a friend,” has deleted his entire Twitter feed. He declined to put The Lede in touch with the friend who informed him about the video.

Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told The Lede that its Twitter feed was also edited to remove a link to the video after it was “revealed to be not a documentary but rather a mockumentary.”

The foreign ministry appears to have become aware of the video from a message posted on Twitter by David Saranga, a former diplomat who recently taught at Israel’s Asper Institute for New Media Diplomacy. According to the institute’s Web site, Mr. Saranga has worked with students learning to use ” traditional P.R. and marketing techniques to distribute this content around the world, along with more Web-based approaches such as guerrilla marketing.”

Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian-American founder of the Electronic Intifada, suggested on Twitter that the video hoax was not a prank but part of a public relations campaign to support the Israeli government’s naval blockade of Gaza by seeking to tarnish the Gaza flotilla activists as homophobic.

While there is no evidence of homophobia by the activists, and indeed some of the participants in the new flotilla are gay, the Israeli actor featured in the video has recently worked with a producer who appears to be opposed to the flotilla campaign. The actor, Omer Gershon — who is a minor celebrity in Tel Aviv — recently directed and appeared in this commercial for Puma, which was produced by Elad Magdasi. The commercial is currently featured on the home page of Mr. Magdasi’s YouTube channel, which also features a link to videos made by “a nonprofit Israel advocacy organization” called Stand With Us.

The Stand With Us YouTube channel currently features a new video that argues that Israel’s military “lawfully enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip,” which is necessary “to protect Israeli civilians from attacks by the terrorist organization Hamas.”

According to Stand With Us, the organization’s work “ensures that Israel’s side of the story is told.” Its YouTube channel also features a recent testimonial from Mr. Netanyahu, congratulating the organization “for marking another successful year of defending the truth.” Mr. Netanyahu told the group, “In creatively adapting to the online world, you are staying one step ahead of adversaries who are working day and night to delegitimize Israel.”

Update: Dina Kraft, a freelance journalist who has contributed to The Times, writes from Israel to point out that she has interviewed Omer Gershon in the past and tried to call him on Tuesday, but was unable to reach him. Ms. Kraft interviewed Mr. Gershon in September, 2009, as part of her research for this Times article about Tel Aviv. At the time, he was helping to run a popular nightclub in the city called Zippy Trippo.

In that article, Ms. Kraft pointed to Zippy Trippo as an example of “Tel Aviv’s ability to reinvent itself.” The underground club, she explained, had been just one year earlier, “a listening post for the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, dubbed by its workers as the Facility.”

Tampa, FL
June 27th, 2011
7:29 pm

It's called hasbara, Hebrew for propaganda. Israel is particularly skilled at it. Like when Israel claims its attack on the USS Liberty was an accident.

Alfred Noble
Geneva, Suisse
June 27th, 2011
7:29 pm

So hardline Islamics like Hamas are really in favor of Gay Rights?

So why do they and other Islamic countries execute Gays for the "crime" of homosexuality?

June 27th, 2011
7:43 pm

Why do you put quotations around “lawfully enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip” and “to protect Israeli civilians from attacks by the terrorist organization Hamas”? The naval blockade is fully consonant with international maritime law, this is well known. As for the video, is it certainly not inaccurate. So why the quotations? Has not Hamas and its associates launched rockets against Israeli civilians? Has not President Obama defended Israel's right to defend itself against these attacks? What is your issue with this? As for the inane YT video posted by the Tel Aviv actor/imbecile, who cares? The situation Israel finds itself in is bizarre, so we should not be surprised by the random bizareness that manifests itself on occasion. Israel is waging a difficult battle against hate, and doing so in a manner that is consonant with international law. Enough with your harping already.

Robert Mackey
Reporter, New York Times
June 27th, 2011
7:43 pm

The quotation marks are used to indicate that the text inside them is a quote - in this case, from the argument of the people who made the video.

Boston, MA
June 27th, 2011
7:43 pm

To the above commenter:

No, Hamas is not in favor of gay rights, but that's not the point. There are numerous Arab (including Palestinian) organizations that ARE fighting for gay rights, yet Israeli LGBT organizations often ignore them, preferring instead to simply claim Israel a "gay haven," often at the expense of Arab activists fighting for the same cause. Furthermore, while Israel does indeed have a superior track record than its neighbors when it comes to gay rights, its record of human rights when it comes to occupying Palestinian territory is abhorrent.

June 27th, 2011
7:44 pm

It is amazing how you can take one issue like the humanitarian needs of Gaza's civilans being impacted by a blockade, and if you yap more and more about something else (like the political beliefs of the government that is forcibly in control of its population), you'll get tons of people to completely forget what is being talked about and focus on the boogie man someone else whats you to see.

James S
June 27th, 2011
7:44 pm

#2: Yeah, I'm sure the Israeli right and orthodox Jews just love gays and lesbians, not that your statement has any relevance anyway when the issue is fabrication and misinformation.

June 27th, 2011
7:50 pm

Any post that uses the word "hasbara" was surely written by a propagandist. Wow, you almost know one word of Hebrew! Almost, that is.

Boston, MA
June 27th, 2011
9:12 pm

This hoax, following as it does an intensive campaign by the Israeli government to keep the world's press off the flotilla, makes one think that Israel might, in fact, have something to hide. Maybe keeping food, medical supplies, building supplies, and the raw materials of enterprise out of the hands of their poor, largely defenseless neighbor isn't quite the noble cause the Israelis would have us believe.

June 27th, 2011
9:12 pm

Someone has to explain how shooting on unarmed palestinian fishermen can be justified as a defense operation. These acts of state-sponsored piracy are well documented.

New York
June 27th, 2011
9:12 pm

This is not the first time that Israel uses the gay card; see this article in Haaretz:

Cambridge, Massachusetts
June 27th, 2011
9:13 pm

Israeli lies by all and any means to obscure the truth: the horror of the Israeli occupation and treatment of the Palestinians. This is usually the point where an Israeli or Jewish-American points out the situation in Libya or Syria or Saudi Arabia. Like that makes the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians any better or more acceptable. It doesn't.

New York, NY
June 27th, 2011
9:13 pm

It's almost like we shouldn't accept everything at face value.

Sherry Wolf
Brooklyn, NY
June 27th, 2011
9:14 pm

Kudos to Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal for exposing this, and so many other, outrageous attempts by Brand Israel to sell apartheid under the guise of defending progressive values. And for the record, many of the leading organizers of the flotilla are openly gay. The chutzpah doesn't stop there, check out "Jewish Queers for Hamas?!" at

new moniker
June 27th, 2011
9:14 pm

Gaza civilians are doing more than reasonable well compared to their Arab brothers in the Middle East. Americans who want to join the intifada are pitifully
naive as well as none too bright. Do they really believe that Israel will endanger their Nation in order to appease a writer or some newsmen or some such folk with unreasonable fantasies? Wake up and face reality for your own safety.

June 28th, 2011
7:28 am

Cant wait for the 'queer' HAMAS supporters to get married and celebrate their Honeymoons in beautiful downtown Gaza City or actually any part of 'liberated' Palestine. We know the Arab world has such a love and tolerance of disparate beliefs and cultures. This 'Israel-is-Apartheid' movement is the cause celebre of the month. Why not a flotilla to Northern Syria, oh peaceniks?

Mark Sherer
New York, Ny
June 28th, 2011
7:35 am

When the Union blockaded the Confederacy in the Civil War, was it a crime against humanity? It certainly caused civilian suffering in the South. Both Hamas and the Confederacy initiated wars, and believed deeply in their motivations for doing so; in their respective worldviews, the subsequent blockade felt like an injustice. The Confederate vision of justice, now outmoded, is similar to the "justice" envisioned by Hamas: racial slavery is not so different from the genocide of Jews, execution of gays and subjugation of women that Hamas openly espouses. And like the Confederate South, Hamas masks their racism with language about "liberty". Hard to believe that anyone still falls for this tired old charade, but there's Alice Walker, looking foolish.

June 28th, 2011
7:36 am

Someone else expressed what I was trying to put across, much better. Howard Jacobson, 2011 Man Booker prize award winner, on Alice Walker's participation in the coming flotilla specifically, and the flotilla more generally:

Flyover Land
June 28th, 2011
7:36 am

The flotilla and all those letters of support being carried to Gaza obviously constitute an existential threat against Israel. Why else would Hilary Clinton and the US State Department declare open season with regard to the Israeli military murdering US civilians aboard the flotilla?

Probably the same reason Americans have yet to get an honest investigation as to the barbarous attack upon the USS Liberty.

Colin Wright
Richmond, Ca
June 28th, 2011
7:37 am

Lol. That's pretty desperate.

Colin Wright
Richmond, Ca
June 28th, 2011
7:37 am

To Garak #1 'It's called hasbara, Hebrew for propaganda. Israel is particularly skilled at it...'

Oh I dunno about that. Going by this, they're certainly enthusiastic, but skilled?

This was pretty clumsy. An 'E' for effort?

Colin Wright
Richmond, Ca
June 28th, 2011
7:38 am

To avuyt6d #3 'Why do you put quotations around “lawfully enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip” and “to protect Israeli civilians from attacks by the terrorist organization Hamas”? The naval blockade is fully consonant with international maritime law, this is well known.'

Logically, it can't be well-known, since I and others don't know it. Note that Israel neither claims sovereignty over Gaza, nor recognizes it as an external belligerent.

This is a fine ambiguity that allows Israel to have her cake and eat it too in a number of respects -- but it does mean that she cannot legally blockade the territory. To do so, she could classify Hamas as an internal rebellion -- which imply that Gaza is indeed occupied and hence entitled to all the conditions an occupier is obligated to respect. Alternatively, she could state that she does NOT claim sovereignty over Gaza and that Hamas is an external belligerent. However, this would require treating Hamas fighters as enemy soldiers, avoiding war crimes, etc -- conditions Israel also prefers not to respect.

Fine 'n dandy -- but then she can't legally impose a blockade. Not without stating how she chooses to regard her enemy.

Aiken Peace
South Carolina
June 28th, 2011
7:48 am

Another Israeli hoax seems to be the website that purports to be a Gaza solidarity website, but instead disseminates pro-Israeli propaganda. It has been well advertised on the web... Google searches for Gaza, Haaretz's online page which indicates deep pockets... part of Israel's PR effort? Prolly. Israel's desperation to silence the challenge of the flotilla is only drawing more attention to what is frankly the immoral and racist ghettoization of a population of 1.5 million in Gaza. Why is the Israeli conscience turned off? Except for the few courageous Israelis who speak out, it seems the racism and demogoguery of blaming the other wins the day in Israel.

June 28th, 2011
7:49 am

"no Hamas doesnt respect gay rights, but thats not the point!"

really? I have never heard of any Arab or Palestinian gay rights group based in West Bank or Gaza. If there is such a thing, they would be underground, because supporting this cause publicly means a death sentence, especially in Gaza.

The only reason you see this 'activism' to run a legitimate naval blockade is because Israel is a soft target with free press and rule of law, and these useful idiots know they will be safe. But let them protest the grotesque and barbarian rule of Hamas, you will never see this, as this involves real personal danger.

This is a cause for cowards.

New York, NY
June 28th, 2011
7:49 am

I know from direct experience that much of the "news" we receive from Israel is biased in the extreme. Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East but treats its Arab residents almost the way Blacks were treated in the South prior to the 1960's. I wish that the U.S. would put the interests of most Americans first and stop blindly supporting Israel. The War Crimes Tribunal should prosecute the murderers from the earlier flotilla.

New York, NY
June 28th, 2011
7:52 am

I'm frankly appalled that the New York Times awards this story more coverage than it did the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar.

Robert Mackey
Reporter, New York Times
June 28th, 2011
7:52 am

That is not correct. If you look in the archive of this Web site, here, you will see that there were seven articles in The Times about those murders.

juandelacruz's picture

Reminds me of a Sibel

Reminds me of a Sibel Edmonds video with a high production value. It looked like a BBC documentary. Fake 911truther now a fake gay activist both using very similar tactics. Oddly enough, both protecting and promoting Israeli interests.