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Hidden Causes of the War

One in a series of publications by the "Thomas Jefferson" of Israel.
First posted 4 September, 2006. Also read The Myth of Israeli Democracy.

More articles are available via http://www.foundation1.org.


The Hidden Causes of the Lebanese War, the Government's Ineptitude, and What to Do About It

Prof. Paul Eidelberg 

The Basic and Hidden Cause of the War


    (Time in Jerusalem)

A. Introduction:

Former Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon has stated the obvious: Israel’s retreat from Gaza in the south incited Hezbollah to attack Israel in the north and therefore triggered the Lebanese War.  This touches only the surface of things.  We must ask: “What led to Israel’s retreat?              

  1. First item: recall that Labor’s policy of “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza was the paramount issue of the January 2003 election.  The parties that opposed this policy won 84 seats—70% of the Knesset’s 120-membership!  The Likud alone won 38 seats, while Labor won only 19—the lowest ever for that party.  Clearly, a vast majority of the public rejected Labor’s policy.

  2. Nevertheless, Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon adopted Labor’s policy!  He thus betrayed the will of the people unequivocally expressed in the January election.

  3. However, to implement Labor’s policy, the Knesset had to expel 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza, and this required the passage of an Evacuation Law.  But how could the Knesset pass such a law when (a) 84 MKs, including 38 Likudniks, had opposed disengagement, and (b) Israel’s highest military and intelligence officials had testified against disengagement before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee?

  4. Since Sharon had offered no rational defense of disengagement, he had to induce a sufficient number of Likud MKs to vote for the Evacuation Law.  This he could only do by means of political bribery, such as the plums of cabinet posts.  And so, 23 Likud MKs voted for the law.  Hardly any would have done so had they been individually elected by and accountable to the voters in constituency elections—the practice of all genuine democracies, many of which are smaller in size and population than Israel.  

  5. In Israel, however, the entire country constitutes a single electoral district in which parties with fixed lists of candidates compete for Knesset seats on the basis of Proportional Representation.  Since no incumbent has to face a rival candidate for his seat in the Knesset, MKs and those who become cabinet ministers can ignore public opinion with impunity.  This is exactly what the Sharon government did when it retreated from Gaza. 

  6. This perfidious act—which led to the ascendancy of Hamas—was sanctified by the Supreme Court, a self-perpetuating oligarchy that declared Gaza “belligerent occupied territory.”   This ruling, which actually violated the court’s own precedents as well as objective international law, is another hidden cause of the Lebanese War.

Conclusion:  Israel’s undemocratic system of government led to the Lebanese War.

Explanatory Note:  Israeli politicians, academics, and journalists refrain from revealing the true nature of this system because it would explode Israel’s reputation as a democracy which alone endows these elites with respectability.

B.  The Government’s Ineptitude

  1. To win what has been a protracted war, the government must accurately define the enemy.

    1. Hezbollah is not merely a guerilla organization; it’s a Shi’ite terrorist army.  A guerilla organization attacks and retreats; an army stands and resists the attacker.  Since Hezbollah was too well-entrenched to be defeated by air power, a ground invasion of appropriate magnitude was required near the outset at the war.  None took place.

    2. Hezbollah is a proxy of Iran.  But with 14 seats in Lebanon’s 128-member parliament and two cabinet posts, Hezbollah is also an integral part of the Lebanese government.  Contrary to the “Ceder Revolution,” however, Lebanon remains a Syrian puppet.  This is why Lebanon facilitated Hezbollah’s deployment of 13,000 missiles supplied primarily by Iran via Syria.  Lebanon is nonetheless responsible for Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack on Israel.    

  2. Hence, it may be argued that Israel should have declared war on Lebanon and bombed certain Syrian targets.  Failing to do so made it appear that Israel was merely fighting a terrorist organization.  Since Israel could hardly have attacked Iran, it was all the more crucial for the government to demolish Hezbollah as a fighting force.  This would have signaled a profound defeat of Iran, the leader of Islamic totalitarianism.

C.   The Ideological Dimension of the War 

  1. The war between Israel and its neighbors is a religious war and not merely a war over territory.  Yet no Israeli government has ever told the truth about its enemy.  The enemy is totalitarian Islam, an imperialistic creed whose object is world conquest. Since a large percentage of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims support Islam’s Jihadic agenda, Islam is more dangerous than Nazism and Soviet Communism. 

  2. No nation can win a war unless it believes in the justice of its cause.  A nation whose rulers are tainted by the doctrine of moral relativism is doomed to defeat.  This university-propagated doctrine infected Israel’s war college via the writings of its erstwhile director, Prof. Y. Harkabi, the mentor of Shimon Peres. No less than Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon were tainted by that doctrine, and both, like Harkabi and Peres, advocated a Palestinian state!  Therein is another hidden cause of Israel’s debacle in Lebanon.  That war would not have occurred were it not for the demoralizing influence of moral relativism on the mentality of two Israeli prime ministers: one responsible for the retreat from Lebanon, the other from Gaza.  And both, remember, pursued the immoral policy of self-restraint against the unmitigated evil of Arab terrorism.

  3. Having studied the Quran and fourteen centuries of Islamic history, eminent scholars have candidly referred to Islam as a totalitarian and barbaric religion, one that denies individual freedom and the sanctity of human life.  Armed with weapons of mass murder, Islam could conquer the world and enslave mankind.  This world, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. Sooner or later, it will become all one or all the other,

  4. Hence President George W. Bush is correct:  The U.S. must spread democracy to the Middle East, but it must not be the vulgar, secularized democracy of our time.  Israel could help in this endeavor if it became a Jewish constitutional democracy—the goal of the Yamin Israel party.

D.  The Need of Systemic Change

  1. Israel’s debacle in Lebanon hinders America’s war against Islamofascism.  Many Israelis demand the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.  Others demand some sort of national commission of inquiry.  Still others are calling for new elections.  However:

  1. If Olmert were to resign, Vice Premier Shimon Peres would step into his shoes and head a caretaker government—hardly a promising option. 

  2. Any national commission of inquiry would be a protracted affair and would leave Olmert and his cronies in power.   If the commission is chaired by Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, a cover-up would almost certainly follow since Barak’s ruling regarding Gaza is one of the hidden causes of the war.

  3. And new elections would only bring the same fools and scoundrels back to power.

  1. Clearly, Israel’s system of governance is a disaster.  Systemic change is absolutely necessary.  The Yamin Israel party proposes the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution based on a unique synthesis of Jewish and democratic principles.

a. To democratize the Executive branch, Israel’s inept, divisive, and corruption-infested system of multi-party cabinet government must be replaced by a presidential system.

b. To democratize the Legislature, its members must be individually elected by the voters in distinct constituencies (and legislators must be excluded from the cabinet).

c. To democratize the Judiciary, Supreme Court judges should be nominated by the President and confirmed by the legislature.

d. But to prevent Israel from becoming “a state of its citizens,” the Constitution must (1) enshrine Israel’s Jewish essence as a paramount law, and (2) incorporate the Knesset’s 1980 Foundations of Law Act such that Jewish ethics will be the primary basis of Israel’s legal system.

e. If an impartial commission of national inquiry is formed, Yamin Israel shall convey, in person if possible, the salient points of this document.

  1. We want to restore Jewish national pride.  We want to empower the Jewish people who have been repeatedly betrayed by their government.  We have designed a unique constitutional system of checks and balances that uses Jewish principles to make Israel more democratic, and democratic principles to make Israel more Jewish.

E.  War and Peace

  1. All but fools know that the policy of “land for peace” is a fraud.  Israel is at war with an implacable foe.   We need a government that will prepare our people for war.  This will require a wartime budget, a civil defense program, a war-winning strategy, and various economic and scientific programs designed to make Israel a self-reliant superpower.

  2. Israel must destroy the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority and its entire terrorist network.   We therefore advocate the annexation of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza; a Land Act to settle 250,000 Jews in these areas; and financial incentives to facilitate voluntary Arab emigration.

  3. Neither Israel nor the U.S. can tolerate a nuclear Iran.  Hence Israel must be prepared to launch a preemptive attack on Iran if the U.S. fails to do so.

  4. The time has come for Israel to set a military as well as moral example to mankind.

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