Know thy LEADER

The Sand Curtain by Yigal Alon

The first edition of Mr. Yigal Alon’s book The Sand Curtain dealing with Israeli military doctrine was published some ten years ago. The third edition, incorporating Mr. Alon’s analysis of the June War, was recently published.

In a long article in Haaretz on Jan. 17, 1969, Ze’ev Schiff, that newspaper’s well-informed military correspondent, analyses Mr. Alon’s doctrine.

The last paragraph of Mr. Schiff’s article is translated here:

We must state Mr. Alon’s position which is that we should, in the future as we have in the past, follow an active strategy rather than a passive defensive one. From one of Alon’s obscure statements one can learn what changes have been made in our geo-strategic position.

Alon argues that because of the enemy’s diminished ability to create faits-accomplis by surprise attack we could allow its land forces to initiate an attack in certain sectors.

From here the author goes on to describe four situations in which Israel would be justified in crossing the cease-fire line [of] today, even for a long period.

  1. To clamp down on terrorist activities, if there is no other way.
  2. To support certain allies in neighbouring countries.
  3. When threatened by a change in the status-quo of a neighbouring country.
  4. When there is an actual offensive, or an offensive concentration of forces.

Alon’s book excludes optimism. Time is not working against Israel, because it depends how time is used and exploited. All this is in relation to the Arabs. But what about the international scene? Mr. Alon’s book does not provide an answer to all questions and problems. But it is undoubtedly an important document and a ‘must’ for anyone attempting to understand Israel’s security policy and its military doctrine.


Know thy PEOPLE

On the anniversary of the Six Day War, young members of the Hashomer Hatzair (Mapam) Kibbutz Movement met in Kibbutz Ein Shemer to discuss two subjects: “One Year after the War” and “The Kibbutz in the eyes of the second generation”.

On 22.11.68. the Israeli daily Haaretz intended to publish an edited version of the discussion as a serial, but after the first part was published the serial was stopped at the request of Hashomer Hatzair. We have translated the following extracts of this text with the intention of presenting some significant sections of opinion among the young generation of the kibbutz population.

Back to Jewish tradition

‘…I confess and admit that after the war, after a year has passed, I keep thinking more and more about everything connected with Zionism, about the right of Zionism, about our relation to Judaism, and to tradition, about the whole question of nationalism. May I speak personally – Zionism was for me an automatic thing. We were born to Zionism, and Socialism and the Fraternity of Peoples. We were born into these slogans… Some of us were educated during a very dogmatic period, a period when beliefs were definite and absolute, and all of us were educated in this way without inquiring into it, verifying it or thinking about it at all.

The fact is that one absolute belief was shattered by the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. Out of this experience we reached an almost total hatred of whatever is happening in the Soviet Union. As far as Zionism, our vindication as Zionists and the rightness of this movement are concerned, my own questionings have in fact started during the year after the war.

We wanted to create a free Jewish people in the country, a people whose culture was to be original, different, one that would oppose the religious culture based on belief and on tradition. I think that we must concede failure in this, except in a very few areas. Today, it is a fact, that there is a slow but continuous return to the religious tradition in the Kibbutz movement…”

We are trampling on the justice of the Arabs

“… When I was in my third year of service, I worked in the banana plantations along with an Arab, an inhabitant of the Arab village of Khoreish. This Arab, who had lived in Jaljulia before this, did not stop saying that we were working on the lands that once belonged to him and to his family. Today, as I mentioned, the banana plantation of Kibbutz Horshim is there. This is but a single example, and many of us can add similar ones.

We cannot help being a free State and a free people and today, in our times, this is a necessity for us. Yet with every step that we take we are disappropriating the Arabs. I think they are absolutely right in their refusal to make peace until we leave the lands that were theirs. But since we have no choice we must establish an army and fight, and our generation will fight for many years. It has already fought for many years for our justice and there is no escaping from this path.

But we must understand that we are trampling on the rights of others. Therefore, to my mind, we are in a tragic situation from which there seems hardly any way out…”


To bring justice by force

“…One of the most difficult things for me to accept, a feeling that has been with me since the War, is that human beings have to enforce the acceptance of just causes through force, which is the only way the solution will come about. We must understand that we do not merely believe in justice, we know it to be the essence of our existence. But there is also the justice of the other side, and from this our pessimism emanates, for we know that it will be the strongest who will win.

Since the turn of the century, when Jewish colonization began here, the friction between the two peoples has continued, and its bitterness has not diminished. It is continually mounting: more blood is spilt all the time, and we cannot see any solution…”

Are we always right?

“…We are a generation of doubt and hesitation. We do not have anything left but contradictions and shattered beliefs. What is left for us to believe in? Once we believed, once we were cheated, now we are no longer a part of it. They will not be able to cheat us. I want to know and to understand where I am going and what I am fighting for. I refuse to be an eternal Isaac, clambering uncomprehendingly and unquestioningly up to the sacrificial table.

The moral of all human history is that one must doubt, hesitate, be unsure, question. Too many people thought they were right, and went to die and to kill others. Justice is a terrible weapon, and one must be careful when using it. The Fatah people are always being told lies to pull them into war. Are we always being told the truth? Is the enemy always wrong? Do we have the monopoly on Justice?

We have already heard how people were led to wars. Doesn’t this put a duty on us to inquire? Not to be so confident? Sometimes history turns around and refutes the holiest truths and the justifications that were once thought to be indubitable. There is only one injustice that cannot be put right, one cannot bring back the lives of all those young ones who have died in the wars…

We live with the feeling that our historical revival, and the beautiful and just life that we might be able to establish here, will be built upon an injustice done to another people. Will it be in this way that we shall educate our children to ideals and justice? Will this be the basis of our existence? To know that we, and maybe our sons as well, are going to fight, and perhaps to die for something which is built upon causing injustice? Then I ask myself: you have doubts, but why share them? Why weaken the hands of others? I do not have an answer to this either. Perhaps, secretly, other people too are faced with these problems; perhaps together, openly, we will be able to find the answer.


Know thy ARABS

Officials working in the Arab sector are following the first signs of political organization among Israeli Arabs with concern. Namely, attempts are being made to re-establish a body called “The Popular Front”, in existence until a few years ago, to serve as a cover for the various active and dormant nationalist currents among Israel’s Arabs. Now a new attempt is being made to create such an organization, since the El-Ard group was pronounced illegal about three years ago. That movement’s activists, some of whom were imprisoned for anti-Israeli subversive activity and many others of whom were put under house arrest or deported, have not stopped trying to propagate their views.

At present, restriction orders issued according to the 1945 Emergency Regulations and personally signed by the General commanding the area are used against the former El-Ard leaders. [All this, including the house arrests and deportations mentioned above, are administrative measures which are carried out without trial – translator’s note.] Thus, Mansur Kardush of Nazareth has to report daily at the police station to account for his movements that day, and is not permitted to leave his town of residence. The lawyer Sabri Jiryis of Haifa, who was El-Ard’s ideologist, is similarly required to report, by an order which will remain in force until January 1970.

A similir order is being used against the student Muhammed Abdul Me’ari of the village Makr in Western Gallilee near Karmiel, and others are also used against nationalist activists of RAKAH [the Israeli Communist Party – trans.].

Officials working in the Arab sector say that Arabs belonging to circles loyal to the State of Israel now refrain from appearing in public. In the past, the government bestowed various benefits and honours; now this is hardly ever done. It is also said that these circles are now frequently treated abusively.

One of the reasons for nationalist manifestations (painting slogans like “All of us are El-Fatah”, and establishing nationalist cells in sport clubs etc.) is the new contact between Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the territories, which has awakened the nationalistic feelings that lay dormant during the 20 years of Israel’s existence. At the same time the activity of loyalist Arabs has decreased.

The state of neglect which now prevails with regard to the Arab sector makes it necessary to take some important decisions, although that may mean that some officials will have to be redeployed. The earlier this is done, the better.

Haaretz, 1.2.69.

The Communist underground

The Communist Party, clandestinely active in the West Bank as a branch of the Jordanian Communist Party, is calling for the support of Arab terrorist organizations. The Jordanian Communist Party was not in favour of terrorist action until recently, and supported a political solution to the Middle East problem. However, they have now hardened their attitude.

Israeli circles interpret this change of line as additional support for anti-Israeli resistance in the East Bank. They find further evidence for their view in the increasing membership of Arab civilian organizations which are in fact resistance movements. They point to the improvement in the methods of resistance used by these organizations.

The Communist Party in the East Bank, although underground, is managing to publish a weekly policy statement. Until now this party had some connection with the New Communist Party in Israel. Its policy was to condemn terrorist activities. Some of its leaders, who have been banished from Israel, openly called for the condemnation of terrorist activities.

Lately this party has changed its line and is giving support to the terrorist organizations. In so doing it has severed its relations with the New Communist Party in Israel. The Communist party is the strongest organized political body in the East Bank. In recent months students and teachers have been giving greater support to an organization called Kaumyoun El Arab. In fact that organization pursues its activities in Arab student and teacher organizations, which will do anything they ask including the closing of their schools. One other recent organization, which acts as a tool for the terrorist organizations is the Organization for the Advancement of Women.

Wherever the Arabs of the West Bank enjoy full employment and a rising standard of living, terrorist activities have increased. Amelioration of their economic conditions therefore clearly brings with it a greater readiness on the part of the Arabs to support and help terrorist organizations.

Haaretz, 29.12.68.


Know thy ECONOMY

Many Israelis ask to establish firms in the Gaza Strip.

The Head of the civil authorities in the Gaza strip, Lieutenant Colonel Menahem Porat, has said that many Israeli investors have asked the authorities to allow them to establish industrial and tourist concerns in the Gaza strip and in Sinai.

He said that the requests came from knitting, shoe and tourist companies, and some others. The requests have now been dealt with and there is a possibility that some of the firms will be granted permission to do so.

Haaretz, 16.12.68

The cuts in the development budget for Judea and Samaria will hit the process of integration and coordination of the West Bank’s economy with that of Israel. The cuts will also cause a fall in the standard of living in the Administered Territories relative to that of Israel. This was confirmed by well-informed sources in the Defence Ministry and in the Committee of General Directors on the Administered Territories.

Last year the ordinary budget for the Territories was IL120 million, and the development budget was IL 16 million. Only IL60 million out of the ordinary budget was actually spent and the rest was frozen. The reason for the freezing was the policy of open bridges, which made it possible for money from Jordan to flow into the West Bank, and for workers to be employed in Israel. About 12,000 workers from the Territories are employed in Israel at an average wage of IL10 (approx. $3) per day, so that IL120,000 flows daily into the Territories as wages.

Haaretz, 3.1.69



Extracts from an article headed “The Economic Solution” by Shabtai Tevet

“It is true that it is pleasing to hear that Israelis have managed to capture the European market with their citrus fruit and other agricultural produce. However, as it behoved the French to capture the world market in wines and cheeses, because of their special culinary abilities, it behoves the Israelis to capture the world market in armaments since the Israelis are specialists in defence matters. This is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary we should turn our peculiar disadvantage to an economic advantage.

With the right kind of help and direction the armament industry can become the most resilient sector and provide a healthy basis for Israeli industry.”

Haaretz, 8.11.68.

50 Million Dollars will be raised for the development of the Occupied Areas

“A group of Israeli businessmen dedicated to the cause of a ‘whole Palestine’ are pledged to raise $50 million for industrial and tourist development in the Occupied Territories, in Sinai, the Golan Heights and especially in Judea and Samaria.

The intention is to form a company which, with the help of the government, will supply founding capital and loans to firms in these areas. Mr. Dan says that the idea occured to him immediately after the 6 day war. Some difficulties arose over its implementation due to undefined government policy in respect of these areas. ‘We could not tell investors to invest while the political attitude was not yet well defined’ says Mr. Dan. The intention is to issue 2,000 shares only; the value of each will be $8,000 or 25,000 IL. The shares will be sold both in Israel and abroad.”

Haaretz, 9.12.68.

Subsidies for investors in the occupied territories

“The meeting of leading Jewish Economists, which was held on the initiative of the prime minister, will end today. The meeting was held at the National Building in Jerusalem. On the agenda today, there are resolutions calling for the implementation of decisions taken by the congress and arrangements for a meeting to be held next year.

Senior government officials were present at yesterday’s discussions. Government officials answered questions posed by both home and other investors. Among other information they gave particulars about ways and means by which the Israeli government will help investors in the occupied territories. One of the things mentioned was cheaper prices for raw materials needed in the manufacture of plastics. The director of the Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. Golan, said that investors will benefit not only from cheaper interest rates on loans (9% on the first half of the loan) and government sureties in respect of security, but also from tax relief, as indicated in the law dealing with the encouragement of investments. The subsidies will be given only to investors who are not residents of the occupied territories, so that in a partnership with a local resident the subsidies will be given only to the Israeli or Foreign partner and not to the resident partner. The resident partner will pay taxes according to either the old Jordanian or the old Egyptian laws…”

Haaretz, 8.11.68.

Discontinue employment of workers from the strip

“The trade union council in Ashkelon demands that employment of hundreds of Arab workers from the Gaza strip in factories in Israel be stopped immediately. This demand comes after severe disorders were discovered in their working conditions, which, in the words of Mr. Uri Eliav, the trade union secretary, bordered on the scandalous.

Mr. Eliav, who visited two plants in the South over the weekend, discovered that the employers there had established far higher norms for the Arab workers than the normal ones.

Furthermore, he discovered that the employers do not pay the Arab workers any of the premiums to which they are entitled…”

Haaretz, 9.2.69.



Yakobi: Security Expenditure is high but develops the economy

“On the one hand national expenditure on security accounts for more than 20% of the national product but on the other hand this is a lever for the technological advance of the entire economy, and this has a direct influence on the ability to integrate immigrants from the developed countries. This view was put forward yesterday by Mr. Gad Yakobi when he appeared before the organization of university graduates. In his opinion it is now time to change the structure of the economy, for the selective development of industry, and for the advancement of workers.

Mr. Yakobi claimed that the increase in the deficit to more than IL700 million next year is worrying, given the current political situation. He called for adoption of “an economic policy which will reinforce the economy’s ability to withstand outside pressures”.

Haaretz, 10.1.69.

“Large Trade Deficit in the Occupied Territories”

Exports from the Occupied Territories to Jordan totaled IL54 million in 1968 and imports to the territories from Jordan in the same period reached only IL18 million – these facts were released in Jerusalem last Friday by the central office of statistics. In ’68 imports into Judea, Samaria, the Gaza strip and Sinai exceeded exports by IL150 million. These figures include the transactions between these areas and Israel, Jordan and other countries.

Imports into the Occupied Territories from Israel exceeded exports by IL163 million; imports from Jordan exceeded exports by IL63 million, and [in] the Occupied Territories’  trade with other countries imports exceeded exports by IL23 million. All in all imports to the Occupied Territories in 1968 totaled IL272 million. About 80% of all imports came from Israel, about 7% from Jordan and the remaining 13% came through Israel from overseas (including the supplies of the Refugee Relief Agency and other relief organizations).

Exports from Israel to the Occupied Territories are increasing. During the second half of 1967 goods to the value of IL47 million were transferred from Israel into the Occupied Territories, while exports from Israel in the first half of 1968 totaled IL96 million and in the second half of 1968 about IL120 million.

About 15% of the exports from Israel to the Occupied Territories are industrial products and of these about half are commercially produced food stuffs. Most of the trade brought into the Territories by way of the Jordan bridges are agricultural products (mostly livestock and grains).

Export from the Occupied Territories totaled IL123 million in 1968. About 45% of the exports crosses the Jordan bridges, 42% goes to Israel and the rest through Israeli ports overseas. Exports to Israel rose from IL7 million in the second half of 1967 to IL11 million in the first half of 1968 and to IL41 million in the second half of 1968. About two thirds of the exports to Israel consist of industrial produce, crafts and minerals. The rest is made up of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Most of the exports from the Territories overseas are citrus fruit from the Gaza strip. Exports via the Jordan bridges which began in July 1967 reached IL35 million in the second half of 1967, IL29 million in the first half of 1968 and IL25 million in the second half of 1968. Fresh farm produce (mostly fruit and vegetables) accounts for about half the exports to Jordan. Most of the industrial produce which crosses the Jordan bridges is prepared food products.

Haaretz, 2.2.69


Know thy ENEMY


[ISRAC(A) 1, next – and last – item: Jews & Arabs Demonstrate Against Occupation]