Introduction to the History of Israel
There is a statement attributed to David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of the State of Israel: “In Israel, a man who does not believe in miracles is an unrealistic person.”
There is no doubt that the modern history of the Jewish people is an amazing story that seems to have progressed against all odds and against all reasonable and logical scenarios.
What was the prospect of the Jewish people’s recovery after an 1800-year hibernation? What was the chance of getting out of the Auschwitz crematoriums and concentration camps?
What was the chance of facing the Arab-Islamic murder lust and the unwavering desire to destroy the tiny Jewish minority within the Islamic Ocean of the Middle East?
What was the likelihood of winning the wars countries with so much more favorably in manpower and natural resources? What was the chance of 600,000 people taking in a million refugees (Jews) into them?
What was the chance of establishing a free democratic society after a never-ending sequence of extermination attempts, first by the Germans and then by the Arab-Muslim?
What was the chance of establishing a prosperous industry within an economy that is in constant war and must invest a lot of resources only in maintaining its existence?
There were enough good reasons for the Zionist project to fail. A lot of reasons. But in practice it did not happen, the opposite did.
The article describes the modern history of the Jews and the State of Israel since its inception. Of course, it is not possible to review all events, nor is it possible to cover the selected events to a maximum extent, as the article is reviewed, but it is possible to draw a true picture of the state of Israel’s development and progress.
Note: This article is substantially different from many other articles written on the history of the State of Israel. An absolute majority of the existing articles examine the history of the State of Israel through the same paradigm and build the same narrative, which in many cases is simply not true.
For example, there is a complete disregard for the religious aspect of the conflict between Jews and Arabs. why? Because it does not serve the narrative of a peace process that was held and terminated because of “extremists on both sides”.
Another example: When examining the Oslo Accords, Arafat’s explicit (and recorded) statements are completely ignored, saying that the Oslo Accord for him is like the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, that is, an agreement intended to violate.
There are other examples but the principle is clear, there is a paradigm through which one examines the facts and builds the story in a way that fits the paradigm and not in a way that is as loyal to reality as it was.
This article strives for historical truth and presentation as it was, without any attempts to adapt the story so that it can be liked by the politically correct people
What is Zionism?
The Zionist movement was founded towards the end of the nineteenth century and its aim was to solve the Jewish problem in Europe through the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, in the Land of Israel.
Despite having a religious background, the movement was a secular force that believed that the Jewish people deserve their own nation in their ancestral homeland. Zionism represented Jewish longing for the land of Israel and the dream of returning to live a normal and independent life.
The Zionist movement was founded by Theodor Herzl in 1896. Herzl was an assimilated Jewish journalist from Austria who, following coverage of the Dreyfus trial in France, realized that even the assimilation of Jews in the society in which they live would not solve the problem of anti-Semitism.
Herzl became the forerunner of modern Jewish nationalism. Although he was not the first to lead the national Jewish awakening, he was the first to organize it politically. In 1987, the first Jewish Zionist Congress was held in Basel, and from there the Zionist movement continued to lead the Jewish people towards the establishment of the State of Israel.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the leadership of the Zionist Congress has been centered on general tasks of the Jewish people, but they have no part in the official leadership of the State of Israel.
1948 – The Establishment of Israel
In order to understand the picture of the territorial situation of the Land of Israel at the time of the establishment of the State of Israel, it is important to recognize several key milestones in Israel’s history in modern times.
When Zionism began, the land of Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire. In November 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued by British Foreign Minister Alfred James Balfour. The declaration recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national Jewish home in the territories of Israel.
Towards the end of the First World War, the land of Israel was conquered by the British and the government passed into their hands. In 1920, the San Remo Conference, an international conference of the victorious countries in World War I, convened and made decisions, some of which dealt with the Middle East and the division of responsibilities between Britain and France.
One of the decisions taken at the conference was the definition of the area designated for the future Jewish state. The area included Israel’s territory today, including Judea and Samaria, parts of the Golan Heights and eastern Jordan river bank (all of Jordan today).
The Conference also decided to include in the British Mandate the Balfour Declaration and to impose on Britain, as the Mandatory Power, the responsibility for the implementation of the Declaration. The decision on the transfer of the mandate stated: “The mandate holder will be responsible for fulfilling the statement issued by the British government on November 2, 1917, and accepted by the other consent governments, in favor of founding the” National Home “for the Jewish people in Israel.”
These were the first, legally valid international decisions in the context of the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Later, due to Arab violence, and Britain’s desire to please the Arabs, these decisions were arbitrarily trampled by Britain.
The United Kingdom has abandoned its historical and moral role and misappropriate it in the mandate it received on the land of Israel. Instead of helping build a national Jewish home in Israel, Britain did as much as it could to prevent it. Things peaked during the Holocaust when the British prevented Holocaust survivor Jews from coming to Israel.
Those who managed to arrive at the shores of Israel, on what the British called “illegal immigration”, forced to return to the Nazi prey and sent back to their deaths.
Thus, in 1948, the year of the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, the Jews numbered 600,000 and controlled a relatively small area within the land of Israel, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
In November 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel on the basis of a territorial division plan between Jews and Arabs, according to a plan proposed by a United Nations commission. According to the plan, the Jews received only 15,000 square kilometers, about 55% of the land of Israel, after the British had already cut 75% of it in favor of Jordan (from the area defined at the San Remo Conference).
In fact, according to the United Nations Partition Program, Jews received only 14% of the area promised to them at the San Remo conference in the first place.
There are 3 points that are very important to understand:
1. This is a ridiculously small area inside an Arab Islamic ocean in the middle east. The vast majority of Arabs who settled in the limited territory of Israel were immigrants from many countries from across the Middle East and Africa for livelihood, exactly according to the model seen in Islamic immigration to Europe in recent years. While the Arabs controlled more than 8 million square kilometers, Jews received a small area of New Jersey territory.
2. The territory the Jews received under the Partition Plan was militarily defensible. The area was divided into three different sections that were easily military-cut off. Moreover, the narrow strip of coastal plain given to the Jews was in its narrow 15-km-wide and completely geographically dominated by the mountainous territory of Judea and Samaria.
3. Judea and Samaria, the cradle of birth of the Jewish people, a parcel of land that is more identified than any other territory with the Jewish people, was given to the Arabs
In spite of all this, the Jews said yes to the partition plan and the Arabs answered in the negative. Even 15,000 square kilometers in an Islamic Arabian ocean were too many.
The Arabs were not in favor of this plan or any other plan. As far as Muslim Arabs were concerned, no Jewish settlement was acceptable to even on one acre. Jewish independence was in complete contrast to the Islamic view that Jews (like Christians or members of any religion other than Muslims) can live under Islamic patronage as Dhimmi.
Thus Jews have lived for many generations in Islamic countries. The Dhimmi class is a racist and discriminatory class designed to humiliate the “infidels”. This class included rules that set humble and inferior life for the Dimmis.
It is important to note that since then, the Arabs have not withdrawn from their position. Even when they signed peace agreements, they never regarded them as peace agreements designed to regulate normalization between Jews and Arabs, but as a stage on the way to fulfilling the strategic goal and the elimination of the Jewish entity.
Over time, practical changes have occurred in relations between the Arab states and the State of Israel, mainly as a result of the Iranian threat to the Sunni Arab states.
Arab- Israeli Conflict
Since this article concentrates on the modern history of Israel, we will only refer generally to the history that preceded the establishment of the State of Israel, in order to understand the context of the events that occurred after the establishment of the State.
The Israeli-Israeli conflict is the general title given to wars between Israel and the Arab states. The title represents the most fundamental mistake in the concept of conflict.
The mistake consists of two issues. The first issue is the use of a conflicting term which means a serious disagreement. The second issue is the terminology “Israel Arab”, which means a political conflict between two modern political entities.
The truth is completely different. What is commonly called an “Arab Israeli conflict” is an ancient historical confrontation between Islam and all that is not Islam. Islam dichotomizes the world: an area that is Muslim and an area that will be Muslim through war.
Islam does not view other religions as having equal rights and does not recognize its right to independent political expression in Islamic territory. Jews have more than 1400 years of history with Islam and these have not been good years.
The Jews have lived in one long and lasting humiliation when their lives depend on the good (or bad) will of their Muslim neighbors. They were allowed to live near Muslims according to a series of discriminating rules which made them protégés of the ruler.
Life under Islam governance and rules included pogroms and daily bullying, the kidnapping of women and children, forced Islam, special tax payments and more. Jews, as did Christians and any other religion, could never live as equals with Muslims.
Equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, i.e., heretics in terms of Islam, cannot exist. This is the root of the conflict between Muslims and all non-Muslims. In the 1990s, Professor Samuel Huntington published his book “Clash of Civilizations” and proved that Muslims are involved in a large majority of the world’s violent conflicts.
He coined the phrase: “The borders of Islam are drawn in blood.” It was before the “Arab Spring” that drowned Muslim Arabs in the Middle East, in a sea of blood and bereavement, before the rise of ISIS and Al Qaeda. The conflict – the “Arab – Israeli conflict” – is part of the ancient conflict between Islamic civilization and Judo-Christian civilization. The State of Israel is just one more individual case of the wider conflict.
From a geographical perspective, there aren’t many reasons for conflict between Israel and the Arab countries. The State of Israel dominates fragments of percentage (0.008%) of the total area of the Middle East. This is one tiny Jewish state compared to 56 Islamic countries, of which more than twenty Arab-Islamic countries.
There were countless offers, plans and opportunities to resolve this conflict but it never happened no matter what the proposal was. The Arab side did not move from its principled position not to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (e.g. no legitimacy for Jews to have their own country) and not to have normal relations with it, such as those that exist, for example, between the United States and Canada or between France and Italy.
Egypt, which has signed a peace agreement with Israel, has been preventing any form of normal relations between the countries for almost 40 years (since the agreement was signed). Of course, non-warfare is a significant achievement, as are the gas supply agreements from Israel to Egypt recently signed, but these are the only manifestations of the “peace” with Egypt.
In all other aspects, there is no relationship between Israel and Egypt, due to Egyptian policies. The same is true of Jordan. Despite long-standing security relations, and despite the fact that Jordan has no territorial claims from Israel, and although Israel provides Jordan with 50 million cubic meters of water each year, Jordan has signed a “peace” agreement with Israel but deliberately keeps it blank.
Both countries, Egypt and Jordan, regularly vote against the State of Israel in the international arena despite the “peace” agreements.
However, the heart of the conflict since Zionism began and the new Jewish settlement in the land of Israel was with the local Arabs, known as “Palestinian Arabs”. Palestine’s name was given to Israel by the Roman government about 1,850 years ago, during the war against the Jews and with a desire to erase the Jewish identity of the Land of Israel.
Since then, the name remains Palestine, but it never indicated any nationality because there was never a Palestinian nationality.
The terminology was essentially administrative and therefore all the Jews living in the Land of Israel held Palestinian certificates (from the Ottoman Empire or British empire that replaced them).
The Palestinian Arabs consisted of three groups: 1. local Arabs who lived in Israel. 2. Bedouin tribes 3. Arabs immigrants to Israel (started as soon as the Jews began to flourish in the wilderness and create many employment opportunities).
Arab immigration continued for decades and included migrants from dozens of countries across the Middle East and North Africa. A fantastic analysis of the history of the confrontation and the emigration of Arabs to Israel written by journalist Joan Peters: From time immemorial.
Arab terror against Jews began immediately with the expansion of the Jewish community in Israel during the nineteenth century. As explained earlier, terrorism did not begin due to any kind of occupation.
It began because of how Islam perceives itself. Muslim Arabs have always acted against Jews in the Land of Israel. Terrorism was a constant weapon in relation to Islam to Jews. However, the conflict intensified greatly with the intensification of the Jewish presence in Israel. For the longest time, there was so much conflict between Jews and Arabs resulting in many wars that we’re going to look at in detail. This started even long before the establishment of the Israeli state when the Muslim Arabs murdered the Jews – the Jews had to fight back.
The fact that Israel has been in a state of conflict with its neighbors since its very founding explains why most Jewish Israelis are drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces at the age of 18. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is among the world’s most intractable.
Landmarks in the modern history of Israel
The key points in the history of the State of Israel include a series of wars against the Arabs. Though the nature of wars has changed greatly since the War of Independence, the reason behind the wars: the desire of Muslim Arabs to destroy the State of Israel, never changed.
The wars, some are visible and some secret, never stopped. Israel’s war chapters can be divided into three chapters:
1. War against regular Arab armies
2. War on Arab terror
3. War against Iran
The war against regular armies ended in the early 1980s, during the First Lebanon War. This was the last time the IDF fought against a regular Arab army (the Syrian army). Among the reasons: the peace agreement with Egypt, the collapse of the Soviet Union, Israel’s great military advantage in both air and technological terms and geopolitical changes in the Middle East.
The was against Arab terror is the longest chapter, started long before the establishment of the State of Israel and continues to this day, led mainly by Palestinian Arabs and always characterized by unbridled barbaric murder and indiscriminate murder attempts, directed against men, women, children and the elderly.
The war against Iran began in the 1990s and focused on trying to achieve two things: preventing Iran from reaching a nuclear bomb and preventing Iranian expansion. This war is partly visible, secret and diplomatic. It operates in the Middle East, Israel, Iran and elsewhere in the world.
This is the list of wars since Israel was founded
- 1948 War of Independence
- 1956 Sinai War
- 1967 Six-Day War
- 1973 Yom Kippur War
- 1982 Lebanon War
- 1990-1991 Gulf War
- 2006 Second Lebanon War
Of course, apart from the war history, there is also political, economic, cultural, social and demographic history. In this article we will cover the main events.
Immigration of the Jews to Israel
Mass migration of thousands of Jews happened after independence in the 1950s. They came from Europe and the Arab lands to settle in the Jewish state. Although the migration started in 1948 and went on until 1951, the peak of the influx was 1950.
This altered the demographic landscape of Israeli society, influenced the rapid economic growth, and impacted the formation of new political frameworks. The first immigrants were largely survivors of the Holocaust.
Some were refugees coming from displaced person camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy while others came from British camps in Cyprus. After the influx of Jews from European countries, more Jews came into the new state from Muslim countries in Asia and Africa.
In 1948 and 1951, about 680,000 immigrants came to Israel. At that time there were about 650,000 Jews living in Israel when it was established as a state. The immigration led to a doubling of the population as well as an increases fertility rate which led to an increased population increase in the years ahead.
The high numbers may be attributed to some special operations put in place to bring over Jewish communities back to Israel, especially those perceived to be in danger such as those in Yemen and Iraq. The operations were dubbed “Operation Magic Carpet” and “Operation Ezra and Nehemia” respectively.
During the same period, the vast majority of Libyan Jews came into Israel. A considerable number of Jews also came in from Turkey, Iran and other North African countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.
Israel’s War of Independence (1947-1949)
Following the United Nations resolution in November 1947, David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister, declared the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.
The War of Independence began after the UN decision on the partition plan (1947), but the day after the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, regular armies of Arab states invaded Israel in an attempt to destroy the young State of Israel and destroy the Jewish community.
The Jewish army consisted of the three underground established in the 1920s and 1930s. The undergrounds that were established in the first place to protect the Jewish community from Arab terrorism also waged war against the British at various stages of their reign in Israel.
The three underground (mainly the Hagana, which was the largest underground of the three) made up the IDF – Israel Defense Forces. The IDF was fighting regular armies from the following countries: Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In addition to the regular armies, there have been irregular forces of the Holy War, Palestinian Arabs, and the Arab Liberation army. Volunteers from Pakistan, Sudan and the Muslim Brotherhood joined the Arab armies as well.
The IDF had close to 30,000 soldiers at the beginning of the war and a similar number of soldiers to the Arab forces. Later in the war, the IDF already had close to 120,000 soldiers and 64,000 soldiers to the Arabs.
Even though the Israeli troops were twice as many as that of the Arabs and had better training, the victory is sometimes interpreted as some sort of a miracle.
The price paid for the Jews’ victory was the killing of about 1% of their population. More than 6,000 Israelis died – most of them were Holocaust survivors and refugees. 15,000 people were wounded making this Israeli’s bloodiest and costliest war.
The main results of Independence War:
1. The Arabs failed in their plan to destroy the State of Israel and eliminate the Jewish settlement in Israel..
2. The State of Israel became an accomplished fact and hence it began to develop.
3. Nearly a million Arabs fled the territories of the Land of Israel, following their leaders call to evacuate the fighting areas in order to return as victors. Since their return to Israel is a demographic elimination of Israel, their return has been completely avoided until today.
4. The territories of the Jewish state have grown from 15,000 square kilometers to 20,770 square kilometers. Seemingly not a significant change, but in reality it is a dramatic change. The same narrow and impossible transitions between the three geographical areas intended for Jews, according to the partition plan, were eliminated and a logical sequence was created between the regions.
5. Judea and Samaria remained occupied by the Kingdom of Jordan, an artificial state established by the British, as a reward for Abdullah, the son of Hussein Ben Ali, who helped the British in their war in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
Abba Eban, one of the most famous Israeli diplomats of all time, called the new borders, “the borders of Auschwitz” (the German extermination camp in Poland) because of the constant threat posed by the Judea and Samaria Mountains to the center of the State of Israel on the coastal plain.
Most Jewish leaders assumed that Judea and Samaria constituted for the Arabs an uncontrollable temptation to try to invade Israel again and cut it in two, in the narrow region of the coastal plain, where only 15 kilometers separated the border and the sea.
6. East Jerusalem, which included the Old City and the holiest places for Jews, remained in the hands of the Jordanians. According to the best of Arabic tradition, for 19 years, until East Jerusalem was liberated by Israel during the Six-Day War (1967), any access by Jews to these places, for visiting or prayer, was denied.
During the time between the War of Independence and the war that followed in 1956, the Jewish community doubled and most of the young state’s resources were invested in absorbing close to a million Jews who immigrated to the State of Israel.
Most of the Jews who came from Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa were settled in the periphery under very difficult conditions. It was a period of austerity and food rationing.
In contrast, the one million Arabs who fled under the Arab leadership’s order, hoping to return after the destruction of the Jewish community, became trapped in refugee camps in Egypt (the Gaza Strip was then under Egyptian control), in Jordan (both within Judea and Samaria and ruled by Jordan as well as within Jordan), Syria and Lebanon.
The Arab states, which had vast resources of manpower, money (oil-derived) and territory, did not allow the Muslim Arab refugees, their own brothers and sisters, to naturalize within the Arab states in order to fuel the hatred of the confrontation between Islam and the Jewish people.
That is, while a small Jewish population less than one million people managed to absorb close to one million people, into a tiny country and in very poor means, refugee Muslim Arabs were thrown into their bitter fate and housed in harsh conditions unable to improve them.
This is how the Islamic world created a muggle wound that could not manage to heal and continues for a fifth generation. Even these days, the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, and Hamas organization in Gaza strip, continues to perpetuate the refugees, that could have long been resolved, as weapons against the State of Israel.
This abnormal situation created an absurd in which “refugee status” became a kind of national genetics. Father bequeaths to his children, who continue to bequeath to their children, and so on to fifth generation, the state of “refugee”.
It is worth noting that this phenomenon is nowhere else in the world. World War II left tens of millions of refugees and no one left after a few years. The idea that there are refugees from the Second World War will sound despicable to all minds.
One million Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab countries for fear of their lives, leaving behind billions of dollars worth of property, were rehabilitated in the State of Israel and none of their descendants was considered a refugee. Only in the Arab world, through UN support and European countries, can “refugee status” go from one generation to the next.
In order to intensify the problem, and in stark contrast to the story of the Arabs being permanent residents of the Land of Israel long before the Jews began to resettle, the United Nations defined the Palestinian Arab refugees as living in Israel between June 1946 and May 1948 (the beginning of the War of Independence).
That is, it was enough to live in Israel for two (!) years only to receive the refugee status and move it on for a fifth generation.
If the Arabs were indeed residents of the country for so many years, why did the United Nations and the Arabs need to define refugee status for those who have only lived for two years in the territories of Israel?
Suez Crisis of 1956- Sinai war
The War of Independence ended with a ceasefire. For the Arabs, it was a time to gather forces for the next confrontation that would allow them to realize their plan to destroy Israel.
However, between the wars, peace was not kept. Egypt operated terror units designed to wreak death and destruction within Israel. In addition, Egypt has made two other war moves: the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the blocking of the Straits of Tiran.
The Suez Canal is an artificial water canal that connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The canal was excavated by France in the second half of the nineteenth century. Later, Britain also became a stakeholder after Egypt sold its share of the trench (to repay debts).
The Suez Canal is of enormous strategic importance as it allows a maritime connection between East and South Asia and Europe, through the Mediterranean. It also shortens the road between those Asian countries and the United States east coast.
The Straits of Tiran are at the entrance to the Red Sea, in the Gulf of Eden, between Yemen (Asia) and Somalia (Africa). The Suez Canal cannot be reached without passing through the Straits of Tiran. The significance of blocking the Straits of Tiran is a complete naval blockade on Israel from its southern side and the blocking of the maritime link between East and South Asia and Europe.
These are two war actions that could not be left unanswered and that did come. France and the United Kingdom put pressure on Israel to initiate a war on Egypt in order to protect their interests. Israel, which was under attack by Arab terrorist gangs from Egypt and under its southern siege due to the blocking of the Straits of Tiran, also had an interest in removing Egypt’s war threat.
In a secretive pre-war conference, France, Britain and Israel agreed on the series of military moves and diplomats that would lead to the war’s opening and ending.
On October 29, Israel launched a series of military operations that led to the collapse of the Egyptian army in Sinai and the occupation of the peninsula by Israel. Britain and France joined the move in taking over the Suez Canal area.
The two major superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, were strongly opposed to the move and put heavy pressure on Israel, Britain and France to withdraw. The three had to withdraw. The United Nations made a decision that left the Suez Canal in Egypt’s hands.
Unlike Britain and France, which lost much of their international status following the war, Israel’s position has actually improved. In addition, Israel earned a few quiet years in the borders with Egypt and Jordan and the opening of the Straits of Tiran to a free cruise, on the United States’ guarantee.
In other words, the two main objectives for which Israel has gone to war: stop the terror attacks and the blocking of tyrants, have been achieved. Egypt, despite its military defeat, also benefited from the war. Its international position has improved and its leadership strengthened among Third World countries.
1967 Six-Day War
Eleven years have passed between the Sinai War and the Six-Day War, but as in the period between the War of Independence and the Sinai War, the Arab states have taken advantage of the period to continue war preparations or war actions on Israel to destroy it.
Some of the measures were carried out over the years and some were carried out in close proximity to the Six-Days war and were the grounds for the outbreak of the war:
- Syria, in contravention of international law, began work to divert Jordan’s waters that flattened it to prevent water from entering Israel.
- Establishment of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) terrorist organization whose entire purpose is the indiscriminate murder of Jews within the State of Israel, with the intention of leading the country’s demise. Later, the terrorist organization led by the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat will claim that the whole purpose is to establish a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria. In those days Judea and Samaria were held by Jordan and no request or demand was made for the establishment of a state in Judea and Samaria. The reason was simple, the Palestinian Arabs saw Jordan as their state and saw no need to ask for another state.
- Establish a joint command for the Arab states to strengthen their military force.
- The entry of Western Saudi and Iraqi military forces into Jordan, in order to increase its military force against Israel. Since Jordan ruled Judea and Samaria and had geographical control all over the center of the country, there was a concern that Jordan was planning to invade the coastal plain, in an area where Israel is no more than 15 kilometers wide, and cut the State of Israel in half.
- Repeated bombings, from the Golan Heights, by the Syrian army on villages and kibbutzim in northern Israel.
- Blocking the Straits of Tiran (maritime access to Israel from the south) and imposing a siege on Israel. Exactly the same move Nasser made before the Sinai war in 1956.
- The concentration of large military forces in the Sinai Peninsula and the deportation of UN forces there. Two actions that clearly indicated Egypt’s offensive intentions. This act forced Israel to mobilize many reserve forces, which led to the Israeli economy paralyzing.
The last two events that occurred in May 1967 put the State of Israel into a period called the “waiting period.” A military choking ring that is tightening around the State of Israel with a clear desire to eliminate it.
The diplomats’ attempts to open the Straits of Tiran failed. The State of Israel was less than twenty years old and many of its inhabitants were Holocaust survivors who survived the German inferno.
The feeling among the Jewish public was very harsh and many feared that the end of the State of Israel was approaching. On June 5, with no choice, the State of Israel went to war to remove the blockade and the threats of extermination.
Within hours the Egyptian and Syrian air forces were destroyed and during the six days of the war, Israel ruled the Middle East skies.
During the war, the State of Israel conquered the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and Judea and Samaria from Jordan. The highlight of the war was the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem, the abode of the most sacred places for the Jews, held by the Jordanians who prevented any access by Jews to these places.
It is hard to describe the intensity of the excitement and exhilaration that gripped the Jewish public in Israel.
The real fear of the Jewish community termination was replaced by a sense of euphoria and immense relief. Little Israel has expanded to the south, north and east. The country’s narrow waistline expanded, removing the threat of state slipping in two. Still a very small country but significantly bigger than before.
The Six-day war results
- The Arab world was shocked by the intensity of defeat, but nothing changed in the strategic will to bring the State of Israel to an end.
- At the summit of the Khartoum Conference in Sudan, three months after the war, the Arab states were determined about the following: neither for negotiations with Israel nor for recognition of Israel nor for peace with Israel.
- Israel began to control a large Arab population in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.
- The military threat was removed from the northern villages and Kibbutzim following the occupation of the Golan Heights.
- The start of recognition in the Arab world that they will not be able to militarily defeat the State of Israel.
- Only nine days after the war, Israel agreed to reclaim most of the territory occupied during the war in exchange for the peace treaties, but the Egyptians and Syrians responded, through the Americans, that they rejected the proposal. One more rejection out of many rejections that were before and continue after.
- Increasing political controversy in Israel. It was not an immediate result but it is one of the significant results of the Six-Day War.
- The beginning of Jewish settlement throughout Judea and Samaria in the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. The first settlement was established in 1967 near Jerusalem, instead of another Jewish settlement that was destroyed in the War of Independence. In the years that followed, many more settlements were added and the Jewish population increased significantly.
Between 1967 and 1973
Only days passed between Israel’s crushing military victory in the Six-Day War until the Egyptians re-launched a new war, but this time it was a war of a different nature.
The Egyptians called it a War of Attrition and so it was called in Israel. The purpose of the war that lasted until the late 1970s was to exhaust the State of Israel by the incessant bombardment of IDF posts on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal.
The shelling took the lives of IDF soldiers and Israel retaliated in Egyptian military action that led Egypt to pay a heavy price without achieving any significant results. Another front also opened in Jordan on the Palestinian Arab terrorist organization PLO.
For a long time, the Arabic-Palestinian terrorist organization, with the approval of Jordan, shelled civilian settlements within Israel’s territory. As in Egypt, Israel responded with the shelling of terrorist bases and operations within Jordan.
The war of attrition between Israel and Egypt ended without any achievement on either side. The war between Jordan and Israel ended with an event known as “Black September,” during which the King of Jordan, Hussein, massacred the Palestinian Arabs, killed thousands of them and expelled tens of thousands outside Jordan.
“Black September” was the end of the efforts of the Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, to make a coup in Jordan.
During the armed conflict, hundreds of Syrian tanks invaded Jordan’s territory and threatened to intervene in favor of Arafat. However, with US intervention, Israel provided military protection to Jordan’s rule and saved it from a military collapse.
Yom Kippur war – 1973
The Yom Kippur War is probably the greatest trauma experienced by the State of Israel in its years of existence. Since the Six-Day War, Israel has served with a sense of military superiority and thinking that the Arabs will not dare to go to war again with Israel, certainly not as long as the Israeli Air Force’s great air advantage is maintained.
In the days after the war, this atmosphere received the nickname: “the conception”. The “conception” was a symbol of fixed thinking that interpreted reality according to how it was perceived by the conception.
There were many explicit signs and evidence that a war was about to break out. The signs were within months of the outbreak of the war and even on the day of the war itself, but the “conception” was stronger than anything.
Even the explicit warning from Hussein King of Jordan to Golda Meir the Israeli prime minister, that a war was about to break out, during a secret meeting between them in Tel Aviv, failed to break the walls of the “conception.”
The war a huge surprise for the Israeli public. It broke out on the holiest day of the year for Jews, Yom Kippur. At two o’clock in the afternoon, when most of the citizens of the state were in synagogues or homes, the sound of the alarm alarmed all the settlements of the State of Israel and the immediate mobilization of reserve forces.
The war began with an attack on the south and north. In the south, the Egyptians launched a massive bombardment on a fortified outpost established by the State of Israel on the eastern side of the Suez Canal.
The bombing was accompanied by an invasion of Egyptian military forces into the Sinai Peninsula. To the north, the Syrians launched a massive land invasion into the Golan Heights.
If in the War of Independence and in the Six-Day War, the Arabs aspired to destroy Israel as an immediate goal of the war, during the Yom Kippur War, the main goal was to recapture the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.
The aspiration for the destruction of Israel did not go away, but the objectives of the war were adjusted to military reality. Unlike the Six-Day War, despite major pressures from Syria and Egypt, this time Jordan chose to stay out of the war picture and relied on sending two divisions to help Syrians on the north, but the long border between Jordan and Israel remained quiet throughout the war, allowing Israel to concentrate most of the war effort in the north and south.
The Yom Kippur War lasted a total of 19 days, which can be divided into three stages:
- Stopping the Arab attack
- Recovery and braking of Syrian and Egyptian lines of force
- Israel’s military victory
Stopping the Egyptian and Syrian forces phase rose to a heavy price for the State of Israel. The Israeli Air Force was severely damaged by anti-aircraft missiles supplied to Egypt by the Soviet Union. This hit led Israel, in the years after the war, to invest in technological solutions to counter the threat of missiles against aircraft.
In the first phase of the war, the United States pressured for a ceasefire, under bad conditions for Israel (after losing territory). Israel gave its consent and Egypt refused. Egypt’s refusal gave the signal for an ammunition air train from the United States to Israel and the turn of the war began.
From 1967 to 1973, the strategic relationship between the United States and the State of Israel began to form. The Middle East arena was another arena of confrontation between the two superpowers, while the Soviet Union provides massive support to the Arabs, the USA started during the pre-war years, supplying weapons to Israel, and this besides other collaborations in intelligence and technology.
Cooperation between the United States and Israel determined the outcome of the Yom Kippur War. On one of the heights of the war, the Soviet Union went into nuclear preparedness and placed armed missiles at the head of a nuclear explosive against Israel.
In response, Israel deployed nuclear missile batteries and the United States also entered nuclear preparedness, leading the USSR to remove the threat.
Still, at the end of the war, the Soviet Union lost its dominance in favor of the United States, following the decision of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to strengthen its relations with the United States, at the expense of its ties with the Soviet Union.
Despite the huge numerical advantage in manpower and ammunition, Israel managed to turn the bowl over and the ceasefire came into effect when the IDF is 101 kilometers from Cairo and much of the Egyptian army, captured by the IDF in the Sinai Peninsula and cut off from its supply lines, and in the north, Damascus in the IDF cannon range.
The results of Yom Kippur war:
- Although militarily the war ended with a clear Israeli victory, at the beginning of the war the Arabs had significant achievements, both militarily and morally. The Israeli public, confident of the IDF’s power to easily win any war, was deeply shocked.
- Despite the optimal opening conditions, the surprise, the huge numerical advantage, the absolute backing from the Soviet Union, the Arabs failed to get what they wanted, which is probably the decisive reason for abandoning the Great Wars. The Yom Kippur War was the last “traditional” war.
- The war resulted in the first peace agreement between the State of Israel and an Arab state. As explained earlier, this is not real peace, but also a cessation of war for more than forty years and political (limited) relations between Israel and Egypt are a breakthrough compared to what preceded it.
- Deep political and public shock in Israeli society, which was one of the causes of a historic political upheaval a few years later.
- Strengthening US Dominance in the Middle East, at the expense of the Soviet Union.
- Egypt saw the Yom Kippur War as a victory though, from a military point of view, the war ended with Israel’s military victory. As far as Egypt is concerned, the humiliation suffered following the defeat of the Six-Day War was erased.
- Strengthening relations between Israel and the United States.
The Arab-Palestinian terror against Israel
As mentioned earlier, in 1964, three years before the Six-Day War, when Judea and Samaria were still occupied by Jordan, the murderous terrorist organization PLO was founded and its leader was Yasser Arafat.
The PLO acted in Israel and abroad, against Israeli and Jewish targets, with no distinction between civilians or military targets. The terrorist activity included the bombing of Jewish communities from Jordan, terrorist incursions into the State of Israel, terrorist attacks inside airports, placing bombs, bombings and hijackings.
The events of the terror were characterized by great cruelty and unrestrained murder with the intention of bringing maximum casualties. And yet, within these, there were a number of events engraved in the collective memory of the State of Israel.
May 1970, Avivim school bus bombing – the Arab-Palestinian terrorists shoot at a child bus. Twelve people were murdered, of whom nine were children.
May 1972, a hijacking of a Belgian airline, Sabena. The plane arrived at Israel Airport (Ben Gurion) and was released one day by an IDF’s top units. Among the fighters who took part in the operation, Benjamin Netanyahu, later the Israeli prime minister.
May 1972, Massacre in the passenger hall of San Gurion Airport. The massacre was carried out by three Japanese terrorists who shot 24 people.
September 1972, the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The event took place in Munich during the Olympics and began as a hostage event. It continued with an unsuccessful rescue attempt by German forces and ended with the murder of athletes.
The Olympics went on as usual. Abu Mazen, the head of the Palestinian Authority for the last 12 years, was one of the organizers of the terror attack and the one who had to cover its financial cost.
Shortly after the murder of athletes in Munich, the Israeli government made a strategic decision to eliminate members of Black September. The story of the assassinations is documented in the following video.
June 1976, the most notorious terrorist act in Israel and one of the most famous in the world, the hijacking of a French aircraft by the French airline Air France. The plane was hijacked by a group of Arab-Palestinian and German terrorists and flown to Uganda.
After the kidnapping, the terrorists separated Jewish and non-Jewish passengers. The non-Jewish passengers were released. In Israel, a rescue operation was decided, despite the great distance between Israel and Uganda and the backing received by the terrorists from Idi Amin, the president of Uganda.
The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, approved the military operation and it got underway. Four Hercules flew to Entebbe, Uganda. On the Israeli side, four people were killed during the operation, three of the hostages and Rescue Force Commander, Yoni (Jonathan) Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother. On the way back to Israel, the planes will be lit in Nairobi, Kenya.
The operation was a huge success and symbol of the war on terror. The operation took its name, Jonathan Operation, in the name of Jonathan Netanyahu.
In the years following “Black September”, after Yasser Arafat’s terrorists were expelled from Jordan by King Hussein, they were based in southern Lebanon and again began to wreak terror against the State of Israel, through indiscriminate Katyusha rockets, targeting Israeli communities within the State of Israel.
1977 – The political upheaval
In the decades before the establishment of the State of Israel, the dominant political force in the Jewish community was the socialist left. It was a moderate Zionist left, with a clear political separation from its radical wing, which was rooted in Soviet Communism.
David Ben-Gurion, who headed the Socialist Left for many years, was the first prime minister of the State of Israel and the one who declared its establishment. The additional political power belonged to the right and was led by Menachem Begin since his days in the underground.
With the establishment of the state, a severe military event occurred that almost sparked a civil war. A ship loaded with weapons reached the shores of the State of Israel. In those days of statehood, the weapons were critical to building the military capability against the Arab armies.
Since the weapon on the ship was purchased by the underground affiliated with the right, Ben-Gurion refused to allow it to be unloaded at one of the ports along the coast, alleging that he feared the possibility of armed conflict between the IDF’s force and the underground, and therefore ordered the ship to be sunk.
His fears had no real basis and the events that followed later illustrated this well. When the ship arrived on the shores of Tel Aviv, a military force under the command of Yitzhak Rabin, fired on the ship and after being drowned, opened fire on the people who jumped off it and swam in the water. Menachem Begin then made a historic decision not to return fire and not to deteriorate the situation to civil war.
After the establishment of the State of Israel, the socialist left remained the dominant political power, although there were other political forces, the right-wing, the Zionist religious and the ultra-Orthodox, who were not Zionists.
For 29 years, the left has ruled in Israel, a rule without straits. That is, not just political rule in government and the Knesset (parliament), but absolute rule in all government institutions, the military, the judiciary, the economy, the media, the large scale industries.
For decades, the leftist rule has been directed at discrimination against those who were then considered “Second Israel,” that is, Israelis of Oriental origin (North Africa, Yemen, Iraq) and Israelis who belonged to the right-wing or to the extreme left.
The shock caused by the Yom Kippur War, and a social protest that took place in the early 1970s, along with rising popularity of right-wing mythological leader Menachem Begin, led to dramatic political upheaval in the 1977 elections and for the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel, the government has moved from the left to the right.
Social change was dramatic but far more limited than it was supposed to be. Instead of plowing through all the focal points of the State of Israel and looking for a new and fresh administration, Menachem Begin left the focal points of the government unchanged, thus leaving the Israeli left in control of all the mechanisms of government and preventing a fundamental and profound change in the state institutions of Israel. Years later, the size of the mistake will turn out.
Israel Egypt peace agreement
Since the declaration of independence of the State of Israel, Egypt and Syria have been the two most bitter enemies of the State of Israel. Both led a firm and uncompromising line in the war against Israel, both of which constituted the most significant military threat to the State of Israel.
The ongoing state of war against them required a large massive investment in, the military. Lebanon was not big enough to pose a threat.
Jordan, who fought in Israel in 1967 and sent two divisions to participate in the Syrian war effort in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, was not interested in war with Israel, either because of the fear of loss and the undermining of Jordanian rule and the proximity to the United States, which has been Israel’s ally since 1967. Other Arab states had no border with Israel, so they could not initiate a traditional-style war against Israel.
In Israel, the ruling party changed in 1977 and Menachem Begin, the new prime minister, which has been accused of decades of being a war mercenary, was determined to prove that he was not what his political rivals claimed.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who led Egypt into the Yom Kippur War (or the October War as it is known in Egypt), felt that he had regained Egypt’s dignity after the searing humiliation of the Six-Day War.
On November 9th, 1977, a historic event occurred when Anwar Sadat announced, during his speech to the Egyptian People’s Council, that he would be ready to visit the Knesset in Jerusalem to discuss a peace agreement.
The announcement was preceded by secret contacts between the states. Sadat’s statement caused an earthquake in the Arab world that it was not ready for. Ten days later, on November 19, Sadat came for a three-day visit to Israel. Sadat spoke in the Knesset, visited Yad Vashem and met with Menachem Begin several times.
Following the historic visit, the Camp David conference in September was held in the United States, under the patronage of United States President Jimmy Carter. As part of the agreement, Israel returned to Egypt the Sinai Peninsula in its entirety.
Israeli settlements established between 1967 and 1977 were destroyed by Israel. The agreement also included a reference to the Arab-Palestinian issue, future agreements with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and normalization between Israel and Egypt.
In fact, the main thing that happened was Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and the cessation of war between the two countries. In addition, the two countries set up embassies for each other and formed low-level business relationships.
However, Menachem Begin made a strategic mistake when he agreed to return Sinai to Egypt, without the Gaza Strip. Before 1967, the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt.
When the agreement was signed between Israel and Egypt, Anwar Sadat refused to have the Gaza Strip back at his disposal, probably with the same desire that caused Arab countries to turn the Arab-Palestinians who fled from Israel during the War of Independence, leaving a bleeding wound open that could continue to plague Israel and bleed its blood.
The Israeli public largely supported the agreement, however, in Egypt, there was great opposition to the agreement. Following the agreement, the Nobel Prize awarded to Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. Apart from the very limited relations, Egypt made sure not to normalize relations with the State of Israel.
Its leaders made sure not to visit the State of Israel, Egypt’s citizens were banned from visiting Israel and Egypt continued to work vigorously against the State of Israel in the international arena.
Today, there are good security relations, especially due to the Iranian-Shiite threat to Sunni Islam countries. After several infiltrations of terrorist squads from Sinai into Israel’s flank, Israel erected an electronic fence and barrier to make it more difficult to penetrate.
In addition, Israel and Egypt signed a deal, worth billions of dollars, to supply gas from Israel to Egypt. The Egyptian army is massively armed with no visible enemy. Egyptian military drills simulate Israel as an enemy. Egyptian television has incessant anti-Semitic incitement and the Book of Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a regular bestseller in Egypt.
Lebanon war of 1982
The first Lebanon war broke out in June 1982. The immediate cause of the war was the assassination of the Israeli ambassador to Britain by an Arab-Palestinian terrorist.
Lebanon, a country whose population is comprised of Christians, Druze, Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims, has also been welcomed by Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization after being expelled from Jordan.
Yasser Arafat’s ungratefulness to his hosts also continued in Lebanon, where he took part in the country’s civil war.
The Syrians, neighbors to the east of Lebanon, invaded Lebanon in 1975 to stop the fighting and gain access to the port of Beirut. The Arab terrorist organizations carried out countless acts of terrorism against Israel when, in the late 1970s, indiscriminate Katyusha firearms were launched in the northern cities of Israel.
All diplomatic and military attempts to stop the Palestinian terrorist attacks ended unsuccessfully and Israel did not have an effective military response against the missile fire at its cities, so there was no choice but a ground invasion of Lebanon.
The war lasted for about three months and was waged against Syrian forces and Arab-Palestinian terrorist organizations. During the war, there were several battles between the IDF armored brigades and the Syrian army.
However, the biggest military collision occurred in the Lebanese sky, in a battle that became famous as the largest air battle since World War II and the largest air battle ever in the era of jet aircraft.
The battle began when Israel launched an operation against the Syrian air missiles deployed by the Syrians in Lebanon, with the aim of threatening the Israeli Air Force. This time, in contrast to the Yom Kippur War, Israel arrived ready and the missile system destroyed. The Syrians launched dozens of fighter jets and at the time of the air battle, about 150 aircraft were in the air.
The battle ended with a landslide victory by the Israeli Air Force, the Syrians lost 47 aircraft while the Israeli Air Force did not lose even one aircraft.
Another military event, which occurred for the first time, was the use of combat helicopters against an armor corps.
In contrast to previous wars against regular armies, the main part of the Lebanon war was against guerrilla warfare. The members of the terrorist organizations were assimilated into the civilian population and used as a human shield, a practice that is still used today.
The motive, of course, is to cause civilian deaths from IDF soldiers who will have to fire at the sources of fire, harm innocent civilians, which will be resentful on the international scene (which exists only if civilian casualties caused by Israel) and lead to exerting political pressure to end the war.
IDF forces joined Christian forces in Lebanon, besieged Beirut, where most of the terrorist organizations concentrated, and eventually captured it.
Following an agreement reached and backed by international power, all members of the terrorist organizations from Beirut and Arafat were evacuated and re-established their headquarters, this time in Tunis, North Africa.
One of the significant events that occurred towards the end of the war was the massacre of Christian forces in Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila. For two days, Christian forces murdered hundreds of camp residents.
Many countries around the world considered Israel responsible for its military presence in the region, although Israel was not involved in any form of the event, which was part of the internal struggles within Lebanon.
The Israeli left has organized a large demonstration against the government and under pressure from the media, an inquiry committee has been formed whose conclusions led to Eric Sharon’s resignation as defense minister.
The results of First Lebanon war
- The Arab-Palestinian Terrorist Organization (PLO) was forced to leave Lebanon after the destruction of its infrastructure and loss in the war.
- The Syrian army suffered a severe military blow and remained deterred for many years.
- A southern Lebanese army was established, whose troops were Christian. This army has cooperated with the State of Israel and has been assisting it militarily for almost 20 years
- Founded by the Shiite terror organization, Hezbollah. A terrorist organization supported by the Iranian Ayatollah regime.
- The political controversy in Israel has been very extreme. It was the first war waged by a right-wing ruling party. Countless demonstrations were held in front of the homes of Menachem Begin, who was Prime Minister and Ariel Sharon, who was Defense Minister. The purpose of the demonstrations was to mentally break both, lead to their resignation and delegitimize right-wing rule. During one of the radical leftist’s demonstrations, a grenade was thrown at them and one of the protesters was murdered.
- Israel established a security band and remained in Lebanon until 2000. Over the years, the IDF has had to deal with Hizbullah guerrilla warfare.
The economic crisis in the early 1980’s
Menachem Begin rose to power in lower socioeconomic status voices in Israel. Aside from his desire to bring peace and prove that he was not a warmonger, Menachem Begin wanted to “improve people’s life” as he defined it.
Treasury ministers who served in his government and sought to implement a budget-cutting policy did not receive the necessary backing.
Only the fourth finance minister appointed took the approach he called “correct economics,” reducing tariffs and encouraging unprecedented consumerism, which led to an inflationary spike, culminating in hundreds of percent a year.
The crisis resolution began in 1984 after the establishment of a unity government and the implementation of a number of economic programs that included reducing the government budget, freezing wages, lowering the deficit, dismissing government workers, reducing subsidies and increasing aid from the United States.
The last program implemented was very successful, but the growth of the economy came a few years later, following the great immigration from the Soviet Union.
The First Intifada 1987
As stated earlier in the 1967 Six-Day War, the State of Israel conquered Judea and Samaria from Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. After the peace treaty was signed with Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula, but the Egyptians refused to accept the Gaza Strip, even though many of its inhabitants are of Egyptian origin.
From 1967 until the intifada broke out in 1987, Israel controlled the Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip by the army. Apart from East Jerusalem, which was annexed to Israel, these areas have never been subject to Israeli law since this means giving full rights, including voting rights. The Arab residents of East Jerusalem were granted full Israeli citizenship.
The IDF preferred to confront as little as possible with the residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and let them manage their lives as much as possible.
Almost anyone who wanted to, except for suspected terrorists, could obtain a work permit in Israel, which secured employment and economic growth.
Apart from working in Israel, many went out to work in the oil industry in the Persian Gulf, a trend that lasted until the First Gulf War in 1991, when Palestinian Arabs supported Saddam Hussein (who invaded and conquered Kuwait) and was punished by the Gulf states after the war.
In general, the standard of living of Palestinian Arabs has improved in every dimension since Israel began to control Judea and Samaria.
Here are some examples:
- In the Gaza Strip, the rate of employment in the Israeli economy rose sharply from 1970 to 1980 from 10% to 60%
- Life expectancy in Judea and Samaria increased by 12 years (56) from 1970 to 1990 (68). In the Gaza Strip, the change was even more dramatic: from 48 to 72. That is, within 20 life expectancy increased by 24 (!) Years.
- National GDP per capita increased from NIS 985 ($ 281) to NIS 3,392 ($ 968), which is almost 3.5 times
- Following the assumption of modern water infrastructure due to the construction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, water consumption per capita increased from 86 cubic meters per person per year, in 1967, to 110 cubic meters per person in 1993
The lives of Gaza and Judea and Samaria residents were run by a civilian administration on behalf of the military. The administration was responsible for all the civil aspects of the local residents.
Israeli military control was not an ideal rule for the Arabs and the alternative was not a democracy but on the other hand, it was certainly no worse than the Jordanian or Israeli rule, even better. The Israeli army did not interfere in the lives of the residents, and most of the military effort was directed at those who engaged in terrorism.
In addition, Israel encouraged the development of local Arab-Palestinian leadership, but it was clear that this was contrary to the Arab-Palestinian interest of the PLO.
In the years and months prior to the outbreak of the Intifada, a number of events occurred that affected the dynamics in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, leading to the outbreak of the uprising.
- In 1985, Israel released 1,150 terrorists in exchange for three IDF soldiers held captive. The terrorists returned to Gaza and Judea and Samaria and began to ferment the area, leading to further terror and escalation events in the atmosphere.
- In 1987, Shimon Peres, the Foreign Minister of Israel, signed with Hussein King Jordan, the London agreement, an agreement intended to allow Jordanian control of Judea and Samaria, disregarding the PLO and its status as the Palestinian Arab leadership (forced leadership – elections were never held).
- The refugee camps continued as an open wound to prevent the rehabilitation of Arab-Palestinian society. The refugee camps were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Conditions in the refugee camps were harsh. The sanitation is poor, the living space for a very small family, large density. Preserving the problem created a double “profit” for Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization. The first is a social abscess that cannot heal and serves as a place of constant agitation. The second is the preservation of the Palestinian Arabs’ claim in all negotiations with Israel: the right of return of the “refugees” to Israel. Because this is a second, third and fourth generation of people who were never really refugees but inherited the “status” and already numbered millions of people. Therefore, the claim meant nothing less than the elimination of the State of Israel without war, but only in a demographic way.
There were other tactical reasons, but as a rule, the continuous line of Arab-Islamic resistance to Jewish existence in the area was the basis of all confrontation and it was the one that defined the behavior of the Arab public in relation to Jews, always.
Thus, the uprising was part of that attempt to oppose Israel as a Jewish state, and not just opposition to Israel as a “conquering” state in Judea and Samaria or the Gaza Strip.
The events that took place until that year, and events that happened afterward, have proven this principle over and over again. In December 1987, a car accident occurred between a truck carrying a Jewish driver and two vehicles transporting workers from the “refugee camp” in Gaza.
Four workers were killed and that gave the signal to break out of the riot. Huge protests erupted all over the area. In the first phase, the demonstrations were spontaneous, violent and accompanied by stone-throwing and some even incendiary bottles.
Months later, the PLO took over the riots management. A year and a half after they began, they were characterized by the more widespread use of firearms and hand grenades though it was still relatively rare compared to what the future holds, because of the security control of the IDF in Gaza and Judea and Samaria,
In some of the official sources, it is customary to note that the official end of the Intifada ended in 1993 with the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Yasser Arafat terrorist organization, but in reality, the situation was completely different.
I write these things as a soldier who served for three years in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, from February 1987 (six months before the outbreak of the intifada) to February 1990.
The massive mass demonstrations ended quite quickly. From time to time there were demonstrations with dozens or hundreds of participants, accompanied by stone-throwing, and they mainly took place near “refugee” camps.
Most of the time the situation was quiet and the army that was present in the roads and in the main cities (and much less in the villages) did not need to exert almost any force in order to maintain the silence.
In Gaza, the situation was always tighter and more widespread than in Judea and Samaria.
First Intifada results
- Until the first intifada, the confrontation between Israel and the Arabs was seen mainly in the context of the great wars between Israel and the Arab states. The intifada was an isolated event, and not part of an overall war, so for the first time, the Palestinian-Arabs managed to bring themselves to the international consciousness independently, rather than as an adjunct to an overall war that is part of its secondary. The mass demonstrations and the use of stones gave them the position of the weak side fighting a strong military force trying to crush it and its rights.
- During the intifada, a government of unity was ruled in Israel between the two major parties: the Labor Party (left) and the Likud Party (right). The prime minister was Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, the defense minister, who led the harsh policy of the uprising. However, in the years that followed, the debate between the right and the left intensified even further, and a process of radicalization in the Labor Party began, a process whose results came to fruition in 1993.
- In mid-1988, King Hussein of Jordan decided to cut himself off from Judea and Samaria. Until those days, Hussein was seen as their international representative (due to his control of Judea and Samaria from 1948 to 1967). If until then it seemed to the left-center in Israel that the future solution to Judea and Samaria entailed an agreement with Jordan, now Jordan has stepped out of the equation and in its place, a murderous terrorist organization aimed at the destruction of the State of Israel.
Immigration from the Soviet Union
With the establishment of the State of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people, the Knesset passed the Law of Return. The Law of Return allowed every Jew to immigrate to Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship.
By law, every Jew who immigrates to Israel entitles to an immigration package to help him open a new and successful chapter in the State of Israel. Part of this help is a period of about six months of learning Hebrew.
In addition, the law also allowed those who are not Jewish according to Jewish law, to immigrate to Israel, that is, spouses of Jews, only whose father is a Jew but not the mother (according to Jewish law, a Jew is a son of a Jewish mother or who has converted).
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain on the Soviet Union and its metastases after World War II, freedom of movement has been abolished and hundreds of millions of civilians have become prisoners in their own country.
The Jews were no exception. On the contrary, anyone suspected of Zionist activity has been banned and thrown into Siberian prison or gulag.
In 1953, after Stalin’s death, Israeli-Soviet relations thawed and immigration was allowed to Israel, but only after a long, arduous and cumbersome process that could last for years, but the existence of the process did not guarantee a positive answer. A negative answer could come at any point.
The big victory of the Six-Day War ignited the sense of national pride among Soviet Jews and many wanted to immigrate to Israel. But besides the sense of pride and belonging, there were other good enough reasons that pushed out Soviet Jews: anti-Semitism, discrimination against Jews and a very difficult economic situation.
Many Jews applied to leave the Soviet Union. At the same time, very extensive activity by Jewish organizations around the world began to benefit the departure of Soviet Jews to Israel.
The Détente era, which marked the rapprochement of the Soviet Union and the United States, also contributed to the change. From 1969 to 1973, the Soviet Union allowed the bridle and began a large wave of Jewish immigration to the State of Israel.
163,000 Jews immigrated to the State of Israel in the 1970s, the vast majority at the beginning of the decade. The State of Israel has invested heavily in absorbing the Jews.
And like every Jew who comes to Israel, they were entitled to study Hebrew at the expense of the State of Israel for more than six months. Immigrants from the Soviet Union dispersed in cities across the country and their absorption was successful.
The Soviet Union’s departure window closed for ten years and reopened towards the end of the 1980s during Gorbachev’s reign. From that moment, the Soviet Union was opened and Jews were allowed to leave, even after the collapse of the empire.
Initially, nearly 200,000 Jews left for the United States until, at the request of Israel, the United States changed its immigration policy and the immigration wave was directed at the State of Israel. Germany was trying to attract a part of the immigration wave to recover the Jewish community that they annihilated 50 years earlier.
Despite good conditions competing with the generous conditions Israel recounted, the vast majority preferred to emigrate to the State of Israel.
The Arab-Palestinians who dreamed for many years that their victory over the Jews would come through demographics felt that the huge wave of immigration was devouring the cards and changing the demographic map in Israel.
They turned to the Russians in an attempt to stop the wave of immigration and, unsuccessfully, began to threaten the method they knew best: terrorist attacks against Jewish immigrants to Israel.
The State of Israel was well prepared to thwart terrorist threats and finally, no terrorist attack occurred. About a million people emigrated to the Soviet Union from Israel. The main features of the migration wave were:
- If in the first half of the 20th century, many Russian Jews were Zionist and oriented to the Jewish tradition (because of parents or family who were religious), then after more than seventy years of communism, not much of it remained. Most of the immigrants were very secular and almost completely detached from the Jewish tradition.
- Many of the immigrants were university graduates in various engineering, science and technological fields. Some have previously estimated the value of immigrant education at $ 20 billion.
- As is customary in Soviet cities, Jewish families were small and usually had one child.
Impact of immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel
It is difficult to overstate the importance of the dramatic influence that the immigration of the Soviet Union had to Israel. The impact was evident in many fields:
- Academia – A very large wave of academics came to Israel and increased the pool of experts, researchers and lecturers in the various fields of engineering, mathematics, physics, computers and chemistry. Because of the very strong orientation to academic studies, many new students of Russian, Ukrainian or one of the republics who were part of the Soviet Union joined.
- Industry – A large part of the engineering and technology professionals found their place in the industry and poured new blood into Israel’s technological industry, which was one of the reasons for Israel’s high-tech growth. In many technology companies, the percentage of Russian speakers reached 30%, much more than their relative weight in the general population.
- Politics – The Russian-speaking voters were, for the most part, allergic to the left and everything it represented, after experiencing its realization on their flesh. On the other hand, they were also unrelated to religion and tradition. If until then the central skeleton of right-wing voters consisted of Jews of European, Yemeni, Iraqi, North African origin who were mostly religious or traditional, Zionist and ultra-Orthodox, then the Russians created a new right, a right that is very patriotic but detached from tradition and religious argument about the State of Israel. The secular European Right existed even before, but some had a traditional orientation.
- Culture – Russian speakers have greatly strengthened the fields of music and dance. Many orchestras were filled with musicians. In every major city, they immersed themselves in music and teaching circles.
- Sports – The Soviet Union has greatly strengthened a number of sports such as wrestling, shooting, athletics, ground and art gymnastics. As with music, the older ones were integrated as coaches and instructors and the younger ones were integrated into all the areas mentioned and the trend only strengthened and took root in Israeli sports culture.
The Oslo Accords
Introduction to the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords are undoubtedly one of the major and worst landmarks in the history of the State of Israel. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were several events that greatly influenced the dynamics surrounding the Arab-Palestinian issue.
As previously written, the Yom Kippur War was the end of the major wars between the Arab-Sunni world and the State of Israel. The Arab-Palestinian problem was part of a much larger struggle.
The terrorist actions that took place in the 1970s, the Katyusha shooting in the 1980s, the first Lebanon war, which was essentially a war against Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization (despite the fighting against the Syrian army) and the first intifada, positioned this topic as the central issue between the Arab-Sunni world and Israel.
The impression was created, both from a practical and a declarative point of view, that if only this issue were resolved, peace would surely reside in the Middle East.
Many have lived and become addicted to the illusion that the source of all the problems in the Middle East is the incessant conflict between Israel and the Arabs.
The Israeli left has greatly contributed to the development of the illusion because of the left’s dominance of Israeli culture and media which was monotonous and represented the left way exclusively, except for small islands of semblance.
The proverb was: “Territories for peace.” That is, Israel will return “territories” and in return, will receive peace from the Arabs.
The slogan was very catchy and very false at the same time.
The term “territories” is intended to produce disorientation between the Jews and the geographical area whose real name is Judea and Samaria. “Territories” was a completely empty terminology and devoid of any relation to the land that was the birthplace of the Jewish people.
But that was the easier part. The tricky part was that no Palestinian Arab ever promised peace in exchange for the “territories.” After all, Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization was established in 1964 when Judea and Samaria were ruled by Jordan and the Gaza Strip was ruled by Egypt.
None of the Arab-Palestinian leaders sought to establish an independent state in the same land. Why?
Because an independent state in Judea and Samaria was never the goal. And yet, the catchy and simple slogan created a seemingly logical equation that gave a political horizon in a very complicated situation.
What was the option? keep fighting? How long? The question was always asked: “What’s your alternative”?
The right-wing answers were much longer, cumbersome and, most of all gave no hope. They pointed to a situation that seemed unsolvable at this point and could not offer any catchy slogan that would also be an outline for peace.
During the 1991 Gulf War, Arafat made a fatal mistake and supported Saddam Hussein. He supported him wholeheartedly, spoke in praise and proclaimed support for the Palestinian Arabs in Saddam Hussein.
The ungratefulness and bite the hand that fed him was Arafat’s second nature. The first nature was the murder. He did so with Jordan’s King Hussein when Hussein hosted him in Jordan, and he rewarded Hussein with planning a coup and overthrowing his regime, leading to the events of “Black September” and unprecedented massacre in the PLO terrorists.
He did so with Lebanon after they absorbed his organization in southern Lebanon. He took part in the civil war and murdered many Christians.
And so he did again with the Gulf states (including Kuwait occupied by Saddam Hussein and the others were under immediate threat) who supported many Arab -Palestinians who worked in the oil industry and financially supported his organization.
After the war, Arafat became an outcast man. A lowly terrorist who betrayed those who supported him as well. Politically, Arafat was already in the grave. Those who avoided covering the political body and ending its horrible path were the people of the Israeli left who made it their great hope for peace.
The lowly murderer who had tens of thousands of innocent blood on his hands, the man whose betrayal and ingratitude was his way, became the savior of the Israeli left, the one whose political hopes are concentrated.
Israel attitude to the Arab-Palestinian terror organization PLO
Until 1993, Arafat was the most heinous person in the State of Israel. There was a political consensus surrounding 80% of the Israeli public, at least. The barbaric acts of terrorism, the murder of children, the murder of athletes, the lack of moral inhibitions, together with unflattering appearance, have made him a disgusting personality for the Israeli public.
Apart from the Arab Knesset members, and a number of Knesset members who represented the radical left, the great majority opposed any negotiations with Yasser Arafat and his organization.
After the Gulf War, there was an incomprehensible synchronization between the sense of Israelis and the sense of the international community that sought to punish him for supporting Saddam Hussein.
The political map before Oslo records were signed
In June 1992, the Labor Party led by Yitzhak Rabin won the election. One of Rabin’s election promises before the elections was a commitment to an agreement with the Arab-Palestinians within six to nine months and not to negotiate with Arafat’s terrorist organization.
Rabin appointed Shimon Peres his mythical rival to the Foreign Minister but was determined to be the leader of the government. At Shimon Peres, he saw a subversive man who would not accept his authority and will go beneath him.
Rabin, loyal to both of his promises, has held several rounds of talks between a delegation from Israel and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, but no significant progress has been made.
According to testimony from one of Arafat’s close associates, Shimon Peres advised them on how to hamper the talks. At the same time as Rabin, Shimon Peres had a secret channel with Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization, without Rabin’s knowledge neither nor his approval.
When they got close to a draft agreement, Peres updated Rabin who instructed him to cease immediately but changed his mind afterward without clear reason.
From here began a process that has been going on for almost 30 years and the end is not in sight: The Zionist left in Israel has entered a state of withdrawal from positions that were its ideological basis. At each stage of the retreat, new red lines are defined, and not long afterward they break in and repeat.
Zionist leftist attitude to Judea and Samaria in the 1970s
Perhaps it is enough to say that the first settlements were established by the Labor Party. The establishment of settlements in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria and Gaza, was not a procedural fault.
The mainstream of the Israeli left saw no possibility of returning to the 1967 borderlines (the borderlines before the Six-Day War). Abba Eban, one of Israel’s greatest diplomats, put it precisely when he called the old border lines: “the Auschwitz lines”.
That is borderlines that lead to the destruction of the Jews. That is borderlines that lead to the destruction of the Jews.
The Zionist left has agreed on solutions that will be a compromise between maintaining a large portion of the territory by Israel, securing Israeli control over the territory, granting autonomy in part that will waive or some agreement with Jordan on how to control the territory (similar to the idea of the London agreement signed by Shimon Peres and the Jordan King).
The signing of the Oslo records
Yitzhak Rabin is among the hawkish stream of the Labor Party. His military past, which began even before the establishment of the state and became IDF chief of staff in the Six-Day War, earned him a “Mr. Security” aura. A person who will never give up the security of the state.
When Rabin saw the draft agreement, he claimed that it was “full of holes like “Swiss cheese”. But not only was Rabin opposed to the terrorist organization, but Jordan was also opposed, the United States was also opposed, and even the Palestinian Arab leadership in Judea and Samaria was opposed to negotiations with PLO representatives because it was a corrupted.
But Rabin broke away quickly from what was expected, his promises, his statements and the military reputation attributed to him. Despite his harsh criticism of Shimon Peres’ draft agreement, and despite being confronted by terrorists in suits, without his knowledge and contrary to his opinions and promises, Rabin folded very quickly and trained what he had disqualified shortly before.
After seeing the support of Israel in the United States and Jordan, they also withdrew their opposition. On August 20, 1993, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) secretly signed the agreement in Oslo. On September 13, a ceremony at the White House in Washington was attended by United States President Bill Clinton, Itzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
The main points of the first Oslo Accord
- Israel recognized the PLO as the exclusive representative of the Palestinian Arabs and pledged to repeal the law prohibiting contacts.
- The Palestinian Arabs pledged to repeal the Palestinian Charter calling for the destruction of Israel (did not happen), the abandonment of terrorism and violence and the domination of other terrorist organizations in Arab-Palestinian society, mainly Hamas and the prevention of terrorist activity on their part (the opposite happened as described below), ending the conflict peacefully ( The opposite happened), accept UN resolutions 242 and 338 (meaningless recognition that did not change anything), recognition of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security (this too was proven to be meaningless)
- Israel pledged to withdraw its military forces from the Gaza and Jericho population centers (which was in Judea and Samaria), the establishment of a Palestinian Authority, deliver of all civilian powers to the Palestinian Authority, the establishment of Arab-Palestinian police, execution of future withdrawals from Judea and Samaria without a clear deadline, within five years.
Expectations from the Oslo Accord
It is very important to understand that apart from a series of clauses and agreements, some of them very ambiguous, the agreement was not intended to exist on its own but was merely a first step in the way to a completely different destination.
For Israel, the agreement is intended to achieve peace, peace as between France and Switzerland, as between Germany and Austria, peace in the way that a normal person perceives and understands it. Normalization relations between countries, no war, no bloodshed, booming economic relations, political relations, tourism and everything that implies the word peace.
The Israeli architects of the accord worked hard to hide their true intentions. Since most of the Jewish public, including the left, saw another Arab state in Judea and Samaria, a disaster and strategic danger to the State of Israel, the architects of the agreement argued that there was no such intention and the agreement did not deal with it.
The media has become the resonant box for these messages and provided the most aggressive propaganda services while silencing or grinning each different voice, hiding relevant information that could shed other light on Yasser Arafat’s true intentions.
As far as the Arabs were concerned, the agreement was the first stage in the phased plan they decided on in 1974. The Oslo Accord is another station on the path to destroying Israel after the wars were unsuccessful, demographic hope at least foreseeable (because of the great wave of immigration from the USSR) and most importantly, Arafat was already a political corpse and unwanted personality in the West and Arab countries. The Oslo Accords were a lifeline that took him out of oblivion to the forefront of the world stage.
What is the Arab-Palestinian “Phased Plan”
In 1974, after the Yom Kippur War and after the separation of powers between Israel and Egypt, Syria was signed, The Palestinian National Council convened.
Apart from the usual decisions made: the denial of the right of the State of Israel, an Arab-Palestinian state to all of Israel, a right of return for millions of “refugees” to their original homes, one new resolution was added.
This decision stated that any move that would bring the Arabs closer to the ultimate goal (the elimination of the State of Israel) was a proper step. In other words, the victory does not have to come all at once but can come at different stages as each stage will help the Palestinian Arabs improve their positions and win them over to victory.
It was not a conspiracy of the opponents of the Oslo Accord but a fact that later received widespread confirmation. In a recorded speech of Arafat, broadcast to the Arab-Palestinian public, just 12 days before the signing of the Oslo Accord, Arafat said, among other things:
“It will be the basis for a Palestinian independent state, in accordance with the decision of the 1974 Palestinian National Council….
That is, Arafat clearly linked the Oslo Accord to the 1974 Palestinian National Council decision on the phased plan.
The Israeli media did not publish these statements and, moreover, gave them no place in the public debate. The question of whether Arafat, the ungrateful arch-terrorist who has already misled the Jordanians, the Lebanese and the Gulf states, also deceived Israel was not asked in the Israeli media.
When things became public in the international media and when questions were raised about the seriousness of his intentions, the one answer that was repeatedly said was that everything Arafat says and does for political needs in order to persuade his people to support the agreement.
No one bothered to ask (or explain) why to persuade his people to support a peace agreement with Israel should he tell them that this is a plan to destroy Israel? Isn’t that supposed to be the opposite?
The main points of the Second Oslo Accord
Two years later, in September 1995, the Oslo Agreement was signed. This agreement transferred the power and authority to the Palestinian-Arabs in all their cities and 450 villages in Judea and Samaria.
That is, 90% of Palestinian-Arabs have moved to live under their own rule of the Palestinian Authority.
Furthermore, the area was divided into three different areas, A, B and C. Areas A in civilian and security responsibility of the Palestinian Authority, Areas B in Arab-Palestinian civilian and military responsibility of Israel and C areas in Israeli civilian and military responsibility.
This too was another station on the way to the final destination. For the architects of the agreement in Israel, the ultimate goal was peace after the establishment of another Arab state in Judea and Samaria and Gaza (two geographically separate units planned to connect on Ex Territorial Road that will cross Israel). For the Arab-Palestinians led by the target, Arafat was the end of the State of Israel.
What Yasser Arafat thought about Oslo accords?
Arafat was a despicable man but not a fool. He understood very well the mental bondage of the Israelis who signed the first agreement with him. He understood very well that they had tied their political destiny to the agreement and trapped themselves in a way that would not allow them a way back.
Only then can the content of some of his public speeches be explained in 1995, before the signing of the Second Oslo Agreement, which was far more substantial and broad than the first.
During his speeches in Arabic, Arafat repeatedly stated to his hearers that the Oslo Accord was like a Treaty of Hudaybiyyah signed by Muhammad with the Quraysh Jews who were the dominant force in the city of Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula.
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was an agreement signed in Hudaybiyyah, a cease-fire between Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe for ten years. The agreement prevented the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that year and allowed them to make pilgrimages in subsequent years, and to stay in the city for three days during the pilgrimage.
At the time of signing the agreement, Mohammed had only 1,400 fighters. Immediately after the agreement was signed, he went to fight with the Jews of Khaybar and defeated them since the Quraysh Jews of Mecca could not come to their aid (due to the agreement with Mohammed).
Two years after signing the agreement with Mecca Jews, Mohammed already had ten thousand fighters available. He canceled the agreement and conquered Mecca. Thus, a Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with the Jewish Quraysh tribe in Mecca, became an Islamic symbol that allows the signing of false contracts intended to violate the moment Muslims have more power.
Arafat repeatedly re-used the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, while speaking in Arabic to an Arab audience well-versed in understanding the symbolism and the meaning of the story.
The message was clear: the Oslo Accord is a lie that will allow Arab-Palestinian Muslims to strengthen and then conquer Israel, just as Muhammad did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.
Arafat knew he could say it over and over while Shimon Peres defended him, saying that things were being said for “internal politics” and the rest of the left were ignoring or pretending not to hear their new ally stating that the agreement was intended to violate.
The results of the second Oslo accord
The Oslo Accords were an illusion for their supporters in Israel. A peace drug that puts them in a state of mind that is between escapism and delusion.
There was not even one incident that could have an effect on their faith. There were people who changed their political views but as a political group, the Israeli left became more and more radical as time went on.
The Left Party’s reference to the Oslo Accords resembled a gambler’s behavior entering the casino and certain that any additional gamble would be the one to give him the final win and get him out of the mud in which he sinks.
The terrorist Arafat did not give the agreements even a short grace period. In a short time, what happened when he arrived in Jordan and when he arrived in Lebanon, occurred in Israel, the terror began to lift.
Terrorist events have always occurred in Israel, and one of the reasons for Yitzhak Rabin’s victory in the 1992 elections was an ongoing campaign about the poor security situation and the inability of the right-wing government to respond to it.
The reference then was to a number of stabbing events by Arabs. Not long after that time, it looked like a paradise in relation to the reality created by the introduction of mega-terrorist with an armed army into the heart of the country.
The terrorist front expanded and initially it was the Islamist terrorist organization, Hamas, which carried out most of the terrorist activities, which allowed Arafat to pretend that it was not linked to terrorism by Hamas, even though the agreements explicitly promised to prevent any terrorist activity (based on this he was allowed to bring tens of thousands of his people into Gaza stripe, Judea and Samaria).
Arafat’s pretense allowed the architects of the agreement and its supporters in Israel to pretend that Arafat is a moderate supporter of peace fighting with them in Hamas extremists.
This dichotomous division between “moderates” who are leftist and terrorist Arafat and his successors afterward, and between “extremists” who are Hamas and opponents of the agreement in Israel, continues to this day.
It was a false and wicked division, but it certainly worked internationally. Like the other slogans of the left, it simplified reality, rationalized unrestrained Arab terrorism and created an illusion as if peace was at hand, between Israelis and moderate Arabs and only the “extremists on both sides” interrupted the agreement.
Thus, the lefty wing rehabilitates Arafat and his terrorist organization responsible for the murder of many hundreds of Jews, while at the same time, opponents of the agreement in Israel became equal in weight to the Hamas murderers who sent suicide bombers into buses, restaurants, hotels, cafes, clubs, to murder as many Jews as possible.
The Israeli media acted like Pravda in the Soviet Union. Unanimity, the silence of any other opinion and endless propaganda for the agreement. 99% of commentators, journalists, reporters, news and newspaper editors voiced the same opinion in support of the agreement day and night and tried hard to present a narrative that would serve the agreement, even if the narrative’s presentation involved lying or concealing the truth about Yasser Arafat’s involvement in the terror campaign.
- A fundamental change in Judea and Samaria. Israel has abandoned its security at the hands of a terror organization in the hope that it will do the security work instead of Israel. This perception collapsed completely and years later led to a war and a renewed conquest of all Arab cities and security control in all of Judea and Samaria.
- Increasing terrorism. Naturally, Arab-Palestinian terrorism received a huge boost. The addition of tens of thousands of people, a large amount of ammunition, grip on the ground, and very close proximity to Israeli communities, incessant Israeli forgiveness for preventing the collapse of the agreement, closing eyes on Israel and subsequently the United States and other countries.
- Great radicalization in the political debate in Israel. Yitzhak Rabin blatantly disparaged a huge part of the Jewish public. He had a lot of arrogant derisive statements to anyone who identified as right. One of the highlights was comparing right-wingers to the Hamas Islamic terrorist. Public outrage has been increasing as terrorism intensifies. Demonstrations took place across the country. The protests have hardly been surveyed in the Israeli media which will exert any effort to hide or lower the resistance, which has caused even greater outrage.
- The beginning of a major political retreat in the status of the State of Israel. When the Memorandum of Understanding and the First Oslo Accord was signed, one of the main arguments of the proponents of the agreement was that a reversible agreement and any material breach of the agreement would legitimize Israel to recapture Judea and Samaria, dismantle the Palestinian Authority and return the situation back to the opening point prior to the signing. Practically, the reality created was irreversible. Once Israel signed agreements, internationally sponsored by the United States and European countries, it was impossible to step back and cancel the agreement. As terrorism intensified, Israel had to respond more strongly. Israel’s reactions have led it to a constant confrontation with the international community and to constant erosion of its political status.
- Organized incitement against Israel jumped several steps. The Palestinian Authority has acted against the State of Israel through incessant anti-Semitic incitement in the media under its control, incitement against the State of Israel, glorifying terrorists through the media, street banners, reading street names for murderers of women and children, etc. …
Yitzhak Rabin assassination
The political debate in Israel knew quite a few lows. Two of the violent lows were before the founding of the state and during its founding. A period called the Saison, during which the members of the Hagana paramilitary organization (left-wing oriented) chased the other smaller paramilitary organization members (right-wing oriented), took physical violence against them and extradited them to the British.
The most serious incident was the Altalena affair and the killing of 16 members of the paramilitary Irgun organization by force under the command of Yitzhak Rabin.
Menachem Begin’s historic decision not to be drawn into a civil war has drawn a line of non-violence in Israeli politics. In all the years of Israel’s existence, there has been no violence against Knesset members and leaders, and no matter how difficult the political debate, violence is out of bounds.
Political assassination seemed like an event that could happen in countries everywhere but not in Israel. The rise in terror in Israel, the hermetic control of the left in the media, Rabin’s disrespectful disrespect to the right-wingers and criticism directed against them, the religious clinging to an agreement with Arafat despite its disastrous consequences, have created a public pressure pot in Israel.
After the murder, one of the rabbis claimed to hear about other rabbis who issued a “Din Rodef” to Rabin which means in Jewish law, a person who deliberately causes the danger of Jews and therefore the public has a permit to kill him. Proof of these things has never been presented and no one has been prosecuted.
Countless demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, cities, roadblocks. The protests were very tumultuous. Signs with pictures of Rabin with coercion, or with the caption of “Traitor Rabin” were prevalent.
The demonstrations organized by non-parliamentarians organizations and right-wing politicians were invited to address them from time to time.
In 1993, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected to head the Likud and naturally, as the leader of the big party on the right, was one of the prominent speakers against Yitzhak Rabin and the agreement. In his political speeches, Benjamin Netanyahu never exceeded legitimate criticism, even if it was very poignant.
In one of the most turbulent rallies of the time, a demonstration in Zion Square in Jerusalem, speakers at the rally stood on the balcony overlooking the crowd of demonstrators. The crowd shouted with a shout: “Rabin traitor.”
Netanyahu tried in vain to silence the audience and prevent the calls “Rabin traitor”, but without success. One of those in the audience swung a photo of Yitzhak Rabin in SS uniform, the picture was A4 page size and clearly there was no chance for Netanyahu or any of the right-wingers standing on a balcony in front of thousands of people, to see the small picture, and yet, Benjamin Netanyahu was retrospectively accused of inciting Rabin, and in every article about those days, this picture was brought as proof of Bibi’s incitement.
It later turned out that the photo was circulated by an extreme right man, Avishai Raviv, who was an GSS (General Security Services) agent and operated by them.
The purpose of the GSS agent was to produce provocations on what to achieve two goals: first, to act as a fly trap. Extreme statements will be drawn to him by extremist and dangerous people who will be monitored by the Security Service. It didn’t really work.
I personally met him during a demonstration in the ancient Jericho synagogue “Peace on Israel”. We were a group of several dozen people who came to stay in the ancient synagogue compound for Friday-Saturday.
The GSS agent, Avishay Raviv, arrived with three other companies and immediately tried to provoke violence against Arabs in Jericho. None of our team joined him and so have been in other cases. He was a professional provocateur who made headlines and received regular media coverage. And this leads to the second reason for the agent recruitment by the GSS.
To present the right-wing and its portrayal as extreme, violent and dangerous. To destroy the right-wing legitimation.
During the period in question, Yitzhak Rabin lost a lot of popularity and lagged in the polls after Netanyahu. The numerous attacks clearly caused by the signing of an agreement with the terrorist archives have raised the public outrage in Israel to new highs.
In order to elevate Rabin’s feelings of loss of public support, the Tel Aviv mayor of those days organized a public support rally in Izhak Rabin, in Tel Aviv. The demonstrator included a number of speeches and performances by singers.
At the end of the rally, Rabin made his way toward his car. When he was a short distance from the car entrance, a religious Jewish assassin, Yigal Amir, appeared behind him and fired three shots in the back. Rabin was rushed to the nearest hospital where his death was determined.
The shock of Rabin’s murder was enormous for several reasons:
- No one imagined that such an event could happen in Israel. The murder of a leader elected in a democratic election casts a heavy shadow on the State of Israel.
- Yitzhak Rabin was one of the symbols of the establishment of the state. He fought the wars. He was the IDF chief of staff in the Six Day War and represented for many of the Israeli typecasts.
The results of Rabin’s assassination
- Immediately after the murder, a right-wing delegation campaign began, with no exceptions. The entire right, and particularly Netanyahu, who headed the right, was charged with murder. Netanyahu was charged with incitement against Rabin despite never inciting him but protesting and legitimately demonstrating against him, under his duty as leader of the opposition.
- The media has made Rabin a saint and his political way has received a religious touch. The radical left that confronted Rabin many times before 1993, rehabilitated Rabin, and with the help of the media, made Rabin a martyr, a heavenly authority that cannot be debated with and about it.
- “Rabin’s way” has become synonymous with the radical left’s plans, which Rabin never agreed to. In the interviews and comments he said during the year before the murder, Rabin strongly opposed an independent Arab-Palestinian state and strongly opposed any partition of Jerusalem. It’s hard to know what would have happened if he had survived. He might have changed his views and there is also a reason to suppose he would have canceled the Oslo Accords. Either way, this is just a speculation.
- The right-wing protest ceased all at once. The right-wing camp was terrified of the murder and traumatized for many years. The mass protests were stopped.
- The left has lost its popular leader. Due to his military past, the security darkness, Yitzhak Rabin was the only leader on the left who could lead the agreements. In an October 1994 survey, Benjamin Netanyahu significantly overpowered Rabin. The situation that created the Oslo Accords did not get any better in November 1995 (the date of Rabin’s assassination) and there is a very likely chance that the Left would lose the election anyway (regardless of the murder). Of course, because of the murder, it is impossible to know who would have won, but since the perception was established on the left that if there was not the murder, there would have been peace. A delusional statement that completely ignored Arafat’s role in an unprecedented terrorist campaign in Rabin’s lifetime and, moreover, after.
- Shimon Peres was appointed as Yitzhak Rabin’s replacement for six months, until the elections. Peres continued to implement the Oslo Accords and transferred the Arab cities of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority.
- Each year there is a remembrance period that begins several weeks before the murder day and culminates in Rabin’s Memorial Day. The memorial ceremonies and speeches are very political and are still used to delegitimize the right by blaming the entire right for Rabin’s murder.
A little over six months after the assassination, elections were held for the Knesset and for the prime minister. Shimon Peres appointed as prime minister immediately after the murder, enjoying great support due to the public shock following Rabin’s murder.
Out of arrogance and complacency, Peres that was sure to win the elections easily decided to advance the election campaign at half-time to exploit the political momentum in favor of the left following Rabin’s murder, but the new reality he created with Rabin struck him and the State of Israel with all its might.
A series of appalling terrorist attacks has again provoked public outrage. 26 passengers were killed in a bus suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Another week later, another suicide bomber exploded in the same bus line, another 19 people were murdered.
The next day, a suicide bomber explodes himself among unsuspecting bystanders at a halfway crossing in central Tel Aviv, killing 13 people.
Before and at the time of the first Oslo Accord, some of the left’s leaders said the test would be the blood test. That is, if more people are murdered following the agreement, the agreement will obviously fail.
The leftist could mislead but not the numbers. The right-wing warnings were fully fulfilled and they were still just the promo for what was to happen with Ehud Barak’s rise to power after Benjamin Netanyahu.
Official data published on the Israeli Foreign Ministry website on September 10, 1998, showed the following:
From 1978 until the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993 (15 years), 254 Israelis were murdered by Arab-Palestinian terror.
From September 1993 (after the Oslo Accords were signed) to September 1998 (only 5 years), 279 Israelis were murdered.
That is, the pace increases 3x, and even more. 1998, when Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister who took a tougher line against Arafat, was the best year, only seven Israelis were murdered.
Well, at that point it was clear that the agreement had completely failed. This brutal reality was born naturally and directly as a result of the decision to gamble in civilian life and bring in the greatest terrorist in modern history, along with an armed terrorist army, into Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Security Service has lost the ability to control what is happening. The explosives, prior to the signing of the agreements, were very difficult to obtain and became available shelf products.
Most importantly, the ideology that fueled this murder received a huge boost with the advent of the father of the plan to eliminate the State of Israel. In the May 29, 1996 elections, Benjamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres and began his first term as prime minister.
The rise of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu was born in Israel in 1949 and grew up in Jerusalem. His father, Professor of History Ben-Zion Netanyahu, was unable to get a job in Israel because he was affiliated with the Right, and the family had to move to the United States following a job offer at one of the universities in the US.
Benjamin Netanyahu grew up in the United States and rejoined the IDF’s top unit. He participated in many operations and the Yom Kippur War. He completed his academic studies in the United States and, after two positions in the private market, received a diplomatic post in the United Nations. Within two years, he was appointed ambassador to the United Nations.
Because of his extensive education, charisma, expressiveness, polished English and performance, Netanyahu became the promising star of Israeli politics. After returning to Israel, he joined the Likud party and was very quickly elected to lead it, to the chagrin of many Likud parliament members who saw themselves as worthy of it.
The media war in Netanyahu began almost from day one. Huge investigative articles, corruption search and negative publications. In one of Netanyahu’s first investigations, it claimed (at the height of the seriousness) that he was an American agent named John Sullivan…
Years later, it became clear that this was a person who, because of a bureaucratic mistake in the United States, shared with Netanyahu the same social security number.
In the 1996 elections, Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres against all odds. Netanyahu’s government lasted three years. During these three years, Netanyahu was able to stop the realization of the additional stages of the Oslo Accords to host Arab-Palestinian refusal to fully play their part in the agreement.
Even before he was elected, Netanyahu promised that he would respect international agreements, namely the Oslo Accords. Indeed, Netanyahu signed with Arafat the Hebron agreement, which outlined the withdrawal of the IDF from Hebron and the division of control of the city.
Hebron was the last city in Judea and Samaria that the IDF forces had not yet withdrawn because of the city’s great complexity. Hebron has always been one of the four holy cities for Jews. Inside the city is the Cave of the Patriarchs, where, according to Jewish tradition, the three fathers and mothers of the nation are buried (except for Rachel, who is traditionally buried on the way to Jerusalem).
The Muslims, as best practiced by them in the Middle East, take over sites sacred to other religions and turn them into Islamic sites, embracing the Cave of the Patriarchs and erecting a mosque there, thus making the Patriarchal Cave meaningless to Muslims at their beginning, a holy site.
The Jewish community in Hebron has existed continuously, except for small breaks, since the Biblical period. In August 1929, as a general part of a terror campaign launched by the Arabs at that time, the Jewish community in Hebron was attacked.
No provocation or conflict preceded the animal and barbaric attack that ended in the gruesome murder of 67 Jews, elders, men, women and children. The murders included stabbings, rape, organ amputations, castration and beatings. The Jewish baker was put into his baking oven and burned alive.
This event brought an end to the ancient Jewish settlement in Hebron. Only in 1967 was the Jewish community renewed. As part of the agreement, Israel continued to control the Jewish community and all the Arabs who lived near it.
Following the Hebron Agreement, the Wye River Memorandum was signed in the United States. The Wye agreement was an addition to the Oslo Accords and was intended to arrange further withdrawals in Judea and Samaria at the same time as the part of the Palestinian-Arabs, which was mainly the cessation of terror and incitement against the State of Israel and the Jews in the Palestinian Authority.
Israel held only one of the three withdrawals that it undertook and stopped after the Palestinian-Arabs failed to fulfill their obligations again. The signing of the agreement by Benjamin Netanyahu precipitated the fall of the right-wing government headed by it.
While maintaining reciprocity and delaying the continued withdrawals in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu acted contrary to his pre-election commitments. Like Rabin before him, who also violated an election promise, he sent his personal friend, businessman Ron Lauder, to discuss with the Syrians a peace agreement in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
In light of the Syrian insistence on Israeli withdrawal until the last centimeter, Netanyahu was unable to achieve any progress with the Syrians.
Besides the political aspect, Netanyahu supported the free economy and initiated the privatization process of large companies held by the State of Israel. In addition, a series of reforms in the economy contributed to opening the economy to competition, lowering inflation and liberalizing foreign exchange.
Netanyahu’s greatest achievement was to lower the level of terror. In the last year of his term, 7 Israelis were murdered by the Arab-Palestinian terrorist organizations, the lowest number between 1987 and 2008.
In 1997, however, one of the major disasters occurred in the IDF, when two helicopters loaded with 73 soldiers on their way to posts in southern Lebanon collided with each other. The soldiers were killed.
This disaster struck the State of Israel and was one of the main causes of the IDF’s exit from southern Lebanon a few years later.
Against the backdrop of signing the Wye River Memorandum, Netanyahu lost the support of his political base. Against the backdrop of his economic moves, he also lost support for his party and had to stay ahead of the elections a year after a vote of no confidence in the Knesset.
In May 1999, elections took place and Benjamin Netanyahu was defeated by Ehud Barak, who headed the leftist camp.
Ehud Barak Government 1999
Ehud Barak was one of the bold fighters of the IDF. He participated in many operations, came to be the IDF Chief of the General Staff, and was always described by journalists who wanted to promote him as brilliant and analytical. As a General the army, he took part in the negotiations with the Arab-Palestinians and with the Syrians.
Only three months after his release from the IDF, with no significant period of “cooling off”, he joined the left, as Foreign Minister in the Rabin government. You couldn’t help thinking then that his role as chief of staff was clearly influenced by his future political plans. One year after the loss of the left, led by Shimon Peres in the 1996 elections, Ehud Barak was elected to head the Labor Party.
Ahead of the 1999 elections, he formed a three-party bloc and led the left to victory in the elections. The victory was tarnished by a corruption case investigated by police. Barak’s men retained the right to remain silent in police investigations and refused to disclose information that could have criminalized him and ended his political path.
As a result, the indictment against him could not be formally closed. Ehud Barak had one very dangerous trait that was not exposed to the public as long as he wore the IDF uniforms and automatically enjoyed the great respect that the Israeli public wields for IDF soldiers and commanders, narcissism and arrogance that made him see himself as the person holding all the solutions to all the problems.
His almost immediate transition from the IDF command to a senior political role, the leader of the Labor Party, and then to the prime minister, with no adjustment period in the business world or as a Knesset member studying parliamentary work, made him utterly disrespectful to everyone around him.
On the one hand, unbearable arrogance and disdain for everything that seemed “outdated” to him, and on the other, embarrassing flattery toward Arab terror and dictator Assad, thinking that only a little flattery and one big decision was lacking to resolve the conflict between Jews and Arabs.
In an interview with British journalist Patrick Seale for the Arab newspaper Al Hayat, Barak Lasad flattered after saying in an interview that Barak looked “strong and honest man”, Barak replied that he intended (with Syria) a “peace of the braves” (a code name for withdrawal from the Golan Heights).
In addition, he said “the only way for lasting and compressive peace in the Middle East is through an agreement with Syria,” and probably the most embarrassing sentence: “Undoubtedly, President Assad has given the Syrian nation its new formula. He was capable of building a strong, independent and self-confident Syria”.
There is no doubt that from a historical perspective, after the disintegration of Syria, Barak’s words were nonsense. But even at the time Barak said it, Assad was a cruel tyrant, a mass murderer who slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people (Hama massacre) and He built a failed state by any scale.
One of Barak’s most outrageous statements was said in another press interview: “if I were a Palestinian young man – I might have joined a terrorist organization.” In his statement, Barak indirectly legitimized the most murderous terrorist attacks on the State of Israel, killing indiscriminately women, children and men, as if that was precisely what the Jews did when fighting for the establishment of the State of Israel.
Barak perceived reality as plasticine that could be kneaded in whatever form he wanted, and the only thing needed to be it his one courageous decision on any problematic issue. No wonder Barak’s tenure seemed to be one lasting accident.
It was the shortest term of prime minister in Israel, and it won the reputation of “the worst term of prime minister in Israel.” Ehud Barak’s arrogance led him to crash in almost every area he touched. He was keen to make decisions at all costs, regardless of what the cost would be.
The most likely decision he made and was part of his election campaign was to remove the IDF from Lebanon completely. Since the First Lebanon War in 1982, the IDF has been in Lebanon in a security zone designed to create a defensive space between the Shiite Hezbollah, a proxy organization of Iran and the northern communities of the State of Israel.
The IDF established and staffed a security post, and also trained and armed the Southern Lebanese army composed of Christian fighters. Over the years, the IDF has burrowed in southern Lebanon, within fortified posts and Hezbollah is waging a stubborn guerrilla war against it.
There were failures and successes but the fighting seems to be futile and costly in human life. This feeling was given a critical boost after the helicopter disaster that resulted in the death of 73 IDF soldiers. Ehud Barak thought he could reach an agreement with the Syrians in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal in the Golan and he assumed that an agreement with Syria would solve the Lebanon problem.
It was clear to Barak that Assad’s many compliments did not help. Assad would not even compromise on his demands. Assad continued to insist on getting the Golan Heights up to the last centimeter, that is, grip on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, just as it was before the Six-Day War.
Barak agreed to return Assad to the entire Golan Heights and maintain a line of only ten meters from the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, but Assad refused even this offer. It is worth noting that Barak’s proposal was extremely dangerous for the State of Israel and very different from the peace treaty with Egypt. Sinai was a huge desert that gave Israel very great strategic depth vis-à-vis Egypt, but without geographical control over the State of Israel.
The Golan Heights, on the other hand, controlled the northern state of Israel, many villages and kibbutzim that were in the valley below the Golan Heights and very important water resources of Israel, streams, springs and the flow of water to the Sea of Galilee. In the years when Syria ruled the Golan Heights, it made the residents live in the valley hard for them through sporadic shelling, the kidnapping of civilians (fishermen) from the Sea of Galilee and attempts to divert streams that flow into the Sea of Galilee to prevent water from Israel.
In today’s perspective, after the disintegration of Syria, the emergence of Iranians and Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations, it is even more evident the disaster that was avoided by the State of Israel during Ehud Barak’s. Without an Israeli presence, Iran and the terrorist organizations were within easy reach of all the northern parts of the country and would do whatever they could to disrupt and destroy life in northern Israel.
In June 2000, Assad died and his rule passed to his son Bashar Assad. Barak, who had already realized that he would not come to an agreement with Assad (the father), made a decision to remove Israel completely from Lebanon and return to the international line. The immediate implication was the abandonment of soldiers from southern Lebanon who served shoulder to shoulder with IDF soldiers in southern Lebanon. Many of them fled to Israel and found refuge there.
In retrospect, the long session in Lebanon has eroded the IDF and Israeli society without yielding significant results. Back on the international border, inside Israel. The decision to leave Lebanon was probably right, but the Middle East is the world’s most dangerous place to show weakness.
On May 24, the withdrawal order was issued, and within one day only the IDF was back on the international border, inside Israel. There is, of course, no way to withdraw neatly within one day. The Arab discourse was unequivocal, Hezbollah defeated Israel in Lebanon by incessant bloodshed of its soldiers.
On May 26, one day after the IDF withdrawal, Nasrallah (Hezbollah’s leader) delivered a victory speech broadcast to all The Arab world, dedicated the victory to the Palestinian Arabs, encouraged them to follow in the Hezbollah’s path (ie terror against Israel) and looked They feel that Israel, despite the large and powerful army, is weak like cobwebs.
The IDF withdrawal event created a wave of consciousness throughout the Middle East, and especially among Arab-Palestinians. Unremitting in Israel. Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, who was Minister of Public Security in the Barak government and who participated in Camp David talks, wrote in 2005: “I have no doubt that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon left a deep imprint on Arafat’s consciousness.
He felt humiliated and embarrassed that he had to negotiate with us on border changes, while 500 guerrillas forced Israel to withdraw to Lebanon’s international border … Lebanonization of the struggle against Israel, he believed, would break the Israeli’s standing. The lesson he deduced from Israel’s defeat in Lebanon was that the Israeli people are worn out and have doubts about its ability to absorb losses in low-intensity conflict. ”
There is much more evidence of the IDF’s hasty withdrawal from Lebanon, under the orders of Ehud Barak, for the outbreak of the second intifada. In which it was executed.
After failing to resolve once and for all the confrontation with Syria, “solving” once and for all IDF presence in South Lebanon, he tried to solve once and for all the confrontation with the Palestinian-Arabs. In July 2000, Barak went to a conference at Camp David attended by Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton at the time. His decision to attend the conference with Arafat led to the breakup of his government and the loss of the majority in the Knesset.
Out of 120 Knesset members, there were about 30 Knesset members in his government. Ehud Barak’s government became a minority government towards its end. But the fact that he represented a small minority in the Knesset did not deter him or lead him to conclude that he may not have the legitimacy to negotiate a fateful agreement for the State of Israel. On the contrary, Barak didn’t let it stop him.
One can say that Barak complied with almost all of Yasser Arafat’s elusive demands. He agreed to allow the Palestinian Arabs to establish an Arab state on 100% of the Gaza Strip and 96% of Judea and Samaria, and instead of the remaining percentages (where Jewish settlements are located), agreed to compensate the Arabs with territory in southern Israel, which was within the borders of 1967.
In addition, Barak agreed on East Jerusalem, to divide the Old City, to hand over the Temple Mount (the holiest place to Jews where the two temples used to be), and to return (partially – it wasn’t clear how many) Arab-Palestinian “refugees” into Israel.
For the absolute concession, Barak expected to receive a piece of Chamberlain paper that would say the conflict was over and neither side had any more requirements. The agreements became part of a plan called: The Bill Clinton Parameters.
And all this happens when he heads a small minority government and without a majority in the Knesset. One can say that Barak crossed all the red lines that the State of Israel faced in the confrontation with the Arabs. He gave up a number of issues that were critical to the existence of the State of Israel and its Jewish identity.
Barak fully embraced the worldview of the radical left, who always saw Jews and Israel as the culprits of Arab violence. Once again, a simplistic and narcissistic view of reality was expressed that the conflict between Jews and Arabs can be resolved within a few days if only one decision is made to give up close to 100 percent of Israel’s demands and grant Arabs almost 100 percent of their demands.
Despite Barak’s agreement to a plan called Clinton outline, and despite heavy pressure on Arafat, on Clinton’s side, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Arafat rejected the plan, probably because of the need to declare the conflict to end.
Or perhaps as later evidence confirmed, he saw Nasrallah “win” Israel and win the entire jackpot, a total withdrawal of Israel from any Lebanese territory without Nasrallah being asked to give anything in return and more, becoming the hero of the Arab world, while he, Yasser Arafat, forced to negotiate with the Jews whom he saw as descendants of the Quraysh tribe who signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyyaha with Mohammed and, worse still, had to “give up” the full right of return, continue the war in Israel and give final recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state ( It should be remembered that Arafat established his terrorist organization in 1964 when Gaza was ruled by Egypt and Judea and Samaria were ruled by Jordan, his goal was the rest of the State of Israel and not a Palestinian Arab state in Gaza, and in Judea and Samaria).
Several months later, another round of talks took place in Taba (Egypt). The Barak government was desperate to revive the dead-end with Arafat and come up with some “achievement” towards the election.
The Second Intifada
Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount
Upon his return from Camp David, Arafat began to plan the largest murder campaign that Jews in Israel have known since Zionism began. Under the auspices of the Oslo Accords, Arafat accumulated illegal weapons, for several years, beyond what was allowed to him under the agreements that in any case attributed no significance to them as proven previously in this article.
The only thing he lacked was an excuse to start the terror campaign and he would find it one way or another. On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon, who was then the Likud leader in the opposition (Benjamin Netanyahu took a break from political life after the loss in the election to Ehud Barak), visited the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is the holiest place for Jews and since Israel liberated the Old City from Jordan during the Six-Day War, Jews could once again ascend the Temple Mount. The Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount has always been a center of incitement against the Jews.
The Arab-Palestinian blood plot – “Al Aqsa in danger”
Countless times, there were sermons that preached hatred of Jews or calls for the murder of Jews. One of the popular ways to fire the Muslim masses was through hysterical messages that the Jews want to damage the Al Aqsa Mosque. This method was invented by Haj Amin Al Husseini before the establishment of the State of Israel and is still in use today by his successors.
The purpose of Haj Amin’s anti-Semitic incitement was to provoke hatred and violence against the Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount is first and foremost to discourage them and others from visiting the place and claiming through the visit, a historical connection to the Temple Mount.
This is the Islamic dimension that is at the root of the confrontation between Muslim Arabs and Jews. Islam will not tolerate any non-Islamic presence in the area considered Muslim. Perhaps Ariel Sharon wanted to make a political profit on his visit to the Temple Mount. Everywhere else in the world it was perfectly legitimate but not where the Muslims claim exclusive ownership of it.
Ariel Sharon arrived with a number of Knesset members and the visit was accompanied by heavy police security. During the visit and in the days that followed, riots spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and into the Arab cities within the State of Israel. The riots marked the beginning of the second Intifada planned by Arafat, according to testimony from Arab-Palestinian officials.
The second intifada was the realization of the nightmare of a deal with a bloodthirsty mass murderer. Everything the Israeli right warned of was happening. A well-armed, abhorrent terrorist, boosted by tens of thousands of police/soldiers, weapons, ammunition, explosives, sabotage labs, with immediate media access to the Arab public living in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and inside the State of Israel, did the only thing he really excelled at: murder.
The October 2000 riots, which lasted less than two weeks, erupted following the incitement of Arab leaders in Israel, calling for “the rescue of the Al Aqsa Mosque.” Important to note, nothing happened to the Al Aqsa Mosque, not before the visit, neither during the visit nor after it. But unfortunately, it was meaningless, the Al Aqsa incitement ignited the fire inside Israel.
In the riots that took place within the country, the Arabs blocked major roads, burned public buildings, threw rocks, barricades and Molotov cocktails in the direction of police and civilians on the blocked roads. There were unsuccessful attempts to carry out pogroms within Jewish communities in the Galilee.
There was no difference between the mental element of the Hebron rioters in 1929 who massacred and barbarously murdered Hebron Jews and the Arab rioters inside Israel in October 2000. There was one significant difference: this time the Jews could defend themselves. In the riots, 13 Arab rioters were killed, 12 of them were Israeli citizens.
Many police officers were injured in their efforts to protect their lives and the lives of civilians who were caught up in the riots that took place inside the communities and on major traffic routes. One Jew was murdered by a stone in Haifa-Tel Aviv highway. But that was just the introduction to what was to come.
The second intifada was saturated with events and the exact details of the various events appear in various places on the Internet. And still, within the series of events, there were key events that were well-etched in Israeli memory.
At the beginning of the riots, Arabs tried to murder Jews who were praying on the Western Wall plaza (which is lower than the Al Aqsa mosque level) by throwing rocks at the prayer square. The Jews were immediately evacuated, the police responded with force and several Arab rioters were killed and hundreds injured.
Notable events and terrorist actions during the second intifada
The second intifada was characterized by unprecedented barbarity. Even in reference to many terrorist actions that the Jewish public has experienced since the establishment of the State of Israel.
Muhammad A. Dora – A Palestinian-Arab Pallywood
On September 30, an event occurred that became a symbol for Palestinian and Jewish Arabs. The death of the child Muhammad A. Dora.
The story begins with an incident filmed by a French television network, father and son caught in an exchange of gunfire in the Gaza Strip, between IDF soldiers and Arab-Palestinian soldiers. The edited footage showed the two taking shelter from the crossfire and finally, the boy looked as if he had been killed by IDF soldiers.
Posting this event was the direct trigger for the October 2000 riots within the State of Israel. The IDF was quick to take responsibility, the Arabs jumped at the chance to stir the spirits and cause riots. But in the process, long, slow and agonizing that took years in courts, in the IDF committees, universities and media systems, many investigations were conducted, both of the edited video, ballistic and physical investigations, it turned out.
This event proved once again, what has been proven dozens and hundreds of times before: the lie is an integral, central and necessary part of the war the Arabs waged against the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Staging the death of Muhhamad Al-Dora by IDF soldiers gunfire, had the same role as the “Al-Aqsa in danger.” Both are intended for the integration of the unruly crowd and for rioting.
Madhat Yusuf Story
On October 1st, 2001, an IDF soldier was shot in Joseph’s tomb in Nablus. For four hours, the soldier lay wounded when IDF forces were only 800 meters away from the incident, the IDF did not respond, leaving Palestinian police officers to handle the incident.
After four hours, the soldier died of blood loss and the Palestinian police transferred the body to the IDF. Ehud Barak was then the prime minister, the defense minister and the central responsible.
This event was the desecration of the IDF’s most sacred values, mutual guarantee, concern for the lives of soldiers, non-promiscuity of wounded in the field, but under Ehud Barak, the abandonment became a policy.
Lynch in Ramallaha
On 12/10/2001 two IDF reserve soldiers (Vadim Norzhich and Yosef “Yossi” Avraham) were on their way to a military base near Ramallah, mistakenly entered Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority, with one of their own vehicles and get stuck in a traffic jam. Local residents identified the vehicle’s plate as an Israeli vehicle and began throwing stones at them.
Arab-Palestinian police officers brutally arrested and dragged them at gunpoint to a local police station. On the way to the police station, the mob beat the two and the police took them to the commander’s second floor at the police station.
The police ordered the mobs to wait outside the station until they were taken out by the two soldiers to kill them. Meanwhile, in Ramallah, the rumor has spread about the trapped soldiers and hundreds of Arabs have arrived with sticks, rods and blocks to attend the lynching.
The police did not wait and open the office doors, allowing more people to come in with them, beat them with batons and iron bars and stabbed them several times.
One of the soldiers was thrown to the crowd from the second floor (8 meters high), the other was knocked out of the door. The crowd rolled their eyes, stabbed them, trampled them, and then led them to Ramallah’s central square. The crowds murdered them, corrupted their bodies, ripped off their internal organs and celebrated with triumphs of victory.
It is hard to describe the intensity of the rage that the incident has caused in Israel. The first part is due to the horrific barbaric action and the second part due to the alarming slackness of Ehud Barak who was then prime minister.
Within a century of terror, Muslim Arabs have dropped a lot of horrific lows, and despite the “challenge,” this event has managed to be engrossed in Israeli memory, as one of the most shocking events the state of Israel has ever known.
The murder of the two soldiers by the Palestinian police, the stabbings, the uprooting of the eyes, the tearing down of the internal organs and their public presentation, could not be carried out with anger or despair or lack of hope. An insane orgy of hatred can be born and unite only in a completely rotten society.
The twisted murder campaign, attended by masses, including Arab-Palestinian policemen, could have been carried out in a society whose foundations are based on morbid and irreverent hatred. A society devoid of any moral restraint based on dark and crude passions. An adult can only participate in such an event if his whole life is sucked and hated from his home, family and political and religious leaders.
It is the same sick and decaying environment in which ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Jabhat al Nusra, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood have grown. Only in a culture that sanctifies death, only in an environment where barbaric murder of innocents is a legitimate part of culture, only in such an environment could such a horrific monstrous event occur.
Ehud Barak’s response added oil to the fire and further heightened public outrage. Political leadership and the IDF were prisoners of the Oslo Conception, at the center of which was the assumption that Arafat would fight terrorism for Israel, without the legal restrictions that exist in Israel, and therefore should not respond in any way to endanger or harm Arafat.
Despite countless testimonies that Arafat is the terrorist himself and despite his own statements that the Oslo Accords are worthy of a Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the Israeli leadership and the IDF commanders have preferred to put their head in the sand and stick to the illusion that Arafat is the solution to terrorism and will do the job for Israel, because this is, as they used to say: “The interest of the Palestinians.”
The IDF knew about what was happening in real-time and chose not to respond because of concerns about the response of the Arab-Palestinian police, which would inevitably result in an IDF response, leading to casualties and deterioration.
Even worse, after the dimensions of the atrocity became apparent, Barak made sure to inform the Palestinian Authority that he was planning to bomb the Arab-Palestinian police building in which the lynching occurred. After the Arabs evacuated the building, the army sent a helicopter that fired two small missiles that did virtually no damage. Incredibly, The hunt for the terrorists who carried out the lynching began only with the Sharon government that replaced Barak’s in the 2001 election.
Thirteen terrorists who were caught and convicted of the lynching were sent to (Israeli) prison for long periods of imprisonment, and received to date from the Palestinian Authority, more than NIS 7 million (about $ 2 million) as part of the PA’s policy to reward Arabs who murder Jews. The more Arabs murder Jews, whether children or women or elders, the more money they receive from the Palestinian Authority.
Ehud Barak built himself a reputation for throwing away anything that could stand in his way. When he was present as Chief of the General Staff, in a secret military exercise in the south of the country, the exercise ended in disaster, killing five soldiers and wounding others. Barak, instead of assisting the wounded lying next to him, entered his helicopter and left.
The same was true of the allies of the State of Israel, soldiers of southern Lebanon when he left Lebanon quickly and abandoned them there at the mercy of Hezbollah (Shiite terror organization). Ehud Barak emerged as a person devoid of moral inhibitions in relation to what he intended as a goal.
Terrorist actions – partial list
March 26, 2001 – An Arab-Palestinian sniper fires a bullet at the head of 11-month-old baby Shalhevet Pass while lying in a baby carriage, at the door of her home in the Jewish neighborhood of Hebron.
18/5/2001 – Suicide bomber at a mall in Netanya. 5 people were murdered.
1/6/2001 – Suicide bomber at the dolphin club on the Tel Aviv beach. 21 young people were murdered.
9/8/2001 – Suicide bomber at Sbbaro restaurant in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were murdered, of whom seven were children. 140 people were injured. The suicide bomber from a village in Samaria, the son of a successful restaurant owner and a wealthy landowner. The charger was assembled within an acoustic guitar and contained nails, bolts and nuts to maximize the impact of the impact.
Five members of one family were murdered in the attack, parents and three children. Two other children of the family were seriously injured.
In Gaza and Samaria, parades were held and sweets were distributed to passersby. The Arab-Palestinian media (a mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority) praised the perpetrators of the attack. Arafat, who received the names of the perpetrators from Israel, did not arrest any of them, despite being obligated to do so under the agreement.
At the University of A-Najah in Nablus they reconstructed the attack in an exhibition room and scattered pizza triangles and parts of the murdered (simulated) bodies. The murderers involved in the attack have so far (2020) received close to one million dollars from the Palestinian Authority (Abu Mazen).
The following pictures ‘were taken from an interview with Ahlam Tamimi, the terrorist who watched for nine days at the Sbarro restaurant, and after seeing that the restaurant was crowded, chose it as a target for a suicide bombing. She is also the one who drove the suicide bomber to the restaurant.
17/10/2001 – Assassination of one of the Israeli government minister, Rehavam Ze’evi.
2/1/2002 – Israel captures the weapons ship Karin A. The ship was purchased by senior Palestinian officials, financed by the Palestinian leadership and loaded with huge weapons by the Iranians. According to the plan, the ship was to reach Gaza via the Suez Canal. In a successful commando operation, Israel took control of the ship while still in the Red Sea, between Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The ship had 50 tons of weapons which included: rockets, mortar shells, mines, rifles, R.P.G.s, sniper rifles and more. All this, of course, is in complete contrast to agreements with Israel.
19/2/2002 – Six soldiers are killed in an assault by an Arab-Palestinian squad. In response, the IDF killed 50 Arab-Palestinian policemen in the first military action against the Palestinian Authority.
March 2002 was the culmination of the bloodbath.
March 2nd, 2002 – A suicide bomber murders 11 people in a residential neighborhood in Jerusalem.
March 3rd, 2002 – A group of hikers in Samaria are attacked, three civilians and seven soldiers who arrived to defend the group were killed.
March 7th, 2002 – 5 Yeshiva students in a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip were murdered.
March 3rd, 2002 – A suicide bomber enters a cafe in Jerusalem and explodes. Eleven young Israelis were murdered. Israel responds again, and 200 military Arab police officers are killed in a military attack.
March 20th, 2002 – Suicide bomber exploded in Megiddo, killing seven Israelis.
March 27th, 2002 – Passover eve. 250 people, most of them elderly, who cannot celebrate the holiday alone, sit for dinner at the Park Hotel in Netanya. A suicide bomber entered the hotel’s dining room, exploding and murdering 30 people celebrating Seder. Among the murdered are a number of married couples and eleven Holocaust survivors.
The Palestinian Authority funded a soccer tournament a Palestinian Authority school in Tulkarm. The teams participating in the tournament have been named after Arab-Palestinian terrorists, and the tournament itself was named after Abd al-Basset Oudeh, the terrorist who carried out the Passover Eve Massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya.
71% of Palestinian Arabs thought it was the right thing to do. Nine years later, the Minister of Palestinian Prison Affairs visited the massacre planner and gave his family a festive and official sign from the Palestinian Authority.
June 18th, 2002 – A suicide bomber boarded a bus in Jerusalem and exploded, killing 19 people.
March 31st, 2002 – A suicide bomber entered the restaurant in Haifa and exploded, killing 16 Israelis.
April 10th, 2002 – A suicide bomber boarded a bus near the Yagur junction (Haifa area), exploded and murdered 10 people.
May 7th,2002 – Suicide bomber enters snooker club in Rishon LeTsiyon, exploded and the murder of 15 Israelis.
July 31st, 2002 – An explosive device is placed in the cafeteria of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and operated at lunchtime. Nine people were killed.
January 5th, 2003 – Double suicide bombing in the old central station of Tel Aviv. 23 people were murdered.
March 5th, 2003 – A suicide bomber boarded a bus in Haifa and committed suicide. Seventeen people were murdered, including many students.
This is only a partial list of terrorist attacks experienced by the State of Israel in a short span of a few years. In total, 1,106 people were killed during the Second Intifada (28/2000 to 8/2/2005), of which 1,056 are Israelis.
The results of the Second Intifada
The second intifada hit the Israeli public to the ground. Only a few years earlier, in 1993, state leaders made pompous speeches about the peace to come, the end of wars, the cessation of bloodshed.
Israel’s leadership allowed itself to drift in a cruel and irresponsible manner after false hallucinations. The Israeli media served as the faithful watchdog of government delusions. The media echoed the government message with great intensity.
Anyone who dared to challenge the idea that a despicable person like Arafat really wants peace, anyone who warned against the decision to arm Arafat and tens of thousands of people, anyone who warned of the growing incitement since Arafat’s arrival, anyone who tried to connect the Israeli leadership to reality, was constantly attacked by the media and portrayed in derision as someone stuck in the back, as belonging to the old world, as not understanding what the new Middle East looks like.
The Israeli right was presented as the “enemy of peace” and was frequently compared to the Hamas terror organization. The intensity of the blow that the Second Intifada landed on the heads of the parties was in direct proportion to the severity disconnect of the left-wing leaders and media from reality.
No longer is there any doubt that the State of Israel is deep within the old Middle East and the local culture of hatred and murder is not going anywhere anytime soon but is obeying the vicious cultural codes that deeply link them to the Middle Ages.
Shimon Peres, the chief architect of the agreement and the one who bore heavy and direct responsibility for the security frenzy in Israel and the heavy blood price paid by the State of Israel, used to say in his speeches: “Give a chance for peace.” When he was answered, he cried out in a pathos: “What’s your alternative?”
Peres and Rabin’s opportunity for “peace” cost more than 1,500 Israelis who were murdered and killed on the altar of delusion and the failed attempt to engineer reality to the brim. The Israeli public found out that no matter what the alternative, it would probably be better than torn bodies to pieces in restaurants, buses, clubs and shopping centers.
The results of the second intifada were expressed in several subjects:
In 1993, the country was washed away by an unprecedented wave of euphoria. The media has become the resonant box for left and right leaders. Everyone competed with each other to imagine a better future following the signing of the first Oslo agreement.
They talked about a hundred years of peace, the cessation of wars, a political revolution in Israel’s status, unprecedented economic prosperity following the agreements, peace agreements with Arab states, the reduction of the army. The public air was filled with media ecstasy that was very difficult to resist.
Even those who did not believe Arafat, and those who were more skeptical about the future of the agreements, found it difficult to face the media addiction to the expected bright future. The disillusionment process came quicker than expected and began almost immediately after signing an agreement with the first terrorist attacks that illustrated that the future remains as the past, only apparently worse.
However, the series of events that took place during the second intifada caused most of the Jewish public to recognize that the Oslo Accord was a disaster and there was no peace with the Arabs in the foreseeable future. The realization that the peace slogans were empty of content and detached from reality.
Public opinion has changed, leading the left to a very significant change in its policy plans and election strategy. The “peace” lost its place and instead, a new value was placed in the vision of the left: “a Jewish and democratic state.”
The political change
Ehud Barak, who headed a minority government, has had to resign and precede elections. At that time, Israeli elections split into direct elections (for prime minister) and the Knesset elections. Barak’s resignation resulted in only elections to the Prime Minister. Netanyahu, who was on a break from political life, postponed his planned return until full elections were held, both for the prime minister and for the Knesset.
The political field on the right remains for Ariel (Eric) Sharon, the veteran horse of battle. In the elections held on 6/2/2001, Ehud Barak suffered defeat and Sharon was appointed prime minister of the State of Israel. Barak won the title of Prime Minister of the shortest term, and the dubious title: “The Most Failed Prime Minister in the History of the State of Israel.”
The change in the territory – During the intifada, after the attack on the Park Hotel (March 27, 2002), Israel embarked on a military operation that changed the reality on the ground and restored Israel’s military control over the Arab-Palestinian cities from which the attacks came. We will expand on this topic later.
The Economic Price
The unbearable reality in Israel and the extensive media coverage have led to a dramatic drop of around 50% in the amount of tourists. The year 2000 was a record year in the amount of tourists, 2.5 million tourists entered Israel. In 2002, the number of tourists entering at least one million dropped. The battlefield that existed on the streets of Israel’s great cities was not so tempting for overseas tourists, nor for domestic tourism.
The Israelis preferred not to walk around the streets if not needed. Apart from tourism, in 2000, the Internet dot bubble burst, leading to the collapse of many Internet companies. A combination of both factors, a global economic crisis and a poor security situation, has led the State of Israel to a recession.
The terror attack on the Twin towers in New York (9/11/2001) changed the United States’ perspective on terrorism. In contrast, Western European countries, especially Germany and France, paid lip service with insignificant condemnation. Terror condemnation has become the main event after every suicide bomber.
The condemnations were a fake sign of Israel’s supposedly improved political status because of the Oslo Accords and were intended to give a sense to Israelis that they are not alone and European countries support them. In practice, they were just typical European hypocrisy.
Meaningless words intended to allow Israel to continue galloping to the end of the route, where the abyss awaits in the image of an Arab-Islamic-terrorist state, fully armed and ready to act for the destruction of Israel. In fact, the international community has done nothing to stop terrorism in Israel. It was devoid of any influence on the events.
How did Israel fail to understand the Second Intifada?
One of the basic assumptions of Israeli leaders, military commanders, senior media figures, who supported Oslo Accords between Israel and the Arabs was that they (the Arabs) had the same Western-rational way of thinking and the same logic that motivated the State of Israel’s considerations also motivated the Arabs. It was their only desperate way to rationalize the terrorist craze that has been going on for a century.
The internal discourse in Israel was unconsciously arrogant, desperate to maintain hope. There was a complete disregard for all the things Arafat said and worse, ignoring the things he did. The Israelis preferred not to listen to Arafat. They heard him but refused to accept it because the meaning of accepting Arafat’s words was the loss of hope for peace in the foreseeable future, and this price the left was unwilling to pay.
The Israeli elite was enslaved to Oslo’s Accords and was sucked into intellectual turmoil. Every action of Arafat received a “rational” explanation. If Arafat declares that the Oslo Accord is equivalent to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, it is for internal politics.
If Arafat does not condemn terrorism, it is because of internal politics. If terrorism raises its head, it is because of the “extremists” (Hamas) who oppose the peace agreement. If terrorism increases, Arafat must act because “it is the Palestinian interest.”
This was probably the most popular argument: “It’s the Palestinian interest.” This was the most Oriental argument (in the meaning of which Edward Said intended). It was also a heartbreaking argument. It expressed the Israeli desperation to rationalize an environment entirely based on a religious and heritage basis of the seventh century AD.
This argument is the root of arrogance and condescension toward the Arabs. Those who used this argument assumed that the Arabs must think in exactly the same way that Jews or Americans, or Europeans, thinking that gives a high weight to the quality of life, to the importance of life, to a democratic regime.
There was a complete disregard for the most dominant element of the conflict: Islam. There was no reference to Islam. This argument did not take into account that Islam does not see the quality of life, democracy, equality of rights, or life itself as issues that are a priority in the face of the great goal of spreading Islam and becoming dominant everywhere on earth.
The inability to understand that so-called “Palestinians” are first and foremost Muslim Arabs – and in their culture, the forbidden Jewish presence in Islamic territory is far more significant than unemployment, quality of life or state-building – was the root of the failure of the Oslo Accords and is the root of Western society’s failure Understand where Islam is headed in Europe and the Middle East.
Return of Ariel (Arik) Sharon
Ariel Sharon was one of the IDF’s greatest fighters. His appearance has always instilled confidence in the Israeli public. Established Unit 101, a commando unit designed to retaliate against Jordan and strikes following terrorist intrusions from their territory. Later, he eliminated Arab terror in Gaza in the 1970s.
During the Yom Kippur War, he played a decisive role in the victory after acting contrary to instructions, breaking through the Sinai Desert towards the Suez Canal and crowning the Third Army of the Egyptian Army, which was the crux of the Egyptian force in Sinai, a move that overcame the war on the Egyptian front.
In his image, Arik Sharon symbolized the new, bold and rambunctious Israeli. The public loved and trusted him. In the 1970s he joined Menachem Begin’s Likud party
Sabra and Shatila massacre – September 1982
During the first Lebanon war, he was the defense minister and led the war against Yasser Arafat’s terrorist organization and the Syrian army that sponsored the terrorist activity. Aric Sharon led the war in Lebanon as he led the decision in the Yom Kippur War. The government received limited details about what was going on. Menachem Begin, prime minister, did not understand all the details of the war, but he relied heavily on Sharon.
Three months after the war began, a massacre of Palestinian Arabs, by Christian Lebanese forces (Phalange), took place in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Sabra and Shatila were two of Yasser Arafat’s strong support bases. The two refugee camps took part in the war and shooting at IDF forces, from the camps, during the war, did not stop.
The IDF, which had never planned against civilians, warned Phalange forces not to injure civilians. The Phalangian soldiers entered the camps and during the fighting inside the camps slaughtered hundreds of Palestinian Arabs, women, children and men.
During the Lebanese civil war, which began mainly because of Palestinian Arabs, in the mid-1970s, about 150,000 people were killed and about 200,000 injured. Another 17,500 people are defined as missing or dead. Mutual massacres occurred throughout the Civil War but did not attract the attention of the world as long as Arabs killed Arabs.
Sabra and Shatila massacre was different. For the first time, Israel could be linked to the inter-ethnic massacre in Lebanon, which led to international media and political turmoil and within Israel. The Israeli left led a huge demonstration against the government, and especially against Begin and Sharon.
Under internal and external pressure, an investigative committee was formed in Israel and later on placed full responsibility on Ariel Sharon. The Israeli government accepted the investigative committee’s recommendations and Sharon was forced to resign as defense minister.
In February 1983, Time magazine reported that in the secret section of the Investigative Committee’s report, there was an appendix containing information – that when Arik Sharon visited with the Jumail family, he urged them to take revenge on the Palestinian Arabs over the murder of Bachir Jumail (a Lebanese Christian leader). Sharon filed a lawsuit in the United States against the time and won.
From the political wilderness to the prime minister
For years, Begin and Sharon went through a lengthy process of delegitimization by the left and the unilateral Israeli media. Begin broke under pressure, resigned in September 1983 and secluded in his home for nearly a decade, until his death in March 1992. Sharon was thrown into the political wilderness and became a “dangerous leper” who had to be removed from the position of defense minister and definitely far from prime minister position.
The political right was helpless against the image built for Sharon and had to accept the dictates of the game as defined by the left. In the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s, Sharon continued to serve as a less senior minister in the Israeli government. In the early 1990s, under his role as Minister of Housing, he played a major part in absorbing the large wave of immigrants from Russia.
During the Oslo Accords, when the right was in opposition, Sharon was the prominent right-wing marker in the opposition and regularly expressed himself against the agreement and against Rabin and his government. After Netanyahu’s victory, he held key positions in his government, first an infrastructure minister with many responsibilities and then the foreign minister.
Following Netanyahu’s loss to Barak in the 1999 elections and his temporary resignation from the Likud, Sharon was elected to head the Likud. Only the events of the second intifada have “qualified” Sharon again to assume the responsibility for the security of the State of Israel. The situation was extreme and the public was eager for a leader who could lead the State of Israel out of the killing zone of the Oslo Accords.
Sharon the belligerent, the magnificent military past, was the right person at the right time and place. In February 2001, Sharon defeated Barak, in the elections held only for the position of prime minister. At the beginning of his term as prime minister, Sharon avoided significant military activity against the ruthless Arab terror. Perhaps because he wanted to prove that he was not the person they were warned about, just as Begin did when he came to power in 1977, but the events did not wait for him.
In the beginning, Sharon was relatively reluctant towards the brutal terror. After this was of no avail, the assassinations of key terrorists began, but it was also of no avail, suicide terrorism continued to hit Israel. The massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, which culminated in a month of suicide terrorism, was the watershed. Immediately after the Park Hotel massacre, extensive recruitment began and two days after the Park Hotel massacre, on March 29, 2002, Israel embarked on Operation Defensive Shield.
Operation Protective Shield (חומת מגן)
The operation began on March 29, 2002, and ended on May 10, 2002. During the operation, the IDF took again the control (as it used to be before Oslo accords) on all Palestinian Arab cities and villages in Judea and Samaria.
The objectives of the operation were: to enter the cities and villages that have become shelters for terrorists; To seize and confiscate weapons and weapons intended to harm Israel; to expose and destroy terrorist facilities, sabotage laboratories, weapons production plants, and concealment facilities, to harm anyone who seizes weapons and to paralyze anyone attempting to oppose the operation of the forces and to endanger the population.
However, international pressure was quick to reach, but after September Eleven, the United States understood better the situation Israel is in. Still, international pressure refuted one of the Left’s favorite lies when persuading the Israeli public to support the Oslo Accords, through their representatives in the Israeli media, repeatedly said that the agreement will be tested in the blood, and if it does not succeed, Israel will be able to return immediately to the previous situation. International pressure proved what was clear, no one in the world referred to the Oslo Accords as reversible agreements. Israeli political.
During Operation Defensive Shield, a particularly difficult battle took place within Jenin. The IDF used the Israeli Air Force very limited to prevent civilian casualties and the decision cost Israelis the bloodshed of its soldiers. The Arab-Palestinian information minister claimed that Israel was digging mass graves for 900 Arabs.
Following the end of the fighting in the city, Israel allowed human rights organizations (who had never been Israel’s supporters) to enter the city and investigate the Palestinian-Arab claims. UN investigative committee Human Rights Watch and Amnesty counted 56 fatalities in a combat-laden environment in large parts of its parts.
Operation Defensive Shield achieved its military objectives. The wave of Arab terror has been halted and, along with it, has faded, though not extinguished, the atmosphere of terror that has served on the Arab-Palestinian street. The IDF killed 29 soldiers and more than 100 were wounded. 497 people were killed and 1,447 wounded.
The Palestinian Authority was disarmed and its symbols destroyed, Arafat was under siege and isolation, Hamas infrastructures were destroyed. About seven thousand suspected terrorists seized and arrested of whom approximately five hundred were imprisoned for long periods. The sniper shooting on Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem was stopped.
Israel found and confiscated Anti-Tanks missiles and explosives. Sabotage laboratories were dismantled and destroyed. Intelligence documents were found to indicate Arafat’s involvement in terrorism, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Arab-Palestinian terrorism and the financing of suicide bombing families. Following the intelligence, the President of the United States became convinced of Arafat’s involvement in terrorism and confiscated him.
But the biggest change is probably the perceptual change that took place following the operation. Until the operation, the IDF refrained from entering the Arab cities of Judea and Samaria but it proved to be the only effective way to fight the Arab Palestinian terror and this is how Israel succeed in preserving the achievements of Operation Defensive Shield and lowering terrorism to the minimum level. To this day, the IDF freely enters Arab cities and communities in Judea and Samaria, in coordination with the Arab-Palestinian police, to arrest wanted and suspected terrorist operatives.
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
Ahead of the 2003 Knesset elections, Sharon defeated Netanyahu in the pre-election elections and continued to lead the Likud. The public mood due to the Second Intifada was against further concessions and continued promotion of any political process with the Arab-Palestinians.
Against this backdrop, the Likud party won a crushing victory in the January 2003 elections and Ariel Sharon formed the new Israeli government. Before the election, corruption cases began to be published in which Sharon and his two sons were linked. The corruption cases were very serious and included a genuine suspicion of receiving significant financial bribes from businessmen in exchange for Sharon’s help in promoting the economic interests of those people.
At the end of 2003, Sharon staged the public arena in Israel with his announcement of the Disengagement Plan, from Gaza and few settlements in Samaria, even if no negotiations were held with the Arab Palestinians. The plan Sharon proclaimed was the opposite of everything Sharon believed in and fought for, throughout his political career.
In 2003, in response to the Labor Party leader who proposed withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, Sharon said: “The fate of Netzarim (Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip) as the fate of Tel Aviv” (meaning, both are exactly the same for Israel) and at that year Sharon completely turned his skin, despite the deterioration in relations with the Arab-Palestinians.
There was no political event that could explain the dramatic change of Aric Sharon, one of the largest settlers in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. To his many supporters on the Israeli right, there is nothing left to conclude but that Sharon’s dramatic plan is his way of dealing with the severe investigations that were being conducted against him and his sons.
Once Sharon announced his plan, the media enlisted to protect him from the police interrogations, and one of the most senior Israeli media commentators marked the goal for everyone else, saying: “You have to keep him (on Sharon) like Citron (one of the four species taken at Sukkot and has to be kept very clean without any harm). The Israeli media, left-wing for the most part, provided Sharon with a defense umbrella and on the other side, the judicial system was concerned to close the investigative files with various and different allegations.
There is no factual debate in Israel that Sharon was wrapped in media cotton from the moment he announced the plan. Sharon is seen by the media as an unbridled bulldozer who has suddenly begun serving the left’s goals and therefore should not incite him from his path no matter what the cost. Parts of the Likud party began to revolt against Sharon and the Disengagement Plan he conceived.
Sharon brought the plan to endorse the Likud political center and pledged to get the results of the vote, but after losing, he resumed his commitment to following the voting results. There were many protests throughout the country and the police did everything they could to disrupt the protests and prevent from happening. One way was to stop regular buses whose regular route led to a demonstration site in Jerusalem or near the Gaza Strip, and to lower passengers suspected of being potential protesters
Background to the Disengagement Plan from the Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip is a narrow strip of land covering 365 square kilometers and is located on the southern coastal plain of the State of Israel. On its western border is the sea, on its southernmost line, it borders on Egypt and the rest of its territory bordering Israel. At the time of signing the peace treaty with Egypt, Menachem Begin had a historic opportunity to move control of the Gaza Strip to Egypt, together with the Sinai Peninsula, but this did not come about because of Egyptian resistance, and so Israel remained in control of a small, crowded and hostile territory.
In the Gaza Strip, approximately 8,600 Jews lived in a group of settlements, mostly from the northwestern part of the Gaza Strip, and a small number of isolated settlements, although not far from the same area where most of the Jewish population lived. More than a million and a half Arabs lived in the Gaza Strip compared to the Jews.
Jews had no way of reaching demographic equilibrium with the Arab population. Geographically, unlike Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights, which were mountainous areas that controlled a very large area within the State of Israel, the Gaza Strip is a region that does not geographically control southern Israel. Most residents of the State of Israel saw the Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip as futile.
Most of the Israeli public is massed in the presence of the army there and wanted a complete detachment from the Arab residents of the Gaza Strip. Peace in its normal sense would have been clearly unrealistic, certainly after the failed Oslo Accords. There was only the desire to end the presence there.
The big part of the Gaza Strip has been evacuated by Israel already under the Oslo Accords. IDF soldiers were seen only in the Jewish settlement area and in the road that separated the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The rest of the Gaza Strip was controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The waiver of control over the Gaza Strip, according to the Oslo Accords, was a heavy security price for Israel.
Until 1993, terrorist organizations were limited in their ability to organize terrorist activities for all sorts of reasons: Israel’s military presence, control of mobility in the Gaza Strip, intelligence, cooperation from a local population, very great difficulty in smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip, the lack of standard explosives and the inability to establish terrorist laboratories.
All of these have disappeared almost entirely with the evacuation of most of the Gaza Strip as part of the Oslo Accords and worse, to which was added the reign of the arch-terrorist Arafat, anti-Semitic incitement in the Arab-Palestinian media and the strengthening of the Islamic terrorist movement, and in particular the strengthening of the Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas.
The Hamas terrorist organization strived to destroy the State of Israel in a Hitleristic manner, that is, not only an aspiration to establish another Arab state alongside Israel, not even an aspiration to establish an Arab-Islamic state instead of Israel, but a Nazi aspiration to eliminate all Jews.
Hamas was not ashamed and did not fear to make public statements in a document called the Hamas treaty and its leaders’ speeches. As long as Israel remained in the Gaza Strip, it had the military tools to limit the military capabilities of this organization. In 2000, after the implementation of the Oslo Accords and before the disengagement plan was implemented, while the IDF was still present in a small part of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Arabs began to launch rockets to Jewish communities within the Gaza Strip.
The IDF stood helpless as it could not operate freely. The same corner. The Palestinian Authority allowed Hamas to act, and so it could hold a cane from its two choppers, both to show that it is maintaining the agreements and to allow the continued terrorism against Israel. Rocket fire began in 2001 and aimed at Sderot, the closest Israeli city to the Gaza Strip.
In the following years, the volume of rocket fire increases, reaching 200 to 300 rockets per year. Short-range rockets, inaccurate and with little explosive. They take a toll on the number of dead, injured, but mostly terrorize the civilian environment, which is devoid of any means to deal with the rockets. There is no doubt that rocket fire could have evolved under the auspices of the large-scale IDF retreat of the Gaza Strip, but controlling the passage of the rocket towards Egypt still prevented the full patronage of the rocket threat.
Warnings from right-wing leaders about the rocket fire and the transformation of the Gaza Strip into a terrorist-supporting entity have fallen on deaf ears. Sharon has already crossed the political Rubicon. And as if the lesson of the Oslo Accords and the failing prophecies of the architects of the agreements were not learned, once again promises by former leaders and military personnel began on the expected security improvement.
Very well known former senior army commanders have issued a “professional” opinion on the security improvement expected when the disengagement plan is implemented, even though everyone understands that even if there is a real justification for leaving the Gaza Strip, leaving the Gaza Strip to Islamic terrorist organizations will not bring about any security improvement but will only make matters worse as it happened quickly.
The execution of the Disengagement plan
According to the plan, all Jews would be evacuated from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Jewish settlements will be dismantled and demolished. Besides the Gaza Strip, Sharon decided to mark the future direction by demolishing four settlements in Samaria and evacuating their residents into Israel’s territory before the Six-Days war (1967).
The government enacted a law to regulate the compensation to the evacuees. Sharon’s “great” Political Achievement was a letter he received from President Bush agreeing with the United States to leave Israel’s large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria in a future permanent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and rejecting the right of return Intrusion of Israel).
The letter was meaningless as Obama’s tenure proved to be irrelevant to this reference and tried to advance the policy he believed in without limiting himself to the previous president’s commitments. The right-wing and Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip led one of the largest public protests in Israel through a series of huge demonstrations, (few) blockages and the hanging of orange ribbons.
There were a number of extreme actions by individuals who did not receive any support and included several acts of Jewish terror against Arabs. In one case, a defective soldier opened fire on Arab bus passengers in northern Israel, killing four passengers and injuring nine more. After he ran out of ammunition, other passengers seized him, police arrived and arrested him but failed to protect him from the lynching carried by an Arab mob arriving at the scene.
In the second case, a shuttle driver kidnapped a gun from a security guard from an industrial area in Samaria and murdered four Arab-Palestinian workers, he was apprehended, tried and sentenced to four life sentences. In 2006, he committed suicide in his jail cell. Two other people set fire to the protest against the disengagement and died of their wounds. Apart from these events, and despite great concern over violent incidents to a significant extent, there were no further incidents of violence until the evacuation itself.
At the end of June 2005, entry to the Gaza Strip was prohibited for non-resident Jews in order to prevent masses from arriving to evacuate the area. Until August 22, all Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip were evacuated and by September 11, the IDF evacuated all the posts from the Gaza Strip, ending the chapter of the State of Israel in terms of its presence in the Gaza Strip.
The results of the Disengagement from Gaza
1. Missile range and armament – The loss of control over Gaza’s passage through Egypt allowed the Palestinian Arabs and especially Islamic terrorist organizations (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) to smuggle missiles, missile experts, ammunition, sabotage and ammunition that they could not previously obtain.
Thus, the terrorist organizations gained capabilities they could not previously reach and as a result, the range of missiles in their hands increased from ten miles to hundreds of miles. If before the disengagement, most of their military capability was reflected by inaccurate rockets and with a small warhead launched on Sderot (a southern town near Gaza), after the disengagement they began firing farther, towards larger cities. During the military conflicts between Israel and Hamas, Hamas also fired missiles into Tel Aviv.
2. Hamas rise – When Israel left Gaza, the PA ruled there. In June 2007, the Hamas movement took control of the Gaza Strip after killing dozens of members of the Fatah organization (established by Arafat and moved to Abu Mazen). The goals of the Palestinian Authority were the same: the elimination of the State of Israel, but the Hamas movement undoubtedly had a Nazi-Hitlerism ideology.
A state next to Israel and not a state in place of Israel, they sought to destroy all the Jews living in the State of Israel. This ideology was in no way obscured and published in the Covenant of Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that enslaved all the capabilities and resources of the Gaza Strip to advance its Islamo-Nazi ideology.
Gaza and Singapore – Some of the peace hallucinations that emerged in Israel and became much inherited in the 1990s, mentioned Gaza and Singapore in one breath, as if Gaza could become, in the decision of politicians, in Singapore because both Gaza and Gaza are small and have an outlet for the sea.
Forget only one important parameter, Gaza is Islamic and as such, it is not much different from the other Arab or Islamic tyranny in the Middle East. Gaza did not become Singapore. Unfortunately, since leaving Israel, it is much closer to Afghanistan or even worse.
Political Price – Arik Sharon’s political achievement following the Disengagement was a letter he received from President Bush Jr., in which he (President Bush) acknowledges some of the settlement in the Judea and Samaria and rejects the right of return of the Palestinian Arabs to the State of Israel. This letter could remind to some extent the paper Chamberlain brought in 1938, after signing the Munich agreement with Hitler and was sure he had achieved “peace for generations.”
This letter was completely meaningless. From the moment Obama was elected, he followed the policies he advocated and believed, and so was with Donald Trump. Apart from the letter, supporters of the disengagement believed that following the disengagement, the world would understand and justify Israel in future conflicts. In practice, the opposite happened.
Israel’s political position has only deteriorated further as a result of clashes with Hamas. During military clashes between Israel and Hamas, Hamas received very significant support from Israeli leftist organizations that gathered testimonies on IDF soldiers and commanders and forwarded them to UN officials so that they could sue Israeli civilians in the Hague Tribunal. The goal, of course, was to discourage the IDF from exercising its capabilities and preventing it from militarily defeating Hamas.
The disengagement that didn’t really happen– The purpose of disengagement was disengagement. In practice, it didn’t really happen. Israel remains indispensably connected to the Gaza Strip. If Israel does not impose controlled closure, missiles and ammunition will be smuggled in. If it closes, the Israeli left would revolt.
This was the result of a ridiculous situation in which those leftist parties and organizations that supported and pushed for the disengagement, in favor of disconnection from Gaza, became those who prevented Israel from truly disengaging and called on Israel to take responsibility for Gaza. That is, to bring in workers, sick people and agricultural goods into Israel.
Continued corruption of the judicial system – The Israeli legal system has since the 1980s gained power at the expense of the legislative and executive branch, violated the balance and began to acquire powers that democratically belonged to the Knesset and the government. The process was supported by the left, which had difficulty obtaining a majority of the people and therefore sought to shift the centers of power and decision-making to where it had an absolute majority: the Supreme Court.
In the disengagement process, the court took part in suppressing the protest through outrageous arrests of nonviolent protesters and underage girls who were jailed for long weeks in prison for no reason other than the desire to prevent them from demonstrating. In addition, Sharon received a defensive wall from the judicial system (and from the Israeli media) that provided him with protection against the serious charges he suspected so that he could continue the process of the disengagement without any disturbance.
The cessation of Israeli presence in Gaza – In the end, as already noted here, most Israelis did not see any future in Israel’s presence in Gaza. Leaving Gaza has reduced mental and physical burden from Israel. The need to send troops to policing missions in very crowded areas within Gaza has never been Israel’s wish.
The Israelis referred to Gaza as a wasp nest and preferred to disengage from this place. And yet, even though most of the public supported it during the disengagement, two years later, most Israelis thought the disengagement was a mistake.
The end of Ariel Sharon era
In November 2005, Ariel Sharon resigned from the Likud and formed the Kadima Party, together with Knesset members from the Likud and the Labor Party. Only a month later, Sharon suffered a mild stroke and a few weeks later, in January 2006, Sharon suffered a severe stroke and had been in a coma for nine years. On January 11, 2014, Ariel Sharon passed away.
Second Lebanon war
Immediately after the second stroke, Ariel Sharon was replaced by Ehud Olmert, a corrupt and unpopular politician who was the most senior leader of the new party founded by Sharon. In the elections that took place less than three months after he replaced Sharon, the Kadima party won the elections, thanks to Sharon’s popularity among the Israeli public.
The most important issue Olmert led in the elections was the Convergence Plan, a parallel plan for the Gaza disengagement plan, but this time in Judea and Samaria. The idea was far more dangerous. Olmert planned to withdraw from Judea and Samaria back to the 1967 lines (before the Six-Day War and the occupation of Judea and Samaria from Jordan), besides 7% of the area on which many Jews were concentrated in.
The plan meant the destruction of dozens of settlements and the evacuation of more than 100,000 Jews from their homes. As with Rabin and Peres, Barak, as does Olmert, aspire to bring an end to the conflict between Jews and Muslim Arabs, at almost all costs, on the one hand, overshadowing everything else they wanted to do, and on the other, encountering the reality wall of the Middle East.
Gaza did not wait for Olmert. Since its establishment, Olmert’s government has had to deal with incessant rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which has intensified and spread to other destinations, besides the city of Sderot, a direct result of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
In one of the most dramatic events in the Olmert government, the Hezbollah terrorist organization attacked an IDF patrol on the Lebanese border, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two. The incident led to the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War.
It has been 13 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords and the politicization of the IDF command’s leadership has been significantly strengthened. Senior commanders, on the mission of politicians, have repeatedly engaged in negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs and have given security back to the left’s governments, in front of the Israeli public who has great confidence in the IDF and its commanders. The IDF was in an accelerated degeneration process both in terms of military quality and equipment and in the consciousness.
The military leadership, with a view to helping or at least not hindering diplomatic moves, planned its military moves to contain the security incidents and not to achieve a victory.
The second Lebanon war exposed the IDF in its nakedness. The soldiers fighting along with the junior command were motivated to fight and win the war, just as it was in previous wars, but they have already encountered a shortage of equipment, a confused and fickle command, with unclear goals and no passion for victory.
In front of them was Hezbollah who was able to take full advantage of the hasty IDF retreat from southern Lebanon and build bunkers, captured the villages, equipped with anti-aircraft missiles, long-range rockets and other weapons that it did not have before the IDF retreat.
The war continued for a month, during which Hezbollah launched rockets continuously into Israel with the aim of injuring and killing civilians.
The IDF controlled the air and fought hard battles in southern Lebanon. Among the military operations: exposing territory adjacent to the Israeli border, conquering villages, destroying a part of Hizbullah’s long-range rocket pool, bombing and severely damaging Hizbullah’s residential district in Lebanon, severe damage to southern Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and the naval siege of Lebanon during the war.
Results of the Second Lebanon War
UN Resolution 1701 – At the end of the war, UN Resolution 1701 was adopted, which included a number of issues: adding 15,000 troops to the UN military force in southern Lebanon, embarrassing Hizbullah weapons and preventing the introduction of weapons into southern Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese government.
Other international decisions, too, have become insignificant: Hizbullah, assisted by Iran, systematically violated this decision by introducing weapons into southern Lebanon and exposing military tunnels from southern Lebanon into Israel, tunnels searched in Operation “Northern Shield” (2018) aimed at uncovering and neutralizing assault tunnels.
Cancellation of the Convergence Plan – Following the Second Lebanon War and its consequences, Olmert decided to freeze the promotion of the convergence plan even though at the beginning of the war he still declared that the war would give momentum to the implementation of the plan.
Deterrence against Hezbollah – In spite of all this, Hezbollah and Lebanon suffered serious damage. The war took a heavy toll on them in dead soldiers, in ruined infrastructure, in the loss of weapons and in greater international involvement within southern Lebanon. Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, has stated in the past that if he had known that the kidnapping would end, he would not. The IDF has deterred Hezbollah and for years Hezbollah has almost completely avoided rocket fire at Israel or terrorist operations on the border with Israel.
Political Unrest in Israel – The Second Lebanon War was probably the first war that the IDF failed to achieve a clear victory. The combination of public sentiment that the Second Lebanon War was a failure, along with serious corruption cases linked to Olmert’s name, led to his resignation from the Kadima party and Tzipi Livni was elected to lead the party instead of Olmert.