A: When: During the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

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1 POINTS OF INTEREST FOR GUEST APPEARANCE For my book FROM KING DAVID TO DAVID BEN- GURION: THERE HAVE BEEN NONE LIKE DAVID, I would like to suggest a few points described in the book that are controversial and to be remembered. Suggested Questions: 1. Q: When and why did you decide to write this book about David Ben- Gurion, and the Middle East situation in general? A: When: During the Yom Kippur War in Why: The failure of the government to properly protect Israel in 1973, and to act contrary to Ben- Gurion s policy of putting the country before self, inspired me to want to write about David Ben- Gurion and the Arab- Israel relations and future. Prime Minister Golda Meir failed to mobilize the country s defense forces in 1973, despite being told directly by King Hussein of Jordan that an attack had been planned, and that Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff David Elazar expected an attack after seeing the Egyptian forces mobilize. I was on call on Yom Kippur in 1973, and was in the hospital (in Petaq Tikva). Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, a heroic military commander during the Six- Day War in 1967, appeared on TV on October 6, 1973 and sounded terrified (he said, We re going to break their bones! ). I called the connecting officer so I could join the fight, and was told to join a regiment on the front line as a doctor. A few days into the war, I saw a soldier hitch- hiking to Tel- Aviv. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was an artillery soldier and that they ran out of ammunition so left the front line. I had never felt so bad in my life 1

2 as I did at that moment, at the idea that this could happen. The Israeli army had always been prepared to defend itself in a three- to- one ratio of Israelis to the other army, so how could Meir s government send us into battle at such a disadvantage? A few weeks before the war began, Golda Meir said on TV that Menachem Begin had been wrong in insisting, in 1970, that Israel should immediately attack Egypt s anti- air missiles, which were advanced in violation of the cease- fire with Egypt. When Meir refused to allow it, Begin left the coalition government. In September 1973, Meir broadcast on television that, because she did not listen to Begin, Israel enjoyed three years without losing one soldier in the Suez Canal; yet by standing her ground in the weeks leading up to the election, instead of preparing Israel to preemptively attack or otherwise defend itself, Meir played Russian roulette with the Israeli people s lives. That we ran out of ammunition meant we were significantly unprepared. Ms. Meir s party first attitude, which directly contracted Ben- Gurion s country first policy, nearly led to the destruction of the third house of Israel. I needed to wait forty years for the archives to be released to validate my theory. Although I understood, a few days into the war, that the situation was grave, my priority was to support my regimen by providing it medical support and maintaining good spirits; it was not the right time to bring up my disappointment. Yet I saw that we had a system failure; I had been a tank officer in the Six- Day War, not a doctor, and so understood what a disaster it was that we ran out of ammunition. Worse, two weeks before the war, Meir met with King Hussein of Jordan, who warned her that the Egyptians and Syrians were planning on attacking Israel. David Elazar, Chief of Staff, was not informed of this meeting. 2

3 Elazar wanted to mobilize to defend Israel even without this knowledge, because Elazar saw the Egyptians preparing to cross the canal for weeks. Had Elazar not put a brigade at the north and the south, which kept the Egyptians and Syrians at bay and gave the Israeli army time to mobilize, Israel would have lost much of its territory, and many Israeli people would have been massacred. Even Ariel Sharon knew there would be a war for sure, just from seeing the satellite imagery from the air. 2.Q: What is mamlachtiut, and why does Ben- Gurion put the interest of the country over any political or party interest? What is the danger of not following Ben- Gurion s legacy about mamlachtiut? A: Mamlachtiut means Kingdom and refers to country first, not party first, so that even if the person running the country dies, the country itself survives. Ben- Gurion needed Biblical courage to declare statehood in President Truman had sent him a Telegram warning him not to declare statehood, 40% of his cabinet voted against statehood, and five Arab armies had threatened to invade the embryonic state if he declared statehood. On top of that, Israel did not have a unified, well- equipped military. The IDF had not yet been formed. The Jewish military groups protecting the Yeshuve (all the Jews) had only rifles and bullets, and further refused to unify (not until three months after the Arabs would attack in 1948 did they unify). They had no artillery guns, no tanks, and no air force. Ben- Gurion s pragmatism was miraculous. He had to fight the Jews on the Right and on the Left, and the Arabs, all at the same time. He also had to help form a government that could be effective. Early on, the Israeli Democracy was rudimentary - - the country was run on notes ( Ptakims in 3

4 Hebrew). Ben- Gurion understood that the growing system needed to have checks and balances put in place so that the country would be ruled by a consensus and not by any one person or party. Ben- Gurion did not have a mandate given by a constitution, so that if the others in the People s Council did not agree with him on major issues, his only option would have been to resign; however, Ben- Gurion knew that no one else had the guts to run the show when five Arab armies were threatening to invade the young State, which gave him some leverage. Throughout his leadership, he consistently put his country first, and it was his country not him or any political party that benefitted. 3.Q: What is the reason you consider Ben- Gurion to be the most recent prophet of Israel? A: I had the privilege of observing Ben- Gurion for nearly ten years (six years of my schooling, three years of military service and one year as a student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem). After learning about the battles of 1848 in officer school, I realized that those victories were no less than miraculous. The Danny Campaign (when the IDF took the towns of Ramla and Lod to have access to the Negev), convinced me of two important potential miracles in 1948: (1) the Arab Fear factor aided Israel s victory, as did, (2) that Jordan never organized a military campaign against Israel. First, fifty thousand Arabs believed their leaders propaganda that the Jews were heartless murderers. This Biblical fear was akin to the fear of Parashat Balak, when Joshua s army had instilled great fear in the enemies of Israel. Second, Jordan never organized a military campaign against Israel in I had suspected that Ben- Gurion made it clear to Jordan that the free entrance to the Negev in the south was non- negotiable, and that those towns would be taken anyway. If the Jews lost against the Arab armies, Jordan would be taken by other Arab countries anyway, because Jordan was part of Palestine before 1921 (taking 80% of what was once Palestine). I concluded that King Hussein of Jordan and Ben- Gurion must have made a 4

5 tacit agreement in 1948: that Jordan would not act against Israel, and Israel would give Jordan the West Bank. The extreme right (Revisionists) wanted everything (Jordan and Israel) or nothing, and the left wanted nothing (they believed that a war could be averted if statehood was not declared), but Ben- Gurion knew there was a ground in between the two. Thus, under the Biblical definition of prophet and the definition by scholars such as Maimonides (declaring unpopular truths and having one s prophecies materialized), Ben- Gurion fit the profile of a prophet. He was pragmatic, had the required stamina, and knew how to solve major problems when no one else around him did. Thus, he is the most recent Prophet of Israel. 4.Q: Why do you characterize David Ben- Gurion s state declaration on May 15, 1948 as showing phenomenal or Biblical courage? A: For the simple reasons that 40% of his cabinet voted against the Declaration, the Revisionist (right) insisted on both sides of the Jordan river (which would have assured Israel no support from Jordan or the Soviets), and the Left were convinced that he would lose in a war against the Arabs, and that the Arabs would attack if he declared statehood. The U.S. president sent a Telegram to warn Ben- Gurion: Do not declare statehood. Ben- Gurion knew, evidently, that five Arab nations would invade the small state of Israel, but declared statehood anyway a fearless, and in this way prophetic, position. Only he seemed to know that the Arab armies would invade regardless of whether Israel declared statehood, and that statehood must be declared despite U.S. opposition, weak of support from his own government, and Israel s lack of tanks or an air force, and only after a deal was made with Jordan. Ben- Gurion was asked by a journalist after the Six- Day War, what were the most important events of his life? Ben- Gurion replied. The unification of 5

6 Jerusalem after the Six- Day War. When he was asked, what about the statehood declaration?, Ben- Gurion replied that he knew the Arabs would invade the state of Israel, and so had to unify the military forces to one IDF to win, so he didn t have time to think about enjoying the momentous event of declaring statehood. See also response #2. 5.Q: How do you compare the Israeli army that Moses and Joshua formed more than 3,300 years ago with the IDF formed by David Ben- Gurion? The Biblical parallel. (See Chapter 7) A: Moses raised an army of 620,000 soldiers, which was all the fit males aged I call this army the Israeli attack force (IAF), since Moses was to take the Holy Land and destroy all idolatry in the land of Canaan. David Ben- Gurion had hardly 650,000 Jewish inhabitants before he declared statehood. After successfully unifying the country s military forces he still had only 30,000 soldiers in all, but with it he created the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The IDF was born to defend, whereas Joshua s army was raised to take the Holy Land by force over three thousand years ago, and in size Moses s IAF was more than 20 times the size of David Ben- Gurion s IDF; but they were similar in that both were successfully because of the Arab fear factor, wise leadership and mamlachtiut. 6.Q: In your book, you state that the biggest miracle of the war in 1948 was that the late King Hussein of Jordan was convinced that if the Jews lost the war against the Arab armies, that his country would be cut to pieces by the other Arab countries, and so allied Jordan with the embryonic state of Israel. Please elaborate on that. 6

7 A. Jordan was an artificial country created by the British in 1921 with 80% of Palestine. The country thus was considered illegitimate, so if Israel would have lost the war, Jordan would have been devoured by Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Knowing this, the late King Hussein of Jordan (the great grandfather of the present king) never really gave any indication that he wanted to reach Tel Aviv, but instead only to take parts of Jerusalem, in particular the holy mosque to gain legitimacy by controlling at least one of the three holy sites of Islam. When he took the holy mount in the Jewish quarter, he evicted the Jews but did not kill them, and conceded the towns of Ramla and Lod (which lay between Tel- Aviv and Jerusalem). If the Arabs had followed King Hussein s suggestion to make peace with the new state of Israel instead of attacking it, the whole Palestinian tragedy could have been prevented, earning both Ben- Gurion and King Hussein the Nobel Peace Prize! But if the Palestinians had accepted King Hussein s plan, Israel: (1) would have been a very small country (without having taken the Negev by force, which is more than half of Israel and provides an exit to Indian Ocean), (2) would have had an Arab (Palestinian) majority, and (3) might have had a more difficult time forming a unified government. Instead, the Palestinians wanted everything or nothing, and unfortunately we know what they got. 7.Q: Your chapter on the Holocaust (Chapter 6) discussed mostly the German Jews, and characterizes Adolf Hitler as a megalomaniac. Why do you think Hitler damaged his own country more significantly than he damaged other countries? Do you think the Holocaust is the reason for the creation for the state of Israel? A. My book is not a book on the Holocaust, but it discusses this difficult subject. 7

8 I intended to show how Hitler hurt his country through denying the Jews their rights as German citizens, which he had the German people assist with by describing the Jews as people without human dignity. By demeaning the Jews, he created an environment in Germany whereby it was permissible to kill your neighbor. He convinced the German masses that the Jews did not deserve any human rights, and made no exceptions in cases where murdering Jews would have a significant negative impact on Germany s scientific, cultural or artistic excellence. For example, Albert Einstein developed his physical theories, including the Theory of Relativity, during World War I in Berlin. The Kaiser during World War I was not busy killing German scientists, and while he believed the Jews were responsible for opposition to his rule, he had esteem for Jewish wealthy businessmen, art dealers, and other contributors to German society. But Hitler did not differentiate between the needs of his country and his rapacious need to kill anyone standing in his way. As another example, during WWI and WWII, one of the biggest hospitals in all of Europe was Charitè Hospital in Berlin; nearly all of the major surgical procedures, thoracic surgeries in particular, were created in Berlin. Before WWII, to be a good specialist in medicine and surgery required knowing German, but Hitler removed this advantage by forcing out all Jewish surgeons and doctors, and nearly 200 professors and teachers were fired on ideological grounds in the 1930s (and the hospital itself was directly bombed, along with many other hospitals, in an air raid in 1943). Germany never recovered its excellence in science like before Hitler. Fortunately, 60% of Germany s Jews left before WWII, with 60,000 emigrating to Palestine. These 60,000 Jews brought with them significant technology the basis for the start- up nation. 8

9 Hitler was a criminal megalomaniac not only against other nations and Jews, but against the Germans he purported to support. For example, Hitler gave an order to flood the Berlin subway and murdered 200,000 women, children and sick and old people. [Elaborate]. Is the Holocaust a reason Israel was created? Probably not, but it was maybe a catalyst. [Elaborate on the body and the soul]. It s was not the Holocaust that created Israel specifically, but instead anti- Semitism, which Hitler spread throughout Europe to aid him. No one else in the day of David Ben- Gurion had the guts, especially after WWII, to go against most of the world, certainly the most powerful countries and Israel s surrounding countries. By creating a Jewish state, Ben- Gurion diminished the impact of anti- Semitism around the world. The various foreign leaders who decided to scapegoat the Jews, to exterminate educated contributors in their own countries, ended up hurting their countries and helping Israel. THESIS: In all the Jewish history, the leaders (Haman, Hitler, Romans) who decided to exterminate their own Jews ended up destroying themselves and/or their own nation. 8. Q: You say in your book that the War of 1967 was akin to David winning over Goliath. What do you think is the process by which Israel became Goliath, and the Arabs became David, or the underdog? The objective and subjective reasons. A. The Six- Day War changed the Middle East completely, including making Israel the Goliath instead of the David. 9

10 Before the war, I was a medical student in Montpellier, France. After Israel s Independence day on May 15, 1967, the President of Egypt decided to fill the Sinai with a large army. This was in a violation of the agreement under which Israel had withdrawn from the Sinai in 1957, and then U.S. president Eisenhower had guaranteed that the Sinai would be demilitarized forever. In those days, the Israeli army was relatively small, thus Israel had to mobilize its citizens to protect the country, which had the effect of paralyzing the country. American president LBJ unfortunately ignored the militarization by Egypt and its effect on Israel. After realizing that the United States had abandoned Israel, Egypt s President Nasser became more emboldened, and decided to block the Straight of Tiran, which choked Israel economically. The UN Secretary General U Thant further removed the UN forces from the Sinai, which had been placed there to separate the two countries. When the UN forces evacuated, it seemed clear to me that the four permanent members of the UN decided to allow the Arabs to finish the job that Hitler could not finish. On June 5, 1967, I took a train to Paris. On June 6, I was taken on the first El- Al flight to Israel, and the following morning brought by Jeep to the front line to join my regiment. I saw what seemed like countless burned Egyptian vehicles and tanks. It was a real hell for the Egyptian army, which suffered at the foolishness of Egyptian President Nasser. I remembered seeing him on TV promising that this was the last time the Jewish state would commemorate its day of independence. Thank G- d that Israel did not have T.V. The Israeli people did not see what I saw on French TV, including that America and France, and the other U.N. permanent members, had abandoned Israel. I felt that LBJ s failure to respond was frankly criminal. Becaue of this war, it would now be far more difficult to have any peace in the Middle East, because the Arab anger towards Israel after losing the war would only increase. As a tank officer, I chose to go with the first group of people into 10

11 battle and saw that Nasser was pushed into an abyss to which he did not want to go to. 9.Q: Why do you describe the expulsion of the Jews from Spain as the Holocaust of the Sephardic Jews, and why do you say that Islam came to the rescue? Also you say that, in that period (1492), Islamic and the Muslim countries practically saved the Jewish culture. Explain. A. The Alhambra decree by the Catholic Queen of Spain can be considered the impetus of the Holocaust of the Sephardic Jews. Jews were one million strong in Spain (of a population of only six million), and instrumental in keeping the Spanish economy well- oiled. The culture of the Jews had been thriving, and they included many philosophers known worldwide. It is mind- boggling how any leader could choose to cleanse close to 20% of the elite of his own population. The Ottoman Sultan in Turkey, Bayezid II, declared that the Spanish queen was unintelligent for getting rid of a very productive segment of its population, and said he invited the Jewis to fertilize his country. The sultan of Turkey sent the Turkish navy to transfer, at his own country s expense, 90,000 Jews to Turkey. Eight hundred thousand left Spain, and 30,000 were slain before leaving. Of those 30,000, many were gutted and thrown into the sea, while still alive, by Spanish Gangs who had hoped to find swallowed jewelry. Spain had been at its peak, but less than one- hundred years later, the country had a fall from grace. Today Spain is an economically depressed country, with an unemployment rate of 25%, and with 50% of its university graduates unable to find a job. Two years ago, the King of Spain called for the descendants of the Spanish Jews to return to Spain. What an irony. 11

12 The majority of the Jews expelled from Spain went to Arab countries. The Islamic countries practically saved the Jewish culture by giving it a safe haven. Although Maimonides (HaRambam) had accomplished most of his work in Egypt before the Alhambra decree, a significant amount of Jewish achievements occurred Arab countries by these displaced Jews. Interestingly enough, in the 1950s, Israel needed Jews badly and maybe it was G- d Grand design, because the Arabs took care of this problem by forcing out close to one million Jews from these same countries, of which 700,000 went to Israel, myself included. Today over 50% of the Jewish population in Israel is Sephardic. 10. Q: Why do you think the American President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) wanted the Arabs to win against Israel? What is your proof? You claim in the chapter on the Six- Day War that many lessons learned from the war could have been used to prevent the disaster of the Yom Kippur War. Can you elaborate on this? You also talked about the blunder of Six- Day War despite also calling it a victory of Biblical proportions. What do you mean by blunder? A: When I was still in Montpellier, I of course worried about the Egyptian army entering the Sinai, and expected that, since the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai in 1957 was guaranteed by the U.S. President (Eisenhower), and came with some very ugly arm- twisting of Ben- Gurion, that it was not possible to have an American president ten years later fail to even respond to the Sinai being militarized; neither Israeli nor Egyptian forces were even allowed there, but instead a UN force. Then President Nasser of Egypt asked U.N. Secretary General U Thant to withdraw the blue helmets from the Sinai in 1967, and U Thant immediately agreed and removed them. This proved to me that America, England, France and the Soviet Union (the four permanent members of the Security Council of the UN) supported Egypt s militarization in preparation of its attack on Israel, 12

13 since the withdrawal would have required the agreement of the four permanent members. President Nasser of Egypt closed the strait of Tiran without any American (or other) reaction. The conclusion to me was simple: LBJ wanted the Arabs to win. One day before Israel pre- emptively attacked Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told the Americans in confidence that Israel would attack the next day. Israel then intercepted a message from the U.S. to the Egyptians that revealed Israel s plan to attack on the morning of June 15, Fortunately, Nasser did not believe the Americans, which was the biggest miracle of the Six- Day War, but this breach of trust showed that Eshkol had trusted LBJ naively. [Elaborate on spy ship USS Liberty and Israel s subsequent attack on the ship] When Israel was winning the war, LBJ was flabbergasted. LBJ realized that Israel was no longer a banana republic. On the second day of the war, De Gaul declared an embargo, and the U.S. gave Israel arms. There were many battles in the Sinai in 1967 where, even with the superiority of the Israeli air forces, the Egyptians had the clear advantage in the number of war vehicles and gave the Israeli a real black eye. Because of the Israeli quick victory, those battles were never studied properly, but their examination and analysis could have come in very handy for Yom Kippur War. Considering the blunders (Eshkol s trust in the U.S. and Israel s limited vehicles), Israel ended the war controlling the Sinai, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, which expanded Israel s territory by more than 3 times. Israel now had total control of the Palestinian refugee camps, and could easily get funding to settle in the West Bank, and build 10 cities in the Sinai that each would have had a 20-25% Arab population. This could have opened the road 13

14 to peace, to show the whole world that Jews and Arabs could again live together. After all, the Jews and Arabs lived together for one thousand years in harmony, including back when they lived in Spain and Spain was controlled by the Arabs until the ReConquista (when Christians took control of the Iberic peninsula, and when its last Arab city (Cordova) was freed of Arabs in 1492, Spain issued the Alhambra decree). But instead, now would come Israel s biggest blunder associated with the Six- Day War. Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir never really had any plan for peace in the end. In the famous meeting between then- prime minister Levi Eshkol and Ms. Ada Sereni about the Palestinian refugees, Eshkol cared only about one thing: how to send the Arabs from Gaza to as far away as possible. He and Golda Meir never took heart the legacy of David Ben- Gurion: that peace with Arabs was as important as having a state for the Jews. This was the biggest blunder that followed the Six- Day War, as the opportunity to help the Jews and Arabs live together peacefully was passed up. 11.Q: We know that in the Yom Kippur War, the Arab armies surprised the state of Israel. What was Henry Kissinger s role in preventing an Israeli preemptive strike? Why do you think Golda Meir in fact knew that an attack on Israel was imminent, and why do you think she listened to Kissinger? Don t you think you re coming down too hard on this poor old woman? Why do you say in your book that you wish Kissinger would read this book before he dies? In officer school, we learned that to have a successful attack, the attacker must have an advantage of 3- to- 1. We now know that Golda Meir knew the war was imminent and that she played Russian roulette with the future of the State of Israel, allowing the enemies of Israel to attack Israel with an advantage of 40- to- 1. She never considered how many would die or get hurt, let alone the danger to the Third House of Israel, and how many families would be destroyed all for her own political gain. 14

15 Meir had the political brutality to place the blame on Chief of Staff David Elazar instead of herself, even though he bypassed her and placed two regiments at the borders, despite not even knowing with as much certainty as Meir did that the Arab countries would attack. Only 40 years later have we discovered that Meir met with King Hussein of Jordan in Tel- Aviv, at which time he told her plainly that war was imminent; Meir kept this meeting (and its revelation) secret, deciding not to disclose it even to Chief of Staff Elazar. The regiments that Elazar placed, against Meir s orders, prevented the Syrians from reaching Haifa, which would have resulted in as many as 200,000 Israeli deaths. His other brigade prevented the Egyptians from taking all of the Sinai. Why did Meir do this? The elections were supposed to take place in the second week of October Two weeks before the war started, Golda Meir went on TV and declared that Begin was wrong in 1970 when he insisted that Israel attack Egypt s missiles, and that had Israel listened to him, the country would be at war. She decided not to tell Israelis, because it might change the outcome of the election, that, I am sorry, but we need to mobilize because a war is imminent. She also did not want to go against the U.S. s order not to preemptively attack, and used the U.S. s warning as a pretext. Yet Henry Kissinger fooled her into not preempting Egypt s attack while telling the Arabs that they could start a war and Israel would not preemptively attack. Kissinger had the gall to say, after the war, that he saved Israel. No Jew in all of history could have done as much damage to the Jewish nation. Thus, I would like him to read my book before he dies. (Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens). 12.Q: We know today that one of the most difficult problems in Israel is the relationships among the different Jewish persuasions. Can you elaborate on this? Why are you so optimistic about those relations? You also stress in 15

16 your book that Israel needs a Constitution. Why do you think that s important for the country and the peace process? A: If you read Winston Churchill s book about Greece, he starts out by comparing the Greeks to the Jews, specifically how they can argue and fight each other until the enemy is at the door. If you read my book s Chapter 12 about the war among the Jews, you ll understand that Israel was always a very argumentative nation; but although this tendency can be sometimes negative, it has many advantages. Churchill himself said that he had an admiration for both the Greeks and the Jews, and that no two cities influenced the history of the world more than Athens and Jerusalem. We can define Israel today as a melting pot, with people from more than 100 nations and speaking at least 70 languages. To unite such a salad of people is not easy. But less than 70 years later, they all speak the same language, including the Israeli Arabs. Even Jews who came from very poor countries, (2 nd, 3 rd, or 4 th generation) have shown their talents like everyone else, and we can find among them doctors, lawyers, engineers, and generals in the army. The real problem arises when you analyze the extremes in the bell curves. The extreme people on the right, or the ultra religious people, were always present in Jewish culture. They can be relatively violent to each other while the extreme people on the left are agnostic and dislike the ultra religious more than they dislike the actual enemies of Israel. The Haradim, or the ultra religious, know that Israel was created and pioneered by Eastern European Jews, and that they were totally secular. But the Eastern European Jews believe that religion has run its course, and only socialism or communism can save the world from its maladies. So, in a way, it is difficult to blame the ultra religious for not accepting people with such a different ideology, and no belief in God. Everyone is thankful to them for their willingness to die to create the state of Israel, but that many of them have shown a willingness to side with Soviet Union instead of the free world has 16

17 been highly alienating. Ben- Gurion never understood how some leftist Jews could have a picture of Stalin in their office. Shimon Peres says in his book about Ben- Gurion that the socialists were on drugs for supporting Stalin; after all, Stalin (Jughashvili) was an even bigger murder than Hitler. When Stalin died, the Socialist Journal Al- Hamishmar wrote a large obituary for Stalin saying that the ISRAELI SOCIALIST PARTY IS MOURNING THE DEATH OF THE GREAT LEADER, Josef Stalin Jughashvili, OF THE SOCIALIST WORLD. Yet at the other extreme, some ultra religious groups are close to cults, like the Satmar or the Neture Karta. The most inclusive Haradim are the Chabad movement. Originally the Chabad were anti- Zionist. Interestingly enough, even the reformed Jews in America were anti- Zionists. Today the Chabad movement is clearly Zionist. They support Israel and do marvelous work. The reformed Jews are also Zionists, and even the Satmar and Neture Karta group are willing to sit in the Israeli government, so slowly they are all becoming Zionists (especially after the victory of the Six- Day War and Yom Kippur War, and in the latter Israel triumphed despite being disadvantaged 40- to- 1). The ultra religious had believed that G- d had abandoned Israel, but then how could Israel win even more impressive than those described in the Bible? Why does Israel need a Constitution? Just like in France before Charles de Gaulle returned to power, Israel suffers from too many political parties that cripple the government. In 1946, De Gaulle left the government, after which France s Fourth Republic suffered from about twenty prime ministers in 10 years. On average, each Prime Minister lasted 6 months in office. In 1958, various politicians asked De Gaulle to return. De Gaulle said he would return if the constitution was changed to give the President more power. I arrived in France in 1966 to start my medical education, and the constitution of the Fifth Republic was in full blast. I got the feeling that that I was living in a 17

18 monarchy. De Gaulle was running his Wednesday cabinet meeting like a King. No minister could contradict De Gaulle, and the cabinet meetings were simply confirmations of his policies. Suddenly I understood De Gaulle definition of a good leader: a benevolent dictator. The French government was suddenly stable. I became interested in understanding the advantage of the Fifth Republic s Constitution over the Fourth. Even though I don t believe Israel needs a benevolent dictator, it needs something far less fractured than it has today. Why Israel needs a constitution: 1. Mshilute (narrow coalition) can become the thing of the past if the president is given more power, and parties will need to fuse to gain leverage. 2. In the second round, the President will always be voted by a majority. 3. No more a blackmail by small parties to give in to special interests. 4. Religion must be taken out of politics, and kept separate from things governmental. 5.All citizens should have the same rights and obligations as one another, including the Arabs, which would facilitate the peace process. It is important for the Arabs to not only have rights, but also obligations. 13.Q: Why do you think the Israeli Arabs and the Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity? And what exactly do you think they should do to pave the road for real peace? A: The Israeli Arabs took the position of everything or nothing, partly because they felt vengeful towards the Israeli Jews for the wars. This position by the Israeli Arabs is unattainable, unrealistic, morally wrong and counterproductive, and only increased the Jewish fear factor. 18

19 Frankly it is childish to think that the Jewish majority will commit suicide it will never happen. Most Jews are willing to follow Ben- Gurion s legacy and do everything possible for peace, but short of suicide. More and more Israelis have begun to believe that the Arabs are not interested in peace, and that they want a state but are not willing to commit to ending their war against the Jews. Thus, the Israeli Arabs have missed their opportunity for peace and a state for 67 years. But things seem to be changing just now. The first time I heard the Israeli Arabs condemning terrorism by Israeli Arabs against the Jewish Israelis was in the murder of a few Israelis in a café in Tel Aviv in December 2015, which is very recently. This Israeli Arab came from a village near Vadi Arha. I believe perhaps that Israeli Arabs are starting to get the message that this incitement of terrorism is economically counterproductive, and causes them significant financial damage. It has resulted in no Israeli Jews going to any Arab restaurant in the north, and preferring not to shop in Arab stores, which must be damaging the economy of the Israeli Arabs, in the north especially. I hope the Israeli Arab leadership will come to the conclusion that if you can t beat them, join them. It is childish to believe that, in a democratic country, 20% of the population should dictate to the 80% how to conduct themselves. 14.Q: In American- Israeli relations, regarding the perceived animosity of most American presidents toward Israel, why do you think Ben- Gurion s legacy has or have presented the teaching how to manage this negative attitude. A: For obvious reasons, the Jewish state presented a difficult situation for United States foreign affairs. The total number of Jews worldwide is hardly 15 million, while the Arabs and other Muslims are 1.6 billion. Even though it s the only democracy in the Middle East, and most Americans have a tendency 19

20 to prefer relations with the Jewish state over the Arab states, the American government has its hands tied because of the enormous number of countries that are Arab or Muslim. Ben- Gurion told the Israelis about the Holocaust, claiming never again. This never again is well- entrenched in the Israeli mind, and Ben- Gurion taught the Israelis to put the Jewish state first, build a strong army, and make sure that Israel acquired the technology to make an atomic bomb. Officially Israel does not have an atomic bomb, but it has the technology to build one in short time. This legacy has been enough for the Arabs to understand that they cannot beat Israel easily, and that mutual destruction would be assured, which creates a cold war much like the threat of mutual destruction did between the United States and the Soviet Union. The only exception from the cold war is the Iranians. The Iranian leaders are not always rational, and would use the bomb, which now officially, even if they do not cheat, Obama gave them the permission to in 10 years time. Why Obama went against the American public opinion and made a deal with Ayatolahs of Iran is frankly not clear; but as I mentioned in the book, this deal may have laid the groundwork for World War III. I said in the book that there is a good reason to believe that the Iranians will attack Saudi Arabia. They have been doing it via proxies (Yemen), and there is a good chance, with what we have seen in the past few weeks (December 2015), that Iran might start a real war against Saudi Arabia. I believe every American president understood the importance of having good relations with Israel, and the American president has to manage the Arabs and the Muslims in the best way possible. For example, Obama knows very well that Abumazen (the president of the Palestinian authority) does not want to sign a document declaring that the war against the Jews is over, and still when the talks failed in April 2014, he blamed Israel for the failure, which was the easier thing to do. 20

21 At the same time, Ben- Gurion left a legacy that taught Israeli how to manage this American difficulty, and both sides are playing their show. It is always easier to blame the Jews, especially when the whole world knows that the Jews are used to it. So to make the Jews feel better about the world s animosity, Ben- Gurion described the UN as Ume- Shmum. 15. Q: What do you think would make for the best conditions for peace among Jews and Arabs, and what is the real legacy of David Ben- Gurion? David Ben- Gurion always stated that to have peace with the Arabs was as important as having a State for the Jews. He also always preached for Jewish unity. Unfortunately, like all major Biblical figures, Ben- Gurion did not achieve the peace with the Arabs, and unity is a process that takes years to happen. However, he created a very strong army, and by testimony of Ariel Sharon said: Let me first tell you one thing: It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive. Unfortunately, there is still no real partner for peace, and Ben- Gurion could not get the peace he aspired for. But today, in 2016, we can already see some signs that the Israeli Arabs are realizing that to being eternally anti- Israeli is no longer working. This is a good beginning, and runs parallel to the war between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims, which is now reaching a dangerous peak. The Shiite v. Sunni animosity has lasted for 1,300 years, but now we are in a dangerous state where two major 21

22 belligerents (Iran the Shiite state, and Saudi Arabia the Sunni state) can attack one another. But Israel has other Arab allies as a result. Israel is at peace with Egypt (which is also a Sunni state). The president of Egypt seems to see clearly that Arab terrorism hurts his economy. Jordan was always a tacit ally of Israel, so Obama s doctrine of supporting the Iranians might result in an unexpected alliance between Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Israel. As usual, no Obama foreign policy in the Middle East has ever succeeded, and it looks like he has created an alliance between Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Israel that can triumph over the Iranians, and prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb. None of these Middle Eastern countries, whether Arab or Jewish, trust Obama, and they prefer to act independently of the U.S. This alliance among Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Israel can bring real peace to the Middle East, and can turn the region into an economic power, especially if Turkey and one day Syria join it. But this can be achieved only if the Americans, Europeans, and Russians leave the Middle East alone. This kind of alliance could also overcome the Palestinian troublemakers that want to destroy the Jewish state by giving the Palestinians less leverage to maintain their everything or nothing position. More importantly, the Muslims were always good friends of the Jews. They lived in peace for 1,000 years, and there is no reason why the friendship cannot be reinstated. Thus, peace, I believe, is all in their heads. 22

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