The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


The Russian Card: Israel Must Distance Itself from Washington

Filed under: Foreign PolicyPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:46 am Edit This

Eidelberg Report, March 23, 2009.

There can be no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is playing the Muslim card to the detriment of Israel. His appeasement of Iran, the epicenter of global terrorism, is especially troubling, to Americans as well as Israelis. Obama’s Middle East advisers have consorted not only with Hamas, an Iranian proxy, but also with Syria, a terrorist state. The Obama government is helping the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority to establish a military training base in Jericho. All this substantiates a March 19 report in Israel Today. I quote:

A former top US intelligence official warns that the Obama Administration is about to break America’s long ties of friendship with Israel, and maybe even take steps toward the dissolution of the Jewish state. Speaking on condition of anonymity to Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network, the source said: “The Obama Administration … is preparing to provide more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”

In Sleeping with the Devil, ex-CIA agent Robert Baer reveals that former high officials in Washington luxuriate on the Saudi payroll. (more…)


Metternichean Principles of Statecraft

Filed under: Foreign PolicyIsrael’s Sovereignty — eidelberg @ 7:44 am Edit This

Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (1773 – 1859) was a German-Austrian politician and statesman and was one of the most important diplomats of his era. Henry Kissinger wrote his doctoral dissertation on Metternich.

As Metternich saw, to expect the leaders of a dictatorship (such as the Fatah- or Hamas-led Palestinian Authority) to be moderate is like asking them to destroy the foundation of their existence. What follows are some Metternichean principles of statecraft extracted from his writings:

(1) Any plan conceived in moderate terms must fail when the circumstances are set in the extreme. In any situation where each of the possible lines of action involves difficulty, the strongest line is the best.

(2) Compromise is the easy refuge of irresolute or unprincipled men. Of course compromise is appropriate when dealing with temporary and partial interests. But a nation’s survival is not a matter of compromise. (more…)

Sun Tzu

Filed under: Foreign PolicyGaza Incursion — eidelberg @ 7:35 am Edit This

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, written about 500 B.C.E., is the oldest military treatise in the world. Even now, after twenty-five centuries, the basic principles of that treatise remain a valuable guide for the conduct of war. Indeed, Sun Tzu may be of interest to the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, in view of the Arab Terrorist War that erupted in September 2000. Since then more than 1,600 Jews have been murdered and many thousands more have been wounded and maimed by Arab terrorists.

Referring to the IDF’s limited response to this Arab terrorism, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “self-restraint is strength”! At first glance one might suspect that Mr. Sharon had been influence by Mother Theresa. It may well be, however, that he derived that dictum from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War—or rather, from a misreading of that treatise. Sun Tzu would have an army general exhibit, at first, “the coyness of a maiden”—to draw out the enemy—but thereafter he would have him emulate the fierceness of a lion.

Of course, when the forces of the enemy exceed your own or occupy superior ground, then self-restraint is prudence. But when this situation is reversed, self-restraint is weakness. In fact, Sun Tzu goes so far as to say, “If fighting is reasonably sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbids it.

In referring to various ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army and his people, Sun Tzu cautions a ruler against “attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom.” (more…)



Filed under: Foreign PolicyIslam & ArabPoliticians — eidelberg @ 6:48 am Edit This

Few people really understand why Israel, despite its superior military forces, is retreating to her precarious 1949 armistice lines. Before discussing this strange phenomenon, let us review the stages of Israel’s shrinkage or capitulation.

The first shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the Camp David Agreement of September 1978. Begin, a vaunted nationalist, signed away the Sinai to Egypt, a military dictatorship. He also compromised retention of Judea and Samaria by referring to their Arab inhabitants as a “people”—in fact rival Arab clans from diverse countries of the Middle East. Begin ignored this fact, in consequence of which Israel has become a pariah.

The second shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993. Contrary to his June 1992 election campaign, Rabin virtually surrendered Judea and Samaria to the PLO, a criminal organization cited as such in Israeli law. He even opened negotiations with Syria, a terrorist state, to give away the Golan Heights. Rabin violated his word, reason, as well as the law.

The third shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Wye River Summit of 1998. There he agreed to yield 40 percent of Judea and Samaria to Yasser Arafat, a bloody murderer. (He had already yielded 80 percent of Hebron to that murderer.) (more…)


Treason and Multiparty Cabinet Government

Filed under: Foreign PolicyParty StructuresPoliticiansIsrael’s Sovereignty — eidelberg @ 7:41 am Edit This

The present writer is repeatedly asked to discuss the pernicious character of Israel’s system of multiparty cabinet government. Many concerned citizens appalled by a political system in which the cabinet consists of the leaders of five or six or more rival political parties.

It is obvious to my interlocutors that the leaders of such a cabinet, far from being animated by a coherent, resolute, and long-term national program, are primarily motivated by their own personal and partisan interests, which means they compete with each other for political power and a larger share of the public treasury. This self-aggrandizement fosters public cynicism, which of course undermines the people’s confidence in their government.

What is not widely known, however, is that multiparty cabinet government also conduces to treason. To illustrate, let us go back to 1988. A so-called National Unity Government was then in power. The coalition agreement specified that Likud chairman Moshe Shamir would hold the post of Prime Minister for the first two years of the Government’s tenure, that Labor chairman Shimon Peres would be PM for the second two years, and that during Shamir’s tenure, Peres would hold the post of Finance Minister.

Bearing this in mind, let us now recall certain heated altercations that took place in an August 1989 session of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. (more…)


Does Israel Have A True Friend?

Filed under: Foreign PolicyOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael’s SovereigntyUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 4:07 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 15, 2008.

If Israel has a true friend, look not for him in Washington. Last week, it was reported that the Bush administration will not cooperate with Israel should it decide to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Taken at face value, this will hinder Israel in facing off alone against the much larger Islamic Republic which is equipped with some of the latest military technology from Russia.

True, the U.S. has agreed to sell Israel 1,000 “bunker-buster” bombs and to bolster Israel’s missile defense system. But this is hardly reassuring if Israel is not allowed to refuel its military planes in Iraq, or use Iraqi airspace for a flyover on the way to Iran. Even if Israeli jets were to reach Iran, they might not be able to carry enough bombs to do the job.

If the Bush administration has in effect vetoed an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, one may conclude that, from an objective point of view, it is not strategically concerned about Israel’s survival. Consistent with this unpleasant conclusion, not only is George W. Bush the first president that openly advocated a Palestinian state, but he has offered the Palestinian authority a U.S. guarantee of statehood without conditions—for starters, demilitarization. Surely Mr. Bush knows that a militarized Arab state occupying the Judean and Samarian highlands would make Israel indefensible. Surely he knows, as MK Yuval Steinitz knows and has warned, a Palestinian state would “immediately become an outpost for Iran.” (more…)


Violations of the Interim Agreement—and Questions

Filed under: Foreign PolicyOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:45 am Edit This

Violations of the Interim Agreement
Reported by the Netanyahu Government

Reference: Prime Minister’s Report—Volume 2, Number 10, April, 21 1998


A. The Interim Agreement

  1. According to the September 28, 1995 Interim Agreement (”Oslo 2″), the Palestinian Authority (PA) may deploy at this stage up to 24,000 Policemen in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Annex I, Article IV (3)).

  2. The accord also requires the PA to submit a list of all potential police recruits to Israel for approval (Annex I, Article IV(4)). (more…)


Arab and Israeli Statecraft

Filed under: Foreign PolicyIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 5:52 am Edit This

Arab rulers, for example, Syrian dictator Bashir Assad, have learned from Anwar Sadat how to get territorial and other strategic resources from Israel for nothing. Thus, in an interview with The New York Times dated October 19, 1980, Sadat boasted: “Poor Menachem [Begin], he has his problems … After all, I got back … the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”

Two years earlier, in November 1978 (hence four months before the signing of the March 1979 Israel-Egyptian peace treaty), I warned Israel’s government in these words:

The Arab rulers aren’t fools. They surely see the utility of Sadat’s strategy, which provides them with a model for regaining their own lost territory. One can go so far as to say that even if Sadat were assassinated, he would continue to be useful. Having served the Arab cause, he isn’t physically necessary any more. But his example is. (Sadat’s Strategy, p. 41, English edition.)

Arab leaders probably look at Israel’s ruling elites as “useful idiots,” to use Lenin’s cynicism. (more…)


The Art of War

Filed under: Foreign PolicyThe Israel Defense Force — eidelberg @ 6:38 am Edit This

An early version of this article appeared in 2004.

The Art of War: Part I

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, written about 500 B.C.E., is the oldest military treatise in the world. Even now, after twenty-five centuries, the basic principles of that treatise remain a valuable guide for the conduct of war.

Perhaps Sun Tzu may be of interest to the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, in view of the Arab Terrorist War which erupted in September 2000. Since then more than 1,600 Jews have been murdered and many thousands more have been wounded and maimed by Arab terrorists.

Referring to the IDF’s limited response to this Arab terrorism, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “self-restraint is strength”! At first glance one might suspect that Mr. Sharon had been inspired by the Sermon on the Mount. It may well be, however, that he derived that dictum from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War—or rather, from a misreading of that treatise. Sun Tzu would have a general exhibit, at first, “the coyness of a maiden”—to draw out the enemy—but thereafter he would have him emulate the fierceness of a lion.

Instead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is emulating a pussy cat. (more…)


War Models

Filed under: EthicsForeign PolicyUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 6:45 am Edit This

Nazi Germany never attacked, killed or wounded a single American on the American continent. Yet the U.S. declared war on Germany, bombed its industrial and civilian centers, invaded its territory, but not before invading and liberating France—at the necessary cost of killing civilians. America’s war policy? “Unconditional surrender.” The outcome? Germany surrendered, unconditionally.

North Korea, a Soviet proxy, never attacked, killed or maimed a single American on the American mainland. Yet the U.S., under United Nations auspices, waged war against North Korea (some 10,000 kilometers away), bombed and invaded its territory, killing many thousands of civilians in the process, until driven out by the Chinese. America’s war policy? Restoration of the status quo ante. The outcome was precisely that: Korea remained divided. The U.S. did not win the war and did not lose—except tens of thousands of American soldiers. (more…)


Prisoner Exchange in Jewish Law

Filed under: EthicsForeign PolicyJudaism — eidelberg @ 11:59 pm Edit This

It has been reported that Hamas is demanding 1,000 terrorists now in Israeli jails in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held hostage for two years in Gaza. Hence, let’s consider an article by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed’s on the subject of prisoner exchange in Jewish law, but only insofar as it refers to the imprisonment of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg in the thirteenth century.

“Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (1215-1293 c.e.), known as the Maharam, was one of the greatest of the early Jewish codifiers. At the age of seventy he was taken captive and placed in a prison in France. Emperor Rudolf I proceeded to demand an exorbitant sum for his release.

“To understand the full significance of this act it is important to realize that almost all of the rabbis and leaders of the Jewish communities in that generation were the Maharam’s students…Even the great rabbis of the generation that followed were greatly influenced by the teachings of the Maharam. The most famous of his students was Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel, known as the Rosh, whose rulings are cited extensively in Rabbi Yosef Karo’s Shulchan Arukh. (more…)


What I Have Told Americans

Filed under: Foreign PolicyPoliticians — eidelberg @ 6:09 am Edit This

To radically change Israel’s dysfunctional system of government, which is leading to Israel’s demise, one has to know a little bit about Clausewitz’s concept of ‘the center of gravity.’

As I wrote thirty years ago in Sadat’s Strategy, an enemy’s ‘center of gravity’ is the necessary but vulnerable precondition of its strength. With respect to Israel, Clausewitz’s dictum that in “small states dependent on greater ones, it lies generally in the army of their allies would seem to apply. However, since the army or military power of Israel’s ally, the United States, cannot itself be directly attacked, it must be outflanked by an assault on public opinion”—in a democracy, a force more powerful than armies.

Clausewitz’s dictum prompted Anwar Sadat to shift his allegiance from Moscow to Washington in 1975. (more…)


War Is a Serious Matter

Filed under: EthicsForeign Policy — eidelberg @ 8:43 am Edit This

War is a serious matter. So ponder the following when you think of replacing one coward with another.

“What’s needed is wisdom … but there are no wise men in Israel.”
—Jonathan Netanyahu

“War is not to be avoided but is only deferred to the advantage of others.”


Bush in Jerusalem: An Intellectual and Moral Travesty

Filed under: Foreign PolicyOslo/Peace ProcessCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:46 am Edit This

The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has assigned some 10,000 police and security personnel to protect President George W. Bush, who has come to Israel to promote peace between Jews and Arab Palestinians. What an absurdity!

The Olmert government has ordered Israeli security forces to close all entries from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to prevent Palestinian terrorists in these areas from killing the American President, who is committed to establishing in these same areas a Palestinian state. Can anything be more absurd?

Apart from those living in the world of make-believe, no one really expects genuine peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. Even Middle East expert Dr. Daniel Pipes, who supported the Israel-Egypt peace treaty of March 1979, has admitted the treaty has been a failure. Let me review his November 21, 2006 article “Time to Recognize Failure of Israel-Egypt Treaty.”

To begin with: “Ninety-two percent of respondents in a recent poll of one thousand Egyptians over 18 years of age called Israel an enemy state. (more…)


Some Principles of Statecraft: How To Think About “Annapolis”

Filed under: Foreign PolicyOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 9:03 pm Edit This

The Camp David formula “land for peace,” the basis of the forthcoming Annapolis Summit, is rooted in an erroneous and fatal assumption. That certain Arab leaders agree to negotiate with Israel on the basis of this formula has induced politicians in Israel and abroad to regard such Arabs as “moderates.” This assumption stands in striking contrast to principles of statecraft enunciated by Prince Metternich, the great 19th century Austrian statesman on whom Henry Kissinger wrote his doctoral dissertation.

According to Metternich, “to base one’s conduct in an important undertaking on faith in the moderation of one of the contracting parties is asking for trouble … to build on air, to gamble the future on one throw.” This faith animated Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, the architects of the disastrous Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of 1993. The same faith animates Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on “reciprocity” when dealing with Arab leaders. It was this historically unfounded faith that led him to sign the Wye River Memorandum, which surrendered large areas of Judea and Samaria to Yasser Arafat—a major step toward an Arab Palestinian state. (more…)


Martial versus Democratic Diplomacy: Part II

Filed under: Democratic MethodsForeign PolicyIsrael’s Sovereignty — eidelberg @ 3:18 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, October 8, 2007.

A Primer on Diplomacy

Back in 1978, while negotiations were going on between Israel and Egypt, I published a “Primer on Diplomacy” in the hope it would somehow influence Israel’s ruling elites. Of course it did not—otherwise Israel would not be going to Annapolis. Nevertheless, just as Bogart said, “Sing it again, Sam,” I’m obliged to voice the same message to Israeli diplomats today:

A study of autocratic regimes reveals that their methods of negotiating with democracies differ significantly with those they employ with other autocracies. Contrary to appearances, authoritarian politicians are not necessarily less politicians. Of course, they are less amenable to compromise with democratic politicians, but only because they usually don’t have to! Their “stall and threaten” technique when dealing with democracies works well for them; it does not work well when dealing with fellow dictators, and is seldom used for that reason.

Hence it is not only the character of dictatorships, but the cunning of dictators that produces the kind of negotiating tactics we always seem to experience; his tactics depend not only on his system of government, but on the tendencies of our own. (more…)


Filipinos in 1904 and Muslims Today

Filed under: EthicsForeign Policy — eidelberg @ 7:29 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 10, 2007.

In what follows, I am going to cite and paraphrase at length from a letter written on April 4, 1904 by President Theodore Roosevelt, a man of extraordinary erudition, wisdom, and courage. Roosevelt wrote more than 100,000 letters and 40 books, but his letter of April 4, 1904 is especially relevant to Israel. The letter concerns the question of Philippine independence and may well be applied to the question of Palestinian statehood. Of course, I mean no disparagement of Filipinos.

Before continuing, it should be noted that in 1898 the United States acquired the Philippines and Cuba as a result of the Spanish-American War.

Roosevelt’s April letter refers to a petition signed by a number of what he calls “very high-minded citizens” whose intention was to present the petition to the Republican and Democratic conventions in June. The petition urges the United States to “pledge itself to give political independence to the Philippines sometime in the future.” (more…)


Desperately Needed: The Courage to Identify and Conquer the Enemy

Filed under: Foreign PolicyIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 6:00 am Edit This

Earlier today I wrote an all-too-brief account about five ingredients of national security:

  1. Wise and courageous leadership.
  2. A system of government that facilitates leadership.
  3. National morale.
  4. Knowledge of the enemy.
  5. Military power.

I said little about “knowledge of the enemy,” namely, Islam. (more…)


The Current Status of Israel’s National Security

Filed under: EthicsForeign Policy — eidelberg @ 6:16 am Edit This

A. There are various basic ingredients of national security, of which I will mention only five:

  1. First and foremost is wise and courageous leadership.

  2. Second is a system of government that facilitates leadership.

  3. Third is national morale.

  4. Fourth is knowledge of the enemy.

  5. Fifth is military power.

B. Notice I mention military power last. (more…)


The Jerusalem Temple Mount

Filed under: Foreign PolicyJudaism — eidelberg @ 1:11 am Edit This

Transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 6, 2007

1. We need to publicize the idea that Jewish control of Israel’s holiest site, the Temple Mount—on which stood the Beit HaMikdash and the Great Sanhedrin—is the key to uncontested Jewish control of Jerusalem and the restoration of Jewish national honor. Once Jews maintain unequivocal control of the Temple Mount, the United States and other nations will move their embassies to Jerusalem.

2. Conversely, so long as Arabs control the Temple Mount, gentile nations will despise Israel and kowtow to the Arabs. Arab control of the Temple Mount not only exposes Jewish weakness, but increases Arab arrogance and even incites Arab violence. (more…)

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