Israel Resource Review 11th July, 2005


The Cost of Sharon's "Disengagement"
Ariel Center for Policy Research

Date of Report: June 2, 2005.

Fact: President Bush has turned down Prime Minister Sharon’s request for special financial assistance.

Fact: Israel’s best friends in Congress – who possess the Power of the Purse – have advised Israel to refrain from such a request. Congress operates within rigid budgetary caps, and under the constraints of a $500BN deficit and mounting cost in Iraq, Afghanistan and other sites of the war on global terrorism.

Fact: VP Chenney and Secretary Rumsfeld counsel against such a request, that could raid the Pentagon’s own budget, while financing an Israeli policy of retreat from terrorism, which would constitute a tail wind to regional and anti-US terrorism.

Fact: President Clinton promised Israel $800MN for the withdrawal from South Lebanon. The funds have not been extended.

The immediate cost to Israel is $7b (similar to the annual defense budget!)

Fact: The cost of the Rafiah Salient Giveaway (to Egypt) was 15BN Shekels in June 1990 (3.3 shekels per dollar), which is equal to 30BN shekels in 2004 (4.5 per dollar and a one third decrease in the value of the dollar).

Fact: The cost of Gaza and Northern Samaria Giveaway could skyrocket to 44BN shekels, since it pertains to 8,000 residents with a 30 year tenure, compared with 5,000 residents with a 5 year tenure in Rafiah.

Fact: A minimalist estimate (ignoring the Rafiah precedent) could bring the cost down to 26BN shekels; 13.5BN for homes (including furniture and improvements), a two year adjustment payment and a 30 year compensation; 9.5BN shekels for jobs infrastructure; 3BN Shekels for roads, communications, electricity, water, sewage, classrooms, community structures and relocation of military installations.

Fact: The huge cost could halt the current economic recovery, worsen unemployment, increase taxes, impose mandatory government bonds, cut infrastructure expenditures, human services and subsidies of public transportation and gasoline, etc. The expected rise in terrorism would impose further cost.

Fact: The added cost would not be in return for peace accord. Rather than Land for Peace, this one will be Land for Economic Hardship, or – probably – Land for Terrorism, or Land for Recycled Non Binding Friendly Presidential Declarations

The Lethal Cost of the Giveaway

Fact: Prime Minister Sharon has himself stated: "Israeli evacuation of Gaza would transform Gaza’'s main square to a launching platform of missiles to Israel’'s Ashqelon . . . In 1970, Gaza was controlled by terrorists, because Israel evacuated the populated areas and the refugee camps… A flight from populated areas, and a failure to annihilate the threat in its incept, would require a much longer and a more difficult effort"(Ma’ariv, June 12, 1992).

Sharon's recommendation is doubly relevant in 2004, with a less predictable world (than in 1992), a more explosive Mideast, more armed rogue regimes, a more horrific terrorism, and systematically and terroristically non-compliant PLO/PA.

Fact: Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, General Earl Wheeler: "Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five, and eliminate a source for raids and training of (Palestinian terrorists). The Strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage. By occupying the Strip, Israel would trade 45 miles of hostile border for eight." (June 29, 1967 Memo on Israel MINIMAL requirements for security)". Israel'’s control of gaza is a minimal requirement for its defense"

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"Jews Are Not Expelling Jews from Gaza"
Abraham H. Foxman

There are a number of legitimate arguments against or questions about Ariel Sharon's plan to disengage from Gaza. Is Israel encouraging terrorism by making such a huge unilateral concession after a period of the most intense violence? Will the terror now be closer to Israel itself? Will there not be expectations that what Israel did in Gaza should now be followed-up with a similar move in the West Bank? Are the settlers in Gaza being given enough time and options to reorder their lives after years building lives in Gaza?

These and other matters are the subject of much discussion in Israel and are worthy of serious consideration and responses. There is, however, one theme which carries with it powerful emotions that is, in fact, unworthy of the attention it has received. This is the claim, articulated by many who oppose the disengagement, that "Jews don't expel Jews."

The power of this charge, particularly at a time of a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world, rests on the idea that for centuries Jew-haters - in Spain during the Inquisition, in Christian Europe through the Middle Ages, in Tsarist Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in Arab countries after the creation of Israel - time and again evicted Jews from their homes. The memories of such expulsions conjure up all that was bad about Jewish life for millennia, the irrational bigotry toward the Jew and the helplessness of the Jew in the face of this hatred.

Now it is being charged that the Jewish government of Israel is behaving just like those anti-Semites who made our lives so miserable for so long. The purpose of the Jewish state, it is reasoned, was to end all this and here we have history repeating itself from the most unlikely of sources, the Jewish state itself.

In fact, the very opposite is true. What is happening in Gaza, whether one agrees with the decision or not, is exactly what Jewish sovereignty is about. It is diametrically opposite to those repeated horrors where Jewish communities were uprooted. The motives behind those actions were anti-Semitic, not wanting the Jew around, blaming all of society's problems on the Jew, seeing the Jews as Christ-killers and poisoners of the wells. And the Jew had no say about his destiny, no arms to defend himself, no role in the decision-making.

The Jewish state was set up to end that history where decisions were made about Jews on the basis of hatred against them. The Jewish state was also established so that Jews will make decisions about their own destiny rather than having them determined by others.

These fundamental points are very much at work in the disengagement process. It is laughable to suggest that Ariel Sharon, the cabinet, and the Knesset are motivated by anti-Semitism in their decision to leave Gaza. What they are doing is fulfilling the Zionist dream of Jewish sovereignty through its institutions of democratic government deciding the future of the Jewish people. No one said that controlling one's own destiny would be pretty or easy, particularly when confronted with issues of terrorism, individual rights, different readings of history and theology, etc. But that was the understanding of Israel's leaders and its people: that no matter how difficult and sometimes painful (and sometimes even wrong) decisions were, it was far better to have the opportunity to make those decisions.

The slogan "Jews don't expel Jews" is therefore a complete distortion of the concepts underlying what is taking place. It is no accident that, since the concepts underlying this action are fundamentally different from what took place for centuries, the action itself is so different as well. As has been noted, the settlers in Gaza, as much as their lives are being disrupted and they are undergoing personal trauma, are not being expelled from the country in which they live. On the contrary, they will be welcomed to other parts of Israel, welcomed because they are Jews.

The assault on the good name of Israel by this accusation is bad enough. Worse than that, however, is the rationalization it potentially gives to the worst kind of behavior. After all, if the government of Israel is no different than Ferdinand and Isabella or Nicholas I or the Arab dictators in the 40's, then anything goes. This is dangerous for the state of Israel and undermines the very thing that makes Jewish life so different from the horrible days of the past, the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty.

There will always be extremists who are indifferent to such logic. But for the vast majority of the settlers and those who support them, who care deeply about the future of Israel, it is critical that they stand up against this demagoguery. Continue to exercise your democratic right to express opposition to disengagement. Continue to press that your needs as a community be further addressed. But reject the gross accusation that Israel is now doing what Jew-haters have done; for your own sakes, for the sake of Israel and for the sake of the Jewish people.

This article originally appeared in Haaretz on July 8, 2005

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To the People of Israel, to Every Jew Wherever He May Be, From a Young Father in Katif.
The Moment of Truth Has Arrived
Aviel Tucker

[A young father, Aviel Tucker, who has lived his whole life in Gush Katif's oldest Jewish town, Netzer Hazani, writes that the moment of truth for the Jewish People has arrived.]

An open letter:

I write this letter with great inner turmoil, at the end of another day in Gush Katif.

In the past year and a half, we inhabitants of Gush Katif have waged a struggle, the likes of which have never been seen in our circles. It was a pure and unblemished struggle: we screamed Faith with all our strength, we cried out Love until our throats were sore. We knocked on the doors of thousands of homes, and we embraced thousands of Jews. We felt that we were greatly privileged, we sensed that we had fallen upon a period of history that would yet be talked about for many years to come. We had a sense that we were leading the Nation of Israel in a new direction. We believed that from amidst all this impurity, something holy and pure wold result. We truly felt the pangs of the Messiah's arrival!

But the powers of impurity continued in their work ­ and despite the fact that we did not betray the trust that had been placed in us, and did not for a minute get sucked into selling our faith and our beloved Land for money, the days wore on, and time is catching up with us, and we can already feel the heavy breathing of the Satan's emissaries down our necks.

[The government has made it mandatory to have government-approved adjusters appraise the value of property, with the threat of not receiving any compensation at all looming in the background. In protest, 700 families signed the application for these adjusters just hours before the deadline arrived, on orange paper, and with plans "not to be home" when the adjusters might wish to arrive… Rumors emanating from the nearby army camp say that giant containers are on the way to each and every home in Gush Katif, into which the homes' contents will be packed. "Those of us who are strong in our determination and faith, and those of us who are weaker ­ what are we to think when we see such a sight outside our door?" asks one resident. ­ HF]

Do you know, dear brothers, that the expulsion has already begun? Do you know that the media refuse to broadcast pictures and information that could cause the cancellation of the expulsion? Do you know that policemen are beating Gush Katif Jews who are bound with handcuffs? Did you know that even girls have been and are being cruelly beaten by policemen? Did you know that policemen are equipped with metal knuckles and other cruel accessories in order to hit us?

Did you know that policemen are freely fabricating arrest reports in order to cover up for their acts, leaving innocent citizens to stand trial for crimes they did not commit? Did you know that all of this is backed up by the authorities, in full knowledge of the injustice that is being caused to innocent people?

In another five weeks, they will knock on our doors ­ but we know now very clearly that the "evacuation" will not be done gently. We will be beaten until we bleed, and then dragged cruelly from our homes.

Here in the Gush, we're still anticipating a miracle, we're still praying for salvation. But you, dear brothers, must be ready to move! We have carried out our part; we have remained strong, and we will continue to do so until the end.

But now, we need you. On the day that Gush Katif is closed, I ask you, please, please, don't sit at home! Get up and start walking! Don't say it's too late or there's no chance; if everyone gets up and comes, perhaps, perhaps we will succeed! Maybe the Master of the Universe will hear and will save us. Each and every person must feel that in the merit of his own actions, Gush Katif will be saved.

Those of you who might prefer to sit on a comfortable sofa in your living room and watch us on television being cruelly beaten and our beloved Land sold away to murderers ­ will have to live with this his whole life. He will have to explain to his grandchildren, who will ask him again and again, "What did you do to save the Land of Israel? What did you do on behalf of your brothers in Gush Katif?"

We have not lost our faith, and even when and if the situation gets even worse, we will continue to believe ­ for the Master of the Universe does only good for His children. But the moments of truth have arrived ­ and soon it will be too late.


Aviel Tucker
Father of Noam, Dan and Elad
Netzer Hazani

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A Letter to Abe Foxman from Katif
Rachel Saperstein
Resident and Writer, Katif

Dear Mr. Foxman,

As a resident to Gush Katif, I would like to comment on your letter.

Imagine waking up one morning and being told that your home, farm, job, synagogue, children's school neighbors, community center are to disappear.

No explanation is given.

Then you are threatened, intimidated,and called a spoiled citizen because you object.

Your prime minister fires and hires cabinet ministers,bribes the opposition to vote for this policy and Israeli media jump on the bandwagon to oust you.

The people of the country are in despair, soldiers cry, and Jews throughout the world call and write you about how heartbroken they are. Gentiles weep for us.

And we, simple ordinary Jews are required to plead and beg for the most simple thing a Jew asks for: A home.

A home that I can live in, where my mezuza will not be ripped out of its doorpost and my shul will not be desecrated.

Have you, personally come to speak to the people of Gush Katif?

Where are you?

The ADL - when people are sick with hopelessness.

We are the Jews that ADL are to defend.

Why aren't you here by our side?

Come here and see just what the Israeli government, our government is doing to beautiful, hardworking people.

I am to be evicted in a few weeks ARE YOU?


Rachel Saperstein
Neve Dekalim
tel. 08-684-2120

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Poll showing most Americans oppose pullout misleading
Nahum Barnea
Commentator, Yediot Aharonot

There is nothing more flexible, and more useful, than public opinion polls.

More than showing the public's views, they reveal the mindset of those who commissioned the poll, and those who market it.

For example, Finance Minster Benjamin Netanyahu's attempt this week to convince the government to call off the disengagement.

Netanyahu: Poll shows most Americans oppose pullout (Photo: AP)

He told ministers that despite a widely held misconception, American public opinion objects to the plan.

"I have a survey undertaken in the United States," he said. "Most Americans oppose disengagement."

He forgot to tell them who drafted the survey question, how, and why. The ministers, for their part, did not ask.

'A bad deal for Israel'

The group behind the poll was the Zionist Organization of America. In recent years, the organization has expressed radical right-wing positions.

Its leader, Morton Klein, is a vocal opponent of diplomatic initiatives involving the Israeli and American governments. Among other things, he has done all in his (not too great) power to sabotage the disengagement.

If I correctly understand the announcement published by the organization on its website, this was the survey question: "Do you object to Israelג€™s unilateral withdrawal from a section of Gaza and Northern Samaria and the forcing of 10,000 Israeli Jews from their homes and businesses?"

Overall, 63 percent of respondents said they oppose, while 16 percent said the support.

Klein then attached a lengthy, excited response to the findings:

"This national poll exposes the myth that Americans support the Gaza/Northern Samaria Withdrawal/Expulsion Plan," he ruled. " Americans realize that itג€™s a bad deal for Israel to make these major concessions without getting anything in return. They also understand that this rewards the Hamas and Fatah suicide bombing terrorists whose counterparts are killing Americans every day in Iraq." And so on.

At the same time, another Jewish organization, the Anti-Defamation League, undertook its own survey.

The group's director, Abe Foxman, who visited Israel this week, provided me with the findings, 52 densely printed pages.

The question asked by his organization went something like this:

Israel recently decided to unilaterally evacuate its communities in the Gaza Strip without reaching a formal peace agreement with the Palestinians. Which of the following statements are closer to your views:

1. Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza is capitulation to violence and terror. Israel is forced to leave because it couldn't curb terror.

2. Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza is a bold step to advance the peace process.

0verall, 71 percent supported the disengagement; 12 percent opposed it.

Americans don't care

Someone is cheating here, the suspicious reader would say. How could it be that two surveys undertaken at the same time produced the opposite results?

But I say, everything depends on the way the question is drafted, particularly wit regard to an issue that interests Americans about as much as last year's snow.

"Americans understand," ZOA's Klein says time and again.

Not only do Americans fail to understand, I say, they don't even care. And they shouldn't care.

The disengagement is a decision placed before us. Just us and our fate, no mother or father to oversee us. Certainly not a father of the ilk of Morton Klein, a name that even Netanyahu prefers to forget.

This column ran on July 11th, 2005

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Morton Klein Responds to Nahum Barnea's Attack on the ZOA
Morton A. Klein

In his column, Nachum Barnea said that Zionist Organization of America's (ZOA) poll showing that 63% of Americans oppose the Katif withdrawal was "misleading." But he does not explain the basis for his criticism.

In fact, our poll was a straightforward question about Katif that was coducted by one of America's most respected pollsters, McLaughlin and associates.

He also referred to ZOA in a very disparaging way without citing any reason.

This is simply name-calling.

He is apparently upset that ZOA has said,since Oslo began, that Arafat could not be trusted and that ZOA has insisted that that neither Israel nor the US should make any significant concessions unless the Palestinian Authority honors its committments to Oslo and the Roadmap.

Barnea also falsely claimed that ZOA "opposes diplomatic initiatives."

This is completely untrue.

We support diplomacy yet oppose unilateral concessions made to a Palestinian regime that has refused to dismantle and disarm terrorist groups, end the incitement, arrest terrorists, or stop smuggling weapons from the Sinai into Gaza, while inviting Hamas to join their government, and invite terrorist groups to move from Syria to Gaza after Israel leaves.

Morton A. Klein
National President
Zionist Organization of America
4 E. 34th Street
New York, NY, 10016
Tel. 212-481-1500
Fax. 212-481-1515

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Professors of Statistics and Math from U. of Penn, Hebrew U. & Temple U. Say:
Conclusion of ADL Poll That Americans Support Israel's Withdrawal Plan Is Not Valid
ZOA Press Release

For Press Comment: Contact Morton Klein at 212-481-1500

New York - Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a new poll on Israel's Withdrawal Plan claiming it shows that 71% of Americans support the Plan.

But two distinguished professors of statistics and one distinguished professor of mathematics unequivocally state that ADL's conclusion that most Americans support the Withdrawal Plan is not valid. The mathematics professor added that it was clear to him that the poll question was written in a way that was politically motivated and that the conclusion that most Americans support the Withdrawal Plan is untrue and certainly cannot be stated based on the ADL Poll.

The professors who analyzed the results of the ADL poll include Professor Abba Krieger, Chairman of the Department of Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Professor Moshe Pollak, Department of Statistics, Hebrew University; and Professor Louis Raymon, Department of Mathematics, Temple University. (Prof. Raymon is former Chairman of the Department of Mathematics, and former Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches both mathematics and statistics).

Professors Krieger and Pollak, of U. of Penn and Hebrew University respectively, said, We reviewed the question asked of the respondents and determined that the conclusion that most Americans are in favor of withdrawal is not valid, according to ADL s survey questions and answers. At best the survey obfuscates the conclusion because the focus of the statements seems to be on Israel's reason for withdrawal and not on the opinion of the respondent and because only 2 options for Israel's decision to withdraw are indicated, neither one asking if respondents support the Plan.

Professor Raymon of Temple University said: The ADL poll only addresses Israel's apparent motivation, but does not address at all the question of Americans actual support for the withdrawal to take place. The question ADL asked had nothing to do with whether the respondent was for or against the withdrawal. Seventy-one percent of the respondents could and did choose the #2 option in the ADL poll that Israel 's decision to withdraw fis a bold step to advance the peace process, agreeing that this may be a bold step that Israel apparently believes will advance the peace process ; yet the respondent does not necessarily have to support the actual withdrawal him/herself. By picking this #2 option, the respondent only has to agree that Israel believes this will advance the peace process the respondent does not necessarily have to believe that it will, in reality, advance the peace process or that Israel should, in fact, withdraw. Raymon added, It seems clear to me that the phrasing and construction of this survey question is politically motivated and the ADL conclusion that Americans support this Plan is unreliable, inaccurate and invalid. Professor Raymon further added, In contrast to the ADL poll, the McLaughlin & Associates poll, which showed by a margin of 63% - 16%, that Americans strongly opposed the Withdrawal Plan, asked a straightforward question of a representative sample of 1000 a.m.ericans (June 26-27, 2005) prefaced by objective facts necessary for an informed decision. The results would seem to be unquestionably accurate, valid and meaningful.

The ADL Poll question was as follows:

Israel recently decided to unilaterally evacuate its communities in the Gaza Strip without reaching a formal peace agreement with the Palestinians. Which of the following statements are closer to your views:

1. Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza is capitulation to violence and terror. Israel is forced to leave because it couldn't curb terror.

2. Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza is a bold step to advance the peace process.

ZOA President Morton A. Klein, who is himself a statistician, having worked for many years with two-time Nobel Laureate Dr. Linus Pauling at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, explained that, In addition to the previous comments made by the professors, one must also understand that option #1 in the ADL poll was so extreme and untrue that few people (in fact, only12%), even those against the Withdrawal Plan could or would choose it. Even those opposing the Plan likely don t believe option #1 that Israel is forced to leave Gaza because it couldn't curb terror. If, in fact, not being able to curb terror is the reason Israel is leaving Gaza, it would also be leaving Tel Aviv, Gilo, Netanya, Kfar Saba, Sderot and Jerusalem where Palestinian Arab terror has been rampant. It is also important to note that Israel has done a relatively good job protecting the Jews of Gaza. After all, 80% of all Israelis killed by Palestinian Arab terror since September 2000 live within Israel s 67 borders, only 20% of those killed live outside these borders in Gaza, Judea or Samaria.

Another factor in more people choosing option #2 (71% did) over #1 is that negative phrases and images like capitulation to violence and terror and forced to leave and couldn't curb terror, are all in #1; while #2 has positive phrases and images like bold step and advance the peace process. These are strong phrases that will make #2 a more comfortable choice than #1.

But what is most troubling about this poll is that it doesn't even ask the question at hand, whether Americans approve or disapprove of the Withdrawal Plan. To more clearly show why ADL's poll does not answer the critical question of whether Americans support this Plan, consider the following fictitious poll question:

A man who needs money for his impoverished family has been offered $1000 by some gamblers to play Russian Roulette. After some soul searching he decides to play the game.

1. Is he doing it because he is afraid of the gamblers? Most people would probably say no.

2. Is his decision a bold one to help the financial condition of his family? Most people would probably say yes.

Yet, even if most people chose option #2 and only a minority chose #1, one could not state that most Americans support this man's decision to play Russian Roulette. You would need a third question that directly asks Is it a wise decision for this man to play Russian Roulette and do you support him doing it? Likely, most people would say no to this question. In any event, you need option #3 to get the answer to the major question of whether this man should play Russian Roulette or not.

ZOA President Morton A. Klein respectfully requests of ADL, in light of the rigorous analysis performed by three distinguished statistical and mathematical scientists of the ADL poll, showing that ADL's conclusion that most Americans support Israel's Withdrawal Plan is invalid, the ZOA calls on Abe Foxman and ADL to stop promoting and disseminating their poll's results and immediately issue a public retraction of their erroneous conclusion.

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