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     FEBRUARY 1999      


Dear Mr. Arens...

Herbert Zweibon

Your appointment as Defense Minister presents you with the opportunity to make a series of long overdue changes in policy areas affecting Israel's national security. American friends of Israel pray that you will not consider these pre-election months as a lame-duck waiting period, but rather will move actively to correct some of the serious mistakes made by your predecessors.

1. Adjust the open-fire orders: For years, Israeli soldiers have had their hands tied when responding to Arab violence. A soldier facing a mob of Arabs hurling deadly rocks and firebombs is bound by impossibly restrictive orders that prevent him from adequately defending himself. The open-fire orders need to be adjusted to reality: anybody throwing a rock or a firebomb is trying to kill, and anyone who is the target of such an attempted murder should be allowed--indeed, required--to respond with appropriate force.

2. Make the roads safe: For too long, the Jewish residents of Judea-Samaria-Gaza have traveled in fear every time they go to work or send their children off to school. The Israeli Army needs to be assigned the mission of forcefully securing the safety of the roads. Just as it wiped out terrorist nests house-by-house in Gaza in 1969, the Army today can get the job done--if the Defense Minister has the political courage to give the order and stand by it.

3. Military preparations for Jewish residents of the territories: The Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza should not be excessively dependent on the Israeli Army for day-to-day protection. It puts the residents at a military disadvantage, diverts the Army's resources, and could create unjustified public resentment of the Jewish residents of the territories. They should be given training courses in military preparedness and counter-terror tactics for repelling intruders, so that they can assume the major share of their own defense requirements. In a typical recent incident, the Palestinian Authority police temporarily prevented trucks loaded with construction equipment from entering the Jewish community of Netzarim, in the Gaza Strip. The Army's response was to file a complaint with the PA. If the residents of Netzarim were provided with the necessary training and equipment, they could have handled the crisis themselves.

4. Change the Hebron double-standard: The Israeli legal authorities have been using a double standard against the Jewish residents of Hebron, harassing and intimidating them with trivial or even trumped-up charges, while Arab rioters and inciters walk free. The rule of law must be restored in Hebron.

5. Make Syria pay a price: Syria must not be allowed to continue its sponsorship of Hezbollah's rocket terrorism without consequences. The Syrians must pay a price for their proxy war against Israel.

6. End the Lebanon rumors: The constant rumors of an imminent Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon demoralize the soldiers stationed there and embolden the Hezbollah terrorists. Those rumors must be scotched, once and for all.

7. Assert Israel's authority in Gaza: In the Gaza Strip, the PA has been allowed to quietly--and not so quietly--expand its authority and powers that endanger local Jewish communities. The Israeli Army should reassert its status as the sovereign power in the region.

8. Confiscate illegal PA weapons: Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon recently revealed that the PA is amassing huge stockpiles of weapons prohibited by the Oslo accords, including missiles and anti-tank weapons. If the PA will not surrender them, the Israeli Army should seize them. Otherwise, they will one day be used against Israel.

9. Pursue terrorists everywhere: Terrorists who

(Continued on p.10)


The Jewish State: The Next 50 Years ...3

Sleep With Dogs, Wake Up With Fleas ...7

More on the Conference of Presidents
of Major American Jewish Organizations ...10

The Last of the Mohicans ...11

Dr. Moskowitz Replies to Ehud Barak ...12

February 1999               - 1 -               Outpost


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