The Voices of Sharon’s Little Helpers

Ariel Sharon is surrounded by a coterie of “advisors” who step in to develop, perfect and sell plans for the continued and inexorable dispossession of the Palestinians. What is surprising is that these advisors, the intellectual progenitors of continuing mass crimes, are an outspoken bunch; they don’t shy away from revealing their latest fiendish plans or their true intent. There is no need for conspiracy theories; their intent and plans are out in the open.

Despite lame denials by the Israeli government or their media surrogates, the public pronouncements of these latter day Dr. Strangeloves reveal the plans they have in store for the Palestinians, Iraqis, and for that matter, the United States. It is therefore instructive to analyze their latest statements.


For the past few years, Dov Weisglass has been frequently in touch with Condoleezza Rice, the next Secretary of State, and they are even on an affectionate first name basis. Condi calls him “Dovi”, and it would be rather quaint were it not for the issues they must have discussed. Furthermore, Dovi is doing the thinking for Sharon these days, and so, Dovi’s public pronouncements assume canonical status.

On Oct. 6, 2004, Ari Shavit interviewed Dov Weisglass for Haaretz [1]. Any article by Shavit, “a loyal mouthpiece of any leader in power”[2], should alert one that these were not meant to be ordinary ruminations by a key political advisor. In fact, Dovi’s revelations were shocking because they exposed the pretense that the US still supported the “road map”, or realize Bush’s “vision” of a Palestinians state. Dovi’s brutal pronouncements made it clear that there was no longer any prospect for a negotiated solution.

“The significance of our disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. It supplies the formaldehyde necessary so there is no political process with the Palestinians.”

— Ha’aretz, Oct. 6, 2004.

Dovi’s apt use of “formaldehyde”, the morticians’ essential fluid, was revelatory. While morticians are concerned with masking the unpleasant sight of death, Dovi, a grand mortician, seeks to push a stake through the heart of the already dead negotiations. He continues:

“The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

“What I effectively agreed to with the Americans [in talks leading to Bush’s endorsement of disengagement] was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns.”

— Ha’aretz, Oct. 6, 2004.

Just in case the previous shocking statement was not blatant enough, Dovi spells it out clearly for an American audience–always a bit interpretation-challenged. With US official connivance, the Israelis are blocking meaningful negotiations indefinitely.

Some further context is necessary to understand these statements. The Haaretz interview was published about a month before the US elections, a date that ranks in the Israeli calendar as super Xmas. While during other election years Israeli politicians would be busy drawing up wish lists of goodies like F16s, loan guarantees, loan forgiveness, this year with the Americans fighting Israel’s war in Iraq, such demands would be construed as a bit too crass. This year Dovi had only one item on his list: he wanted US agreement to terminate negotiations forever [3]. By making such a radical demand, Dovi was daring any US politician to object in the middle of an election campaign, and of course, no US politician did. Yet again, the failure of the US government to protest indicated that it would neither confront Israel nor encourage negotiations. So much for the self-designated “honest broker” label.

One must also remember the April 14, 2004 Washington meeting where Bush blessed Israel’s so-called disengagement plan. Prior to his departure to Washington, Sharon waited on the airport tarmac in Tel Aviv until a deal could be struck on his terms. Surely during this unnerving wait Dovi must have been talking to Condi. Within an hour the US government capitulated giving Sharon everything on his wish list, i.e., anointing the “disengagement plan”. So, what more would they want? Dovi’s revealing statements provide the answer: embalming the negotiations with the Palestinians, implying that annexation of the West Bank could continue apace, the construction of the wall would continue, and the creation of two Bantustan-prisons would be unilaterally imposed. When on May 19, 2004 an AIPAC audience applauded president Bush’s statement about his vision for a “viable Palestinian state”, this revealed exactly what is intended: an open air concentration camp will be imposed [4].

Dovi’s statements and their implicit endorsement by the US will create a few public relations complications. For years, Israel refused to enter into negotiations because supposedly there was “no one to negotiate with”. Now, after Dovi’s revelations we know that no matter who represents the Palestinians, the Israelis will sabotage negotiations. In the past, they played along with the “road map” charade, especially if such a gambit would force the Palestine “Authority” to repress its own people, but now even this pretense will be dispensed with. Arafat could now be dispensed with too; and he proved to have had a timely death. All the appearances and US assurances that the Quartet “road map” negotiations would culminate in a Palestinian state were clearly undermined. The US will once again bear some consequences for this, but never mind.

Zionism for Carnivores

Arnon Soffer, a professor of geography/demography at Haifa University, is another of Sharon’s advisors, advisor to the army’s top brass, and is reputed to be the “intellectual father of the disengagement plan”. In addition, Soffer is also known as a demographic prophet and someone who considers that the “Palestinian womb is a biological weapon”. Taking as much land with as few Palestinians has been a key preoccupation of demographers in Israel and those drawing the path of the wall. This means that a recent Jerusalem Post interview with Soffer is of particular importance. Soffer provided some brutal and revealing answers [5]:

Ruthie Blum: How will the region look the day after unilateral separation?

Arnon Soffer: The Palestinians will bombard us with artillery fire–and we will have to retaliate. But at least the war will be at the fence–not in kindergartens in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

RB: Will Israel be prepared to fight this war?

AS: First of all, the fence is not built like the Berlin Wall. It’s a fence that we will be guarding on either side. Instead of entering Gaza, the way we did last week, we will tell the Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over the fence, we will fire 10 in response. And women and children will be killed, and houses will be destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian mothers won’t allow their husbands to shoot Kassams, because they will know what’s waiting for them.

Second of all, when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.

RB: While CNN has its cameras at the wall?

AS: If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist. The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.

RB: What will the end result of all this killing be?

AS: The Palestinians will be forced to realize that demography is no longer significant, because we’re here and they’re there. And then they will begin to ask for “conflict management” talks–not that dirty word “peace.” Peace is a word for believers, and I have no tolerance for believers–neither those who wear yarmulkes nor those who pray to the God of peace. [] Both are dangerous.

Unilateral separation doesn’t guarantee “peace”–it guarantees a Zionist-Jewish state with an overwhelming majority of Jews; it guarantees the kind of safety that will return tourists to the country; and it guarantees one other important thing. Between 1948 and 1967, the fence was a fence, and 400,000 people left the West Bank voluntarily. This is what will happen after separation. If a Palestinian cannot come into Tel Aviv for work, he will look in Iraq, or Kuwait, or London. I believe that there will be movement out of the area.

It would be difficult to find a clearer exposition of what the Palestinians can expect, and what type of society Israel will become. It also becomes clear why Dovi was so determined to remove any prospect of negotiations, i.e., he sought to forestall any externally imposed solution. He knew that any intervention by a World Court or any assertion of the Palestinian right not to be expelled would interfere with Soffer’s plans. Besides, “peace” is for the moist eyed liberals, and not for hard-nosed realists.

Drang nach East [6]

Zionist plans are not confined within the borders of Israel and the occupied territories, but they extend broadly into the region. Strong Arab nations operating with a unified voice would be able to stand up to Israel. In the Zionist calculus, to avoid the possibility of resistance, the countries in the region have to be brought to their knees, and included in an Israeli controlled sphere of influence. In this scenario, countries with large armies and with a potential to interfere have to be demolished. Arab nationalists who seek to forge unity or to develop the area have to be undermined, and in their place, atavistic Islamic religious forces have to be fostered. Weaken, divide and rule. Does this sound far-fetched? One only has to read Oded Yinon’s ruminations [7]:

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shiite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

Oded Yinon was formerly a senior Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry official. Although not currently one of Sharon’s advisors, his comments made in 1982 have a prescient ring to them. One can find recent expositions of the same plan, and all indicate that the United States is currently fighting Israel’s wars. Creating an Israeli sphere of influence in the area is emerging as a key motive behind the latest US-Iraq war [8].

Jamboree of the Carnivores

Every year a conference in Herzliya attracts Israeli state planners, think-tankers, and cheerleaders. It is a jamboree for the carnivores; Zionists of a vegetarian stripe need not apply. Here, plans are made on how Palestinians can be further dispossessed, how to handle the propaganda, or reveal the latest sadistic fantasy. Plans for the entire region are also proposed and discussed. Out in the open one can hear what the likes of Soffer, Dovi and Yinon are currently proposing. Of course, these plans are not presented in “Western” media; here one will continue hearing about Israel’s peaceful intent, and the “only democracy in the Middle East”.

Also present in Herzliya are wannabe advisors, and the only way for them to be noticed is to present ever more extreme plans. There is a dynamic among these operators to propose plans that veer ever more to the right. Whereas the likes of Soffer would have seemed extreme twenty years ago, now his position is centrist. Today’s extremists may become the common ground in a few years time.

The Ivy League Apologist

One of the attendees at the 2003 Herzliya conference was Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law School professor and legal contortionist extraordinaire. He has a bit of a misplaced liberal reputation since he is keen to justify torture, compulsory ID cards, and overturning international law. Dershowitz is always eager to dispense advice, and it is of interest to listen to his ruminations at the conference.

“We have a joint project between Israel and the US, which lawyers must lead. Our project is to propose new rules of international law. Israelis are obliged to follow the rules of law in the democracy called Israel, as I am within the US. Your moral obligation to comply with international law is voluntary. You are not represented in the making or implementing of those laws. International law lives or dies by its credibility, not by the democracy by which it has been constructed. I am suggesting the change of the rule of law. Democracy should not have to justify its actions and show how the rule of human rights has become a weapon in promoting human wrongs… You are the lab for that process. You are contributing greatly. Do not allow the world to bully you into believing that you are the human rights violators…”

— Alan Dershowitz, Dec. 2003. [9]

To implement plans like those advocated by Soffer requires perpetrating crimes against humanity, and this obviously clashes with international law. The legal profession in Israel has long justified Israel’s actions by contorted arguments as those made by Dershowitz [10]. Israeli lawyers have always been selective on which laws apply to it, and of course, the core humanitarian law has been excluded. Furthermore, it will use bits of law that are useful for its purposes, e.g., British Mandate period military law, or Jordanian law, and if all else fails specific military orders are passed [11]. The veneer of legality is kept, but, as the recent International Court of Justice ruling pertaining to the wall indicates, it is increasingly difficult for them to cover up the mass crimes that the Zionist project requires. Dershowitz recommendation: don’t worry about it and ignore international law. The same argument will be made for US actions in the war in Iraq, the torture of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisoners, the US military deaths squads, the use of depleted uranium munitions, etc.

The Consequences

The consequences of the Zionist project are stark and they are clear for all involved. The Palestinians are at the receiving end of a genocidal plan. Of course, any act of resistance will elicit hollers about “terrorism”, and they can expect to be blamed for the cruelty dispensed to them by the Israelis. Negotiations will amount to “conflict management” between military rulers and Palestinian collaborators.

Israelis must decide if they want to become a nation of prison wardens, a fate that awaits them, their children, and their grandchildren. A permanent state of simmering war is very costly, and is only tenable thanks to America’s largesse and diplomatic cover. The Zionist project also entails interfering in all the countries in the area. This project raises further questions about what type of society it wants to become, and whether the US will continue supporting them. Israel cannot escape the consequences of a fundamentally unjust system; while this persists there will be continued strife, and all aspects of its society will be grotesquely distorted [12].

The costs for the United States are also high and the implications stark. The US is expected to continue funding Israel in ever increasing amounts, without a peep of gratitude from the recipient. The US also has to tarnish its international reputation by having to cover for Israel. And now the US has to pay a cost in blood; the war in Iraq is another contribution to Israel. Are Iran, Syria, <fill in the blank> next?

The US’s relation with Israel is also having distorting effects on American society. The fact that AIPAC is the most powerful lobby (aka, “the Lobby”) in Washington and that most politicians genuflect when the word Israel is mentioned indicates that the US political system may not represent the interests of the American people. Certainly, US foreign policy is not open to democratic debate, and currently it is the exclusive preserve of an unaccountable and reactionary elite. The debate about the US’s place in the world and hence what type of society it wants to become must urgently be brought out into the open. A simple issue must be addressed: whose interests is US foreign policy supposed to foster, and is it in the US’s interests to support a malevolent apartheid state in the Middle East?

Pariah state and ideology

In the 1990s, the United Nations attempted to condemn Zionism as a racist ideology. Alas, with US connivance and massive manipulation, this mild UN rebuke was not adopted. However, the manifest sadism to which Palestinians have been subjected indicates that there is a much deeper and serious objection to this ideology, i.e., the Zionist project, is inherently genocidal, and the plans of Sharon’s advisors and Israel’s history of ethnic cleansing make this abundantly clear. Zionism has to be considered a pariah ideology. Furthermore, the combination of pernicious ideologues with a dangerous war criminal requires that we treat Israel as a pariah state.


[1] Ari Shavit, Top PM aide: Gaza plan aims to freeze the peace process, Haaretz, Oct. 6, 2004.

[2] Ran HaCohen Mid-Eastern Terms, DissidentVoice, June 19, 2003.

[3] In reality, Israel received quite a few more goodies this year. First, an increase in aid and forgiven loans. Second, it also received thousands of J-Dam bombs, the type that could demolish Iran’s nuclear power plants. NB: This comes after the delivery of more than 100 special F16s capable of flying all the way to Iran.

[4] Bush’s policy speech in front of AIPAC in 2004 was frequently interrupted by applause. It is curious that the word “viable” elicited applause. Key words and phrases are used that have a special meaning for US officials and this crowd. Analyzing where the AIPAC audience applauded will reveal the true meaning of many such terms.

[5] Ruthie Blum, “ONE on ONE: It’s the demography, stupid”, Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2004.

[6] Nazi ideologues referred to the national imperative for expansion towards the Eastern Europe as “drang nach Osten”.

[7] Oded Yinon, “Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties” Feb. 1982. Available online here: [] This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in Kivunim (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; February 1982. The Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem publishes the journal. Yinon’s article was translated by Dr. Israel Shahak and appeared in his Translations of the Hebrew press. Invariably statements about plans are more elaborate and open when written in Hebrew; it is also rare to see them translated in their entirety into English.

NB: One could easily imagine the hysterics and indignation if any Arab ideologue were to publish designs for the region that would include an emasculated Israel. However, when Israeli ideologues discuss subjugating the region to its interest, then this is considered par for the course.

[8] It is wrong to suggest that there is a single motive for wars. It is when there is a confluence of interests in fostering wars that opinion can be mobilized in favor of a war. Control of oil, armaments, post-war slices of the cake, all have constituencies who favored the war. The centrality of the Israeli motivation is made clear by the statement by the main actors pushing the war. See also Kathleen and Bill Christison’s “Too Many Smoking Guns to Ignore: Israel, American Jews, and the War on Iraq“, CounterPunch, January 25, 2003.

[9] Quoted in Azmi Bishara, “Chutzpah: an avoidance strategy”, Al Ahram, Dec. 25, 2003, Issue 670. [],

[10] Azmi Bishara observes that Dershowitz isn’t stating anything new. What is reassuring to the Israeli legal profession is that even a Harvard professor is telling them to go on doing what they do at present, i.e., flout international law.

[11] A good account of the legal sophistry can be found in Raja Shehadeh’s Occupier’s Law, IPS, 1985. Alternatively, Lisa Hajjar’s Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza, University of California Press, 2005.

[12] Take one example: the construction of the wall is Israel’s largest infrastructure project. It will cost billions. Are they spending all this money and effort to imprison another people? The wall is compounding the unjust situation, and thus making matters worse.

PAUL de ROOIJ is a writer living in London. He can be reached at

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PAUL de ROOIJ © 2004



PAUL de ROOIJ is a writer living in London. He can be reached at (NB: all emails with attachments will be automatically deleted.)