Orwellian style 'democracy'
Orwellian style 'democracy'Istock

It is Marc Bloch who explained that “To establish the fact of a falsehood is not enough at all. It is further necessary to discover its motivations, if only as an aid to tracking it down. So long as there is any doubt about its origins, there is something in it which defies analysis and which is, therefore, only half proved. Above all, a lie is in its way, a piece of evidence.”

The purpose of my previous essay "The patient but deadly struggle: Decomposition as a tactic of political warfare" was to describe the use of Decomposition of society as a weapon of political warfare and its recent use within the current Israeli debate about judicial reform.

Nevertheless, there may be an additional backstory, a variable that “defies analysis.”

The leaders of the so-called “Resistance” moved the legislative debate from the Knesset to the streets and pursued a campaign of political warfare. This consideration brings us back to the basic problem: the so-called “Resistance” effectively targeted the State of Israel “as though it were a foreign country.”

Rather than attempting to change policy within the accepted legislative framework, it denied the legitimacy of the state and declared its objective as regime change, that is a coup d’État.

Indeed, the opposition has succeeded in causing the State material damage at home and abroad, purposefully weakening its economic strength and military superiority.

It should be remembered that on February 23, 2023 Ehud Barak declared, “…. I don’t know what damages will be caused along the way, but I am sure that we will win because we are on the right side of history, and we are not afraid of anything or anyone.” Thus, he anticipated collateral damage but failed to tell the public - who would pay the price.

Professor Robert C. Tucker, the late Sovietologist, explained that this type of struggle is not unique:

"…. With communist and fascist regimes, the typical – though not necessarily or invariable – pattern is one of revolutionary struggle against an indigenous order that is treated as though it were foreign. So, Lenin in 1902 conceived the Russian revolutionary movement as a nationwide resistance movement against an essentially alien Czarist monarchy and its supporters, and for Hitler the Weimar Republic was an un-German phenomenon…."

This brings us back to the statement of Marc Bloch that, in the case of disproving a falsehood, one must identify the motive and the man, which brings us to the problem of our incomplete knowledge. The “Resistance” has targeted the State of Israel as the enemy, as though it were foreign.

Furthermore, there is another agency, a revolutionary mass-movement regime under single -party auspices, which has also targeted the same enemy as though it were foreign, namely the State of Israel, and makes use of the same tactics of political warfare. This movement also uses some of the same tactics and terminology. We are referring to the Palestinian National Authority, and the unanswered question before us is: could the sharing of these goals and tactics be a coincidence?

In a discussion of the use of political warfare on the part of the PLO and its successor, the Palestinian National Authority, Professor Efraim Karsh published an excerpt from an interview with Yasser Arafat on August 2, 1968 in the Lebanese daily, An-Nahar. Here, he described his strategic goal and named the means by which he chose to attain it. He had one big idea: the destruction of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian Arab state.

"…. Approximately one year after the stupendous victory of Israel crowning the Six Days’ War and several months before his nomination to the presidency of the PLO, Yasser Arafat defined the strategic objective of the organization as ‘the transfer of all the bases of resistance’ in Judea, and Samaria and in all the Gaza strip, areas of which Israel took control during the war, ‘in order to transform in stages the opposition into a popular revolutionary army.’ Thus, Arafat explained, the PLO could ‘hinder immigration and encourage the emigration of Israelis from the country … ruin tourism … weaken the Israeli economy by forcing Israelis to budget a large part of their resources for security purposes … the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere of tension and anxiety which would cause the Zionists to understand that they could not live in Israel,” -- in a word, disrupt the Israeli way of life.’

Yasser Arafat thus named measures of decomposition against Israel. Their purpose was to weaken its economy and disrupt its way of life. Dr. Yossef Bodansky who analyzed Arafat’s Stockholm Speech of January 30, 1996, reported that “he insisted that it was Israel's economic strength and military superiority that compelled the PLO into the negotiation table, rather than a genuine desire for reaching a negotiated solution, let alone recognizing Israel's right to exist.”

Undermining Israel’s strength was a high priority for the PLO and, more recently, for the so-called “Resistance.” The motives of the PLO are much easier to understand than those of the domestic Resistance.

Arafat spoke openly about the use of political warfare in his famous speech “The Impending Collapse of Israel.” On this occasion, he secretly addressed a group of forty Arab diplomats in the Spegelsalon [Hall of Mirrors] of Stockholm’s Grand Hotel. To our knowledge, there was no official transcript, but two credible versions were posted online: one by Arutz 7 and the other, by the Ariel Center for Policy Research, edited by Dr. Yossef Bodansky. One may observe a continuity of ideas as expressed in his interview in An-Nahar. As mentioned above, Bodansky, published his own report and commentary on the Stockholm Speech:

"‘We will take over everything including all of Jerusalem,’ he declared repeatedly. Arafat's plan has two main components aimed to cause the Jews to abandon Israel. ‘Within five years we will have six to seven million Arabs living on the 'West Bank' and in Jerusalem. All Palestinian Arabs will be welcomed back by us.’

"Arafat explained that this will be the beginning of a pressure campaign resulting within a few years in Israel's ultimate destruction. ‘You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian Arab State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews will not want to live among us Arabs!’

"'…. ‘I have no use for Jews; they are and remain Jews! We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under total Arab-Muslim domination!'"

For its part, Arutz 7 report includes the classical idea of destroying the resilience of Israeli society by splitting it into two camps:

"We of the PLO will now concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps [author’s bold] …. You understand … that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian Arab State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews won't want to live among us Arabs.'

At this point, it is necessary to explain the Two Camp Theory, because it is a matter of considerable importance. Lenin, in his late writings formulated the “two camp doctrine,” dividing the world into the Bolshevik and capitalist camps. He named one camp the “counterrevolutionary imperialist West,” and the other, “the revolutionary and nationalist East.”

During the mid-twentieth century, the re-introduction of two-camp doctrine formed one of defining moments of the Cold War. It divided the world into two ideologically opposed camps and removed all neutral ground. The Soviet Union needed to promulgate this doctrine because it provided the ideological justification for consolidating its domination over Eastern Europe and depriving the recently conquered countries of the region of their sovereignty and freedom. The doctrine acquired new force in September 1947 with the proclamation of the Cominform [Information Bureau of Communist Parties] at the scenic Polish town, Sklarska Poręmba. There, Andrei Aleksandrovich Zhdanov (1896-1948), Stalin’s “propagandist-in-chief,” declared, “that the ‘peace camp,’ representing the community of socialist states, was threatened by ‘aggressive American capitalism.’”

According to Robert C. Tucker, the “two camp theory dichotomized the globe into two ‘worlds’ called the ‘Soviet camp of peace, socialism, and democracy’ and the ‘American camp of capitalism, imperialism, and war.’” (Levrentii Pavlovich Beria [1899-1953], Chief of the NKVD, personally contributed to this initiative by adding the Orwellian use of the word, “democratic.”)

Language and terminology matter. When evoking this theory, Arafat clearly explained its meaning as he understood it. The question is: what exactly do the Israeli advocates mean when they also identify with the “camp of peace, socialism and democracy”? How does this fit in with the program of the so-called “Resistance” and its opposition to totalitarianism?

We have observed the public statements of the so-called “Resistance” movement in Israel as well as the PLO and its successor organization, the Palestinian National Authority. Some of these date back more than half a century. Nevertheless, they have retained their immediacy.

By their words and deeds, each organization has revealed that it shares the same strategic goal as the other and uses the tactics of political war, particularly decomposition. Beyond naming the key men and describing their methods, we are still confronted with important facts which defy explanation.

Dr. Joel Fishman is a historian and Fellow of a research center in Jerusalem.