During the past week, much was made over the comparison the prime minister drew between the present situation and the policy of appeasement practiced at Munich in 1938. However, little attention was paid when official sources were quoted as drawing an analogy between Arafat's relations with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and Ben-Gurion's order to sink the Altalena, a ship bringing arms and volunteers to Israel's War of Independence in July 1948.
Born in 1925 in Lithuania, Moshe Arens grew up in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel 1948.
His political life began in 1974, when he was elected to the Knesset as a lawmaker for the Likud. In 1982, Arens became the Israeli ambassador to the United States for one year, before returning to Israel to become Defense Minister. Arens also served as Foreign Minister from 1988 to 1990.
Arens became defense minister again between 1990 and 1992, when he retired from politics, only to return in 1999 to the same portfolio.
Arens studied mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. A former associate professor of aeronautical engineering at the Technion and vice president for engineering at Israel Aircraft Industries, he has published articles in academic journals on propulsion and flight mechanics.
Moshe Arens is married and the father of four.
With the memory of the Gulf War still fresh in his mind, is it any wonder that ever since September 11, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has been actively pursuing the formation of a grand coalition against terrorism that will include Arab states, maybe even Yasser Arafat and Syria's dictator, Bashar Assad, but will exclude Israel?
Mohammed Atta, who flew American Airlines flight 11 into the North Tower of the Commercial Trade Center in New York, and Mohammed Kbeishi, who blew himself up at the Nahariya railroad station that very same week were brothers under the skin. Both believed that their terrorist act against the "infidels" was gaining them entry to Paradise.
The two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat, are now looking for a secluded place for a summit meeting. What are they going to talk about? They could reminisce about their meeting on the White House lawn when the unforgettable Oslo Accords were signed in the presence of President Clinton. Or they might recall the ceremony in Oslo where they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Slowly, too slowly, Israelis are beginning to realize that the Palestinians are waging war, a war that is now entering its 11th month. Some preferred to believe that it was only the Muslim fanatics among the Palestinians that were intent on killing Jews, or that the participation in the violence by Palestinians under the direct orders of Yasser Arafat was at most marginal.
After ten months of Palestinian violence - the last five during the tenure of Ariel Sharon's government - it is time to reappraise the tactics of the security forces. While there have been localized successes, the violence continues with no end in sight.
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was asked in a recent interview what is the answer to our present predicament and replied: "The solution is to wait".
Everybody seems to be waiting for the big bang: the military onslaught against Arafat's forces, from Jenin to Hebron and from Gaza to Rafah, that will create chaos among the Palestinians and - in the same way the Big Bang 15,000,000,000 years ago blew our universe into existence - will bring forth new forces among the Palestinians, creating new dimensions of time and space in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Sharon's long-time supporters are convinced he is gritting his teeth, waiting for an opportune