Martin Van Creveld Victim of Web Fraud
Someone in the far-right anti-Zionist blog world has attempted to pull a fast one at Israel’s expense and utilized distinguished Hebrew University professor Martin Van Creveld as the patsy. This article is circulating in right-wing sites like Stormfront which allegedly quotes Van Creveld as endorsing “deportation” of all Israeli Palestinians and the notion that Israel should avenge the Holocaust by pointing its nuclear weapons at European cities:
An Israeli professor and military historian hinted that Israel could avenge the holocaust by annihilating millions of Germans and other Europeans.Speaking during an interview which was published in Jerusalem Friday, Professor Martin Van Crevel [sic] said Israel had the capability of hitting most European capitals with nuclear weapons.
“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force.”
Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that “collective deportation” was Israel’s only meaningful strategy towards the Palestinian people.
“The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this (the Israeli government) are waiting only for the right man and the right time. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago it was 33 per cent, and now, according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent.”
Creveld said he was sure that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wanted to deport the Palestinians.
“I think it’s quite possible that he wants to do that. He wants to escalate the conflict. He knows that nothing else we do will succeed.”
Asked if he was worried about Israel becoming a rogue state if it carried out a genocidal deportation against Palestinians, Creveld quoted former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan who said “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”
Creveld argued that Israel wouldn’t care much about becoming a rogue state.
“Our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that [sic] this will happen before Israel goes under.”
After reading this I said to myself: “Huh, I thought I knew Van Creveld’s views better than that. But I guess it’s possible he did another Benny Morris and turned into a right-wing lunatic.” But what sent up a red flag for me was the claim that Van Creveld was interviewed in “Jerusalem on Friday,” which made a claim for recency. Yet the rather lame smear job made the stupid mistake of retaining the reference of Ariel Sharon as the current prime minister. I was hoping this indicated fraud, but I wasn’t sure.
On the off-chance that this might, I circulated the article to some of my more learned blog colleagues and the trusty Paul Woodward penetrated the fog. He found the original article from which the fraud was sprung. Needless to say, Van Creveld was arguing neither of the points it is claimed above. In 2003, the Guardian published an extract of the updated edition of David Hirst’s The Gun and the Olive Branch. This article is absolutely prescient in its predictions of what would come to pass in Iraq, Iran and Israel over the following years. I recommend it highly. But the salient passage dealing with Van Creveld’s views reads:
Iran can never be threatened in its very existence. Israel can. Indeed, such a threat could even grow out of the current intifada. That, at least, is the pessimistic opinion of Martin van Creveld, professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ‘If it went on much longer,’ he said, ‘the Israeli government [would] lose control of the people. In campaigns like this, the anti-terror forces lose, because they don’t win, and the rebels win by not losing. I regard a total Israeli defeat as unavoidable. That will mean the collapse of the Israeli state and society. We’ll destroy ourselves.’
In this situation, he went on, more and more Israelis were coming to regard the ‘transfer’ of the Palestinians as the only salvation; resort to it was growing ‘more probable’ with each passing day. Sharon ‘wants to escalate the conflict and knows that nothing else will succeed’.
But would the world permit such ethnic cleansing? ‘That depends on who does it and how quickly it happens. We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.’
Thank God, Prof. Van Creveld’s reputation is intact. He retains his stature as one of the most lucid commentators on the Israel-Iran and Israel-Palestinian conflict. It would’ve been a shame to allow some idiots to push their anti-Israel agenda at Van Creveld’s expense. Let’s be clear, Israel is in a mess. Its policy towards Iran threatens a military assault if not regional war. Peace with the Palestinians is as remote as ever. There is much to criticize. But anyone who would circulate such muck does their cause a disservice. If we want to criticize Israel we must do it in a principled way, not this way. In fact, this scumminess plays right the hands of the most right-wing of Israeli political leaders. No doubt, we’ll see an article from Alan Dershowitz or some other Jerusalem Post columnist featuring this as Exhibit A in the smear Israel campaign.
27 thoughts on “Martin Van Creveld Victim of Web Fraud – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
It's worth noting that "The European Union Times" has nothing to do with the European Union and doesn't merely serve as a resource for sites like Stormfront – it is itself a shameless advocate of White supremacy.
"Lucid commentator" whose "reputation is intact"?! Really, Richard, and there I was thinking you were one of the sensible ones. No wonder you have a reputation in the blogosphere for being a zionist! Exactly what do you believe the word "transfer" to mean?! Where exactly are the Palestinians to be transferred to? Some fancy beach in an exotic location? A forcible transfer IS a deportation! And nukes may not be aimed at European cities, but by his admission they are certainly a target for the Israeli air forces! And there is the implied threat at a European city. What SANE RATIONAL state behaves in that manner towards its allies?! I know we in the UK certainly don't. But it's ok for you to be so complacent given that you reside in Washington far far away from the European continent! Wake up and smell the coffee!
Good golly Miss Molly…a Zionist?? Really? How dreadful. What must I do to expiate my sins? Just tell me & I'll get right on it.
I have no idea what you're "on" about. van Creveld isn't saying here that HE believes in deportation or transfer. He's saying that it becomes a more attractive alternative to more & more Israelis the longer the Intifada goes on. And that such a reversion to anti-democratic policies will result in the gradual destruction of Israel. I don't have any problem w. this analysis whatsoever.
Van Creveld isn't saying that Israel DOES target European cities, only that it COULD do so if it felt its existence was threatened. Again, this is hypothetical in the extreme, but certainly interesting to consider as a possibility if a chain of events occurred which endangered Israel's existence.
Also, the original van Creveld interview was in Dutch for a Dutch magazine. The interview has been translated into English & I understand not too well.
If you think for a second that Britain or any country possessing nuclear weapons wouldn't use them on ANY country, even an ally, if former's very existence was under threat, you're naive & sadly mistaken.
Well then maybe i can help, cuz i gotzto agree with the British lad, this interview stinks like hitlers farts, but i’m a native dutchman so hand over the interview and i’ll fix any translatition flaws. Amen
Great response! Love it
It was never necessary to exaggerate Professor Van Creveld's remarks. The remarks, especially “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother,” are chilling enough in their original form. This so-called Sampson option has no place in a civilized world.
That's him quoting Dayan, though. Not his own words.
Creveld is delusional, though. Israel's armed forces are nowhere near being the 2nd or 3rd in the world. Even its land-based forces are not, though they are quality-wise up to the standards of major NATO countries, and Israel's tiny navy is barely worth mentioning.
Israel, having no credible second-strike capability, would also be well advised not to publicly advance the idea that they might nuke other nuclear powers. I wrote this before, I think: If they get the impression that the 'mad dog' is going to run amok soon, other nations will likely put him down (= first-strike Israel out of existence) rather than take the chance he's going to calm down.
Keep in mind that van Creveld gave this interview in 2002 before the Lebanon & Gaza wars which proved the IDF had no clothes. You might credibly have argued in 2002 that the IDF was one of the best armies in the world. You couldn't argue that now. As you said, up to the par of a NATO country, but no higher.
“Israel’s tiny navy is barely worth mentioning. … Israel, having no credible second-strike capability….”
All of this would have been true, absent Germany’s asinine, insane decision to supply Israel with 5 stealth Dolphin-class submarines, which Israel has retrofitted with nuclear cruise missile capabilities. Not to state the obvious, but a stealth nuclear submarine is designed both for surprise first-strikes and for mop-up (second-strike) missions.
The fact that Van Creveld believes that 'Most European capitals are targets for our air force' relieves him of any notion of rationality.
Any commentator who thinks the residents of Vaduz, Skopje and Podgorica need have any additional worries…
That's doing violence to what he said & what he believes.
1/ I'm doing violence by writing?
2/ He didn't list which European capitals he was talking about, so I guessed. If he wants to be more specific, let him.
"Doing violence" was a figure of speech. You're misconstruing what van Creveld said & what he really believes.
I think a primary consideration, as you have partly sussed out Richard, is that Martin van Creveld has been wrongly condemned for merely being the messenger bearing the message. However, this reality dramatically shifts the culpatory spotlight over to Israel itself, or at least onto the ideology of the military hierarchy in place in 2002 (which admittedly has not changed that much over the intervening few years ago). Personally i find this revelation MORE than appalling. How on earth is one to justify the ‘defensive’ use of nuclear weapons for the sake of the right to remove palestinians. There is no justification. It is about time that Israel put in place a humanitarian government that works with the rest of humanity, or it will, as a nation, cease to exist.
Israel believes everything it does is “defensive”, for, after all, in the paranoid delusion of the Jewish establishment, everyone is out to get the Jews – and so every goy killed can be seen as a preemptive defensive move. And if you disagree, your an anti-Semite!
Why would Israel target European countries if it’s ‘existence’ were threatened? European countries haven’t targeted Israel for destruction? This is nuclear blackmail. If Iran lobs a nuke at Israel after being nuked itself – will Israel hit Europe?
This country has to go. No more ‘Jewish’ state.
One nation for all of it’s peoples. If you want to call it ‘Israel’ fine – but apartheid, racist criminal nations with nukes have no place in the modern world. Even if they agreed a two state solution based on 67 borders(it should be on 48 borders as per the original UN partition plan) – would anybody in their right mind trust Israel to start behaving itself?
The only significant difference in the two accounts that I can see is the Sharon narrative. But it changes absolutely nothing.
Thank you Noah H.
Everyone in the world has a stake in what Israel does.
It is time for those who are willing to stand against
USA, GB, & Israel and make public what you have stated here. The world MUST make the warmongers in Israel,
Wash DC, and London, ALL accept that any furthur moves toward nuclear actions anywhere on OUR globe must be
defused by whatever means reasoning and logical
leaders devise, including if necessary, removal of Israels missles as well as any Iran has stored. Personally I would appreciate all missles defused globally, yea, dream on.
It is quite incorrect to describe anti-Israeli extremists as “far-right”. They are not. The notion of right or left has no meaning in the Arabo-Islamic world. Though communist parties did at one time exist, by attachment to the Cold War split.
You don’t know what you’re talking about. And I’m certainly not talking about the Islamic world. I’m talking about the far right websites which fomented this garbage. They are anti-Semitic & anti-Israel.
The extremist anti-Israel websites may have it wrong in detail – not surprising, extremist pro-Israel websites also don’t bother with details either.
But, even if the interview with Creveld is some time ago, don’t you find it shocking that Creveld is predicting that Israeli nuclear weapons are targetting Europe? I don’t blame Creveld himself.
Creveld is an independent, academic historian. I admire him for that. But also well-connected. If he suggests that Israeli nuclear weapons might target Europe, you can be sure that the Israeli military is doing exactly that. As a contingency, of course.
So, not so far from the extremist claims, even if they have the details wrong.
You state that Van Crevel said:
“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.’”
Please clarify then what you mean by the “intact reputation” if the Professor actually said that!
Do you mean that a distinguished professor who acknowledges Israel has possibly as many as 400 nuclear weapons which could conceivably be targeted at any potential point on the globe–that this professor has said something bad that he has to answer for? Esp. since he makes clear that this is an awful situation of which he doesn’t approve. For what does he have to apologize under those circumstances? I’m happy for you to argue that Israel itself should answer for possessing such nuclear weapons. But van Creveld?
I was simply asking .. I expected clarification and instead you ask more me questions? Thanks anyway!
What’s amazing with this article is the fact that although it claims the words cited from Van Creveld are fraud, everyone in the discussion has consensually talked about them, commented on them, acknowledged their existence, defended them or condemned them just as if they are real. This seems to witness that there is no fraud involved in spite of what the title says.
At one time virtually everyone on earth believed the earth was flat & that the sun revolved around it. Does that mean such views were true? I’d say you’re quite a credulous person if you believe that.
Well, he did specify Rome. He probably has it in for the Pope.
“War has always been a topic of deep intrigue. Fighting itself can be a source of great, perhaps even the greatest, joy”
> “It would’ve been a shame to allow some idiots to push their
> anti-Israel agenda at Van Creveld’s expense.”
I am unimpressed by Mr Van Creveld. I do not think that a man who believes fighting in war may be the source of the greatest joy, is a useful source for admiration.
Van Creveld actual words according to this post: “We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
Then Israel has far greater technological power than is commonly known, beyond nuclear. To those of conventional thinking, if you imagine that advanced weapons development ended with nukes from the 40’s to present, or that nukes are the most powerful weapons available, you are mistaken.
This may explain why most major powers in the world kiss Israel’s ass. If this kind of discourse can be stated publicly, what has been said behind closed doors?
On the other hand, it could also be a high stakes game of poker; wherein Israel has bluffed world powers with small demonstrations, much rumor and innuendo into believing Israel possesses greater total destructive power, than they actually do.