*Arlene Kushner, Research Analyst and Consultant, Center for Near East Policy Research, http://www.arlenefromisrael.info


Credit: FrontpageJerusalem

Sharon was the only Arabic speaker at the negotiations between Israel and Egypt. At that time, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, said to him in Arabic, “This is a market. Tell your prime minister.” He was telling us, explained Sharon, to learn the language of the Arab bazaar, but we never have.

Professor Sharon then outlined the key principles of that bazaar. The Arabs, he declared, use language with more sophistication than almost any other people, and have been doing so for 2,000 years. But they use this skill in order to lie, and it works for them. “Lying is the salt of a man,” goes an Arabic saying: as if man’s merit is in his ability to lie successfully. And here they are attempting to sell something they don’t truly possess, for there is no peace in the Arab.

And yet Israel is ready to pay a great deal for that peace that doesn’t really exist. Some rules:

1) Buy information and never give information. Don’t present your program. Let the other side show their program.

2) If they do show a program, say it is not enough. Be prepared to pick up and leave.

A story. When Israel was negotiating with Egypt, President Carter pushed Begin to include Jerusalem in the negotiations. Begin said, “Give me five minutes.” “Take as much time as you need!” enthused Carter. “No,” explained Begin, “five minutes is all we need to pack our suitcases.” The subject of Jerusalem was dropped by Carter.

3) Never provide a counter-program immediately. Never present “creative ideas.” Never cross your own red lines or depart from the full program you had proposed. Never leave everything open to negotiations — some things should not be subject to negotiations.

4) Never change you program thinking this will lead the other side to change. Never let the other side present major problems as “minor.”

7) NEVER show your plan to a third party. Begin learned this the hard way. Thinking Carter a friend of Israel, he shared plans with him, and those plans quickly went to the Egyptians.

5) Do not become an anthropologist, concerned with Arab “honor.” You also have honor. Do not imagine that kissing on the cheeks and all the rest means something.

6) The final idea is to win!

Sadat also said, “I gave Menachem Begin a piece of paper and he gave me the whole Sinai. If the Arabs really want peace, they must give something in return. Demand even more than they can give.

What Prof. Sharon warned is that we show too much eagerness for peace, and that the other side, perceiving this, keeps raising the price. No different from, say, walking into a carpet store and gushing about how magnificent a particular carpet it — this immediately sends up the price. If the time should come when the Arabs sincerely seek peace, then they will see it as having value and be prepared to give something to secure it.

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When I left the U.S. in 2001, and came to Israel as an olah (a new immigrant) I was eager to share personal impressions and solid information about the situation here. Thus was my listserve born. This list has grown, and its content and style have been refined. Now I do several postings a week, offering both reliable data and analysis.

Shortly after initiating my listserve, I began to work professionally as an investigative journalist for the Center for Near East Policy Research. Today I serve the Center in a consultant capacity. I work, as well, as a freelance writer.

New Jersey born and bred and a resident of Maryland for several years, I have been living in Jerusalem since shortly after my arrival in Israel.

If there has been a constant in my work over time, it has been my writing, but in many ways my background has been eclectic.

My bachelors degree is in psychology and my masters in counseling and human services.  I took up the cause of the Jews of Ethiopia in the 80s and early 90s, via the American Association for Ethiopian Jews; I worked in the field with people newly arrived in Israel, and assisted with relief and rescue efforts from the States.

I then turned to designing softskills software -- training in the computer on diversity, stress reduction and using your whole brain effectively -- and producing Jewish educational software and hard copy materials.  Simultaneously, I conducted live workshops on stress reduction, Jewish identity and more.

For a period of time, I worked with a top non-governmental anti-terrorist in the US.  This led, fairly directly, to my investigative journalism.

My articles have appeared in such venues as Azure MagazineThe Jerusalem Post, FrontPageMagazine.com, American Thinker, Arutz Sheva, YNet, National Review Online, The (Philadelphia) Jewish Exponent,  MidstreamPresent TenseThe New York TimesBaltimore Jewish TimesOutlookAmitThe Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia), and The Aish website.

I have produced several major reports on UNRWA for the Center for Near East Policy Research, as well reports on the true nature of Fatah, the dangers of funding PA security forces, the Israeli NGO Adalah, and more.

I have written three books: Disclosed: Inside the Palestinian Authority and the PLO in 2004, and Falasha No More (for children) andTreacherous Journey: One Man's Escape from Ethiopia, both in 1985.

I have done interviews with BBC online, FrontPageMagazine.com, Voice of America, IBA English News (Israeli TV), and IsraelNationalNewsTV.

I am on the Board of Advisors of EMET, a Washington based organization dedicated to providing policy makers in the US with accurate information.

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