The essay below is an extremely well formulated address which was
given at the Weizmann Institute of Israel, by one of the foremost
physicists in Israel.  Professor Chaim Harari brings great insight and
wisdom to his analysis of how the Third World War came about, and which
countries are vulnerable.

The essay is drawn from an address delivered by Professor Harari at
a meeting of the International Advisory Board of a large multi-national
corporation, April, 2004

It should be carefully read by all thoughtful people.

    HAIM HARARI, a theoretical physicist, is the Chair, Davidson
Institute of Science Education, and Former President, from 1988 to 2001,
of the Weizmann Institute of Science. During his years as President of
the Institute, it entered numerous new scientific fields and projects,
built 47 new buildings, raised one Billion Dollars in philanthropic
money, hired more than half of its current tenured Professors and became
one of the highest royalty-earning academic organizations in the world.

    Throughout all his adult life, he has made major contributions to
three different fields: Particle Physics Research on the international
scene, Science Education in the Israeli school system and Science
Administration and Policy Making.

    A View from the Eye of the Storm

    As you know, I usually provide the scientific and technological
"entertainment" in our meetings, but, on this occasion, our Chairman
suggested that I present my own personal view on events in the part of
the world from which I come. I have never been and I will never be a
Government official and I have no privileged information. My perspective
is entirely based on what I see, on what I read and on the fact that my
family has lived in this region for almost 200 years. You may regard my
views as those of the proverbial taxi driver, whom you are supposed to
question when you visit a country.

    I could have shared with you some fascinating facts and some
personal thoughts about the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, I will touch
upon it only in passing. I prefer to devote most of my remarks to the
broader picture of the region and its place in world events. I refer to
the entire area between Pakistan and Morocco, which is predominantly
Arab, predominantly Moslem, but includes many non-Arab and also
significant non-Moslem minorities.

    Why do I put aside Israel and its own immediate neighborhood?
Because Israel and any problems related to it, in spite of what you
might read or hear in the world media, is not the central issue, and has
never been the central issue in the upheaval in the region. Yes, there
is a 100 year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main
show is. The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do
with Israel. The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the
Arab Moslem regime is massacring its black Christian citizens, has
nothing to do with Israel. The frequent reports from Algeria about the
murders of hundreds of civilians in one village or another by other
Algerians have nothing to do with Israel. Saddam Hussein did not invade
Kuwait, endanger Saudi Arabia and butcher his own people because of
Israel. Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the 60's because
of Israel. Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of his own
citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel. The Taliban
control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with
Israel. The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do
with Israel, and I could go on and on and on.

    The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally
dysfunctional by any standard of the word, and would have been so even
if Israel would have joined the Arab League and an independent Palestine
would have existed for 100 years. The 22 member countries of the Arab
League, from Mauritania to the Gulf States, have a total population of
300 millions, larger than the US and almost as large as the EU before
its expansion. They have a land area larger than either the US or all of
Europe. These 22 countries, with all their oil and natural resources,
have a combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and
equal to half of the GDP of California alone. Within this meager GDP,
the gaps between rich and poor are beyond belief and too many of the
rich made their money not by succeeding in business, but by being
corrupt rulers. The social status of women is far below what it was in
the Western World 150 years ago. Human rights are below any reasonable
standard, in spite of the grotesque fact that Libya was elected Chair of
the UN Human Rights commission. According to a report prepared by a
committee of Arab intellectuals and published under the auspices of the
U.N., the number of books translated by the entire Arab world is much
smaller than what little Greece alone translates. The total number of
scientific publications of 300 million Arabs is less than that of 6
million Israelis. Birth rates in the region are very high, increasing
the poverty, the social gaps, and the cultural decline. And all of this
is happening in a region that only 30 years ago was believed to be the
next wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed,
at some point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the

     It is fair to say that this creates an unprecedented breeding
for cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement, suicide
murders, and general decline. It is also a fact that almost everybody in
the region blames this situation on the United States, on Israel, on
Western Civilization, on Judaism and Christianity, on anyone and
anything, except themselves.

     Do I say all of this with the satisfaction of someone discussing
failings of his enemies? On the contrary, I firmly believe that the
world would have been a much better place and my own neighborhood would
have been much more pleasant and peaceful if things were different.

    I should also say a word about the millions of decent, honest, good
people who are either devout Moslems or are not very religious but grew
up in Moslem families. They are double victims, of an outside world
which now develops Islamophobia, and of their own environment which
breaks their hearts by being totally dysfunctional. The problem is that
the vast silent majority of these Moslems are not part of the terror and
of the incitement but they also do not stand up against it. They become
accomplices by omission, and this applies to political leaders,
intellectuals, business people and many others. Many of them can
certainly tell right from wrong, but are afraid to express their views.

     The events of the last few years have amplified four issues, which
have always existed, but have never been as rampant as in the present
upheaval in the region. These are the four main pillars of the current
World Conflict, or perhaps we should already refer to it as "the
undeclared World War III". I have no better name for the present
situation. A few more years may pass before everybody acknowledges that
it is a World War, but we are already well into it.

    The first element is the suicide murder. Suicide murders are not a
new invention but they have been made popular, if I may use this
expression, only lately. Even after September 11, it seems that most of
the Western World does not yet understand this weapon. It is a very
potent psychological weapon. Its real direct impact is relatively minor.
The total number of casualties from hundreds of suicide murders within
Israel in the last three years is much smaller than those due to car
accidents. September 11 was quantitatively much less lethal than many
earthquakes. More people die from AIDS in one day in Africa than all the
Russians who died in the hands of Chechnya-based Moslem suicide
murderers since that conflict started. Saddam killed more people every
month than all those who died from suicide murders since the Coalition
occupied Iraq.

     So what is all the fuss about suicide killings? It creates
headlines. It is spectacular. It is frightening. It is a very cruel
death with bodies dismembered and horrible severe lifelong injuries to
many of the wounded. It is always shown on television in great detail.
One such murder, with the help of hysterical media coverage, can destroy
the tourism industry of a country for quite a while, as it did in Bali
and in Turkey.

     But the real fear comes from the undisputed fact that no defense
no preventive measures can succeed against a determined suicide
murderer. This has not yet penetrated the thinking of the Western World.
The U.S. and Europe are constantly improving their defense against the
last murder, not the next one. We may arrange for the best airport
security in the world. But if you want to murder by suicide, you do not
have to board a plane in order to explode yourself and kill many people.
Who could stop a suicide murder in the midst of the crowded line waiting
to be checked by the airport metal detector? How about the lines to the
check-in counters in a busy travel period? Put a metal detector in front
of every train station in Spain and the terrorists will get the buses.
Protect the buses and they will explode in movie theaters, concert
halls, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools, and hospitals. Put guards
in front of every concert hall and there will always be a line of people
to be checked by the guards and this line will be the target, not to
speak of killing the guards themselves. You can somewhat reduce your
vulnerability by preventive and defensive measures and by strict border
controls but not eliminate it and definitely not win the war in a
defensive way. And it is a war!

     What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded
murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true
fanatical religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself
up. No son of an Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown
himself up. No relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn't you
expect some of the religious leaders to do it themselves, or to talk
their sons into doing it, if this is truly a supreme act of religious
fervor? Aren't they interested in the benefits of going to Heaven?
Instead, they send outcast women, naive children, retarded people and
young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual,
of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme
act is performed and enough innocent people are dead.

     Suicide murders also have nothing to do with poverty and despair.
The poorest region in the world, by far, is Africa. It never happens
there There are numerous desperate people in the world, in different
cultures, countries and continents. Desperation does not provide anyone
with explosives, reconnaissance and transportation. There was certainly
more despair in Saddam's Iraq than in Paul Bremmer's Iraq, and no one
exploded himself. A suicide murder is simply a horrible, vicious weapon
of cruel, inhuman, cynical, well-funded terrorists, with no regard for
human life, including the lives of their fellow countrymen, but with
very high regard for their own affluent well-being and their hunger for

     The only way to fight this new "popular" weapon is identical to the
only way in which you fight organized crime or pirates on the high seas:
the offensive way.As in the case of organized crime, it is crucial that
the forces on the offensive be united and it is crucial to reach the top
of the crime pyramid. You cannot eliminate organized crime by arresting
the little drug dealer on the street corner. You must go after the head
of the "Family".

     If part of the public supports it, others tolerate it, many are
afraid of it and some try to explain it away by poverty or by a
miserable childhood, organized crime will thrive and so will terrorism.
The United States understands this now, after September 11 Russia is
beginning to understand it. Turkey understands it well.  I am very much
afraid that most of Europe still does not understand it. Unfortunately,

it seems that Europe will understand it only after suicide murderers
arrive in Europe in a big way. In my humble opinion, this will
definitely happen. The Spanish trains and the Istanbul bombings are only
the beginning. The unity of the Civilized World in fighting this horror
is absolutely indispensable. Until Europe wakes up, this unity will not
be achieved.

     The second ingredient is words, more precisely lies. Words can be
lethal. They kill people. It is often said that politicians, diplomats
and perhaps also lawyers and business people must sometimes lie as part
of their professional life. But the norms of politics and diplomacy are
childish in comparison with the level of incitement and total, absolute,
deliberate fabrications which have reached new heights in the region we
are talking about. An incredible number of people in the Arab world
believe that September 11 never happened, or was an American provocation
or, even better, a Jewish plot.

    You all remember the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mr. Muhammad
Said al-Sahaf and his press conferences when the US forces were already
inside Baghdad. Disinformation at time of war is an accepted tactic. But
to stand, day after day, and make such preposterous statements, known to
everybody to be lies, without even being ridiculed in your own milieu,
can only happen in this region. Mr. Sahaf eventually became a popular
icon as a court jester, but this did not stop some allegedly respectable
newspapers from giving him equal time. It also does not prevent the
Western press from giving credence every day, even now, to similar
liars. After all, if you want to be an anti-Semite, there are subtle
ways of doing it. You do not have to claim that the Holocaust never
happened and that the Jewish temple in Jerusalem never existed. But
millions of Moslems are told by their leaders that this is the case.
When these same leaders make other statements, the Western media report
them as if they could be true.

     It is a daily occurrence that the same people who finance, arm and
dispatch suicide murderers, condemn the act in English in front of
western TV cameras talking to a world audience, which even partly
believes them. It is a daily routine to hear the same leader making
opposite statements in Arabic to his people and in English to the rest
of the world. Incitement by Arab TV, accompanied by horror pictures of
mutilated bodies, has become a powerful weapon of those who lie, distort
and want to destroy everything. Little children are raised on deep
hatred and on admiration of so-called martyrs, and the Western World
does not notice it because its own TV sets are mostly tuned to soap
operas and game shows. I recommend to you, even though most of you do
not understand Arabic, to watch Al Jazeera from time to time. You will
not believe your own eyes.

    But words also work in other ways, more subtle. A demonstration in
Berlin, carrying banners supporting Saddam's regime and featuring
three-year old babies dressed as suicide murderers is defined by the
press and by political leaders as a "peace demonstration". You may
support or oppose the Iraq war, but to refer to fans of Saddam, Arafat
or Bin Laden as peace activists is a bit too much. A woman walks into an
Israeli restaurant at mid-day, eats, observes families with old people
and children eating their lunch at the adjacent tables, and pays the
bill. She then blows herself up, killing 20 people, including many
children, with heads and arms rolling around in the restaurant. She is
called "martyr" by several Arab leaders and "activist" by the European
press. Dignitaries condemn the act but visit her bereaved family and the
money flows.

    There is a new game in town: The actual murderer is called "the
military wing", the one who pays him, equips him and sends him is now
called "the political wing" and the head of the operation is called the
"spiritual leader". There are numerous other examples of such Orwellian
nomenclature, used every day not only by terror chiefs but also by
Western media. These words are much more dangerous than many people
realize. They provide an emotional infrastructure for atrocities. It was
Joseph Goebbels who said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people
will believe it. He is now being outperformed by his successors.

    The third aspect is money. Huge amounts of money, which could have
solved many social problems in this dysfunctional part of the world, are
channeled into three concentric spheres supporting death and murder.  In
the inner circle are the terrorists themselves. The money funds their
travel, explosives, hideouts and permanent search for soft vulnerable
targets. They are surrounded by a second wider circle of direct
supporters, planners, commanders, preachers, all of whom make a living,
usually a very comfortable living, by serving as terror infrastructure.

Finally, we find the third circle of so-called religious, educational
and welfare organizations, which actually do some good, feed the hungry
and provide some schooling, but brainwash a new generation with hatred,
lies and ignorance. This circle operates mostly through mosques,
madrasas and other religious establishments but also through inciting
electronic and printed media. It is this circle that makes sure that
women remain inferior, that democracy is unthinkable and that exposure
to the outside world is minimal. It is also that circle that leads the
way in blaming everybody outside the Moslem world, for the miseries of
the region.

    Figuratively speaking, this outer circle is the guardian, which
makes sure that the people look and listen inwards to the inner circle
of terror and incitement, rather than to the world outside. Some parts
of this same outer circle actually operate as a result of fear from, or
blackmail by, the inner circles. The horrifying added factor is the high
birth rate. Half of the population of the Arab world is under the age of
20, the most receptive age to incitement, guaranteeing two more
generations of blind hatred.

     Of the three circles described above, the inner circles are
primarily financed by terrorist states like Iran and Syria, until
recently also by Iraq and Libya and earlier also by some of the
Communist regimes. These states, as well as the Palestinian Authority,
are the safe havens of the wholesale murder vendors. The outer circle is
largely financed by Saudi Arabia, but also by donations from certain
Moslem communities in the United States and Europe and, to a smaller
extent, by donations of European Governments to various NGO's and by
certain United Nations organizations, whose goals may be noble, but they
are infested and exploited by agents of the outer circle. The Saudi
regime, of course, will be the next victim of major terror, when the
inner circle will explode into the outer circle. The Saudis are
beginning to understand it, but they fight the inner circles, while
still financing the infrastructure at the outer circle.

    Some of the leaders of these various circles live very comfortably
on their loot. You meet their children in the best private schools in
Europe, not in the training camps of suicide murderers. The Jihad
"soldiers" join packaged death tours to Iraq and other hot spots, while
some of their leaders ski in Switzerland. Mrs. Arafat, who lives in
Paris with her daughter, receives tens of thousands of dollars per month
from the allegedly bankrupt Palestinian Authority while a typical local
ringleader of the Al-Aksa brigade, reporting to Arafat, receives only a
cash payment of a couple of hundred dollars for performing murders at
the retail level.

     The fourth element of the current world conflict is the total
breaking of all laws. The civilized world believes in democracy, the
rule of law, including international law, human rights, free speech and
free press, among other liberties. There are naive old-fashioned habits
such as respecting religious sites and symbols, not using ambulances and
hospitals for acts of war, avoiding the mutilation of dead bodies and
not using children as human shields or human bombs. Never in history,
not even in the Nazi period, was there such total disregard of all of
the above as we observe now. Every student of political science debates
how you prevent an anti-democratic force from winning a democratic
election and abolishing democracy. Other aspects of a civilized society
must also have limitations. Can a policeman open fire on someone trying
to kill him? Can a government listen to phone conversations of
terrorists and drug dealers? Does free speech protect you when you shout
"fire" in a crowded theater? Should there be the death penalty for
deliberate multiple murders? These are the old-fashioned dilemmas. But
now we have an entirely new set.

     Do you raid a mosque that serves as a terrorist ammunition storage?
Do you return fire if you are attacked from a hospital? Do you storm a
church taken over by terrorists who took the priests hostage? Do you
search every ambulance after a few suicide murderers use ambulances to
reach their targets? Do you strip every woman because one pretended to
be pregnant and carried a suicide bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back
at someone trying to kill you while standing deliberately behind a group
of children? Do you raid terrorist headquarters hidden in a mental
hospital? Do you shoot an arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one
location to another, always surrounded by children? All of these happen
daily in Iraq and in the Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do
not want to face the dilemma. But it cannot be avoided.

     Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that someone would openly stay
at a well-known address in Teheran, hosted by the Iranian Government and
financed by it, executing one atrocity after another in Spain or in
France, killing hundreds of innocent people, accepting responsibility
for the crimes, promising in public TV interviews to do more of the
same, while the Government of Iran issues public condemnations of his
acts but continues to host him, to invite him to official functions, and
to treat him as a great dignitary. I leave it to you as homework to
figure out what Spain or France would have done in such a situation.

    The problem is that the civilized world is still having illusions
about the rule of law in a totally lawless environment. It is trying to
play ice hockey by sending a ballerina ice-skater into the rink or to
knock out a heavyweight boxer by a chess player. In the same way that no
country has a law against cannibals eating its prime minister because
such an act is unthinkable, international law does not address killers
shooting from hospitals, mosques and ambulances, while being protected
by their Government or society. International law does not know how to
handle someone who sends children to throw stones, stands behind them
and shoots with immunity and cannot be arrested because he is sheltered
by a Government. International law does not know how to deal with a
leader of murderers who is royally and comfortably hosted by a country
that pretends to condemn his acts or just claims to be too weak to
arrest him. The amazing thing is that all of these crooks demand
protection under international law and define all those who attack them
as war criminals, with some Western media repeating the allegations. The
good news is that all of this is temporary, because the evolution of
international law has always adapted itself to reality. The punishment
for suicide murder should be death or arrest before the murder, not
during and not after. After every world war, the rules of international
law have changed and the same will happen after the present one But
during the twilight zone, a lot of harm can be done.

    The picture I described here is not pretty. What can we do about it?
In the short run, only fight and win. In the long run? Only educate the
next generation and open it to the world. The inner circles can and must
be destroyed by force. The outer circle cannot be eliminated by force.
Here we need financial starvation of the organizing elite, more power to
women, more education, counter propaganda, boycott whenever feasible,
and access to Western media, the Internet, and the international scene.
Above all, we need a total, absolute unity and determination of the
civilized world against all three circles of evil.

    Allow me, for a moment, to depart from my alleged role as a taxi
driver and return to science. When you have a malignant tumor, you may
remove the tumor itself surgically. You may also starve it by preventing
new blood from reaching it from other parts of the body, thereby
preventing new "supplies" from expanding the tumor. If you want to be
sure, it is best to do both.

     But before you fight and win, by force or otherwise, you have to
realize that you are in a war, and this may take Europe a few more
years. In order to win, it is necessary first to eliminate the terrorist
regimes so that no Government in the world will serve as a safe haven
for these people. I do not want to comment here on whether the
American-led attack on Iraq was justified from the point of view of
weapons of mass destruction or any other pre-war argument, but I can
look at the post-war map of Western Asia. Now that Afghanistan, Iraq,
and Libya are out, two and a half terrorist states remain: Iran, Syria,
and Lebanon, the latter being a Syrian colony. Perhaps Sudan should be
added to the list. As a result of the conquest of Afghanistan and Iraq,
both Iran and Syria are now totally surrounded by territories unfriendly
to them. Iran is encircled by Afghanistan, by the Gulf States, Iraq and
the Moslem republics of the former Soviet Union. Syria is surrounded by
Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel. This is a significant strategic change
and it applies strong pressure on the terrorist countries. It is not
surprising that Iran is so active in trying to incite a Shiite uprising
in Iraq. I do not know if the American plan was actually to encircle
both Iran and Syria, but that is the resulting situation.

In  my humble opinion, the number one danger to the world today is
Iran and its regime. It definitely has ambitions to rule vast areas and
to expand in all directions. It has an ideology that claims supremacy
over Western culture. It is ruthless. It has proven that it can execute
elaborate terrorist acts without leaving too many traces, using Iranian
embassies It is clearly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Its
so-called moderates and conservatives play their own virtuoso version of
the "good-cop versus bad-cop" game. Iran sponsors Syrian terrorism, it
is certainly behind much of the action in Iraq, it is fully funding the
Hezbollah and, through it, the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It
performed acts of terror at least in Europe and in South America and
probably also in Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia and it truly leads a
multi-national terror consortium, which includes, as minor players,
Syria, Lebanon, and certain Shiite elements in Iraq. Nevertheless, most
European countries still trade with Iran, try to appease it, and refuse
to read the clear signals.

     In order to win the war it is also necessary to dry up the
resources of the terror conglomerate. It is pointless to try to
understand the subtle differences between the Sunni terror of Al Qaida
and Hamas and the Shiite terror of Hezbollah, Sadr and other
Iranian-inspired enterprises. When it serves their business needs, all
of them collaborate beautifully

     It is crucial to stop Saudi and other financial support of the
circle, which is the fertile breeding ground of terror. It is important
to monitor all donations from the Western World to Islamic
organizations, to monitor the finances of international relief
organizations, and to react with forceful economic measures to any small
sign of financial aid to any of the three circles of terrorism. It is
also important to act decisively against the campaign of lies and
fabrications and to monitor those Western media that collaborate with it
out of naivety, financial interests, or ignorance.

    Above all, never surrender to terror. No one will ever know whether
the recent elections in Spain would have yielded a different result if
not for the train bombings a few days earlier. But it really does not
matter. What matters is that the terrorists believe that they caused the
result and that they won by driving Spain out of Iraq. The Spanish story
will surely end up being extremely costly to other European countries,
including France, which is now expelling inciting preachers and
forbidding veils and including others who sent troops to Iraq. In the
long run, Spain itself will pay even more.

    Is the solution a democratic Arab world? If by democracy we mean
free elections but also free press, free speech, a functioning judicial
system, civil liberties, equality to women, free international travel,
exposure to international media and ideas, laws against racial
incitement and defamation, and avoidance of lawless behavior regarding
hospitals, places of worship and children, then yes, democracy is the
solution. If democracy is just free elections, it is likely that the
most fanatical regime will be elected, the one whose incitement and
fabrications are the most inflammatory. We have seen it already in
Algeria and, to a certain extent, in Turkey. It will happen again, if
the ground is not prepared very carefully. On the other hand, a certain
transitional democracy, as in Jordan, may be a better temporary
solution, paving the way for the real thing, perhaps in the same way
that an immediate sudden democracy did not work in Russia and would not
have worked in China

    I have no doubt that the civilized world will prevail. But the
longer it takes us to understand the new landscape of this war, the more
costly and painful the victory will be. Europe, more than any other
region, is the key. Its understandable recoil from wars, following the
horrors of World War II, may cost thousands of additional innocent
lives, before the tide will turn.