SHAUL MOFAZ – DEFENSE MINISTER OF ISRAEL RIGHT

In the simulation, Shaul Mofaz was played by junior Alex, and freshman Bryan.

 

Alex & Bryan

Shaul Mofaz

 

Contents

Role Profile

Best Messages Sent-Alex

Best messages Sent-Bryan

Best Messages received

Debriefing Alex

Debriefing Bryan

 

ROLE PROFILE- He was born in Iran in 1948, the year of Israel's creation. he emigrated to Israel with his family at the age of nine, in 1957, where he has continued to live ever since. He is currently married to his wife Orit, with whom he has have had four children: Maya, Yonatan, Itamar, and Noa.

His move into politics follows a long military career, in which he has been credited with helping to transform the Israeli army into the Middle East's mightiest fighting force.

In 1966, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and as a paratrooper, in the Six‑Day War he fought in the Negev. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he commanded an elite unit of paratroopers and participated in Israel's most audacious hostage rescue operation in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976. He then filled several other command positions in the Paratroop Brigade, including the Paratroop Reconnaissance Unit and a paratroop battalion, served as a Deputy Paratroop Brigade Commander, and commanded the Paratroop Brigade. During the 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee, he commanded an infantry brigade when Israel's then‑defense minister Ariel Sharon orchestrated Israel invasion of Lebanon, and oversaw their bloodless withdrawal in May 2002 as Israel's chief‑of‑staff.

 In 1996, he was appointed head of the IDF Planning Directorate in General Headquarters (GHQ). In this framework, he headed the IDF delegation in negotiations with the Syrians and the Palestinians. In 1997, he was appointed deputy chief of General Staff.

 In the last two years of his term of office as chief of General Staff, he oversaw the IDF’s war against terrorism, one of the longest, most complicated and difficult wars that the IDF has ever waged. In January 2002, the IDF, under his command, carried out a daring and complex operation in which IDF forces captured the Karine‑A. This ship was 500 km from Israel's coast and carried a massive cargo of arms and terrorist materiel designated to be smuggled into Palestinian Authority areas. In 2002, he approved the updating of the "IDF Spirit," and in the context of his vision of the IDF as a fighting organization first and foremost, he placed special emphasis on instilling the "value of victory" in battle. On July 9, 2002, after a four‑year tour of duty, Mofaz completed his assignment as the 16th IDF chief of General Staff. In November 2002, he was appointed Minister of Defense.

 For the last few years, he has been in charge of fighting the Palestinian intifada, or uprising. He has made no secret of his contempt for the Palestinian Authority, adopting increasingly tough tactics, which have alarmed left‑wing critics and human rights groups. He has repeatedly advocated Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's expulsion from the Palestinian territories. Additionally, under his command, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have stepped up demolitions of Palestinian suicide bombers' homes and blockades of Palestinian towns and villages. The IDF has also carried out dozens of "targeted killings" of leading Palestinian militants.

 As chief‑of‑staff, he directed some of Israel's most controversial military operations. Including the demolition of Mr. Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. He also oversaw the biggest Israeli military offensive since Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon ‑ The March 2002 assault on Jenin ‑ when he sent thousands of troops into the West Bank, where Palestinians claim a massacre took place ‑ though UN officials later denied this . For this tough stance many Palestinian and Israeli left‑wing groups have called for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.

 BEST MESSAGES SENT-Alex  

 This first message is to British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, in response to his condemnation of Israeli’s anti-terrorist action in the Gaza Strip. I felt it was one of my best messages because it explains to Hoon the organizations, the policies, and the reasons for Israel’s counter-terrorist operations. It set the stage for most of the action we took during the simulation.

 Dear Defense Secretary Hoon,

I appreciate you concern for the creation of stable and lasting peace to the Middle East, and your past support for operations concerning this goal. I do however fear you are deeply mistaken on you comments concerning the IDF and our new anti-terrorist policies.

 The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was first established in 1948 during Israel’s War for Independence. It is in fact Israel’s Army. It was created to ensure Israel’s peace and security. I can see no reason why the creation of the IDF in 1948 has so recently “upset many of our allies.” In fact you stated in 2001 one that “We (Great Britain) must have the right concepts, the right levels of forces and the right capabilities to meet the additional challenges we face from international terrorism.” Does not Israel have the same obligation as Britain in this aspect? Especially taking into account that every single Israeli citizen lives in fear of real, daily, and deadly terrorist attacks. 

 As to our new policies concerning terrorist attacks, I also believe you misunderstood our objectives in implementing these new policies. These measures were put into effect only to react to terrorist actions. We are not trying to accomplish “total domination” as you said, we are simply trying to find an effective way to stop terrorists from killing our citizens. Furthermore, we are not initiating violence with these measures. These measures will only come into affect if we are attacked by terrorists first. Therefore, the terrorists are creating the violence and not us. Our goal is simply to force terrorists to understand that by randomly killing Israeli citizens, we will randomly retaliate by bulldozing a Palestinian settlement, without harming the inhabitants.

  We have tried and considered every other conceivable option to stop terrorist actions. We have tried diplomatically to settle the issue through the Palestinian leader, Yasser Afafat. We have tried to cut off terrorist supplies to prevent attacks. We have tried to increase our own homeland security to prevent attacks. We have tried to take the offensive and conduct operations against terrorist cells before they take action. Yet, despite all these efforts, the random killing of Israeli citizens continues. We will not stand idly by and allow these attacks to continue. We feel this policy solves that issue. It gives the terrorists a chance to make peace. If they don’t attack, they will not be attacked. Yet if they randomly attack us, we will randomly attack them.

 We are sincerely confused as to why Britain, who strongly supports the war on terror and a pre-emptive war against Iraq, does not support their allies Israel in our very similar and, equally justifiable, mission to establish peace within safe and secure borders.

 I truly hope understanding between our two nations can be reached on this issue. We greatly value our current relationship with Great Britain and hope it will continue to grow. We will not, however, dissolve our current policies that are in place to protect our citizens.

Shaul Mofaz
Israel Minister of Defense
Israel Right

This next message was to the Syrian Foreign Minister, in response to Syria’s movement of settlers into the occupied Golan Heights. This message was one of my best because I was able to show how their actions were in violation of UN resolutions. I also feel it made Syria think twice about the realistic possibility of their actions happening in the real world, which was very slim. Syria’s proposed actions were eventually denied by the mentor and an action that could have very possible led to a war, was solved in a peaceful manner due largely in part to Israel’s research and negotiating skills.

 

Dear Foreign Minister al-Sharaa

 Let me begin by telling you that Israel was most upset to read of proposal to send innocent Syrian civilians, with the backing of the Syrian army, into the Golan Heights to become "settlers" there. I do not think you clearly understand the situation you are proposing to create. Let us review the background that led up to the current situation on the ground concerning the Golan Heights.

 As you know Israel took the called the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 war in which Egypt, Syria, and Jordan went to war against Israel. After briefly taking part of the Golan area back in the so-called Yom Kippur/Ramadan war of 1973, Israel retook the Golan Heights.  UN Security Council Resolution 350, dated May 31, 1974, established a cease fire line, and also established Limited-force zones on either side of a central buffer zone in which contingents of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were stationed. This has been the situation in the Golan Heights area ever since.

 Israel will not stand for a violation of UN Security Council Resolution  350 creating the buffer zone and the limited-force zone between our two nations. As you know, this buffer zone  contains contingents of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). If any  Syrian military personnel move through this buffer zone, and into Israeli territory, we will treat such an action as an act of war.

 Let me see if I grasp what it is you propose to do. If I understand correctly the Syrian government intends to send innocent Syrian civilians over a 10 ft. barbed wire fence on the Syrian side of the buffer zone. Then have them cross over a UN patrolled buffer zone, eight to ten kilometers wide, patrolled by  UN observer forces mandated to halt just such movements.  Then after crossing this U.N. patrolled buffer zone, these Syrian civilians will climb over another 10ft barbed wire fence into Israeli territories? They will then travel through a two-kilometer wide stretch of Israeli "no man's land" that is highly rumored to be mined. And then they will finally move into the hands of the Israeli Security Forces.

 And you are then threatening military retaliation if any of these Syrian civilians are harmed during this undertaking?!

 Does the Syrian government honestly believe this is a realistic possibility?  We can take no responsibility for your citizens' well being if this enterprise is undertaken. Furthermore, we will not allow any Syrian citizens to simply march into a UN recognized Israeli controlled territory and occupy it! If any Syrian citizens should, by the wildest stretch of the imagination make it into the hands of the Israel Security Forces, they will be detained and deported unharmed back to Syria immediately.

 I repeat yet again, if the Syrian government sends ANY military personnel  into the U.N. Buffer Zone or into Israeli controlled territory, such an act will be  considered an act of war and acted upon accordingly.

 I sincerely believe Syria should rethink this current proposed action. We do not wish  further conflict with your people. Neither of our people deserve any more violence. We are convinced that our differences can be worked out peacefully through negotiations.

 We look forward to your response.

 Shaul Mofaz Defense Minister
State of Israel

            This last message was in response to a message by Donald Rumsfeld that threatened cutting off all aid to Israel, and possible military actions against Israel, in response to the Israeli policy of randomly destroying a Palestinian village every time Israel was randomly attacked by a Palestinian terrorist. In his message, Rumsfeld claimed that Israel’s anti-terror operations were different from American anti-terror operations because Israel was acting out of “revenge” from almost daily terrorist attacks, and that America’s anti-terror operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the rest of the world were “justice” for the terrorist attacks on September 11. I thought this message was one of my best not only because it showed the fallacy in Rumsfelds logic concerning Israeli “revenge” and American “justice,” but also because it explains the reasoning of Israel’s policy of randomly attacking Palestinians. This policy was very controversial in the simulation and caused many problems, and was eventually repealed because of the mass confusion amongst other players in the simulation.

Dear Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,

I appreciate your reply. I do however disagree with you. I do not feel that there is a clear difference between the American “justice” you described, and the Israeli “revenge.” I have yet to see a reasonable argument as to why the actions taken by America in their “war on terror”  are any different from the actions Israel takes in our own “war on terror.”

 Israel takes every possible measure to minimize civilian casualties during our counter-terrorist operations, just as the US does. And just as in US actions there are innocent civilians killed and injured, so are there in our actions.

 You stated in your previous message, “if you are going to go into Palestine and do exactly what they are doing to you, it should still be considered terrorism.” First of all, there is no nation of Palestine. We do not “go into” Palestine because it does not exist.

 Second, we do not, ”go into Palestine and do exactly what they are doing to you.” We do not send suicide bombers into towns with the specific goal of killing the most innocent civilians. We conduct precision strikes, based on highly accurate intelligence against terrorist cells. Our troops have been specially trained and are given strict orders to minimize civilian casualties.

 We are fighting an enemy who deliberately hides himself in the midst of innocent civilians knowing that Israel will err on the side of caution when pursuing them. 

When the US fought this kind of enemy in Viet Nam, there were many civilian casualties. We suggest that when your inevitable war with Iraq occurs, in addition to the Republican Guard, whom you will fight in a more traditional way, you will encounter the kind of guerilla war that we are encountering in the West Bank and Gaza. And when you do, we suggest that there will be civilian casualties as much as you try to prevent them.

 As to your concerns addressing our current policy of randomly demolishing a Palestinian village whenever a terrorist attacks occurs, we feel this policy is efficient in helping deter terrorist attacks. The responsibility for preventing such an action on our part lies totally with the Palestinians. Since this policy has come into effect, and since we have kept up constant pressure on the terrorists and their supporters, no terrorist attacks have occurred. We prevent numerous attacks every day.

 As long as terrorist attacks do not occur, then we will never have to enforce this policy. Once again, the control of whether we must carry out this policy is entirely in Palestinian hands.

 I understand your concern for the inhabitants of that village and would like to clarify that we would not harm any persons in that village. Unlike innocent victims of suicide bombers in our towns, the Palestinians would be given ample time to collect their belongings and vacate the area.

 I hope this clears up any confusions between our two nations. We are not a warmongering nation, we just wish to defend our right to peace within safe and secure borders.

 I urge the United States, and her allies, not to send troops into Saudi Arabia. We feel that at this time of great unrest concerning Iraq, and strong anti-American feelings in the Arab world, that it could seriously aggravate an already tense situation.

Thank you.
Shaul Mofaz
Israeli Defense Minister
Israel Right

 BEST MESSAGES SENT- Bryan –

 I didn't write very many messages during the simulation, because I did many of the action forms.  Even though, I did have about ten, and these are my favorites.

 This is a message I sent to Sergei Ivanov explaining why Israel takes such a hard-line outlook on terrorists.  I told him to put himself in our place and think of what he would do after putting up with years and years of constant terror attacks on his country.

 Dear Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov,

 I would very much like to hear from you soon.  I have been reading messages you and your comrades in the Russian government have sent to my colleagues here in Israel and it appears obvious that all of you  are quite unhappy with the actions our Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF) have taken.

 In all conflicts, there are, unfortunately, always going to be civilian casualties.  For years and years, the Palestinians have been bombing Israel randomly and have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.  We are now showing the Palestinians what it has been like for us.  We’re giving the Palestinians time to move out first however, so we are not killing innocent women and children.  Their suicide bombers give no warning.  Families are torn apart in Israel, while in Palestinian cities, all that’s being torn apart are buildings.

 We know this may postpone the peace process, but as long as the Palestinians are led by Yassir Arafat, there is no chance for peace.  He is a terrorist and will not be tolerated.  We need a peace partner, not a terrorist, to represent the Palestinian people. 

In my last letter, I explained what happened during the Camp David agreements.  Did we not give Arafat an unbeatable opportunity for peace?  We did.  And he responded by renewing terrorist attacks against Israel.  I cannot push this point hard enough..  Please remember the hardships our country has gone through, and put yourself in our shoes.

 Sincerely,
Shaul Mofaz
Defense Minister
State of Israel

 This was my first message to Javier Solana.  In it I use my political talk to make it sound like we are ready to make big changes and will make sacrifices.  It took the whole simulation for some of the teams to find out that we are as unmoving as a tree when it comes to sacrifices made by our country , Israel

 Dear Secretary General Javier Solana,

I am Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Defense Minister.  I feel it is important to renew good relations with the EU, and I hope that the EU offers its assistance in the future.

 I would like it to be known that our government is ready to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, as soon as we get an acceptable peace partner and representative for the Palestinians. 

 as you know, in December of 2000, at Camp David, our former Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, offered Arafat all of the Gaza Strip and 90% of the West Bank as land for a Palestinian state.  Instead of taking this unprecedented offer, Arafat turned it down, and began again his terrorist attacks against Israel.  This is why we need a new and acceptable peace partner for the Palestinians.

 However, as defense minister, I must remind you that should any terrorist activity occur on Israeli soil and directly around our borders by the any of the several Palestinian terrorist organizations, there will be retribution, and the organization that committed the terrorist act will not be happy afterwards. 

As we have demonstrated many times before, the IDF shall never tolerate terrorists, especially when they cross the line.  However, if we have sufficient evidence from Mossad, we will be preemptive.

 My country feels the peace process is most important.  Once the Palestinians present an adequate peace partner for us, I would ask if you would use your influence and your good reputation to help keep the Palestinians peaceful during the peace process, so discussions can go smoothly. 

 Thank you for your time and your help.  The Israeli government will be making some breakthrough settlements soon.

 Sinceramente,
Shaul Mofaz
Defense Minister
State of Israel

 This is my return letter to Solana, explaining to him that in war, there are always civilian casualties, which he seemed to have forgotten.  This is my response to him protesting that we had undertaken military operations in Gaza City to eliminate a terrorist threat, and I think it is my most convincing.

 Dear Foreign Policy Chief Solana,

Thank you for your return letter.

 I want to remind you that in all conflicts, there are, unfortunately, always going to be civilian casualties.  The Palestinians have been attacking Israel with random suicide bombings for years and have killed and wounded hundreds of Israeli civilians. 

 Many forget that.  We are currently trying to show the Palestinians what it has been like for us.  However, we’re giving the Palestinians time to move out first.  Their suicide bombers give no warning.  Families are torn apart in Israel, while in Palestinian cities, all that’s being torn apart are houses.

 Perhaps this policy will postpone the peace process, but I want to remind you that there is no chance of peace while Yassir Arafat is the leader of the Palestinian people.  He is a terrorist and will not be tolerated.  We need a peace partner, not a terrorist to represent the Palestinian people. 

Refer to my last letter.  Did we not give Arafat a great opportunity for peace in the Camp David Agreements?  Yes, we did.  And he responded by endorsing further terrorism.  I cannot push this point hard enough.  Please remember the hardships our country has gone through, and put yourself in our place. We ask for your understanding in the matter. Strong measures are called for in extreme situations.

 Sincerely,
Shaul Mofaz
Defense Minister
State of Israel

 BEST MESSAGES RECEIVED-

This message was sent by Ali Abul Ragheb of Jordon to Shaul Mofaz late in the simulation. It is a response to Israel Right’s reaction to Jordon’s peace plan. The plan called for Israel to give up all territories in the west bank and Gaza Strip. We choose this message as one of the best received because it shows how much the simulation really does simulate the real world. In the real world Israel would not simply give up the West Bank and the Gaza Strip based solely on the word of the Palestinians that violence would stop. We, Israel did not give up these lands in the simulation. Also in this message it is clear that there is much confusion about the peace plan, and the messages that have been sent, not to mention the fact that no messages could be sent since we left for spring break. This is just like real life; many times miscommunication is one of the main reasons conflicts escalate. All in all we choose this message to show how realistic the simulation is in some aspects and how unrealistic it is in others, such as Jordon’s unrealistic threat of military force against Israel at the end of the message.

 You seem to have a vast misunderstanding of Jordan's proposal. Let me make it very clear to you that there will be no Jordan-Palestinian State. Our proposal was for an independent Palestinian state. The rest of the world is with us.

You also misunderstood the portion relating to Jerusalem. The proposal stated that Jerusalem would remain in the hands of the Israeli's, but that Palestinians would have the rights to visit it.

As for the three disputed territories and the expulsion of Arabs, you have misunderstood these as well. You did in fact state several times that you wished to expel all Arabs from Israel, not just the disputed territories. I urge you to reread your press releases and previous communiques. If this was not the case you should have mentioned it a little earlier. In addition, in our proposal you would have kept the Gaza strip and relinquished rights to the West Bank and Golan Heights; Syria was willing to no longer fight over the Golan Heights as well.

I also received official word from both the Palestinian authority and the tanzim-Palestinian resistance-that if Israel chose to cooperate, they would make an official end to all violence and uprisings, as well as organized terror and suicide bombings. I was looking forward to being able to announce this future peace to you. Due to your stubbornness, I will no longer be able to ensure this peace.

As for your complaint that your country was not involved enough, that was not under my control. It took your country at least a week to respond to any of my in depth communiqués. In addition, no tone of these responses was sent directly to me, even though I have been the primary negotiator between our countries. I understand that you were on a retreat from the 4th-11th, but this was not the only week in which you were extremely unresponsive to communiqués.

Overall, you have been uncooperative and selfish. You want to rid yourselves of the conflict yet are not willing to give up one thing. I am sorry to say that I see no future for an alliance between our countries. My country's borders are now lined by thousands of troops from more than four countries, and we have the support of many others. I urge you to watch your next steps very carefully.

 This next message was chosen as an example of the situations we were forced into because of the confusion, or ignorance, many other players in the simulation displayed. In this message Donald Rumsfeld states that it is wrong for Israel to “go into Palestine”, even thought Palestine is not a country, and neutralize terrorist activities, but it alright for America to deploy troops thousands of miles away to neutralize terrorist threats in Iraq and Afghanistan. He continues to state that America is justified in doing this because President Bush said that it was in the name of “Justice” and because America tries to minimize causalities. Not only is this logic obviously flawed considering that during the entire course of the simulation no Palestinian civilian was injured by Israel, but also because he says that it is justified for Britain to station troops in Saudi Arabia and conduct the exact some anti-terror operations that Israel is already doing. This message is a perfect example of the widespread misunderstanding of Israel’s policies, and misunderstanding of the conflict in the Middle East (there is no Palestine) that caused the so many problems in the simulation. 

Dear Minister of Defense Mofaz,
The United States would like Israel to know that when September 11 happened, America was in a state of fear and surprise. As soon as it happened President Bush came on the air and said that we would get justice, but not revenge. We went in to Afghanistan and disarmed the regime, with as few as possible causalities.

The United States feels that Israel is trying to get revenge and not justice. I understand that Israelis are dying everyday by the result of terrorism, but we still feel that if you are going to go into Palestine and do exactly what they are doing to you, it should still be considered terrorism.

Britain currently has troops in Saudi Arabia trying to fight for Israel and Saudi Arabia has just asked us, the United States, to send more troops to them and they would also be there to help Israel with the current conflict with Palestine.

We are doing everything we can to not have casualties and the United States is under the impression that whenever Palestinians bomb Israel, that you are going to go to Palestine and demolish a whole city. If we have the wrong understanding of what your intent was then please let us know.

The United States will not take any drastic measures before having a complete understanding of what each others intent is. We appreciate your cooperation and expect a reply. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld

 This message is a response to a terrorist attack against Israel. Britain’s Geoff Hoon requests us not to enforce our policy of random destruction, which we didn’t. The message made us think as to what our next steps would be. We decided to rethink our policy of random destruction, as it was causing more confusion and was being more detrimental to our goals, than we had expected. It was chosen because it represents an important decision Israel Right had to make in the game.

 Shaul Mofaz,
I dont understand as to why you throw around terms loosely calling us hypocritical. In no way are we hypocritical, we have tried numerous times in bringing this conflict to an end diplomatically, but your random acts of terror seem to be hindering us in our efforts. I must inform you,in case you dont know already, but Yasser Arafat has agreed to a cease‑fire on account that we have been negotiating with him. You on the other hand up to this point have not negotiated at all. I have read your proposal and am glad that your country has taken measures to bring this conflict and fighting to an end. I have heard of the suicide bombing in your country and I extend to you my deepest condolences. I fully understand that you musnt relent your efforts to bring these terrorists attacks to an end. But negotiations are upon us and your country can not retaliate against random Palestinian cities. Yasser Arafat has agreed to negotiate and so has your country. Please give me your thoughs as to how you will handle this new terrorist attack. We would like to keep this relationship on good terms and want to see the cease fire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Resistance is a terrorist group and I, as a defence secretary fully understand that you must not let the attack go without somebody paying for it. The Palestinian people should not suffer because of one small terrorist cell. Thank you for your agreement to negotiate and I would like to hear back from you soon.
Sincerely,
Geoff Hoon 

DEBRIEFING-AlexThese are some of the questions answered by both Bryan and Alex during the debriefing.

ALEX-

1. What were the most important things you learned, personally, academically, or politically?  What parts of the simulation helped you understand the current situation in the real world?  What do you still find difficult to understand about the current conflicts in the Middle East?

The most important things I learned were centered on the history of the conflict in the region. Before the simulation began our class extensively researched and discussed the political, religious, and physical background of the region. I learned much about the wars that helped establish the state of Israel and the political conflicts that shaped the policies and opinions of today.

As one of the two people playing Defense Minister on Israel Right, I also learned much about the Israeli military and the equipment and tactics they use. Almost every action we took in the simulation happened in real life very recently. This forced me to have to research news articles and military reports to find a way to bring real life actions into the simulation world. I also spent a great deal of time researching the Israeli military to ensure that Israel Right used the exact equipment in its operations as the real Israeli military uses in their operations.

I have been active in a Model United Nations program in the past and I have debated the Israel-Palestinian conflict with real delegates from all around the world, so the confusion and different perceptions did not necessarily surprise me. I have experienced them in the past and was almost expecting them. However, I do feel that I learned how easy it is to allow your own personal opinions and agenda’s to influence your decisions when you are in a position of power. I observed this happening when I played my own character and expect many other participants experienced the same thing.

I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the situation in the Middle East and personally do not find it extremely confusing. I can understand the feelings, actions, and opinions of both sides accurately I believe, through my own experiences and through the Middle Eastern history I have been taught.  

DEBRIEFING-BRYAN

My name is Bryan, and I played one half of Shaul Mofaz.

1. I learned during the simulation that the Arab Israeli Conflict is more complex than I ever could have imagined. The politics entangled in this issue are very complicated.

I learned why the Israelis do not simply get rid of the Palestinians, such as transfering them to Jordan, or wiping their refugee camps off the map. I found that if the Israelis put too much pressure on the Palestinians, the international community says to back off and, as in the simulation.

The U.S. has the power to retract much needed aid from Israel. I don't believe that's the way to go, but I didn't understand why the Israelis put up with these daily bombings.

Once the sim started, I found that they don't just tolerate it. It's apparent that these incidents are hardly ever in the news when the Israelis strike back by bulldozing a camp or responding in some fashion.

I believe, now that we've finished the sim, that the only reason the Palestinians didn't attack Israel as much as they may have liked was because they were constantly reeling from the blows the IDF struck upon the multiple terrorist camps and weapons caches and were constantly trying to keep up with the strikes that Israel dealt them. We were too fast for them, and we did our homework on everything.

I learned a great deal of information on the IDF, IAF, and INF. Since I was defense minister, I was supposed to know as much as there was to know about the Israeli Armed Forces, but I was extremely surprised at the ease by which I could find so much information on them.


I found the status of Israel's submarines, airplanes, tanks, and even their laser technology. This was very interesting, and I was able to incorporate much of it into my action forms. Also, through statements made by intelligence analyists in news reports and such, I was able to find much official speculation on Israel's nuke capability, which also helped in my final action form.

2. There were many unrealistic things that happened in the simulation:
Jacques Chirac revealing that he/she is a actually an American citizen surely ranked near the top of the unrealistic list.

Also, the fact that the United States withdrew aide to Israel was pretty high up there as well. A few other things: Jordan suddenly announced that they wanted the Jordan River back, or at least part of it, when Israel never owned it in the first place; Syria moving its troops to the border of the Golan; France wanting to move troops into Jordan (yet in the real world opposing the war with Iraq); Russia actually taking a leading role, rather than the U.N. or E.U.; many countries said they were following Britain's example by moving into Jordan or Saudi, even though the Russians were the first; and just the fact that over half the world powers were moving troops or wanted to move troops to assist in the conflict.

Actually, the most unrealistic occurrence was when Syria sent 100,000 troops to the West Bank border, which borders Jordan, when there aren't even 500,000 troops in Syrian army, including reserves. Almost 1/4 of their troops were "guarding" the Jordanian border, rather than their own border (the Jordanians said the troops were guarding the Jordan river; the Syrians told us something else, which means they were lying to their own allies). And the fact that the Syrian military has little capability with their armaments [their main fighters are Mig-21s and Mig-23s, while we have UAVs, F-16s and F-15s (which are meant to take on Mig-29s), not to mention our choppers] and the only tanks they have, unless I'm mistaken, are old Russian T-62 and T-72 tanks, which are obsolete.

However, there were a few things that were quite realistic: For the most part, Israel left and right, I believe played i's part as true to life as possible, which was our goal. Another example would be the Syrians moving their settlers in front of their military at the Golan. This did not surprise me at all as much of their policies are in keeping with terrorist tactics.

Also, and I hate to sound conceited, but I believe that almost everything Israel did was as realistic as could be, providing that the circumstances of the simulation were quite unrealistic in themselves. I say this because almost all of our action forms, except the final few preparing for war, were modeled from news articles about events that really happened in Israel.

Also, the final false air strike and missile launches carried out by the IAF and INF were probably what the Israelis would actually do as a preparatory war warning. A "shot across the bow," one might call it. The next step would have been a preemptive strike.

I have to say that Colin Powell's letter about cutting off aid to Israel was very realistic. The act itself wasn't, but the letter was as rational as was possible.

3. I don't think I had to make any decisions that were contrary to my personal beliefs. Seriously! I believe that Israel is mainly doing the right thing, although I'm not too knowledgeable about the political side of the issue.

For the most part, I backed up and supported Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mr. Netanyahu, and then when our country was threatened, I made sure it was defended. I put as much detail and time into my action forms as possible, and because of that, every one of my action forms got passed on its first try, and the security of Israel was assured.

4. This one's a toughie. I'm a right-winger, as I'm sure you'll be able to tell from my answer, but I truly think this would be the fastest way:

I believe the number one way to start getting the AIC resolved is to get rid of Arafat. He doesn't need to die, be assinated, or have an "accident." He just needs to leave.

I don't care how but Israel should be responsible for this because the Israeli government apparently will not work with him under any circumstances. Both the left and right sides of Israel have established Arafat as a terrorist and want him gone. Once he is out of the picture, the Palestinian terrorist factions in and around Israel need to be cracked down and split up. Catch their imported weapons and confiscate them. Send special ops in and break up a meeting of their leaders, if you know what I mean.

Once the terrorists and Ararfat are gone, the new Palestinian government that is taking form right now would be able to do more without having to deal with the consent of anyone else, and would be able to negotiate more freely with the Israelis and the world community. I believe the majority of the Palestinian people want peace and would support a new government free of extremeism.

5. I'm not sure what is meant by "what humanitarian or cultural impact", but because of the simulation, whenever I hear news or discussions about the Arab-Israeli Conflict, I now know what they are talking about, some of the reasons for the things that are happening, and it is definitely more interesting for me. I can also now hold intelligent conversations with people about this subject.

6. For the most part, our NSA seemed non-existent. I believe we received two messages from him during the entire simulation. Had he been more active, I'd be able to answer what he could have done to be more helpful to a fuller extent.

Our mentor was very active, however. Again though, our mentor could have done a few things that would have been a bit more helpful. Two things that I personally had problems with:

First, in one of my last action forms, I stated that Israel's three submarines had left port and had submerged. I asked specifically to let this leak out as a rumor, such as an American satellite had witnessing the event, or a Palestinian fishing boat seeing them leave, something for the information to be trickled out, yet this was never established in the simulation. I felt this was important because my last action form involved these subs.

Also, even though my last action form was approved before the deadline, it was never introduced by the mentor to the other schools.

I even wrote a letter after the end of the sim asking for the mentor to say something about my form. The only reason anyone knows anything about it is because of a last minute news release before the end of the simulation. This little problem did not make me happy at all. There were also other problems with the mentor not publishing things quite how we wanted them, but these were not my action forms.

7. I am in 9th grade at Heidelberg High School in Heidcelberg, Germany, and I have one main interest in my life at the moment, and that is NASCAR. I've been obsessed with it since I was eight, and I plan to one day be a NASCAR driver. I don't know where I want to go to college, but I know for a fact that I want to go to the NASCAR Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a trade school.

However, if I can't be a driver, I would like to be a paint scheme designer for a team in Nascar, or one of the commentators on T.V. If I don't have a chance to work with Nascar, I would enjoy working in the CIA as a spy, not unlike Clark in the Tom Clancy books. Perhaps I'd be able to do both somehow. I don't know how that would work out, though.

As a retirement job, I want to be an author.

8. I truly think the sim could not be much better. It was a lot of fun. However, I think it would be even cooler if it was possible to get intelligence reports. (I'm a Tom Clancy fan!) Seriously. I'm not sure how that would work. It would probably have to be a special kind of action form. However, that could have an adverse effect, as many people might try to turn it into an intelligence game, which is not the point. I know this would happen, because I would probably be one of the ones trying to do that!