Martin van Creveld warns that “The Fourth Reich is Rising”

Summary: This is is a powerful article by Israel’s most distinguished historian. He describes a example of a large and growing injustice. He describes a historic wrong turn by a nation created with such great hopes.

Dareen Tatour - poetry is not a crime

The Fourth Reich is Rising

By Martin van Creveld.
From his website, 19 October 2017.
Re-posted with his generous permission.

The Fourth Reich is rising. Not in Germany where, in spite of the recent elections, most people seem to have has learnt their lesson. But in Israel. The country which claims to be the only one in the Middle East which is democratic and in which free speech is allowed (nice of the authorities to allow free speech, isn’t it?). The country where my parents, having narrowly escaped the Holocaust, (see on this my post, “How My Family Survived the Holocaust”) immigrated. The country in whose military four of my five children have served. The country for which several of my relatives, acquaintances and students have died. The one in which I have spent practically all my life and which I have always loved.

No longer. For almost two years now a 33-year old Arab-Israeli (and self-proclaimed Palestinian) poet, Ms. Dareen Tatour, has been under house arrest. Far from home and relatives, with electronic cuffs on her leg, and without access to either a computer or a cellphone. Her trial got under way in April 2016, and has still not come to an end.

Did she kill an Israeli? No. Did she try to kill an Israeli? No. Did she assist terrorists or fail to betray them to the Israeli authorities, as those authorities, in their infinite wisdom and compassion, demand? No. Did she engage in any other out of God knows how many activities Israel has prohibited? No. So what why did the police knock on her door at 0400 in the morning, and what are the charges which could cost her eight years in jail?

Saying what she thinks. As by putting the following poem, originally written in Arabic, on Facebook.

Resist, My People, Resist Them

Resist, my people, resist them.

In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows
And carried the soul in my palm
For an Arab Palestine.

I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”
Never lower my flags
Until I evict them from my land.
I cast them aside for a coming time.

Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the settler’s robbery
And follow the caravan of martyrs.

Shred the disgraceful constitution
Which imposed degradation and humiliation
And deterred us from restoring justice.

They burned blameless children;
As for Hadil,* they sniped her in public,
Killed her in broad daylight.

Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.

Pay no mind to his agents among us
Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

Do not fear doubtful tongues;
The truth in your heart is stronger,
As long as you resist in a land
That has lived through raids and victory.

So Ali** called from his grave:
Resist, my rebellious people.

Write me as prose on the agarwood;
My remains have you as a response.

Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist, my people, resist them.

* Hadil al Haslamon, a 18-year old Palestinian girl who attacked — so the Israelis claim — a group of bullet-proof wearing, heavily armed, heroic Israeli soldiers with a kitchen knife and, like so many others, somehow managed to die after being shot “in the legs.”

** Ali Kosba, a Palestinian teenager who threw rocks at an Israeli military jeep, shattering its windshield. Trying to run away, he was shot in the back and killed by a heroic Israeli colonel who, according to the military spokesman, “felt in mortal danger” of his life.


For more information about Dareen Tatour

Theater of the Absurd: The Jewish State vs. Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour” by Yehouda Shenhav and Revital Hovel at Haaretz — “What is a poem, what is a translation and who is a translator: The trial of an Israeli from the Galilee exposes regrettable aspects of local culture.”

About the poem for which Dareen Tatour is under house arrest by MLYNXQUALEY at the Arab Literature in English website.

Tatour is also a photographer and directed a short documentary, according to the Electronic Intifada.

You can follow her case at the Free Dareen Tatour page on Facebook.

Martin van Creveld

About the Author

Martin van Creveld is Professor Emeritus of History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and one of the world’s most renowned experts on military history and strategy. Creveld has written over two dozen books, about almost every significant aspect of war.

The central role of Professor van Creveld in the development of theory about modern war is difficult to exaggerate. He has provided both the broad historical context — looking both forward and back in time — much of the analytical work, and a large share of the real work in publishing both academic and general interest books. He does not use the term 4GW — preferring to speak of “non-trinitarian” warfare — but his work is foundational for 4GW just the same. See links to his articles at The Essential 4GW reading list: Martin van Creveld.

He has written four books about Israel: Defending Israel: A Controversial Plan Toward Peace, The Sword And The Olive: A Critical History Of The Israeli Defense Force, a biography of Moshe Dayan, and The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel.

For More Information

If you found this post of use, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see these about Israel, about Palestine, and especially these…

The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel
Available at Amazon.

To understand this sad story, read…

To understand how Israel came to such a point, see van Creveld’s The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel (2010). From the publisher …

The definitive one-volume history of Israel by its most distinguished historian.

From its Zionist beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century through the past sixty, tumultuous years, the state of Israel has been, as van Creveld argues, “the greatest success story in the entire twentieth century.”

In this crisp volume, he skillfully relates the improbable story of a nationless people who, given a hot and arid patch of land and coping with every imaginable obstacle, founded a country that is now the envy of surrounding states. While most studies on Israel focus on the political, this encompassing history weaves together the nation’s economic, social, cultural and religious narratives while also offering diplomatic solutions to help Israel achieve peace. Without question, this is the best one-volume history of Israel and its people.

12 thoughts on “Martin van Creveld warns that “The Fourth Reich is Rising””

  1. 4th Reich in Israel, Weimerica, oh my!

    At least I am proud of my grandparents who were part of the Dutch Resistance and hid, protected an entire extended family of Jews from 1940 to 1945.

    What is our World coming to? My mind spins from all the reading.

    I’m gonna get drunk.

    1. Longtrail,

      That’s a wonderful story about your grandparents, and glad to hear that they survived the experience. I’ve read that casualties in the Dutch resistance were very high due to its extensive penetration by the Nazis.

  2. Thankyou Larry, I was joking about getting drunk.

    After giving some thought to your post and other writing on the subject, the idea of Thought Police is alarming. Hate speech is abhorrent but I believe it is protected under the 1st Ammendment for a logical reason.

    Haters with their speech like NeoNazis and Richard Spencer’s Alt Right are in the open. Their ideas are being challenged as it should be. Events and demonstrations are dwarfed by opposition. It draws the fools out of the woodwork in the open where they can be observed.

    Violence is totally unacceptable and they are less likely when they fear they are observed. They fear infiltration and that keeps them cowed. I believe if they are suppressed they go underground and the chance of violence goes up.

    As you’ve stated in previous posts, police have to do better at keeping the factions separated. They failed so many times in Democrat controlled states like California and Virginia.

    Yesterday in Florida it was better controlled in Gainesville. Up I 75 things got out of hand and shots were fired but the perps were arrested and jailed. Millions in bond should hopefully keep them there.

  3. Sorry, but to be stating that the “Fourth Reich is Rising” and cite Israel, and a couple of relatively small incidents (agreed not small to you if you are shot or imprisoned), a small country with a few million people surrounded by dozens of neighbors doing much worse to their own people, and another adjacent population that could have had its own country already if it had spent the resources and time on developing a real government rather than the corrupt and violent superstructure that has evolved, is going a bit overboard. I think that the rise of the ANTIFA and the stoppage of free speech here and in the rest of the “developed” world actually is a greater risk than a few, and not necessarily well documented incidents in Israel. a bit of overkill, don’t you think, when Syrians are getting gassed by their own government, iranians and turks are getting jailed and killed (again by their own governments) by the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. And just try saying something against Hezbollah if you are in Lebanon (you might care to check under your car before every time you turn on the ignition.). And yet we are looking at some incidents in Israel as the start of the new Reich? Really?!? At least Martin van Creveld, as well meaning as he may be, can write this garbage in Israel without being jailed, shot, or bombed. I enjoy so much of your writing, but occasionally it veers of track. I believe this is one of those times.
    By the way, the comparisons of Israelis with Nazis was one of the worst, and persistently anti-semitic memes still being purveyed by the BDS movement ( which sadly includes a number of left wing jews which seems to give them cover to use those comparisons), whose expressed goal is not one of improving the lot of the Palestinians, but of ridding the world of Israel.

    1. Barry,

      Martin van Creveld is Israel’s leading historian. That he has changed his opinion is significant. He’s obviously citing this as an example, not a definitive reason.

      “the comparisons of Israelis with Nazis was one of the worst, and persistently anti-semitic memes ”

      Are you seriously accusing van Creveld of anti-semetism?

    2. Perhaps A leading historian. And Yes, using antisemitic memes would constitute that. Israel is a country that has faults. Being the Fourth Reich is not among them.

      1. Barry,

        Everyone can have their opinion on such matters. Martin van Creveld has a record of forecasts among the best of anyone alive. That, plus his record of scholarship about both Israel and the West, makes his opinion much more influential — and valuable — than your or mine.

  4. Hi Mr Kummer and all,

    Israel is a place of profound contradiction and paradox. After visiting, I set aside all notions that there will be any two-state solution in my lifetime and any number of lifetimes after mine. It’s tragic that a poet is thrown in jail for a poem that’s hardly radical, but lest we neglect the log in our eye increasing numbers of people — so-called educated people — are thinking that free speech in America should be curtailed by the government if it has the potential to offend someone. That words are violence.

    One of the more moving experiences of my life was to stop my car in Haifa when the second siren sounded for Yom Hazikaron (day of remembrance). Just stopped the car, and we all got out right where we were, and so did everyone else on the road, and thought about the dead, especially those that we knew. Can people be free to have their own country? Well, if you’re Kurd or Catalan, (Basque? HAH!) the answer is not no, but oh, hell no. The Palestinians could, but the leadership doesn’t like the terms which will never get an better. Ever. The thought experiment no one wants to run is what happens to the Jewish settlements in what becomes Palestine-the-state? There are vibrant Arab neighborhoods and districts in Israel that Jews and Arabs alike seek out, mingle, do business, have fantastic cup of coffee and discuss the news of the day, whatever — at least in places like Haifa and Tel Aviv. It’s a very weird place. But Palestine the state would be weirder. It already is. If anyone is surprised, they clearly haven’t read the bible. Or watched Monty Python (what have the Romans *ever* done for us?).

    I cannot disavow my Zionism. I have looked at homes in Haifa with the eye toward emigrating. I know it’s a myth and a mental construct of my own making, but shared by many. At the same time, it collides in nearly destructive ways with my classic liberalism. It’s heart breaking.

    Once again, Mr van Creveld shows us what a nuanced, enlightened thinker and deeply human being he is. Thank you for sharing.

    With kind regards,


  5. I wasn’t even sure how to parse this, to be honest, but no, I see it now. Totally sincere. It’s a funny thing, that it’s not always the big horrors that affect people the most, and if you follow this at all there’s plenty of that. Sometime it’s this, a poet, under arrest for poetry. It’s the small thing that pierces the bubble, and then the rationalizations all start crumbling. If Mr. Crevald is reading this, please, just take care, that’s my advice. Try to find some quiet time.

    1. Cathryn,

      Martin van Creveld is one of – perhaps the — leading historian of Israel. He’s devoted much of his life to thinking about how to defend it. Now near the end of his life, he’s writing about what he sees happening.

      I don’t believe “taking care of himself” is high on his list of concerns. Having his warnings heard is at the top of that list.

  6. There is an interesting documentary on a group of Jews in New York ya might want to watch before elevating them to “G-d”s of wisdom called One of Us. A look at hasitic jews….bringing to light the FACT that no matter where you hang your ignorant religious banner….fucking crazies run the show. (know you wont post this but just saying).

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      “before elevating them to “G-d”s of wisdom”

      That makes no sense whatsoever, and looks like religious prejudice. Try reading this as an essay by a smart person, and leave your group bias at the door.

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