ד"ר אורי מילשטיין עוסק ארבעים וחמש שנים בחקר מלחמות ישראל, ובפיתוח פילוסופיה צבאית המבוססת על אבני היסוד של התנהגות האדם. מושג המפתח בפילוסופיה שלו הוא "שרידות", שמשמעותו – קיום בתנאים של איום מתמיד והשקעת כל אנרגיה זמינה לנטרל איומים. את הפילוסופיה שלו ניסח ד"ר מילשטיין בספרו "תורת הביטחון הכללית – עקרון השרידות" (1991) ובמסה "הד"ר אורי מילשטיין עוסק ארבעים וחמש שנים בחקר מלחמות ישראל, ובפיתוח פילוסופיה צבאית המבוססת על אבני היסוד של התנהגות האדם. מושג המפתח בפילוסופיה שלו הוא "שרידות", שמשמעותו – קיום בתנאים של איום מתמיד והשקעת כל אנרגיה זמינה לנטרל איומים. את הפילוסופיה שלו ניסח ד"ר מילשטיין בספרו "תורת הביטחון הכללית – עקרון השרידות" (1991) ובמסה "השלם וצילו" שטיוטה שלה מצויה באתר.שלם וצילו" שטיוטה שלה מצויה באתר.
Dr. Uri Milstein Dr. Uri Milstein, military philosopher and Israeli wars' researcher. Published the history of the paratroopers in four volumes, as well as four of twelve planned volumes about the independence war and his philosophic source book: the general security law - survival principle.
Wednesday May 23rd, 2001.
Uri Milstein's Shortened Biography
In my education and inclinations I am a theoretician and not a historian. My doctor degree is in political sciences from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and my mentors were Prof. Yehezkel Dror who deals among other things with strategy, and Prof. Tzvi Verbulevsky, who is a world expert in religions.
I have finished my MA in philosophy. I did not continue to the PhD in philosophy, as I was interested because in the course of my studies I have pointed toward a serious flaw in a major book of Prof. Nathan Rottenstreich, who was at the time not only my lecturer, but also the rector of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the most powerful man in the Israeli academic system. The seminar for advanced students where I have presented the flaw, which refutes all the basic theory of Rottenstreich that gave him the professor title, was attended among other by Yermiyahu Yovel, who is nowadays a professor and winner of the Israel Prize, and Menahem Brinkner and Avishay Margalit, who are both professors and all of the three are nowadays leaders of “Shalom Ahshav” and very respected persons. None of them reacted to my arguments and tried to refute them. After the event I have became excommunicated in the Philosophy Faculty and labelled as a quarrelsome person and troublemaker. I still carry the same reputation to the present day.
This is the reason I did not found a place in any of the Israeli Universities and all my researches were self-financed. This is also the reason the academic establishment in Israel tries very hard to create difficulties for me and to minimise the value of my researches. Through the publication of my researches I have obviously gained many other enemies.
I was the official historian of the IDF Paratroopers Force in the course of my mandatory service in 1959, when I was 19, until after the Yom-Kippur War in 1974. In this role I was exposed to all the hidden secrets of the State of Israel and all the secret documents. My first publication in military history was in 1968 – “The Paratroopers Wars”. In the that book I have revealed for the first time the existence of Unit 101 and the details of their retaliation operations, commanded by Ariel Sharon. The book became a sensation and bestseller in Israel. It was sold in tents of thousands of copies. This book brought people like Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Mordechay Gur to the awareness of the public and had a dramatic effect on the history of the IDF and the State of Israel: Since 1974 most of the IDF Chief Commanders and Generals came from the paratrooper units (the “Matkal” unit belongs to it as well) and many of them reached the Israeli governments and even the post of Prime Minister after their discharge from the service: Ariel Sharon, Mordechay Gur, Rafel Eitan, Yitzhak Mordechay, Moshe Levi, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Shaul Mofaz, Matan Vilnai, Efraim Sne and many others. In 1985-1987 I have published a new version – “The History of the Paratroopers”, in four volumes dealing with the history of the paratroopers since the War of Independence to the end of the War of Attrition. In 1993 I have published the fifth volume, even though it did not belong officially to the same series and was published by a different publisher: “Collapse and its Lessons”, which deals with the first three days of the Yom-Kippur War and the collapse of Israel’s security doctrine in these three days. The basic thesis of the book is that following the collapse of the IDF in the course of the decisive move on October 8th 1973, the heads of the state lost their confidence in the IDF as capable to defeat the enemy in the battlefield and as a body capable to support national goals and adopted the perception of territories for international/political arrangements. This is the basis for the Oslo Agreement and the explanation for the bad strategic condition of Israel in the present. In 1982 Arik Sharon trued to change the trend in the Lebanon War, but he failed because he did no reform in the IDF and tried to achieve his goals with the deficient army of the Yom-Kippur War. In the book, as well as in other articles and interviews I have warned that if a reform would not be conducted in the system of security, we would be forced to acknowledge a Palestinian State in all the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza Strip at the first stage, and acknowledge the Palestinians’ Right of Return at the second. My words were like a cry in the desert.
The publication of these findings and conclusions caused my excommunication in all the systems of security. While in the mid 80’s I have still taught in the School for Staff & Command and lectured in the Academy for National Security, in the course of brigade commanders, since the beginning of the 90’s the IDF severed all the links with me.
In 1976 I have started a thorough research of the War of Independence as a freelance. Already in the initial stages of the research I have discovered that almost everything that was published about the War of Independence in the first thirty years of the state were legends without basis and stale myths. Many of the authors were, and still are respectable professors in the Israeli Universities. I have published the findings of the research first of all in the electronic means of the media, newspapers and periodicals, and later edited them in four volumes in Hebrew (1987-1991) and English (1996-2000). These volumes covered one quarter of the war. Among other things, the book reveals the fact that many of Israel’s leaders and heads of the army functioned badly in the course of the War of Independence (Ben-Gurion), up to the fleeing from the battlefield (Brigadier-General Tzvi Zamir). This book added me many enemies. Despite the fact that many historians and critics see these volumes as the definitive history of the War of Independence and a monumental book (e.g.: Prof. Benny Morris), and these things were written about them in the review in the TIMES Magazine, Zmora Publishing House severed its connections with me and even demanded and received from me 30,000 $, so that I would be able to publish a translation in the United States and continue to publish additional volumes. However, without help from research funds and a convenient job in one of the universities I could not continue with the project, and it waits a rich Jewish donator from the US, who would be ready to finance the completion of the project in return of calling it one his name, or the name of his parents or children. Perhaps your article would help me in it.
In 1991 I have published, in Hebrew and English, a book about the philosophy of security, in which I have claimed that the central concept in human behaviour is the concept of “survival” and presented a theory that explains the major principle of institutional and organisational functioning, especially that of the security organisations. The heart of the theory is that due to the desire of army leaders to survive as the heads of the army and heads of the state after their discharge, they conceal to the deficiencies of the armies and thus prevent derivation of lessons. In the next war the army would function worse than the in the previous one, until its final defeat in the battlefield. This is what happened to the IDF, to the American army in Vietnam and to the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Hence, the greatest threat to any state stems from the heads of its own army. The book appeared in Israel in three editions, but like in other issues it was excommunicated by the academy.
In 1995, half a year before the murder to Rabin, I have published Rabin’s military biography in Hebrew and in English (you have the English translation) and showed that Rabin was a military failure and it was because of him that the United States withdrew its support of the state’s foundation. As a commander of brigade he deserted his soldiers in the battlefield on the way to Jerusalem and fled to Kiryat-Arevim. That he was battle-shocked and that the whole Oslo Agreement stemmed from the IDF’s failure in Southern Lebanon and the mental collapse of Rabin due to this fiasco. Half a year later Rabin was murdered and I have claimed in the media that the murder succeeded due to the deficient functioning of the general security services, Rabin was in charge of. This claim was approved six months later by the Shamgar Committee, but my opponents exploited the opportunity and made me defile in Israel. This is the situation in the present, as you could read in the articles of the press I have sent you with the books.