THE ROAD MAP AND ISRAEL'S SURVIVAL - VICTORY OR DEFEAT FOR ZIONISM -- YOU MUST CHOOSE....Bernard J. Shapiro
THE BI-POLAR NATURE OF MIDDLE-EAST DIPLOMACY....Avi Davis
SHARON, Tell The World The Truth!...Guest Editorial....Ariel Natan Pasko
ROAD MAPS TO ISRAEL'S DESTRUCTION
THE DISASTER (Notes on the Roadmap)....Boris Shusteff
ISRAEL? A BANANA REPUBLIC?....Arlene Peck
THE DIVINE ZIONIST ROADMAP....Rabbi Eliezer Waldman
WRONG TURN - THE "ROAD MAP" WON'T LEAD TO PEACE IF IT BYPASSES THE CAUSES OF WAR....ABRAHAM D. SOFAER
THE TWO STATE SOLUTION -- Will the "Road Map" lead to peace in the Middle East?....FLAME
Bush's TEN COMMANDMENTS....Yoram Ettinger
THE ROAD TO PERFIDY....Shawn Pine
BUSH'S MIDDLE EAST "UGANDA PLAN"....Michael Freund
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE WARNS ABOUT CIA TRAINING OF PA....Roni Shaked
JERUSALEMIZING HEBRON....Ariel Natan Pasko
RITUAL SLAUGHTER....Emanuel A. Winston
NEW PA PRIME MINISTER AND TERRORISM
ABBAS' BURDEN OF PROOF....Caroline Glick
ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
THE ROAD MAP AND ISRAEL'S
VICTORY OR DEFEAT FOR ZIONISM
YOU MUST CHOOSE
By Bernard J. Shapiro
It is clear to me that the present Likud government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leading Israel to disaster. It is also clear that nothing external is compelling this self-destruction. The only thing that will save Israel is new elections. The only way to speed up elections and thus save Israel is by destabilizing the current government and causing it to fall. This would force new elections and stop the insane Oslo/Road Map process.
Over the last one hundred years, many governments have been destabilized by the action of a determined group of its citizens, not necessarily a majority. Two recent cases in this country are the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-War in Viet-Nam Movement. There is no doubt that Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for a second term because of the anti-war movement. There is also no doubt the Afro-American population would not have been able to throw off the yoke of discrimination without non-violent protest. In Israel it is obvious that the intifada succeeded, no doubt because of the Israeli government's reticence in crushing it.
It is this reticence by democratic regimes to crush popular uprisings that is the biggest weapon in the hands of groups wishing to destabilize their government. This principle does not work under autocratic governments such as Syria (Hama) and China (Tiananmen Square).
1. Demonstrations -- the larger the better. Demonstrations will not in and of themselves bring down a government. Good media coverage is essential to give the population a feeling that the tide of history is turning against the regime.
2. Civil disobedience -- the key to success. There is one essential requirement for destabilizing a government and that is for a determined group of people to be willing to go to jail, be beaten by police, and suffer any consequence in the pursuit of their political aims. More will follow later on organizing civil disobedience.
3. The Wrench in the Machinery of Government
A. Physical - roads and bridges can be blocked by slow or stalled cars.
B. Electronic - computer networks, telecommunications can be adversely affected [10,000 people calling government offices at the same time can paralyze the system].
C. Psychological - photo's can be taken of police and military personnel who become involved in violent action against peaceful demonstrators. Available now are miniature video cameras that can be worn inconspicuously and send live feed to distant computers. At a time and place of your choosing, you can compromise those security officers involved in non-democratic violence against demonstrators. Their names and photos can be publicized.
A. Open revolt against authority - Democracies are primarily based on voluntary compliance with the legal system. When that democracy ceases to govern in the best interests of its citizenry, with its security and survival, then it is lawful and justified to resist authority. This includes refusing to pay taxes, following illegal orders of the non-democratic army, traffic regulations etc.
B. Mass demonstrations, including the right of self-defense, are meant to intimidate the police and the government. The horrible vision of civil war will restrain the government. Knowing that the Zionist/Right will not physically resist, gives the government strength to pursue suicidal policies. The policy of not striking back at the Left (as experienced during the "season") begun in the pre-state days by Menachem Begin has had the effect of emasculating the Right in its relations with the Left.
While it is preferable to wage a non-violent campaign, there are certain lessons one can learn from the Israel Defense Forces.
1. Most important: Do not give the enemy time to rest and re-group. The IDF always advances in one massive push to victory, never allowing the enemy a respite. The same must be true of the demonstrations against Sharon. It is a mistake to agree to a truce. A truce would give the government time to organize special police units including female police officers to handle demonstrators. The government has already learned that reservists do not like this heartrending undemocratic task.
2. Attack in many places at once, causing physical and psychological stress on the enemy. Demonstrators should not just take over hills in YESHA, but should take over government offices from Eilat to Metulla. Roads should be blocked all over the country. In Jerusalem, with its many government offices and a supportive religious population, you should be able to create and sustain chaos.
Half measures will not work. Either we are at war with this government or we are not. It was the IDF's failure to destroy the intifada that led to much of our trouble. Remember the principle of vaccinations: a tiny doze of the disease that allows the body to build its immune system. Half-measures allow Sharon to develop a resistance to the demonstrations. We must take the momentum and build continuously to the day of victory. The decision is ours.
A TIME FOR PEACE AND A TIME FOR WAR
We find all the expressions of horror at the recent Rabbi's ruling concerning a soldier's obligation to avoid abandoning army bases and settlements to terrorists, to be hypocritical, self-serving, and unfortunate. The Israeli government is in rebellion against everything that Israel, Zionism, and Judaism are all about. They are the ones causing the rift in the body politic and they will be totally responsible for any resulting violence.
When will the Nationalist Camp realize that we are "at war already" with a PLO supported government that rules Israel? At what point will Israelis realize that the CIVIL WAR they fear, IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AND THEY ARE LOSING? Why don't members of the Nationalist Camp understand that FORCE is being used by only ONE side and that is the government? The monopoly on power must be broken or there is no hope.
Under the Nazis, the Jews of Warsaw numbered over 500,000. They were depleted with regular deportations aided by Judenrats (Jewish leaders). The Revolt in Warsaw began when the Jewish population was down to 50,000 (or 90% murdered). At what point is it OK to rebel? When is civil disobedience OK? When is civil war a better course than suicide? All throughout history there have been rebels and loyalists. History is usually written by the victors but truly there is seldom a universally accepted moral standard as to what is a proper rebellion and what is not. We can say with absolute certainty, however, that the Jewish return to Zion and our struggle today for Eretz Yisrael are more righteous than any other struggle for national liberation in the history of the world.
Conditions in Israel may have passed the period where civil disobedience would be effective. A massive outpouring of Israelis prepared to get arrested in civil disobedience would have stopped the Oslo Suicide Pact 10 years ago. With the Road Map the terrorists will be in charge. Jews will have a choice: being massacred or abandoning their homes. Their ability to defend themselves will have been thwarted by the government in collusion with the terrorists.
Following my five weeks of research in Israel, I spelled out (May-June 1994 issue of THE MACCABEAN) the nature of this inevitable conflict:
THE PRIMARY INHERENT FLAW IN THE OSLO AGREEMENT
THAT WILL LEAD TO MILITARY CONFLICT
1. The Palestinians expect and will demand that every Jew be removed from their areas of control including the whole of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and Jerusalem.
2. The Jews of YESHA not only plan to stay in their homes but will fight for them militarily. This obviously conflicts with #1.
I also stated (numbers updated to 2003): "The number of Jews in YESHA is about 250,000 (1994 -144,000). Not counting women, children, and men over 50, leaves about 70,000 men capable of resisting a PLO armed force. These men are all IDF veterans and reservists with army issue Uzi's or M16's with at least two clips (30 rounds per clip) of ammunition per gun. During my visit I toured the whole area, and emphasized the need to get past the shock and make serious preparations for the coming battles. Among other things I recommended the following: (1) bring ammunition supplies up to a minimum of 300 rounds per gun (2) stockpile food, medicine and water supplies for 30 days in case the roads are impassable (3) Each community needs several trucks armored to withstand 60 caliber machine gun fire and small grenades (4) begin constructing bunkers and hardened firing positions.
All Jewish villages are on the hills with a commanding view of the area. The Arab villages control the roads creating a strategic situation similar to the pre-state fighting of 1947-48.
Nine years have passed and since that report and events are playing out exactly as I predicted. Arafat's PLO terrorists planned to take over Judea and Samaria under Phase Two of the Oslo Plan. The military struggle has begun in earnest. If anyone believes this to be unlikely, stay posted and we will see how the future plays out. The Jews of YESHA should not leave their physical well- being to the good graces of Arafat, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, Mohammad Abbas or even Sharon. Certainly one should NOT trust the UN, EU, Russia, or the US State Department, who have their own interests
The Jews of YESHA must not be passive pawns in the political surrender of their homes. They must fight the Arabs, where necessary, to maintain their travel, water, and land rights. When the Israeli government retreats, leaving them behind PLO battle lines, they must be prepared to go on the offensive militarily to secure safe contiguous areas of Jewish control. The defeatist Israeli leaders, who have surrendered our Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael, should be told that there are still proud Jews in YESHA who will give up neither their inheritance from Abraham nor their right of self-defense.
Exercising one's right to self-defense is a moral imperative. There is a lot of hypocritical talk coming from the government about the danger of Jew fighting Jew. These warnings came from the likes of Yitzhak Rabin who delighted in shooting Zionist (Betar) teenagers swimming to shore after his forces sank the Altalena in 1948. New more dangerous hypocrites are putting the Jews of YESHA and all of Israel in life threatening peril. They care nothing about Jewish lives!
Should the Jews of YESHA be forced into military combat -- most likely against Arabs, but, G-d forbid, perhaps also against Jews -- they would be fully justified. They will be fighting for the security of Israel and the future destiny of the Jewish people. These brave Jews would be continuing the long tradition of Hebrew Warriors, including Joshua, David, the Maccabees and Bar Kochba, who fought against all odds to save their people and their country.
The glorious Hebrew Warriors who defeated five Arab armies in 1948, three in 1967, and two in 1973 must not surrender their Jewish homeland to an evil terrorist regime, who delights in killing Jewish women, children, husbands, sons and daughters.
MAY THE ALMIGHTY WATCHMAN OF ISRAEL PROTECT HIS PEOPLE FROM THE DANGEROUS ROAD MAP TO ISRAEL'S DESTRUCTION. MAY HE LIBERATE HIS PEOPLE FROM NON-DEMOCRATIC LEADERS AND RESTORE ZIONIST RULE TO JERUSALEM.
[This article is updated from two editorials published in the September 1995 & August 1995 issues of THE MACCABEAN..]
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly Internet magazine, THE MACCABEAN ONLINE and its email broadcast, freemanlist.
AND THE DECISION MUST BE
ZIONISM AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
ALL IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO
IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.
THE BI-POLAR NATURE
OF MIDDLE-EAST DIPLOMACY
By Avi Davis
Political scientists reviewing this period in history in the future will be puzzled by a phenomenon. While diplomacy speeded toward a rapid resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, facts on the ground pulled the conflict in the opposite direction. Drawn by two opposing forces, of equal strength, the result was therefore not movement but stasis. The region, it might be recorded, descended into its worst outbreak of violence in over three decades at the very moment peacemakers found themselves proclaiming a final historic breakthrough.
It doesn't take much historical knowledge to appreciate the capriciousness of the diplomatic winds. Prior to both World Wars European diplomats felt certain they could stem the outbreak of hostilities through negotiation and mediation., only to find themselvesengulfed in an inexorable conflagration. Richard Nixon , upon election in 1968, vowed to end the Vietnam War diplomatically only to see that conflict rage on for another seven years. Over and over in history, diplomacy has often proven to be, what Benjamin Disraeli once called "a weapon whose cutting edge is blunted on the whetstone of ignored realities."
Bad intentions are rarely the cause of failed diplomacy. But when the diplomats fail to examine, or even care to examine the true situation on the ground, diplomacy is doomed. This is certainly the case with the current attempts to graft a new peace process onto the Middle East. There remain, between Israelis and Palestinians, four intractable problems that the road map fails entirely to address:
1. There can be no peace between Israelis and Palestinians without the elimination of fanatical anti-Semitism in the Arab world.
The root cause of the Middle East conflict is not settlements, occupation or refugees but the unwillingness of every Arab government in the region to abide the presence of a Jewish state in their midst. Anti-semitism in newspapers, in journals, in academic institutions and on television, all supported or controlled by a central Arab government, provide the fuel that keeps the Arab- Israeli conflict crackling in the heart of Arab society. All Arab governments must be pressured to cease the incitement before long term prospects of peace can be realized.
2. There can be no peace between Arabs and Israelis without a fundamental re-orientation of the Palestinian people towards peaceful coexistence.
For nearly ten years Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, in violation of the Oslo Accords and in contempt of its own public avowals of peace, has fostered a venomous campaign of hatred towards Israelis, providing instruction to its own children on Israel's illegality and inspiring the romance of liberation through conquest. Even as the diplomats meet to discuss the outlines of a would-be peace, the Palestinian media continues to issue a steady torrent of invective against Israel.Without re-education of its younger generation there is no prospect of a long term peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
3. There can be no peace without a Palestinian disavowal of the right of return.
The Camp David talks in the summer of2000 foundered on it and allfuture talks between the sides will as well. The Palestinian expectation that 3 million Palestinians or their descendants will have the right to return to their homes in pre-1948 Israel is tantamount to declaring that a pre-condition for peace is the dismantlement of the modern State of Israel. No Israeli government, even one of the far left, would accept such an absurd proposition. It will take pragmatic Palestinian leadership to appreciate that failure to abort this platform will lead to the collapse of all future talks. It is not yet clear if such pragmatism resides in the consciousness of any significant Palestinian leader.
4. There can be no peace in the Middle East without the death of Yasser Arafat.
There is one man who now stands in the way of any serious commitment of the Palestinian leadership to meaningful peace negotiations. Although the United States has taken great pains to isolate Yasser Arafat -insisting on the elimination of his political influence as a precondition to negotiations, the Palestinian Chairman still clings tenaciously to power. Even if removed from the political scene, Arafat alive will remain a revolutionary symbol and father figure who's iron grip on the Palestinian imagination will not be easily dislodged. In exile he will remain a force to contend with, interfering through his proxies in the decisions and direction of his successors. The Palestinians' true liberation will only begin when he is dead. How this may eventuate rests in the hands of the Palestinians themselves. But without its occurrence, the Middle East is fated to travel the grinding road of violence, not peace.
Many have claimed that all of the obstacles listed above will be overcome once the Israelis provide Palestinians with the confidence of eventual statehood. But this is a chimera. The fundamental problems of the Middle East have little to do with such practical matters such as territory or nationalisitc ambitions. They are ruled by emotion -vengeance, hatred and hubris.
It is only when this salient point seeps into diplomatic consciousness that Middle East mediation, even if well meaning , will have a lasting impact on Arab-Israeli relations. Until then the much reputed road map is likely to operate only as a repository for clever puns by journalists and almost certainly as just another forgotten document in the already bulging archive of Middle East diplomacy .
Avi Davis is the senior fellow with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies and director of its West Coast Headquarters in Los Angeles.
SHARON, Tell The World The Truth!
By Ariel Natan Pasko
Traditionally, every Jewish child who learned Torah was taught the text and the commentary of Rashi - Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki - the famous 11th century French Biblical and Talmudic commentator. In the beginning, literally, of Genesis, Rashi asks a question, "Why does the Torah start with the story of creation? Since the Torah is a book of laws for the Jewish People, why doesn't it begin with the first law given by G-D to the Jews, the law for establishing a calendar?" He answers, that it starts with the creation narrative to establish that G-D is the Master of the Universe. Then Rashi says the most amazing thing that still resonates almost a thousand years later. Based on earlier sources and a thorough knowledge of the meaning of Judaism, Rashi says, "So, that if the nations come to Israel and say, 'you are thieves - in Hebrew, She-Kevash-Tem, you conquered and occupied - the land from the nations living there', you can tell them that all the universe is G-D's, He created it and gave it to the nations, and when He decided, He took it from them and gave it to us."
Three things become starkly clear today. First, that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently used the same Hebrew root/term - Kibush, occupation - as the Israeli Left has used for years to denigrate the miraculous victory of the 1967 Six-Day War. It's the same term, 'occupation', used by most of the world in their criticism of Israeli policies in the 'territories'. The Israeli Prime Minister has adopted the language of the self-haters among the Jews - those disconnected from Jewish history and tradition - and the Judeo-paths among the nations. Second, that Rashi's explanation of the Torah has in fact come true. The nations today claim, as Rashi explained they would, that we 'stole' the land from others, namely the Palestinians. And finally, that the only basis for the Jewish People's national life in their homeland is G-D's promise as set down in the Bible, not history, not security, but G-D's promise to their forefathers. Rashi told the Jewish People to tell the world, "He took it from them and gave it to us."
A true Israeli leader needs to stand up, not frightened of anyone or anything, and declare, "The Master of the Universe took it from them and gave it to us." The Promised Land belongs to the Jews exclusively, and not to any other nation!
Any Israeli Prime Minister, who can't get on TV or go to a meeting with world leaders and say these words, should either quit or commit suicide before rejecting the promises of G-D and working to help another group take over part of the Land of Israel. As King David said, "If I forget you Jerusalem - a term for the entire Land of Israel - let my right hand wither - rather than sign any false peace agreement - let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth..." (Psalms 137: 5-6) rather than agree to foreigners taking over part of the Jewish People's homeland.
If someone can blow themselves up to gain a state not their own, if kamikaze pilots can kill themselves in war, if soldiers can risk their lives in 'suicide missions', then the Israeli Prime Minister can quit or 'step out' rather than lie to the world and say, "We must end the occupation". Occupation is when you 'steal' someone else's land. The Jewish People liberated parts of their Promised Homeland in stages, first in 1948 and then in 1967 with G-D's help. The Jewish People didn't 'steal' anything. Sharon, Tell The World The Truth!
Every Jew, in fact, every Christian and Muslim, know that the Land of Israel was promised to the Children of Israel, the Jewish People, by G-D forever. The same G-D they claim to worship. So why continue to perpetuate this lie called the 'Peace Process'? The Palestinians might gain some temporary control over the land for G-D's own reasons, but in the end, it will be taken from them and returned to its rightful tenants - I didn't say owners - because G-D is the only true owner of everything.
It's true that a democratically elected government in Israel, might choose for political expediency to transfer control over parts of the Jewish People's homeland to others; and that in political terms it might be seen as legitimate; but in the Court of Final Justice, above, there never will be any Spiritual Legitimacy to the act. Anyone going against the will of G-D will ultimately have to account for their actions, reward and punishment is a basic concept in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Heaven help those who try to take away the 'Promise'.
Why lie to the Palestinians? Why make them believe they are right, that Israel 'stole' their land? Why fool them into believing that Israel will give them land and a state?
What's most important for them and the world to understand is, that no matter what the Israeli government decides to do, it has no Religious Legitimacy in Judaism. No Israeli leader or government has the moral, historical, or spiritual right to take away parts of the Promised Land from the Jewish People and give it to others. It's not theirs to do with as they please; the Land of Israel is an inheritance from G-D and it is not for one generation to decide what to do with it. It is also for all future generations of Jews. It will never be accepted by Jews steeped in their heritage and tradition, or by G-D. "Ani Ma'amin... I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he takes a long time to come, I believe every day, he's coming!" It's one of the thirteen principles of faith as codified by Maimonides. The Jews will get back their homeland; the Palestinians will not have a state. So why start now so close to his coming?
The Land of Israel was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Master of the Universe told them that even though their children will suffer terrible exiles - an educational and cleansing process - in the end, He would bring them home. In the 1948 War of Independence, G-D gave political sovereignty to the Jews for the first time in almost 2,000 years. In the 1967 Six-Day War, G-D returned the Holy City of Jerusalem in its entirety - including eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount - to the Jewish People. Hebron - Judaism's second holiest city - with the Cave of the Patriarchs, the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the city King David ruled from before Jerusalem, was returned as well. Truthfully, Judea and Samaria - the so-called West Bank - is drenched in Jewish history and Jewish holy sites. The Jewish People have been brought home!
Those who have built their world-view on security needs and have claimed that we cannot allow a Palestinian state to come into existence because of that, have missed the point. The Palestinians, and the world, are playing the 'Peace Card'. Even if they promised up and down, that there would be a thousand years of 'Peace', how can Israel spurn G-D's promise?
Once there was a nice family who lived in a rough neighborhood. They wanted to get along with their neighbors, but the neighbors hated them, and used to throw rocks and break their windows all the time. One day, the leader of the neighbors came over and said, "This is my house," and demanded it. The owner, father of the nice family replied, "No it's not, its mine." The neighbor insisted. Not wanting any more trouble, the owner invited him in to talk. The neighbor demanded the house and refused to leave, he threatened the owner. The owner decided to 'be nice' and offered him a room. Later, the neighbor claimed that the owner's wife was in fact his wife. He implied he would kill the owner. The owner of the house, thought for a moment, "My wife, my life" and then decided to share his wife. "Why cause problems?" He thought. The neighbor emboldened, next claimed the owners arm. "Give me your arm or else," he demanded. Well, the owner had a tough time, he thought, "my arm or my life, hmmm" and he meekly cut off his arm. Finally, the neighbor demanded, in the most insolent way imaginable, "Give me your heart..." The Land of Israel is the Jewish People's heart!
Members of the ruling Likud Party and the National Camp have for years based their claim to the 'occupied territories' meekly on historical claim, and more importantly have said for security reasons they couldn't give it away. The Israeli Left in contrast, has argued for quite some time that control over Judea and Samaria is a security liability and not an asset. They have argued that the only true security is in 'Peace' with the Arabs and not the status quo. The American President, George Bush has basically said the same thing, recently, following the lead of European leaders. And what about settlement leaders, those so-called right-wing extremists who spurn all talk of 'Peace'?
After the recent Israeli cabinet's decision to accept the 'Roadmap' with objections, the spokesman for the Yesha Council - of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza -Yehoshua Mor-Yosef said, "What is done is done. What we can do is try to amend the roadmap and shift it to the right." Shift it to the right? It's not a matter of a little shift here and a little shift there. And these are the so-called leaders of the 'Settlement Movement'!
Sharon, the Likud, the National Camp, the Yesha Council, have all missed the point. The Israeli Left never had it. To the world, well what can we say? Except, "He took it from them and gave it to us." There is no spiritual legitimacy to retreat from the Land of Israel. There is no spiritual legitimacy in refusing to graciously receive G-D's Promised Land. There is no spiritual legitimacy to any of these so-called 'Peace' agreements.
Sharon, Tell The World The Truth!
Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko
(c) 2003/5763 Pasko
(Notes on the Roadmap)
by Boris Shusteff
On April 29, speaking at the Palestinian Legislative Council, the new Palestinian Prime-Minister-elect Abu Mazen stated, "the Roadmap must be implemented, not negotiated." His call to the Quartet "to announce the Roadmap as we know it... and to guarantee and verify the implementation of each phase with an effective and guaranteed enforcement and monitoring mechanisms" should have brought a chill to supporters of Israel. His unequivocal "we will not negotiate the Roadmap" should have been more than sufficient warning about the content of the document that would finally be published on April 30.
And behold, it was! Since Britain's infamous White Paper, with the exception of the UN's "Zionism is racism" resolution, it is hard to find any other international document that is so palpably anti-Israel (i.e. anti-Jewish). The Quartet - the USA, the EU, the UN and Russia - has done a "superb" job of creating a document that, in its essence, is nothing but a death warrant for the Jewish state.
In order to understand why the Roadmap is so dangerous for Israel we must look at what was lacking in the Oslo Accords (OA) that prevented the Palestinian Arabs from moving full speed towards their ultimate goal, proclaimed originally in the PLO Charter, and never repealed or amended since - namely "the liberation of Palestine," and the destruction of the Jewish state. The Arabs have always tried to use so-called vise tactics in dealing with Israel, squeezing her from two directions. On one side, the aim is to gain maximal tangible substantial assets such as obtaining land, freezing construction of Jewishsettlements, evicting Jews from disputed lands, bringing more Arabs into Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha), etc. On the other side, in order to keep the fire of Arab hatred against the Jewish state inextinguishable, they have worked to give as few verbal promises as possible of the sort that could be interpreted by the general Arab public as concessions to Israel.
From this perspective, the Oslo agreement gave the PLO leadership a certain foothold in Yesha in exchange for the empty declaration that the PLO "commits itself... to the peaceful resolution of the conflict" and "renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence." However, it had no self-implementing provision that would allow the Arabs to gain control over the land. The OA technically gave them only administrative authority over the people and not over the land. Whatever they obtained from Israel was only because of Israel's good will, and was technically not enforceable through the OA.
Moreover, the OA forced the Arabs to agree to Israel's demand for direct negotiations. This was an issue to which they had consistently objected, since from their standpoint it meant that, by accepting Israel as a negotiating partner, they were accepting Israel's existence as a legitimate state, which contradicted their stated goal of its destruction. Therefore, the Arabs have always wanted to have a third party present at the negotiations, to be able to blame on it any concessions they would be forced to make, while at the same time hoping to use it as additional leverage to pressure Israel.
Briefly summarizing, for the Arabs to continue on the road toward Israel's destruction, the OA was lacking several very important provisions. It did not have a clause that guaranteed the Arabs sovereign control over the land that they needed to advance their Plan of Stages. It did not have a mechanism directed against Jewish settlement activity. It forced the parties to conduct direct negotiations with each other, and, as will become clear later, it was reversible, meaning that Israel could stop her retreat if she felt that it endangered her existence.
III. The freshly released Roadmap completely changes the whole Oslo equation. It gives the Arabs absolutely everything that they dreamed of, and gives Israel nothing that hasn't been "given" before. The Roadmap allows the PA to continue its policy of squeezing out Israel while demanding from the Arabs only intangible promises in return. (Especially worrisome in this context is the fact that the Arabs have thus far achieved almost all of their aims not through good will and honest negotiation with Israel, but through continuous murderous terrorism). To begin with, the Roadmap brings a third party into the negotiations. The Roadmap officially gives the Arabs the mechanism that they sought from the very beginning. The third party will be constantly present in sorting out relations between the two sides. And this will not be just any third party. This third party is the Quartet. The Roadmap constantly stresses its role: "The Quartet will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties' performance on the implementation of the plan." "Progress into Phase II will be based upon the consensus judgment of the Quartet." "Progress into Phase III, based on consensus judgment of Quartet..." One can easily predict the nature of the Quartet's "consensus judgment," since it consists of the consistently anti-Israel UN, the mostly anti-Semitic European Union and Russia, and the openly pro-Arab US State Department. The two International Conferences envisioned by the Roadmap will only enlist several more anti-Semitic players, such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, etc. into pressuring Israel into more concessions.
The second provision needed by the Arabs, which was absent in the OA is now the essence of the Roadmap itself. Its loudly proclaims as its goal "the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state." Oslo did not even mention any "Palestinian state." While some argued that it implied the creation of such a state, in reality it spoke only of establishing a "Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority... in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years leading to a Permanent Settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338." Anyone who has read these resolutions at least once obviously knows that they do not mention any Palestinian state whatsoever.
Thus, instead of a vague document speaking about some "Palestinian Authority," the Roadmap stresses as its central goal the creation of a Palestinian state. Anybody who follows the semantics of documents related to the Israeli-Arab confrontation will notice that with every new document the pro-Arab language becomes more pronounced. For instance, while the Mitchell Report referenced in the Roadmap was the first document to mention a "Palestinian state," the Roadmap already speaks about a "VIABLE Palestinian state".
The third provision of the Roadmap that is disastrous for the Jews and priceless for the Arabs pertains to the so-called "settlements." The OA did not prevent the settlement of Jews in Yesha. There was nothing in the document that dealt with construction in Jewish settlements. The Jews were under no restrictions to continue building settlements on ancient Jewish land. It is because of this reason that the Arabs have directed the brunt of their terrorist attacks against Jews living in Yesha. They tried to frighten the Jews and force them to leave by means of a murderous terror campaign. But they did not succeed. On thecontrary, the Jews stayed put, demonstrated courage and resilience, and the number of so-called "Jewish settlers" in over nine years since the signing of the Oslo agreement has substantially increased. Now, like a reward for their incessant terror, the Roadmap comes to the Arabs' rescue. It is aggressively anti-Jewish on the issue of Jewish settlements, while not even mentioning the Arab settlements that have mushroomed exponentially on the same disputed land. According to the Roadmap, in Phase 1, "GOI [the Government Of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001. Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)." This unequivocal demand is an unprecedented interference with the matters of a sovereign state. The wording "including natural growth" is simply shocking. What is meant by this absolutely outrageous and shameless demand? Perhaps the Quartet wants Israel to relocate a Jewish man or woman out of a particular settlement every time that a little Jewish boy or girl is born there?
VI. The fourth provision that plays into Arab hands is that the Roadmap is irreversible, unlike the OA, as was mentioned before. Paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles ("Oslo-1") stated, "The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached for the interim period." This clause protected Israel from the disastrous consequences of the Agreement allowing her at any moment to reverse the course of events. The Roadmap eliminates this option and does not allow for any reversals. As soon as the new Arab state is created there is no way for Israel to bring the situation back. These four substantial provisions that differentiate the Roadmap from the OA are more than enough for the Arabs not to want to negotiate the Roadmap and demand its immediate imposition. Even more so because the document lacks an extremely important clause for the Jews. One might remember that Ehud Barak was ready to make a lot of concessions, hoping in return to gain assurance of the end of the conflict. "The end of the conflict" for Israel means not only the conflict with the Palestinians, but the conflict with the whole Arab world. Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi brilliantly explained this point in a series of excellent articles in the early 1970s.
And this is exactly the key element that is lacking in the Roadmap. Even the subtitle for Phase III reads, "Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," meaning that the End of the Israeli-Arab conflict is not envisioned by the authors of the Roadmap. The argument may arise that this is inaccurate, since the last sentence of the Roadmap speaks of "Arab state acceptance of full normal relations with Israel and security for all states of the region in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli Peace." However, this declaration is nothing but a fig leaf of verbal even-handedness. It is a mere slogan,equivalent to declaring that "All people in the world must live in peace." This becomes especially clear after reading the preamble, which lays out "a roadmap with clear phases, timelines, target dates and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps." The number of specific phases, timelines, target dates and steps assigned in the Roadmap to the Arab states in the "context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace" is precisely zero!
This is the main reason why Yasser Arafat, Abu Mazen, Saeb Erekat and other Palestinian Arab leaders embrace the Roadmap so eagerly. It allows them to move towards their ultimate goal - the destruction of Israel - without denouncing any of their claims. Previously, under the auspices of Oslo, it was impossible for the Arabs to move toward the creation of an Arab state based on the OA without proclaiming an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, because otherwise the Jews would not have agreed to their statehood. Now the Arabs do not have to bother with this at all. The only real requirement that the Palestinian Arabs have to fulfill to be rewarded with a state is to "DECLARE an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake VISIBLE efforts on the ground." In other words, the requirement for democratization is a mere hoax that can be easily satisfied. Of course it does not mean that the terror will really cease. "Declarations" and "efforts" might be insufficient to stop terror, but they will be good enough for the Quartet to make a "consensus judgment" and allow the Arabs to establish their state.
Even in the best-case scenario for Israel, if the terror really stops it will be a temporary respite. The Arabs, well aware that all the "improvements" to the original OA became the part of the Roadmap only as a result of their continuing terror will undoubtedly employ it again, once they've had time to restore the terrorist infrastructure. This time it will take place in an "independent and viable state," in which Israel will be unable to prevent it from happening. Since after the Arab state is created, any hypothetical Israeli anti-terror incursion would be conducted not into disputed land but into "sovereign Arab territory," it will be immediately classified by the international community as outright "unprovoked" aggression.
V. These quick notes do not even uncover the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Roadmap's anti-Israel nature. It is replete with anti-Israel clauses, statements and paragraph, hypocritical statements and anti-Israel bias. And if today the Oslo Agreements are recognized to have turned out disastrously for Israel, very soon the Roadmap will prove to be an even greater disaster. Significantly, the Arabs are very well aware of this. MEMRI recently quoted Abu Mazen, speaking in July 2002 to Fatah Commanders and leaders in the Gaza Strip, saying, "Israel... made the biggest mistake of its life when it supported the OsloAccords." He also stated, "In the Oslo agreement, we took land without giving anything in exchange, while the issues of the permanent status are still [pending]."
If Israel travels along the road predicated by the Roadmap, she will only accelerate her own demise. At the end of the Roadmap, Abu Mazen or some other Palestinian Arab will honestly tell the Arabs, "With the help of the Roadmap, we took more land and created our state without giving anything in exchange, while the issues of the permanent status are still [pending]." And he will be absolutely right, since the Roadmap gives not a single hint as to how these permanent status issues can be resolved, knowing well that the gap between Israel and the Arabs on these issues is unbridgeable.
The Oslo years have clearly demonstrated that these "permanent status" issues - Jerusalem, refugees, and permanent borders, coupled with the main issue of the Arabs' refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state in the Middle East - are the real crux of the problem. Any attempts to approach them have shown the complete incompatibility of any solutions acceptable to both parties. By not even tackling them, the Roadmap tacitly admits that it is useless to speak about any realistic peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Israeli Jews were naive and ignorant when Israel was forced by her leaders into the Oslo agreements. After almost ten years of the Oslo experience there are no excuses for saying that we cannot know what to expect from the Roadmap. It's only necessary to read it in order to understand all the disastrous consequences for Israel that will follow if it is implemented. Luckily one clause in it gives the Jews an escape route.
The Roadmap declares in its preamble that "the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved... through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established." Therefore it is Israel's right and duty to take this opportunity to loudly and clearly say "NO" to a Palestinian state casting the Roadmap into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.
May 31, 2003
ISRAEL? A BANANA REPUBLIC?
By Arlene Peck
It makes me crazy when I read in the biased news reporting how our President is "annoyed" and "disappointed" with Israel's non-compliance of his destructive" Road Map". It is fairly obvious that Colin Powell, Ms. Rice, and most of all, George Bush, are applying enormous pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Sharon to "fall in line" with their "visions" of a Palestinian State. I want to sit down and write something fresh and new. Not the same old standard about this "Road to Hell" warning. How about something a bit more specific? Like the "Road to Auschwitz?
I was too young to be aware of what was happening prior to the advent of Nazi Germany in the early '30's while Hitler was making ominous inroads in the country. Hell, growing up in Georgia, not too much touched us anyway. But now I finally understand the feeling of utter helplessness and despair seeing events unfolding and wondering if I'm the only one feeling betrayed. Israel is in mortal danger and where are the national protests? The Jewish State is being operated on by vicious, lying, deceitful terrorist thugs with George Bush and friends administering the anesthetic.
The world, and especially all Jews, cannot stand by silently, as thirty-eight nations did at a French resort in the summer of 1938. At this Evian Conference, delegates voiced their concern and pity for German Jews trying to find countries willing to take them in. There was plenty of "pity" but very few "takers"! And, now, here comes the "Road Map". Shouldn't something as important as uprooting a quarter million Jews be voted on in Israel's parliament, the Knesset? And even seeking the approval of the Israeli electorate in a referendum?
Have we lost our minds? We sit here complacent while those in Washington tell us how they only want "peace in the Middle East." Great. Are we to understand from their logic that the best way to fight terror is to build a terrorist state alongside of Israel? President Bush, much like his daddy, is now clamoring for Sharon to show good faith by once again opening the jail house gates and release just a few ( like a hundred or two) of the terrorists who were responsible for previous acts of terror. Wow! What a message that sends. Kill Israelis, and if you should get caught, the most you'll have to serve is just a little bit of Roadmap years time because by then someone will come up with a good reason why Israel should make another concession.
When did Israel become a banana republic? I cannot watch while Sharon succumbs to intense pressure to appease the Arab nations while theJewish State is set up for destruction. What you see is not always what you get. How is it that Israel voted in Likud but got Meretz and Peace Now? Where has the Arik Sharon we once knew and the Israelis voted for gone? How did he suddenly become George Bush's water boy? And, why is Israel being set up as a sacrificial lamb for the appeasement of Arab "sensibilities"? The 1993 Oslo Peace Accords were a disaster! We know that the murderers won't stop until they exterminate every Jew in what they consider to be "occupied" territory. Yet, knowing that this is Oslo II revisited, they're still falling for that same old "Trojan Horse." What next? It's no different than trying to pass off that nice piece of swamp land in Florida.
Sharon has created an even bigger crisis. He has opened a Pandora's Box by not only approving the concept of a "Palestinian" state, but by also referring to the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and East Jerusalem as "an occupation." By doing so, he gave credibility to the mistaken belief that the Arab "Palestinians" are indeed historically different and entitled to a national homeland! Better he should have stated that the only "occupiers" were the Arabs. The Jewish nation has a deed to the land that goes back thousands of years.
Call me old fashioned, call me radical, but I think these so-called "Jewish settlers" are the brave, modern-day pioneers of Israel. But, once again, as it was during the reign of Daddy Bush, they are now an "obstacle to peace"? These so-called Jewish "settlements" take up less than 2% of the entire "West Bank" Yeah, right, the Arabs need that land!
So now there is talk about abandoning these "obstacles to peace". Well, I was a journalist at Camp David and was in El Arish when Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty which had Israel relinquish the entire Sinai Desert Peninsula. Yamit was a tiny Israeli "settlement" in the very northwest corner of the Sinai Desert. I vividly remember the sight of Israeli soldiers (under the direct orders of then-General Ariel Sharon!) forcibly removing fellow Jews from rooftops. Will the Israeli Army, many of whose families live in Judea and Samaria, now be ordered to haul off a quarter million Jews from today's "occupied" territories?
Look what happened when Israel tried to move out twenty something Arab terrorists from the Church of the Nativity. Not one of their Arab brothers would take them and they had to be bribed by the IDF with safe passage to either Gaza or some 5-star Mediterranean resort before they waved their white flags! I wonder? What will those proud Jews in Judea-Samaria be offered? The opportunity to turn over the beautiful modern towns and cities, shopping malls, restaurants, schools, universities, electric grids, water treatment plants, hospitals and four-lane highways to those who send forth homicide bombers to murderthem?
If it weren't so serious and dangerous, it would be almost comical. CNN and FOX have panel "discussions" or Town Meetings comprised of people who have no idea what they are talking about and who probably couldn't even find the Middle East on a map. Bush and his aides give press conferences about their plans to "get everybody talking." Yeah, right. What further "gestures of goodwill" can be expected of an emasculated Sharon and his bickering Cabinet! This week, more prisoner releases? Next month, what next? Didn't we have such scenes during the first Oslo when the committed and dangerous optimist, Shimon Peres, was arming to the teeth his new best friends, a beaming Yassar Arafat and his 40,000 man "police force".
Nobody seems to care what the scenery down the road looks like. Or, that the scenery is on the edge of a cliff. All we hear from George Bush is his "vision" of a Palestinian state. Aren't there supposed to be a few things that go along with that? Like democratization, tolerance and an end to terrorism? If pressure is going to play a pivotal role in the peace process, then it's long past due to start pressuring these savage Arab terrorists to end their killing sprees and to back it up with action on the ground and not with just words from loose lips on Meet the Press.
And why is Israel so submissive? The threat of an American embargo on the Jewish state! That's why! Those in Washington might want to remember that it's election time again. I don't think that our President and his advisers would want to explain at their various "photo-ops" why unreasonable suicidal demands were placed upon the Jewish state. Or why they turned proud, little DEMOCRATIC Israel into a Third World banana republic. The last I heard, Israel was still a sovereign state. And, if I'm not mistaken, sovereign states have the right and the obligation to protect their own citizenry. So, let the "Quartet" continue to be "disappointed" and' "miffed" by the conduct of the Jewish State as they stare down a Second Holocaust! Israel's American friends and the media need to "back off" and Israel needs to take some of Nancy Reagan's advice and "Just say no!"
Posted May 31, 2003
Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She travels extensively worldwide, reporting to her audience about political events, social happenings (Cannes Film Festival, London event for the Variety Club, etc.) and "must see" spots. If there is a place to see and be seen, she'll write about it for her international audience.
Arlene's syndicated column is read weekly and her television show is seen by millions.
THE DIVINE ZIONIST ROADMAP
By Rabbi Eliezer Waldman
Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat Nir, Kiryat Arba
May 26, 2003 24 Iyar 5763
This coming Friday, the 28th of Iyar, we will celebrate, G-d willing, Yom Yerushalayim, which commemorates the divine miracles leading to the unification of the city of Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisrael in the Six Day War in 1967.
Before the war, the Jewish State consisted of only the periphery of Eretz Yisrael; the Galilee in the North, the Negev Desert in the South, and a narrow strip of coastal plain in the middle. The heartland of Eretz Yisrael, comprising the hills of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, were out of bounds of the Jewish State. The holy towns and cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit Lechem, Shechem, Shilo, and Beit El were ruled by our enemies who endlessly sent hordes of terrorists to attack men, women and children on the western side of the former green line. When threatened with being thrown into the sea by Egypt, Syria and Jordan in May of 1967, the People of Israel mobilized with a determination to defend their lives in order to continue building and nurturing our fledgling Jewish State. We were then blessed by divine miracles that not only helped us overcome our enemies but united us again with the heartland of Israel. Thousands of people filled with the enthusiasm of Jewish faith, returned to our liberated towns in the hills of Judea and Samaria, so that the song of redemption could be heard again in these hills after 2000 years of desolation. Thus we established the significant reality of 250,000 Jews living a normal Jewish life of faith and joy in Yesha today. More than all the distorted plans and roadmaps drawn up by foreigners, we are sure that this reality will determine the future life of Israel and its redemption process.
We have our own biblical roadmap that has been guiding the Jewish people from its very inception by the divine plan revealed to our father Abraham. The Almighty calls upon Abraham (Genesis 12 :1) and tells him "Get thee out of your country...unto a land that I will show you. " These words created the roadmap along which the Almighty led the People of Israel. "For all the land which you see, I will give you and to your children forever" (Genesis 13:15) These words of G-d bound together the eternal destiny of the people of Israel with the Land of Israel.
Many years later, the visionary words of the prophet Ezekiel aptly describe the Zionist awakening and ingathering of the exiles of our generation. "I will sanctify my great name... I will take you from among the nations... and will bring you to your land." (Ezekiel 36:23, 24) The prophet continues "When I purify you from all your sins, I will resettle the cities and rebuild the ruins" (Ezekiel 36:33) The authentic roadmap is one that sanctifies the Almighty's name and purifies the Jewish people in this process of returning to the Land of Israel, resettling its towns, and rebuilding its ruins. Each of these steps is another milestone on the Jewish roadmap to redemption. All of us traveling on this road of redemption, are witness to the spiritual elevation experienced in the last thirty six years of courageous Jewish life in Yesha.
I would like to direct some very serious words of advice to our friend President Bush. We just read in this week's Portion of the Bible: "I will make the land desolate and your enemies who live there shall be barren" (Leviticus 26: 32) Our sages explain that there is a blessing within this curse. G-d is telling the Jewish people that when they will be in exile, the land of Israel will remain desolate, it will not bear its fruit for anyone else. No foreigners will ever succeed in bringing life to the soil of Israel. Our enemies can only bring terror and destruction to the land as they have done all these years. Only the Jewish People can bring the land back to life as has been proven by 55 years of Jewish independence in Israel.
Mr. Bush, this is a G-dly decree which actually happened. During 2000 years of Jewish exile, the land remained desolate until G-d brought us back home to Israel within the last century. At first, the road was paved to only small parts of our homeland. The establishment of Jewish independence broadened the roadmap to include larger parts of Eretz Yisrael. Finally, the Six Day War brought us back to the hills of Judea and Samaria where, with the help of the Almighty, we will continue to flourish and thrive. This is the essence of the Zionist road map.
In contrast, a roadmap which endangers our very existence by planting a terrorist state within our borders cannot be acceptable to the Jewish People. Mr. Bush, your roadmap does not only reward Palestinian terror, but is an offense to the divine roadmap presented to our father Abraham and implemented by his children in our generation. True, the road to redemption is paved with Jewish blood and pain, but there is no other road open to us. We will not be detoured by the hatred and cruelty of our enemies nor by the foolish promises and dangerously booby trapped road plans of our "friends".
One last word to our Prime Minister, Mr. Sharon: There is always a possibility of returning to the main road of Zionist faith and courage. This is the only way for you to ensure your position of honor in Jewish history so richly deserved by someone whose life has been one of devotion to defending and building the State of Israel.
THE "ROAD MAP" WON'T LEAD TO PEACE
IF IT BYPASSES THE CAUSES OF WAR
By Abraham D. Sofaer
Immediately after the 1991 Gulf War, the first Bush administration convened in Madrid an international conference on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. This was an event that political leaders all over the world had been pursuing as if it were the holy grail of international diplomacy. It set in motion a decade of "peacemaking" that included the treaty between Israel and Jordan but whose most visible fruit was the Oslo accords of 1993.
In recent months, three years into the bloody Palestinian assault on Israel that the Oslo peace process became, the same dynamic has once again been in play, as international diplomats and government officials have scrambled to take advantage of the anticipated defeat of Saddam Hussein by pushing forward their preferred solutions. President Bush himself predicted in late February that "success in Iraq could . . . begin a new stage of Middle Eastern peace," while England and other European nations, keen to demonstrate their good faith to the Arab world, have gone much farther. In the very first week of the war, the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, complaining about an alleged double standard when it came to "injustice against the Palestinians," equated U.N. resolutions concerning Saddam Hussein's threats to international peace with those condemning Israel on a range of less significant matters.
A more evenhanded view underlies the latest diplomatic initiative to address the Israel-Palestinian dispute. This is the famous "road map" prepared by the "quartet" of the United States, the European Union, the U.N. and Russia. The road map, released earlier this week, proposes a two-state solution to the conflict, to be reached in three phases.
In Phase I, the Palestinians are to "declare" an end to violence and terrorism; undertake "visible" efforts to prevent attacks on Israelis, consolidate all security forces under an "empowered" interior minister, and restructure Palestinian institutions through numerous, detailed measures. Israel, for its part, is to call for an end to violence against Palestinians; cooperate in rebuilding a viable Palestinian security force; cease all actions "undermining trust," including deportations, demolition of homes and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure; take measures to improve the humanitarian situation; and "immediately" dismantle "settlement outposts erected since March 2001" and freeze all other settlement activity, including "natural growth."
All this is to happen by next month. Then comes Phase II, which foresees the "option" of creating a Palestinian state, with provisional borders, attributes of sovereignty and maximum territorial continuity; the completion date for this phase is the end of 2003. Phase III, which is to result in a final agreement between the parties settling all outstanding issues, is to be completed by the end of 2005.
The road map was given a major boost on March 14 when President Bush affirmed his support for it and promised to publish it as soon as the Palestinians appointed a new prime minister with "real authority." British Prime Minister Tony Blair promptly signaled his readiness to put pressure on Israel to move the process forward whether Palestinian violence ceases or not. Meanwhile, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have claimed to accept the road map "in principle"--a standard Middle East negotiating ploy--although both sides have major differences with it. In particular, Ariel Sharon's government has insisted that Palestinians must end all attacks before Israel is required to take any steps on the proposed "road."
Quite apart from its wildly optimistic timetable, many substantive objections can and should be raised to the road map. Still, it may be stipulated that the plan's aim--a two-state solution--is a reasonable one, accepted by the present Israeli government. But the mere recitation of a valid aim, even when coupled with a scheme for negotiations and escalating concessions, will hardly suffice to realize the peace envisioned by the road map's authors. The problem is that this road map, like many plans for Middle East peace, expects to bring an end to Palestinian violence against Israel without addressing the reasons why the Palestinians have deliberately and repeatedly chosen that path.
Dennis Ross, the former U.S. negotiator for the Middle East, recently admitted that ever since the last Gulf War, he and other U.S. negotiators failed to take seriously the Palestinian Authority's steadfast refusal to end violence. (As Mr. Ross put it in State Department doublespeak: "The prudential issues of compliance were neglected and politicized by the Americans in favor of keeping the peace process afloat.") Instead, in the face of the continuing violence, the U.S. kept pressing Israel to make further concessions, thereby convincing Palestinians that they could go on cheating and killing and still procure the benefits for which they had been negotiating. In the end, it seemed reasonable to suppose that they might even force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza as it had been forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon in the summer of 2000.
But Palestinian violence is a much more serious and difficult problem than even Dennis Ross now admits. It is the product of an environment that fosters, shelters, encourages and rewards acts aimed at nullifying Israel's very existence. And that environment is itself the creation not only of the Palestinians, or of the Arabs, but also of the international community--including the U.S. To change this situation requires changing not just the actions and attitudes of Palestinians but the policies and practices of others, again including the U.S. No recognition of these facts, let alone any acknowledgment of the need to do something about them, has been made part of the road map--which is again why it shares the basic flaw of every Middle East peace plan that has preceded it.
The policies and practices I have in mind can be broken down into categories, of which the first has to do with terrorism.
The United States portrays itself, properly, as leading the world-wide effort to combat terrorism. Some longstanding American policies, however, have contributed to terrorism, and especially to terrorism against Israel. Although steps have been taken to rectify matters in the wake of September 11, terrorists and supporters of terrorism continue to be abetted by the U.S. in their determination to control the destiny of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Consider, first, the longstanding strategy of Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization to keep as many Palestinians as possible living under horrible conditions in refugee camps, close to Israel. The camps, first set up after the 1948 war that followed the establishment of the state of Israel, are administered by an arm of the United Nations, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA now spends more than $400 million a year to assist a population that has swollen over the past half century to some 4.5 million, relatively few of whom are refugees by any accepted definition of the term. The whole system could not have been better designed both to endanger Israel's security and to damage its moral reputation.
In the late 1980s, when I was running the legal adviser's office in the State Department, my colleague Nicholas Rostow and I proposed to Secretary George Shultz that the U.S. move toward ending its financial support of UNRWA programs that perpetuated the exploitation of refugees as tools of the radical Palestinian cause. The "building"--as the department is called by insiders--rose up in opposition. Our diplomats acknowledged that the camps were awful places that bred hatred and terrorism. But, they claimed, it was too late to do anything about it, and anyway the camps would disappear once peace was achieved. They declined to consider the possibility that the camps were helping to prevent peace from being achieved.
What would an alternative look like? It would include plans for building permanent homes for Palestinian refugees within Palestinian territories on the West Bank or in nearby states. As the scholar Scott B. Lasensky has recently suggested, incentive programs could also be put in place to encourage refugees to relocate and neighboring Arab states to accept them. Such resettlement could commence immediately; as long as it does not, we will be continuing to aid in solidifying the sentiments that lead to terrorism.
Second, the Palestinian educational system is an abomination; it, too, is funded by the U.N., with the substantial support of American taxpayers. In their schools, Palestinian children are taught mendacious versions of their own history as well as of Jewish culture, history and beliefs. Generations have been fed on propaganda that denies the legitimacy of the state of Israel while simultaneously glorifying intolerance, fanaticism and "martyrdom."
Very little that is actually useful--engineering, computer technology, science, finance--is taught in these schools. In the private, religiously funded schools, things are still worse. There, in the words of Itamar Marcus, "children have been taught to hate, and to die for Allah. Their childhood has been destroyed by indoctrination to hate and kill Jews as well as Americans and Westerners in general." The U.N. and the U.S. have allowed these terrible practices to continue for years. Although efforts have been made recently to restrict the flow of funds to some schools, little if anything has been done to halt the teachings themselves. How can Palestinians realistically be expected to accept Israel as long as they continue to convey to their children that Israel is unacceptable, and that terrorism against it is a noble undertaking?
Abraham D. Sofaer, a senior fellow at Stanford Univerity's Hoover Institution, served as legal adviser to the State Department from 1985 to 1990. The complete article of the author appears in the May 2003 edition of Commentary.
THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
Will the "Road Map" lead to peace in the Middle East?
By FLAME (Facts and Logic in the Middle East)
Two peoples, the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews living side by side in peace. The "two-state solution" has been proposed for decades to terminate the increasingly violent Arab-Israeli conflict. It is now being resurrected as the "Road Map," sponsored by the "quartet," consisting of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations.
What are the facts?
A false premise: The basic premise, that the "Palestinians" need and deserve a state, is false. Because there are no such people as the "Palestinians," and before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, nobody had ever heard of them. Until Jewish immigration to Palestine began, the country was sparsely settled, inhabited mostly by roving Bedouins. The industry and prosperity, the agricultural development, and modern infrastructure brought by the Jews proved an irresistible magnet for the Arabs from the surrounding regions.
The "two-state solution" has been tried before. Its most recent incarnation was the Oslo Accord, a detailed and elaborate plan, at the end of which a "Palestinian" state was envisioned. Israel, foolishly having acquiesced to the return of Yasser Arafat and his fellow thugs into the country, meticulously adhered to every point of that agreement, and in good faith turned big chunks of its country over to the control of the so-called "Palestinian Authority."
All the "Palestinians" had to do in return for this generosity, unprecedented in world history, was to renounce violence. But the "Palestinians," with the enthusiastic support of virtually all of the Arab states and of the Iranians, methodically violated even that modest requirement. They are armed to the teeth and continue to engage in bloody and violent struggle. They have caused untold havoc -- close to 1,000 Israeli Jews killed and many more seriously wounded, just in the last two years.
The members of the "quartet" have taken it upon themselves to decide the destiny of Israel, without any consultation with Israel itself. Of its four members, only the United States can be considered friendly toward Israel. But even our country, sad to say, seems to consider sacrificing Israel in the vain hope of currying favor with the Arabs and the Moslems of the world to assuage their rage and anger in the wake of our war with Iraq.
Implacable hostility: The United Nations are inexorably hostile to Israel, beginning with the infamous resolution that Zionism equals racism. The European Union -- unable to shed its centuries-old poison of anti-Semitism and in order to appease an ever-increasing Moslem minority, has cloaked its antagonism toward the Jews into the more acceptable anti-Israelism. Russia, despite its bloody problems with its own Moslems, having killed thousands in Chechnya, but with an eye on the billions of dollars of potential profit from the Arab nations, continues to be steadfast in its opposition to Israel.
At first blush, the "two-state solution" would seem to be a reasonable one: Two states for two peoples. But there are no two peoples; there is only tiny Israel -- smaller than Lake Michigan - opposed by the vast array of implacably hostile Arabs -- twenty-two states with over 250 million people -- who want to carve a "Palestinian" state out of Israel's heartland. And the Arabs make no secret that that has only one single-minded purpose: to serve as a springboard for the final assault against Israel and its destruction -- once and for all.
The world is fixated on creating a state for the "Palestinians," a non-existing people. Oddly, the world and the U.N. do not show any interest for real peoples, such as the Kurds, who have been languishing for centuries under the yoke of four different nations; for the Basques, whose struggle for freedom from France and Spain finds little sympathy; or for the Tibetans, who have suffered for decades under the brutality of the Chinese. And the United Nations has never acted on behalf of the suppressed Berbers in North Africa or concerned itself with the terrible fate of the Sudanese Christians. No, it is only the "Palestinians" who engage the attention of the world body.
The failure of the Oslo Accord and the bloody and seemingly never-ending intifada have proved that the entire Arab world and the Iranians have only one foreign policy goal, and that is the destruction of Israel. U.S. generals know and Israeli generals know that Israel, without Judea/Samaria (the "West Bank"), is indefensible. The Arabs don't care about a twenty-third Arab state. They want the destruction of Israel. With the Arabs dominating the Judean heights and with that the ability to cut Israel in two at its narrow 9-mile-wide waist in one armored thrust, the two state so-called "solution" would be the death knell for Israel. It is deplorable that the United States -- Israel's best friend by far -- would attempt to impose such a "solution" on its staunchest ally and friend and on the only country in that entire area of the world that shares America's democratic and humane ideals and on which our country can count in any contingency. No nation can be expected to enter into a suicide pact. Therefore, regardless of what the "quartet" or anybody else might wish to impose on Israel, there will be no "Palestinian" state, no "two-state solution." .
Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President
BUSH'S TEN COMMANDMENTS
by Yoram Ettinger
Enclosed you'll find my latest OpEd, published today (May 9, 2003) by Makor Rishon weekly. Should you wish to review previous OpEds, as well as Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom, please visit http://www.acpr.org.il.
President Bush's Ten Commandments, Makor Rishon weekly, May 9, 2003
President George W. Bush has considered Moses to be a role-model for a conviction-driven leadership, driven by the principles of justice (vs. the Axis of Evil), strategic thinking (vs. tactical cynicism) and tenacity (vs. hesitancy and vacillation). President Bush and most of the American public and US Congress, have viewed the Exodus from Egypt and the Ten Commandments as critical elements of the American culture, guiding George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the 1976 Revolution and in the formulation of the US Constitution.
The President has presented his own Ten Commandments, in the combat against terrorist regimes, during his wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, which have been driven by values and strategic interests:
1. THOU SHALL SUSTAIN MORAL CLARITY, avoiding moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims, thus de-legitimizing the very existence of terrorist regimes. Moral clarity is a prerequisite for a victory on the battlefield: terrorist regimes are not partners to negotiation; they are enemies to be crashed. Saddam Hussein and his network are not "President", "Prime Minister", "Head of security organizations", "legislators"; rather they are terrorists, regional cancer, bloodthirsty oppressive gang, pirates. President Bush does not combat "suicide bombers" (the term may possess a glimpse of heroism); he is condemning homicide bombers (criminals).
2. THOU SHALL NOT PURSUE COEXISTENCE WITH TERRORIST REGIMES, since they have been murderous and systematic violators of agreements. Therefore, the aim is not to conduct negotiation, to reach a compromise or agreement; the aim is the defeat terrorist regime, and in a traumatic manner. One does not consider a "Basra First" arrangement (which would test, supposedly, the intent of a terrorist regime). One does not contemplate negotiation with Saddam's prime minister, chiefs of security organizations or other key members of his regime, because terrorist regimes are not partners to negotiation - terrorist regimes are targets to annihilation. The target should not be personalized, thus diverting attention away from the nature of the entire terrorist regime. The aim should be structural - toppling the entire regime.
3. THOU SHALL NOT COMBAT TERRORISM THROUGH CONTAINMENT, DEFENSE, DETERRENCE AND RETALIATION, but rather through PREVENTIVE OFFENSIVE ON THE ENEMY'S OWN GROUND. Unlike the USSR, most terrorist regimes are not deterable or containable. Therefore, the offensive on terrorist regimes should not be surgical and restrained, but rather systemic, comprehensive and disproportional. It aims at bringing down terrorist regime in a TRAUMATIC manner, thus delivering a shockingly lucid message to successor regimes and other terrorist regimes.
4. THOU SHALL NOT ASPIRE FOR CEASEFIRE. Rather, one should attempt to tarnish the INFRASTRUCTURE, which feeds the fire of terrorism. The primary attention should be paid to the destruction of the political, financial and ideological infrastructures of terrorist regimes, which lead, mold, incite, equip, train and sets the human targets for the operational sector. Hence, the opening mission of the war on Iraq was directed at the bunker housing the political/ideological infrastructure of Saddam's regime, as was the case in 1989 (targeting Noriega) and 1986 (bombing Qadaffi's palace).
5. THOU SHALL NOT WAIT FOR A "SMOKING GUN." Thou shall attempt to prevent the access of terrorist regimes to their "guns." The war on terrorist regimes is based on a pyramid of evidence constructed over many years. No time should be wasted by waiting for a few more stones to be added to the pyramid.
6. THOU SHALL NOT SACRIFICE VITAL INTERESTS ON THE ALTER OF A POLITICAL PROCESS. The process is not the strategic goal; it is merely a tactical means. Time spent on a political process with terrorist regimes plays into the hands of terrorists, providing them with more opportunities to enhance their destructive capabilities. Therefore, the price of hesitancy and a delayed military assault on terrorist could be devastatingly higher than the price of a swift-comprehensive-traumatic war on terrorism.
7. THERE IS A MILITARY SOLUTION TO TERRORISM, as evidenced by the lessons of Afghanistan (2002) and Iraq (2003), as well as by the wars launched by Turkey, Germany, Italy, Peru and Egypt on Armenian and Kurdish terrorism, Baader Meinhoff, Red Brigade, the Shining Path and Islamic terrorism. Passivity and restraint in face of terrorist regimes breed more violence, adrenalizing terrorists. It constitutes recklessness in face of threat - an unacceptable price in terms of personal and national security.
8. THE PRIME RESPONSIBILITY OF A LEADER IS TO THE PERSONAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY OF HIS PEOPLE, rather than to the prestige of the UN or members of the international community. The price of an international opposition is dwarfed by the potentially lethal damage caused by terrorism.
9. WAR ON TERRORIST REGIMES SOLVE, RATHER THAN CREATES, PROBLEMS, minimizing/deterring future problems.
10. "EITHER YOU ARE WITH US, OR YOU ARE WITH THE TERRORISTS... Anyone who continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded as a hostile regime... We are not deceived by pretense to piety. We have seen their kind before..." (President George W. Bush, Sept. 20, 2001, Joint session of Congress).
The descendants of Moses may benefit immensely by applying the lessons of President Bush's "Ten Commandments", to their own battle against Palestinian and Hizballah terrorism. Obviously, Israel and the US are not equal in stature, and do not face an identical threat!
The US has launched a decisively justifiable(!) war on Islamic terrorism, headquartered 7,000 MILES AWAY from the mainland, threatening - AS OF A FEW YEARS AGO - the PERSONAL SECURITY of Americans and VITAL INTERESTS of the US. Israel, on the other hand, is combating Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, headquartered literally ACROSS THE FENCE, threatening -SINCE 1948 - the very NATIONAL SURVIVAL of the country.
President George W. Bush's "Ten Commandments" are MORALLY and STRATEGICALLY applicable to Israel, which is facing an imminent and present deadly threat, rather than a national security challenge. THAT WHICH HAS AFFLICTED THE USA SINCE 9/11, has plagued Israel SINCE 1948, taking a toll of 1,100 Israelis murdered since the Oslo Accord was signed in 1993 (proportionally, equal to 50,000 Americans!).
Israeli adherence to the counter-terrorism legacy of President George W. Bush, would be condemned by SOME circles in the US. However, one should recall that a BRUTAL PRESSURE BY THE UNITED STATES ADMINISTRATION (including a military embargo) did not deter Prime Minister Ben-Gurion from declaring independence in 1948, did not dissuade Prime Minister Eshkol from launching the preventive Six Day War in 1967, and did not prevent Prime Minister Begin from destroying the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.
The pursuit of moral and strategic Israeli concerns, in defiance of pressure by the US administration, produced a SHORT-TERM political and economic crisis and inconvenience, but it yielded a dramatic LONG-TERM enhancement of Israel's strategic posture in the Middle East and in the US.
The Road To Perfidy
By Shawn PineAs President Bush ponders his trip to the Middle East to facilitate the road map to peace plan, its failure is already cast. Proponents of the road map call it a historical, pragmatic approach. Indeed, a reading of the text does require both sides to undertake tangible, pragmatic steps to resolve the conflict. However, anyone experienced with the conflict knows that the obligations required by both sides in the first phase are unobtainable and therefore the road map is a facade. The road map is destined to fail as it is fundamentally flawed and fails to address the fundamental core problems that underscore the conflict.
What precludes peace from being reached between the Israelis and Palestinians is the fact that the Palestinians have not abandoned their desire to destroy the Jewish State, either through its physical destruction or through their demand of the "right of return." Indeed, recent polling among the Palestinians indicates that the time is not propitious to return to a repackaged form of the Oslo process. A process that was exemplified by a process of tangible Israeli concessions for vociferous, albeit vacuous, series of commitments by the Palestinians. In an April 2003 poll conducting by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre, 75.3 percent of respondents favored the continuation of the intifada and some 59.9 percent continued to support suicide bombers.
There are signs that shifts are beginning to occur within Palestinian society that might ultimately bring about the requisite changes in Palestinian culture. The percentages of those favoring continuation of the intifada and suicide bombers were slightly lower than the percentage cited in previous polls. Moreover, the recent spontaneous protests by some 800 Palestinians against Hamas are the first notable expression that a fissure may be developing within the Palestinian society and that the Palestinians are coming to the realization that violent struggle has done little to facilitate the achievement of Palestinian national aspirations. However, although an encouraging manifestation for those seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict, it has been an isolated event which indicates that the Palestinian eschewing of terrorism is in its embryonic stage. In a society in which "martyrdom" is worshipped and religious and political leaders urge its young to sacrifice themselves and to kill Jews, achieving the requisite change in Palestinian culture will be a generational process and not one that will occur over night.
Until such time as a fundamental change within Palestinian society occurs any progress towards achieving a lasting peace between the two peoples will be ephemeral. Unfortunately, previous attempts to resolve the conflict, and the current situation, will ensure that the conditions under which the road map will be implemented will not be fundamentally different from those under which the Oslo process proceeded. Progress towards a real and comprehensive peace will occur only with the political isolation of Arafat and the destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as effective terrorist and political forces. Only then will more pragmatic and reasonable Palestinian voices be able to speak out and compete for the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people. Until such time, any attempt to reach a final settlement will not only proves fruitless, but will exacerbate the pain and suffering of both peoples.
Given this reality, it is hard to fathom the motivations behind the decision to implement the road map at this time. Undoubtedly the decision by the United States to present the road map is largely part of the quid pro quo for Arab acquiescence and British support for US military operations against Iraq. The destination of the road map is the creation of a Palestinian State and a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005. By setting a date the US has placed Israel in an untenable position. Regardless of the lack of tangible progress that will be made in implementing the components of the road map the Quartet will seek to achieve a final settlement by the end date. This will be done only by forcing Israel to make the type of concessions that were previously offered by Ehud Barak, and rejected by Arafat, without compelling the Palestinians to fulfill any of their obligations under the road map. It is the ultimate irony that the United States, having exerted so much political, economic, and human resources to remove two despotic regimes within the past two years, is now embarking on a political effort to create a similar regime in Gaza and the West bank.
The US will use its considerable influence to pressure the Sharon government to make tangible concessions to the Palestinians, such as easing the closure of the territories and freezing settlement expansion, in exchange for promises from the Palestinians to dismantle its terrorist infrastructure and take action against Hamas and Islamic Jihad. However, in reality there is little desire or motivation by the Palestinian Authority to take such action. Indeed, with the facade of Arafat being a viable peace partner having been removed, there should be little expectation that substantive progress towards peace will be achieved. On the contrary, Arafat will seek to undermine Abbas=E2=80=99 political base while competing with Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people.
Whatever the personal desire of Abbas, he clearly lacks the political and military support to confront Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Moreover, whatever the facade of cooperation that exists between Abbas and Arafat, any expansion of power and authority that Abbas achieves comes at the expense of Arafat. Consequently, Abbas only hope for his political, and personal, survival is to function as a figurehead for Arafat.
If history is any indication, Abbas will argue against immediate Palestinian implementation of their obligations called for in the road map. Abbas will cite his lack of political influence and credibility among the Palestinians. He will argue that he needs to deliver more tangible concessions to his people. The US, faced with a barrage of pressure from its European and Arab allies will be hard pressed not to pressure Israel to make such concessions. This will set in motion the same cycle that occurred during the Oslo process in which the Israelis will seek to ease the conditions within the territories which will enable Palestinian terrorist groups to launch more frequent and effective terrorist attacks. These attacks will precipitate an Israeli response, which in turn will lead those promoting the road map to exert more pressure on Israel. The end result will be something similar to what occurred under the Oslo process.
However, if the international community is serious in implementing a process that has a chance of success, then there is a way to test both the intentions of the Palestinians and the willingness of the Israelis to make the "painful" concessions alluded to by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. During his visit, the President should reach an agreement with Sharon in securing Israeli withdraw from a defined number of Palestinian villages and towns in which there is a known and identified Hamas or Islamic Jihad presence. The Israeli withdrawal should occur concomitantly with the introduction of Palestinian security forces into these villages and towns. This means that Israel should not withdraw from the areas until the Palestinian security forces are prepared to accept responsibility for the areas turned over to their control. Additionally, Israel should share with the Palestinian security forces intelligence information they have on persons within those areas identified with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. If the Palestinians undertake the steps outlined in the road map to arrest terrorist member and destroy the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, then Israel can continue its withdraw from other Palestinian towns and villages. However, each withdrawal should only occur when Palestinian security forces indicate that they are prepared to fulfill their obligations under the road map.
The importance of this approach cannot be underestimated. This process would test the Palestinians willingness to fulfill it obligation under the road map to "undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere and to "confront all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure" while testing the Israelis obligation under the road map to withdraw "as comprehensive security performance moves forward progressively from areas occupied since September 28, 2000."
Unlike the Oslo accords, this approach would be a real demonstration of the willingness of both sides to implement the road map. Unfortunately, that is precisely why the Palestinians, and its supporters, will militate against such an approach. Rather than address the core problem in reaching a final settlement (namely a Palestinian desire to destroy the Jewish State), proponents of the Palestinians attempt to obfuscate the core obstacles to achieving a final settlement. The attempts to draw a de facto moral equivalency between the Israeli building of settlements and the Palestinian use of terrorism, is astounding given the lessens that should have been learned from the Oslo process. Historically, while the expansion of settlements is an irritant, it has been a negligible deterrent in reaching a comprehensive settlement.
Whether Israel continues expanding, freezes or dismantles its settlements on the West Bank and Gaza is irrelevant to obtaining peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Settlement activity in Gaza did not preclude the Israeli - Egyptian peace treaty and the subsequent dismantling of settlements in the late 1970=E2=80=99s. Moreover, settlement activity throughout the last 40 years did not preclude Ehud Barak from offering Arafat some 98 percent of the West Bank and Gaza in a comprehensive settlement.
As President Bush ponders on how to implement the "road map" he should be reminded of a time honored fundamental principle of military leadership. It states that a leader should never ask his subordinates to do anything that he would not do himself. As America leads its allies in the war against terrorism it would behoove our policy makers to follow that advice, lest they embolden our enemies and alienate our allies.
Shawn Pine is a Middle East military and strategic analyst and a research associate with the Ariel Center for Policy Research. He has published a myriad of articles and policy papers concerning the prevailing military and strategic environment in the Middle East. His works have appeared in Israel Affairs, The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, The Jerusalem Post, and Nativ. He also contributed an article to the work From Rabin to Netanyahu: Israel's Troubled Agenda. He received a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University. He is currently a Major in the active US Army Reserves specializing in counterintelligence. Pine is also a research associate for the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
The Jerusalem Post, May 28, 2003
BUSH'S MIDDLE EAST "Uganda Plan"
By Michael Freund
As a result of this past Sunday's vote in the Israeli cabinet, Zionism now finds itself confronting the gravest identity crisis it has known in the past century.
Not since 1903, when the Sixth Zionist Congress indicated a willingness to consider Great Britain's proposal to create a Jewish national home in Uganda, has the movement come so perilously close to abandoning its ideological moorings.
Indeed, there is a lot of similarity between the Ugandan roadmap and its Palestinian equivalent, and the look at the former provides an intriguing clue as to how best to defeat the latter.
The Uganda plan was born precisely 100 years ago this past summer, when Theodor Herzl, father of political Zionism, was summoned to London for a meeting with British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain.
Chamberlain had just returned from a visit to Africa, and told Herzl that while he was there, "I saw a country for you: Uganda. On the coast it is hot, but in the interior, the climate is excellent for Europeans... I thought to myself: that's just the country for Dr. Herzl."
Herzl, of course, was less than enthused by the idea. After all, Jews throughout the generations had spent the previous 2000 years longing for the hills of Zion, not the jungles of Kampala.
But after the British Foreign Office officially presented the proposal to him in August 1903, Herzl decided to bring the "Uganda Project" to a vote at the upcoming Zionist Congress, which was set to meet in Basel.
Herzl and his allies portrayed the plan as a temporary solution and an "emergency measure", but many of the delegates were outraged, labeling it a betrayal, and a storm of protest quickly ensued.
Eyewitnesses described "tumultuous scenes" which "continued into the small hours of the morning". In the end, it was only due to the personal prestige which Herzl commanded that the Congress voted to send a committee to Uganda to investigate its viability as a possible Jewish national sanctuary.
In both instances, then, we find a superpower putting a plan on the table whose underlying principles run counter to everything Zionism stands for. In 1903, the idea would have meant forgoing the Land of Israel, while in 2003, it means dividing it.
And in both instances, Zionism's ultimate leader, acting under foreign pressure, reluctantly agreed to accept the proposal, although he insisted on attaching conditions to it in the hopes of easing its passage.
Fortunately, in the case of Uganda, the idea went nowhere, but no thanks to the Zionist leadership of the time. As historian Howard Morley Sachar notes in his book, The Course of Modern Jewish History, the plan quickly became "academic", since "public opinion in England was running strong against turning 'rich' Uganda over to the Jews." As a result, the British government quietly dropped the proposal.
And therein lies the clue to defeating its modern-day US-backed equivalent: arousing American public opinion against the plan to the point where the Bush Administration has no choice but to drop it.
Make no mistake - by formally approving the road map to establish a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel, the sovereign government of the State of Israel has effectively turned its back on the central tenets of Zionism, making a mockery of the Jewish people's millennial-old yearnings to return to its land.
Look through the writings of Zionism's great modern-day thinkers and proponents, from Moses Hess to Ahad Ha'am to Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai. Read the Biblical prophets' accounts of the ingathering of the exiles and the final redemption of the Jewish people. Open a prayer book and glance at the daily pleas to restore us to our national patrimony.
None of them speak of dividing the Land, or making "painful concessions", or yielding to international pressure or creating a foreign entity in the heart of our ancestral home. Not a single one. They spoke of building Jewish homes, not uprooting them, of settling the Land rather than withdrawing from it. Of creating a Jewish state, not a Palestinian terrorist enclave.
Like the idea of settling Uganda a century ago, adopting the road map is a slap in the face both to Jewish history and to Jewish destiny.
And don't be fooled - the danger is very real. Whatever one thinks of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's intentions, or whether he is serious about implementing the plan, the pressure from America has already yielded enormous results for the Palestinians, even as they continue to engage in terror. And that pressure will only mount as time goes on.
It is therefore time to take off the kid gloves and mobilize now against the road map. Every day that passes brings the danger closer, with the inevitable bloodshed that will almost surely result.
If the writing was on the wall prior to Sunday's vote, it is now on the table, one giant step closer to being implemented on the ground. This cannot be allowed to happen.
To stop the road map, and to save Israel, we must focus our energies and our efforts on staving off American pressure, for that is the driving force behind this dangerous predicament. The address for this campaign is neither Jerusalem nor Ramallah, but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
US President George W. Bush must be made to understand that he will pay a heavy political price for pushing to create Palestine. The road map is a natural consequence of his June 24 speech last year, when he outlined his "vision" of two states, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians.
American Jews and the Christian right must cry out in protest, then, not only against the road map itself, but against the very vision which lay behind it. In retrospect, the June 24 speech was Bush's "original sin", and its embodiment in the form of the road map threatens the future and security of Israel.
Only by putting the President on notice that in the 2004 campaign, American Christians and Jews will forge a direct linkage between how they vote and how he acts in the Middle East, can we hope to thwart this devious plan.
Like anyone else, George W. Bush is a human being endowed by his Creator with the gift of free will. He can choose to do the right thing, and stand by the people of Israel as they seek to preserve their ancestral homeland.
Or, he can choose to do wrong, and accommodate Palestinian terror by pushing to create yet another hostile Arab state alongside a truncated Israel.
If Bush chooses the latter, he will be defying the Divine will, an act unbecoming of a man of faith. Over that, we as people obviously have no control.
But where we do have control is at the ballot box. Our task, then, is to let Bush know that by pressing forward with the road map, he will be doing more than just dividing up G-d's Holy Land. In November 2004, he will be dividing up his electorate, too.
So, like the Uganda plan which fizzled out a century ago, here's hoping that in the case of the road map, history will indeed repeat itself.
The writer served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office.
(c) The Jerusalem Post
27 August, 1999
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE WARNS
ABOUT CIA TRAINING OF PA
Translated by IMRA: Aaron Lerner
The following is an excerpt from a 27.8.99 article by Yediot Ahronot reporter, Roni Shaked:
Today there is already a difference of opinion regarding the merit of advancing Palestinian intelligence capabilities. In the GSS (Shabak) it is said that the American training helps in the struggle against terror. In Military Intelligence they think otherwise. The Palestinians, Military Intelligence maintains, also use the intelligence and knowledge against Israel. According to a senior member of the Israeli defense establishment, the American-Palestinian connection hurts Israel - and in a big way. 'Every course advances them, raises their level, helps them to become more professional. The CIA invests in them, gives them good courses. They get fantastic equipment, not just from the USA, also from European countries. The problem is that they also use the equipment against us, instead of using it to trap terrorists. So, for example, in the area of surveillance, they have a surveillance unit that monitors Israeli targets. And if you have advanced equipment, there is no problem monitoring military communications networks, intelligence networks or cellular telephones.'
There is also criticism against the Americans and their view of the situation. 'The Americans see the Palestinians as partners who have to be strengthen to turn into an island of stability,' said the senior source in the defense establishment. 'According to the American thesis, the better Palestinian intelligence is, the more terrorists they capture and the stabler the peace. This is a naive assumption that ignores the conflict between us and the Palestinians. The Americans relate to this as if it were a conflict between the Israeli-Palestinian side against Hamas. They don't see that Arafat and Hamas are on the same side against Israel.'
Roni Shaked - Yediot Ahronot - 27.8.99
Kol ha-Ir: This Is How the CIA Operates in Israel and in the Territories
November 24, 2000 pp. 54-60
[Kol ha-Ir is a weekly newspaper in Israel. The translation is courtesy of Women In Green]
The American intelligence agency bears the main responsibility for the military development of the Palestinian Authority. CIA agents organized courses for snipers, trained special units, and provided sophisticated listening devices, all in exchange for security cooperation with Israel. Now George Tenet, the head of the organization, and John O'Connor, station chief in Israel, have become the only communications channel between the sides. No great success has been chalked up.
THE INTELLIGENCE PROS
[note: the Hebrew used for "pros" - ashfei - also uses the same letters as the Hebrew for PLO - ASHAF]
At the unsuccessful Paris summit George Tenet, the Director of the CIA, met Yasser Arafat, and demanded that he calm the atmosphere and stop the violence. Tenet did not forget to remind the Palestinian leader that it was not for nothing that the CIA has a reputation of builder and destroyer of nations. According to the British Independent newspaper, the head of the Palestinian Authority was not impressed by the threat.
This was not the first time that Tenet met with Arafat. The Director of the American intelligence agency is considered to be the patron of Israeli-Palestinian-American cooperation since '96. Over the course of years, Tenet and Arafat met in the region a number of times in order to clinch security deals. Thus the organization, and especially Tenet, who heads it, have gradually become an integral part of all the contacts conducted between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the last three years. And thus the head of the organization, who is responsible for the Bay of Pigs and the Iran-Contras scandals (who did not anticipate even a single important political development in the region, such as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait or the Oslo accords), has become the object of the wet dreams of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships.
The American agents trained sniper units, policemen, and intelligence officers, and conducted military exercises for additional units in the Palestinian military apparatus. They also provided sophisticated equipment, built a headquarters for Jibril Rajub, from which they also operate, and operated satellite stations in the Authority's cities. The Israeli governments, that felt confident of American support, did not express opposition, knowing that, in the final analysis, American intelligence information concerning what was happening in the Authority would aid the security situation in Israel.
Everything has gone topsy-turvy in recent weeks. The security cooperation between Israel and the Authority has become a faint memory, and except for individual initiatives by political elements, in recent weeks, since the outbreak of the riots, Tenet, by means of John O'Connor, the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv, has succeeded in taking control of the communications channels between Israel and the Palestinians. O'Connor was actively involved in the attempts to rescue Yusef Madhat from Joseph's Tomb about a month ago, and according to the testimony of security sources, also in the surrendering of the lynchers from Ramallah. After four years of active involvement by the CIA in the security contacts between the sides, the failure to calm the situation is glaring. The agreements (that were violated) concerning the Beit Jala-Gilo sector and the meetings between Israeli and Palestinian security elements in Cairo placed O'Connor, Tenet, and the entire CIA organization in the embarrassing situation in which the sides may possibly be beating a path to their door, but do not honor any agreement to which they committed themselves before it [the CIA].
An Opening for the PLO [Hebrew wordplay: petah le-Fatah]
The CIA's ties with the Palestinians are not something new. Similar to other regions in which the Agency developed ties with the countries with which the US does not officially talk, this also happened with the Palestinian movements and with the PLO.
This began in the 'seventies in Lebanon, when Bob Ames, the CIA station chief there, started to maintain ties with elements in the Arab world, and especially with PLO people and other factions in Lebanon. In meetings with Israelis he told a great deal about his ties with Abu Jihad and Arafat. The Americans preferred to conceal these ties because of Israeli opposition, and the Palestinian identification with the Soviet bloc, but this did not prevent them from maintaining the open channel. Thus, for example, they exchanged messages with the leading members of the Young Fatah in Beirut, most prominent among whom was the Operations Officer of Black September and the founder of Force 17, Ali Hasan Salameh, who would later be murdered by the Mossad in the explosion of a car bomb.
Salameh served, among other tasks, as the central intelligence officer of the Fatah, alongside Abu-Iyad, and on the background of his ties with Ames, he delivered lectures twice at the headquarters of the CIA organization at Langley, Virginia, about the then-forming PLO. Salameh would later recompense the Americans by protecting the US embassy in Beirut at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war, and provided security for the evacuation of American citizens from the city in 1976. These ties were never broken: Ames mediated between Israel and Arafat during the course of the transfer of the PLO forces from Beirut to Tunis, and Arafat, who met with him on a steady basis, always regarded the ties with the US as a central goal. A tangible insurance policy, paralleling the PLO's ties with the USSR and the Eastern bloc.
In the 'eighties the Americans maintained a direct link with Abu-Iyad, that also included preliminary feelers after the eruption of the intifada in 1987, in an attempt to examine the possibility of diplomatic negotiations between the PLO and Israel. These ties became public in the meetings between Robert Pelletreau, the US ambassador in Tunis, and Yasser Abu-Rabo, the deputy of Naif Hawatma, the head of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The American contacts were conducted in parallel to the Palestinian ties with France and security services in additional European countries. In 1990 the US announced the suspension of the dialogue with the PLO, that was already public, in the wake of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Arafat's support for Saddam Hussein. Despite this, the contacts continued, and upon the conclusion of the Gulf War and at the time of the preparations for the Madrid Conference the tie once again became public.
The secret negotiations conducted at Oslo between Israel and the PLO caught the CIA by surprise. Even if the Americans knew about some of the meetings, they certainly were not aware of their scope and significance, and they only got on the horse after the fundamental agreements had been reached. The main importance of the story, however, lies specifically in the consequences for the relationship between the Palestinian national movement and the US, consequences that, as far as Arafat is concerned, make an appearance at present as well. The connection with the CIA fulfills a number of goals for him, at this time as well. This is a connection that also guards his life as the head of the Palestinian national movement against the radical elements in Fatah and in Libya, in Iran, and in Iraq. Arafat understood that he needs a new intelligence arrangement. He began to search for this, and he also found it.
Problems in Concentrating
Upon the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, for the first time Arafat received vital legitimacy from Israel, and with it American support. Israel presented him as a partner and ally in the war against the Hamas terror. The seal of approval received even stronger validity in the Cairo agreement in May 1994, that permitted the entry of the Authority to Gaza and Jericho, and later to the cities of the [West] Bank as well. Before the entry of the forces, security matters were clarified, such as the scope and structure of the Palestinian police. The entire process created exaggerated Israeli expectations. In practice, Arafat did not really take control of the Hamas and Fatah, who were active in the field.
Rather, Arafat's entry to Gaza was also accompanied by a change in the format that had been determined in the agreements. Instead of establishing an administration of the different policing mechanisms that would command the forces, Arafat began to direct the police in a centralized manner. The number of the mechanisms and their function changed; thus came into being the General Intelligence apparatus, under the command of Amin al-Hindi, from Black September; the Preventive Security apparatus, that was headed by Mohammed Dahlan in the Gaza Strip and Jibril Rajub in the [West] Bank; and a string of additional organizations such as Force 17, the Presidential Guard, the Special Security, and the National Security - the Palestinian army, that is based primarily on members of the Palestine Liberation Army that was deployed in Arab countries. Arafat directly controlled each apparatus and intervened in what happened in each, to the smallest details.
Upon the outbreak of the recent riots, the intelligence officers of the Central Command, who briefed IDF forces in Bitunia to the west of Ramallah, warned that the Palestinians received training in anti-terror measures and sniper marksmanship from foreign experts in the tent camp near Jibril Rajub's new headquarters. It can hardly be said that, as far as the IDF isconcerned, that this is an exceptional development. Already in 1994, upon the entry to the territories of the Authority's forces, Israel accepted this pattern. The goal was strengthening Arafat against the Hamas.
Dr. Boaz Ganor, from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliyah, explains: "At the basis of the conception was the idea of reliance upon the Palestinian intelligence capabilities, especially since in '93 they were vastly superior to our [intelligence capabilities] as occupiers. This is a system that lives within its people, is familiar with it, and receives cooperation from it."
And so thousands of Palestinian police found themselves receiving American training, along with courses by Scotland Yard, courses by the French police, and the police forces of Germany, Austria, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries. Even different frameworks of the UN have, since 1993, been providing training courses, that extend from days to weeks. The training courses include responding to disturbances of public order, the war against terror, interrogations and questioning, administrative police courses, and more. Added to these courses are more advanced and complex topics, of an intelligence nature.
An Israeli intelligence source explains: "On the part of Israel, there was an oral understanding with the Palestinians, that was based on the need to build a Palestinian police force. Everything was conducted under the general understanding that subjects that could trouble the State of Israel would not be taught within the context of the courses." This was conducted, according to the source, with full transparency to the foreign countries. "The problem was never the very holding of one course or another, but with its content. This was a troubling subject, to which objections were raised by the GSS and by the other organizations, in a specific manner. This was always perceived as a potential threat, but, to the best of my recollection, it never constituted a causus belli. Israel, at the most, expressed its displeasure and moved along."
The CIA, that conducted some of the courses, also was not free of its own interests. "From my knowledge of the way in which intelligence organizations work," a military source relates, "the central consideration on the part of the foreign organizations is the recruitment of agents, and during the course of these training sessions they undoubtedly recruited whoever they could." The source cites as an especially problematic example the training courses that were given in Egypt and in Jordan. "As far as Egypt is concerned, mainly Gaza, but also the [West] Bank, is its front yard, and they have a double motive to know what is happening in the Authority, and through it to also know what is happening in Israel. The Authority's security cooperation with Egypt unquestionably exceeds the relations with other Arab countries. There are clear indications that people from the Egyptian intelligence are currently present in the territories, and closelyfollow the recent riots."
The Element of Penetration
Despite the original Israeli conception of the Palestinian Authority's [security/intelligence] apparatuses, as if their goal is to fight terror, it was clear, already from the beginning, that the main efforts of the apparatuses were directed to the locating Israeli penetration of their services and the disrupting of the Israeli capability in this context. As is known, old habits die slowly, and decades of activity against Israel in the territories and outside them established a pattern of limited cooperation with Israel. There was no reason why Amin al-Hindi, who for decades had waged the war of minds with the GSS and the Mossad (and maintained for Fatah contacts with the foreign intelligence organizations) would smoothly make the transition to a format of cooperation with Israel; and also for the heads of the other apparatuses, such as Rajub, Dahlan, and others, there is no natural tendency like this, in spite of the Israeli expectations. Additionally, the continued operation of agents in the areas of the Authority after the agreement, and various events, such as the discovery of listening devices attributed to Israel in the headquarters of the one who was supposed to head the Palestinian police, General Nasser Yusuf, did not contribute to a change of this atmosphere.
Between 1994 and 1996 the appearance was created of intensive cooperation, that concealed great hostility and suspicion. In some instances, the Palestinians agreed to act in accordance with Israeli information, but such information led to a chain reaction on the Palestinian side, that had the goal, first and foremost, of revealing how the information had leaked to the GSS. "The instances of the transferal of information or independent Palestinian prevention [of terror] activity are extremely rare, and they happened, for example, on the eve of the last elections in Israel, when the apparatus of Mohammed Dahlan prevented the infiltration of large explosive charges for the purpose of conducting a major terrorist attack in the center of Israel," a security source explains.
The suicide bombings in February and March '96 in Jerusalem and in Ashkelon were a turning point in the Palestinian policy. The attacks also constituted a turning point in terms of involvement by CIA operatives, who saw how public opinion in Israel, and Binyamin Netanyahu's chances of rising to power, cast doubt upon the continuation of the diplomatic process.
After Peres, by means of his emissaries, had attained the April understandings, that included consent to outlawing the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, the American intelligence entered the picture once again, this time in a more active manner than ever. The first stage was the entry by Stan Moskowitz, the former CIA station chief in Tel Aviv, into the details of the security contacts and the sendingof representatives of the intelligence agency to accompany the activity of the Preventive Security and General Intelligence people in Gaza and in Jericho. Meir Dagan, the head of Netanyahu's security staff: "It is my assessment that the involvement did not stem from a specific and clear decision, but rather from a gradual development. The United States always wanted to know what was really happening, but there is a well-known process of the dragging of intelligence organizations into a crisis. This is a slow process, that receives gradual legitimization by the relevant parties."
First and foremost, the CIA functioned as a conduit for the passing of personal messages to Arafat. "Until then, if information about a senior individual in Hamas had accumulated in Israel, Israel would have addressed Arafat with the information and requested clarifications," relates a senior security personage. "Arafat would say that the information does not exist or is groundless, or 'I checked, and there is nothing to it.' The American involvement began a process of the active clarification and determination of information details in the field."
Rajub as a Chatterbox
Moskowitz also played a part in the deep involvement of the CIA in that period. Moskowitz, who was his sixties at the time, is described as someone who had free access to the Rais [leader]'s chamber, and as having an open line to the head of the GSS, the Mossad, and the IDF Intelligence Branch, and to the Prime Minister's Bureau. In that period the Americans also began to undertake the training of Arafat's Presidential Guard, with courses for the protection of individuals, and improving intelligence capability by means of courses and visits to the Agency headquarters in Virginia. American sources report of visits by apparatus heads Rajub and Dahlan to the American headquarters of the CIA and other intelligence agencies such as the FBI.
In addition to the training of the forces, courses were also given in the organization of databases, along with improving the capability of employing advanced surveillance and photography methods, and the supply of sophisticated listening equipment, such as computer programs capable of monitoring a large number of frequencies. The CIA also supplied the Palestinians with advanced radio scanners, that could also be used to listen in on the frequencies of the Israeli security forces, and additional intelligence equipment.
As the process continued, CIA liaison offices were established on the ground in Hebron, Ramallah, and Shechem. The construction of the Preventive Security compound in Bitunia, next to Ramallah, was completed at the beginning of the year, with the activity of the [Preventive Security] service transferred there from Jericho. This compound, that was built with the aid of the American intelligence agency, is called "the Pentagon" in the Palestinian street. Palestinian sources report of an additional compound of the General Security, that also will be constructed in the Ramallah area.
A CIA officer also is resident in Jerusalem, in the offices of the American consulate in East Jerusalem. This officer conducts tours of Bethlehem and of "seam" [= 1967 border] areas, while disguised in traditional Islamic garb, and conducts meetings on a steady basis with Palestinian security and political elements.
In January 1997 the CIA involvement acquires a new dimension, when Moskovitz is involved in the formulation of the security appendix to the Hebron agreement, and is directly in charge of the contacts between the Palestinians and the Israelis. He is supervised by Tenet, then only the deputy of John Deutsch, the ousted head of the intelligence agency. Inspired by the agreement, the CIA began to conduct additional activities, such as counting, at Israel's request, the Hamas members imprisoned in the Palestinian prisons and supervision of the lists of Palestinian policemen.
In July '97 the American envoy for Middle East affairs Dennis Ross conducts a low-profile security visit, that leads to a clash between him and Netanyahu's people, on the background of the demand for action against the Hamas infrastructure. When Ross insisted, "You, too, were not successful in contending with the Hamas," a senior member of the Netanyahu government replied: "You need a terrorist to deal with a terrorist." Despite the difficult atmosphere, contacts continued for the creation of a formula for the continued transferal of area to the Palestinians, in exchange for determined war against the Hamas (the code word for the arrest of activists, on demand), supervision of continued arrests, the locating of laboratories for explosives, and the arrest of senior wanted [terrorists].
In operational terms, the security cooperation began to acquire a new form. A senior Israeli official at the time relates that Ross's visit "led to the creation of a veto mechanism, according to which if the Palestinians want to release Hamas members, the names would be given to the CIA, who had the right of veto over the release. In parallel, we conducted a quiet dialogue and updating with the Americans, with the Palestinians being aware of this." In addition, the American agents went to the prisons to confirm in the field the continued imprisonment of the wanted [terrorists], cooperation that eventually led in practice to the elimination of the military arms of the Hamas and of the Islamic Jihad.
They Shot the Sheriff
A week after the terrorist attack at Cafe Apropo, the CIA people came to Bitunia to examine the garage in which the explosion occurred, as a result of which Muhi ed-Din esh-Sharif, who was known as the Engineer no. 2, was killed. GSS people also were seen beside them. In the end, a joint version was established, that esh-Sharif was murdered with a pistol by I'adal Awadallah, as a result of financial and tactical disagreements. Hamas, of course, denied this, but the episode was a major embarrassment for the movement.
The CIA-inspired security cooperation was also noticeable in the capture of two members of the Tzurif gang that carried out the terrorist attack at Apropo. Jamal Alhud and Abd-el-Rahman Janimat fled to Hebron after the attack, and were arrested by members of the Preventive Security. The two were transferred for some reason from the Hebron prison to the one in Shechem, and close to the village of Hawara IDF special units took control of the vehicle and captured them without opening fire. Following the arrest, demonstrations by Hamas activists against Rajub were held in Hebron. Rajub himself denied that the arrest was the result of any cooperation with Israel, and claimed that the pair were transferred to Shechem in order to stand trial. An Israeli security source describes: "Unrelated to the diplomatic contacts, during the course of the entire period, there was noticeable determined action by the Palestinian security services, under supervision by CIA people, that included action against preachers identified with the Hamas in the mosques, and continued arrests of members of the movement."
As a result of this activity, I'adl and Imad Awadallah, the heads of the military arm of Hamas, were eliminated by a Yamam [special antiterrorist police unit] force at a farm near Hebron, in a region under Israeli control, and in December 1999 the Hamas members Iad Batat and Nadr Musala, also senior members of the military arm, were killed in a clash with Duvdevan soldiers in the village of Bet-Awa, southwest of Hebron.
Sheikh Abd el-Hakim el-Masalama, a member of the political leadership of the Islamic Jihad, who currently sits on the joint committee with Fatah, said this week: "There is no doubt that the security cooperation under American inspiration had harsh consequences for the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The most prominent expression of this policy is the Palestinian Authority's policy of political arrests, that was done under American pressure. Beyond this, our people encountered American agents in the prisons, when they came to check that they were under arrest. It is clearly known among the Ramallah people that an entire floor in the 'Pentagon' is used by the CIA people."
In November '97 Tenet appeared before the Conference of Jewish Organizations and shared his feelings with those present: "There is a single ray of light on the background of the terrorist attacks in the past two years in Israel, and that is the contribution by the US to the work of the sides in facilitating the dialogue and security cooperation, especially inthat it caused the Palestinians to fulfill their obligations."
The entry of the organization into direct action aroused criticism in Israel. "Until the entry of the CIA, we were forced to contend with low-level State Department reports regarding the construction in the settlements," relates one of Netanyahu's people, "until this construction became the central dynamics between the secret services. Censuses of mobile homes became the central focus of interest by the CIA people, and the subject also arose in the security discussions." In another instance the Arab weekly that is published in Paris, Alwatan el-Arab, claimed that Netanyahu even demanded the firing of Moskovitz, claiming that he was pro-Palestinian. The report resulted in denials from Jerusalem.
Despite the criticism, the outing by Tenet and Moskovitz came about, in all places, in the Wye talks, when the two were present for the first time publicly in the rooms of the discussions, and accompanied the negotiations during the nine days they were held. The presence of the two, who came after a direct invitation from Clinton and the involvement of the Agency in the resolution of the disagreement between Israel and the Authority, stirred up much criticism in the American media and in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that oversees the organization. The head of the committee, Senator Richard Shelby, defined the role of the CIA as a nuisance, and voiced the opinion of many who thought that there was a problem in the CIA's being about to be involved up to its neck in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Melvin Goodman, a professor of international security and who is close to high-level American security circles, describes the problematics: "Clinton initiates moves, and the Senate goes along with him willingly in order to assure the attainment of a diplomatic agreement. This is a matter for statesmen, and not for secret services. The CIA has defined tasks of information gathering, the recruitment of agents, and the writing of situation assessments. Tenet, who is no more than a skilled Democratic politician who spent most of his time on Capitol Hill, did not know about the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and now he 'cooks up' situation assessments for Clinton."
After the outbreak of the latest clashes with the Palestinian Authority, Tenet and O'Connor were asked to save the diplomatic process and their role as referees in this game, so far without results. The terrorist attacks in the past week merely attest to the inability of the CIA people, who are not successful in calming the arena. In practice, the Agency people are still in the field, but their function is not tangibly expressed in a calming of the situation.
Several months after King Hussein's death last year and the crowning of Abdullah, American security sources reported a strengthening of regional cooperation in the war against terror. The sources, who briefed senior American reporters, proudly spoke of the creation of a regional regime ofeffective cooperation between Jordan, Israel, the Palestinians, and Egypt under the aegis of the CIA against the fundamentalist elements in the Islamic world. A senior Israeli political figure, who is familiar with the CIA involvement in the current conflict, said this week: "In a situation of military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the danger of an expansion of the conflict, it is preferable for Tenet and his buddies, and the can of worms that accompanies them, to direct their calming efforts to other places."
The American embassy stated that it does not respond to matters related to the CIA.
p. 55 "This is a matter for statesmen, and not for secret services." George Tenet praying at the Western Wall
p. 57 O'Connor became the sole liaison conduit. The offices of the CIA in the American embassy (photograph: Ornah Itamar)
p. 59 "It is known that an entire floor in the 'Pentagon' is used by the CIA." Rajub's headquarters
p. 60 Training of foreign intelligence services. The training camp of Rajub's people (photograph: Rafi Kotz)
By Ariel Natan Pasko
The 28th of Iyar - in the Hebrew calendar - is celebrated as Yom Yerushaliyim - Jerusalem Day - the anniversary of the victory in the Six-Day War, the liberation and unification of Jerusalem. But another, lesser-known day is also celebrated by some, the 29th of Iyar, Yom Hevron - Hebron Day - the anniversary of the liberation of Hebron. They fall on May 30th and 31st this year.
Recently someone wrote an article entitled, "'Hebronizing' Jerusalem". Others have thrown around the accusation of "bringing Hebron into Jerusalem". The central theme of all these articles and slogans is that Jews shouldn't live in all parts of Jerusalem. There are places in Jerusalem these people believe, where Jews shouldn't go, like the liberated eastern side of the city. Imagine, Jerusalem the city Jews have loved for over 3,000 years and pined to return to for almost 2,000 years. Thus, those of this persuasion are against Jews renewing neighborhoods, moving back to places they lived before being expelled in the 1948 War of Independence, re-establishing a loving connection with every nook and cranny of the City of Gold, the City of G-D.
That's the crux of the problem. Recently some people, only a small minority of the Jewish people, have been working very hard to convince the rest, that 'settlement' activity in eastern Jerusalem is dangerous and have begun using the analogy of Hebron to make their point. They claim that letting 'small groups' of Jews move into neighborhoods with Arabs, such as the Jews have done in Hebron, in Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - endangers the unity of Jerusalem and hurts the security situation. They fail to mention how important such areas are historically, culturally, and spiritually to the Jewish people. Areas such as the neighborhood around Shimon HaTzaddik's tomb - Simon the Righteous was a high priest and great scholar during the early second temple period (Ethics of the Fathers 1:2) - or areas on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount. But the connection between Jerusalem and Hebron goes much further.
The analogy of 'small groups' in any case is inaccurate. In Hebron for example, the media always tells you that there are 500 Jews living among 100,000 or 120,000 Arabs. NOT TRUE! What they 'forget' to tell you is that the population figure for the Arabs, is for the greater metropolitan area of Hebron, surrounding villages - suburbs - and all. If you include all the Jews living in the same areas - Kiryat Arba, and the Hebron Hills towns and villages - there are close to 10,000 Jews living there, or about 10% of the total population, hardly a small enclave as portrayed by some. If Jews hadn't been driven out of Hebron several times over the centuries, their population would have been much greater. And why shouldn't Jews live there? Hebron is a city that the Jewish people have had a special connection to for over 3,500 years, longer in fact than with Jerusalem.
Hebronis first mentioned in the book of Genesis (13:18), where Abraham is found pitching his tent. Later when Sara, his wife, dies - in Kiryat Arba that is Hebron, Genesis 23:2 - he buys a field and the burial cave of Machpela for her (Genesis 23:9, 17-20). In fact all the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and - three of the four - mothers, Sara, Rebecca, and Leah lived there, and were buried there in the Caveof Machpela. It was so important to Jacob, that seeing his end nearing, he called his 12 sons to gather around him, and promise that when he dies, they will leave Egypt to bring his body back to Hebron for burial (Genesis 49:29-31). What nation has such a clear link to its progenitors, where they lived, died, and are buried?
Hebron continued to be an important and holy site to Jews. In fact, so much so that one of Jacob's great-grandsons - Levi's grandson and Kehat's son - was named Hebron(Numbers 3:19). Moses and Aaron had an Uncle Hebron. After the exodus from Egypt, when Moses sent the 12 spies to check out the land, one of them Calev, took a little detour to Hebron to pray at the family tomb - the Cave of Machpela(Numbers 13:22). Later, King David established Hebron as his first capital city. "In Hebron he reined over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reined thirty three years over all Israel and Judah" (Samuel II 5:5). Clearly Hebron and Jerusalem are intertwined in the Jewish people's historical memory.
Jerusalem becomes forever after the Jew's capital city. But Hebron is not forgotten. So important is it, in fact, that when King Herod - near the end of the second temple period, goes on a building campaign - building fortress-palaces for himself such as Masada - and rehabbing the Temple in Jerusalem, he sends out workers to rebuild the structure around the family tomb in Hebron. To this day, if you check out the type of stone-work at the Western Wall and compare it to the Ma'arat HaMachpela - Cave of Machpela also know as the Cave of Patriarchs- in Hebron, you will see that they are identical. The fates of Jerusalem and Hebron are truly intertwined.
The Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 68 ce. After the failed Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman Empire(135 ce), any semblance of Jewish political independence in Judea ended. Jews were then forbidden to live in Jerusalem; hundreds of thousands were killed and many were dragged off as slaves, the land was desolated. Later, Jews returned to live in Jerusalem. Through a host of occupying empires; first the Byzantine, then the Persian, Arab, Crusader, Muslim, and finally Ottoman-Turks, Jews continued to live in their homeland as an occupied people. Jews lived throughout the land, but Jerusalem and Hebron, Tiberias and Safed held special importance to them during the medieval period.
After the expulsion of Jews from Spain(1492), Hebron's Jewish population began to grow; Spanish Jewish exiles resettling in Hebron became evident by the beginning of the 16th century. In the second half of the 16th century, you find the rising power of the Hebron, on the one hand, and the decline of Safed as a spiritual and economic center, on the other. Toward the end of the 16th and at the beginning of the 17th centuries some of the most important kabbalists - Jewish mystics - of Safed moved to Hebron. Kabbala and mysticism made a deep impression on the Jewish life of Hebron. By the 17th-18th centuries, a large flourishing community lived in Hebron, whose main economy was grape growing and wine production. But the Arab-Muslim hordes, as they so often would do, went on a religiously inspired rampage - Islam forbids wine or any alcohol - and they killed, forcibly converted, or drove out many from the Jewish community. But Jews continued to live there, eventually recovering, and by the end of the 19th century, the Jewish population reached 1,500. There was even a hospital in Hebronby 1895.
With the outbreak of World War I, young men were conscripted into the Turkish army. The channels of financial assistance from Europe were blocked, hunger and plagues decimated the population, and Hebronwas almost entirely emptied of its Jewish inhabitants. After the British captured Hebron in 1918, and with the war's end, Jews began to move back to Hebronagain. By 1929, the Jewish population rose to 700 - out of a population of 18,000.
But in the summer of 1929, Arab riots gripped the Palestine Mandate. Jews were attacked and killed all over; Jerusalem and Hebron were hard hit. The Arab attack in Hebron was well planned and its goal well defined, the elimination of the Jewish settlement of Hebron. The rioters did not spare women, children, or the aged; the British didn't intervene. Sixty-seven Jews were murdered, 60 wounded, the community was destroyed, synagogues razed, and Torah scrolls burned. However, those who survived did not surrender and 35 families went back to resettle in 1931. The community slowly began to rebuild itself, but everything was again destroyed in the upheavals of 1936- the Arab riots of 1936-39 lasted three years. On the night of April 23, 1936, the British authorities evacuated the Jewish inhabitants of Hebron. The Jewish settlement of Hebron thus ended and only one inhabitant remained there until 1947.
After the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Jordan occupied Judeaand Samaria, what they named, the West Bank, including the eastern part of Jerusalem and Hebron. For 19 years, until the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews were denied access to their first and second holiest places, the Western Wall and Temple Mount area in the old city of Jerusalem, and the Caveof Machpela or Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. When the Jews came to visit Hebron after the war, they found the old Jewish quarter destroyed and the Jewish cemetery almost obliterated. According to the 1967 census, conducted by Israel, Hebron had 38,309 inhabitants, all of whom (except 106 Christians) were Muslim. But Jews again looked forward to resettling their beloved Hebron.
This re-settlement effort encountered opposition though, from both the local Arabs and from official Israeli sources. The re-settlers had to fight for official recognition and the right to build a Jewish township in Hebron.
David Ben Gurion - the first Israeli prime minister - wrote from his home at Sdeh Boker, on Jan. 25, 1970: "However, don't forget: the beginnings of Israel's greatest king were in Hebron, the city to which came the first Hebrew [Abraham] about eight hundred years before King David, and we will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon. This will also be a blessing to the Arab neighbors. Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem's sister."
Finally in 1970, the Israeli government decided to allow Jews to live there officially and began building 250 apartments on an empty hilltop, which became the Hebron neighborhood of Kiryat Arba. Erev Rosh HaShana - before the Jewish New Year - 1971, Jews moved from the Hebron Military Compound to the newly founded Kiryat Arba.
The struggle by Jews to live in Hebron has continued for centuries. Empire after empire conquered the Land of Israel, expelled or murdered Jews, and made life extremely difficult for those who survived. But Jews did survive, and returned to their homeland. In 1948 they re-established their political independence after nearly 2,000 years, declaring the State of Israel. Unfortunately, not all of their land was liberated in 1948; that had to wait until the 1967 Six-Day War. Jews have always returned to Jerusalem, their holiest city, and the site of their temple. Jews have always returned to Hebron, their second holiest city, and the burial place of the Jewish people's founding Fathers and Mothers.
These two holy cities have been intertwined in Jewish history almost since the beginning. You see, those who have said, "Hebron is coming to Jerusalem" got it backwards. Just as the Israeli government over the years has devoted special budgets to help develop Jerusalem, to re-settle Jews in Jerusalem, and to beautify it, something befitting the Capital of the State of Israel and Judaism's holiest city; so too should the Israeli government devote special budgets to help develop Hebron, to re-settle Jews in Hebron, and to beautify it, something befitting the former Capital of the Kingdom of Israel, and Judaism's second holiest city.
As David Ben Gurion said, "Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem's sister!"
Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst &consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations &Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko
(c) 2003/5763 Pasko
by Emanuel A. Winston
Mid East Analyst & Commentator
When G-d tested Avraham with the sacrifice of Isaac, his only son with Sarah, his descending hand with the knife was stopped by the angel of G-d. The sacrificial death of Isaac would have meant that his son Jacob (later named Israel) would not be born and the entire history of the Israelites, the Jewish people would never have been.
It would appear that both Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and America'sPresident George W. Bush are to be tested in a similar way. The question is: Will either stay their hand with a knife designed for ritual slaughter, poised at the throat of the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people?
Many counted on the once strong and valiant Sharon NOT to accept the role of the ritual slaughterer of Israel. We also thought that Bush had broken with the anti-Jewish bias of his family - Father and Grandfather and become his own man.
This will not be the first time in history when good men either became weak or turned evil as they assumed their build-up to power was their own doing. This is particularly true when you look closely at who is near them, whispering advice.
Will G-d stay the hands of Sharon and Bush before they succeed in sacrificing Israel, driven by their own instincts for self-serving political success?
We are told as it is written in the Torah that G-d promised the Jewish people that: "I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee".
Slowly, but too surely, the great civilizations who came to conquer Israel and enslave the Jewish people have disappeared. Will each, in their own way, succeed in bring a curse upon themselves and those of their nations who enabled the sacrifice of Israel to proceed?
I cannot help but feel that the gathering of the nations against Israel portends a Global Shock in retribution. In every war, they always came with religious symbols and banners to conquer the Jewish nations, certain that their god was on their side.
As it is said at the end of prayers: "Do not fear sudden terror, nor the destruction of the wicked when it comes. Continue a scheme, but it will be foiled, conspire a plot, but it will not materialize". (1)
The nations which are massive in land and numerous in people (6 Billion in the world today), seem to fear the return of the Jews to their ancestral Homeland. There is a prevailing belief that the G-d of the Jews will make His Presence known and felt. The Muslim Arabs do not want this; the Europeans do not want this. Can there be any other, less obvious reason for these populous nations to focus upon a minuscule nation with a Jewish population of 5 million - other than fear of their re-assembly around the ancient Holy of Holies? This planet is populated with 6 Billion people, so what could they fear from 5 Million Jews - unless the Jews can bring a very Big Friend to the meeting.
Think about it. In each country where the Jews landed after the great dispersal by the Romans in 70 C.E., they became a valuable and yet unwanted people. They landed penniless and repressed by the local clergy. But, soon they built a strong community that helped each other, as well as their host country, and they prospered. This was viewed with envy, fear and hatred. They were valuable because they lubricated the wheels of commerce. Kings and the aristocracy wanted them so the business of the country could thrive. They were heavily taxed and the money that they could loan the establishment was often never repaid.
At the same time they were unwanted because they brought their One Invisible G-d who endangered the power of the local priests - who complained to the King and the aristocracy. Eventually, the Jews would be set upon with violence to calm the peasants and finally they were expelled - again and again and again. This always provided a short term profit as the property of the Jews was confiscated, debts canceled, businesses taken over. The Jews and what they had built with their industry was always an irresistible lure for conquest and confiscation. All of the Others did well - the King, the aristocracy and the Church in the short term. But always, after the Jews left, the energy of the Jews was missed and the country descended into poverty. They all wanted the work of the Jews but, they did not want the Jews' One G-d, His Commandments with their restrictions, and any appeal to this lifestyle for their followers.
Take this to mean that, neither the Muslim Arabs nor the Europeans will allow Israel to exist a moment more than necessary. They are all closing ranks and will press for a final assault when America agrees to look the other way.
Bush and his Secretary of State Colin Powell with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations (U.N.), the European Nations (E.U.) and Russia who together comprise the "Quartet" designing this suicidal "Road Map" may offer other reasons but, underlying their collective bias is just plain fear.
The Jews brought the One G-d into sight by agreeing to His Covenant with all its restrictions on how one should live. The Jews rejoiced at accepting these Ten Commandments and the 613 Mitzvot (Good Deeds) which the Others found to be an intolerable burden.
It was not, however, a welcome Covenant for the Others. They reluctantly accepted the One G-d, but NOT the Covenant. The priest cults promptly revised it and offered "better", easier ways to this One G-d. Since that time, Jews have been persecuted with the 'Others' insisting that the Jews abandon their Covenant with G-d, all its restrictions and join them in their easier or 'superior' path to G-d. To have fully accepted the Covenant, they would have become Jews and this they would not do! The Jews refused each one, each time and were thus hunted and persecuted almost to extinction. Even among the Jews, there were leaders who thought they could abandon the 613 Commandments accepted by Moses and the Jewish people. They soon fell by the wayside after they displayed their arrogance and belief only in themselves.
Recall how King Saul disobeyed the orders of G-d to destroy all of the Amalekites and not take any of the spoils of that war. But, King Saul took pity on their King Agag, let him live, therefore, the Amalekites of each generation have risen up against the Jewish people. On G-d's Command the Prophet Samuel (Shmuel) stripped away Saul's cloak of Kingship. (2), saying: "Why did you not obey the voice of Hashem?"...Hashem said, "Go and destroy the sinner, the Amalekites and wage war with them until you have exterminated them....rebelliousness is like the sin of sorcery, and verbosity is like the iniquity of idolatry; because you have rejected the world of G-d, He has rejected you as king!" Thus we now see Arik Sharon, like Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin before him, avoiding the destruction of today's Amalekites, will soon to be stripped of his cloak of leadership.
Doing good for a time is NOT mitigating when you turn bad, particularly if you have been gifted with a chance to lead and then you disobey G-d's Orders.
Arik Sharon defended his nation of Israel very well but, now he is led by the Bush family and all those who wish Israel and her G-d to be liquidated or transferred into their hands - be they Muslims or Others. I believe that both Sharon and Bush have entered that sphere where G-d has drawn a circle, a line that must not be crossed, namely: "I will bless those who bless thee; and I will curse those who curse thee".
Neither Sharon nor Bush should be allowed to continue their roles of leadership. They bring a curse upon their nations, if the people do not soon reject them. Each seems to have given up his soul and is now controlled by something dark, malevolent which they cannot help in themselves.
The Bush family has deep ties with the Saudi Royal family, despite their active roles in funding and promoting Terror against America and Israel. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 Terrorists were Saudis. This alliance with Evil is NOT mitigated by America's need for oil. Not only does the Bush family still protect the Saudis but take their instructions to flood Israel with today's Amalekites, now the Arab Palestinians.
Despite George Bush's proclamation that he will fight Global Terror, he maintains America's close connections with the Saudi Kingdom. Clearly, the selective process to define evil and terror is linked to money, corporate and family fortunes. Certain industries are like an Ole' Boys' Club where they all know each other and have certain loyalties that exceed loyalties totheir own nation. Money and power has its own gods with their own initiations and ceremonies to strengthen the sub-natural bonds of men who do not owe allegiance to G-d's Word nor do their nations. If that were not enough, Bush has adopted the Palestinian cause - even to the point of having America's CIA once again train proven Terrorists with improved technique, technology and use of weapons.
Strange, isn't it? President Bush's itinerary for his 6 day trip May 29-June 4, began in the very same places where ritual slaughter of the Jews actually occurred in Auschwitz and Birkenau, 2 of the Nazi Death Camps which slaughtered the most number of Jews - and then moved to Evian, France where the "Final Solution of the Jewish Solution" was accepted as inevitable when President Roosevelt led the meeting that decided the Jews in Europe would not be rescued until the end of WW2.
Next, Bush moved to Sharm al-Sheik in Egypt where Bush met with Arab leaders to pledge the fate of Israel (a meeting from which Sharon was deliberately excluded). Then Bush moves to Aqaba where he will accept Sharon's surrender of the State of Israel. Perhaps it would be best if Sharon were stopped at the border from entering Aqaba but, once having done so, he should be refused re-entry into the Israel, having violated the Likud Party platform to prevent the formation of a Palestinian State within Israel. This is why Sharon won an overwhelming mandate from the Israeli people in the January 2002 election.
This hypocrisy is painfully clear. Bush must be voted out of office in 2004.
Sharon has shown that he is no longer Sharon, the Warrior, but rather a feeble leader who allows foreign interests to guide and rule over him. This is also a government which must fall because it does NOT follow the Word of G-d to "settle the land from the River to the Sea". The Sharon, the Prime Minister, has lost his moral compass and capitulates to acts of self-destruction when speaking for the nation and people of Israel.
Like Saul, Sharon's cloak of authority must be pulled from his shoulders because he has sacrificed his worthiness to be a leader of the Jewish people.
1. Jewish morning prayers - end of the 'Amidah'
2. 1 Samuel 15:1-34
The Jerusalem Post, April 25, 2003
ABBAS' BURDEN OF PROOF
By Caroline Glick
There was a distinct feeling of deja vu from 1994 in the air this week. Back then, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak saved the international community from embarrassment by physically forcing Yasser Arafat to sign the Gaza-Jericho agreement on live television. This week, Mubarak sent the commander of his intelligence service to repeat the performance. General Omar Sulieman came to Ramallah on Tuesday and literally forced Arafat to meet with his deputy, Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, and accept Abbas's cabinet.
As in 1994, the US and Europe heaved a collective sigh of relief at Egypt's manhandling of Arafat. The question is whether Arafat's seeming capitulation now will prove as fraudulent as his behavior then.
When last June US President George W. Bush called on the Palestinian people to reject the regime of PLO chief Arafat and to elect leaders "not compromised by terror," he underscored the necessity of a complete overhaul of the way the Palestinians perceive their national identity. No longer could the Palestinians conceive of their nationalism as something that must necessarily supplant Jewish nationalism in order to reach fruition. Rather, a new group of leaders was called on to rise up who would understand that the realization of Palestinian aspirations can come about only after the Palestinians accept Israel's right to exist as the Jewish state.
Today, responding to British pressure, the Bush administration stands poised to preside over new talks between the Israeli government and the PLO under the nascent leadership of Abbas, Arafat's deputy of four decades. The announced aim of these talks is the speedy establishment of a Palestinian state. But before any such talks begin it is vital that all concerned parties, but especially Israel, pause a moment and consider the reason for Oslo's abject failure.
The Oslo process was predicated on a set of false assumptions. The primary assumption was that the PLO, an organization founded with the expressed aim of destroying Israel, no longer sought our liquidation. Instead, what we found with Arafat's rejection of Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David is that the PLO had not changed. Not only would Arafat not yield the Palestinians' so-called "right of return," he also denied that the Jewish people have any historic and legal claims to Jerusalem. And for this stand he received a hero's welcome by the Palestinians upon his return to Gaza.
The Oslo process also posited that the PLO had forsworn its armed struggle for the destruction of the State of Israel. Yet Arafat himself formed the Aksa Martyr's Brigades, which... is still actively conducting terrorist operations against Israelis. Then, too, even before the PA launched its terrorist war against Israel in September 2000, its security services never made any sustained effort to destroy Hamas or Islamic Jihad terror infrastructures. To the contrary, PA military commanders like Col. Muhammad Dahlan embraced Hamas leaders... Already back in September 1996, Arafat showed that he had no compunction about using the weapons Israel had given him to fight terrorism to kill Israelis.
Finally, the Oslo agreement wrongly assumed that the PLO could be trusted to abide by its signed commitments to Israel. It could not. From allowing the free flow of sewage into riverbeds streaming into Israel to amassing arsenals of prohibited armaments to registering tens of thousands of vehicles stolen from Israelis, the PA breached every single commitment it made to Israel at the negotiating table.
Now we are told that all of this is pass, because under the Abbas's leadership the PA is reformed... Yet even if we accept the dubious assertion that Arafat is now neutralized, we still must ask ourselves the question, why would Abbas be any different? Abbas received his doctorate in 1983 from Moscow's Oriental University. There his dissertation topic was "The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism." In his dissertation... Abbas argued that, as opposed to what is commonly believed, "even fewer than a million Jews" were murdered by the Nazis. He further argued that the gas chambers were not used to kill people but rather to disinfect them and to burn bodies to prevent the flow of disease. Abbas claimed that Hitler did not decide to kill the Jews until David Ben-Gurion provoked him into doing so by "declaring war on the Nazis" in 1942. It was the Zionist conspirators, Abbas explains, who created the myth of six million murdered Jews in order to force the world to accept the establishment of Israel.
To date, neither the Israeli government nor Abbas's main champion, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, have asked him to retract his statements of Holocaust denial.
Then too, the US plan to base new rounds of negotiations with an Abbas-led PA on the Quartet's "road map" has never taken into account Abbas's expressed agreement with the maximalist Palestinian demands set out by Arafat at the Camp David summit. In an interview with Kul al Arab radio in August 2000, Abbas said of the Palestinian demand for the "right of return," "It is only natural that each refugee return to his home." In the same interview he also directly threatened Israel, stating that if Israel does not accept the Palestinian demands, "We will open up the records of the past and demand the country in which they live" that is, pre-1967 Israel. He also stated that he does not believe that Solomon's Temple ever existed in Jerusalem.
A year later, in an interview with the PA's Al-Ayyam newspaper, Abbas explained why any flexibility in the Palestinian demands toward Israel is unacceptable. "When a Palestinian says that we have missed an opportunity or a tempting or a beneficial offer [by rejecting Barak's offers at Camp David and Taba] it weakens the Palestinian position since [consequently] the Americans and Israelis say, 'Here is a Palestinian who agrees with our position.' Such things, unfortunately hurt the Palestinian position."
So much, then, for Abbas's alleged moderation. Then there are the claims that Abbas, unlike the rest of the PA, is untainted by corruption. Yet both Abbas and his Security Minister-designate Dahlan are some of the Palestinians most associated with PA corruption. Both men made a fortune from kick-backs from the cement monopolies in Gaza. For years, photographers were prohibited from taking pictures of the multi-million dollar villas in Gaza both men financed by bilking the public trough.
Abbas has also shown that his Soviet education rubbed off on him. Speaking of reforms in May 2002, Abbas explained that the reforms need to take economic power away from Palestinian civilians and transfer all power to the PA. Abbas argued then that a necessary reform would involve preventing international NGOs from distributing monies directly to Palestinian NGOs. All those funds, he argued, must be transferred to the PA, the sole organization responsible for deciding how it should be apportioned.
It is true that in some recent statements, Abbas has argued that the PA's terror war against Israel did not serve the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. But these sort of statements, while encouraging, should be seen for what they are: an argument about tactics, not strategy, certainly not morality. They are not denunciations of terrorism per se, only of terrorism that doesn't work. Together with his record as anti-Semitic ideologue of Palestinian terrorism, it ought to be enough to dampen anyone's enthusiasm for Abbas as an improvement over Arafat.
Learning the lessons of Oslo means placing the full burden of proof on the Palestinians. Abbas, not P.M. Ariel Sharon, must be challenged to show that he wishes to make concessions for peace. He must be challenged to recant his denials of the Holocaust. He must be called to accept that Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. He must forswear his insistence on the "right of return." He must be called on to accept publicly the existence of the Jewish people whose national, spiritual and political roots are in Jerusalem.
None of this is meant to humiliate Abbas. After all, no one believes that Sharon is humiliating himself when he says he will accept the establishment of a Palestinian state. Rather, all of this is necessary to ensure that not only will a peace deal be reached, but that the peace will hold. If we learned anything from the past three years it must be this: Unless the PA under Abbas is actually willing to abide by the commitments taken on by the PLO a decade ago, there is no point in cheering his rise, no reason to negotiate anything with him, and certainly no reason to sigh in relief that Arafat again has done Mubarak's bidding.
(c) The Jerusalem Post