ON ARAFAT AND THE PA
The Israeli government released this week, as part of its retaliatory actions against the Palestinian Authority for Monday's fatal terrorist bombing of a Kfar Darom school bus, a "White Paper" detailing 60 pages of PA/PLO non-compliance with the Oslo agreements. IMRA (Independent Media Review Analysis) publicized an electronic version of the paper (http://www.imra.org.il), after the government limited the distribution to hard copies alone. Excerpts from the document:
"The present wave of violence - led by the Fatah "Tanzim" - is essentially an attempt by Arafat to achieve, through violence, his maximal political goals: and avoid the choices necessary to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion... Instead of responsibility for the welfare of the governed we see him willing to use Palestinian suffering, including the death of children on the frontline (shamelessly exploited)...
"Ambivalent attitudes towards terrorism, and at times - outright complicity1/4 In the current crisis, P.A. Preventive Security [and] the "Tanzim" (militia) of Arafat's Fatah movement are actively involved in terrorist attacks...
"Incitement to Hatred - a key element in the current crisis has been the relentless effort to mobilize "the Arab masses and destabilize the region... This comes against the background of a broader pattern of education and public messages, which denigrate the Jews, and reject the possibility of compromise solutions.
"Criminal activities on a large scale - from car theft to excise tax fraud - take place under P.A. auspices.
"It should be recalled that the P.L.O. was not an "unknown quantity" when it came into the Peace Process: its institutional record - of terrorism, breach of agreements (with Arab governments - Jordan, Lebanon), and abuse of the "governed" in areas under its control - meant that extensive formal commitments were required - beginning with the pledges given to Prime Minister Rabin prior to the signing of the Declaration of Principles. These, however were often interpreted in a slippery way, or honored only when it was expedient for Arafat and the P.A. to do so.
"As early as Arafat's own speech on the White House lawn, on September 13, 1993, there were indications that for him, the Declaration of Principles [signed that day] did not necessarily signify an end to the conflict... The map of "Palestine" remained as it has always been for him, the entire territory of pre-1948 mandatory Palestine...
"On various occasions, Arafat continued to use the language of "Jihad"... a clear reference to the violent option. In a eulogy to a Palestinian official on June 15 1995 (at the height of the Oslo Process) he paid homage, among others, to two women terrorists and spoke of the children throwing stones as "the Palestinian Generals." Of special interest, in this context, are Arafat's repeated references to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, signed by the Prophet Muhammad with his Meccan enemies when they were still stronger than him, and then abandoned (as he conquered the city) within a much shorter time than the Treaty itself warranted. The first such reference made public came shortly after the signing of the Interim agreement, in the "Jihad" speech he made at the Mosque in Johannesburg (obtained by the Jewish community, and broadcast in Israel in May 1994) The reference to the Hudaybiyyah treaty re-surfaced in 1998, coupled with the warning that "all the options are open to the Palestinian people". (Orbit television, April 18, 1998). In essence, here was a rationale for accepting Oslo and the place at the negotiations, and the various commitments involved, not as the building blocks of trust and cooperation but as temporary measures, to be shed off when circumstances allow.
"In a speech (documented on video) to a forum in Nablus in January 1996 - again, at a time when the negotiations were going forward - Nabil Sha'ath described the strategy in terms which then sounded unrealistic, but now ring familiar: "We decided to liberate our homeland step-by-step... Should Israel continue - no problem. And so, we honor the peace treaties and non-violence... if and when Israel says "enough"... in that case it is saying that we will return to violence. But this time it will be with 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers and in a land with elements of freedom... If we reach a dead end we will go back to our war and struggle like we did forty years ago".
"[There is now within the PA] the collapse of all existing commitments, and the systematic creation - day by day, week by week - of an atmosphere of raw emotions, fear and hatred, in pursuit of a general Palestinian and Pan-Arab mobilization. All of this is not only in breach of the clearly stated commitments offered at the beginning of the Oslo process, but also in obvious, at times blatant, rejection of the understandings reached at the recent Sharm al-Sheikh Summit."
The document lists specific examples of Palestinian non-compliance in the areas of incitement and the perpetuation of hatred, violence against Israel, complicity in terrorism, the size of the Palestinian police, foreign relations, economic breaches (such as not paying debts to Israeli companies), invading and building in area C, where it has no legal jurisdiction, criminal activity under PA auspices, failure to protect holy places, and more.