Within a 24 hour span this past week it was reported that the Israeli government has concluded a secret deal with Syria to withdraw from the Golan Heights and that negotiations are taking place in secret with PLO officials over the final status of Jerusalem.
Both of these secret deals were widely reported in the Israeli media yet the Israeli government claimed the reports were "baseless." That means that either the government is lying, or journalists in different spheres of the Israeli print and electronic media are conspiring to smear the government. If these secret talks never took place, why can't these media outlets be able to confirm that they indeed did not take place? That shouldn't be too difficult to do since, according to the official response of the government, the reports are "baseless" thus they are based on nothing more than rumors.
When Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert accused the government of negotiating over the future status of Jerusalem in secret talks with the Palestinians, Minister of Internal Security Moshe Shachal simply denied the existence of such negotiations.
This is reminiscent of the early l980's in the U.S../.. Whenever journalists would discover that the information they gathered suggested that the Reagan-Bush White House was arming and training the Contras in Nicaragua, the White House simply denied it and no further questions were taken. The allegations were always referred to as "baseless" and "attempts to smear the White House." Just like in Israel today, The credibility of the journalists' reports were automatically deemed "unreliable." It seems only politicians are given the benefit of the doubt that they are telling the truth. Why should we believe Peres and Shahal rather than unbiased journalists?
The Israeli people haven't taken much notice but there have been many secret deals made in the name of "the peace process." Secrecy has become the hallmark of the current government's diplomacy, concealing many of the commitments it has given to the PLO, the U.S., Jordan, and Syria. The people of Israel must wake and realize that its government is making commitments to the Arabs and the U.S. before they are presented to the Israeli public. One of the best reasons to keep diplomacy secret is that if it is secret and nobody knows about it, it can't be criticized.
By the way, if anyone is counting, here are the secret deals which Rabin, Peres, Beilin, Shahal, Barak, Sarid and Ramon have concocted:
June 1991-Yossi Beilin delivers letter from Shimon Peres to PLO leaders in Cairo. Peres promises Arafat withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and a Palestinian state in return for using his influence to recruit Israeli Arab voters to Labor or its allies in next year's general elections. Arafat accepts the offer.
November l992-Rabin and Beilin begin secret and illegal talks with the PLO's Abu Ala in London under the auspices of the U.S. government. These, not the cover story of Ron Pundak and Yair Hirshfeld's chance meeting with PLO officials in Oslo, lead to the Oslo talks.
March l993-Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin authors a document called "The Palestine Interim Self-Government Agreement." The secret clauses of the agreement describe how the government will disarm West Bank settlers and force them to evacuate the settlements, and how a reduction of an IDF presence of the roads leading to their homes will be diminished which will cause the more passive residents to panic and sell their homes and flee. One section of Beilin's plan permitted Jews to be extradite to the Palestinian authority. In another section of the document, entitled "The Illegitimacy of Israeli Sovereignty Over Jerusalem" Israel agrees to the division of the Old City into cantons under UN control.
September l993-A few days before Rabin signs the recognition agreement with the PLO at a secret meeting on September 9th, a plan drawn called Metropolitan Jerusalem drawn up by former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek's Jerusalem Forum which calls for the division of the Old City into separate districts and recognition of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is approved by Rabin.
January l994 -Soon to be American Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk mediates between Rabin and Assad. Rabin agrees to a complete withdrawal from the Golan. Among the Israeli concessions are an elimination of its nuclear program and a Syrian military base on Israeli soil. In May l994 the Russian government information agency, RIA, wrote that "secret talks are talking place between Israel and the U.S. whose aim is the immediate breakup of settlements in the Golan."
May l994-French intellectual Mark Halter in the weekly Israeli newspaper Shishi reveals the existence of an official proposal from Shimon Peres offering the Vatican sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Peres first made the offer in September 10th, l993, three days before Rabin met Arafat in Washington. Arafat signed the Oslo Accords on condition that he accept the plan.
November l994-Israel signs a peace treaty with Jordan with secret clauses concerning water and Jerusalem. The agreement had been negotiated in London eight months before between Rabin, Hussein, and Lord Victor Mishcon, an attorney who represents much of British royalty as well as King Hussein. As part of the agreement Jordan would receive control over the Islamic Holy sites within a Vatican-controlled Old City.
January 1995-In Johannesburg Arafat admits that Peres secretly sent a letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister promising him control over political organizations in Jerusalem. This deal was consummated in Bucharest in a secret meeting between Peres and Arafat in late l994.
Secret diplomacy and agreements run counter to the basic tenets of a democratic state. If agreements are made in secret and concessions granted without the knowledge of the Israeli people, then the public is being deceived.
The most ironic part of this whole sordid nightmare is watching Peres, Beilin, Ramon, Sarid, Barak, and Shahal pointing their fingers at honorable rabbis, Zu Artzenu leaders, and people like Shmuel Crytron and declaring these people as grave threats to Israeli democracy. By whose definition? How did Labor get away with stealing the right away from the Israeli people to disagree with their elected government? Why does the Labor government insist on brutalizing (according to Haim Ramon's statement on Nightline, to crush) sectors of the Israeli political spectrum whose only crime is opposing government policy? What they did was manipulate the perceptions of the public into thinking that these people are "threats to Israeli democracy." All those who oppose government policy are deemed radicals and extremist.They were able to do this by manipulating the perceptions of the people. Labor introduced "media manipulation" and "disinformation" into the political arena. This was never done before in Israel.
Jews in Israel never, ever, viewed their government as the enemy.This all changed when Rabin took power. This change, which is recognized in the Diaspora more than it is even in Israel, is because three years ago the Israeli government took the Israeli public down a dangerous path driven not by the Israeli leadership but by foreigners. It is an evil pact concocted by evil man who don't have the best interests of the state of Israel as their primary motive. Because it is so evil it had to remain secret. This is why there has been so many secret deals made in the past few years.
What a state of affairs we have! The Labor party junta that stolen our democratic state and turned our country into a dictatorship, de-legitimized one half of the political spectrum, and turned Israel's thriving pluralistic political character into a "one-view" government.
It is time everyone who holds the Jewish state dear to their hearts to stand together and acknowledge what mortal damage these men have done to our once vibrant democratic state.
Labor's policies have been a nightmare for Israeli democracy and that Jews are being thrown arrested and jailed for their views, not the illegality of their actions. This is not just by accident. It was planned and is being planned. As hard and as horrifying it is to admit it and face it, Israel has gone from being a thriving democracy to a totalitarian dictatorship in three short years. Any intellectually honest person has to acknowledge this change- regardless of which party he supports. If one side of the political spectrum is now allowed to express itself then Israel can no longer be considered a democracy.
The people in power are not only handing over our country over to our enemies, but in parallel are destroying our will to fight. Many people feel that "they are simply too powerful and will crush anyone in their path." By accepting this as our fate, however, we are acting irresponsibly as Jews and as patriotic Israelis.
Throughout Israel's short history the Israeli people always believed it had a responsibility to fight and to die if necessary to protect Israel from its enemies. Are we not prepared to do the same if the enemies come from within our midst? Today our foremost enemy is our own government- the Labor party. They are bad Jews, Jews corrupted by evil people. If Peres and his junta is allowed to continue in their horrifying plan of handing our country over to our enemies and terrorize and brutalize their own people into silence in order to protect that plan, and we do absolutely nothing about it, then we are not acting as responsible Jews and patriotic Israelis.
WHAT TO DO
In a country where only the government's opinions count, informationn and our convictions are the only political rights we still have left. You in the Diaspora are fortunate. You live in a Democracy. You can helpj. Do Something. Inform others. Print out or fax this article to someone else yhou know who supports Israel or needs Jewish votes to get elected. Do something.
Yonatan Levy is an independant investigative journalist.