From Hebron, December 24, 2001
THE PA = TERRORISM
By David Wilder
Yesterday the Yediot Achronot newspaper published its first scoop of the week: Shimon Peres' new piece plan, in four stages:
One Within six weeks a full cease-fire, including an end to all fighting and terror, an end to all blockades, a freezing of all Yesha communities, an end to all killing and assassinations, and a unification of all "palestinian security forces".
Two Within eight weeks Israel will recognize a palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gazza and the Arabs will recognize the State of Israel on the basis of UN resolutions 242 and 338.
Three Within nine to twelve months, negotiations leading to a permanent settlement, including a schedule for withdrawal of Israeli troops, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, security and water. The process will conclude no later than 18 to 24 months.
Four An international role concerning the negotiations, a peace-keeping force, economic and financial aid to the palestinians, area economic cooperation, and arbitration of issues still undecided.
That's Shimon's plan, worked out with Abu Ala, head of Arafat's parliament in Gaza. This same Abu Ala said, in the not too distant past, that Israel must also abide by UN resolution 181, the UN 1947 partition plan, which places Beer Sheva inside a palestinian state.
Tonight Ariel Sharon admitted he knew that Peres was meeting and negotiating with Abu Ala, despite yesterday's declarations that this plan is "dangerous." Peres said that should Sharon forbid continued negotiations between Israel and the Arabs, Labor would leave the national unity government coalition.
Let's hope. Just a few comments about the above-mentioned plan.
First, all killing will stop. Earlier tonight, an Israeli man from Karnei Shomron was shot and very seriously injured by terrorists not far from the Shavei Shomron community. That's a good start for Yassir's boys.
Second, Israel is recognizing, unqualifiedly, a palestinian state. No strings attached. Arafat is recognizing Israel's right to exist only according to UN resolutions 242 and 338, which are, of course, blatantly anti-Israel. If then, for any reason, Israel should not abide by these two resolutions as he interprets them, Arafat will not have any obligation to continue to recognize Israel's existance.
Third, Israel is recognizing a palestinian state before the completion of negotiations. What's the difference? Today, when our enemies attack us, Israel can "return" to area A or area B. When things get really bad, we can, (at least in theory) retake these areas. However, once Israel recognizes this land as belonging to a sovereign state, for example Beit Jala, across from Gilo in Jerusalem, a return to that city will be considered "occupation of a foreign state." What then will Israel do following attacks on its capital?
Fourth, Israel under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is agreeing to return Jerusalem to the negotiating table.
Fifth, all of the above-listed reasons why this agreement is completely unacceptable miss the main point.
What is the main point? Writing in today's Jerusalem Post, Education Minister Limor Livnat speaks of three actions which must be immediately implemented:
1. A disarming of all Arab terrorist organizations.
2. Repudiation of an artificial distinction between terrorist organization's political factions and military factions.
3. Initiation of an Israeli diplomatic-public relations program
She also, importantly, dismisses outright a unilateral separation between Israel and the Arabs, a plan which would lead to abandonment of Yesha to the terrorists.
And finally, Livnat declares her opposition to a palestinian state, saying, "we must stop expressing any agreement for a Palestinian State in wide swaths of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. There must not be a state such as this and therefore, there must not be any talk encouraging it. Local leaders with local autonomy, yes. But a state? No!"
I believe that Limor Livnat is saying, in between the lines, the most important point that can be expressed at this point in time, a point which, if not properly understood, will lead to continued disaster.
Most all of Israel's leadership continues to talk of "stopping the terror." Yet these leaders, in the same breath, speak of a continued relationship with the palestinian authority. The point that they are ignoring is that terror and the palestinian authority are synonymous. As long as there is a palestinian authority, or, G-d forbid, a palestinian state, there will be terrorism. The only way to stop the terror is by eradicating the entity Israel created called the palestinian authority. This is, what I understand Minister Livnat to be saying when she writes, "We, just as the Americans are doing, must bring down the totalitarian regime and not only the terrorist infrastructure." In other words, in my words, we must bring down the terrorist regime, which is the framework for the terrorist infrastructure.
Coming from a minister in the Israeli government, this is a most important statement, especially considering that the minister is a member of the Likud, and is a likely candidate for Prime Minister sometime in the future. Livnat is to be commended for her courageous and enlightening position.
Returning to Sharon:
It's more than difficult to understand how or why Ariel Sharon gave a green light to Shimon Peres to meet with and negotiate with the PA. Sharon promised, "no negotiating under fire," but seems to have acquiesced to Peres ' pressure. Peres is a known customer, with the results of his meddling leading to and causing the Oslo War and the deaths and injuries of thousands of Israelis. Peres should be held under lock and key, just as spies are held in solitary confinement, so as to prevent further damage. As long as Peres is allowed to freely and officially represent Israel in a position such as Foreign Minister, he will continue to cause irreparable damage to our state and directly or indirectly bring about the death and injury of Israeli citizens.
Sharon now has a chance to make some kind of amends for his months of negligence, by stopping the Peres follies and, rather than waiting for Peres to resign, by throwing him unceremoniously out of his office. Peres deserves no honor or glory, only shame, in return for the disgrace he has brought onto his country and people. The sooner Peres is relieved of his duties and Labor returns to the opposition, the easier it will be to finish with the terrorists, once and for all.
With blessings from Hebron.