|Israel Resource Review
||13th Febuary, 2003
Human Rights and the New
Prof. Irwin Cotler
Minister of Justice, Canada
was originally published by the Jewish People Policy Planning
Institute in November 2002 when Prof. Cotler was a Canadian MP]
What we are witnessing today is a new, virulent, globalizing and even lethal anti-Jewishness reminiscent of the atmospherics of the 1930s, and without parallel or precedent since the end of the Second World War.
Anchored in the "Zionism is Racism" resolution, but going beyond it, the new anti-Jewishness?can best be defined as the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, national particularity and peoplehood anywhere, whenever that national particularity and peoplehood happens to be Jewish. In its more benign form (if it can be called benign), it finds particular expression in the singling out of Israel and the Jewish people for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena,where United Nations human rights bodies are used as the mask or protective cover for this anti-Jewishness (e.g. The 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban). In its most lethal form, it refers to the singling out of Israel and the Jewish people for existential or genocidal assault, as evidenced by the suicide-bombers,or what I prefer to call genocide-bombers??the convergence of both politicide and genocide.
In a word, classical or traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, or denial of, the right of Jews to live as equal members of a free society; the new anti-Semitism,incompletely, or incorrectly, [referred to] as "anti-Zionism", involves the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations. What is intrinsic to each form of anti-Semitism?and common to both?is discrimination. All that has happened is that it has moved from discrimination against Jews as individuals,a classical anti-Semitism for which there are indices of measurement (e.g., discrimination against Jews in education, housing, or employment),to discrimination against Jews as people, a new anti-Semitism,for which one has yet to develop indices of measurement.
I would like to propose a set of indices by which we can identify and monitor the nature and meaning of the new anti-Jewishness. These indices are organized around a juridical framework and draw upon principles of discrimination and equality as they find expression in both domestic and international law. There are thirteen indices that may serve to illustrate this new anti-Jewishness.
The first and most lethal is existential or genocidal anti-Semitism. I am referring here to the public call for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Examples include the covenants of terrorist organizations like Hamas which publicly call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews anywhere; religious fatwas or execution writs issued by radical Islamic clerics, which not only call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, but proclaim it also as a religious obligation?and calls by member states of the international community,such as Iran or Iraq, for the destruction of Israel and its people, as evidenced in the statements by their respective political leadership that call not only for the destruction of Israel but also express the intent to use nuclear weapons to accomplish this genocidal purpose.
In a word, Israel is the only state in the world today, and the Jews the only people in the world today, that are the object of a standing set of threats from governmental, religious, and terrorist bodies seeking their destruction. And what is most disturbing is the silence, the indifference, and sometimes even the indulgence, in the face of such genocidal antisemitism.
There are three manifestations of this phenomenon. The discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon the Jewish people's right to self-determination which, as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, "is the denial to the Jews of the same right, the right to self-determination that we accord to African nations and all other peoples of the globe. In short, it is anti-Semitism?" To the extent that Israel has emerged as the "civil religion" of world Jewry?the organizing idiom of Jewish self-determination?this new anti-Semitism is a per se assault, in contemporary terms, on the religious and national sensibility of the Jewish people.
If classical anti-Semitism was anchored in discrimination against the Jewish religion, the new anti-Jewishness is anchored in discrimination against the Jews as a people, and the embodiment of that expression in Israel. In each instance the essence of anti-Semitism is the same, an assault upon whatever is the core of Jewish self-definition at any moment in time?
There is yet another, and third, variant of political anti-Semitism. I am referring here to the "demonizing" of Israel? This is the contemporary analogue to the medieval indictment of the Jew as the "poisoner of the wells." In other words, in a world in which human rights has emerged as the new secular religion of our time, the portrayal of Israel as the metaphor for a human rights violator is an indictment of Israel as the "new anti-Christ" as the "poisoner of the international wells"?
Ideological anti-Semitism finds expression not only in the "Zionism is Racism" indictment?but the further criminal indictment of Israel as "an apartheid state," and the calling for the dismantling of this "apartheid state" a euphemism for Israel's destruction. If the proclamation of "Zionism as Racism" gave anti-Semitism the appearance of international sanction, the calling for the dismantling of the apartheid state of Israel is even more toxic and virulent, once again giving anti-Semitism the appearance of international sanction. Indeed, the increased characterization or libeling of Israel as a "Nazi state" is tantamount to transforming ideological anti-Semitism into a duty?the obligation to remove this Nazi state, Israel.
This refers to the convergence of state-sanctioned Islamic anti-Semitism, which characterizes Jews and Judaism, let alone Israel, as the perfidious enemy of Islam,and which finds expression in the proclamation made by Yasser Arafat-appointed and funded Imam, Ahmed Abu Halabiya, from a mosque pulpit and broadcasted on Palestinian state television?"The Jews must be butchered and tortured: Allah will torture them with your hands. Have no mercy on the Jews . . . wherever you meet them . . . kill them."?
As for cultural anti-Semitism, I am referring here to the melange of attitudes, sentiments, innuendo and the like?in academe, in parliaments, among the literati, public intellectuals, and the human rights movement??as found expression in the remarks of the French Ambassador to the U.K. to the effect of, why should the world risk another world war because of "that shitty little country Israel"; or as British journalist Petronella Wyatt put it, "Anti-Semitism, and its open expression, has become respectable at London dinner tables" once more?not just in Germany or Catholic Central Europe.
[W]e are witnessing an explosion of European anti-Semitism without parallel or precedent since World War II. Some examples, to which I can personally attest to, following my visits to European capitals these past two years, include assaults upon and desecration of synagogues, cemeteries and Jewish institutions; attacks upon identifiable Jews; convergence of the extreme left and the extreme right in public demonstrations calling for "death to the Jews"; atrocity propaganda against Israel and Jews (e.g., Israel injects the AIDS virus into Palestinians); the ugly canard of double loyalty; the demonization of Israel through the escalating ascription of Nazi metaphors; indifference or silence in the face of horrific acts of terror against Israel and the threatening of sanctions against Israel for exercising its right of self-defense against these acts of terror.
In the words of Joel Kotek of the University of Brussels: "One's position on the Arab-Israeli conflict has become a test of loyalty. Should he become a supporter of Israel, he becomes a supporter of a Nazi state."
Denying Israel equality before the law
I am referring here to the singling out of Israel for differential, if not discriminatory, treatment amongst the family of nations. Some examples include the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, which turned into a conference of racism against Israel, where Israel was the only state singled out for indictment; the UN Commission on Human Rights, where Israel is the only country singled out for a country-specific condemnation even before the annual session begins, where 30 percent of all resolutions condemn Israel alone, while the major human rights violators enjoy exculpatory immunity; the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, where Israel became the first country in fifty-two years to be the object of a country-specific indictment, while the perpetrators of horrific killing fields, be it Cambodia, Sudan, etc. have never been the object of a contracting party's enquiry; the systemic and systematic discrimination against Israel in the major decision-making bodies of the United Nations and its specialized agencies; the exclusion of Magen David Adom, Israel's humanitarian aid agency, from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; the conversion of refugee camps under UNRWA's management into bases and sanctuaries of incitement and terror, in breach of fundamental principles of international humanitarian and refugee law.
The denial of international due process to Israel and the Jewish people in the international arena refers to the disenfranchisement of Israel in the international arena, where, for example, Israel emerges as the only country denied "standing" in any regional grouping in the United Nations, which resulted in Israel (and Jewish NGOs) being excluded from the Regional Conference in Iran, where the regional Asian position for the World Conference Against Racism was prepared.
"Legalized" anti-Semitism refers to the international "legal" character of this anti-Semitism, in which, in a kind of Orwellian inversion of law and language, United Nations human rights bodies become the mask under which this "teaching of contempt" is carried out.
Classical economic anti-Semitism involved discrimination against Jews in housing, education, and employment; the new economic anti-Semitism involves the extra-territorial application by Arab countries of an international restrictive covenant against corporations conditioning their trade with Arab countries on their agreement not to do business with Israel (secondary boycott); or not doing business with another corporation which may be doing business with Israel (tertiary boycott); or even?conditioning the trade with such corporations on neither hiring nor promoting Jews within the corporation (I was able to document this in the course of my chairing a Commission on Economic Coercion and Discrimination).
The cutting edge of this new anti-Semitism is Holocaust denial, which moves inexorably from denying the Holocaust, to accusing Jews of fabricating the "hoax" to indicting Jews for extorting false reparations from the innocent German people, to the building of their "illegal" State of Israel on the backs of the real indigenous owners, the Palestinians. Let there be no doubt about it, those who would seek to deny the Jewish people their past are the same people who, if given the chance, would deny the Jewish people their future.
Racist terrorism against Jews refers to the state-orchestrated incitement to violence and terrorism against Jews. This racist terrorism has been ratcheted up into an alarming case of "mega" or "catastrophic terrorism" as exemplified by the recent attempts to literally incinerate thousands of Israelis by blowing up fuel and gas storage facilities in the Herzliya area and blowing up the Azrieli office towers in Tel Aviv; the attempted use of cyanide poison in a Jerusalem restaurant; the attempted blowing up of residential apartment areas in Haifa; and the recent disclosure of Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda connected plans to target Israeli institutions and Jewish nationals in the Western hemisphere.
This refers to the state-sanctioned "culture of hate", integrating both old and new forms of anti-Jewishness,that finds increasing expression in the incitement to hatred in state-controlled mosques, media, schools, and other institutions, including such recent examples as the broadcasting of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the appropriation of symbols and motifs from classical anti-Semitism to demonize Israel and the Jewish people today. In the words of Professor Fouad Ajami: The suicide bomber of the Passover massacre did not descend from the sky. He partook of the culture all around him. The glee that greets those brutal deeds of terror, the cult that rises around the martyrs and their families.
None of this is intended to suggest that Israel is somehow above the law, or that Israel is not to be held accountable for any violations of law. On the contrary, Israel is accountable for any violations of international law or human rights like any other state; and the Jewish people are not entitled to any privileged protection or preference because of the particularity of Jewish suffering. But the problem is not that Israel as the "Jew among Nations" seeks to be above the law, but that it has been systematically denied equality before the law; not that Israel must respect human rights, which it should, but that the human rights of Israel have not been respected; not that human rights standards should be applied to Israel, which they must,but that these standards have not been applied equally to anyone else.
Israel and the Jewish people have been singled out for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and, worst of all,singled out for destruction. The time has come to sound the alarm?not only for Israel and the Jewish people whose safety and security is under existential threat and attack, but for the world community and the human condition as a whole. For as history has taught us only too well, while the persecution and discrimination may begin with Jews, it doesn't end with Jews.
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Kant on Perpetual Peace and the
Seeds of Another War
Two hundred years ago, an essay entitled "Perpetual Peace" by German idealist philosopher Immanuel Kant argued: "no peace treaty may be deemed valid that
contains within its provisions, the seeds of another war."
This seemingly prosaic conclusion and aphorism should be remembered well by
all parties at the United Nations, European Union, Russia and State Department, ('the Quartet') who recently dropped on the desk of President George Bush their "Road Map" to a permanent two-state solution to the Israel-Arab conflict.
While the overt objective of the "Road Map" was peace, at close range,
however, it revealed not a recipe for peace, but simply the inflexible demand that Israel evacuate the territories that the Arab nations twice used as jumping-off points to drive the Jewish State into the sea, and a call for the occupants of those areas to temporarily reduce the murder and maiming of the Israeli population.
The specific number of killings, cripplings and dismemberments that will need to be tolerated as a sign of good will was not spelled out, which leads many to wonder, and for good reason: Was the Quartet interested in peace or the destruction of Israel?
In addition to the routine murder of Jews that has taken place as far back as the 1920s, ignored is the basic rationale for the occupation. Attention also has yet to be paid to the state of war that continues against Israel by Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq, refreshed each decade since 1948.
Conveniently overlooked was the Palestine National Council's Covenant calling for the annihilation of the State of Israel, a document that can be
overturned only by a two-thirds majority vote at a conference called specifically for that purpose. No one person, organization or combination thereof can nullify this instrument of annihilation that justifies, perpetuates and glorifies terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
Yet, the Road Map's designers directed that Israel release mass murderers
into its population as a sign of goodwill. In the meantime, Arab Palestinian children continue to be indoctrinated into a culture that teaches them at an early age, in school and through TV, to turn themselves into human bombs that will take the lives of as many Israeli Jews as possible.
Moreover, the quartet has yet to justify its call for an ethnically cleansed, or "Judenrein" (the Nazi parlance for "free of Jews"), Palestine, which would prohibit Jews from their 3,000-year homeland and birthplace of their most sacred religious heritage.
The U.N. itself, may very well be the primary source of this relegation by
isolating Israel as the only one of its 191 members not permitted to sit either on the Security Council or its regional committees, while tyrants and their regimes are permitted to sit on all committees and even chair its Committee for Human Rights. The major stumbling block, a 57-nation Islamic voting block buttressed by the myriad of dependent micro-mini state appendages, dominating the U.N., impell "Old Europe" to bend a knee to its calling.
Bringing the impact of that point into sharper focus were recent wire reports that but 64 of the 191 U.N. member states -- barely 30 percent â€" had submitted reports on steps they have taken to implement sanctions against al-Qaida and Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers. According to Heraldo Munoz, Chile's U.N. ambassador and head of the committee monitoring the sanctions reporting, "Individuals or entities associated with al-Qaida are believed to be active in some way in a significant number of states that have not yet submitted a report."
Are the U.N. and Quartet emulating the eight bewildered leaders of the June
2003 Evian summit, whose actions rivaled those of their predecessors 65 years earlier who formulated the infamous, Munich agreement? The modern sooth-sayers are choosing the same rocky route laid out by Chamberlain and Daladier (whose effort to appease Hitler and Mussolini in the fall of 1938 caused within a year not "peace in our time," as declared by the British Prime Minister, but World War II).
Tragically, the Quartet's current Road Map, contains no element of peace, but rather a detour far more perilous to Middle East and world peace than its Munich counterpart. To borrow an unrelated descriptive phrase from the London Telegraph, many believe that the project "has the inert momentum of stupidity."
What has been bothering the Arab world is not the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank and Gaza, but those that comprise Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem -- in essence Israel.
As Cynthia Ozick has put quite succinctly in a Wall Street Journal article:
"A Palestinian ethos of figment and fantasy has successfully infiltrated the West, particularly among intellectuals, who are always seduced by novelty. We live now with an anti-history wherein cause and effect are reversed, protection against attack is equated with the brutality of attack, existential issues are demoted or ignored â€" 'cycle of violence' obfuscation all zealously embraced by the State Department and the European Union."
Hardly noted is the fact that the last people indigenous to a sovereign
Palestine before the conquering armies of foreign lands were the Jews, who ruled the nation through their kings, customs and laws for a thousand years until exiled by the Romans in 130 CE. And though a parade of conquerors then ruled and laid waste to this piece of land until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the League of Nations returned it to the Jews at a time when other Middle East lands were for the first time to be identified as independent nations of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.
To ask if Israel has the right to exist among these newly created nations is like asking if the bible or history itself has the right to exist.
The first step for peace places the ball in the U.N.'s court. To deny Israel its turn on the Security Council and the opportunity to participate with other nations on the international body's regional committees is to brand the Middle East democracy a non-nation among nations, granting terrorists a license for the acts of barbarism against that nation's citizenry.
The time is also past due for Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq to sign a peace
treaty and normalize relations with Israel, rather than make another nebulous promise, and for the negation of the terms spelled out in the Palestine National Council's Covenant.
With these imperative, preparatory steps taken, Israel, the United Nations
and European Union could have confidence in the words of an Arafat-free
Palestinian and an Arab League for a perpetual peace, less the seeds of another war.
Mr. Blum, a former officer in Israel's War for
Independence has been closely associated with regional events
for well over a half century.
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A Couple from Katif Fight for
their Home . . .
Israel Correspondent, Jewish Week
Kfar Darom, Katif
Estee Shalva has the unflappable bearing of a woman who has seen it and done it all before.
Twenty-two years ago, Shalva, then the mother of four children aged three-and-a-half and under, lived in Yamit, the famed Jewish settlement in the Sinai that Israel established and then abandoned when it returned the peninsula, full of sand dunes and red-tinged mountains, to Egypt in 1982.
Like the rest of the Amit pioneers, Shalva, an Orthodox Jew who felt compelled to settle the Land of Israel for ideological reasons, fought the army?s forced evacuation but ultimately had no choice but to leave.
Now Shalva may be forced to move again.
When she and her husband, Moshe, left Yamit they relocated to Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. While many of her fellow settlers made the sandy terrain bloom with greenhouses and clusters of palm trees, the Shalvas opened a family stationery store in the central square of Neve Dekalim, the largest Jewish community in Gaza.
Interviewed in the store just days after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his determination to dismantle 17 of Gaza's settlements, Shalva, now 47 and the mother of 12, recalled the government's first full-scale evacuation of a settlement.
The soldiers took us from Yamit, where we had lived for two years. They put us on a bus to Beersheva and left us at the central bus station with four children and two suitcases and said, "You're on your own. Our parents are Holocaust survivors and suddenly we felt like refugees in our own country, Shalva says, shaking her head in long-remembered disbelief.
"We didn't believe it could happen, that a Jew could force another Jew to leave his land. If a non-Jew did this, we'd call it anti-Semitism, Shalva asserts.
Asked how she felt when she heard Sharon's statements, Shalva doesn't spout platitudes.
"I'm not like I was back then, when I thought it couldn?t happen, but I don't believe God will let it happen", she says. "You can't not think about it, but I'm too busy doing day-to-day things to obsess over it. One of my daughters is getting married and God willing, she'll move here, too, to Neve Dekalim".
While recent Israeli governments of all stripes have talked in the abstract about relinquishing some Gaza settlements in the framework of a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians, no one in Israel expected Sharon to say that all of Gaza is expendable. His support of Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza once was a given.
That the prime minister is suddenly seeking the approval of President Bush to relocate the Gaza Jews to West Bank settlements has also created shockwaves in right- and left-wing circles.
Within days of the double bombshells, Gaza settlers and their supporters devised a multifaceted campaign to fight the proposed evacuations and mobilize public support in Israel and elsewhere.
As part of the media blitz, settler leaders and their supporters, including some in Sharon's own Likud Party, have accused the prime minister of playing the "Gaza card" to deflect attention from a Justice Ministry investigation into his possible misconduct in a Greek land deal. Taking a cue from settlers on the Golan Heights, who successfully waged a public-opinion campaign in the 1990s by inviting their fellow Israelis to visit the Golan, Gaza's 7,500 Jews just launched an all-out effort to acquaint others with their communities.
Earlier this week, thousands of Israelis visited the Gaza settlements on a daylong trip organized by the Yesha Council of Jewish Settlers. They drove here in 17 bulletproof buses and hundreds of private cars for a tour of "Jewish Gaza" and a festive street fair in the center of Neve Dekalim. The fair, which featured such made-in-Gaza products as organic vegetables, flowers and artwork, was held the day after Tu b'Shvat.
In addition to attending the fair and touring greenhouses, the visitors toured a small museum that links Gaza's biblical roots to present-day settlements. At the end of the day, they fanned out again to the various settlements and planted saplings. Those who made the trip, mostly religious, right-wing Israelis already sympathetic to the settlers, said it reinforced their belief that Israel should not relinquish a single settlement to the Palestinians.
Others, such as Staten Island resident Tully Nadel, who was in Israel visiting family, called the tour eye opening.
In the newspapers you read a lot about how terrible it is here, but it's pretty normal, Nadel said during the long bus ride back to Jerusalem. "With all the shooting and fighting we hear about, people, at least on the outside, go about their normal lives. They have a lot of courage and they deserve to be supported 100 percent".
This is the kind of response Gaza's Jews are working toward. They are banking their futures on the hope that the people who meet them, who see their fields, their houses, parks and kindergartens, will return home inspired to fight Sharon's evacuation plan.
"Our goal is to show Sharon that Gush Katif has a lot of support", says Eran Sternberg, who has come to the tiny settlement of Kfar Darom, which has just 60 families, for a tree-planting ceremony.
Sternberg, a resident of the Ganei Tal settlement as well as a Gaza spokesman, says today's tour was just the first shot in the Gazans? struggle to stay here.
"Next week we're planning a three-day march from Gush Katif to Jerusalem, as well as protests at highway junctions", he says. "We're also putting pressure on the Likud MKs to tell Sharon they won't commit to a disaster as big as Oslo.
Watching as a group of Kfar Darom youngsters lay patches of sod, Sternberg tries to explain to a visitor why the 7,500 Jewish Gazans have a right to live among more than 1 million Arabs.
"It's strange to me to have to explain why I should not be forced out of my home", he says. "I don't care about the number of Arabs compared to the number of Jews. If you want to compare numbers, look at the prisoner exchanges", Sternberg says, referring to Israel's decision last week to swap more than 400 Arab prisoners in exchange for a captive Israeli businessman and the remains of three dead soldiers.
Sternberg cites Jewish history as another reason Jews must remain in Gaza.
"This area has 2,000 years of rich Jewish history. It is an integral part of the Land of Israel", he says. "Why do people think it's all right to ethnically cleanse Jews from their homeland but wouldn't consider moving a single Arab??
Yair Amitai, 15, of Kfar Darom, among the most isolated of Gaza?s settlements, says he plans to stay here no matter what.
Three years ago his mother was killed when Palestinians attacked a school bus. Another adult was killed in the attack and three children from one of the settlement?s families lost all or part of their lower limbs.
In all, five Kfar Darom residents have lost their lives, as have 15 of the soldiers protecting them.
"Today, Gush Katif is the border", says Yair, a tall and thin teen, as a muezzin in the Palestinian town of Dir el Balach, on the other side of the huge cement blocks protecting the settlement, calls worshipers to prayer.
"If we were to move to Tel Aviv or Ramat Gan", he says, "then Tel Aviv or Ramat Gan would be the border".
This article ran in Jewish Week, February 13, 2004
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Israeli Prime Minister Sharon
Acts without the Sanction of the Israeli Government or the
On January 12th, 2004, Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon addressed the Knesset and assured Israelâ€™s elected representatives that he would present the details of his program for unilateral retreat from the Katif Jewish farming communities near Gaza before the Knesset and Israelâ€™s allies before moving ahead with the implementation of any such policy.
The words of his commitment were: â€śThese steps (unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians) will be undertaken following exhaustive discussions between the coalition parties and with the full cooperation of our international allies, headed by the United Statesâ€ť ( Official Translation)
However, less than two weeks after making such a commitment, Raanan Gisin, Prime Minister Ariel Sharonâ€™s foreign press advisor, told journalist Dr Aaron Lerner on January 25th that â€śit was not clear if the discussions with the coalition parties would take place before the visit to Washngtonâ€ť.
And so it came to pass. On February 5th, Sharonâ€™s deputy prime minister Ehud Olmert suddenly was reported to be in Washington, presenting Sharonâ€™s retreat policy as a fait accompli to the highest levels of the US government and US Congress, concluding his lightning visit with a press conference held with US Secâ€™y of State Colin Powell.
At the same time, Sharon dispatched representatives to negotiate financial offers to Katif farmers, to offer them lands just East of Katif, in the Besor region, also within rocket range of Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet continued its regular cabinet meetings on February 8th and 15th, where Sharon refused to even discus his retreat plans from Katif. When Tourism Minister Benny Elon asked that the issue be put on the cabinet agenda, Sharon made like he did not hear the idea.
Sharon has also not convened the Likud representation in the Knesset to discuss his Katif retreat policy. However, 14 out of the 40 members of the Likud Knesset members have signed a letter in which they formally commit themselves to opposing any such policy. The number 14 is significant, since Knesset law allows a faction to split off from its mother political party, if that faction is made up of at least one third of the members of that partyâ€™s representation in the Knesset.
When asked if there would be a meeting of the Likud members of the Knesset with Sharon, Knesset Likud leader Gideon Saar had no answer.
What did happen was that Sharon ordered his office manager, attorney Dov Weisglass, to prepare for a formal presentation of his retreat policy to the US government next week in Washington and to Abu Alla, Arafatâ€™s appointed Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Without the sanction of the Israeli government or Knesset.
In other words, Sharon acts on his own, floating a proposal, without the sanction of the Israeli government or Knesset.
However, Sharon has mandated his PR people to lobby Jewish organizations throughout North America to sell his retreat plan. Without the sanction of the Israeli government or Knesset.
This week, Sharon plans to sell his retreat plan to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations from the US Sharon plans to sell his retreat plan with reps of the US State Department who arrive this week. Without the sanction of the Israeli government or Knesset.
In other words, Ariel Sharon is trying to get American citizens involved in Israel's democratic process without going through Israel's democratic process, and without the sanction of the Israeli government or Knesset.
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