Israel Resource Review 28th July, 2005


Knesset Orders Investigation of PM Appointee to Coordinate Disengagement Policies
David Bedein

On Thursday, July 28th, 2005, MK Uri Ariel's office informed the press that the Knesset has formally delegated the Israel State Comptroller to launch a formal investigation into the allegations that Eival Giladi, appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to coordinate public policies of Israel's Disengagement process, remains in a situation of conflict of interests, since Giladi also administers the Portland Trust, whose task it is to raise half a billion dollars of capital to develop housing and business interests for Palestinian Arab interests who would replace the Jewish communities slated for eviction.

MK Ariel asked for a copy of the conflict of interests agreement which the PM office had announced on July 26th that Giladi had signed an hour before the Knesset Controls Committee had met on that same day.

However, the PM office would not provide a copy of Giladi's supposedly signed agreement for the Knesset.

An examination of the official Knesset record of July 13th, 2005 finds that the government of Israel ad already misled the Knesset on this matter, when an Israeli government minister, Meir Shitrit, responded to MK Ariel's questions about Giladi's conflict of interest by saying that Giladi had already signed the conflict of interest agreement, which the PM office admitted on July 26th to the Knesset Committtee that he had not done so.

With disengagement public policy being coordinated by Giladi, the question remains as to whether Giladi will remain in his position and whether Giladi represents the tip of the iceberg of Israeli government conflicts of interest.

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Israel's Disengagement Policy:
An Award for Terror
Trudy Rubin, Syndicated Columnist

Exit from Gaza will backfire

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Israel last week to salvage Israel's planned pullout from Gaza. The pullout is threatened by violence from Palestinian Islamists and threats from Israeli settlers to block the withdrawal.

But if Rice wants to understand the dangers posed by the Gaza pullback, she should visit southern Lebanon. I was there this month.

A drive around the hilltop villages of Lebanon's south provides a clear and powerful warning: Any Israeli pullback carried out unilaterally - and not as part of a negotiated deal with the Palestinians - will undercut Israel's security and the shaky future of the peace process itself.

Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon in 2000 for its own security reasons. But most Lebanese credit the Shiite Muslim militia, Hezbollah, with driving Israel out. The United States labels Hezbollah a terrorist organization, yet Hezbollah now controls the south. It is viewed throughout the region as the one armed Arab group that has defeated Israel - by suicide bombers and guns.

The prestige of "expelling" Israel has also made Hezbollah's political wing one of the most powerful players in Lebanese politics, more potent than Amal, the more moderate Shiite party. Hezbollah will soon get seats in the new Cabinet.

What are the lessons from this south Lebanon tale for the Gaza pullout? A pullout from Gaza that is carried out unilaterally and not as part of broader peace negotiations will backfire. It will lead Palestinians to the conclusion that the best way to end Israeli occupation is not by negotiations but by force.

To understand why, a little background is needed.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the decision to leave Gaza when Yasser Arafat was alive and when there appeared to be no viable Palestinian negotiating partner. The pullout was meant to relieve Western pressure on Israel to revive peace negotiations. It was also intended to buy time for Israel to consolidate and expand settlements in the West Bank and finish building a barrier separating Israel from the West Bank.

But with Arafat's death, the Israeli-Palestinian dynamic should have changed.

In January, Palestinians elected the moderate Mahmoud Abbas, who has publicly decried the use of violence to end Israeli occupation. But Abbas is being challenged by the radical Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Like Hezbollah, Hamas is popular because of its charity network and its corruption-free reputation. Abbas had to cancel recent parliamentary elections lest Hamas challenge his own Fatah party.

Israel and the Bush administration want Abbas to crush Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But to rally public support, Abbas must have something to offer his voters. He must be able to assure them that Islamist violence is undercutting the road to a negotiated two-state solution.

Instead, Gaza is still billed by Israel as a unilateral withdrawal. Most Palestinians see the pullback as an Israeli move meant to ensure future control of the West Bank.

Unless Gaza is linked to a broader process, Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be the victors and Palestinians will view the Israeli pullback as the consequence of military attacks. Islamists will become heroes; the more moderate Abbas will be discredited, along with the notion of a two-state solution. A third Palestinian uprising may explode, focused on Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

The unsettling model for what Gaza could become is visible today in southern Lebanon. It is late in the day to prevent it. But that should have been Rice's model during her trip.

This ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 24th, 2005

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Roundups of Jews
Rachel Saperstein
Resident, Neve Dekalim, Katif

Our community phone message system is in operation most of the day. Notices of prayer meetings, protest gatherings, organized meetings between soldiers and settlers, births, deaths, controlled explosions, take cover’ because of Arab bombardment, return to normal’ (or what passes for normal here) - all these and more are reported to us.

But most frightening of all was the notification last night that police and soldiers were scouring the Gush Katif communities to round up Jews who are labeled illegals – those who entered without permission, or stayed beyond the time permitted on their permits.

"The police have no search warrants" the voice on the phone from the Local Council tells us, "don’t let them into your home."

Each day the rules become stricter, the decrees more draconian, the police more brutal.

Today we were told that personal friends are no longer allowed into Gush Katif. Only close relatives – a child, a parent, a sibling – will be permitted to visit. Residents entering or leaving Gush Katif must show identification at four different checkpoints. Non-compliance, or compliance not speedy enough to suit the police, is treated brutally.

My friend U., a 57-year-old grandmother, refused to show her ID and was dragged from her car by four policemen and beaten, then arrested and charged with trying to run them down with her car. Allowed to return home hours later, covered in bruises, she sat and wept. In two weeks she will be subjected to the sight of her 15-year-old son’s remains being disinterred from the Katif cemetery.

Mr. K. was in the act of showing his ID when a policeman demanded he turn off the motor of his vehicle. Mr. K asked to keep it running so the air conditioner could protect his small children from the intense heat. Mr. K was dragged from the vehicle and arrested for non-compliance with a police order. His children were returned to their mother. He is under house arrest at the home of a relative in Beersheba. His right to return home has been nullified.

Teenagers, both residents and visitors, are routinely beaten. The fear of a beating is used as a deterrent to keep people out of the ghetto called Gush Katif.

The government’s heavy hand is experienced over and over. Sharon’s private police force, the Nachshon Brigade of the Israel Police, trained in following orders’ practiced their skills as headbreakers arresting foreign workers. Cleansed of all feelings these uniformed thugs will be leading the forces mercilessly expelling us from our homes.

In three weeks our health clinic will close down.

In three weeks the sole bank will close down.

In three weeks postal service will end.

The government has sporadically shut down our telephone and internet service. Our electricity and water will follow. We are already filling empty cola and juice containers with water for that day.

Sharon’s private army and police are sweeping down on us. We are to be separated, sterilized and broken at all cost.

This roundup of Jews is the first step in the eviction of Jews from Jewish Gaza and northern Samaria, to be followed by the eviction of Jews from all of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, east Jerusalem. To be followed by even worse.

Yet we keep our spirit of humanity alive. We smile at one another. We smile though the shelves in our stores are increasingly bare. We do our laundry, change the sheets, cut the grass. We listen to Torah lectures. Thus we keep our humanity and sanity.

Where are you, my fellow Jews? Where are you, my Christian friends? Where are your protests as democracy is destroyed in our holy land of Israel?

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Former military intel chief slams Sharon's plan
Aaron Klein
Israel Correspondent. World Net Daily

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate Jewish communities from Gaza and parts of the West Bank is a "disastrous" military move and a major victory for terrorism, Israel's former intelligence research chief told WND.

In an exclusive WND interview yesterday, Yaacov Amidror said, "There is no military advantage to leaving Gaza. You lose control on the ground, the ability to conduct intelligence operations and to stage ground efforts into Gaza City and Khan Yunis. You let Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a safe haven to launch terrorist actions from and in which to grow their terror apparatus."

Amidror also served as commander of Israel's School of National Security until 2002.

Sharon last week declared the Gaza Strip and towns in the northern West Bank closed military zones in an effort many see as the official start of the August 17 evacuation.

The withdrawal has been largely portrayed by Sharon's office as a move necessary to bring peace to the region. Pro-withdrawal lawmakers argue Israel can no longer maintain military control over the areas and say political and tactical concerns warrant leaving Gaza and the northern West Bank.

But Amidror disagrees.

"On most levels, this plan is disastrous," he said. "Politically, what this does is puts the onus on Israel. Sharon is unilaterally giving the Palestinians Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Now Israel will be expected to make further withdrawals from other areas with nothing from the Palestinians.

"Tactically, this is a reward for terror," he continued. "The Palestinians understand this retreat is due to the great successes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We know this from polls that show 74 percent of Palestinians believe Israel is leaving Gaza because of the violence used in the so-called armed struggle. Leaving Gaza is giving into terrorism. For the long run and for the whole process for fighting terrorism in Israel and around the world, the Gaza retreat is a huge mistake."

Amidror, echoing statements he made in a press conference earlier this week sponsored by the Israel Resource New Agency, told WND many in Israel's defense establishment do not support the withdrawal plan.

"Those in defense believe leaving Gaza and the four West Bank settlements is a grave mistake. [Former chief of staff Moshe] Ya'alon has come out against the withdrawal. But Sharon didn't ask the defense people before he made his decision. The decision was made by politicians."

Some have warned Gaza must be vacated for reasons of demography. If the 1.3 million Palestinians in the area secure the right to vote, Israel's Jewish character would be threatened, they argue.

But Amidror said, "This is pure nonsense. No one here has ever recommended annexing Gaza into Israel. In fact, there is a fence between the two. There is no immigration from Gaza into Israel. The demographic argument doesn't hold water. The Gaza evacuation itself doesn't hold water."

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Imagine What it Would be Like to Live Under the Threat of Your Community Being Destroyed
Dr. Miriam Adahan

Imagine that you live in Israel, which has suffered 25,500 known terror attacks just since 2000, including 6000 mortars that have fallen just on your small section of Gush Katif, and instead of attacking the Arab enemy, the government attacks you.

Imagine that your teenage children are arrested for handing out orange ribbons on street corners and when you see the police choking them and bashing them with brass knuckles and you come to their aid, you, too are arrested and charged with harming the police officers who arrested you.

Imagine that you and your friends come to Kfar Maimon to peacefully protest and the government sends 20,000 soldiers and police (the same number President Bush sent to invade Iraq) to encircle the area with barbed wire, creating a virtual prison camp.

Imagine that it is August 1, 2005 and you are to be evicted from your home on August 15 and you have no idea where to go.

Imagine that you've been told that you will be allowed to take enough possessions out of your home to fill two small containers and that the rest must be left behind.

Imagine that you live in a beautiful, eight-room home of your dreams with five bathrooms and that you will, at best, be given a cramped caravan which leaks in the winter rains and is sweltering in the summer.

Imagine trying to decide between your piano and your washing machine, between your books and the beds, between your sofa and your dining room table, between your clothing and your photo albums.

Imagine that you discuss with your neighbors whether you will lock yourself in your home and make the arresting officers bash the door down (in which case you will forfeit all government compensation), or walk silently to the bus which will take you to a detention center, or be dragged out of your home as a way of passively protesting.

Imagine that you discuss with your spouse whether the children should have to see you being dragged out of the only home they have ever known or if it is better to have them sent away.

Imagine that your son/husband/neighbor is an army officer or policeman and it is their duty to drag you to the waiting buses.

Imagine that the Israeli press ignores your plight, except to refer to you and your neighbors as fanatical hooligans who have stolen the land you live on.

Imagine that you have lived in a community for 10, 20, 30 years, have been productive and independent, and that you will soon be unemployed, a burden on the state, a humiliated and broken welfare recipient.

Imagine that you walk around your precious community, knowing that your home, synagogue, mikvah, community center, schools and health centers will be soon be bulldozed into oblivion.

Imagine having to go from a home with a huge backyard, filled with flowers and fruit trees to some cramped apartment in a strange city.

Imagine having to leave your children and grandchildren, who could easily run next door to visit you and whom you will now see only rarely.

Imagine that the government is spending US$7 billion dollars to deport you and your neighbors, forfeiting the $2 billion a year earned by the Gush Katif population and that the money for this expulsion plan was taken by slashing pensions for the elderly, closing schools and hospitals, reducing health services, reducing the sick and the handicapped to begging, sending 37,000 abused children back to abusive homes since there is no money to keep them in state dormitories, canceling summer programs for children -- and then you are blamed for all this pain.

Imagine that well known rabbis, teachers and community leaders suddenly disappear and that you are told that they are being held in prison indefinitely and being treated in a most brutal manner.

Imagine 14-year-old children arrested and sent to solitary confinement for having insulted a police officer.

Imagine that the government declares war on Judaism, closing down radio stations that used to disseminate inspiring words of Torah, religious councils, and cutting off support to religious schools and institutions, threatening rabbis who disagree with government policy and firing government workers who protest.

Imagine that even before the 25 communities of Gush Katif are destroyed, the "Peace Now" Organization hands over a list of 120 Jewish settlements in the Shomron to the Israeli Supreme Court, to be destroyed, claiming that the land was stolen from the Palestinians (as if there ever was such a people).

Imagine that Hamas has already announced that there will be massive parades throughout Gush Katif celebrating their victory over the Jewish people.

Imagine that the whole world will watch as terrorists take over these communities.

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