Israel Resource Review 9th June, 2005


Abbas Inverts Reality
Arlene Kushner

The May 26th Wall Street Journal commentary "Message to Ariel Sharon," by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, shouldn't surprise. For Abbas is master at turning truth on its head.

Yet, it does surprise, for its audacity is breathtaking. He manages to write about all that Israel has "done" to the Palestinian people in recent years without acknowledging Palestinian culpability. As if Israel has undertaken "incursions and assassinations that led to widespread death and destruction," construction of a security fence, and more simply for the pleasure of making the Palestinians suffer.

In good faith, Israel had pulled out of major population centers as part of Oslo agreements. It is the terrorism that sent Israel back in and has required a variety of defensive measures. No nation on earth would sit still for the sort of obscene violence that has been inflicted on the Israeli people, in particular since September 2000, when the second or Al-Aksa Intifada began. People sitting at a Passover seder, blown to bits. Women and children targeted - on one occasion a bus full of religious families who were returning from prayers at the Western Wall.

Never, ever, has Mr. Abbas disavowed terrorism for all future times. Never, ever, has he labeled it as morally reprehensible. On those rare occasions on which he has criticized terrorism to his own people (as versus criticizing it in English for western consumption), his rationale has been purely pragmatic: it has not served the goals of the people. Should it serve those goals, he would gladly revert to these tactics, and, indeed, like his mentor, Yasser Arafat, he holds fast to the terror option.

The "period of calm" to which Abbas refers is a tahdiyah, a temporary quiet that is intended to give time for rearming and strengthening towards the next bout of attacks. And even that ostensible quiet is no quiet, really: Palestinians carrying bombs for suicide attacks have been caught at checkpoints, and missiles have been lobbed at Jewish towns. Just last week, outgoing head of the Shin Bet (Israeli Secret Service), Avi Dichter, warned that Hamas has built an army of thousands in Gaza, modeled after Hezbollah. The Preventative Security services of the P.A. have taken no action against this. Rather, the way Mr. Abbas has dealt with terrorists is to invite them, first, to join the PLO, and then, the security forces. "The Third Intifada" is predicted after the Gaza pullout.

Mr. Abbas's insistence that it is time to move to final status negotiations is breathtaking. The Road Map stipulates as a first order of business that terrorist infrastructure must be dismantled and incitement stopped. Until the P.A. complies with these stipulations, they have no grounds morally, legally or otherwise, to push for a state. The world is not in need of another rogue terrorist state, and there has been no solid demonstration that as currently constituted, the Palestinian Authority would be heading anything but. A textbook very recently published by the P.A. actively promotes "Jihad." Another promulgates the notorious anti-Semitic forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion as truth. Just a few weeks ago, P.A. TV broadcast a sermon by one Sheik Ibrahim Mudayris in which he referred to Israel as a cancer and called for the extermination of all Jews.

As to blithe talk of the P.A. as a democracy, it must be said that one quasi-legitimate election does not of itself constitute democracy. Palestinian journalists have vociferously protested the interference and controls of the P.A. Additionally, Mr. Abbas, contravening their basic human rights, has signed death warrants for Palestinians found to be "collaborators" - meaning they helped the IDF locate known terrorists, the self-same terrorists that the P.A. was supposed to have been, but has not been, pursuing.

Israel longs deeply for peace. But a peace that is genuine. It cannot be secured via appeasement and pretense. It must be founded on solid actions; it requires vigilance and endurance. Those prepared to swallow whole Mr. Abbas's falsehoods and promote a terrorist entity known as a Palestinian state are ill-serving the free-world. Such a state represents a clear danger to the existence of Israel, as well as to the goals of the U.S. in the Mid-East.

American born and bred, Arlene Kushner works in Jerusalem as an investigative journalist. Her work appears in such venues as National Review Online and Her book, Disclosed: Inside the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, written under the aegis of the Center for Near East Policy Research, has recently been released and can be secured from this site.

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Waking up to a New Existential Reality:
Living in the Only Place in the World Where There are No Human Rights or Civil Liberties for Jews…by Law
David Bedein,
Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency

This morning, I came to my office at the press center in Jerusalem at 9:45 a.m. and was greeted with two new dissonant realities within minutes.

An official letter from the Israel Government Lands Authority authorizing our family's purchase of a home in the city of Efrat, 14 kilometers south of Jerusalem, a city of almost 1800 families, set to expand to 5,000 families, according to the municipal plans that were approved by the government of Israel more than a quarter century ago.

After twenty years of rental, we finally own our home.

Well, there was not much time for sentimentality of owning a home in the state of Israel.

Only minutes after opening the letter, the second reality hit like a ton of bricks.

10:00 a.m. newscast on the Voice of Israel Government Radio News reported that the Israel High Court of Justice had declared that the Israel Government Disengagement Plan, while violating human rights and civil liberties, was legal because Israeli human rights and civil liberties law simply do not apply to Israeli taxpayers and Israeli law abiding citizens who live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - since Israel has not yet annexed these areas. And Efrat is smack in the middle of Judea.

The Israel High Court of Justice therefore declared that Israeli citizens who live in Judea and Samaria have no human rights and no civil liberties. Hence, the silence of organizations such as the Israel Association for Civil Liberties and the Anti Defamation League

In other words, the only place in the world where Jews have no de jure human rights and civil liberties would be in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

This is not the first time that I have heard such a notion.

On July 23rd, 1990, our news agency organized a dialogue between Israeli American Jewish residents of Judea and the US Consul in Jerusalem, Mr. Phillip Wilcox.

During that discussion, the guests from Judea noted the sensitivity of the US government to the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinian Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

They asked the US consul about human rights of Jews who live in the same areas - given the traditional sensitivity of the US government to human rights and civil liberties in this part of the world.

US Consul Wilcox responded quickly and straightforwardly, and with no emotion:

"If you live where you live, you have no human rights and no civil liberties"

The US consul invoked the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids nations that conquer other lands in war time to settle their citizens in those lands.

Wilcox, consistent to this position, now heads the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, which has as its purpose the eradication of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan and even in the new neighborhoods in Jerusalem that were established by Israel since 1967.

Wilcox's statement ignored the fact that the San Remo Treaty had been adopted by both the League of Nations and by the United Nations which protected the right of Jews to purchase land and to settle in the Jewish National Homeland, defined as anywhere west of the Jordan River.

Yet 15 years later, Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz adopted the precise formula that Wilcox had articulated in 1990 That Israelis have no human rights or civil liberties if they live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, even if they are law abiding and tax paying Israeli citizens.

Even the mainstream Israeli left wing had never held such a dogmatic position, which had been reserved only for the Israel Communist Party and an anti-Zionist organization in Israel known as Matzpen, who had favored unilateral retreat from all areas acquired by Israel in the defensive war of 1967.

Indeed, the man who had spearheaded the "territories for peace" ideology, the late former Israel Army intelligence chief Aharon Yariv, told me that the difference between his coined the 1974 Yariv-Shem Tov peace formula and the attitude of the new left today was that his formula mandated "territories for peace" and NOT "territories before peace".

Yariv warned that ceding territory without a peace agreement would run the risk of an enemy using that territory as a forward position to attack.

There is only one logical step to take: to initiate a grass roots movement to demand that the government of Israel annex any and all Jewish communities that it has established in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the state of Israel. After all, as it says on my Israeli identity card - City: Efrat, Citizenship: Israel. It would only seem logical that the map of Israel would reflect that reality and show Efrat as part of the state of Israel.

The opposition to this call for annexation of Efrat would concern the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Except that there is no Arab clamoring to be annexed to Israel.

The Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza should be free to run their own affairs in their own entity, with no constraints, except on matters of security and education.

The lesson of the Oslo process are that if you arm a PLO entity, they will use those arms against Israel, and that if you grant the PLO an autonomous educational system, they will use those schools to inculcate their children to make war against the Jews and to liberate all of Palestine.

And let us not forget the PLO "Strategy of Phases" which is the bedrock of the PLO ideology, which mandates that the PLO should dismember Israel in stages, in accordance with the 1974 a.m.endment to the PLO Covenant which allowed the PLO to destroy Israel in stages.

Hence, current policy of the government of Israel, as articulated by this weeks Israel Supreme Court decision, simply plays into the hands of the PLO "Strategy of Phases" by declaring Judea, Samaria and Gaza to be extra-territorial to the state of Israel.

To paraphrase what General Aharon Yariv once said, the PLO would only be too happy to use any area abandoned by the state of Israel as a forward position from where they could attack the state of Israel to achieve their unchanged goal: The liberation of all of Palestine and the elimination of any autonomous Zionist presence . . .

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PA Media Today:
Abbas Embraces Hamas
Dr. Michael Widlanski

Today, Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia called for coordination with Israel concerning the withdrawal from Gaza. Qreia's remarks, broadcast on PBC television, followed a meeting between him and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw.

The Palestinian newspapers featured coverage and front page photographs of Straw meeting PA President/PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas after which Abbas criticized the Israeli air strike last night that killed two Hamas gunmen in the Abbasan neighborhood of Khan Younis in Gaza. Hamas units have been shooting rockets at Israel, killing three civilians and wounding eight in more than a dozen attacks in two days. PBC television described the Hamas gunmen as members of the military wing of Hamas, but said they were traveling in a "civilian vehicle." It did not say they were armed and preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

"This will destroy the tahdiyya," said Abbas referring the effect of Israel's retaliation on the much-discussed "cooling off period" declared by Abbas that has largely been ignored by the Islamic terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which Abbas has invited to join his government.

PBC Television

In a "stake-out" interview in Gaza on PBC television, Dr. Abbas said he had confidence that the various Palestinian organizations. "I will be meeting with Hamas and the other organizations, and I have confidence that we will carry out our daily and future interests."

In another interview, PA Interior Minister Nasser Youssef said the rules regarding who would carry arms in the street would be implemented by consensus between the various Palestinian groups.

Hamas-PLO Relations

Hamas official Hassan Youssef said Hamas was talking to PA leader Abbas about a new agreed time for conducting the delayed national legislative elections.

From Palestinian newspapers:

Al-Quds (lead item): Focusing on the Abbas-Straw meeting, this paper led with Abbas's request that Britain get more involved in the peace process, adding Qreia's demand that Israel must make a 100% withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank.

On the lower part of the front page, Abbas was reported calling for keeping the "cooling-off period" as a Palestinian national interest.

Also on the front page, Al-Quds reported that four American soldiers "met their ruin" in Iraq. [Note: The terminology "met their ruin" or "met their fate" is generally reserved for Israeli soldiers, Israeli settlers, and American soldiers in Iraq--MW]

Al-Ayyam: Similar coverage and front page picture of Straw with another top of page picture of destroyed car in Gaza carrying Hamas gunmen.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda: This Fatah-oriented paper stressed that both Abbas and Qreia were insisting on a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, an apparent reference to Dahlan's comments this week insisting on control of airport and port facilities as well as overland connection.

This newspaper ran a cartoon showing George Bush dressed up as Muslim (complete with beard, the sibha prayer beads and a long jalaba gown, preaching to hooded Muslims that American soldiers were their friends.

Report compiled by Michael Widlanski Associates.
Commissioned by the Center for Near East Policy Research.
[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]
Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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