|Israel Resource Review
||24th March, 2007
Arlene Kushner Critiques Israel Consulate's brochure on Israeli Foreign Policy
I write this from Jerusalem as an American-born Israeli citizen. A friend of mine in the States forwarded this material to me, and I would like to take the liberty of making a couple of comments:
1) In 'Points to be considered," you refer to the "'67 borders." But there is no such thing. The lines that are alluded to are -- with a few minor adjustments -- the '49 armistice lines. They were not borders. To use the term "borders" implies some finality about these lines, some sanctity. When the armistice lines were drawn it was understood that borders for Israel would later be negotiated and that they would not necessarily be where the armistice lines were. To refer to "67 borders" suggests that the State of Israel acknowledges that these are Israel's borders, to which Israel should "return." This is not the case. To return to those lines would be to relinquish all of eastern Jerusalem including Har Habayit, and Gush Etzion, and a great deal more. This is not the Israeli position.
2) In your last point under Analysis, you say we "will continue to maintain contact with moderate Palestinians who distance themselves from the Hamas government and its ideology." But there is no Hamas gov't any longer. It is a unity gov't that encompasses Fatah, and Fatah must be held accountable for its adherence to the unity platform.
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:43 p.m.
Subject: Palestinian Unity Government
Following the establishment of the new Palestinian government, please find below a link to the Israeli Cabinet decision regarding this matter, as well as several important points regarding the unity government.
Guidelines of Palestinian Unity Government (16.3.07)
Please find below a translation (from the original Arabic) of the clauses relating to Israel in the Guidelines of the new Palestinian Unity Government that you may find useful. Please note that we have prefaced this translation with an analysis of the document, as well as some points we feel must be taken into account when reading the document.
1. A thorough examination of the guidelines shows that like the "Mecca Agreement" and the "National Reconciliation Document" (known as the "Prisoner's Document"), there is no moderation on behalf of Hamas. Rather, there is a reiteration and hardening of their ideological stance. Other than the issue of the conditional future release of the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, which was inserted due to pressure from President Abbas, all of the other positions listed in the guidelines represent a capitulation on Abbas's behalf to Hamas. Hamas has thus been able to impose its agenda on the Palestinian moderates.
2. The new Palestinian unity government guidelines prove that Hamas has once again advanced towards its interim goal of positioning itself as the leading movement in the Palestinian struggle, without having to compromise ideologically. This has been accomplished by agreeing to technical compromises, such as the acceptance of a short term ceasefire (which Hamas anyhow has an interest in maintaining), while on the other hand reinforcing their political position. In particular, Hamas continues to assert the right to resist all Israeli occupation (which in Hamas' view refers to Israel proper, and not just the West Bank and Gaza Strip), and to continue 'the armed struggle' until reaching the goal of the return of refugees to their "property and land" in Israel.
3. The emphasis on the "Right of Return" for refugees is Hamas's answer to the Israeli attempt to amend the Saudi peace initiative by removing the clause in it which refers to the right of return (invoking UN General Assembly Resolution 194). If the "Right of Return" remains an integral part of the peace plan, it will be very difficult for Israel to consider the initiative as a basis for future negotiations.
4. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah are more limited in their future negotiations with Israel or with the international community. In Clause 4 of the section entitled "The Occupation," despite the fact that "negotiating authority is given to the PLO and the President of the Palestinian National Authority" (Abbas), which gives the Palestinian government the veneer of international credibility, "any important agreement will be brought to the approval of the Palestinian National Council, or for a referendum". This means that Hamas can veto and thus block any initiative which does not conform to its ideological outlook.
5. Another limitation on Abbas is the rejection of the option of having a Palestinian state in provisional borders (clause 3, the political section), which prohibits several proposed intermediate solutions, including the Road Map for Peace (which is not even mentioned in the document), and restricts Abbas's negotiating capability.
6. The call for a "period of calm" with Israel does not represent a moderation of Hamas's position, but instead gives Hamas a tactical 'time-out' in its struggle with Israel, which will in fact allow it to strengthen its internal position as well as build up its military forces.
7. The Palestinians would like the international community to engage with certain government ministers "on a selective basis", in the hope that this would lead to the lifting of international sanctions, even on a partial basis, and without meeting the three Quartet conditions. However, dealing with any minister in the unity government risks granting international legitimacy to this rejectionist administration as a whole - including Hamas.
8. To conclude, in the internal Palestinian sphere, Mahmoud Abbas believes that bringing Hamas further into the Palestinian political system, will allow him to contain their ambitions and actions. However, it would seem that in this particular instance, as part of an attempt to improve the internal security situation and to break the boycott on the Palestinian Authority, Abbas reached a compromise with Hamas's position which allows Hamas to continue on its set course of military build-up as a preparation for the next round of conflict.
9. Additionally, we would like to point out that the Israeli government is committed to the Road Map and the vision of two states - Israel and Palestine - existing side-by-side in peace, and will continue to maintain contact with moderate Palestinians who distance themselves from the Hamas government and its ideology.
Points to be considered before reading the document:
- The three conditions issued by the Quartet - recognising Israel, renouncing terrorism and honouring previous agreements - are not mentioned, addressed, or honoured.
- There is no mention of a two-state solution, or any reference to the 1967 borders. Furthermore, according to Hamas's theological interpretation, all of historic Palestine - Israel, the West Bank and Gaza - is perceived as Islamic religious endowment (Waqf), and therefore using the words "Palestinian lands" [clause 2, political level], is an explicit rejection of the idea of the two-state solution.
- The rejection of a Palestinian state in provisional borders [clause 3, political level], contradicts the 2nd phase of the Roadmap.
- The continued support for "resistance" (use of violence), which is the "legitimate right of the Palestinians" [clause 6, political level + clause 2, occupation] should be noted. "Resistance", in Hamas's rhetoric, is nearly always a euphemism for systematic terrorism and violence.
- It is hypocritical for Hamas to call for the facilitation of the release of Gilad Shalit as part of a prisoner exchange deal [clause 5, occupation], when Hamas kidnapped him in the first place (and took responsibility for it).
The document: (Clauses relating to Israel in the Guide Lines of Palestinian Unity - as translated from Arabic by Israel's Foreign Ministry, underlines added for emphasis by the translators)
The political level:
1. The government emphasizes that the key to regional security and stability is ending the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, recognition of the Palestinian right for self determination, and the government will act together with the international community to end the occupation and to return the legal rights of the Palestinian people, so that we could build a strong infrastructure for peace, security and prosperity in the region.
2. The government is committed to protect the supreme national interests of the Palestinian people, to guard its rights and to accomplish its national objectives, as were ratified in national council resolutions, in the national reconciliation document (i.e. the Prisoners document) and in decisions of the Arab summits, and on this basis will respect the "legitimate international resolutions" and agreements signed by the PLO.
3. The government is committed to rejecting a state within provisional borders, since this idea is based on diminishing of the legal rights of the Palestinian people.
4. The government is devoted for the right of return to the Palestinian refugees to their lands and properties.
5. The government will vigorously act for the release of the heroic prisoners from the jails of the Israeli occupation.
6. The government will resist Israel's measures of occupation - assassination, arrests and attacks. The government will view the struggle against Israel's policy in Jerusalem and the holy sites as particularly important.
7. The government will strengthen the relations with Arab and Muslim states, and will develop regional and international cooperation based on mutual respect.
1. The government emphasizes that the regional peace and security are dependent upon ending all forms of occupation of the Palestinian lands, the removal of the racist fence and the settlements, and ceasing making Jerusalem Jewish and the annexation and returning the rights to their owners.
2. The government emphasises that the resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people, and according to all international agreements and conventions it is the right of our people to defend itself against any Israeli attack, and the resistance will only stop after the occupation ends, independence is obtained and the right of return is implemented.
3. The government - through the mutual national reconciliation - will work to set the truce and to expand it towards a comprehensive and mutual truce, in exchange for an Israeli commitment to halt all measures of occupation (including) assassinations, arrests, attacks, house demolitions, land sweeping and the excavations in Jerusalem, and will act for the removal of checkpoints, will open the crossings, will remove the limitations on movement and transportation, and will release prisoners.
4. The government reaffirms the content of the national reconciliation document, that the negotiating authority is given to the PLO and the President of the Palestinian National Authority, and any important agreement will be brought to the approval of the Palestinian National Council, or for a referendum amongst the Palestinians "inside" and "outside".
5. The government will assist the on-going efforts and will strengthen all sides to end the problem of the imprisoned Israeli soldier as part of an honorable prisoner exchange deal.
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Israel's Deputy PM Falsifies Military Record on Knesset Web Site
David Bedein , Writing for the The Philadelphia Bulletin
Jerusalem - Most recently, the credibility of Israel's Knesset Parliament was
shaken when a reporter discovered that a new member of Israel's highest-elected
body had falsely reported the university degrees that appear on the Israel's
Knesset Web site, provided by the government of Israel for the press and public
in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
Now, The Bulletin has discovered an even more serious indiscretion that appears
on that same official Israel Knesset Web site.
It was discovered that the internationally-known elder statesman of Israel's
Knesset Parliament, Shimon Peres, 83, the member of the Israeli Knesset who has
served longer than any other member of the Knesset - since 1959 - has falsified
his "c.v." on the official Knesset Web site.
Now mounting a "last hurrah" campaign for the seemingly honorary position of
president of the state of Israel, Shimon Peres, the current Israeli deputy prime
minister and the former minister of communications, minister of defense, foreign
minister and prime minister has taken an unusual step to establish a new place
for himself in the history of the state of Israel, by using the official Web
site of the Israeli Knesset to describe his military record as such:
"Military Service Haganah; IDF; Temporary Head of Naval Services, 1950"
Except that Peres never served in the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, and Peres
was far from being the "temporary head of Naval Services" in 1950.
Indeed, Peres was ridiculed early in his career for not having served in any
military capacity in the war of independence for the nascent Jewish state,
despite the fact that he was the director general during the years 1952-1959 of
the Ministry of Defense under Israel's first prime minister and defense
minister, David Ben Gurion, who served in both positions from 1948 until 1963.
In terms of Peres' military service, Ben Gurion's official records in the
official Prime Minister's Diary described Peres' role in the aftermath of the
1948 war: Helping plan operations in the Negev, the southern region of Israel
where battles continued to rage in 1949, and overseeing the complex logistics
involving the drafting of 17-year-old male and female recruits from the various
Zionist youth movements to the new Israeli army, with Ben Gurion mentioning a
specific directive to Peres to neutralize the influence of the left-wing Mapam
In terms of the role played by Peres in Israel's naval history, in the official
archive of the Israel Defense Forces, entitled Israeli Naval Military
Operations, published in 1964 when Peres was the deputy of Defense, Gershon Zack
is identified as the head of Israel's naval services before Israel's declaration
of independence in May 1948, and Paul Shuman is identified as the head of the
Israeli navy after May 1948. Meanwhile, the official Israel Ministry of Defense
Lexicon of Israeli Defense, published in 1976 when Peres was minister of
Defense, identifies Peres as only holding a desk job at the new Israel Ministry
of Defense, "responsible for naval matters," appointed to that position in
The Bulletin asked Peres' office for a response to the misrepresentation of
Peres on the official site of the Israeli Knesset. Peres' office would not
respond. Peres's official biographer, Dr. Michael Bar Zohar, however, confirmed
that Peres never served in the IDF.
This article ran on the March 23rd issue of the Philadelphia Bulletin
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Rice to Palestinians: End incitement against Israel
[On March 19th, Israel Resource News Agency helped to produce a four minute segment on Israel's TV Commercial Channel Two which documented the most inciteful Palestinian Authority school books used in the public schools of Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, with the funding of the Israel Ministry of Education. Selected sections of the school books relating to the inculcation of Jihad and the extermination of Israel were featured on the screen of Channel Two.
Following the airing of this segment, Israel Minister of Education Yuli Tamir made an unprecedented declaration, in which she said, in no uncertain terms, that any school where these books are used will lose its public funding. Now, for the first time, an Israeli government minister went on the record on this issue.
All this aired on the night before Israel's Knesset Education Committee has scheduled a hearing on the subject of Palestinian incitement in their schools.
The process by which this segment was produced: IRNA introduced the correspondent to a professinal who had translated the books and supplied the correspondent with examples of the new Palestinian Authority school books, while IRNA directed the same Channel Two correspondent to the PA school book store in East Jerusalem, which sold her the Jerusalem version of the same school books- without the PA insignia on the cover .
The translator showed the correspondent that the books were identical, except for their cover.
Over the past seven years, ever since IRNA puchased these books from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education in Ramallah and from the PA school book store in East Jerusalem, IRNA has been asking the Israel Ministry of Education, the Israel Ministry of Defense, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israel Minister for AntiSemitism Affairs as to why the government of Israel does not make a policy issue of the incitement in the PA schools. IRNA has also been asking about the appropriateness of the inclusion of these textbooks in the curriculum of the Jerusalem schools.
In addition, IRNA had asked the same question of the American government.
No answer had been forthcoming- despite the fact that the first step of the "declaration of principles" that was agreed upon in Oslo by Arafat and Abbas involved the eradication of incitement. The most typical answer was the one provided by then-Mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert in 2001: "They can teach what they want and we will teach what we want". -db ]
US secretary of state says Palestinians must expunge inciteful material from textbooks, publish maps that include Israel; Bush administration to reduce proposed $86 million security assistance package to PA government . . .
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that the US is discussing with the Palestinians the need to end incitement against Israel in schools and print maps that include the State of Israel . . .
Associated Press Published: 03.21.07, 19:59 / Israel News
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
the Israel Resource
The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by
the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.