Israel Resource Review 12th May, 2001


MK Dr. Steinitz Demands: Disarm the PA - Rejects Call for Ceasefire

On Tuesday, May 8th, MK Dr Yuval Steinitz addressed a packed audience at the Israel Center in Jerusalem, at a news forum hosted by the Israel Resource News Agency.

Steinitz, a former Peace Now leader and now an influential force in the Likud, rejected any cease fire idea, demanding that Israel disarm the PLO and its armed forces that continue to attack Israel on all fronts.

Speaking in his capacity as the chairman of special Knesset Foreign and Security Relations subcommittee on Defence Planning and Policy, Dr. Steinitz stated that the PA has engaged in a policy of smuggling enough weapons to cripple the state of Israel.

Dr. Steinitz warned that "national security is much more important that personal security", and asserted that any cease fire achieved in the short run would come at the expense of the need to strike at the source of the problem.

According to Dr. Steinitz, Israel had ignored the growth of the Palestinian security forces, from the agreed upon number in the 1993 "declaration of principles" of 9,000 to the agreed upon number of 24,000 under the second Oslo agreement of 1995, to 60,000 Palestinian soldiers are now under arms.

However, Steinitz asserted, the days of Israel ignoring the PA military preparations are over, since the PA is engaged in a well planned war of attrition that could last for many months and years - if Israel does not act immediately to stem the flow of weapons smuggling into the PA, by closing every artery of supplies, from the the PA airport in Gaza to every roadblock that can act a port of illegal arms supply.

Dr. Steinitz demanded that Israel increase its military pressure on the Palestinian security services, and called for the IDF to immediately attack PA army bases, PA ammunition dumps, PA officers and all the bunkers where weapons can be stored.

Dr. Steinitz conveyed a message to the media: to relate to the Palestinian Authority as a state in the making that is engaged in a low intensity war with Israel and not as a terror group firing pot-shots at civilians.

Dr. Steinitz indicated that the PA had crossed a "Cassus Belli" when it launched attacks on Jerusalem's capital, and indicated that the time has come for Israel to consider a formal declaration of war against the PA.

In conclusion, Dr. Steinitz quoted peace process advocate Dr. Yose Beillin, who said from the rostrum of the Israel Knesset only nine months ago that an armed PA attack on a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem would as "unthinkable", a red line that the PA would never cross, since an attack on a nation's capital would be understood all over the world as an act of war.

Dr. Steinitz's message: Israel is in a state of war and must act like it.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

The Mitchell Report:
"Balanced and Fair?"
David Bedein

In late October, 2000, US president Clinton appointed an international investigation commission to investigate the causes of the rioting in Israel, naming an Arab American and former US Senator, George Mitchell, as its chairman, and a Jewish-American, also a former US senator, Warren Rudman, to the panel, together with three prominent European diplomats.

Initial reaction in Israel to the publication of the Mitchell Commission report in May, 2001, evoked a sigh of relief that the Mitchell commission did not blame Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for instigating the riots in September, 2000 during his visit to the Temple Mount.

However, even with that Sharon Temple Mount Accusation out of the way, the Mitchell Commission report accepted all of the other specious PLO premises for the current PLO insurrection.

The Mitchell commission accepted as a given that the PLO uprising is based on some based on some kind of movement for "independence and genuine self-determination", without giving credence to the clearly stated PLO goal, stated in all PLO publications, maps and media outlets, even during the current Oslo process, which remains "liberation" of all of Palestine.

The Mitchell Commission characterizes the rioters armed with molotov cocktails as "unarmed Palestinian demonstrators". a term that they seemed to have borrowed from several PLO information reports that have been published of late.

The Mitchell Commission takes the position that Israel's security forces do not face a clear a present danger when faced with a mob trying to murder them with rocks and firebombs

The Mitchell Commission does not even mention that the PA has amassed 50,000 more weapons than they are supposed to have, in clear violation of the written Oslo accords, and not only the "spirit of the accords", which seem to carry more weight with the Mitchell Commission.

The Mitchell Commission also accepts the notion that the Palestinian Authority security officials are simply not in control of their own tightly controlled security services,

The Mitchell Commission rejects the notion that the PA planned the uprising, as if the PA did not spend the past seven years preparing its media, school system and security services for any confrontation wit Israel.

The Mitchell Commission also describe an Israeli "view" that the PA leadership has made no real effort to prevent anti-Israeli terrorism, ignoring the message that Arafat has conveyed in his own media for the past seven years.

The Mitchell Commission also rejects Israel's characterization of the conflict, as "armed conflict short of war"; (how else would you describe an army that fires mortar rounds into Israeli cities?)

The Mitchell Commission also rejects the IDF killing PLO combat officers during a time of war, without giving an alternative as to what actions the IDF is supposed to take in any such military confrontation.

Instead of issuing a clear call to the PLO to stop its sniper attacks on Israel's roads and highways, the Mitchell Commission simply "condemns the positioning of gunmen within or near civilian dwellings", leaving the observer to assume that PLO attacks from empty embankments would be acceptable.

The Mitchell Commission suggests that "the IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held before September 28, 2000, …to reduce the number of friction points", ignoring the fact that this would leave the entry points to many Israeli cities without appropriate protection at a time of war.

The Mitchell Commission demands that Israel should transfer to the PA all tax revenues owed, and permit Palestinians who had been employed in Israel to return to their jobs, strangely recommending that Israel once again be in the position of paying the salaries of the armed PLO personnel who are now at war with Israel.

The Mitchell Commission takes a page out of Arab propaganda brochures when it calls on Israeli "security forces and settlers to refrain from the destruction of homes and roads, as well as trees and other agricultural property in Palestinian areas", not even relating to the remote possibility that some areas of trees and agricultural land had been razed because it had given cover to the PA security forces during combat.

The Mitchell Commission accepts the notion that "settlers and settlements in their midst" remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate "the spirit of the Oslo process", even though not one word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement anywhere.

In conclusion, the Mitchell Commission finds a connection between "settlement activities" and the Palestinian ability to resume and makes a judgment that negotiations cannot continue, so long as "settlement activities" continue, thereby introducing an excuse for the PLO to continue its armed conflict.

The Mitchell Commission accepts the notion that "settlers and settlements in their midst" remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate "the spirit of the Oslo process".

The Mitchell Commission members know full well that not a word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement anywhere.

Yet for some reason, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres praised Mitchell Commission report as "balanced" and "fair". Yassir Arafat, meeting with his political allies from Israel on May 11, stated that the Mitchell Report was the basis for renewal of negotiations between the parties.

Does this mean that the Israeli government will now accept the premise of the Mitchell Commission that negotiations with Arafat can only continue when Jewish community activity ceases in Judea, Samaria and Katif?

Is Peres acting on his own?

All this remains to be seen.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Two Funerals: Wednesday, May 9th, 2001
Sara Bedein
Writer and Mother

Thousands attended the double funerals held at the Gush Etzion Junction of 14 year old Yossef Ishran and Kobi Mandel, who were discovered in the early morning hours following a night long nerve wracking search.

The bodies were found next to the Haritun Caves, half buried under a pile of blood-soaked rocks with only their feet sticking out, a short distance from their homes in Tekoa. Next to their bodies were strewn their bags containing their uneaten sandwiches and water which they had taken with them on what was going to be a fun day of seeking out a suitable place to hold the traditional Lag B'Omer bonfire on Thursday night.

The massive crowd of mourners included hundreds of children, friends from the two schools which they attended in Efrat and Alon Shvut as well as their many friends from Tekoa. The crowd, who arrived for the scheduled 4:30 p.m. funeral was turned back after the loudspeaker announced that there would be a two hour delay of the funeral procession leaving Tekoa. In silence the huge crowd slowly emptied back into their cars and the buses. Only after returning to the funeral site did we learn the reason for the delay. Lab test results. Not satisfied with crushing the skulls of the two youngsters, the inhuman murderers continued to mutilate and abuse the bodies long after their last breaths were drawn. Those who discovered the bodies reported that the faces were so badly mutilated that they were no longer recognizable as human beings. The only way to make a definite identification was through fingerprints.

The massive crowd awaited the funeral procession that was on its way from Tekoa. Two stands awaited the bodies which would be laid out for the eulogies before being taken to the two respective cemeteries - Kobi would be laid to rest in Kfar Etzion and Yossef in Jerusalem. Psalms were chanted over the loudspeaker and the crowd chanted back the words of the psalms written centuries ago by King David - many of these psalms were written in the very caves near where the boys were found dead when King David hid in the Judean Desert caves when fleeing from King Saul and his soldiers.

A choked hush went through the crowd when the family was announced. The hundreds of children held on to each other, tears streaming down their faces. The mass of mourners, covering every inch of ground, parted like the Red Sea to make way for the families. The crowd made an audible gasp and broke into quiet sobs as first the small talit (prayer shawl) wrapped body of Yossef Ishran was brought forth and lowered onto the stand followed by his family who huddled around the body, hugging, holding and weeping over their dead son and brother. Then came the body of Kobi, wrapped in his father's talit, the same one his father wore when he proudly held his first-born son Kobi at his circumcision ceremony when he was eight days old. Following came Kobi's father, Seth, holding six year old Gabi in his arm while trying to hold on with his other hand to eleven year old Lilliana and twelve year old Daniel. The heartbroken sobs of the small children who stood over their big brother's body was too much to bear. The whole crowd weeped along outloud. Then Kobi's mother, Sheri was led/carried to the body of her first born child. The sight of the raw pain on her beautiful face cut like a knife into the hearts of all. Sheri, a talented author and teacher of creative writing lay her head down on her sons body weeping inconsolably and we felt like our hearts would break. For long moments we stood there crying, speechless. School children crying on their friends shoulders, adults, friends and family.

In his eulogy, Saul Goldstein, regional mayor of Gush Etzion, talked about the need to close down the PLO's broadcasting networks where there are daily calls for murder of the Zionists and incitement against the Jews is broadcasted 24 hours a day.

Before the rocks, bullets, knives, bombs - it is the words that kill. Hate is contributed through education, incitement, the general environment. There is a direct connection between incitement calling for killing the Zionist enemy blasting daily from Palestinian media to Syria's dictator Assad pointing at the Jews as Jesus' murderer and humiliater of Prophet Muhammad, while his Defense Minister Dr. Mustafah Tallas was quoted in the L.B.C. Lebanese network saying "If every Arab kills a Jew, then there will be no more Jews". He also said "I want to stand in place and kill the Jew standing opposite me". This incitement goes along with Egypt's very popular no. 1 hit number called: "I hate Israel", played constantly over the Egyptian airwaves. This is the climate which produced the murderers who butchered two sweet beautiful innocent Jewish boys looking for a place to build a bonfire.

The children of Tekoa promised to hold their bonfires tonight at the site of the murder. The cave where the bodies were found is situated at the edge of the Judean desert, less than a kilometer from Tekoa. These big caves, the largest in the Middle East, where the prophet Amos, as is written, tended his flocks in "Tekoa" held all the mysteries and adventure of Adventureland. It was the place the children of Tekoa go to hang out, talk to wandering Bedoiuns tending their flocks, paint, meditate and celebrate the beauty of nature. For the children of Tekoa it was the extention of their backyards. The beautiful landscape this time of year is covered in the bloom of spring. Now it is sprinkled with blood.

Wake up Israel. Wake up world. Smell the blood.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

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 Authority.
You can contact us on