|Israel Resource Review
||11th October, 2002
Funds for Arab Terror From Israel
Following US Pressure on
Israel, Israel Ministry of Finance Provides Frozen Funds to the
Arab Affairs Analyst, Yediot Ahronot
Israel this week transferred NIS 70 million to
the Palestinian Authority to cover an outstanding debt, thereby
supplying the PA with the possibility of re-equipping and
regrouping for a new round of battles that is likely to develop
after the current respite. The above-cited sum was transferred
even though Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayed said that
it would be used to pay the salaries of 50,000 Palestinian
Appendix 1 of the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority from September 1995 stipulates that all branches of the
Palestinian police force will not exceed 30,000 troops -- 12,000 in Judea and
Samaria and 18,000 in the Gaza Strip. In the Cairo agreement, which was
signed 18 months before, there was mention of only 9,000 combatants. Now
there apparently are over 100,000 security officials, policemen and
combatants from the various organizations in the territories. If the
Palestinians have established a complete army, in utter contradiction to
the logic of Oslo, why should Israel honor its commitments and continue to
build that army?
The NIS 70 million that Israel recently transferred to the Palestinian
Authority will be distributed among the various factions and organizations
of Fatah, Tanzim, fronts, police and intelligence services, whose principal
raison d'etre at present is to fight against us. The distribution will be
decided on the way Arafat has always done things: according to the little
black book in which he records who committed which terror attacks. It is
not inconceivable that some of this money will be siphoned out to Arafat
loyalists in the refugee camps in Lebanon, as occurred in the past.
Moreover, Israel gave the PA this so very critical sum of money for the
continuation of the Intifada even though its demand for transparency had
not been met. Contrary to the stipulations in the interim agreements-and
not part of the "reforms" that are spoken about so much now-the PA never
gave Israel a list of the people who receive the payments. The money is
distributed in cash and disappears immediately. And if that were not
enough, the Palestinian finance minister admitted, as Barnea reported, that
he works for Arafat. The source of Arafat's power over all these years has
been principally budgetary, and along comes Israel and rehabilitates his
status after the fiasco in the mukataa.
And naturally, just like most of the American aid to Egypt is allocated
immediately for military armament, the American pressure on Israel to
transfer the funds will produce the mass militarization of the Palestinian
territories, which is the very same disease that brought Arafat here in the
middle of the 1990s. Now, when there is talk about "reforms" in the
Palestinian Authority, it would make sense to transfer some of the
recipients of public salaries to the civilian field. But who even dreams
that that is going to happen? Instead of being allocated to rehabilitate
the Palestinian civilian infrastructure, health, education for children or
new infrastructures, the money will be used to continue to build the
Palestinian military capabilities. The civilian society that was beginning
to become established in the territories was wiped out for the sake of
armament and salaries for soldiers. Capital is used for the past, and not
for building a future.
Thus large sums of money flow from Israel to Arafat's junta, while the
Palestinian civilians, and certainly the refugees, will continue to enjoy
only the crumbs. This way, Arafat's industry of defiance will continue to
poison the atmosphere and will cause Israel to be hated by the future
generations, who will continue to undergo a process of militarization, as
if nothing has been learned from the past two years. How absurd and how sad.
This piece ran on October 10, 2002 in Yediot
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UNICEF: Thousands of
Palestinian Children Denied Access to Schools
With Questions to UNICEF
[In response to the "serious concern" expressed below by Pierre
Poupard, UNICEF Special Representative to the Palestinian
Authority, over the number of Palestinian children being
prevented from attending school by Israel-imposed restrictions,
the following points might be relevant:
- The restrictions imposed by the IDF in the territories are the direct result of continued Palestinian Authority sponsored terrorism. If the Palestinian Authority (PA) were to rein in terrorists and to ensure civil order, there would be no need for the restrictions.
- In the areas where relative calm has been restored, IDF restrictions have been totally or partially lifted, thereby permitting Palestinian students to attend school. As the UNICEF official himself acknowledges, while some 226,000 Palestinian children and their teachers are presently affected by IDF closures, primarily in the flash points of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Hebron, the vast majority of the close to 1 million Palestinian children of school age are not affected by the closures.
- Under the PA, Palestinian schools throughout the territories have been transformed into terrorist laboratories. As the policy analyst Justus Weiner notes in the Jerusalem Post ("Child abuse in the Palestinian Authority,˛ October 2, 2002), "Even in the PAšs public schools, incitement to violence plays a major role while interest in reconciliation with Israel is notably absent. The PAšs deputy minister of education, Naim Abu Humus, called on school administrators to dedicate the first class to praying for the souls of those killed during the intifada, saying, "Today we glorify Al-Aksa and Palestine, and remember the Palestinian martyrs"
- "Signs on the walls of kindergartens", Weiner continues, "proclaim their students as the 'shaheeds' [martyrs] of tomorrow", and elementary school teachers and principals commend their young students for wanting to 'tear their Zionist bodies into little pieces and cause them more pain than they will ever know'š . . . ". Sheikh Hassan Yosef, a leading Hamas member, summarized this process of incitement by saying, "we like to grow them from kindergarten through college" , Weiner adds.
- UNICEF's Pierre Poupard cites Israelšs obligation, according to the 4th Geneva Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to ensure education is accessible to every Palestinian child.
What Mr. Poupard fails to note, however, is the extent to which the Rights of the Child are routinely and systematically violated by Yasser Arafatšs Palestinian Authority. These violations include encouraging children to become suicide bombers, placing children in the front-lines of armed demonstrations against Israeli soldiers, and delivering busloads of Palestinian school children to demonstrations throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Through its hate-filled school curriculum, the PA denies Palestinian children the fundamental right to peaceful, modern education.
- The UNICEF statement ignores the significant steps taken by Israel since June 1967 to establish a modern educational system for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even in the absence of peace.]
[Reached at the UNICEF office in Jerusalem, Mr. Poupard denied any knowledge of the PA schools being used as a place of terror training or
incitement of youth to war against Israel. Mr. Poupard also said that he
has not seen the evaluation of the Palestinian Authority school system
that was provided by the CMIP at www.edume.org]
JERUSALEM, 2 October 2002 - A month into the Palestinian school year, the UNICEF Special Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pierre Poupard, today expressed serious concern over the number of Palestinian children being prevented from attending school by Israel-imposed restrictions. "Right now the Israeli military is preventing thousands of Palestinian children and teachers from attending school," Mr Poupard said. "A generation of Palestinian children is being denied their right to an education."
While UNICEF noted that most Palestinian children have either returned to school or are receiving alternative schooling, it said that more than 226,000 children and over 9,300 teachers are unable to reach their regular classrooms and at least 580 schools have been closed due to Israeli military curfews, closures and home confinement.
UNICEF said Israel has an obligation to ensure education is accessible to every Palestinian child, in accordance with the 4th Geneva Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As an absolute minimum, mobility restrictions on Palestinian civilians must be lifted throughout the OPT during school hours.
There are almost 1 million Palestinian children of school age. Children living in the districts of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Hebron are most affected. The mobility restrictions in these areas have necessitated the creation of a substitute schooling system. Many Palestinian school children are now being home-schooled by their parents, or gathering in makeshift classrooms such as mosques, basements, and alleyways.
"Alternative schooling initiatives are an indication of the extent to which the regular lives of Palestinian children are being devastated by this conflict," said Mr Poupard.
UNICEF cautioned that the quality of home education can not be assessed or assured. UNICEF emphasized that the organizers and teachers of alternative schooling have a responsibility to ensure their actions are in the best interests of children at all times.
UNICEF is currently implementing a 'back to school' campaign to help ensure that the poorest Palestinian children can afford to stay in school.
The campaign includes the provision of school uniforms and school bags - expenses that often keep poor children out of the classroom. The campaign is supporting over 14,000 children. "This year, with the economy on the verge of collapse, many Palestinian parents are unable to afford to send their children to school.
UNICEF appeals to the donor community for further support," Mr Poupard said. Some 317,000 Palestinian school children are now in desperate need of assistance due to financial hardship.
Last school year, UNICEF supported a community-based education program in Hebron and Khan Younis assisting over 12,250 Palestinian children whose education was disrupted as a result of the crisis. This year, UNICEF is expanding the program by supporting officially-endorsed home schooling initiatives.
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"Between Palestine and Hamastine"
Intelligence Correspondnent, Yediot Ahronot
"Our situation is firm, we are expecting an
upheaval." This was the closing sentence of the latest report
sent from Hamas headquarters in the territories to the
headquarters in Syria. The strengthening of Hamas in the Gaza
Strip and the West Bank has brought the leadership of the
organization to the decision to accelerate the battle over the
future of the Palestinian Authority, the battle between
"Palestine," the future democratic and secular state, and
"Hamastine," the Islamic Palestinian state to which Hamas aspires.
The first shot was fired on Sunday morning. Hamas headquarters
dispatched a cell headed by Imad Akel from the Nusseirat refugee camp to
kill Col. Rajah Abu Lehiya in a targeted operation. Abu Lehiya was the
commander of the special intervention force, the elite unit of the
Palestinian police. The operation was planned similarly to the manner in
which IDF undercover units operate: the necessary intelligence material was
gathered, all the moves were planned, and after the plan was authorized by
the senior leadership of the organization, Akel and his men were sent on
On the previous day, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the number two man in
Hamas, had given incitement speeches condemning all those who call to
return to the negotiating table with Israel, and demanded that they be
treated as traitors. Rantisi spoke in a threatening, arrogant and
provocative tone. The day afterwards, Akel and his men put on uniforms of
the Palestinian police and waited at a roadblock on the main road in Gaza.
When Col. Abu Lehiya's car approached the roadblock, they ordered it to
stop. Within seconds, they overpowered the commander of the elite unit and
his five bodyguards. The wheel of the car was taken by a Hamas man who
drove quickly to the Nusseirat refugee camp in southern Gaza. Abu Lehiya
was killed, his bodyguards sent away shamefacedly, and the car torched.
Hamas announced this joyfully through a system of deafening loudspeakers
posted over the city's mosques.
The assassination was carried out on the day when 14 Palestinians were
killed during the IDF operation in the El-Amal neighborhood of Khan Yunis.
Despite the disaster, the Hamas commanders did not consider the possibility
of delaying the planned mission.
"If the commander of the police elite unit cannot defend himself, who
can defend the Palestinian police?" people asked in Gaza.
Arafat was among the first to receive the news of the killing. He was
furious. From his office in the demolished mukataa he cursed Hamas, poured
out his fury on Sheikh Yassin and ordered his men to arrest the murderers
and put them on trial at the state security court, which is empowered to
issue the death sentence.
The Palestinian policemen who arrived at the Nusseirat refugee camp
encountered fierce resistance on the part of Hamas. During the failed
attempts to break into the camp, five Hamas members were killed. The next
day, street demonstrations broke out against the Palestinian police, and
Gaza seethed and boiled.
Mohammed Dahlan, the strong man in Gaza, said that this time he could
not make a concession to Hamas. This was the murder of a senior officer in
broad daylight, he announced, and demanded that Hamas turn over the
murderers. Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi announced that his organization is
interested in the rule of law, but added that the law should be applied to
policemen as well as civilians, and the policemen who killed Hamas men
should also be put on trial. The Borno family, one of whose sons was
killed by the gunfire of the Palestinian policemen, published an
advertisement in the East Jerusalem Al-Kuds daily, stating that they do not
intend to begin mourning as long as the son's murderers have not been
The Red Line
There has been great tension in Gaza ever since the colonel's murder.
Despite the mediation attempts between the Palestinian leadership and
Hamas, the dispute has not been settled. "The situation will not calm down
until the colonel's murderers are turned over," announced Fatah. But Hamas
is refusing to turn them over.
The confrontation is serious, and could definitely snowball. But it is
early to speak of civil war. Hamas knows where the red line runs that they
will not cross. Fitna, a civil war, is the red line for them, and they
will be careful not to let the events deteriorate to such a war.
The leaders of Hamas know that the Palestinian Authority's force will
determine the matter eventually, but this does not stop them from provoking
the PA. In fact, the goal of the confrontation, initiated by Hamas, is to
test the balance of power between Hamas and the PA, in view of the ongoing
decrease in Arafat's power, the collapse of the Palestinian government
institutions and the helplessness of the residents of the territories in
The Palestinian police reacted with great determination to the Hamas
offensive, proving that when an internal struggle arises over the question
of who is in charge, Arafat does not hesitate to send his men and exert his
full force. Conversely, when Israel demands that he act against Hamas, he
demonstrates ineffectuality, weakness and complete inaction. In such cases
he treats Hamas as an ally.
The latest surveys held in the territories indicate an impressive rise
in the support for Hamas: Between 20 and 29 percent of the residents of the
territories support Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's organization, and this is a great
deal. "The tanks created a vacuum, which gave Hamas oxygen," explains
Sufiyan Abu Zeida, one of the heads of Fatah in Gaza.
Last week Hamas opened a large clinic in Khan Yunis, another institution
of the Daawa, Hamas' developing aid and welfare system. The Daawa activity
has expanded greatly during the Intifada. The citizens' distress was
utilized well to expand the circles of support. Food and money were
provided to families in need, clinics were built, a supplementary education
system was created, new mosques and youth clubs were established, and day
camps were held for children during the summer. The elaborate Hamas
ceremonies draw crowds of tens of thousands of people, and at funerals and
demonstrations the green flag is prevalent-the flag of Islam.
Through a well oiled fund-raising system in Europe, the United States
and Arab countries, Hamas has succeeded in giving sponsorship to all the
spheres that the PA has relinquished due to financial distress. The senior
PA officials stand by helplessly and grind their teeth. The weaker the PA
becomes, the stronger the anti-Israel stream grows and the greater the
support for Hamas becomes, not only as a religious movement but also due to
its path in battling Israel.
Main Opposition to Fatah
In three weeks the month of Ramadan will begin, and Hamas has already
begun its preparations. Hamas intends to dedicate this month not only to
strengthening religious faith and returning many people to the fold, but
also to encourage fulfillment of the precept of jihad. The meaning:
Encouraging acts of terror.
The Intifada has greatly strengthened religion in Palestinian society.
Arafat and his men have also used religious symbols and Koran verses to
enthuse the people and add as many as possible to the circle of violence
against Israel. As the distress increased, many Palestinians found
sanctuary in the mosques, with Allah. Arafat has not fought Hamas, nor did
he have any intention of fighting it. He regards it not as an enemy but as
a partner who has deviated from the path. Arafat has also used Hamas for
his own purposes, and the criticism it voiced towards him is meant to
preserve Palestinian interests.
After the blowup of the Palestinian national dialogue, which attempted
to limit the terror attacks to the West Bank territories alone, the members
of Hamas began to take an independent line that deepened even further the
gap between them and the PA and Fatah. Hamas also proposed to the other
rejectionist organizations to establish joint headquarters, which would
serve as an alternative. At the beginning of the week, the political
bureau of the PFLP and the DFLP announced the acceptance of the Fatah
formula for limiting acts of terror to the territories. Hamas was the only
organization that did not join these understandings, and thus remained the
main opposition to Fatah.
Arafat and the Fatah leaders fear the rise in Hamas' power. The PA
recently tried to create a division between the overseas branch of Hamas
and the domestic branch of Hamas, and isolate Sheikh Abdel Aziz Rantisi,
the more extreme leader of the organization. The attempt was unsuccessful:
Rantisi grew stronger, and is now the most notable voice in the leadership
"The Sausage Theater"
In conjunction with the firm opposition stance presented by Hamas, harsh
criticism of Arafat has also been voiced over the past few months within
Fatah, the chairman's own organization, as well as in the Palestinian
Legislative Council, the media and among Palestinian intellectuals. This
criticism has led to the establishment of three new parties, which can be
termed the Palestinian left wing: Bassam Abu Sheriff, who served as
Arafat's spokesman for many years, established the Palestinian Democratic
Party in Gaza; Mustafa Barghouti established the Reform Party in Ramallah;
and Nabil Amer, member of the PLC, who is leading the group of reforms, has
also announced the establishment of a new party.
New parties have been established; the question is when the elections
will be held. Arafat has announced that they will be held at the beginning
of January 2003, that is, in another three and a half months. This week,
however, a delegation from the American organization helping prepare the
elections visited Arafat's office in Ramallah, and announced that the
preparations for the elections would last for at least half a year. Arafat
voiced no objection. Arafat is doing everything to defer the elections,
for fear of an increase in the power of Hamas and the new left wing
parties. He also wants to see what the developments will be in Iraq.
After the war, he hopes, a new "Madrid Conference" will be held to
establish a new order in the region, with effective US intervention.
Meanwhile, Arafat is flourishing anew, among other factors due to the
siege that Israel imposed on him and the demolition of the mukataa. When
the siege was removed, Arafat came out strengthened, and returned to center
stage. His status in the Palestinian street was bolstered, and the
criticism against him subsided. On Wednesday there was a pilgrimage to his
office by diplomats from around the world, and all the senior PA officials
arrived in the evening. Arafat's increase in strength has greatly softened
his opponents. Nabil Amer, for instance, has already announced that he is
withdrawing his demand to appoint a prime minister, the Palestinian
Legislative Council has given Arafat another month to establish the new
government, and the reforms have also been shelved for the present.
Following the siege and the demolition of the mukataa, Israel absorbed
criticism from the reform advocates and those who wished to move Arafat
aside and curtail his powers. In off-the-record conversations, they refer
to the Israeli siege as Masrahiyat al-mortodela, or the sausage theater.
"You supplied Arafat with a lot of humus, beans and sausage," they say,
"and detergents and underwear. You pampered him. You helped him leave
there with the upper hand."
Despite the criticism, Arafat remains the undisputed Palestinian leader,
and no one dares challenge his leadership, not even the Hamas men, who are
occupied with internal wars in Gaza. As soon as Hamas sends another
suicide bomber to Tel Aviv, Arafat may pay the price. And let there be no
mistake: the internal wars in the PA do not come instead of the struggle
against Israel. This cycle of violence has not yet ended.
This article ran in Yediot Ahronot on
October 11, 2002
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Rabin's Last Notes Discovered: Revelations of US Dictated Withdrawal from the Golan
Senior Political Correspondent, Ma'ariv
Even now, two years after her death and seven years after he was assassinated, the apartment of Yitzhak and Leah Rabin still exists, preserved, kept up, furnished and appointed as though nothing had happened. Dalia Rabin Pelossof, their daughter, visits once a week.
A cleaning woman comes to keep things in order. Yitzhak's clothes
hang ready in the closet. The same goes for Leah's wardrobe. The dishes in
the kitchen are washed, the carpets vacuumed, the curtains aired. It is a
beautiful apartment, well appointed, so full of life, so empty of life. It
is stuck in a distant, other reality, that froze somewhere out there. If a
stranger were to go in for a moment, he would think to himself that the
person who lives there is going to come home from work, make something to
drink, light a cigarette, and turn on the television to watch the news or a
soccer game. His wife will show up in a moment, give him a kiss and mince
off to the bedroom, filling the house with her laughter and the scent of
her light perfume.
But they won't be coming home anymore. Outside there is a different
country from the one they knew. A new reality reigns. Evil winds blow. Leah
and Yitzhak Rabin are gone. The apartment stands empty, mute, silent.
Not long ago, Dalia Rabin went into her deceased parents' bedroom. For
the first time since her father's assassination, she opened the drawer of
the night-table near his bed and peeked inside. As far as anyone knew, the
only one who had opened those drawers after the assassination was Leah
Rabin herself. Now that she was gone, it was her daughter's turn.
Testimony of a Drama
Pieces of the prime minister's life, which was cut off overnight, lay
inside: two cigarette lighters, reading glasses, and a watch that had
stopped. There was also a small notebook, a Kohinoor writing pad, the kind
that fits in a rear trouser pocket or a front jacket pocket. A nice little
notebook that Rabin scribbled in with a Pilot pen, no different than the
kind he used to sign the Oslo Accords.
Dalia Rabin leafed through it, her hand trembling a little. Her father
had written brief lists in his orderly, legible handwriting. He did not
know that it was his last notebook. There were telephone numbers, a few
comments, and three consecutive pages that aroused curiosity under the
heading "Meeting with the Secretary of State."
Dalia Rabin realized almost immediately that she was looking at a
historical document: a detailed witness in the prime minister's
handwriting, from inside the room, of the drama that was going on behind
the scenes in the contacts that Yitzhak Rabin held with Hafez Assad via the
American administration. Contacts that were halfway hidden until today.
Promises were made, messages passed on, versions heard. No one, until
today, could point to the real story. Now here it was, completely told, in
lists that Rabin wrote for himself before his last meeting with the
mediator, the American Secretary of State.
A reminder: the American Secretary of State was then Warren Christopher.
A dry lawyer, taciturn, punctilious and boring. He carried on a Sisyphean,
endless campaign of dialogue between Damascus and Jerusalem in an effort to
bridge the gap between Israel and Syria and come to a comprehensive, full
agreement between the two countries. After Rabin's death, there were claims
of a "deposit" that the prime minister supposedly left with the American
Secretary of State, about a promise of a full Israeli withdrawal from the
Golan Heights that was not kept. Shimon Peres, who took Rabin's place as
prime minister, opened the safe and discovered an explicit promise by Rabin
to withdraw from the entire Golan. Peres jumped at the bargain: he would
keep the promise, and (the late) Rabin would bear the responsibility. The
problem was that none of these promises were set down in writing.
Everything was buried in the memories of those involved, a good many of
them no longer among us today.
The Syrians continue to claim, till today, that they received an
explicit promise from Rabin of total withdrawal from the Golan. Rabin's
confidantes deny it. The Americans are keeping quiet. They don't confirm or
deny. Three pages of a tiny Kohinoor notepad tell the entire story. Rabin
is preparing himself for a meeting with Christopher. Rabin is furious with
Christopher because he found out that the Syrians expect a complete, quick
and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Rabin
discovers that the Syrians heard it from the Americans and he understands
that they've tricked him. They misquoted his statements. They did not
present them accurately. It is told that in that meeting with Christopher,
which Rabin writes about in his notepad, the prime minister's voice was so
loud it could be heard outside the room.
Here is what is written there:
The heading, as stated, is: "Meeting with the Secretary of State." First
of all, manners: "Expressing thanks," and straight to the matter at hand:
"The Syrian subject." Here, as we noted, the trouble begins. Rabin begins
with the good: "I appreciated the Syrian President's attitude." And then,
he gets down to the nitty-gritty:
"What was agreed between us:
- Willingness for full withdrawal in exchange for full peace with all its components.
- Duration of the withdrawal and its stages.
- The combination of carrying out full peace before completing the entire pullout with a preliminary pullout.
- Security arrangements."
Commentary: This is conclusive proof, in Rabin's own hand, that he told
the Syrians he was willing to agree to full withdrawal from the Golan
Heights in exchange for full peace. Still, he had conditions, which are
detailed under No. 4. Rabin demanded of the Syrians withdrawal in stages,
with most of the demand being to carry out what he called "full peace" even
at the beginning of the process, after "a preliminary withdrawal." Only
after that, said Rabin, would Israel carry out the rest of the withdrawal
from the Golan Heights. In other words, we are ready to come down from the
Golan Heights on condition that we get a full peace that is sealed and
carried out in the first stages of the pullout, along with appropriate
Back to the notepad: "What will actually happen," Rabin writes on the
second page, and continues: "The Syrians have the promise of a more
complete withdrawal than any other Arab country dared to request. In
exchange there is no agreement to a single one of the components that is a
condition-as a package deal or table with four legs. A process of
negotiations when the Syrians expect that the Americans will sell Israel
out in writing. They're stopping negotiations and making their resumption
conditional on practical Israeli concessions."
Here is all the drama on one small notepad page: in other words, how
they tricked Yitzhak Rabin. The Syrians got the promise of a withdrawal
that was "more complete than any other Arab country dared to request." The
fiasco here belongs, evidently, to the Americans. The Syrians did not agree
to give in exchange what Rabin asked for, did not understand that it was a
package deal, and ignored what Rabin called, in those days, "the four legs
of the table," without which there would be no agreement. At this stage,
when it became clear to the Syrians that Israel had demands of its own,
they stopped negotiations and made their resumption a bargaining chip to
pressure Israel into making more concessions, and they tried to get an
Israeli deposit in writing from the United States. The Syrians, it turns
out, insisted on an American document that would include the Israeli
deposit, a deposit that the Americans gave them with stark negligence:
without emphasizing all the circumstances, the stages and Israel's
conditions. That is how the Syrians took the map by force and tried to
convince the Americans to sell Israel out. Yitzhak Rabin, a straightforward
and upright man, did not like being sold out. He boiled with anger.
Netanyahu Activates, Barak Erred
Here is the third page:
"What happens now?" Rabin asks in his notepad, and answers: "Emphasize
to the Syrians that the territorial subject is not in their pocket as
something that stands by itself. It is conditional on their response to the
other Israeli demands. Continue, after this clarification, on the subject
of security arrangements. We will not give up on a change in the security
arrangements in the territorial differences in light of the geographic
situation and precedent of the separation-of-forces agreement."
Everything is almost clear here. Rabin is asking the Americans to fix
what they broke. To make the situation clear to the Syrians. To tell them
that the Golan Heights are not in their pocket from the beginning, nor for
free. In the end, to insist on security arrangements, too: Israel asked for
Syrian demilitarization not only on the Golan Heights, but also in broad
sections of territory deep within Syria, but refused to demilitarize
parallel territory one to one because of what Rabin called "the geographic
situation and the precedent of a separation-of-forces agreement." In other
words: Israeli depth is far smaller than Syrian strategic depth, and
therefore Israel would have to make do with a smaller demilitarization,
symbolic, along its new border.
All the rest is written in the history books. Rabin's meeting with
Christopher took place in Tel Aviv in June 1995, less than five months
before he was assassinated. Dennis Ross came to Israel a few more times,
tried to fix something, but didn't manage it. After that came Shimon Peres,
who took over the controversial deposit and did not manage to translate it
into an agreement. A wave of terror attacks began in Israel, and Peres
called early elections and was defeated by Binyamin Netanyahu. He, for his
part, got Ronald Lauder going, who shuttled between Damascus and Jerusalem
and passed on his own deposits. These are certainly described in other
notepads. After Netanyahu came Barak, who learned the material from Lauder,
and tried to understand from the Americans where we stopped and where we
went wrong, which didn't prevent him from making more mistakes. No
agreement with the Syrians came from all of this. Rabin was assassinated,
Assad died, and we were left with the notepad.
Recently, Dalia Rabin spoke with Professor Ya'akov Ne'eman, who is a
lawyer. "I want to tell you something," Ne'eman told her, "something about
the dollar account your mother had in America." His story was fantastic.
Ne'eman told her that the story could have ended differently. Rabin says he
told her that many years ago he discovered a yellowing, forgotten internal
regulation in the Finance Ministry's archives. This regulation stipulated
that a member of the Foreign Ministry who completed his term abroad was
permitted to hold a dollar account for three more years. Ne'eman said that
following the discovery, he contacted Professor Aharon Barak, who was the
state attorney at the time, and decided to press criminal charges against
Leah Rabin after Dan Margalit exposed the dollar account story in Ha'aretz.
"Did you know about it?" Ne'eman asked him. "No one brought it to my
attention," Barak said. Today he is the president of the Supreme Court. So
much for the Rabin Pelossof version of the Ne'eman story.
It should be noted: the Rabins' dollar accounts in the United States
were exposed by Dan Margalit in Ha'aretz in 1977, a little more than three
years after Rabin completed his term as ambassador in Washington. That
means that the administrative regulation did not apply to the incident
(since the dispensation to have the account lasted for only three years).
On the other hand, the existence of this regulation changes the situation
significantly. If the state attorney or the court had known of this
regulation, the whole way it was dealt with might have been completely
In an instance like this, Professor Barak could have concluded that
there was no felony here, but rather a procedural deviation of a few
months. The probability that Barak would have pressed criminal charges in
such a case is low. The entire process would have become a disciplinary,
procedural, technical one and would have ended with a fine or a warning. It
could be that the reason for pressing criminal charges, which ended in a
conviction, after which Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had to resign, might
never have existed (Professor Aharon Barak refused to comment on this story).
Would there be peace today if Rabin had not been assassinated? Would
there have been a war? No one can answer that question. When the suicide
attacks began, during his term, Rabin considered (on the IDF's advice)
stopping the process and making it clear to Arafat that he had to destroy
Hamas if he wanted to continue on the peace path. Rabin considered,
hesitated and decided to keep going. His character as a pursuer of
security, suspicious, insistent on detail, would have caused him almost
certainly to stop much before it was actually stopped. The confrontation
might have broken out a long time ago. Maybe not. Maybe Binyamin Netanyahu
would not have defeated Rabin in the elections (Bibi enjoyed a slight
advantage in the polls before Rabin was assassinated). No one can know
where the turbulent political reality would have led us in this mad place.
So it is impossible to determine anything regarding peace or war. What we
can certainly determine is that if Rabin had not been assassinated, he
would be among us now. And for anyone who knew him, that is enough.
This article appreared on October 11, 2002 in Maariv
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2002 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Jimmy Carter's Role in Imposing a Totalitarian Dictatorship on
the Palestinian Arab People
Carter: the Father of
The announcement from the Nobel Peace Prize
Committee on October 11, 2002 that Jimmy Carter would receive
this year's 2002 Nobel Peace Prize will be received with great
enthusiasm by Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority dictatorship
and received with equal dissapointment by human rights circles
among the Palestinian Arab people.
Carter was the US observer and facilitator of the Januray 1996 elections that catapulted Arafat to be the "democratically elected" leader of the Palestinian Arab people.
Our news agency worked with a Palestinian Arab TV crew to cover those elections.
However, Arafat manipulated these elections with rules that forbid anyone
from running against him without his express approval, as reported by
the UN election observer team.
Indeed Dr. Haider Abdul Shefi, who had led the PLO delegation at the Madrid negotiations in 1991, offered his candidacy, only to be rejected by Arafat.
When Dr. Shefi said that he was going to run anyway, a bomb explosion in Dr. Shefi's home convinced him otherwise.
More discrepancies in Arafat's "democratic" elections were docmented by
Mr. Daniel Polisar, the head of the PEACE WATCH observer team to the
PA elections, in his article, "How Arafat Rigged the 1996 PA Elections"
republished on the June 28th 2002 issue of Israel Resource Review,
Jummy Carter, who purports to symbolize a commitment to peace and justice,
had nothing to say in criticism of the lack of "democracy" in the PA elections.
Instead, Carter takes credit for the "democratic" nature of the PA elections, in numerous articles that Carter has written and numerous
speeches that Carter has given.
When I asked Carter immediately after the PA elections about the fact that Arafat had rigged the elections, Carter responded with a chuckle and said
that "We have problems like that in Chicago too".
Jimmy Carter now shares the notoriety of receiving the
Nobel Peace Prize with Yassir Arafat.
You might call Carter the father of Palestinian Autocracy.
[Satirist Tom Lehrer once remarked that he left the field of satire
when US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace
Prize at the height of the Vietnam War. Lehrer said that "now there
is nothing more to satirize".]
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