On Monday, Commander of the Palestinian Police General Ghazi Jabali reacted with derision to the arrest warrant and extradition request issued against him by Israel the previous day. He said, "This reminds me of Goebbels (Hitler's propaganda minister) who said 'tell lies and lies, and in the end they will believe you. 'The same is true of the Jews. It is a disgrace that they are issuing an arrest warrant against me. Apparently they have learned Goebbels' methods."
The extradition request against General Jabali was issued by Justice Minister Tzahi Hanegbi in the wake of Jabali's involvement with the Palestinian police unit which, according to Israel, was sent by Jabali to kill Jews. At the end of last week, an arrest warrant was issued against Jabali by an Ashkelon court.
Against this background, Jabali's remarks should have provoked a storm. But anyone who monitors the statements and publications of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in recent weeks would not have been surprised. Charging Israel, Zionism and its leadership with Nazism, as well as denying the Holocaust, have become a daily routine, meshing with theories of nefarious Israeli plots. This educational battle is being waged by the official PA radio and television, as well as the newspapers financed by Yasser Arafat, which have recently adopted a strident, uninhibited and undisguised anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist line.
Resemblance Between Ben-Gurion and Hitler
Last Wednesday, for example, just one day before the suicide bomb attack at the pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, a wide-ranging article appeared in Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, the official mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority. The article, authored by Palestinian writer Nabil Salam, presented a learned historical analysis which concluded: "Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought. This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and the Nazis during World War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists regarding alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews during the same period."
Prior to these observations, the writer assesses the historical development of Judaism and Zionism, asserting they have sought to rule over great financial wealth, and have "influenced the formulation of racist-terrorist theories such as the Nazi theory." Citing quotations from the Talmud through David Ben-Gurion, the author enlightens his readers with the following conclusion: "There is no difference between Hitler and Ben-Gurion, and if there was a difference at all, it was one of quantity and not one of substance. Anyone who investigates the crimes of the Zionists...discovers explicitly the complementary traits between Zionism, which is a racist terrorist movement, and the Nazi movement."
The Holocaust as a Profitable Investment
That which was said in abridged form in Nabil Salam's text was said explicitly and more extensively in an interview with Palestinian writer Ahsan al-Agha during a "cultural program" broadcast two weeks ago on Palestinian television. Al-Agha's interviewer outlined the factual basis for the conversation: "It is well-known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6 million killed, but precise scientific research establishes that there were no more than 400,000."
The guest, Mr. al-Agha, who is a teacher in Gaza, replied: "I think we are talking about an investment. They (the Jews) have profited materially, spiritually, politically and economically from the talk about the Nazi killings. This investment is favorable to them and they view it as a profitable activity so they inflate the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach. Last year, for the first time, a statistic appeared according to which 1.5 million children were killed by the Nazis. This number was not previously known...If this number was indeed correct, then someone would certainly have remembered it...In my opinion, it is an investment, and as you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of the Merchant of Venice."
The head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Authority is Nabil Amar, a former PLO ambassador in Moscow. Amar serves as an adviser to Yasser Arafat and is a member of the Higher Committee in the talks with Israel. He is also the publisher and chief editor of the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, whose employees receive their salaries directly from the PA budget. It is therefore not surprising that in tandem with the official radio and television, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda conveys the line dictated from above. And the line is unmistakable.
For example: three days before the suicide bombing on the Jerusalem pedestrian mall, the newspaper published two instructive articles. The first was an interview with an "Islamic author" by the name of Safi Naz Kassam who offered a number of diagnoses regarding Judaism and Zionism: "There is no people or land named Israel," she said. "Israel is our patriarch Yaaqoub, peace be upon him, and the children of Israel are the sons of Yaaqoub .... We are the children of Israel .... These people are the children of the Zionist entity, they are the children of the colonialist entity, they are nothing more than thieves. They came and took land which does not belong to them. Therefore, the normalization of relations with them is impossible ... even if Palestine remains occupied for hundreds of years."
And with regard to Zionism, the author states: "These Zionists are not fit to establish a nation or to have their own language or even their own religion. They are nothing more than a hodgepodge.
To complete the reader's education, the same issue of Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda surveys "research" carried out by Ahmed al-Awadeh under the headline: "The History of the Conflict Between Muslims and Jews." The research claims that the Jews live by the Talmud and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The conflict between Muslim and Jews is an eternal conflict, similar to the conflict between mankind - the Muslims, and Satan - the Jews, and how unfortunate the Palestinians are that they have to serve as the Muslims' avant garde in the eternal battle of the Muslims and all the nations against the "nation of Jews."
The Attackers - Rabin's Assassins
These anti-Semitic publications, accompanied by breathtaking "factual diagnoses" regarding the character and soul of Jews and Zionists, appear daily in the Palestinian media. They are intended to provide broad popular education to the readers, which serves as the infrastructure for the charges against Israel and its leaders floated by the PA.
In the wake of the most recent suicide bombing in Jerusalem, the allegations became more pointed and turned into an explicit theory regarding a wide-ranging Zionist plot. Last Friday, the day after the bombing, the official PA news agency published the Palestinian leadership's decisions. It was a gripping document in which a number of instructive items were raised. "All the facts we have, which were supplied by the Israelis," says the statement, "show that behind these operations stand foreign elements who were aided and assisted by extremist Israeli elements, those who also murdered Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin."
But that is not all. The Israeli government, according to the official Palestinian statement, is aware of this and is attempting to hide the details from the public, as well as the collaboration which the killers received from within the Israeli establishment.
And so the circle is closed and the modus operandi of the government of the Zionist-Jewish entity is revealed, one which is not at all surprising in light of the basic characteristics of Zionism, as they are known to the Palestinians from previous official publications of the Palestinian Authority.
The Vatican's Jerusalem Agenda
Did Shimon Peres make a deal with the Vatican?
Consider the evidence:
* On Sept. 10, '93, just three days before the signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington, the Italian news magazine La Stampa reported that part of the peace deal was an unwritten understanding that the Vatican would receive political authority over the Old City of Jerusalem by the end of the millenium. The newspaper reported that Shimon Peres had promised the pope to hand over the holy sites of Jerusalem the previous May and that Arafat had accepted the agreement.
* In March '94, the Israeli newsmagazine Shishi published an interview with Mark Halter, a French intellectual and close friend of Shimon Peres. He said he delivered a letter from Peres to the Pope the previous May, within which Peres offered the Vatican hegemony over the Old City of Jerusalem. The article detailed Peres's offer which essentially turned Jerusalem into an international city overseen by the Holy See.
* In March '95, the radio station Arutz Sheva announced that it had seen a cable sent by the Israeli Embassy in Rome to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem outlining the handover of the Old City of Jerusalem to the Vatican. Two days later Haaretz published the cable on its front page. The Foreign Ministry explained that the cable was genuine but someone had whited out the word "not." ie We will not transfer authority to the Vatican. Incredibly, numerous Bnei Brak rabbis who had cancelled Passover meetings with Peres over the issue of the cable accepted the explanation and reinvited him to their homes.
The Foreign Ministry's Legal Affairs Spokesperson, Esther Samilag, publicly complained about "various capitulations" to the Vatican. She was immediately transferred to a post at the Israeli Embassy in Katmandu, Nepal.
MK Avraham Shapira announced in the Knesset that he had information that all Vatican property in Jerusalem was to become tax exempt and that large tracts of real estate on Mount Zion were given to the pope in perpetuity.
Jerusalem's late Deputy Mayor Shmuel Meir announced that he had received "information that properties promised to the Vatican would be granted extra-territorial status."
Beilin was forced to answer the accusations. He admitted, "Included in the Vatican Agreement is the issue of papal properties in Israel that will be resolved by a committee of experts that has already been formed." If so, this committee has not since released any proof of its existence.
With all this in mind, how do we interpret the Vatican's current position on Jerusalem?
The following report, circulated by MSANews may shed some light on that:
Vatican City, Jun 14, 1997 (VIS) - Archbishop Renato Martino, apostolic nuncio and Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations, spoke June 9 on the status of Jerusalem at the New York headquarters of the Path to Peace Foundation. The archbishop addressed members of this foundation as well as U.S. members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He began by briefly summarizing the "well-known and long-standing position of the Holy See with regard to Jerusalem. He stated that Jerusalem "for us, of course, along with the rest of the Holy Land, is that special link between heaven and earth, that place where God walked and ultimately died among men. And of course we recognize that others revere Jerusalem as the city of David and the prophets and the city known to Mohammed .... It is a spiritual treasure for all of humanity, and it is a city of two peoples, Arabs and Jews, and of the three monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam."
Could that supra-national entity which will oversee the international city of Jerusalem be the Vatican just as Peres promised? And how do we react to Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert's recent announcement that he will begin negotiations with the Vatican, but "only over holy sites?"
Ras el Amud: Analysis
Who would have imagined, even a few months ago, that three Jewish families moving near one of the great Jewish holy spots in Jerusalem, into homes that have been owned by Jews since 1902, would spark riots and media coverage, the world over.
There once was a time in America, when some people were not allowed to buy and live in houses in certain areas because of their race, color or creed.
In Germany the right to own property was taken from minorities and political opponents of the the Third Reich in 1935.
The Ras Al Amud property was originally sold to two Jews, Mr. Nissan Bak and Mr. Moshe Wittenburg, by the Turkish government about 100 years ago. They then leased the land to build Jewish seminaries there in 1928.
However, the ruling British colonial authority in Jerusalem at the time would not allow the Bak and Wittenberg families to build these schools
Instead, Ras El Amud was leased to Arab farmers for the purpose of raising wheat for the production of special "Matzot Shamurot", the unleavened bread, for the Passover meal. During the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem the land was held in trust for Jewish owners by the Jordanian Government.
In 1964, when an Arab farmer who worked the land at Ras El Amud claimed it for himself, the Jordanian Hashemite court of land registration rejected the claim of the tenant farmer, because the title was still owned by the Bak and the Wittenberg families.
In 1967, Ras El Amud was transferred to the Israel Land Trust and placed under the administration of the Jerusalem Municipality.
In 1984, the Jerusalem Municipality sold Ras El Amud to a housing development corporation owned by Mr. Irving Moskowitz, an American Jew from Miami.
Ras El Amud and The Mount of Olives are located on the slope that leads to the Golden Gate to the Old City in Jerusalem.
The Golden Gate was sealed by Moslem clerics in the Middle Ages, so as to prevent the Jews buried on the Mount of Olives who "might be brought back to life during messianic times" from approaching the Temple Mount to rebuild the Jews' Holy Temple and destroy their Al Aksa mosque.
The Mount of Olives cemetery was transformed into a military camp by the Jordanian Arab Legion in 1949, and it continues to be vandalized.
Meanwhile, the new Palestinian Authority has declared that selling land to a Jew is an offense punishable by death.
It is not only the Palestine Authority that has made an issue of Jews moving into new lands.
Since 1967, Jews buying land or establishing new Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem has been the subject of an international outcry, at times led by the United States.
In 1970, while the Jerusalem municipality debated building a new neighborhood on the the slopes that lie directly north of the city, near the grave of Samuel The Prophet, the US State Department spokesman Robert McClosky declared that such an action would be a violation of international law and an act of war. On the day following McClosky's denunciation, the Jerusalem city council decided in a unanimous vote to build the Ramot neighborhood there. Ramot now counts 45,000 Jewish residents.
In 1974, the US state department objected to Israel building a suburb to Jerusalem on its eastern slopes. That suburb, Maaleh Edumim, now houses 23,000 Jewish residents.
Ironically, some of the Israelis who protested the Ras El Amud initiative now live in Ramot and Maaleh Edumim.
On June 5, 1997, on the thirtieth anniversary of the six day war which resulted in the conquest and subsequent annexation of East Jerusalem, Yassir Arafat sent a personal spokesman, Walid, to appear at a press forum, together with former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek and current Jerusalem deputy mayor David Cassuto. Speaking on behalf, Awad declared that the minimal requirement for peace would be the evacuation of Jews from any new Jewish neighborhood that was established after the 1967 war. Another Arafat intimate, Sayid Kenan of Nablus, declared that Palestinian Arab refugees who left their homes in 1948 would be brought to live in the Israeli settlements, - wherever they are - in Jerusalem, the west bank, Gaza or the Golan Heights.
It would seem that the prerequisite that no Jew can live among Palestinian Arabs may be a condition of the peace process that Israel may not be able to live with.
The Crisis of Confidence in the Peace Process
What most distressed veteran US diplomat Madaline Albright on her maiden sojourn Secretary of State to the Middle East was the depth of the crisis of confidence that now exists between Israelis and Palestinians.
The current dynamics of the Oslo peace process are such that if you light a match, you might kindle a tinderbox that will devour any of the deteriorating relationship that remains between the state of Israel and the new Palestine Authority.
The trust that had been fostered over four years of the intensely negotiated Oslo Middle East Peace Process between Israel and Yassir Arafat had essentially ground to a halt on August 20, 1997, the day that Arafat's Palestine Authority announced a formal working alliance. The Hamas bombings in Jerusalem's crowded Machane Yehudah marketplace on July 30 and on Jerusalem's crowded Ben Yehudah mall on Sept 4 and Arafat's refusal to take any action against Hamas signaled that this was a new turn in the peace process that few had expected.
On Monday, September 15, 1997, Israel prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu dispatched an Israeli intelligence official to testify before the Israel Knesset Intelligence Committee that Arafat had not taken any concrete steps to dismantle the Hamas terror infrastructure. The official added that the Israeli public should brace itself for more Hamas terror attacks, which are to be expected imminently, adding that Arafat must immediately do what he is supposed to do - to dismantle terror operatives before they go into action. However, he added, Israel held no illusions that Arafat would do so.
All week long, the Israel's Defence Forces went on high alert, sending Israeli intelligence units to conduct a massive preventive surveillance operation to stop terror groups that may infliltrate any part of Israel at any minute. The operation bore fruit, when the IDF announced on Friday, the apprehension of a terror group en route to kill the Mayor of Jerusalem.
On the very night that the IDF began its massive sweep to seek out and prevent new Hamas terror operations in Jerusalem, several Israeli families made it a point to establish their first small community on Ras El Amud.
What upset Netanyahu about Ras El Amud was its timing, not its substance. The issue of confidence building measures has also fallen victim to the crisis of the current Middle East crisis.
Jerusalem had always been a subject that would be the final stage of negotiations. A gentleman's agreement had it that Israel would take no more unilateral motives. In the current stage of the Oslo process, gentleman's agreements are off.
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