domingo, 31 de julho de 2011

Palestinians Reject Public Debate - "They Can Only Debate Unilaterally"

Press Release (Communicated by the Bureau of Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon)

Dep FM Ayalon Surprised at PA Negotiator Erekat's Rejection of a Public Debate: "The Palestinians are only able to debate unilaterally"

Today (Sunday 31st July), Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded to Palestinian Authority Negotiator Saeb Erekat's rejection of a public debate. Earlier, Ayalon had proposed a public debate on issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after Erekat sent out an official press release calling the Deputy Foreign Minister's recent YouTube video titled The Truth About the West Bank, "a falsified account of history and international law".

"I am more than a little surprised that Erekat rejected my offer of an open and public debate, especially considering he was concerned enough about our video to release a two page official press release" Ayalon said. "Erekat is used to telling the world that Israel's policies are illegal and against international law and I offered him the chance to back up his own statements and he is proving unable or unwilling to do so."

"Like its diplomatic policies, it appears that the Palestinian Authority is only able to debate unilaterally."

The video released under two weeks ago, has already garnered a quarter of a million views worldwide and is encouraging a debate on the rarely heard Israeli position on the West Bank, settlements and international law.

"Erekat was very quick to react to the video when it was released but now his evasion speaks volumes of a Palestinian Authority political leadership which has hijacked the public debate for too long," Ayalon added. "It demonstrates that their rhetoric is just empty words and slogans and folds like a house of cards once it is tested."

The video which sparked Palestinian outrage...

DISPUTED TERRITORIES: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and Gaza Strip


In 1967, Israel fought a desperate war of self-defense and despite dire odds, won. As a result, the Jewish State not only survived, it also came into possession of additional lands, including territory that is of vital importance to its security.

The Six Day War and its consequences still affect the Middle East today. A clear understanding of how and why the territories came into Israels possession in 1967 and an awareness of Israel's connection to these areas are essential components of any fair and balanced discussion of their current status. This information has taken on particular importance in light of the current situation and Palestinian attempts to reduce a complex conflict to a single issue - Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians and their supporters are attempting to promote their cause by channeling every event through the prism of the disputed territories. In doing so, they have succeeded in diverting the discussion away from the relevant facts, rewriting or ignoring history and reinventing international law to suit their aims. These facts must not be forgotten.


By focusing exclusively on "the occupation," Palestinian spokespersons are obscuring some of the basic facts of the conflict. They never mention why Israel's presence in the disputed territories began or the reasons for the continuation of the conflict, and ignore the historical and legal context of Israel's presence there. Following are four key issues that the Palestinians deliberately and consistently try to conceal:

Disputed, not "Occupied", Territory

  • The West Bank and Gaza Strip are disputed territories whose status can only be determined through negotiations. Occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, they should not be considered occupied territories.
  • The people of Israel have ancient ties to the territories, as well as a continuous centuries-old presence there. These areas were the cradle of Jewish civilization. Israel has rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, rights that the Palestinians deliberately disregard.

    Legality of Israel's Presence in the Territories

  • Despite persistent claims by the Palestinians and their supporters, occupation is not, in and of itself, illegal. It does not violate international law. Rather, international law attempts to regulate situations of occupation through the application of pertinent international conventions and agreements. Therefore, political motivations lie behind the claim that Israel's presence in the territories is illegal. Israel's presence in the territories is not illegal.
  • Israel's presence in the territories began in 1967 as a direct result of the aggressive actions of Israel's neighbors that forced Israel into a war of self-defense.
  • UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted following the Six Day War, places obligations on both sides (as does Resolution 338, adopted following the 1973 Yom Kippur War). 242 does not call for unilateral withdrawal from the territories. Despite this, the Palestinians focus exclusively on the call for an Israeli withdrawal, ignoring those clauses that place responsibilities on the other parties to the conflict.
  • Resolution 242 does not require Israel to withdraw from all the territories gained as a result of the 1967 war, as the Arab regimes claim. Instead, the resolution deliberately restricts itself to calling for Israel's withdrawal "from territories" while recognizing the right to live within secure and recognized boundaries.

    Terrorism Cannot be Justified

  • Incessant references by Palestinian spokespersons to "the occupation" are used to delegitimize not only Israel's presence in the territories, but also to justify terrorism.
  • Terrorism - the intentional, politically motivated use of violence against civilians and other non-combatants - is clearly beyond the pale of international law. Suicide bombings are a crime against humanity, and no political goal can ever justify the use of terrorism.
  • Palestinian terrorism preceded Israel's presence in the territories. Indeed, the PLO (the Palestinian Liberation Organization) was founded in 1964, three years before the 1967 Six Day War.

    Israel's Pursuit of Peace

  • Israel's presence in the territories continued after 1967 as the Arab regimes refused to negotiate with Israel despite continuous and genuine Israeli offers of peace. For close to a quarter century, the Palestinians refused to abandon terrorism and conduct peaceful negotiations.
  • Even after the Palestinians decided to join the peace process in the early 1990s, no permanent resolution of the dispute could be reached due to Palestinian terrorism and their unwillingness to reach reasonable compromises.
  • Israel, as a democracy, has no desire to control the lives or future of the Palestinians. Israel - which has made extensive territorial concessions to the Palestinians since 1993 - has always been willing to make great sacrifices in the name of peace.

    The omission of historical facts allows the Palestinians to avoid responsibility for their role both in creating and perpetuating the situation in the territories. Distortions of international law are part and parcel of Palestinian attempts to delegitimize Israel while justifying the unjustifiable - terrorism.

    Territories in Dispute

    International Law and Occupation

    Palestinian spokespersons and their supporters have expended great efforts to advance their claim that a state of occupation is - by definition - illegal. This ingenuous claim not only ignores international law, but also by its very repetition at every opportunity, attempts to create new international norms.

    The claim that any occupation - no matter the reasons for its establishment or its continued existence - is illegal is not consistent with the principles of international law. The international legal system does not outlaw occupation. Rather it uses international conventions and agreements to regulate such situations.

    Many states hold onto territory taken in a war - particularly a war of self-defense - until a peace treaty is negotiated. In fact, many situations of dispute exist today around the world in which one side continues to hold territory that another claims. A key difference in the situation regarding the West Bank and Gaza Strip is that Israel has attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the status of these disputed territories ever since they came into Israel's possession.

    Claims of illegality are politically motivated as neither international law nor the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority support this baseless allegation.

    Jewish Ties to the Territories

    Jewish communities in the Land of
    Israel from ancient to modern times

    Jews have lived in Judea-Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza Strip continuously for 4000 years since Biblical times and throughout the centuries since then. Jewish sovereignty there spanned 1000 years and those areas were the cradle of Jewish civilization. Many of the most ancient and holy Jewish sites, including the Cave of the Patriarchs (the burial site of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), are located in these areas. Jewish communities grew in Gaza during the 11th century and other areas, such as Hebron (where Jews lived until they were massacred in 1929), were inhabited by Jews throughout the four hundred years of Ottoman rule and much before. Additional Jewish communities flourished under the British Mandatory administration that replaced the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

    The Palestinians often contend that the Jews are foreign colonizers in territory to which they had no previous connection. Indeed, much of the Arab world considers all of Israel - and not just the disputed territories - as a foreign entity in the region. Such claims disregard the continuous ties of the Jewish people with their age-old homeland and the deep bond of the people of Israel to its land, both in biblical and later periods.

    These claims also serve to perpetuate the myth that a Palestinian state existed in the area prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. In fact, no independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in the area known as Palestine.

    The Jordanian and Egyptian Occupations

    The Jewish presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip ended only with the 1948 War of Independence. Conquering these territories in a war of aggression aimed at destroying the nascent State of Israel, the Jordanians and Egyptians totally eliminated the Jewish presence in the West Bank and Gaza, forbidding Jews to live there and declaring the sale of land to Jews in those areas a capital offense.

    It is worth noting that Jordanian and Egyptian rule came about as the result of their illegal invasion of 1948, in open contempt and rejection of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which would have partitioned the British Mandate territory into a Jewish State and an Arab State. For this reason, the Egyptian and Jordanian seizures of the territories were never recognized by the international community.

    The Status of the Territories

    The status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip can only be decided by agreement between the parties. During the 1990s, Israel and the Palestinians agreed that the final status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not yet resolved and should be decided in peaceful negotiations.

    Furthermore, the fact that there were no established sovereigns in the West Bank or Gaza Strip prior to the Six Day War means that the territories should not be viewed as "occupied" by Israel. When territory without an established sovereign comes into the possession of a state with a competing claim - particularly during a war of self-defense - that territory can be considered disputed.

    A War of Self-Defense

    High school students digging air raid trenches in a Tel Aviv suburb (May 1967) in view of Arab calls to annihilate Israel on the eve of the Six Day War.

    The fact that Israel fought a war of self-defense in the Six Day War in June 1967 was recognized by the world's democracies at the time. It was that defensive war against Arab aggression that resulted in Israel's taking control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    Calls for Annihilation

    Prior to the start of the Six Day War, a continuous flow of statements by Arab leaders and official media sources left no doubt as to their intentions - not only did the Arab states intend to attack Israel, they meant to destroy it.

  • "We intend to open a general assault against Israel. This will be total war. Our basic aim will be to destroy Israel." (Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, 26 May 1967)
  • "The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence." (Egyptian Radio, "Voice of the Arabs", 18 May 1967)
  • "I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." (Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad, 20 May 1967)
  • "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified... Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map." (Iraqi President Abdur Rahman Aref, 31 May 1967)

    The Arab threats to destroy Israel in the period preceding the war were made when Israel did not control the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    The Threat to Israel's Existence

    Given the strength of the opposing armies and the physical size of the country in 1967, Israel had every reason to fear these threats. It was a small state, surrounded by heavily armed and hostile neighbors. In its pre-1967 boundaries, Israel was only 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide at some places. The armies of Israel's enemies in the West Bank and Gaza were stationed a mere 18 km. (11 miles) from Tel Aviv, 35 km. (21 miles) from Haifa, 11 km. (7 miles) from Ashkelon and only meters from Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

    These threats were not empty rhetoric. Hostile actions by Israel's neighbors left little doubt as to either the seriousness of their intent or their ability to carry out a massive assault on Israel.

    In the weeks before the war, a coalition of Arab states - including Egypt, Syria, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Kuwait - united against Israel. As Egyptian President Nasser said on 30 May 1967, "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.... the critical hour has arrived." War frenzy was sweeping through the Arab world.

    Egypt Tightens the Noose

    On 15 May 1967, the Egyptians began to move large numbers of troops and armored vehicles into the Sinai Peninsula, ending a ten-year period during which the Sinai was free of hostile forces. While Egyptian troops massed along Israel's border in the south, the Syrian army prepared for war on the Golan Heights in the north. Nasser demanded that the UN Secretary-General withdraw UNEF - the United Nations Emergency Force peacekeepers - from the Sinai, where they had been stationed since 1956. Secretary-General U Thant complied with considerable haste, thus breaking an international promise to Israel. UNEF ceased to function on 19 May, removing the last barrier to the Egyptian war machine. The State of Israel was alone and encircled by armies whose leaders had vowed to bring about its annihilation.

    Israel's Defensive Response

    In response, Israel began to call up its reserve forces. Having only a small standing army, Israel had to rely on its reservists to repulse any attack. This mobilization of Israel's doctors and teachers, farmers and shopkeepers carried a heavy economic and social burden. Israelis began digging trenches in preparation for aerial attacks and shelling. Yet Israel's leaders chose to wait three long weeks before reacting militarily, in the hope that war could be avoided and a peaceful solution to the crisis could be found.

    The Blockade

    The situation continued to deteriorate sharply. On 22 May, Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran, closing off Eilat, Israel's only Red Sea port, to Israeli ships and Israel-bound foreign vessels. Israel was now cut off from trade with Asia and East Africa. Most significantly, Israel was denied access to its main supplier of oil. President Nasser was fully aware that Israel would regard the closure as an act of aggression.

    This move violated the right of innocent maritime passage, in clear contradiction of international law. Traditionally, under international law, a blockade is considered an act of war. Moreover, Egypt's actions violated the 1957 declaration of 17 maritime powers at the UN, that stated that Israel had the right of transit through the Straits of Tiran, as well as the 1958 Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone.

    The blockade of the Straits of Tiran was a clear-cut act of aggression. No country can stand by while a major port has been arbitrarily and maliciously blockaded, in violation of international law, particularly when vital shipments - including oil - are at stake. Had Israel responded by attacking Egypt immediately after the imposition of the blockade, this measure could only have been regarded as a justified reaction to Egypt's act of war.

    Israel Searches for a Diplomatic Solution...

    However, despite the blockade, the daily diet of threats and the hostile military activity, Israel continued to wait. Israel's leadership wanted to exhaust every prospect for a diplomatic solution before reacting. Unfortunately, while there was a great deal of international sympathy for Israel's plight, there was little tangible assistance.

    ...But is Forced to Respond Militarily

    Israel was left with few options. It had been surrounded by approximately 465,000 enemy troops, more than 2880 tanks and 810 aircraft. Given its small geographical size and the relative strength of the opposing armies, had Israel waited for the expected invasion to begin before acting, the results could have been catastrophic for its very survival.

    Invoking its inherent right of self-defense, a basic tenet of international law that is enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt on 5 June 1967.

    Israel's Message of Peace

    Israel had no desire to see the fighting spread to its eastern or northern fronts. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent out a message of peace to Israel's neighbors: "We shall not attack any country unless it opens war on us. Even now, when the mortars speak, we have not given up our quest for peace. We strive to repel all menace of terrorism and any danger of aggression to ensure our security and our legitimate rights."

    Further Arab Aggression

    The Syrians responded by bombardments with artillery fire and with long-range guns.

    In the east, Jordan was convinced by Egypt that the planes appearing on the radar screens were Egyptian aircraft on their way to attack Israel, and not Israeli planes returning from a strike on the Egyptian Air Force. On 5 June, Jordan began ground movements and shelling across the armistice lines, including in Jerusalem and on Israel's main airport near Tel Aviv. Despite the attack, Israel sent another message of peace, this time through representatives of the UN. Still, the Jordanian attack persisted.

    This may have been one of the most crucial decisions of the war. Had Jordan listened to Israel's messages of peace instead of Egypt's lies, the Hashemite Kingdom could have remained neutral in the conflict, and eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank would have remained in Jordan's possession. However, when the attack on western Jerusalem continued, Israel defended itself and united its capital, divided since 1949. The capture of the Old City of Jerusalem gave Jews access to their holiest sites for the first time in 19 years, while freedom of worship and access to holy sites were now guaranteed to all.

    The Post-War Period and Resolution 242

    Defensible Borders

    On 10 June 1967, at the end of six days of fierce fighting in which 776 Israeli soldiers lost their lives, a cease-fire was reached. Previous cease-fire lines were now replaced by new ones - the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and a large part of the Golan Heights had come under Israel's control as a result of the war. Syria could no longer use the Golan Heights to launch artillery bombardments on Israeli homes below. The passage of ships to Israel through the Straits of Tiran was ensured. Israel now had defensible borders, and the imminent threat to its very existence was no longer.

    Hopes for Peace

    When the Six Day War ended, Israelis believed that a new era was beginning, one that would bring peace to the region. Hoping to translate military gains into a permanent peace, Israel sent out a clear message that it would exchange almost all the territory gained in the war for peace with its neighbors.

    Furthermore, Israel gave strong indications of its deep desire to negotiate a solution, including through territorial compromise, by deciding not to annex the West Bank or Gaza Strip. This is important evidence of Israel's intent given both the strategic depth these areas offered and the Jewish people's age-old ties to numerous religious and historical sites, especially in the West Bank.

    Arab rejectionism

    But Israel's hope for peace was quickly dashed. The Arab states began to rearm and, at the August 1967 Arab League meeting in the Sudan, adopted as their political position "the three nos," principles by which the Arab states were to abide, namely, "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it." The Khartoum Summit's hard-line position forestalled all chances for peace for years. As Israel's then Foreign Minister Abba Eban said, "This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender."

    242: A Misrepresented Resolution

    Since 1967, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 has played a central role in the peace process. It may well be one of the most important UN resolutions regarding the conflict - however, it is also one of the most misrepresented.

    The Palestinians often depict the resolution as a simple document whose principal goal is a unilateral and complete Israeli withdrawal from the territories as a precondition for ending the conflict. In reality, the resolution is a balanced and measured instrument whose goal is "the fulfillment of Charter principles" by the "establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

    "Territories" vs. "The Territories"

    As a rule, the Palestinians and their supporters misstate the resolution by claiming that 242 calls for Israel's withdrawal from "all" the territories, although this is neither the language used in the resolution nor the intent of its framers.

    Resolution 242 calls upon Israel to withdraw "from territories" occupied in the recent conflict", not "from all the territories" or even "from the territories". The use of the phrase "from territories" was deliberately chosen by the members of the Security Council after extensive study and months of consultations, this despite considerable pressure from the Arab States to include the word "all". As then US Ambassador Arthur Goldberg would explain in 1973, these notable omissions "were not accidental.... the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of the withdrawal."

    Secure Borders According to 242

    It should be noted that Resolution 242 recognizes the need, indeed the right, for "secure and recognized boundaries." By declining to call upon Israel to withdraw to the pre-war lines, the Security Council recognized that the previous borders were indefensible, and that, at the very least, Israel would be justified in retaining those parts of the territories necessary to establish secure borders. As then UK Ambassador Lord Caradon would later state, "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

    Joint Obligations

    The principal UN Security Council resolutions, including 242 (and 338, adopted after the 1973 Yom Kippur War), address all sides of the conflict, and not just Israel. Despite this, Palestinian spokespersons only refer to Israel's responsibilities under the resolution, ignoring joint responsibilities as well as obligations incumbent on the Arab side, although these clauses form an integral part of the resolution. Among the clauses of 242 clearly aimed at the Arab states, or expressing joint obligations, are:

    • "a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security;"
    • "termination of all claims or states of belligerency;"
    • "respect and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area;"
    • respect and acknowledgement of "their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;"
    • "freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;"
    • "guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones."

    Clearly Israel was not expected to withdraw without the Arab regimes fulfilling their obligations - principally to renounce the use of force and make peace with Israel - and Israel's withdrawal is certainly not a prerequisite to its fundamental right to live in peace.

    Additionally, Resolution 338 - which is invariably coupled with 242 - calls upon the parties to begin negotiations aimed at "establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East". Taken together, these two resolutions express the Security Council's determination that peace should be reached through non-violent negotiations between the parties.

    Terrorism and "the Occupation" Excuse

    Palestinian Manipulation of the Term "Occupation"

    "Whoever thinks that the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong.... This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton."
    In March 2001, Imad al-Faluji PA Minister of Communications, spoke
    publicly in Lebanon about the premeditated nature of the violence.

    Palestinian Terrorism - before 1967 and during the peace process in
    the mid-90s

    Ambushed bus from Eilat to
    Be'er Sheva (17 March 1954)

    The charred remains of a No. 18 Jerusalem bus after it was blown up by a suicide terrorist bomber
    at the intersection of Sarei
    Yisrael and Jaffa Streets
    (25 February 1996)

    Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Market after the bombing by
    two Palestinian terrorists
    (30 July 1997)

    The Palestinians are trying to portray the current wave of violence and terrorism as the spontaneous reaction of a frustrated people to the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This misrepresentation of the situation ignores the strategic decision made by the Palestinian leadership to abandon negotiations and concentrate on the armed struggle against Israel. It also omits the fact that the Palestinians began to orchestrate the violence that started in September 2000 immediately after they caused the failure of the Camp David peace summit in July of that year.

    The claim that "the occupation" caused the wave of violence and terrorism that began in September 2000 soon become the central Palestinian theme. The methodology of Palestinian spokespersons was simple: Answer every question with "the occupation is responsible," say "the occupation caused it" after every act of terrorism. "Occupation" provided them with a simple buzzword that could be used to condemn Israel at every turn and to absolve the Palestinians of responsibility for their every action. But repeating a lie hundreds of times does not make it true.

    Incessant Palestinian references to "the occupation" are aimed, in part, at delegitimization of Israel's presence in the territories. Palestinian calls to "end the occupation" are being used to mobilize the international community against Israel. Palestinian leaders have long believed that the application of international pressure on Israel is an important component of their strategy to defeat Israel. They believe they can force Israel, through terrorism, to leave the territories without ending the conflict and without achieving a negotiated peace.

    The Palestinians Justify Terrorism

    Most abhorrently, the Palestinians use "the occupation" as a justification for the unjustifiable - terrorism. No goal - including ending the so-called occupation - can ever excuse the deliberate slaughter of innocent civilians. Suicide bombings cannot become an acceptable means to induce political change. Targeting children cannot ever be justified.

    Palestinian attempts to excuse terrorism by blaming it on "the occupation" are not only morally repugnant, they attempt to corrode the precept that suicide bombings are a crime against humanity. To accept the lie that "the occupation" caused the terrorism helps encourage terrorism itself, while condoning its use is not only immoral but contributes to the perpetuation of the conflict.

    The Roots of Palestinian Terrorism

    It is not Israel's presence in the territories that caused terrorism. Rather, the violence is fostered by the hatred of Israel, and nurtured by incessant incitement from Palestinian officials and religious leaders.

    It should be remembered that Palestinian terrorism predates Israel's presence in the territories. Not only were there endless terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians during the two decades that preceded the Six Day War, they even occurred prior to the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel.

    The claim that the 1967 "occupation" of the territories caused Palestinian terrorism is particularly specious coming from PLO members, as the Palestine Liberation Organization was created in 1964, three years before the Six Day War, when the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under Israeli rule.

    Terrorism vs. Efforts for Peace

    History demonstrates that Palestinian terrorism is not caused by frustration or the absence of hope for a peaceful solution. Horrific waves of attacks have occurred during periods of major advances in the peace process. Terrorist strikes have often peaked during those times - such as the mid-1990s - when the process has been at its most active and thereby most likely to bring an end to the so-called "occupation."

    Claims that Israel's presence in the territories causes terrorism are misleading, as they ignore the history of terrorist attacks against Israel and the countless Israeli offers of peace that were rejected by the Palestinians.

    The Palestinians Reject Peace at Camp David

    Sbarro Restaurant in Jerusalem, after it was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber
    (9 August 2001)

    Bus No. 960 after it was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber, near Yagur junction, Haifa
    (10 April 2002)

    The remains of the bus blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber, at Patt junction in Jerusalem
    (18 June 2002)

    In July 2000, the United States hosted a Middle East peace summit designed to address the remaining final-status issues of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israel's willingness to make unprecedented compromises for peace was based on the conviction that only a negotiated settlement could resolve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership was not willing to end the conflict. Not only was it unwilling to compromise on any of the difficult and complicated issues, it was not prepared to present any reasonable proposals of its own.

    International Criticism of the Palestinians

    The Palestinian leadership came under international criticism for the failure of the Camp David summit, particularly after the US blamed the Palestinians directly. The international community could not comprehend the Palestinians' reasons for rejecting a most sweeping peace offer, that would have given the Palestinians virtually all that they had been ostensibly demanding.

    Violence as a Strategy

    After "analyzing the political positions following the Camp David summit, and in accordance with what brother Abu Amar [Arafat] said, it became clear to the Fatah movement that the next stage necessitates preparation for confrontation."
    Fatah Central Committee member Sakhr Habash told the PA daily
    newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida on 7 December 2000.
    "The only way to impose our conditions is inevitably through our blood...the power of the intifada is our only weapon. We should not toss this weapon away until the Arab emergency summit is convened and until we gain international protection."
    Hassan al-Kashef, Director-General of the PA Ministry of Information,
    wrote in his Al-Ayyam column of 3 October 2000
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon touching the body of 5 month-
    old Yehuda Haim Shoham,
    who was murdered in a terrorist attack near Shilo (11 June 2001)

    Weapons, rockets and mortars seized on the ship Karine A in
    the Red Sea that was on its way to the Palestinian Authority for use by Palestinian terrorist organizations (6 January 2002)

    The Palestinian leadership realized that it must act in order to regain international support. The Palestinians adopted a strategy whereby violence would be the primary instrument to divert the world's attention away from Palestinian intransigence at Camp David and put pressure on Israel. The Palestinians hoped that the resulting bloodshed would restore their image as victims and bolster their calls for international intervention, leading to a unilateral Israeli withdrawal while the conflict continues.

    A Fundamental Breach

    The Palestinian decision to use violence contradicted two core commitments that they made prior to Oslo. Yasser Arafat broke his own pledge by which "the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence" and the PLO commits itself "to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations." These two core commitments, stipulated in Arafat's 9 September 1993 letter to the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, were the basis of Rabin's decision to sign the Oslo Accords.

    September 9, 1993

    Mr. Prime Minister,

    The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:

    The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

    The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

    The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

    The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.

    In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.

    Yasser Arafat
    The Palestine Liberation Organization

    Yitzhak Rabin
    Prime Minister of Israel

    The Peace Process

    The Palestinian Path of Violence

    Since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and to this day, the Palestinians have refused to take advantage of the many opportunities to reach a negotiated resolution of the conflict. Instead, the Palestinian leadership chose the path of violence, rejecting Israel's every offer of peace. The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, as the late Foreign Minister Abba Eban said.

    The Road to Peace

    President Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin
    in conversation
    (19 November 1977)

    The pattern of Israeli appeals for peace being met with Arab rejection and hostile actions continued unabated for more than a decade after the 1967 war. This was first broken in November 1977, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem. The subsequent negotiations resulted in the Camp David Accords of September 1978 and the March 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Israel pulled out of the entire Sinai Peninsula. The thirty-year-old state of war between the two countries ended and internationally recognized boundaries were established. It should be noted that every time Israel met an Arab leader, like President Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, who were ready to make peace and who spoke the language of peace to their own people, Israel made peace with them.

    The Camp David Accords of 1978 contained a framework for establishing a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including a detailed proposal for self-government for Fthe Palestinians in the territories as a stipulated prelude to negotiations over the final status of the territories. Sadly, the Palestinians, supported by other Arab leaders, rejected this opportunity. This Palestinian intransigence persisted for some time despite the model of peaceful resolution represented by the Israeli-Egyptian treaty and despite the numerous initiatives put forward by Israel and others.

    Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Gulf War and the subsequent changes in the international system and the Middle East did the Palestinians offer to abandon violence and negotiate peace with Israel. In 1991 - 43 years after the establishment of the State of Israel - the Palestinians finally agreed to join the peace process and participate in the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference and the 1993 Oslo Accords. Sadly, the Palestinian leadership has not lived up to its commitments to refrain from terror, destroy the terrorist infrastructure and end the incessant incitement to hatred and violence. On the contrary, the Palestinian Authority has aided, abetted and fomented terrorism. Forces directly accountable to Arafat have perpetrated countless acts of terrorism. Palestinian Authority-controlled media has incited the terrorism which has taken so many innocent lives and has greatly damaged the prospects for achieving a negotiated peace.

    Defense Minister Ariel Sharon in Port Said
    Madrid Peace Conference
    Israel-Jordan peace treaty signing ceremony
    Presidential palace in Alexandria, Egypt
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Hussein
    Prime Minister Rabin and Egyptian President Mubarak

    Photos clockwise:

  • The governor of Port Said presenting the plaque of the city to Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, passing through the town on his return from an official visit to Egypt (21 January 1982)
  • Prime Minister Shamir and Deputy Foreign Minister Netanyahu head the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference (October 1991)
  • Senior IDF and Jordanian army officers shake hands at the Israel-Jordan peace treaty signing ceremony (26 October 1994)
  • Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (2 February 1995)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conferring with King Hussein of Jordan on the steps of the Royal Palace in Amman (5 August 1996)
  • Prime Minister Ehud Barak (l.)and Foreign Minister David Levy (r.), meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Amr Moussa at the presidential palace in Alexandria, Egypt (29 July 1999)

    Israel's Willingness to Compromise

    The disputed status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, combined with the refusal of the Palestinians to sign peace agreements with Israel that would define the final borders, means that the precise status of the territories has yet to be determined. And in the negotiations to determine the future status of these disputed territories, Israel's legitimate claims, and not just the Palestinian positions, must be taken into account.

    Despite the Jewish people's historic and religious connection to these territories, in order to achieve peace Israel has always been willing to compromise. Israel has no desire to rule over the Palestinians in the territories and Israel's yearning for peace is so strong that all Israeli governments have been willing to make major sacrifices to achieve this goal. Still, the ongoing terrorism has caused many Israelis to doubt whether the Palestinians are truly interested in peace and whether some of the concessions that Israel was prepared to make two years ago are possible.

    For negotiations to succeed, a responsible and moderate Palestinian leadership must emerge, one that has abandoned for all time the goal of destroying Israel and one that actively fights terrorism. Until that happens, Palestinian terrorism will continue to destroy innocent lives and Palestinian extremism will undermine the chance of peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.


    "Occupation" as an Accusation / The Terminology of Other Territorial Disputes / No Previously-Recognized Sovereignty in the Territories / Aggression vs. Self-Defense / Israeli Rights in the Territories / After Oslo, Can the Territories be Characterized as "Occupied"?

    "Occupation" as an Accusation

    At the heart of the Palestinian diplomatic struggle against Israel is the repeated assertion that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are resisting "occupation." Speaking recently on CNN's Larry King Weekend, Hanan Ashrawi hoped that the U.S. war on terrorism would lead to new diplomatic initiatives to address its root "causes." She then went on to specifically identify "the occupation which has gone on too long" as an example of one of terrorism's sources.1 In other words, according to Ashrawi, the violence of the intifada emanates from the "occupation."

    Mustafa Barghouti, president of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees and a frequent guest on CNN as well, similarly asserted that: "the root of the problem is Israeli occupation."2 Writing in the Washington Post on January 16, 2002, Marwan Barghouti, head of Arafat's Fatah PLO faction in the West Bank, continued this theme with an article entitled: "Want Security? End the Occupation." This has become the most ubiquitous line of argument today among Palestinian spokesmen, who have to contend with the growing international consensus against terrorism as a political instrument.

    This language and logic have also penetrated the diplomatic struggles in the United Nations. During August 2001, a Palestinian draft resolution at the UN Security Council repeated the commonly used Palestinian reference to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "occupied Palestinian territories." References to Israel's "foreign occupation" also appeared in the Durban Draft Declaration of the UN World Conference Against Racism. The Libyan ambassador to the United Nations, in the name of the Arab Group Caucus, reiterated on October 1, 2001, what Palestinian spokesmen had been saying on network television: "The Arab Group stresses its determination to confront any attempt to classify resistance to occupation as an act of terrorism."3

    Three clear purposes seem to be served by the repeated references to "occupation" or "occupied Palestinian territories." First, Palestinian spokesmen hope to create a political context to explain and even justify the Palestinians' adoption of violence and terrorism during the current intifada. Second, the Palestinian demand of Israel to "end the occupation" does not leave any room for territorial compromise in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as suggested by the original language of UN Security Council Resolution 242 (see below).

    Third, the use of "occupied Palestinian territories" denies any Israeli claim to the land: had the more neutral language of "disputed territories" been used, then the Palestinians and Israel would be on an even playing field with equal rights. Additionally, by presenting Israel as a "foreign occupier," advocates of the Palestinian cause can delegitimize the Jewish historical attachment to Israel. This has become a focal point of Palestinian diplomatic efforts since the failed 2000 Camp David Summit, but particularly since the UN Durban Conference in 2001. Indeed, at Durban, the delegitimization campaign against Israel exploited the language of "occupation" in order to invoke the memories of Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War and link them to Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.4

    The Terminology of Other Territorial Disputes

    The politically-loaded term "occupied territories" or "occupation" seems to apply only to Israel and is hardly ever used when other territorial disputes are discussed, especially by interested third parties. For example, the U.S. Department of State refers to Kashmir as "disputed areas."5 Similarly in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the State Department describes the patch of Azerbaijan claimed as an independent republic by indigenous Armenian separatists as "the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh."6

    Despite the 1975 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice establishing that Western Sahara was not under Moroccan territorial sovereignty, it is not commonly accepted to describe the Moroccan military incursion in the former Spanish colony as an act of "occupation." In a more recent decision of the International Court of Justice from March 2001, the Persian Gulf island of Zubarah, claimed by both Qatar and Bahrain, was described by the Court as "disputed territory," until it was finally allocated to Qatar.7

    Of course each situation has its own unique history, but in a variety of other territorial disputes from northern Cyprus, to the Kurile Islands, to Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf -- which have involved some degree of armed conflict -- the term "occupied territories" is not commonly used in international discourse.8

    Thus, the case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip appears to be a special exception in recent history, for in many other territorial disputes since the Second World War, in which the land in question was under the previous sovereignty of another state, the term "occupied territory" has not been applied to the territory that had come under one side's military control as a result of armed conflict.

    No Previously-Recognized Sovereignty in the Territories

    Israel entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli legal experts traditionally resisted efforts to define the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "occupied" or falling under the main international treaties dealing with military occupation. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Meir Shamgar wrote in the 1970s that there is no de jure applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention regarding occupied territories to the case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the Convention "is based on the assumption that there had been a sovereign who was ousted and that he had been a legitimate sovereign."

    In fact, prior to 1967, Jordan had occupied the West Bank and Egypt had occupied the Gaza Strip; their presence in those territories was the result of their illegal invasion in 1948, in defiance of the UN Security Council. Jordan's 1950 annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by Great Britain (excluding the annexation of Jerusalem) and Pakistan, and rejected by the vast majority of the international community, including the Arab states.

    At Jordan's insistence, the 1949 Armistice Line, that constituted the Israeli-Jordanian boundary until 1967, was not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: "no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations" (emphasis added) (Article II.2).

    As noted above, in many other cases in recent history in which recognized international borders were crossed in armed conflicts and sovereign territory seized, the language of "occupation" was not used -- even in clear-cut cases of aggression. Yet in the case of the West Bank and Gaza, where no internationally recognized sovereign control previously existed, the stigma of Israel as an "occupier" has gained currency.

    Aggression vs. Self-Defense

    International jurists generally draw a distinction between situations of "aggressive conquest" and territorial disputes that arise after a war of self-defense. Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel's case: "Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title."9

    Here the historical sequence of events on June 5, 1967, is critical, for Israel only entered the West Bank after repeated Jordanian artillery fire and ground movements across the previous armistice lines. Jordanian attacks began at 10:00 a.m.; an Israeli warning to Jordan was passed through the UN at 11:00 a.m.; Jordanian attacks nonetheless persisted, so that Israeli military action only began at 12:45 p.m. Additionally, Iraqi forces had crossed Jordanian territory and were poised to enter the West Bank. Under such circumstances, the temporary armistice boundaries of 1949 lost all validity the moment Jordanian forces revoked the armistice and attacked. Israel thus took control of the West Bank as a result of a defensive war.

    The language of "occupation" has allowed Palestinian spokesmen to obfuscate this history. By repeatedly pointing to "occupation," they manage to reverse the causality of the conflict, especially in front of Western audiences. Thus, the current territorial dispute is allegedly the result of an Israeli decision "to occupy," rather than a result of a war imposed on Israel by a coalition of Arab states in 1967.

    Israeli Rights in the Territories

    Under UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967 -- that has served as the basis of the 1991 Madrid Conference and the 1993 Declaration of Principles -- Israel is only expected to withdraw "from territories" to "secure and recognized boundaries" and not from "the territories" or "all the territories" captured in the Six-Day War. This deliberate language resulted from months of painstaking diplomacy. For example, the Soviet Union attempted to introduce the word "all" before the word "territories" in the British draft resolution that became Resolution 242. Lord Caradon, the British UN ambassador, resisted these efforts.10 Since the Soviets tried to add the language of full withdrawal but failed, there is no ambiguity about the meaning of the withdrawal clause contained in Resolution 242, which was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council.

    Thus, the UN Security Council recognized that Israel was entitled to part of these territories for new defensible borders. Britain's foreign secretary in 1967, George Brown, stated three years later that the meaning of Resolution 242 was "that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories."11 Taken together with UN Security Council Resolution 338, it became clear that only negotiations would determine which portion of these territories would eventually become "Israeli territories" or territories to be retained by Israel's Arab counterpart.

    Actually, the last international legal allocation of territory that includes what is today the West Bank and Gaza Strip occurred with the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which recognized Jewish national rights in the whole of the Mandated territory: "recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." The members of the League of Nations did not create the rights of the Jewish people, but rather recognized a pre-existing right, that had been expressed by the 2,000-year-old quest of the Jewish people to re-establish their homeland.

    Moreover, Israel's rights were preserved under the United Nations as well, according to Article 80 of the UN Charter, despite the termination of the League of Nations in 1946. Article 80 established that nothing in the UN Charter should be "construed to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments." These rights were unaffected by UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of November 1947 -- the Partition Plan -- which was a non-binding recommendation that was rejected, in any case, by the Palestinians and the Arab states.

    Given these fundamental sources of international legality, Israel possesses legal rights with respect to the West Bank and Gaza Strip that appear to be ignored by those international observers who repeat the term "occupied territories" without any awareness of Israeli territorial claims. Even if Israel only seeks "secure boundaries" that cover part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, there is a world of difference between a situation in which Israel approaches the international community as a "foreign occupier" with no territorial rights, and one in which Israel has strong historical rights to the land that were recognized by the main bodies serving as the source of international legitimacy in the previous century.

    After Oslo, Can the Territories be Classified as "Occupied"?

    In the 1980s, President Carter's State Department legal advisor, Herbert Hansell, sought to shift the argument over occupation from the land to the Palestinians who live there. He determined that the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention governing military occupation applied to the West Bank and Gaza Strip since its paramount purpose was "protecting the civilian population of an occupied territory."12 Hansell's legal analysis was dropped by the Reagan and Bush administrations; nonetheless, he had somewhat shifted the focus from the territory to its populace. Yet here, too, the standard definitions of what constitutes an occupied population do not easily fit, especially since the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements.

    Under Oslo, Israel transferred specific powers from its military government in the West Bank and Gaza to the newly created Palestinian Authority. Already in 1994, the legal advisor to the International Red Cross, Dr. Hans-Peter Gasser, concluded that his organization had no reason to monitor Israeli compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, since the Convention no longer applied with the advent of Palestinian administration in those areas.13

    Upon concluding the Oslo II Interim Agreement in September 1995, which extended Palestinian administration to the rest of the West Bank cities, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres declared: "once the agreement will be implemented, no longer will the Palestinians reside under our domination. They will gain self-rule and we shall return to our heritage."14

    Since that time, 98 percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has come under Palestinian jurisdiction.15 Israel transferred 40 spheres of civilian authority, as well as responsibility for security and public order, to the Palestinian Authority, while retaining powers for Israel's external security and the security of Israeli citizens.

    The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 6) states that the Occupying Power would only be bound to its terms "to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory." Under the earlier 1907 Hague Regulations, as well, a territory can only be considered occupied when it is under the effective and actual control of the occupier. Thus, according to the main international agreements dealing with military occupation, Israel's transfer of powers to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Agreements has made it difficult to continue to characterize the West Bank and Gaza as occupied territories.

    Israel has been forced to exercise its residual powers in recent months only in response to the escalation of violence and armed attacks instigated by the Palestinian Authority.16 Thus, any increase in defensive Israeli military deployments today around Palestinian cities is the direct consequence of a Palestinian decision to escalate the military confrontation against Israel, and not an expression of a continuing Israeli occupation, as the Palestinians contend. For once the Palestinian leadership takes the strategic decision to put an end to the current wave of violence, there is no reason why the Israeli military presence in the West Bank and Gaza cannot return to its pre-September 2000 deployment, which minimally affected the Palestinians.

    Describing the territories as "Palestinian" may serve the political agenda of one side in the dispute, but it prejudges the outcome of future territorial negotiations that were envisioned under UN Security Council Resolution 242. It also represents a total denial of Israel's fundamental rights. Furthermore, reference to "resisting occupation" has simply become a ploy advanced by Palestinian and Arab spokesmen to justify an ongoing terrorist campaign against Israel, despite the new global consensus against terrorism that has been formed since September 11, 2001.

    It would be far more accurate to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "disputed territories" to which both Israelis and Palestinians have claims. As U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright stated in March 1994: "We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 War as occupied Palestinian territory."

    * * *


    1. CNN Larry King Weekend, "America Recovers: Can the Fight Against Terrorism be Won?," November 10, 2001 (

    2. Mustafa Barghouti, "Occupation is the Problem," Al-Ahram Weekly Outline, December 6-12, 2001.

    3. Anne F. Bayefsky, "Terrorism and Racism: The Aftermath of Durban," Jerusalem Viewpoints, no. 468, December 16, 2001.

    4. See Bayefsky, op. cit. U.S. and European officials may use the term "occupation" out of a concern for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians, without identifying with the PLO political agenda at Durban or at the UN.

    5. U.S. Department of State, Consular Information Sheet: India ( November 23, 2001.

    6. 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Azerbaijan, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, February 25, 2000.

    7. Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain, March 15, 2001, Judgment on the Merits, International Court of Justice, March 16, 2000, paragraph 100.

    8. The Japanese Foreign Ministry does not use the language of "ending the Russian occupation of the Kurile Islands," but rather resolving "the Northern Territory Issue." ( U.S. Department of State "Background Notes" describe the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as the island's "northern part [which is] under an autonomous Turkish-Cypriot administration supported by the presence of Turkish troops" -- not under Turkish occupation.

    9. Stephen Schwebel, "What Weight to Conquest," American Journal of International Law, 64 (1970):345-347.

    10. Vernon Turner, "The Intent of UNSC 242 -- The View of Regional Actors," in UN Security Council Resolution 242: The Building Block of Peacemaking (Washington: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1993), p. 27.

    11. Meir Rosenne, "Legal Interpretations of UNSC242," in UN Security Council Resolution 242: The Building Block of Peacemaking, op. cit., p. 31.

    12. Under the Carter administration, Hansell's distinction led, for the first time, to a U.S. determination that Israeli settlement activity was illegal since it purportedly contravened Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which stated that "the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it is occupying." Subsequently, the Reagan and Bush administrations altered the legal determination of the Carter period, changed the U.S. voting pattern at the UN, and refused to describe Israeli settlements as illegal, even if American political objections to settlement activity continued to be expressed. One reason was that the Fourth Geneva Convention applied to situations like that of Nazi-occupied Europe, which involved "forcible transfer, deportation or resettlement of large numbers of people." This view was formally stated by the U.S. Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Morris Abram, on February 1, 1990, who had served on the U.S. staff at the Nuremberg trials and, hence, was familiar with the legal intent behind the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

    13. Dr. Hans-Peter Gasser, Legal Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross, "On the Applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention After the Declaration of Principles and the Cairo Agreement," paper presented at the International Colloquium on Human Rights, Gaza, September 10-12, 1994. Gasser did not state that in his view the territories were no longer "occupied," but he did point out the legal complexities that had arisen with Oslo's implementation.

    14. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres's Address at the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement Signing Ceremony, Washington, D.C., September 28, 1995.

    15. Ehud Barak, "Israel Needs a True Partner for Peace," New York Times, July 30, 2001.

    16. The present intifada violence resulted from a strategic decision taken by Yasser Arafat, as admitted by numerous Palestinian spokesmen:

    • "Whoever thinks the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is wrong....This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David Negotiations," admitted Palestinian Communications Minister 'Imad Al-Faluji (Al-Safir, March 3, 2001, trans. MEMRI). Even earlier, Al-Faluji had explained that the intifada was initiated as the result of a strategic decision made by the Palestinians (Al-Ayyam, December 6, 2000).

    • Arafat began to call for a new intifada in the first few months of the year 2000. Speaking before Fatah youth in Ramallah, Arafat "hinted that the Palestinian people are likely to turn to the intifada option" (Al-Mujahid, April 3, 2000).

    • Marwan Barghouti, the head of Fatah in the West Bank, explained in early March 2000: "We must wage a battle in the field alongside of the negotiating battle...I mean confrontation" (Ahbar Al-Halil, March 8, 2000). During the summer of 2000, Fatah trained Palestinian youths for the upcoming violence in 40 training camps.

    • The July 2000 edition of Al-Shuhada monthly, distributed among the Palestinian Security Services, states: "From the negotiating delegation led by the commander and symbol, Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) to the brave Palestinian people, be ready. The Battle for Jerusalem has begun." One month later, the commander of the Palestinian police told the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: "The Palestinian police will lead together with the noble sons of the Palestinian people, when the hour of confrontation arrives." Freih Abu Middein, the PA Justice Minister, warned that same month: "Violence is near and the Palestinian people are willing to sacrifice even 5,000 casualties" (Al-Hayut al-Jadida, August 24, 2000 -- MEMRI).

    • Another official publication of the Palestinian Authority, Al-Sabah, dated September 11, 2000 -- more than two weeks before the Sharon visit -- declared: "We will advance and declare a general intifada for Jerusalem. The time for the intifada has arrived, the time for intifada has arrived, the time for Jihad has arrived."

    • Arafat advisor Mamduh Nufal told the French Nouvel Observateur (March 1, 2001): "A few days before the Sharon visit to the Mosque, when Arafat requested that we be ready to initiate a clash, I supported mass demonstrations and opposed the use of firearms." Of course, Arafat ultimately adopted the use of firearms and bomb attacks against Israeli civilians and military personnel. On September 30, 2001, Nufal detailed in al-Ayyam that Arafat actually issued orders to field commanders for violent confrontations with Israel on September 28, 2000.

    domingo, 24 de julho de 2011

    Selling land to Jews is punishable by death

    Here's a story about a 'Palestinian' who was murdered because he was accused of selling a house to Jews. Yes, selling land to Jews here is punishable by death. What are the odds of your hearing that from the Western mainstream media?

    JERUSALEM -- Israel supporters are sounding the alarm on a controversial law in the Palestinian Authority that forbids Arabs from selling land to Jews.

    On the Mount of Olives, a large Israeli flag flies over a house where one man was possibly killed over the PA decree.

    "Who killed him nobody knows, but it was because of the house," said resident Abraham.

    Abraham's brother Mohammed was accused of selling the house to Jewish settlers. Just days after the new residents moved in, Mohammed's dead body was found on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem.

    Click play to watch Chris Mitchell's report followed by analysis from CBN News Senior Editor John Waage.

    Abraham suspects someone killed his brother because of the belief that he sold a house to Jews. Abraham insists his brother was innocent.

    "Even the Jewish rabbi said, 'We bought the house through other people, not from him,'" he recalled.

    "They came here. They said, 'We didn't buy it from him. We buy it our way.' So this is what happened. This is the truth," he said.

    Israeli correspondent Pinchas Inbari said it's widely known that under the Palestinian Authority, an Arab caught selling land to Jews faces the death penalty.

    "People have already been executed on these charges or to be killed by the militias, by Fatah, or the Islamic jihad. or whatever you have," Inbari said.

    The decree has been in place since before Israeli statehood in 1948.

    Because of the danger, some real estate transactions have led to Arabs being given extra money to leave the region and resettle elsewhere.

    It's a subject Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought up to the foreign press earlier this year.

    "Ten minutes from here in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, there is a law, a decree that if you sell land to Jews, it's punishable by death," Netanyahu said. "Now you think that's something worthy of reporting?"

    While the law is widely known in the Middle East, it's seldom reported in the West.

    --Originally aired July 21, 2011.

    sábado, 23 de julho de 2011

    Teorias Conspiratórias Muçulmanas

    Por Ibrahim Raymond*

    As teorias conspiratórias oriundas do mundo muçulmano diferem um pouco das que conhecemos. Apesar de algumas delas serem ocidentalizadas, a exemplo das que afirmam que Israel foi o responsável pelo ataques de 11/9 em Nova Iorque e da igreja copta no Egito, a maioria envolve aspectos psicosociais próprio das sociedades onde se originaram.

    Um dos temas prediletos desses teorias conspiratorias são animais subversivos! Isto não é piada ou brincadeira, é real. Confiram os links.

    - Irã prende pombos espionando usina nuclea: As forças de segurança iraniana prenderem dois pombos espiões israelenses perto da usina nuclear de Natanz. Os pombos possuiam alguns anéis e cordas invisíveis, sugerindo que de alguma forma poderiam ser equipamentos secretos de comunicação.”

    - Israel usa ratos e porcos contra árabes de Jerusalém: De acordo com a Agênca de Notícias oficial da Autoridade Palestina – WAFA, Israel está “…usando ratos e porcos selvagens para forçar os palestinos a abandonarem suas casas. Notícias anteriores já davam conta que os israelenses usam esses animais como armas para retirar de suas casas os residentes árabes da Cidade Velha de Jerusalém.”

    - Israel é responsável por ataques letais de tubarão e medusas no mar vermelho: Segundo o governador do Sul do Sinai, Mohamed Abdel, “O Mossad colocou [no mar] um tubarão e um número indeterminado de medusas fatais para reduzir o turismo no Egito. Isto não está fora de questão, mas precisa de tempo para ser confirmado pelos nossos serviços de segurança.”

    - Arábia Saudita prende urubu e o acusa de ser parte de um complô sionista: De acordo com uma reportagem da BBC, o urubu possui placa metálica de identificação da Universidade de Tel Aviv [usado na verdade para estudar padrões de migração], mesmo assim, segundo autoridades sauditas “o pássaro poderá encontrar um castigo horrível de acordo com as leis do país se for comprovado que era um espião israelense.”

    - Os judeus de Guátanamo usam bruxaria contra prisioneiros: Walid Muhammad Hajj, ex-detento de Guatánamo, em entrevista à al-Jazeera, quando perguntado sobre os métodos de ‘tortura’, disse: ”O método mais comum para desgastar os irmãos [muçulmanos presos] foi bruxaria …. Não vi nenhum, mas certamente havia judeus entre aqueles [funcionários da Base em Guantánamo], que montaram armadilhas para nós [os muçulmanos]…. Lembro-me de um incidente onde um irmão sentou ao meu lado numa manhã. Quando trouxeram o leite do nosso café, ele urinou no leite dele e eu, surpreso, lhe perguntei ‘por que estava urinando no leite. Foi quando soubemos que ele estava enfeitiçado. Depois de ler versículos do Corão ele foi se recuperando um pouco e me disse: “As aves do arame farpado falavam comigo, e me disseram para urinar no leite” …. Em outra ocasião, eu estava dormindo e de repente senti que um gato estava tentando me penetrar. Ele tentou me penetrar novamente e novamente. Eu recitei o versículo kursi [Corão 2:255] vários vezes até que o gato desapareceu.

    Considerando que o Corão descreve as formigas e aves falaantes, que atesta o poder da magia e que tem um capítulo inteiro dedicado aos Gênios e Espíritos (Sura 72), isso acaba explicando porque o Hamas prendeu 150 “bruxas” na Faixa de Gaza no ano passado. E já que o profeta Muhammad decretou que cães negros deve morrer, pois eles são demônios”, existe uma “fatwa” (decreto religioso muçulmano) no mesmo estilo que determina que o Mickey Mouse (personagem de desenho da Walt Disney) deve ser morto, uma vez que o mesmo Muhammad, no Corão, afirma que os roedores são “corruptores, dirigido por Satanás”. Considerando tudo isso, não deve ser uma surpresa para ninguém que animais estejam sendo retratados como agentes infieis nos países árabes/islãmicos.

    A surpresa são essas histórias estarem sendo divulgadas amplamente nos meios de comunicações árabes. É claro que teorias conspiratórias não são de origem exclusivo do mundo islâmico. O ocidente e o resto do mundo também possuem suas teorias malucas. No entanto, ao contrário do ocidente, a maioria das teorias conspiratórias islâmicas foram feitas e/ou divulgadas por “autoridades” - são exemplos os casos dos esquilos, pombos e urubus espiões (Irã e Autoridade Palestina), ratos e porcos sendo usado como arma (Autoridade Palestina), ataques letais de tubarão e medusas (Egito), as estorias de Walid divulgadas pela Al-Jazeera, etc…

    Um exame atento dessas teorias nos revelam tendências patológicas que precisam ser reconhecidas, especialmente pelos líderes ocidentais que teimosamente interagem com o mundo muçulmano supondo que todos os muçulmanos “pensam como nós.”

    * Ibrahim Raymond, diretor associado do Fórum do Oriente Médio, autor de A Al Qaeda Reader e professor convidado da National Defense Intelligence College.


    Hudson Org. – 26 de janeiro de 2011.