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Posted March 13, 2007

March 13, 2007

When the gov’t released $100 million in tax revenues to PA president Mahmoud Abbas in January, there was considerable criticism, followed by suggestions that the money was being improperly used. Now Khaled Abu Toameh of the Post reports that Hamas concedes that indeed some of that money went to thousands of Hamas supporters.

Abbas had promised the money would be used exclusively for humanitarian relief. One more example of the complete and total unreliability of Abbas’s word. (How many examples do we need?)

Now Olmert has decided to refrain from releasing more money. And so we have another sort of example: this time of the complete and total moxie of the PA. Said one PA official (Fatah), this was a poor decision because Israel is supposed to be strengthening the moderates and this weakens Abbas.

Can you believe it?

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The IDF Southern Command has completed plans for a major invasion into Gaza. The question hanging over us is when the political echelon will give the go-ahead. It’s going to be a tough fight in any event. I grieve as I contemplate this: for the weapons that have been brought in are sophisticated; training of an army is being done in Iran — according to Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin this is “long-term, high-quality training”; there are bunkers and tunnels in place; mines have been planted. And we have done this to ourselves by pulling out in the first place. The problem now is that the longer we wait, the better prepared the enemy will be.

MK Yuval Steinitz is calling for an immediate pre-emptive movement of ground forces into Gaza.

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It doesn’t end and it gets very very wearisome. The United Nations Human Rights Council, which replaced the UN Human Rights Commission a year ago, has an even more horrendous record of bias against Israel than the Commission had. This 47 nation council has just begun its forth session in Geneva, which will run until early April. Since its inception, it has issued eight anti-Israel resolutions and none against any other nation. They have also held three special sessions on Israel.

Now Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch in Geneva, reports that he has information, received from diplomatic sources, that we are about to see more of the same.

Besides criticizing us for construction on the ramp to the Mughrabi Gate (yes, that again), Neuer says his information is that the council intends to place Israel under permanent investigation for its "violations" of international law in the territories, until we withdraw to the pre-1967 border. UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard is set to deliver a report that compares Israel’s actions in the territories to that of the former apartheid system in South Africa.

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Since these issues are being raised (not just by the UN), I would like to address them briefly here.

Apartheid is a libel devised by PR-savvy Palestinian Arabs in an attempt to discredit and delegitimize us. It is thus extremely important for each of us to have the answers to this charge and speak out against it vigorously.

Apartheid was a very specific system devised by a white South African minority to retain power over and control of a black/racial mixed majority in the country. It was racist at its core and involved discrimination of a social and legal nature within the country. Apartheid employed policies of strict segregation, with blacks and whites kept separate in all spheres.

Israel does not practice racial discrimination against any group within the country and certainly not against its Arab population: Arab citizens of Israel have absolutely the same rights as Jewish citizens of Israel, even to having representation in the Knesset. Nor is there any segregation. Arabs are served by the same hospitals, and share hospital rooms with Jewish patients. They can eat in the same restaurants, patronize the same stores, drink from the same water fountains, walk the same streets, study in the same universities, etc.

The charge is leveled at us with regard to the Palestinian Arab population of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It is a ludicrous charge that does not hold. For attempts at separation from that population are not racially motivated, but rather politically motivated. At its heart, the focus on separating the populations is based on security concerns. A fence is being erected in Judea-Samaria to keep terrorists from infiltrating into Israel where they can take innocent lives. Yet, perversely, that fence has been dubbed the "apartheid" fence by the Palestinian Arabs.

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As to withdrawing to the pre-67 lines. Not only should we never ever do so, there is no reason within international law that we would be required to do so. That must be made very clear.

Israel is not an "occupier" in Judea-Samaria (the West Bank). Legally "occupation" occurs only when one sovereign state moves into the territory of another sovereign state. Judea-Samaria was not part of a sovereign state. What was it?

Judea-Samaria was part of the Mandate for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine (from 1922), upon which dense settlement by Jews was to be encouraged according to international law (League of Nations). In 1947 the UN made a recommendation (it was legally just that: a recommendation) that Palestine be divided. Judea-Samaria would have been in the part given to the Arabs, but this is moot as they declined. Instead, as soon as Israel declared independence in 1948, they attacked.

The pre-’67 lines — called the Green Line — were essentially the armistice lines of ’49. They were not intended to be permanent borders. Jordan — which had gained control of Judea-Samaria — actually signed an armistice agreement with Israel that said the armistice line would not prejudice subsequent negotiations with regard to borders. When Jordan attacked Israel in 1967, Israel went to war defensively and took Judea-Samaria. By international law, Israel was permitted to settle in this area (with certain stipulations) until final resolution was determined via negotiation. This final resolution has never happened. UN Resolution 242 following the war called for Israeli withdrawal from territory in exchange for termination of all belligerency. The resolution did not say "the" territory or "all" territory; framers did not intend that Israel would fully withdraw in any event. Later Jordan renounced all claim to this area.

International law does not require relinquishing of territory to an entity with which it is in a state of war. The PLO covenant, the Fatah charter and the Hamas charter all call for Israel’s destruction. Israel has no obligation to turn over land. Israel has a right, by international law, to build defensive structures if the enemy is in a state of belligerency — thus is the security fence legal.

The claim is routinely made that Judea-Samaria is Palestinian-Arab territory. There is no legal case for this. It must be remembered that the Palestinian Arabs never had a state, there or anywhere else. What is more, they rejected an opportunity to have such a state (which would have encompassed 98% of Judea-Samaria) in 2000.

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In January I wrote a report entitled "The Myth of a ‘Moderate’ Fatah."

You can see it at www.emetonline.org/ModerateFatah%20_US.pdf. In my opinion it should be required reading for anyone who still really thinks that Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate with whom we can deal.

Now I have done an addendum to this original report, www.emetonline.org/kushner_addendum.pdf .

I had a fairly solid sense of what Fatah is, but include here some new information I discovered that was startling for me with regard to the fact that Fatah seems to have been involved in the formation both of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. I know the journalist who provided this information, he’s solid and knowledgeable. The terrorist world is incestuous. There are groups that you might think would have nothing to do with each other that actually share funding, provide mutual support and so forth.

There is, as well, within this addendum information about Saudi Arabia that is particularly pertinent. Much is being made now of the Saudi peace plan as a viable way to approach negotiations. The Saudis are being represented as a "moderate" Arab state. However, during the Mecca Accord agreements the Saudis actually pressured Fatah to concede to Hamas stipulations.

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Jerusalem is in the process of putting in the tracks for a light rail system; as is required by law, a salvage dig — to determine that no archeological ruins would be damaged — was done first. Just north of the Temple Mount, an ancient Jewish village from Second Temple times was discovered. The largest yet to be discovered in the Jerusalem area, it encompasses about 100 acres; roads, public buildings, homes and a ritual bath have been uncovered.

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There is currently a widescale campaign — being vigorously supported by Binyamin Netanyahu, who just returned from the States — to promote an official policy of US divestment with regard to Iran. The relevant legislation, called the Iran Counterproliferation Act of 2007, was proposed by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. If passed, American financial institutions — banks, pensions funds, etc. — would be prohibited from investing in companies doing business with Iran. The amount of money involved is astounding: The public employees’ retirement system in California, alone, has $228 billion invested in companies with Iranian connections. Companies such as Shell, which is developing Iranian oil fields, would be affected.

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This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2007/3/13/posted-march-13-2007.html

 

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