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Perils of Palestine

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Will they come home to haunt the United States?

 

President Bush, announcing the US support for the establishment of a

Palestinian State, said he has a vision for two states living side by side

in peace and security. He said that that this cannot happen under the

present circumstances: Peace requires a new and different Palestinian

leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the

Palestinian people to elect new leaders  leaders not compromised by terror.

I call on them to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and

liberty. Making it clear that Yasser Arafat has to go, he gave the opinion

that only a minority of Palestinians are in favour of terrorism. This

coupled with his assertion that the value of tolerance is alive in the

Muslim world means that given freedom and democracy the Palestinians will

choose a peaceful, tolerant government, ready to live alongside Israel.

Right?

 

Wrong. Opinion polls show that the majority of Palestinians support the use

of suicide terrorism against Israel. A significant majority rejects the

Saudi plan (see our lead article) unless it involves the return of the

refugees (a formula for the destruction of Israel). In fact on 21st June

Voice of Palestine broadcast a sermon by Dr Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem, at

the Al Aqsa Mosque in which he said under Islamic law (sharia) the

descendants of Palestinian refugees (5.5 million people according to his

figures) must be allowed to return to their homes inside Israel. As for the

value of tolerance in the Muslim world, the main US ally in the region,

Saudi Arabia, does not allow even US forces stationed in the country to go

to church meetings and regularly broadcasts calls on its media to kill the Jews.

 

Despite his comments about them, the Palestinian Leadership has welcomed Mr

Bush’s ideas, saying they are a constructive and positive contribution to

the peace process and hoping that the fine details will be discussed

through meetings with the Quartet Committee (the USA, EU, Russian

Federation and the UN). They know that even if Arafat in person goes (and it

is quite likely that in elections he would be re-elected by the

Palestinians), whoever takes over would be likely to carry on the same

policies, or even be more hostile towards Israel. The idea that some peace

loving democrat will gain power and want to work with the Israelis to

develop the region for the benefit of both peoples is a fantasy. It is a

virtual certainty that, if established, a Palestinian state would be used as

a stepping stone towards the eventual dismantling of the Jewish state. The

international community, which is allegedly at war with terrorism, will have

succeeded in setting up a state, which can be used as a base for exporting

terror against Israel and probably against Jordan as well.

 

Mr Bush called for the Palestinian state to dismantle the terror

infrastructure, mentioning Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah, but leaving

out the largest terror group operating in the area, Arafat’s own Fatah

Tanzim militia. He also said nothing about reducing the size and the arms

held by the Palestinian army, in contradiction to the original Oslo Accords.

In fact since 1994 under the Oslo Accords the CIA has been actively training

Arafat’s 90,000 police force ostensibly to fight terrorism, but in reality

to fight Jews. There are parallels with the CIA’s former help to the Taliban

in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviets.

 

On May 15th 02 Arafat gave a speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council

in Ramallah in which he condemned suicide attacks because they do not serve

our cause, but rather subject us to angry criticism on the part of the

international community. Note he did not condemn them for moral reasons,

because they are a wicked crime against humanity, but that for strategic

reasons, that they do not serve the cause.

 

He went on to say that the problem should be viewed from the vantage point

of the Hudabiyya Conciliation Accord out of concern for national interest

of our people. The same treaty is mentioned in the lead article Putting

the Pressure on Israel. Basically it means that a Muslim can follow the

example of Muhammad who made this peace treaty with the Kureish tribe in

Mecca when they were stronger than him only to break it later when his

forces were stronger than theirs. In saying this Arafat is saying in the

clearest possible way to all who have ears to hear that any peace agreement

with Israel is a temporary thing which can be broken once it is expedient to

do so.

 

Meanwhile Israel continues to be isolated diplomatically and condemned for

its attempts to defend itself against a vicious enemy seeking its

destruction. From the beginning of the current uprising (29th September

2000) through to 24th June 02 there have been 13,421 attacks (not including

rock throwing and fire bombs) resulting in 4,208 injured and 561 killed. On

May 23rd only fast thinking by an Israeli security guard prevented a

potentially devastating terror attack on the Pi Gelilot fuel depot in

Herzliya, the main supply centre of fuel and gas for central Israel. If this

had been successful it could have caused an explosion killing tens of

thousands of people and would almost certainly have detonated a Middle East

war. Even secular Israeli newspapers described the deliverance from this

attack as an Act of God.

 

Nevertheless Israeli leaders have welcomed Mr Bush’s speech. Prime Minister

Ariel Sharon said that Israel has long demanded the same two conditions

mentioned by Bush as prerequisites to progress on the path to peace: reforms

in the Palestinian Authority and an end to violence and terrorism against

Israel. Defence Minister, Ben-Eliezer said If we find an honest

peace-seeking, terror-free interlocutor on the other side, one who is

amenable to historic compromise, I would support very significant

compromises for peace.

 

However most Israelis feel depressed at the prospect of a Palestinian state

emerging. They face terror every day while they struggle to build a society

in which there is democracy and concern to meet the needs of the people

through education, the health service, finding jobs, caring for those in

social need. The only voices they hear from the other side are ones calling

for conflict. They ask, Where is this honest peace-seeking interlocutor on

the other side, and even if he exists, what chance has he got of gaining and

holding on to power? When do we hear the Palestinian leadership talking

about how to develop their economy, provide a better education for their

children, health care for their people?

 

The US administration would like to hold a Peace Conference involving the

US, UN, EU, Russia and Arab League to decide the fate of the Jewish state.

The probable venue for this conference is to be Rome! (See article in the

magazine). Jewish commentators have made a comparison to the Evian

Conference in 1938 in which the international community decided to take no

action against the Nazis, effectively handing over the Jewish people to

extermination at the hands of Hitler. Today the western powers appear

willing to sacrifice Israel in order to secure some kind of cooperation from

the Arab world in the war on terror and the flow of oil from the Gulf

region.

 

In so doing they will find themselves on a collision course with God: I

will also gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of

Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgement with them there on account of

my people, my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations;

they have also divided up my land. Joel 3.2.

 

An article sent me on the Internet (available on request) details 10 Major

Events relating to Israel’s Covenant Land. From October 30th 1991 to

October 11th 1999 the US administration has made a number of moves aimed at

establishing a Palestinian state. On each occasion this has coincided with a

natural disaster or a scandal or an economic crisis hitting the USA. Two

examples are these: In October 1991 when former President Bush opened the

Madrid Conference to consider land for peace in Israel, a storm lashed the

east coast of America causing the largest waves ever recorded in the North

Atlantic. 35 foot high waves crashed into Bush’s Kennebunkport home. In

September 1998 as US President Clinton was meeting Israeli Prime Minister

Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat to work on the final details of the agreement in

which Israel would give up 13% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)

Hurricane George slammed into the US Gulf Coast and caused $1 billion of

damage. Arafat went on to address the UN in New York, declaring that he

would announce the Palestinian state by May 1999. At the exact time that

Arafat left the US the storm began to calm down.

 

At the time that Bush made his announcement on Palestine the states of

Colorado and Arizona experienced the worst wild fires in their history. The

day after the Worldcom financial scandal hit Wall Street causing stocks to

fall all over the world. Commentators have spoken of the collapse of

confidence in the whole structure of US capitalism. What next?

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