Archive | January 25th, 2011

Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem

Chair of West Midland PSC

 

Dear Friends,

As you might well imagine, I’ve had my ear glued more to the radio today than usual.  The riots in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, etc (none in Jordan so far) might end with no consequences or almost none, but then again, one never knows. Will this be the time when revolutions topple the puppet governments?  If so, what will be the consequences for Israel?  Will the changes be diplomatic or violent?  So many questions that only time will reveal the answers to.  Undoubtedly the United States and its allies will do all they can to keep the Middle East under western influence.  That is not desirable.  But then, is the alternative—whatever it might be—better.  It would be idealistic and naive to believe that the present uprisings will lead to a socialist revolution.  Will have to wait and see and hope for the best, not only for Israelis and Palestinians, but also for all the peoples of the region.

The media is full of reports on the riots and the Palestine papers released by Al Jazeera.  However, the first two items of the 7 below are positive.  Item one relates that Peru has joined other South American countries to recognize Palestine.

Item 2 relates that Ireland has upgraded the Palestinian delegation to a Mission.  Most interesting in the piece is Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s reaction to both the Irish and Peruvian moves, which he claims are “largely meaningless on the ground,” because they “contribute to the bubble of expectation that is growing among the Palestinian leadership However, we all know that bubbles eventually burst and it is negligent to contribute to this unsustainable policy.”   Does he intend to reveal that negotiations are meaningless, because they will lead to nothing?  We know that this is what Israel’s leaders intend, but I believe that Ayalon is the first to openly come out and declare this.

Item 3 is an LA Times editorial, “Israel’s lost weekend.”  The best part of it is the last paragraph in which it says that the US must not veto the resolution to be brought before the Security Council on the illegitimacy of settlements.  As the title suggests, the editorial is critical of Israel.

Item 4 is the New York Times report on the riots in Egypt.

In item 5 we have a reaction to the supposed willingness of the PA to turn over certain areas of East Jerusalem to Israel.  In short, a person who was chucked out of his home to make way for Jews insists: Jerusalem first.

Item 6 reports that Palestinians condemn the US plan (revealed in the Palestine papers) to resettle Palestinian refugees in South America.  When will the US administration and Israel realize that the ROR (Right of Return) is the crux of the matter, that without recognizing the right of Palestinians to return—just as every refugee should have the right to return to its homeland—there will be no peace.  Justice must precede peace.  Without justice, the other cannot follow.

In item 7 Kathleen Christison’s “We told you so” is highly critical of US complicity in Israel’s refusal to make peace. Today’s newspapers that treat President Obama’s State of the Union address, reveal that he intends to lay emphasis on the economy and to propose to reduce the deficit by “a five-year freeze on non-defense government spending,”  “Non-defense spending!?!”  Imagine had he recommended cutting back on defense spending, including the billions sent to Israel and other countries in the Middle East—wouldn’t that have been something!  But no.  Instead he finds it preferable to cut back on, what?  Education? social welfare? Health?  The kinds of things that Israel cuts back on, while spending much on military and militarism, expansion, and ethnic cleansing.  With friends as the United States, who needs enemies?

That’s it for tonight.  Hoping for bloodless revolutions (well as bloodless as possible—3 have already been killed in Egypt) that will bring leaders to power who care for their people and will remake this area into one of milk and honey instead of one that is constantly on the edge of war.

Dorothy

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1.  The Guardian,

25 January 2011

Peru recognises Palestinian state

Nation is seventh South American country to do so, bolstering Palestinian hopes of momentum towards global recognition

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/25/peru-recognises-palestinian-state

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent guardian.co.uk,

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has thanked South American countries for recognising Palestine as a state Photograph: Khaled El Fiqi/EPA

Peru last night announced it recognises Palestine as a state, becoming the seventh South American country to do so in a rapid diplomatic domino effect which has alarmed Israel.

The declaration came on the eve of a Latin American-Arab summit to be hosted in the Peruvian capital, Lima, reflecting growing political and economic ties between the two regions.

“Palestine is recognised as a free and sovereign state,” Peru’s foreign minister, José Antonio García Belaúnde, told RPP radio. “There was no pressure from any side. We have acted with freedom and independence.” He expressed Peru’s continued support for peace talks.

The announcement followed similar decisions by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Guyana in recent weeks, bolstering Palestinian hopes of momentum towards global recognition.

It came as a chink of good news for Palestinians amid controversy and despair over leaked peace talks documents showing negotiators’ apparent weakness in dealings with Israel and the US.

“Peru’s decision is very good news,” said Mauricio Abu-Ghosh, president of Chile’s Palestine Federation. “It recognises the existence and sovereignty of the Palestinian state.”

Israel warned that South America’s rush to recognition was “highly damaging interference” by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process.

The US has lobbied the region to say recognition is premature. That argument has fallen flat with conservative and left-wing governments but Washington will be pleased that Peru, like Chile, hedged its position on Palestinian claims for borders that existed before 1967, encompassing the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Waves of emigration from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine to South America over the past century has dotted the region with small but influential Arab minorities, with some boasting politically connected tycoons.

Increasing trade – which will be trumpeted at next month’s Lima summit – has given an economic edge to cultural ties. Brazil, which has tripled its trade with Arab nations in the past decade, was thanked last month by President Mahmoud Abbas for allowing Palestine to open its first embassy in the Americas.

Argentina’s support for the Palestinian state’s pre-1967 borders is tinged with its own territorial claim over the Falkland Islands, which it calls the Malvinas. It lost a brief 1982 war against Britain for the archipelago and has complained that Britain violates UN agreements by refusing to discuss sovereignty.

Venezuela previously recognised the Palestinan state in 2005. Analysts say Uruguay and Paraguay may be next.

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2.  Jerusalem Post,

January 25, 2011

Photo by: Associated Press

Ireland upgrades PA delegation without recognition

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?ID=205183&R=R1

By HERB KEINON

25/01/2011

Irish sources says Palestinian mission not upgraded to embassy status; expectations that other EU countries will follow suit.

Israel harshly criticized Ireland on Tuesday for upgrading the Palestinian delegation in Dublin to the status of a mission, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor saying this was in line with the country’s “long-time” bias in the Middle East.

An Irish diplomatic source confirmed that Dublin intended to upgrade the mission, but stressed that contrary to some reports, it was not being upgraded to the status of an embassy.

At the same time, the source said that the head of the delegation will now be referred to as Ambassador-Head of Mission, and will present credentials to the country’s president.

The source said this move was completely in step with what a number of other countries have done recently in the EU, such as Portugal, France and Spain. He said this was not a precursor to recognizing a Palestinian state, and that according to Irish laws, states can only be recognized if they exist.

A number of other EU countries are expected to take similar steps in the coming weeks, but – according to EU officials – are unlikely to grant recognition to a Palestinian state.

Palmor said Israel regretted the Irish decision, “though it comes as no surprise as it is line with Ireland’s long time biased policy in the Middle East.” Palmor said this step will “only strengthen Palestinian rejection of returning to direct dialogue and peace talks.” The move came a day after Peru joined a growing list of South American countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile, in recognizing a Palestinian state.

But the decision announced by Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde does not recognize the 1967 lines as the border of the Palestinian state, with Peru – like Chile – saying this must be worked out between the sides.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reacted to both the Irish and Peruvian moves by saying they were “largely meaningless on the ground,” but were “destructive for negotiations.” He said they “contribute to the bubble of expectation that is growing among the Palestinian leadership However, we all know that bubbles eventually burst and it is negligent to contribute to this unsustainable policy.”

Ayalon said “every free gift the Palestinians receive from the international community contributes to their recalcitrance and maximalist strategy. We can see an obvious connection to the recent spate of recognition and a hardening of the Palestinian position.”

Turning to the Palestinians, Ayalon said that “if the Palestinians would expend one tenth of the effort towards meaningful negotiations that they use to push for largely meaningless one-sided declarations and political warfare in multilateral forums, then we could have actually moved a long way in negotiations.”

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3.  LA Times Editorial,

January 24, 2011

Israel’s lost weekend

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-israel-20110124,0,7447075.story

Leaked documents and an Israeli report on an attack on an aid flotilla make dim peace hopes even dimmer.

Even before last weekend, the news from the Israeli-Palestinian peace front was not good. The most recent round of talks fell apart months ago. The Palestinian Authority is weakened and unsure where to turn; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with terrorist incidents down and the economy growing, has little incentive to move forward. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ripped apart the opposition by leaving the Labor Party. Prospects for near-term solution: low to none.

The weekend’s news just added to that sense of stalemate. First came the unauthorized release of thousands of official documents baring secret, inside-the-room details from a decade of failed peace talks. The documents, leaked to Al Jazeera, revealed concessions by Palestinian negotiators on a variety of emotionally charged subjects, including Israeli settlements, refugees and the status of East Jerusalem. Although most of the revelations were hardly shocking to those who follow these things, they seem certain to further damage the credibility of the Palestinian Authority in the eyes of its people, who see no corresponding benefits to make such concessions palatable.

Then came the ruling of the Israeli commission investigating last May’s deadly raid on a flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip in violation of the Israeli embargo. In a move certain to outrage much of the world, the commission concluded Sunday that Israeli soldiers had acted “professionally” and in accordance with international law. No sooner was the report issued than critics declared that the commission had no credibility and that its results had been preordained.

The next trouble spot: a resolution on Israeli settlements that may come to a vote in the U.N. Security Council. The resolution would reaffirm the view held by most of the world that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are on occupied land and are illegal under international law. The United States faces significant pressure not to veto it, as it ordinarily does with resolutions it perceives to be critical of Israel.

The U.S. position is that settlements are “corrosive” and “illegitimate” but that the issue should be negotiated between the parties, not imposed from New York. Other critics of the resolution — including some who oppose settlements — say it doesn’t serve U.S. interests to vote in favor of a toothless U.N. decree that Israel will probably ignore, which will impede negotiations and which would most likely weaken U.S. credibility unless it is willing to follow through, which it won’t be.

Fair enough, but on balance, we do not believe the U.S. should veto the resolution if it comes to a vote. Though settlements are almost universally believed to be illegal, Israel has built them steadily since 1967, creating unnecessary impediments to peace.

It would be naive to think that a yes vote would have much positive value, but settlement building is wrong, and a no vote would unquestionably send the wrong message.

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4.  NY Times,

January 25, 2011

Broad Protests Across Egypt Focus Fury on Mubarak

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/world/middleeast/26egypt.html?_r=1&ref=middleeast

By KAREEM FAHIM and MONA EL-NAGGAR

CAIRO — Thousands of people calling for the end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with riot police in this Egyptian capital on Tuesday, on a day of some of the most serious civil unrest in recent memory here.

A soldier died of injuries he sustained during the protest in Cairo, security officials said, and two protesters were reported killed in the port town of Suez.

The protesters, mobilized largely on the Internet and energized by recent events in Tunisia, occupied one of the city’s most famous squares for hours, beating back attempts to dislodge them by police officers wielding tear gas and water cannons.

“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” they chanted. “Where are the Egyptian people?”

Security officials said several thousand people demonstrated in Alexandria, and there were also reports of large demonstrations in other cities, including Mansoura and Mahalla al-Kobra. There, a video posted on the Internet showed people tearing up a large portrait of Mr. Mubarak — an act whose boldness here is hard to overstate.

State television made no mention of the protests, and sporadically through the afternoon, cellphone networks were interrupted or unavailable.

There was no immediate count of arrests or injuries, but the clashes in Cairo left dozens of people bleeding in Tahrir Square, one of Cairo’s best-known settings, near the Egyptian Museum and a Ritz-Carlton Hotel under construction. Tourists gawked, and older protesters said they had never seen anything like the defiant demonstration.

Just blocks away, in sharp contrast, calm prevailed and traffic was light for Police Day, the national holiday the protesters co-opted for their campaign against the government.

Mohammed Ashraf, a 22-year-old law student, said the blood drenching his white sweater was from a police officer. Like other protesters, he echoed the deep-seated frustrations of an enduring, repressive government that drove Tunisians to revolt:: rampant corruption, injustice, high unemployment and the simple lack of dignity accorded them by the state.

“Our government is unjust,” Mr. Ashraf said. “I’m not happy. The state is very aggressive with people.”

At least six young Egyptians have set themselves on fire in recent weeks, in an imitation of the self-immolation that set off the Tunisian unrest. Egypt has forbidden gas stations to sell to people not in cars and placed security agents wielding fire extinguishers outside government offices.

More than 90,000 people signed up on a Facebook page for the Tuesday protests, framed by the organizers as a stand against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment. But the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful opposition movement, said it would not officially participate, though its members were among the protestors in Cairo.

A small demonstration began sometime after noon but quickly swelled, as hundreds marched through winding streets as security officers formed a moving cordon. Scuffles broke out as the officers tried to halt the march by linking arms and forming lines.

One woman was injured when the officers pushed protesters against a wall near an on-ramp leading to a bridge over the River Nile. But the demonstrators quickly escaped the cordon and marched down the riverside Corniche, snarling traffic.

By the mid-afternoon, groups of people had converged in Tahrir Square, where they met security forces in full riot gear and a water cannon truck. Several people said the clashes began in earnest after protesters jumped on the truck and tried to take control of the water cannon.

Thousands occupied the square, including young men who broke rocks and threw them at the police. Some in the security force stooped to pick up the rocks and hurl them back at the protesters.

The marchers included young people documenting the clashes with cellphone cameras and middle-aged people carrying flags of the Wafd party, one of Egypt’s opposition groups. A young doctor, Wissam Abdulaziz, said she had traveled two hours to join the protest. She had been to one protest before, after the police were accused of fatally beating a young man in Alexandria named Khaled Said to death last year.

“I came to change the government,” she said. “I came to change the entire regime.”

Liam Stack and Dawlat Magdy contributed.

=========================

5.  The Independent,

25 January 2011

The price of Jerusalem

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/01/25/the-price-of-jerusalem/

By Jody McIntyre

Notebook

I turned on Al Jazeera on Sunday to see a live interview with Maher Hanoun.  In 2009, I was living with Maher’s family in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah when they were evicted from their home.

It was 5:15am on Sunday 2nd August, when I woke up to the sound of the Hanoun family’s front room windows being smashed in.  I had just laid down to rest 20 minutes earlier.

We had known that the threat of eviction was imminent ever since the first order of this year was served on 19 February of that year.  The family had already been kicked out of their home once, in 2002, but it was still hard to imagine that the day would ever come.

By the time I’d got to my feet, scores of soldiers were rushing into the house and had surrounded me.  Due to my disability I cannot walk at a fast pace, which they used as an excuse to increase their level of aggression, kicking me as I fell to the ground and pushing me out the front door.  As I tumbled down the stairs outside, I pointed at my wheelchair:

“That’s my wheelchair,” I said. “I need it because I can’t walk.”

“No! No!” the armed Israeli forces replied, continuing to shove me away.

It was only a couple of hours before a van of Jewish settlers drove up and began moving in to the Hanoun family’s house. We slept the night on the pavement opposite the home.

The next day, Maher spoke to reporters who had gathered by the olive tree we sat under for shade in the day, and slept under for shelter at night:

“We have been made refugees again,” he told the reporters.  “This is a slow genocide they are conducting against the Palestinians of East Jerusalem.”

At the time, the local representative of the Palestinian Authority was prompt in delivering a verbal condemnation of the eviction of the Hanoun family.  But we now know, thanks to ‘The Palestine Papers’ leaked to Al Jazeera, that their words were nothing but a facade, and that the PA had already offered Sheikh Jarrah, along with most of the rest of East Jerusalem, to the Israeli government a year and a half previously.

As he was interviewed on Al Jazeera, Maher spoke with the same courage as he had during the time I spent living with his family that summer:

“Jerusalem must be first,” Maher asserted, “all of Jerusalem.  I do not see how there can be a Palestinian state without it.  If this is the case, negotiations must be stopped immediately.”

I suspect that his words will speak for many Palestinians in the coming weeks.  For the so-called “Palestinian Authority”, I cannot see these papers as anything but the final straw.

What the PA have now put beyond doubt is that they do not care for people like Maher and his family.  They do not care for Palestinian families who have lived in Jerusalem for generations.  When Saeb Erekat tells US state department officials that he wants only “a symbolic number of refugees” to return, he shows that he does not care for the masses of Palestinians living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and the millions more scattered across the world.

Mr. Erekat went on Al Jazeera to defend himself, but his argument was pathetic, at best:

“Is it not strange that we would accept all these concessions that Israel is asking for and there is still no peace deal?”

Yes, Mr. Erekat, that is exactly what we think.  We think that the PA have offered concessions of epic proportions, concessions that sell out the most basic rights of their people, with nothing offered in return, and that Israel have still rejected your offers.  In fact, Mr. Erekat, we have thought it for a long time, but it is now documented fact.

Mahmoud Abbas, the disputed President of the Palestinian Authority, expressed his “shock” at the release of The Palestine Papers.  I think Mr. Abbas has a lot more shocks to come in the next few days.  Perhaps the Saudis should keep a room free for him and Erekat; I’m sure they’d be happy to stay with the recently deposed Tunisian President Ben Ali.

Tagged in: Al Jazeera, jerusalem, Maher Hanoun, Palestine, Saeb Erekat, Sheikh Jarrah

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6.  The Guardian,

25 January 2011

The Palestine papers

Palestinians condemn US plan to settle refugees in South America Suggestion revealed in Palestine papers clashes with refugees’ fundamental right to go home, say Palestinian groups

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/25/palestine-papers-refugees-south-america

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent guardian.co.uk

Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state under George Bush, suggested in 2008 that Palestinian refugees could be resettled in Chile and Argentina.

Children in Gaza refugee camp Photograph: Ali Ali/EPA

Palestinians have expressed shock and dismay at the US suggestion to settle Palestinian refugees in Argentina and Chile rather than let them return to ancestral land in Israel.

Representatives of the Palestinian diaspora said the plan to ship displaced Palestinians from the Middle East to a new homeland across the Atlantic clashed with their fundamental right to go home.

“It’s completely unacceptable. It contradicts our inalienable right to return to our own homeland,” said Daniel Jadue, vice-president of Chile’s Palestine Federation. “That right cannot be renounced. To make this suggestion shows the mediation was not honest. It was clearly tilted in favour of Israel. This is extremely grave.”

Condoleezza Rice, who was secretary of state in the Bush administration, floated the idea at a meeting on 28 June 2008 with US, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Berlin, according to minutes of the encounter obtained by al-Jazeera and shared with the Guardian.

The suggestion dumbfounded South America’s Palestinians – a largely Christian community which emigrated in waves over the past century and settled across the region, especially in Chile which is said to be home to more than 200,000.

Chile’s Palestinians would welcome compatriots who chose to settle in the Andes, said Jadue. “If a Palestinian accepted to come here that would be their right and we would show solidarity.” But that did not justify a US proposal to funnel refugees from the Middle East to reduce pressure on Israel to give up land, he said. “That’s wrong.”

Tilda Rabi, president of the Federation of Palestinian Organisations in Argentina, said the proposal violated the UN’s affirmation of refugees’ right to return home. “This is an extension of a long campaign of ethnic cleansing, of clearing people from their own homelands.” She doubted many refugees would have accepted such an offer. “In the camps people still have keys to the homes they left behind.”

It is unclear whether the Bush administration lobbied Argentina and Chile to take Palestinians. The foreign ministries in Buenos Aires and Santiago did not respond to email and phone queries.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said it received no such request. “UNRWA has never been approached by any government to assist with the movement of refugees to South America,” said a spokesman, Chris Gunness. “If such an offer was made refugees could accept or reject it,” he said. “It would be their choice.”

Hillary Clinton, Rice’s successor as secretary of state, played down the importance of the documents in her first comments on the leak last night.

“I don’t think it comes as any surprise what the issues are between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” she told reporters in Mexico. “They have been well known for 20 years or more. They are difficult issues. They do not lend themselves easily to compromise.”

However, the state department spokesman Philip Crowley earlier acknowledged that the disclosure would have an impact on efforts to get peace talks restarted.

“We don’t deny that this release will, at least for a time, make the situation more difficult than it already was,” he said. “None of this changes our understanding of what is at stake, or what needs to be done. We continue to believe a framework agreement is both possible and necessary. We continue to work with and engage the parties.”

The United Nations special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, said some of the interpretation of the documents conveyed an “inaccurate impression”. The Palestinian negotiators were committed to reaching a deal in the interests of the Palestinian people, he said.

“At this crucial time, I would urge both parties to show their readiness for a negotiated peace based on a two-state solution, and to deliver on the ground. It is to the genuine credit of the Palestinian leadership that they are doing so.”

Israel radio reported that Nabil Shaath, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said the documents released by al-Jazeera were authentic, unofficial and did not obligate the Palestinian side.

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7, COUNTERPUNCH

January 25, 2011

We Told You So!

The Palestine Papers and What They Reveal About the US/Israeli Agenda

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison01252011.html

By KATHLEEN CHRISTISON

Many people told them so — told them, meaning told the United States and Israel and even the overeager Palestinian leadership, that the Oslo agreement in1993 wasn’t fair, that it made too many demands of the Palestinians and virtually no enforceable demands of Israel; that the United States, no honest broker or neutral mediator, was looking out only for Israel’s interests and cared nothing for Palestinian concerns; that the peace process breakdown at Camp David in 2000 was not the fault of the Palestinians but was the responsibility of President Clinton and his “Israeli lawyer” advisers for representing only Israel’s needs; that while Clinton demanded Palestinian concessions, he was winking at Israel’s steady expansion of settlements and land grabs in Palestinian territory; that Clinton’s two successors did the same.

Many analysts told them that hopes for a genuine two-state solution died in the 1990s — indeed, were never realistic — because Israel, with U.S. knowledge and support, was swallowing Palestine, eating the pizza they were supposed to be negotiating over, as many Palestinians have said.  But no one in power in the United States or the international community or in the media listened.

Someone may have to start listening.  This U.S. complicity in Israeli expansionism, and the desperate acquiescence of the Palestinian leadership in Israeli demands for its surrender, have now been exposed in the massive document leak by al-Jazeera.  Dubbed the Palestine Papers, the collection of almost 1,700 documents was obtained from unknown, possibly Palestinian, sources and covers a decade of “peace process” maneuvering.  So far, there is only silence from the Obama administration, which is implicated in the documents along with the Bush and Clinton administrations.  But reaction around the world is voluble and hard to ignore.

Palestinians, the documents show, offered compromises that verge on total capitulation.  At a time in 2008 when talks with then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were coming to a head and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was pushing hard, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his colleagues offered Israel the 1967 borders, the Palestinians’ right of return, and Israeli settlements on a silver platter.  The Palestinians would have agreed to let Israel keep all settlements in East Jerusalem except Har Homa; allowed Israel to annex more settlements in the West Bank (altogether totaling over 400,000 settlers); agreed to an inequitable territorial swap in return for giving Israel prime West Bank real estate, and settled for the return of only 5,000 Palestinian refugees (out of more than four million) over a five-year period.  And still Israel rejected the package of compromises, which they said “does not meet our demands” — presumably because their principal desire is that the Palestinians simply disappear.

The Palestinian eagerness to offer Israel such massive compromises has been the most prominent story from the Palestine Papers thus far, but the story of the pressure one U.S. administration after another has exerted on Palestinian negotiators to make these concessions and accommodate all Israel’s demands shows U.S. conduct throughout almost two decades of negotiations to be perhaps the most cynical, and indeed the most shameful, of the three parties.

United States negotiators, from Bill Clinton’s team, through Rice, to Hillary Clinton and George Mitchell today, have consistently treated the Palestinian leadership with humiliating derision.  In the fall of 2009, Hillary Clinton asked Erekat why the Palestinians were, as she remarked snidely, “always in a chapter of a Greek tragedy.”  Mitchell treated Erekat with similar contempt.  During a meeting in 2008, Rice dismissed a Palestinian request for compensation for refugees forced to flee their homes in 1948 — a demand that goes to the heart of Palestinian grievances — with the remark that “bad things happen to people all around the world all the time.”

Policymakers clearly couldn’t be bothered.  Scat, these Americans said to the pesky Palestinians in effect; we’re not interested in your silly grievances.  In a blunt commentary on al-Jazeera, former CIA officer Robert Grenier has written that his reaction to what the Palestine Papers reveal about U.S. conduct is “one of shame.”  The U.S., he says, has always followed a path of political expediency, “at the cost of decency, justice and our clear, long-term interests.  More pointedly, the Palestine papers reveal us to have . . . demanded and encouraged the Palestinian participants to take disproportionate risks for a negotiated settlement, and then to have refused to extend ourselves to help them achieve it, leaving them exposed and vulnerable.”  The papers “further document an American legacy of ignominy in Palestine.”

Shameful indeed.  A London Guardian editorial captures the essence of U.S. policy as it has been pursued since the first days of the Obama administration and indeed since the first days of Israel 63 years ago: the Americans’ neutrality, the Guardian writes pointedly, “consists of bullying the weak and holding the hand of the strong.”

It may be too much to hope for serious change in this U.S. policy anytime soon, but the Palestine Papers revelations may at least open discussion on the wisdom of continuing to pursue a policy that virtually everyone throughout the world recognizes as a “legacy of ignominy.”

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and the author of several books on the Palestinian situation, including Palestine in Pieces, co-authored with her late husband Bill Christison.  She can be reached at kb.christison@earthlink.net.

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison01252011.html

 

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Traitor Erekat said to Zionist Regime Prevent Gaza Smuggling

PLO urged Israel and Egypt to do more to prevent Gaza smuggling

Leaked documents underline hostility of PLO towards Hamas – but show Palestinian leadership willing to negotiate in long run.

 

Hamas security guards, Palestine

Hamas security forces standing guard in Gaza in December. The documents show the PA willing to negotiate with Hamas ‘in order to avoid the loss of Gaza and the break-up of the territories’.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership complained to the US envoyGeorge Mitchell in 2009 that not enough was being done to seal off tunnels breaking the siege of the Gaza Strip and urged that more be done by Israel and Egypt to prevent the smuggling of goods and weapons into the territory, leaked documents reveal.

The papers underline the profound hostility of the PLO towards its Islamist rival, which grew after the Hamas takeover of the strip in June 2007 effectively split the occupied Palestinian territories into two separate zones and show PA leaders resisting giving Hamas any role in controlling crossing points into the Gaza Strip.

The PA demanded at once that the “international community not legitimise the actions of Hamas” but also made clear that in the long run “there must be some sort of dialogue and reconciliation with Hamas in order to avoid the loss of Gaza and the break-up of the territories”.

But in September 2009 Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, told Mitchell that the tunnels dug under the border were still functioning despite huge expenditure and extensive counter-measures on the Egyptian side.

Referring to a meeting with senior Israeli security official Amos Gilad, Erekat said: “I told Amos Gilad: you are Egypt’s man. You know the Egyptians.” In a reference to the length of the Egyptian border with Gaza, he went on: “11kms! What’s going on with you and the US, the $23million [donated by the US to block the tunnels]. It’s business as usual in the tunnels — the Hamas economy.”

In 2008 there were also repeated warnings that Hamas could claim victory after the Gaza crossings were opened. “The opening of the crossings works both ways,” the PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad, told Quartet envoy Tony Blair that March. “If Hamas is seen as having succeeded in opening them then the message will be that rockets yield results….Israel’s dealing unilaterally on Gaza is only undermining the PA. I am not sure how many more blows our government can take before we are rendered completely ineffective.”

Israel’s policy, then as now, was to back the PA. “Our strategic view is to strengthen you and weaken Hamas,” Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, told Palestinian negotiators. The PA was painfully aware of the dangers posed by the rival movement, especially when peace talks were not advancing. “We know the devastating impact of a stalemate vis a vis Hamas, Iran, relations with Israel,” Erekat told a US official last January. In the same vein, he told colleagues in May 2009: “Hamas is a tool for (Israeli prime minister Binyamin) Netanyahu, he is counting on them to stay the course. And Hamas is counting on Netanyahu to stay the course. Netanyahu’s only card is Palestinian division.”

The papers show that PA leaders also feared that the US, specifically the CIA, and Israel were secretly planning to deal with Hamas behind their backs. Russia was criticised for sending the wrong signals, which President Mahmoud Abbas compared to a Palestinian dialogue with anti-Russian Chechen Islamist rebels.

Fighting Hamas emerges also as the central feature of the security cooperation between the two sides, with Israel repeatedly warning the PA against a Hamas takeover in the West Bank. “I know that Israel wants security and it’s a major concern for her,” PLO negotiator Ahmed Qureia told his Israeli counterparts in February 2008. “But sometimes I feel that you exaggerate the whole matter and other times that it’s part of a policy of conspiracy and the imposition of new realities on the ground for the purpose of confiscating more land or dictating new conditions.”

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Traitor Erekat said to Zionist Regime Prevent Gaza Smuggling

News**News**News

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross  

 

 

IS AMERICA RUBBERSTAMPING APARTHEID IN PALESTINE?

 

 Rice: US Army Presence in Iraq Protects Israhell

 

 Yemen’s Saleh Scrambles to Appease Protesters

 

 Condoleezza Rice: Send Palestinian Refugees to South America

 

 Pro-Palestinian Groups Plan Largest Gaza Flotilla Ever

 

 Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati tapped as new Prime Minister of Lebanon

 

 Livni proposed moving several Israhell Arab towns to Palestinian side of border’

 

 Peru formally recognizes Palestinian state

 

 Palestinian embassy to open in Ireland

 

 US: Israhell probe of flotilla raid ‘impartial’

 

 Pakistan: thousands march against US drone strikes

 

 Hezbollah wins enough support to name new Lebanon PM

 

 Biden: There may have been a better outcome had the US not launched a war on Iraq

 

 In 2007, Israhell then-foreign minister Nazi Livni proclaimed herself “against law, international law in particular”

 

 Papers show Israhell spurned major concessions offered by Palestinians

 

 Israhell soldiers ordered to ‘cleanse’ Gaza

 

 

Turkel is another nail in Zionism’s coffin

 

 

‘Iran, victim of Israhell-backed terror’

 

Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

Posted in WorldComments Off on News**News**News

Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem

Chair Of West Midland PSC

 

Dear Friends,

Just 5 items tonight.  Actually, till just a minute ago there were 4, but a message just came into my inbox that needs distributing.  It is number 4.  I had intended to give you a break.  But of course if you feel at any time that you wish to know more, you are always welcome to check out the ‘Today in Palestine’ compilation at www.TheHeadlines.org.

In brief, the main point of item one is that Annelien Kisch has been once again called in for interrogation.  The first time was when police began their investigation of New Profile, of which Annelien is a member. This time it is for an act of civil disobedience.  More power to civil disobedience!  So necessary in countries as militaristic and small-minded as is Israel. More power to those who engage in civil disobedience.  May the interrogations go quickly and uneventfully.

Item 2 is a brief note informing us that 6 members of a single family  had been arrested—Palestinians, of course!

Item 3 announces the forthcoming Gaza flotillas, 2 of them, probably in April.

Item 4 is the message that I mentioned above.  It tells about the wanton killing of animals by a settler.  I guess we have to be grateful that he did not also take the lives of the 2 teen shepherds tending the animals. The victims?  Palestinian animals, of course.

Item 5 I missed yesterday when running through the newspapers.  I missed it because I was interested mainly in international reactions to the Turkel findings.  Thanks to David H. for calling my attention to the piece, which is The Guardian editor’s commentary on the recently revealed papers by Al Jazeera  Interesting.  At this particular moment in time, it is difficult to forecast tomorrow’s doings, much less make long-term plans.  Lebanon is seething, Tunis has not yet quieted down.  Individuals in Egypt light themselves on fire.  And in Israel-Palestine, nothing is ever secure or quiet.

Dorothy

====================================

1.  From Eldad Kisch,

January 24, 2011

Faits du jour. (Facts of the day)

Although I never really had the ambition to act as a political commentator, you will not be able to refrain from  asking what I think of the manoeuver by Barak. Barak has rid himself with one fell swoop of his troublesome supporters, who still carry the ancient leftist ideas from a long past history. And the most important that he remains glued to his defence post!  The Netanyahu government will now emerge stronger and needs to make even less efforts to promote peace.

Whether Barak will do well at the next election is a moot question, and of later concern, because his horizon is limited, but for the short term (and so think all politicians here) he can sit back and relax.

We have always believed that Barak is not so different from Netanyahu.

The Labour Party (Avodah) must first overcome the sudden jolt of being orphaned. Then the battle over the new leadership will follow. It will take a while before they get over this shock.

The real news is that Annelien is now officially invited to appear at the police station in Jerusalem for interrogation. That cannot be done at the local police station.

For those who do not faithfully follow our troubles: Annelien is involved with the Israeli women who take Palestinian women and kids to the sea, for a breather from their daily misery to forget the occupation for one day. This movement was founded by the journalist Ilana Hammermann. The ladies ‘smuggle’ their guests through the checkpoints, and they notified the public through newspaper articles and ads that this signifies a deliberate form of civil disobedience, which focuses on unfair restriction of Palestinian movement. The authorities cannot simply allow this behavior, and they show who really is the boss here.

Some of the participants have been interrogated in the past few days, but no actual measures have been taken. Until now, this is a beginning of intimidation.  The ladies have invoked their right to remain silent.

To be continued.

(Whoever wants to support and applaud Annelien – or condemn her action – can do so directly through her e-mail, akisch@bezeqint.net. Please make sure to send a copy to me, so I know that I still am being read).

Eldad Kisch, January 2011.

(translation Irith Kisch).

[Thanks Eldad.

This is not the first time that Annelien has been called in for interrogation.  She was one of the New Profile members whom the police surprised at 7:00 AM 2 (or is it 3) years ago, confiscating computers and other personal belongings, and taking the people in for interrogation.  New Profile has been exonerated, as also the members who were called on the carpet. Hopefully, the same will occur in this case, too.  Civil disobedience is healthy for the country and for our souls.  Dorothy]

================================

2.  From Yoav Barak,

January 24, 2011

6 members of the sha’aban family, including one minor, were violently arrested in their house yesterday.

they will remain in custody until tomorrow noon.

the sha’aban family  has been leading the struggle against the demolitions in dahamash, and has received much

harassment from the lod police because of that. the violent incident from yesterday is definitely an extreme escalation by the police,

who used much force and tear gas in the family’s house.

me and some people are going there now with a car, and there might be a vigil infront of the police station later tonight.

please stay updated for that.

call me for details or if you want to join.

yoav

0522449687

****    http://awalls.org    ****
=================================

3. Two more Gaza-bound flotillas to set sail in spring

Groups responsible for sending last aid flotilla, on which nine activists were killed, have organized more maritime convoys; Turkish pro-Palestinian group linked to Hamas is one of the organizers.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/two-more-gaza-bound-flotillas-to-set-sail-in-spring-1.338780

By Jack Khoury

Two of the groups that organized the May 31 Gaza-bound flotilla will be sending two more flotillas to Gaza in the spring, as part of a campaign against Israel’s blockade of the Strip, an activist in the Free Gaza movement said on Sunday.

The latest maritime convoys are expected to set sail in April and in late May, and are being organized by groups including Free Gaza and IHH, a Turkish pro-Palestinian organization that has been linked to Hamas.

The decision, due to be officially announced later this week, comes as an Israeli committee of inquiry announced its finding that the naval commandos who raided last year’s May flotilla acted in self-defense when they killed nine Turkish citizens on board its lead ship, the Mavi Marmara.

The Free Gaza activist who reported the planned flotillas, Kafr Kana resident Lubna Masarwa, who was on board the Mavi Marmara, said this year’s convoys would have more ships and more volunteers, including politicians and well-known athletes and artists.

These will not be the first flotillas to set off for Gaza since the naval raid, which was followed last June by the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie – a ship owned by the Free Gaza movement and named after a pro-Palestinian American activist crushed to death by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer during a protest in Gaza.

=========================

4.  from Tuwani Team

cpttuwani@cpt.org

Maghayir Al-Abeed, South Hebron Hills, West Bank – In the early afternoon of 23 January 2011, an armed man killed two animals near the South Hebron Hills village of Maghayir Al-Abeed. Two teenage shepherds reported that they were watering their family’s flock at a well just above their village when a man running through the area, carrying an M-16, fired four or five shots at the dog which accompanies their flock. The shooter proceeded to chase the flock, kicking a ewe and throwing rocks at its head. The dog died immediately from four gunshot wounds and the incapacitated sheep died approximately two hours after the beating. 

The two teenage shepherds, Mohammed Mahmoud Mukahmri, 15, and ‘Awli ‘Ali Mukhamri, 13, ascended the hill, following the assailant from a distance, in time to see the man enter the grouping of trees which surrounds Ma’on settlement and Havat Ma’on outpost. They reported the man had a dark brown beard and was wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a yarmulke.

Ninety minutes after the incident, Israeli authorities arrived to investigate the crime scene and take testimonies from those present during the incident.

Hani Salaami Mukhamri, the owner of animals who arrived at the scene mere moments after the shooting, reacted sharply to the police investigator’s doubts that Mukhamri could be certain the assailant that he saw was an Israeli settler, and not an Arab. “Palestinians in this area don’t have guns, never in my life have I seen a Palestinian civilian with a gun. Only settlers have guns here.” Mukhamri also lamented the utter disregard for the lives of his animals, “three lives were lost here today: my shepherding dog, a sheep, and the unborn lamb that the ewe was carrying.”

The well where the shooting took place is a main source of water for the families in Maghayir Al-Abeed . In early 2001, Mukamri’s mother was shot in the leg by an Israeli settler while she drew water from the very same well.

International peace activists from Christian Peacemaker Teams arrived at the scene after the shooting, taking testimony and photo and video documentation.

Pictures are available here: http://cpt.org/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=22150

Video will be available soon.

Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004. 

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma’on (Hill 833), are considered illegal also under Israeli law.]

======================

5. [Forwarded by David Hartsough]

Here is the Guardian’s editorial relating to the recent, massive leak of Palestinian papers relating to the “peace process.”
Esther 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/23/palestinian-papers-fig-leaf-editorial?intcmp=239

The Palestinian papers: Pleading for a fig leaf

The secret notes suggest one requires Panglossian optimism to believe that these negotiations can one day be resurrected

Editorial

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 January 2011 20.00 GMT

Article history

Gerald Kaufman once described Labour’s 1983 manifesto as the longest suicide note in history. If ever a set of documents merits this epithet, it is surely the one we publish today. Written by Palestinian officials, obtained by al-Jazeera and shared with the Guardian, the papers are the confidential record of 10 years of efforts to seek a peace agreement with Israel.

It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; the Israelis, who are polite in word but contemptuous in deed; or the Americans, whose neutrality consists of bullying the weak and holding the hand of the strong. Together they conspire to build a puppet state in Palestine, at best authoritarian, at worst a surrogate for an occupying force. To obtain even this form of bondage, the Palestinians have to flog the family silver. Saeb Erekat, the PLO chief negotiator, is reduced at one point to pleading for a fig leaf: “What good am I if I’m the joke of my wife, if I’m so weak,” he told Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

Palestinian concessions roll on. The Israeli settlements around East Jerusalem? Sold, two years ago in a map which allows Israel to annex all of the settlements bar one, Har Homa. Mr Erekat called it the biggest Yerushalayim (he used the Hebrew word for Jerusalem) in history. Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni acknowledges the pain involved, but refuses the offer. Israel banks the concession anyway. They are building in occupied Gilo today as if there is no tomorrow. Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site in the Muslim world? That, too, is up for grabs. Mr Erekat said he was prepared to consider “creative ways” to solve the problem of Haram al-Sharif or the Temple Mount.

The surrender of land Palestinians have lived on for centuries prompts more demands. Not only does Israel want all of East Jerusalem, Har Homa, and the settlement blocs of Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim which carve strategic swathes out of the West Bank. Not only does it insist on a demilitarised state. It also wants Palestinian leaders to sign away their future. When Mr Erekat asked Ms Livni: “Short of your jet fighters in my sky and your army on my territory, can I choose where I secure external defence?”. She replied: “No. In order to create your state you have to agree in advance with Israel – you have to choose not to have the right of choice afterwards. These are the basic pillars.”

Before the extreme right politician Avigdor Lieberman rose to prominence, the papers reveal that Israel asked for some of its Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state. Since then, state population swaps have entered the mainstream of Israeli debate, but no one is asking the Israeli Arabs themselves. Has the former nightclub bouncer from Moldova become more Israeli? Or is Israel behaving more like a Moldovan nightclub bouncer?

One requires Panglossian optimism to believe that these negotiations can one day be resurrected. Nineteen years of redrawing the 1967 borders, of expanding the boundaries of Jerusalem, of refusal to accept the return of Palestinian refugees, and of pleading for a fig leaf, has sullied the concept of peace.

The Palestinian Authority may continue as an employer but, as of today, its legitimacy as negotiators will have all but ended on the Palestinian street. The two-state solution itself could just as swiftly perish with it. If that is to be saved, three things have to happen: America must drop its veto on Palestinian unity talks and take up Hamas’s offer of a one-year ceasefire; a negotiating team that represents all major Palestinian factions must be formed; and Israel has to accept that a state created on 1967 borders, not around them, is the minimum price of an end to the conflict. The alternative is to allow the cancer of the existing one-state solution to grow and to prepare for the next war. No one will have to wait long for that.

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

37 Million Americans & JP Morgan

NOVANEWS

 

modernityblog 

 

JP Morgan are making big profits as Americans become poorer and unemployed:

“Take Indiana. JP Morgan gets 62 t

o 64 cents for each food stamp case handled monthly there. With 296,245 cases right now, that means the state is paying JP Morgan $183,672 a month on top of any other fees it collects.”

The Economic Collapse has more:

“JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money.

In the video posted below, JP Morgan executive Christopher Paton admits that this is “a very important business to JP Morgan” and that it is doing very well. Considering the fact that the number of Americans on food stamps has exploded from 26 million in 2007 to 43 million today, one can only imagine how much JP Morgan’s profits in this area have soared. But doesn’t this give JP Morgan an incentive to keep the number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program as high as possible?”

Posted in USAComments Off on 37 Million Americans & JP Morgan

Moscow: Another Mossad False Flag

NOVANEWS

 

moscow2.jpg

 

We are joined by regular co-host Mark Dankof and special guest Dr. Matt Raphael Johnson of www.reasonradionetwork.com to discuss the latest bombing of the Moscow airport and the likelihood that this was yet another Mossad false flag operation aimed at punishing Russia for its recent re-recognition of a Palestinian state within the so-called 1967 borders. 

Listen Here

 

Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

Posted in WorldComments Off on Moscow: Another Mossad False Flag

Nazi EDL’s

NOVANEWS

Posted in UKComments Off on Nazi EDL’s

U.S Unconditional Support for Israhell

NOVANEWS

 

Dear All,The recent release by Al Jazeera and the Guardian of some 16,000 documents related to nearly 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations sadly substantiates what Jewish Voice for Peace has said publicly for years- that the U.S. is not the neutral broker it claims to be. 

The United States’ unconditional support for Israel has helped to perpetuate the occupation by promoting endless negotiations that have enabled Israel to expand settlements while claiming to work towards peace. 

Israel’s lack of interest in ending the occupation and being a partner to peace is now nakedly revealed in documents which show its reaction to he Palestinian Authority’s unprecedented concessions, shocking because they far exceed the requirements of international law. Israel offered an intransigent ‘no’ to every concession, with the U.S. looking on in approval. 

There is a chance, however, for the Obama Administration to differentiate itself from the ineffectual American actions revealed in the leaked documents. 

Palestinians and their supporters have put forth a key resolution on the Israel-Palestine conflict that is now before the UN Security Council. Largely echoing stated U.S. policy, the resolution embraces negotiations, endorses the creation of a Palestinian state, and demands an immediate halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But even though the resolution echoes U.S. policy, President Obama is under heavy pressure to veto the UN resolution from forces in Washington who want to protect the Israeli occupation.

Will you join Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy in urging President Obama to support the UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?

Prominent former diplomats, including Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Ambassador James Dobbins, have written to President Obama, urging him to instruct our Ambassador to the United Nations to vote yes on this initiative, noting that it echoes U.S. policy.[1]

But sixteen Senators, led by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, have urged Secretary of State Clinton to veto the resolution.[2] 

It’s not an immutable law of the universe that the U.S. has to veto UN resolutions critical of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Indeed, last year, the U.S. promised the Palestinians to “consider allowing UN Security Council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity,” the Guardian reported. [3] 

U.S. policy is at a cross-roads. 

If the U.S. vetoes the UN resolution, it will signal implicit American support for illegal, Jewish-only settlements. Such support would be a departure from longstanding stated U.S. policy and would encourage accelerated settlement construction. A U.S. veto would also embolden the most reactionary forces in Israel, which have been escalating their efforts to silence Israeli dissent against the occupation.

This is a historic opportunity for President Obama to show leadership and back up the words of his speech in Cairo with deeds. Urge President Obama to support the UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a change in U.S. policy, 

Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director
Sydney Levy, Director of Campaigns
Jewish Voice for Peace

References: 

1. “Pickering, Hills, Sullivan, Beinart, Dobbins, More Ask Obama Administration to Support UN Resolution Condemning Illegal Israeli Settlements,” Steve Clemons, The Washington Note, Wednesday, Jan 19 2011, http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2011/01/pickering_hills/
2. “UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements Puts Obama in a Diplomatic Bind,” Tony Karon Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2043326,00.html
3. “U.S. gives Abbas private assurances over Israeli settlements: Americans consider withholding veto protecting Israel at UN if building goes ahead at Ramat Shlomo,” Rory McCarthy, Guardian, Thursday 29 April 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/29/israel-settlement-building-peace-talks

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on U.S Unconditional Support for Israhell

Traitor Erekat tells Nazi Livni no to Palestinian Army (23)

Meeting Minutes: Post-Annapolis Security Session

Summary

 

Minutes of Security Session Post-Annapolis among Livni, Gilad, Erekat, Qurei, Attallah and others, dated February 28, 2008. The parties debate the effectiveness of security forces and mechanisms, including the situations and examples in surrounding Arab states. Israelis show skepticism at international third-party involvement. They also debate a “demilitarized” state vs. one with “limited” arms. Gilad makes reference to Hamas acts of torture against Palestinians. Erekat tells Livni he does not expect the Palestinian state to have an army.

Full text

Minutes from Secuity Session

Post Annapolis

Thursday, 28th February 2008, 5:30pm

Office of Ms. Tzipi Livni, Tel Aviv

 

Attendees:

Palestinian 

  •  Ahmed Querei (AA)
  •  Dr. Saeb Erekat (SE)
  •  Brig. Gen. Hazem Atallah (HA)
  •  Salah el-Alayan (SA)
  •  Rami Dajani (RD)

 

Israeli

  •  FM Tzipi Livni (TL)
  •  Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilad (AG)
  •  Tal Becker ? (TB)
  •  Udi Dekel (UD)

 

 

Meeting Summary (not verbatim):

 

TL:

  •  [On Gaza] If rocket attacks continue, more will be killed. We were forced to leave Gaza, but maybe will have to go back. Our public is demanding we do something about the situation.
  •  How does Gaza affect the West Bank street?

 

AA:

  •  People are worried: Where will this lead? But Hamas does not have a problem with it.

 

TL:

  •  For them it’s resistance … so giving them more power?

 

AA:

  •  Steadfastness – resistance. All this is promoted by TV channels, and stories of conspiracies against them.

 

TL:

  •  This [present situation] is going to be continued. Effectiveness of measures is not the question. Some will need to be taken into consideration, but impossible to just do nothing and hope that nothing happens.

 

AA:

  •  Are you ready for a real ceasefire?

 

TL:

  •  Hamas will strengthen and build its forces more. Speaking openly, what we do in Gaza is because they target Israel. They know the equation. Once they stop we stop and they know it. When there is quiet, they build up power. So we need not only to stop the rockets but also smuggling of weapons. Negotiating with Hamas strengthens them and weakens you.

 

AA:

  •  But to continue with this situation?

 

AG:

  •  Negotiating with “Hamastan” will harm both of us. They will continue smuggling military and terror, building power.
  •  Even if we accept ceasefire, it cannot include West Bank because we need freedom to act to prevent suicide attacks.
  •  Rockets are aimed not only to murder, but also to terrorize – so even one is not acceptable.
  •  Hizbollah is involved in Gaza, and Egypt is doing what it is doing. They are sensitive to Muslim Brotherhood at home so they are feeding the monster. There is coordination with Egyptian government officials – not only corruption. They are riding the tiger but the tiger bites. When Aljazeera reported everyone cheered against the great Egypt.

 

AA:

  •  But this is like a children’s game – attacks and counterattacks.

 

AG:

  •  But we have stopped a spectacular act of terror. We are trying our best not to hurt civilians, using better technology.
  •  Hamas is not only a terror organization, they are using prisons, torture. They want to establish Hamastan and extend it to the West Bank.

 

TL:

  •  What are Hamas’ parameters for success in Gaza?

 

AA:

  •  Steadfastness in the face of the occupier with no peace process working. They invest in events like massing at the border and demonstrations when people are killed. They know how to use this.

 

SE:

  •  Yesterday I asked a question about tahdi’a. We need to stop the killing on both sides. Sure that Hamas won’t respond. The idea was to bring Omar Suleiman here to work on a complete ceasefire. Now he is not coming because of events.
  •  The major problems on a regional scale, between Iran and Europe play a role. Arab summit may not be held. Situation with Syria and Iran precludes attack in the North. Only options are inside Lebanon and from Gaza.

 

AG:

  •  Regarding Omar Suleiman, maybe he delayed because he is afraid we will attack while he is here. It will hurt him – would look like collaborator. It is significant that Hamas can delay visit of Egypt’s Number Two.

 

AA:

  •  We are here to discuss the future: security after establishment of a Palestinian state – not the present.

 

AG:

  •  But we are inspired by the present… to understand the future.

 

TL:

  •  One way or another we have to address the situation in Gaza.

 

SE:

  •  You don’t need to worry about Gaza in this discussion. You are protected by Annapolis. Implementation is subject to …

 

TL:

  •  Yes

 

AG:

  •  You find a solution in international force, but we believe in partnership between us in security, as for example we have with Jordan. Such partnership cannot exist without reliable security forces. There are two main lessons from the past: the Jordan Valley in the 1970s, and the Philadelphi corridor in hands of Palestinians.
  •  It is difficult to understand why Egyptians are acting this way now – supporting strategic threats to the peace camp. They need to manage Hamas, together with Muslim Brotherhood, these are their strategic rivals with agenda to radicalize and destabilize and take over the region. So the Egyptians conclude to live with the threat by feeding the monster with weapons.
  •  Situation in Gaza is changing constantly because Iran is investing heavily. Iran has a new line of product: simple missiles with 17km range that are easy to assemble (they come in 4 parts). These will widen the belt of terror, so the GoI won’t tolerate it. Like in the Jordan Valley in the 70s, open to all gangs of terror.

 

HA:

  •  They are primitive home-made rockets.

 

AG:

  •  No. The range is most important. Assembled not home-made.
  •  Jordanians almost lost the kingdom… you know well that in Jordan things can change quickly. Jordan needs a stable cooperative counterpart on the western side.
  •  You ask to take control. This will be problematic for Israel – to give it to you or an international force. International force lacks both intelligence and capabilities – these are not parades in Rome. They need to be able to investigate, arrest, run courts, which runs well in Jordan. But Jordan may not be able to continue with it if situation changes dramatically on the western side..

 

TL:

  •  Question is how can we keep the same effectiveness under new arrangements …

 

AG:

  •  It [Jordan Valley] is one security entity as we witnessed in the 70s.

 

AA:

  •  Times are different now.

 

AG:

  •  Security is the same.
  •  Our assessment is that Iran is eager to open channels: through Hizbollah to Gaza, and through southern Iraq to Jordan and the West Bank. They have established infrastructure in south of Iraq. In Jordan it is difficult because it is strong, but still contacts are developing. So we need to prepare for these threats.

 

TL:

  •  So we need effectiveness on future Palestinian-Jordanian border, and in Gaza, effectiveness on Egypt border.

 

AG:

  •  It is not only Iran, there are others in Iraq – al Qaeda.

 

AA:

  •  It is not their priority.

 

SE:

  •  So they can put bombs in Amman hotels and not be able to touch you because of border arrangements?

 

AG:

  •  [mentions name of suspect as case in point] We gave the name to Dahlan and he refused to act. So we took him by force. Al Qaeda is eager to penetrate. Dughmush are their representatives … Jabal Hilal. They try in Jordan – if there is no sense of deterrence they will keep trying.

 

TL:

  •  So at the crossings, you need effective supervision of what and who is coming and going. You don’t want Al Qaeda coming.

 

AA:

  •  This is our responsibility.

 

AG:

  •  Cooperation is needed and should be based on real criteria and real security. Now we don’t have that. Your agencies are penetrated. If present capabilities continue …

AA:

  •  Please think differently. Situation will be different after end of the occupation. Right now everyone is suffering. In the future we can deal with each other as equals.
  •  But if you continue to think of tomorrow like today, we won’t be able to agree.
  •  So we need a strong agreement with strong support, respect and  implementation.
  •  We have no objection to having a third party to give you confidence, and we will build our own strong police, with mechanisms to be supported.
  •  If you maintain arrangements that keeps it like the occupation, this will create problems, for example if you control our crossings.
  •  The situation today is different from 20 years ago. Threats are more sophisticated. You can easily fire missiles from Tehran.

 

HA:

  •  In a future independent state, people will have something to protect and die for – they will have to protect their dream.

 

TL:

  •  We need a prescription, which like any medicine, is not fool-proof and will have some negative side effects. Like when you treat a patient, you expect side effects.
  •  So some of the things we discuss can affect the feeling that you describe. But we need efficiency, while respecting your need for freedom and dignity. On the other hand, some things we need because we cannot just rely on people’s perception.
  •  I was optimistic during the disengagement. I remember the discussions with Wolfensohn on greenhouses, infrastructure, prosperity etc. Instead we got a slap – all of us – so I am trying to learn from the past.
  •  We have certain needs. Maybe in the future they won’t be needed. It is problematic because there is a period of time before the creation of the state (which we all support), but the situation will not change the day after.
  •  Some Palestinians hate us, and maybe they have reasons.
  •  Effectiveness of your forces now is not reliable
  •  We can give list [unclear]. AG will address this.. Some aspects you will say this affects independence and sovereignty but this is a question of feeling – the difference between what is agreed and what is forced.
  •  I know the importance of symbols and can think of ways of doing what is needed without affecting the symbols.
  •  Some of these parameters can also be removed after the creation of the state – they are transitional arrangements.
  •  You may say this is putting us in a vicious cycle – of anger and mistrust, but let’s refer to each need and see how problematic it is.
  •  On international forces: Israel does not have an answer yet, but we know they are not effective and don’t want to have a situation of another war.

AA:

  •  Why do you say they are not effective?

 

TL:

  •  Europeans are not going to come the Middle East to die for our peace.

 

AA:

  •  They have been effective elsewhere – in Bosnia for example.

 

TL:

  •  We can talk about air strikes …

 

AA:

  •  Who gave independence to Kosovo?

 

SE:

  •  [To TL] Your assumptions are not true – they are not objective and tested against reality. Your ‘truth’ is that failure in Gaza was because of us. It was unilateralism that destroyed us – it was the Israeli mistakes. But you don’t admit your mistakes. You blame me for everything.

 

TL:

  •  Unfortunately, I blame myself … AG said we need cooperation and I agree …

 

AG:

  •  Not exactly. I said cooperation between reliable, effective, credible partner, but right now we don’t consider you a partner.

 

SE:

  •  We are speaking about the future. We have Dayton, EU BAM and others helping us improve performance. We are trying to get there. However, I know that you will protect yourself and won’t need me to protect you.
  •  But, don’t make assumptions about Jordan and security. If your assumption is that we failed Gaza so you can’t trust us in the West Bank, that you don’t want to gamble with Jordan …

 

TL:

  •  Since you are not good to take care of security now, the West Bank can be a threat to me. So we need to take measures; we can do them before statehood.
  •  Since I believe that at the end of the day the government on the other side needs to be effective, legitimate and able to fight terror (which is lacking in the region – Gaza, Lebanon) we need to address this issue.
  •  We can work in different ways: for example, here are parameters on what you are strong enough or not to do now, or, put on the table issues that can help the process. We are willing to take some risk.
  •  So, I said “no army” – a demilitarized state. You said “internal security”

 

AA:

  •  We are willing to consider limited arms.

 

SE:

  •  This is a contradiction. Why did we differentiate between the Road Map and permanent status. You have a guarantee that building the forces comes before implementation. So don’t tell me at the same time to put parameters.

 

TL:

  •  You were at Camp David. Do you expect the state to have an army?

 

SE:

  •  No.

 

TL:

  •  Without these measures we cannot afford another state between Jordan.

 

AA:

  •  It is not clear what we are talking about. We are supposed to be discussing the future concept, this is an open discussion – no agenda. This is important for both sides. We both agree that we need a comprehensive and detailed agreement satisfactory to both. So, let us ask what are the issues. We can explore these issues. AG and HA and others can do this.

 

TL:

  •  They can have a meeting next week …

 

AA:

  •  Then come back. [internal discussion between TL and AG]

 

AG:  

  •  No problem to have the meeting, but since SE thinks there is contradiction it is better to discuss here before making a list.

 

AA:

  •  Give me titles. What do you want? Enough with general concept.

 

TL:

  •  Next week’s meeting will have concrete expression of the concepts and will explore disagreements, but AG still feels we need to discuss the concepts here.
  •  [To HA] You will share your vision. I hope you don’t believe that we will just have borders … and that’s it.

 

HA:

  •  No. These misunderstandings cause problems. I will talk about the past before the future.
  •  Before the intifada, the forces worked well. The officers had discipline, they had a reason to work well.

 

TL:

  •  But can you explain Gaza? I can’t understand … the mood of the people. We left. How come they continue to fight? It’s not about whether there was coordination – which is something technical.

 

HA:

  •  Hamas used the withdrawal for propaganda: signs comparing results of 10 years of negotiations with those of struggle.

 

TL:

  •  I heard this and used this point internally to argue that unilateralism was a mistake.

 

HA:

  •  At the same time, I cannot forget what happened to the security forces during the intifada. They were destroyed. It was clear until then that the fight was against Hamas and Jihad. With Israeli attacks came infiltration of the services by Hamas.
  •  We are now cleaning the services. It’s a campaign for the future. We are recruiting and training young people who will work according to the law – to maintain law and order.

 

TL:

  •  We can take care of our security but do not want a failed state next to us. How do you see the role of the international force? To help with the construction?

 

HA:

  •  The internationals are already doing this. It is moving slowly but we are training in Jordan with help of Dayton. Third party can definitely help building the forces.

 

TL:

  •  Regarding Philadelphi – whether or not it was a mistake to leave it. If indeed it was a mistake, since Egypt is not effective like Jordan, can our agreement provide for Israeli presence in Philadelphi?

 

AA:

  •  Palestine will be independent but can coordinate. Agreement should reflect that with a commitment to security.
  •  Therefore regarding parameters I believe security is part of regional vision. Other neighbours don’t have a problem — regional security is interconnected.

 

TL:

  •  What is the idea of working with Gen. Dayton?

 

HA:

  •  Building up and improving the NSF, police and Presidential Guard.

 

TL:

  •  What is their role?

 

HA:

  •  Law enforcement. Problem was due to delays, but now it is going well. We are building new units and carrying out the program of retirement, the target being a young organization. So right now, if we want to deploy 2 battalions, the capacity is becoming available with newly trained people. There are 4 more battalions to be completed.
  •  At the same time EU COPSS is training the police force.
  •  Let me talk about the future shape of Palestinian security.

 

TL:

  •  So you’ve talked about the present, now the future.

 

HA:

  •  Plan to develop the security services is based on a defensive security strategy. The main function will be to protect the population and the territory.

 

TL:

  •  What does territory mean?

 

AA:

  •  Palestine – 67 borders.

 

HA:

  •  Protection requires knowing where the borders are first … and preventing smuggling and infiltration.

 

TL:

  •  This means an army.

 

HA:

  •  No. It can be done in different ways. Army is only one way. Border guards and international force are other ways.

 

TL:

  •  Guarding from what?

 

HA:

  •  From everything, like infiltration – like the problem in Gaza now. We are talking about sovereignty. Every country needs to protect its borders.
  •  Another function of the security forces will be maintaining law and order and carrying out law enforcement duties.
  •  This is something we are testing ourselves with right now in Nablus – next it will be Hebron.
  •  Again functions are to defend borders and to fight crime and terrorism.

 

TL:

  •  We have an understanding of threats, so when you talk about borders, smuggling is fine, but external threats .. are you talking about a foreign army? If it is to defend against foreign attacks, then we have a big gap.

 

HA:

  •  No one is thinking of building an army to fight Israel. We are talking about something more than police and less than an army.

 

TL:

  •  This is something you can discuss later with AG.

 

AA:

  •  I’m afraid we are going into details that may not be necessary in a peace agreement.
  •  You need to say a strong police…

 

TL:

  •  Demilitarized state.

 

HA:

  •  There is no such thing. There is no example of it anywhere in the world. There are demilitarized zones, not states.

 

TL:

  •  We live in a small space.

 

SE:

  •  So Palestine will be a buffer zone? A demilitarized zone?

 

HA:

  •  We need strong security forces, as AA said. With enough ability to carry out their functions.
  •  Now we have serious problems just bringing in bullet proof vests.
  •  Security forces need appropriate weapons. So for example, not tanks, but armoured scout cars.

 

AA:

  •  Not demilitarized but limited.

 

TL:

  •  [discusses “limited” with AG] “Limited” seems to be no tanks, no airforce, no artillery, no missiles…

 

AG:

  •  Demilitarization is a meaningful term. It is not an NSU term. Limited: Mahdud. Regarding NSF the 1995 Interim Agreement limited them to 45,000. Now after fall of Saddam, may seem like less threat, but including Iran in the equation, the chances of destabilization, nuclear threat have increased. Now there is Shiite-stan in south Iraq, Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Hostile military coalitions are possible – given geographic data.
  •  So it is understood that demilitarization must be a pillar, especially as it related to hostile alliances.

 

HA:

  •  Can any country maintain security by itself without any regional cooperation?

 

AG:

  •  Consider the Dayton plan. It took two years to send one battalion to one country with real training. Egypt training was a real problem.

 

HA:

  •  That was a shame.

 

SE:

  •  There is an Arabic proverb: You don’t cut the snake’s tail, rather you cut the head.

 

AG:

  •  About Dayton: it is a good idea. We should test it. We are watching carefully, testing the future by beginning in the present.

 

HA:

  •  Then why don’t you help us?

 

AG:

  •  We have facilitated Dayton’s work.

 

HA:

  •  There are still problems – for example with funding.

 

AG:

  •  You want money from us?

 

TL:

  •  You got 7 billion in Paris.

 

HA:

  •  That is all on paper.

 

AG:

  •  Regarding the future, there is the possibility of hostile alliances – we need demilitarization and no hostile alliances.

 

AA:

  •  You want a Palestinian state or a military base …

 

TL:

  •  So next week you [HA and AG] meet. Sunday or Monday?
  •  [To HA] This work is important. As decision-makers we have problems that are historical. Our publics are not supportive because of risks to our security. Some risks we can take, but some things we must address.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Traitor Erekat tells Nazi Livni no to Palestinian Army (23)

Traitor Qurei Meeting Nazi Livni (22)

Meeting Minutes: Saeb Erekat, Ahmed Qurei and Tzipi Livni

Summary

 

Minutes of meeting among Erekat, Qurei and Livni. The parties discuss establishing committees on state-to-state issues and have an intense debate regarding the use of 1967 borders as a springboard for ongoing discussions and negotiations.

Livni: Do not say that the terms of reference should be 1967 borders because I cannot accept this and I know your position towards 1967 borders.

Qurei:If we agree on the principle of borders it will be easier for us to reach an agreement. This is better than just talking about the existence of Israelis in Hebron, Jericho, Jerusalem and its outskirts.

Livni:I can understand your position with regard to 1967 borders but I cannot accept it.

Qurei: Then 1949 armistice line.

Livni: I asked someone about the difference between 1967 borders and 1949 armistice line and he told me there is no difference.

(Dismissing legitimate Palestinian concerns)

Dekel: …It is better to talk about the future and not the past.

(Threatening the Palestinians: rel. between occupier and occupied)

Livni:  As long as you talk about [1967] borders there will be no link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Qurei: “I want to propose that the basis is that 1967 borders are the borders. We agreed to modify them and we are committed to this. The area of land for swap and its location should be discussed.”

Livni: You mean 1967 borders, but some talk about 1967 borders plus. For instance, safe passage with the Gaza Strip is 1967 plus.

Erekat: The passage was agreed on in Oslo.

Becker: But there was no reference to 1967.

Erekat: There was enough reference to lead to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 & 338.

Livni: A viable state is an internal matter.

Qurei: I am not talking about economic viability but about a land in which I will establish my state.

Livni: Settlement blocs will not affect the viability of the state.

Qurei: A state whose parts are connected with tunnels and bridges is not a viable state.

Dekel: The solution is difficult and that is why we have to be creative.

Livni: God gave us bad cards to play with.

Qurei: We are ready to discuss your security needs without exaggeration and without dictates. Security is not an early alert station here or there, but it is the manner in which we cooperate together for the realization of security both for you and us.

Erekat: What God created is destiny, but what you created on the ground is not destiny and we do not have to live with it. Abu Ala’ suggested two points to start with: 1967 borders and the modifications on the borders. But your criteria will smother us, and you also forgot the psychological factor in these criteria.

Erekat: We are waiting for the implementation of what has been agreed upon in Annapolis.

Livni: We evacuated 7000 settlers from the Gaza Strip.

Qurei: You evacuated 4 million Palestinians.

Livni: We did not expel them all. […] Sincerely, the area of the West Bank is small. We can give you the West Bank without any link to Gaza.

Qurei: How will we reach Gaza? Are we going to fly there?

Livni: You are angels that have wings. Instead of using the term “settlement blocs” to call settlements we can use Clinton’s term “Israeli civil population centers.”

Full text

Meeting Minutes

 

Jerusalem/Sheraton Plaza

18 February 2008

12:00 – 14:00

 

Attendants

 

Palestinian side:

  •  Ahmad Qrei’ (Abu Ala’)
  •  Dr. Saeb Erekat
  •  Salah Ilayan

 

Israeli side:

  •  Tzipi Livni
  •  Udi Dekel
  •  Tal Beker

 

 

Livni: I introduce to you Udi Dekel who has been recently appointed head of the negotiations department. He came here today to help us.

 

Tomorrow Prime Minister Olmert will meet with President Abu Mazen, and the specialized teams will meet on Wednesday with the participation of one person for each of the issue we have agreed on, namely, water, environment, economic relations, infrastructure, state-to-state relations, legal and prisoners’ issues – civil society and culture of peace.

 

This will be a symbolic meeting to give them our support and guidelines, but in the end we are the ones who decide.

 

The same person will also represent us in the legal issues and prisoners’ committee.

 

Abu Ala’: We do not care if the same person represents you or not but for us we will have two people, one for the legal issues and another for the prisoners’ issue because the issue of the prisoners is so important for us.

 

At the beginning we will have one person from each side and perhaps later they will need more people to help them.

 

Livni: In spite of the threats of Shas Party to withdraw from the government coalition, I declared that we will continue negotiations with the Palestinians and that it was agreed in Annapolis conference to discuss all issues.

 

Saeb: Your declarations indicate courage, integrity and sincerity.

 

Livni: What about if we declare after our meeting today that we will continue with the negotiations, that we are satisfied with the progress that has been achieved, and that the evidence for all this is that the specialized teams will convene on Wednesday? This will be an answer to the voices that claim that no progress has been achieved in the negotiations.

 

Abu Ala’: We can say that we are continuing the negotiations and that they are not easy because of the intricacy of the issues under discussion.

 

Livni: Will this raise the sensitivity of the members of the steering committee of the negotiations?

 

Abu Ala’: For us it will raise the sensitivity of the committee’s members.

 

Saeb: We declare that the negotiations continue without giving any details.

 

Dekel: The start of the work of specialized committees is a positive sign.

 

Livni: In order not to waste time, we say that in addition to the main issues, the specialized committees will start their meetings.

 

Saeb: Then you have to open the doors for unending questions from reporters. We just say that the peace process continues and that all issues are being negotiated.

 

Livni: I have no problem.

 

Saeb: But if Abu Ala’ said the water committee will convene, they will ask him about Jerusalem and he will have to answer. We are trying to protect the peace process. When we put our feet on the ground we can then talk about specialized committees.

 

Abu Ala’: We say we are negotiating all issues without naming them.

 

Saeb: At this stage the less that is said the better.

 

Livni: I thought of a way to work on the issue of borders. I want to share with you our needs and mention a number of criteria for negotiating the issue of borders.

 

Abu Ala’: Before the criteria there are terms of reference we have agreed on in all the negotiations we have conducted. The terms of reference are 1967 borders but the criteria are the modifications.

 

Tal: We did not say in any previous negotiations that we accept 1967 borders. What we have between us is 242 UN resolution.

 

Saeb: Did you accept roadmap plan or no?

 

Livni: We do not want a discussion that leads to frustration and confrontation. I do not wish to reach a deadlock before we start. I want you to review the maps and ask yourselves if they achieve what we agree on, your dream and our dream.

 

In the end we are talking about the creation of a Palestinian state not in Tel Aviv and not only in the Gaza Strip. We are talking rather about a state in the Gaza Strip and on most parts of the West Bank. Thus do not say that the terms of reference should be 1967 borders because I cannot accept this and I know your position toward 1967 borders.

 

Let us propose to you some criteria regarding borders as a springboard for discussion. I want you to understand our needs, not only to accept our criteria. Then we can return to the maps.

 

Abu Ala’: If we do not specify what we are talking about we will open the case for may possibilities. I will talk about Resolution 181 and you will ask angrily where we are heading. I will say to West Jerusalem and you will lose your temper.

 

We have to agree on the principle, and then we can talk about modifications. We have our own ideas and you have yours concerning modifications. We discuss them and agree on them.

 

To start with the maps is going to be difficult because maps determine the concept and therefore it is better to start otherwise.

 

Livni: Do you know why I cannot accept 1967 borders? Because I want a feasible agreement that can be implemented.

 

Abu Ala’: There are natural things on the ground and others artificial. We cannot say, for example, that due to the existence of an artificial Israeli demography in Jericho then Jericho must be annexed. If we agree on the principle of borders it will be easier for us to reach an agreement. This is better than just talking about the existence of Israelis in Hebron, Jericho, Jerusalem and its outskirts.

 

Livni: I can understand your position with regard to 1967 borders but I cannot accept it.

 

Abu Ala’: Then 1949 armistice line.

 

Livni: I asked someone about the difference between 1967 borders and 1949 armistice line and he told me there is no difference.

 

Dekel: There are differences that are difficult to specify. It is better to talk about the future and not the past.

 

Livni: This is what I wanted to say. In the end you need borders that you accept and live with.

 

Dekel: There are two guidelines for us in the criteria for borders: (1) recognition of secure borders, and (2) the situation and the reality on the ground. We want borders that can protect Israel and its inhabitants; borders that take into account the topographical reality.

 

Livni: We are not talking here about a specific place regarding the topographical reality.

 

Dekel: The largest number of settlers is under Israeli sovereignty and the least number of Palestinians are behind the borders on the Israeli side.

 

Abu Ala’: You mean the wall.

 

Dekel: I did not talk about the wall.

 

Livni: It seems that Abu Ala’ knows the criteria that the Higher Israeli Court has put regarding the route of the wall. Some parts of the route of the wall are not sacred.

 

We have to create a reality in which people can have a normal life, and here I mean both Palestinians and Israelis. We should minimize friction as much as possible.

 

Dekel: Water and the holy places: what will be their situation when we talk about the borders. We will demand sovereignty over them.

 

Saeb: This means that wherever there is a water basin the route of the wall takes into account the annexation of the land in which the water basin lies.

 

Livni: I recall what Abu Ala’ said in the first meeting: “We want 1967 borders, what is above them and what is underneath them.”

 

Abu Ala’: That was mere talk, and of course what is above and underneath the land.

 

Livni: The way I know you, it was not mere talk. There are issues for swap. For example, if you say you want the land where there is a water basin and I find that the opinion of water experts contradicts that then I will not object to it.

 

Tal: We should balance between criteria on issues that do not contradict each other.

 

Dekel: We have to discuss borders regime.

 

Livni: Another example for swap of issues is the issue of security in the Jordan Valley.

 

Dekel: Antiquities are one of the criteria.

 

Saeb: Borders regime to discuss free trade system or customs federation.

 

Livni: We can start negotiating the issue of crossings in a separate track. As for security, taking of land can be compensated if our security demands are met.

 

Saeb: What about connection with the Gaza Strip?

 

Livni: We started discussing the West Bank and as long as you talk about 1867 borders there will be no link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We understand the need for a safe passage but it will affect contiguity in Israel and Israeli sovereignty. Besides, the safe passage has to fulfill our security needs.

 

Abu Ala’: The passage has to be discussed.

 

Livni: I received a message just now about Joseph’s Tomb to put to you and I have no idea about its background.

 

Saeb: One civilian is building a three-storey building adjacent to Joseph’s Tomb and the Israeli side considers this a security threat.

 

Livni: I wish you will give attention to this issue.

 

Abu Ala’: I want to propose that the basis is that 1967 borders are the borders. We agreed to modify them and we are committed to this. The area of land for swap and its location should be discussed.

 

We want an independent state that is capable of absorbing most Palestinians here and in the Diaspora; a viable state for future generations with an adequate area to fulfill the needs of its citizens. This state must be independent out-and-out and must have full sovereignty over its land and natural resources. There are also other issues which we will talk about in future sessions. We want an independent sovereign state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

 

Livni: You mean 1967 borders, but some talk about 1967 borders plus. For instance, the safe passage with the Gaza Strip is 1967 plus.

 

Saeb: The passage was agreed on in Olso.

 

Tal: But there was no reference to 1967.

 

Saeb: There was enough reference to lead to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 & 338.

 

Livni: A viable state is an internal matter.

 

Abu Ala’: I am not talking about economic viability but about a land in which I will establish my state.

 

Livni: Settlement blocs will not affect the viability of the state.

 

Abu Ala’: But they will. Let us take the example of Ma’ale Adomim settlement. Its continued existence will affect the life of 100,000 Palestinian civilians living in the area where they cannot expand. The situation in Giv’at settlement is similar. A state whose parts are connected with tunnels and bridges is not a viable state.

 

Dekel: The solution is difficult and that is why we have to be creative.

 

Livni: God gave us bad cards to play with.

 

Abu Ala’: Ariel settlement goes inside the bowels of the West Bank. We are ready to discuss your security needs without exaggeration and without dictates. Security is not an early alert station here or there, but it is the manner in which we cooperate together for the realization of security both for you and us.

 

Livni: Egypt in all her greatness accepted a peace treaty with some restrictions.

 

Saeb: We know the realities on the ground, but there is something called negotiation cares, like the father who sacrifices his liver to save his son. We are not discussing the manner by which to preserve your interests, but the manner whereby we can reconcile between your and our interests.

 

You want to transfer water from our water basins to Israel, and you say that the wall and settlements are a reality on the ground; that is keeping what you created on the ground as it is and then you want us to see what is best for you. What God created is destiny but what you created on the ground is not destiny and we do not have to live with it.

 

Abu Ala’ suggested two points to start with: 1967 borders and modifications on the borders. But your criteria will smother us, and you also forgot the psychological factor in these criteria.

 

Abu Mazen and Abu Ala’ want to reach an agreement and thus I do not advise you to talk about these criteria in this flowery language of yours. I hope the whole concept would divert to suit our interests.

 

Livni: You are putting words in my mouth. I participated in reaching previous agreements, and what worried me was not the discussion of issues or reaching an agreement but the ability to implement agreements.

 

Saeb: Therefore we are waiting for the implementation of what has been agreed upon in Annapolis.

 

Livni: This is what we are doing. I do not want an agreement for the shelf without implementation. After what Dekel has said you are free; you can look at the empty part of the glass.

 

Abu Ala’: When we talk about borders we talk about the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.

 

Livni: When we talk about settlement blocs we talk about the smaller part of the West Bank. You will say that they affect your life. I said that water could be either land or fair arrangements about it.

 

I said the route of the wall is not sacred. I asked you to understand our criteria and not to accept them.

 

Saeb talked about history and psychological association. I have passed that.

 

I understand Abu Ala’ when he talks about 1967 borders but I not am saying that accept them. In the end, I did not ask you to accept these criteria, but I want to sit with you and have a confidential agenda.

 

Saeb: We have to know how to reconcile our interests.

 

Livni: You can say that you hate settlements blocs and this is a crime against humanity and is opposed to international legitimacy. In the end it is up to you to make up your mind.

 

Let us talk about the implementation of the agreement. We evacuated 7000 settlers from the Gaza Strip.

 

Abu Ala’: You evacuated 4 million Palestinians.

 

Livni: We did not expel them all. The question is: Can Israel remove the settlements in the West Bank or no? You can say that this is not your business.

 

Abu Ala’: What will you do with the settlers in the Golan Heights? Why did you remove all the settlements when you reached a peace agreement with Egypt? And this is what will happen with Syria.

 

Livni: Sincerely, the area of the West Bank is small. We can give you the West Bank without any link with Gaza.

 

Abu Ala’: How will we reach Gaza? Are we going to fly there?

 

Livni: You are angels that have wings. Instead of using the term “settlement blocs” to call settlements we can use Clinton’s term “Israeli civil population centers.”

 

Abu Ala’: I suggest moving ahead in the issue of borders; two persons from each side. On our side we will have Dr. Jad Ishak and Dr. Samih al-Abed.

 

Livni: From our side we will have Udi Dekel and Dani Terza.

 

Abu Ala’: I suggest that the specialized committees meet at 12 noon on Sunday instead of Wednesday

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Traitor Qurei Meeting Nazi Livni (22)

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