Road map to peace, or to war?

April 24, 2003

CONTENTS

1. "The road map, without major and critical revisions, is a straitjacket"
2. Will the road map, as formulated, really improve the situation?
3. "A map to national disaster" (By Uzi Landau, Haaretz, April 11, 2003)
4. "Road map, road kill" (By Jonathan S. Tobin, Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, April 2, 2003).
5. "Mideast peace: Follow the map" (By Robert S. Strauss, Washington Post, April 15, 2003)
6. "CIA official to monitor road map" (Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2003)
7. "CIA straitjacket" (By Aaron Lerner, IMRA, April 8, 2003)
8. "Arafat's 'pragmatic' protege" (By Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, April 1, 2003)


[I will be traveling for work over the next 2 weeks and there will be few, if any, of these dispatches during that time.]

“THE ROAD MAP, WITHOUT MAJOR AND CRITICAL REVISIONS, IS A STRAITJACKET”

[Note by Tom Gross]

The Palestinian prime minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is expected to present his new cabinet to the Palestinian Legislative Council for approval next Sunday or Monday. The so-called "road map" for Middle East peace put forward by the Diplomatic Quartet of the United States state department, the UN, the European Union and Russia will then be presented to both the Palestinian Authority and to Israel.

I attach one news report and five articles in relation to the Road Map (with summaries first for those who don't have time to read them in full). Most of the attached articles oppose the road map in its present form, as does the Israeli government, which initially drew up a list of 100 reservations about the road map, but under American pressure has since narrowed this down to 15. Even former Clinton U.S. peace envoy Dennis Ross thinks the road map is weighted against Israel, satisfying Palestinian strategic goals by providing an end to occupation and recognition of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, but failing to satisfy Israel's most basic goal, the absolute cessation of violence.

WILL THE ROAD MAP, AS FORMULATED, REALLY IMPROVE THE SITUATION?

The reason I am sending out more articles opposing the road map than supporting it is not a reflection of my own views, but because almost all mainstream media in Europe and the U.S. continue to write about the road map as though it is automatically a good idea, one that will decrease rather than increase the level of violence. Many who consider the opposite to be the case are not provided with a voice in the mainstream media just as their views were by and large shut out when they warned that the Clinton administration's support for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in its present form was not necessarily in the interests of peace and co-existence between Palestinians and Israelis.

Systematic misreporting about Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in the western media continues to this day. For example, most international television news media failed to mention that this morning's suicide attack at Kfar Saba train station, north of Tel Aviv, was claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. Even though the Al-Aqsa group released the bomber's photo, gun in hand, and it appears in Arab and Israeli newspapers, almost no mention has been made in the western media. Indeed today's BBC report even implied that Arafat was the moderate and that Hamas was behind the terrorism. In fact the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has carried out as many terror attacks against civilians in the last two years as any other terror group in the world.

Will Arafat's handing over power to Abu Mazen, his co-founder of the PLO, and his deputy over the last four decades really lead to change in the PA's ways? Only time will tell.

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARIES

“THE ROAD MAP BODES A FUTURE IN WHICH TERROR IS MUCH, MUCH WORSE”

1. "A map to national disaster" (By Uzi Landau, Haaretz, April 11, 2003). The writer, a minister in the Israeli government, says: "If the Quartet's road map is accepted, Yasser Arafat will win the greatest victory of his life. Despite the blatant violation of all his commitments in the Oslo agreements and his responsibility for the murder of more than 1,000 Israelis nearly 800 of them during the last two years of terror he has not been punished. On the contrary, he [will get] the establishment of a state... without negotiation. That state is the main goal of the map, resulting from a childish belief on the part of the Quartet that the mere creation of the state will guarantee peace... As far as we are concerned, there are two inviolate conditions: public recognition of Israel's right to exist, including an end to the incitement educating toward our destruction in the Palestinian school system and inculcating peace as a value from an early age, and Palestinian relinquishment of their demand for the refugees to return to Israel. These demands, without which there is no chance for peace, do not appear as a condition... Our experience from the Oslo agreement teaches us that for us, the map bodes a future in which terror is much, much worse... If Israel wants to live, it must make as clear as possible and as early as possible that without basic preconditions, the map is totally unacceptable."

2. "Road map, road kill" (By Jonathan S. Tobin, Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, April 2, 2003). Israel is about to be sold-out in order "to soothe the wounded pride of the Arab world and repair damage to our relations with Europe and the United Nations... [The Road map] makes tangible demands for Israel to make concessions on its security, such as loosening the Israel Defense Force's grip on the territories and granting the terror-infested P.A. more power and control... The Palestinians will then be asked to increase their rather intangible efforts to halt terrorism and to make progress toward "reform" ... Grading the Palestinians on a curve that would be the envy of any failing high school student, the same intelligence assets that will hold the Israelis up to scorn for every carport constructed in Efrat, wholesale Palestinian violations of the peace will be ignored."

3. "Mideast peace: Follow the map" (By Robert S. Strauss, Washington Post, April 15, 2003). Strauss, who served as Mideast envoy in the Carter administration and was ambassador to the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation in 1991-92, writes: "Over the past 21/2 years, more than 750 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians have died in an escalation of the horrendous conflict in the Middle East. Our inability to improve the situation and hands-off approach have hurt American credibility in the region and compromised our reputation as an honest broker for peace... Just as the Persian Gulf War reshaped the political landscape in the Mideast and helped pave the way for the historic Madrid peace conference in 1991, so too must the successful conclusion of the Iraq war pave the way for a renewed American commitment to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... Current circumstances in the Middle East provide the potential for a major breakthrough. A new Palestinian cabinet is being formed under a new prime minister... What is daring and unique about the road map is that if either side does not live up to its obligations, the process comes to a halt. Even in the second stage, when the plan provides for a transitional state, and in the third stage, when final-status issues are addressed, if the sides stop performing, the process is aborted immediately. This is an arrangement far tougher than the Oslo accords, where no such protections for Israel were in place."

4. "CIA official to monitor road map" (Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2003). Jeff O'Connell, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Tel Aviv station, is to return to Israel immediately after the publication of the road map to monitor its implementation, sources in Jerusalem said. According to these sources, O'Connell will be accompanied by a high-ranking State Department official.

5. "CIA straitjacket" (By Aaron Lerner, IMRA, April 8, 2003). Dr Lerner points out that the newly appointed Palestinian Interior minister, Mohammed Dahlan, is the former head of the CIA-trained Palestinian Preventive Security forces in the Gaza Strip, that has helped coordinate and direct many of the terror attacks over the last two years. "And what did the CIA do? To the CIA's credit they did an excellent job training a generation of Palestinian snipers. The problem was that instead of using their skills to fight Palestinian terrorists, these CIA trained snipers have been murdering Israelis ever since... The Dahlan-CIA combination was a formula for disaster during Oslo and it would be only worse under the Road Map in its current version. A plan to immediately strip Israel of the right to self-defense, as the Palestinians make some declarations and possibly a few photo opportunities on their way to a sovereign independent terrorist state under the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" supervision of the CIA."

6. "Arafat's 'pragmatic' protege" (By Michael Freund, The Jerusalem Post, April 1, 2003). Freund asks why the world criticized countries like Austria when Joerg Haider's neo-Nazi Freedom Party joined the governing coalition three years ago, but is ignoring the "far more odious and offensive" Holocaust denial of the new Palestinian prime minister, Abu Mazen. Instead of reporting on the Holocaust denial in his doctoral thesis at Moscow's Oriental College in 1982, and in other writings by Abu Mazen in the years since, the AP says in its news dispatches (used by much of the rest of the western media) that Abu Mazen was "known as a moderate and a pragmatist."

* For more on Mahmoud Abbas and the Holocaust see Abu Mazen and the Holocaust.



FULL ARTICLES

“THE ROAD MAP IS A HUGE PRIZE FOR TERROR”

A map to national disaster
By Uzi Landau
Ha'aretz
April 11, 2003

If the Quartet's road map is accepted, Yasser Arafat will win the greatest victory of his life. Despite the blatant violation of all his commitments in the Oslo agreements and his responsibility for the murder of more than 1,000 Israelis nearly 800 of them during the last two years of terror he has not been punished. On the contrary, he is holding on to the far-reaching concessions granted him at Oslo and in addition will get what even Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres refused to give him: the establishment of a state, "independent, viable, sovereign with maximum territorial contiguity," in principle, and without negotiation. That state is the main goal of the map, resulting from a childish belief on the part of the Quartet that the mere creation of the state will guarantee peace.

At the same time there's no mention in the map of any of the conditions noted by the government as essential for our existential security: demilitarization; our complete control of the air space; a ban on the authority to sign international agreements, for example.

As far as we are concerned, there are two inviolate conditions: public recognition of Israel's right to exist, including an end to the incitement educating toward our destruction in the Palestinian school system and inculcating peace as a value from an early age, and Palestinian relinquishment of their demand for the refugees to return to Israel.

These demands, without which there is no chance for peace, do not appear as a condition. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian initiative, which the map says has "ongoing importance," speaks of solving the refugee problem through UN Resolution 194, which includes the "right of return," as its centerpiece.

Borders: Those who believed Israel would be able to maintain control over areas of decisive strategic importance for our defense, find the map speaks about "ending the occupation that began in 1967," in other words, a return to what Abba Eban called "the Auschwitz borders."

Internationalization of the conflict: In the first year of the previous, unity government, Israel was careful not to use all that was necessary to defeat the terrorist organizations in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, it did not topple the Palestinian Authority and did not expel Arafat. The price: hundreds of killed, thousands of wounded, and a rapid deterioration to a deep and unprecedented economic depression that we are now desperately trying to end. We did so to prevent the internationalization of the conflict by the entry of foreign observers and international conferences, that would, in effect, take out of our hands the sovereignty over management of the conflict and harm our ability to defend ourselves effectively.

That's exactly what the road map does. Internationalization under Quartet orchestration: It convenes two international conferences meant to establish the Palestinian state and lead to a permanent agreement, accompany the process, establish a supervisory mechanism for the implementation, judge the disputes between the PA and Israel, set a "realistic timetable" for progress and become involved in the negotiations "when necessary."

Jerusalem: The road map gives the Palestinians a political status equal to ours and determines that the decisions in the negotiations over the city's status will be with regard to "the political and religious interest of both sides." In other words, the division of Jerusalem. To remove any doubt about the Quartet's intentions, the road map emphasizes, "the government of Israel will reopen Palestinian institutions closed in East Jerusalem." And of course that includes the notorious Orient House.

A prize for terror: Without any condition for an end to terror first, Israel is ordered to immediately dismantle all the outposts and freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth another bonus the Palestinians didn't even get at Oslo.

The road map is a huge prize for terror. In its wake the Palestinians will not only achieve their strategic goals, but will reach a clear conclusion: terror pays. They will get all the concessions we shower on them, organize themselves with money they get from the world and us, rebuild their terror units and attack us at the moment convenient for them. Our experience from the Oslo agreement teaches us that for us, the map bodes a future in which terror is much, much worse.

It's possible to understand why the European members of the Quartet initiated the road map. They are the ones who cynically attack President Bush, who is fighting the free world's war against Saddam Hussein; and during the years, with the same cynicism, they turned a blind eye to terrible Palestinian terror and held us responsible for it. They support the Palestinians and Arafat, Saddam's ally, and demand we concede unceasingly to terror.

Will the Americans accept the European positions? Is it possible the U.S. which regards terror as the greatest danger to Western civilization, and is led by Bush, who declared war on terror without concessions of negotiations until it is totally eradicated like in Afghanistan and Iraq will adopt a map saturated with far-reaching concessions that will only encourage terror?

The road map does not express the "Bush vision" as expressed last June. It is not a recipe for peace, but for national disaster. Accepting it will lead to terror and war under far more difficult conditions that we've ever known. If Israel wants to live, it must make as clear as possible and as early as possible that without basic preconditions, the map is totally unacceptable.

(The writer is the minister responsible for the secret services and strategic relations with the U.S.)

 

“VICTORY IN IRAQ MAY BRING PERIL FOR ISRAEL”

Road map, road kill
Israel might pay a heavy price for the Iraq war, but there's a chance it won't
By Jonathan S. Tobin
The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent
April 2, 2003

The signs of an impending sellout are all too obvious. Statements coming out of Washington confirm the fears of many that the nightmare scenario envisioned by many friends of Israel in this country is about to become reality.

It goes something like this:

After American forces finish off Saddam Hussein's regime and begin their attempt to transform Iraq into the first moderate Arab democracy, the State Department will swing into action to revive the "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians.

The American need to soothe the wounded pride of the Arab world and repair damage to our relations with Europe and the United Nations will lead to a revived focus on the Middle East "peace process," a phrase that can be loosely translated as the system by which the Jews are made to make concessions that endanger them in exchange for further Arab threats to Israel's existence.

The so-called "road map" put forward by the Diplomatic Quartet of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia will then be presented to both the Palestinian Authority and to Israel.

This scheme makes tangible demands for Israel to make concessions on its security, such as loosening the Israel Defense Force's grip on the territories and granting the terror-infested P.A. more power and control. Israel will freeze all building of any kind in Jewish communities there, setting the stage for further withdrawals.

The Palestinians will then be asked to increase their rather intangible efforts to halt terrorism and to make progress toward "reform" of their kleptocracy. This will lead to the setting of a date for the declaration of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty.

In the nightmare, the United States will lean heavily on Israel to pull back its forces and prepare to completely surrender strategic lands where hundreds of thousands of Jews live. Diplomatic strong-arm tactics to make the Israelis see that resistance is futile will follow. At the same time, in the same way that the Oslo accords were enforced before they went up in a cloud of Palestinian explosions, the monitoring of Palestinian "progress" will be a lot more lenient.

Grading the Palestinians on a curve that would be the envy of any failing high school student, the same intelligence assets that will hold the Israelis up to scorn for every carport constructed in Efrat, wholesale Palestinian violations of the peace will be ignored.

Despite Yasser Arafat's continuing control of the terror and crime syndicate that we laughingly call the representative body of the Palestinian people, the ascendancy of Mahmoud Abbas aka "Abu Mazen the Holocaust denier" to the position of P.A. prime minister will enable the United States to pretend that democracy, peace and goodness reigns in Ramallah.

The next step will be to force Israel to accept a virtual rerun of the same failed peace proposal that Ehud Barak offered to Arafat in July of 2000: half of Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace. If the Israeli government refuses, then the United States will employ all of its post-Iraq war victory prestige to force it to its knees. With the willing assistance of left-wing American Jews, Ariel Sharon, who won the last two Israeli elections in landslides, will be forced out in favor of someone who will do Washington's bidding.

After that, a truncated Israel will be forced to cope with further Palestinian incursions and terror, not to mention a possible intifada from Arabs in the Galilee. In response to Israeli complaints that the road map has led to disaster, America will tell the Israelis to stop whining and make more concessions ...

Are you frightened yet?

The good news is that none of this has happened yet. The bad news is that given the pressure being exerted on this country by its British ally, it just might.

President Bush's seminal June 24 speech, which set forth a vision of peace based on the transformation of the P.A. and the ouster of Yasser Arafat, seems to be forgotten. Talk from British Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as Secretary of State Colin Powell and his coterie of appeasement-minded diplomats make the nightmare all too real.

Not everyone in D.C. is an idiot

But is postwar catastrophe for Israel certain? The answer, despite the prophets of doom, is no.

Why not? First, don't assume that everybody in the administration is an idiot. Many at the National Security Council and the Department of Defense have been paying attention to the ties that have been clearly demonstrated between the Palestinians and Iraq. Syria's intervention in the war on behalf of the Iraqis and intention to use Hezbollah to destabilize any peace effort elsewhere is also undermining the "peace processors."

This administration is committed to changing the Arab world, not just appeasing it as its predecessors of both parties did. Blair's hopes notwithstanding, Palestinian treachery and terror will win them no friends even in the postwar push for peace.

So far, President Bush has been a man of his word. While he is on record in favor of a Palestinian state, he is also committed to a vision of democracy and real peace. He may actually insist that principles of his June 24 speech be upheld, which will torpedo a process based on Palestinian promises.

Second, don't underestimate the stupidity of the Palestinians. They could have had everything they could have asked for on a silver platter three years ago and rejected it because they wanted even more all of Israel. Despite the noises about Abu Mazen's "moderation," he and the other killers in Ramallah haven't changed their stripes. It is more likely that they will embarrass any administration that emulates the efforts of Bill Clinton to accommodate them than it is likely that they will go along.

Third, don't underestimate the will of the Israelis. To the dismay of the Jewish right, Sharon has rightly decided to avoid open confrontations with Washington over theoretical concessions. That astuteness will stand him in good stead in the delicate days ahead.

Saying "no" to suicidal concessions without setting off a war of words with Washington is a delicate art but the "bulldozer" may have mastered it. He can afford to keep his powder dry and wait for the Palestinians to mess up another opportunity.

Finally, don't underestimate the support for Israel among the American people. Bush got a taste of that last spring. He and his political guru Karl Rove haven't forgotten the full court press of Christian Evangelicals to lay off Israel at the height of Arafat's terror war. Nor will he willingly antagonize them or an energized American Jewish community that is more open to supporting him in 2004.

Victory in Iraq may bring peril for Israel. But those who assume the worst aren't necessarily right. Though it looks like the Quartet juggernaut may turn the Israelis into road kill, a lot can happen to derail that collision before it happens.

 

“DOES ANYONE THINK THERE CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE PEACE PROCESS IN WHICH ONE SIDE MAKES ALL THE MOVES?”

Mideast peace: Follow the map
By Robert S. Strauss
The Washington Post
April 15, 2003

Over the past 21/2 years, more than 750 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians have died in an escalation of the horrendous conflict in the Middle East. Our inability to improve the situation and hands-off approach have hurt American credibility in the region and compromised our reputation as an honest broker for peace. In turn, our ability to muster broad international support for other policies, such as those on Iraq and the war on terrorism, has been hindered.

Just as the Persian Gulf War reshaped the political landscape in the Mideast and helped pave the way for the historic Madrid peace conference in 1991, so too must the successful conclusion of the Iraq war pave the way for a renewed American commitment to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recognizing this, the Bush administration has put forward a plan known as "the road map."

Current circumstances in the Middle East provide the potential for a major breakthrough. A new Palestinian cabinet is being formed under a new prime minister, and Israeli elections have been held. The Palestinian people are suffering and need resolution, and Israelis are living with the constant fear of terror and enduring the worst economic downturn in the country's history. Fortunately, the road map developed by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations can take advantage of these circumstances. The road map, based on reciprocity and mutual obligations, points out the obvious: If the Palestinians end the violence and reform their institutions (as they are starting to do), then, under the watchful eye of the United States, a new process can take root one that benefits everyone.

Recently, President Bush, standing side by side with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that he is committed to staying in Iraq "for as long as it takes." This same level of U.S. commitment is required for implementation of the road map. Of course, in response to the cessation of Palestinian terror attacks, the government of Ariel Sharon will be asked to make difficult concessions. Does anyone think there can be an effective peace process in which one side makes all the moves? Despite the rhetoric of some Israel supporters, a heavy burden throughout the process also is on the Palestinians. They will have to do the heavy lifting of constituting a new security system that the United States and Israel can accept, and they will have to prove that it works through action. They will be responsible for finally cleaning up their political, economic and social institutions.

What is daring and unique about the road map is that if either side does not live up to its obligations, the process comes to a halt. Even in the second stage, when the plan provides for a transitional state, and in the third stage, when final-status issues are addressed, if the sides stop performing, the process is aborted immediately. This is an arrangement far tougher than the Oslo accords, where no such protections for Israel were in place.

Some people may be afraid of success. The United States has never asked Israel to jeopardize its own security. Why should it? That would endanger U.S. interests and increase its burden. But when the peace process has worked in the past, all of us have benefited. When it hasn't and it hasn't for a long while we all have suffered. We've had a tough time reconciling friends who disagreed with each other in the region, as I know too well from my own experience in government. But the road map is a policy that rarely comes along: a chance to promote all of our interests simultaneously with both our Israeli and our Arab friends.

The time to implement the road map is now. There is no perfect plan, but there are reliable friends. The United States has repeatedly demonstrated its friendship with Israel. Now comes a win-win opening: a plan from which all parties can benefit that can break the logjam at a critical moment for the United States. Performance-based guarantees at every step will either make the road map work or reveal why it failed and who was responsible. The United States can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines, nor can Israel or the Palestinians afford the luxury of turning their backs on this potential breakthrough. It's time for positive thinking and progress, not retrogression.

(The writer served as Mideast envoy in the Carter administration and was ambassador to the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation in 1991-92.)

 

CIA OFFICIAL TO MONITOR ROAD MAP

CIA official to monitor road map
By Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post
April 15, 2003

Jeff O'Connell, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Tel Aviv station, is to return here immediately after the publication of the so-called road map for Middle East peace to monitor its implementation, sources in Jerusalem said Monday. According to these sources, O'Connell will be accompanied by a high-ranking State Department official.

The CIA has reportedly set up a special department to supervise and monitor the implementation of the road map. In the past, the CIA has had a small team in the region to monitor Palestinian Authority reforms, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given his okay to a small US-led monitoring team for the road map as well, the sources said.

In addition to sending over a monitoring team, the US, according to Israeli diplomatic officials, has recently been pressing the government to release Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to PA Prime Minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz spoke of the idea at Sunday's cabinet meeting, but said the possible release had to do with relieving crowded prison conditions. He denied a prisoner release now would constitute a gesture to Abbas. Diplomatic officials, however, said releasing an unspecified number of prisoners was one of the steps the US is urging Israel to take to "help Abu Mazen succeed."

Another diplomatic request is for Israel to speed up the release of accumulated PA funds held since the outbreak of the violence in 2000. In December, Israel began transferring tax revenues to the PA on a monthly basis, and some two months ago set up a schedule of 12 graduated payments whereby the NIS 2 billion in arrears payments would also be transferred. The US would like to see this process carried out at a quicker pace.

Meanwhile, despite Monday's meeting in Washington between Sharon's bureau chief, Dov Weisglass, and US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, diplomatic officials here are pessimistic the US will formally accept Israel's reservations to the road map at this time.

Instead of getting bogged down with the reservations, the officials said, the administration has made it clear it wants to see implementation of the road map, and that an Israeli insistence on the reservations now would only lead to a diplomatic confrontation with the US.

By immediate implementation of the road map, the US expects Abbas to begin collecting illegal weapons and arresting Hamas activists. When this begins to happen, the officials said, Washington will expect Jerusalem to start dismantling settlement outposts that were established after March 2001, when Sharon first took office.

The US, according to these officials, rejects Israel's interpretation that its steps must only be taken after there is true reform in the PA and after the terrorism stops. The goal of the CIA monitors, according to these officials, will be to monitor who is doing what and send reports back to Washington.

 

“THE ROAD MAP, WITHOUT MAJOR AND CRITICAL REVISIONS, IS A STRAITJACKET”

CIA straitjacket
By Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA,
April 8, 2003

The Road Map, without major and critical revisions, is a straitjacket.

If anyone thought Abu "use all means against settlers" Mazen was going to turn a new page as the Palestinian Authority's new prime minister, consider who he wants to bring in as "interior minister", to handle the official Palestinian security forces: Mohammed Dahlan, the former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security forces in the Gaza Strip.

And who do the Americans suggest make sure Dahlan behaves? The CIA.

Sound familiar? Well it should. Because that's exactly the fiasco we had before.

Under Dahlan's leadership the elite Palestinian Preventive Security forces played a key role building the Palestinian terror infrastructure contracting the manufacture of illegal weapons. And instead of fighting the illegal militias, Dahlan's Palestinian Preventive Security forces coordinated and directed the terrorist activities of the illegal militias.

And what did the CIA do? To the CIA's credit they did an excellent job training a generation of Palestinian snipers. The problem was that instead of using their skills to fight Palestinian terrorists, these CIA trained snipers have been murdering Israelis ever since.

And how did the CIA do in its role of monitor?

The CIA faces a tremendous conflict-of-interest challenge when put in the "monitoring" role. The CIA is involved in American efforts to deal with terrorists impacting American interests around the world, and the Palestinian security officials have intimate contacts and relations with their terrorist brothers around the world. The CIA ignored illegal Palestinian activity in return for Palestinian information and assistance relating to other terrorist groups.

It should also be kept in mind that the CIA's mandate is not to serve the truth, but to serve American interests. When it serves American interests to proclaim that night is day, up is down or that the Palestinians are in compliance, the CIA will do just that.

Speculation? Hardly. Representatives of the CIA were sharing pitas and coffee with Palestinian security officials while they were busy coordinating and directing terrorist operations and weapons producing projects. The CIA didn't expose the operations Israel did.

The Dahlan-CIA combination was a formula for disaster during Oslo and it would be only worse under the Road Map in its current version. A plan to immediately strip Israel of the right to self-defense, as the Palestinians make some declarations and possibly a few photo opportunities on their way to a sovereign independent terrorist state under the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" supervision of the CIA.

Let's be clear on this: the Road Map isn't a minor issue. It isn't something Israel can concede now due to extenuating circumstances and rectify later. The Road Map, without major and critical revisions, is a straitjacket.

The Jewish state paid a dear price both physical and economic due to the Oslo fiasco. I can only shudder to think of the price we may have to pay if shortsighted leaders sacrifice our futures by accepting the current Road Map.

If you think it was bad when Israeli security forces were able to stop most terrorists before they even came near their targets, imagine what it will be like when the terrorists will be able to attack from inside a sovereign state, as they exploit the protection of a human shield of various observer forces.

And if you think the economy suffered when tourists and investors thought twice about Israel thanks to Oslo terror, just consider what foreigner would put their tourist bodies or investment dollars in a country under the constant mortar, Katyusha rocket and Kassam missile fire that waits for us down the Road Map.

The challenge for leaders is to know when an issue is simply too important to concede. Menachem Begin did it when he ordered the bombing of the Iraqi reactor knowing full well the costs Israel faced for the then-unpopular move. The same goes today for rejecting the current version of the Road Map.

 

“NOT ALL HOLOCAUST-DENIERS WERE CREATED EQUAL”

Arafat's 'pragmatic' protege
By Michael Freund,
The Jerusalem Post
April 1, 2003

What a difference a few years can make. It was in February 2000 that Israel's government, then headed by Ehud Barak, was up in arms over the Austrian president's decision to include Joerg Haider's neo-Nazi Freedom Party in that country's newly-formed governing coalition.

Haider's inclusion, Barak said, should "infuriate all the citizens of the free world." He promptly recalled Israel's ambassador to Vienna and convened a session of the cabinet, which issued a statement expressing "deep concern" over the Austrian move.

Knesset speaker Avraham Burg also blasted the decision, calling it "a blemish on the Austrian nation" and saying it was regrettable that "the Austrian people refuse to recognize the terrible tragedy that the racist Nazi ideology inflicted on humanity."

But just three years later, after Yasser Arafat's appointment of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian version of Haider, to serve as prime minister, the voices of indignation have suddenly fallen silent.

Haider, of course, came under fire after making a series of foul remarks in which he downplayed the evil of the Nazi regime, defending those who took part in its crimes even as he sought to minimize the lethal nature of the Holocaust. As a result, he was roundly and justifiably condemned and deemed unfit to serve in a position of power.

Curiously, the same logic has yet to be applied to Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, even though his views on the Holocaust are even more odious and offensive.

As a doctoral candidate at Moscow's Oriental College in 1982, Abu Mazen composed a thesis accusing the Jews of exaggerating the Holocaust for ulterior motives.

"The Zionist movement's stake in inflating the number of murdered in the war was aimed at ensuring great gains," he said, asserting that "this led it to confirm the number [6 million] to establish it in world opinion, and by so doing to arouse more pangs of conscience and sympathy for Zionism in general."

In his paper, later published under the title, the Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and the Zionist Movement, the Palestinian leader sought to deny the German use of gas chambers as instruments of death and suggested that the number of Jews killed was less than one million.

Abu Mazen also went to great lengths to compare Zionism with Nazism and accused Jewish leaders of conspiring with Hitler to annihilate European Jewry.

"The Zionist movement," Abu Mazen wrote, "led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them, and to expand the mass extermination."

Even Haider, in the ugliest of his demagogic outbursts, never made such horrifying claims.

But despite professing such outrageous views, which he has never publicly retracted, Abu Mazen has nevertheless been hailed by the media and politicians alike, particularly since he was selected last month for the post of Palestinian prime minister.

A March 19 AP story called him "urbane" and insisted that he was "known as a moderate and a pragmatist."

"He is a responsible man," ex-foreign minister Shimon Peres told Israel Radio on March 9. "He has the seriousness required for the job, as well as clear positions and intentions." US Secretary of State Colin Powell also praised Abu Mazen's nomination, as did the usual European suspects.

And this is truly astonishing, for Abu Mazen's record is far more egregious than Haider's. Whereas the Austrian politician made inflammatory remarks regarding the past, Abu Mazen went one step further, threatening physical violence against Jews and Israel on more than one occasion.

In a March 4, 1990 interview with the London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat, he warned that Jews making aliya from the former Soviet Union would be subjected to terror attacks if they made their homes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

"No one can check the behavior of the Palestinian citizen in the occupied territories. No one can guarantee the results of this provocation," he said.

In June 1996, shortly after Binyamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister, Abu Mazen threatened that any change in Israel's policy toward Oslo would cause the Palestinians to take up arms.

"Any digression by Netanyahu from the peace process," he said, "will cause a return to the state of war which existed before September 1993" (The Jerusalem Post, June 14, 1996).

More recently, on January 26, 2003, Abu Mazen was asked by the Chinese news agency Xinhua about the prospects of halting terrorist attacks against Israel. His response was far from principled:

"That depends on how Israel acts," he said. "The Israeli side should stop its aggression against the Palestinians first." Similarly, on March 3, Abu Mazen again stressed his belief in the use of violence.

In an interview with al-Sharq al-Awsat he sought to clarify statements attributed to him in which he allegedly called for an end to anti-Israel terror.

"On the basis of the talks held in Cairo [between the Palestinian Authority and terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad], we agreed upon the freezing of Palestinian military operations for one year.... We did not say, however, that we are giving up the armed struggle... The intifada must continue."

Thanks, but that is hardly the type of pragmatism the Middle East needs right now.

Indeed, the obvious question which comes to mind is: Why was Haider denounced for minimizing the mass murder of Jews, while Abu Mazen is not?

And why was the late president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, barred from visiting Israel for writing an anti-Semitic World War II history book entitled Wilderness of Historical Reality, while Abu Mazen is hailed as a moderate for holding similar views?

The answer, it would appear, is that not all Holocaust-deniers were created equal, as one standard is applied to the likes of Haider and Tudjman, while an entirely different one is used for Abu Mazen.

Even more disturbing, however, is the willingness of many Israeli and American leaders to overlook Abu Mazen's brazen calls for violence and support for terror in the vain hope that he will prove more accommodating than his mentor, Yasser Arafat.

Such delusions, however, only serve to cloud their judgment, causing them to see Abu Mazen not for what he is, but for what they wish him to be.

So let's stop fooling ourselves. Abu Mazen is no moderate. Anyone who denies the Holocaust, equates Zionism with Nazism and advocates the use of violence against Jews is certainly not deserving of such a label.

Instead, let's call him what he really is just another petty anti-Semitic thug. More importantly, let's start treating him as such.

(The writer served as deputy director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister's Office.)


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.