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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 10, 2003

Why one should oppose a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Part 17 of 23

This piece continues a series of which the first 16 parts were posted on September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; November 6, and 26; and December 5, and 13, 2002, and January 7, 2003. (Alternatively, the previous articles may be found in the IsraPundit archives as follows: September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; and November 6 and 26; December 5, and 13, 2002; and January 7, 2003). The object of the series is to provide a database that is not only reliable and well-documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from web resources. The term "second Palestinian-Arab state" is used in order to underscore that one Palestinian-Arab state already exists: it's called Jordan, and it is located in that part of Eastern Palestine that was originally to have been part of the Jewish National Home.


17. The record of the PLO and the PA suggests that they continually deceive and breach agreements. Even if a second Palestinian Arab state were created under restrictive terms, the record implies that the terms would not be adhered to.

Of all the arguments presented in this series of articles, the present argument is the easiest to substantiate. Indeed, selecting examples to corroborate the assertion that both the PLO and the PA are not to be trusted, is analogues to selecting water droplets while swimming in the ocean or selecting sand grains while on a beach.

In January 2002, AIPAC reviewed a series of pledges made by Arafat and his group, together with proof that these pledges were violated. The list reads:

Pledge: Renounce Terror and Prevent Attacks
“...the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to ensure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.”
[Exchange of Letters, 9 September 1993]

“Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other...The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of violence and terror...”
[Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“Both sides ... undertake to create an environment for negotiations free from pressure, intimidation and threats of violence.”
[Trilateral Statement, 25 July 2000]

Violation: Palestinian rioters, armed militia, and members of the Palestinian security forces have attacked Israeli civilians and soldiers, causing deaths, injury and extensive damage to property. Since the PA launched their violent campaign in Sept. 2000, they have killed 247 Israelis in more than 10,000 attacks. These attacks have averaged 10 to 20 per day.


Pledge: Apprehend and Prosecute Terrorists
“The Palestinian Police will arrest and prosecute individuals who are suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror.”
[Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“The Palestinian side will apprehend the specific individuals suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror for the purpose of further investigation, and prosecution and punishment of all persons involved in acts of violence and terror.”
[Wye River Memorandum, 23 October 1998]

Violation: Instead of dismantling U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Arafat has negotiated a deal with terrorist leaders. The deal has resulted in a temporary reduction of terrorist attacks inside the Green Line and a promise from the PA not to arrest senior members of these groups. Arafat has arrested only low-level perpetrators of terror. Iman Halawa and Jassar Samaaru, responsible for the Dolphinarium disco attack that killed 23 Israeli teenagers, Kayes Aduan Abu-Jabal, responsible for the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem that killed 15 Israeli civilians and the murderers of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, remain at large and continue to plan attacks against Israelis.


Pledge: Ensure that the PA Police is the Only Armed Force
The only armed Palestinians are supposed to be the PA police forces, and their total number is not to exceed 30,000, with 12,000 in the West Bank and 18,000 in Gaza.
[Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“Except for the Palestinian Police and the Israeli military forces, no other armed forces shall be established or operate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip…”
[Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

Violation: The Palestinian leadership maintains, supports and encourages groups of armed militias operating in Palestinian areas, which attack Israeli civilians and soldiers. As of last year, the Palestinian police force exceeded the agreed-upon permitted levels by at least 10,000. In March 2000, the Palestinians provided Israel with a list of 39,899 policemen. According to a State Department report “elements of the PA security forces and Chairman Arafat's Fatah faction within the PLO were deeply involved in the violence. In particular, the Tanzim wing of Fatah and the Presidential Security force (Force 17) were responsible for a significant percentage of the violent attacks on Israelis.”


Pledge: Confiscate All Illegal Weapons
“Any illegal arms will be confiscated by the Palestinian Police.”
[Interim Agreement, 28 September 1995]

“The Palestinian side will establish and vigorously and continuously implement a systematic program for the collection and appropriate handling of all such illegal items [firearms, ammunition or weapons]...”
[Wye River Memorandum, 23 October 1998]

Violation: The Palestinian Authority has engaged in a prolonged effort to smuggle and manufacture illegal weapons to use against Israeli civilians and soldiers.7 Israelis have foiled attempts to smuggle arms nearly a dozen times. Counter-terrorism expert Boaz Ganor says that the recent Israeli seizure in the Red Sea of the Karine A, a ship carrying 50 tons of illegal, Iranian-made weapons, is “just the tip of the iceberg, and that the PA already has a stash of weapons.”
And if this year-old list is not enough, it now appears that the PA is actually manufacturing weapons in their territory. The ominous news was posted by IMRA, quoting an IDF spokesperson. The report begins with this paragraph:
Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) set up a weapon-manufacturing infrastructure

A network of weapon-manufacturing facilities in the Gaza strip run by the PPS was exposed by documents captured during operation "Fortress Guardians" as well as through the questioning of PPS officer Yusuf Muqdad, who was arrested by the Israel Security Agency. Additional documents found indicated that a "strategic project" was underway to create a Nitric Acid production plant (used for the creation of explosives) and also to create a factory that would produce 400-450 mortar bombs a month.
The IMRA article then proceeds to provide details of both the operation, the information sources and the captured documents.

Sometimes, a seemingly marginal detail can tell volumes. This is the case of the PA renouncing those parts of the PLO Charter which expressly call for the destruction of Israel. Recall that in 1998, Arafat put on a play worthy of the Theatre of the Absurd, in which the PLO Charter was supposedly purged as required by the PA pledges; this was done in the presence of Clinton, apparently to lend it a measure of gravitas. In fact, here is what happened, as reported by the ZOA on October 9, 2002:
Yasir Arafat's "foreign minister" has acknowledged that the PLO National Covenant, with its many clauses calling for violence and the destruction of Israel, has never changed.

The 1993 Oslo accords required Arafat to remove from the Covenant all clauses calling for violence or the destruction of Israel. Thirty of the 33 clauses would have to be deleted to meet that requirement.

In April 1996, Arafat's Palestine National Council (PNC) - the only body legally empowered to change the Covenant - passed a resolution appointing a legal committee to consider the changes; but the committee never met. On December 14, 1998, Arafat and President Bill Clinton presided over a meeting in Gaza of Palestinian Arab notables - although it was not a meeting of the PNC-- at which the audience raised their hands to signal approval of a statement by Arafat claiming that the Covenant had already been changed in 1996.

But Farouk Kaddoumi, the "foreign minister" of the PLO, said in an interview with the Abu Dubai newspaper Al Bayan that, in fact, the Covenant still contains the clauses calling for Israel's destruction. In its edition of October 7, 2002 (http://www.albayan.co.ae), the newspaper reported [that] Kaddoumi "stated that the PLO adheres to its national charter, which includes clauses that call for Israel's destruction. It also reported that Kaddoumi "praised all types of military operations carried out by the Palestinian resistance fighters against Israelis."

Earlier this year, a senior official of the PNC publicly acknowledged that the no new version of the Covenant was ever issued. Zuhair Sanduka, the PNC's Director of International Parliamentary Affairs, told the Israeli news agency IMRA on January 23, 2002: "No other Charter [Covenant] has indeed been written since [1998]...There are publications that refer to the decision to make the amendments. But there are no other texts--no other paragraphs or articles in place of those articles that had to be canceled or amended. But there is the reference that there are articles that should be either canceled,
modified, or amended."
Thus, the PA pulled a fast one on the entire world, and particularly on Clinton (indeed, why should the PA be less successful than the North Koreans?)

Arafat’s ways of deceit were quite evident even while signing the Oslo agreements with Israel. Here is a typical Arafatism, quoted from p. 97 of Bodanski work,

Bodanski, Yossef. The High Cost of Peace. New York: Random House (Prima Publishing), 2002.

On February 9 [1994], in the middle of the signing ceremony, Arafat tried to cheat his way out of the agreement by only pretending to sign the map of Jericho. Peres caught him, and Mubarak forced him to sign. Whether Mubarak only scolded Arafat, as the formal version goes, or actually cursed him, as eyewitnesses insist, Arafat was not amused. Despite this omen, Israel committed to handing Gaza and Jericho over to the PLO authorities in the spring.
The title of “mother of all deceits”, however, must go to Arafat’s success in convincing the world, including some Israelis and too many US policy makers, that he has renounced violence in favour of peaceful co-existence. I find the acceptance of this myth by wily, experienced and erudite politicians mystifying because Arafat and his henchmen have made it clear time and again that in signing the Oslo Accords, the PLO was signing not a peace treaty but a truce to be broken at the first opportunity. The code word used is “Hudeibyia”, which refers to the truce signed by Mohammed with the Jewish tribe of Quraysh in 628 AD. Under duress, Mohammed signed the 10-year peace treaty of Hudeibyia but he violated the agreement two years later when his armies were ready; the Qureysh people were slaughtered.

The best known “Hudeibyia” reference was made by Arafat personally at the Johannesburg mosque. Following is Bodansky’s description of this incident ( op. cit., p. 109, bold fond added):

In May 1994, on the eve of his planned return from Tunis to "Palestine," Arafat took the opportunity of an invitation to speak at a mosque in Johannesburg, South Africa, to state his goals. In this address, Arafat maintained that he was forced into the peace process by the economic conditions in the territories following the Gulf War. But that was a temporary accommodation, he stressed, and in fact the Cairo agreement he had just signed with Israel was "the first step and nothing more than that" on the road to Jerusalem. "The jihad will continue," Arafat declared. "Jerusalem is not only of the Palestinian people, but of the entire Islamic nation .... After this [Cairo] agreement, our main battle is not to get the maximum out of them [Israel] here and there. The main battle is over Jerusalem, the third most sacred site of the Muslims." He urged his audience to join the Palestinian struggle. "You must come to fight, to begin the jihad to liberate Jerusalem, your first shrine." As for the agreements signed with Israel, "I regard this agreement as no more than the agreement signed between our prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca," Arafat stated, using the same comparison that he had used a year earlier, on the eve of the Khartoum summit. "As the Prophet Muhammad accepted it [the Treaty of Hudaibiya] .... we now accept the peace agreement [with Israel], but in order to continue on the way to Jerusalem." Arafat told his listeners that the PLO needed them "as Muslims and as mujahideen," and he concluded by chanting: "Until victory, until Jerusalem, until Jerusalem, until Jerusalem."

The Johannesburg speech, along with other, similar pronouncements, left no doubt that as far as Arafat and his circle were concerned, no reconciliation with Israel - not even the acceptance of the very existence of Israel - was possible.
In August 1995, on the eve of signing Oslo II (later signed in September 1995), Arafat gave yet another “Hudaibiya” speech. According to Bodansky ( op. cit, p. 127), Arafat referred publicly to the Oslo agreement, saying

"If any one of you have any objection to the Oslo accord - well, I have a thousand objections. But my brothers, I would like to remind you of something. The Prophet when he signed the Hudaibiya accord ... Umar ibn al Kattib called the agreement 'the despised agreement' and asked, 'How can we accept such a humiliation of our religion?' But, my brothers, it is all the same with the Palestinian people."
In view of all the examples cited to prove that Arafat and his gang cannot be trusted, two questions arise. First, why do so many Israelis, Europeans and US officials still continue to court this mendacious terrorist? And second, why does Arafat throw caution to the wind and openly make statements that could so easily hoist him on his own petard?

The answer to the first question is rooted, to my mind, in the wishful thinking of those who court him; in the noxious tendencies of Western appeasement; in plain human stupidity; in the enthusiastic willingness of the world to sacrifice Israel for a few months of illusory peace; and in the skill the PLO/PA has shown in the art of deception.

The answer to the second question stems from the consequences of courting Arafat and the PA. They have learnt that they are made of Teflon, and regardless of what Arafat and the PA do, Israel will be vilified and they will be sanctified. The following description of Arafat’s attempt on Powell’s life is a good illustration of this conclusion. It is once again quoted from Bodansky ( op. cit., p. 537):

On April 5 [2002], during his meeting with Zinni, Arafat had made a special request--a personal favor. A police officer from a very important family in Gaza, a pillar of Arafat's power structure, had just been killed at Arafat's compound. It was imperative to get the body to Gaza for proper burial, Arafat pleaded. Zinni requested Jerusalem to make an exception to the siege... Jerusalem consented on April 7-8, and Islam demands prompt burial of the dead. However, the PA was not ready to dispatch the body until the evening of April ll - at about the same time Powell was due to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport.

Unbeknownst to the Palestinians, Israeli security forces were following the ambulance bearing the officer's body as it left the Ramallah area. Their suspicions deepened when the ambulance made a "wrong turn" and headed toward Highway 1 - connecting Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem - instead of taking the road to Gaza. As the ambulance was about to enter Highway 1, it was ambushed and stopped by an Israeli anti-terrorist unit. A quick search netted a huge bomb installed under the policeman's body and a martyr's bomb-web under the seat next to the driver. The two supposed Red Crescent medics told their interrogators that their plan was to park the ambulance near a bend in the road where Powell's convoy was bound to slow down. They would open the vehicle's hood as if they had an engine problem. Once the limousine got close to the ambulance, the driver was to blow it up, in the expectation that the convoy would stop and the security personnel would rush to investigate the explosion. Exploiting the confusion, the other "medic" was to run to the limousine, try to get in, and blow himself up either inside the limousine or pressed against its exterior. The Palestinians were convinced that even if he was outside the limousine, his bomb was sufficiently strong to at the very least injure Powell, Peres, and the other dignitaries inside. Although Arafat was certainly involved in the plot, given his insistence on transporting the dead policeman to Gaza, the Bush administration decided to proceed with Powell's mission as if nothing had happened. To save the United States embarrassment, Israel agreed to suppress reporting of the incident.
L’audace, toujours l’audace! Fact is: Even this incident failed to dampen Powell’s loyalty to the PA!

Note: If the foregoing account sounds too fantastic to be believed, note that Bodansky is “the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional warfare”, as well as “a former senior consultant for the US Deparments of Defence and State”. Also, a similar account was posted on April 12, 2002 at WorldNetDaily, on the basis of a Debka report.

Per se, the fact that the PLO/PA are untrustworthy is not a reason to oppose the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state. Rather, the PLO/PA untrustiness constitutes a response to those who contend that a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state will pose no danger to Israel and to the region provided that such a state is demilitarized and/or is limited as to the pacts it may sign with other nations. Surely, the incessant assurances by the PLO/PA that their ultimate aim is the destruction of Israel, compounded by their record of mendacity and perfidy, should be enough to convince any fair-mined observer to oppose Palestinian-Arab sovereignty!

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.