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

April 10, 2003

Action Alert: The RoachMap

Below, I am reproducing an action alert sent out by Shirley Anne Haber. The alert is directed to Canadians but, to be frank, I do not believe that Canada counts for much, especially after the government's refusal to support the liberation of Iraq. From my perspective, the alert really applies to US citizens , the only people who might have some leverage with their representatives.

I believe that Israel is in grave danger and that we must act vigorously and urgently. The Israeli government has its hands tied, when it comes to objecting to the RoachMap (renamed after its authors: the EU, the UN, Russia and Colin Powell), but as citizens in democratic countries we can say what Sharon cannot.

Let's do it.

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April 10, 2003

Dear Friends,

ACTION ALERT: The Quartet 'road map' peace plan for the Middle East, which could be introduced in the near future, raises many concerns.

Both Tony Blair, who wants to pacify opposition in his government over Britain's involvement in the "coalition of the willing", and as well, the Arab countries who have provided the United States with a staging ground for military action against Iraq, expect the US to repay them by squeezing Israel for maximum concessions to the Palestinians. The 'road map' is based on a vision statement made by George W. Bush on June 24, 2002 and developed by the Quartet: the US, the UN, the EU and Russia!



Israel's security could be severely affected!


Israel could once again be placed in an uncompromising, vulnerable position! Although, we don't know all the details of the 'roadmap' yet, there is evidence that Israel will be required to return to '67 borders, and the status of Jerusalem, the settlements, and the 'Right of Return' will once again be on the table.

Surely, if there is to be a lasting peace which is the deep desire of Israel, it will depend on the reliability of the partner for which Israel will ultimately be asked to make huge concessions and accommodations.

We need to ask our government to support Israel now, BEFORE, the 'road map' is introduced. We need everyone's help! This email is directed at Canadians, however, people in other countries, especially the US, can address their Heads of State with the same writing concepts below.

Thanks for your support - please send this email to your groups!
Shirley Anne Haber sahaber@sympatico.ca
The Media Action Group

ACTION: We are suggesting a two-pronged strategy.

[CALL THE WHITEHOUSE 202-456-1111] - zb

1. VISIT your MP! Make an appointment NOW to visit your MP while on break over the next 2 weeks and explain the issues! (see MP information and suggestions for visiting your MP below)
2. Write to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Bill Graham and a separate letter to your own MP on the issues below. Try Faxing or sending regular mail as well as email for greater impact. (email addresses and phone numbers below!)

Don't forget to begin your letter with appreciation for the Canadian government's support for Israel stating that now more than ever they can make a big difference. Since both our Prime Minister and John Manley are now making contact with the United States and the Canadian government continues to have contact with international officials and continues to have influence with Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, it is possible that our government could play an important role in ensuring Israel's safety and establishing peace in the Middle East.

GOAL:

Our ultimate goal is to achieve and sustain peace in the region. We need to urge our government to endorse the policy and principles set out by President Bush in his June 24, 2002 statement, which emphasizes an end to violence and the need for ACCOUNTABILITY to ensure that the Palestinians are a legitimate 'partner in peace'. The vision statement of June 24, stated clearly that Palestinian actions in denouncing terrorism and developing political reform were a prerequisite to achieving a Palestinian state. This differs from the ³Quartet² plan that is arguably biased against Israel.

WRITING POINTS: Encourage our government to:

1. Demand that the PA put an end to violence, terrorism and anti-Israel incitement in their institutions, mosques and media. It must be committed to peace with Israel and the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure.

2. Put pressure on the PA to show accountability and disclosure, for all aspects of the 'road map' requirements. They should no longer tolerate governmental corruption, secrecy, inefficiency and promises which was the downfall of Oslo. The Palestinians must develop a new leadership not tainted by corruption and terrorism. The 'road map' must be based on performance which demonstrates adherence to reform.

3. Use its influence with the PA to ensure acknowledgement of Israel's right to exist in maps, textbooks and speeches by Palestinian leadership and teachers.

4. Use its contacts in the international arena to urge the recognition of Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state in the larger context of the Arab/Muslim world. Israel cannot sue for peace with the Palestinians in the absence of a larger, regional recognition and acceptance of Israel. We should look for recognition of Israel by institutions such as the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Countries the reason being that - an Israeli Palestinian agreement cannot be stable and secure without the reconciliation by the Arab and Muslim world to Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state.

5. Take the lead in linking continued funding of the Palestinians to the PA's undertaking to ensure that its curricula and textbooks meet the criteria established by UNESCO, criteria which emphasize the teaching of positive images of other societies and cultures and the non-violent resolution of differences.

SAMPLE LETTER: Please don't copy! Original letters incorporating some of the above writing points will be more powerful. Be brief, polite but with a strong argument. Please forward or BCC me a copy of your letters. (Be sure to include your address with Postal Code to identify your constituency.)

The Honourable Bill Graham,

Efforts by the Canadian Government in helping Israel in the past have been much appreciated. However, your efforts are needed once again. It is possible that you could greatly influence bringing peace to the Middle East.

The 'roadmap' which is being put forward by the Quartet, the US, the EU, the UN and Russia, could place Israel in a very vulnerable position. It imposes specific timetables on Israel and the Palestinians to resolve the Middle East conflict. It would be better to adhere to the original 'vision' of George Bush, which imposes accountability and disclosure on the actions of the Palestinians in following the demands of the 'road map'.

If Israel is forced by a timetable to withdraw from some of the territory without the commitment of the Palestinians to stop their terrorism, this plan will fail for the same reasons as did Oslo. As you know, Israel has many times tried to negotiate a successful peace only to be thwarted by Arab intransigence and Arab terror.

As well, as a first priority, we urge our government to encourage the Palestinians to clearly state their acceptance of the legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel and to expedite the process of reform and put an end to terrorism.

Before there can be any tangible concessions by Israel there must be a perfect showing by all of Israel's neighbours of accountability and to stop inciting, supporting and financing terrorism. This includes the belligerency by official government agencies and their unofficial but supported religious leaders in their mosques and terrorist groups such as Hamas.

We urge the Canadian Government to encourage the International Community as to the advisability of adhering to the American approach. The Canadian Government has been helpful to Israel on other occasions and we look to you for support once again during this critical time.

Sincerely,
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WRITE TO: It is important to write to Foreign Minister Bill Graham with a copy to the PM. Also, please write a separate letter to your MP and phone your MP and visit your MP to discuss this issue (click on the following link to find out information about your MP). As well, we must all make an effort to call the special phone number set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For addresses of MPs go to: http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM
Insert your postal code and the contact information for your MP will appear.

The Canadian Foreign Affairs Department toll-free number: 1-866-880-4378.
A real person answers. They record your name and message and send them daily to Bill Graham.
Have your message prepared in advance of calling!

The Right Honourable Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada
Tel: (613) 992 4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

The Honourable Bill Graham
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tel: (613) 992 5234
Fax: (613) 996-9607
Graham.B@parl.gc.ca

Stephen Harper
Canadian Alliance Caucus
Tel: (613) 996-6740
Fax: (613) 947-0310
Email: Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Paul Martin
613 992 4284
Fax: 613 992 4291
Email: Martin.P@parl.gc.ca

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KEY MESSAGES WHEN VISITING YOUR MP

1. Like Canadians, Israelis deserve to live free of terrorism and violence. No peace plan is legitimate unless it begins with a verifiable end to violence, terrorism and anti-Israel incitement.

2. No peace plan can go forward until there is recognition by the Arab League of Israel as a Jewish state with full legitimacy within the region.

3. There is no legal or moral basis to the Palestinian demand for the "right of return" to Israel. Calls such as those contained in the Saudi initiative
that promote the right of return, must be unconditionally rejected by Canada.

4. The democratic process is fundamental to Canadian and Israeli society. Before any peace plan can be put in place, there must be a real and
demonstrable commitment by the PA to responsible governance.


MEETING WITH YOUR MP

Hopefully, many of you will be able to meet with your local MP in order to discuss the road map and deliver the key messages AND discuss the writing points above. As most of the MP's will be in their home ridings the weeks of the 14th and the 21st, we suggest that you call the riding office as soon as possible to set a date and time. Ideally, you should not go to the meeting alone. Best results are obtained when two or three of you go together. Once you have met with your MP, please report back on how the meeting went.

BACKGROUND

The current discussion of the "road map" can be traced to the report of the international committee of inquiry headed by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell. The Mitchell Report, issued in May 2001, went beyond its mandate of investigating the outbreak of Palestinian violence in September 2000. It also recommended a three-phase process for resuming work toward an Israeli-Palestinian permanent settlement. The starting point was an "immediate" and "unconditional" end to violence and the resumption by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of full security cooperation with Israel. All other steps, including a freeze on settlement activity, would be implemented only after the end of Palestinian violence, and based on the principle of reciprocity.

The "Quartet" began to meet informally about one year ago to discuss ways of ending violence and restarting Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. These
discussions were premised on the formula outlined in the Mitchell Report, as well as U.S. President George W. Bush's "vision" of a "two-state solution." On June 24, 2002, Bush outlined the conditions the Palestinians must meet to receive U.S. support for an independent state: an end to terrorism; reform toward democratization within the PA; and the election of a new leadership "not compromised by terror."

Amidst all of the speculation about specific provisions of the road map, these three criteria remain constant and immutable. To these must be added the explicit recognition by the Palestinians and the broader Arab world of the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. All the rest is "commentary," the consideration of which must not detract from the cardinal principles noted above.

The Road Map - Time Line

Although the 'road map' for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking being developed by the Quartet made up of the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations, has not yet been issued, the following are believed to be the major expectations associated with each of the map's three phases. Our brief analysis is also provided.


Phase I: Ending Terror and Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions, Present (December 2002) to May 2003


The Palestinians must immediately issue an unequivocal statement recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, and a commitment to end anti-Israel incitement in official Palestinian institutions. Only then does Israel issue an 'unequivocal statement' affirming its commitment to a 'two-state solution' and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians and an end to 'anti-Palestinian incitement' in official Israeli institutions.

This proposed course is consistent with the sequencing initially established in the Mitchell Report, which set the 'immediate' and 'unconditional' end to violence and terrorism as the essential preconditions for all other diplomatic steps occurring.

Once the exchange of 'unequivocal statements' has occurred, both sides will then undertake reciprocal gestures regarding security, Palestinian institution- and civil society-building, humanitarian responses to Palestinian poverty, and settlements.

The current iteration of the 'road map' calls for Israel to 'immediately' dismantle settlement outposts established since September 2000 and calls for Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including construction for natural growth, following a comprehensive cease fire. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says that discussions on settlements are to be deferred until final status talks, and that the settlement outposts question is an internal Israeli matter.

Problematic from Israel's perspective is the fact the 'road map' accords to the 'Quartet' the authority to adjudicate the compliance of both sides with their respective obligations in the crucial 'confidence building' process.


Phase II: 'Transition, June 2003-December 2003'


In this phase of the process, the parties are to direct their energies toward the creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and 'attributes of sovereignty' as a way to a permanent status settlement, by the end of 2003.

The onus is primarily on Israel to take steps to assist the Palestinians toward the achievement of their provisional state.


Phase III: 'Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 2004-2005'


A permanent status agreement that will fulfill 'the vision of two states, Israel and the sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security,' is to be achieved by the end of 2005.

CONCERN: At an unspecified point, a Madrid-style international conference will be convened by the 'Quartet,' presumably to ratify and accord legitimacy to the permanent status agreement. The operative question, from Israel's perspective, is whether the conference will be empowered to impose a permanent settlement on the parties in the absence of a bilateral accord.
I urge IsraPundit readers to subscribe to Ms Haber's action-orineted e-mail group; contact her at:

sahaber@sympatico.ca